Friday, January 28, 2011
I haven't done one of these in forever, but honestly I miss answering the questions and reading everyone's answers.
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jenn at Crazy for Books. Stop by to join in the blasty blast.
This week’s Hop question is: What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?
If you asked me this three days ago, the answer would be Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr. I've since read it and uh... yeah. Let's just say the anticipation was highly deserved. FABULOUS. You should pre-order it. Like now. Other than that, I do believe that my most highly anticipated book for the remainder of 2011 would be Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready. It's the sequel to last year's HEARTBREAKER, Shade. I want it bad. I'm dying to find out what's going on with Zachary/Aura/Logan.
Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.
Follow Friday's question is: What is/was your favorite subject in school?
EASY. Show Choir. I love to sing and I can dance when I'm drunk or it's choreographed, so it's a win-win situation. Also, did I mention the sequined dresses? Those were there, too. I only ever sang two solos, "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and "A Moment Like This" by Kelly Clarkson... but I loved it, even if my knees were shaking the entire time I was singing. Speaking of singing, have you iPhone users downloaded La Di Da and become rockstars yet? DO IT!
And, because I love you guys so much and I'm trying to force my musical influences upon you, here is an awesome song that is making my day wonderful. Jason Reeves is an extremely talented singer/songwriter (you may recognize as the harmony guy on Colbie Caillat's "Realize?") Here he is, singing a beautiful, spiteful breakup song about a scandalous ex. Really, heartbreak results in the best kinds of songs.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Published: HarperTeen (February 22, 2011)
Series: This is the fifth and final book in the Wicked Lovely series.
Source: I received this ARC as a gift from Tara at Hobbitsies.
Spoiler Warning: There will be very minor spoilers for the previous four books in the Wicked Lovely series.
GoodReads Summary: The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.
The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.
My Thoughts: All right, my readers. Brace yourself. This one's gonna be a doozy. And it's gonna be mostly serious, because I am so ridiculously astounded and in love with the end of this series. I don't quite know what Melissa Marr's opinion of the tale of Humpty Dumpty may be, but she seems to be quite efficient in providing the push for that "great fall." The king's horses and the king's men stand absolutely NO CHANCE of quickly putting me back together again after this one.
Ms. Marr is, if nothing else, a weaver of beautiful webs. I'll be honest: when I picked up Wicked Lovely a little over a year ago, I was completely intimidated by the intelligent prose and the wide variety of creatures and characters within the book. The author does not talk down to her readers, but rather compels you to do a little research of your own on these wondrous fey creatures. I had no idea what a Bananach or a Gancanaugh was, but with each subsequent book, I've understood more. Darkest Mercy focuses on the collective whole of each character's tale from the previous four books.
The character development that's taken place throughout the four books is put on grand display in Darkest Mercy. There are so many conflicts: one large, omnious problem at hand with smaller ones interspersed throughout the cast. This could've potentially been confusing, but Marr's transition from one point of view to the next was flawless. I have such an unspeakable amount of love for all the characters. There are great, GREAT losses, people. You know that feeling where all the blood drains from your face and you have to double take a sentence because you want to be absolutely sure that's what you just read? That happened like, 56 times. In like, 30 minutes. Aislinn is no longer the weak, uncertain mortal she was in Wicked Lovely. Niall is no longer the careful, calculating creature he had been in Ink Exchange (and with good reason.) Irial is no longer the embodiment of evil, but shows a softer side (...with a smidgeon of the embodiment of evil.) And Bananach... well, she's still War. And what a fabulously written villain she is. Melissa Marr can do good, she can do evil, SHE DOES IT ALL. Even the characters that I didn't have much feeling toward became beloved with this book.
