Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays (Week 1)

What are Waterfall Wednesdays you ask?  Each Wednesday for the month of September we will be reading, discussing, chatting, and gawking over the Hotties from Waterfall the amazing first novel in the River of Time series by Lisa Bergren.  Come join in the fun. 
Here is the schedule of events:
August 31- Chapters 1-6 Hosted by Tina at Tinasbookreviews
Sept 7- Chapters 7-11 Hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader
Sept 14- Chapters 12-17 Hosted by Joy&Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance
Sept 21- Chapters 18-23 Hosted by Jenny at Supernatural Snark
Sept 28- Chapters 24-28 and Wrap Up Hosted by Nic at Irresistible Reads

Need more incentive?  The amazingly talented and wonderful Lisa Bergren has offered a trilogy set of her series to one winner each week (signed if the winner is from the U.S.) and an overall chance to win a set of earrings from Venice.  How freaking amazing is that?  I told you she was wonderful.   

So on to this week's discussion...

Discussion Questions for Chapters 1-6

1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, shes depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?
I didn't connect with Gabi in the first couple of chapters.  I thought she was a little whiny and defiant.  She has these amazingly good looking and strong men trying to protect her and yet she tries to do things her own way.  I feel like she is an extremely strong character despite her flaws.  She protects herself and others even when things get dangerous.  I also like how devoted she is to her sister.  It shows that she is caring and kind underneath her bravado.  
2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there anytime in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?
I would love to travel back to Tudor England.  At this time the court was so scandalous and deceitful that I think it would be like living in a soap opera.  My life would never be boring and I would get to wear gorgeous dresses and crazy expensive jewelry. 

3. Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if shes a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of mens mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?
I think men of this time knew how to treat a lady properly.  They cherished women and while I do believe they were chauvinistic I think it was more out of their need to protect a woman than it was to be condescending.  I think it's amazing when men open doors, hold umbrellas and treat a women with respect.  That aspects often get lost in current times because women often feel the need to be independent.  It's a hard line to walk for women and men.  Women want men to treat them right, but mostly they want to be respected and treated as equals (along with a healthy dose of pampering once in a while).

4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?
While I don't think it is fair to judge others on their differences, I also think you have to be smart about who you are dealing with.  The Forelli's opened their home to Gabi, who was a complete stranger.  I would never allow a stranger to come and live with me and if I did I would be cautious much like the Forelli's were.  I also understand this situation must have been scary and confusing for Gabi as well.  She is just trying to find her way home and people are constantly critiquing her clothes, expressions and motives.  This must have been very difficult for her and the judgment probably didn't ease her transition at all.   
When I went to college I didn't know anyone at the college, much less anyone in the city.  I felt that everyone else had friends already and I was the only person who didn't know a single person.  I felt very alone and lost until I met some other people who soon became the most amazing friends in the world.  I definitely had a couple of rough days but they were worth it in the end. 

5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?
I think the coolest thing would be incredibly sexy men, with very big swords...protecting me.  I am a very independent person but nothing is hotter than a man defending my honor and willing to fight for me.  SWOON! 

I think the worst thing would have to be no indoor plumbing.  Yuck!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books That Are On The Top Of My TBR List For Fall

1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.  I fell in love with Anna and the French Kiss and from what I've heard Lola is even better. 

2. Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles.  Those Fuentes brothers are HOTT, HOTT, HOTT!  I can't wait to read Luis' story next.

3. Cascade by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  This is the second book in the River of Time series and if it's anything like the first one I'm sure I'll be blown away.

4. The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore.  Another sequel and I can't wait until I hear more about Six...yep I think I have a girl-crush on her.  She's fierce and a super warrior women. 

5. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead.  I was unhappy about Adrian's ending in the Vampire Academy series so I'm super excited to hear more of his story and see where he'll end up.

6. Past Perfect by Leila Sales.  I think this looks like a cute, fun read.  Plus who wouldn't love to participate in historical cool!

