Sunday, 28 February 2010

In My Mailbox (9) - Julie

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

I had a vlog all ready. Then I listened/watched it and it...no. My camera's video quality sucks. So, I took pictures! There's lots of pictures, so I'm just going to
link to the books instead of posting summaries.


From inkpop/HarperTeen(from a contest)

Wondrous Strange and Darklight by Lesley Livingston

From Barnes and Noble (today with parents' money)

Nobody's Princess
and Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner
The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison
Crank by Ellen Hopkins


I got the Sea bookmarks a few weeks ago/month in that orange envelope with the popsicle stickers that gives me hope summer will come. The bottom one is from a Mystic, CT bookstore I went to a two weeks ago.


The bookmark on the top left corner is signed. As seen here --->. I'm thinking of giving away one of the bookmarks. The signed one is sacred and I have one I actually use. But the third one is just...the third one.

And this is the one I got in Mystic. I wouldn't do the closeups, but you guys want to read the quotes, yes you do.









And that's everything. I'll also mention that while IN Mystic, I got Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard and The Distant Wave (A Novel of the Titanic) by Suzanne Weyn. Look out for reviews this week!

--Julie

Saturday, 27 February 2010

In My Mailbox (9) - Lanna

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

Me: We're not buying new books this week.
Me2: Oh really?
Me: Yes, really! Our TBR pile could rival the size of Mount Rushmore!
Me2: Oo-kay, whatever you say Alanna...
Me: Don't 'choo take that tone with me! We are not, I repeat: NOT buying new books this week!
Me2: Mhmm, yeah sure, oh hey - which would you prefer, this book or that one?
Me: Well, that one has a pretty cover but - no! Stop it! I will not cave.
Me2: Then why are you adding that book to your Amazon basket?
Me: You made me do it, you're a bad influence!
Me2: Hey, don't blame me for our lack of self control!
Me: But-
Me2: No, I will not allow you to blam- Oh, get that one too!
Me: SEE! It's all your fault!

...in conclusion: I have no self control when it comes to books. Seriously. I think I need to join a 12 step program or something. Now, onto the actual books I got:
Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Summary: In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper.

He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

I'm a sucker for Beauty & the Beast stories and this one has been on my wish list for ages but then one of the people I subbed to on youtube reviewed it today and I decided to finally get it.

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Summary: Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies.

Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

Another one that's been on my wish list for a while but a youtube reviewer convinced me to buy it. Plus, I'm in the mood to read one of those boarding school/spy type stories - the summary of this kind of reminds me of the movie D.E.B.S. (only without the lesbian twist that D.E.B.S. has).

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don't count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

I've read a lot of amazing reviews for this one so I finally bought it.

Teach Me by R. A. Nelson

Summary: Carolina is a science-oriented senior in high school, living in Alabama who takes a poetry class for her liberal studies requirement. With her best friend Schuyler, they could probably name the species of every animal living in North America, and all the particles in the molecules making them up. Yet it all seems trivial when love looms into the picture: an unfamiliar feeling that cannot be graphed or charted, and even worse, has to remain a secret.

Carolina is not your average girl, but one who finds herself observing those around her rather than actually interacting with them. Yet it all ends the moment Mr. Mann stepped into the room. Who could suspect that what lies ahead of her is a year of forbidden love, a rising passion and a betrayal of the worst sort?

I have a thing for reading about teacher/student romances - even though I don't approve of it in real life, the forbidden aspect of it makes it interesting to read about.

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

Summary: Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I should die before I awake,
I pray the popular attend my wake.

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible. Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.

If you thought high school was a matter of life or death, wait till you see just how true that is. In this satirical, yet heartfelt novel, Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at some times and the lengths we'll go to be seen.

I admit it, I bought it for the cover. But the story sounds interesting too.

Blood Countess: A Novel by Andrei Codrescu

Summary: I can't find a good summary of the book, but if you go here or look up the "Blood Countess" or Elizabeth Bathory then you'll find out more about it.

I kind of have a morbid fascination for stuff like this, Elizabeth Bathory was a real life old school serial killer - I first heard about her from the movie Stay Alive, which adds a modern twist to her story and I was shocked to find out there was truth to it. But anyway, I've been wanting to read some books on her for a while, from the reviews I've read I think this one mixes fact and fiction.

Later.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Historic Saturday (6)

All I have to say is: I fail. Now onto the review.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Choose: A quick death and hell or slow poison and hell.

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear.

Poison Study was very unique. I loved the characters and the relationships they formed. The writing was beautiful and descriptive, with a very helpful map to help you see Yelena's world. The romance was steadily built and beautiful, meaningful. Fortunately, I did not fall in love with Yelena's love interest because I know many people that would do battle for him.

