Friday, May 27, 2011

What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen | Review

What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen | ReviewWhat Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Teen on May 10, 2011
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Who is the real McLean? 

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

picadillyblueSarah Dessen has always been one of my favorite authors and What Happened To Goodbye only reinforced my love of her books.  It’s another feel-good chick-lit story that I couldn’t help but enjoy.

Mclean Sweet has lived in four towns in two years.  She knows wherever they go she won’t stay long so she doesn’t make connections.  She creates a new persona for each town but in Lakeview, things change.  Mclean finally starts to be herself again and make friends but will it last?  What happens when the next move comes?

Mclean Sweet is a typical Dessen character.  She has her fair share of problems and a lot of them have to do with her messed up family.  Dave enters the picture and he just makes things more complicated.  He was adorable in his own nerdy way.  He was the perfect guy.  Oh and Dessen does throw in a character from her previous books but I won’t go into detail about that.

The story was great.  This is one Dessen book that actually dealt more with family issues than romance but I liked it.  It was really well balanced and I liked reading it.

Overall, What Happened To Goodbye is a must-read for Dessen fans and if you haven’t read any of her books yet, check one out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods #5.5) by Melissa de la Cruz | Review

Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods #5.5) by Melissa de la Cruz | ReviewBloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz
Series: Blue Bloods #5.5
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 28, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Vampires have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shapeshift and more. But in matters of the heart, no one, not even the strikingly beautiful and outrageously wealthy Blue Bloods, has total control. In Bloody Valentine, bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz offers readers a new story about the love lives of their favorite vamps - the passion and heartache, the hope and devastation, the lust and longing. Combined with all the glitz, glamour, and mystery fans have come to expect, this is sure to be another huge hit in the Blue Bloods series.

Also, witness the bonding of Jack and Schuyler.

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Bloody Valentine is the first set of short stories that I have read about the Blue Bloods but if Keys To The Repository is anything like this one I will have to check it out.  Bloody Valentine really shed some light on the characters that I love from the Blue Bloods series.

The first story is about Oliver and it also introduces Freya Beauchamp who will be in Melissa de la Cruz’s new book, The Witches Of East End.  I really liked finding out more about what happened to Oliver after Schuyler left and I like Oliver even more now.  And I am dying to read The Witches Of East End!

The second story is set in the past and features Schuyler’s mother, Allegra Van Alen, as a teen.  It is about her love for the human, Bedix Chase, who I assume is Schuyler’s father.  This one left me with some questions though so it wasn’t my favorite.

The last story is about Jack and Schuyler’s bonding and I loved it.  It takes place after the events in Misguided Angel and this story just reinforced my love of Jack and Schuyler together.  I can’t wait to see what is next for this pair.

Overall, Bloody Valentine is a great set of short stories to go along with the Blue Bloods series.  Each story had me hooked and I read the whole book in a little over an hour.  Sadly, now I have to wait for October to see what’s next!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han | Review

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han | ReviewThe Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Series: Summer #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 5, 2009
Pages: 276
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

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It’s 12:25 A.M. and I just read straight through The Summer I Turned Pretty.  This is one of the best chick-lit books I have ever read.  It ranks right up there with my favorite Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot books.  I can’t get enough of Belly and the boys and I am dying to dive into It’s Not Summer Without You.

Belly lives from summers.  Every year she looks forward to the months she will get to spend at the beach house with her mom, brother, Susannah, Jeremiah, and especially Conrad.  Belly has always been in love with Conrad but he has never shown interest in her.  This summer is different though.  This is the summer Belly turned pretty.

Ahh!  Conrad and Jeremiah are amazing.  I will take whichever one Belly doesn’t want.  Conrad was dark, brooding, and mysterious whereas Jeremiah was an open book.  Personally, I loved Jeremiah.  Conrad was a little too moody for me.  Honestly though I could not pick which one is better for Belly.  She was a great main character and I really liked her.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

The plot was a bit typical.  There didn’t seem to be a lot going on in the beginning but the book did not drag at all.  I could not stop reading it.  In fact, once I started it, I didn’t put it down once.  Jenny Han is a master story teller.