7. The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver.  This is a 2011 YA debut author.  I've had an arc of this book on my shelf for a while and I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

8. XVI by Julia Karr.  Same situation as The Demon Trapper's Daughter

9. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez.  A story of love, music and addiction. 

10. Supernaturally by Kiersten White.  Who doesn't want more of Evie and Lend? 

What about you?  What books from your TBR pile are you excited to read this fall?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review of Torment by Lauren Kate

Title: Torment (Fallen #2)
Author: Lauren Kate
Published by: Random House Children's Books
Pages: 452
Source: Won in a Contest
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★ & 1/2

Summary from Goodreads: Hell on earth. That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

How freaking gorgeous is this cover?!?!  I have to admit I think this is the most amazing cover I've seen in a while.  It's simply breathtaking.  I could probably gush about this cover for the whole review but I'll try and control myself. 

So I was a little crest fallen after reading Fallen (no pun intended).  In felt there were plot gaps and I never really understood what was happening.  Things get better in Torment and we do learn a little bit more but I'm still a bit confused.  I feel as if I'm not getting the whole story and, therefore, it doesn't make sense to me and I can't follow along. 

I really like that Luce stands up for herself a little more in this novel.  She starts questioning what people are telling her and doesn't have the blind acceptance anymore.  She's gaining more confidence and starts demanding answers.  I think this is great character development seeing her grow and mature from who she was in Fallen.  Some of our favorite characters return to us and we also get to meet some amazing new characters too.

If you’re up for a mystery or just a stunning cover for your coffee table this is a great series for you.   

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review of Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Title: Fury
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Published by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 352
Source: Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab
Format: Ebook
Rating: ★★

Summary from Goodreads: It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems... Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend. On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.

Yikes...this book scared me.  I feel like from now on I have to be perfect because I definitely don't want these Furies coming after me.  The Furies were some hardcore ladies.  I think I'd rather face some crazy ex-boyfriend than be targeted by this bunch...they were all kinds of horrible, scary, give you nightmares for month kind of chickas.  I love Greek Mythology and I knew a little about the Furies but I guess I didn't realize how cruel and conniving they could be. 

To give all you Greek Mythology novices (including me) a little more insight into Furies, the website Greek Mythology states 

"The Furies; Tisiphone, Megaera and Alecto, emerged from the blood of Uranus when he was castrated.[Ummm...YUCK (my comment not the website's)] They relentlessly persued wrong-doers to death. They drove many of the wrong-doers to suicide. The Furies were also known as the Erinnyes."

I definitely should have read this description before I read Fury, so I knew what I was getting myself into.  I'm not one for being scared when reading a book and I have an extremely hard time reading about bullying and that happened a lot in this novel and not just from the Furies but from many of the human characters as well. 

I didn't really connect to, or in fact like, any of the characters except JD (who was completely fab and definitely cute boy next door type).  They were selfish and hurtful people.  I didn't understand a lot of Em and Chase's actions and often wanted to sit them down and give them a stern talking to...or a nice right hook.

The writing however was fabulous.  Elizabeth Miles really made you feel the story and transports the readers into this alternate reality.  Any novel that can evoke strong emotions or feel real enough to scare the bejesus out of me has to have great writing.     

If you are up for a great scary story, full of mystery, action and full out spookiness this is definitely a book for you!   

Friday, August 26, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read
           My answer to this week's Follow Friday question:

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

Ohhh...that's a tough one.  I'd love to say vampires but knowing me, I'd get the blood sucking I'm going to tear your throat out kind, instead of the crazy hot, crazy sexy Noridc God type.  That being said, I think I'm going to go with witches and wizards.  I've always thought there could secretly be witches and wizards in this world, not the Harry Potter type but more like the Charmed type.  It could happen...right?

