Friday, January 27, 2012

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published: December 2011 by Sourcebooks

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Realistic | Football
Includes: Sexuality, Profanity

First Lines: I once read that football was invented so people wouldn't notice summer ending. But I couldn't wait for summer vacation to end. I couldn't wait for football.

Jordan Woods, a senior in high school, is the captain and quarterback of the football team. In fact, she's one of the best quarterbacks in the state of Tennessee! As Jordan tries to score a scholarship to her dream college, Alabama, she's also trying to gain respect from her father, who disapproves of her playing football. Jordan has always been 'one of the guys', constantly hanging out with her teammates and best friend, Sam Henry. But at the beginning of senior year a new guy comes to town and joins the football team. A very cute new guy, named Ty...who happens to be the quarterback at his old school. Can Jordan keep her head in the game and focus on leading her team, or will she be distracted by Ty, who just may be competing for her position and her heart?

I have never been a fan of football nor have I ever seen a football game in my life. However, this book - with its mix of girls, football, romance, and friendship - I am definitely a fan of. Just because you aren't a sports fanatic doesn't mean that you can't enjoy this awesome book! Right away I liked Jordan's strong character. She has a tough exterior, but also has a sweet, emotional side buried deep within. I admired how she stood up for herself and was a willful, determined person.

You would never have guessed that this is Kenneally's debut novel, because her writing is stunning! She has a way of weaving together words to create a flawless visual of what's happening in the story. It was almost exactly like watching a movie because I could imagine the characters and events so perfectly. The relationships in this story were probably one of my favorite things about the book. I liked seeing Jordan and Ty's fling quickly become romantic. Even though I think their steamy relationship happened way too soon, it was definitely believable and never felt forced. I loved the friendships between Jordan and her teammates, too! Henry, JJ, and Carter were typical high school boys, letting their pride and testosterone make decisions for them. But they were so sweet at times and protected Jordan when the need arose.

From page 79
Flipping through the channels, I stop on ESPN as Henry sits down on the sofa cushion next to me. He slumps down and closes his eyes, and even though he was acting normal a couple of minutes ago, I can feel sadness radiating off him like steam rising from hot asphalt in summertime.

The actual storyline itself was extremely predictable and I guessed right away what would happen, but I still really enjoyed reading it. The strong character ties were so realistic and there were some super cute scenes in the book. I would recommend reading this great debut novel, football lover or not!

Cover Thoughts: It's sweet and I'm so glad that the characters' faces are not showing, so that we can imagine what they look like instead.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: November 2011 by Harper Collins

My Rating: 5 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Paranormal | Dystopia
Includes: Sexuality, Violence, Profanity

First Lines: I've been locked up for 264 days. I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company. 1 window. 4 walls. 144 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet I haven't spoken in 264 days of isolation.

Juliette's touch is fatal. There's no explanation as to why but one thing's for sure: if she touches someone, the agonizing pain can quickly lead to their death. As society crumbles apart and civilization begins dying out, the Reestablishment takes charge. They lock up Juliette in a terrifying asylum, preventing her from human contact for 264 days. While diseases kill the population, crops cease to grow, animals are dying, and water is hard to find, all Juliette wants is a chance. To be touched. To be loved. But the Reestablishment seems to have made plans for her, to use her abnormal ability to their advantage in war. Juliette must choose to be their monstrous weapon or to fight back.

Wow, this was truly unlike any book I've ever read! I fell in love with Juliette right away, instantly connecting to her personality and emotions. For a few chapters into the novel, not that much is explained. I liked that thrilling sense of mystery, and how the reader must figure out on their own for awhile what's going on. The horrifying, dystopian world that the author created was scary because it felt real and believable. In contrast to the crumbling world and its dying, weak inhabitants, Juliette was just the opposite. She was bold, brave, fierce. I greatly admired her and liked that she wasn't totally predictable - I never really knew what actions she'd do next. As for her special ability of having a fatal touch, it made the story so interesting and unique. It was definitely a brand new superhuman power that I've never come across before!

The story progressed quickly and there was almost always nonstop action. The author lingered on scenes and settings just long enough to hold the attention of the reader and let them become accustomed to it, before introducing an entirely new setting. I never knew what to predict next. The novel kept me on my toes, absorbing all my time and attention. The character development was amazingly well-done for the main characters and not to mention all of the many secondary characters. The romance between Juliette and Adam was very believable and they had so much chemistry together. They were perfect for each other and the poetic prose during scenes with them just melted my heart. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and see how their strong relationship grows even more. This was an incredible, action-filled, and thrilling debut from an author to watch!

From page 57
The air is crisp and cool. A refreshing bath of tangible nothing that stings my eyes and snaps at my skin. The sun is high today, blinding as it reflects the small patches of snow keeping the earth frozen. My eyes are pressed down by the weight of the bright light and I can't see through more than two slits, but the warm rays wash over my body like a jacket fitted to my form, like the hug of something greater than a human. I could stand still in this moment forever. For one infinite second I feel free.

Cover Thoughts: It's definitely eye-catching and pretty to look at. It also fits the trend that many new paranormal books have these days: gorgeous models in over-the-top dresses. However, it really doesn't have anything to do with the story; there's not even a scene in the book where Juliette wears a flouncy, white dress.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Forbidden

This week's WoW book is Forbidden by Syrie and Ryan James! It will be released on January 24, 2012.

She should not exist. He should not love her. Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she’s desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there’s no way she’s going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she’s been having or the creepy warnings that she’s in danger. Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn’t factored Claire into his plans... Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire’s unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?

