Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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 First Day On Earth, which is surprisingly more older YA than I expected. I'm really enjoying the Mal's anger towards his 'peers' and the way he expresses it. Here's a totally non-spoilery teaser that tells you nothing about the book, but as a fellow bookworm, I can relate.
I do like they do. I go back to reading.
Always solace in a book.
Always silence in there. ~ pg. 25
*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy

A startling, wonderful novel about the true meaning of being an alien in an equally alien world.

"We are specks. Pieces of dust in this universe. Big nothings.

"I know what I am."

Mal lives on the fringes of high school. Angry. Misunderstood. Yet loving the world -- or, at least, an idea of the world.

Then he meets Hooper. Who says he's from another planet. And may be going home very soon.

*Description taken from Goodreads

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Case You Missed The Cover: Spencer Hill Press Edition

Here are two 2013, Spencer Hill Press releases that I am so excited to see!
Scheduled for release on June 1, 2013

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it’s in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it’s a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That’s the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

Find Michelle Pickett online:

Not available for pre-order yet

Scheduled for release on January 15, 2013

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct. 

Find Kelly Hashway online:
Blog | Twitter

Not available for pre-order yet

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Dutton
Hardcover, 305 pages
Date Published: October 16, 2008
Source: Bought
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.
 Going into Paper Towns is like diving into your absolute favorite food, only to discover that it is entirely different from what you expected. But it’s still really good.

See, the thing is, I loved Looking for Alaska and I adored Will Grayson, Will Grayson. So much so, that I think I expected Paper Towns to give me that same feeling right from the get-go, but it didn’t. I was into it, I really liked Quentin, and the idea of Margo Roth Spiegelman being such an enigma – or, as John Green likes to call beings such as her, a manic pixie dream girl. And the quirky dialogue between the two was fantabulous (I realize this isn’t a word, but it fits the situation).  But after Quentin and Margo’s one magnificent, adventurous night, I found myself hating Margo.

I think that’s expected. And maybe even encouraged. Because, let’s face it, Margo is not really all that great of a person. She’s selfish and self-centered, but she’s a manic pixie dream girl, so it’s okay. Quentin, on the other hand, is everything Margo isn’t. Where she’s wild and uncontrollable, he’s kind of boring and predictable, but he’s loyal and thinks before he acts. He’s also devoted to Margo in ways that don’t even make sense to him.

The push and pull, tension-filled relationship of Quentin and Margo drives the novel, only because Quentin refuses to let the girl go. Even when the girl goes…literally. The plot is based on human nature and the images we push onto others. Margo Roth Spiegelman is an enigma because her peers make her one. She coins the term paper town to describe the boring Florida suburb she lives in. She says the place has no substance, no dimension, thus, it is made of paper. And I think that kind of explains her too because everyone creates this image of her being this or that, but deep down, she’s none of those things. She’s a paper girl.

Getting from Margo Roth Spiegelman, the enigma, to Margo Roth Spiegelman, the normal girl, is quite the journey, for both Quentin and the reader. John Green has a natural talent for spinning tales that are so compellingly realistic that they tug at every single heartstring the body has, while making us smile at the same time. By the end of the book, I loved Quentin, I loved his friends Radar and Ben, I loved his sorta clueless parents who think he enjoys driving his mom’s mini-van, I loved the idea of people being comprised of only so many strings and once they’re all cut, we’re done for, and I even came to care for Margo.

Paper Towns will take the reader on an adventure without a true destination or endpoint. It’s a roadtrip without the map, but getting there and figuring out the mystery is the reason why it’s so fun. John Green fans will delight in this novel, thrive on the characters, and devour every single page. This book is just another reason why I look at John Green as a literary god. The man can do no wrong!

Opening line: The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines/passages:
Standing before this building, I learn something about fear . . . This fear bears no analogy to any fear I knew before. This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed. This is the fear that made fish crawl out onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead. ~ pgs. 140-141

Wobbling between 4.5 and 5 on this one
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find John Green online:
Buy it online:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards

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 a middle grade book that I'm right in the middle of. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards has something for everyone and I'm loving the two main characters.
"Guilt is such a useless emotion, Zee. You learn that by the time you get to my age. Besides, if I remember correctly, we were the ones that kidnapped you. Our fates were tied to yours the day we made that choice." ~ pg. 180
*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy

Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings, long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying usurper who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.