Honestly, everyone should read this book. It's absolutely phenomenal. And, if you're like me and don't get the sequels, that's okay! The ending is not such an insane cliff hanger that you need the sequels or you'll pull your hair out. March is a huge book month for me, so getting the sequels isn't on my mind just yet, but I always know that I will be grabbing them when I can catch my breath!

--Julie

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Discussion: Books-To-Movies

As always, feel free to skip past my rambling to the discussion questions at the end.

Over the past few years the number of books being turned into movies seems to have drastically increased (I blame Twilight!), or maybe I'm just noticing it more now because it's more of the books that I happen to read that are being turned into movies.

I've seen some good adaptions and some bad ones and I think they tend to fall into four catagories:

  • Movies that stay relatively true to the books original story and it works, the movie is good.
  • Movies that stay true to the books but it doesn't work and the movie is bad.
  • Movies that are only loosely inspired by the books, they change things but the movie is good in it's own right.
  • Same as above only the movie is just bad.
When I watch a movie based on a book I've read, I try to judge them seperately because they're entirely different mediums - movies can't include everything from books so they condense thing and change things and add things to make them have more of an impact... a lot of people, I've noticed, tend to hate book to movie adaptions if they change things from the book but that's because they watched it expecting to see the movie version of the book as opposed to the movie inspired by the book.

Of course, there has also been an increase in the books being turned into TV shows too (True Blood, Vampire Diaries).

Discussion questions:

1. Books to movies/TV shows, yay or nay?

2. Do you prefer the movies to stay true to the books or would you rather they make the best possible movie they can using ideas from the book?

3. What are your favourite and least favourite movies based on books?

4. Out of all the books that are now possibly being turned into movies (Fallen, Shiver, Paper Towns, City of Bones, The Host, The Hunger Games etc.) which are you most looking forward to?

5. Are there any books you would not want to see turned into movies?

Later.

Waiting on Wednesday (12) (Part 2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

I've been kind of fail at blogging too. I'm in one of my slumps where I don't feel like writing reviews. Fortunately, I've got two books to review and I'm finally excited to be reviewing again. I'll work on them tonight and then post them as soon as possible.

Anywho, here's another more early March release. I almost totally missed this first one because I took it off my wish list (I'll explain why at the end of the post) but just remembered it. I *think* after this week I'll be moving back into my alphabetical order.

Forget-Her-Nots
Amy Brecount White
[3/2/10]

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale S
chool isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

This was one of the books that I knew I'd probably see it in stores and decide to grab it at some point, but since I already have a ton of books to buy at the beginning of the month, I knew it would have to wait. Then I won a contest on HarperTeen's site for writers, inkpop, that allowed me to pick any 3 books I wanted. So, I decided to include this in my requests. Oddly enough, I'll probably have this before all of my other exciting March releases!

--Julie

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

Technically, it won't be Wednesday for another hour yet here... but anyway, *tumbleweed blows across blog* I know, the blog has been kind of dead for the past few days - real life happening and all that but I should have a review up tomorrow or the next day, not sure about Julie.

Enough rambling:

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan


Release date: October 12th 2010 (GAH!)

Summary: Unknown, I can't find one online yet but not knowing what the book is about (although the book does give a hint) doesn't lessen my desire to read it (as explained below).

I saw this on Kristi/The Story Siren's books to pine for list and the title immediately drew me in - doesn't it sound so interesting? And then I noticed who the authors were and was filled with instant happy, I adore Rachel Cohn & David Levithan novels - Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist are awesome... seriously, I'm pretty sure the two of them alone are great authors but when they get together to write a book it's like some sort of epic literary smoothie! (Um, did that make sense? It did in my head.)

Later.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Discussion: Favorite Books

Right now, I've just returned from vacation and I took a bit of a reading break earlier this week, so I'm only half way through my current read and hope to have a review for it tomorrow. But for now...discussion time, yes?

After reading Beautiful Creatures, I had to evaluate my Top 10 books, something I mentioned in my review. So, I had to think about what exactly would be in my Top 10 first.

For me, my Top 10 Favorite Books would be:
1] Pride and Prejudice
2] The Time Traveler's Wife
3] Dreaming Anastasia
4] The King's Rose
5] Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
6] The Iron King
7] Beautiful Creatures
8] The Heather Wells series (Meg Cabot)
9] Anything by Eva Ibbotson
10] The Dark Divine

Besides the first two, none of them are in an exact order and my last three might not actually be in the Top 10, but the Top 20.

