Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Reading Wrap-Up

Here are all of the books I read in the month of March.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray- Review here

Prized (Birthmarked Bk. 2) by Caragh M. O'Brien- Review here

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Summer Boys by Hailey Abbott

Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard- Review here

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner- Review here

It appears that I will not be finished with Daughter of Smoke and Bone by the time I leave tommorow morning. I am unsure whether or not I will have wifi at my hotel, so I will not be reviewing or updating my blog until Friday. The good thing is I will have lots of time to read my books. Beach reading (swoon) is awesome! I hope y'all have a great week!

-McKenna :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In My Mailbox (2)

Welcome to my second installment of In My Mailbox, which is hosted by the fabulous Kristi at The Story Siren! My library really came through this week and provided me with many of my most wished for books!

 From the Library:

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Die For Me by Amy Plum

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

From a PBS Game:
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I am so excited to get reading!

-McKenna :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Prized (Birthmarked Bk. 2) by Caragh M. O'Brien

Prized (Birthmarked Bk. 2)
Author-Caragh M. O'Brien
Published- November 8th, 2011
Roaring Brook Press
368 pages
Received through PBS
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?--Goodreads

I absolutely loved this novel! It was quite possibly better than Birthmarked (it is rare for me to enjoy the second book in a series more than the first). I have heard quite a few mixed reviews for this book and it makes me wonder why?
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Sylum, the society that Gaia's grandmother had presided over ten years before she arrived. It was almost a bit creepy because having a shortage of girls like Sylum did could possibly happen one day in our own world.

In the beginning of the book, Gaia is found by a man named Chardo Peter (in Sylum, children take the mother's last name and place it as their first name). He brings Gaia and her infant sister Maya back to Sylum where they are greeted by the Matrarc who is the ruler of Sylum. Gaia learns that kissing is illegal and the society is ruled by women. Maya is taken from Gaia and placed with a suitable family. I felt sadness along with Gaia. It was almost as if you could feel her longing to see her sister. The Matrarc also tells Gaia that if she decides to stay, she must live there permanently as the gateway sickness to leave Sylum would kill her.

One of my favorite elements of the book was the love square. Yes, you read that right, a love SQUARE! You already know I adore love triangles, but a love square is infinitesimally better. Gaia is caught between her longing to be with Chardo Peter (her rescuer), Chardo Will (the morteur) and Leon (her love from the Enclave). It felt myself fall for each of them as Gaia did. If I were her I don't think I would have been able to decide which to choose. I would have probably chosen Will just because of his quirkiness and quiet charm.

Throughout the book Gaia is trying to find out why so many men are infertile and why so many men and so few girls are born. When Gaia finds her Grandmother's letter she finally discovers the studies her Grandmother conducted which include the secret to leave Sylum. She shares it with Leon and the Matrarc. I don't want to spoil the rest about what happens, but let me just say it was good!

Never once during this book did I find myself bored or wanting to read another book. Prized was action packed and full of surprises!

I cannot wait for the next book to be released in October! I have a feeling there will be quite a bit of conflict!

I will be giving Prized five stars!

-McKenna :)

April TBR

Hey Guys! I know this is a bit early, but I will be gone so I wanted to get this posted before life gets hectic.
Come check out what I will be reading (and reviewing) in the month of April! I am hoping to get nine books read this month, but it all depends on how much reading time I get. I will be on vacation starting April 2nd until the 6th, so I am hoping to get the majority of my reading done then.

1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
3. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
4. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
5. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
7. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
8. The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
9. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (thank you library!)
Happy Reading!
-McKenna :)

Fun Saturday

Obviously having these fun days never work out for me on Friday, so I am officially changing it to be Fun Saturday! Thanks again to Wall-to-Wall books for these questions!

1. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook! I never understood the obsession with twitter. It's not like anyone cares you are buying milk!

2. Print or Ebook? I like both. I have both a Nook and Kindle Fire, but it always seems that I am wanting to pick up a paper copy, just for the feel and smell. I do love my e-readers also!

3. M&M's or Skittles? I would have to say M&M's. I like Skittles, but only the red ones, so I suppose M&M's are more economical.