When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must go to any lengths to rescue her. Along with her best friend, Ridhan—a silver-haired, violet-eyed boy of mysterious origins—and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all.

*Description taken from Goodreads

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Title: The Way We Fall
Author: Megan Crewe
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Disney*Hyperion
ARC, 307 pages
Date Published: January 24, 2012
Source: Big Honcho Media/Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you're dead.

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

Megan Crewe crafts a powerful and gripping exploration of self-preservation, first love, and hope. Poignant and dizzying, this heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the next book in this standout new series.
The Way We Fall could easily be categorized as another end-of-the-world story, and it is, in a way. But it is so much more than that too. Megan Crewe has pulled all the most basic aspects of an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story and added the eccentricities and complexities that come with everyday human life. The story starts off slow, but builds up, bit by bit, layering the story with unwavering fear.

Kaelyn tells the story through letters to her once best friend Leo, who moved away for school. While we don’t really know Leo or get a feel for who he is, Kaelyn’s letters make everything so intimate and shocking. She doesn’t hold back with what’s happening in her town, she doesn’t hide her fear in her letters, so the reader will latch onto that and dread every cough and sneeze along with her.

The idea of this epidemic effectively shutting down an entire island is terrifying, but completely plausible. The science behind it fascinated me – the spread of the disease, the symptoms, the progression – all of it was enthralling in a morbid kind of way. I was distraught by certain character deaths and constantly worrying who would get sick next. It’s impossible not to care for Kaelyn, her brother Drew, cousin Meredith, her mom, dad, her uncle, her not-so nice friends, and even Tessa, her once best friend/crush’s girlfriend. They’re all helpless in the situation.

The Way We Fall is chilling in its telling and more than a little dismal, but Megan Crewe humanizes even the worst of situations and will make the reader feel every single moment. Despite the dire circumstances, the story is grounded in its heart – the emotional family moments, friendships, and the blossoming romance bring light to this island surrounded by death. The Way We Fall is more than just a story about an epidemic, it’s about the best and worst that human beings have to offer, and even amidst the suffering, there are still things to look forward to and reasons to hope. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Opening line:
    It’s about six hours since you left the island. ~ pg. 2

Favorite lines/passages: This is what we do. We make tea and read books and watch people die. ~ pg. 279
And I had to include this one:
Most people think the scariest thing is knowing that you’re going to die. It’s not. It’s knowing you might have to watch every single person you’ve ever loved – or even liked – waste away while you just stand there. ~ pg. 280

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Megan Crewe online:

Buy it online:

Giveaway has closed, winners have been notified

*Giveaway is sponsored by Big Honcho Media and Disney*Hyperion, I am only hosting. They will be mailing out prizes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In Case You Missed the Cover: Touched & Keeper of the Lost Cities

Here are two 2012 releases that I am very excited for...and they have spectacular covers!
Currently scheduled for release on August 14, 2012

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn't? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over . . . and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn't work.

But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something's about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift . . . and there's no way to stop things from happening. Or is there?

In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he's about to discover--or the choice he will be forced to make. . . .

Find Cyn Balog online:

Pre-order it online:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound


Scheduled for release on October 2, 2012 

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Twelve-year-old Sophie has always been different -- she's years ahead of the other kids in school and can read minds. She's always assumed there's some kind of logical explanation for her talents, but when she meets an adorable and mysterious boy, she finds out the shocking truth. She's never felt at home because she, well, ... isn't.

There are secrets buried deep in her memory, secrets about her true identity and why she was hidden among humans, that others desperately want and would even kill for. And she must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.

Find Shannon Messenger online:

Pre-order it online:
I can only find it on Kindle right now :*(

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ARC, 387 pages
Date Published: January 3, 2012
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 
Every once in a while, as story comes along that will completely take me by surprise. That will capture my attention and refuse to let go. Cinder is one of those stories.  And I was quite apprehensive about reading it too. What with the fairytale story turned on its head and a cyborg taking the place of the Cinderella we all know and love.

