Review: Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Publisher: Razorbill (June 11, 2009)
Paperback: 270 pages
Price: $8.99 from Amazon
To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!
There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.
But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?
More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.


Review: Why, why? I recently went on a trip to the library and picked this book up on a whim, because it's based off of Pride and Prejudice, of course. (Can you tell I'm head-over-heels for Jane Austen's classic?) I actually really wanted to like this book because the cover and summary looked very fun and cute. But, unfortunately, I was disappointed and am starting to think that I should swear off books centered on Pride and Prejudice all together.

First off, what annoyed me from practically page one was the main girl, Callie. I would try to make this a little less harsh, but when we get down to it, she's basically: 1) materialistic; 2) erroneous in judgement; 3) blindly courageous; 4) very sensitive and emotional. Which equals supremely annoying. Technically, Callie's worries about fitting in, finding love, and asserting her own independence should help me relate to her, but while her intentions might be genuine, I just couldn't seem to relate because of her superficial actions and thoughts. Like running away from confrontation, almost crying from every "snub" (anything that Callie perceives to be an insult even if it isn't, which is a lot, trust me), and having to show up the other girls in the "A-list" though she wants to be friends with them. Everytime I thought I was getting closer to Callie, she just did something so cowardly or shallow that it destroyed any affection I had been building up for her.

Sort of continuing on with her attitude, what annoyed me the most in the whole book was the Callie-Alex relationship. Though Alex gave a frosty first impression, it was very apparent early on that he was a really sweet guy. However, Callie stubbornly clings to her initial belief that he is a pompous "jerk" and jumps to conclusions so fast that I thought they were, for the most part, unfounded. How can she be so good at math and science, as she claims, when she doesn't even use the logical process to deduce conclusions about Alex? And, even after he obviously shows interest in her, Callie says that she definitely does not have any feelings for him, even though she talks about how hot Alex is practically everytime he pops up. My personal opinion is that Callie doesn't deserve such a caring guy like Alex.

Pushing Callie far, far away, I would like to compliment the author's integration of Pride and Prejudice into the book. I originally didn't even notice the parallels, but, after reading some parts, discovered the similarities. Granted, I didn't like the Callie-Alex realtionship in stead of Jane-Darcy, but there were some other instances, like Alex's aid to win Callie's favor, that coincided very well with the book. All I can say for these parallels is: cute!

Bottom Line: Prada and Prejudice showed a lot of potential: the idea was interesting, the characters were supposedly modern and relateable, etc. However, it ended up being a major disappointment for me because of mainly one thing: Callie. I didn't like her attitude and, for the most part, wasn't able to relate to her. On the other hand, I could definitely see the connections between the originial Pride and Prejudice and this book, and I love allusions like those! This was Mandy Hubbard's first book, so I'm not writing her off my reading list for now, but hope to see improvements in the future!

View from the other side: Maybe my view is uncommon because I've read many reviews that say Prada and Prejudice is a fun, light read. Technically, the plot was at a reasonable pace and there was definitely some romance stirring up. My main issue was Callie, and I think if you're not bothered by her, you might actually enjoy this book. :)

Related Post:  Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange - 3.0 stars

Throwdown Thursday and 100 Followers!

Oh. my. god. I have 100 followers! I'm so happy, and I love you all! Thank you so much everyone for following my blog. I'll probably be hosting a contest soon to celebrate it... -hint hint- :)

Thank you!!

And just wanted to mention last week's Throwdown Thursday, which was Mr. Darcy vs. Edward... and Mr. Darcy won! I would personally like to say "of course," because Mr. Darcy is like the father of all gentlemanly, hot guys. Granted, dressed in long jackets and cravats and such, but still. He definitely deserves his own shrine or something.

The reason I don't have a Throwdown Thursday post today is because I really don't know what to do for it! I'm afraid I'll put up books you don't know, and no one will be able to answer it! If you have any suggestions for next week's Throwdown Thursday, or would rather just not have one at all, please let me know. Thanks!

Discussion Questions: Intertwined by Gena Showalter

A continuation about Intertwined by Gena Showalter for Blog With Bite! This time with discussion questions!

For the most part, I would say the questions don't have a lot of spoilers, but some of them still have a few tidbits of revealing information. If you're looking for some more general questions without any spoiler at all, please feel free to read: 1, 2, 4, and 6. I'm looking forward to doing more reviews with Blog With Bite!

Check out my previous review about Intertwined here.

1. Do you feel the ending was cut short and needed more to be resolved before the book ended?

Yes. Definitely. I finished the book, and I had to look around to see if it was the last page! There is a conclusion at the end, but Intertwined pretty much ends right after the climax. So while there is a sequel, which I'll definitely be reading, I feel that there could have been more of a gradual decline and wrap-up.

