Friday, January 29, 2010

The Mark by Jen Nadol

Title: The Mark
Author: Jen Nadol
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Hardcover, 228 pages
Date Published: January 19, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?
Cassie Renfield has lived her entire life seeing this glow around some people. The glow could be explained away as a trick of the light, but the day that Cassie follows a man with the glow and watches him die her suspicions about the mark are confirmed. After the death of her Nan, Cassie leaves for an unfamiliar town with an unfamiliar relative and is confronted with the possibility that maybe seeing the mark is a curse, but it may also be her duty to do something about it.

I’ve been longing to read The Mark since I heard what it was about and Jen Nadol does not disappoint at all. She has created such a vivid world that is so much deeper than I imagined it would be. Cassie is instantly likable and I felt an incredibly strong connection with her from the moment she watches a man die. The plot is intense in that it poses the question “if you knew today was someone’s last, would you do something about it?” Cassie is in the difficult position of whether or not she should attempt to change what she views as fate.

After she moves to Bering, Kansas and enrolls in a philosophy course, her moral dilemma is compounded by her new philosophy major, TA boyfriend. What unfolds is a thought-provoking, ethically complex, and morally challenging story about a girl’s struggle to be normal while deciding if she should involve herself in someone’s last day. The Mark isn’t a fast-paced thriller, but it is quite the page turner. I loved every page and only wish there was even more to enjoy. Don’t go into this one expecting a light read. It will make you think. I’m still thinking about it and probably will for a while to come.

Opening line: There is nothing like the gut-hollowing experience of watching someone die, especially when you know it’s coming.

Favorite line: It always came back to that – my gut instinct that fate wasn’t meant to be tampered with.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Think About It Thursday (3): Classics

Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
With the recent death of J.D. Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, I wanted to see everyone's opinions of some books that are considered classics. This is mostly a YA blog, so that's what I focus on, but many classics could fit into the YA genre (if books had been sorted out that way in the past).

That being said, I mostly read YA, but I adore many of the classics. To Kill a Mockingbird is my all-time favorite book and I've always loved A Separate Peace, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Of Mice and Men, and anything by Kahlil Gibran. All of these are generally considered classics. Many of them can even be viewed as YA, or at least have a crossover appeal.

I'm big on the classics and love to read old books, but I don't often see people frequenting that section in bookstores. So, I want to know:

Do you, as YA readers, also venture into other genres?

If you do, have you read what some consider classics? (Maybe not what I mentioned, but other classics.)

If you haven't read any classic books, would you ever consider it? Or do you just like to stick with what you know?

I tend to not venture too far out of what I know I like, but I try to give everything a shot at least once.


Share your opinion!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - The Mark (1/26/10)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading


The Rules:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) or so “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

This week's teaser comes from The Mark by Jen Nadol:
I felt so guilty, a black and heavy feeling, like it was my fault or that I should do something, but what could I have said to the woman at the coffee shop? How would knowing she was about to die, but not how, have helped? ~pg. 83


Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers

Title: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos
Author: R.L. LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Paperback, 344 pages
Date Published: April 9, 2007

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo—and only Theo—who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. When Theo’s mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt—a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb—Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won’t be easy . . . she quickly finds herself pursued down dark alleys, across an ocean, through the bustling crowds of Cairo, and straight into the heart of an ancient mystery. Theo will have to call upon everything she’s ever learned in order to prevent the rising chaos from destroying her country—and herself!
Theodosia Throckmorton spends most of her days in the Museum of Legends and Antiquities. Her father is the Head Curator of the museum and her mom is quite the archaeological excavator. She digs up sites all over Egypt, attempting to find lost and ancient artifacts. What her parent don’t realize, is that the artifacts they dig up and display in the museum, hold ancient curses and are shrouded in black magic. Theodosia has the job of keeping her parents safe by getting rid of these curses, but because she appears to be the only one who can tell an object is cursed, she’s stuck with the task. What happens when Theodosia comes up with an object that is so cursed, it affects not only those around it, but all of Britain?

I am quite amazed that I had never heard of Theodosia. It must be because my brothers are too old for it (and are boys) and that I don’t usually frequent the children’s section in bookstores. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos was a fantastic read all in all. Theodosia is an intelligent, adventurous character who is strong and determined. She carries a lot of weight on her shoulders, but she does it willingly. Her parents aren’t around too much because of their jobs, which relates to my previous post about absentee parents, but that situation is addressed. With Theodosia’s lack of parental influence, she gets into all sorts of trouble, but she somehow manages to get through it.

