Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ BECOMING CHLOE

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!

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde
From Page: 89

"Wouldn't showing me those things be better than the pills? Maybe the world really is beautiful and I just don't know if because I haven't seen those things yet."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Music Monday ~ SkySailing

Did you all know Adam Young made music before he created Owl City? And that that music has been released? And that he went under the name SkySailing? Take a listen to this song, Tennis Elbow.

Friday, August 27, 2010


EDIT: This is the real cover for the book. Thanks to Daisy Whitney for emailing me the correct picture. You can find her on twitter here if you like!

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

From Goodreads.com

I have always had a thing for books that tell it like it is, and this was one of them. Books that cover up the darker side of like - ex. girls being date raped while at school - are not worth my time because they don't tell a true story that relates to life. This is not to say that everyone has been date raped during their life, but it is these raw events that bring out the true emotions, the strong emotions, and that's what people can relate to.

Whitney does a great job at crafting these emotions into her characters. If you've been following my reviews, you'll have noticed that I enjoy reading strong characters, and this book was no exception. None of the characters were too far out there to relate too. I felt the character's embarrassment, fear, and anger right along with her, and this was what made her memorable.

And the idea of The Mockingbirds? Genius! My school doesn't have an issue with bullies and crimes not being taken care of, but it's easy to imagine a school where the administration pushes these sort of things aside in order to keep the reputation of the school strong. The Mockingbirds, a group of students working within the school to make sure wrongdoings are punished despite the school's indifference.

I loved the idea that students could make a difference and the lengths at which The Mockingbirds go to make sure the message gets through. It was shocking how effective their methods were, but they made sense in the context of the story. To be honest, it did seem a bit ideal, but had The Mockingbirds had no effect on the student body, the story wouldn't have made sense.

And way to jump right into the story. I'm sorry about my jumping around here in this review, but wow. What a starter to the book, and the story keeps rolling and building in a way that makes you continue reading. I finished The Mockingbirds in a single day. That was how much the story drew me in.

I sincerely hope that everyone who reads this story will walk away with something, whether is be the power to stand up for themselves or the idea that they can make a difference despite being only one person. The Mockingbirds is a story of persistence as well as a story of finding your own voice, which I completely enjoyed. A great read all around.

Rating: A-/B+

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Anything that happens in the lab can't be good. Don't go searching where you know you don't belong.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ SKELLIG

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!

Skellig by David Almond
From page 64

She squirmed, and I felt the long, thin muscles in her back as she stretched. She took my finger in her fist and tried to squeeze it tight.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Before he knew about the Roses, sixteen-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great - until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.

Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: he is Weirlind - part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game - a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.

As if his bizarre magical heritage isn't enough, Jack finds out that he's not just another member of Weirlind - he's one of the last of the warriors - at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. Jack's performance on the soccer field has alerted the entire magical community to the fact that he's in Trinity. And until one of the houses is declared Jack's official sponsor, there are no limits to what they'll do to get Jack to fight for them. . . .

Beginning the book, I was a bit weary. Magicians, enchanters, warriors? Mixed in the real world? With a hidden world of their own? Yes, I know. And, to top it all off, Jack has a high case of special child syndrone. Not only does he have the stone of a Warrior, but he is also one of the only remaining Warriors who is hidden away in the sleepy little town of Trinity, Ohio.

The plot builds slowly, Jack realizing that something is seriously wrong with him. Yes, the build is slow, but once the action begins, it doesn't stop. Between the different plots of his mother, his enchantress aunt, and his trainer Hastings, the story takes on a life of it's own.

The main fault here is the characters. Yes, Jack is written well, but, like I said, extreme case of special child syndrome. His friends? Okay, yes, they are written well. But Ellen, the girl he begins to crush on? Yeah, watch out. She jumps the shark. Big time. I can't go any further without giving away information about the book, but yes, Ellen, you go far away from how your character is written.

Regardless from that, the world of magic comes to life in a realistic sort of way. Yes, some of the writing seems childish, but it is the plot that truly makes the book. not the best that I've read recently, but by far not the worst. I'm looking forward to picking up more from Chima in the future.

Rating: B

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Wizards are always up to no good, hiding their ulterior motives. Stay away if you can.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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!

Morpheus Road: The Light by D.J. MacHale
From page 75

I couldn't imagine what kind connection there might be, but at that moment I didn't care. He said to call if I needed help and I definitely needed help.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Monday ~ One Republic

I know, I know, old stuff, but this song has been playing in my head for a while now so here you go, All the Right Moves.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy.

For Eli, not amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place. with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day.

As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary - and their sanity - Eli can't help but wonder if he's rather take his chances outside.

Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe - or sorry?

From Goodreads.com

I've found that Goodreads has great summaries for books so I'll continue to use those rather than waste time and space here prattling about the summary unless the one at Goodreads is bad.

Upon starting The Compound, I found myself instantly drawn in because the story started with a strong prologue. I've found that with many YA novels, prologues have become necessary, and with this book, perfect to catch the reader's attention. Instantly, questions arise in your mind as you begin to read about what is going on.

S.A. Bodeen wastes no time with busy explanation and boring backstory. She jumps headfirst in to the novel with a thrilling beginning that is sure to leave readers wanting more. As the story begins to unfold, the action takes a back burner as emotions slowly start to worm their way in to the novel. Easily enough, emotions soon mix together with action and novel rockets off again, shooting through plot seamlessly.

The planning that must have taken Bodeen a while because everything that happens in The Compound ultimately has meaning as the novel approaching its shocking climax. Tiny details pushed to the back of reader's minds resurface with a brand new strength. I love reading novels that make you think, and this was one of them.

I mentioned earlier that emotions play a strong role in the novel, but ethics do as well. As Eli and his family live in the Compound, they realize that their food supply may run out before the door opens and it's safe to head back in to the world to begin again. Eli's father makes drastic plans involving an alternative food source that strikes the hearts of readers and forces them to think of what they would do if such a thing happened to them.

The characters in Bodeen's novel come through shockingly well. Each member of the family has something to relate to in their character which makes reading easy, and liking them easier. Even the characters who come off as the bad people have something in them that makes the reader think a little harder before putting them in to one class or the other.

Thankfully, the novel comes to a clean ending, but the final pages leave something for the reader to wonder about long after the book is closed. The Compound will keep you thinking after it's been finished and it's thought-provoking ideas will keep you wondering as you watch the news and wonder about that single question. Safe or sorry?

Rating: A+

You can view the book trailer for The Compound below.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Parents know nothing in YA novels. They walk around with their heads in the clouds, or more appropriately, they leave their teens at home for the entire length of the novel and don't question when crazy things happen such as a vampire in the living room or their son growing inches taller and gaining muscles instantly.

Tuesday, August 10, 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!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

It had always looked more like an apothecary than a bedroom, with a low white single bed tucked beneath rows of shelves. On the shelves were neatly stacked rows of newspapers - Amma never threw away a finished crossword - and Mason jars full of her stock ingredients for making charms.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mockingjay Monday

In a mere two weeks and a couple of hours, the final installment in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins will be released and all will be revealed. For those of you fans who live in Illinois, specifically near Oak Park, the Magic Tree bookstore is running writing, illustration, and fashion contests that ask the question

What Role Would You Play in the Uprising Against the Capitol?

Check out their website here for more details, but the winner must be able to attend Suzanne Collins' book signing at their store in order to have their picture taken with the author and receive their $100 prize money. Check it out if you live in the area! They are also the only bookstore I know of so far that is hosting a midnight release party. Details can be found here, at their website. Leave a comment if you enter or are going to the midnight party. I may see you there!

Friday, August 6, 2010


When Ellie’s parents are busted for possession of marijuana, the FBI gives her a choice: infiltrate the Mother Earth Defenders (MED), a radical environmental group, or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover—particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can’t stop thinking about—the more she starts to believe in their cause. When talk turns to murder, Coyote backs out, but Ellie is willing to risk everything to save her family—even if it means losing Coyote and putting her own life on the line.

April Henry, author of the acclaimed YA thriller Shock Point, pulls an issue straight from the headlines as she deftly explores what happens when good intentions get out of hand. With the environment a hot topic, this blend of explosive action and romance will make Torched a must-read for all suspense lovers.

From Goodreads.com

The story begins right away as Ellie meets the group of MEDics and her attention is instantly drawn to Coyote. Instantly, the novel grabs your attention by skipping the regular boring back-story and starting the main point of the novel instantly. With an interesting prologue, Torched draws readers in from the start, making the novel hard to put down. It also helps that the novel is short and an easy read without slow points to make the reader think of putting it down.

As the story develops, Ellie's character grows and becomes stronger, more sure of herself, in a way that is relatable but not overly pushy like some novels. A love a strong female character, even when she's faced with one of the most swoon-worthy guys in fiction.

The plot stays strong throughout the novel and doesn't have a point where it jumps the shark. If there is one thing that annoys me the most in reading a novel, it is a character or a plot point that goes against everything written before it. The characters in April Henry's Torched came through strong. Thankfully, in a novel written for teens, nearly all the main and supporting characters are teenagers who are involved in supporting their earth, which was great to read. Why write a novel for teens where teens only play supporting roles? No, Torched took a look into how the earth was effecting teens which gave it a unique standpoint.

