Saturday, February 26, 2011

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley


Summary (from book):

It’s hard not to notice Terra Cooper.


She’s tall blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people is her unmistakably “flawed” face. Terra secretly plans to leave her small, stifling town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob’s path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?




Review:


On one of my many trips to the bookstore, I decided to pick up North of Beautiful one day. I had heard a little about the book and it had only been good things. The cover and the summary caught my attention and I figured “why not?” With this decision I ended up reading a wonderful story that stayed with me long after it was over.


Until you look at her face, you would think that Terra has the perfect body. But then you get to her face and realize she has a red-stained birthmark that covers her cheek. Terra’s been plagued by this “imperfection” her entire life trying everything to get rid of it or to cover it up. But then she meets Jacob and everything starts to change. Terra’s whole life is turned upside down, with all these changes going on around her. It’s during a trip to China that everything really changes. There, and with the help of Jacob and their mothers, Terra starts to think of herself and her birthmark differently. And with all that, everyone has a new understanding of what it means to be beautiful.


I didn’t really know what to expect from this book. The synopsis didn’t really reveal much but it still made it sound like an interesting story. To be honest, it didn’t end up being anything like I expected. Terra’s situation was anything but easy. What originally just seemed to be an issue about physical appearance ends up being a life in an abusive household. Once I realized who Terra’s father was, I was able to better understand her and why she strived for perfection and wanted to leave her small town in the North West. Despite the abusive situation which you would think would be everything the story is about but it somehow circles back to image and physical appearance. In the end, it’s a story about finding your own inner and outer beauty and learning to accept yourself.


I absolutely loved seeing all the different relationships evolve and develop. Almost from the beginning I could see that the relationship between Jacob and Terra was going to go somewhere. Even though Terra seemed to be stuck on her boyfriend, I could tell that she really cared about Jacob and Jacob really cared about her. The relationship I loved seeing the most was the one between Terra and her mother. She went from being embarrassed and feeling sorry for her mother to being proud of her and wanting nothing but the best for her. And of course the relationship between the two mothers just had me laughing most of the time, the dynamic between the two of them was just too funny. Everyone grew and learned to accept themselves and each other.


North of Beautiful was a story about beauty, inner and outer, and about learning to accept yourself in spite of all the imperfections that are a part of life. Justina Chen Headley wrote a story that really got me thinking about all those moments when I doubt myself and realized that those are part of what makes me who I am.


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Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (31) & Follow Friday (23)

It's Friday so it means it's time for the Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday!


Book Blogger Hop


First off, the Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer of Crazy-for-Books. It is a way for all the book bloggers out there to get together and find out about each other's blogs. I've found a lot of great blogs and bloggers through this hop and it's always fun to take part in each week.


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:


DO YOU EVER WISH YOU WOULD HAVE NAMED YOUR BLOG SOMETHING DIFFERENT?


Sometimes I do sometimes I don't. For the greater majority of the time I love it. Plus I live in a world of books so the name is appropriate in that sense. Anyways, if I were to change it I have no idea what I would even change it to.





The Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View each week. It works a lot like the Book Blogger Hop except that it's only on Fridays. I haven't been taking part in this hop as long but I've found a lot of great new blogs through this one too.


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:


SHARE YOUR CURRENT FAVE TELEVISION SHOW! TELL US A BIT ABOUT IT...


I watch A LOT of TV, probably more than I really should but I can't seem to stop. What doesn't help is that most of the shows I watch tend to last a while so they don't get replaced by new ones. New ones just get added to the list. But as far as favorite goes I would have to say One Tree Hill. I've been watching it since the very beginning and I'll be sad when it ends (supposedly) after this season. It had its highs and lows but right now it really good (at least according to me). Basically the show revolves around the lives of characters who lives in the town of Tree Hill, North Carolina. When it started it out, the main characters were in high school but now they're adults with families of their own.



That's it for this week!


Enjoy your weekends!


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (18)

For those of you that don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.

THIS WEEK'S PICK
EVERLASTING BY ALYSON NOËL
The sixth and final installment of the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. Ever and Damen have spent centuries facing down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears-all in the hope of being together forever. Now in Everlasting, their destiny is finally within reach.

Will they be united-or torn apart forever?

Readers will finally discover the truth in this anxiously awaited conclusion!

I absolutely love Alyson Noël's The Immortals series and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. I'm really excited for the release of the final book.

