Monday, November 29, 2010

Coming Soon: CSN Stores Review!


As you guys may know, I absolutely LOVE (in big bold, capital letters) CSN Stores. I can spend hours on end going through all 200+ stores they have, and find everything from a new stool to stuff for my kitty to stuff that I just plain don't really need, but totally want.
Who's cat wouldn't want to play on this?!?
So pretty!!

CSNStores.com has so many different things at such affordable prices that it's hard pick just one thing. I was recently contacted to review another one of their awesome products. I've already spent forever going through their sites and I think I've got it narrowed down a little bit. I was thinking a new bookcase was in order, but saying that I can't really fit another one and I've still got one I need to put together, that idea went out the window. But I was able to think of something I do really need...

See, I love to sew. I find it to be something fun and really relaxing, but my sewing machine is one that my grandmother gave me and so you can probably guess it's a little on the older side. So I'm thinking about putting it towards a new sewing machine or maybe a serger, if I can swing it.

I'm still looking and trying to decide what I want, but look for a review coming soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Walker Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Overall: 4


Blood Feud picks up just under two weeks after Hearts at Stake ended, and the Drake family has had a lot to deal with. All the vampire tribes are beginning to assemble and treaties are being made now that Lady Natasha is gone and the courts are preparing for Helena’s coronation. With the state that Lady Natasha left things between the tribes, this means all kinds of cleaning up for Liam and Helena to do, and that doesn’t take into consideration the state the caves and the farmhouse were both left in. That just means that the Solange, Lucy, and the Drake brothers have quite a journey ahead of them.


We meet Isabeau St. Croix (kind of weird, but totally cool name, right?). Isabeau is a Hound, which means she is part of the tribe of vampires that Montmartre created and basically left for dead. The catch is, Montmartre didn’t change Isabeau, his lieutenant, Greyhaven, did somewhere around 200 years ago. Isabeau has spent years waiting until she could get revenge on Greyhaven, and for all intents and purposes she still plans to do so, until she meets Logan Drake.


Now she must join forces with the Drakes’ and fight against the common enemy, Montmartre, who’s still after Solange, the crown, and the power both would bring him. Logan shows Isabeau that not all vampires, outside of the Hounds, are as bad as she seems to think, and that she doesn’t have to be so guarded all the time. But can Isabeau’s quest for revenge survive when it’s all over with? Will Logan be able to show her that there is more to life than living for revenge?


I was so excited to revisit the Drake family and Lucy of course. When I first learned that Blood Feud wouldn’t be from Lucy and Solange’s voices I was a bit disappointed, but since I was going to hear from Logan and this new, interesting, Isabeau I decided it would be alright. And it pretty much was. First, I must admit, I totally missed Lucy. But Logan, while not being as reckless and funny as Lucy, filled a different void, since I did adore him in Hearts at Stake.


Isabeau is a very interesting character, with an even more interesting past. Her voice isn’t as prominent as I would have thought it would be seeing as she is a totally fierce character, but they can’t all be Lucy. Sprinkled throughout are these chapters that are memories from Isabeau’s past and those take you back into the 1700s and are pretty neat, although the French sprinkled throughout was not as fun for me since I don’t know French. Oh, and just a tip, the French word “merde” is used a lot, and finally I looked it up…just so you know, it means “crap”.


I loved Logan’s voice. He’s funny and kind of sarcastic and a bit insane, but so are all the Drakes and so I love it, and it was a nice balance against the guardedness and proper way Isabeau’s voice was. I really enjoyed the romance between Logan and Isabeau that you could see coming before they ever met, but I didn’t like the fact that Blood Feud covers a matter of days, and you don’t really fall in love over only a few days. It just so doesn’t work like that, and while I know that a lot happened between them in those few days, and that it was obviously in the cards for them, it just was a bit unrealistic (an yes, I’m totally aware that it is a vampire novel and so realistic in the first place).


In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy Blood Feud quite as much as I did Hearts at Stake, but I did find it totally enjoyable and I’m still looking forward to the next story in The Drake Chronicles. I have a feeling that the sequels are going to continue in the same way, the common link will be one of the Drake brothers, but the voice will change. I am totally okay with that, as long as there is somewhat of a check in on the previous brothers and they’re counterparts.


