Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review+ Giveaway: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Published: March 13, 2012
Katherine Tegen Books
Hardcover, 368 pages
Source: LitLogistics
GR Summary: Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”-known to everyone as the Glitterati-without them suspecting a thing, is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?

FOR REAL. Robin Hood was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid. YES, I had a crush on a cartoon fox. What of it? He was SO ADMIRABLE for robbing that nasty Prince John and giving to the poor. The king of bad boys with redeeming qualities, my favorite type of character. Fast forward several decades to a non-cartoon but equally fictitious story of giving the poor what they deserve: fabulous clothing and an increase in social status.

Superficial? Absolutely!

Fun? You freaking bet.

I went into Pretty Crooked expecting fluff, which is precisely what I got. This is a fun, fast read about a girl who climbs quickly to the top of the high school food chain and instead of getting all high-and-mighty, decides to spread the wealth. Though she is quick to drop a pretty penny on some designer jeans, seriously. (This book did nothing for popular rich girls to win my favor, though. Willa's friends were douchebags and I praise the Lord I'm not in high school anymore.)

Pretty Crooked was entertaining and didn't require much brain power (my favorite kind of escape, for real!) and Willa was likable and a good person. I have much appreciation for a popular, pretty girl who doesn't become a superficial beotch with all her high school power. The love interest, Aidan, grated my nerves for the most part. But there's more to him than we initially see. Yay, depth!

If you're looking to escape, like I was, pick up Pretty Crooked and you'll read it in one sitting. Or hey, enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Hiatus: Time to Be Selfish.

Perhaps you have noticed that I haven't been blogging as much. Perhaps you haven't.

Either way, that's because I haven't been blogging as much. Or at all, really. Guys, I've neglected my summers for the past couple years on account of school and/or work. That's not going to happen this year. It's time for me to read the books that I want to read. You know, those pretty titles that I bought on release day, but somehow got pushed to the back of my shelf. It's time for me to read instead of stress over the fact that I have to review. It's time to go outside and have beers with my friends on the patio. It's time to go out on dates with my husband because I am not a basket case over school and studying anymore. It's time to get in shape, go for a run, sit by the pool, etc.

IT'S SUMMER TIME. And I refuse to make myself sit in front of the computer blogging instead of going outside.

Plus, blogging and I really have to take a little holiday anyway. It was beginning to feel like something I had to do instead of something I enjoyed doing.

Maybe it's because I'm flighty, maybe it's because I'm non-commital, maybe it's because I don't belong in the blogging world anymore. Who's to say? All I know is that when I find myself rushing through books to get to the next one, I'm not getting what I should be getting out of reading.

It's time for a step back.

I've got a couple posts scheduled for tours, but other than that, you can still find me tweeting EVERYTHING I DO on Twitter. Hopefully I'll be back in September :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tune in Tuesday (5): The Swell Season

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Ginger at GReads! I share Ginger's fanatical love for music. Seriously, we text about songs all the time in the form of "OMG YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS IT'S LIKE HARMONIC NOOKIE FOR YOUR EARS." It's one of my favorite things about her, so I don't know why I don't participate in this feature more often.

So I don't know if any of you have seen the movie Once. Well, I have. I had to watch it with subtitles because the amazing Irish accents were SO THICK AND DELICIOUS that I had no idea what anyone was saying. But the music? OH, the music. I heard that loud and clear. I was literally just flipping through the channels one day and the phone rang. I left it on one of those paid movie channels and answered the phone. It was like two angels getting married in my ears the first time I heard Falling Slowly. I hunted down the movie and watched the whole thing. Then I googled it and OMG THEY HAVE A BAND? WITH MORE SONGS?! It was one of the most glorious moments of my life.

I'd like to share the glory with you.

