Friday, December 31, 2010


In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.


I wish I could review this book without all the hype that's surrounded it, but I can't. Doing so would be impossible and I can't accomplish the impossible. I always try to give books an appropriate review based upon what I've read and what I've thought, but, because of the hype surrounding Matched, that will be hard to do.

I picked up this book before it was even out, through an ARC from a Penguin Representative, picking it up simply because of all the Waiting on Wednesday posts surrounding it. Dystopian, totally my thing. Romance, yes, also my thing. So I decided, what the heck, might as well pick it up.

I mentioned it would be hard to avoid the hype because here it is. Because of the hype surrounding the book, I expected the book to be great and, well, it's wasn't. Don't get me wrong, Matched is a good book, but not a great one.

Let me begin with the plot. The set up starts all Romeo and Juliet where she can't be with him yet they pine endlessly for each other. Yes, flashbacks were a new twist I enjoyed, but there wasn't much more other than this. Some books are driven by their characters but, to me, Matched seemed driven by the need for romance which didn't appeal to me.

Another thing. The plot, revolving around the romance, though it starts strong and plunges the reader directly into the novel, a great thing, slows down. I found myself wondering where the breathless feeling accomplished in the beginning was going to show up again. It did, several times, but in order for a book to be great, that feeling needs to last throughout the entire book, not just during important scenes.

Second, the world. Okay, I have to admit, the world was really cool, resounding like Orwell's 1984 with the feeling of Big Brother watching your every move. Condie sets the place up nicely, hinting at deeper things, such as the mysterious red pill everyone carries around, but not fully explaining them until the time is needed, though the reader forms their own opinions and ideas about what these things mean. I can't point any bad fingers at the world Condie forms because, to put it simply, the world is different from others I've read and interesting to read.

But here's an important thing. Because Condie crafts her own world and drops the reader into it by slowly feeding them information, you really need to see and feel and taste the world around you, which I did. So many authors create their own worlds and don't divulge enough detail for these worlds to become fully formed, but Condie isn't one of them. Her world takes on a life of it's own that seems tangible.

On the other hand, the characters. To be honest, I read Matched a while ago and none of the characters stand out to me still. I wasn't left with a lasting impression of any of them. They remained on the page for me.

Overall, Matched was a fun read that probably would have been better enjoyed had it not been for the hype surrounding it. Expectations are a harmful thing. My expectations for Matched were high and they came folding around me as I read, despite the fact that the book was good.

Rating: B

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Staying Far For Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
From page 89

I think I detect the fleeting shadow of a sneer across Sarah Byrnes's lip as I slip onto the seat beside her, but I know if must be my imagination, and I can't help thinking back to what Dale Thornton said that day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Music Monday ~ Eric Stanley

So there are many unheard of people on youtube who deserve a huge shout out, and Eric Stanley is one of them. His violin has taken him far on youtube. You're welcome to take a listen to his cover of Airplanes below.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Aliens aren't what we think. To borrow a quote from Mr. Pittacus Lore, Other civilizations do exist. Some seek to destroy you. Take this as your warning.

Things I've Learned Thursday

Anything that connects your brain to the Internet is a bad thing. When you suddenly can't stop playing or have thoughts you know aren't your own, stop. Just stop. If you can.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Music Monday ~ Tiesto

One new song that's been stuck in my head lately is Tiesto ft. CC Sheffield, Escape Me. You can take a listen below.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there.

She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before.

It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents...

But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?


So I hate comparing one book to another, but have to in order to make this point. For all of those out there who've read Twilight, you started reading the book knowing that Edward was the immortal person and that Bella would fall in love with him, right? So that's how you begin Low Red Moon. You start out knowing that Ben is paranormal and knowing that Avery is going to fall in love with him.

To be honest, this took away a lot of the story. It was obvious from the beginning that something was up with Ben. And since the story is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, you can guess what he is. And besides, lots of the details surrounding him point a huge hairy finger at what he is, but in case you don't get that from knowing what it's about, I won't mention it any further in my review.

Before straying too far away from the topic of Twilight (and I promise this will be my final mention of it in the review), the book has some hysterical parallels to Twilight, whether Devlin intended them or not. For example, there's a How old are you? Seventeen. How long have you been seventeen? scene in the book that made me laugh aloud. A+ for humor.

But that, unfortunately, is the only A+ I can give. The book's plot is sketchy throughout the entire novel, and events are predictable. And since it was released at about the same time another retelling of Little Red Riding Hood was released, I did have high expectations, and the book crashed them.

On the plus side, Low Red Moon has a great opening. If you haven't yet, pick up the book and read the first line. It will make you keep reading. The pace starts quickly, but then the rest of the novel falls short.

Even though I feel as though this review is jumping around everywhere, another thing I have to mention is the book's design. I love it. The foil cover is beautiful and, on the inside, the bottom of each page has a red image of a tree line and every time the word moon is referenced, it's written in red ink. Very creative.

Unfortunately, we can't judge books based upon their covers. The book's an alright read, but I wouldn't reread it. It's a one time through in order to review.

Rating: C


Here it is, something we've all been waiting for. Bree Despain released her book trailer for The Lost Saint! You can watch it below, but, be warned, if you haven't read the first book, The Dark Divine, this trailer may contain spoilers. For those of you who've read the series, let me know what you think of the trailer! Can't wait to read this one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

If it doesn't have a good beginning, and the middle is slow, the ending will probably be no different. Just saying.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing?