The gradual buildup has finally reached its climax and OH MY GOD. It was physically painful to put this down. There was not ever a dull moment. EVER. I read every single word carefully, because there was no need for paragraph skimming or skipping. Every detail is golden and necessary. I actually snuck away from my cubicle at work to hide out in the bathroom so I could finish a chapter before my break was over--DON'T TELL MY BOSS. I didn't know how the massive amount of characters would all be given closure in only 336 pages. I didn't know how, after all of the heart-smashing that Marr did with her bare fist, I could possibly stumble upon an ending that didn't make me hurt--like I said, there were so many terrible losses that made me catch my breath a few times--but this ending was the most perfect way for this series of beautiful, incredible books to bow out.
I cried a lot last night at 2:00am when I finished. Tears of happiness and sadness and because I feel like I'm missing a part of my heart now. IT'S THE END OF AN ERA. Series are difficult to bring to a close. There's always something that just isn't quite right or doesn't sit well with me. I can honestly say that I have no qualms or complaints. This is, by far, the best end to a series that I've ever, EVER read. If I ever meet Melissa Marr, I hope she doesn't think I'm strange when I hug her and thank her.
You guys. Please. Go buy these books. Pre-order this one. Yes, they're confusing at times. Yes, you probably won't have much of an idea what many of the characters are, nor their roles, at first. But the end result is so beautiful and makes perfect sense. Each book builds upon the epicness of the last and in the end, there is sacrifice and there is pain. It's like trying to solve a mystery and each book is yet another mind-boggling discovery. I'm still so happy and so sad... and I want to read them all over again, because there's bound to be something new with every single re-read.
Yep. This one's imprinted on my soul forever and is not only my favorite Fey series of all time but probably the best series I've ever read.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.
How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
I saw this delicious looking morsel on several IMMs over the weekend and I MUST HAVE IT. First off, I had a awesome Greek mythology teacher in high school. She was just about the coolest and always wore like, 8 sweaters. Do I remember much about the class or the lectures themselves? Heck no! But I'd like to do so. Plus, this cover is just so gawgeous that I won't mind parading it around with me. That's right, I will allow this book its dignity and take it fully clothed into public.
By the way... hallucinations of blood-weepy ladies? BAM. Count me in. That is effing creepy.
Also, STAR-CROSSED LOVERS?
And you guys, let's not even delude ourselves into thinking that star-crossed lovers are on the outs in YA. I'm pretty sure they're always going to be around. Honestly, I'm cool with that. Star-crossed lovers make my heart ache, if they're well written. I'm hoping Ms. Angelini has brought her A-game with this one, because I'm in the mood for some good old-fashioned angst.
AND it's almost 500 pages long, which can either go very well or very not-so-well. As for me, I'm all for innocent until proven guilty. I'll be steady wearing my foam finger with Josephine Angelini's name on it at my local bookstore, come May 31st, 2011.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
These past two weeks have been STUPID slow. No, seriously. For TWO WEEKS, I bought no books at all. Thank God that came to an end yesterday. I did buy an e-book, when I found out that Melissa Marr had released a novella about one of my favorite fictitious almost-couples, Irial and Niall from her Wicked Lovely series. Seriously.. I love this pairing. So much goodness packed into a digital $1.99 package.
The Darling are Forever by Melissa Cantor (thanks, Disney Hyperion!)
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
Old Habits by Melissa Marr (OMG OMG OMG IRIAL AND NIALL! <3) (not pictured)
Wish by Alexandra Bullen (not pictured. And FREE!)
That is quite all for me. I'm hoping to have a much more exciting IMM next week, but I'm not promising anything!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
This week was full of good news.
1. I don't have tuberculosis.
2. I got a 95% on the medication administration exam I was freaking out about.
3. My boss called me on Thursday afternoon and told me not to come in at 4:30pm because they were shutting down on account of the snow.
