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Sunday, February 28, 2010

In My Mailbox *27*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.

For Review:
They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney
Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
Connection by Jo Ramsey
Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
White Cat by Holly Black
City of Cannibals by Ricki Thompson
Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Nailed by Jennifer Laurens (for Around the World Tours)
Falling for Romeo by Jennifer Laurens (not pictured) (for Around the World Tours)
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly (for Around the World Tours)

None! I wasn't able to go anywhere that wasn't my work or the grocery store this week! And I was so itching to buy one, so I think sometime this week, I am so buying a book or two!

That's what was in my mailbox this week, what did you get in yours?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Books I Crave *10*

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 Goodreads, unless noted otherwise*
*All of these have been released*

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

What's the worst thing you've ever done?

When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault. 

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far... and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge - and over...

Heist Society by Ally Carter
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history.

The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap

Murder and lovefrom the halls of Vienna’s imperial family to a perilous gypsy camp
Amid the glamour of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy’s court in 18th-century Vienna, murder is afoot. Or so fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is convinced when her musician father turns up dead on Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing, and the only clue to his death a strange gold pendant around his neck. Then her father’s mentor, the acclaimed composer Franz Joseph Haydn, helps her through a difficult time by making her his copyist and giving her insight in to her father’s secret life. It’s there that Theresa begins to uncover a trail of blackmail and extortion, even as she discovers honor—and the possibility of a first, tentative love. Thrumming with the weeping strains of violins, as well as danger and deception, this is an engrossing tale of murder, romance, and music that readers will find hard to forget.

Austenland by Shannon Hale
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

*I know last week I said Books I Crave was going to be a bi-weekly even for a while and that still stands, but I was super busy this week and didn't get anything posted except my contest, so I thought you guys deserved something special :)

For more information on Books I Crave and how to join in, click here .

Monday, February 22, 2010

Contest: Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Win a Signed copy of Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus!

Ever wonder what it’s like to literally be on the receiving end of Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River?"  Or, any of Taylor Swift's songs, like "Forever and Always?"  Well, look no further.

Kate Hollis's ex-boyfriend's face plasters newsstands and TV, the Internet, and the multiplex. Jake Sharpe is one of the biggest recording stars on the planet, and every song he's famous for is about Kate. For over a decade his soundtrack has chased her -- from the gym to the supermarket, from the dentist's office to the bars. Now thirty-year-old Kate gets the call that Jake has finally landed back in their Vermont hometown for an MTV special. The moment she has been waiting for has arrived.

On the eve of their prom, Jake Sharpe vanished, resurfacing when his song "Losing" -- about his and Kate's first sexual experience -- shot to the top of the Billboard charts. And the hits kept coming, each more personal than the one before.

Now Kate gets her chance to confront Jake and reclaim her past. But after eleven years of enduring protracted and far-from-private heartbreak, everyone in Kate's life has a stake in how this plays out. Kate must risk betraying the friends Jake abandoned, the bandmates whose songs he plundered, and her own parents, who fear this will dredge up a shared past more painful than any of them want to acknowledge. But after getting the call in the dead of night and jumping on a plane, can she turn back now?

Dedication actually came out in 2007, but now it has been repackaged in a awesome new paperback cover that was voted on by readers! To be released March 2, 2010, this is your chance to win a signed copy!

Official information:
*Fill out the form below.
*Must be 13 years or older.
*Contest ends on Tuesday, March 2, 2010.
*Open to U.S. residents only.

Thanks to Atria Books for supplying the novel for this contest! Keep checking back for my review of Dedication and an interview with Emma and Nicola!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Books I Crave *9*

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*
*All of these have been released*

Dawn by Kevin Brooks

Dawn Bundy lives in a cave. In her head. Where's she's been hiding for two years. Hiding behind headphones. From the two hottest girls at school, in their impossibly short skirts and unbearably tight tops, their skin close enough to touch. Not talking to her mother, not about what matters. Not thinking of her dad, the drug addict, the ex-con, born-again but far gone. Two years is a long time. Enough for the cave to grow so small that her breath feels like stone in her throat. Two years is no time at all. Nowhere near enough to forget. To pretend that nothing happened. Deep one perfect morning.

The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols

Brace yourself for the battle of the exes....
Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized breakup. Now the two are "just friends," excluding the occasional flirtation.

When Hayden wins the girls' division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn't have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick's bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden's and the boys on Nick's, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated -- and they might end up igniting some old flames.

Hazel by Julie Hearn

Hazel Louise Mull-Dare has a good life, but it's so dull. With an adoring father who grants her every wish, a place in the Kensington School for the Daughters of Gentlemen, and no pressure to excel in anything whatsoever, her future looks primly predictable.