Overall, The Summer I Turned Pretty is a spectacular book and if you haven’t read it yet, now is the perfect time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman | Review

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman | ReviewIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Published by Penguin Teen on April 6, 2010
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 259
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

picadillyblueWow!  If I Stay left me completely speechless.  Gayle Forman is one amazing writer and If I Stay is a beautiful book.

Mia Hall though it was going to be a good day; no school and a family outing.  What could be better?  Things take a turn for the worse though when Mia and her family are in a devastating car crash and Mia is left in a coma.  Life doesn’t look so great for her anymore.  Things will never be the same.  Still, she has a choice to make.  Should she stay or should she go?

If I Stay is probably one of the saddest books that I have ever read.  I knew when I started it that it wasn’t going to be your happily-ever-after but I had no idea how much I would cry.  Still, it is one of the most beautifully written books that I have ever read and I can’t help but recommend it.

The way it’s written is different but it was a great way to show all the characters, not just Mia.  Stories are told through flashbacks of Mia’s memories and every memory showed something new about Mia and her loved ones.  It wasn’t hard to get drawn into the story.

Overall, If I Stay is a book that I highly recommend to everyone, young and old.  I know for a fact that my mom loved it too and she is a very picky reader.  I just know that everyone will find something to love about this book.  I can’t believe I waited this long to read it.

What others are saying about If I Stay:

The Book Parade’s review: “If I Stay was a relatively short read but it was packed with emotion and beautifully written.”

Finding Bliss in Books’ review: “While this story was set in an insanely short spanse of time, Gayle Forman still manages to create a beautiful novel so effortlessly that I grew to love.”

The Streetlight Reader’s review: “I desperately wanted to like this book since so many of friends have loved it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to like it or love it.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1) by Kimberly Derting | Review

The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1) by Kimberly Derting | ReviewThe Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder #1
Published by Harper Teen on March 16, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 327
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

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

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

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

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OMG! What can I possibly say about a book as awesome as The Body Finder? I had read reviews for it so I knew people liked it before I read it but I never thought it would be that good. Kimberly Derting’s debut novel totally blew me away.

Violet’s ability to sense the dead is unlike anything I have ever read about. It was super creepy but I couldn’t help but keep reading. As Violet was drawn into the murders of local teenage girls the book became even more impossible to put down. And it was pretty impossible to put down from the beginning. The story was so fast-paced and brilliantly written.

The characters were probably the best part of the book. The subject is so morbid but I found myself laughing at so many things in The Body Finder. Jay was cute, cocky, and incredibly clever. He made me laugh the most but Violet’s other friends, Claire and Chelsea, were close seconds. Claire was so clueless and Chelsea was more than happy to point it out. Of course, Violet was also great but in completely different ways. She was insecure in everyday life but she was brave in hunting down a killer. I liked her contradictory nature.

Overall, The Body Finder should go straight to the top of everyone’s to-read list. I can’t recommend it enough and I can’t wait for more from Kimberly Derting. The Body Finder has earned a permanent place on my list of favorites.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wings (Wings #1) by Aprilynne Pike | Review

Wings (Wings #1) by Aprilynne Pike | ReviewWings by Aprilynne Pike
Series: Wings #1
Published by Harper Teen on May 5, 2009
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 290
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

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Laurel always knew she was different but it becomes even more clear when she is forced by her parents to go to public school. She knows she doesn’t fit in but luckily she meets David. David is a bit of a science geek but at least he has friends.

Laurel finally begins to feel like she might fit in in this new world of high school and relationships until she finds out something that will change her life forever. At least, her life in the human world.

Will Laurel be able to split her life into the realms of humans and fairies or will she be forced to choose? And if so, which will she choose?

Wings is Aprilynne Pike’s debut novel and I was captivated with the story from page one. I mean who wouldn’t be drawn into a world of fairies, trolls, battles, and romance?

The whole story of Laurel and her families, the humans and the fairies, was such a magical story. The characters just seemed to jump off the pages and I was drawn into the book, wondering what was going to happen next and which world Laurel would choose as her own. I couldn’t put it down.

