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+