Saturday, February 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Whew! It's been a stupid busy two weeks. I seriously loathe the two weeks prior to test time, because I break out in hives and sweat a lot. I'm just kidding. But I do feel like I'm going to upchuck at any moment thanks to nerves.

No vlog this week, because my hair is in a towel right now and you guys don't want to see that.

Here's my last two weeks in books!

For Review
Divergent by Veronica Roth (Thank you, HarperCollins!)
The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky (Thank you, Poppy!)
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Thanks, NetGalley!)
Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly (Thanks, NetGalley!)

Bumped by Megan McCafferty (Thank you, Megan!)

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (for $1, holla.)
Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Rival by Sara Bennett-Wealer
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Beastly by Alex Flinn

And now for the non-bookish items.

I watched this for about 7 hours yesterday and had trouble speaking in my normal accent until I woke up this morning. It's serious. P.S. I love Pauly D.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Old Habits (Novella) by Melissa Marr

Published: HarperTeen (January 11, 2011)
Pages: not sure :(
Format: eBook
Series: this is Book 2.6 in the Wicked Lovely series.
Source: I purchased this book

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads Summary: Melissa Marr returns to the ravishing world of Faerie with a story set between her bestselling novels Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity.

Recently anointed king of the Dark Court, Niall struggles to forge a new relationship with his subjects—and with the former Dark King, Irial, his once-friend, once-enemy, and now possible-advisor.

My Thoughts: I tell you no lies, people. If I could make one book world come to life, it'd be Melissa Marr's gorgeously written faerie world. It's not enough that her books have beautiful titles and infinitely more beautiful covers. She just so happens to have concocted one of the most irresistable characters in any paranormal romance I've read EVER. (Looking at you, Irial.) What a twisted, enticing specimen that one is.

And can you believe that this novella was $1.99? I feel like I'm stealing from you, Melissa Marr. Truly, I do.

This novella happens to take place between Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity, after Niall and Irial are on relatively non-homicidal terms. The two fey have a rather tortured history. They are totally the co-mayors of New Angst-erdam. (OMG THAT WAS LAME! I don't care, I'm leaving it in anyway.) The tension is still there--ohhh, the beautiful tension--but they're trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered "relationship." I've never read about a M/M relationship before, but if they're all like this, then I need to read more. Melissa is a freaking GENIUS at Niall/Irial's dialogue and they way that they feed off one another. Witty, charged banter aplenty. I pretty much sighed and fanned my face the entire time.

There is no major plot development in Old Habits, nor does anything pivotal happen. It's an intimate look at the re-budding relationship between the Dark King and the former Dark King. Sigh. I know this is a pathetic review, but I cannot find the words to describe my love for these characters and their dynamic.

My only complaint? That it's not 7,000 pages long. It's like drinking a thimble of Dom Perignon. NOT ENOUGH!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Peek At My TBR (3)

Disclaimer: these are books that I WANT to read and are on my TBR list, not books that I necessarily own (unfortunately!) And if I do have any of them on my shelf, I'll specify :)

A Peek Into My TBR is a feature inspired by Waiting on Wednesday by Jill at Breaking the Spine and Books To Pine For by The Story Siren. I did WoW for awhile, but honestly, there's never only one book I'm "waiting" on. And a lot of the books that I "pine for" aren't just up-and-coming books. There's still a ton of oldies but goodies that I'm just now discovering or want to read soon, and I feel like those deserve some recognition as well as the fresh meat.

Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
Published: October 11, 2011
I've never seen the movie, and truthfully, I hadn't heard of it before I saw the movie preview with that amazing Gavin DeGraw song in it. It sounds incredible, however, what with the love potion and the accidental falling for James Franco... I mean Tristan. I'm totally loving that gorgeous cover, too. It makes me want to hug someone on a boat full of leaves.

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
Published: nevarrrr
I totally read the draft like 30 times. I have it saved to my desktop at work. I read the draft and I fell in lahve with Edward even more. I don't care if he's a creepy stalker. He's not real, so it's really just whatever to me. But honestly, Stephenie? Honestly? Let us stop farting around. You know you're going to release Midnight Sun after the Breaking Dawn movies (please?) I had this intricately detailed theory that the Official Guide was being put off for so long so that they could include Midnight Sun and all the info about the Denali clan in there. Now there's an "expected" publication date of April 12, 2011--take it with a grain of salt. And I'm still waiting for my MS announcement. I'm never going to forget this, so please, FOR MY SANITY, make it happen?