Another great thing. So many novels about the ecosystem and saving Mother Earth are preachy stories that teach a moral to be kind to the earth when this is something we have known for years. Torched brought up a different idea in the end that questioned how much was too much and what you can do to take control of your environment in a way that is healthy for everyone.

The only downside to this novel was the involvement of the FBI. For some reason, their tactics seemed awkward, as though this wouldn't actually happen in real life. I can't see the FBI letting off two people who grow drugs in order to infiltrate an environmental group that is rumored to turn towards violence. Besides that, the story flowed well and I enjoyed reading it.

Rating: A-

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Never trust the FBI. They will always get what they want. Always.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cover Updates

So, I'm trying to break out of doing so many memes on my blog, and will do some occasionally, but I would like to rely on them less and less. So, here is a brief post compiling all the covers you (probably) have seen already, but covers I haven't covered (pun intended), and blurbs if the book has it. These are all reads I'm looking forward to. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The Lost Saint (The Dark Devine #2) by Bree Despain
Releases December 28, 2010
A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

From Goodreads.com

Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting
Releases March 15, 2011
The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

When Violet Ambrose's morbid ability to sense the echoes of those who've been murdered leads her to the body of a young boy, she draws the attention of the FBI. She is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret...but her relationship and possibly her life as well.

From Goodreads.com

Outside In (Inside Out #2) by Maria V. Snyder
Releases March, 2011
No blurb yet, but I loved the first book and love the cover. More details when they're released!

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Releases February 8, 2011
The small town of Cryer's Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.

When a second student goes missing - someone close to Kendall's heart - the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall¹s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school - messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there - Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions.

Something's not right in Cryer’s Cross - and Kendall’s about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

From Goodreads.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Suzanne Collins Tour

With exactly three weeks left until the release of Mockingjay the final book in The Hunger Games series, Scholastic has released the entire tour schedule for Suzanne Collins. You can view the list of events below and can follow this link to Scholastic's page to read the entire post.

•August 23, 2010: Midnight Party at Books of Wonder, New York, NY
•August 24, 2010: 1:00PM-2:30PM at Borders (Columbus Circle), New York, NY
•August 24, 2010: 7:00PM-9:30PM at Barnes & Noble, Huntington, NY
•August 25, 2010: 2:00PM-3:30PM at Bank Street Books, New York, NY
•August 25, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at Books, Bytes & Beyond, Glen Rock, NJ
•August 26, 2010: 11:00AM-Noon at The Scholastic Store, New York, NY
•August 26, 2010: 5:00PM-6:30PM at Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY
•August 27, 2010: 1:00PM-2:30PM at RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
•August 27, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at Uconn Co-op, Storrs, CT
•August 30, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at Borders, Braintree, MA
•August 31, 2010: 1:00PM-2:30PM at The Children's Book Shop, Brookline, MA
•August 31, 2010: 6:00PM-7:30PM at Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, MA
•September 20, 2010: 5:00PM-6:30PM at Harleysville Books, Harleysville, PA
•September 21, 2010: 6:00PM-7:30PM at Barnes & Noble, Fairless Hills, PA
•September 22, 2010: 6:00PM-7:30PM at Children's Book World, Haverford, PA
•September 23, 2010: 3:00PM-4:30PM at Politics & Prose, Washington, DC
•September 23, 2010: 7:30PM-9:30PM at Books-A-Million, Hanover, MD
•September 25, 2010: National Book Festival in Washington, DC
•October 1, 2010: 4:00PM-5:30PM at Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN
•October 2, 2010: 2:00PM-3:30PM at Red Balloon Bookshop, St Paul. MN
•October 3, 2010: 2:00PM-3:30PM at Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL
•October 3, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL
•October 4, 2010: 3:00PM-4:30PM at The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL
•October 4, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at Borders, Schaumburg, IL
•November 3, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, CA
•November 4, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at Hicklebee's, San Jose, CA
•November 5, 2010: 7:00PM-8:30PM at Barnes & Noble, Lynnwood, WA
•November 6, 2010: 11:00AM-12:30PM at Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
•November 6, 2010: 4:00PM-5:30PM at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

I have no idea which event I will be attending, but will be at one of them in IL. Let me know in the comments if you're going and where you'll be attending. Scholastic's blog post brings up an important note about the signing so be sure you check it out here if you haven't already!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Music Monday ~ Carolina Liar

This song has been playing in my head for the past couple days, and I love it! Here it is, I'm Not Over by Carolina Liar.