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos is the perfect book for middle grade readers. The story focuses on a young girl, but I think boys would easily enjoy it as well. It has the right amount of action that would keep anyone intrigued.

Opening line: I don’t trust Clive Fagenbush.

Favorite line: Let them remember that his retribution was swift and terrible, as it will always be through all eternity.
4.5

Monday, January 25, 2010

Music Mondays (1/25/10)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.

This week I though I'd feature Florence + The Machine. They are this absolutely incredible band with some of the best music I've ever heard. This song is titled "Howl" and it's off of their album Lungs.

Teens Read and Write are holding another MegaBook Giveaway

Teens Read and Write are currently holding another MegaBook Giveaway!!

Their last one was HUGE and there were many winners. This one is going to be the same. So far, there are going to be 8 winners with more added with more followers. So go follow their blog, enter the contest, and good luck :D

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In My Mailbox - (1/24/10)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.


I had a huge haul this week.
Won:
The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand
Wolves of the Beyond by Kathryn Lasky
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

The Mark by Jen Nadol
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
All from Page Turners

Bought:
Twelve by Nick McDonell
Crashed (Skinned #2) by Robin Wasserman
The New Kid by Temple Mathews
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Friday, January 22, 2010

*Update* New Books in the New Year Contest



The New Books in the New Year contest is going great! Thanks for spreading the word everyone.

Don't forget that you get an extra entry for every review of mine that comment on and extra points are specified in other posts.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I reached 150 followers a while back, so a fourth winner has been added. I also updated the list of books to choose from to include:

Alphas by Lisi Harrison
Marly's Ghost by David Levithan
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Movie tie-in edition) by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Wicked 2: Legacy & Spellbound by Nancy Holder and Debbie ViguiƩ

Good luck everyone and keep spreading the word :D 



Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston

Title: Zorgamazoo
Author: Robert Paul Weston
Publisher: Razorbill
Hardcover, 283 pages
Date Published: October 16, 2008

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings? 

Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I'll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around . . .

What was it she saw? I'd rather not say. (Who's ever heard of a Zorgle, anyway?)

But if you are curious, clever and brave, if intrepid adventure is something you crave, then open this book and I'll leave it to you to uncover the secret of ZORGAMAZOO!

Join Morty the Zorgle and Katrina on a fantastically illustrated, you'll-wanna-read-every-word-aloud, sophisticated rhyming adventure for kids of all ages!
Morty is a zorgle. Katrina is a girl. Most people don’t realize that zorgles and other beasts actually exist, but when all of the zorgles from Zorgamazoo disappear, Morty is called upon to find them. He goes on this reluctant adventure and meets Katrina along the way. The two go on quite a journey and discover many different creatures, while also becoming great friends.

Zorgamazoo has to be one of the best children’s books I’ve read in a while. I read a good deal of it out loud to my friends (who are all over the age of 20), and they loved it. The entire story is composed in rhyme. It’s incredible that there are 283 pages full of rhymes, but also a story. Robert Paul Weston amazes me. I’ve never seen such a long story so well-crafted in rhyme. He is somehow able to move a story along, adding characters, development, and action; all while rhyming.

Zorgamazoo is probably one of the most easily enjoyable books I’ve read and I suggest teachers, younger students, and anyone who likes a good rhyme, go and read it. There's also some fantastic illustrations that readers will love.

Opening line: Here is a story that’s stranger than strange.

Favorite lines: Yet this gloomy deduction was only the start. She knew it was only the tiniest art; just a droplet of truth in an ocean of doubt, and soon, other questions were starting to sprout: questions of who, of why, and of how? These countryside zorgles–where were they now?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Body Finder Trailer & Contest & A Contest from Jen Nadol

For those of you who don't already know, Vania from Reverie Book Reviews has created a trailer for Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder. Check it out:


Kimberly is also holding a contest to go along with the trailers release, so check it out.



*The Mark has been officially released and to celebrate the book, author Jen Nadol, is holding daily giveaways from January 26-February 4th. Check out her post about it here.

Think About It Thursday (2): Blogging Time

Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
I considered not even posting anything today. My school semester just started back up on Tuesday and I had class all day long today. I was wicked tired when I got home and even took a nap for a while.