For a while now, it's been said that there are no new stories, simply retellings and new voices. Over the past couple months, it's become increasingly obvious that this is true. What am I talking about, you ask? What I'm talking about is a simple fairy tale all children know that's hitting the works and is hitting it hard. One about a little girl with a red cloak and a wolf.

Yep, you've guessed it. Little Red Riding Hood. And if you haven't been paying much attention, you may have missed the numerous hits it's had lately. First published is Jackson Pearce's Sister's Red which is a twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story in which werewolves are hunted by axe wielding girls. If you haven't read it yet, I would highly recommend it.

Then comes out Ivy Devlin's Low Red Moon, a different twist on the story which takes place in modern times in which a girl's family is murdered by a wolf and she's left to live without them when a new boy suddenly comes to town. It's a paranormal romance and a mystery, but still based of Little Red Riding Hood.

Then there's Sarah Blakley-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson's upcoming Red Riding Hood which is a darker, more Gothic version of the story in which a girl is killed by the wolf.

Similarly, now there's a movie entitled "Red Riding Hood" that premieres in March of next year which is a Gothic retellling that appears to be a love triangle within a thriller/chiller movie. You can watch the trailer for the movie at the bottom of this post.

I've always been a fan of Little Red Riding Hood and, in fact, wrote a short retelling of it for my Creative Writing class at the beginning of this year, proving that I am not immune to the craze for it, but how much is too much? It seems to me that there is too much Red Riding Hood here, but I want to hear what other readers have to say. Leave a comment with you thoughts on the matter and let me know what you think about all this.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Music Monday ~ DJ Earworm

In case you've never discovered DJ Earworm, they create great remixes of popular songs on youtube, the most popular being the end of the years remix of the top hits from that year. Take a listen to the newest remix called "Like OMG Baby" below.

Friday, December 3, 2010


An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice...

After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world.

Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood - and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or know it could be they are lost forever...


WARNING: If you haven't read the rest of the Glass series by Maria V. Snyder, this review will contain spoilers. I'll keep the review short because it is the final book in this series, but if you plan on reading the series but haven't yet, I wouldn't recommend reading this review.

I've loved Opal as a character from the beginning. She has great personality and a great power of creating her glass messengers. At the end of the second book, Sea Glass, when she lost her powers, I felt put out, lost as she was, unable to recognize her as the character I thought she was because she'd lost this great power that I'd always defined her with.

Though the beginning of this book starts out slow, it's to be expected because of the whole losing-her-powers thing. Opal isn't who she thought she was. She's a changed person. She's not only lost her sister, but now she's lost the powers she loved. Things have changed drastically, and her family, through this book, plays a huge role in getting her back on track.

To all those love triangle fans, lovers of Kade or Devlin, prepare yourselves. The love triangle hinted at in the first two books takes full bloom in this one and you'll find yourself struggling to keep up with who Opal's focused on and who you want her to be focused on. Honestly, I love a good love triangle and Mara V. Snyder gives a great one in Spy Glass.

Despite all this, I thought it took too long to get back to the magic readers of Snyder's works are used to, but when it gets there, it really, truly gets there. The story takes off with the signature strong female character and action packed story line without pointless action, one of the things I truly love about her books. Though at times the plot is rocky, taking too much time to get to one place, the book comes through strong with an ending to the series much like that of the Study series that will leave readers satisfied in a way only Snyder can perform.

Rating: A

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Authors love to have confused readers. They love to scheme and plot about how to confuse you. Good authors will clear things up very well and all loose ends will be tied and everything will make sense. Great authors will clear nearly everything up yet leave just enough loose ends to keep you thinking about the book long after you're put it down.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lovely Loves

One thing that I love about most YA authors is their interaction with their readers. It's one thing that sets this genra apart from others. The authors. I spoke a while back about author blogs that I love. Now let me spend some time talking about author vlogs that I love.

In case you don't know, vlogs are video blogs that some authors do in place of blog or as well as blogs. These authors run their vlogs on youtube and I'll share a couple authors who's vlogs I love.

Jackson Pearce
By far the funniest author I've found. I met her a couple months ago during the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, and she was hysterical then, and, unlike some people who are great in person but not in videos, she's a riot in videos to. She talks about everything from writing to juggling and you can check it all out on her youtube channel by clicking this link.

Maggie Stievater
(Who's name I still can't spell correctly without looking it up). To be honest, I'd forgotten she had a blog until, just recently, she posted a vlog about what some reader just sent in their fan mail to her. I always love seeing authors do vlogs because, to be, it proves they're real people with real lives. Maggie embodies that, so check out her vlog if you're interested by clicking here.

Elizabeth Scott
Is it any big surprise she made it on this list? I love Elizabeth Scott and her vlogs are no exception. Though she hasn't made a vlog in quite some time, when she does, she talks about giveaways and what it's like to be an author which is great to hear aloud, especially if you're like me and don't live anywhere near her and can't go to any of her author events. Check out her vlog here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are Aliens the New Vampire?

So last Friday I went with my friend to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in theaters and couldn't help but take note of the movie trailers we saw. I know this isn't completely related to books, but thought I'd bring up the topic here on the blog to see if the same trend is happening in books like I think it is. We watched trailers for movies such as "The Green Lantern" and "Cowboys and Aliens" and then, yesterday, while at home, I watched Disney's animated movie "Bolt" and caught their reference to Aliens being the new thing.