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
Published: August 25, 2009
Admittedly, I've never read anything by Jackson, but I've heard some really cute things about As You Wish. I can definitely say that the storyline is intriguing? A genie (jinn) and a girl love story? I want. It's unique (to me) and who doesn't want the love and affection from someone who can grant you wishes? WISH FOR MORE WISHES!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson

Published: HarperTeen (December 28, 2010)
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Series: Not that I could find
Source: I purchased this book

Rating: 3/5

GoodReads Summary: I swear, my life was always totally normal.

Normal house, normal family, normal school. My looks are average, I don't have any superpowers, no one's showing up to tell me I'm a princess—you get the picture. But when my junior year started, something not normal happened. There were new kids at school . . . new kids with a wardrobe straight out of a 19th-century romance novel, and an inexplicable desire to stay at school until sundown.

And on top of that, James Hallowell showed up. James, who stole my sandwiches in fourth grade and teased me mercilessly through middle school. James, who now seems to have the power to make my heart race any time he comes near.

But something weird is going on. Because James rarely goes out during the day. And he seems stronger than your typical guy. And he knows the new kids, all of whom seem to be harboring some kind of deep secret. . . .

My Thoughts: I'm quite surprised at the fun-ness of Vampire Crush. I wasn't expecting much going into this, to be honest with you guys. I hadn't heard much about it before I saw it in Borders. I liked the glittery bat on the cover so I figured "eh, why not?" Vampire Crush was a cute, enjoyable, punny read that I read very quickly and didn't have much trouble getting through it.

Sophie was a fun girl. I appreciate that she had a personality and humor and *GASP* HOBBIES! HOLLA at the school newspaper. She's not the kind of girl who "doesn't know she's beautiful." So tired of that, by the way. Huzzah for the lack of dudes swooning over Sophie. In fact, the new hot guy at school actually expresses genuine repulsion of her. Sophie is cool enough that she brushes that crap off and doesn't give it a second thought. Sophie's personality was easy-going and surprisingly funny.

Probably my favorite character was Violet, the weird new girl who was completely obsessed with an unnamed boy and was not shy about showing off her ticket for the Crazy Train. Basically she was batshit insane. I like those kinds of characters, though. Quite colorful.

Ultimately, the plot was interesting enough, but not so much as to leave me wanting more of this world. I'd probably pick up another of the author's books, but this one just didn't blow my mind. It exceeded my expectations of a book I'd heard so little about, but I'm a huge lover of the lahve stories and this one lacked the sparks I needed for necessary swooning.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Need More Space....

....for my books, that is.

Seriously, my bookshelf is a disgrace. An EMBARRASSMENT. I have no rhyme or reason to it. At first it was organized all prettily, but then I started buying more and more and more and destroying the open space that I did have. Each of these shelves are double-booked. It makes me so sad that my books' home is so cramped up. I've been eying Mr. Jen's shelves (which are more disgraceful than mine, I assure you!) but he won't have it. So I'm looking for something that takes up little space and holds a considerable amount of books.

First place I looked? CSN.

I'm loving this spine bookcase. It doesn't take up much space, which is wonderful because my office is really small, and it holds a crap ton of books. (Also, I'm wondering why I haven't shopped at CSN before! Not only do they have awesome bookcases, but I love their computer chairs and this laptop messenger bag, which is awesome because I don't have one for my stinky ancient laptop!) I recall seeing in in The Story Siren's office and have been interested in it ever since.

If I can talk Mr. Jen into buying this for me for my birthday, I will definitely be reviewing it on the blog. If you, like me, don't have much space (or the means to build a beautiful wall of books just yet!) I'd definitely take a look into CSN. They've got some great bookshelf options :)

Do any of you have this bookshelf? Is there another one that you'd like to point out for spacially-challenged folk like myself? PLEASE SHARE! I am counting on you guys, because I can't make this decision on my own.

You wouldn't buy a bookshelf without asking your friends first, would you?

Soundtracking (2)

huge thanks to ginger from greads! for this awesome graphic!

Soundtracking is something I pretty much do subconsciously. I listen to a TON of music and I read a TON of books. Somehow, the two just end up colliding. Movies have soundtracks, TV shows have soundtracks... why not books? I probably won't do this consistently... I guess whenever inspiration strikes :) Just a disclaimer that Soundtracking is potentially spoilery... but they're going to be pretty obvious spoilers, not big brain-busting spoilers.

I've been searching for an artist that I thought could do Jessica Darling justice. She is the cream of the crop as far as MCs go, in my opinion, with her smart, sardonic, witty voice. I love all of these things. Have I mentioned I also LOVE the relationship between Jessica and Marcus, as screwed up and twisted as it has been in the first three books? (You guys, I am HARDCORE afraid of finishing this series. I don't want it to be over. I'm totally in denial and prolonging it as much as I can.) So the other day I was feeling nostalgic for 2007 and wanted to listen to some Ingrid Michaelson. The first track, "Die Alone," came on and a Jessica-shaped lightbulb lit up. It reminded me a whole lot of Jessica and Marcus' relationship and her stubborn-ness and his past. Ingrid is awesome because her voice and lyrics are so painfully real, just like...well, everything about Jessica.