Everlasting by Alyson Noël will be published June 7, 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Vyne by Daniel Walls & Giveaway

Summary (from book):

Asher Meadows has a secret--one he’s so terrified of, he calls it his curse. For as long as he can remember he has possessed unexplainable, supernatural abilities. And for sixteen years he has kept them hidden. But when an elusive girl named Scar enters his village, Asher’s life is forever transformed.


Bound by mutual despair, the teens plot to run away together. However, when a sacred medallion finds its way into Asher’s hands, they soon learn that running is not an option, it’s imperative. In the wake of discovering the medallion, Asher is thrust into the pursuit of a legendary treasure, believed to possess an incredible power--the antidote for saving the world from foretold doom. Yet, for reasons Asher can’t understand, the key to unlocking this power lies with the very mystery of his curse.


Hunted by seething pirates bent on intercepting the medallion, Asher begins to realize that Scar has secrets of her own; she is not the girl he thought she was. Time is running out as he struggles to find the strength to let go of his feelings for her and summon the courage to embrace his destiny--a destiny that could save the world, but cost him everything...


Review:


Fantasy doesn’t tend to be my cup of tea but the premise for The Vyne sounded really interesting, plus it was mixed with steampunk which I really like. After having read this book I won’t go so far as to say that fantasy has now become my cup of tea but I may now be a little more open to the genre.


Ash has never really had an easy life. He has spent most of his time on his father’s boat trying not to get in his father’s way for fear of what he might do to him. The thing about ash is that a “curse” has plagued him for the entirety of his life. And as of late this curse seems to be intensifying with Ash discovering he has powers he never even know about. While all of this is taking place, things are changing in Ash’s fishing town and no one seems to really know why. They only common thread is Scar, the mysterious girl that Ash found when he was out on the boat one day. Now everything in Ash’s life is changing and as he soon finds out, there may be more to his past than he ever knew.


Before I say anything on the characters, let me just say that here is a whole slew of them. Honestly, if you name it, it’s there in the book as far as I know. Often, what really makes a story for me is the characters so I struggled a little with this book at first. All I wanted was to know more about Ash and Scar and it took a while for me to get what I wanted. Both characters had a lot to them, more than I thought there would ever be. As for the slew of other characters, there were some good ones, some bad ones, ones that annoyed me and some that made me want to through the book against the wall amongst others. Despite the fact that I’m not usually one for character heavy books, it was an interesting change of pace for someone like me.


Essentially, this book is very much driven by the plot. At first, I had a lot of trouble piecing everything together, all the story lines I was reading just didn’t seem to fit together. That is, until everything sort of came together. At which point things started to pick up and I started enjoying the book more. From that point on, it was one adventure after the other for Scar and Ash. And at the same time, the two characters started really developing and then I was able to really truly enjoy the book. Trust me, if you like action and plot twists you will have more than you possibly could have ever wished for.


Overall, The Vyne was a great read, it wasn’t light or fast but enjoyable all the same. If you’re up for trying something new like I was, you should pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed.




Giveaway!


I have one copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader. If you want to be entered to win, fill out the form below. Comments are appreciated but they won't get you entered in the giveaway.


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (17)


For those of you that don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.

THIS WEEK'S PICK
LOVE STORY BY JENNIFER ECHOLS
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW.

Erin Blackwell is headed to college in New York City to study creative writing and earn aliving as a romance novelist. Her grandmother has other plans: she approves of the college, but she wants Erin to major in business and then come back home to Kentucky to run the family’s famous racehorse farm. There is no way Erin will agree. Studying in New York and writing her way into a career is her escape from the farm and the family tragedy that happened there. So Erin’s grandmother decides Erin really will live life as a starving artist. She takes Erin’s future job running the farm, her inheritance, even her college tuition, and gives them all to Hunter Allen.

Hunter has lived on the farm for years. He’s Erin’s age, he’s the stable boy, and he’s the romantic dream of every girl in her high school. But he was involved in the family tragedy. Erin has always given him a wide berth. And he’s a slick opportunist. She’s furious that he fooled her grandmother into giving him Erin’s birthright and sending him to Erin’s college.

At least she’s free of him in her creative writing class. So she pens a story that has haunted her lately, in which the horse farm heiress at the very first Kentucky Derby starts a forbidden affair with the lowly stable boy. Unfortunately for her, the day she’s sharing this story with her New York classmates, Hunter walks in. He’s switching to her class. And after reading about himself in Erin’s story, he writes his own sexy assignments that lure Erin into dangerous fantasies about what could have been between them, and what might be.


