Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten Books That Would Make Great Book Club Picks

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
And today is my birthday!

1. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
2. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
6. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
7. The Last Summer of You and Me by Ann Brashares
8. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
9. The Passage by Justin Cronin
10. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fracture by Megan Miranda

Book: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
# of Pages: 176 (ebook)
Challenges: 2012 Debut Author Challenge, 2012 Ebook Challenge
Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads Summary
Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine

—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

                                                                                                                         My Thoughts: This book is nicely written. It has a great first sentence that grabs your attention instantly. Troy Varga is a great character that had me intrigued from his first appearance in the story. He is creepy and mysterious and I'm curious about what the story would have been like if it had been told from his POV.

I admit I am not Delaney's biggest fan. She keeps changing her mind about her feelings toward Troy and does not appreciate her best friend, Decker. After her accident, Delaney refuses to share what she is experiencing with him despite the fact that they have been friends for such a long time. Poor Decker. This is supposedly a standalone novel, but I think it should have been a little bit longer. I felt that there were a couple questions left unanswered.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Book: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Release Date: June 5

Goodreads Summary
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

A huge store isn’t the worst place to be stranded. There’s food and water, bedding and books. But what if it’s not safe to leave? Emmy Laybourne had us from the get-go with her utterly fresh and fast-paced debut.

Six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids are trapped together in a chain superstore. Together they build a refuge for themselves inside, while outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapon spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Book: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
# of Pages: 327 (Paperback)
Challenge: 2012 TBR Pile Challenge
Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads Summary
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

                                                                                                                         My Thoughts: This was such a great book. There was mystery, suspense, and romance. I like how the chapters are interspersed with sections for the murderer's POV. I also like how it does not have a cliffhanger ending.

Violet is stubborn and a little reckless, but she is a very likable protagonist. Her ability to detect the murdered and murderers is creepy yet fascinating. I loved her relationship with Jay. It was sweet and I'm so glad that they got together.

I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel and finding out what happens next to Violet and Jay.

Top Ten Favorite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

2. Jordan and Henry from Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

3. Perry and Aria from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

4. Tucker and Clara from Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

5. Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

6. Tris and Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth

7. Isobel and Varen from Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

8. Deuce and Fade from Enclave by Ann Aguirre

9. Violet and Jay from The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

10. Percy and Annabeth from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In My Mailbox

IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

The Hunger Games Companion: The Unauthorized Guide to the Series by Lois H. Gresh

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

For my Nook
Fracture by Megan Miranda

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Book: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
# of Pages: 398 (Hardcover)
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY.

                                                                                                                         My Thoughts: Aria lives in Reverie, a pod where the most advanced technology is prominent. Perry lives in the "Death Shop" aka the Outside where Aether storms are plenty and danger is inevitable. Aria is kicked out of her safe and familiar home into the Outside about which she has heard many horror stories. To Aria's annoyance, she comes across Perry and is forced to depend on him for survival. As time passes their dislike for each other turns to love which neither of them sees coming.
                                                                                                                                                                     I  love Perry. He's strong, stubborn, and puts up with Aria and helps her survive despite her negative attitude toward him. I like how Perry possesses the powerful senses. It adds a great uniqueness to his character. The twists, the action, the romance, and the revelations make this a fantastic read! I can't wait to read more of Rossi's work.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Must Read Monday

Must Read Monday is a new meme created by Jenna from Fans of Fiction. This is a fun way to recommend books to other bloggers by using an acrostic puzzle based on the week's theme. It helps bloggers learn more about the book. This week's theme is favorite book with a wonderful ending.

   Captain of the football team
   And quarterback to boot. Jordan is desperately
   Trying to get a
   College scholarship. But a new boy comes to her school, and
   He takes Jordan by surprise
    Introducing her to feelings she is
   Not familiar with. But she is afraid her teammates will turn
 aGainst her. However,

   Jordan does not see the
  Obvious that her best friend and fellow football player, Sam Henry, has a
cRush on her.
  Distracted and confused, Jordan does not know what to do
  Although she does learn that her teammates truly respect her
aNd want her to be happy.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Book: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
# of Pages: 221 (Paperback)
Challenge: 2012 TBR Pile Challenge
Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. 
                                                                 My Thoughts: I had heard many great things about John Green's books. In one of his youtube vlogs, Green read the first chapter of his new book, The Fault in Our Stars, and that was what convinced me that I really needed to read his books. I had no idea what to expect in Looking for Alaska. But after reading it, I can only say that I can't believe I waited until now to read one of his books. It was amazing. The writing flows nicely and pulls the reader in from the very beginning. As the story progresses, you grow to care for each of the characters Miles/Pudge, the Colonel, and Alaska. This book is witty and moving and so worth the read.

I will definitely be reading the rest of his books. If you have not yet read anything by John Green, I highly suggest you do so.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In My Mailbox

IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Book: The Girl in the Park
Author: Mariah Fredericks
Release Date: April 24

Goodreads Summary:
When Wendy Geller's body is found in Central Park after the night of a rager, newspaper headlines scream,"Death in the Park: Party Girl Found Strangled." But shy Rain, once Wendy's best friend, knows there was more to Wendy than just "party girl." As she struggles to separate the friend she knew from the tangle of gossip and headlines, Rain becomes determined to discover the truth about the murder. Written in a voice at once immediate, riveting, and utterly convincing, Mariah Frederick's mystery brilliantly exposes the cracks in this exclusive New York City world and the teenagers that move within it.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Book: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
# of Pages: 243 (Paperback)
Challenge: 2012 TBR Pile Challenge
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.

Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

                                                                                                                         My Thoughts: Francesca is obligated to go to a new school, and not just any school, a school that until now only allowed boys to attend. She does not get to see her group of friends as often as she used to. And, to make matters worse, her mother falls into a state of depression. Francesca is worried about her mother and is frustrated because she can't make it go away. As time passes Francesca forgets who she really is and it takes a group of the oddest, yet very likable, assortment of characters to help her find herself again.

Another great book by Melina Marchetta. There were times when I wanted to jump into the book and give Francesca a hug. Yet, there were other times where it was impossible not to burst out laughing. By far my favorite character is Thomas. He is pretty immature, but he also is one of the funniest characters in the book.

A quick, heart-warming story that I highly recommend.

Must Read Monday

Must Read Monday is a new meme created by Jenna from Fans of Fiction. This is a fun way to recommend books to other bloggers by using an acrostic puzzle based on the week's theme. It helps bloggers learn more about the book. This week's theme is favorite book you were forced to read in school.

Firemen of the future commit
Arson. burning those
Houses that contain books trying to
Rid the world of 
Every last one.
Never has Guy complained about his job. in fact
He enjoys watching the books burn until an
Encounter with a teenage girl
Intrigues him enough to take a closer look at books
Turning him against views he once supported


Saturday, January 7, 2012

In My Mailbox

IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Looking or Alaska by John Green

Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Matched by Ally Condie

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Gone by Michael Grant

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

Book: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
# of Pages: 305 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
The United States is gone, along with its flooded coasts. North America's two warring nations, the western Republic and the eastern Colonies, have reached a breaking point. In the midst of this broken continent and dark new world are two teenagers who will go down in history....

Born into the slums of Los Angeles, fifteen-year old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family's door with an X--the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it.

Born to an elite family in Los Angeles' wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic's most promising prodigy. A super intelligent girl destined for great things in the country's highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country--until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital.

Only one person could be responsible.


And now it's June's mission to hunt him down.

The truth they'll uncover will become legend.

My Thoughts: I was really excited for this book, and it did not disappoint. Although Day and June come from two completely different backgrounds, they have more in common than they realize. Both are stealthy, observant, and strong fighters. In her quest to avenge her brother and bring Day down, June learns, with Day's help, the secrets and motives of the Republic that she so respects.

Narrated by both June and Day this book is full of action and is practically unputdownable. Lu's writing will suck you in and leave you wanting more once you have finished. If you love dystopians, then you will definitely want to read this book.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Book: Rage Within (Dark Inside #2)
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Release Date: September 4

Goodreads Summary
Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population, and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now, they're hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of surviving teens, and trying to figure out their next move.

Aries is trying to lead, but it's hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers, and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it's impossible to know where he'd be, even if he is still alive. Michael is still haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.

As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

End of Year Book Survey

The End of Year Book Survey is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner.

1. Best book you read in 2011?
~Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
~Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
~Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
~Legend by Marie Lu
~If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman
~Ashfall by Mike Mullin
~Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
~Divergent by Veronica Roth

2. Most disappointing book/Book you wish you loved more than you did?
~The Maze Runner - I had heard so many great things about this book that I just had to read it. Unfortunately, I did not care for it as much as I thought I would. I am still planning on reading the other 2 books in the series though.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
~Unearthly - I was very disappointed with the first angel book I read and was reluctant to read another. But, after reading so many raving reviews about this book, I could not resist. Needless to say Unearthly put the other book to shame.

4. Book you recommended most to people in 2011?
~Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
~Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
~Ashfall by Mike Mullin

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
~The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
~Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
~Michael Bennett series by James Patterson (Step on a Crack, Run for Your Life, Worst Case, Tick Tock)
~The Lying Game series by Sara Shepard

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
~Mike Mullin
~Veronica Roth
~Marie Lu
~Miranda Kenneally
~Gayle Forman
~Robison Wells

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
~Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
~Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
~Enclave by Ann Aguirre
~Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
~Variant by Robison Wells

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
~Legend by Marie Lu
~Catching Jordan by Miranda Menneally

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

11. Most memorable characters in 2011?
~Day & June from Legend
~Darla from Ashfall
~Tris from Divergent
~Varen from Nevermore

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
~Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
~South of Broad by Pat Conroy

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
~If I Stay by Gayle Forman
~Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to read?
~Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
~The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
~The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

15. Favorite Quote/Passage from a book I read in 2011?
"If you weren't driving, I'd kiss you senseless," I tell him.
He swerves to the side of the road and stops the car abruptly. "Not driving anymore."
~Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

"Damn it," he exclaims, laughing. "Stop beating me up. Look, I'm gonna tell you something, because you're my best friend. Underneath that crazy knot you call hair, all us guys know you're really a girl, and we want you to be happy."
~Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

16. Book you read in 2011 that you would be most likely to reread in 2012?
~Jellicoe Road

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss) Be careful of spoilers!
The endings of
~Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
~The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
~Delirium by Lauren Oliver
~Variant by Robison Wells