Thursday, March 31, 2011

Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

This book was really not like anything I expected, least of all like anything I expected to read from Elizabeth Scott. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but not necessarily a good thing either.

Although the heroine was annoyingly insecure, it was impossible to not let her steal your heart as you watch her blossom from a (figuratively) ugly duckling to a (inwardly) beautiful swan.

Elizabeth Scott touched on some sensitive topics in this one, which I praise her for. But, I'm not really sure that I enjoyed this one as much as her previous novels. A lot of mixed feelings on this one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Management Skills by January Rowe

*Hello followers. I just want to say that I am truly sorry for how late this review is. I know that this review was supposed to be up days ago, but I just got really busy. So, here it is.

I am a big fan of erotic fiction, but I often find that a lot of the books in the genre are too extreme and unrealistic for me, and this was one of them. Usually, I'm not a fan of Dominance/Submission, and that still hasn't changed. Also, one might find this novel a bit lacking in character development and maybe depth (but I guess this was as deep as an erotic romance novel could get). But despite all of this, I still enjoyed this one. This novel is definitely on my list of bawdy aphrodisiacs.

Nightlight: A Parody by Harvard Lampoon

My thoughts: Was I the only one who found this novel hilarious? I guess I'm just among the little few who loved this book. I'm a big fan of parodies, so maybe that contributed to my love for this novel? Or maybe it was just the writing itself? Maybe it was just the creativity of it? Because, with parodies there are just so many possibilities. It's kind of like with genes: there's was a one in a million chance that we'd be living the lives that we are living now, and we were all that one in a million. Stephanie Meyer could have been born with my life and personality, and vice versa. But, Stephanie Meyer is Stephanie Meyer, and I'm me. Am I making any sense? No? Okay, well anyway there were just so many different ways this book could've gone, but I think the author chose the right direction.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wherever You Go by Heather Davis

"Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend? 
As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?
Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob, Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light.

I truly did enjoy this book. So much so that I finished it within four hours. I mean, what's not to love? A love triangle between a ghost boy, aforementioned ghost boy's best friend, and his girlfriend? Makes for an interesteing story, doesn't it? Of course, that's not all it was. It was more than just a romance. Wherever You Go was about moving on and letting go, and just grieving in general. Anyone who has ever lost someone will relate to Holly and Jason, and even Rob's family.

Here's a warning: if you're going to read this (which you most definitely should!), have some tissues handy, because this one is a tear jerker. But, it wasn't a complete downer, which is what I loved about it. It had it's sad moments (which were actually quite frequent) and then it had it's sweet moments, and, sometimes, it even had it's funny moments.

Another thing I loved about this book was how it was written. Told from three different points of view, the author told each character's story from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person. Rob's POV was in the 2nd person (which was my favorite, as I had never before read anything written in the 2nd person), Holly's POV was writen in the 1st person, and Jason's was written in the 3rd person. You could tell Heather Davis was obviously skilled in all three types of writing. Overall, I give this one 4/5 stars.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just to keep You Updated: Upcoming Reviews

Wherever You Go

Expected Review Date: COMPLETED

Between Here and Forever

Expected review date: COMPLETED

Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Sixteenth Summer

Putting Makeup on Dead People

Girl Wonder

*For Mature Audiences* A Marriage Of Inconvenience* 

*For Mature Audiences* The Outlaw Bride

*For Mature Audiences*  Management Skills

Expected review date: COMPLETED

* The expected review dates are not permanent. Sometimes, I may run a little behind on my reading, so the expected review dates may change. Only a very select few books on the Upcoming Review list have expected review dates, for the simple reason that those books are usually the ones I want to read the most. The ones with no expected review date listed are usually ones I'm either indifferent about reading or just ones I'm not sure when I'll have the time to read. However, all books on Upcoming Review lists will be read and reviewed within (at the most) one month.

What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

I have to be honest: when I first read the description for this book, I was kind of hesitant to read it. But, I decided to read it anyway. And this is the first time I've ever been glad that I second guessed myself. 

Lately, I've been reading a lot of crap books, but this was not one of them. The characters were so realistic (which you have to both love and hate). Also, the heroine, Marisa, was just so strong and brave. She's one character who I can look up to. No matter how tough things got for her, she never gave up (even though she sometimes wanted to). 

Marisa's teacher once quoted to her: "Don't ask for an easier life; ask to be a stronger person." And that's exactly what Marisa did. When things were tough at home, she kept on going. When she fell, she got back up again (but most of the time, only after licking her wounds a bit). 

Let's face it: life is hard. But the way I see it, the harder the life, the stronger the person. Marisa Moreno is a great example of this. And, she made it. She succeeded because she didn't give up. 

I just think that this book is really inspirational (even though it's fiction) for young girls, especially ones who come from backgrounds like Marisa's. 

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Excerpt: There are moments in a girl's life that are bigger than we know at the time. When you look back, you say, that was one of those life-changing, fork-in-the-road moments and I didn't even see it coming. I had no idea. And then there are the moments that you know are big. That whatever you do next, there will be an impact. Your life could go one of two directions. Do or die.

