Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

The Summer I Found You is the story about a teenage girl trying to cope with her new diagnosis of type one diabetes and a teenage male veteran who is learning how to embrace his new life after losing an arm, who come together by using each other as an escape, only to discover through love and struggle that your life is what you make of it. (Synopsis from GoodReads)

Title: The Summer I Found You
Author: Jolene Perry
Publication Date: 2014
Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen
Number of Pages: 
Where I Got It: NetGalley
Dates I Read It: November 12- November 16, 2013
Number of Stars: 3/5
Read For: Review purposes

*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

   I love a book that alternates points of view and this book is told in alternating points of view from the two main characters. I really enjoy when books have chapters that switch POV's- I feel like it makes the story move faster and I also feel like I can put more faith in the story since both narrators have a larger chance of being honest and believable. I did fell a lot more sympathy for Aiden/Aidan though- he seemed to be a much more developed and rounded character. I hate to say it, but I also felt worse for him since he had lost an arm. I feel like I know so many people who have diabetes, but I don't know anyone who has lost an arm! Being an older reader of YA, I also feel like I had a harder time relating to Kate. Normally, I can relate really well to my YA heroines, but Kate was difficult for me to connect to. I kept looking at her actions and decisions from the responsible, mature adult POV and silently "tsk-tsk-ing" her for being irresponsible. Kate did feel like a real teenager though and this book felt very realistic and true to real life.
     I liked this story. This was a light but somewhat forgettable read. There was no real action and it can kind of drag for some readers, especially those readers who enjoy fast-paced, action-packed reads. I was very excited for this book because I loved the cover! It immediately jumped out at me and made me excited to read the book. Don't be fooled like I was because the cover really has nothing at all to do with the book. Also, the story is supposed to be about the summer, but it actually takes place during the school year. I was disappointed in this plot point as I love a summer love story.
     As I was reading it, there were times when I wondered to myself if this really was a YA book as it felt more like an adult fiction book. I would recommend this one to older teens, maybe 16-19 or to any teens who may be recently diagnosed with diabetes (or maybe even one who, for whatever reason, have lost a limb).

3/5 stars

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TTT: Books For A Reluctant Boy Reader Who Likes Action And Adventure

Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Image from Ramblings of a Reader

Today's TTT are books that I would recommend to a reluctant boy reader who likes action and adventure-y type books. These books are all ones that I have recommended to G to read. Some he did and some are still on that TBR of his.

All images from GoodReads

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Post #2

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~
It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week,
showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming
up for the week on our blog.

Last week on the blog
Tuesday: I skipped over Tuesday's TTT (books who you wish you could re-design the covers for). I didn't have that many. Usually if the cover is so off-putting to me, I hate to say it, but I usually won't end up reading the book. I am so bad about judging books by their covers.
Friday: #FridayReads- The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry. I finished it yesterday and I hope to get the review up sometime this week.
Saturday: Review of Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Upcoming on the blog:
I finished up The Summer I Found You this weekend like I had hoped to do and I now hope to get the review up soon.
TTT- Top Ten Books I Would Recommend to an X Person (Could be any "type" of person.) I haven't decided on what kind of person to recommend books to yet.
#FridayReads 11/22- I'm currently reading Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins but it is going really fast so I will probably finish it this week. I got Attachments and Eleanor and Park at Yallfest last weekend so I hope to start one of those next. We'll see where I'm at on Friday.

New arrivals
Like I said I got a few new books at Yallfest last weekend. I haven't acquired any others since then but I did get some good ones at the festival:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Weekly Happenings
Not much happened last week. I didn't have work on Monday (thank you, Veterans!) so Sunday night G and I went to eat and see Thor 2 which was amazing. Other than that it was mostly working and reading and eating and sleeping. I did start decorating the house for Christmas, but just small little knickknacks and nothing too huge (no tree, yet). I'm pretty stoked for Friday though as G and I are going to see Catching Fire at the I-Max and I couldn't be more excited. I'm currently in the process of trying to make a Mockingjay shirt to wear, but I am so not crafty and my first try was a huge, embarrassing failure. I'll post pictures as soon as I am able to get it done.. if I'm able to get it done...

