Friday, July 6, 2012

Hey guys! I'm back. Well, hopefully. I know I said that before and then a year went by and here I am again. Things have been absolutely crazy in my life, which means that I haven't exactly had a ton of time to just sit down and read. However, that doesn't mean I've cut reading out of my life completely. I've been able to squeeze in a few books here and there, so hopefully I can put up some reviews. In the meantime, if anyone has some book suggestions I'd love to hear them. I'm looking for something good to read :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Submarine by Joe Dunthorne

The dryly precocious, soon-to-be-fifteen-year-old hero of this engagingly offbeat debut novel, Oliver Tate lives in the seaside town of Swansea, Wales. At once a self-styled social scientist, a spy in the baffling adult world surrounding him, and a budding, hormone-driven emotional explorer, Oliver is stealthily (and perhaps a bit more nervously than he’d ever admit) nosing his way forward through the murky and uniquely perilous waters of adolescence. His objectives? Uncovering the secrets behind his parents’ teetering marriage, unraveling the mystery that is his alluring and equally quirky classmate Jordana Bevan, and understanding where he fits in among the pansexuals, Zoroastrians, and other mystifying, fascinating beings in his orbit.

“It’s in my interests to know about my parents’ mental problems,” he reasons. Thus, when he discovers that his affable dad is quietly struggling with depression, Oliver marshals all the daytime-TV pop-psychology wisdom at his command–not to mention his formidable, uninhibited powers of imagination–in order to put things right again. But a covert expedition into the mysterious territory of middle-aged malaise is bound to be tricky business for a teenager with more to learn about the agonies and ecstasies of life than a pocket thesaurus and his “worldly” school chum Chips can teach him.

Ready or not, however, Oliver is about to get a crash course. His awkwardly torrid and tender relationship with Jordana is hurtling at the speed of teenage passion toward the inevitable magic moment . . . and whatever lies beyond. And his boy-detective exploits have set him on a collision course with the New Age old flame who’s resurfaced in his mother’s life to lead her into temptation with lessons in surfing, self-defense . . . and maybe seduction. Struggling to buoy his parents’ wedded bliss, deep-six his own virginity, and sound the depths of heartache, happiness, and the business of being human, what’s a lad to do? Poised precariously on the cusp of innocence and experience, yesterday’s daydreams and tomorrow’s decisions, Oliver Tate aims to damn the torpedoes and take the plunge.
(Summary taken from goodreads)

Let me first point out that this book has absolutely nothing to do with submarines. That being said, I still loved it. I honestly can’t put my finger on what exactly it was that I enjoyed about the novel, but it was certainly a refreshing read.  See, here’s the thing. It’s a movie too, a British film actually, and the only reason I had heard of this book was because I saw the trailer for the movie. The trailer didn’t impress me all that much, but then I found the book and decided why not give it a chance? I’m so glad I did because I ended up devouring it within two days.
            Oliver is definitely one of the reasons I enjoyed it. He was an extremely original character with all of these little quirks and habits.  He also had an insanely large vocabulary, but what I appreciated was the fact that after throwing these huge words at the reader, the definition was provided. It makes life easier for lazy people like me. I thought Jordana, Oliver’s friend and girlfriend, was a really interesting character as well. She sort of challenged Oliver and questioned his ways. Their relationship was certainly a unique one, but it was definitely fun to read about.
            The plot was a bit strange for me. I felt like it picked up from page one, then was really dry in the middle, but finished off strong. The beginning had me hooked from the start and was probably my favorite part of the entire book. Then the middle arrived and it just seemed to drag on. I felt like the conflict had already been solved and now the author was just sort of filling the space until another conflict arose, if that makes any sense. However, the dry middle was worth the strong ending. It wasn’t spectacular, but I felt that it wrapped up the book nicely.
            Overall, I would recommend this book if you’re looking for an out of the ordinary sort of read. It’s definitely quite unusual. Still, it captures teenage emotions in a rather relatable way. I really don’t know how to describe this book, because it is not like any other book that I have read. Still, I recommend checking out. So, if you read it, or have read it, or have even seen the movie be sure to let me know your opinion of it! As usual, when there’s usually a movie, I attach the trailer. So, the trailer is down below.


Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I last posted. Jeez! I’m really sorry about that. I probably should have given everyone a heads up instead of just dropping off of the face of the earth, but I’ve been ridiculously busy lately. I know, I know, it’s the same old excuse, but I really have been busy. These past few months have just been so hectic and I kept telling myself, “Okay Shaylene, you’re going to post today” and then I never would. So, I’m finally sitting down and posting. Let’s see, what’s new. Wow…I’m really drawing a blank here. That’s sad. I’ve still been reading, though not nearly as much as I would like to. Still, I have some great books to review in the near future, so be sure to be on the lookout for those. I guess that’s really all that I have to say. Oh, by the way, anybody read anything good lately? It’s finally summer and I’m looking for some good reads. If you have any suggestions let me know :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In My Mailbox #5

In My Mail Box is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that displays what books other readers got in their mailboxes this week. This isn't a huge week for me. I haven't and probably will not have as much time to read as I would like in the next few weeks, so I didn't get as many books. However, I did get a few and this is what I got:


The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer
Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher
The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon by Sara Beitia
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

All of these books are from the library. Lots of historical books this week. I read The Bad Queen, but I never finished it, not because I didn't like it or anything, just because I didn't have time. It was really good though and I am a huge fan of Marie Antoinette. I really want to read Ten Cents a Dance. The concept just sounds really good. I've wanted to read The Juliet Club for a while now because I'm a huge Romeo and Juliet fan and therefore love to read anything that has to do with the star-crossed lovers in any way, shape, or form. Anastasia's Secret looked really good, especially because I love European History. I saw The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon while I was browsing the shelves and decided to pick it up. Finally, Snow Falling on Cedars was recommended to me, so I decided to check it out. Anyway, that's what I got and I look forward to reading them :)

So, what's in your mailbox?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast.

That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth—that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real (Summary taken from goodreads).

So, I’ve come to realize that many of the books I find nowadays come from browsing Barnes and Noble, stumbling upon them at the library, and surprisingly blogging! A lot of books that I read are because I find them on other blogs, which if you ask me, is pretty awesome and helpful. Anyway, there is a point I’m trying to make through this rambling. Mad Love just so happened to be one of those books. I was browsing through some of the blogs I follow and I saw a few reviews for it. After reading them, I thought the concept was pretty cool and went to the library and borrowed it.
            At first, I was disappointed with the book and wanted to put it down, but I’m extremely glad I didn’t because it ended up being a great read! The beginning was bit slow. It took the first hundred pages or so to pick up (or at least, in my opinion, it did anyway), but once it did, I practically devoured it. It was a refreshing, new love story.
            I thought Alice was a wonderful character who was easy to relate to. She was wicked funny too. I loved the fact that she cared so much about her mother and was willing to help her out, even if it meant writing a romance novel, something she had never thought of doing in a million years. Even the two guys fighting over Alice grabbed my attention and dragged me in. There’s Tony, the new boy, who Alice is totally head over heels for. He’s sweet and it’s obvious that he cares about her. Then, there’s Errol, who claims to be the one and only Cupid. His character surprised me. Everyone pictures Cupid as a curly-haired baby in a diaper that shots people and makes them fall in love. Errol is nothing like that. He’s pale white and wears dark clothing, such as a hoodie that hides his face. It was definitely an interesting perspective on such a well known figure.
            As for the plot, in my opinion, it took a while to pick up. I had thought about putting this book down multiple times, but I stuck with it. And I am so glad that I did. It had such an amazing story! At first, it was a bit of a drag to read about Alice and her mother, but then Errol comes in and things start to pick up. I’m not going to lie. He was kind of creepy at first, insisting that she must write his story, but after a while I began to enjoy his presence. The writing only added to the story, perfectly targeting its intended teen audience.
             Mad Love is a cute read that I would definitely recommend. Not only does it have some romance, but it puts a new spin on a classic story from Greek mythology. If you read Mad Love and enjoyed it, be sure to check out Saving Juliet. It’s just as good. So, if you’ve read it or not, let me know what you think :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In My Mailbox #4

