Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WHERE HAVE I BEEN??!!

Some people may have been asking "where have I been?"

Some may have even been doing this >>
I realize that I have been rather MIA lately and I apologize. My final semester of college is winding down and I have been swamped with work lately. I hope to get back into the swing of blogging, but right now it almost seems like a chore for me. It's hard to work blogging time into my schedule right now, but I think I'll have more and more time in the coming weeks (minus the last week of April when I'm going on vacation).

I have some reviews lined up and an interview (I hope!). I'm just waiting to hear back on the interview, but it looks like a go.

So again, I apologize for my lack of activity. I have some stuff planned, so hold on just a little longer :D


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Love You Hate You Miss You
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 276 pages
Date Published: June 1, 2009

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
You know, I always thought I told you everything, but there are some things I should have said but never did. I should have told you about the time I lost your new sunglasses. I know you really liked them. I should have apologized the time I ruined your brand-new skirt, the one with the beading. I should have apologized for a lot of stuff.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.

It's been seventy five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her, and she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone, and Amy doesn't want to talk about it. No one knew Julia like she did. No one gets what life is without her.

No one understands what it's like to know that it's all your fault.

Amy's shrink thinks she should keep a journal but instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. As she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past holds its own secrets--and that the present deserves a chance.

A single night and a collection of choices can change a person’s life forever. Amy learns this the hard way when her best friend Julia dies and she holds all the fault. Amy and Julia were the best of friends. They told each other everything…or at least they said they did. When Julia dies after a night at a party, Amy can’t help but believe it was all her fault. Without Julia around, Amy’s life is entirely different. Her parents have unwrapped themselves from one another long enough to pay attention to her and Amy can’t escape the stares at school. She says that she killed her best friend and even though her shrink is trying to get her to move on with her life, Amy can’t see how that is fair. Murderers don’t get to have a happy life, but maybe Amy needs to realize that what happened in the past isn’t all her fault and if she can let go and move on, she may still have a happy future.

Elizabeth Scott has once again amazed me with her striking ability to delve into the mind of a teenage girl and do it so genuinely and so realistically that even the most disheartening and sarcastic moments are completely heartfelt. Love You Hate You Miss You has a heavy plot line that isn’t meant to be viewed as simply a story about hope and moving on. Amy believes she killed her best friend and feelings like that are not easily dismissed. Amy creates a journal of letters to her dead best friend Julia. Through these letters, her sessions with her shrink, and some interactions with classmates, Amy is able to see another side to both Julia, as well as herself. Scott braves the psyche of such a troubled and guilty young girl and does so with such ease.

The characters in Love You Hate You Miss You are all hurting in some way or another. Amy feels the gamut of emotions because of Julia’s death and her part in it. Her classmates Caro and Patrick are also going through difficult times in their life. Their interactions are, at times, amusing, but so sad in other ways. These are just kids. They’re all so young and they have all had to deal with so much pain. Caro probably has it the easiest, but her storyline is just as affecting as Amy’s and Patrick’s. Life can be hard. Bad things do happen, but human beings have the incredible ability to persevere and I think that is the message that Elizabeth Scott wants to convey.

Opening line: Dear Julia, Get this I’m supposed to be starting a journal about ‘my journey.’ Please. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line: Now I could talk and they would listen. Now they wanted to. Now. It made something twist hard inside me because I always wanted them to really talk to me, really listen to me, but if I’d known what would make it happen – God, if I’d only known… ~pg. 136

*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Water For Elephants (3/23/10)

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 Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen:
"The big top still stands, glowing like a ghostly coliseum and pulsing with the sound of the band. I stare at it, entranced by the sound of the audience's reactions." ~ pg. 49

"Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell." Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

*Description taken from Goodreads

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Jekel Loves Hyde Book Trailer

A while back Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, held a contest to create a book trailer for her upcoming novel Jekel Loves Hyde. I read a little bit about the book and decided to try my hand at it.

By some stroke of insane luck, I somehow won the contest. I figured if Beth loved my trailer enough to choose it as the winning entry, then it must be decent enough to share with everyone else.

