Friday, February 25, 2011

For the Future (15)

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!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (March 22, 2011): Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known.

Blood & Flowers
by Penny Blubaugh (March 1, 2011): Persia ran away from her drug-addict parents and found a home with the Outlaws, an underground theater troupe.

Huntress by Malinda Lo (April 5, 2011): Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear.

The FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper (April 5, 2011): Michelle Cooper combines the drama of pre-War Europe with the romance of debutante balls and gives us another compelling historical page turner.
Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter (March 29, 2011): Kylie's mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens. Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler (March 8, 2011): Star basketball player Chelsea had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith (April 28, 2011): What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird (April 18, 2011): In seventeenth-century Scotland, saying the wrong thing can lead to banishment—or worse. Accused of being a witch, sixteen-year-old Maggie Blair is sentenced to be hanged. She escapes, but instead of finding shelter with her principled, patriotic uncle, she brings disaster to his door.
Clarity by Kim Harrington (March 1, 2011): Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift. And a curse.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Unlocked

This week's WoW book is Unlocked by Ryan G. Van Cleave! It will be released on March 1, 2011.

Andy is the janitor's son, an outcast, a nobody. Then the rumor starts-that Blake has a gun in his locker. In a moment of misguided hopefulness, Andy steals the keys from his dad and opens up Blake's locker, hoping that finding the gun will change his own status. But the gun isn't there and Andy remains an outcast. When an unlikely friendship develops between the two loners, Blake shares most of his secrets with Andy, including the gun. But there's one secret that worries Andy more than anything-the date circled on Blake's calendar. Does Blake have something planned? Something that Andy can prevent?

Oh goodness, this book has completely stolen my attention. The cover is genius, the summary has me hooked, and I can't wait to read this one! PUBLISHED ON MARCH 1, 2011!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Published: 1999 by Penguin

My Rating: 5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic
Includes: Brief profanity, Sexuality

First Lines: It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache. The school bus wheezes to my corner.

Melinda is Outcast. Ever since she called the cops at an end-of-summer party, everyone avoids her. She lost all of her friends and now has to start her first year of high school entirely alone. But there was a reason she called the cops that night, a reason that she's been trying to block from her mind. She can't gain the courage to open her mouth and speak out, so instead she retreats to where it's safe - herself.

This was the first free verse novel and book by Laurie Halse Anderson that I've ever read. Saying that I'm impressed would be an understatement. This author's writing is so deep, emotional, pure, and raw that I'm surprised she even made up this story. Melinda's character felt so real to me; and being inside of her head throughout the entire novel was an entirely new ride for me. She had so much depth, and I could relate to her so well. I'm not much of a talker and people ask me all the time why I'm so quiet - I usually reply with, "Because I have nothing to say." I came across a line in this book that said the exact same thing! Melinda was so misunderstood by every single person she came in contact with. Just because she rarely talked, they assumed she was rebelling, weird, freaky, anything they wanted to imagine. It took me awhile to get used to the style of writing. There were many incomplete sentences, phrases, and repeated words. However I'm so glad that it was set up this way. It gave an entirely new perspective to the writing and into Melinda's head. Anderson's descriptive writing was so captivating and interesting; even when Melinda was doing normal every day routines, the author was able to make it sound so fascinating.

I loved watching the weak and silent Melinda develop into a strong person. During the last few 'chapters', every tiny way that she started to stand up for herself made me want to do a little victory dance. How she was able to put up with all the rude, uncaring people around her, I do not know. I probably would have snapped. But Melinda remained silent - only screaming when she was alone in her bedroom closet. The reader is able to figure out what happened on the night of the party very early on; however, Melinda doesn't actually play it out in her mind until halfway into the book. I like when authors give a little air of mystery to a book and don't cram all the explaining in the beginning. There is no sugarcoating in this novel, and even though Melinda never realizes it, she is depressed. Extremely. So sure, it was dark at times, but there were also funny parts. 'Gasp! You laughed while reading a sad book?!' Yes. The way Melinda used nicknames for her teachers was humorous. If you don't believe me, read the book.