If you get a chance stop by Karen's blog For What It's Worth.  She is featuring me on Better Know a Blogger.  WooHoo! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review of Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Title: Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls #4)
Author: Ally Carter
Published by: Hyperion Book CH
Pages: 265
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★

Summary from Goodreads: When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her. Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.

I always thought being a spy would be cool, however, after reading Only the Good Spy Young and hearing about Cammie getting chased by The Circle I think my mundane life is pretty least people don't want to kill me.

Cammie, Bex, Macy and Liz have a mission. They need to find out who in The Circle is after Cammie and why.  They are deceived, lied to and most of all underestimated...not a smart thing to do when you're working with teenage super spies.  I really related to Cammie throughout the entire novel.  She was confused and didn't know who to believe or trust.  It doesn't help that Zach kept popping in and out of her life so much.  That darn really helps that he's smoking hot though.  I'd forgive him too.   

This is an action packed novel with surprises and betrayal around every corner.  At times I was laughing and other times gasping out-loud and "Oh no you didn't"-ing.  This is a really cute series and definitely one to add to your TBR pile.       

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review of Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Title: Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2)
Author: Simone Elkeles
Published by: Walker & Company
Pages: 324
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary from GoodreadsWhen Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

First we met Alex and now it's his brother Carlos' turn.  If you though Perfect Chemistry was HOTT, than Rules of Attraction (along with Carlos) is scorching sexy! 

Carlos Fuentes is confident, cocky and hates to be told what to do.  He feels as if everyone is trying to run his life and he resents it.  Surprisingly, his cocky attitude was incredibly sexy.  His smart-ass remarks had me laughing out loud and wanting more.  Just when I thought my heart belonged to the older Fuentes brother, Carlos found his way in and stole a piece for’s all good, the more the merrier. 

Carlos and Kiara's relationship was provoking and risqué.  They challenged each other and brought out the best and sometimes the worst of one another.  The sexual tension was so evident it lept off the pages.   

I also have to give a shout-out to Tuck too, who was the best gay best-friend ever!  WooHoo!  Tuck's Homecoming kit he gives Kiara is so funny and touching. 

Even though the plot line is similar to the first novel in the series this book was just as good.  There is just something provocative about forbidden love with the bad boy and the good girl. 
  Check out the book trailer for Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books You Loved But Never Wrote A Review For

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  What an unbelievable book.  If you haven't read this yet put it on your TBR pile.

2. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen.  Sarah Dessen is the queen of Contemporary fiction.  Her characters are so real and go through common situations that teenagers face everyday.

3. Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  It's all about a kid stuck on a life raft with a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker...or is it?  Amazing ending, it will blow you away. 

4. Any of the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling.  I hold these so close to my heart it would be almost impossible to put my feelings down in words. 

5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.  Heartbreaking and beautiful.  A book you won't want to miss.

6. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson.  This book still has me thinking about it even after 2 years.  I try and discuss it with every person who has read it because I want to know what they think about the situations that unfold throughout the novel.

7. The China Garden by Liz Berry.  I think this was one of my first young adult paranormal book I read.  I loved it and knew that this was a genre for me. 
8. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson.  I love novels from the male character's POV.  This one is all about Tyler and how he deals with his anger, rage and all other teenage emotions.     
9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I read this novel before I started blogging and I'm sure it's got enough attention so I never felt the need to write a review for it. 

10. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.  Did you really think I could make a list and somehow not include Melina Marchetta?  This novel is too amazing for least for me.  I'm sure others have the eloquence to describe to you how earth shattering this novel was but not me.  Instead I'll just talk about how wonderful it is every chance I get. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Review of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Published by: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 360
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary from Goodreads: When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.  In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

This book is HOTT!   

What's better than the rich white cheerleader and the bad Mexican gangbanger...nothing!  Once I opened the pages of this novel, I was so captured that I couldn't put it down until I was finished (which happened to be 4am).  I actually just gave Perfect Chemistry to my bestie to read yesterday and she told me she stayed up until 4:30am just to finish it too...yep it's that good.  