Notable Lyrics

i'm just a stranger, even to myself
a re-arranger of the proverbial bookshelf
don't be a fool girl, tell him you love him
don't be a fool girl, you're not above him

i never thought i could love anyone but myself
now i know i can't love anyone but you
you make me think that
maybe i won't die alone

what have i become?
something soft and really quite dumb
because i've fallen, oh i've fall-fallen
so far away from the place where i started from

Jessica Darling Quotes

"Right now I feel guilty to be alive. Why? Because I’m wasting it. I’ve been given this life and all I do is mope it away. What’s worse is, I am totally aware of how ridiculous I am. It would be a lot easier if I believed I was the center of the universe, because then I wouldn’t know any better NOT to make a big deal out of everything. I know how small my problems are, yet that doesn’t stop me from obsessing about them. I have to stop doing this." - Jessica (Sloppy Firsts)

"Perspective basically guarantees that there’s no such thing as a pure emotion. Every emotion is based on how sucky (or not) something is in relation to something else that has already happened. […] It kind of makes me wish that the worst thing that will ever happen to me will just hurry up and happen already. That way I could live the rest of my life in bliss, if only because I know how much worse things could be." - Jessica (Sloppy Firsts)

"After all, you can only be in a bad mood for so long before you have to face up to the fact that it isn’t a bad mood at all. It’s just your sucky personality." - Jessica (Sloppy Firsts)

"I’ve learned that you can’t control what other people are going to think about you. The best thing you can do in life is not piss yourself off." - Marcus Flutie (Second Helpings)

"Tragedy was part of our daily routine. But through it all, I never understood the point of being sad when I could choose to be happy." - Jessica (Second Helpings)

"What is it about him that makes you, like, totally lose your shit?" - Bridget (Second Helpings)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Which My IRLBFF Does a Guest Review for Wicked Lovely

Lynn and I have been friends since 3rd grade. In 7th grade, we decided that we were both pretty weird kids with heads in the clouds and uncontrollable imaginations and decided to be weird together. We upgraded our status to "best friends," because that's what you do when you find someone as weird as you. Fast forward 15 years later and we are still friends, even though we live about 4.5 hours apart.

I can remember like it was yesterday, the day in 2008 when she told me about this book she was reading called Sunset or Dusk or some crap like that. Something about it being an amazing love story or blah blah blah. Whatever. It was a book. Ew, no thanks.

But then I got ahold of said book and my whole world changed. Suddenly I didn't want to see the world in any other way than from behind a book. She, yet again, added to my overall quality of life and I've been looking for ways to do the same. So I pushed Wicked Lovely on her and asked her to do a guest review, because I love being right about stuff.

Without further delay, here's her glowing review.

Lynn's Thoughts:

For as long as I can remember, I have written. In journals, though admittedly few, fictitious stories with my very best friend and of course in school. Upon thinking of writing a review for Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr my mind went blank. The tendency on my behalf is to become so consumed with one character that the rest are pawns that don't get the attention they probably should. I can usually identify with a character in some way and the bond that is created between myself and my new fictitious friend serves as the sun in my universe - everything else rotating around it. Marr, however, makes this impossible. I picked up Wicked Lovely in an age old story of peer pressure and left it on a shelf unopened for quite some time. What a mistake that was! This story and every single one of its components is captivating. Like lying in the warmth of the sun on a hot summer day, simply relishing in the moments of knowing the sun beats on you even with your eyes closed and listening acutely to the water in your pool or the birds flying overhead. Never in your life, do I believe, you can feel more whole. Marr brings this to us in the form of literary greatness.

Aislinn see's a world that overlaps our own and often times involves itself into it without our consent or knowledge. This overlapping world has a most remarkable tale to tell of love, struggle, murder and sacrifice with a new twist on modernization meeting regality. The Summer King has been plagued since infancy with the task of searching for his Summer Queen, the one girl who can break his bonds and let him revel in his full powers. Over the centuries he has met and loved many mortal girls who simply by his choosing them have been turned to faeries with the choice - choose love and see if you pass the test to become the Summer Queen or be simply a summer girl with your life revolving around the King and of course, your natural desire for fun and passion. If however, you take the test and fail you are sentenced to a possible eternity of cold as the Winter Girl taking the chill and ice that consumes your body with you until another mortal has chosen to take the test and failed, taking your place. The things Aislinn sees are terrifying enough to her without even knowing that these rules and games are constantly at foot. So when some faeries start to follow her she tries to hide, running to her best friend and giving him the respect he deserves by being open and honest with him.

