Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

     I don't know where I first saw the blurb for Every Day, but I wanted to read it so badly. So after I finished the stack (That since then has reformed into a stack much more monstrous than it previously was) I ordered the book. That was about two months ago, and I just read it today.
     A isn't your normal teenager- He spends each day in a different person's body. Usually he lives their life exactly the way they would, using their memories as guides, but today is different. Today, A woke up in Justin's body, and today, A fell in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. Normally, A tries to stick to his rules of not doing anything that could change the course of the person's life. But Rhiannon has him all shook up, and he decides not to stick to his plan. He knows he should stay away, but he can't even as he travels through different bodies. It's dangerous- he can't slip up, he can't do anything to give away his secret, but what if telling her is the only way for them to be together?
     I honestly was not a fan of this book, so I was disappointed after waiting and wanting to read this for so long. I didn't like the multiple times that gay/lesbian support was brought up, and I didn't really care for the way he went about possibly trashing people's lives just to see this girl. He could've gotten so many of the kids whose bodies he inhabited into trouble, just because he was selfish in wanting to see Rhiannon again. I would give this book a two of five stars, and I would recommend it to those who like unique love stories.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

   So I read this book. I was not sorry. It reminded me of Pokemon... and The Hunger Games... TOGETHER.
     Tella's brother is sick. Scratch that, he's dying, and everyone knows it. The family of four moved away from their Boston brownstone and into the Montana country, hoping the fresh air would do him some good. But it didn't, and there's nothing they can do to help him. It's boring out there in the middle of no where, and Tella misses her plush city life, until she finds a little blue box on her bed. It holds an ear piece, and the earpiece tell her that she has been invited to participate in the Brimstone Bleed, a race across jungle, desert, sea, and mountainous terrain, that results in one winner. And that one winner will receive the cure to any disease they wish. At first, Tella thinks its a joke- a prank being pulled on her by her brother, but when she finds out that this competition is for real, she knows she has to go. She has to win. She has to save her brother.
     There are creatures in this book called Pandoras, who are made to help the Contenders of the Brimstone Bleed win. One per person. And the little things just reminded me so much of Pokemon (Which I adore) and I wanted one. I want my own Pandora, Victoria Scott. About halfway through the story, I realized that the book was going to end in the middle of the race, and I mean... Cliffhangers and I have a love hate relationship.

     On one hand, the cliffhangers make me more interested in the next book, make me need it more, make me crave it.


     But I was quite pleased with the way it ended, even if Fire and Flood doesn't finish the entire race in the first book. That being said, I really really really really need book two. Please.

    This book was extremely fast paced- some might even think it was TOO fast paced- but I was actually very pleased with the pace. There was no point in the book where I could say "Come on, some on, nothing is happening, it's boring." Which I liked. The characters were constantly surprising me with their words and actions, and Guy... I still cannot get a good read on him. Most of the twists and turns were things I expected, but there were a few that caught me and I thought "Oh, you got me good on that one!"

     I really enjoyed this book. If you like adventure and dystopia books, you definitely need to read this. Also, it was CLEAN. I mean, the pages were practically squeaking. There were a couple comments, and a couple scenes that weren't completely innocent, but compared to most YA Books, I'm pleased that there were no sex scenes in the book. I give it a 4/5 stars, and I hope you guys check this one out!

YA Blogs and Bloggers

     There are hundreds of thousands of books in the world, and I think we all can agree that YA is pretty special. We have the best stories, and we've kicking butt at the box office! We have no shortage of YA bloggers, either, though sometimes they can be hard to locate. So for those of you who like reading reviews, or like reading other blogs, this post is for you.

     Below are links to some blogs that you may be interested in. If I know them personally, they'll have a short little description. Feel free to check them out, and tell them Stephanie sent you!