But on the day of the Epsom Derby -- June 4, 1913 -- everything changes. A woman in a dark coat steps in front of the king's horse, in protest at the injustice of denying women the vote. She dies days later, bringing further attention to the suffragist cause. Young Hazel is transfixed. And when her bold new friend Gloria convinces her to take on the cause, Hazel gets her first taste of rebellion.

But doing so leads her into greater trouble than she could have ever imagined. Such great trouble that she is banished from London, all the way to where her family fortune originates -- a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. There Hazel is forced to confront the dark secrets of her family -- secrets that have festered, and a shame that lingers on.

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff

What’s worse than being fat your freshman year?
Being fat your sophomore year.

Life used to be so simple for Andrew Zansky–hang with the Model UN guys, avoid gym class, and eat and eat and eat. He’s used to not fitting in: into his family, his sports-crazed school, or his size 48 pants.

But not anymore. Andrew just met April, the new girl at school and the instant love of his life! He wants to find a way to win her over, but how? When O. Douglas, the heartthrob quarterback and high-school legend, saves him from getting beaten up by the school bully, Andrew sees his chance to get in with the football squad.

Is it possible to reinvent yourself in the middle of high school? Andrew is willing to try. But he’s going to have to make some changes. Fast.

Can a funny fat kid be friends with a football superstar? Can he win over the Girl of his Dreams? Can he find a way to get his mom and dad back together?

How far should you go to be the person you really want to be?

Andrew is about to find out.

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Four teenagers, Jena, Skye, Owen, and Dakota, come together and cross paths during a vacation in the Caribbean. A quarter of the book is devoted to each teen's perspective. Jena tells about her feelings of inferiority when around beautiful Skye, the daughter of her mother's best friend. Skye wants to figure out the truth about her father and the suicidal depression that turns her away from auditioning for even one more film. Dakota drinks, is sexually pushy with girls, and deals with his girlfriend's death in a car accident when she was with another guy. Owen, Dakota's younger brother, hides his insecurity behind the safety of his blog and general computer nerdiness. All four lives become "tangled" together while at the resort and after they reach home, and the way the tangles twist and unfold allows these teens to discover their true selves and find personal satisfaction. Mackler expertly creates believable characters, plots, and settings. The teens are good people who have obstacles to overcome and problems to face. Whether realizing it directly or not, they help one another because of their chance relationships.

*I am now making Books I Crave a bi-weekly meme. It takes a lot of work to put it together and I am getting ready to start moving, so I won't have a ton of time for a while, but once I'm moved and settled I will probably go back to doing it weekly.

For more information on Books I Crave and how to join in, click here .

Friday, February 19, 2010

Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony

Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony
Release Date: May 13, 2010
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 3

Molly lives in a world very different from the one you and I have come to know. And that is not because she lives it Canada. It’s because she lives in 2041 and after the Collapse, which left the entire world in financial peril.

Molly and her family live on a small island, an island that was able to recover quite well after the Collapse, one that’s small and quaint; one where family is the most important thing you’ve got. When the island doctor is killed in a freak accident and Molly’s grandmother in the United States is feared to be dead, it’s up to the 16-year-old Molly to make back to the U.S., find her ex-doctor grandfather and bring him back to the island before her pregnant mother gives birth.

The way the world is described, I would be terrified! It’s a totally different kind of world than we live in today. The economy has totally collapsed, there’s no oil, the government is in ruins, and most of the large cities are ran by The Organization (basically, the mob). There’s little actual money anymore, the economy is mostly made up of the barter system, and occasionally gold. That is all so very odd to me, but that’s also a very different world than the one I live in, and the one you live in.

Technology has of course advanced…A LOT. Like there’s CyberSpeak (an advanced version of Skype), most cars that are left are electric, and there’s a number of other kind of awesome contraptions that would be totally useful (weightless trailers that can be pulled on a bicycle, anyone?). At times it doesn't really feel like technology is all that advanced because transportation has gone back to trains and bicycles, but the downfall of cars and the like really didn't have anything to do with technology as much as it was because the government had taken over the oil supply.

Armed with only her fiddle, feisty attitude, and a good sense of the land, Molly heads to America. With the help of a few friendly strangers, Molly’s adventure takes her right where she needs to be, but can she make it home alive?

There’s some really strong characters in Joëlle Anthony’s debut novel. I found Molly to be an adoring sort of person; she’s smart and relatable in a sense. Spill is that sweet guy with the tough outer shell that I was dying to see more of. Grandpa, while rough at first, had the warmest heart and was absolutely hilarious at times. They were all strong, well developed characters, and I totally adore that.