But the thing is, Marissa Meyer isn’t retelling Cinderella at all. This is an entirely different story with some throwback moments to the original. But Cinder stands all by itself as a strong novel with an immensely well thought out plot, characters that are so vivid that you’ll either love and adore them or hate them with a fiery passion, and a setting that comes to life. I loved it!

Cinder is everything a reader could ask for in a heroine. She’s strong, snarky, has quite the attitude, but is also incredibly sweet and loving. She’s a cyborg, but she’s more human than her not-so-nice stepmother. Her relationship with her stepsister Peony is the backbone to the story and Cinder’s love for the young girl comes through in all of her actions.

The plague that threatens Cinder’s home of New Beijing is captivating. The scientists, the research, all of it ties into Cinder’s life and will surprise readers again and again. The growing tension between Cinder’s world and that of the manipulative Queen Levana is palpable from the first page, but the twists thrown in are entirely unexpected and had me unable to put the book down. Readers will be dying to know more about Cinder, about Prince Kai, about Queen Levana, about the plague, and about a past that no one seems to know about.

Cinder will capture all readers, despite it seeming to be targeted towards a sci-fi audience. It is a phenom of a book with so many surprised thrown in to keep readers on their toes, while also adding touches of a fairytale we all know. Marissa Meyer has created the first of what is sure to be an enthralling series that I’m dying to read more of.

Opening line: The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines/passages:
This was just an old man who was determined to dethrone Queen Levana.
An old man who had somehow placed all his hopes on her. ~ pg. 383

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy

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

Find Marissa Meyer online:

Buy it online:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Think About It Thursday (19): Did Not Finish

Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
I’m the type of reader that reads everything until the very end. I don’t care if I’m not enjoying the book that much, if I can’t stand the characters, or if I want to throw the book against the wall. For some reason, I NEED to finish it.

But seeing as how my reading time has been so strained lately, I’ve begun the difficult process of giving up on books. I’ve had several that I’ve put down and never picked back up because I just couldn’t get into them. It’s sad, but necessary. 

I don’t have a set page number where I say ‘It’s over,’ and I try to get into the story, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I’m having that problem right now with Why We Broke Up…and I was debating making some snarky post about why I broke up with Why We Broke Up, but I chose to just do this.
I haven’t written up any reviews for books I didn’t finish, but I know others do.

Is this something you’d like to see? Do you have books that you have to give up on? Do you have certain criteria, page numbers, etc. that you meet before you give up?

For those of you who are interested in some DNF books, Lori from Pure Imagination has this interesting feature called Book Break Ups, where she spotlights books she had to put down, but also includes links to positive reviews by others.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox Vlog - (1/15/12)

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.

Not too much, but I bought books for the first time in a very long while:
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (4 book boxed set) by Heather Brewer
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
The Fault in Our Stars SIGNED by John Green

Not new, but now signed:
Looking for Alaska SIGNED by John Green
Paper Towns SIGNED by John Green
Will Grayson, Will Grayson SIGNED by David Levithan & John Green

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review: The Marked Son by Shea Berkley

Title: The Marked Son (Keepers of Life, #1)
Author: Shea Berkley
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Paperback, 322 pages
Date Published: August 2, 2011
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads):Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he's never met, he had no idea what.

When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents' farm, he knows he's seen her before...in his dreams. He's felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.

Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he's completely insane or he's about to have the adventure of his life, because where they're going is full of creatures he's only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death...
The Marked Son is a story that instantly takes ahold of the reader because the main character, Dylan, is just so enigmatic and alluring. His 17 years have been rough – with a mom that’s constantly chasing the next fling – and he’s as jaded as they come, but there’s just something about him that will pull readers in. Maybe it’s his unconcealed anger towards his mom or his ease in giving up, but I wanted things to work out for him from the beginning.

Shea Berkley captures teen angst perfectly, then flips it upside down, throws in some serious abandonment issues, and adds a healthy dose of fantasy to the mix. The tidbits about Dylan’s past and minute details hint at what’s really happening, as do the chapters from an alternate, female POV, but the big reveal is something else.