Anyway, I'm wondering what your Top 10 Favorite books are. And of course this has nothing to do with the fact I need new books for my wish list because I just overhauled it. Not at all. ;)

--Julie

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (11) (Part 2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

I'm currently on vacation out of state and have a monstrous headache, but I need to do a WoW because there's just too many good books coming out!

Sing Me to Sleep
Angela Morrison
[3/4/10]

THE TRANSFORMATION

Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR

When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE

When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK

The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.


I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, what can I say?

What are you guys waiting on this snowy Wednesday?

--Julie

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.
The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Release date: March 16th

Summary: Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like you best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...


The book sounds awesome and really, wouldn't that be such a nightmare of a situation to be in? Should be interesting to read about. :]

Later.

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton

Summary: From breathtaking stop-action animation to bittersweet modern fairy tales, filmmaker Tim Burton has become known for his unique visual brilliance -- witty and macabre at once.

Now he gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children -- misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and the tragedy of these dark yet simple beings -- hopeful, hapless heroes who appeal to the ugly outsider in all of us, and let us laugh at a world we have long left behind (mostly anyway).

This only took me like 10-20 minutes to read but it was awesome, all of the poems were really good, they managed to make me laugh out loud a few times and were brilliantly morbid in a way that only something created by Tim Burton could be.

The drawings in the book were great too (and were in colour, I didn't expect that), I'd have liked it purely for the illustrations alone: there's just something I adore about Tim's style, it's simple and messy but something about it is just complex and I so wish I had the talent that he has.

He strings words and lines together in a way that most people wouldn't think of doing and this book definitely had the same charm as Burton movies do. I kind of wish he would write an actual novel, I bet it would be all kinds of epic.

One of my favourite parts of the book was this (from "Voodoo Girl", she has coloured pins sticking in her heart):
But she knows she has a curse on her,
a curse she cannot win.
For if someone gets
too close to her,
the pins stick further in.
Anyway, I really liked the book and you should read it if these kind of books are your thing or if you're into Tim Burtons style.

Later.

Wish List: Captivate by Carrie Jones

I've decided that there is way too many books on my wish list to just post them on Waiting on Wednesdays. So... expect random "wish list" posts in between reviews.

[Note: the summary may be kind of spoiler-ish to those of you who haven't read the first book-- Need -- yet]


Captivate by Carrie Jones


UK Release date: 5th of April 2010
US Release date: Already out (I think)

Summary: Zara and her friends knew they hadn’t solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king’s needs grow deeper every day he’s stuck in captivity, while his control over his people becomes weaker. It’s made him vulnerable. And now there’s a new king in town.


You can read an extract of the first chapter HERE, on the Bloomsbury website.

I loved the first book in the series, Need (you can read my review here), and I can't wait to read this one (also, has to be mentioned: the cover is gorgeous!).

Later.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Summary: Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.

If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.


I don't even know where to begin reviewing this book: it was brilliant. Seriously. Courtney Summers has some mad skills when it comes to writing.

One of the things I really loved about the book was the fact that at times I really didn't like the main character or her choices, but even that didn't make me want to stop reading and you can hate her but relate to her and feel sorry for her at the same time. But then sometimes she's not so bad and having finished the book, I like her.

Courtney writes emotions so well and totally pulls you into the story to the point where it becomes emotionally draining--don't get me wrong, this is a good thing, it just proves her talent--and I even had to stop reading a few chapters from the end just to take a break from the effect of Regina's emotions. It's been a while since I've read a book where the emotions of the characters affected me to that degree, I'd find myself really hating a few of the characters (you'll know the ones I mean if you read the book) - I had to remind myself it was just a story a few times to calm myself down.

Because of that, I suggest you not read this book when you're in the mood for something upbeat or happy because this book isn't those things. Really, it's much deeper than just a story to entertain for a little while.

Michael was my favourite character, his past and what happens to him in the book is so sad and really, he deserves better than having someone like Regina in his life but at the same time he brings out the best in her - it's like him being such a good person starts to turn her into one by association and even if she's not what he deserves, in a way she's almost what he needs and I just loved that about their relationship.

It's difficult to explain further what I loved about the book without getting too spoiler-y so I'll just leave it at this: it was excellent, I loved it; the plot, characters and the writing and I'm so glad I already own Courtney's first book so that I can read more from her.

Later.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

*This review contains some minor spoilers. Don't want them, don't read the review! Just know that this book is awesome and I think you all should read it.*

Beautiful Creatures
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.

Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.

There was a curse.

There was a girl.

And in the end, there was a grave.


Lena Ducha
nnes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has be
en counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


How do I describe my love for this book? Let's start with what I did upon finishing it.

