Friday, August 31, 2012

August Reading Wrap-Up

Wow! I cannot believe how fast August has flown by! I feel like it just started and I was not quite ready to go back to school. Now I am three weeks in and loving it! I haven't got quite as much reading done this month, but I am sure one my workload evens out and I get acclimated to the school I will be reading quite a bit more!
  • Speechless by Hannah Harrington- I started out August with a bang! I really loved this book and you can tell by my glowing review. The concept was really unique and was executed quite nicely too! Review here.
  • October Sky by Homer Hickam- This was my required summer reading, and I ended up finishing it 3 weeks into school when we finally had to get it read. I really ended up enjoying this book and the fact that it was non fiction made it even cooler. Now I just need to go watch the movie!
  • Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark- Add this book to the list of books I enjoyed this month. I ended up reading this book for Utah Book Month so I could interview the author. I really liked the unique concept and action packed plot this story provided. Review here.
  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick- I LOVED this book so so much! I have really been enjoying the contemporary genre lately, and this book is definitely in the creme de la creme of contemporaries! Review here.
  • Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate- I started this book a few days ago and I am about half way through. So far it is enjoyable, but not much has happened. We shall see where the story goes!
That is all for August! Hopefully September gets even better!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door
Author- Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published- June 14th, 2012
Dial Books for Young Readers
395 pages
Obtained from PBS

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Never have I read a synopsis that explained my feelings about a book so fully. It was an awesome and dreamy summer read that I am sure will be on my mind in the fall and winter months to come!

I love this cover. It is so simplistic yet at the same time it depicts the story so well. I love the colors used, especially on the spine. Plus, I LOVED the lemon yellow inner book color. Such a surprise and great pop of summery color.

I'm not really sure how she did it, but somehow Ms. Fitzpatrick turned a bland, overused storyline of a typical teen romance and morphed it into an intricate and gorgeous story!

The characters in this book were just fantastic. Ms. Fitzpatrick somehow took an ordinary All-American family and made them so charismatic and love able. The Garretts were just plain awesome, every single one. Even though there were a few we only got a glimpse of, I feel like I still got to know each and every one! I loved George and his little-kid-captures-your-heart vibe. Andy was awesome at bringing in a young teen perspective to the story while being just your typical 14 year old lovesick girl. Tim was an awesome dynamic character. I feel like he really taught a lesson through his character that it is possible to go from druggie to good guy. Yes it is hard, but hard work pays off.

Then there is Jase. Oh Jase, how you captured my heart. I don't know if anyone could read this book and not just fall head over heels for Jase. He was the perfect combination of sultry and sweet. Samantha was pretty cool too. She had an awesome laid back personality that meshed so well with all of the other characters. You couldn't help but root for her!

I love how this book just flowed. The style of writing in this book makes the pages turn very quickly. I felt like I had just sat down and an hour had already passed. The writing made it easy to immerse yourself in the story and let go.

The plot twist at the end, WOW! Just when I thought I had the whole book figured out, everything was turned upside down. I actually quite liked it. I saw a raw side to the characters that we weren't exposed to in the beginning of the story. I feel like the twist really added a great dimension to the many relationships in the book and really added to the story.

Overall, I really really loved My Life Next Door. The characters were great, the writing was fast paced and there was PLENTY of romance (enough even for my romantically inclined mind :) If you have yet to get your hands on a copy of this book you are wasting your life. It is worth the 400 pages, trust me.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

In My Mailbox (20)

Hi guys! Happy Sunday! I am here today to report my super duper awesome books that arrived in my mailbox this week! As always, In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.
From PBS:
  • Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield- I have been hearing many bloggers rave over this book, so when it popped up on PBS I just had to snap it up! Plus, the cover is really interesting.
  • Incarnate by Jodi Meadows- First off, I adore this cover! I am also fascinated by the theory of reincarnation, so I totally had to pick this one up!
  • Jellicoe Road  by Melina Marchetta- I have heard that this book is the bomb, so I have been meaning to read it. Also, I have heard Aussie authors are the absolute best, so I am pumped to read this one!
  • The Blessed by Tonya Hurley- I have heard mixed reviews about this book, but I think it sounds pretty cool, so I decided to give it a try. Oh, and add it to the list of covers I really like.
 From Netgalley:
  • Crewel by Gennifer Albin- I have been hearing buzz about this book since BEA and when it popped up on Netgalley I had to try requesting it. Netgalley has been loving me lately and I was pumped when I was accepted. Neat dystopian, count me in!
  • Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate- I literally freaked out when I saw that I had been approved for this. I am so pumped to dive in! Plus, another cover that is awesome!
  • The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski- I had a friend that was super excited about this book and she made me want to check it out too! I am excited!