This was a super powerful, enjoyable, memorable, and inspiring book. Melinda had a story to share, and it was one that I'm so glad I finally spent the time to read. I know this book has been used in many English classes, and I would beg to be able to read something this fantastic at school! Next on the list: watch the movie.

Cover Thoughts: Ahhh so great. I like how the tree was incorporated into it, and that her mouth isn't showing. At first glance this is just an okay cover, but after reading the book, it has so much more depth to it.

Book Supplied by: Traded at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mix Tape Vol. 4

dredg - "bug eyes"
florence and the machine - "howl"
anathallo - "italo"
phantom planet - "california"
dashboard confessional - "vindicated"
matt & kim - "red paint"
sanctus real - "alone"
the shins - "phantom limb"
the dodos - "fables"
the kooks - "ooh la"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Solid by Shelley Workinger

Title: Solid
Author: Shelley Workinger
Published: July 2010 by CreateSpace

My Rating: 3.5 stars
Tags: YA | Sci-Fi | Series (Book 1)
Includes: Brief violence, Sensuality

First Lines: As per his nighttime routine, he checked the security panel to ensure that the system would alert him of any intrusions on the perimeter he'd set around the lab.

A brilliant scientist/Army doctor created a drug for pregnant women (without their knowing) eighteen years ago. It was a secret genetic experiment, and after he died, all the evidence and knowledge about it seemed to die, too. Except for the products. All of the children that were birthed from these women seem to have special abilities and the military is isolating them from the world to find out more. Clio (Calliope) is one of these teenagers and it's not long before she has a bad feeling about why all of them are really here...

I really related to Clio; she was a wonderful protagonist, my favorite thing about a novel. Clio was down-to-earth, friendly, humorous, and an every day girl in contrast to her special ability. I seemed to feel her emotions with her, and really grew attached to her. Jack, her little love interest, and Bliss, her new best friend, were also fantastic in-depth characters. Garret was such an entertaining guy that never failed to lighten up the mood. Everyone in this book had their own unique personality and the characterization was spot on. The romance between Clio and Jack was cute and didn't feel forced at all. I found myself smiling during scenes between them. I also really enjoyed the author's writing style and descriptive details.

From page 101
Reveling in my happy thoughts, I decided to take advantage of this unscheduled day and relax. I drifted off the main path toward the edge of the woods, looking for a good spot to stretch out in the grass and just watch the fluffy clouds parade by. The grass was cool and soft on my back - not luxurious enough to camp on without a pad or anything but plenty comfy for a dreambreak.

There didn't seem to be a thick plot though, and lacked sub-plots. The whole idea of teenagers with special super powers, like invisibility, seemed like a very small detail in the overall book. They never used their powers to fight, which is what I expected for the big climax. I was confused what the powers of the athletes and art kids were, too. Hopefully this will be cleared up in the next installment. However, I did think it was a very creative story! The author weaved together a background story to answer most of my questions and the puzzle pieces came together in the end. It was a little slow at first getting into this novel, but I finished the last half of it in a day or two. Not sure if I'd go as far as saying it's a page-turner, but it definitely held my attention and was enjoyable. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book, Settling.

Cover Thoughts: I really love the colors! The chromosone picture is pretty cool and unique for a cover, but it looks a little too much like a science book I think. Very creative nonetheless!

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just a little something I came across

...that is pure genius. click here, follow the simple directions, and prepare to be amazed! Especially if you're a cat lover like I am. (:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Orchards

This week's WoW book is Orchards by Holly Thompson! It will be released on February 22, 2011.

After a classmate commits suicide, Kana Goldberg—a half-Japanese, half-Jewish American—wonders who is responsible. She and her cliquey friends said some thoughtless things to the girl. Hoping that Kana will reflect on her behavior, her parents pack her off to her mother's ancestral home in Japan for the summer. There Kana spends hours under the hot sun tending to her family's mikanorange groves. Kana's mixed heritage makes it hard to fit in at first, especially under the critical eye of her traditional grandmother, who has never accepted Kana's father. But as the summer unfolds, Kana gets to know her relatives, Japan, and village culture, and she begins to process the pain and guilt she feels about the tragedy back home. Then news about a friend sends her world spinning out of orbit all over again.