So here's my trailer for Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey:




Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge - Activity #10

This is the final activity for the Spring Break Reading Challenge
For this activity, Karin wants us to:
I want you to find 5 books.  These 5 books need to meet a certain criteria.  These 5 books need to either be about or take place in a winter wonderland.  In other words, snow, ice, or other winter-like weather needs to be involved.

My books are: 
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
In Ice, main character Cassie encounters a Polar Bear King and a love that defies reason---maybe fairy tales aren't make-believe after all... 












Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler
A paranormal thriller from Carnegie Medal–winner Tim Bowler!
It starts with a phone call. “I’m dying,” a voice tells Dusty. Who is he and how has he gotten her cell number? Dusty wants no part of this strange boy . . . until he begins saying things that only someone who knows her intimately could say—things that lead her to think he knows the whereabouts of her brother, who disappeared over a year ago. Suddenly drawn in, Dusty very much wants to save this boy. Trouble is, she cannot find him. Part human, part spirit, he won’t let himself be found. He is too dangerous, he says. There are mobs of people who agree and who want to see this boy dead . . . and who will hurt anyone who stands in their way.
A gripping, hair-raising mystery about a boy not of this world, and a girl determined to protect him.

Captivate by Carrie Jones
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.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony

Title: Restoring Harmony
Author: Joëlle Anthony
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
ARC, 300-ish pages
Date Published: May 13, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour.

The world of 2041 is so unlike our world today, but it is the only environment that 16 year old Molly McClure has ever known. Molly lives in Canada with her family and their quiet life is so set apart from the unrest that is constantly brewing just over the border in the US. When Molly’s grandma is found to be ill, she is tasked with making her way across the border and getting her grandparents to come home with her. Once there, Molly realizes that the US is unlike anything she has ever experienced before. The streets are dirty and she is terrified of what could be lurking in every shadow. Molly manages to find her way to her grandparents, but it’s not that easy to get them to leave their treasured home. Molly’s fight to restore her family pits her in some dangerous situations and she comes to find that her new ‘friend,’ Spill, may not be exactly who he seems. Can Molly survive the dangerous world that the Collapse has created? Will her family ever be whole again? Is Spill really a good guy? You’ll have to check out Restoring Harmony to find out.

I must be on some sort of dystopian kick because I feel like I’ve been reading them quite a bit lately. I was excited to read Restoring Harmony, but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Anthony has created a vast, dystopian world that could actually be a reality one day. The Collapse triggered the end of the world as we know it and even though Molly has always lived in that environment, she has never been fully immersed in it. Her experiences in the US ring so true and her 16 year old naiveté feels real and even endearing. The little love story between Molly and Spill is also a sweet journey. Molly doesn’t instantly fall for Spill, but is actually a little wary of him. Their relationship can be seen developing throughout the book and we can see the blossoming of something more, which is such a nice change from how things usually happen in YA novels.

This is far from a fast-paced, action book. A lot of the journey may appear to be mundane, but every single thing that Molly does is out of her devotion to her family and the life that is waiting for her. She is so determined to bring her family together and that determination stands as a beacon of hope in a downtrodden and dangerous world. The little family moments anchor the story and I was more than happy to see Molly’s journey right to the end.

Anthony has constructed a beautiful dystopian world, not just because it is realistic and vividly imagined, but because it isn’t devoid of hope. The McClure’s have been able to carve out their own little paradise and Molly only wants for her entire family to be able to experience that together. Molly’s father gives her his beloved farmer’s almanac and Anthony uses small excerpts from the book to begin several chapters. It is a very nice touch that gives the reader a little something more to hold onto Molly’s life in Canada.  Restoring Harmony is very much a character-driven, emotionally based story and I loved getting to know Molly and her family.

Opening line: When the plane’s engine took on a whining roar, my grip tightened on my fiddle case. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line (From the farmer’s almanac): December 24th – Other things may change us, but we start and end with family. –Anthony Brandt” ~ pg. 300

*This is the ARC version and words, sentences, cover art, etc. may have changed before official publication
4.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Princess Bookie's Contest Craze!