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. (-Synopsis from GoodReads)

Title: Insurgent (Divergent trilogy book #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication Date: 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of Pages: 525
Where I Got It: Nook by Barnes and Noble
Dates I Read It: November 6-November 12, 2013
Number of Stars: 4/5
Read It For: Just for fun!

     I really liked Insurgent, despite being confused out of my mind for the majority of the book. I was so confused at the start of this book that I had to view Roth's blog post: But I Read Divergent A Year Ago! which was super helpful in reminding me how Divergent ended since it had actually been more than a year since I had read it. Once I read her blog post I had to start the book over and re-read the first 40 pages, this time with a little less confusion.
(two pages from my reading journal open to the Insurgent entry)
     The characters were still really awesome and we got to see a continuation of character development with our main cast in this book. I really liked the majority of the characters and I thought that they all fit into their roles perfectly. I was pretty pissed off at Tris at several points in the book, and especially at several of the choices that she made and a lot of her reasoning behind her actions and decisions. She is Dauntless after all, though, so I suppose I can't stay too mad at her for too long. I liked how we got to see the humanity of Tris in this book. She is a Dauntless girl in the middle of a factions war, and yet she still spends a great deal of the book feeling guilty about killing someone who was threatening her life. I appreciate Four for the role that he plays. He does a great job as the male lead. I do hope that we get some more from him in Allegiant. I want to know more about him, his back story and his inner thoughts and motivations. Even though I loved the main characters, one of the most annoying things about this book for me was the secondary characters. Roth included an enormous cast of characters in this book and I found it incredibly difficult to keep track of all of them. I wasn't sure who was good and who was evil and who I was supposed to root for and who I was supposed to thumb my nose at and who was born into what faction and who switched to what faction and why. Too much!
     The pacing of the book was excellent. This is a long book (525 pages) but it passed very quickly and I was genuinely surprised when it ended; I had thought I had at least 100 pages to go! I did read this book on my Nook so perhaps that helped quite a bit with my not realizing how long it was. Despite the actual length of the book, it flew by and I think that this was mainly due to all of the action that took place. It seemed that every time I sat down with the book there was a battle scene resulting in an emotionally heavy outcome. These books are dystopian done well and Roth continues the excellency of the world building. There did seem to be some redundancy of action to me which only added to my confusion at times. I feel like perhaps those extra scenes could have been left out. It was still a fabulous book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I would recommend.
     I viewed the second teaser trailer for the Divergent movie on YouTube last night while G was in the computer room and he watched it over my shoulder and he seemed really intrigued. I think it might have
gotten him thinking about reading the books before I drag him to the movie. The trailers look great so far and I highly approve of the casting for this movie. I can't wait for March!
     Oh, and I decided I'm pretty sure I would be in Amity, even though they do dress like Ronald McDonald.

4 out of 5 stars

Friday, November 15, 2013

#FridayReads 11/15/13

     I've been reading The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry (who has got some wicked cool style! I have been stalking her on her blog, GoodReads and Twitt-ah this week) the past three days. I've got an ARC of it from NetGalley on my Nook. So far I'm enjoying it; it's a nice distraction for a few minutes a day (which is all I've had time for this week. Ugh.)
      Kate is a high school senior who was just dumped by her boyfriend and diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Aiden is the cousin of Kate's best friend. Aiden has just returned from Afghanistan where he has lost an arm. He is now living over Kate's parent's garage, missing his arm, and suffering from a major case of survivor's and I'm not dying to jump back in and find out what's going to happen- I'm pretty certain that I already know what's going to happen. I'm hoping to finish it up this weekend and then get to one of the books I bought at Yallfest last weekend (which, by the way was a huge blast (and I got a favorite from Rainbow Rowell, a favorite from Margaret Stohl, a retweet from Michael Johnston and a reply from Marie Lu!))!
guilt. I'm at the point in the book now where Kate and Aiden are starting to hangout more and more and you can tell that they are on the cusp of falling in love. Ahh- young love! It's a cute, light, fluffy read. It's taking me a while to read it because this week has been a long and crazy one
     On a different note, I did finish Insurgent this week and boy did I enjoy that one! I gave that one a solid four stars over on GoodReads. Add me as a GR friend and keep up with what all I'm reading throughout the week!
                          Happy Friday, Readers-have a fabulous weekend. And don't forget to tell me- what are YOU reading this weekend?