Blood Feud carried over all the action and humor from Hearts at Stake, but for me the romance and the pacing faltered a bit. Maybe I’m totally missing Lucy and just wanted more from her. She didn’t even get to break a single nose! Although I have decided that I may just have to add all seven of the Drake brothers to my list of fictional crushes if they are as charming and cute as Nicholas and Logan. Alyxandra Harvey knows how to write a good story and she’s got a great cast of characters to do it with. I can’t wait for the next adventure that the Drake family (and their friends) take me on.


Plot:4
Writing: 4
Characters: 4
Ending: 4
Cover: 3
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I received this book as part of Around the World Tours.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Credit: Photobucket
The title and picture of this post says a lot about what this post is about. The past couple of months have been an off and messed up time for me here at the blog. There's been a lot going on at home and that's just not left much time or motivation for my beloved subscribers, but that's going to change.


Just a few short updates and I'll get to the point, but you guys know how much I love going off on my tangents and whatnot...


As most of you know, my year started off pretty rocky, and I really hadn't fully recovered from that, but throw in my best friend of about 8 years moving to the other side of the country, moving myself, my sister being sick, and my mother having another major surgery, I'm sure you can all understand or at least grasp why I've been all messed up. Last Thursday I took another hit...


Sassy and Batman...she loved to snuggle...
We lost Sassy. Another one of our babies. She became sick earlier last week and at first we just thought it was a bug, but since it didn't pass we were going to take her to the vet. But before we could, she left us. It was very unexpected, and has left us all completely heartbroken, even our other babies are in mourning (this does include the cat). They understand even less than we do and it breaks my heart even more to see them so sad and there's nothing I can do to make them understand why she's gone...


Anyways, now that I've managed to thoroughly depress you all and made myself cry...again....I'm going to get on with it. On top of that, my sister, now dubbed "Typhoid Mary," managed to spread the bug from hell throughout the house. I imagine something along the lines of the picture below running rampant on my immune system...


Credit: Suniedlite on Photobucket
Anyways, she's infected us all and it's made for a very icky couple of weeks in my house with five lovely people sick, but regardless of all of that. I have been reading (at least a little), and I do have some stuff planned and that plan includes me being back! Things might be a little slow for the next couple weeks as I get back in the swing of things and play catch up, but I'll get there.


Thanks for bearing with me, and I will have something special for you guys in the coming weeks!


XOXO


Samantha LeAnne

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CSN makes me giddy!

Awesomeness at it's finest

I recently received another email from my wonderful CSN Stores contact! Come to find out, I'm lucky enough to be one of their CSN Preferred Webmasters!!! This makes me happy for an unlimited amount of reasons because that's good news for me, and also good news for you guys!

If you've been living under a rock for the past few months, CSN Stores sells all kinds of stuff, from bedroom furniture sets to lamps to shoes...oh man they have some great shoes...

But anyways! Keep watch for another exciting product review from me for CSN Stores!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CSN Product Review


A few weeks ago I told you guys about an upcoming review on a product for CSN Stores. As I told you guys before, I chose a Hobby Table. Well...my table arrived!!

I placed my order on a Friday, it shipped the following Monday and was here by Wednesday! That is super quick in terms of processing, shipping, and delivery.



The parts and pieces were all packaged well and they were all wrapped and sorted and NUMBERED! I loved that fact and the fact the there were thorough instructions that included a picture chart with the pictures and numbers or each part an piece. Despite there being like 500 little pieces, it was pretty easy to put together. I love putting things together, and so I put the whole thing together on my own, and it only took me about an hour, maybe a hour and a half. Which is actually not bad, because as you'll see in the final picture, it was a pretty good sized table and weighs somewhere in the ballpark of 40 lbs or so.

The finished product:
Once I finished the table and stool (which came with it!), and got it adjusted, I moved it in front of the living room window (only temporary). In the picture the table and drawers are empty, but that's because I haven't moved my sewing machine yet. I do know it's sturdy though, I tested it out with a box of books that weighs somewhere around 25 lbs and it didn't even wiggle or anything of the sort!

I absolutely love my Hobby Table, and so does my sister who has already decided that we have to share it so she can draw at it, and my dad has commented about using it too! I think this was the smartest thing I've bought in a long while and the quality is fantastic. 

I will definitely be shopping through CSN Stores again. They have great prices, quality products, and quick service and that makes me not only want to return, but also recommend them to others! Plus with all their stores, you can find almost anything you want!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Question: Book Summaries

HUH? Pictures, Images and Photos


Do you prefer summaries written by the reviewer or taken from other sources such as GoodReads, Amazon, etc?