Thus, Think About It Thursday will focus on time spent blogging.

I try to get in a good amount of time blogging. Whether that's improving/tweaking my blog, creating posts, or commenting on other posts depends on the day, but I try to pop by every day. I don't post on my own blog everyday. I just don't have the time with school and my obligations at home. I also enjoy having a life outside of the internet, so I tend to pass up time at home for time at the dorms with my friends. There are also those nights when one of my favorite shows is on. I'm a big Gossip Girl fan and I've really gotten into The Vampire Diaries. I used to watch Heroes religiously, but once I missed one episode, I gave up on the entire season. Come February, I refuse to miss Lost. I'm currently attempting to catch up on all 5 seasons (I watched the first two live, but then only caught episodes here and there). I'm just starting season 3, but I think I can get through all five by February 2nd.

So, clearly, I have things to do aside from book blogging, but it's become something that I enjoy and want to do. I don't devote an incredible amount of time to it, but I still think I'm working on my blog for a good chunk of time.

So share your opinion here. How much time do you spend/devote to blogging? Do you think bloggers should post a certain number of times per week or make sure they get in a certain number of reviews in a month or so? If it relates, then feel free to share it.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Something, Maybe (1/19/10)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading


The Rules:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) or so “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

This week's teaser comes from Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott:
"The thing is, though, I would love a normal mom. A mom with a job that doesn't involve sitting around in her underwear reminiscing about how one time she and Jackson went to a club and had sex on the dance floor, or how she got the pizza ad." ~ pg. 11


Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showing pretty girls--and his "party" lifestyle--all over the Internet, and her mom, who was once one of her dad's girlfriends, is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for far too long, Hannah has learned how to stay out of sight...and that's how she likes it.

Of course, being unknown isn't helping her get noticed by gorgeous, confident Josh, who Hannah knows is her soul mate. Between trying to figure out a way to get him to notice her, dealing with her parents, and wondering why she can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn, Hannah feels like she's going crazy. She's determined to make things work out the way she wants....only what she wants may not be what she needs.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Best YA of 2009 Mega Giveaway



Book Bound is holding a HUGE contest to win some of the best YA books of 2009.
There's a list of 15 books you can win and there's currently going to be 3 winners. So if you like to read YA, then go and enter.


The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Title: The Secret Year
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Hardcover, 192 pages
Date Published: Januay 7, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.
Colt and Julia come from opposite ends of the hierarchy. Julia is from Black Mountain and has money, while Colt is from the flats and has a family who just gets by. For an entire year Colt and Julia have a secret relationship; a secret friendship, a secret life, a whole secret year together. When Julia suddenly dies in a car accident, Colt has to live with his secret life and the memory of his secret girl.

The Secret Year isn’t a traditional love story and it certainly isn’t Romeo and Juliet. Colt and Julia aren’t two kids who were in love on opposite sides of feuding families; no one even realized they knew each other. Colt and Julia were two kids living their lives and falling in love along the way. Julia’s sudden death leaves Colt as an almost broken boy trying to deal with his secret year and his secret life with his secret girl whose death riddles him with guilt.

Colt is such a strong, passionate character. I could really feel his honesty and how genuine a person he was. When I was reading The Secret Year, I felt like I was there with Colt, in his head, feeling every emotion he felt, and it was heartrending and powerful. There were many passages in the book that had me overwhelmed with emotion because Colt is so overwhelmed. He loved Julia and now that she’s gone, he doesn’t really know how to cope. Having a secret relationship with her won’t allow him to truly deal with her death.

Colt attempts to deal with Julia’s death by reading her journal. Julia’s journal entries are a nice peek into her life, but we only seem to know the Julia who’s with Colt. I never felt a huge connection to her, but I couldn’t bring myself to hate her like some people do. Through journal entries and Colt’s memories, we see the layers of Julia that Colt both loved and hated. We see the Julia who wasn’t sure what she wanted and didn’t know if she could end things with her Black Mountain boyfriend to have something real with Colt, we see the Julia who is wild and vivacious and completely carefree, and then we see the Julia who wants to love Colt completely, but isn’t sure if she can. Meeting Julia is like peeling the layers off of an onion. The more layers Colt peeled off, the more emotional the story became.