For those of you who have read the previous two books, we know that Belly's story left off with her and Jeremiah about to cross the more than friends line (and not to mention the epilogue that foreshadowed Belly's wedding, which left us with many questions, including: Belly and who's wedding?). Now, nearly two years later, Belly (who now goes by Isabel)  and Jeremiah are in love and going strong; they even attend the same college. But is everything as peachy as it seems? Turns out the answer to that question is no. 

When Belly discovers that Jeremiah has been keeping a big secret from her (and yes I'm referring to "the worst mistake a boy can make"), she flips. She's angry (and I don't blame her for it), but not for too long. She loves him too much to stay mad at him. And Jeremiah loves her too much to stand losing her. Which is why Jere pops the question during their reconciliation, and also why Belly says yes. Of course, neither of their parents are too happy about this engagement. In fact, Laurel's disapproval nearly destroys she and Belly's relationship. As for the siblings, they aren't as blatant about their disapproval, even though I know Conrad would have liked to kick Jere's arse for being so selfish and immature (and not to mention the fact that Jeremiah's trying to marry "his girl"). 

As their wedding day nears, Belly seems to have more and more doubts about getting married. But she quickly pushes them away, convinced that her and Jere are meant to be together. That is, until Conrad confesses to Belly that he is still in love with her and has in fact never stopped loving her. After that, she can no longer deny her feelings (at least to herself) for him. But nonetheless, she blows up at his confession,, angry at his bad timing.

No one can deny that Belly loves both Jeremiah and Conrad. But what's a girl to do when she's in love with two guys who happen to be brothers, one of which she happens to be engaged to? Who will Belly choose? You'll have to read to find out. ;)

My thoughts: As a few reviewers have already said, the third novel lacked the relaxing-summer-ish feel of the first two books. But, I have to admit that I did  like this one better than the other two for the simple fact that it contained chapters from Conrad's POV. If I were Team Jeremiah, the second book would have been my favorite of the three, considering the fact that it contained chapters from Jere's POV. But alas, I am Team Conrad because, as all we Team Conrad members know, Conrad is just awesome and it doesn't get any awesomer than Conrad! Anyway, back to the book! So, I have to say that I was only mildly satisfied with the ending. While it was the ending I'd hoped for, it kind of felt bittersweet. I'm not quite sure why, but that's just how it felt to me. 

I saw a different side of everyone in this novel, that's for sure. For Belly, it was her immature side (okay, I know I've seen this side of her dozens of times, but it really stood out to me this time. Sometimes I just wanted to smack her upside the head with a shoe and see if she could possibly get any dumber); for Jere, it was his douche baggy/immature side (although I still love him); for Conrad it was his caring and loving side (basically, I was able to see the REAL Conrad); for Stephen it was his more protective/sensitive/caring side; for Adam Fisher it was his fatherly side; and for Laure it was her protective side. 

Overall, I have to say that I liked this one a lot; I almost loved it, but I wasn't quite there. Jenny Han has done it again. I give it a 4/5

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Undercover by Beth Kephart

Con(s): In regards to the actual story line, reading this book was an experience somewhat similar to the one I had when I read Leap Day. I kind of felt like the story had no point really....Maybe its just me, but I feel like a story is not good unless it has a solid ending. The ending to this book wasn't a cliffhanger, but it was just as bad as one. Bu, I guess this was the author's idea of being realistic (because let's be honest: we all have our own definitions of realistic. The more cynical of the bunch might view  this ending as "realistic")....And, the main character was too passive for my taste. She just kind of let people run over her (one of the many issues not addressed in the book). 

Pro(s): I found the heroine intimidating (and yes, this is a good thing). She just had so much depth and wisdom for a girl her age. Overall,  the writing was excellent and it really made me think. The author really had a way with words. Beth Kephart is so talented and after reading Undercover, my brain felt so stimulated that i couldn't sleep for hours.

Coming Soon: Upcoming Reviews

Circle Nine

What Can't Wait

*Update/edit* Girl Wonder

*Update/edit* Putting Makeup on Dead People

*Update/Edit* We'll Always Have Summer

*For Mature Audiences* A Marriage Of Inconvenience

*For Mature Audiences* The Outlaw Bride

*For Mature Audiences*  Management Skills

It's A List!: Upcoming YA Romance Novels to Look Forward To

1. We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

"It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever."

Release Date:  April 26th 2011

2. Where She Went by Gayle Foreman

"It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance."

Release Date: April 5th 2011

3. The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

"Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel's life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways. 

Fans of emotionally true and heartfelt stories, such as Sarah Dessen's THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, will fall in love with Jennifer Castle’s incandescent debut novel...a heart wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment."

Release Date: September 6th 2011

4. Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

"Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible. 

Until the accident. 

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her. 

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen. 

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could..."

Release DateMay 24th 2011

5. Exposure by Therese Fowler

"In Exposure, Therese Fowler has written her most gripping novel to date—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of ardent young love and a nightmarish legal maelstrom that threatens to destroy two families.
Amelia Wilkes’s strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents only after she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.
Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.
As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous attempt to clear their names and end the madness once and for all.