I loved the main characters, Alex and Brittany.  Both of them put on this fake air about who they really are.  They were trying to live up to the stereotypes that everyone expects them to be, but deep down they are both such amazing individuals just trying to find their way.  

Simone Elkeles writes a book that tells it like it is.  The harsh realities of life are not brushed over and life isn't perfect.  Instead it's rough, dangerous and at times heart-breaking.  

If you haven't started this series do it now.  Just make sure have enough time to read the whole thing at once because you won't be able to put it down.    

Friday, August 19, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read
           My answer to this week's Follow Friday question:

Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?

I woud love to say I'd be a side kick to Harry Potter (like Hermionine from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling) or someone like Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore or even another Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.  I love to be this fierce herione who is kick-ass and feared by all.  But truth be told I'm kinda of a wuss and really non-confrontational so I don't think I'd be very good at being any of the previously mentioned characters.  Therefore I think I'm going to write myself in as Anna's best friend in Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I'd be sweet, nice, living it up in Paris, meeting some Parisians hotties, and most importantly nobody would be trying to kill me all the time! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review of Jolted by Arthur Slade

Title: Jolted
Author: Arthur Slade
Published by: Random House Children's Books
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★

Summary from GoodreadsNewton Goddard Starker lives with a mysterious curse: his family attracts lightning. Nearly all of the Starker family have died from lightning strikes, including Newton's beloved mother. Fourteen-year-old Newton, the last in the Starker line, is determined not to be next, and he may have found a way to beat the odds. He has enrolled at Jerry Potts Academy for Survival, a boarding school in Moose Jaw, Canada, whose motto is Survival Through Fierce Intelligence. Newton's ready to learn, and to be remembered in the school's Hall of Heroes.

This novel had such an amazing plot.  Imagine generations of the Starker family being killed by lightning.  Newton is one of the last of his family members left and he is determined to survive.  He has lived his life by the weather reports, always being scared to go outside.  He decides it's time to concur his fears and fight his own battle by enrolling at Jerry Potts Academy for Survival.

This is a great novel for younger teens or tweens.  It's cute and packed with small adventures.  Though a lot of events happen throughout the book, the author doesn't go into great detail with each one so it almost seemed choppy to me.  It was a short book and I think some of the situations could have been expanded so the readers got more information not only about the events but also about the character's feelings and reactions.      

For me the characters were a bit underdeveloped and my favorite character ended up being Newton's pet pig.  I thought she was so adorable and reading about her made me want to get one for a pet too.  I absolutely love pigs! 

This novel has a unique story line and I think would be a huge hit with a young crowd. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review of Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover Ally Carter

Title: Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls #3)
Author: Ally Carter
Published by: Hyperion Book CH
Pages: 263
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★

Summary from Goodreads: When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them. As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Are there really schools out there that teach you espionage?  If so, where can I apply?  The whole idea behind Gallegher Academy is amazing.  It is a boarding school that teaches young women how to be the deadliest spies in the world.  Sure it would suck not having boys at your school, but I think I'd get over it after learning how to decapitate a man with a nail file.  (Ok yuck, I could never do that...I'd make a horrible spy.)

In this third novel of the series we get to see a little bit more of Macey.  I loved seeing this different side of Macey.  We've seen the stuck up rich girl side, and now it's nice to see the sweet vulnerable side of her too.  Don't worry Cammy, Bex and Liz are intigral to the story line too. 

The girls have little adventures and episodes throughout the novel but the ending is explosive.  You won't see it coming (well maybe you will, but I didn't...jeez I'm really killing my spy girl career here).  With kick butt spy girls, secret societies and a presidential election you won't be disappointed.   

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Covers (I missed doing this one and I thought we could all use a bit of gorgeous in our day)

1. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.  I absolutely adore this cover.  It's so gorgeous and from the purple hue to the calla lilies dripped with blood it's perfection.  I however despise the paperback version of this novel and I'm not a fan of the Hardcover version of Wolfsbane either.  It looks very exotic danceresque. 

