Apology

Hey guys, just want to let you know that I’m really sorry that I havn’t been reading or posting much lately – I’ve had a lot of homework, and I still have midterms to study for. I apologize in advance for any posts/memes that I haven’t done/won’t do over the next week. I’m not even riding this week because I’ve got my nose in the textbooks. Unfortunately, this is going to be happening until next week, and then I have an ebook that I have to finish before I read another book. I’ll try and keep you posted on upcoming events, etc. Thank you for understanding!

~Yours Truly

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Sass & Serendipity

Title: Sass & Serendipity
Author: Jennifer Ziegler
Publisher: Delacorte Press – Random House, Inc.
Release Date: July 12, 2011

Daphne Rivera and her sister, Gabby, could not be more different. For fifteen-year-old Daphne, the glass is always half full, a dab of lip gloss can ward off a bad day, and the boy of her dreams – the one she’s read about in all her beloved romance novels – is waiting for her just around the corner.
But Daphne’s older sister, Gabby, wishes she would get real. In Gabby’s world, everyone is out for themselves, wearing makeup is a waste of time, and boyd just distract you from studying before they break your heart. The only boy Gabby trusts is her best friend, Mule, who has always been there for her.
Both Gabby and Daphne are still reeling from their parents’ divorce, though in very different ways. While Gabby will never forgive her unreliable father for failing her mother, Daphne idolizes her daddy and is sure that everything would work out fine if her cranky mom would just let him back into their lives. When a crisis leaves the girls and their mom homeless, help comes from a surprising source, and both girls are courted by unlikely suitors who shake up their views of the world.  Suddenly the glass isn’t so clearly half empty or half full … and love seems a lot more complicated than they ever could have imagined.

First things first: the cover. I liked how the simple shot could convey so much. The two girls’ stances make it clear which is the bubbly, restless one and which is the confidant, face-the-facts girl. It makes it seem as though it’s them against the world, and within the book, each does believe that it’s them against the world. The premise of the book was figuring out that the world gave them a teammate. I liked how this was shown through even the chapter title – I had no idea that so many words had “sis” in them. It was creative, and definitely artistic. It added value and worth to the content of the book, but it also emphasized certain aspects of each girls’ character.

And the romance aspect of the book was great. It wasn’t steamy or very physical – it was more contemporary in the fact that it took place in a high school with normal bullies and pressures and parties, but also dealt with the realities of some financial situations. Combined with the journey to find the meaning of love, the book really made some unexpected turns. The boyfriends at the end were definitely not who I thought they would be in the beginning. Also, the growing up that the girls did while their mom was away? Huge. I loved how through all the arguments (and it was pretty much every other page!) each girl grew a little, learned a little, and even though it might have seemed as though they took two steps back, they slowly realized the true worth of a sister and the privilege of having one.

The story was touching, and I adored all the characters. The backstories on all of them were amazingly well-written, and every new detail that was revealed caused a different prediction for the book to run through my mind. I was never completely sure about anything, and that’s pretty much how it is in life. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to read a contemporary that will make you cry, laugh, and scold the characters in turn.

~Yours Truly

**There were a few instances of language, but nothing too terrible.

Never Cry Werewolf

Title: Never Cry Werewolf
Author: Heather Davis
Publisher: HarperTeen – HarperCollins
Release Date: September 1, 2009

Moonlight can totally change your life.
And it all starts so simply.
You. Him.
The moon.
You’re toast.
Okay, so maybe Shelby has made a few mistakes with boys lately (how was she supposed to know Wes had “borrowed” that Porsche?). But her stepmother totally overreacts when she catches Shelby in a post-curfew kiss with a hot senior: Suddenly Shelby’s summer plans are on the shelf, and she’s being packed off to brat camp. It’s good-bye, prom dress; hello, hiking boots.
Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges III. But soon she realizes there’s more to Austin than crush material—his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby’s help guarding it. Shelby knows that she really shouldn’t be getting tangled up with another bad boy . . . but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one? One thing’s for sure: That pesky full moon is about to get her into trouble all over again.

This book was pretty good. It wasn’t outrageously great, or horribly bad. It was more of a happy medium. It was full of small details that wove an extremely entertaining story, and I enjoyed the camping premise that it starts out as. The wilderness and the ridiculousness of the camp (and all the jokes that the campers make about it) made me laugh more than once as I felt my own indignation rise at the injustice of the actions, words, and simple stupidity of characters like Priscilla. And I mean, if a stepmother’s name is Priscilla, stereotypically speaking, she’s not very nice! The cover, too, is really cool. The allusions to Little Red Riding Hood (both on the cover and in the book) were funny.

