Once again I will be participating in Off the Shelf which is hosted by Bookish Ardour. The challenge runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. Basically it's a challenge where you read books that you've had for awhile, but never had the chance to actually pick up and read. The category I will be participating in is On A Roll (50 books), but I might decided to level up and try to reach Flying Off (75 books) since I have so many books just collecting dust on my bookshelf.
Because I have waaaaaay too many books, I decided I'd just post a picture of them all instead of writing out all the titles. This bookshelf is completely, and I really mean completely, dedicated to unread books.
I'm pretty sure there is over 75 books here, but I doubt I'd be able to read them all. My goal is to at least clear out half. This will be the only challenge I am going to enter this year because I want to actually finish it this time. I encourage you all to participate as well, it's super fun. Let's do this!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I can't believe I missed my blogoversary. I have officially had this blog for a year and 2 days and I did not even realize it. I've been so busy with senior year that I haven't been as active as I'd like on here. I haven't even read a book that wasn't for school in months, let alone written reviews! I know it's a little early for New Years resolutions, but I've decided that mine is to start reading and writing reviews again, to pay more attention to this blog. I'm very glad that you guys have continued to follow my reviews and I promise I shall be back as soon as finals are over and winter break rolls around. Thankfully it's only 1 week away.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: December 21, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Book Website: http://www.loserqueen.com/
Cammy Hall is what anyone would describe as a loser. She lives with her grandparents and has adopted their way of life...right down to the comfortable shoes and early bedtime. And can she help it that she actually likes to knit?
At school, her skills with knitting needles and some yarn go completely unappreciated: people like Bekka Bell reign while Cammy and her best friend, the fearless Danish exchange student Gerdi, watch from the sidelines. Cammy’s used to being an outsider; after years of humiliating moments, her goal is simply to fly under the radar. Then she suddenly starts receiving mysterious text messages that lead her right to all the embarrassing secrets about the most popular kids in school. Cammy never expected to be able to climb up the high school food chain, and the agenda of the texter may be questionable--but how can she possibly give up the chance to be Queen?
Characters: I’m pretty sure the characters were either juniors or seniors in high school because some could drive, but it almost felt like they were in middle school. They were slightly immature and I just felt like the dialogue was unrealistic. Cammy wassweet and I don’t really see why she was shunned by everyone. She seemed perfectly alright to me although she was a little too eager to please everyone, especially the more popular kids. I liked Gerdi the best out of all the characters. She knew who she was and didn’t care one bit what other people thought of her. She really cared about Cammy and it was obvious by the way she tried to protect her.
Plot: This whole book kind of reminded me of Teen Spirit, the ABC Family movie that came out a few weeks ago. If you haven’t watched it, it’s about a “Queen Bee” that dies during the Homecoming dance and instead of going straight to Heaven, she is stuck in a sort of limbo. In order to get out of limbo she must help the unpopular girl at her school become popular and get the boy of her dreams. That’s basically what happens in the book except for the whole dying part, but Cammy get’s help from a secret source just like the girl in the movie. The White Rabbit was strange and it was a little obvious as to who was behind the whole thing. The fact that the Rabbit knew so much about everyone and had a yearbook full of secrets was a little creepy. My favorite part were the letters and emails at the end, especially the ones from her grandparents because they were amusing.
Cover: The cover goes really well with the story. It is simple, cute, and represents Cammy’s personality and the White Rabbit which is a major part of the story.
Overall Impression: It was a cute and short read. I love the fact that it was written based on plot twists voted on by readers.
Rating: * * *
Friday, August 26, 2011
"Non-book related this week!! Do you have any pets?"
Yes, I have a cat and his name is Niko. He thinks he runs the world or something and can do whatever he wants. But that's okay because I love him to death.
This weeks question:
"In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?"
I honestly have no idea. I wouldn't want something scary that's going to kill everyone, but I guess not something boring either. And it'd have to be something semi-human looking so at least it could blend in. I think either vampires or werewolves, maybe even both. That'd be cool.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
City of Falling Angels
by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Insturments, Book 4
Other Reviewed Titles: City of Bones, Book 1
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Pages: 424
Author Website: http://www.cassandraclare.com/
Series Website: http://www.mortalinstruments.com/
The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhuntrs are at peace at last. And -- most important of all -- Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side -- along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And whey’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same times he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls -- neither of which knows about the other.
When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of the mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare. She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.