I read through the acknowledgments, turned to the back cover page (which is just a purple page) and fixed the slightly bent corner, closed the book, and hugged the book. I spent several minutes hugging and stroking the book, since I'd already moved the slip to avoid damage while reading. I thought about how to describe the amazingness of this book. I figured out if it made my top 10 favorite books (it does, hovering around spot 7). I hugged it some more.

Words cannot describe how much I simply adored this book.

Now for some irony:

Upon hearing about this book, it had no appeal for me. I don't really trust books about straight magic, because what can top Harry Potter? But I'd heard such good things about it and it's big book and it's got a pretty cover, so why not try it? I had the same feeling with The Dark Divine and that turned out well.

Originally, this was one of the Christmas books I ordered. But all of my other books were here and Barnes and Noble was telling me it wouldn't be here until February, which made me go "Erm...I ordered this in December, not worth it." So, I canceled my order and ordered Sovay. When I got more money, I ordered it again because it fit. Fortunately, there weren't any issues this time and it was in my hands a few days later.

But really, this book, even though you kind of know what's going to happen, it's still not predictable and makes you think and I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry.

Gatlin is everything I would think of when I think small Southern town. Lena is what I think of when I think of an outcast in that kind of town, but she also reminds me quite a bit of me. Ethan isn't a typical teenage guy and his more mature, less perverted thought process proves that.

I also loved the historical bits. Insanely fascinating and touching.

It does take some time to read, but that could be because I missed two days of school last week and lost a lot of reading time making up assignments and doing homework. The pace of the novel is also pretty slow, but at the same time it entices you. The way it moves, just as you're ready to put it down, something happens or a question is asked that makes you ache to read more.

I think everyone should read this book. But if you don't, you're seriously missing out!

And there's currently a contest for Lena's Birthday. Click here to celebrate.
--Julie

Sunday, 14 February 2010

In My Mailbox (8) - Part 2

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

So. Yeah, it's been a while since my last post but GUESS WHAT?! I got nine new books from Amazon! *jumps up and down with excitement*

1) Fallen by Lauren Kate
 
There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

2) Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Homeschooled Laurel begins public high school as a tenth grader when her adoptive parents move to LA., leaving behind the land that has been in her mother's family since the Gold Rush days. The many clues that Laurel is different (she is strictly vegan; sunlight seems to shine through her fair skin; she never gets cold; she craves the outdoors; she doesn't menstruate) culminate in a bump on her back growing to the size of a softball and blooming into a flower that has foot-long petals. Returning to her parents' land, she meets Tamini, a faerie to whom she is attracted, who tells her that she is not human, but rather is a plant or, more specifically, a faerie. David, her accepting and supportive classmate, tests her tissue and confirms that Tamini is right. When a creepy alleged realtor pressures the family to sell the land, the teens become suspicious, and they are soon fighting for their lives in a centuries-old battle between faeries and trolls. Laurel's struggles to figure out what it means to be human are matched by her struggles to determine what it means to be a faerie, and she is torn between love for David and love for Tamini.

3) Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.


4) Need by Carrie Jones

Zara's stepfather has died, her mother isn't capable of caring for her, and she has been sent to live with her grandmother in a small remote town in Maine. When her car spins out of control (Calling Stephenie Meyer!), she's rescued by sexy Nick (who turns out to be a werewolf), and something might be cooking with her overachieving classmate Ian. Too bad she's being followed by someone dark and dangerous—a pixie king. This pixie is no harmless sprite: when not mated with a queen for an unspecified amount of time, Zara learns, the pixie kings will demand... young human men, who they kill after using them for their blood-hungry pleasures. Will Zara sacrifice herself to this vampire stand-in or let him destroy everything she loves?






5) Revealers by Amanda Marrone

Witchin' ain't easy.
Jules has a rebellious streak, a massive crush on Connor, and the abilities of a Revealer witch. By day, she and her coven friends seem like typical high school seniors. By night, they have the power to make werewolves, vampires, and ghosts reveal themselves, so they can destroy them. It's not exactly cheerleading, but at least the girls know they're doing the world some good.
One by one, Jules's friends turn eighteen and are initiated into the coven's inner circle. And one by one, they are getting completely freaked out. Jules is the youngest, and though her friends are too scared tell her what's going on, something's clearly not right. As her birthday approaches, Jules realizes she's got to find out what's behind the shadows of her coven before it's too late to save her friends...and herself. But what she discovers may be too powerful for even the toughest witches to defeat.
 