Well, folks, here it is. "I Am Number Four," one of the first books to sell movie rights before the book was even published, is about, you guessed it, aliens though, thankfully, these aren't the purple-skinned-with-four-eyes aliens. Still, it's about aliens and it's making it huge right now with both the book and film. Which got me thinking.

As much as we like to deny it, we, as readers and movie goers, fall into trends. Yes, with "Twilight," it was vampires and vampires grew huge because of it. The CW television network came out with the TV series based off the book series "The Vampire Diaries," and though the TV series doesn't follow the plot of the books, they have huge ratings and are in the second season. Trend. Then it was vampires, but what's next?

If things are going the way they appear to be going, aliens are the next best thing. Though the show wasn't as popular as originally intended, ABC's show focusing on aliens "V" is set to return soon. Add that along with the books and movies and it appears as though something's brewing in the works. Are aliens the next best thing? Let me know in the comments what you're thinking.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Monday ~ Jonsi

I mentioned Jonsi a while back, and just found his new album entitled "Go". It's love all over again. Take a listen to Around Us below.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


So if anyone's actually reading this blog, you'll have noticed this huge week long absence of mine, for which I apologize. I've been sick this entire week and have been unable to post, but regular posting will resume on Monday.

Friday, November 19, 2010


WARNING: Since The Scorch Trials is the sequel to The Maze Runner, this review will contain spoilers for The Maze Runner. If you have no read the first book, I don't know why you would be reading the review for the second book, but whatever. You've been warned.

The Maze was only the beginning...

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more Variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety... until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, much of the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated--and with it, order--and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim... and meal.

The Gladers are far from done running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder--does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?


So, who read The Maze Runner and thought the ending of the book completely mind blowing? Show of hands. *raises hand* Yeah? Well, hold on tight because in The Scorch Trials, everything is a mind blower. You thought The Maze Runner was crazy? The Scorch Trials are even more so.

Now, I have to compare books to other books, but I need to in order to make my point here. Anyone read A Great and Terrible Beauty and the rest of the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray? Yes? Know how the books got more magical as they went on, and the balance between reality and magic became more and more skewed towards magic? The Scorch Trials does the same thing, but, working off The Maze Runner, WICKED gets more and more involved and things get way crazier.

You have to be able to read crazy in order to read this book, that's all I'm saying. There are points in the novel when you stop and think to yourself Self, is James Dashner really writing this? and then, you must reply to yourself Self, this man is a genius, let him keep writing and keep reading. All I can say.

Those little things you ignored in The Maze Runner? Like the woman at the end yelling about the Flare and the "test results from Group B being extraordinary?" Yep, all comes into play in this wonderfully crafted novel. Where The Maze Runner was suspense and mystery, trying to figure out what happened, The Scorch Trials is hard packed action, though the mystery doesn't diminish. In fact, I believe I have more questions now than after I read The Maze Runner.

Oh, and if I may pause here to compliment the cover. Once again, the artist has captured The Scorch as beautifully as they captured The Maze. The colors are enticing and the image makes sense with the book. I find this to be something missing in a lot of YA covers, so a congrats goes out there.

Now, back to the review. As in the first book, all the main characters are back. Thomas, Teresa, Minho, Newt. Everyone comes back. But here's the thing. Dashner adds a whole slew of characters into the mix yet doesn't miss a beat. No characters become neglected when he introduces these new characters. Everything flows without a hitch.

True to the first book, this one also ends with a gut-twisting moment that will leave you screaming for more. James Dashner, if you're reading this, I applaud you, sir, for frustrating me completely at the end of your novels. Well done. And, true to his word, the Maze was only the beginning, and I'm sure the Scorch is only an extension of that beginning. Can't wait for the final installment.

Rating: A

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music Monday ~ Digital Daggers

Let's get this clear. The CW has the best music department ever. Always great songs on all their shows. Here's the song from the end of Nikita a couple of weeks ago that I fell in love with. It's called No Easy Way by Digital Daggers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

GRACE Review

A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.


Before I begin my review, let me first mention that, before reading the book, I didn't like the cover at all. I thought it was odd, strangely done, but, after reading, the cover makes sense to me and I love it. Also, before I begin, let me mention that I am in love with Elizabeth Scott's chameleonesque quality in her writing. She writes chick-lit, she writes romance, she writes dark and gritty, and then she writes this. Amazing. Kudos to you, Elizabeth Scott.

After finishing this book, I really had no idea what to say. What could I say? The entire novel takes place on a train where only small events take place. The majority of the novel and action takes place through memories, thoughts, which I wasn't sure I liked. I do believe this sort of back and forth between present day and the past (non-linear) is called modernist writing, and I loved how Elizabeth Scott took on this new way of writing I have yet to see in YA before.

The intensity of the book is only further brought out by Elizabeth Scott's stark writing. Rather than give you a paragraph on how the train smells, she tells you in a single word that captures everything. Simply beautiful, is all I can say for the writing.

As for the characters, I feel as though they were developed more here than in her other books. Grace and Kerr grew as characters through the novel, though time didn't pass. How could this be, you ask. How can an author develop characters without passing much time? The simple answer: I don't know, but Elizabeth Scott does it wonderfully.

And that's the thing about Grace. I'm still mind blown as to how anything happened. They sat on a train for nearly the entire book yet so much happened! I can't describe this frustration (though perhaps that's not the right word for what I'm feeling because frustration carries a negative connotation and this is by far not negative) at not being able to figure out how she does what she does, but she does and that's what matters.