Last night I was trying to write some reviews, and I was having some issues. As you know, I write my own summaries and I always have, but sometimes there are just some books that I just can't seem to summarize myself. Sequels are generally damn near impossible and then there are just some books that no matter how hard I try or how much I loved them, I just can't seem to summarize. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the subject of book summaries in reviews.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments! Thanks!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Upcoming Review: Hobby Table from CSN Stores!!

The other morning I awoke to the surprise of an email from the wonderfully generous people over at CSN Stores with an offer to review one of their products.


Now if you haven't heard of CSN Stores, they are a fabulous company that has 200+ stores and carries everything from lights to massage chairs to espresso machines to shoes to pet furniture. I scoured their stores for HOURS today and finally settled on one thing (and trust me, it was not easy). A few things that I really liked, that I either couldn't afford, or just didn't make the cut were:

          Pet Bookcase Climber Saunder                                    King Chair Bean Bag Bed

But what I did chose is something that I think is totally awesome! I chose this:

I'm not much of a drawer, but I do like to sew and I think this table will be perfect for my sewing machine. And as an even bigger plus, my sister who is a drawer, will be able to make use of it too, along with my mother who likes to work with mosaics. So this is something that even my family will be able to make use of!

So keep on the lookout for a review in the next couple of weeks! And check out CSNStores.com, they've got just about everything! Including stuff you probably didn't even think about...and a lot of it has free shipping!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Twilight Contest Alert!

Today, by the help of Eleni at La Femme Readers, I discovered this adorable blog called Once Upon a Review which is ran by Khelsea (awesome spelling, right?) who is 19 and just started in our little community of YA bloggers last month. Not only does Khelsea have a great voice, but she also has a thing for the white mochas at Starbucks, and since those are just YUM! I already like her :P

Anyways! She is holding a contest for some awesome Twilight bookends and a copy of the new The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner! Sounds awesome, huh? Well check out her blog and go enter her contest here!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Yes, Very Awesom

The lovely Jennifer Laurens is holding another contest on her blog (she does this pretty much constantly!) Jennifer is the author of Heavenly and the sequel Penitence (among numerous other great books). Check out the trailers below and leave me a comment telling me what you think!

Heavenly


Penitence

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In My Mailbox *30*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.
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Review:
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (for Around the World Tours)
Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham (for Around the World Tours)
Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell (signed)

Won:
Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke (signed) (from High School Flashback giveaway!)

Swag:
Notepad, bookmark, and a glow pen from Jen Nadol (The Mark) (from High School Flashback giveaway!)

Tote bag, stickers, bookmarks, and bracelets from Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder) (from High School Flashback giveaway!)

Glass slipper bookmark from Kay Cassidy (The Cinderella Society) (from High School Flashback giveaway!)

Bookmark for Prophecy of Days from Christy Raedeke (signed) (from High School Flashback giveaway!) 

Flip flop notepad, pencil, and bookmark from Jennifer Laurens (Heavenly)

Bookplate, bookmarks, and temporary tattoos from Kimberly Pauley (Sucks to Be Me)

Sneak peek and bookmark for The Karma Club from Jessica Brody (The Karma Club)

Stickers and bookmarks for The Body Finder. Sticker, bookmark, temporary tattoo, pin for Forget-Her-Nots. Sticker for The Dead-Tossed Waves. From Addicted 2 Novels.


So that's what was in my mailbox, what did you get in yours?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In My Mailbox *29*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.
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Hey guys! This week I got some totally awesome stuff, at least I think it's totally awesome :P And instead of rambling on, I'm going to get right to it! And as always, I would love to know what you think! Have you read any of them, did you like them, are they one's you're interested it?

For Review:
Vexation by Elicia Clegg
The Pack by L.M. Preston
Racing the Dark by Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Burning City by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Bought:
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater Rhodes

So that's what was in my mailbox, what did you get in yours?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Overall: 4

Lani and Erin have been friends for as they can remember. They’ve done everything together, from Girl Scouts to driving, to surviving high school. Jason is Erin’s boyfriend, and Erin thinks they’re perfect together. The thing is Fate has other plans for Jason and Erin, plans that include Jason being with Lani.