6) Heavy Metal & You by Chris Krovatin
 
Sam wears spiked bracelets, gets wasted with his friends, and has almost encyclopedic knowledge about heavy-metal music. But he's also incredibly intelligent and as knowledgeable about classic literature as he is about the music he loves. Sam attends an expensive all-boys prep school in New York City, and he and his buddies often cut classes to smoke or get an early start on the weekend. But all good things must end, and they do with a sudden crash when Sam begins to date Melissa, a straightedge who doesn't drink or do drugs and doesn't like the fact that he does. Sam tries to modify his behavior for the girl who is more important to him than he ever thought possible, but pleasing Melissa means completely changing who he is.






7) The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

8) Shiver by  Maggie Stiefvatar
 
Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever.



9) Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Tough guy Alex is primarily known by his classmates as a dangerous member of the Latino Bloods gang. He’s not exactly thrilled when Brittany Ellis, the school’s seemingly perfect beauty queen, is assigned as his lab partner—and the feeling is more than mutual. But Alex’s bravado works against him when he impulsively accepts a bet that he can get Brittany in the sack. The romance that follows will not surprise any reader, yet Elkeles gives it heart by constantly switching point of view from Alex to Brittany to provide dual running commentaries on their minute-by-minute insecurities and urges. Brittany’s controlling parents and sister with cerebral palsy are well drawn, but it is Elkeles’ rendition of Alex and his life that is particularly vivid. Sprinkling his speech with Spanish, his gruff but tender interactions with his family and friends feel completely genuine.




I'm currently reading Fallen, and it's good! Only 40 pages in and I'm hooked! :)

-Deanna xx 

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

I wasn't actually planning on buying anymore books anytime soon, I told myself I wouldn't because my TBR pile could rival the height of a mountain (okay, slight exaggeration, BUT! It is over 100 books now). And well, me being me, I caved and ended up buying some. You know you're a book junkie when...

Anyway, I bought:

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Summary: Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin’s unpredictable behavior suggests that she is not what she seems — and the startling truth will test Finnikin’s faith not only in her, but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.


I absolutely love Melina Marchetta, she is one of my all time favourite authors, I so wish I had her way with words. So yeah, I'm looking forward to reading this one, it's something different to her usual stuff.

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton

Summary: From breathtaking stop-action animation to bittersweet modern fairy tales, filmmaker Tim Burton has become known for his unique visual brilliance -- witty and macabre at once.

Now he gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children -- misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and the tragedy of these dark yet simple beings -- hopeful, hapless heroes who appeal to the ugly outsider in all of us, and let us laugh at a world we have long left behind (mostly anyway).


I *emoheart* Tim Burton, his style is just - I want his imagination, seriously... gimme his imagination and Melina Marchetta's ability to write pure awesomeness and I could take over the world! - only not.


Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Summary (I cannot find a summary that summarises the actual plot - well, at least not one that doesn't spoil the whole book): Margaret Mitchell's epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time. Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feel their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives. In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.

Classics ftw, y0! I've actually read--and loved--about a third of this book already... including the end, I figured it's about time I read it all. Rhett is awesome, he just is - I also bought the 1939 movie of GWTW too.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Summary: Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father's " bunny rabbit. " A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston. Frankie Landau-Banks. No longer the kind of girl to take " no" for an answer. Especially when " no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew's lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way.


I've heard a whole lot of good things about this one, I've kind of been procrastinating about buying it for ages and well... now I have.

Later.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

March Releases

I'm a bit bored and there's lots of good books coming out in March!

Consequences: I'm With the Band by Laurie Depp (March 1)
Green Witch by Alice Hoffman (March 1)
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco Stork (March 1)

Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap (March 2)
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (March 2)
Forget-Me-Nots by Amy Brecount White (March 2)
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (March 2)

My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite (March 3)

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison (March 4)

Hourglass by Claudia Gray (March 9)
Scandal by Kate Brian (March 9)
The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (March 9)
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (March 9)

Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson (March 15)

Twilight Graphic Novel by Young Kim (March 16)
Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn (March 16)
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith (March 16)

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner (March 23)
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (March 23)
Epitaph Road by David Patneaude (March 23)

I'm itching for SIX of these books! This has to be one of the best book months of the year.

--Julie

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Summary: It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heart, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him. This is my story. A letter from nowhere.

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost


I am so glad this book had such a pretty cover because the cover was what made me notice it while browsing through books on Amazon, I can't even fully put into words how much I loved the book. Seriously, it has earned Lucy Christopher a spot on my favourite authors list.