The mix of contemporary with fantasy is done flawlessly and seemingly effortlessly. The story progresses from a simple, angsty teen story, to so much more. Dylan’s dreams and the foreshadowing escalate the tension and suspense, until the readers get that BANG moment along with Dylan. And once it happens, things go from uncomplicated to insane. And I loved it.

The Marked Son is a captivating contemporary that turns into a surprising and unique fantasy. Dylan will find his way into the hearts of readers, as will his grandparents, the mysterious girl Kera, and the new friends Dylan makes along the way. If you’re a fan of contemporary and fantasy, and love a mix of the two, The Marked Son is the perfect book for you.

Opening line: I was eight the first time I saw the girl. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages:
Everything looks and feels normal. At least as normal as a guy in the forest meeting a girl wearing an old-fashioned nightgown while his buddy lies passed out nearby can feel normal. I’m sure situations like this have happened to tons of people. . . on drugs. ~ pg. 132
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Shea Berkley online:

Buy it online:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars Tour Launch - Boston

The Fault In Our Stars released just yesterday and Boston was (amazingly) the kick-off city for the tour!

This was there, but it was dark, so my picture was terrible and I stole this one from the internet.

So, last night, I got to hang out with a huge mass of nerdfighters and listen to John Green read from the book, answer questions, and we were all delighted by the musical stylings of Hank Green.
Nerdfighters throughout the auditorium were singing, dancing, and having an all-around fantastic time. It was seriously one of the most interactive and fun book signings I have ever gone too.

Now, I'm not sure how many people were actually there, but I'm leaning towards 500 or so. The auditorium was packed and I somehow wound up with one of the highest numbers possible, leaving me to wait until 12:30AM to get my books signed.
But I did get my books signed!! 
The Fault In Our Stars was actually pre-signed, but I brought my other books and John was personalizing TFIOS as well....and after such a long night, John happened to do this to my book:
So I have a rare (probably-not-one-of-a-kind-but-whatever) double-signed TFIOS...with a lovely Hanklerfish :)

If you have a chance to make it to any of the tour stops, you should definitely go. I'm not a devoted vlogbrothers follower, but I still had a blast! The wait sucked, but it was JOHN GREEN, so it was worth it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox Vlog - (1/8/12)

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.

Not too much, but I ramble...again:

For Review: 
The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler & Maira Kalman
A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

*HUGE thank yous to Jasmine Richards, HarperCollins, Little, Brown, Poppy, and Dial Books!!! I can't wait to read everything :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge

Click the picture to go to the SIGN UP page
Once again I'm signing up for the Debut Author Challenge! I did it last year and reached my goal (40 books), and then some.

This year, my goal is a bit smaller at 25 debut author books, but I haven't been reading as much or as fast lately, so I think I'll have my hands full with this too.

Here's a list of what I'm hoping to read (I most likely won't get to half of them and I'll add others along the way, but it's a list):
  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer - REVIEW
  2. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards - REVIEW
  3. Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne - REVIEW
  4. Embrace by Jessica Shirvington - REVIEW
  5. The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison - REVIEW
  6. Angelina's Secret by Lisa Rogers - REVIEW

  • The Vicious Deep by Zoraida C√≥rdova
  • Crewel by Gennifer Albin
  • Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
  • What's Left Of Me by Kat Zhang
  • Storybound by Marissa Burt
  • Skylark by Meagan Spooner
  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  • Defiance by C.J. Redwine
  • Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
  • Undeadly by Michelle Vail
  • Through To You by Emily Hainsworth
  • Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
  • Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
  • The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
  • Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
  • Croak by Gina Damico
  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • Wrecked by Anna Davies
  • Inbetween by Tara A. Fuller
  • False Memory by Dan Krokos
  • Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
  • Way To Go by Tom Ryan

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown)
Hardcover, 236 pages
Date Published: January 2, 2012
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
There are some books that are so perfectly perfect that they make the reader swoon along with them. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is one of those books. It’s romantic and heartfelt and so much more than just that – focusing on more than just the romance and allowing the reader to see true love in more ways than one.

There’s still plenty of romance. And it’s magnificently done, invoking butterflies and blushes and longing. Brit boy Oliver is sexy (he’s British, so obviously he’s sexy) and intelligent and quirky and funny and absolutely adorable in his randomness. He makes Hadley’s heart race and will do the same to the reader. Considering that a third of the book takes place in an airport/airplane, these two need to have some serious chemistry to keep the reader hooked.