The last two weeks have blown. HARD. The only way I was able to get through it was Twitter and Starbucks. People, I was in a very good mood this week. Even though three straight days of class was horribly tedious, next week will begin my regular schedule of class on Monday and clinical one day a week. Therefore, this leaves more time for blogging Tuesday through Friday :) Given that I had two weeks of many, many class hours... I had a TON of information ingrained into my head. Good thing they taught us, because I wouldn't have known otherwise to not shake a baby. (Sarcasm. For the love of God, I am kidding. Also, please disregard the sombrero. My friend drew this on my notes.) But seriously, they showed an entire video about it. This is what you learn in nursing school.
My favorite piece of news, however, is that I am likely going to be attending Pitch Dark Days Tour. I am so ridiculously excited that I can't even put it into words. Perhaps a keysmash will suffice? :LKASJ:LAAr88aasf! Yeah, that'll do it. I've only been to one other author event before, so I'm looking forward to adding this one to my list. Not to mention I'm FINALLY getting a chance to meet some bloggers that I hold very near and dear to my little old heart. I'll try not to be too overly stupid, guys :) I tend to ramble and say weird things when I'm excited.
I'm excited to finally be able to blog a bit more this coming week. I suppose that means I should get on the five reviews I have to write. Yikes. That's quite a lot for me. Anyway, I'm departing for the weekend now... but I will leave you with this video of my cat freaking out at the fact that she cannot have tuna. There is no cat with a more obnoxious meow. And I must apologize for the classy belch with which Mr. Jen graces us.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Published: HarperTeen (January 4, 2011)
Series: This is the first book in a series.
Source: I purchased this book.
GoodReads Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
My Thoughts: All right, I'd like to put a new spin on the saying: "time flies when you're having fun."
"Pages fly when the author knows what's up and blasts out a frickin' crazy badass angel book."
Like a gift from the Big Guy Himself, Cynthia Hand appeared as if from nowhere on my radar merely weeks ago with yet another angel book. I am tired of hearing about angels who fell but are really trying to be good and redeem themselves. But they just can't help being bad. OH, SO VERY BAD. So thank you, Cynthia Hand, for gracing the YA book world with this original, innovative angel book with some swoonworthy detailed lore. Not to mention that Jesus is obviously her homeboy, because LOOK AT THAT COVER. It sparkles and shines and is purple. I love purple.
I lost track of so much time while reading this book. Clara's voice was refreshing and smart. I appreciate the fact that she was a very strong, determined individual. Adversity, you've got jack squat on Clara. Her hair glows? She's dying it orange. Her crush ditches her? She's pissed, not weepy. I am excited that this is written in first person, because Clara has a fabulous brain. Can I also point out the fact that Clara's mother is awesome? HUZZAH to parental figures that are active and involved in their children's lives! This author really shines in the secondary characters. I cannot stress enough how giddy I get when I read about characters whose personalities are so detailed and distinct, I can picture their appearances and mannerisms in my head. I especially loved Angela and Clara's brother, Jeffrey.
Onto the love triangle: there is one. It's hardly annoying, though. In fact, I went through probably a quarter of the book not knowing who Clara would end up with. Oh, the suspense. Tucker and Christian are both very well-written and superbly developed. I've already hammered my Team Tucker sign firmly into the ground. Ladies and gents, never did I think that the well-mannered cowboy would steal my heart. Done and done. I am TUCKERED OUT. (That's totally from the book. I'm not that original.)
Last but furthest from least: the lore. Cynthia Hand's brain must've been working on overtime with this. I am completely and slack-jawedly in awe of the amazing, detailed history of the angel-bloods. Quartarius, Dimidius, Intangere.. I want to know more, more, more about all of them. It's intricate and detailed, yet I had absolutely no problem following along with Clara's history and who's who in the world of the angel-bloods.
Unearthly is a mind-blowing start to a series and I refuse to believe that this is Ms. Hand's first book. She's just that good, people. I'm left with many more questions than answers, but I'm not annoyed by it. I'm intrigued by it. And I'm pained at the fact that I have to wait a year for book two. Frickin' A.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Published: Dutton (December 2, 2010)
Source: I purchased this book
GoodReads Summary: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?