It was so.. heartbreaking and real. The further into the book you get, the more you feel Gemma's emotions and by the end of it, you feel just as torn as she is... I loved Ty's character and throughout the story I'd find myself mad at Gemma for things she'd do or say to him but then I'd remember he's the one in the wrong, not her and that she was totally justified in being that way and then when he'd save her or help her, I'd think he was so sweet and awesome but then I would remember that she wouldn't have needed help or needed to be saved if it wasn't for him.

I thought I understood Stockholm's Syndrome before reading this book but after reading, it made me see it in a whole different way, you feel almost an echo of it yourself by the end of the book. It really made me wonder what I'd do in Gemma's situation, by the end of the book, I don't think I would've been as strong as she was.

Ty's story was so sad, everything he went through and in spite of everything, it's difficult to see him as a monster or a bad person - he has this weird innocence about him, he sees the world differently to other people, in a city or around lots of people he just doesn't fit in, he's like a part of the land he loves so much, he belongs there and because of him seeing things differently, he thinks he's saving things when really it's like he's the one who needs saving - it's heartbreaking.

The book managed to make me cry multiple times, the last paragraph of the book was the worst - by worst, I mean so powerful and amazing that I was crying for a good ten minutes after reading and my mind was left reeling long after I'd finished the story.

This is one of those books that is like a triple threat - it has great characters, an amazing plot and it's really well written... some books don't get firm ticks in all three boxes but this one does. Lucy Christopher is a brilliant writer and I now rank her right up there on the awesome author scale with people like John Green and Melina Marchetta (two of my favourites) and I can't wait to read any other books she writes.

You should go read the book, honestly, my review doesn't even do it justice.

Later.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Wish List: The Fool's Girl by Celia Reese

I know it's not (Waiting on/Wishing for) Wednesday yet, but I wanted to post about this book now. I'm tempted to start a new meme and call it Wish List Friday and I'll just post a book from my wish list (which is insanely long) every Friday (I'm sure there's probably a meme like that floating around somewhere, but whatever).

The Fool's Girl by Celia Reese

Release date (UK, not sure if the US one will be the same): April 5th 2010

Summary: Young and beautiful Violetta may be of royal blood, but her kingdom is in shambles when she arrives in London on a mysterious mission. Her journey has been long and her adventures many, but it is not until she meets the playwright William Shakespeare that she gets to tell the entire story from beginning to end. Violetta and her comic companion, Feste, have come in search of an ancient holy relic that the evil Malvolio has stolen from their kingdom.

You can read an extract of the book here.

[Has to be said: how awesome is that cover?]

Later.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (10) - Part 2

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

So, Julie already posted a Waiting on Wednesday post but I wanted to blog about this book, hence, Waiting on Wednesday part 2! :]

Forget You by Jennifer Echols Release date: July 20th 2010

Summary: When swim team captain Zoey wakes up from a car accident with partial amnesia, she is torn between the boy she remembers...and the one she doesn't.

It's no secret that I adore Jennifer's books and ever since she first mentioned this one on her blog I've been desperate to read it, it sounds awesome.

Also, how cute is that cover? All together now: Aww!

Later.

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

I DID forget a book guys. Silly me!

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions
Becca Wilhite
3/3/10

Sarah Howard's first year at the university is everything and nothing she expected especially when a very cute boy named Ben in her Art History class starts to show interest in her.

Sarah feels like she's an average, normal, everyday girl. So, when Ben (to whom she secretly refers as Adonis because she thinks he could be a Greek god) begins to take interest in her, Sarah is in denial. For one thing, last year she was deeply crushed and humiliated by Jesse James a guy who she thought liked her.

She's determined not to get burned again. But in her heart of hearts, what she really wants is a Jane Austen kind of romance. Ridiculous, right? That kind of romance doesn t exist anymore . . . or does it? Sarah is smart and fun to be around and even pretty, despite her Medusa-like red curls. She even plays the guitar. (So does Ben!) Yes, Sarah is everything Ben has wanted. He's crazy for her, but Sarah is just not getting it. She's playing hard to get, and if she s not careful, she s going to lose a real hot gentleman -- her 21st-century Mr. Darcy.

(I cannot find just a picture of the cover and don't feel like going through the process of getting it myself, but here's a link to the goodreads page.)

I'm always skeptical about Pride and Prejudice in the modern day, but the cover and title are so adorable, how can I not want this book?

--Julie

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Summary: It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped, in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth--and ultimately her life.

Go Ask Alice is based on the actual diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user. Names, dates, and places have been changed in accordance with the wishes of those concerned.


This book is about a girl named Alice (she never says her name so this is only an educated guess based on the title). She accidentally takes LSD at a party and is immediately hooked. She tries to quit, but it seems as though the universe won't let her.