That's it for me! What did y'all get in your mailboxes this week?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark

Author- Hannah L. Clark
Published- December 3rd, 2011
KinStone Publishing
300 pages
Review copy provided by the author

To seventeen-year-old Norah Lukens, the Cobbogothians were just a myth. But after her archeologist uncle’s brutal murder, and being asked to translate one of his old research journals for evidence, she begins a journey to discover the truth for herself.

Chasing the myth her uncle was obsessed with, Norah learns that his murder was a cover up for something far more sinister. If she hopes to save others from suffering the same fate he did—including the peculiarly magnetic James Riley—she must head to Iceland in order to find out the truth once and for all.

If she succeeds, she’ll gain the one thing she’s always longed for.

But if she fails, not even the gods can help her.

So I finished up Cobbogoth on the ride home from school today and I definitely think I have found a gem amid the slush of self-pubbed books. The story was so unique that it was impossible to not get wrapped up in the story!

I love the cover for this book. Hannah's sister actually designed the cover and the gorgeous illustrations within the book, which I found to be really unique and impressive. It totally adds to the story when you get to see an illustration of what the author imagined the objects described to look like.

I actually quite liked the characters as well. Norah was sweet and charming, but she had a rough edge to her that gave you the best of both worlds. I loved her inquisitive nature and kick butt attitude. James, Norah's love interest/ protector was awesome as well. Though at times he let of a somewhat jerky vibe, he ultimately proved to be an awesome guy with a genuine love for Norah. Then there was Lylend, Norah's other protector/mentor/ James dad. I actually had a hard time picturing him as a fatherly age because it seemed like he was always up there with the kids and wasn't really all that fatherly.

The basis of this whole story is actually really cool. This fantasy yet real society called Cobbogoth is in turmoil because an evil man named Cifer is trying to take over. At the same time in a different parallel of time, Norah's uncle is hunting down the facts of Cobbogoth and trying to help save the kingdom. On Norah's last day of college she comes home to find her uncle was murdered in his hunt to save Cobbogoth and now she must replace his role. It is actually pretty crazy to think about another society existing at the same time in another place other than earth. It might just be me, but I found that mind-blowing.

The fact that this book tied in fantasy, dystopian, mystery and romantic elements was really neat to read. There are crazy fantasy creatures in a screwed up society while Norah is uncovering her uncles murder and falling in love with James. Somehow Hannah tied the elements all up into a neat little package that I loved! Talk about a story for every taste.

The only hang-up I really had with this book was the slow parts in the middle. Yes, I understand they were essential to the storybuilding so I got over them quickly. I just think that it could have been a little more fast paced.

Overall, I really loved this book. There were beautiful characters and an awesome element present that made the book super unique. I am very much looking forward to book two so I can learn more about Cobbogoth and its people!

Hannah was so awesome to work with and she agreed to do an interview!

1. Where did you get the idea for Cobbogoth?
The idea for Cobbogoth came from so many different places, but I think I first really started thinking about the idea of an underground city when my 4th grade teacher read our class Susan Cooper's The Grey King from her The Dark is Rising Series.  For some reason that book stuck with me  in a big way and first got me interested in mythologies and ancient legends.  When I was in college, however, I took a Mythology class one semester, and my teacher had us create our own mythology as our final project.  I think Cobbogoth really started coming to life for me then.

2. Do you relate to any of the characters?
Yes.  I think in a lot of ways I am Norah.  She's way smarter than I am, and probably braver, but as far her longing for home, having to over come fear, and coming to the realization of who she really is and how that changes everything for her, we are the same.

3. Why did you decide to go the self-published route?
Since we were little girls, my closest sister, Bekah Shakespear and I have always wanted to work together.  It all started when we tried to create our own radio station as kids.  The problem was, we could just never agree on anything--our interests were so different.  A few years back, however, she began her degree in graphic design.  At the time I was getting very close to finishing Cobbogoth.  There was a lot going on in the publishing world surrounding self-publishing, and to be honest, having that much control over my own work sounded like quite a bit of fun.  So, I decided to take the plunge and started my own indie-publishing company with my husband called KinStone Publishing.  That's when I realized that this was mine and my sister's chance to finally work together.   I called her up, asked her if she'd be interested in creating the cover for my book for a small fee, and she very excitedly agreed, (in spite of her having two little boys, a husband in dental school and being in the middle of the busiest semester of her college career.)  As you can see from not only Cobbogoth's cover, but the incredible illustrations throughout my book, she was the right lady for the job.  Bekah's art brings a layer to my story that was never there before. I can trust her, she gets me and my work, and I wouldn't take a million dollar contract from one of the big six if it meant I couldn't have her design and illustrate my series.