Looks like a good, intriguing book! It sounds a little like the Hush, Hush series which I loved. PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 24, 2012.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

17 Winners Announced! - End of the Year Madness Giveaway

I hope that everyone liked my End of the Year Madness Giveaway! After over a month of planning and collaborating with authors, the actual contest itself seemed to be a huge success however I probably won't be having a giveaway this big again. Thank you to all the wonderful blog followers (new and old!) that entered. are the seventeen winners!

First winner is: Ephrielle from Hope, Love, and Happy Endings!
who won: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen, Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman, Between by Jessica Warman, and The Revenant by Sonia Gensler

Second winner is: Sophia from The Book Basement!
who won: Misfit by Jon Skovron, The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder, and Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Third winner is: Andrea from The Busy Bibliophile!
who won: Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach and Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Now for the fourteen winners who each won one book...

Dani N won You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Kapri from Book Fanatics won the Holly Schindler SWAG pack

Stacey E won Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Lauren from Paper Wings won Shifting by Bethany Wiggins

Ann M from Annabell's Book Nook won The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Amanda from Pages Turned won Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Pao P won Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Robert Z won Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

Tia S won Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Amy from The Library Lady won OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy

Victoria won the Stasia Ward Kehoe SWAG pack

Jen from I Read Banned Books won Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Caitlyn Y won Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Maidenveil from Musings of a Reader Happy won the assorted goodies SWAG pack

A big thank you again to everyone who entered the giveaway! I already sent out all the emails to the winners so please reply as soon as possible so that you can receive your prizes. Hope 2012 is a fantastic year for you all. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

YA Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop


The winner is... Kara D

I absolutely love young adult fantasy books, so I of course signed up to participate in the Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and vvb32reads. If you're an old follower of my site, thank you so much! For those of you first timers, please check out my other posts; I have written tons of young adult book reviews, author interviews, and hold many giveaways! Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog, be sure to visit the other blogs participating in this giveaway hop, too.

Wanna know what the prize here at Books Obsession is?....

An ARC of The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton!
Published September 27, 2011

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood. Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist. Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

Note: This is a gently read ARC that unfortunately doesn't have the pretty cover art, but does have the amazing story inside! Click here to read my review.

Giveaway Details:
-The only requirement? Be a blog follower via GFC (Google Friend Connect).
-Open to U.S. residents only. (Sorry international friends!)
-Giveaway runs from Jan. 6th to Jan. 12th.
-One winner will be randomly selected and emailed.
-Fill out the form below to enter. Comments are very appreciated but won't count as entries.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten

Title: The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers
Author: Lynn Weingarten
Published: December 2011 by HarperTeen

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Girls | Paranormal | Magic
Includes: Sensuality, Profanity

First Lines: In the beginning, there was Lucy Wrenn, standing all alone out in front of her school on the first day of sophomore year, with a seductive little message written on her stomach in Sharpie marker.

After spending an entire summer apart from her boyfriend Alex, Lucy is beyond excited to see him on the first day of school. What she wasn't expecting was that he was going to break up with her instead. Then along comes Olivia, a fierce senior who has a cure for Lucy's broken heart. All she has to do is make a guy fall in love with her within seven days, then break his heart and collect one of his teardrops. With the help of Olivia, her two friends, Gin and Liza, and a little magic, Lucy takes up their offer and embarks on becoming a Heartbreaker.

Lucy was a girl blind with love. Her character was sweet and lovable, but my goodness she was NEEDY. After a few chapters reading about how in love with Alex she was and how impossible it would be to live life without him, I wanted to slap some sense into the young girl. Sure, heartbreak sucks but life goes on! However, if Lucy's character was different and she was actually very independent, then it would change the entire story. So even though at first it was annoying to see how desperate she was to get back with Alex, it really set the stage for the rest of the book. Lucy was relatable, realistic, and one determined girl. And even though the story was told in third person, I really grew to understand Lucy well and was put on a personal level with her.

I adored Weingarten's beautiful writing! She wrote so vividly, including little details that most authors would overlook. Being able to read about the descriptive sights, sounds, smells, and tastes created a lively, clear visual. It really impressed me that she included all of the different senses to make it feel like I was actually in the book, too.

From page 62
Lucy stood near the front of the room looking for Alex. She had been waiting months for this, their first photo class together. She's spent hours and hours watching little movies in her head about it - she and Alex holding hands during lectures, she and Alex kissing secretly under that warm, red darkroom light surrounded by the harsh photo chemicals that would smell delicious to her because she was smelling them with him.

The other characters in the story were also deeply developed and I'm crossing my fingers that there will be many scenes with them in the sequel! Tristan, Lucy's best friend, was one of my favorites and I definitely have a fictional crush on him. The three Heartbreakers themselves - Olivia, Liza, and Gin - were so much fun to read about and each had rich, memorable personas. I grew to have a strong opinion about each and every character in the book...don't even get me started about Alex. This was such a creative tale and I loved the mix of magic and realism. There were some really deep and thought-provoking scenes in the book, along with intriguing quotes (that I shamefully dog-eared) to reread again and again.

Cover Thoughts: Gorgeous! The cover itself is what initially drew me to the book and is so eye-catching. Plus, I love how the picture of the girl blowing glitter completely relates to the story and is not just a pretty photograph.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: The Fault In Our Stars

This week's WoW book is The Fault In Our Stars by John Green! It will be released on January 10, 2012.

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I've heard marvelous things about John Green's writing so I'd love to check out this book! PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 10, 2012.