Waiting On Wednesday: Bad Taste In Boys


This week's WoW book is Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris! It will be released on July 12, 2011.

SUMMARY:
Someone's been a very bad zombie. Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town...and stay hormonally human.

I fell in love with this cover the first time I saw it. The book sounds like a fun, quirky read. PUBLISHED ON JULY 12, 2011!

For the Future (17)


This is a monthly meme of mine that I made up! :) It's similar to my "Waiting on Wednesday" posts, but highlights many books, not just one, and doesn't include summaries. Here's a list of young adult books that are still in-the-making or will be published in the future. These can range from being released tomorrow, to two years from now! The covers and release dates might not be permanent, it's just what I saw on Amazon, Goodreads, or the author's website. Hope this will be efficient to expand your reading pile!




Lost Voices by Sarah Porter (July 4, 2011):
A captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.
Texas Gothic
by Rosemary Clement-Moore (July 12, 2011):
Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.
And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky (July 26, 2011): Keek—whose snappy narrative voice is darkly humorous and hysterically blunt—must ultimately decide for herself which relationships to salvage, which to set free, and what it means to fall in love.



Misfit by Jon Skovron (August 1, 2011):
Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school.
Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray (July 5, 2011): Passion, romance, drama, humor, and tragedy intertwine in this compulsively readable debut novel, told by a strong-willed, modern-day Ophelia.
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (August 23, 2011): Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.



Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia (July 12, 2011):
Brought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture.
The Cupid War by Timothy Carter (August 8, 2011): Ricky Fallon had decided against killing himself — just before slipping off a bridge to his death. Now he's a Cupid in the afterlife, helping people fall in love.
Fury by Elizabeth Miles (August 30, 2011): The first book in a paranormal teen trilogy featuring three beautiful, mysterious girls wreaking havoc on a small New England town.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Published: August 2010 by HarperTeen

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Paranormal (duh) | Romance
Includes: Sensuality, Violence

First Lines: "Wait - did you - You just yawned!" The vampire's arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides. He pulled exaggerated white fangs back behind his lips.



Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency...or IPCA for short.
She doesn't have parents, her best friend is a mermaid, and she spends her time surrounded by werewolves, faeries, and vampires. And you wonder why this book is called Paranormalcy? Evie is also the only person who's able to see through paranormals' glamours. She can see the true beings underneath their disguises. All of a sudden, paranormal creatures are being killed and Evie quickly discovers who the murderer is actually after: her.

I think one of the many reasons why I loved this book was because of Evie's character. Her personality was so strong and unique. Sure, she was brave and confident when it came to doing her job "tagging and bagging" paranormals, but she was also fun and girly. I really liked seeing both sides to her character. Also, usually in YA urban fantasy, the main character is extremely (and sometimes unrealistically) mature and tough for their age, but Evie felt believable as a teen. One moment she'd be kicking some vampire butt, and a moment later she'd be rolling down the hallway in a spinning computer chair just for kicks. I also grew really fond of the two guys in the book - Lend and Reth. Even though Reth is the creepy/stalkerish faerie that happens to be Evie's ex-boyfriend, I still for some reason really liked the guy. I hope to see more of him in the next book.

From page 56
He smiled at me. His eyes were golden like ripe wheat and his hair shone nearly the same shade. Everything about him was gold, except his laugh. That had always been silver. I couldn't look at his face anymore without risking never wanting to look away, but I didn't want to take my eyes off him and let down my guard. I was so dead.


There was never a dull moment in the story. I never became bored while reading, but instead would delay going to eat dinner or go to sleep because I would insist on reading one more chapter. The author's creativity really shone through and she impressed me with her vivid writing. I loved all of the many different paranormals thrown into one book, too! It was so refreshing not reading about just the typical werewolf or vampire. This one included water nymphs, faeries like you've never seen before, hags, trolls, and a couple unidentified creatures, too. The biggest complaint for me about this book though was the villain. She. Was. Not. Scary. I'm not sure how the author wanted the reader to feel about her, but she definitely was not intimidating or threatening. If anything, I felt sorry for her. The ending was also a tad cheesy for my taste, but hey, it left room open for the sequel. Overall, this was a one-of-a-kind debut packed with action, humor, romance, and imagination. I can't bleeping wait to read the sequel!