2. Regarding Question #1, what are your thoughts on series books? For one you get more and more and more - depending on how long the series drags on - for another some series leave you with very little resolution at the end of the novels, i.e. the Merry Gentry series where only a couple of hours pass within the time span of one book. Do you find this is just an authors way of having guaranteed book sales - or do you really enjoy series and love reading about your fav characters over and over again?

If I like the character (which basically translates to I like the series), I actually like and anticipate reading about my characters over and over again.! However, I do have to say there is a limit to the number of times I can read about one character and still enjoy the series. 5 books I can manage, nearing the area of 20 is rocky territory... Then there also is the problem of the someimtes huge gaps between the release of books in a series. Take for example, Harry Potter (sorry, all devoted fans!), which I really liked but forgot a lot that happened in the year that it took the next installment to come out. If we're talking about Intertwined here, though it was good, I did feel like it was cut off a little quickly to save more for the sequel.

3. Which "trapped" soul was your favorite and do you see potential in the future story lines with the remaining three?

I'll have to say Eve. Granted we didn't see much of the other three souls, three that I hope to discover more about in the other sequels, but I loved Eve! Probably even more than I loved Aden, lol. But she came off as a very motherly figure and one that wouldn't take a beating from any of the boys. I definitely see potential in the future story lines with the remaining three, and I'm guessing that each book will lead to the release of one more soul. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what some of the other souls are about, especially Caleb who didn't talk much, so Gena Showalter, please keep stringing us along!

4. When a larger-than-life character such as Vlad Tepes aka Dracula is used as a side-plot character do you believe it gives the story a more factual base, or makes it less real?

Well... This one is a hard one. I don't think it makes the story any less or more real; it's just there. I don't really know how to explain it, but I always feel like allusions just never live up to their names. The real Dracula will always be that same forboding presence in my mind, and when Intertwined uses it, I might think "clever!" but don't take much notice of it.

5. What did you think of the side plot involving Tucker and Penny? Do you think the issues from that plot were adequately resolved?

Excuse me, what side plot? I guess that can sort of tell you what I thought of it: relatively nothing, insignificant. The Tucker being a half-demon deal was sort of interesting, but I didn't really feel like it went anywhere. Basically: Tucker is a mischevious, manipulative half-demon. He gets Penny pregnant. He and Mary Ann break up. The end. Do I think the issues from there were adequately involved? I think I'm going deaf, because I seriously have to say "excuse me, what issues?" again. I really hope Gena does something with this or just simply leaves it alone in the sequel, because, truthfully, Tucker is a jerk and Penny is an unfaithful friend. Go figure.

6. What is your best guess as to what Aden Stone's superpower is - the power he possess without his souls?
Ohhh, another hard one. Besides for his power of being super hot and butt-kicking, I would say either along the lines of a soul absorber or dealing with intuition of some sort. I think the soul absorbing power is sort of self-explanatory, and, more generally, I think maybe a power like intuition (ie. mind-reading, aura-reading) because he is able to absorb so many souls inside his body. Opening up to souls might be the same as opening up to someone's feelings. I'm really bad at predictions, so I say just wait and see! :)

One Lovely Blog Award

I recieved this award from The Bookologist! Thanks, girl! Her blog is pure awesomeness too, so check it out. :)

Here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award":

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

The award picture is so pretty and cute! Love, love, love. Anyways, I again have to say that just because I didn't pick you doesn't mean I don't love your blog! Here's the list:

Jo @ Once Upon a Bookcase
April @ Good Books and Wine
Juju @ Tales of Whimsy
Mary @ The Sweet Bookshelf
Ashley @ Books Obsession
Eli @ The Tainted Poet
Kate @ The Neverending Shelf
Catt @ The Dreamer Reader
Becky @ The Bookette
Austen Fan @ Reality Bites... Fiction Does It Better!
Rachel @ Parajunkee's View
Jenn-ay @ My Tea Time is Book Time
Katie @ Katie's Bookshelf
Perla @ Imperial Beach Teens
Book Whisperer @ Book Whisperer

Time to contact the bloggers... I'll mass email you guys soon (sorry!) and comment on your blogs if I have time. Beautiful blogs, guys, and I look forward to reading more!

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (May 5, 2009)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Price: $11.55 from Amazon
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.


Review: I don't even know why I was reluctant to read this book in the first place. I was stopping by the library and saw this book, and was like "woah! I know that one" but just felt like it wasn't going to be worth it. (Probably because of the let down I had from Sarah Dessen's, who's one of my favorite young adult romance authors, Lock and Key.) I turned my back and some old lady snatches it for her granddaughter! I always get a little competitive, so I think that's what finally got me to read The Summer I Turned Pretty. And I'm so glad I did. :)

This was my first book by Jenny Han, and I'm happy to say that it definitely lived up to any expectations I had! The dialogue was relaistic and witty, and I found myself  appreciating some good jokes and playful conversations. It was exactly like the easy-flowing conversations I have with my friends, except perhaps with better insults. There were also tons of those hard-to-explain, special memories, like singing in the car with your mom full volume. I would say about half of those memories are told as flashbacks, which worked, but it took me a while to realize that underneath the chapter title it said "AGE __."

