Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox *20*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.

So last week I didn't do an IMM post because, well, I just didn't feel very good. So this week I added in the stuff I got last week :) And a couple of the books this week are for contests! So keep an eye out for those in the next couple of weeks or so!

For review:
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan (the movie tie in that includes the first three books in the series, it also had a locker mirror that's not pictured) (from Library Lounge Lizard)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (SIGNED!) (from the Beautiful Creatures blog)

A stack of Sea bookmarks and a magnet from Heidi R. Kling (They are so beautiful!)
A Beautiful Creatures sticker, 2 bracelets, a Charms lollipop (aka a Ridley pop), Red Hots, and Lemonheads. (also from the Beautiful Creatures contest)

Well, I didn't buy it, but my sister did for me, A nice pretty Edward bookmark! (I <3 it)

For Giveaways:
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Not pictured:
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate (for Around the World Tours)

So that's what was in my mailbox this week (and last), what was in yours?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Books I Crave *7*

This is a weekly meme, hosted here, that was inspired by Kristi over at The Story Siren and Jill over at Breaking the Spine, with help from Laina over at Laina Has Too Much Spare Time.

*All summaries are from Amazon, unless noted otherwise*

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby
Release: Out Now!

"If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am."

High-school junior Tola Riley has green hair, a nose ring, an attitude problem, and a fondness for fairy tales, which are a great escape from real life. Everyone thinks she's crazy; everyone says so. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He gets her paintings and lets her hang out in the art room during lonely lunch periods.

But then rumors start flying and Tola is suddenly the center of a scandal. The whole town is judging her—even her family. When Mr. Mymer is suspended for what everyone thinks is an affair, she has no choice but to break her silence. Fairy tales won't help her this time . . . so how can she tell the truth? And, more importantly, will anyone believe her?

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Release: Out Now!

When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.

Ex-mas by Kate Brian
Release: Out Now!

Two Exes. One holiday adventure.

Merry Ex-Mas?

Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.

Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau -- a.k.a. Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.

It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Release: Out Now
From Laurie's website:
Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.

Rough Magic by Caryl Cude Mullin
Release: Out Now!

Follow the interwoven stories of two girls and one woman, their lives all tied to the enigmatic figure of Caliban, the character first introduced by Shakespeare in The Tempest, his famous play of love, loyalty, and magic. Caliban is the strange, half-wild man Prospero and Miranda discovered on an island after being shipwrecked. Rough Magic forms both prequel and sequel, telling the stories of the sorceress Sycorax, Caliban's mother; Miranda's daughter Chiara, who becomes like a daughter to Caliban; and Calypso, a magical young woman with ties to them all. All three must fight against a world that sees magic as evil and uses women as political pawns. Finally, it is the island and its power that draws them all back, demanding amends from the humans who have exploited its natural wonders. A spellbinding story that combines an old-fashioned tale of dragons, shipwrecks, adventure, and sacrifice, with an inspiring message of the earth's power and our environmental responsibility.

Now, what books do you crave?If you would like to participate in this meme, just link back to me and leave the link to your post in the comments! You can find the specifics here!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday *15*

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly look at upcoming releases that we're excited about!

I'm not crazy about the feet on the cover, because I don't like feet (they gross me out and I think they're icky)! But this is Elizabeth Scott! Enough said!

by Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: April 6, 2010

From Elizabeth Scott's blog:
The Unwritten Rule is a story about a girl, Sarah, who falls for her best friend's boyfriend. As you can probably guess, things get really complicated really fast and The Unwritten Rule is about friendship and family and love and the agony of breaking that unwritten rule about falling for your friends' boyfriends (especially your best friend's boyfriend!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday *14*

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly look at upcoming releases that we're excited about!

If you can't tell I seem to have this extremely excited energy for The Tenner's books. They all look and sound so amazing and the authors are all so awesome (at least the one's I've talked to on Twitter have been :P), I just can't help it! So this is another Tenner book that has an awesome cover and a story that sounds even better!

The Mark
by Jen Nadol
Release Date: January 19, 2010

From Jen's website:
Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.

The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her?

Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Amanda Project: Invisible i by Stella Lennon

The Amanda Project: Invisible i by Stella Lennon & Melissa Kantor
September 22, 2009
Category: YA-Mystery
Overall: 4 Star

Amanda Valentino is not your typical high school student. She’s mysterious and eccentric, and on top of her “I don’t give a damn what you think” attitude, she’s also the new girl at Endeavor High School. And as anyone who’s ever been a freshman at a new high school or a “new kid” in any grade knows it’s never easy. Although Amanda makes it seem not only easy, but also fun if you can imagine that.

Our narrator, Callie, is part of the “I girls” which consist of your typical, yet true to life “mean girls,” but Callie isn’t as much like her “friends” as they think she is. Callie is compassionate and real, she doesn’t have the perfect life and she’s not the happy-go-lucky girl that her schoolmates think she is. Really, the only friend she has is Amanda, her mother disappeared, and her father has decided to drink his way through their wine cellar because he believes his wife has left him.

Everything continues to work like clockwork until one morning Callie is summoned to the ever annoying and rude Vice Principal, Mr. Thornhill, and is told that she and the two other people that have been summoned to his office are in trouble for something that Amanda has done (I love the car! Just saying!) and unless they tell him where she is, they will be punished. As Callie looks at two people she’s not friends with and is convinced that neither is Amanda, she begins to wonder more and more, “Where is Amanda?”

The other two people involved are Hal and Nia. Neither are in Callie’s circle of friends, and neither are people she particularly wants in her circle, but there’s something about the connection to Amanda that they share that just might bring them together. Despite the petty differences and the typical high school girl style remarks and looks Callie and Nia give one another, it’s fairly easy to see where this is leading. They will be friends, even if it’s just to find out what has happened to Amanda.

I would have preferred to know more about Amanda than her penchant for wigs, wild attire, and a few minor details, but I still found her to be my favorite character. I don’t think characters were mentioned in this story by mistake, I think each character has their role or at least will in one of the seven sequels planned for The Amanda Project. I also think Mr. Thornhill plays a bigger role in Callie’s life than she realizes, but in all my years of soap operas and living in fictional worlds where anything is possible, I think I know where he’ll play in (and I think older teens and adults may realize it too).

Overall, I found it to be a good start to a teen mystery. It’s a book that’s not all about sex, drugs, or violence and while I’m definitely no prude, I find that totally refreshing. Invisible i is a fun, fairly quick read. It’s totally cute and has some really fun art throughout the book (although I have the ARC and it’s missing a bunch of it, there was still some that was great) [I have now seen the finished copy, and it's got some totally awesome artwork now, like seriously]. I wish there had been more answers by the end; it did leave me curious about where this series is going and I will be back in July 2010 to find out!

Plus, there’s a pretty cool interactive website attached to The Amanda Project, in which you can share your opinions, theories, and artwork about what happened to Amanda. There’s also a shop to buy some cool stuff inspired by Amanda and some The Amanda Project gear (I love the cute little buttons). If you’re looking for a cute, light mystery then it’s something you should check it out. Middle grade girls would totally love it, and fans of Mean Girls (Lindsay Lohan/Rachel McAdams movie that almost all of us know and most love) would probably enjoy it too!

Plot: 4 Star
Writing: 3 Star
Characters: 3 Star
Ending: 4 Star
Cover: 4 Star

I received this book for review by Book Divas.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In My Mailbox *19*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.

This week I got quite a bit. Some of which I bought...okay most of which I bought. But either way I still got fun stuff! I also went to a local charity book sale and bought this big box of books, and I will do a post about that later in the week including a list and pictures and everything. I also got some stuff that I already have, but will do giveaways with after we get moved, because right now doing them when we are trying to buy a house would just be a bit hard. But onto the breakdown!

For review:
The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter (for 1 ARC Tours)

Not really a book, but book related...a Secret Society Initiation kit from Tom Dolby! It's pretty awesome! (If you haven't read the book yet, you should!)

Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (I already have a paperback copy, but this one is hardback!)
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
Silent Echoes by Carla Jablonski
Thicker Than Water by Carla Jablonski
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle
Are You Alone on Purpose by Nancy Werlin

All of the books I bought came out of the bargain books on Books-A-Million's website and with free shipping and a $5 coupon code I found, it made them pretty cheap. They have a TON of books in bargain books!

I also got these really cool magnetic bookmarks that are just seriously awesome and don't move or fall out and they're brightly colored, so they're easy to see! I <3 style="font-family:arial;">So that's what was in my mailbox, what did you get in yours?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Books I Crave *6*

This is a weekly meme, hosted here, that was inspired by Kristi over at The Story Siren and Jill over at Breaking the Spine, with help from Laina over at Laina Has Too Much Spare Time.