On top of a romance that feels epic, there’s the backstory to both Hadley and Oliver. Hadley’s family dynamic is so well-crafted that I was there with her, the entire way, partially hating her father, while hoping the two of them could work everything out. The father/daughter relationship has just the right amount of angst and bitterness, then Smith throws in flashbacks of tenderness and undeniable love.

Hadley is everything readers could want her to be. She’s young and angry at her father, angry at her mother, but vulnerable and not jaded enough to have a complete disbelief in love. This book had me smiling from that very first page. Jennifer E. Smith knows how to write characters that the reader will feel an instant attachment to, and give us a story that is impossible to put down.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will sway even the most reluctant romantics with its delightful humor, heartfelt characters, and the idea that maybe love at first sight is possible. Smith’s collection of fate, coincidence, and love made me smile, it made me laugh, and it even made me tear up – it’s that good. As far as contemporary YA goes, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is one of the best and a definite must read.

Opening line: There are so many ways it could have all turned out differently. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: “You don’t light up,” Hadley pointed out, but Dad only smiled.
“I do when I’m with you.” ~ pg. 123

He was giving her the most important thing he could, the only way he knew how. He was a professor, a lover of stories, and he was building her a library in the same way other men might build their daughters houses. ~ pg. 153
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Jennifer E. Smith online:
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Title: Winter Town
Author: Stephen Emond
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 319 pages
Date Published: December 5, 2011
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent's divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, "Old Lucy" still exists, and he's determined to find her... even if it means pissing her off.

Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in this funny and poignant illustrated novel about opposites who fall in love.
Winter Town combines the wondrous setting of a snowy New England town with the fun and action of a comic book. Stephen Emond somehow creates this complicated tale of love and pain and adolescence and growing up; and then throws a comic book into the mix, but makes it work. The wintry setting makes this book the perfect curl up by the fire read.

The main characters, Evan and Lucy, are nearly impossible to not love. Evan is endearing and sweet and tries so hard to please everyone. He’s an incredibly kind person and so perfectly fits Lucy’s somewhat icy exterior. Emond writes the two of them with some of the best and witty dialogue I’ve ever read. It comes off as intelligent, but still teen-like. The dialogue was just one of the many reasons why Winter Town is a fantastic book.

As great a guy as Evan is, Lucy can be a bit prickly and messed up and definitely emo. Her standoffish, hot and cold nature made me hate her at times, but I got her too. Things aren’t easy for her and she can be immature, but her insecurities and flaws bring her to life. Without them, the conflict of the story wouldn’t feel as genuine. That conflict is infuriating though. Evan and Lucy get into these fights, but then they sort of brush them aside and big, explosive fights turn into…nothing. It’s frustrating and I wish there was more to their arguments, but I got past it and still enjoyed the book.

Then there’s the comic book aspect and the illustrations. These things are beyond awesome. I loved Evan and Lucy’s history and their shared love of art. Emond’s artwork adds some depth to Winter Town and contributes in making it a truly unique and unparalleled story. The illustrations and Evan’s dreamy world of Aelysthia are what push the book into the territory of one of my favorite reads.

Opening line: “You could have at least stayed until the ball dropped,” Evan said, making no effort to hide his disappointment. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: Knowing this would end in misery helped in a strange way. It was hope that was the problem. Hoping feelings wouldn’t be hurt, hoping love would blossom, was painful. But committing yourself to misery, that was just a dead feeling. It was pulling the Band-Aid and embracing the pain. ~ pg. 254
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Stephen Emond online:
Buy it online:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top 22 of 2011

2011 has come to an end and with it, I want to commemorate the year by showing my love for my favorite books that I read over the last 12 months. Here are the top 22 that made my list...and yes, there were 22 because I read so many that I enjoyed. :-)

I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some kind of order to these. There isn't really, not until you get to the end...because the last 6 books here were my absolute favorites of 2011.

*Note - these were books I read in 2011, they weren't necessarily released this past year

Winter Town by Stephen Emond (to be reviewed in 2012)

 The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (to be reviewed in 2012)

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