1.) That Crazy Fanboy
Run by Matt Keenan, a good friend of mine, who- prepare to gasp- is an AMERICAN FANBOY! I know you gasped, right, because I did. Though he hasn't posted since, like, *checks blog* February 13 (Wow, Matt, February 13? What are you trying to do, kill us all?!) I know he's not going to abandon us and quit blogging.
To follow Matt on Twitter, click here

2.) The Hopeless Reader
Run by Ivey Byrd, also a good friend of mine, who is a crazy fast reader and who has read 1600 books in three years. (Yeah, I told you, crazy fast!) She's always one of my go-to people for a book discussion or recommendation!
To follow Ivey on Twitter, click here

3.) A Book Blog
Run by Beth, who posts not just book reviews, but movie reviews and trailer reviews as well! Always love to check out her blog and see what the most recent post is (For instance, Favorite/Least Favorite book covers.)
To follow Beth on Twitter, click here

4.) Hey Author!
Run by Hayley!
To follow Hayley on Twitter, click here

5.) Becoming Books
To follow on Twitter, click here

6.) Ohana Reads
Run by Stephanie Ehmann
To follow Stephanie on Twitter, click here

7.) Book Nerd
Run by Giselle
To follow Giselle on Twitter, click here

8.) YA Contemporary
Run by Jim Dean
To follow Jim on Twitter, click here

8.) Adventures of A Teenage Bookworm!
Run by Shannon Thackrah
To follow Shannon on Twitter, click here

9.) Alexis Loves Books
Run by Alexis
To follow Alexis on Twitter, click here

10.) The Eater of Books
Run by Alyssa Susanna
To follow Alyssa on Twitter, click here

11.) Writing My Own Fairy Tale
Run by Lori
To follow Lori on Twitter, click here

12.) Owl Always Be Reading
Run by Andy Estrada
To follow Andy on Twitter, click here

13.) The White Unicorn
Run by Christianna Marks

14.) Pimples, Popularity, and Protagonists
Run by Melissa Carpenter
To follow Melissa on Twitter, click here

15.) Icey Books
Run By Hafsah Laziaf
To follow Hafsah on Twitter, click

16.) Kelly Loy Gilbert's List of Bloggers
Here's a list of 130 bloggers for you, some featured here, some not.

Check out their blogs, follow them on Twitter, and come back real soon!! Giveaway going on within the next week or two!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard


     This is the second book recommended to me by my Blogger friend! Caught my interest at the blurb, and I was far from disappointed with this trilogy starter. 
     Wick is a hacker. It's not what she does- it's who she is. She hacks for women who suspect their boyfriends or husbands of messing around, and she gets paid for it. It's dangerous- she knows it is- what with her dad being on the run from the cops, and finally finding a foster home that seems to stick, not to mention the whole part about how hacking isn't exactly legal. When she receives a diary- Tessa Waye's diary- the girl that used to be her best friend, with a note saying "FIND ME" stuck to one of the pages, it sends her reeling. Tessa had killed herself just the day before. As she uncovers more clues about Tessa's life, she learns that the poor girl was a victim of a sickening crime, and that Wick's own little sister was next on the assaulter's list. Now she has no choice but to find out who pushed Tessa past the breaking point and save her sister.
     Talk about an epic thriller. Why have more people not bought this book? Why am i not hearing about it everywhere I go, and every time I log onto Twitter? I'm incredibly shocked. This is the beginning of a series that should not be over looked- everyone go out and buy it. You will not regret it, and I DARE YOU to figure it out before the last page. If you read this book- come talk to me about it, because I would love to discuss it. Spread the word, guys. FIND ME deserves best-seller and beyond. My favorite thriller of all time, right here.

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

      This was one of two books recommended to me by a good Blogger friend of mine, and if I'm completely honest, it started out good- made me cry on page 8. Literally- But then after a few chapters I lost a little interest. It's sci-fi, and I was being introduced to a whole new world aboard a spaceship, but I kept reading and sure enough about three chapters later I was hooked.
     Amy is frozen. That's right- frozen. Her parents were recruited to be cryogenically frozen for 300 years, and stored on a space ship that would take them to a new planet, where they will be woken. Amy didn't have to go with them- she could've stayed behind with her boyfriend and lived her life- but she couldn't bear the thought of being separated from her parents. So she chose to be frozen, too, and now she's waiting for the day she wakes up.
     Elder is the only boy his age aboard the ship, and he's training to be the next leader of the people on it. He knows that his mentor, Eldest, is hiding things from him, but he doesn't know what they are, or how to find them out. Life on the ship is easy, but Elder needs more- he needs the stars. Soon enough, he figures out that there are more secrets on this ship than he ever would've thought to be true, and he has to uncover them.
    When Amy wakes up, the new planet is far from her- someone woke her up early, nearly killing her, and she needs to find out why. At the same time, she has to protect her parents- still frozen and waiting.
     Elder and Amy band together to solve this mystery, and at the same time, keep themselves grounded- or... as grounded as you an be when you're floating through space.
     I was majorly shocked when all the curtains came down and the perp was revealed. I only expected half of what happened, and the other half continued to catch me off guard, chapter after chapter! If you love a good futuristic, sci-fi trilogy, this is for you!
     I desperately need book two. Thanks, Matt, I really enjoyed it!

Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

     After reading Fangirl, I seriously could not wait to get my hands on Eleanor and Park, so when I saw it in Walmart (Shocking, I know, I bought from somewhere other than Barnes and Noble or Book Outlet!) I snatched it up.
     Eleanor is the new girl at school, and- surprise, surprise- day one and she's already being picked on. On the bus, she sits next to Park, an Asian kid who seems to be in with the popular kids, but also seems to be apart from them at the same time. After a while, Eleanor and Park slowly become friends, and from there, more than friends, and Park defends her when she's bullied. But the notes on her textbooks that call her names and make sexual statements still come, and Eleanor suspects the girl that's been at the head of her taunting to be the one doing it. While managing the daily abuse at school, Eleanor has to deal with a step father who drinks and comes home to beat her mother, as well as live with strict rules. Always walking on pins and needles, until Park becomes her escape.
     It took me two days to finish it, and I still have mixed feelings. I loved the storyline! I loved that the characters weren't the average skinny white girl and muscle-y boy. But the story was sort of twisted... maybe "sick" would be a better word, what with the mental abuse Eleanor recieved. Overall, I did enjoy the book, and the ending was bittersweet, so I give it a three of five stars. I would recommend it to people who like a little mystery in their romance novels, and who want to read something that isn't about stereotypical "perfect" characters.

Reviews to Come Soon

Recently I read two ARCs- Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, and The Taking by Kimberly Derting- and I just wanted to let you guys know that I will be posting my reviews of them on their release dates. For Dorothy Must Die, check back on April 1, and for The Taking, check back April 29!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

     Twilight has always been a big part of my life. Ever since I saw Twilight in 2008, I've been hooked. After reading all the books, watching all the movies, buying as much merch as I can (Or can't..) afford, I've been having withdrawals. That is, until we were on a road trip and mom found the audiobook of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner and decided to buy it.
     Bree is a newborn vampire, and she's all alone in the safe house. She spends her days hiding out behind Fred, the vampire who seems to have some sort of power that allows him to keep people's eyes off of him. She doesn't know why she was created- She only knows that Riley was the one who'd brought her to the safe house, as well as the one who'd brought her to her Creator. Bree goes about her new life as best she can, following each of the rules Riley has set in place for when they can go outside, and who they can feed on. Until the night she meets Diego, that is. Diego is the second oldest vampire at the safe house- he's Riley's second in command- and, strangely, she trusts him. It is Diego who brings all the questions into her mind: Who was their creator? What were they created for? Was something big coming? Why were the rules so strict? Forming an alliance, Bree and Diego decide to find out what's REALLY going on, not knowing that everything was about to get sticky.
     It was great to be back in the world of Twilight- even if the book was only a short novella. This was the second time I'd read this book, the first being when it came out in 2012, and I didn't love it any less the second time around. I would rate this book a three of five stars, simply because it was easy to tell where the story was going, and so there was nothing shocking to keep me on the edge of my seat. If you're a Twihard, you need to read this book. It gives you an insight as to the story behind that small, frightened girl in Eclipse that will leave you loving her.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: Third Strike by Heather Brewer

