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 à l’école 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!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winter Longing by Tricia Mills

When Winter’s boyfriend is killed in a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s robbed of the future she’d only just allowed herself to believe might be hers. Winter and Spencer had been destined for one another. And after his death, Spencer’s presence continues to haunt her.

But when her next-door neighbor becomes an unlikely friend, Winter begins to accept all that she can’t change. Can she open herself to a new future . . . and a possible new love? (Summary taken goodreads)
For some reason, I expected so much out of this book. I thought it would be a really powerful story, but it just disappointed me. To be honest, I don’t even think I really liked it at all. It was really simplistic. Basically, Winter and Spencer had been in love with each other practically for as long as they had known one another. Finally, they both admit their feelings and then days later, Spencer dies in a plane crash. Now, Winter is left grieving over the loss. Enter Jesse. The cute boy that lives next door to Winter.  He becomes Winter’s shoulder to cry on and is always there for her when she needs him. Will it be enough for her to move on?
            Okay, normally I start with how I feel about the characters, but I’m going to have to start with the plot. At first, I thought the concept was really, really good. Yet, when I read it, I ended up hating it. Yes, it’s wicked sad that he died so suddenly, but it just seemed really out of place.  Also, I understand the fact that everyone grieves in their own way, especially when you lose someone so close to you. However, it seemed as though that’s all that Winter did. Even the supposed relationship with Jesse didn’t really do much. I mean, there was some romance, but just not nearly as much as I anticipated and hoped for.
            Now, the characters. At first, I sympathized with Winter. She seemed like a genuinely nice character, but as the book went on, I started to get annoyed with her. As I mentioned before, she grieved a ton. I understand she lost someone extremely close to her and everyone deals with the death in their own way, but she started to reach the point of being obnoxious. It was like she couldn’t even function properly without him. Then there’s Jesse. I found him to be likeable, but nothing really stands out about him. It was truly sweet what he did for Winter. He was so supportive and kind. Overall, the characters were just okay.
            The writing style was easy to follow and the book was a short read. The fact that her name was Winter and she lived in Alaska seemed a bit cliché, but it wasn’t as though it would stop me from reading this book or anything. I did enjoy the setting though. Not many stories are set in Alaska, so it was quite refreshing to read something new.
            All in all, I’m not sure I’d recommend this book. It was slightly touching, but if you’re looking or expecting something deep and moving, this is definitely not it. This book just didn’t live up to my high expectations, but that doesn’t mean it won’t live up to yours. So check it out if you want and let me know what you think about it :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox #3

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. Woo! It's my third IMM! I have so many books that I still have to get through, and yet, I always find a way to get more! Here's what I got this week:


From the Library:
  Arthur Rimbaud: complete works translated by Paul Schmidt
Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

From a Friend:
Arson by Estevan Vega

Found in my basement (weird, I know, but I have a ton of good books hiding down there):
The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

So that's pretty much what I got this week. Kind of an odd mix, I know, but still I'm looking forward to diving into many of these. I love Arthur Rimbaud's poetry, plus he was young when he wrote most of it, so I admire him. My friend gave me Arson to read for her, because she wants to know if it's good. Basically, if I like it, then she'll read it. I've had Delirium for a little while, I just keep forgetting to add it in. I've been meaning to read it, but ever time I pick it up, I just keep putting it down. Ah, I'll get through it eventually :)

So, what's in your mailbox? 

Friday, April 15, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks a ton to Maddie at Miss Stilley presents... for the One Lovely Blog Award! It's so nice of you to give it to me and I'm extremely happy to have won it! It is my first award after all :) So, once you win, your suppose to share seven things about yourself and then pass the award on to fifteen other bloggers. Here goes nothing!

  1. My all-time favorite movie is The Notebook. It makes me cry everytime I watch it. Not only do I love the story, but Ryan Gosling is pretty amazing as well :)
  2. Audrey Hepburn is my idol. I love her in Breakfast at Tiffany's and I just find her to be an amazing person. She was such a classic beauty and she was funny as well. If there was anyone that I could meet, living or dead, it would be her.
  3. The Beatles are my favorite band. Their songs have such a simple meaning, but they're wicked catchy and I mean, c'mon. The Beatles will never die. Also, out of the four of them, John Lennon is my favorite :)
  4. I have an addiction to Harry Potter movies. Whenever the marathons are on, I almost always watch them. Then, I always want to be a wizard afterwards. It just looks so fun! Plus, the movies (and the books!) are fantastic!
  5. European history fascinates me. I think it's so interesting! Especially the Renaissance, Tudor period, and the French Revolution. Those are the periods that interest me the most!
  6. As if I hadn't talked about this enough already, I have an addiction to movies (almost like my addiction to books). I seriously love watching them, especially classics and old films. Such as Pyscho and Twelve Angry Men.
  7. I love to write. It's something that I've been passionate about since I was a little kid. I've written numerous stories and short stories over the years and my goal is to become a published author one day.
Finally, I would like to present the award to the following blogs:
Ink'd Out
I Devour Books

Congratulations you guys! You definitely deserve it :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Title: Dead Rules
Author: Randy Russell
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 384 Pages
Publication Date: June 21, 2011

Sometimes falling in love means you have to kill somebody.

Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were destined to be together forever. Of that, Jana was sure.

But Jana just died—in a bowling accident. And now she’s trapped in Dead School. Jana is certain that it won’t be long before Michael kills himself in order to spend eternity with her—but the days are passing and Michael is, inexplicably, still alive. So Jana decides to take matters into her own hands. And nothing—not even Dead School bad boy Mars Dreamcote’s enticingly warm touch or the devastating secret he holds about her death—will stop her from making her dreams come true.

Romeo and Juliet meets Heathers in this hilariously macabre take on paranormal romance, packed with heart-stopping suspense and sizzling star-crossed love.
(Summary taken from goodreads)

My friend received Dead Rules as an ARC and let me borrow it for review. This does not sway my opinion in any way whatsoever. However, I just want to thank Kreag for letting me borrow it and Harper Collins for sending it to him. That being said, let’s begin. Dead Rules is Randy Russell’s debut novel about a girl named Jana Webster who dies in a freak bowling accident (totally creative!) and ends up in Dead School. There, she meets all sorts of other dead teenagers. There’s only one thing missing: her beloved Michael. She has a plan though and all she needs is a little help from a few of her new Dead School friends.
            To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I thought the plot was very creative and the idea of Dead School was very unique. I don’t think that I would want to die and end up in Dead School only because it seemed really strict and some of the rules were ridiculous. Still, I’ve never read a book in which the main character died and ended up in school. Therefore, it was definitely a fresh, new perspective that I enjoyed.
            That being said, I hated most of the characters. I know that’s horrible to say, but most of them got on my nerves. Especially Jana! She complained so much about how she couldn’t live without Michael and how they were meant to be together. The girl could not function without him. She wasn’t just in love with him, she was obsessed with him and being obsessed with someone is never a good thing. Even many of her Dead School friends didn’t stand out for me. The only character who I really did like was Mars Dreamcote. First off, he has an awesome name. He also really surprised me as a character. I liked him in the beginning and ended up loving him in the end. All in all, the characters were a disappointment for me.
            However, the writing style was not. Normally, I don’t like third person books. It just makes it harder for me to connect with the character, but this one wasn’t too bad. Mr. Russell’s writing without a doubt targeted the teen audience. I especially enjoyed the fact that he added the stories of the deaths of some of the other people that Jana met at Dead School. It added a really cool perspective and I found it interesting to read about them, considering many of them died in peculiar ways.
            Overall, I would recommend this book if you enjoy paranormal reads. I’m new to the whole world of paranormal books, but I enjoyed this book for the most part. It was definitely refreshing because it wasn’t about vampires or fallen angels (not that those are bad, they just seem overdone nowadays). My only complaint is Jana, but if you can get past her, then you’ll really enjoy it. Let me know what you think :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

When high school junior Natalie--or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper--is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want.

But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected--especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?
(Summary taken from goodreads)

One word: AMAZING! I devoured this book in a day! I couldn’t put it down. I even went out to dinner and ended up taking it with me because I had about twenty pages left and had to know how it ended. This book was fantastic! It was cute, hilarious, and touching all mixed into one.
            The summary does a pretty good job of summing the main idea up, so let’s just get into the characters. Natalie was hilarious! She was down to earth, but at the same time she was a total girly girl. This made it all that much harder trying to stay undercover at a boy’s school. I loved her friends. They were total opposites which only made the story even more hilarious. As for Emilio, he was pretty cool. He was just an overall nice guy. He didn’t judge Nat (the name Natalie takes when she enrolls) and tried to be a good friend. The characters certainly enhanced the story.
            I thought the plot was creative. Sure, it’s been done before, but the way it was done was unique. At times it felt a bit unrealistic, like how easily she enrolled in the school, but the overall story made up for it. Despite, the tiny bits of the story that were unrealistic, it was pretty believable. There were so many times that I thought for sure Natalie’s cover was going to be blown. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.
            There are so many aspects of this book that I loved. For example, I give Natalie props for having the guts to spend a week at an all guy’s school. Sure, it sounds fun and everything, but when you’re trying to be a guy, well, then it’s a different story. Also, I enjoyed the fact that this book pretty much had a laugh on every page. No, seriously. This book had me laughing out loud more times than I can count.
            My suggestion? Read this book! I got so many comments on my IMM about how many people thought it looked good and you should definitely read it. It’s super cute and if you’re looking for a light read, then it’s perfect. By the way, can I just say how cool the cover is? It’s pretty much what drew me into the book. I love the fake drawn mustache and everything. Anyway, read this book because I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with it :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox #2