See, even here you can see how completely mind blown I am. I can't even write a regular review. I'm still tossing over the ideas in my head despite it being so long since I read the book. I can't fathom everything completely yet. I can't understand everything that happened, but this future world with character was developed and I fell in love, sucked into the book.

From page one, Elizabeth Scott sucks you in and refuses to let you go. She pounds words down your throat that you don't know the meaning of, and flashes various scenarios in front of your eyes that you don't understand but feel the gravity of, and you're trapped. Completely and utterly trapped. The only way out is to finish the book, and you will finish it breathless.

Rating: A

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

If you want a love life, move to a new school and town. The new kid at school will never want for a romantic relationship. Everyone will fawn over them and fall in love with them. Usually this relationship involves either the new kid or one of the students at the school who the new kid falls in love with being a werewolf, vampire, ghost, [insert your own paranormal creature here].

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ TV Shows

Again, if you want to get to know me, you have to know what I watch. Here's a few of my favorite shows.

A great show filled with action and thrills, and very subtle romance. Love it.

Project Runway
Though I'm not interested in fashion at all, really, I would wear a paper bag over my head and be happy, I love this show. I can't find a trailer for it since each season is different though.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Music Monday ~ Jonsi

Alright, so how many of you have seen the movie How To Train Your Dragon? In 3D? Anyone? LOVED IT. Know what else I love? The song from the ending credits, called Sticks and Stones by Jonsi. Take a listen.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Found: One girl, age 13. Unconscious. Unharmed. Unclaimed. Unidentified.

Lost: Everything.

JD may not know the truth about her past, but she knows she's in danger, and she can't shake the dark visions haunting her dreams. She won't be safe until she figures out who she is and where she came from. She can trust no one, not even herself--especially not herself. Because it turns out there's one thing even more terrible than forgetting her past: remembering.


May I begin by stating that this is a middle grade novel, but is completely suitable for young adults so long as you're willing to sacrifice from descriptions and endure some eye rolling moments when you're screaming at JD, wishing she would be a bit brighter.

This novel is strange. That's the word for it. Strange, yet intense. I found myself reading the book in a couple of hours (though it's short) because I couldn't stop. The plot moved very quickly and I needed to keep reading. Yes, the book is middle grade, so there are some things in it that I found boring or out of place as a young adult, but, like I said, it's not meant for young adults. It's meant for middle graders.

One thing I didn't enjoy was that nearly nothing was resolved in the book. Many, many things happen, but nearly nothing is resolved. Sometimes in books, this is a good thing, but I felt as though, with this book, it wasn't a good thing, though this isn't to say I won't read the second book. I most definitely will. I just felt as though too many questions were raised and not enough were answered.

Besides that, I enjoyed the characters. JD was great to read about and had a life all her own. She leaps from the page with her flippant personality and trust-no-one attitude. I loved how she was a strong female (something becoming more and more predominant in young adult today) and thoroughly enjoyed reading the book about her.

Rating: B

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

People lie all the time. They even lie about lying. I can't say don't trust anything other people say, but don't believe everything everyone says either. Especially when they threaten to kill you and then tell you they're only acting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Movies

So, you want to get to know me? Get to know a couple of my favorite movies.

The Illusionist
One of the best movies I've ever seen. Mystery, romance, and thrills. I loved every second of it, and the way it made you think was even better.

How to Train Your Dragon
Completely different from my first choice, but I loved this one nonetheless. A great movie for both children and adults with beautiful animation.

She's the Man
One of my favorite comedies. Loved every moment of it and am constantly quoting it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hey everyone,

Sorry for the shortage of posts, but this is due to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Though some of you may not have heard about it, NaNoWriMo is a National event in which thousands of participants sit down and write an entire novel in a month (50,000 words). Right now, I'm enrolled in their Young Writer's Program and plan to complete half of that (25,000 words) this month. Anyone else participating? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday ~ Gregory and the Hawk

I recently discovered this small, virtually unknown group and fell in love with their sound. The lead singer's voice is so simple, a bit gruff yet pure at the same time. I can't describe it. Take a listen below.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Sometimes, forgetting your past can be better than remembering it. Don't question when you suddenly forget something. Sometimes it's for the best.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AWAKENED Cover Reveal

For those of you who're like me and in love with PC and Kristin Cast's House of Night series, you will be excited to know that the cover of the next book, Awakened, has just been released! Beautiful, right? Like all the other covers, though I'm surprised to see who's on the cover. I won't name names and give away the end of the Burned, but wow. Unfortunately, I can't post the cover here because there is no image link, but you can CLICK HERE and view it on the website. Enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Music Monday ~ Sia

A beautiful and heartbreaking song that I love nonetheless, Sia's My Love was featured in the Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Take a listen.

Teaser Tuesday ~ STORMBREAKER

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
From page 57

Alex hurt. The 22 pound bergen backpack that he had been forced to wear cut into his shoulders and had rubbed blisters into his back.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

If your parents are messed up, there's a good guess that you'll be messed up as well unless you force yourself against the grain. Crazy does run in the family.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Authors

There are a lot of authors I feel who haven't gotten enough appreciation. Here's a pair I love that deserve more love.

Robin Wasserman: Skinned was the first of her novels that I read, and loved it. It creates a future world and presents a believable character that many can relate to. I just recently started reading her other series, Chasing Yesterday, and am in love with that as well, despite it being middle grade.