I won't spoil it for those who intend on reading this book. If you do, I don't think you will be disappointed. One thing that shocks me is that it’s an actual diary of a 15-year old drug user… I find it crazy that the things she wrote in here really happened.

If you decide to read this book, be sure to read the epilogue at the end, or everything near the end would seem far too peachy keen. Writing wise, I was happily surprised. I picked out this book from curiosity and wonder, and the writing is actually not half bad. Hopefully you decide to read it, and it leaves a mark on you as it has done with me and many others.


-Janet.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Discussion: Swag





swag (n): plunder; booty.

or

swag (n): Promotional items, especially when given for free, considered as a group.






So, what does that mean to us in the book world?

I did the best I could to provide examples in the pictures, but to make it simple: bookmarks, t-shirts, jewelry, stickers, pins, posters, and bookplates are swag. Sometimes you have special things, like nail polish for The Dark Divine. ANYTHING can be swag, in theory.





















Swag is basically promotion for the books. Often times, it's extremely pretty. Except for the Twilight bookmarks. But that's mostly the fault of the people doing make up.

The basic thing is bookmarks. Other things like posters and pins and shirts come after that. Then if you're getting a package from the author or a friend or a contest, you could get anything relating to the book, like hair extensions, candies, and notebooks.

Now that I've caught up anyone not sure what swag is, the discussion.

I'm wondering what you all think of swag? Do you see it as just a way of promotion? Do you have any swag/would you want any? Is swag a good idea, but not your thing? Or are you swag-obsessed? Tell me anything and everything you can about swag and you.

My personal story/opinions:

I've always been kind of iffy about swag. I don't use bookmarks too often and I have three that work when needed, I'd have no where to put pins or posters, and I'm not sure I'd wear a t-shirt.

Then I began falling in love with book ideas more and more. I wanted ANYTHING that had to do with the book. Then Heidi Kling put out an alert last week that she was still up for sending out some more bookmarks and we had ten minutes to contact her. Since Sea is one of those books I'm desperate for, I took the plunge and asked.

Today an orange envelope with my name and a Popsicle sticker on the back arrived. My bookmarks were here.

With 5 in total, one of them being signed, I already have plans for three of them. And I'm kind of in love. The signed bookmark has been by my side for the past three hours...for no real reason. I'm tempted to put in next to the Guys and Dolls program that Lauren Graham signed last May.

Then I remembered in another author's news letter, she said if you wanted bookmarks for her new release, all you had to do was email and I got all excited again and emailed her.

So, how about you guys? Swag yay/nay, etc?

--Julie

Sunday, 7 February 2010

My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

My Love Lie Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

Summary: The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen.

Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.


I am shocked by how much I loved this book - there has kind of been a flux of vampire fiction flooding the YA market since the whole Twilight thing so I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did but I really loved it, it was really different from all the other books from the vampire genre I've read.

I really liked the plot, some of the background info on the Drake family and the vampire history was a little hard to keep up with in the beginning but beyond that it was really good and one of my favourite things about it was that, unlike most books, there didn't seem to be any filler chapters - all of it was interesting, it's not a very long book but I'd rather have a book this length where it never bores me than have a really long book that is mostly filler stuff and very little actual plot.

The characters were awesome, my favourites were Nick and Lucy - those two were just the height of adorable and their little moments had me smiling or laughing or aww-ing out loud throughout the whole book but even the minor characters were great, I loved Solange's family, the over protectiveness of her brothers was cute.

The book is told in alternating POV's, half of the story is Lucy's and half is Solange's and it was almost like reading two entirely seperate stories set in the same world - there were times where their stories would be more intertwined but not always, there were two entirely seperate love stories going on and they were both really unique and felt really different from each other while reading and somehow that made it seem more real.

The main characters were really strong, it's nice to read about strong female characters - that was one of my favourite things about Lucy, despite the fact she was just a human surrounded by all these vampires, she totally held her own and wasn't afraid to stand up for herself.

I really recommend the book and if you're like me, a little reluctant to read more vampire YA fiction because there's just been so much of it recently, I still think you should give it a chance. I can't wait for the sequel so I can get another fix of Drake family awesomeness.

Later.

Note: I think the book is published under the title Hearts At Stake in the US, with a different cover too.

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

I was going to add this onto the end of Julie's post, but whatever... I just got one book:

Skins: The Novel by Ali Cronin

Summary:
Effy has fled to Italy with her mum, where she tries to put her feelings for Freddie, and the guilt she feels for stealing him from Katie out of her mind. The perfect distraction come in the form of sophisticated older man, Aldo...