The major objections I have are about characters, yet again. Belly, the main girl, is sort of too whiny for my tastes. The other characters' do tease her about pouting, but I think that's meant to contrast the smaller Belly and the grown up one. However, I really didn't find that much of a difference because Belly often says "shut up," instead of firing back insults. I'll admit I even use "shut up" frequently, but not at every insult like Belly seems to do. And when Belly finally decides to nervously reveal her love, when her love interest says he's not interested, she insists that she knows he is! Woah, slow down there, what happened to the timid Belly?

Still on the topic about characters, this issue deserves its own new paragraph. The love Belly chooses at the end. I just didn't feel like it was the right one. She has three guys vying after her: two extremely kind, caring, sweet, and sensitive; the other very moody and aloof. The claims Belly makes about the guy she ultimately chooses I just didn't see present in the book. But I'll happily take the leftovers!

Bottom Line: The Summer I Turned Pretty was everything a summer should be: hot boys, bonfire parties, first loves, broken hearts, old memories, and more. It was exactly the kind of carefree, seperate summer world that I (theoretically) wish I could have. The writing is smooth and captures the essence of teenage years, and the hard transition to adulthood. While Belly didn't exactly chalk up to my standards in parts of her behavior and her at times shallow judgement of people, there were definitely a lot of teenage angst there that I can relate with. Overall, The Summer I Turned Pretty was a fun, ligh read and a great introduction to Jenny Han's books, and I'll be looking out for more!

And just as an extra: I've had this song stuck in my head for a few days, but The Summer I Turned Pretty just brings it up again. Enjoy!

In My Mailbox - 4

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie.

I haven't done one of these in a while! But I actually borrowed a few from the library this week, so I have something to post. (And sorry, the picture is grainy and it's hard to see the titles! Blame it on those silly camera phones that take half an eon to take a picture.)

Kiss Me, Kill Me and Kisses and Lies (Scarlett Wakefield series 1 and 2) by Lauren Henderson
Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn -- the blue cover with a white dress
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

The Smart One and The Pretty One by Claire LeZabnik

Finally succumbed to trying The Summer I Turned Pretty, and I'm crossing my fingers it'll turn out good. I also can't wait to read Ballad! I'm going to read it as soon as I can force myself to set it aside, but it looks amazing and is so tempting just sitting there.

Anyways, hope you guys got some good books this week, and happy reading! :)

Emotional vs. Analytical Reviews

I read a couple of my past reviews, and thought wow, that's so boring.  Which leads me to ask a question which has definitely been asked tons of times before:

Is it better to go for a review filled with your thoughts on the book, focusing on how you felt when reading this or that, or is it better to have a purely analytical review, going over plot, characters, etc. methodically? Or is it better to have a mix of both? And it would be super helpful if you could relate it to my reviews, whether you'd like to see more of either side and the organization.

And, as a really off-on-the-other-side-of-world side note, later this wek I'll be hosting an interview with Laura Ruby, the author of Bad Apple, Good Girls, and Play Me. It'll be my first interview, so I'm extremely excited! So please keep your eyes and ears out for that! :)

The 3 R's: Rapid Readathon Reviews!

Just wanted to do a quick shout-out to everyone else who participated, and to the some people who still are, and even for the ones that didn't because I know they're dedicated to reading to!

Today I participated in the 24 Hour Readathon for only 6+ hours (unfortunately), but it was very nice just being able to relax and read for once. I managed to finish three books and start a fourth, a total of who-knows-how-many pages, but I'm estimating about 800 pages. (I'm a fast, at times skimming reader, so it definitely does not mean a word less if you only read 50 pages!) I would have posted earlier but wasn't near a computer, so I decided to save all the good stuff for last. Or at least I thought they were good. I was so glad I did that mass reservation at the library! :)

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it at Amazon

My 3-sentence Summary: Poor Jane has never been in a successful relationship, mainly because she's been caught up by one of the greatest men (or the greatest, in my opinion) of all time: Mr. Darcy. When her wealthy, but removed, relative dies, Jane receives an all expenses paid, unrefundable trip to Austenland, a three-week retreat area where rich men and women come to play their role as characters in the time of Pride and Prejudice. Will Jane be able to find love beneath the facade?


 Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it at Amazon

My 3-sentence Summary: Lady Saren is bricked up, literally, in a tower for defying her father's wishes to marry her off to a rich and powerful man. Dashti, her recently titled maid, consents to being locked up with Saren but soon events take a turn for the worse and they're forced to find safety elsewhere. And that's where a whole new adventure begins, an adventure full of love, friendship, courage, and sisters.


Bottom Line for BOTH Shannon Hale books: I might be a little biased in my ratings because I have loved Shannon Hale ever since I read Goose Girl in elementary school. Granted, these two books do not have a lot of sexual content in them, though they're both about love, but that's partly what I like about them; they remind me of fairy tales, where love is about people and feelings instead of sexual attraction. I did like Book of a Thousand Days better partly because it was less about sexual tension than Austenland. To me, Shannon Hale's books have always = love + strong heroine. And there's the other reason I liked Book of a Thousand Days better, because I felt like it had a stronger, more courageous and independent heroine.
I have to mention that I loved the idea behind both books. Of course, I adore Pride and Prejudice, and it was cute to see how Lizzy and Mr. Darcy 's romance could play out in a 20th-century renactment of sorts in Austenland. Book of a Thousand Days was also a interesting one, set in a different time in a different place, with kahns and kingdoms. The journal aspect of it was adorable, with little sketches and all, and reminded me of my very small, childhood days.
To sum it up, the two main reasons why I rated Book of a Thousand Days over Austenland: 1) fairy tale appeal, while Austenland wasn't quite up to par on the young (thanks, Mary) adult level; 2) stronger, more admirable heroine. Overall, two very cute, enjoyable books that you should curl up on a cozy couch with!

Good Girls by Laura Ruby

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it at Amazon

My 3-Sentence Summary: Who knew pictures could do so much? When a privately snapped, widely distributed photo turns everything Audrey knew upside-down, she has to pick up the pieces and rediscover who she is. But along the way, Audrey also discovers that everyone else is also not just what they appear in a picture, that they also have a side waiting for her to discover.


Bottom Line: I didn't even know how to summarize or describe this book. It's a crazy mix of drama, drama, drama, with a dribbling of lies and masks and a sprinkling of teenage fun. It's about parents, sex, growing up, everything. I love how Laura Ruby manages to capture those feelings, and the reasons that Good Girls isn't getting a better score are beause: 1) the flashbacks wer a little confusing at times. I'd think it would be the present, but then, when it ended, I'd be like "what?"; 2) I just felt Audrey was a conflicting character, a nerd but one that wants to fool around? But those weren't main problems that detracted from my reading experience, and I definitely enjoyed Good Girls. It redefines the meaning of "good" in fishnets and bold lipstick. ;)

And the last book I didn't get to finish was Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson, which I'll post a review of soon!

Update: Background & Readathon

Just wanted to say a few words about my new background and get some opinions. I'm going to be changing around my background and theme for a few days so it might look weird at times, but the current background I have might be the one I'll be using for a while. It's the first one I've made, so please tell me what you think of it! I don't know if it's a little too distracting? Feel free to say whatever, because I definitely won't be offended! I just want to make it look better with your help. :)

Also, I've been doing the readathon for the past 6+ hours, though I have to end now because I have to go. I'll be updating later with some reviews, so watch out for those! Hope other fellow readathon participators are having or had as much fun as I did!

Review: Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (August 11, 2009)

Paperback: 384 pages
Price: $9.99 from Amazon
Lucy has nine months to break an ancient curse in order to save both herself and her unborn daughter.
Inspired by the ballad "Scarborough Fair", this riveting novel combines suspense, fantasy, and romance for an intensely page-turning and masterfully original tale.
Lucy is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child's birth. But Lucy is the first girl who won't be alone as she tackles the list. She has her fiercely protective foster parents and her childhood friend Zach beside her. Do they have love and strength enough to overcome an age-old evil?

Review: Impossible was a book that was impossible not to like. I’ve heard Scarborough Fair countless times, but reading Impossible was the first time I actually considered the history behind the song. I definitely loved the idea, and I applaud Nancy Werlin for being able to weave the legend into such a mesmerizing book!

I think I should probably start off with what made me check this book out in the first place. Two words: true love. I love the concept of true love (though I have yet to find out if it really exists); the idea of that one special person, the one who will always stand by you and understand you, is unbelievably romantic to me. Who knows? Maybe I just read too many fairytales as a kid. But that being said, Impossible is all about the power of true love and how it can and will overcome all obstacles, which grabbed a romantic like me right off the bat. For the paranormal fans out there, it does contain a bit about the Elfin Knight, but Impossible is mainly set in the modern world. I liked the idea that there could be so much hidden underneath what seems mundane and beautiful, like the song Scarborough Fair. The plot was definitely interesting, and the story unraveled at a good pace.