But I did have a few concerns. Molly has got to be the luckiest character in dystopian literature history! Every predicament she got into, she got out of generally unscathed and in about two seconds, talk about unlikely and after a while, very predictable. The bad guys weren’t bad enough. There were plenty of bad guys, but they were either seriously stupid or way too soft, and this should have been a story where the bad guys were really bad. I really wanted more action too. Molly spent so much time doing ordinary, mundane things and I was hoping for more adventure and action in this excitingly, dangerous world.

While it did have its flaws, there were things I thoroughly enjoyed. I love how Molly risks it all, including her life, for the attempt to save her family. I love how caring she is; even towards those she barely knows (i.e. Brandy and Michael). Watching her relationships with those around her grow is also a major treat, and totally refreshing to see, since a lot of what we see are broken families and unhealthy relationships. It was nice and moving to see a different kind of relationship between characters, after a while seeing nothing but dysfunctional people can get tiring.

Despite the setting, I didn’t really find Restoring Harmony to be as much a dystopian novel, as I saw it to be more about family and relationships. And that’s not completely a bad thing, although I was disappointed since I was expecting something more of a dystopian adventure. At its roots, Restoring Harmony was a fairly enjoyable story, but don’t go into it expecting to be shocked and scared by their dystopia.

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

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Complete History of Why I Hate Her by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

The Complete History of Why I Hate Her by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Release Date: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Antheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 3

Nola wants nothing more than to escape for the summer. Escape her life in Boston and escape her life with her younger sister, Song, who’s battling cancer. Nola decides the best way to make that escape is to take a waitressing job at Rocky Cove Inn, an upscale resort on the Maine coast (I think I would take a job there!).

It’s not like Nola doesn’t love her sister, it’s just that she wants to have a chance to live her life by her own rules. She wants to make her own choices and make them without having to worry about Song or about hospitals or anything other than herself.

So Nola heads off to the Maine coast, and on her journey she meets Carly. Carly is the perfect companion, she’s fun, energetic, spontaneous, and full of ideas (who wouldn’t want a friend like that?). Nola and Carly become fast friends, and start spending all kinds of time together. But Nola soon finds that Carly isn’t at all who she seems.

Carly turns out to be more complex than Nola originally thought, and not in a good way. Carly shows a different side, a more twisted side that seems to turn on Nola in the blink of an eye. She turns everything into a rivalry, from their time together to romantic interests, she causes drama where there shouldn’t be any, and while her actions can be subtle, they’re strong. At first Nola thinks she can handle it, but soon she finds that handling Carly isn’t going to be that simple, or even forgettable.

At first I was a bit wary of this book because I had heard some not so great things about it, but I figured its short (it’s under 200 pages) and so it wouldn’t take that long to read. But I’m actually glad I read it.

I think it was a bit lacking in character development, but there’s a reason for that. It would have super hard for Nola to lose herself to Carly if either one had actually been strong characters. You can’t steal someone’s personality if they already have a strong sense of self. But I for one, thought I had a pretty good sense of who Nola was, even if she didn’t.

But I’m not saying that there wasn’t any character depth at all or anything. Nola was a sweet, hard-working, sensible girl, who just wanted to break out of her life and her shell and make her own choices for once. It was sometimes hard to see such a character fall prey to Carly’s charm.

Along the way we meet a cast of pretty interesting supporting characters. None of them are very established, but you do get to meet a few that are quite endearing. I would have liked to see more from Annie, Kevin, and Nigel especially, but I don’t really think they were supposed to be very prominent.

The Complete History of Why I Hate Her (wow, it’s a mouth full!), is a pretty good story of friendship, family, and finding yourself. It touches on quite a few issues, even if only for a moment and that saved it for me. I don’t think it’s a great story because there could have been more to it, but I think it’s definitely a good story that deserves a shot.

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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

In My Mailbox *26*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.

So I've been a bad blogger. I keep forgetting that it's Saturday and therefore, I forget to do In My Mailbox! I know, how could I forget? I have no clue! But anyways! Onto this week's goodies! And there's a special treat in the second picture! His name is Luka, and that is his precious head.