Naomi and Emily are struggling with spending time apart when Em goes to France with her parents and battles with her stubborn twin sister, Katie. Back in Bristol, Naomi pines for Emily while wondering about her future education.


Thomas and Pandora are sweetly in love, and finding it difficult to consummate their feelings for each other.


Freddy and Cook are engaged in a vigorous game of sexual one-upmanship with a frustrated JJ as referee...


By the end of the summer, the gang will have resolved some issues and brought up some more, but always in the raw, uncompromising, contradictory and authentic narrative style that makes the series so popular and compelling. Language and sexual references are graphic.


Skins is a UK TV show, I think it's airing in America now too - anyway, I really like the show and the book is what happens over the summer between series 3 and 4. I don't know if it's one of those books that you have to have seen the TV show to actually understand it or if it works as just a novel on it's own, when I read and review it I'll let you know.

I recommend the show too, it won't be everyones style but some might like it. There was a cast change between seasons 2 and 3, so you could just watch season 3 to understand the book a bit better.

Later.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Historic Saturday (5)

Someday this meme will become more regular. But when it takes me a while to read a book, everything gets thrown off. =/

To Catch a Pirate
Jade Parker

Once caught, it’s harder still to let a pirate go.

When Annalisa Townsend’s ship is set upon by pirates in search of her father’s treasure, one of the crew, James Sterling, discovers her in the hold. When he moves to take her necklace, she begs him not to, as it is all she has left of her mother. He accepts a kiss in exchange for the necklace. “A fair trade, m’lady,” he tells her afterward, before disappearing.

A year later, with a forged letter of marque, Annalisa is intent on hunting down the wretched James Sterling and reclaiming her father’s treasure from him. But now she’s in danger of him stealing something far more vulnerable this time: her heart.



There's really not much to say here. To Catch a Pirate is a quick read, probably better for a summer day on the beach than a sick day in February. It's very cute, though predictable, and the characters are all very much human. The plots been done before in different time periods with different levels of bad boys and good girls, but if you need some fluff, this is the right book.

--Julie

Viola in Reel life by Adriana Trigiani

Title: Viola in Reel Life
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Summary:  Viola's parents dumped her in the middle of nowhere. Well maybe "nowhere" isn't exactly true and perhaps "dumped" is too strong a word. As documentary filmmakers, her parents follow their stories. While they are filming in Afghanistan, they send their daughter to Prefect Academy for Young Women in South Bend, IN. Away from her home and friends in Brooklyn, Viola has resolved to be miserable. Her only comfort is in her daily IM conversations with her BFF, Andrew, and her personal video diary, "The Viola Reels." Then she meets her roommates, who are too great to be indifferent toward. Her constant video-camera-toting lands her on committees for school functions. To top it all off she meets a boy who shares her interest at a school dance. Suddenly, the ninth grader is happy, busy, and feeling at home. She even enters a film competition. Through the help and support of her friends and family, it could just be the short film of her dreams, maybe even good enough to win the competition.

*~*
I saw this book in my school library and thought it sounded good so I decided to read it. It actually was a good story to read. It's in the point of view of Viola and she thinks that her parents abandoned her so they could go film their video. She really wanted a one bedroom room but instead got stuck with 3 peppy roommates: Romy, Suzanne, and Marisol. They try to bring Viola out of her shell, but at first she doesn't really want to. The roommates were really good; not clingy or overly peppy... just normal teenage girls and I liked that.

She misses her best friend Andrew and she sticks to her videos and her camera instead of trying to be friends with these girls. Soon she starts opening up bit by bit and tries giving these girls a chance.

When she films the Academy's fields, she sees a mysterious woman in red on the film... when she was alone in that field. She's extremely puzzled by it and her roommates think it's some sort of spirit. 

She opens up more at the dance with the Academy's brother school and meets a guy named Jared. She and him share interest in making and watching movies and when they kiss they share a real connection. Jared is one of those guys who's real shy but can also be charming and sweet. I liked him pretty well.

All is dandy and fine but then Viola enters a film-making competition and so does Jared. Soon she and Jared's connection starts to falter a bit, as does her connection with Andrew... but Viola still has her roommates who swear that everything with her and Jared's just fine, that he's just preoccupied with his film.

Viola didn't annoy me as much as I thought she would. I mean, a teenager left in a boarding school while her parents are halfway around the world... I expected some complaining. She did kind of complain; she didn't think it was fair, she felt unloved, etc... but she kind of had a reason to.

Overall the book was really good. It was a book that wasn't filled with drama, but more of a girl just trying to fit in and make her dreams come true. (/end cheesy lines.) I'd recommend it fo sho!

...no. xD

Rating: 4/5 Stars

-Deanna xx

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