But with turning to him has she put him in danger? Has she jeopardized the one person she feels sane with? Why are these creatures following her? Marr puts the Winter Queens chill on your skin as you turn page by page revealing and being surprised by each detail of the characters that you thought you knew, the new issues that arise for them and the ways they decide to handle themselves in the tough calls. It took everything out of me to not just read the last few pages just to have a glimpse of what was about to happen. Who would live, who would die and how in either of these worlds could any of this work out for the best? As much as you will be dazzled by the glamour of the Summer King you can't help but feel for the poor mortal that has Aislinn's heart. And what does she choose? Certain death or an eternity of heartache?

Put on your sunscreen ladies and sink your toes in the sand. Reading this book is like sitting poolside with your best girlfriend dreaming of impossibilities and swooning over the admirations you hope to acquire from the opposite sex - all of course, ending in finding out just who your true love is and ending happily ever after...that is a choice, right?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Peek At My TBR (2)

First off, it's my Dad's birthday. Dad, I know you read this blog and that you will never comment on it because you don't want to "embarrass me," but I love you very much. I wish I didn't live 300 miles away, but it just makes it all the better when I DO get to spend time with you guys. Thanks for everything you've ever done for me, which is...well...everything.

A Peek Into My TBR is a feature inspired by Waiting on Wednesday by Jill at Breaking the Spine and Books To Pine For by The Story Siren. I did WoW for awhile, but honestly, there's never only one book I'm "waiting" on. And a lot of the books that I "pine for" aren't just up-and-coming books. There's still a ton of oldies but goodies that I'm just now discovering or want to read soon, and I feel like those deserve some recognition as well as the fresh meat.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Published: May 24, 2011

So basically, it's LOST meets Miss Teen USA, right? HOW DOES THAT NOT SOUND EPIC? When I first saw this cover, I thought that she had a bunch of ammo strapped to her chest, but upon a closer look--it's lipstick. If you think about it though, I do suppose that is a beauty queen's ammunition. I loved Libba's Gemma Doyle series, so I am anxiously waiting to see what else she's got.

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Published: September 8, 2009

So... ballerinas? Troubled mother-daughter relationship? Shady family history, mysterious boys, and a girl who starts to SEE THINGS?! Um... yes, please. I wasn't a huge fan of the original hardcover, but I am loving the things they've done with the paperback version. This one's been out a while, but it just goes to show what a cover redesign can do!

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Published: October 2011

You guys. Just shh a minute and gaze upon the beauty of that cover. It's no secret I love faerie books, what with the whole Wicked Lovely obsession and I'm always welcoming with open arms to new lore and characters. I've had my eyes on this one for awhile, even before the cover debuted, because well, it says "faerie" in the title. But I am 1067x more excited now that there is pink and black prettyness over which to swoon. LOVE.


So those are a few books in my astronomically huge TBR. What are some books (past, present, or future) that you're excited for?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review: Ninth Key by Meg Cabot

Published: February 2001 (republished: January 1, 2005)
Pages: 287
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Series: Book 2 in a series of 6
Source: I purchased this book

Rating: 4/5
Good Reads Summary: Everything is going great for Suze. Her new life in California is a whirlwind of parties and excellent hair days. Tad Beaumont, the hottest boy in town, has even asked Suze out on her very first date. Suze is so excited that she's willing to ignore her misgivings about Tad... particularly the fact that he's not Jesse, whose ghostly status--not to mention apparent disinterest in her--make him unattainable.

What Suze can't ignore, however, is the ghost of a murdered woman whose death seems directly connected to dark secrets hidden in none other than Tad Beaumont's past.

My Thoughts: Ninth Key gives us more Suze and Jesse quote action unquote. Ugh, maybe I'm just a girly girl, but I really wanted to scream "MAKE OUT ALREADY!" at the book the entire time. Meg Cabot will not listen to me, however, because she's milking the slow build. I LOVE THE SLOW BUILD. My inner romantic is beating the crap out of me right now, but I do love the torturous descriptions of longing gazes, charged silences, and coy smiles. Also, considering that Jesse is a ghost, I suppose them making out would be kind of weird. But they can touch and he lives in her room, so... COME ON.

Suze, as usual, is going against the advice of every single person in her life. This is okay, you guys, because if she didn't, there'd be no ridiculous antics to facepalm over. This time, Suze finds herself on another mission from a ghost woman asking her to give Red a message. The search for Red commences and Suze finds herself face-to-face with another potentially supernatural creature. And she also has a date with some super popular guy... which may or may not make Jesse jealous... which may or may not be kind of cute.