4. Cat or Dog? Dogs! Don't get me wrong, cats are cute and all, but I love the companionship a dog provides. At the moment I have two lovable furry friends named Java (16) and Gerty (4). We jokingly call them frick and frack because they are ALWAYS together!

5. Call or Text? Texting! Is it just me or does NO ONE call anymore. I think I use about 15 minutes a month as compared to my 500+ texts.

6. Summer or Winter? Neither. I like spring and fall because they are the perfect mixture of warm and cool.

7. City or Country? City! I visited NYC two years ago and I am dying to go back. I love the hustle and bustle and the people watching!

8. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate---mmm...I love squares of Ghirradelli(sp?) dark chocolate

9. Sandals or Sneakers? It's a toss up for me. Sandals because I love to show off my brightly painted toenails, but also sneakers because I love getting to wear all of my colorful Target socks!

10. The Hunger Games or Twilight? Hunger Games! I went to see the movie today and it was AMAZING!

11. Spring or Fall? Now I feel really stupid because I didn't even know this question existed. I guess I will answer #6 for this one. I guess I prefer Summer because warm is always better than cold.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Hello everyone! After dragging out my reading time, I have finally completed this book. I am ready to share my thoughts with you!

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Bk. 2)
Author-James Dashner
Published- October 12th, 2010
Delacorte Books
360 pages
Purchased on my own

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, 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 finished with 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?---Goodreads

I was so excited to read the next book in this series. I absolutely fell in LOVE with the Maze Runner and I was dying to get my hands on the next one. But, as always, the second book is never as good as the first. Let me start with what I liked about the book.

My liking of Thomas grew in this book. I felt he was easy to relate to in the first book, what with arriving in an unknown place and feeling scared. I felt scared right along with him. I found myself rooting for him in this book, hoping he made it out alive. I loved the complex relationship between him and Brenda. The minute I thought they were becoming close, that relationship was torn away.

I absolutely HATED Theresa in this book. Man did she make me angry! I'm sorry, but if I was forced to whack my friend with a spear and drag them across the desert I wouldn't do it. I guess I just did not attach to her the way I did in the Maze Runner. I found myself almost angry! Don't you hate that when a character gets you so worked up? Hopefully she changes her ways or I am a forever reformed Theresa hater.

One of the things that kept me at a slow reading pace for this book was the middle. Man oh Man was it slow! I dragged myself to the last third of the book kicking and screaming. I desperately wanted to pick up another book, but I decided to truck along. I am glad I did because the book definitely got better towards the end.

Spoiler (highlight to read)

Oh my gosh! I was reading along all caught up in the Gladers plus Jorge and Brenda running from the explosions. Then when Brenda and Thomas got separated I had a sinking feeling. I figured something like the non-nosed Cranks would show up. When they had to run and hide in the hole I was silently praying for them (no joke!) I was so relieved when the Cranks "left", but the minute that man grabbed onto Thomas I about jumped out of my skin! I was so not expecting that! Good job Mr. Dashner!

Of course Dashner leaves this book at an awful (good awful, not bad) cliffhanger which left me itching for the next book which is pending at the library. Hurry up people!

Oh, and did y'all know he is writing another book titled " The Kill Order", which is set to be released on August 14th, 2012. According to Goodreads, this book will be the prequel to The Maze Runner

Isn't the cover pretty!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads-

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares seared the earth and mankind fell to disease. "The Kill Order" tells the story of that fall.

“The prequel is something that has churned in my mind since before "The Maze Runner" was even complete. It's been hard to keep it a secret! I'm excited to finally share the news and I can't wait for my readers to see how it all began," shared author James Dashner.

How exciting! Anyways, now that I have veered way off track. I will be giving The Scorch Trials 3 stars

-McKenna :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fun Friday (on Saturday!)

Happy Saturday to all of my lovely book-a-holics! I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise and sixty degree weather. Closely followed by an extremely relaxing yoga class. So now that I am in a zen state of mind, I have decided that it is time you got to know me just a little bit better. I have decided to answer a few questions I found over at the wonderful Wall-to-wall books!