Probably the main thing that annoyed me, though it wasn’t extremely irritating, was the characters. The characters seemed fairly solid, but I felt like they were all so good. I know that might seem perfect and they do teach you some smart lessons, but I like my characters with some flaws; it just makes everything seem that much more realistic to me. Even Lucy’s best friend that seemed extremely superficial in the beginning did a magical transformation and become amazingly wise once Lucy got in trouble! It made the characters a bit hard to relate to at times, and occasionally made me want to ruin their flawless persons. On that note, the dialogue between the characters was well-developed, and I was able to effortlessly follow the flow of conversation.

Now, for what I would really have liked seen more of: the lore, especially the Elfin Knight. I felt a lot more of the book was centered on how Lucy dealt with the Scarborough curse versus how the curse came to be. The curse was explained, but very briefly, and I would definitely have liked to learn more. The Elfin Knight was also a bit of a mystery at the end. He showed up often and told his motive, but I wanted to know more about his line of elves and his past. What exactly occurred before the Elfin Knight started the curse? Overall, a good read, but it would have been even better if I could have known a little bit more lore. But I was so intrigued by Nancy’s interpretation of the legend behind Scarborough Fair that I might even search up the answer to my questions myself!

Bottom Line: Loved the idea. Completely. The book itself was good, but it definitely could have went even further with it's brilliant premise. The characters were a bit hard for me to relate to and though the writing was solid, it wasn't anything brilliant that blew me out of the water. Because of that, I have to say while I really liked Impossible as a whole, I can't say I absolutely loved it. However, I see the potential and hope to read more books by Nancy in the future!

Throwdown Thursday - 2

Throwdown Thursday is a meme started by Kate at The Neverending Bookshelf. It is a weekly thing where we tackle books with similar characters, covers, themes, etc. to determine which one rocks more. And it is up to YOU to determine the winner!

Last Week's Winner: Angels - You guys thought vampires are getting cliche! I hate to admit it, but I sort of agree these days.
Check out last week's Throwdown Thursday here.

I'm not even kidding. I'm going completely insane. Yesterday, I was looking at Throwdown Thursday and wondering when I would have to post the results, but I thought it was only Tuesday! Hm, the strange workings of my mind... Anyways, Throwdown Thursday has temporarily turned into Throwdown Friday, and I'm sorry. I'll try not to let this happen again!

I think this week's throwdown will be haaarrrd for you die-hard Edward fans out there!

Edward vs. Mr. Darcy

Comment with your vote by next Thursday, and I'll tally up the opinions then. I know I've sort of been sticking to Edward comparisons, but I'll change it up next week. Hope you guys have fun with this question, and I'll give my opinion next week with the results!

Check It Out: Fallen Princesses

I saw these photos of Disney princesses in modern times over at Tales Of Whimsy, and they were so cute I had to share! Juju always manages to post engaging topics, so check her blog out! :)

Anyways, here they are. I would think, hopefully, you guys know all of the princesses, but I'll put captions just in case. If you like these photos, you can find more of the like over at JPG: Stories: Fallen Princesses as well as interesting subtitles that explain the stories behind the pictures. These were taken by Dina Goldstein, and, well, what can I say? She's pure awesome.



Sleeping Beauty

I absolutely love the Ariel and Cinderella one, and I hope you like the photos too!

Honest Scrap Award!

Thank you so much to Becky over at The Bookette for nominating me! The description for this award is very cute, and I couldn't love it anymore than I already do!

This is the Honest Scrap award. It is for those bloggers who write from the heart. The rules are to pass it along to seven bloggers and then list 10 honest things about myself. Here are those deserving of this honour, bloggers who write from the heart and touch me because of it (and I'm going to try to nominate blogs that haven't already received this award, so that doesn't means I don't love yours!):

Angiegirl at Angieville
Brizmus at Brizmus Blog Books
Natalie at Mindful Musings

10 honest things about me:

1. I used to think bugs would crawl up my nose, down my mouth, and into my ears while I slept. Trust me, I had a very special sleeping pose.
2. I'm still scared of the toilet monster. Especially in public bathrooms when no one's there. But let's pretend I never said that?
3. I cannot stand heated plastic, at all. Just the thought of it makes me want to gag.
4. Hearing about painful injuries also makes me want to gag. Seeing them actually does make me gag. I had to excuse myself from my Biology class once because this woman in the movie we were watching was talking about her extensive injuries, even though I covered my eyes so I didn't have to look at the fake reenactment. Then I stumbled down the halls and almost fainted, and I'm even exagerrating. I'm such a wimp.
5. I'm a total and complete perfectionist. And dominatrix, or at least I wish I was. I have to take control over everything and make it just right, so don't believe me if I let you handle something yourself!
6. I'm a silent crier. And I cry often. I never make sounds when I cry unless I want to, and a couple silent tears always come out when I'm frusturated, especially when it's with myself. And, I look really ugly when I cry. Is that honest?
7. Sometimes, I wish the bad boys in books were real. Actually, almost all the time.
8. I'm intimidated very easily. I think the publishers of books are machines; I'm afraid to email one.
9. I don't like weird animal foods, period. And that includes squid. And any type of insect.
10. I am the worst liar in the universe. Everytime I tell a lie, I feel so bad that I immediately tell the truth. Or I just smile and look like a complete idiot... then they tell me I'm lying.