My Thoughts: You know when you leave the dentist after getting a filling and you're totally giddy off laughing gas? Constantly smiling and pinching your cheeks to make sure you're not dreaming and that you really do feel this good? (And let's be honest, you're drooling a little more than is socially acceptable.)
Anna and the French Kiss is literary nitrous oxide.
I don't care who you are or what you're doing. I do not care if you just found out you have 4 hours to live. Spend those hours reading ANNA. Do you have a sad? Well, you don't need St. John's Wort or B-Complex vitamins! Nay, good people. You just need ANNA to boost that mood.
Stephanie Perkins has such a refreshing, invigorating prose and it seems so effortless. Like she just woke up one day and thought, "I'm going to write a book about the awesomest protag and the dreamiest British dude ever. Yes, I think I will." Anna's voice is so relatable and enjoyable. I love how she respected the fact that St. Clair had a girlfriend (for the most part.) But I had to throw her a bone... It's ETIENNE ST. CLAIR we're talking about. I just loved being inside Anna's head, period. She was delightful. Not to mention that Anna possesses my favorite book heroine quality: IMPERFECTIONS! She has a gap in her front teeth, so I immediately bonded with her because I do, too. When she's betrayed, she handled it like any emotionally-charged teenager would: BLIND FIERY RAGE. There's no guidebook on how to handle all of life's problems, and I think Steph P. perfectly captured the essence of the fact that we have no idea what the crap we're doing. Whatever feels right.
And what to say about St. Clair. He was so adorably...ordinary. There was no fierce, murderous staring and evasiveness. He's just a happy guy with a British accent who loves people, who's actually kind of French and American, too. Sure, that sounds plain enough, but Perkins is obviously magical and transforms St. Clair into one steaming helping of nom. I cannot put my finger on what it is I love so much about him. You'll just have to read and find out.
And OH, the drama. Are you worried there aren't mean girls in France? Perhaps a little relationship drama? Because it's the City of Love, isn't it? Never fear, dear reader. This bad boy is filled to the brim with evil, conniving ladies and lots of fights. This is well-written, realistic drama. THE BEST KIND.
I was so worried this wouldn't live up to the hype. It did, you guys. I'm still thinking about it days later. I want to re-read it sooo bad. I cannot wait for Stephanie Perkins' next novel.
And Anna from Anna Reads has thrown out the suggestion of "Jen and the German Hickey" as a potential title. I concur. It's only fair, because she's got her name in an awesome book.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Published: Knopf Books (October 26, 2010)
Source: I purchased this book.
GoodReads Summary: “I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
My Thoughts: Dash and Lily was ridiculously hyped by some fellow bloggers. Having never read a Cohn or Levithan novel before--but hearing what I've heard of the duo--I went in with pretty high expectations. First off, can we please take the time to observe the cuteness of this cover? I want to jump into it with my peacoat and pom-pom hat and brave the cold to stroll down to the local coffeehouse. Central Perk, maybe? I want to live in a world with heart-shaped snowflakes, people.
In the beginning of the book, I enjoyed Dash and Lily's respective voices. Dash was sharp as a razor blade with his dry humor. I LOVED IT. And I love how adorably bookish he was. God bless those of us who embrace our bookishly nerdy selves. Lily's voice was fun, if not slightly immature. For some reason, she just struck me as the type who'd have a high-pitched voice and would be in constant need of some Ritalin. Perhaps because of the frequent "Shrilly" references. That's not to say she wasn't sweet, though! Sometimes the obnoxious gals are the most interesting sort. Though "Lily-bear" did grind my gears a little after awhile. I loved Boomer's enthusiasm and how he exclaimed EVERYTHING. Boomer and I would totally get along with the !!! and mass quantities of hand gestures. I loved the way Cohn/Levithan gave each of the characters a personality and really capitalized on each of them.