1. Are you a night-owl or early-bird? For sure I am a night-owl. On most nights you will find me up until 12 or 1 a.m. reading a book or tinkering around on the computer. The only negative to that is I HAVE to get up in the morning...ugh

2. If you were going to go on vacation and could only travel via airplane or ship, which would you choose? - Most definitely airplane. Besides being a million times quicker, I also have insane seasickness....most of the time when I am on a boat I am loaded with Dramamine.

3. Name your favorite holiday? - Christmas! I love that it is the time of year when you meet up with all of your family and friends and celebrate life. Presents are just a bonus :)

4. Do you watch any reality shows? If so, which ones? - I have an insane obsession with Dance Mom's, even though Abby Lee Miller drives me up a wall! I also watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Grey's Anatomy (Dr. Shepherd -- *drools on keyboard) and Pretty Little Liars.

5. What is your favorite genre to read and what was the last book in that genre you've read? Young Adult hands down is my favorite genre. Last book read is Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard. I will occasionally pick up chick-lit, but on a very rare occasion. I think the last chick- lit novel I read was Mini-Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (love her!)

6. Which do you prefer - a snowstorm or thunderstorm? Thunderstorms as long as they don't encompass tornadoes. Growing up we used to sit in the garage and watch the lightning and count how far away the storm was by the thunder!

7. If you could travel to any country, which would it be? I would love to go back to Europe. I went to Paris about 13 years ago and I have always wanted to go back and see all of the differences. I would also love to got to Greece, England, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Germany. I would also love to visit Hawaii and Alaska ( I hear they are both gorgeous in their own ways)

8. What are the five songs you listen to the most? Thanks to my Kindle Fire, I now have access to single music instead of just Cd's. I have been listening to a lot of Zac Brown Band lately and I have also been in an Elton John mood for the past few weeks.

TOP 5 Songs

  1. A Drop In The Ocean by Ron Pope

  2. Mean by Taylor Swift

  3. Keep Me In Mind by Zac Brown Band

  4. Birthday Dress by Lil Playy

  5. Set Fire to the Rain by Adele

As you can tell, I have quite an eclectic taste in music!

9. Do you have any phobias? - Having an allergy that I haven't yet discovered! This freaks me out so much!

10. Who are your top three favorite authors? Wow this is hard! I would have to say at the moment I like Sara Dessen, Sara Shepard and Veronica Roth (I am dying for Insurgent to come out!) This changes quite often depending on if I discover any new author I am in LOVE with.

11. If you were stuck on an abandoned island for one year and could take five fiction books with you, what would they be? - I think I would probably bring the first five Harry Potter books. I have been meaning to re-read the series as it has been quite a while. On top of that, they are very large books!

I hope this helped you get to know me a bit better! As always, you can copy these questions and use them as your own. I would love to get to know y'all!

Until Next Time,
~McKenna :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard

It's that time! A new review for the most recent Pretty Little Liars book by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars: Pretty Little Secrets
Author-Sara Shepard
Published- January 3rd, 2012
450 pages
Purchased on my own

An exciting addition to Sara Shepard’s #1 bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, Pretty Little Secrets is a collection of four all-new Pretty Little Liars novellas contained in one fabulous book. Aria, Hanna, Emily, and Spencer have been hiding these scandalous stories since winter break of their junior year.

Rewind to a winter break no one has ever heard about. Alison’s supposed murderer is in jail—but the Liars just can’t stay out of trouble. Hanna’s desperate for a very personal session with her gym trainer. Emily is number one on Santa’s naughty list. Aria’s old flame from Iceland is about to land her in hot water. And Spencer’s resorting to some backhanded tactics to get what she wants. Poor, naughty, little liars. They should have known to be nice—because A is always watching. ---Goodreads

First off let me say that if you have yet to read this series I highly recommend it to all! Because this is the eleventh book in the series THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Just warning you!

I will say this series is getting a bit tired. I can see the writing starting to fade a bit as the plot is repeating itself. I think it is about time to wrap up the series. I will continue to read the books, but they definitely don't hold my interest like the first few did.

So, the book is separated into four sections by each girl and their escapades during Winter Break. I will start with Hanna's novella first as she was the first story in the book.