But the book was about more than evil stepmothers. There was also a lot of self-discovery and revelations that I thought were true, too, like the fact that in times of terrible grief, it’s hard to talk to strangers because 1. it’s humiliating, and 2. they’re strangers! If you can’t talk something out with your family, why would you air your family’s dirty laundry to a perfect stranger? It’s easier to write, or admit things to yourself, than have a random person come up to you and basically interrogate you about your life.

The points made about pyschiatrists in this book are true, but the werewolf aspect was really cool. I liked the idea of being able to control what you are. The difficulty, pressure, and trust issues of being a werewolf were evident through the relationship between Austin and Shelby. And then the ending, with the tiny detail that leaves open a huge chance for a sequel (which there is, but only in ebook form). I’m going to see if I can get it, because even though the book was pretty medium, I would never pass up a chance to read the sequel!

~Yours Truly

Fateful

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen – HarperCollins
Release Date: September 13, 2011

The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Traveling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets.
When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.
Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realizing that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…

The entirety of this book is delightfully shocking. Every chapter, there’s a new twist or hoop for Tess to jump through. Even the secondary characters, like the family that Tess works for, are astounding with their dirty laundry that they try so hard to keep to themselves. The hilarity, but yet serious undertone because of the first person narration, was intriguing. The gossip-like mood of the beginning of the book, before the action and conflict that is introduced, was very entertaining.

Some of the, er, less appealing characters (not in a literary way, more of a this-guy-creeps-me-out sort of way – yes, I’m talking about Mikhail) were definitely fear-inducing, and not just for Tess. I was seriously creeped out by this guy. There was murder going on, threats and insinuation, bullying and torture and extortion. It was completely insane, and yet captured my attention so utterly. I couldn’t figure out what could possibly happen next, at any point throughout the book, but especially not at the end.

One point – this book is paranormal historical fiction (a combination that I loved!), so don’t go into the book expecting a happy ending. Despite my desperate hoping for absolutely everything to be set to rights, it’s the Titanic. I’ve seen the movie (which, by the way, I also enjoyed). I was holding back tears in school today as I finished it. Myriam, possibly my favorite character, had all my attention, love, and adoration. But Tess and Alec (oh, ALEC!) were amazing together, and I almost couldn’t bear the end. There’s so much suspense and sadness in this book, it’s so terrifyingly descriptive, it’s a definitely must-read.

I like this cover better than I like the other one, although the red dress on the other cover is more related to the storyline. This one has more of the paranormal aspect to it, and I love the light blue color and the way the sky and ocean are reflecting each other. Also, this book was great as a standalone, but I most definitely would not complain if there was a second book! In fact, I might just be first in line to get it!

~Yours Truly

**There are no specific details, but there is mention of sex and related events in the book.

Daimon

Title: Daimon (Book .5 in Covenant)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Ebook

For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she’d been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she’s pretty much accepted that she’s a freak by mortal standards… and that she’ll never be prepared for that duty.
According to her mother, that’s a good thing.
But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she’s being hunted by the very creatures she’d once trained to kill.
The daimons have found her.

To someone who hasn’t read Half-Blood yet, this book is a VERY good motivator. First of all, it leave Alex in a very vulnerable position – cliff hanger, much?? And then I got a sneak peek of the first chapter of the next book, and I want MORE!!! Who wouldn’t? She’s holding her own against three daimons and then in walks her three-year forbidden crush to save her – I NEED to know what happens next!! Plus, I’ve been keeping track of this series for a while, with all the extras that Armentrout’s written and posted, whether they be teasers or favorite scenes from different point of views. Now having read the first chapter from both Alex and Aiden’s POV, I really, really would like to know the rest of the story. But anyway.

Daimon was a very good introduction to Alex’s life. The trauma she’s gone through, the attitude that she embodies, and especially her fighting skills are all introduced very well in this book. A little backstory to emphasize the true conflict, or really where the conflict all began for the series, if you will. Even though it was very short (and, I mean, it’s basically backstory, so it was supposed to be short), I loved every word of it, and everything was perfectly characterized, explained, written, I could go on and on. Basically, if you need an incentive to read the series, pick up this book at Barnes & Noble really cheap in paperback or on your Nook. It’s a very good start to a series I’m sure (based on the fan numbers, material, and other books by Armentrout) that will definitely hook people in and keep them hooked.

