Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Reading Wrap-Up

Guys! I am so sad. I cannot believe how fast this summer has flown by! In two weeks I will be back in a new school, sitting at a different desk and figuring out the workings of my new high school. I will totally miss the hours I can spend in the summer just reading. Hopefully this school year will bring lots of awesome change, but I will miss the slow pace of summertime.

Now that I have that off of my chest, here are all of the books I read in the month of July. I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped, but still pretty good compared to what I read during the school year!
*All books are linked to Goodreads

  •  Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne - I started off July with a bang by picking up this book. I had just finished up Insurgent and I was craving some more death and destruction. This book rocked my socks off! Maybe not the perfect beach read, but you know to each their own. Read my review here.
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher- On the car ride home from the beach, I decided it was finally time to pick up Thirteen Reasons Why. I hadn't totally prepared myself by the feelings it would expose, but it was a book I will definitely never forget. If you haven't read this book, you need to. It completely changed my views on life. Read my review here.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky- This book was the book that most surprised me this month. Not in a good way either. I was already a bit emotionally impacted after finishing Thirteen Reasons Why, but this book was just the nail in the coffin. It was just to many emotions to handle all at once, and the main character was extremely boring, which made it harder to enjoy. I think I may have been to young to fully appreciate what the book was about. Read my review here.
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass- After finishing up TPoBaW, I decided I needed a fluffy book to lighten the mood I was put in. I am still trying to figure out my true thoughts about this book. In my review I deemed it a love/hate type book. I was in love with the concept and the gorgeous cover (lets all take a minute to swoon), but the execution just fell flat for me. It took me a full week to write a review that even partially sums up my true feelings about this book. Read my review here. (Link goes live tomorrow)

  • Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot- After finishing The Selection, I knew I need a for real, laugh-out-loud contemporary. I can always count on Meg to give a happy, light feeling when I read her books. The timing also happened to work out perfectly as I was due to read this book for the Meg-A-Readers Reathathon anyway. Let me just say THANK GOD FOR MEG CABOT. Nuff' said. I loved this book like I love all of her others. Read my review here. 
  • The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg- This is the final book that I actually completed this month, and I am glad to say that I ended July on a happy note. I have never read any of Mrs. Eulbergs books before, but I am glad to say that I definitely will be. I adored this book. The characters were great. The book was a cute, light book and something I will probably re-read in the future just for a laugh or two! My review will be up in early August.
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman- I have been eyeing Neal's books for quite a while now, but Aneeqah at My Not So Real Life finally gave me the push I needed to actually try one. I am still not sure how I feel about the concept, but I will say it is an engaging book. I just haven't had the time to sit down and read, especially with the Olympics going on. This will be my last personal read for a while. I have quite a few review requests that I need to fulfill in August, so I will see if I survive or not ;)

That is it for me! I knocked 3 books (4 if you count Unwind) off of my TBR for July, so I am extremely proud. Hopefully August goes just as well! Happy reading!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Recommend A...(7)

Hi everyone! Welcome to this weeks Recommend A... a meme hosted by Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit! This week our topic is Recommend A..first book in a series. I know there are SO many series out there to pick from. I decided to go with one that I was expecting to hate, but actually ended up loving.

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad

In L.A. CANDY, nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts moves to L.A. and unexpectedly becomes the star of a reality T.V. show. With fame comes wealth, hot clothes and even hotter love interests -- and Jane′s lapping it all up with her eclectic entourage of pals who are always up for a wild night out and the chance to get a piece of her spotlight. But soon Jane realizes everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.
I was totally expecting this book to be one that I laughed at the terrible writing and horrible characters, but honestly that never ended up happening. I was so surprised to find that I actually really enjoyed this book. I think the fact that it is written by someone who has really experienced life in Hollywood adds a lot of unique authenticity. I even ended up really enjoying books 2 and 3 also!

Have you read the L.A. Candy series? What did you think?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (17)

Hi guys and gals! Welcome to this weeks In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It has been a pretty low key week for me this week. It is still super hot here, so I spend most of my days inside reading. I will totally miss the freedom of my days once school goes back in session.
*All books are linked to their Goodreads page

From PBS-
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Swim the Fly by Don Calame

That's it for me this week! What awesomeness did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author-Stephen Chbosky
Published- February 1st, 1999
MTV Books
213 pages
Obtained from PBS

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.--Goodreads
I should have known from the beginning that I probably wouldn't like this book. I hate to sound so negative about anything that I read and review. This book is no exception. I know this sounds horrible, but the only reason I really picked this book up was because it will be made into a movie with Emma Watson. Yep, feel free to shun me now.