I won’t give away the ending but I will tell you that it is a total cliffhanger. There are set to be 4 books in the series and I already can’t wait for the next one. I just want to continue the story so bad. It was just amazing work and Aprilynne Pike deserves everyone of the five stars that I have given her book!

If you haven’t already picked up a copy of this book, you should get right on it. It is the perfect read for a summer day.

Similar books:
Need by Carrie Jones
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Monday, June 15, 2009

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith | Review

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith | ReviewYou Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 19, 2009
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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4 Stars

Emma Healy has never fit in with the rest of her family.

She's grown used to being the only ordinary one among her rather extraordinary parents and siblings. But when she finds a birth certificate for a twin brother she never knew she had, along with a death certificate dated just two days later, she feels like a part of her has been justified in never feeling quite whole. Suddenly it seems important to visit his grave, to set off in search of her missing half. When her next-door neighbor Peter Finnegan -- who has a quiet affinity for maps and a desperate wish to escape their small town -- ends up coming along for the ride, Emma thinks they can't possibly have anything in common.

But as they head from upstate New York toward North Carolina, driving a beat-up and technically stolen car and picking up a stray dog along the way, they find themselves learning more and more about each other. Neither is exactly sure what they're looking for, but with each passing mile, each new day of this journey, they seem to be getting much closer to finding it.

Emma Healy has just had the surprise of her life. While in the attic searching for a book for her father, she discovered the birth and death certificate of her twin brother Thomas. Why has nobody ever mentioned this to her? Is this why she always feels like she doesn’t fit with her family?

With the help of her nerdy neighbor Peter Finnegan, Emma sets off to visit the gravesite of her brother on the one day that she shares with her, their birthday. Along the way they run into some snags in their plan including a three-legged stray dog who seems to have taken a liking to them.

Is this the family Emma has always been looking for or is she just running? Will she ever find the place she truly belongs?

Jennifer E Smith has created a wonderful coming of age story in You Are Here.

Emma Healy and her family were wonderful characters. Yes I include Peter in her family. He just seems like he fits there. Her family was full of wonderfully eccentric people who loved her but never really knew how to show it. Throughout the book you get to see more into them and why they never mentioned the fact that Emma had a twin brother.

Peter was probably my favorite character. He was so funny and quirky. He was in love with Emma from the start and he couldn’t even admit it to himself. He was just so awkward and nerdy. I loved him.

And then of course the stray dog who made them his. He was found at a New Jersey rest stop and just decided to go with them. He was so cute and it was so funny how he seemed to think that Emma and Peter were the strays that needed him.

Also, the whole story was just cute. That is the one word I can think of to describe it. Peter and Emma are two unlikely runaways who end up finding their true homes while they are traveling across the country.

Overall, You Are Here is the perfect summer roadtrip book. I definitely recommend it for a long car ride or even a lazy day lounging by the pool.

Similar Books:
Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong | Review

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong | ReviewThe Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkest Powers #1
Published by Harper Teen on July 1, 2008
Pages: 390
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House...before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

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I absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one day, almost in one sitting but sadly I had to go to school.

I think my favorite thing about this book is how Chloe is just like a normal teenager except that she can see and talk to dead people. Her mom died when she was young and her dad is always away on business so she is normally alone, except for a few friends and her aunt Lauren who tries to fill in for Chloe’s mom. She usually keeps to herself so when things start to get weird she can’t really tell anyone.

So, at the beginning Chloe is in a school for the arts and she is just like all the other people in her school, except a little bit of a late bloomer. On the same day that she gets her first period she also sees her first dead person or at least the first person that she knows is dead. After being chased through the school by a dead janitor, Chloe is sedated and sent to the hospital and told that she must spend at least two weeks in Lyle House, a group home for unstable teens.

Once in Lyle House, Chloe meets some interesting people such as Liz, Rae, Simon, and Derek. Derek is a little scary at first, always sneaking up on Chloe and accidentally throwing her across a room. Once she gets to know him, though, she realizes that he is just like her and can’t control his powers. At first, Simon seems like he is just in the group home to stay with his brother, Derek, but once she starts talking to him she realizes that he is a supernatural also but his powers aren’t as obvious as Chloe’s and Derek’s. Liz also seems to have some powers but she never realizes that she is controlling them. She is transferred shortly after Chloe arrives because instead of getting better she seemed to be getting worse. Rae also may have powers but it was really hard to tell. She was placed in the group home shortly after giving her mom first degree burns when she never had a lighter or anything else that could have caused them.