Friday, November 8, 2013

#FridayReads 11/8/2013

Yallfest is finally here! After work this afternoon, G and I will be driving down to Charleston for the weekend and I can't wait! I'm taking my Nook with me to read. I downloaded Insurgent Wednesday night so I will be reading that one this weekend. I probably won't be getting a whole lot of reading done since my schedule is packed! I've picked out all of the panels I'm going to try to hit:

All the Fantasy with Libba Bray, Cinda Chima, Melissa de la Cruz, Mike Johnston, Lisa McMann, Veronica Rossi and moderated by Leigh Bardugo
After the End with Alexandra Bracken, Ally Condie, Marie Lu, Carrie Ryan, Lauren Oliver, Margaret Stohl and moderated by Mike Johnston
The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Masked Ball with Leigh Bardugo, Lev Grossman, Mike Johnston, Marie Lu, Myra McEntire, Brendan Reichs, David McInnis Gill and moderated by Victoria Schwab
Brave New Crush Coffee Talk with Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell
Grand Ole YA'opry with Michel Hodkin, David McInnis Gill, CJ Lyons, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Carrie Ryan, Victoria Schwab and JE Thompson and moderated b y Brendan Reichs
A Lengendary Match Coffee Talk with Ally Condie and Marie Lu

Did I mention how excited I am!?

Happy Friday everyone! What are you reading this weekend?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: Diamonds Are A Teen's Best Friend by Allison Rushby

Nessa Joanne Mullholland, aka Marilyn Monroe's No. 1 teenage fan, is used to moving house. This time, however, she's relocating in movie-star style--crossing the Atlantic on board the Majestic, headed for Paris from NYC. And it really would be in movie-star style if it wasn't for the fact that she's bringing her cringe-fest professor dad along for the ride (Dad's specialization: human mating rituals--need Nessa say more?). Oh yeah, and sharing a cabin that's five decks below sea level and next to the engine room. Still, at least Holly Isles is on board. Yes, really, that Holly Isles--star of stage and screen. Suddenly, things are looking up. Looking a little Marilyn, in fact, because events are strangely mirroring Nessa's favorite movie of all time, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (-Synopsis from GoodReads)

Title: Diamonds Are A Teen's Best Friend (Book #1 in the Living Blond Trilogy)
Author: Allison Rushby
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Allison Rushby
Number of Pages: 107
Where I Got It: NetGalley
Dates I Read It: November 2 - 5, 2013
Why  I Read It: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Number of Stars: 1/5

NOTE: This is an edited review. I had a different review, one that I didn't feel good about. I felt like I was too harsh and cruel and that is not what I started this blog for. I want to be honest, but I don't want to do it in any way that can be construed as mean. After I wrote the review I felt bad about it and it kept nagging at me for days and I had considered changing it. I even talked it over with some people I trust. Today I  read this article and that made it final for me- I was changing it and I was going to make it more positive. I hadn't called the author any names, nor did I personally attack her in the review, it was just mean and ugly and not my style and something that Taylor Swift would sing about. I was not going lie and say that I loved the book (I didn't) but I don't have to point out every single negative thing about it, picking at all of the seams until no one in the universe wanted to read it, and completely ignore the positive either. Rushby is a great author and has great potential and deserves a chance and does not deserve a hateful review. From now on my reviews will continue to be honest, but they will also be kind. I apologize to anyone I may have offended with my first draft of the review. 

     Diamonds Are A Teen's Best Friend is the first book in an e-series revolving around thirteen year old Nessa Mullholland. The book is incredibly short (the nook version I read was only 107 pages) which would make it a good match for reluctant young girl readers. In fact, I read on Rushby's blog that she aimed this book at younger teens.
     The story started out fun and I was really enjoying the main character. It was beginning to shape up like a nice, cute story changing the pace of the recent dystopian and fantasy books I had been reading. I even LOL'ed at one point in the first chapter! The story was not for me, though. I do believe that Rushby could possibly write some books that would hook me in the future. This story has a lot of potential to reach younger girls and pull them into reading; I would recommend it to some of my middle-school girls who are just getting into fashion and who may be reluctant to read a lengthy and intimidating-in-size book.
     Like I said, this is only book one in a trilogy, but I don't think that I will read the other two. It was just not my style.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

A weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

For this week's TTT I only came up with seven sequels that I can't wait to read. Usually if I find a series that I adore, I read them all in a quick row, marathoning the series to the end. However, in the past few years I have been really bad about picking up the first book in a series, and then neglecting to finish the saga. I really hope to start getting deeper into a lot of sequels soon. Here are the seven that immediately come to mind:

7. The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness. Book 2 in the Chaos Walking Series.
I finished book 1: The Knife of Never Letting Go, this month. Even though I didn't enjoy it at first, the ending really took me by surprise and made me want to read The Ask and the Answer.

6. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Book 2 in the Caster Chronicles.
I read Beautiful Creatures in March of this year in preparation for the movie (which I really hated). Though I did not absolutely 100% love the book, I am excited to see what happens next.

5. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater. Book 2 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy.
I read Shiver back in February which was the perfect time of year for a snowy, cold setting in a book. I liked the first book alright. Since it is only a trilogy, I do hope to sometime soon finish the next two books- maybe this winter?

4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. Book 2 in the Mortal Instruments Series.
I read City of Bones in May of this year and I enjoyed it. I hope to finish this series and then get started on the Infernal Devices Series.

3. Prodigy by Marie Lu. Book 2 in the Legend Trilogy.
I read Legend in June of this year. I remember reading the entire second half of the book on G's parents couch one afternoon while he and his dad worked on the car outside. I liked this book quite a bit and I am really excited for the next two books. The last book of the trilogy just came out (or is just about to come out this week) and it is pretty highly anticipated in the YA book blogosphere so I need to hop on this bandwagon and get it done quickly!

2. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. Book 2 in the Game of Thrones Series.

1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Book 2 in the Divergent Trilogy.
I am so excited to finish this trilogy I can't stand it! This is the only book on this list that I didn't read book 1 of in the year 2013! I read it in March of 2012 so I really need to get going and finish this series up!

What sequels are you excited for? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Which ones do I need to read ASAP?

Happy Tuesday, readers! Yallfest is only 4 days away!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Post

So I discovered this Meme through Sandy at Somewhere Only We Know and I am super excited about it. Sunday is my main day for blogging since I am usually so busy during the week. I always type up my TTT on Sundays and then set them to post on Tuesday (that's why my TTT usually post at ridiculous early hours!) The Sunday Post is "a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead."
So here is my first Sunday Post and I think I picked a super week to start it! Enjoy!

This past week (October 28 - November 3)
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday- To get you into the Halloween spirit I presented my list of the top ten Scariest Book Covers!
Thursday: Happy Halloween! My Halloween was great. This is my favorite holiday of the year and it didn't disappoint this year at all. We only had three trick-or-treaters, but that is three more than we have had in the last two years! I made mummy hot-dogs, G came home early to celebrate with me and we watched the classic Hocus Pocus and It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I had so much Halloween going on that I didn't have any time for reading. I was zapped of energy on Friday though, since I stayed up past my normal bedtime to celebrate!
Saturday: I woke up eager to do some book shopping (since I got paid on Thursday) and I headed down to The Last Word, a used bookstore in Charlotte. While here I picked up two Hole CD's (talk about a throwback Saturday! #ILoveThe90's!), A Super Mario game for my DS, Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.
I then headed to my local Target to pick up some supplies and I was lucky enough to find more of the HeroClix foil pack pieces (it's a nerdy superhero role playing game I play) in the dollar bin! (The foil packs are normally $3.50 so this is always a huge find when I spot them in the $1 section!) So I bought all ten that they had! I wanted to see what they had available in their book section, but they have now moved the YA books to a tiny little corner and the pickin's were slim, to say the least. I'm very disappointed, Target! Saturday night I finally finished The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black and I was able to start Diamonds are a Teens Best Friend, which I got from NetGalley,by Allison Rushby. So far, it's cute fluff and I'm not that into it. It's only 107 pages though, and I am half-way through it, so I hope to be done tonight.
Sunday: My review of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Next Week (November 4-10)
I hope to finish Diamonds Are A Teen's Best Friend and get that reviewed. I need to start some other books that I have been sent either by the author (Valley of Dust- sent to me OVER A YEAR AGO to review) or books that I got from Net Galley (The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry and Secret Lies by Amy Dunne). I also want to start one of the books that I got Saturday at The Last Word and I STILL have not started Insurgent! Gah!!
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I am super excited for. (I only have seven so far)
Friday: After school G and I are driving to Charleston for Yallfest and I couldn't be more excited!!