I absolutely loved both Going Too Far and Forget You. Both books were great and I love the love stories that Jennifer Echols creates. I can't wait to see what she came up with in Love Story.

Love Story by Jennifer Echols will be published July 19, 2011 by MTV Books.


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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer



Summary (from book):

Calla Tor has always know her destiny:


After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heat, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?





Review:


With the publicity campaign it got, it was almost impossible for me not have heard about Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. There was a lot of hype about the book and because of that I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations but it didn’t disappoint. Plus the book is all about wolves, so what’s not to love about it?


Calla has always known what her future would look like. When she turns 18 she’s going to marry Ren and then their two packs are going to come together and form a new one. As that day comes closer, Calla has come to terms with this idea and the two packs are starting to get closer, especially Calla and Ren. But then Shay arrives in town and everything seems to change. Now Calla starts doubting what everyone has been telling her for her entire life. Everything she has always believed in is now being challenged and Calla now has to choose between marrying Ren and following her destiny or giving up everything she knows and following Shay.


I’ve read my fair share of stories about wolves but never one quite like this one. Most of the time the wolves have to hide what they are and tend to live on the outside of societies. Here, the wolves and their leaders are the ones with the power and humans live in fear of them. It was unlike the other wolf stories I’ve read and I absolutely loved it! Cremer created a whole societal structure that actually works and doesn’t at all seem out of place in the modern world. I loved learning all about the inner workings of that society and seeing how all these lies were woven into it. It was just interesting to see how everything fell apart while at the same time it all fit together.


The workings of the pack were also interesting to learn about. It was almost like each pack was a family, despite them all being teenagers. The dynamics there were also interesting; even though they’re all friends, none of the wolves dared go against what Ren and Calla said. The budding relationship between Calla and Ren was fun to watch develop. Despite the front he put up, Ren seemed to really care about Calla, which became really obvious when her relationship with Shay started developing. The one I loved seeing the most, was the relationship between Bryn and Ansel. It was just so cute and I want them to have it all. But who knows what’s going to happen? As far as Team Ren and Team Shay goes, I’ll have to get back to you on that one, I haven’t made my mind up yet.


Nightshade was an awesome read. Andrea Cremer created a world and a story that stays with ou even once it’s over. I would never have guessed that this was Cremer’s first book, she is a phenomenal writer. Now I can’t wait to find out what happens next in Wolfsbane.


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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (30) & Follow Friday (22)

It's Friday so it means it's time for the Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday!


Book Blogger Hop


First off, the Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer of Crazy-for-Books. It is a way for all the book bloggers out there to get together and find out about each other's blogs. I've found a lot of great blogs and bloggers through this hop and it's always fun to take part in each week.


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:


TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR POSTS FROM THIS WEEK AND GIVE US A LINK SO WE CAN READ IT (REVIEW OR OTHERWISE)!


This week has been a bit of a slow week but I'm in the middle of midterms so I had to focus on school more. But if you want to check out my review of Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman, feel free to do so. This is a British title and I don't know that it's out in North America. Malorie Blackman is a fantastic author and I definitely recommend you check her out.





The Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View each week. It works a lot like the Book Blogger Hop except that it's only on Fridays. I haven't been taking part in this hop as long but I've found a lot of great new blogs through this one too.


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ROMANCE HERO-TYPE? STEREOTYPE WISE. DO YOU LIKE THE STRONG SILENT TYPE OR THE BRUTE MACHO MAN?


I tend to fall really easily for the bad guy types in most of what I read...either that or the silent brooding type. I really don't know why. However those aren't really the types of guys I go for in real life.



UPDATE:


I only have one more week of classes and then I'm off for a week for reading week. And after that I really only have a month of classes left before exams. So this year went by fast. I plan on catching up on my reading during that week off, it is called READING week after all (granted I'm supposed to do school work too). Since January I haven't really read all that much which makes me kind of sad but I fully plan to rectify that come reading week.



That's it for this week!


Enjoy your weekends!


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (16)



I haven't done a Waiting on Wednesday post in a while so I decided that this week I would do one. For those of you that don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.