The book starts off as Hanna is adjusting to living with her new "family." Her step mom Isabel and her daughter Kate take up residence in Hanna's mother's house while she is in Singapore for work. I will say this was my least favorite character to follow in this book. I thought her view was a bit pointless and overused. I thought her love interest was a major jerk and I did not connect to him at all. To say the least, she visits the gym, meets a boy/ trainer who convinces her to join his boot camp. Little does she know she will be battling it out with another girl in the boot camp for his love interest. By the way, I took this other girl to be a major whore (no offense to her or anything, but man was she just repulsive) Personally, this left me feeling a bit blah. I didn't really feel like picking the book back up again after her segment, but I did anyway. If it were me, I would have flip flopped another girl to the front of the book to catch the reader's interest right off the bat. That's just me.

Next up is Emily. While her story is a bit better, it still isn't as great as I was hoping for. Emily's segment starts off with her family gearing up for the holidays. Her mother is distraught when one of her antique yard decorations is stolen from the church. The director of the church suspects a group of four girls, called the "Merry Elves", stole the baby Jesus. Emily's mother convinces her to get a job as Santa at the the mall where the four girls are working as the elves. The rest of the story follows her trying to break into their group and get them to confess about the crimes they committed. I thought the beginning and middle were just OK, but I really loved the ending. I guess it just left me with a happy feeling, and I wanted to continue reading. Emily really dug into the minds of the other girls and I loved hearing their take on things.

The third girl chronicled in this book is Aria. Now I must admit, Aria is my favorite character in both the books and TV show! The story starts off with Aria on the way to the Poconos Mountains, the same mountains that months earlier real Ali tried to kill them in. I found this way creepy and I was very surprised that Aria didn't really act all that disturbed. Anyway, she is with her dad, Byron, and brother, Mike, on the way to a ski lodge to celebrate the Winter Solstice as their kooky family always does. When they arrive, Byron drops the bomb that his pregnant love interest Meredith will be spending their vacation with them. Apparently this rubbed Aria the wrong way and she left to go back home to Rosewood. Upon arrival she finds her Icelandic boyfriend Halbjorn at the door. Personally, I loved this segment of the book. I thought it was fast paced and kept me guessing. Once you read the story you will feel like a bomb was dropped on you. I did! Some of the things the author threw in fantastic. I'm not going to mention them as I don't want to spoil the entire book, but WOW! Definitely my favorite of the four parts of the book.

The final liar followed in the book is Spencer. Her story starts off with her on a plane to her Nana's house in Longboat Key, Florida. Her family is in a midst of turmoil as always and she is happy to just get away. Little does she know their is some major drama ahead. She meets a potential love interest/ tennis star and falls head over heels. That is until someone close to her steals him right out from under her nose! I loved how this story had one of my favorite things, a love triangle! I definitely enjoyed Spencer's telling of the story and it was definitely not boring. The ending completely threw me for a loop! Man, I did not expect that in the least! I hate to tease you with the details, but go buy this book!

Overall, Pretty Little Secrets was a great addition to the ever growing series. I look forward to her next book, Stunning, which is set to be released on June 1st.

I will be giving this book four stars-

-McKenna :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In My Mailbox (1)

Welcome to my first ever IMM which is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

So in the past few weeks I have recieved quite a few books from swaps and such at and also a book ordered from

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Bk. 4) by Richelle Mead- Received FIFO from PBS

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Bk. 5) by Richelle Mead- Recieved FIFO from PBS
Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy Bk. 6) by Richelle Mead- Received FIFO from PBS

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Bk. 2) by Ally Carter, A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard and Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - Recieved from a fellow member at PBS

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters- Recieved from

Look forward to a review of Pretty Little Liars: Pretty Little Secrets sometime next week!

Until next time!

-McKenna :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

So my first review ever! Who's excited?!? I know I am a bit late on this book, but I figure better late than never.

Beauty Queens
Author- Libba Bray
Published- May 24th, 2011
Scholastic Press
396 pages
Purchased on my own

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again. ----Goodreads

First off let me say that this cover is pure genius. I mean, who thinks of putting lipsticks instead of bullets in the bandoleer? I had so many people ask me to look at the cover so the could take a closer look. On top of that, the cover and the subject actually match. Don't you hate when you see a girl in a prom dress on the cover but the book is about a dolphin?'s almost like what were they thinking when they designed that cover?