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 week I got:


The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
Fly Me to the Moon by Alyson Noel
The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
Tiger's Curse by by Collen Houck
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
I was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

I told you before, I have a serious addiction to the library, which is where I got all these books. It isn't a bad thing, but I continue to check out books! I'm there a few times a week and every time I go, I always tell myself I'm not going to check anything out and ended up leaving with a huge stack of them in my hand. Still, I'm pretty excited with what I got this week. I already finished Babe in Boyland so I'll be posting a review on that soon. Anyway, I can't wait to start some of these! :)

So, what's in your mailbox?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill

         Aquarius Logan McRae is a high school sophomore in Terra Bella Beach, CA and has been working all semester to impress her teachers in order to get into the summer writing camp she desperately wants to attend. But when this ordinary girl finds an extraordinary book, Fearless Astrology, her life is changed forever. Applying what she’s learned about the zodiac, she lands her own column in the school paper and a date with the hottest guy in school!
          But when Logan threatens to catch the members of a secret society called The Gears, who have been vandalizing school property by reading the stars, she quickly learns that she is in over her head. Will Logan be able to catch The Gears, save her love life, keep her newspaper column, and get into the writing camp of her dreams all through the use of astrology? (Summary taken from goodreads)

            This was one of those books that I just happened to find by chance at the library while I was browsing the shelves. I’ve always been interested in astrology, because I find it really fascinating that a person’s astrological sign can predict some of their characteristics. So, I figured I might as well give this book a shot. My expectations weren’t that high and it ended up surprising me. I actually thought it was great!
            Basically, Logan McRae is going through some of her mom’s old stuff and she finds this book called Fearless Astrology. Curious, she borrows it and finds it really fascinating. She’s also trying to get into this writing camp, but she needs her teacher, Mr. Franklin, or Frankenstein as she calls him, to approve of her writing. So, she starts using astrology to figure people out. Find out what they like and use it to her advantage. Surprisingly, it ends up working!
            The book certainly wasn’t perfect, but it had its good points. Like the main character Logan McRae for example. Or should I say Logan and her two best friends Chili and Paige. Talk about a tight bond! These girls had each other’s backs no matter what. I really respected the fact that Chili and Paige were so supportive of Logan and her new found love for astrology. As much as I enjoyed Logan and her friends, I disliked The Gears. Miss Hill never explains why they were called The Gears and overall, they just felt totally out of place in the story.
       The plot itself was great! Miss Hill really went in depth when describing different signs. It was interesting and I actually learned a lot from it. The only aspect I disliked was the fact that astrology seemed to take over Logan’s life. It seemed to sway everything she did and she almost became obsessed with it. I understand that the whole book is about astrology, it just seemed to go a little bit overboard at times.
            Anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in astrology. It truly is fascinating and quite helpful as well. This book is also good if you’re looking for a cute romance. It wasn’t really my favorite book of all time, but it was a quick, delightful read :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it's all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.
But Annika's plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?
Janette Rallison's proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time. (Summary taken from goodreads)
            This book really did have me laughing and crying at the same time. At points I was laughing so hard I was crying and vice versa. Still, this book amazed me. I had expected it to be a pretty light, fluffy read. However, I was in for a shock. This book was definitely happy and light-hearted, but the fact that her six year old brother Jeremy had cancer really hit hard and made the book more serious than I had initially intended.
            First off, Annika is just hilarious. She had such witty comments that I couldn’t help but literally laugh out loud at times. She also really cared about her brother which was another characteristic that I loved about her. She was willing to do anything to help him, even if that meant going to Hollywood and getting Steve Raleigh, Teen Robin Hood and Jeremy's idol, to come back with her. Steve surprised me as a character. I had really expected him to be the typical Hollywood star, obnoxiously rude and snobby. Yet, he wasn’t. Okay, so he didn’t really want to deal with Annika at first, but he ended up being a total sweetheart deep down which I thought was great!
            I enjoyed the storyline. While it didn’t seem totally realistic, it was still pretty funny. It was great following Annika on her trip and watching her go to all these lengths just to get a hold of Steve. It was just completely crazy and wild with all these bumps and turns along the way. Oh, and the ending has a bit of a  twist! I’m not going to tell you what it is of course, but I guarantee you won’t expect it.
            Despite the short review, I would recommend this book. Janette Rallison is a great author and this book definitely proves to be a great read. It’s a laugh-out-loud type of book even though it has its serious moments along the way. So, if you haven’t read it, you definitely should. It's a quick read, but I highly doubt that you will be disappointed :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. I'm excited to say this is my first IMM post!!! This is what I got this week:


So, I got all of these books at the library. I sort of, maybe, kind of have an addiction there :)

Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley & Hannah Hepler
Night Star by Alyson Noel
The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner
Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

So, what's in your mailbox?