For review:
Dear Big V by Ellen W. Leroe (for Around the World Tours
My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (for 1 ARC Tours)
Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel (not pictured) (for 1 ARC Tours)

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz (from Penultimate Page)

Silver is for Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz (from Penultimate Page)
White is for Magic by Laurie Faria Stolarz (from Penultimate Page)
Red is for Remembrance by Laurie Faria Stolarz (from Penultimate Page)
Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (from Laina Has Too Much Spare Time)
Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg (from Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf)
$150 Visa Gift Card from Elizabeth! (from Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf)

Steamed by Katie MacAlister

So that's what was in my mailbox these last two weeks, what did you get in yours?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter

The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 4

Have you ever read a story where it felt like you were actually part of the characters lives? The Snowball Effect is one of those kinds of stories, and Lainey Pike is one of those kinds of characters.

Eighteen year old Lainey is your somewhat typical jaded teenage girl, except she has bigger issues to deal with. Her stepfather died in a motorcycle crash, her grandmother died shortly after that, and her mother fully lost it and hanged herself in their basement…two days after her high school graduation.

Sounds like a lot to deal with, right? Well, there’s more…Her mother left behind another child, Lainey’s brother, Collin, is five years old and has sever behavioral problems, and now there’s someone else to add to their dysfunctional family, Vallery, Lainey’s long gone older sister. Vallery hasn’t been in Lainey’s life since she was a very young child, and Vallery never even knew Collin existed, until now. And now, Vallery is back and in charge of Collin, but not willingly and definitely not patiently.

To add to everything else in Lainey’s already chaotic life, there’s Riley, her adorably sweet boyfriend, who wants them to move in together and start a life of their own. But now that Vallery is back and they’re sharing the responsibility of Collin and for everything else, Lainey has way more to deal with than she ever has.

Now, Lainey has to get to know Vallery all over again, and get Collin to not only behave, but behave for Vallery and come to trust her. Then there’s the task of trying to find a way to forgive her mother for being mentally absent and leaving her. But how easy can it be to make peace with a dead woman?

There was so much about The Snowball Effect that I absolutely adored and it’s hard to know where to start! Lainey is one of those characters that is so easy to relate to. She’s frustrated with her siblings and her job, she has her friends and relationships to deal with, and it’s all complicated.

Holly Nicole Hoxter has an adorable hit on her hands. The story did tend to jump around a bit, but it made up for that with it’s realistic look at a teenager’s way of coping, while trying to move on and improve their life, plus dealing with whatever else life throws their way. Then there’s Riley, whom I absolutely adored! He’s kind and sweet and totally loves Lainey, no matter how she treats him. Talk about a fantastic boyfriend! There’s also the relationship that Lainey, Collin, and Vallery forge with one another, and I found it to be realistic and beautiful.

But there’s more to The Snowball Effect than the story itself. Hoxter’s writing flows so beautifully, and she has a talent that few writers have. There are few writers that have the ability to take an incredibly sad situation, such as the loss of a loved one, and make it so hilarious, yet moving. This is an author that I not only look forward to reading more from, but I also know will go far.

Watch out for Holly Nicole Hoxter, she’s a talented author and an awesome storyteller. The Snowball Effect actually reminded me somewhat of a Sarah Dessen novel, and that is always a good thing! I definitely recommended this to all teens, and adults, that enjoy a good, realistic, entertaining story.

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

Friday, February 5, 2010

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 5

Nimira is a trouser girl, which is basically a girl who sings and dances for pennies in front of drunk, unruly men. Nimira is beautiful, exotic, and in her country she would be revered for her profession, but not here. Here she is treated like someone lowly, someone not worth the time of the wealthy.

Nimira has always dreamed of walking away from this life, of becoming more than a trouser girl. And when Hollin Parry walked into her life, everything changes. Hollin hires Nimira to sing with a piano playing automaton (thank god for the game Syberia, or I wouldn’t have known what an automaton even was!), an automaton that is rumored to be haunted and has already scared off more than a few other girls in the past.

There’s something about the mysterious automaton that draws Nimira in, and with good reason. In reality, the automaton contains the spirit of the long lost fairy prince, Erris, and that’s not the only secret that Nimira stumbles upon.

Hollin lives in a world of secrets. Scary secrets. Secrets that have been long hidden, there’s the rumors of ghosts, demons, witches, and a group of sorcerers that torture fairies for sport and are on the cusp of starting a fairy war. This wasn’t exactly the world Nimira imagined when she left with Hollin.

I must start by saying that I absolutely adore the characters! Nimira brings this perfect mixture of strength, knowledge, and innocence. Hollin almost constantly toes the line between a villain and a hero, but he’s still a totally fascinating character; flawed, yet noble. Erris is charming and sincere; he’s strong, even without a “voice.” Then there’s the little used Linza, she’s that raw youth, the purity of being naïve, but still knowing.