Yeah so this cover was a no-go for me. Way too plain for my taste, even though I did kind of like the lime green cover. Hey, they've gotta attract readers somehow!

The minute I opened the cover of this book I knew I was in for it. The book is written in letter format (which I HATE for the record). But, I powered on because I am not a quitter :) We are acquainted with Charlie, a very average/ slightly boring freshman. And he begins to ramble about all of his issues. Then he meets up with the druggie crowd and begins to form friendships. He experiments and experiences everything, and I mean everything. Sex, rape, drugs, alcohol, gay and lesbian relationships, yadda yadda. You get the gist. By then I was so far into the book that I realized this story was so not my style. Throughout the book I began to feel burdened almost with all of the issues he presents. Totally not the book I was hoping it would be. Heck, I didn't even like any of the supporting characters.

So many people have loved this book, which makes me think that maybe I am too young to actually appreciate the story? Maybe I need to experience high school for myself to completely understand? Let's just say that for now I will not be recommending this book to anyone, even my worst enemy.

Overall, this book was a dud for me. No action, depressed emotions, and a completely screwed up kid. By the end of this book I was so ready to be done. Luckily I only wasted my time on a 200 page book.

Feel free to try it out for yourself. Hopefully you will like it better than me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Recommend A...(6)

Hi guys! Welcome to this weeks Recommend A.., a meme hosted by Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit! This week our topic is Recommend A...book you read this year. I have lots to pick from so far, so I had to narrow it down to a few books, but ultimately decided on this book.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I completely surprised myself by really liking this book. I am not a huge fantasy fan, but I had been hearing such great things about the story, I decided to try it out. Boy am I glad I did! Besides the gorgeous cover, this book had great world building, fun characters and a fast paced plot. I cannot wait for the next book, Days of Blood and Starlight, to be released! If you are late to hop on the Laini Taylor train, I highly recommend you do. You wont be disappointed!

My review if you are curious.

What books have been some of your favorites this year?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (16)

Hi guys! Welcome to this weeks In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!
I had a really great week last week, so I really wasn't expecting all that much this week, but I am actually pretty excited that I recieved great books again this week!

* All books are linked to Goodreads

From PBS-
Deadline by Mira Grant

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Room by Emma Donoghue

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Thank you so much Kate at Ex Libris Kate for my beautiful new copy!

What awesomeness did you guys get this week?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Queen of Babble
Author- Meg Cabot
Published- May 23rd, 2006
William Morrow & Company
309 pages
Obtained from Bookmooch

What's an American girl with a big mouth, but an equally big heart, to do? Lizzie Nichols has a problem, and it isn't that she doesn't have the slightest idea what she's going to do with her life, or that she's blowing what should be her down payment on a cute little Manhattan apartment on a trip to London to visit her long-distance boyfriend, Andrew. What's the point of planning for the future when she's done it again? See, Lizzie can't keep her mouth shut. And it's not just that she can't keep her own secrets, she can't keep anything to herself. This time when she opens her big mouth, her good intentions get Andrew in major hot water. Now Lizzie's stuck in London with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date written on her non-changeable airline ticket. Fortunately, Lizzie's best friend and college roommate is spending her summer in the south of France, catering weddings in a chateau. One call and Lizzie's on a train to Paris. Who cares if she speaks only rudimentary French? One glimpse of gorgeous Chateau Mirac -- not to mention gorgeous Luke, Chateau Mirac's owner -- and she's smitten. But while most caterers can be trusted to keep a secret, Lizzie's the exception. And no sooner has the first cork been popped than Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and it looks like Chateau Mirac is in danger of becoming a lipo-recovery spa. As if things aren't bad enough, ex-boyfriend Andy shows up looking for "closure" (or at least a loan), threatening to ruin everything, especially Lizzie's chance at ever finding real love -- unless she can figure out a way to use that big mouth of hers to save the day.--Goodreads
I just finished up Queen of Babble this morning for the Meg-A-Readers Readathon, and I am happy to say that I am still completely in love with Meg Cabot's books! I was much in need of some fluff after reading some pretty emotion heavy books. Queen of Babble provided just that!

I'm not even going to critique the cover because I have seen so many different ones. The book I have is actually the UK version and an omnibus, so there isn't much cover art to speak of. I picked my favorite of the covers as the picture for my review.