Cover Thoughts: Beautiful! The model is gorgeous, the lighting is perfect, and it's so elegant looking. Plus, I adore that dress. However, it pretty much has nothing to do with the story..

On My Bookshelf (32)


(Originally by The Story Siren, as "In My Mailbox") On My Bookshelf is used to share what books I bought, won, traded, received for review, or got from the library this week. It's to let you know what to expect for me to read/review next.



RECEIVED FROM TRADING:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti: Jade DeLuna is too young to die. She knows this, and yet she can't quite believe it, especially when the terrifying thoughts, loss of breath, and dizzy feelings come. Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, she's trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That's why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and that's where she first sees the boy in the red jacket. A boy who stops to watch the elephants. A boy carrying a baby. His name is Sebastian, and he is raising his son alone. Jade is drawn into Sebastian's cozy life with his son and his activist grandmother on their Seattle houseboat, and before she knows it, she's in love. With this boy who has lived through harder times than anyone she knows. This boy with a past. Jade knows the situation is beyond complicated, but she hasn't felt this safe in a long time. She owes it all to Sebastian, her boy with the great heart. Her boy who is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right.

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:

Six Moon Summer by SM Reine: Rylie's parents force her to attend summer camp, but she's just as miserable at the girls' camp as she was at home-- there's nothing vegetarian for her to eat at the mess hall, she hates hiking and archery, and the other campers taunt Rylie mercilessly. One night, the bullying goes too far, and Rylie runs away. She doesn't get far. It's a full moon, and she isn't alone in the forest. She wakes up unharmed in her cabin the next morning with no memory of what happened. The only sign something has changed are the healed scars on her chest, her increasingly keen senses, and her sudden craving for raw, bloody meat. A boy from the other camp seems to know what's happening to her, but Rylie isn't sure if she can trust herself with Seth. He's way too cute and he knows way too much. Rylie soon learns that she only has until the end of summer before she becomes just like the monster that attacked her: a man-eating werewolf hungry for human flesh. Unless she can find a cure, she's going to transforming at the end of the summer and lose her life to the hunger.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre: In Deuce's world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed 'brat' has trained into one of three groups-Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember. As a Huntress, her purpose is clear--to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She's worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing's going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce's troubles are just beginning.

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach: My name is Felton Reinstein, which is not a fast name. But last November, my voice finally dropped and I grew all this hair and then I got stupid fast. Fast like a donkey. Zing! Now they want me, the guy they used to call Squirrel Nut, to try out for the football team. With the jocks. But will that fix my mom? Make my brother stop dressing like a pirate? Most important, will it get me girls - especially Aleah? So I train. And I run. And I sneak off to Aleah's house in the night. But deep down I know I can't run forever. And I wonder what will happen when I finally have to stop.

BOUGHT FROM BOOKSTORES:

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen: When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

Waiting On Wednesday: The Day Before


This week's WoW book is The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder! It will be released on June 28, 2011.

SUMMARY:
Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself. Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets. The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

I've heard good things about this book and author; can't wait to read this one! PUBLISHED ON JUNE 28, 2011!

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger


Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Published: September 2010 by Little Brown

My Rating: 3 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Romance
Includes: Sexuality, Profanity, Brief Violence

First Lines: This was getting old. Once again, Casey and Jessica were making complete fools of themselves, shaking their asses like dancers in a rap video.



Bianca Piper
is cynical, sarcastic, and snappy. One day while she's at a teen club with her two gorgeous best friends, the man-whore at her school sits down beside her. Wesley Rush. Just hearing his name makes Bianca's skin crawl. She hates him and is disgusted at the number of girls he's slept with. And to make matters worse, Wesley calls Bianca "The Duff", as in "Designated Ugly Fat Friend". His theory is that every group of girls has a Duff in it, to make themselves look better. Angry and hurt, Bianca reacts by throwing her soda in his face and storming out of the club. But the nickname continues to haunt her and slowly eats away at her self-esteem.