*All summaries are from Amazon, unless noted otherwise*

This week is a special edition of Books I Crave. This weeks books are all part of series. Whether they are the first or the fourth, they are one of a series.

Splendor: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen
Release: Out Now!

New beginnings.

Shocking revelations.

Unexpected endings.

A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

Betrayals: A Strange Angels Novel by Lili St. Crow
Release: November 17, 2009

She’s no angel . . .

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England School for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem— she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?

Evermore: The Immortals by Alyson Noel
Release: Out Now

From Goodreads: Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Release: Out Now!

If you had the power to kill with your bare hands, what would you do with it?

Graceling takes readers inside the world of Katsa, a warrior-girl in her late teens with one blue eye and one green eye. This gives her haunting beauty, but also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—swimming, storytelling, dancing. Katsa's Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight (and kill, if she wanted to) is unequaled in the seven kingdoms. Forced to act as a henchman for a manipulative king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power.

Combining elements of fantasy and romance, Cashore skillfully portrays the confusion, discovery, and angst that smart, strong-willed girls experience as they creep toward adulthood. Katsa wrestles with questions of freedom, truth, and knowing when to rely on a friend for help. This is no small task for an angry girl who had eschewed friendships (with the exception of one cousin that she trusts) for her more ready skills of self-reliance, hunting, and fighting. Katsa also comes to know the real power of her Grace and the nature of Graces in general: they are not always what they appear to be.

Graceling is the first book in a series, and Kristin Cashore’s first work of fiction. It sets up a vivid world with engaging characters that readers will certainly look forward to following beyond the last chapter of this book.

Wake by Lisa McMann
Release: Out Now!

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

Now, what books do you crave?If you would like to participate in this meme, just link back to me and leave the link to your post in the comments! You can find the specifics here!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Release: September 15, 2009
Category: YA- Paranormal
Overall: 3 Star

I've always wondered what it would be like to be friends with a ghost, and in Megan Crewe's debut novel, Give Up the Ghost, that's exactly what Cass McKenna prefers. Cass prefers to be friends with ghosts instead of "breathers," which is the name given to the living. Ghosts are simple, uncomplicated, dependable, and most of all they see and hear everything.

These little facts are what helps Cass become the most feared person in her high school. She knows everyone's dirty little secrets and has made it her mission in life to expose those secrets, or to at least hold them over people to get them to do what she wants. Whether it's being a modern day Robin Hood of sorts and protecting someone from the people that are taking advantage of them, or just getting revenge on the people that have treated her badly, the secrets always come out and Cass is the one to help them along.

This is not your typical ghost story. It's fun; light, spunky, and even has a few moments that could possibly break your heart. Within Cass' role as the school's Robin Hood of secrets, for lack of a better description, Cass catches the attention of Tim, the student council vice president and all around popular guy. He discovers her secret, and he doesn't want to expose her secret, he wants her to use it to contact his mother who recently passed away.

After Cass reluctantly agrees to help Tim and in this process she becomes more and more involved in Tim's life and comes to find that maybe the living aren't as bad as she thought they were. She also finds that maybe that picture perfect guy she started to help is more messed up and needs her help more than she would have ever thought.

I adored the ghosts; they were so funny and quirky, while most of the human character seemed to be more abrasive and uncooperative with the story. I think character development should have been focused on more, I mean aside from Cass, Tim, and Norris (a ghost); I can't really remember anyone else's names. I did love Megan's writing style though, it flowed nicely and Give Up the Ghost was a pretty quick read for that reason.

I found the ending to be quite unsatisfying, but it did leave it open where there could possibly be more adventures with Cass and Tim. And I hope that's the case. I would love to see more from the two of them and see where things go.

Overall, I thought it was a good story, and totally not scary like most ghost stories. I can't wait to see more from Megan, and I can't wait to see where her writing goes from here. If you're looking for a cute, quick read that's light and fun, then you should totally check out Give Up the Ghost. It fits all those things and more. Plus, like most debut authors this year, it has an amazing cover! It's so cute and totally reflects the story at hand.

Plot: 3 Star
Writing: 4 Star
Characters: 3 Star
Ending: 3 Star
Cover: 4 Star

I received this book as a part of 1 ARC Tours