Oh, and of course, I love the cover!!!

~Yours Truly

**Note: There is some language in this book, as well a one or two mentions of inappropriate conduct. Recommended ages 13 & up.

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Title: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Book 1)
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Houton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: February 1, 2009
Ebook

The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

As if school work isn’t enough, Jessica’s life takes a very weird turn when she sees Lucius for the first time. And then, when she finds out the truth of the whole thing, and from her parents, no less, it totally freaks her out. I mean, can you blame her? Finding out that your own parents had hidden the fact that you were a VAMPIRE for almost eighteen years? And then to find out only when a spoiled, Old World freaking PRINCE comes to claim you as his BRIDE!? Unbelievable. I would have done much more than simply jam a pitchfork into Lucius’s foot. (Possibly my favorite scene.) Maybe I’d have come around, eventually. Maybe. The ultimate betrayal of her parents in all the weirdness would definitely make me lose trust in them, but Jess doesn’t have that problem – which is all well and good until the pact becomes practically meaningless.

The central idea to the story was the pact. This agreement made when Jessica and Lucius were practically newborns, plus the conflicting cultures of Romania and free-loving America, was a terrible combination. Unless, of course, you’re Lucius’s uncle, but still. I really enjoyed how Jessica attempted to be free, and that if she ever decided to like, love, or marry Lucius, it would be because she wanted to, not because of a stupid pact made over a decade ago. The risks in doing that were enormous – including a major world war – and I’m glad things were resolved at the end. There are a lot of “extra” chapters, too, for those who have read the book (Major spoilers), on Beth Fantaskey’s website. I really loved those chapters!!

The last praise I have for this book is that the turmoil Jessica goes through – from being adopted, realizing what she truly is, to facing the fact of Lucius (with everything that follows him), as well as high school – is dealt with in a manner typical of a girl Jessica’s age. There’s a lot of anger, some depression, but predominately fear. The overwhelming feelings that bled through all the pages really show the fear of uncertainty, and therefore of doing the wrong thing, was completely natural to feel, but what was really amazing was that I could really feel it through Jessica’s thoughts and actions.

All in all, a great book. Even though it’s my rereading of it, I still can’t get enough of it, and I can’t wait for the sequel, Jessica Rules the Dark Side.

~Yours Truly

Runaway

Title: Runaway (Book 3 of Airhead)
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point – Scholastic, Inc.
Release Date: April 20, 2010

Em Watts is on the run. She’s on the run from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.
With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can’t explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year’s Eve to look forward to, Em’s reached the end of ehr rop … what’s the point of even going on?
But when she discovers the truth about Nikki’s secret, she knows there’s only one person she can turn to.
Will Christopher be able to put aside his personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved – since if he agrees, there’s every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed – this time, permanently?

Since I was rushing at the library, unfortunately I didn’t realize until I was more than halfway done with this book that it was actually the third book, not the second. So, you can pretty much ignore this post until I read the second book, haha!

Other than the confusion I had over the events I missed from the second book, this book was really good. Weird, but a fully body transplant is a bit odd. The schemes and plotting of the characters were really intriguing, and the way it all came together/was revealed at the end was creative, dangerous, and thrilling to read. Em’s character is so hard to relate to, because of the craziness of her life – um, hello? Frump to supermodel? When does that ever happen? – but anyone can relate to being on the receiving end of bad communication. The trust and communication issues that she deals with in her relationship and in herself really affect the tone and plot of the story.

The hot-and-cold romance between her and Christopher (which I missed part of in the second book) was great. It wasn’t an I’m-destined-to-be-with-this-person-because-of-an-age-old-prophecy sort of romance. It was more an I-love-this-person-but-we-have-a-lot-of-kinks-in-our-relationship sort of thing, which I adored. Their arguments and stubborn pig-headedness made them perfect for each other. Their relationship was by no means perfect in any way, but the at the end, with the New Year’s Eve scene? I loved it! Plus, Em’s constant worry over their arguments was cute.

But it’s not just their romance, either. I loved the happy ending – I’m not giving any specific people away, though! And not all the relationships are romantic. There’s also a lot of friendship, sibling love-hate paradoxes, and parent-daughter issues worked out in the book, too (which also brought up a lot of gender role issues, too, which was interesting because of the whole my-mom’s-a-women-studies-professor-and-I’m-a-super-skinny-supermodel thing). All in all, a great read! But now I need to go get the second book, haha!!

~Yours Truly