From page 12
Before crawling under my sheets, I took a glance at the full-length mirror across the room. I searched my reflection with new eyes, with new knowledge. Uncontrollable wavy auburn hair. A long nose. Big thighs. Small boobs. Yep. Definitely Duff material. How had I not known?

Bianca's home life is starting to crumble, too. Her mom, who is always traveling for work, is never home and it isn't soon that she files a divorce with Bianca's dad. Struggling for anything to take her mind off of her crappy home problems, Bianca does the unthinkable: she kisses Wesley. And then she starts sleeping with him. A whole lot. This is where the story started to unwind a little bit, in my opinion. First of all, Bianca literally can't stand Wesley and hates his guts. I'm trying to imagine myself in her shoes, and I would never come up with the idea of hate sex in order to run from my problems. Second of all, it isn't just a one time deal. Bianca starts sleeping with Wesley fives times a week! This is a bit ridiculous, especially for a girl who has only had one other boyfriend, when she was 14. The idea of sex to escape your problems and numb your mind was a new concept for me, and took some time getting used to. I definitely urge only mature readers to read this book because of the many sexual scenes and the crazy amount of profanity. Maybe it's just because I personally am against profanity, but I think the vulgar was out of control and could be taken down a notch because it was distracting and ugly.

I liked the diverse characters in the novel. The author developed them well and they weren't shallow or hollow. Each person played a part in the story, even the minor ones didn't feel like they were just fillers. There was also good emotion carried out in the book. I believed Bianca's feelings and they felt genuine. Bianca's character was pretty interesting: she was tough and ballsy on the outside, but a little gooey in the inside. She had depth to her and seemed like a very realistic teenager. Wesley, I grew to love. Sure he's a man-slut and will flirt with anything that has boobs, but eventually once you get to know him, he's pretty sweet. The book as a whole was very predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen after reading just a few chapters, yet it was still fun to watch it play out. I have strong pros and strong cons about this book so I'll just settle with three stars.

Cover Thoughts: It definitely catches your attention! I think the way the text is set up is interesting and unique. And I like how the model's eye shadow matches her bubble gum exactly.

Book Supplied by: Won in a contest.

Winners (Part 4 of 4)


This post concludes the winners of all of my Marvelous May Masterminds contests and giveaways. Thank you to everyone that participated!

Die For Me by Amy Plum goes to...

Kristy V


Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini goes to...

Tiffany A from For Those About To Read...


Author Gae Polisner 30 Minute Skype Chat goes to...

Dale Louderback's book club


Nightspell signed by Leah Cypess goes to...

Lisa R from Lisa's Loves (Books Of Course)

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton


Title: The Faerie Ring
Author: Kiki Hamilton
Published: September 2011 by Tor Teen

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Fantasy | Historical Fiction
Includes: Violence

First Lines: "You wouldn't be here pickin' pockets, would you?" Tiki jumped as the dark figure loomed over the corner where she sat pretending to be half-asleep.



The story is set in London, 1871. Tiki is a sixteen year old orphan living in an abandoned shop behind the railway station. She pickpockets wealthy people
on the streets in order to survive and also takes care of four friends who she considers her family: Shamus, a boy her age, Toots and Fiona, the young ones, and Clara, the little sick one who Tiki cares fondly about. When Tiki steals a beautiful red ring, which she hopes to trade for a bundle of money, she quickly finds out that it's the queen's ring! After the handsome Rieker, a well-known pickpocket, discovers that Tiki has the ring, he tells her that it's more than just a ring. It actually holds an ancient truce for peace between the faeries' and human royals' courts. It must always be guarded by the royals since the faeries want to destroy it and the truce. Along with whoever has it in their possession...

I started reading this book with low expectations since I haven't read anything from this author before and usually aren't too fond of faerie books and historical fiction. Could I have been more wrong?
Wow this book was magnificent! First, the setting...genius: Victorian London set in the 1800s. It was the perfect set-up and the author played by the rules. I hate when historical fiction books aren't accurate, whether by the way the characters talk, dress, or interact. But Kiki nailed the dialogue just right and included real places in London where events in the book took place.