Maria V. Snyder: Though she's gained some more publicity over the last year, I've been in love with her books for the longest time. Her book Poison Study is one of the best books I've ever read. The kick off series is good as well. Check her out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Body of Chrisopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
From page 100

The banging stopped. I heard Mrs. McDermott scream and the man's hollar.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Monday ~ The Summer Set

After song that I've fallen in love with is The Summer Set's She's Got the Rhythm. Take a listen!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow's five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.

Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she's ever known crumbles, Autumn's compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there's more of Kristina in her than she'd like to believe. Summer doesn't know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father's girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother's notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family's story, FALLOUT is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by CRANK and GLASS, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person's problem.


Let me begin with this. I was hesitant to read Fallout after having read both Crank and Glass because Kristina frustrated me so much in the last book. If you felt the same way, forget it and read Fallout regardless. This is not Kristina's story. This is the story of her children.

What I really loved was seeing how her choices not only impacted her life in the first two books, but her children's lives in this final one. After reading it, I feel as though, had Ellen Hopkins not written this final book, the series would have been incomplete, the message not as strong. Fallout was a shocking ending to the series that was well needed.

As with all of Ellen Hopkins' books, the verse was interesting, more interesting than in her other two books of the same series. Because the book is told in alternating viewpoints, Hunter, Summer, and Autumn all have different fonts which made the switching in point of views a lot easier to flow with.

I was very glad to discover that each of the children lived entirely different lives, and wouldn't have know they were all siblings if it hadn't been for knowing it before hand. If you haven't read the other books in the series, that's okay. Fallout is written in a matter so that, even if you haven't read the other books, it makes sense.

One thing that I did find confusing, though, was that, throughout the novel, there were random newspaper articles. Only a few related to the book. Perhaps this is something I need to reread in order to understand, but they struck me as odd and out of place.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Fallout. Unlike her other books, it was calmer, less filled with the dangers that lurk in Hopkins' other books, but I enjoyed it for that. The darkness was set in the background, in Kristina and how her decisions had forever changed her children's lives.

Last year, I was lucky enough to have Ellen Hopkins visit my school and do talks with several class periods. For planning the event, I attended lunch with Ellen Hopkins in which she talked about the truth behind Fallout and what was really going on with Kristina's children. Hearing her speak of these stories only made this book stronger.

Rating: A

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Officers generally lie about their notions, especially if they've made a mistake. Don't believe all that they say.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Author Blogs

One thing that I love about YA authors is that so many of them have blogs on which they interact with their readers. Here's a couple of my personal favorites. Feel free to share your own in the comments.

Elizabeth Scott: Not only does she had a great blog that she posts on at least three times a week, but she runs a contest for her readers every week for great new YA novels! Great fun to read and participate in.

Andrea Cremer: A great new author who's already used to blogging, Andrea Cremer is great in her blog posts. If you haven't yet heard of Nightshade go check it out. The book was a good read!

Nina Malkin: Though she doesn't post much, when she does, it's well worth reading. Nina Malkin is hysterical yet honest in her talks about characters and plot, and her blog is great reading!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ AWAKENING

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Chasing Yesterday: #1 Awakening by Robin Wasserman
From page 68

She couldn't do this anymore. She couldn't just wander blindly, waiting for something to make sense, waiting for the uncertainty to fall away.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as 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.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch, or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?


SPOILER ALERT If you have not yet read Hush, Hush, I would recommend not reading this review. Because it is a review of the book's sequel, it will include details from Hush, Hush that will spoil that book, but I will not spoil Crescendo.

I loved Hush, Hush. Honestly, I thought it was the perfect book, though it had many loose ends. This sequel is something I've been waiting on for a while. This being said, let me move on with my review.

It is extremely difficult for me to provide any more summary of the book than what's written up there from because there is so much going on, and anything I say may spoil it, so I'm going to skip right past all that and simply move on to what I thought about the book.

I had high expectations. Very high expectations because Hush, Hush was wonderful. This book did not disappoint, though it is different from the first. Crescendo is to action as Hush, Hush is to romance. In the first book, the action remained in the background of Nora's love for Patch. In Crescendo, the romance takes the back burner as the novel is filled with heart pumping action that keeps you reading the book.

I will be honest. At first, I was disappointed with the lack of romance in the book, but here's the best part. Two words that come up in nearly every YA review. Love. Triangle.

About time! Anyone out there reading the books and thinking Patch was a bit too much, almost like the sparkly glitterpire in another hit YA series? Were you looking for the underdog, some tension in Nora's love life, something? Apparently, Becca Fitzpatrick isn't just an excellent author, but she's also a mind reader.

Though, like I said, the romance takes a back seat, it's still there, smoldering and festering, waiting for its turn on the stage, and when the romance jumps in, wow. That's simply all I can say. Wow. If you wished Patch was real while reading the first book, just wait for this one!

As always, Nora and Patch are strong characters, though, in this book, we get to know some of the more minor characters in a great way that enhances the plot. I can't say anything more on this topic without screaming out the conclusion of the book.

And while we're on the topic of conclusions, let me take this moment to warn every reader. Don't read the final page of Crescendo in public. The book should come with a stamp that reads.
WARNING: Final chapter may cause screaming, kicking, crying, looking around for "lost pages," turning of book into projectile and uncontrollable exclamations of WHY, BECCA FITZPATRICK, WHY? Read at your own risk.

That being said, I can't say anything more.