Princess Bookie is at it again with some her Contest Craze! She'll be holding a bunch of contests from March 9th-April 11th. 
You can see a list the current contests on the reference page.
More information can be found on the rules page and her ready set go page.

Make sure you're checking back frequently, so you don't miss anything!

Good luck :D

Spring Break Reading Challenge - Activity #6

Activity 6 involves creating a book cover from a random verb and then creating a synopsis to go along with it.
 Smoulder by Margaret P. Schulze
Malcolm Bennet can't remember much from his past. The little thoughts and fleeting memories come during dreams that he quickly pushes away upon waking. Malcolm's past is too hard and too saddening for him to want to recall, so he pushes on. His senior year of college is coming to a close and Malcolm has no idea what he'll do. Four years at a university and Malcolm still feels like the lost little boy who barely remembers his own parents faces. On the day before graduation, Malcolm decides to venture to the barren strip of land that used to hold his home. The strange circumstances surrounding the fire and explosion that took Malcolm's parents have left the community stricken with fear and confusion. The houses is now gone, but the ashes still smoulder and Malcolm's past still lives under its blackened surface.




Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge - Activity #5


Activity # 5 is all about obstacles. Obstacles that impede blogging, reading, or from just doing the things we really want to do. I can really speak about this lately because I'd love to read more and I'd love to post more on my blog, but it just hasn't been happening.


Here are the details for the activity:
For today's Activity, 1) create a blog post talking about the things that prevent you from getting things done.  It could be reading, updating your blog, or anything else you try to do and 2) can you come up with a plan to get past your obstacle?

1. School has been the biggest thing preventing me from reading, blogging, hanging out with my friends, and having a life. I only have class twice a week, but I'm in the home stretch now and I just started my Capstone about 2.5 weeks ago. I need 100 hours in my Capstone and 20 service learning hours, so all I do is drive to my Capstone and go home. Yesterday, I had Capstone all day long, but my mom had called saying she scored some Celtics tickets and I really wanted to go. I was able to leave my Capstone early to go to the game, (which was awesome since they won!) but it took so much time to pick up my friend, go home to get the tickets, drive to Boston, see the game, and finally drive back to school. I had a powerpoint due that I had to cram out this morning, so this is the first time in a few days that I've been able to use a computer for leisure purposes. Life (aka school with a dash of fun) has been kicking my ass lately and stopping me from doing the little things that I enjoy.

2. As of right now, I see no definitive way to open up some time and be able to do the little things because school is my #1 priority. I spend a good 1-2 hours of driving back and forth to class or Capstone, so that takes up a lot of time, but I have to do it. All of my powerpoint/presentation stuff should be done next week, so I won't have to worry about any of that and I'll have more time, but aside from that, my schedule won't be changing too much. I can always look forward to the fact that I am graduating (again!) in May and I'll feel very accomplished as a 21 year old with 2 degrees :D Once I'm done with school, I'll have all the time in the world...to find a job.


Teaser Tuesday - Love You Hate You Miss You (3/16/10)

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 Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott:
"Sixteen, about six feet tall, and just out of a 'treatment center.' I'm such a winner." ~ pg. 6

You know, I always thought I told you everything, but there are some things I should have said but never did. I should have told you about the time I lost your new sunglasses. I know you really liked them. I should have apologized the time I ruined your brand-new skirt, the one with the beading. I should have apologized for a lot of stuff.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.


It's been seventy five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her, and she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone, and Amy doesn't want to talk about it. No one knew Julia like she did. No one gets what life is without her.

No one understands what it's like to know that it's all your fault.

Amy's shrink thinks she should keep a journal but instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. As she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past holds its own secrets--and that the present deserves a chance. 


* Description taken from Goodreads



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge - Activity #3

I missed the first two challenges, but I want to try to post for the rest of them, so here's a start.

Activity #3 is basically a 'What are you Reading?" post:

Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony
(Description taken from Goodreads)
The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour.