When Your Mind's Made Up (Live)

video credit: amoeba

Say It To Me Now (Live) (Make sure you watch the whole thing!)

video credit: passingplace

DEAR GOD, THE EMOTION. I can't handle it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Thoughts: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zietlin

Published: March 1, 2012
G.P Putnam's Sons
Hardcover, 288 pages
Source: eARC from publisher
GR Summary: Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course.
I normally opt out of reading books about 14 year old girls. Why? Well, they're half my age. Seriously, I haven't been 14 for a long time and barely remember what it was like. And unfortunately, I think I've become jaded in my adultness. Seriously, people have bigger problems than acne or "oh my goodness, DOES HE LIKE ME?!" So I struggle in relating to the younger crowd these days. But Meredith Zeitlin's title grabbed me.

Kelsey's voice was, as expected, very young. That being said, I think the author did a fabulous job of portraying a 14-year-old. Though I found myself shaking my head saying "oh, Kelsey. You just don't KNOW," more often than I can count, I did well to remind myself that this is not supposed to be someone with plenty of life experience and lessons learned. The fact that she was so annoyed by her parents is something that I could relate to as a teenager, but I found myself thinking that she really needs to be more appreciative of the figures that will eventually be her best friends someday. I am 100% Team "Listen To Your Parents, They Know WTF They're Talking About and You Will Regret Being So Resistant to Their Advice and Love," but I do think that younger readers may have more of an appreciation for Kelsey's attitude.

I'm not normally a fan of over-the-top humor and embarrassing situations like Kelsey encountered, but I did crack a smile or two reading about the messy and ridiculous situations in which our little protagonist found herself. No one likes to be humiliated in front of their crush and/or popular people they're trying to impress, but it was fun to read about!

Overall, I have developed a bit of a thing for Zeitlin's writing style, which is addictive, so I'd love to see a book with a more mature protagonist. However, if you're a younger reader or looking for something light and fluffy with no serious subject matter, then check out Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters! And if you're looking for something a little more mature, check out protags like Ruby Oliver or Jessica Darling, who could be Kelsey Finklestein's awesome older sisters.

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 Armchair BEA Kick-Off!

image credit to nina of ninareads!

Well hello, there! Yet again, it is that time of year where those of us who weren't able to go to BEA unite and have a little fun of our own. Armchair BEA allows us to do that! I'm looking forward to finding out about all sorts of new bloggers (new to the scene and new to me!)

The best part about Armchair BEA? I get to blog each day in my pajamas instead of going out there and braving the scary crowds and maybe getting trampled. Here's the part where I answer some questions and attempt to charm you into wanting to be my friend. (I'm not a weirdo and I'm pretty funny sometimes, I promise.)

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
My name is Jen. I'm twenty-something, married, full-time registered nurse, and I play mom to two cats. I've been blogging since September 2010. I've wanted to start my own little book blog since discovering such a thing existed. My inspiration was Kristi at The Story Siren. I used to stalk her blog back in early 2010 (post-Twilight obsession, when I was trying to figure out what to read next!) and was so shocked that there were twenty-somethings like me who dabbled in the YA genre. There's just something about those coming of age/first love novels that really speak to me. Not only that, but she was so enthusiastic. Her excitement about books was so very visible. I wanted to make people want to read, too.

What are you currently reading?
Currently reading Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, which I'm already aware is going to destroy me.

Where do you see your blog in five years?
Hopefully still up and running. I don't plan on curbing my enthusiasm over reading anytime soon, honestly. I will still read when paper books become obsolete. I will still read when "reading" means seeing print scroll across your field of vision digitally via the chip implanted in your brain allowing you to do all of life's mundane tasks without leaving the house. And you know I'll still have all my paper books on display, because they're just so friggin' pretty.

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

If you could eat dinner with any character, who would it be and why?
Jessica Darling and Ruby Oliver. They are my types of people. I think we'd get along fabulously. And if I were a single teenager? Well, let's not go there.

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
The enthusiasm. It's unmatched. Whether it be over cover reveals, title reveals, release date announcements, signings, meeting up with other bloggers... there is a certain magic about it all that only bookish people can understand. I'm glad I've found a community of people that geek out over these things like I do.
Not to mention, I've found some of my greatest friends through this little blogging thing. So much so that they've become the people I call/text first about non-book-related life events. (And also to geek out over all of the above. Duh.)

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
Well, my reading repertoire no longer only includes books about teenage vampires. Shazam. Big step in the right direction there, in itself! HA!