2. Torment by Lauren Kate.  This cover is pure hotness.  I love the black dress and flowing black hair.  It's simply stunning.

3. Splendor by Anna Godbersen.  I have a thing for pretty dresses.  The puffier the better.  Someone should come up with a contest were they recreate the dresses off the covers (or find similar ones) and auction them off or have a giveaway.  That would be the best contest ever!

4. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.  I how it connects the flowers, apples, and garden from the story into the cover.  I also like how the title is sections off for this novel.  

5. Insatiable by Lauren Dane.  This is pure eye candy...enjoy!

So I couldn't come up with 10...I know complete and utter failure.  Oh well, I guess I'm either really picky today or just tired but that's all I got for you.  What are some of your favorite covers? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Review of Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Title: Mercy
Author: Rebecca Lim
Published by: Hyperion Books
Pages: 288
Source: NetGalley/Publisher
Format: ebook
Rating: ★★★

Summary from Goodreads Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate. But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

There are not many great mysteries in YA literature and when I picked up this novel I thought it was going to be more paranormal romance than anything else, but it turned out to be a wonderful mystery.

The plot was intriguing and fast paced.  I was constantly guessing who could have kidnapped Ryan's sister, Lauren, and my culprits changed every few pages up until the end.  I was right with Mercy every time she figured out a new lead or wanted to question a different person.  The search was well written and drawn out perfectly.  The actual confrontation itself, however, was a little abrupt.  I would have liked more dialogue explaining certain character's motives.  Also a little more action would have been nice too. 

My main objection in this novel is there were some plot gaps with who Mercy actually is and her purpose on Earth.  I was left feeling confused and that is not a feeling I enjoy when reading a novel.  Hopefully the next book in the series will clear up some of my confusion and give us some answers.  

How do you feel about plot gaps?  Are you ok with being confused during the first book in the series and having to wait to understand all the details until the series is finished?   

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review of The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

Title: The Sweetest Thing
Author: Christina Mandelski
Published by: EgmontUSA 
Pages: 352
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover

Summary from GoodreadsIn the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable. But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed. Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

Sheridan is haunted by her past.  She knows her mother still loves her and Sheridan is determined to find her and put her family back together.  Her plans seem to get thwarted when her dad lands the job of a lifetime...a cooking show in New York.

I completely understand Sheridan is hurting.  I would be completely devastated if my mother had  walked out on my father and I and only made contact through a birthday card once a year.  However, I feel her actions were a little unrealistic.  I feel I that after almost eight years that I'd still be hurt but I'd also be angry and not just a little angry but royally pissed off.  I never got that feeling from Sheridan, she still was under the impression that her mom would just return after being completely absent for 8 years and they could be a family again.  

As for the writing I really enjoyed the story line.  I loved hearing about Sheridan decorating cakes and her father making succulent meals.  The ending was a little predictable but it was still a cute story.  

The only thing I would have liked different (well besides a totally different attitude from Sheridan) would be for the characters to be deeper.  I didn't really feel like I got to know the characters or feel any attachment to them.  

Overall this was a cute read, but it left me wanting more out of the story.       

Friday, August 12, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read
           My answer to this week's Follow Friday question:

Q. How has your reading habits changed since you were a teen? or If you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with currently?

As for the amount of books I read it probably has increased a little but not too much.  I've always been avid reader even when I was younger.  The only thing that changed is probably the type of books (I actually read a lot more YA books now than I ever did then) and the format (I didn't read e-books back then because they didn't exist).  Now I tend to stay up reading later than I would have and also read books that have steamier love scenes.  For genres, I never read paranormal or fantasy when I was a teen but I did surprising read a lot of adult fiction novels.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review of Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published by: Ace
Pages: 325
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★

Summary from Goodreads: With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

Wow can you believe this series already has 11 books?  I devoured the first 10 books, but Dead Reckoning was a little slower for me.  It starts off with people trying to kill Sookie (no surprise there), but the surprise was that there wasn't a lot of action until the very end.  I'm used to these novels being jammed packed with action, blood, and some steamy love scenes and while this book had all those elements they were few and far between.