I haven't seen any hype about this book but I think it sounds really interesting! We're studying diversity in one of my classes at school so I've been keeping my eyes open for books focusing on other countries. I'm not a fan of this cover though.. PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 22, 2011!

Monday, February 14, 2011


I hate Valentine's day.

If I see another adorable couple holding hands, or hear someone talk about their dinner plans for tonight, or even worse listen to someone gush to their friend about "my beating hard just won't stop" (yes, I really did hear this at school today) ..... I'm gonna crack.

There's just something about this holiday that I really hate - whether it's because we single people can't enjoy it, or the fact that it's such a materialistic holiday where stores just get paid extra for flowers, chocolates, and balloons - I don't know. But I think that if you really love someone, you shouldn't have to feel obligated to buy them a gift on this wretched day. Instead you should give them some candy or a hug or a nice dinner just because you feel like it!

Sorry if I'm being a downer and ruining your 'special day' with your 'special someone' while you give each other 'special presents' and do 'special things'. Blahhh. My plans for tonight? Curl up with a romantic comedy (any suggestions?! leave a comment please!) and spend some quality time with the only two men in my life that I need: Ben & Jerry. (:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On My Bookshelf (26)

(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.


13 to Life by Shannon Delaney: Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town. It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…


Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick: The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush! Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.


Willow by Julia Hoban: Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow’s parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it—Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down.


Drought by Pam Bachorz: Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from struggling to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive--and Darwin rich. Escape from her certain, dreary existence, living as if it's still the early 1800s, when the Congregation was first enslaved. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient to the Water: her blood. So she stays, and prays to their savior Otto, who first gave Water to the Congregants... and fathered Ruby before he vanished.

Trapped by Michael Northrop: The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive. Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision.

Edges by Lena Roy: After his mother dies and his father begins drinking again, Luke decides to leave New York City. Though he’s just sixteen, he finds a job and friends in fantastic, otherworldly Moab, Utah—the last place his family was happy together. Back in New York, eighteen-year-old Ava finally admits she has a drinking problem. But life doesn’t automatically get easier when she joins Alcoholics Anonymous. When circumstances—or fate—bring Ava to Moab as well, she and Luke both must figure out how to heal their families and themselves.

Other Words For Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal:
When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Exposed

This week's WoW book is Exposed by Kimberly Marcus! It will be released on February 22, 2011.

Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused and confident in what she sees through her camera lens. Confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever. But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her, and people are looking the other way when she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense? What do you do when you may lose everything you love most?

I have recently been obsessing over photography so this novel instantly caught my attention, not to mention the stunning cover. PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 22, 2011!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Follower Love Giveaway Hop


See the entire linky list here to enter all of the other great giveaways!

I'm participating in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. For my giveaway, one person will win a personalized, signed copy of the book The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver, plus some swag (logo stickers and iron-on patches)!

The Simple Rules:
-You must be a blog follower (new or old) to enter. If you aren't, your entry will be deleted.
-Runs from 12:01 AM February 8th until 11:59 PM February 13th.
-Open to USA only.
-You can get extra entries by tweeting/blogging about my giveaway.
-The winner, picked randomly and emailed, will have 5 days to reply before a new winner is chosen.


SUMMARY: Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mix Tape Vol. 3

annuals - "springtime"
kings of leon - "the end"
band of horses - "weed party"
the hush sound - "we intertwined"
the avett brothers - "i and love and you"
beulah - "don't forget to breathe"
ra ra riot - "do you remember"
phoenix - "long distance call"
modest mouse - "dashboard"
sufjan stevens - "to be alone with you"

Friday, February 4, 2011

I heart free e-books!

This is just an announcement for those of you who don't know already!

You can download Dreaming Anastasia for free from February 1 to the 7—wherever eBooks are sold—in celebration of the launch of Haunted. I got mine from Amazon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Haven

This week's WoW book is Haven by Kristi Cook! It will be released on February 22, 2011.

Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven. At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet's horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical--and deadly--way.

Sounds like a really interesting read! The cover's pretty, too. PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 22, 2011!