And, as a side note, I joined Dewey's read-a-thon today! It's this Saturday, starting at 1:00 GMT, which means I'll only be able to read for the beginning couple hours. But I'll try! If you haven't heard of this read-a-thon, you might want to check it out over here. And please tell me if you're participating! :)

Double-Trouble Monday: Episode 2

Reviews: Strange Angels and Blue Moon

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Publisher: Razorbill (May 14, 2009)
Price: $7.99 from Amazon
Dad? Zombie.
Mom? Long gone.
Me? Well, that's the scary part. [more on goodreads]

Review: I just realized I posted this in a "In My Mailbox" meme about a month ago, but never really got around to reviewing this. So here it is; please forgive me?
Strange Angels was definitely a large mix of the paranormal, with vampires, werewolves, zombies, and more. And they weren't just the stereotypical ones, the creatures had slightly different twists to them that made the book unique. I would definitely say the action was pretty awesome, with a flaming, huge dog and all, but Dru, the heroine and kick-butt slayer, could use some work. At the beginning, Dru is very fickle after her dad is turned into a zombie; sometimes she is strong and stands up to her grief, other times she's completely overwhelmed by it. Admittedly, the situation was dire, but she didn't exactly earn my respect early on. Overall, though, I did think Dru was an independent girl that does her best to deal with life, and I did like her towards the end. Strange Angels was a rollercoaster ride of action and drama, and though there were a lot of loose ends at the end, this book does show future potential in the series.
Guy Prospects: To tell the truth, I don't even know who was the main romantic prospect here. But both options are pretty wicked (literally, hot and ass-kicking)! :)
Sentence Sum-up: Strange Angels was an enjoyable read, but seemed more like an introduction to me then a solid first book (aka. look for the sequel!).
Buy it? I would say borrow it from the library.


Blue Moon by Alyson Noël
The Immortals #2

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (July 7, 2009)
Price: $9.99 from Amazon
Review: What can I say? I was just really dissapointed by Blue Moon. I enjoyed the first book of the series, Evermore, and I expected the sequel to be just as good, if not better. However, Blue Moon was basically a downward spiral of misfortune, despair, and bad luck.
Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen’s are waning. [more on goodreads]

First of all, I want to get out there that Ever isn't exactly a strong heroine. In fact, I would say she is very loose and dependent. I usually don't like weak characters, but I understood Ever's weakness in the face of Damen in all his glory. But in Blue Moon, Ever's naivety is taken to a whole new level. She's so trustful and doesn't question things like she should, considering the dangers of her situation. What should you do when you face trouble? Run. What do you do when your former boyfriend calls you a "stalker?" Say nothing. Basically, Ever annoyed me to no end, and I had a hard time finishing this book. The other characters were also not exactly empathy-provoking. Another main contributing factor was that Blue Moon was pretty much a thoroughly depressing book. Ever starts off happy, but from there, nothing works out right. I don't always need a happy ending, but complete misfortune and loss over-and-over again is just completely discouraging.
Guy Prospects: Damen is a major, and I mean in-your-face, jerk. Admittedly, he's not exactly in his right mind, but he's just so shallow and materialistic that it was hard for me to take. Another guy who gets introduced Blue Moon, is completely evil and not hot to me at all. Especially since Ever just "knows" he's bad from the moment she meets him.
Sentence Sum-Up: Though Blue Moon did have fairly decent writing and plot, it was mainly a hard-to-read, depressing dissapointment, but I'll still hold out hope for Shadowland, the third book in the series!
Buy it? Definitely not. Borrow it if you want, but I would say that if you simply searched up the synopsis, that would be good enough to proceed onto the next book in the series.


Currently Reading:

Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Page 66 out of 384

-- It's pretty good so far! The writing is solid, and the introduction is intriguing. Can't wait to read more! :)

Swagbucks: Free prizes (aka books)!

I would normally do a "In My Mailbox" meme, but this has been an incredibly slow week, and I don't really have anything special to share. Instead, I just wanted to promote Swagbucks a bit (especially since I get referal points!). I'm sure many of you have already heard of this, but if you haven't, don't feel left out! I just found swagbucks about 2 months ago, and it's a search engine, so by just searching, I've already gotten and redeemed $20 worth in Amazon giftcards. Which, of course, I've been spending on books...