In My Mail Box is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that displays what books other readers got in their mailboxes this week. I think this is probably my biggest week yet. I really have to cool it with the library, but I'm always there! Plus, I've been reading a lot more lately, so it's actually been evening out. I just have to get caught up on my reviews. Anyway, this is what I got this week:


From the library:
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. Smith
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein
I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

A Royal Match by Tyne O'Connell
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky by Chris Greenhalgh
Harry Potter √† l’√©cole des sociers by J.K. Rowling

So, as you can see, it's pretty much my biggest week yet. Next week will probably be pretty small because I need to read through all of these first! Anyway, I'm very excited with what I got because a lot of these I've been dying to read for a while. So, let's see. I've tried to read The Luxe before, but everytime I tried, I couldn't get into it, so I'm going to try again. I've been dying to read The Bell Jar for a long time, but it's suppose to be pretty dark. I FINALLY gave in and got Across the Universe. I have not seen one negative review and though I'm not really into Sci-Fi, I have to see what all the hype is about. I want to read Something Borrowed before I see the movie and besides it sounds really cute :) My friend suggested Song of the Sparrow and Confessions of a Shopaholic and since I trust her suggestions, I got the books. I already read Pretty Little Liars, but I own every book in the series, except the first one, so I decided to complete my collection. Plus, I haven't read it in a while. Oh, and I ordered Harry Potter in French off Amazon, because while I don't speak fluent French, I know enough that I can probably get by and I figured that this book would only help me improve. Anyway, that's what In My Mailbox this week! Kind of crazy, huh? :)

So, what's in your mailbox?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I am waiting on:

Crossed by Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: November 1, 2011

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever
. (Summary from goodreads)

Now, I know I didn't really love Matched, but I'm hoping that the story will really pick up in Crossed. This book couldn't come out sooner!

So, what are you waiting on?

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.
Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.
Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.
This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.
(Summary taken from goodreads)

           Okay, so I volunteer at the library and one wonderful advantage of volunteering is that I often get the chance to order new books. The best part? Once these books come in, I get to check them out first. It’s pretty much a win-win situation. Anyway, I was browsing the catalog when I came across this book. I thought the cover was interesting and the story as well. I hadn’t really known too much about what it was about at the time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered it. Well, finally it came in for me and one morning I decided, well, might as well read it. What I didn’t expect was how absolutely disturbing and almost traumatizing it would be.
            Alice, who’s name actually is not Alice, was kidnapped when she was ten by a man named Ray. He wants her to be young forever, to be exactly like the way she was when he took her. So, to make sure this happens, he starves her, makes her walk with a hunch, and wear clothing that is way too small. Alice takes it without complaint, but she’s dying on the inside. All she wants to do is get out and be free.
            It’s hard to describe the characters, because of the way this book was written. Ray was a creep and the reader had to sympathize with Alice. There was no way you could not. Her situation was so heartbreaking. The plot was extremely moving. It’s a short read, one that I finished in a morning, but still amazingly powerful. When I finished this book, my stomach felt weak and I was left with such a disturbed feeling. It’s a real eye opener. Kidnapping and situations such as this occur more often than people imagine. This book definitely did a fantastic job of portraying the lifestyle.
            The writing was what made this book so terrific. The chapters were extremely short. Sometimes they were only a few pages, something they were only a few sentences. The sentences were also short and staggered. It grabs the reader’s attention and stresses the point that was being made. It also made the story a bit…ominous. Overall, the writing style was well done in this book.
            Personally, I would recommend this book, but only if you think you can handle it. It’s extremely disturbing, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. To be honest, overall, the whole concept is sickening. However, it was well written and extremely, extremely powerful. I read it a while ago and I know it’s not new, but still, if you have an afternoon and nothing to read, I would definitely recommend it!