Rating: A

Music Monday ~ A Silent Film

After finding this band, I fell in love. Take a listen to A Silent Film's song You Will Leave A Mark below.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Something is not right in Emily's new house in the historic London neighborhood of Hound Hill. It's not just the hollowed-out treads worn in the crooked wooden stairs or the hearth that survives from the seventeenth century. It has more to do with the sudden appearance of a wild-eyed young man looking for a small kitten with a bent tail. And the discovery of a black rat in the chimney - the same kind of rat that was responsible for the dreaded bubonic plague that killed tens of thousands of Londoners in the 1665 epidemic.

Readers will be swept up in this riveting and suspenseful tale that vividly reveals the great suffering of the Black Death, a disease that killed almost a quarter of the population of London.

The book begins with Emily moving into her new house. Slowly, as the book goes on, she meet characters who are out of place in town and comes to realize they are ghosts left over from the plague in London long ago.

To be honest, there isn't much for me to write about this book. I hardly know what to say. Nothing struck me as either good or bad. It was simply one of those blah books that doesn't have much to say.

Despite this, I do have to mention that the idea for the book was wonderful. I was intrigued by the details of old London leaking into the book and by all the things I didn't know about the Black Death that surfaced here. It's obvious that the author did her research before writing, which is always a good thing to see.

Although the idea was good, the plot simply wasn't there. There wasn't much happening and, when things did happen, they would be following by a boring chapter that I would have to force myself to read. In all honesty, I skimmed the end of the book because it was boring me. I had a hard time paying attention because the book didn't capture it.

That being said, I feel it fair to give this book a middle rating simply because nothing was terrible but nothing was good.

Rating: C-

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Marriage is for adults, not for teens. Arranged marriages are nine times out of ten not going to work out. Parents, leave the match making to the friends. Friends, don't be so pushy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Did you hear? Becca Fitzpatrick, author of Hush, Hush, released the trailer for the book's sequel, Crescendo, which, as I'm reading it right now, I can tell you, is very intense. Here's a look at the trailer. Be sure to stop by her blog and let her know what you think!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ EVERMORE

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Evermore by Alyson Noel
From page 75

She shakes her head and turns away, shoulders sinking, thoughts turning dark, redirecting all of that anger back on herself. "Don't."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music Monday ~ Imogen Heap

Another artist that I absolutely love and who is completely different from all other artists is Imogen Heap. Take a listen to one my favorite of her songs, Wait it Out below.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Alright, so I went into this book wondering what I was getting myself into. Another book about teen werewolves? I was worried, to say the least. The cover is beautiful, but, as I read the book, I realized it had nothing to do with the book. The purple and the glitter? Nothing to do with the book. But after I spoke with author Andrea Cremer at Anderson's Bookshop's Prepublishing Event, she explained the cover had a more artistic meaning, the makeup being the shadows and the purple being the light on Calla's face in a certain scene of the book I can't disclose without giving something away.

That out of the way, I was surprised by how deeply the bonds of the packs were tied. Take a step back in time when marriages were arranged and females were expected to stay on the side and you've got yourself the basic set up for Ren and Calla's impending marriage that will bond the two separate packs together. The groups act together in ways relatable to gangs, intimidating to humans around them. I found this aspect of the novel very new and very intriguing.

But it's here when things get complicated. Yes, we've all heard of werewolves before, right? We know the basics of what they are. Though Cremer reinvents them slightly, they're not anything new. But the Keepers who control the werewolves, also known as Guardians, and give them their power? Completely new. The wraiths who do the Keeper's bidding? Also new. Some of the story is lost in trying to understand these dynamics, but I enjoyed reading something that was different from all the other books on the shelf.

Here is where I must talk about Haldis, a forbidden site that the Guardians are sworn to protect, but for what reason? Calla doesn't know. I, after reading, don't know. There is a scene in the book in which Haldis is extremely important, though nothing about it is explained. I was confused, completely, but this lack of explanation. I can only hope there will be more about this in books to come.

Which leads me to the end of the book. While reading, I noticed that the book had the potential to become a series. A love triangle develops as Calla's torn between marrying Ren like she's supposed to or falling in love with Shay, a newcomer to town who the Keepers pay special attention to. Like I mentioned earlier, the relationships between all the mythical creatures is strong as well. So the book has strong potential to be a series and, after finishing the book, I know it must be.

Ever come across a book that leads up to a huge event only to have a few details explained and then leave you hanging, waiting for the next book that will, hopefully, grant you a complete explanation of everything in the first book? Yes? No? Don't know? Well, this is one of them.

In my opinion, the ending of this book, leaving you hanging, is either brilliant or a cop-out. It's either brilliant because it makes readers return for a second book or it's terrible because it hardly explained anything. After meeting with the author and talking about the book, she explained that the ending was something she never would have done if it was a single book. Thankfully, she's signed on to write two others in the series, which I look forward to reading.

I usually bring up characters in my reviews, so here's my thoughts on those in this book. To begin, I love Calla. She's strong and feisty, but also emotional which brought her to life. Other characters, though, such as Bryn and Shay didn't come through as strong. They remained on the paper, imitations of how people act in real life.

As for the plot, the beginning was slow, but I enjoyed the pack in school, acting more like a gang than anything. It is an interesting point to pose, these teenagers attending school while being so unlike anyone else attending the school. Once the action began, it was one of those on again off again things where there was a strong chapter and then a weak one. This, unfortunately, left me wondering when something would actually happen, but when something happened, it came through strong, which was great to read.