What makes Magic Under Glass so encapsulating isn’t only the characters, it’s also the world that Jaclyn Dolamore has created around these characters. It’s beautiful, magical, mysterious, and dangerous all rolled into one. All you need is romance and you’ve got a fabulous story that will keep you occupied for hours, and Jaclyn Dolamore totally delivers.

Nimira’s voice is strong and her situation made her compelling, it was easy to care for her. All I wanted was for her to find the safety and security that she desired. The relationship between her and Erris was this beautiful, Romeo & Juliet-esque romance. It’s the kind of story that a hopeless romantic (such as myself) will adore. And there’s even beauty in the relationship that Nimira and Hollin have, even in all its complexity.

It almost felt as if Magic Under Glass was too short, at least for me. I wanted more time with Nimira, Hollin, and Erris, I wanted more time in their world. The ending seemed like it was abrupt and came out of nowhere. But there was also the impression that it was setting up a sequel. I hope there will be a sequel, and if there is, I will be first in line to read it. This is definitely a story I need to know what happens and I must know where Nimira and Erris’ journey takes them next.

Plot: 4
Writing: 4
Characters: 5
Ending: 3
*Cover: 5
I received this book as part of Around the World Tours.

*This rating is based purely on the image itself. I know all about the controversy with the cover of Magic Under Glass, and while I do not think what Bloomsbury did (again) was right, I do like the image. I think it's a very beautiful image. And this rating also applies to the new cover, which I think is absolutely GORGEOUS!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday *18*

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!

So yes, it's another Tenner book, and as I said before, you better get used to it for a while, because there are some awesome books coming from new authors this year. And Josh Berk is one of them! If you don't believe me, then check him out on Twitter and see for yourself!

The Dark Days of Hamburger Haplin by Josh Berk
Release: February 9, 2010

From GoodReads:

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
Release Date: February 4, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 5

Tessa Crimson (awesome name, right?) is more than just the captain of Washington High’s cheerleading squad. She’s also the leader of S.O.S (Society of Smitten Kittens), the cheerleader’s club that catches cheating boyfriends in the act, with evidence!

Lucky for Tessa, she has Aiden. Aiden is the perfect boyfriend, he’s sweet, kind, gorgeous, and totally loves her (I so want an Aiden!). He’s not just the perfect, he’s “strawberry-smoothie purrfect” (there’s a ton of adorable kitty references), there’s just the matter that Tessa has been hiding her covert operations from Aiden for the past two years.

But now Aiden’s wising up and becoming a bit impatient with Tessa constantly being busy. Because of the busyness with more cases, Tessa doesn’t really take notice of Aiden’s frustrations. But The Naughty List is maxed out and every single suspect has been caught, every single one of them has cheated.

Then new girl, Chloe Ferril, shows up and she’s very different from Tessa. She’s provocative and crude and seems to have her sights set directly on the most unattainable guy in school, Aiden. Tessa knows that this is one girl that isn’t going to retract her claws until she hooks them into Aiden.

Tessa has never worried about her and Aiden’s “strawberry-smoothie purrfect” relationship, until his name shows up on The Naughty List. Now Tessa must investigate the one person she never considered to be as naughty as the other. Did Aiden betray her or are the still as “strawberry-smoothie purrfect” as she thought them to be?

If there’s one thing that is “strawberry-smoothie purrfect,” it’s The Naughty List! I fell so in love with Tessa, Aiden, Kira, and Leona that I didn’t want to see this story end. I love how Tessa doesn’t cuss and so she improvises with phrases like “Jingle Bells!” “Shake and bake!” and my personal favorite, ”Peanut butter sandwiches!”

Kira had some of the most reasonable advice out of them all, even though she seems to be a couple of kittens short of a litter most of the time. But Tessa would totally have to be my favorite. She’s adorable and hilarious, and despite her flaws, she has the sincerest of intentions.

Of course there’s always got to be the practical voice of reason and the one to keep organized, and that would be where Leona comes in. Leona is so funny! She tends to be the one to say exactly what Tessa is thinking, but won’t say herself because it’s un-kitten-like. Leona is that girl that doesn’t give a care what anyone says, she’s just going to say whatever she wants…I love that!

Of course I can’t forget Aiden. He’s sweet and adorable and the epitome of the dream boyfriend! He’s so supportive and patient (at least way more that I would be), at least for a long time. I mean, how many guys want and like painting their girlfriend’s toenails? But even the most perfect couples have their flaws.

The writing is fantastic and the story is uniquely adorable. It’s fun and quick and purrfect for any kitties out there that want to curl up with a fantastic story for a few hours. Summer better hurry, because I need the sequel, So Many Boys, like yesterday!

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