But, anyways, just wanted to give a quick post about it and give you guys a heads up! There are a lot of scams out there these days, but this isn't one of them. And, in case, you're wondering, gift cards aren't the only thing you can redeem. It's pretty easy and profitable for you, so just click on the image below to sign up! And I hope everyone had a great weekend. :)

Search & Win

Beautiful Covers = Beautiful Story

After reading Hush Hush, I realized just how much utterly gorgeous covers really effect me. Even if the plot is nonexistent, the characters are undeveloped, and the setting is bland, I can truthfully, and shamefully, say that I will definitely, definitely still give the book one star. Like when I go to the bookstore, I automatically will not ever buy a book with an ugly cover. Just like how I automatically expected Hush Hush to be a 5 star, because of the awesome cover. I had to force down my prejudice to give it a honest rating, but it was oh-so-tempting to just smack a 5 star down on Patch's half-naked body.

And here's the cover of Fallen by Lauren Kate, which also has a blindingly-beautiful cover, in my opinion. And, because of that, can't wait to buy it! :)

I feel so ashamed of myself. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Review: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (October 13, 2009)
Harcover: 400 pages
Price: $11.46 from Amazon
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.


Review: There's a sexy bad boy. What more do I need to say to make this book good? ;)

But, anyways, on to the real review, I really did like this book. I know that there have been a lot of reviews on this one already, so I'm going to try and address some controversial points and basically what I liked and didn't like about Hush Hush.

Is Patch a confident bad boy, or is he an arrogant jerk?
I know for me, at least, this was a major concern I had about Hush Hush when I was considering whether or not I should buy it. After reading, I can say that I thought he was an arrogant jerk at first, but as the story developed, his motivations and other side were revealed and I was like oh! maybe he's not so bad after all. Basically, at the beginning, Patch came off as a single-sided sexual harrasser who Nora was getting obsessed about way too quickly (but doesn't that make it exciting for us?). But towards the end, I saw his sweeter side; he is extremely confident, but he's also a vulnerable bad boy that just won a place in my heart. After Edward, of course.

Nora jumped to conclusions. Or more accurately, she leaped-across-the-Grand-Canyon to conclusions. Given her logic and aversion to other boys, I definitely expected her to go through some more reasoning before the abstract decisions that she did and acting on them. She's also a bit over-dramatic at times. But I guess that's all in the name of plot, which is going in my "successes" section, so I'm going to overlook those points. Another thing I'm going to overlook is my feeling that the first half was a bit too long. There was a lot of establishment, which did make the second half amazing but I didn't really feel like it was going anywhere, and I really wanted to like Patch earlier on.

And, because I don't like to compare books, I'm going to refrain from any Twilight comparisons here. But let's just say weak girl, strong guy, obsessive love. There's definitely a lot more I could go into, but I'll leave that for you guys.

Like I said earlier, the second half was amazing. The plot was great, and there were a lot of twists that I didn't see coming. Earlier in the book, I did have my suspicions, and they were pretty much right, but some in a sort of different way then I imagined. Props to Becca Fitzpatrick for being able to fit everything together so that it all made sense. I loved how mythology, basically God and Adam and Eve and such, tied in to the story; Becca established a great world for future books in the series. And, of course, there's Patch, which I talked about earlier. But he definitely goes in here!

Bottom Line: Hush Hush is a book that's been stirring up a lot of controversy. Personally, I enjoyed this book very much, and can't wait to read Crescendo, which better have a cover as gorgeous as this one! I've basically condensed everything into the above sections, but here they are again, simplified even more: Patch = yes. Nora = maybe. Setting and Plot = yes. I would say read Hush Hush, and see what you think (and if you don't like it, it will always look beautiful on your bookshelf). This is a book that I can see people either loving or hating, not in between, so I'm hoping you love it!

Throwdown Thursday - 1

Throwdown Thursday is a meme started by Kate at The Neverending Bookshelf. It is a weekly thing where we tackle books with similar characters, covers, themes, etc. to determine which one rocks more. And it is up to YOU to determine the winner!

I saw this over at Mindful Musings, and it sounded like fun, so I'm going to try this meme and see how it works out.

I'm going to start of with a fairly general question. Having just finished Hush Hush, which I'll post a review of soon, this week's throwdown is:




Comment with your vote by next Thursday, and I'll tally up the results then! And just in case you're wondering, not all angels are good... :)

Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Publisher: Viking Juvenile (March 19, 2009)
Harcover: 288 pages
Price: $12.23 from Amazon
“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.