-- Might be spoiler-y if you haven’t read the first 3 in the TMI series --
Characters: Let me start with Simon. He is a badass vampire and an amazing friend. I wasn’t a really big fan of him before, but I think he’s starting to become one of my favorites, if not my favorite. I think he’s adjusting to being a vampire really well and I have a feeling he’s going to be very powerful. Isabelle’s also growing on me. I think she’s maturing and becoming kinder. She cares about Simon whether she wants to admit it or not. Jace is as emotionally damaged as he was in the first 3 books, if not more now. But I mean, that’s to be expected since he’s gone through so much. He doesn’t know who he is and he struggles because he doesn’t know where he belongs or if he’s good or bad. And last we have Clary. My opinion about her is constantly changing. I just wish she wasn’t so dependent on everyone else to always save her. I hope that changes when she’s gets more Shadowhunter training. Theres more, but this is way too long already hah...
Plot: I’ve loved this series since book one and continue to love it. I’m really glad she decided to continue and give us 3 more books. However, this one wasn’t my favorite of the four. It was kind of slow, but then again, it is the first book after the big battle so the new story is barely getting started. There was a lot of information we needed to learn and some new characters that needed to be introduced to us before any real action started. Once all of that stuff was out of the way, things really started to get good. Unfortunately, this took about 3/4 of the book to finally happen. The ending was really unexpected and I loved that. This book is filled with everything; romance, friendship, betrayal, mystery, suspense, supernatural, etc.
Cover: The covers are all pretty much the same just different colors and characters on each, but I love that. I like it when book series’ follow a certain theme with their covers.
Overall Impression: Amazing ending with an annoying cliffhanger. And I only say it was annoying because I have to wait a few months until I get to find out what happens next. It’ll be totally worth it though.
Rating: * * * * 1/2
Friday, August 19, 2011
"What's the longest book you've ever read?"
I'm not sure what the longest book I've ever read is. I think it might possibly be Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead though. That ones almost 600 pages and it's not one of those books where they combine 2 or 3 of the same series in one. I don't think I've read a book longer than that.
This weeks question:
"If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?"
If I could be in any book or series, I'd pick Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead or the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Those are probably my two favorite series so it'd be cool to be in them. As for my role, I guess I'd be either a Dhampir, right? In TMI I'd want to be a powerful downworlder like Magnus and Camille, but I'd use my power for good obviously.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Falling for Hamlet
by Michelle Ray
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Source: ARC from publisher
Challenge: 2011 OTS, 2011 DAC
Author Website: www.michelleraybooks.com
Meet Ophelia, high school senior, daughter of the Danish king’s most trusted adviser, and longtime girlfriend of Prince Hamlet. She lives a glamorous life and has a royal social circle, and her beautiful face is splashed across magazines and TV. But it comes with a price -- her life is dominated not only by Hamlet’s fame and his overbearing royal family but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go.
After the sudden and suspicious death of his father, the king, Hamlet spirals dangerously toward madness, and Ophelia finds herself torn between loyalty to her boyfriend, her father, her country, and her true self.
In this stunning contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view, debut author Michelle Ray Brilliantly weaves together old and new. Filled with drama, romance, tragedy, and humor, Falling for Hamlet is a compulsively readable novel. And this time, Ophelia doesn’t die.
Characters: The book focuses on Ophelia, her family, and the royal family. Ophelia’s father has worked as the King’s advisor for as long as she can remember so she lives at the castle and is close to the family, especially the prince. The poor girl is thrown into the spotlight just because she is the prince’s longtime girlfriend, but she handles it well (for the most part anyways). She is strong, funny, and clever. Her only fault is that she loved Hamlet too much. I don’t really blame her though because he was sweet, handsome, and funny and everyone else in the kingdom probably wanted to date him too. Unfortunately, he became drunk with revenge after the death of his father and that’s when everything started to go from wrong to worse. I could not stand the queen at all; all she cared about were appearances and nothing else. Claudius, the king’s brother and also his murderer, was awful and evil. Horatio, Hamlet and Ophelia’s best friend, was as loyal as anybody could be and he tried to help his two very best friends until the end.
Plot: I have yet to read the original Hamlet by Shakespeare so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this modern retelling of the classic, but I actually really enjoyed it. I’m not sure how accurate it is to the original, but it is definitely worth the read. The book is told by Ophelia, who this time does not die. There are 3 parts to each chapter, kind of like a past, present, and future type thing. At the beginning of each chapter Ophelia is being interviewed on a talk show about the events that took place after the king was killed, the middle is the actual story of what happened, and the end is Ophelia being interrogated by the police because they think she was responsible for everything that happened to the royal family after the kings death. I really liked how the chapters were organized and did not find it confusing at all despite everything that was going on. That being said, the action only really starts about half way through the book. There was suspense, mystery, romance, some supernatural, and so much more. It had a sad ending, but that’s the point of a tragedy, right?