I grew so fond of Tiki's brilliant character: she was determined, honest, mature, courageous - overall a great protagonist. Being a sort of leader of her 'orphan family', she truly cared about the others living with her and would stop at nothing to help heal little Clara, the four year old girl with croup. Each of the orphan characters were developed and I got to know them so well. So kudos to the author for her fabulous and memorable characters that felt so real. I also liked how she was able to put the reader on the fence about whether or not to trust Rieker. He and Tiki start having feelings for each other, but she doesn't know if she can fully trust him or not - whether he just wants the ring for himself. I continuously jumped back and forth with my opinion about him.

From page 153
Her fingers tingled with an unusual warmth when they brushed his skin. Surprised, her eyes darted to his face to see if he had felt the same thing. Expecting his usual aloof expression, instead his smoky eyes were locked on her face and the walls that he usually hid behind were gone. There was something that almost looked like longing in his expression.


The novel had a little bit of everything sprinkled into it: historical fiction, romance, mystery, fantasy, realistic - I loved every page of it! Kiki has a beautiful way with words. Her writing was descriptive, vivid, and realistic (minus the faeries). I felt like I was right beside Tiki throughout the story. The book was deeply imaginative and creative. I was instantly absorbed into Tiki's mysterious world. This was definitely the best faerie book I ever read, and actually answered many of my questions. Nevertheless, I'm still confused about some things, but hopefully they will be answered in the second book. The climax of the book was nail-biting and I had to stay up until 2 a.m. to finish the book because I was desperate to know how it ended. It wrapped up nicely and left room for more, just how I like it.

Cover Thoughts: I think it's gorgeous, love the text and colors.

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

Waiting On Wednesday: Haunting Violet


This week's WoW book is Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey! It will be released on June 21, 2011.

SUMMARY:
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose. Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

I absolutely love a good ghost story, and this one looks awesome. PUBLISHED ON JUNE 21, 2011!

Giveaway: The Ylem by Tatiana Vila


CONTEST IS CLOSED


The Ylem by Tatiana Vila

An ancient book, a seventeen-year-old girl and an exotic boy from a supernatural world hold the key to freedom for a long-oppressed race, but that freedom could come at the cost of the human world. Seventeen-year-old Kalista is suffering from a broken heart, so when her playwright father proposes they move their lives from New York to New Mexico because he is in need of inspiration Kalista is 100% on-board with him. New Mexico proves to be the perfect balm for her wounds and she is just starting to feel some of her old spunk when Tristan Winfield comes into her life and pulls all of her barriers down. Kalista is captivated by Tristan's unusual silver eyes and feels an inexplicable connection to him, which begins to manifest itself in her dreams with bizarre images of a waterfall and an orb. While searching for an explanation for her troubling dreams, Kalista discovers an ancient book which holds the secrets of a supernatural race of creatures. But when Killings hit town, she realizes her finding has come at a high price. She's in the middle of a power struggle now, a struggle that seems to be linked to the secret wrapped within the pages of that book. A secret she and Tristan are part of... Published on April 23, 2011.

Interested in reading this new e-book? Tatiana will let one of my readers do so!

Rules:
Open to anyone who can read an e-book! Ends on June 23.
Extra entries for being a wonderful blog follower
or advertising about this giveaway.
One winner will be randomly chosen and emailed.
Fill out the form to enter, but comments are appreciated!


Click here to fill out the form!

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe


Title: Happy Birthday to Me
Author: Brian Rowe
Published: April 2011 by CreateSpace

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Family | Realistic/Fantasy
Includes: Sexuality

First Lines: The nightmare was real. My face was covered with sweat. My legs were killing me, and my back felt like someone had run it down with a semi truck.



Cameron Martin, a senior in high school, is living on cloud nine.
He's dating the beautiful Charisma, is a star on the basketball team, is popular, handsome, and waiting for his acceptance letter to Yale. But all this changes one day when he wakes up older. And by older, I mean an entire year older. Soon, every day that passes, Cameron is aging a whole year. First comes the beard, followed by the slowing metabolism, and even worse, gray hair. Cameron's life drastically changes in a matter of weeks, as he quickly becomes even older than his parents.

