Airhead

Title: Airhead
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point – Scholastic, Inc
Release Date: May 13, 2008

Emerson Watts didn’t even want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister, Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Gabriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there – along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard.
How was Em supposed to know that disaster would strike, changing her – and life as she’d known it – forever? One bizarre accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.
Now getting her best friend, Christopher, to notice that she’s actually a girl is the least of Em’s problems.
But what Em’s pretty sure she’ll never be able to accept might just turn out to be the one thing that’s going to make her dream come true … Nikki Howard is here to stay.

This book was AMAZING. Seriously. At one point, I was sobbing, furious, and completely dumbstruck at the same time. And no joke – I was sobbing.

How would you react to your parents not considering your likes and dislikes (playing videogames and fashion, respectively) and allowing RANDOM people to put your BRAIN in another person’s body? And then not be able to tell anyone, but still see your best friend who is in mourning every day at school. And be forced to live someone else’s life?

The book was extremely diverse, too. There was TONS of drama, a bit of romance, some intrigue, mystery, and a LOT of figuring out how to literally be someone you’re not. I loved how Em was characterized before the accident and how I really got to know her in the first three chapters, and then found out even more about her character and how she is under pressure. And man, is she good under pressure! She’s intelligent, snarky, but kind, and she’s completely helpless against her situation, but she (somehow) stays herself throughout the entire book. I love her for that, as well as the fact that I am completely on her side. I mean, I cried with her last night at 11 o’clock. The only thing missing for a good weep-fest was the ice cream.

The rest of the characters were great, too. They all had their unique personality, especially Lulu. Christopher is special in his very own way, and I so wish that Em had 2 million dollars to get out of her dilemma with Stark and tell Christopher the truth! But anyway, there’s two more books in the series, and I’m definitely reading them ASAP!!

~Yours Truly

Hereafter

Title: Hereafter
Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 7, 2011

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life – or her actual death – she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captice for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world … forever.

First of all, that cover is amazing. I wish I could get to see how the professionals make the covers, everything from the cover model shoot to the editing and the printing. It would be so cool to get to physically see the process in person. I’d also really like to meet the person who created this one. The ghostly tinge to the girl on the front is so cool.

Next, the idea of a ghost love story? Totally creative, if not completely unique. The idea of a hereafter instead of an afterlife, where there is no recollection of death until the ghost is “awakened”? Completely enthralling. I loved the storyline, the characters, everything. It was all so well thought out and written beautifully. I couldn’t break away from Amelia – her and Joshua seemed so perfect, and it was pitiful how badly I wanted them to be together. And there definitely HAS to be another book to this one. The ending, despite not being a cliff-hanger (which I truly appreciate! Waiting for books **cough, cough, Hush, Hush #4** is soooo frustrating – but in a good way I guess), does not tie up all the loose ends. And I NEED to know how this whole loving-a-living-person-while-I’m-a-ghost can turn out okay, without heartbreak and grief. And there better be a way for that to happen!!

Amelia was a GREAT main character. She wasn’t too sure of herself, she was in love, and she was determined. I loved her uncertainty as she figured out how to get closer to Joshua, and I swear I nearly swooned with relief when they were finally able to do something as simple as holding hands!! I could just picture them, and they made the absolute CUTEST couple! I adored both of these main characters, and basically, can say nothing bad about this book. (Eli was a bad person, not a bad character!)

Up next for review: Airhead by Meg Cabot, then Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Then a couple ebooks, and hopefully a book sent in to me. And I’m realizing this list is getting very long. I have a TON of reading to do!

~Yours Truly

Teaser Tuesday: 5

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

“‘How in God’s name,’ Dad wanted to know, ‘did you end up with Nikki Howard’s dog?’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘it all started when I woke up and found that somebody had put my brain in Nikki Howard’s body.'”

~page 160 of Airhead by Meg Cabot

Tournament of Heroines

I’m totally pysched for the Tournament of Heroines!! It’s hosted here, by the YA Sisterhood. I’m helping Jen from Almost Grown Up advocate for none other than Cammie Morgan, from Ally Carter’s The Gallagher Girls series!! Because of Jen’s request and my over-exuberance, I’ve designed two buttons, so if you’re supporting Cammie, grab these and spread the word!!!

 

 Just click on these to get the link! And don’t forget to vote throughout the tournament! The first round begins this Thursday, December 1. Match #1 is Clary from The Mortal Instruments against Kate from Die for Me. Match #2 is CAMMIE!!! vs. Juliette from Shatter Me. SO EXCITED – MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!!! And of course, enjoy the tournament!!

~Yours Truly

Haunting Violet

Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloombury Teens
Release Date: June 21, 2011

Violet Willoughby doesn’t believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother’s elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother’s scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she’s known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Other than being slightly scary (unless you want to creep yourself out, don’t read this at night), this book was really, really good. I can’t remember the last time I read a ghost story, and it was really refreshing, different from most other YA fiction book that have been published recently. Looking at the cover, I wasn’t sure if I would like it – creepy covers don’t usually interest me – but this one was excellent. I’m glad I read and listened to all the good reviews out there from other bloggers.

What the summary doesn’t tell you is that the book takes place in the 19th century – ball gowns and high society, etc. and that it all happens in England. Now, rereading the summary, it sounds a lot more interesting, right? Intrigue, gossip, reputations, and all that pulled together into a ghost story? Love it. I especiallly liked the fact that it all started out as a sham that Violet helped her mother with, and then it escalated into Violet’s true gift.