Lani and Erin have always had very different tastes in everything from boys and pizza to hanging out. Lani is laid back and more on her own, while Erin is outgoing and likes being the center of attention. But there’s two things that have always bonded the girls; one being their obsession with Fate and everything surrounding it, the other being the accident.

As soon as Lani meets Jason, there’s this instant connection that everyone around them seems to notice, everyone except Erin of course. Lani and Jason have this unworldly, crazy amount of things in common (I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything they have in common). Erin encourages them to hang out, even just the two of them; she trusts her best friend and thinks it’s great they get along so well.

When school ends and Erin goes away to camp for the summer, Lani tries to avoid Jason to no avail. Once they start hanging out, Jason breaks up with Erin and there’s no stopping what happens nest when Fate is playing the game. Lani and Jason start their relationship; keeping it hidden from everyone they know, for the simple reason of wanting to be the ones to tell Erin the truth.

Of course things are never as simple as they should be, there’s always the “girl code” and that says that you can’t date your friends ex, but does that really matter if Fate is involved and if they’re soul mates? It shouldn’t, but this is high school, and a YA novel, so of course it matters! When Erin finds out the truth, she’s furious. She does everything she can to hurt Lani and ostracizes her in the process.

I know some people haven’t liked Something Like Fate because they’ve read other Susane Colasanti novels, but this is my first one and I really enjoyed it. I found Lani to be really smart and have a strong voice, at least when it came to everyone except Erin. With Erin, Lani became a total pushover and would become a doormat or a scared puppy in the corner. Erin is one of those girls that you want to like and that you’ll be civil to, but someone you could never really stand to be around for that long.

My favorite character had to be Blake, Lani and Erin’s other friend that is totally adorable and hilarious. He’s the logical, eyes wide open kind of friend, he reminds me a lot of my own best friend. He’s so hilarious too, I love the opening scene between him and Lani; it amuses me so much. Jason is super sweet and way more sensitive and mature than any of the guys I knew in high school. Although, I must call his maturity into question when he knows he has feelings for his girlfriend’s best friend and stays with her, waiting until the worst possible time to break up with her.

I really loved Lani and Jason’s relationship. They cared for each other in a way that most people only dream about, they are the definition of soul mates, in a sense. Despite their situation, they had this very pure, innocent kind of relationship and that is very endearing to me. On the other hand, I could stand Erin. I tried, I mean I really tried to like her even a little, but I just couldn’t. She’s mean and self-centered and actually a total…witch. Every time she spoke to Lani, it was like she was talking down to her and it grated on my nerves to no end.

I really liked Something Like Fate, I think it’s a great story and it’s made me move the other Susane Colasanti novels I have higher on my TBR pile. For the most part I liked the characters and the story flows so well, I can’t wait to read more from her.

Plot: 4
Writing: 5
Characters: 4
Ending: 4
Cover: 5
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I received this book as part of Around the World Tours.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Overall: Photobucket


Drea isn’t your typical teenage girl, she’s logical, literal, and isn’t clouded by the normal emotions that seem to haunt most teenagers. Drea see’s the world in black and white; there aren’t those gray areas that the rest of us deal in. For her things either are or aren’t, there’s no in between, and she doesn’t understand why nobody else sees life the way she does.

Drea has Asperger’s Syndrome and because of her diagnosis, Drea just wants to be normal, she’s tired of going to shrinks, she’s tired of being ignored, she’s tired of being held back by her AS. You know those times when you came home crying because of something some boy or girl said or did to you? Drea would give anything for that moment, even though you would rather pretend it never happened. When Drea moves to a new town, she meets Naomi, her neighbor, and everything changes for Drea.

Drea and Naomi become instant friends. Naomi doesn’t know about Drea’s AS and there’s no way Drea will tell her, she wants to be thought of as normal or at least somewhat normal. When she starts school, Drea meets Justin; he’s cute and instantly drawn to Drea and what he sees as quirky behavior. The thing Drea doesn’t want to admit is that she’s drawn to him too. With her new found friends, they assemble a band, and through that connection you watch as the characters mature and fit with one another.

It’s been almost impossible for me to write this review. Usually I give more details, but with this one, Tara Kelly made it impossible! I found myself having to be extremely vague describing this book to people without giving anything away, but there are a few things I can tell you. One being that this is exactly what debut novels are made of! It’s emotional through and through, the characters are amazing in every sense of the word, and the story is just…wow.