Cover: The cover isn’t really anything special. I don’t know…for me it doesn’t really represent what the book is about I guess. It’s kind of plain and boring, just two teenagers making out with a floating throne next to then…
Overall Impression: I wish I had read Shakespeare’s version before this so that I knew what the original story was, but it was still a pretty good book. I think that if anyone’s a little apprehensive about reading the original, this could really help push them to want to.
Rating: * * * *
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
by Flynn Meaney
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Author Website: http://www.flynnmeaney.com/
Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. But when he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty, Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before - he becomes a vampire, minus the whole bloodsucking part.
With his brooding nature and unusually pale skin, it’s surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be supernatural. But when he meets the one girl who just might like him for who he really is, he discovers that life as a pseudo-vampire is more complicated than he expected.
Characters: I really liked Finbar. He is very sweet, smart, and extremely observant. He went from being the awkward, nerdy boy that all the other guys liked to pick on to being the confident, school badass that people were afraid to mess with. His transformation happened quickly, but was completely believable. He meets two completely different girls at his new school and they each help him realize that being himself is all he needs to make people like him. All of the characters in the story really help him realize this.
Plot: I’m not going to lie, I’m starting to get a little tired of all the YA vampire books because that’s pretty much all anyone will write about these days. I was a little hesitant to read this one, but I’m definitely happy that I finally decided to pick it up because it was completely different from what I had expected. The main character is a “vampire”, but that is only a small part of the overall story. He is just a normal teenage boy trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in. The only reason he even becomes a “vampire” is to get girls, but he soon realizes that it was a dumb idea when his plan backfires. Other than this, the book has nothing at all to do with vampires. It was fun to read about his adventures, but some of his thoughts should have been a little more censored. I didn’t need to know what he did in the shower or that he had a thing for librarians, lol.
Cover: The cover is so cute! When you look at it you know the book is going to be about vampires, but at the same time you get this feeling that it might not be. It has a very playful aspect to it.
Overall Impression: This was a really refreshing read and a very different take on the traditional vampire story. It has a great message; be who you are because that is who people will like, not some made up persona. I think that people who like, as well as people who dislike, vampire stories will enjoy this book.
Rating: * * * 1/2
Friday, June 10, 2011
This weeks question is:
"Who is the one author you are dying to meet?"
I would love to meet either Richelle Mead or Cassandra Clare. I adore the Vampire Academy books and the TMI books. If you haven't read either of these series, you really should. They are great and super addicting. Meeting either one would be amazing. I could get all my books signed!
This weeks question:
"The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?"
I'm going to have to pick Clary from TMI series by Cassandra Clare. I mean, could you imagine being a shadowhunter? It seems like so much fun and such a different and unique world, I think it'd be great to experience for a few days, maybe even weeks. I picked Clary over Isabelle because Clary doesn't fight as much as the others, but she still experiences everything they do. I don't think I could actually fight people, I'm too chicken, lol.
I am finally on summer vacation! My junior year is officially over which means more time to read. Woo! And, hopefully, this means more reviews comin' your way. Thank you to everyone that follows my little blog, it really means a lot to me. I honestly never thought I'd get past 10 followers, but I now have almost 80. I love reading all of your comments on the reviews I've written so far and I really wish I could reply to them all individually, but I have no idea how to do that, lol. If anybody knows, comment below and I'll try to reply back. But anyways, I am currently writing a new review so that should be up in a few days. :)
Saturday, June 4, 2011
by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: June 1, 2011
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Challenge: 2011 DAC
Book Website: None
Author Website: None
16-year-old Molly Dix loves her ordinary life in suburban Indiana, so when her single mother passes away, she is shocked to discover that her biological father is Brick Berlin, world famous movie star and red carpet regular.
Equally intrigued and terrified by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Southern California and plunges head-first into the deep end of Beverly Hills celebrity life. Just as Molly thinks her new life and family couldn't get any stranger, she meets Brooke Berlin, her gorgeous and spoiled half-sister whom welcomes Molly to la-la land with a healthy dose of passive-aggressive "sisterly love."
Why I read this: I received an ARC from the publisher.
Characters: Molly is your average American teenage girl who gets thrown into the world of Hollywood after the death of her mother. She is looking for a fresh start and that is not really what she ends up getting. It is hard for her to leave her old friends, especially her boyfriend and best friend of many years, behind and she avoids dealing with the death of her mother. She is a really sweet girl that does not always make the best decisions and makes some mistakes knowing full-well that she is making them. Brooke, the only child (until Molly) of movie star Brick Berlin, has a hard time adjusting to having a sister. She does not want to share her already M.I.A. father with a complete stranger. Brooke spends most of the book trying to get Brick to notice her because he always seems to be off working or talking on the phone. She wants everyone to see her as a strong person who doesn’t need anyone, but the truth is that she’s lonely and wants her mother back. They were both endearing and different.