Restoring Harmony is a great read. I actually just finished it, so my full review should be up later this week. The story is a little slow, but the pacing and chapter breaks really work well. It definitely has more of a character-driven plot line and I was really able to connect with the characters. The entire dystopian world is interesting and Anthony is able to starkly contrast the old world to the new one.

To find out more about Joëlle Anthony and her books, you can visit her website.

Spring Break Reading Challenge

Spring Break Reading Challenge

I've been a little MIA lately, but I'm attempting to get back into the swing blogging, while attempting to balance my hectic schedule. I've actually been on spring break this past week, but I was completely absorbed in my Capstone, so no fun stuff for me.
Even though my spring break is over, I still wanted to participate in the Spring Break Reading Challenge, so this is my sign-up post.

Here's the info straight from Karin the Librarian:
Okay everyone, now is the time to sign up.  Do you want to participate in the Spring Break Reading Challenge?  Do you want to have the opportunity to win a prize every day?  If so, fill out the Mr. Linky below and leave your name and blog address so we can get to know each other a little bit before the kick off.

Starting Friday, March 12th I will begin posting a new Activity every day.  You have the choice of participating in one or all of the Activities during this Reading Challenge.  Each Activity will have a winner (announced the next day) and will be eligible for a prize.  Be sure to check the Prize List page in a couple of days for a complete list of books up for grabs. 

I'm not sure what I'll be reading or how many books, so I'll leave it open. I'm hoping to read at least 3 books, but I don't know if it will happen with my Capstone and classes starting back up. Not to mention, my brother's birthday is Monday, so I could be a little distracted/busy.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Full Eclipse Trailer

Here's the FULL Eclipse trailer!!

Can it be June 30th already??


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Publisher: Egmont
Hardcover, 372 pages
Date Published: December 22, 2009

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
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.

Three years ago Grace Divine’s brother Jude came home covered in blood. That same night, Jude’s best friend, Daniel, disappeared. Pastor Divine and his wife sent both Grace and her sister away for three weeks and when they returned, the Divines acted as if nothing had ever happened. Three years later, Grace runs into Daniel at school and after a few mysterious and dangerous encounters, Grace decides she needs to discover what happened between Jude and Daniel and what everyone is really hiding.

The Dark Divine is an engrossing and addictive book. I had trouble putting it down. The mystery is so perfectly weaved into Grace’s desires to see Daniel that you can’t help but keep turning the pages. The characters are nicely developed and I felt so connected with Grace. Jude comes off as the goody-two-shoes type, but that’s addressed and Grace even comments on that. April, Grace’s best friend, is likable enough, if not annoying, until she starts dating Jude and turns into the worst best friend ever. The minor characters all work well in their roles too, but it’s Daniel that really steals the show. He’s smart, mysterious, and oh-so sexy. It’s easy to see why Grace is so taken with him.

The overall mystery in The Dark Divine revolves around what happened between Jude and Daniel three years ago and boy does it pay off. I hadn’t heard what the big mystery was before so I was so surprised when it all started to come together. Bree Despain has done a fantastic job weaving such a seductive, tantalizing tale together. This is definitely a story you do not want to miss.

Opening lines – From prologueish first page: Blood fills my mouth. Fire sears my veins. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: And in that moment, something–an energy–passed between us. Like the thread that had drawn me to him was now a live wire, a lifeline, that bound us together, and I needed to pull him to safety. ~ pg. 116
A solid 4.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - The Owl Keeper (3/9/10)

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 weeks teaser comes from The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones:
"Rage shook his body, erasing all thought, and he dove earthward, shrieking, as the eyes of the small owl grew wide with fear. Talons, outstretched, he snatched the trembling bird from her perch." ~ pg. 49

Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.

According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better.

Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again.

The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.


*Description taken from Goodreads

Princess Bookie Recreate a Cover contest!

Princess Bookie is having another slew of contests leading up to the read-a-thon. The details for the Recreate a Cover contest can be found at her blog.

I couldn't choose just one to recreate, so I did two.
Raised by Wolves original cover:
My cover, which I'm using for the contest:

Shadow Hills original:
My cover that I did just for fun:

So what do you think??

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