     I have been eagerly awaiting Third Strike, and finally it's here and I've finished it and... *sigh* It's review time.
     Joss McMillan is in a pinch. Thanks to the family gathering going on at his house, he's forced to share the same space as his cousin Henry, who hates his guts for driving a stake through the chest of his Vampire best friend. Not to mention that since a Vamp killed his baby sister, Cecile, his mom and dad have been distant and unreachable. His Uncle had introduced him to the world of Slayers and Vampires, and took the time to train Joss so that he could excel as a Slayer. Now Joss has received a mission from the Slayer Society to hunt down the murderous vampires in his home town, without the help of his Slayer Family. The only connection he has with the Society is his friend Paty, but she's been instructed not to assist him in any way; only to collect his reports and get them back to the Society. To make things harder, Joss and Henry's parents decided that they should work out the bad blood between them, and have arranged for Henry to stay with Joss and his parents for the summer.. Now Joss has to Slay the Vamps AND watch out for the safety of his cousin, who won't let Joss go anywhere alone. All the while, Joss has those recurring nightmares about Cecile, with dark, bottomless eyes and vampire fangs coming from her beautiful, innocent face. It's a tough job, made even harder by the twists and turns of the plot.
     If you've read my review on Second Chance, then you know that Heather Brewer is one of my favorite authors, and I've read all of her books from the vampire world. Well, this is the last book in the series, it's the conclusion book, and due to Auntie Heather's instructions, I read the acknowledgements. Thank you, Heather Brewer, for making me cry before the book even began.
     All the secrets are revealed, all the questions answered, and though the biggest question of the series "Who killed Cecile?" Wasn't a shock to me, it may surprise you. I was surprised at the ending of the story, I mean, very surprised. Caught me so off guard, I wasn't expecting anything even close to that! But as for who killed Cecile, I had it pegged.
     I give Third Strike five stars, because, as for conclusions go, it was perfect. It left you with a question at the end, but the best stories always leave the reader to truly decide how the story ends. I would recommend The Slayer Chronicles to anyone who like vampire stories, but I encourage you to read first the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, which is the sister series to the Slayer Chronicles.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Interview with S.A. Bodeen + Giveaway of The Compound

     I'm a big fan of S.A. Bodeen's work, so you can imagine how excited I was to get to ask her a series of questions in form of an interview. Here's her answers, and below is a giveaway for you to enter, free of charge!

Question 1.)  How did you get the idea for The Compound? Do you remember where you were; what you were doing?
Answer 1.) I’ve always had a fascination with nuclear war and what the survivors would go through. I had actually just given up on writing novels ( I had written nine and they were all terrible) but I had this great idea and thought I would give it one last try.

Question 2.) I remember reading The Compound in, like, the fifth grade, and then again in eighth grade for Book Talk [Even though we were supposed to choose a book we hadn't read before... oops :)] I really enjoyed the story, and two of my closest friends did as well, but when my mother and grandpa read it, they thought the story was dark... out there... and Rex angered them. They hated the book. Why do you think the differences in age caused different opinions? 

Answer 2.) I have no idea why, but I find it interesting. And I have heard from adults who loved The Compound. If we all liked the same book, there would be like four books.

Question 3.) Which book did you enjoy writing the most? The Compound, The Fallout, The Gardener, The Raft, Shipwreck Island?

Answer 3.) I’m not sure any of them were fun to write. I think Shipwreck Island was enjoyable because middle grade is so much shorter that I finished a book in half the time of YA. Now that was enjoyable;)

Question 4.) How long did it take you to write The Compound?

Answer 4.) I did the first draft for National Novel Writing Month in 2005. Then it took me another five months of revision to finally get it readable. After it sold, there was a solid 14 months of editorial revisions. Luckily, I learned a lot writing that book so subsequent books have taken far less time in the editorial revisions.

Question 5.) Who was your favorite character from the Compound books?

Answer 5.) Eli.

Question 6.) How long did it take for The Compound to be accepted by a publisher? The Fallout?

Answer 6.)The Compound sold to the second place my agent sent it. And The Fallout sold as soon as we sent the synopsis to my editor.

Question 7.) The Compound was released in 2008; The Fallout in 2013. Was there a specific reason for the five-year wait?

Answer 7.) I never planned to write a sequel, I thought the story was done. But then after four years of visiting middle and high schools and constantly getting asked what happens next, I decided maybe I should find out.

Question 8.) Do you have a favorite book?

Answer 8.)The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of my favorites.

Question 9.) What's your one piece of advice for teens who aspire to be authors, other than WRITE, WRITE, WRITE?



    Win a finished copy of The Compound by S.A. Bodeen! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, and on Sunday night, I will put all of your names in a jar and draw one at random. You may only enter once, but if you follow me on Twitter and/or Like my page on Facebook, and tell me in your comment that you did so, I will put your name in the jar a second and/or third time. I WILL be checking to verify that you did Follow/Like.

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