In addition to having a great cover, the book had me laughing so hard. Think of it as a combination of LOST and Miss Congeniality..awesome right! I especially loved the footnotes at the bottom of the page that contained hilarious jokes about the fictional company called the "Corporation". One of my favorites was about a product called Lady 'Stache Off, a hair remover that could also act as a bomb in a pinch.

One of my favorite characters is for sure Mary Lou, one of the twelve surviving castaways. Mary Lou is a country girl that I think of as growing up in the "hicks". In the book she is trying to prove that her family is not just a bunch of wild women that need to be tamed.She overcomes the stigma about the women in her family so wonderfully and I absolutely love when the action takes place from her point of view. Also joining Mary Lou is a slew of other sassy sidekicks. Adina is the secret spy in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant and Taylor Krystal Rene Hawkins is the undeclared leader who seriously knows her way around survival. I also love how the book touched on some pretty progressive subjects. One of the castaways named Jennifer is lesbian and another named Petra is transgender. I felt that the author put these tough subjects into very neat perspectives and spun them in a way that all people can relate and understand the toughness of their situation. I feel that adding these elements in the book created a positive awareness that yes, girls and boys all around the world are gay and transgender and that it is nothing to be ashamed of.

One nit-picky thing I have to say is about Mrs. New Mexico. In the book, she survives the crash, but ends up with a tray table embedded in her skull. Now think about this for a second. If you are on a deserted island and you have a tray table in your head how the heck does it not get infected?!? The whole time while reading I was thinking "this girl would have died from an infection long ago". Maybe its just me, but I found that bothersome.

SPOILER (highlight to read)

When the book finally came to a close and the book began to describe what each beauty queen went on to be/ do in life irked me a little bit. I totally did not expect half of them to be house-wife's. Did the author not realise that THEY JUST SURVIVED AN ATTACK ON THEIR LIVES! What group of girls survives an army of ROC militants attacking them?!? These girls! I totally expected for all of them to be rocket scientists or something. Anyhoo, that's just me...
Overall I enjoyed learning about all of the girls and how they broke the stereotype of a typical beauty queen. It is definitely worth reading!

I will be rating this book 4 stars ~

--McKenna :)


Welcome to my blog! After much self persuasion I have decided to start this blog for two reasons....

1. I LOVE to read. Not just for the story, but also for the feel of a book in my hands (new or old!), the smell (there is nothing quite like the smell of a bookstore!), and the rush you feel when you open the next highly anticipated book on your wishlist and hear the crunch of the spine. I love to share my love of books with others and I am constantly sharing my reccomendations with friends and family. You know you are a book-a-holic when your to be read (TBR) pile amasses over eighty book! I live for the days when I can curl up in my bed and read my entire book in one sitting with a nice cup of tea and my giant fuzzy blanket! Or the nights when I run a hot bath and sit in the water until it is cold trying to get to a stopping point that will never come. We book-a-holics are a breed of our own!

2. The second reason I began this blog is to meet with others like me. I have always been the black sheep of my family. Growing up, my parents and brother always wondered why I didn't want to come outside and play with my friends. My answer was always "but I want to read my book. Just one more chapter please!". My mom always joked that I was like Belle in Beauty and the Beast when she walks through town with her nose in a book, bumping into people along the way. When I was in school, while other kids were reprimanded for not meeting their reading requirements, I was getting yelled at for reading too much! (Is there ever too much reading?). It got to the point where I was sneaking a book behind my science textbook and reading during class! I always wondered how I was related to my family. I don't believe my dad has touched a book since high school. GASP! I can't wait for future adventures on this blog when I can meet new friends and talk with -crazies- bookaholics like me!

Please bear with me as I get used to the world of blogging! I will be experimenting alot and playing with new templates, layouts, etc. Because I have never played with/ had a blog before, i have a huge learning curve to overcome. I know at first this blog may not be so hot but I will be trying my hardest to get it to as close to perfection as possible!
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