The whole Book of Dares aspect was freaking phenomenal. I loved all the risque and potentially humiliating dares exchanged between D & L. Especially the groping of a very famous fat man. I found myself giddy to read the latest installment in the red Moleskine. I did find myself preferring Notebook Dash/Lily to actual Dash/Lily. Perhaps it's the whole deal where an individual sounds more eloquent on paper, when you've got time to think about what you're going to say before you say it. That's what I'm going to tell myself, at least.
It really did seem to me after awhile that everything became sort of...scripted. Yes, I realize it's a book. But everyone knew the exact perfect thing to say at the exact perfect time. The biggest perp? Mrs. Basil E. with Dash as a close runner up. I enjoyed both of their witty banter, but I do wish it flowed better. In addition, the plot took sort of a ridiculous and unbelievable turn towards the end. If you've read it, you probably know what I'm talking about. It just got a little bit hokey and weird. I've read books that can make me believe the unbelievable, but I'm not going to lie, I did roll my eyes quite a lot.
Ultimately, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares was a fun Christmas read. I'm glad that I read it at this time of year, because the Christmas spirit was flowing and it enhanced the quality of the novel to me. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something light and a perfect companion to a good cup of hot chocolate by the fire.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I had a pretty awesome week. I exhausted the entire balance on my Christmas gift cards, so I'm kind of sad. However, I got a massively fabulous stack of books this week.
I'm gonna be pretty scarce these next two weeks, as I'll be blasted with a lovely little thing the nursing staff likes to call "front-loading" where we'll have class 4 days a week for the first two weeks and then a test after that. Personally, I'd like to smack them, but whatever.
Anyway, you want to see book, not hear me whine. BRING ON THE BOOKS.
From Tara at Hobbitsies (THANK YOU!)
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Firespell by Chloe Neill
Hexbound by Chloe Neill
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Out For Blood by Alyxandra Harvey
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
So that's it for me! See you guys in a couple weeks <3
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Published: HarperTeen (February 1, 2011)
Source: I requested this ARC via NetGalley for review.
GoodReads Summary: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
My Thoughts: I had heard a lot of wonderful early buzz about Delirium. I also heard about the buckets of tears that resulted from reading said book. I manned up a little before marking this one as "reading now" on my Nook. I thought I was prepared, you guys.
Delirium is one of those books that makes your eyes second guess what they're reading, because how can anyone write such beautiful, beautiful things? It is chock full of phrases that you want to memorize and save for one of those moments when a loved one is going through a hard time, then lay it on them and take full credit for it. (I'd never do that, but it's tempting!)
This storyline was unsettling and tragic, with the aversion to love and the treatment of it as if it's a disease--amor deliria nervosa.I couldn't imagine a life without love, nor would I want to. But reading about it makes for an exhilarating experience. Oliver's creation of this world where the United States will basically lay the smackdown on anyone who is in love. The word "despair" is prominent in my mind when thinking about the tone of Delirium. It was very, very sad.
It took awhile for Lena to grow on me. I get it, she's just doing what she knows she's supposed to. She's following the rules and staying on the straight and narrow path to the final destination of having that lovin' feeling sucked out of her brain, thanks to The Cure ("Love Song" may or may not have played in my head every time I read those words.) I fell in love with her voice once she started to see things for what they really were.
And then there's Alex. Oh man. All it took was that ONE WORD (which you'll understand once you read it) and I was hooked. Alex reminded me a lot of Ewan McGregor's character in Moulin Rouge, going on about freedom, beauty, truth, and love in his dreamy fashion. I was in quite a pickle once I met Alex. It was a constant struggle between savoring every single word that Oliver penned and flipping ahead to ANY page where Alex's name was present and devouring the deliciousness. I loved his strength and his outlook, and I loved Alex and Lena together. The dynamic of their relationship made my heart explode. Delirium is an incredible, AMAZING love story. I can't think of a situation where the lovers are MORE star-crossed than this. Dude. They're going to literally remove the ability to love from her BRAIN.