“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

Review: I'm serious, I'm going to spew complete nonsense here. I don't know what this book just did to my brain, but it completely screwed it around 276 degrees. All I'm saying, is that this was some book, and I'm going to write my feelings down about it before I forget tomorrow, despite the fact that probably no one's going to read this weird review at this weird hour.

I admit Wintergirls was a hard book to get into at the beginning. The writing style is definitely different. It's sort of hard to read and first, but thenit grew on me and into the swirl of ghosts, winter, and forbidden thoughts. I grew to love the way the story was written, woven thickly with hauntingly beautiful images and metaphors, and I couldn't put this book down once I got past the first 100 pages or so.

As far as the character and storyline go, they certainly went. I've never personally experienced an eating disorder, but the writer was able to depict anorexia in a chilling way that made perfect sense to me. Granted, the whole story isn't about anorexia, it's also about Lia's family problems and her loss of her best friend among other things, but anorexia plays a major part and I could see Lia's development as she struggled to overcome her problem. I do wish I could have seen a bit more into how she got into anorexia in the first place, and sometimes I just wanted her to get help so bad. I get a little queasy on the subject of blood, so I was cringing when I read about her cutting herself. And, just saying, the author definitely did her research.

On the subject of flashbacks, Lia's memories, which were frequent, were skillfully melded into the story. I barely noticed the transition, which is unusual for me since I generally don't like stories that are half told in flashbacks. So that's definitely saying something about the author's writing ability.

Bottom Line: Wintergirls is delightfully chilling and beautifully haunting. I don't exactly know how to describe it. The writing is definitely hard to take in at first, and to some that may be a major turn-off, but after I got used to it, it completely absorbed me. In fact, I pretty much have no memory of what I did towards the end of the book. All I remember is holding the book and knowing I had to keep on reading; it was that good. So, yes, while there a few minor faults to the book, I would say read it. Stick through the beginning, and stick around long enough to become a wintergirl.

Double-Trouble Monday: Episode 1

From now on, I’m going to be doing “Double-Trouble Monday” posts, which are basically going to be two short reviews and what I’m currently reading. I don’t always fully review what I’m reading, so I’ll probably be putting these up from time to time. Watch out! :)

Skinned  by Robin Wasserman

Price: $9.99 (paperback) from Amazon
Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular -- until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. [more]
Review: I almost loved this one. In fact, Skinned really reminded me of the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield (author of the recently released Leviathan, for anyone who’s been hiding under a rock), but that’s probably because of the cover and technologically-advanced, futuristic setting; the “skinned” scenario was definitely different. In a time when technology can cut a dying human’s brain into minuscule slivers and transfer all data into a machine, Skinned unfolds as a girl who was supposed to die in a car crash, Lia, is given the body of a never-aging, agile, beautiful... machine. Obviously, chaos ensues as she tries to assimilate back into her old life, since her adjustment works out about as well as a fish does on dry ground. Lia’s conflicts felt very real to me and, told in first person, the writing concise and the voice strong. What prevented me from actually loving this book was that sometimes I just wished Lia would get over herself; it’s hard, but deal with it, sorry. Overall, I had a difficult time putting this one down, and I am definitely anticipating the sequel, Crashed!


Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-ucci

Price: $11.56 (hardcover) from Amazon
In a New Jersey suburb, two women die of brain aneurysms within twenty-four hours--events that cause the government to suspect that a terrorist cell has unleashed a deadly biochemical agent. With each glass of water they drink, the people of Trinity Falls are poisoning themselves. [more]
Review: Before I start, I should probably say that I might be biased here. I have recently embarked on a journey of self-discovery, and found, unhappily, that I seem to be a complete girly-girl that needs to have romance in everything. So maybe terrorist books aren’t my thing. However, on that note, the terrorist plot in Streams of Babel was intriguing and a creepy prospect that I sincerely hope no terrorist will carry out anywhere near me or the United States. The whole terrorist story was very well developed and complex. Before you read, be aware that this book isn't really a mystery, more like you already know who the culprits are from page one and, from there, it’s the chase of the villains and dealing with the victims of the bacteria. A major complaint I had against the book was that there were so many different voices telling the story. Just when I was about to get into one person’s story and wanted to know what would happen next to him/her, the narrator would skip to another character and so on. Annoying, yes; Innovative, maybe. But basically, I just had a hard time connecting to the characters that way. And, just because I have to include this, a quote that made me smile:
“Go get a birth certificate before I kick a second crack in your ass.”

Currently Reading:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
on page 80 out of 278

-- I love the cover! The author has a beautiful way of seeing and describing things, but her style is a bit hard for me to read. I’m hoping I’ll get more used to it as the story progresses.

And, I just got Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick today, and I've read about half of it so far. I'll force myself to put it aside for Wintergirls, but I'm super excited to read it. Hope you guys are reading some equally exciting books this week!