The premise of this story was really intriguing and caught my attention right away. The book never dragged at all or became boring at times. The author created a good set of characters and it was pretty interesting reading from a guy's point of view, which I'm not used to. Cameron's character was very believable and realistic. His emotions were spot on and I could distinguish each reaction to his condition well - he went through doubt, anger, sadness, etc. The role the parents played in this young adult book was also interesting. They were present at mostly all times in the story and it was nice having this change in YA. Their emotions were also very realistic to their son's mysterious condition. Cameron's best friend, Wesley, was a memorable and original character that I enjoyed getting to know. Even when everyone else seemed to run away from Cameron, Wesley stayed and supported him through his tough time. Charisma on the other hand...ugh. She was one of the most annoying and selfish people I've ever read in a book but contributed so much to the story and was fun to read about. Overall, I really liked the characters, even the ones I wasn't supposed to like.

From page 129
Some people in the hallways gave me sad looks, and others turned away from me, as if they assumed that my condition was contagious. I thought it would be interesting if
everyone started aging rapidly over the next few weeks, but I didn't see that happening. This was an obstacle for me to solve alone.

Even though the actual writing itself wasn't the greatest I've ever read, the story itself made up for it. Cameron's unique illness, aging rapidly every day, was so creative and there was even a little message behind the story. The mix between genres in the book, realistic and fantasy, surprisingly meshed well together. If Cameron's condition really did exist, then this could be such a believable novel. I think that the ending was a bit ridiculous and over the top, but it definitely left room for the sequel (which I'm excited to read!). I have no idea what will happen next in Cameron's story but I can't wait to find out.

Cover Thoughts: I think it suits the novel well and it catches your attention. I had many people stop and stare, before asking what I was reading. I like how the text looks like smoke, too.

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

Winners (Part 3 of 4)


Yet another post of a few more winners from my Marvelous May Masterminds event/giveaways! Thank you to everyone who entered.

My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff goes to...

Erin F from Quitting My Day Job

The Sweetest Thing signed by Christina Mandelski goes to...

Laura C

Heidi Ayarbe book SWAG and Colombian treats goes to...

Patricia from Patricia's Particularity

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tanen goes to...

Thao H from The Neverending Recipes

On My Bookshelf (31)


(Originally by The Story Siren, as "In My Mailbox") On My Bookshelf is used to share what books I bought, won, traded, received for review, or got from the library this week. It's to let you know what to expect for me to read/review next.



RECEIVED FROM TRADING:

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott: When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her. This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto: Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human- are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments. Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong. The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

What Comes After
by Steve Watkins: After her veterinarian dad dies, sixteen-year-old Iris Wight must leave her beloved Maine to live on a North Carolina farm with her hardbitten aunt and a cousin she barely knows. Iris, a vegetarian and animal lover, immediately clashes with Aunt Sue, who mistreats the livestock, spends Iris’s small inheritance, and thinks nothing of striking Iris for the smallest offense. Things come to a head when Iris sets two young goats free to save them from slaughter, and an enraged Aunt Sue orders her brutish son, Book, to beat Iris senseless - a horrific act that lands Book and his mother in jail. Sent to live with an offbeat foster family and their "dooking" ferrets, Iris must find a way to take care of the animals back at the farm, even if it means confronting Aunt Sue. Powerful and deeply moving, this compelling novel affirms the redemptive power of animals and the resilience of the human spirit.

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler: Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that's okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. But, the smiles of her picture perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn't hold it together, who will?

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tanen: Being marooned on an island somewhere off the coast of Madagascar with five celebrities sounds romantic and glamorous, right? Wrong. You couldn't find people with fewer survival skills if you tried. Seriously. Cisco may have centerfold abs, but he can't even spell SOS. At least super-sexy Jonah seems to have a clue (too bad about the purity ring). If I'm stuck here much longer, these self-involved head cases might drive me crazy-assuming they don't insult each other to death first. It's like a group therapy edition of Survivor. At this point, I'm pretty convinced that all celebrities should be caged in Hollywood and confined to the pages of US magazine. And, btw, if you're there, God, it's me, Francesca, and I really want to go home. Help!