I felt as if I was right there with the characters, I felt like I knew them. You see these characters grow and change through each chapter, you feel what they feel. Tara Kelly has done a truly amazing job in character development, to the point that I was left stunned! The plot flows beautifully, and the story is totally captivating. There were times when I was sitting there grinning ear-to-ear, staring at the pages and the scenes that had just played out. There were also the parts that left me sitting there, jaw dropped, eyes wide and burning as I tried not to cry.

Tara Kelly has written one of the best debut novels I’ve read in a long time and she’s done it with a poise and style that I a dying to see again. Harmonic Feedback is a story that holds a lot of weight, it’s an emotional tale with heavy content, and she handled that in way that just blew my mind. Harmonic Feedback has everything you could want in a novel: love, hate, conflict, tragedy, pure happiness, amazing characters, a story that will blow your mind, and a beautiful cover, all in under 300 pages. I must not only applaud Ms. Kelly, but also beg her for another novel…like immediately!

Plot: Photobucket
Writing: Photobucket
Characters: Photobucket
Ending: Photobucket
Cover: Photobucket

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I received this book as part of Around the World Tours.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox *28*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
And I'm back! I know I took an unannounced hiatus of sorts for a bit, but I am back! And since it's been a while since I did an IMM, so this is a good one! Most of the stuff I got this past week too! I finally cashed in all my Amazon gift cards that I've been collecting and a Barnes & Noble one, and got some awesome stuff! So here we go!
 
 Bought:
Mortal Instruments Boxset (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass) by Cassandra Clare
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner
Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz
The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (I read and review this earlier this year and LOVED it, so I had to get me a nice pretty copy of my own! Read my review here.)
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Jane Austen: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics)
 
For Review
Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White (from BookDivas)
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (from BookDivas) (not pictured)
 
Won:
Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey (Thanks Beth!)
Need by Carrie Jones (from BookDivas)
Penitence by Jennifer Laurens (from Goodreads) (not pictured)
 
I'm missing a few review books in the list and picture, because they were tour books and are already gone (such as Sisters Red and Raised by Wolves), but look for those reviews coming!  You can read my Sisters Red review, here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Release Date: June 7, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Overall: Photobucket

If you’re a giggly, attractive young girl, then the last thing you should do is talk to that guy outside the club that’s cute and is paying so much attention to you. What you should do is get into a very large crowd of people and don’t leave with anyone, but to Scarlett March’s dismay, the world doesn’t work that way. Scarlett vows to protect her sister, Rosie, and the rest of the world from the dangers that lurk around every corner, and in every shadow…Fenris.

Scarlett has not only vowed to protect their small town and large cities from the Fenris, but she’s also vowed revenge on the Fenris that took her eye, when she was protecting her sister when they were kids. With Scarlett armed with a hatchet and Rosie with her knives, the girls use bright red cloaks and their feminine charm to lure and destroy any and all wolf that takes a step into their small town.

Rosie has always stood by her sister; she’s always had a bond with her sister that made them seem more like one heart, one soul, and not two separate people. But now, Rosie is starting to want more out of life than hunting Fenris. When Silas, a young woodsman and their lifelong friend, returns to town, Rosie is drawn to him in a way she never thought possible. The problem with that is, if she falls in love with Silas it means she’s betraying her sister and going against everything they’ve all spent their lives fighting for.

When I got my hands on Sisters Red, I could wait to tear into it because I just knew I was going to love it, but a couple of chapters in I found myself terrified of it. A few chapters later, I decided I could love it and be terrified of it, and that’s how I felt the entire time through. Jackson has created this world that isn’t so much different from ours, it’s just an addition on ours and that addition is werewolves that prey on unsuspecting girls.

Sisters Red is full of lust and desire, whether it’s got to do with wanting another person or prey, or just something more out of life than fear or revenge. Part of our story takes place in Atlanta, and once the sisters and Silas take off for the big city, to a seedy apartment to hunt the Fenris, they get more than they bargain for. They find that things aren’t always what they seem and that everyone has secrets, no matter how well you think you know them.

Jackson Pearce not only created a dangerous and sexy world, but she also told it in a way that didn’t lose its excitement. Sisters Red is told in alternating perspectives (or voices, as I prefer to call it), you hear from both Rosie and Scarlett and they are two of the strongest protagonists that I’ve read about in any piece of literature. The March sisters are two characters that aren’t easily forgotten and that leave a mark on your mind even when you’re done reading their story.