4. Any plans on writing more books?
Yes!  Cobbogoth is the first book in a seven book series.  I am currently hard at work on book two and hoping to have it out by next December.


-Book:  Jane Eyre  by Charlotte Bronte
-Movie: Hmmmm..that's a tough one.  Probably Inception, Dan in Real Life, Thor, or You've Got Mail--I really love movies.
-Food: Apples and Biscoff spread.
-Song: At Last by Etta James
-Color:  Red

About the Author:
Hannah L. Clark was born and raised in central Utah. She has been creating stories since age four, when she used to record her favorite adventures on tape, "DJ Style," so she wouldn't forget them before learning her letters. In 2006 she earned her Bachelor's Degree in English from Utah Valley University. Hannah currently lives with her husband, Michael and son, Sam, in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0: Wrap Up

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
Hi guys! Happy Monday! I am here to report to you my week of reading for Bout of Books. Let's just say that I sucked at this read a thon and hardly read, so not much was accomplished. Oh well..

Here is how I did the rest of the week:

ThursdayNumber of books I've read today: 1
Pages read: 173 pages and 7%
Books: Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark
Total books read: 1
Notes: Yay! My first completed book of the read-a-thon! I totally adored this book and the pictures completely made the story for me. I should have a review up next week! I also started Cobbogoth and I am really liking it so far. The review and interview with the author will be up on Thursday.
Total books read: 1


Number of books I've read today: 0
Pages read: 0
Books: None
Notes: I am shamefully admitting that I read zip today. I was exhausted from the week of school, so I decided I just needed a break. I had an awesome night with a group of friends. We even had dinner at PF Changs ( I won't even mention the fact that we couldn't figure out how to split the bill 7 ways :)
Total books read: 1


Number of books I've read today: 0
Pages read: 6%
Books: Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark
Notes: I am really surprised by how much I am loving this book. I am not much of a fantasy fan, but the way this book ties in a mystery element is totally upping the appeal for me!
Total books read: 1


Number of books I've read today: 0
Pages read: 37%
Books: Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark
Notes: I kinda got wrapped up in the latest Kardashian episode, which cut into my reading time. I still got to read a bit of my book earlier in the day, so that was good. I will probably finish the book by Tuesday at the rate I am going. I am halfway and so far it is really good!
Total books read: 1

That's it for me. I know, so not impressive. It just wasn't my week to be productive. Life will go on :) Let me know how your read-a-thons went!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In My Mailbox (19)

Hi guys! Welcome to this weeks In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren! So this week has been pretty busy in the books department purely because I received my reading list for freshman year. I knew I would forget about the books quickly, so I had my mom order them the day I found out. Most of them seem pretty boring, but you never know. I may end up completely loving them!

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot- This is the only school book I am completely pumped to read. The premise sounds super cool, and the fact that it is true makes it that much more interesting.

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- I haven't heard anything about this book before except for a negative review from a friend of mine, so I am a bit afraid that I will hate it. The premise sounds interesting, so I will see how it goes.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare- My mom actually admitted to loving this book when she read it, so I am very excited to see what I think. I have read a few of Shakespeare's other works, and so far I haven't really cared for them. Here's to hoping this one is different!
  • The Odyssey of Homer- Guys, this book is really intimidating sitting up on my bookshelf. It's not a very large book, but it packs in a whopping 600 pages! Hopefully I spark an interest early, or this may be a tough read for me. I am hoping my love of Greek mythology is satisfied during this book.
  • Liar by Justine Larbalestier- We were in the city the other day and decided to stop into the Goodwill and browse the book section (which I love, for the record!). I saw this book on the shelf and I recognized the authors last name, so I decided I would try it out. It was only 1.99, so if I hate its not that big of a loss for me.
From Netgalley-

  • Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett- I have been hearing a lot of buzz about this book lately, so I decided to request it on Netgalley. I am so happy that I was approved so I can finally see what I think!
From the library-
  • Starters by Lissa Price- I have been wanting to read this book for a while now, and I was pumped when the library finally notified me that it had arrived! I love the cover and the story sounds really cool!