I will say one thing, though. Cremer knows how to turn up the heat on the romance. If this is something you enjoy, the love triangle that blooms between Calla, Ren, and Shay is bound to capture your heart.

Though it's not one of the best books I've read, Nightshade was great for a debut novel and it's something I would like to hear more about. Cremer has two more novels in the series planned for release which I plan upon reading in hopes to discover more about Calla and the secrets that surround her world.

Rating: A-/B+

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Children fighting other children to the death usually ends with the only surviving child being damaged. Just saying.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Book Trailers

When looking for a book to read, I often turn to the book trailer. More and more book trailers are being produced now, and, though some of these are old, I want to share a few that I love.

I love the tone of it :) Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Probably the best book trailer I've ever seen. Author Maggie Stiefvater did the entire thing herself! Linger

It captures the theme of the book very well. Ellen Hopkin's Fallout.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
From page 76-77

Where Frankie Avalon swoops down from a sparkling light-filled sky and plays guardian angel for Frenchy, who needs advice about beauty school. I could use some advice too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Monday ~ Greg Laswell

You talk about simply beautiful music? Take a listen to Greg Laswell's Comes and Goes below. Love it!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can't sell. For as long as Han can remember, he's worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They're clearly magicked-as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history-it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father's family at Demonai camp - riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.

Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.


Alright, now, look at that massive summary. I mean, hello? It's huge. Then pick up the book. That too is huge. This has nothing to do on the impact of the book, but I simply wanted to point it out.

That being said, I picked up The Demon King because of all the hype surrounding the book. Book bloggers loved it, the reviews were great, and I happened to win an ARC of the second book, The Exiled Queen. This has been a book I've been meaning to read for some time now, and winning the ARC pushed me to reading it.

Let me say this one thing. I'm not a person who enjoys high fantasy, despite falling in love with Cashore's Graceling. The Demon King is by far high fantasy with a world filled with kings and queens and magic. Not usually my taste but I picked it up anyways.

Instantly, the characters captured my attention. Raisa, the soon to be queen, came off as snobby to me, though I may be the only one. She was sneaking about to be in love with a magician, yet, when her soldier friend returns, she decides it's alright to love them both. What? She suddenly turned into Zoey Redbird from PC Cast's House of Night series who is allowed to love any guy who comes within ten feet of her. Not a quality I like in a character.

Though I disliked Raisa, I instantly was attracted to Han. Coming from a hard life, he has so much more to him than Raisa did. The book alternates chapters between the two characters, but it left me disappointed when their lives only crossed for a short time halfway through the book and didn't reconnect.

Because the summary promises that Raisa and Han's lives collide, I would have hoped for more details, more plot, when the pair of them came together, but it was hardly anything.

Upon finishing the book, I closed it and was frustrated. What is all the hype about? I caught none of it. Nothing in the book was as interesting as claimed and it was far too long with not enough plot for me to enjoy.

Rating: D

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

When a magician asks for volunteers from the audience, don't volunteer. You're about to get yourself involved in something you will later regret.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Book Covers

So, I would like Wednesdays to become Lovely Loves in which I share, well, things I love having to do with the book world. Today's feature will be upcoming book covers that I find amazing. Take a look!

Chilling, isn't is? Or perhaps that's just me. Anyways, I love it!

Look at that font! Love how it matches the clothing on the girl.

This one only because I've seen the picture and have it under my favorites on DeviantART.

I love it! From the sideways author's name to the light colors, everything is perfect!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ HOUSE ON HOUND HILL

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The House on Hound Hill - Maggie Prince
From Page 167

The last rim of sun has gone, and the twilight is deepening. "Another hour and the dead carts'll be on the street."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Monday ~ Sara Barielles

For the longest time, I've been in love with Sara Barielles and this song is her absolute best besides Love Song. Take a listen to King of Anything below!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

If the book is forbidden, it probably means there's something in there other people don't want you to know. If the cave is forbidden, it probably means there's something in there other people don't want you to know. If the meetings are forbidden . . . You catch my drift?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ GIFTS

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin
From page 13

"So these powers, these gifts, run in the family line, from father to son, like a snub nose might do?"
"And from mother to daughter," said Gry, as I said nothing.

Monday, September 13, 2010


If you've been reading my posts, you know I write creatively all the time. I can't write unless I'm able to completely zone out of the world around me. One of the main things that helps me do that is music, but I can't do music with lyrics. Imagine my happiness when I discovered The Vitamin String Quartet, an instrumental group that remakes pop music on the strings. Take a listen to something I never thought was possible, Poker Face by Lady Gaga on the violin.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?


I will admit, the main reason I picked up this book was because I loved S.A. Bodeen's The Compound. You can read my review here if you wish. But yes, I picked up The Gardener already in love with S.A. Bodeen's writing style and the ultimate strength and speed of her novels.

So, once beginning, I found it hard to stop reading. Yes, the beginning of this book was a bit slower than the other, but, because I knew the pace at which Bodeen writes, I continued to read. And continuing was not in vain. Once the action began, it didn't let up.

The girl has to be my favorite character in this novel. Mason doesn't know her name, and neither does she, and neither of them know what exactly happened to her, but this mystery surrounds her and the story and quickly develops into something greater, the source of the action.

One thing that I loved in reading The Compound was the ethics issues it addressed. The same sort of things come up in The Gardener. Is it alright to experiment on children from birth if they will be capable of continuing the human race? Not only this, but it questions our own world. How long to we have until our food supply runs out and what are we willing to do about it?