I adored Rosie and how compassionate and loving she is and how much she would rather hurt herself than even consider hurting her sister. Scarlett is beautiful in her own right and I think her scars and missing eye, make me love her as a character even more, plus she is just all kinds of kick ass!

Sisters Red is definitely one of my favorite books of the year and has me stalking Jackson’s Twitter and YouTube for even a mention of her companion novel, Sweetly. If werewolves aren’t normally your thing, give Sisters Red a shot, I promise it will change your mind! And to show you just how profound and totally awesome Scarlett is, I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes, and it pertains to not only the story, but also to life in general:

“No, this is not a mistake. This is a hard, and perhaps cruel, necessity.” (page 323, Sisters Red, ARC)

Plot: Photobucket
Writing: Photobucket
Characters: Photobucket
Ending: Photobucket
Cover: Photobucket
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I received this book as part of Around the World Tours.

Also, today happens to be Jackson's birthday, so don't forget to take a picture of you and your copy when you buy Sisters Red and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Seriously Bookish Awesomeness!

So the beautifully awesome creature that is Jackson Pearce (author of As You Wish and the upcoming Sisters Red) has posted another fantastic video on her YouTube channel. If you don't know about Jackson's YouTube channel, then you are totally missing something awesome. Anyways, here is the amazingness that Jackson has posted:
                                                                 
                       


I hope that awesomeness causes you to forgive my unannounced absence, but I moved and have been working like crazy, but I am going out of town this week for my mom's surgery and so I will have hours to sit in the hospital and get caught up on reviews and reading, so expect me to be back shortly!

<3

Friday, April 2, 2010

Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel

Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel
Release Date: October 30, 2009
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 152
Overall:  3

You know that one girl in school that has it all, looks, status, money, the whole package? That girl happens to be Tabby Freeman. She’s the “Queen Bee” (think Regina George…at least on the outside).

And we all also know that girl that was quiet, smart, and awkward, the one that just begged to be invisible. That would be Lora Froggett (with that last name I don’t know if she ever stood a chance). She’s that girl that is just trying to survive in the shark infested waters that is known as high school.

While these two girls live in totally separate worlds (and social circles), they have way more in common that they could have thought possible. Behind her perky smile, Tabby’s life is being shredded bit by bit into a million pieces; and Lora is simply trying to keep anyone and everyone from finding out the truth about her family.

Each of these girls is burying a secret that they want to stay a secret, and pain that they must keep hidden away from the world. Even though they are so different and have never really spoken to one another, fate has a plan to throw them together for all the right reasons.

Now it’s time for Tabby and Lora to wait for the dust to settle and pray that there’s no one else waiting when it does. But will the outcome of their revelations help them or hurt them in the end?

This isn’t your typical popular versus unpopular story. Girl on the Other Side is so much more. Lora was the most relatable character, at least for me. I think almost everyone can relate to getting picked on in school at some point. But I personally related more to the having a sick mother, a father that works all the time, and a household to take care of on top of school. It’s not easy and Deborah Kerbel portrayed the situation extremely well and accurately.

Although Lora was the most relatable for me, I was still able to relate to Tabby; especially the real Tabby and not the “Queen Bee,” society princess Tabby. I loved her relationship with her Nanny. It was sweet, pure, and unconditional, the way her parents should have been, but weren’t. I also like how Mrs. Kerbel portrayed how quickly Tabby’s peers and friends turned on her. How quickly you can go from being popular and loved, to being despised and tormented in high school.

I wish there had been more about some of the other characters we were introduced to, because there were quite a few. It felt as if you didn’t really get to know any of the other characters outside of Lora and Tabby. Even though both girls had relatable aspects, they were still fairly stereotypical in terms of clich├ęs.

While I did have my character issues, Kerbel made up for it in the plot. There is, of course, the school, popular versus unpopular issue, but the main aspect I loved was the family drama on both sides. That’s what really made Girl on the Other Side stand out for me. I think Girl on the Other Side is a good story, with a good message to it. It’s an extremely quick read and I wish it had been longer. I do recommend it for anyone who likes a good story, but I think the most beneficial audience would obviously be high school students.

Plot: 3
Writing: 4
Characters: 3
Ending: 3
Cover: 4
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I received this book as part of 1 ARC Tours.