And may I just take a moment and express my lahve for Father Dom? I'm hoping Cabot doesn't give the poor guy a heartattack, because he is STEADY yelling at Suze for all her craziness. It's pretty dangerous for an old guy to get mixed up in, but OH! Suze's bull-headedness makes for such good times.

Meg Cabot keeps the pages turning, you guys. I am officially hooked on this series. I really want to go out and buy the rest, but the problem is that I bought the bindup and I'm really meticulous about my covers matching. But maybe I'll just have two sets of Mediator books. Not such a bad idea, is it?

Friday, February 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is a kickass meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

For Review

Clarity by Kim Harrington (Thank you, Scholastic!)
Priscilla The Great by Sybil Nelson (Thank you, Sybil!)
Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut (Thank you, Darby!)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (sighed! Thanks to my IRLBFF, Lynn, who went to Becca's signing last year!)

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Sweep: Volume III by Cate Tiernan
Timeless by Alexandra Monir

Bloggers Mentioned
The Story Siren
Tara @ Hobbitsies
Alex @ Electrifying Reviews

Soundtracking (1)

huge thanks to ginger for this amazing graphic! <3>

Soundtracking is something I pretty much do subconsciously. I listen to a TON of music and I read a TON of books. Somehow, the two just end up colliding. Movies have soundtracks, TV shows have soundtracks... why not books? I probably won't do this consistently... I guess whenever inspiration strikes :) Just a disclaimer that Soundtracking is potentially spoilery... but they're going to be pretty obvious spoilers, not big brain-busting spoilers.

Today I'm featuring "Just Friends" by Jason Reeves, which immediately sprung to mind when I was reading The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. Violet and Jay definitely have this whole "best friends fo lyfe" history, but ever since Jay grew up a little and got some bulking up of the pectorals and the cutting up of some abdominals, Violet can't help but think that she kinda wants him hardcore.

Their sweet, slow-building relationship was so ridiculously cute. Violet's uncertainty was palpable and I really wanted to just scream at her "MAKE OUT WITH HIM ALREADY!" because it was so effing obvious.

Click HERE to listen to the album version. (Link leads to Grooveshark. It's free.)

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a video of the actual song... but here's a super fab live version. I love this dude. He is amazing.

Notable Lyrics
hey, what did you think i'd say?
you're everything that i ever wanted
and this kind of thing doesn't just come around
every time you go looking for it

i don't wanna be just friends
that's something i can't understand
i don't wanna be just friends
not now, not ever
those two words are bullets in my chest
"just friends"

The Body Finder Quotes
"He loved her. Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood was in love with her. He didn't say it but she knew that it was true. And the part that really freaked her out, the part that caught her completely off guard, is that he wasn't alone. Because even though she'd been denying it for a long, long time, it had always been there, waiting beneath the surface of their friendship. And now that it was out there was no going back. And it was so weird to even be thinking it but she was in love with him too."

"He reached out, capturing her hand in his. He laced his fingers casually through hers. Violet leaned against him and the calm finally came, settling over her peacefully. And then he kissed her. Gently. Softly. Not on the lips, as she'd imagined so many times before, but on her forehead. The gesture was sweet and a little possessive. Violet hoped, maybe, it was a start."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review: Shadowland by Meg Cabot

Published: 2000 by Avon (republished: January 1, 2005)
Pages: 287
Format: Mass Market Paperback, or the first two books are available in bind-up form.
Series: This is book one in a series of six.
Source: I purchased this book.

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads Summary: Suze is a mediator -- a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind ... and Suze happens to be in the way.

My Thoughts: I actually read the fifth book in the Mediator series, Haunted, back in the earlyish 2000s. I had no idea it was a series and I liked the name and the cover, so I figured that I should buy it. I read it and devoured it. I'm actually glad that I didn't read the series in its entirety back then, because I don't think I'd have been able to appreciate it the way I do now.

Essentially, this is the first Meg Cabot series I've ever read. You'd think I was living under a rock and I would not blame you.

Suze is awesome because she seriously doesn't take crap from anybody. She's no stranger to the facepunch OR to my most favorite word ----------> in the entire world And she's a feisty little thing who rocks the leather jacket, regardless of her mother's continuous protests. Why is Suze so feisty? one may ask. SHE SEES DEAD PEOPLE. Not only does she see them, but they want her to DO STUFF FOR THEM. ALL THE FRICKIN' TIME. I don't know about you guys, but that'd get on my nerves after the blood-chilling, cardiac-arresting fear wore off.