See, I'd tell you to prepare yourself for this massive cliffhanger ending, but it's just not possible. This ending ruined me. I felt like sometime gave me a swift punch to the gut when I turned that last page. I think I flipped forward, hoping that past all the blank pages, there'd be some Comic Sans text saying "JUST KIDDING!" and then some explanation or some SEMBLANCE of resolution to hold me over until frickin' 2012 when Pandemonium comes out.
Lauren Oliver, you hurt my feelings. BUT IT HURTS SO GOOD.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Right now, I'm taking time out of my regularly scheduled book-squeeing to squee about something a little different, but equally delightful.
Do you like humming along to that really awesome song on the radio? Do you like sounds? Do you like life, in general?
Cater to all of the above by visiting The Glitter Pox, launched January 1, 2011 by Chelsea and Emili.
You all probably know Chelsea from The Page Flipper. She's one of my favorite bloggers and my own personal music BFFL. What you may not know about her is that she's also a musical genie. Oh yes, that's right. You wish you had some good music? She can grant that wish. And she's not some lame genie that limits you to three wishes. She gives you song after song after song. And I can tell you first hand that she has impeccable taste in music.
My favorite aspects of The Glitter Pox are:
a) I can listen to the songs on my iPhone straight from the website. I'm listening right now, actually. And the media player is right there on the post, so no linking to YouTube or any third party site.
b) There are highlights of favorite lyrics, as well as a song interpretation from the blogmasters. I love hearing what others have to say about songs.
c) These girls also offer a suggestion of the perfect atmosphere for that particular song, as well as a "sounds like" feature, so you have an idea of what you're getting yourself into.
d) GORGEOUS design.
I've already bookmarked this website. If you love your ears and would like to pamper them a bit, you'll do the same.
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
I haven't done one of these bad boys for a few weeks and I internally reprimanded myself. WoW is definitely one of my favorite features to lurk upon and to participate in.
This week's WoW features RIVAL by Sara Bennett-Wealer. A couple of my blogger friends, Tara at Hobbitsies and Melanie at Reclusive Bibliophile, have simply raved about this book. Honestly, I don't even know exactly what it's about because I can never get past gawking at and drooling over that cover. You'd think it'd have some delicious specimen upon it. Nah. Just a piano. And a flower. And some detached petals.
Hang on, I'm going to read the summary now..... wait for it.
OMG. SINGING?! YES! I am so effing stoked right now, because singing is something I enjoy doing very much. In the car. To my husband. To my cats. To whomever and wherever. I am 1000x more excited about this book now.
Here's the summary so you can squee, too!
Meet Brooke: Popular, powerful and hating every minute of it, she’s the “It” girl at Douglas High in Lake Champion, Minnesota. Her real ambition? Using her operatic mezzo as a ticket back to NYC, where her family lived before her dad ran off with an up and coming male movie star.
Now meet Kathryn: An overachieving soprano with an underachieving savings account, she’s been a leper ever since Brooke punched her at a party junior year. For Kath, music is the key to a much-needed college scholarship.
The stage is set for a high-stakes duet between the two seniors as they prepare for the prestigious Blackmore competition. Brooke and Kathryn work toward the Blackmore with eyes not just on first prize but on one another, each still stinging from a past that started with friendship and ended in betrayal. With competition day nearing, Brooke dreams of escaping the in-crowd for life as a professional singer, but her scheming BFF Chloe has other plans. And when Kathryn gets an unlikely invitation to Homecoming, she suspects Brooke of trying to sabotage her with one last public humiliation.
As pressures mount, Brooke starts to sense that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had. But Kathryn has a decision to make. Can she forgive? Or are some rivalries for life?
Rival will be published February 15, 2011 by HarperTeen.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Published: MTV (July 20, 2010)
Source: I purchased this book.