The romance in the book was sweet, but tinged with danger, too. High society peerage really clashed with the slummers and even just the middle class over marriages, wealth, and bloodlines. It made for a lot of plot twists and mystery, and it wasn’t just Violet’s romance. I mean, who has time for kissing boys when a ghost wants you to find her murderer?

My favorite characters were definitely Elizabeth, Violet’s best friend, and Violet herself. The misadventures of the two girls, especially considering the setting, made me laugh constantly. You don’t really expect high society girls to go all Sherlock Holmes, now, do you? The fact that it was so out of context made for a very entertaining book, despite the creepy spirit visions, possession, and murders that are also in the book.

The was Harvey intwined several different moods into the story really makes it appealing to a lot of different audiences. I’d say that pretty much anyone could pick up this book and find a part of it that they enjoyed, and the majority of them could enjoy the entire book. I would definitely recommend this book to YA readers.

Happy reading!
~Yours Truly

Defiance

Title: Defiance (Book 4 of Strange Angels)
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Razorbill – Penguin
Release Date: April 19, 2011

Dru Anderson has always been a good listener. She listened to her dad, but had to gun him down herself when he turned zombie.  She listened to the Order, but got nothing but lied to in return. She listened to Christophe, and lost the only friend she had left.
Time to buckle up, boys and girls. Dru Anderson is done listening.  From here on out, she’ll face the King of the Vampires on her own terms.  And if the Order has a problem with it, they can kiss their sweet little svetocha goodbye…

There’s really only one thing to do after finishing this book- harass my library until they get next book, Reckoning! The cover is amazing, the details captivating, and the ending was such a cliff-hanger! There was so much action and emotion in just the last half of the book.

Not only was there a huge cliffhanger as to what Dru is going to do now, if certain characters are alive or dead, and even who is on which side, which I thought had already been cleared up in Betrayals and Jealousy. The uncertainty Dru experiences, as well as the frustration, is great to read and I totally understand; any teenager would understand – imagine trying to be taught to kill vampires while you’re supposed to be in high school. Now multiply that fear and frustration times 10, with the added factors of being part vampire, the only girl, plus one spoiled queen bee. All that emotion that Dru was feeling translated into words and into how I felt as I read the book.

Plus, my favorite character is still Ash. I’m not sure how I stand on the whole romance issue, except that if I were Dru, I’d just leave boys for other, non-svetocha girls, as painful as that might be for some people. Ash, however, really seems to understand her, and something huge happens with Ash and Dru in this book, though I can’t tell you what it is! Also, Nathalie is introduced, and I love her. As a best friend in a weird, weird place, she definitely makes the cut. As a female werwulf, even though she doesn’t completely understand the stuff Dru goes through, she makes it a lot easier for Dru to handle. She helps Dru de-stress perfectly, understanding exactly how much Dru wants to talk and when she wants to be left alone.

All in all, great book, and I’m going to request that my library get Reckoning NOW!!

~Yours Truly

**There is some language in this book**

Jealousy

Title: Jealousy (Book 3 of Strange Angels)
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Razorbill – Penguin
Release Date: July 29, 2010

Dru Anderson might finally be safe. She’s at the largest Schola on the continent, and beginning to learn what it means to be svetocha–half vampire, half human, and all deadly. If she survives her training, she will be able to take her place in the Order, holding back the vampires and protecting the oblivious normal people.
But a web of lies and betrayals is still closing around her, just when she thinks she can relax a little. Her mentor Christophe is missing, her almost-boyfriend is acting weird, and the bodyguards she’s been assigned seem to know much more than they should. And then there’s the vampire attacks, the strange nightly visits, and the looks everyone keeps giving her. As if she should know something.
Or as if she’s in danger.
Someone high up in the Order is a traitor. They want Dru dead–but first, they want to know what she remembers of the night her mother died. Dru doesn’t want to remember, but it looks like she might have to–especially since once Christophe returns, he’ll be on trial for his life. The only person who can save him is Dru.
The problem is, once she remembers everything, she may not want to…

The third book is infinitely better than the second. Everything is much clearer, there are specific details to focus on instead of vague confusion, and most of all, there is more of everything. More action, more romance, more story!

Dru and Graves’ relationship grows significantly, and I love the change between them. However, Dru’s confusion between Graves and Christophe, plus the awkward encounters that she has with both, added to the concrete feelings each of the boys have towards her and each other, will make for a VERY interesting explosion in the next book – I can’t wait to see how Dru handles it all!

The plot is enhanced in this book by the addition of a new character, Anna. I love the intrigue that she adds to the story; without her, this third book would be just another filler, but she keeps the plot interesting. Dru is always on her toes, and I really enjoyed the way the tension forced Dru to grow up a little and become a little more independent. Just as the second book was written so Dru could grieve, I think that this third book was written so that Dru could be more of her own person, make better decisions, and be more reliable as a tough, rough-and-tumble heroine who can take care of herself. I like her vulnerability, but I’m glad she’s growing up at the point that she did, or else the book could have been a lot more boring.

My favorite part of this book is Ash. A Broken werwulf, it seems as though he is the only one that Dru can trust completely who won’t leave her. I love his apparent loyalty and how he’s willing to rescue her despite his inability to change back to human form or to fully communicate with Dru. I also like how they have their own relationship outside of everyone else and that she is the one who is able to calm him down when he goes a bit psycho. I really can’t wait to see what happens in the next book with all of the characters, but especially Ash and Dru.

Looking forward to reading the next book, Defiance, as well as Alias Dragonfly from an ebook. Keep your eyes out for the reviews!

~Yours Truly