I did really like Pam and Eric in this novel.  You get to see a softer side of Pam and you can definitely feel compassion for her situation.  Eric is forever amazing in his god-like-sexy-Nordic-swoon-worthy way he is.  I have to admit that Charlaine Harris could probably have Eric go on a senseless killing spree and I would still love him.  And just as a side note, Sookie better end up with him when this series ends or I'll probably blow a gasket.

Overall it was not one of the best books in the series but still worth the read...especially to get some more Eric time.     

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review of Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Someone Like YouTitle: Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published by: Puffin
Pages: 281
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★

Summary from Goodreads: Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she's devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it'll never break--because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

As most of you know I'm a huge Sarah Dessen fan.  I love that her characters are so real and she write about actual situations teenagers go through everyday.  She is the queen of Contemporary Fiction for me. 

Halley was the stereotypical teenager throughout this entire novel.  She had a best friend who she was there for through thick and thin, a boyfriend whom she thought she loved, and typical teen angst against her parents.  Scarlett and Halley make a wonderful team and often reminded me of my friends and I (minus the pregnant teen thing).  Through the hardest time in Scarlett's life, Halley was there for her.  That equals pure awesomeness and definitely best friend for life material. 

Macon however was not your swoon-worthy leading man.  In fact, he was a first class jerk!  He never even came to the door to pick Halley up for their "dates" and if I learned anything from my parents it is essential show a girl and her parents some my dad would say "if you don't come to the door to pick her up and meet us then she's not leaving through the door." 

As for her parents, they are another story.  I absolutely despised her mother.  I literally couldn't stand her.  She not only didn't listen to Halley, but also didn't trust her or respect her.  At first I thought maybe Halley was over reacting as most teenagers have some issues with their parent now and then, but as the story progressed I released just how bad her mother was treating her.  I think Halley didn't make the best choices when dealing with her mom, but I also think that her mother should have trusted her daughter instead of trying to control her life. 

Ok sorry for all of the ranting.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and think it's a great book that covers many teenage issues such as pregnancy, peer pressure, respect, friendship, and parent-teen relationships.  It's not only a great read, but also one many people can relate to. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Underrated Books (books you can't believe aren't more popular, books that are more obscure, etc.)

1. Jellicoe Road/On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.  So if you've been hanging around my blog you probably have realized my love affair with Melina Marchetta and all of her pure amazingness with words.  She is literally the goddess of writing and should be added to Mount Olympius.  Move over Athena!
Jellicoe Road
2. The China Garden by Liz Berry.  I absolutely adored this novel and I haven't met another person who has read it (well besides my besties who I made read it and they loved it too).  

The China Garden
3. Schooled by Gordan Korman.  This book is all about acceptance and truely knowing who you are even when every else thinks you're a crazy smelly hippy.
4. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.  This is a cute novel full of action, fantasy, mystery, fun and puzzles. 
The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)
5. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.  This is one of my favorte books.  It has just a touch of magic and reminds me of Alice Hoffman's style. 
Garden Spells
6. The Life You Longed For by Maribeth Fischer.  This was a heartbreaking tale about Mitochondrial Disease, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and how a family deals with it all.  It's very moving and very powerful. 
The Life You Longed For: A Novel
7. The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle.  This is an exceptional story about sexual abuse of a child and the aftermath once the secret was discovered.  This novel will leave you breathless and thinking about it for days after reading.  You will want to seek out others who have read it just so you can discuss everything that happened.  
 The Kindness of Strangers

That's all I got this week.  I'd love to hear what some of your choices would be.  I'm always looking for new books that are not as 'popular' but just as good as the hit books.