There's totally a beacon of hope in Suze's life, though. She won't admit it, but there's this guy Jesse who is OSGMSH@UIOWUew8832 hot. And a little standoffish and kind of moody. In this case, though, he falls into the category of "good-looking, intriguing, mysterious kind of a-hole guy who wears an unbuttoned shirt." Oh, but he's dead. And he lives in Suze's room and shows up whenever the eff he pleases.

Know what else is awesome? SPECTACULAR SUPPORTING CAST! Suze's over-enthusiastic, boyfriend-pressing mama, her infinitely smart little step-bro "Dopey," and the coolest priest around with the gangsterest name, Father Dom.

Shadowland is one of those books where you could pick it up, blink, and be done with it. But your mind is left reeling from the awesomeness of what you just read within that very small timeframe. I love Meg Cabot's writing. It's like chatting with a friend who just happens to be way, way cooler than you. It's effortless and fun. Loving the plot and the slow build of Suze/Jesse.

I'll leave you with one last word: querida.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Peek At My TBR (1)

A Peek Into My TBR is a feature inspired by Waiting on Wednesday by Jill at Breaking the Spine and Books To Pine For by The Story Siren. I did WoW for awhile, but honestly, there's never only one book I'm "waiting" on. And a lot of the books that I "pine for" aren't just up-and-coming books. There's still a ton of oldies but goodies that I'm just now discovering or want to read soon, and I feel like those deserve some recognition as well as the fresh meat.

Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen
It's no secret that I lahved Bright Young Things. Everything about that novel enveloped me into a cigarette smokey, flapper dressy embrace. I want so badly to get back into this world ASAP. Cordelia and I are kind of homegirls and I cannot wait to find out what happens to her, Astrid, and Letty. Beautiful Days is expected to be published September 20, 2011. TOO LONG, DAHLING. TOO LONG!

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
This book was actually released in June of 2010. I've had my eye on it ever since then, but have never actually picked it up. I have no frickin' idea why this is. Considering that its sequel, Queen of the Dead, is releasing in June 2011, I should probably get a move on. I love this cover. It's super cheesy, but also incredibly adorable all at the same time. I'm always up for a light and fluffy read, and this series looks like it fits that description.

The Faery Rebels Series by RJ Anderson
I don't know what has come over me recently, but I have been craving this series. I am such a faery book whore. I love them all. I particularly gravitate the ones that don't necessarily have any Midsummer Night's Dream storylines, because there are seventeen billion of those. Plus, I've never read that or seen the play. Steph Su and Erica have GUSHED about this series and I tend to trust their judgment about stuff. As far as the covers, I'd MUCH prefer the UK covers and will have to figure out a way to get my little midget hands on these books.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

HarperCollins(March 16,2010)
Yes, this is book one.
I purchased this book.
Rating: 4/5

GoodReads Summary: Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.
My Thoughts: I'm pretty positive that I'm the last person on earth to read The Body Finder. I decided one night that I was in a horror-ific mood and I've heard that this bad boy is full of creepy.

I would definitely say "disturbing" is an appropriate word for this book. Throughout the entire novel, my discomfort level rose and rose and rose. The abductions were cringeworthy and the fact that Derting writes not only from Violet's point of view, but also throws in the inner workings of a serial killer? FREAK ME THE EFF OUT. But also added to the overall quality (and dread) of the novel.

And then there's Violet. GIRL, WAKE UP! It was so blatantly obvious to everyone but her that Jay was in lahve with her. Guys don't just hold your hand and snuggle with you and gently brush your hair from your face if they aren't crushing hard on you. Despite her complete lack of awareness for her romantic surroundings, I did like Violet quite a bit. She's a smart, brave girl and I cannot even imagine having the ability she does. And even though she is ridiculous for not figuring it out earlier, she and Jay's slow build was quite steamy. I do appreciate the steam. OH YES. I especially liked it when his protective side came out. You guys, don't dog me for this, but I love the take-charge kind of guy. I know everyone hates on the dominant male type, but that is one of my biggest guilty pleasures in fiction. (Notice I said in fiction. In real life it'd get pretty annoying.) LOVE IT.

I thought I had the killer pegged from the beginning. I was totally wrong. YES! I friggin' love being wrong about books! It's like Christmas morning and getting a bunch of awesome crap that you didn't even know you wanted. BUT YOU SURE AS HECK WANT IT. Derting is fabulous at playing up the suspense and intrigue and keeping readers guessing. The end came abruptly and for a minute, she totally had me thinking that the absolute worst had happened. You guys, I'm SO stupidly sensitive, so I had my tears welled up and I was ready to have a good old-fashioned sobfest when Kim pulled a fast one on me. KIM, YOU ARE A SLY ONE.