GoodReads Summary: WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER? There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.
My Thoughts: This review may contain very minor spoilers. Nothing that wasn't alluded to on the back on the book, though.
Zoey is plagued with amnesia following a car accident and is struggling to find out what happened and who she's dating these days. I did not at all understand her insistence that she and Brandon were together. He was absent for the majority of the novel! I despised Brandon, but I can't say I was surprised by his actions. Zoey knew how he was prior to getting involved with him. He TOLD her he was the non-committal type. Doug, on the other hand...what a freaking sweetheart. I wanted to jump into the book and shake Zoey, to make her see the amazing, wonderful things I was reading. Doug has game, you guys. Perhaps not as strong as Brandon's, but his subtle game made me fan myself at times.
The slowly building romance between Doug and Zoey was satisfying, but frustrating. The constant references to Brandon's feelings and "not making him jealous" began to grate on my nerves. And it wasn't like Echols wasn't aware of what she was writing, because she had Doug go off on Zoey for her broken record tendencies. (Did anyone else not understand the huge deal behind Doug going to juvie? It wasn't like he killed a kitten or anything.) Oh. And certain *ahem* scenes? HOT. HOT. HOT. I have to applaud Echols for taking on a subject that is not often touched on in teen books. Or any books for that matter.
I really struggled trying to connect with Zoey. I get that she wanted to conceal her family issues in order to give off an "everything is fine" vibe. But seriously. Your dad knocked up a 24-year-old girl with whom you and all your friends work. I think they've got an idea that all is not well on the homefront. I'd expect anyone to go through some serious emotional difficulties if this happened to them. Heck, if it happened to me, there'd probably be some vandalism of the perpetrator's personal property. (Violence is never the answer.) Zoey's dad was a jerk. I wanted to hug her anytime she exchanged words with her father. That's how mean and hurtful he was. I've got to give her credit for holding it together, despite the crappy hand she was dealt.
Despite my lack of connection with Zoey, I still think Echols is a beautiful writer. I've got Going Too Far on standby, and I cannot wait to see what else is in store.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
o hai guise.
I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's Eve/Day!
I haven't done an IMM for a couple weeks, but this one totally makes up for it, I think. I kind of went insane on book-buying, what with my gift cards and the fact that my husband is awesome and took me to Books-A-Million and Half Price Books today. (Yes, he's kind of an enabler, he rocks my face off, AND is easy on the eyes. I know how to pick 'em, folks.)
Also, I got a super especially awesome surprise in the mail. Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner was AMAZING enough to pick me up a signed edition of Vampire Academy from the Richelle Mead signing she went to earlier this month! OMG! You guys! Richelle Mead WROTE MY NAME. Sure, 40% of the American population is also probably named Jen, BUT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT ME! So thank you, thank you, thank you a bajillion times, Jamie. You are awesome and I heart you.
Without further delay, here goes. This may take awhile.
For Review (Not Pictured)
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter (Thanks NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!)
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (Thanks NetGalley and HarperCollins!)
Vampire Academy (Special Edition) by Richelle Mead (Thank you, Jamie! <3)
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullogh
Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Splendor by Anna Godbersen
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
XVI by Julia Karr
The Mediator Bind-Up (Vol I) by Meg Cabot
Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson
Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley Gibson
Ghost Huntress: The Guidance by Marley Gibson
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
The Devouring by Simon Holt
Matched by Ally Condie
Nightworld #3 by L.J. Smith
Intertwined by Gena Showalter
The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
Sweep (Vol I) by Cate Tiernan
So yeah. Wow. EPIC WEEK FOR THIS CHICK. Perhaps I'll find time to read each of these in the next twenty years. But don't worry, I'm still hard at work on my petition for an extra weekend day devoted to ONLY reading and blogging. I'll keep you guys posted ;)
HAPPY 2011, YOU GUYS! I love every single one of my readers, followers, friends, ALL OF YOU.