A captivating page-turner, Therese Fowler’s Exposure is also a deftly crafted, provocative, and timely novel that serves as a haunting reminder of the consequences of love in the modern age."

Release Date: May 3rd 2011 

6. Everlasting by Alyson Noel

"Everlasting is the sixth and final installment of the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. Ever and Damen have spent centuries facing down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears-all in the hope of being together forever. Now in Everlasting, their destiny is finally within reach. 

Will they be united-or torn apart forever? Readers will finally discover the truth in this anxiously awaited conclusion!"

Release Date: June 7th 2011

7. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

"Sometimes there's no turning back. 

Amber's life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of her family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself. 

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell that he's also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets. 

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she's drawn to him. And the more she's troubled by his darkness. Because Cade's not just living in the now--he's living each moment like it's his last."

Release Date: June 28th 2011

8. Wherever You Go by Heather Davis

"Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend? 
As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side? 
Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob, Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light"

Release Date: November 14th 2011

9. Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz

"High school junior Camelia thought her powers of psychometry only gave her the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Mean voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, and that she’d be better off dead. It’s a troubling development that has Camelia terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history just moved into the family house. More torturing, ex-boyfriend Ben, who has similar psychometric abilities, has been spending more time with their classmate Alejandra, even as her own feelings for Adam grow stronger. Still, the bond between Camelia and Ben is palpable. 


With the line between right and wrong fraying, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grasp on her emotions. She begins sculpting a beautiful figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone’s in danger. But who is the victim? And how can Camelia help them when she is on the brink of losing her own sanity?"

Release Date: November 2011

It's A List!: Must Read YA Paranormal Romance Book Series'

1. The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong

2. The Evernight Academy series by Claudia Gray

3. The Airhead series by Meg Cabot

4. The Touch Series by Laurie Faria Stolarz

5. The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr

6. The Blue is for Nightmares series by Laurie Faria Stolarz

7. The Immortals series by Alyson Noel

8.  The Dream Catcher series by Lisa McMann

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor


Pro: The characters were interesting, all though they were nothing new 

Con: The characters were rather very predictable. I could read them like a book (no pun intended) the second they were introduced to me 


Pro: The story line was "cute" 

Con: It was quite predictable and not very original. 

Use of Language 

Pro: The dialogue was okay. Funny, at some points. 

Con: The writing was "cheesy", "corny", whatever you want to call it. Especially the ending, where the line "Let's blow this fairytale!" was actually said with a straight face. 

Overall Opinion 

This book did not satiate me. Although it was cute and the banter was often intriguing, it was kind of boring. But, I'd recommend it to anyone on a junior high school reading comprehension level (I was going to say elementary level, but the mild make out scenes make this novel a little PG-13

*WARNING: Tragedy Alert* Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Praise: If you are a fan of Bloom and Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott, you'll be in for a big suprise when you read this one. I am not normally a fan of sad stories, but this story is too good not to love.

Criticism: I really have no criticism for this book. I can't really downrave the book do to it's sad ending because, truthfully, although I would have hoped for a happier ending, Living Dead Girl was just too good and too well written to hate

At the Party (#1-3) by Lauren Barnholdt

Maybe novellas aren't for me, but these stories seemed way too short. The length of the stories contributed to another thing I didn't like about this book: the realism, or rather the unrealistic-ness of the stories. And, what is with Lauren Barnholdt and the F word, and the numerous word forms of the term "douche bag"? Like, geesh! Learn some new slang, please! Also, there were a lot of grammatical errors (which seem to run rampant in the majority of Barnholdt's novels)

Anyway, overall the stories are actually pretty cute, and even entertaining, if you can overlook their lengths (not to mention the thus resulting underdeveloped characters) and their grammatical errors.

Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne

While the story line was interesting (although not very original), I found the characters lacking in depth and the dialogue was a little unrealistic/cheesy. I can't really find the right word to describe it, but the banter was just...bad. I'm not trying to be negative, but some of the conversations made me cringe. 

However, I do recommend Love on the Lifts to any (mature) preteen looking for a light 2 hour (tops) read.

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Evermore is the first book of the Immortals series by Alyson Noel. Our heroine, Ever Bloom, has lost her family in a terrible car accident. Her mom, her dad, her sister, and even her dog. She is then forced to move in with her aunt.. And, to top it all off, because of her dying in the accident and somehow being revived, Ever is left with psychic powers! That part seems pretty cool, right? NOT! Ever can now read people's minds on top of being psychic and she is unable control what she hears and when she hears it. To tune it all out, she relies on her ipod and hoodie and, aside from hanging out with her two new best friends Haven and Miles, Ever shrinks in on herself, trying to fade into the backround.

But all that changes when the mysterious Damen comes to town. Although she fools everyone else, Ever can't fool herself (nor can she fool Damen) when it comes to her attraction to him. And then there's Drina, Damen's mysterious "friend" who seems to be out to steal Damen AND Haven away from least, that's what Ever thinks. Of course, in Ever's world, nothing is ever that simple. Is this just a case of jealousy and trivial high school drama, or is something far more sinister going on? 
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