Reading this was a very intense experience for me. I knew the story wasn’t going to have this warm, happy ending, so turning each page was almost a bittersweet experience. Colt’s loss was my loss and his pain was my pain. And while the storyline is predictable at times, the message is strong and the writing is impeccable. Julia’s death forces Colt to realize that being an outsider and a poor kid doesn’t really matter; that first loves aren’t necessarily forever and that life does go on after death. Hubbard has done a stunning job weaving this intricate and breathtaking story of love, loss, and life.

Opening line: Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party.

Favorite lines: I should’ve known there are always strings. They’d slipped around my wrists and knotted up before I’d even noticed. They still pulled at me, still chafed.

And this one:

At the end, we’d both been pushing at the walls of our secret world, pushing at each other.
4.5

Music Mondays - (1/18/2010)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.

In the interview with Michelle Zink, I mentioned that Brand New is my favorite band, so I wan to feature them today.  So here's one of my favorite songs by them, "Limousine (MS Rebridge)." The song's very intense and emotional, so be ready. It's about a little girl who was the flower girl at a wedding. She was in a limousine when a drunk driver hit the limo and killed her. Parts of the song are about her and others are about the drunk driver. Maybe this incredible lyricism will turn you onto Brand New as well.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

In My Mailbox - (1/17/10)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

Only one book this week:

 Won:
Living Dead Girl (ARC) by Elizabeth Scott 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Think About It Thursday (1): Absentee Parents in YA/MG books

Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
So I’ve been really thinking about doing this weekly meme/discussion about topics that make people think. I've come up with Think About It Thursday. This may or may not be weekly, but I'll try to do it every once in a while.

For the first Think About It Thursday, I want to discuss parents/parental figures in YA and MG books.

Absentee parents seem to be a recurring theme in many YA and MG books. I don’t know if it’s just more convenient to have parents that aren’t around or if kids and teens are just more interesting without their parents. Obviously, a lot of things that happen in YA/MG books could not happen if parents were always around, but it would still be nice if they were there a bit. Maybe I’d like to see more relationships within the family because I’m a very family-oriented person, but the serious lack of parental figures in so many YA books bothers me. I’m not saying that some book opened my eyes to the lack of parental figures in YA/MG books, but I have noticed it.

In some instances, it seems perfectly plausible that parental figures aren’t around. Beautiful Creatures and The Secret Year, as well as many others I’m sure, present situations where it makes sense that parents aren’t around. In Beautiful Creatures, Lena doesn’t live with her parents, but she has Macon, who is a great parental figure. Ethan’s dad was never able to cope with his wife’s death, so it makes sense not to really have him around, but then Amma fills that parental role. BC is a perfect example of strong parental figures working their way into a YA novel. Macon and Amma fit perfectly in the BC world, but there are so very few parental figures that do in YA and MG novels.  In The Secret Year, Colt’s parents are there, but his mom works all the time to pay the bills and his dad drinks a lot. They are there for him, but they’re not close and that makes sense.

Then there are books like Hush, Hush, Deadly Little Secret/Deadly Little Lies, Need & Captivate, Shiver, etc that have nearly no parental interaction. Sure, some of the character’s parents are around and there are a few scenes with them, but for the most part, they don’t factor into the story at all. Each of these books works just fine without parents/parental figures (though Need & Captivate does have Grandma Betty, so including it here might be a stretch) but I find it almost annoying to see parents that care/pay attention so little.

In Hush, Hush, Nora’s mom loves here and they are said to have a strong, close relationship, but she’s never around. In Deadly Little Secret & Deadly Little Lies, Camelia’s parents barely pay attention to her. She nearly dies and they’re only around for the aftermath. She goes out to eat with her dad, but it’s brief and they never talk about important things.  In Shiver, Grace’s parents are only around, or even seem to care, when she is harmed. Her mother would be more than happy to never even pay attention to her. She’s happiest in her art studio, away from her daughter. I could even go into Twilight’s severe lack of parental figures (i.e. Charlie and Renee), but I won’t today. All of these parents/parental figures are doing a terrible job of caring for their children.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed nearly all of these books and if I didn't, it certainly wasn't because of a lack of parental interaction. Now, I know this may all come off as harsh and I know the storylines may not work so well with parents actually being involved in their children’s lives, but I’d like to see a little more interaction. It appears to me that it’s easier in YA and MG books to just make parents completely oblivious to what their children are going through. That, or the parents just don’t seem to want to even care about what their children are doing.