THIS WEEK'S PICK:
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

There has yet to be a summary released for the book. What we know so far is that the story will follow Sydney, an alchemist Rose met during her travels in Russia, and that it will take place in a Californian high school as opposed to the school from Vampire Academy. The girl on the cover is Sydney and as for her male companion, Richelle Mead has said on Twitter that he is the one guy who was left hanging at the end of Last Sacrifice...so I'm thinking Adrian. If it is him, I will be very happy.

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead is published by Razorbill and is hitting shelves August 23rd, 2011.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman





Summary (from book):

You’re waiting for the postman--he’s bringing your exam results. University, a career as a journalist...a glittering future lies ahead. But when the doorbell rings, it’s your old girlfriend; and she’s carrying a baby...your baby.


She’s had enough and now it’s your turn.


What would you do?






Review:


I had first discovered author Malorie Blackman some years ago with her Noughts and Crosses series. I had loved those books so when I saw Boys Don’t Cry at the bookstore, I couldn’t resist picking it up. Plus the premise sounded great. A single teenage father, I don’t read about those too often. I wasn’t disappointed by this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.


Dante had his whole life planned out. He would get his exam results, go to university to study journalism and then have a career as a reporter. But while waiting for the mail and his exams results, Dante’s ex-girlfriend shows up with baby Emma, claiming that she is Dante’s daughter. And then she leaves, letting Dante deal with everything baby related. Now that his life has been turned completely upside down, Dante has to figure out what to do with his life, and most importantly how to be a good father to Emma.


Like I’ve said, you rarely get to read about teenage fathers so it was really interesting to read about Dante and see him change and evolve. He basically went from a state of denial to loving Emma unconditionally. Even though at first I would get annoyed with his attitude towards being a father, I also found that my heart was breaking for him at the same time. Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done had I found myself in Dante’s position at the end of high school. I can be pretty selfish sometimes so I don’t know that I would have been able to give it all up like Dante did. All that to say that I loved seeing Dante change, grow and come to accept his new role as a father. By the end of the book I was pretty much in love with Dante.


Rarely do I read books where all the main characters are guys. Dante’s father and his brother Adam were really great. You sort of expect most parents to freak out and get angry when they find out their teenager had a baby, but it’s not what happened here. Sure Dante’s father freaked out a little but then he took control of the situation and made sure everything would be all right. I particularly liked seeing him when he was acting like a stereotypical grandfather completely spoiling his granddaughter. My heart goes out to Adam though. He really didn’t have things easy and his family wasn’t the first to be supportive about him being gay. I just wanted him to be happy and get what he wanted and I totally felt his pain.


Malorie Blackman writes books that deal with rather controversial subjects. The Noughts and Crosses series took place in a world where the blacks rule and the whites are inferior. Boys Don’t Cry deals with teen pregnancy which isn’t something I’ve read about in a lot of books, much less cases that focus on a teen father as opposed to a teen mother. Despite the subject being controversial, you can read the book without really realizing that it’s all that controversial. Boys Don’t Cry is a book like many others that you can read and enjoy but it will also get you thinking about all the teenagers that actually go through all this every day. And even then, that’s only one of the many issues that are addressed in this book.


Overall, Boys Don’t Cry was a wonderful novel and allowed me to fall in love with Malorie Blackman’s writing all over again. If you haven’t read anything by this author, I strongly recommend that you go and pick up one of her books. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


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Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (29) & Follow Friday (21)

It's Friday so it means it's time for the Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday!


Book Blogger Hop


First off, the Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer of Crazy-for-Books. It is a way for all the book bloggers out there to get together and find out about each other's blogs. I've found a lot of great blogs and bloggers through this hop and it's always fun to take part in each week.


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:


WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW AND WHY ARE YOU READING IT?


Right now I'm currently reading The Vyne by Daniel Walls. I'm part of the blog tour for this book and have already interviewed the author on the blog and I have a review coming up for it in a week. I've also just started reading The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes. This one isn't a YA title but I needed something different to read and so far it's pretty good.





The Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View each week. It works a lot like the Book Blogger Hop except that it's only on Fridays. I haven't been taking part in this hop as long but I've found a lot of great new blogs through this one too.


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:


WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY "PUSHING"?


I don't know that I'm pushing a particular book. A lot of people around me aren't all that into reading or are to busy with school to read anything other than textbooks. So I guess you could say I'm pushing reading in general and particularly YA books just because they are so much better than people tend to think.



That's it for this week!


Enjoy your weekends!


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