BOUGHT FROM BOOKSTORES:

The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams: This story was supposed to be about Evie how she hasn't made a friend in years, how she tends to stretch the truth (especially about her so-called relationship with college drop-out Jonah Luks), and how she finally comes into her own once she learns to just be herself but it isn't. Because when her classmate Elizabeth "Zabet" McCabe's murdered body is found in the woods, everything changes and Evie's life is never the same again.

Waiting On Wednesday: Imaginary Girls


This week's WoW book is Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma! It will be released on June 14, 2011.

SUMMARY:
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby. But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood. With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

I really adore this cover and the summary caught my eye. PUBLISHED ON JUNE 14, 2011!

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski


Title: The Sweetest Thing
Author: Christina Mandelski
Published: May 2011 by Egmont USA

My Rating: 3.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Romance | Family
Includes: Sexuality

First Lines: I make cakes. It's what I do. It's what I love. But today, I'm standing over a mermaid, wondering what's wrong. She's as long as my arm, and beautiful - no doubt about that.



Sheridan Wells is "Cake Girl". She spends her free time decorating cakes at her grandmother's bakery, while her dad manages his restaurant across the street. Considering that her mother left them years ago, Sheridan's life is actually running pretty smoothly. Until one day when her dad breaks big news to her: he's been given a chance to run his very own cooking show on ExtremeCuisine (his dream!), and they might have to move to New York in order to film it. Sheridan is immediately upset because her dream is to track down her mother and bring her back home, and live the happy, perfect life she's always wanted.
But how will she do that living in New York?

Sheridan portrayed your average teenage girl - stubborn, selfish at times, independent but also seeking love, and a little bit in her own world. I felt kind of bad for her because she was so insistent about bringing the mother that abandoned her back home. She was innocently naive thinking this, and thrived off of the yearly birthday cards full of promises that her mother sent her. Many times in the book, I just could not stand Sheridan. She would have a tantrum and blow up on a family member or friend, saying things that she'd later regret. Or she'd only have the mindset of thinking about what was best for her, not her family. Just little things like this made me not like her at times. Of course, she had to be a realistic character and I think that she was very believable. Jack, her best friend, was my favorite character in the book because of his sweetness and patience. I'm glad that the minor characters were developed as well, and didn't just serve as fillers in the book. They were really interesting to read about and get to know.

Truthfully, I actually didn't really get into this book until about halfway when things started to pick up. I think that the story was stretched as far as it could, like a rubber band right before it snaps. It could have been shortened, with certain uneventful scenes cut out. But hey, for a debut novel it was pretty good. The second half of the novel is what I really enjoyed reading, and even noticed my reading pace majorly pick up, too. The ending suited the novel well and wasn't cheesy. I especially liked reading about the many different kinds of cakes that Sheridan decorated and the book was just full of food! I'd recommend it to girls looking for a cute/light romantic read and have a sugar tooth.

Cover Thoughts: Absolutely adore it! It's unique, pretty, colorful, and fits the story...plus it makes me want to eat some candy.

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

Winners (Part 2 of 4) and Feedback


Well my Marvelous May Masterminds event has come to an end. I hope those of you that read my daily posts enjoyed them! And to all of the many authors that participated - thank you so so much, I truly appreciate it.

A question to my blog readers: Would you like to see another similar type of event on my blog?

I don't mean to sound selfish or what not, but because of my large number of followers I was expecting a lot of reader participation and comments. However, it seems like as soon as I posted a giveaway, that's when all of the comments would appear. The actual guest posts and interviews didn't create much hype. I'm just trying to judge what you guys would like to see on my blog. Planning this May event took an extreme amount of time and effort from myself and the authors, so please give me truthful answers on whether or not I should host another one of these month-long events & any tips/suggestions. Thanks! Now for the round two of winners...

Tighter by Adele Griffin goes to...

Missy from Two Readers Reviews

Bitter End signed by Jennifer Brown goes to...

Sab H from YA Bliss

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby and SWAG goes to...

Cindy from Oodles of Books

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. by Caissie St. Onge goes to...

Macey P