These are the questions at the core of the novel, keeping me reading, making me want to finish the book quickly. One thing I have noticed between both of Bodeen's novel is the issue of family, or, rather, dysfunctional families. Both novels had families that didn't get along completely, or didn't function as a whole.

Again, the characters are real, with real fears and desires, faults and quirks. And the situation is believable, both of which are important to the structure of the story. If there is one thing I can complain about, it is the fast paced ending that happens too quickly to read, which isn't a complaint at all.

As with the first book I read from Bodeen, I loved the epilogue. The way the entire story was wrapped up so seamlessly can only be done by a master and I must agree that Bodeen is one. Great job and I look forward to more.

Rating: A

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Trust your gut when it comes to things like leaders. Often times, the new leader can be far worse than the old. Keep your eyes open.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers"-

While she's on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she's not on the Web, Daelyn's at her private school, where she's known as the freak who doesn't talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won't give up. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life. Isn't it?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.


Though I dislike comparing one book to another book simply because of the reason that all books are different because they're written by a different author, but I believe I must compare this book to another, very successful, one. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Here's the thing. Both books deal closely with suicide based upon bullying, but the approaches are different. In Thirteen Reasons Why, the girl's story is told in the past, a voice of the already dead, speaking to another person who could have saved her if they had had the chance. In By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead, the girl, the one who is bullied, tells the story from her point of view, looking forward to the day she plans upon killing herself. Two different things, as readers of both will notice as they read the book.

Through Peters' novel, each chapter opens with how many days are left until the day the Daelyn will kill herself. Having attempted before, she no longer plans to fail and is trying to plan how to make this her final attempt.

But a monkey wrench is tossed into her plans when she meets a boy who appears at the place where she waits for her mother every day. Something about him intrigues her, and, suddenly, Daelyn has a friend she shouldn't. It is this tension that makes the story so heart wrenching.

The mere thought that this young girl wants so badly to kill herself was something that kept me awake and, more importantly, kept me reading. I wanted to reach into the book and grab her and explain how much good there was in the world if she would give it a chance, despite thinking that Daelyn wasn't one to listen to things like that. Because her character was crafted so well, I hurt for Daelyn and cringed at her memories, wishing I was there to offer a comforting arm.

The book moves forward at a steady pace, despite the events being small. I can't pin down what it was that propelled this book forward, but something kept pushing me, pushing the story, prompting me to finish it in a matter of two days.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, despite the touchy topic, and look forward to reading more by this author. If you haven't noticed, this book is different from the science fiction, fantasy, dystopian I usually read, and I enjoyed it! A welcome change to the usual reading.

Rating: A

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ THE GARDENER

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
From page 48

My hands trembled so much it was difficult to open the door. The girl slid into the middle and I hopped in beside her and slammed the door.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Music Monday ~ Mat Kearney

LOVE THIS SONG. Mat Kearney, Closer to Love. I heard it for the first time in the CW's Vampire Diaries and loved it ever since. Take a listen.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Orokos is a city of chaos, lashed by probability storms that re-order the world wherever they strike. It covers every inch of the rocky island that it dominates. It has stood for so long that history has forgotten it, and its citizens no longer question what exists beyond its walls. Then three of its denizens discover a map that holds the key to the secret at the heart of Orokos. But there are others, such as the Chief of the Protectorate Secret Police who would do anything to get their hands on that power...anything at all...

To be honest, that summary up there tells nothing about what the book is actually about. It doesn't tell you about Rail and Moa, two thieves, who come across and odd artifact from long ago science that allows them to pass through walls without a problem. It doesn't tell you that Rail and Moa, despite being told to give everything they have to the thief mistress, steal this item in hopes that no one will notice it. It doesn't tell you that the item is quickly missed and it sends Rail and Moa on a journey of a lifetime, fighting against the probability storms that literally shift anything in Orokos.

To be brief, I don't know what made me pick up this book. The cover is interesting enough. The summary is alright. The author has written other praised books. But something drew to me this book. More likely than not, it was the idea of a terrible society, a common theme I come back to again and again.

The story begins instantly, and kept me reading. Despite the lack of explanation, everything seemed to make enough sense so that I wasn't scrambling to understand. Some scenes were a bit confusing, especially ones describing the horrors that exist in Orokos because of the probability storms, but, in the end, everything formed together well and I was able to understand.

One thing that I constantly mention in my reviews is character and character development. When it comes to Chris Wooding's Storm Thief, these are done beautifully. Despite characters in many YA novels who have no flaws and live perfect lives, both Rail and Moa are conflicted in one way or the other and have struggled for years to make it by. To me, reading about a character who has faced troubles in their life is a lot more interesting than one who has had everything handed to them on a silver spoon.

Speaking of the rich, the rich, surprisingly, also play a role in this face-paced novel, a roll that I rather enjoyed because of how out of place these people seemed in a city that could take your breath away as easily as it could give breath to something inanimate. The rich were not exempt from this worry which made them all the more realistic in comparison to novels in which the rich have perfect lifestyles.

Another thing I love in books is when the book consists of multiple main characters, all of whom have an interesting role to play and ultimately come together in the resolution. Wooding did an excellent job at crafting these different personalities that all managed to work together without disrupting the flow of the book.

Overall, Storm Thief was a quick-paced novel that will appeal to both male and female readers because both male and female characters create the main roles. Wooding is an author I would love to read more from.

Rating: A