That's it for me! What wonderful books landed in your mailboxes this week?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0- Progress Report

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Hi everyone! Happy Thursday! I am here to shamefully report my last three days of reading to you all! I knew I wasn't going to do fabulous for this read-a-thon, but life goes on. I am slowly adjusting to my new school and really enjoying all of my classes so far! But, by the end of the day I am exhausted, which leaves little time to read! And yes, I stole the format page for this post from the Bout-of-Books web page.


Number of books I've read today: 0
Pages read: 62 pages
Books: October Sky by Homer Hickam
Notes: I was racing to get this one done before school started, then I found out that we won't be discussing it for three weeks. I decided to read it in bits and pieces so I wouldn't forget a lot of the material.


Number of books I've read today: 0
Pages read: 105 pages
Books: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Notes: I got totally sucked into this book last night and had a hard time putting it down to go to sleep. I love all of the pictures mixed into the book. It makes me feel like I am speeding through the pages!
Total books read: 0


Number of books I've read today: 0
Pages read: 62 pages
Books: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Notes: I fully intended on finishing up Mrs Peregrine last night, but about 45 pages in my eyes began to droop and I knew I would never make it through 60 more pages. I decided to put it down and get some sleep! I will for sure be finishing it today though!
Total books read: 0

That's it for me! I am still batting zero, but my number will go up sometime tonight! How are your read-a-thons going? Link me up!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Author- Hannah Harrington
Published- August 28th, 2012
288 pages
Received from Netgalley

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret.

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast--and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea's has taken a vow of silence--to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets if hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way. People she never noticed before. A boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

I know I am a bit of a latecomer to the Hannah Harrington boat, but I know now that I will for sure be reading more of her works. Not only did Speechless grab my attention from the first sentence, but it also taught a very important life lesson in the process.

I'm not sure what to think of the cover. I definitely think my preference goes to the plain white cover, but if they end up going with the cover in my review I definitely wont be upset. I do know that attention has been called to the fact that this cover is almost identical to a book with the same title. I'm not sure I like the cover being such a copy cat. There are so many creative people out there and no one could come up with a different cover?!

Chelsea was such a dynamic character and her story was just fascinating. I loved how she was unafraid to go after what she believed in, even if that meant at the expense of a friendship and usage of her voice. She definitely wasn't one of the most interesting characters I have ever come across, but definitely not the most boring. She actually led a pretty average lifestyle which made her very easy to relate to.

The best character by far had to be Sam. I mean, come on! Who wouldn't just fall head over heels for him. I loved his quirkiness and easy- going nature, but most especially I loved the romance between him and Chelsea. I am such a sucker for a cute teen romance, and this book was the embodiment of my love.

Asha, Chelsea's new best friend was fantastic also, as were her new "family" that consisted of Dex, Lou, Noah, and Andy. Each had their own faults that added to an already eclectic group of super cool characters.

While reading this book I had many quotes stand out to me, but I had one that really hit home. I know this one has affected many other readers, but I wanted to share it and share the love.

"Hate is...too easy," he says. His face is calm, calmer than it has any right to be, his eyes not wavering from mine, like he's so completely sure of what he's saying. "Love. Love takes courage."

I'm telling you, just reading it gives me the chills. Really, the whole book was a special read. It was really empowering to read something that screams "stand up for yourself" and "do what's right for not just you, but others also".

One issue that I did have that hopefully (*fingers crossed*) they fix in the the finished version are the choppy transitions. I found myself getting confused as to where I was location wise in the story because there was no separation between what happened thirty minutes ago and now. It felt like I was just continuing on to a new paragraph, but really I was getting transitioned from a car to a kitchen in a span of three words.

Overall, I really loved Speechless. It was gritty and raw while still maintaining the cutesy romance aspect that attracts so many readers. I will for sure be reading more books by Mrs. Harrington now that I know how fabulous of an author she is!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

In My Mailbox (18)

Hi guys! Welcome to this weeks In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren! Sorry for being MIA last Sunday. I was living it up at my friend's lake house tubing, wake boarding and knee boarding! It was a fabulous way to end my summer vacation! In two weeks I have managed to acquire four new books, which isn't too bad!