Review: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black

     Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown gates, you can never leave. 
     One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.  (Synopsis from GoodReads)

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Number of Pages: 419
Where I Got It: Barnes & Noble, Huntersville, NC
Dates I Read It: October 26-November 2, 2013
Why I Read It: Pure Pleasure/Halloween
Number of Stars: 2.5/5

     I was really excited for this book. Some of my favorite reviewers gave it a standing ovation, the cover is eye-catching and beautiful, I am a sucker for vampire books and I have always wanted to read something by Holly Black so I thought that this would be the perfect place for me to start reading her books. Unfortunately, I found my first Holly Black book to be a great disappointment. I really liked the idea of the story and the plot sounded really interesting and I was excited for a new take on vampires but the story as a whole fell flat for me. 
     The writing style was the first thing that I found that I did not like about this story. The style as a whole was just...really...odd. It felt unbalanced for the entire book and I found myself confused over several scenes and especially confused over how the transformation from a human to a cold person to a vampire really worked. The first chapter started off great, and it really pulled me in. After that first chapter though, the story went nowhere fast. Despite the plot sounding like it was going to be an action-packed thrill ride, there was really very little real action in the whole story. I felt like I spent the whole time I was reading the book waiting for the action to start. The last 100 pages were a chore for me to get through. It took me a lot longer to read this book than I originally anticipated. I just did not feel excited to jump back into the story at all and I got to a point last night where I wasn't sure that I would be able to complete the book. 
     For me to really enjoy a book, I have to care about the characters. In this book I did not care about one. single. character. In fact, I hated them all. They all seemed really one dimensional. Not only did I not care if they lived or died, but I actually was hoping for one or two of the "good guys" to bite it, just to give a little oomph to the story! There was a sudden love element to the book that, to me, seemed to come out of nowhere and I totally didn't buy it. The relationship felt forced, almost as if Black had to add it to the story once the book was over. Oops, I forgot that teenagers have to have a love story in every single book that they read, let me quick add a crappy one that no one believes. 
     I have heard that yes, there will be a sequel and I have also heard that no, it is a stand-alone book. I can see where there would be room for a sequel, but if there is, I honestly don't think that I will read it. I would like to read something else by Holly Black though since I do hear great things about her. She will be at Yallfest (NEXT WEEKEND!!!!) so I am going to take my copy and hope to get it signed. I also hope to pick up some of her other works while there and I have high hopes that those books will be a better fit for me. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

#FridayReads 11/1/13

This past week has been so busy and so crazy I did not get a whole lot of reading done. Monday we had a workday at school and despite having good intentions I got absolutely NOTHING done at school and came home and zoned out in front of the tube instead. Tuesday a friend of mine had to be out of her apartment that afternoon so after work a few of us met at her place, packed her up, and got her moved into her new house. Wednesday I came home and crashed for a while then made dinner then ate dinner then crashed again. Thursday was Halloween! G left school/work early to com cerebrate with me so we ate mummy hot dogs and cupcakes and candy and watched Hocus Pocus and handed out candy. Today I was beat from Halloween and so I came home, crashed, got Chick-Fil-A, watched a little TV and started this blog post. Despite all of the activity of my week, I'm slowly working my way through The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. So far (I'm on page 220) I'm liking it only okay. There is something about the writing style that isn't gripping me and the story is only so-so so far. I am hoping that it will pick up the pace soon. I'm hoping to finish that one up this weekend and then finally get on to Insurgent so that I can stop being the only person in American that hasn't read Allegiant yet. How's this for cray-cray: I was conferencing with a parent at my school the other day and towards the end of the meeting she apologized and said that she was in a rush because she wanted to go buy and start reading Allegiant before her kids got home from soccer practice! I'm hoping to finish up ..Coldtown and review that this weekend and then get started on finishing the Divergent trilogy!
Happy Friday! What are you reading this weekend?

8 days 'til Yallfest!