There are others in the group home, such as Tori and Peter, but Peter gets sent home after Chloe arrives and Tori is the group’s resident witch and not in the supernatural way. Tori believes that because her mom is on the board of Lyle House she can do and get whatever she wants but Chloe interferes with her plans as soon as she arrives. Tori manages to get Chloe in many terrible situations, some potentially deadly, but it’s only because she doesn’t want her mom to be disappointed in her. Tori doesn’t play a really big role in the story, all she really does is get everyone in trouble.

Chloe, Derek, Simon, and Rae discover Lyle Houses’ secrets and realize that, maybe they aren’t there because they are crazy but because of their powers. They realize that they need to escape and that they need to do it soon. Once out, though, things don’t go exactly as planned. They are hunted down by the nurses and owners of Lyle House and chased through warehouses by guys with tranquilizer guns. Once the girls escape and find a safe place they think things are going to get better but none of them realized that someone close to them betrayed their trust.

Of course, I’m not gonna say who. That would give everything away. I truly loved this book and if you really want to know how it ends you will just have to find a copy to read. This book is first in a new series by Kelley Armstrong. The next book, The Awakening, will be out on April 28.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do-Over by Niki Burnham

Do-Over by Niki BurnhamDo-Over by Niki Burnham
Series: Royally Jacked #3
Published by Simon & Schuster on September 26, 2006
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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3 Stars

When it comes to love, how many chances do you get?

Girl meets prince. Girl looses prince. Girl gets prince back -- right? Well, that's what Valerie is hoping. She's back in Schwerinborg after spending some time with her mother in the good ol' US of A, and hopes that sparks are still flying between her and Georg. At first it looks like things are going great, until a ski trip to the Alps has Val and Georg's romance hitting some moguls. Could Val's love life be heading for a face-plant?

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In my opinion, this was one of the better books in the Simon Pulse romantic comedy collection. I think that Niki Burnham is one of the best authors in this series. I felt like maybe I could relate to these characters more than some of the others. I really liked Valerie and her friends. They seemed really funny and more like actual people than some other characters in books. The one thing that I didn’t really like, though, was how perfect Georg seemed. It was like Valerie was the only one in the relationship with flaws. It may make the book more like a fairytale but it isn’t realistic that he would be that fine with anything that Valerie may have done to mess up their relationship. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot to this book but it was still a really cute, easy read.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann

Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMannWake by Lisa McMann
Series: Dream Catcher #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 4, 2008
Pages: 210
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

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I read this book in about three hours. I started it and could not put it down until the absolute last page. Janie is definitely not your average girl but I have to say that I wouldn’t necessarily mind trading places with her if it meant that I got to meet Cabel. He is probably my favorite character in the book, even though there are parts where I want to slap him.

At first, I admit to being a little confused about what was going on in all the flashbacks but everything cleared up for me once we got to the present. It all begins when Janie is eight years old and falls into her first dream. After that she doesn’t seem to be able to stop herself from being sucked into dreams and is barely able to pull herself out once she is in. Normally the dreams that she is pulled into are just embarrassing or very revealing but everything starts to get really crazy when she is pulled into a violent dream that makes her very scared. What she doesn’t find out until later is that the dream that she is so afraid of is Cabel’s and she doesn’t find this out until she is already fully entangled with Cabel. There are so many parts of this book where Cabel seems like the nicest guy a girl could want and then there are the times that you want to rage at him. While Janie and Cabel are definitely the main characters there are other smaller characters that play important roles such as Carrie, Stu, Shay, the Captain, and a couple others. They all seem to have special roles in the book but they aren’t very developed yet and I am hoping that they will be enhanced a little bit in the next book, Fade. I’m not going to give away the whole plot here so if you want to know what happens then you will have to read the book and I would definitely recommend it.