Plot: This was a cute, fun read but it also had depth to it. It really showed what celebrities and their kids face everyday because of tabloids and paparazzi chasing them everywhere they go. There were also sibling issues mixed in once the two girls were brought together. Brooke was jealous of Molly and all of the attention she was getting from her new father and the paparazzi and decided to make her life hell. This part of the story has been done before, but it was the other elements and characters that made it different. There are also a lot of misunderstandings which cause twists and turns that, while interesting, aren’t that unpredictable. The ending hinted at a sequel which I’m looking forward to reading as well.
Cover: I actually really like this cover. It’s girly, really cute and suits the book well. Since my copy is an ARC the cover isn’t final, but I hope that on the finished version, they make the lipstick and the nail polish gel-y so that it kinda pops out. (If that makes any sense...lol)
Overall Impression: Fans of The Clique and The A-List will definitely enjoy this book because it has elements of the two and is sort of in between both. I would recommend this to eighth grade - tenth grade girls though.
Rating: * * * 1/2
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Here Lies Bridget
by Paige Harbison
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Author Website: http://www.paigeharbison.com
Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed "who me?" look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved—Liam Ward—can barely even look at her anymore.
When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression. Though she might end up dead, she has one last shot at redemption and the chance to right the wrongs she's inflicted on the people who mean the most to her.
And Bridget's about to learn that, sometimes, saying you're sorry just isn't enough….
-Might be slightly spoiler-y-
Plot: The very first scene is of Bridget driving and about to lose control of her car. After that, the first half of the book explains why she got into the car hoping she would crash and possibly die or just get majorly injured. The second half is after the crash and takes place in limbo. This part reminded me a little of A Christmas Carol. She literally steps into other peoples shoes to see how her behavior and actions have affected them. The repeating of the conversations made it seem like I was reading the same thing over again. I know it was from a different perspective and bridget was supposed to be in the other persons head while the scene is happening, but the repetition of the dialogue could have been avoided. We already knew what happened, it would have been better to read what was happening inside of the persons head and their thoughts a little more. I felt really bad for all the people she mistreats once we are inside their heads, but that was really the only time I liked or cared about any of the characters.
Characters: I did not like Bridget at all at the beginning of the story. She is self-absorbed, self-pitying, rude, dramatic, and whines way too much. I felt that she was trying way too hard to be “tough” and was just a complete jerk. Her teacher, friends, and step mom had absolutely no backbone when it came to her which is probably the reason she acted the way she did. I really liked Liam though. He was one of the few people that would stood up to her. This probably has to do with the fact that he knew her before she completely changed from their elementary school days.
Cover: The cover is cute and reminds me a lot of Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. The colors, font, and picture are all really similar.
Overall Impression: This book is definitely very relatable and leaves you with the message that second chances are always possible as long as you really want them.
Rating: * * *
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Magnolia League
by Katie Crouch
Series: The Magnolia League (Book 1)
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books Young Readers
Author Website: http://www.katiecrouch.com/new/index.shtml
After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?
As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.
Why I Read This: I got an ARC from the publisher to review.
Plot: I found the Magnolia League world very interesting and exciting. The fact that the girls could do and become basically anything they wanted due to the hoodoo was fascinating. I particularly liked how every few chapters there would be one that had information about hoodoo or about how the League was created. The facts about the League were evenly spread out throughout the story, not all clumped up in one very long chapter. This kept me interested and wanting to know more. Unfortunately, this was my favorite part about the whole book. The plot was not as exciting as it could have been.
Characters: The characters in this book are very unrealistic and that took away from my overall impression of the book. The characters just seemed bleak and hollow. Everything they did and said was like one big contradiction because it never made sense with what they had said and done previously. At the beginning of the book, Alex, the main character, is a pot smoking hippie. At first, she seemed unique and interesting, but then she randomly changes into a completely different person. This would have been fine, had it not happened after about 1 chapter and had it been the only time her personality or thoughts changed, but it seemed to happen often. Instead of growing and becoming wiser, Alex just got shallower and less interesting.
Cover: I think the cover is super cute. It almost has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it, or at least that’s what it reminded me of. I think it represents the mystery and enchantment of the Magnolia League well and that girl is a great Alex.
Overall Impression: Despite being seriously flawed, I still think people will enjoy it.
Rating: * *