So what are your opinions on the subject? Are absentee parents just an easier way to make the story flow or should they be a little more involved in their children’s lives? Do you think it’s even possible in most YA/MG novels to incorporate strong, parental characters while maintaining the integrity of the storyline?

Sound off on it because I’d love to see everyone’s opinions.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Captivate by Carrie Jones

Title: Captivate
Author: Carrie Jones
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ARC, 258 pages
Date Published: January 5, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
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 gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Captivate picks up right where Need left off. Zara has just barely escaped the clutches of her pixie dad and now she, along with her friends and Grandma, must somehow keep the pixies at bay locked in an iron-fortified house. The only problem is that with the pixie king’s waning strength, new pixies are coming to town looking to take over. Not all pixies are as kind as Zara’s dad and not all pixies will allow the humans to survive. Astley, a seemingly friendly pixie arrives and forces Zara to question everything she has done to the pixies. His arrival also brings the potential for a war. Pixies want power and with the king in such a weak state, that power should be easier to obtain. What happens when the threat to Zara’s family, friends, and boyfriend becomes too great? Zara must make a decision that could change everything.

Captivate was just that, captivating. This sequel to Need is much more fantastical. The story is set more in the world of fantasy, as opposed to the more reality-based world of Need. Pixie legend and lore play a huge part in Captivate and the world of pixies is explored so much more. The phobias that were splashed throughout the pages of Need take a backseat to Zara and Devyn’s guide on How to Survive a Pixie Attack. This guide makes for great and funny chapter titles. I will say that I do miss the phobias though. They’re still in Captivate, but not nearly as much as they were in Need. The phobias gave Zara some quirkiness in Need and I feel like she’s lacking that now.

That being said, Zara gets so much development in Captivate. She begins to realize that locking up the pixies really isn’t morally right and maybe they should consider doing something else. Zara also starts to learn who she really is and maybe who she is going to be. There are still more than a few damsel in distress moments, but she finds some inner strength. I have to say that Zara wielding a sword was a little unbelievable to me. I can understand her need to fight, but Zara+sword=fail. It’s just not her. Aside from that I still love her character.

Nick, on the other hand, really got on my nerves. He went from being interesting and sexy in Need to be completely overbearing and controlling in Captivate. I was so thankful and overjoyed when Astley showed up to shake things up a little bit. I found myself completely drawn to Astley and reading on hoping to learn more about him.

Captivate is full of action, which isn’t bad, but I didn’t enjoy this as much as Need. The action seems forced at times; like it’s there just so something can happen. The story could have been stronger if it was more character-driven, but it is still a great follow-up to Need.

The ending leaves so many questions unanswered, so now I’m desperately awaiting the third book (which I’m praying has a whole lot more scenes with Astley).

Opening line: Sometimes there are bizarre people who actually like physical education class.

Favorite line (It’s actually a chapter title): Pixie tip: A pixie’s true skin color is blue. Cookie Monster, Grover and lovable Muppets are also blue. Do not confuse the two. Muppets don’t kill you. Usually.

*This is the ARC version and words, sentences, cover art, etc. may have changed before official publication
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Waiting on Wednesday: Dirty Little Secrets


Waiting on Wednesdays is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW is Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu. It comes out February 2, 2010.


Everyone has secrets. Some are just bigger and dirtier than others.

For sixteen years, Lucy has kept her mother's hoarding a secret. She's had to -- nobody would understand the stacks of newspapers and mounds of garbage so high they touch the ceiling and the rotting smell that she's always worried would follow her out the house. After years of keeping people at a distance, she finally has a best friend and maybe even a boyfriend if she can play it right. As long as she can make them think she's normal.

When Lucy arrives home from a sleepover to find her mother dead under a stack of National Geographics, she starts to dial 911 in a panic, but pauses before she can connect. She barely notices the filth and trash anymore, but she knows the paramedics will. First the fire trucks, and then news cameras that will surely follow. No longer will they be remembered as the nice oncology nurse with the lovely children -- they'll turn into that garbage-hoarding freak family on Collier Avenue.

With a normal life finally within reach, Lucy has only minutes to make a critical decision. How far will she go to keep the family secrets safe?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Secret Year (1/12/2010)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading


The Rules:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) or so “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

This week's teaser comes from The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard:
"The notebook had cracked me open, brought back Julia's voice. It was like I still had something important to find out about her. About us." ~pg. 41


Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.


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