The Body Finder definitely takes the cake on being a legitimately sexy, fun YA thriller with a constant sense of impending doom. I really enjoyed it.

So uh, who can I bribe to give me Desires of the Dead? Just kidding! I'll be buying book two when it comes out next week, February 15, 2011! Oh, you should, too.

Friday, February 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (18)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

A vlog recorded after I clocked some people at the grocery store. Just kidding! :) Also, I tried to change the initial still shot that YouTube picked out, but each of them were equally horrific. Or maybe I just don't know how to make normal faces.

For Review

Under the Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan (thanks, Laura!)
Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore (thanks, Hyperion!)
The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan (thanks, Savita!)

Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison
Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison
Crash Into Me by Albert Borris
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
Entangled by Cat Clarke

Bloggers Mentioned
Melanie @ Reclusive Bibliophile and HERE is her review for Crash Into Me.

Can't wait to see what everyone else got in their mailbox this week <3

Review: Random Magic by Sasha Soren

Published: Beach Books LLC (January 1, 2010)
Pages: 397
Format: Paperback
Series: No
Source: I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

GoodReads Summary: When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.

My Thoughts: Let me preface this review with a little about Sasha Soren. She is definitely one of the quirkiest, most wonderfully random people I've met in my very few months as a blogger. This is a good thing, you guys. When she contacted me and asked me to review Random Magic and participate in a blog tour, I was overjoyed. She possesses an uncanny attention to detail and a deep love for her characters. I knew when I cracked open Random Magic, that I would have a bunch of in-your-face, clever quips and humor.

At the risk of being entirely cliche and corny stating the obvious, Random Magic is very much that: RANDOM.

I had a pretty difficult time registering the first ten pages in my brain. I had no idea who any of the characters were, nor their role in the story, nor what the purpose was. Thankfully, once I got into the world of Winnie and Henry, I was a bit more at ease in my reading journey. I love the fact that the author writes her books the same way that she writes her emails. Very conversational.

Winnie was an interesting heroine. She's one part fierce, two parts ADHD, and a large helping of WTF. She constantly kept Henry on his toes and I really admired that about her. Though she was difficult to follow at times, I just let her do her thing and eventually it (well, most of it) came to me. Henry, God love him, was such a meek thing at first. He let Winnie boss him around, but luckily grew a pair towards the end. I was always rooting for Henry, having been shoved into a situation about which he hadn't the slightest clue what to do.

There were an ABUNDANCE of secondary and tertiary characters. I couldn't keep them straight, nor did I necessarily understand what purpose they served. I did, however, have a soft spot for the Count and Countess De Morgue and wish I could've seen more of them and read a bit more of their back story.

The issue I had with Random Magic is that I think that Sasha Soren is a bit too clever. I didn't understand the reason for this and that and I feel like that lessened the quality of my experience. I can honestly say that there were some parts where I felt like I didn't understand the punchline, but was just laughing along to save face. I feel like if I was a little more experienced, literarily (I know, I know), I would've GOTTEN more of the jokes and quips.

All in all, an interesting, fun, and punny read... it just fell short for me.

Seriously though, you guys: WHAT is Nicole Kidman doing on this cover?!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Review: The Devouring by Simon Holt

Published: Little, Brown Young Readers (September 1, 2008)
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Series: This is the first in a series.
Source: I purchased this book.

GoodReads Summary: "When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..."

THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.

To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare?

My Thoughts: Well then. That was better than I expected.

This was a ridiculously fast, entertaining read. I read the whole thing at work. It reminded me of Goosebumps for a more mature crowd, combined with Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Midnight Society would give this all thumbs up, for sure. I've heard miscellaneous things about The Devouring. I've heard that it's a horror story that is deeply disturbing and tells of nasties that go bump in the night. Well, there were nasties, all right. Do yourself a favor: if you are afraid of spiders, you should probably avoid this book. But if you're afraid of spiders and are a glutton for punishment, by all means dig in.

I probably would've been more frightened if I was reading this in the dark, at home, rather than in my cubicle with a headset attached to my noggin. But the Vours are quite frightening, regardless of pitch dark or fluorescent lighting. Can you imagine having the world around you transformed into your absolute worst fear, not being able to distinguish what's legit and what is fake? Anything demonic just straight up scares the pee out of me, so that immediately got under my skin.

Our fearless heroine, Reggie, definitely hopped upon the TSTL trolley a few times, but it was all in the name of brotherly love. Her personality and her interaction with her brother, her BFF Aaron, and especially the Vours were enjoyable. There's one part where her actions actually made me queasy. How, you ask? If you read it, you'll see. OH YES. There's no question about it. There were even a couple scenes that made me want to tear up. Those Vour bastards really know how to make one TRULY question one's sanity. I was thankful for the readability of Simon Holt's writing. The storytelling was effortless and basically laid it all out for you. There was no thinking cap required, which is perfect if you're looking for something quick and entertaining. Which just so happens to be exactly what I wanted out of this book.