Lizzie Nichols is an awesome character.  She's fun and quirky, has a great sense of style, and actually uses her brain (but only on occasion!). She was never dull and always into some form of mischief. I liked how Mrs. Cabot added a unique quality to Lizzie by making her a vintage clothes addict. Most authors that write fluff, like Queen of Babble, don't usually add a quirk to their character and they usually fall pretty flat. Not Lizzie.

And then there is Luke. He was such a sweet guy and seemed totally down to earth. Plus, from the description of him, he sounds uber attractive. What girl doesn't want some hot guy as a love interest in books?! From the very beginning I was rooting for Luke and Lizzie. Even though I kinda guessed what would happen at the very end, I was still interested in the early stages of their relationship.

I love the changing settings Queen of Babble provided. I felt like I was traveling across Europe ( something I have been wanting to do for a LONG time) along with Lizzie. I could vividly picture the dank streets of London, or the the rolling hills and stately house at Mirac. Ahh, now if only I could actually be there.

I only had two complaints about the book. One complaint being the fact that the synopsis, in my opinion, gives away way to much of the story. It pretty much describes the whole storyline, with just a few major pieces missing. Yeah, not good!

The other complaint being the fact that the story followed the pretty typical chick-lit story line. Girl dates Boy. Girl finds out Boy is a jerk-wad. Girl runs off and winds up meeting a new, attractive Boy. Girl falls for Boy but can't have him. Boy breaks up with girlfriend because he loves Girl. Girl and Boy live happily ever after. Sounds familiar, right? I think the book could have been improved just by adding a few scandalous twists. Just my thoughts.

Overall, I really enjoyed Queen of Babble. It was funny, romantic, and pretty much the cute fluffy read that I was craving.

I will be giving Queen of Babble 3 stars.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
Author- Jay Asher
Published- October 18th, 2007
288 pages
Swapped for on PBS

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.-- Goodreads
It's not very often that I read a book that actually makes me think. I read to get a break from everyday life. I love escaping into a whole new world and forgetting about mine for a while. When you get the chance to read a book that combines fluff and brains, you know you have a winner.

I have been hearing for a long time how fantastic this book really is, but never really felt like I should read it too. Then I read The Future of Us and decided to try out Jay Asher's other books. In enters Thirteen Reasons Why. Now I had the perfect reason to read a book I have been holding off on for so long.

Before I actually launch into my sappy thoughts on this book, let me discuss the cover. I think it is quite a captivating cover, even more enjoyed after finishing the book because I got the background story on Hannah Baker (the girl on the cover, I am assuming). I finally understood why swings were shown. I also like how they replaced the I and E with numbers 1 and 3.

Wow! I was totally not expecting the emotional roller coaster this book brought me on. I knew that it would be sad, but in no way did I think I would get this emotionally invested in one girl's story.

Clay was a great character to follow in this book. He was so rational about the tapes and it was crazy to see his reaction because it would have been completely different from mine. He seemed like such a sweet guy and I was so invested in his interest of the tapes that I hardly noticed there was zero romance in the book (well, besides in the tapes, which were really about Hannah not Clay).

I loved how the book bounced back and forth between the tape (Hannah speaking) and Clay's thoughts. I really showed another dimension to the story and added a completely unique way to tell the story. I did feel a little lost as to who was speaking at times, but it was usually while my mind was drifting thinking about all of the possible things that happen because of my words.

Thirteen Reasons Why really opened up a raw feeling for me. I had a close friend pass about a year and a half ago by complete surprise. I was sad yet interesting to compare my grief cycle to Clay's. I know that in my case, I would have loved to have heard my friends voice just one last time.

By the end of this book, my mind was reeling. It was weird to think that something I did or said today could really affect someone emotionally in their decision of life. That in itself scared me.

Overall, this book was a great read. I truly has changed my life and thought processes. I would recommend this book to anyone, just be prepared with tissues. It will be a complete eye-opener for you!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Recommend A...(5)

Hey guys! Welcome to this weeks Recommend A..! Sorry I completely missed last week. I was at the lake for the weekend and didn't have time to put together a post. On top of that I had  a tough time thinking as far back as 2010. This weeks topic is a bit easier. Recommend A...book published by a guy. Simple enough except for the fact the world is sorely lacking guy authors in the YA genre!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
So, I decided to choose Thirteen Reasons Why. Man did this book rock! I already loved Jay Asher after reading The Future of Us, but this book just pushed him over the edge. Hopefully he comes out with more new and exciting reads!