  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire- I received Timepiece through Netgalley a few months back, so I figured I should probably read Hourglass! I was lucky to grab it while on special on the Kindle store!
 From PBS-
  • Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot- I know I will adore Queen of Babble in the Big City, so I ordered this one to have on hand in case I absolutely must read the conclusion to the series.
 From Netgalley-
  • Speechless by Hannah Harrington- I went out on a limb and requested this one on Netgalley, not really expecting to get approved. Much to my surprise an email showed up in my inbox telling me I was approved! I literally hopped up and down for ten minutes then promptly sat down and read the book.... I LOVED it! I have a review going up on Wednesday. Should check it out (*wink wink*).
  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry- Another jump up and down approval from Netgalley! I am so super psyched to start this one! I have heard it is awesomely fantastic from soooo many people. I am hoping to read it in September!
That's it for me! What did y'all get in your mailboxes this week?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team

Hi guys! I have decided to participate in bout-of-books this year, even though it is held on my first week of school. I am hoping we receive minimal homework so I have more time to READ! I have lots to catch up on! I am hoping to get four books read, but I think I will probably only get two or three read. Hopefully I get a chance to read lots on the weekend.

Books I am hoping to complete-
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

I will be updating mid-week on how I am doing so far, so look out for a post on Thursday.

Happy reading and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Author- Neal Shusterman
Published- November 6th, 2007
Simon and Schuster
335 pages
Obtained from PBS
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Quite honestly, I don't know what went wrong with me and this book, but I just didn't end up loving it like so many others have. I have so many friends that have raved about this book, which made me think that maybe my mind wasn't quite twisted enough to grasp the concept well enough.

The cover is just OK. It is kind of interesting in the fact that the man is made of a fingerprint. The man adds a creepy element to the book, but not a lot a creep, just a bit. It also seems like Neal follows the same cover design format for each book, which is good for people to recognize his work, but at the same time it does get a bit boring and repetitious.

The characters were a little above average in the interest level. They were all very similar both in thought process and situation, which I think made the group have more of a "family" feeling as compared to a group of misfit people. I really loved the alternating perspective between the characters. By getting into all three's thoughts I could really get invested in the story.

Connor was a pretty good character. He was fierce and strong and not afraid to give up, even in the most dire situations. Risa was also a pretty kick butt character, but I didn't like the times when she played the damsel in distress. It totally ruined her rough persona. And then there was Lev....he gave a very wishy washy vibe and his emotions were sooo screwed up. He was in and out of the story so much that it was very difficult to get to know him.

The part of the book I had a problem with was the Unwinding situation. It was so hard for me to wrap my brain around why someone would do that to their child. It was so unbelievable and creepy that it totally turned me off the story.

Spoiler- (highlight to read)
Oh my goodness. I thought I was about to puke when they were describing Roland being unwound. Seriously, that kind of stuff doesn't usually phase me, but ughhh I can't even imagine having to stay awake while my body was being dismantled. You have to have a seriously twisted mind to enjoy that kind of stuff.

Once I got past the fact that kids were getting killed and I couldn't do anything about it, I enjoyed the action and touch of romance. There was a lot of action, for sure. The characters were always going somewhere, or doing something. Rescue missions, bombs, and killings all went on while reading this book. But still, in the back of my mind there was always the factor that kids were being unwound.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I had a really rough time with the unwinding and that ultimately compromised my enjoyment of the book. If you like horror novels, you may enjoy this book more than I did. Nonetheless, I am still going to continue the series because I am curious how the story will progress.

Unwind will be getting three hearts-

Monday, August 6, 2012

August TBR

Hi everyone! Today instead of my regular posting of Recommend A...I decided to post what I was planning on reading in August. I start school next Monday, so I am trying to finish up as many books as possible before I get too busy. Most of the books on this list are books that are for review or I need to read for school. Not much room for free reading this month :(

  • Speechless by Hannah Harrington- I have heard so much hype surrounding this book and Saving June that I decided to try my luck at getting accepted on Netgalley. I don't usually have much luck, so I was gobsmacked to find out that I was accepted! I am almost halfway finished and so far I am really liking it!
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- I have also heard lots about this book, especially the fact that it is quite creepy. I have always loved the cover, so I had been meaning to read it. It was requested from me on PBS the other day, so I decided to try it out. I am about 80 pages in and very much enjoying it so far.

  • Unearthly by Cynthia Hand- This book was also requested from me on PBS the other day. I have had many friends that have read and loved this book, so I am excited to start. Plus, the cover is gorgeous and purple!

  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick- I knew I wouldn't last the month without one book that I am dying to read, so I added this one to the pile. Crossing my fingers that I get to this one because I have heard it is flipping fantastic!

  • Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark- I will be reading this book soon for Utah Book Month. The synopsis sounds really cool and Hannah is super sweet. I will have a review of the book and interview with her up around the 20th.

  • Nolichuck by Jackson Keene- I received this book for review last month and have decided to add it to the pile for this month. I am hoping to get it read pretty soon. I will be interviewing the author also, so look out for that sometime soon!

  • October Sky by Homer Hickam- October Sky is my required reading for 9th Grade Lit this year, and it is supposed to be read by the first day of school. Knowing me, I knew I would procrastinate until the last minute, so of course I still haven't read it yet. It will be a mad dash to finish this book this week, but I think I can do it (I hope).

That's it for me! How many books are you hoping to read this month?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Design!

Hi Guys! I just wanted to come on here quickly and give a great big huge shout out to Lori at Imagination Designs for my GORGEOUS new blog! I am absolutely in love! She was so fantastic to work with and made the process so painless. She worked with me until every little detail was absolutely perfect! She was much more affordable than anyone I have found and so creative! I highly recommend you check out her designs because I guarantee you will fall in love too! Seriously, go do it now! I believe she will be running a giveaway for a free blog design soon, so you should check that out and try your luck at a new design!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

 The Selection
Author- Kiera Cass
Published- April 24th, 2012
Obtained from PBS

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.--Goodreads

I should probably start this review with a disclaimer. As many of you have probably heard, there is a lot of controversy surrounding this book and the people that represent it. I in no way approve of the way Mrs. Cass' agent dealt with a bad review and I really didn't want to be involved in the controversy at all. Hello, I am fourteen and I could have acted more civilised than a 30 year old woman. I see that as an issue. Nevertheless, I already had The Selection on my shelf and decided I would try it anyway since I had already spent my money.

Almost a week after finishing this book, I am still trying to come to terms with my true feelings about it. In some respects I loved The Selection, and others that I hated it. Mrs. Cass, you did a fantastic job with making me utterly confused by my own feelings.

The first feature that attracted me to this book was the cover. Holy-gorgeous! This cover is awesome. I love the dress and the font and the crown. Yep, summed up this cover rocks!

I had a hard time with the fact that this book was a copy cat version of The Bachelor. I LOVE The Bachelor, and it's counterpart, The Bachelorette (and no, you aren't allowed to judge that I enjoy crappy TV.) To me, there will never be another show like the Bachelor that will ever match up, so to have a book that is very similar to The Bachelor kind of bothered me a bit. I will admit that having the lovey dovey atmosphere like The Bachelor in a book did lighten the mood of the story. I think that if there had been no romantic aspect, the book would have been way too dark and dull.

The world the story was built in was a no-go for me also. Nothing about the world was really explained, and when they were explained very few made sense. I understood the caste system, but really it was like every other caste in every other dystopian book. Nothing really stood out or was very special.

Now we get to America Singer who, ironically, is a singer. Haha. Very creative. She wasn't really all that interesting to get to know. She never did anything special, she was whiny and immature, and just blah. Quite honestly, I think the supporting characters may have been more interesting than America, as horrible as that sounds. The only character I really had a connection with was Maxon. LOVED him! He was sweet and charming and so naive, which I loved. I was totally on his side of the love triangle!

Oh, did I forget to mention that there is a love triangle? So before America got accepted for the Selection, she had this jerk of a boyfriend named Aspen. What a tool he was. America was involved in this secret relationship with him and thought she would live the rest of her life with him. She thought wrong. He dumped her and she got on on with her life at the Palace. But then he had the balls to approach her at the palace months later and ask for her back. Now you see why I hate him? Desperate boys make terrible books.

Then the ending. I don't know how it is possible to screw up an ending, but it happened. Endings are supposed to leave you wanting more, make you want to continue reading, die of excitement for the next book. Yeah, not happening for me. The book ended so oddly. Mrs. Cass, you do know the point of a selection is to actually, you know, SELECT SOMEONE! I guess she is just trying to continue on into the next book, but it could have been done better.

But you know, once I got over all of that mush I actually really enjoyed the story. It was quick and light (for a dystopian).  There was enough romance and conflict to make the story interesting. And, I love the princess after her prince storyline. I still think you should try it out, because it seems that everyone either loves it or hates it. I just happened to be the one oddball that was inbetween.

Overall, I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved the concept, but the story fell flat due to static characters, shoddy world-building and the odd ending. I am going to continue with the series, but just because I do need occasional fluff and I still want to find out who ultimately wins.

I will be giving The Selection 3 stars.

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