The ending obviously leaves the story open to further development, which I appreciate. I love series, you guys. These books are like a White Castle cheeseburgers: there are absolutely no essential nutrients within--and your stomach will likely churn as a result--but you cannot stop devouring (BAD PUN! BAD PUN!) one after the other. DELISH. Before you know it, you're thanking God that you wore the big belt today and you feel HELLA content.

Wait, where was I going with this?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.

Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.

Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?

All right. So the cover has the word "vengeance" on it and the blurb has the words "sinister and inhuman" in it. Sounds mysterious to me. Mystery + intriguing blurb + wicked/scary/pretty cover = I want it. The entire lore of the siren freaks me out, to be honest. Beautiful singing creature that draws you to your gruesome death? Not something I'd want to encounter in a dark.. uh, ocean. But hey, I'd love to read about it! And I love that cover. It's a little creepy, but beautiful. Siren's Storm by Lisa Papademetriou is scheduled for released on August 9, 2011. That's a long effing wait.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Book Hangovers:" What'll Cure What Ails Ya?

the morning after....mockingjay

I've been in a total reading funk for the past couple of days, you guys. You see, I managed to score an advanced copy of Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr (all thanks to Tara at Hobbitsies, who won a contest. And who is an angel, by the way. She knows how much I never shut up about the Wicked Lovely series.) I put off reading it for a few weeks, because a) I sometimes loathe the endings of series. I don't think I need to mention Twilight, because Breaking Dawn was a total disappointment, in my opinion. b) I didn't want it to end.

It is so very, very rare that I have such a strong emotional attachment to book characters. It's usually a small fling where I'm interested in the characters while I'm reading the book, but my rebound rate is pretty quickly. I can typically close a book, gaze at it fondly and thank it for the good times, then it's onto the next. In fact, I can only recall two other times when I've actually felt more than a brief sadness that the series had ended:

1. The Twilight "Saga."
Whatever. I was totally blinded by this series and didn't think that anything else out there would ever, EVER live up to the fierceness of Bella and Edward's relationship. Seriously. It was borderline sick. I would go back and read my favorite parts and smile to myself. I'd read the breakup scene in New Moon and tear up, then flip to the end and flail my arms and make high-pitched noises at the reunion scene. I'd shake my fist at Jacob in Eclipse for coming between my favorite couple and pound my fist on Bella's name when she kissed Jacob. And I'd read the wedding scene in Breaking Dawn and then close the book, pretending that the other 600 pages consisted of Bella and Edward "making up for lost time." The only thing I could do was re-read to take away the feeling that something was missing--kind of like chugging a beer the morning after an insane night of partying. It took me awhile to get over it, but thankfully I've moved on to bigger and better things. (I still smile coyly at the books on my shelf and sneak some quick reads in... you know, for old times sake.)

2. The Hunger Games Series.
I grew very attached to these characters based not on the love story, but because Katniss was such an incredible, capable, strong heroine. Totally the antithesis of Bella Swan. It was so refreshing to read a story where the MC could solve her OWN problems, without necessary male intervention. I mourned for every single one of Katniss' losses. More often than not, the turning of events in each book would leave me buzzing with adrenaline and slack-jawed. And, unlike Breaking Dawn where everything was tied up into a stupid carnation pink bow with babies and werewolves and no violence, there was loss in Mockingjay. There was sacrifice and pain. I stayed up until 3:00am to finish this book on a work night, shaking the bed with sobs and snot. This book destroyed me for a good period of time. I didn't want to read anything else. I needed an adequate mourning period. I couldn't fix this book hangover by re-reading. I just needed to let the pain run its course.

And now we have the The Wicked Lovely Series that have ended. Kind of a combination of both reactions. I will eventually re-read these.. but I still think that I need time to let it all marinate and sink in. I'm still drunk off those characters and that world. I MISS them. I did tweet a little with Melissa Marr about my feelings on the final book and that helped a bit (namedropping, sorry. But for real.. I felt like I was talking to an A-list celebrity!) It's been about a week and I've finally been able to divert my attention to another book, but it's still kind of hard when all I want to do is bribe someone to take a frying pan to my head and pray for temporary amnesia, so I can read the books like it's the first time.

Have YOU ever had a book hangover? Has there been a book/series that's had such a deep impact on you that you felt mildly depressed after the ending? And what do you do to help yourself get over it?