Have you read any good books by a guy? Let me know! I would love to check them out!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (15)

Hey Guys! Sorry I have been just a tad bit MIA on the blog lately. My cousin turned one on Friday the 13th (spooky huh?!) and I had TONS of family in town, which left little time for blog and reading time. But now I am back and should be reaching a normal routine again soon.

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
* All books are linked to their Goodreads page

From PBS- 

For Review-
Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark

Nolichuck by Jackson Keene

Troll Hunters by Michael Dahl (ARC)

Thanks to the wonderful hosts of the Armchair BEA Twitter Parties! I had a blast and enjoyed winning a book in the process!

From SYNC-
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake



I know, I know...I said no more book buying. But look, I only actually bought one book! Now if only I could convince my mom that stacks of books in your room are a good from of clutter!

What fabulous books landed in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14
Author- Emmy Laybourne
Published- June 5th, 2012
Feiwel & Friends
294 pages
Swapped for on PBS

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner. Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus. But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.--Goodreads

If you are the type of person that skips through all of the review to find out the verdict, I will save you some time. GO BUY THIS BOOK! I was quite skeptical that I wouldn't enjoy this book. It seems that nowadays, new concepts that are "fresh" and exciting are not carried out well and just fall flat. That was not the case with Monument 14.

I absolutely adore this cover. It was a great representation of the various age range in this book. It is completely engrossing and I found it especially neat after reading the book because I was able to match up characters to bodies on the cover.

Mrs. Laybourne did a fantastic job with diversifying the characters. In most books, it is hard to distinguish and individual voice and they tend to just blend. In Monument 14, I could easily get to know each character on an individual basis, even in a group setting.

I think it was great that a female author decided to take the voice of a male character. She did a great job with Dean. I loved his awkward, quirky attitude and his "mother hen" mentality. The charisma between him and each of the characters was great.

There was plenty of action in this book, but at the same time I felt like they took their time in the superstore as a vacation in a way. There wasn't really much discussion on rationing, preserving water, or other survival tactics. It just seemed like they could live forever in there, which they had to know was not the truth. Lots of water was wasted on nonessential things like bathing a dog. I guess my OCD came out a bit when I read that they dumped all that water away. I may have cringed just a bit ;)

The book ended with a bang! It was such a different ending from what I was expecting that it totally threw me for a loop. I am dying to read book two and continue on with the fabulous story that Mrs. Laybourne has created!

Overall, GO BUY THIS BOOK! It may have been a little bit unbelievable, but hey, who doesn't need a bit of fluff in their life?


Sunday, July 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (14)

Hey guys! Welcome to this weeks In My Mailbox, which is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
This week has been a pretty slow book week. I was away at the beach for four days and I will be at the lake when this post goes up, so lots of reading has been going on for me. Yay! I am slowly shrinking my TBR pile!
*Book is linked to Goodreads

From PBS-

I hope you all had a great week in books also!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, Bk. 2)
Author- Veronica Roth
Published- May 1st, 2012
525 pages
Purchased on my own

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

"New York Times" bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.--Goodreads

Please keep in mind this is the second book in the trilogy! There may/ will be spoilers!

Wow! How did I wait so long to finally read this book! I feel like the last person on earth to read this book. I was soo nervous to start this because I had this awesome memory of Divergent and I would have hated to ruin it if this book turned out not so great. No worries though, my feelings of this series are even stronger than they were before!

I love that they continued with the cover trend. I adored Divergent's cover with the in-your-face Dauntless symbol and the subtle city skyline. They made this cover equally as good.

Within the first chapter of this book, I was already completely invested in the story. I will admit that I was really lost. I read Divergent about a year ago, so I had trouble recalling what was going on. I probably should have re-read Divergent, but oh-well. Regardless, I still eventually figured out what was going on.

Tris continued to prove to be the awesome character she was in Divergent. I adore her bravery and over all toughness in the many situations she faces in this book. She was charismatic, and completely lovable.

Four is by far my favorite character in this book. I can totally picture this tall, brunette dude who is totally ripped, running to save the day. Who wouldn't want one of those to fantasize about while reading?!

This book had TONS of action. There were secret meetings, killings, escapes and just a general crazy amount of awesomeness. This book was suspenseful and always had you on the edge of your seat.

My emotions were all over the board while reading this book. I felt betrayal, jealousy, sadness, and joy along with all of the characters. Very few books have ever made me as emotional (not sad emotional, but bipolar emotional) as this book.

Overall, I LOVED this book! I cannot wait for book three to come out. Hopefully it is as fantastic as the first two. If you have yet to read Divergent, you are missing out!

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