Thursday, May 31, 2012

Once Was Lost- Sara Zarr

Title: Once Was Lost
Author: Sara Zarr
Source: Bought new
Series: No
Rating: 3/5

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.

In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed---about God, about your family, about yourself---is transformed.

This was my first Sara Zarr book and I was not blown away like I thought I would be by it. The story line was good but I was not a huge fan of all the characters so it made it hard to relate to them which unfortunately made me not enjoy the book as much as I could have.

Samara's life is slowly unraveling. It starts with her mother going into rehab after she receives a DUI, while her mother is away her father throws himself completely into his work as a pastor and seems to care more for his congregation than his own family. The final straw is when a young girl goes missing in town. Samara has started to lose faith in her father.

I was not a huge fan of Samara. She never spoke out, she let everyone walk over her. She frustrated me, she had all these great ideas but she never spoke her opinion. I had a hard time getting into it. I enjoyed the secondary characters more than I enjoyed the main character.

The story itself was pretty interesting, but the characters felt a little out of place at times, things happened either quickly or very slowly, there was not happy medium. I wish the story would have had a better flow to it.

I will give Sara Zarr's other books a try, but this is not one I will read again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day- Pearl Cleage

Ttile: What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day
Author: Pearl Cleage
Source: Gifted
Series: No
Rating: 4.5/5

In a remarkable debut novel that sizzles with sensuality, crackles with life-affirming energy and moves the reader to laughter and tears, author Pearl Cleage creates a world rich in character, human drama, and deep, compassionate understanding. After a decade of luxe living in Atlanta, Ava Johnson has returned to tiny Idlewild, Michigan -- her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits on one dark truth: Ava has tested positive for HIV. Bur rather than a sorrowful end, her homecoming is a new beginning. Because, in the ten-plus years since she left, all the problems of the big city have invaded the sleepy community of her childhood. Because dear friends and family sorely need her help in the face of impending trouble and tragedy, and Ava cannot turn her back on them. And because, most importantly, Ava Johnson is inexplicably and undeniably falling in love.

This is a spectacular debut novel about a woman named Ava Johnson who decides to return to her childhood home in Idlewild, Michigan after she is given the news that she is HIV positive. As Ava learns to live with the disease and deciding where to go from here, she falls in love.

The story broke my heart. Ava was constantly being treated as an outsider, people treated her like she was contagious from touching her. It was awful. There were so many people I wanted to shake and tell them to properly educate themselves. Ava was a strong character though, she did have her moments where she let it get to her but overall she handled it amazingly well.

Ava's sister Joyce is also suffering from heartache. She has lost the love of her life. There relationship is amazing.  They have there differences, but they are always there for each other. Joyce was my favourite character, she was so strong and there for her sister whenever she needed her.

The reverends wife was a character I wanted to shake so badly, she treated everyone like they were less than her. Thankfully, Ava and Joyce put her in her place when needed. All the characters blended so well together, the story was smooth and enjoyable. It was hard to read but it was so amazingly good. This book does get a little graphic at times, especially with violence.

The ending was so sweet and perfect for the book. I do not think any other ending would have worked as well as this one did. Amazing book, I will be looking out for more of her books.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (24)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I am a little behind today and I am finally just getting around to posting this. I was going to do it last night since this week's been so hectic but of course I forgot until I left for the drive-in.

This was a pretty good book week for me, I am still working on my May TBR so I am saving most of these for June.

Bought New

Ship Breaker- Paolo Bacigalupi

When You Were Mine- Rebecca Serle

Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales- Jacob Grimm ($7.95- I could not help myself at that price.)


Black Heart- Holly Black

The Last Echo- Kimberly Derting

Infinity- Rachel Ward

What did you get in your mailbox?  Leave a comment below. I would love to check out what you got. Have a great week, and happy reading.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Update on my May TBR...

I know this is pretty late but I am determined to finish my TBR this month since I have made my goal for June higher. This is an update on what it looks like right now. These were the books I told myself I had to read in May.

This month from those books, I have read...

  • Starters- Lisa Price
  • 172 hours on the moon- Johan Harstad
  • Wicked- Sara Shepard
  • The Mockingbirds- Daisy Whitney
  • Once Was Lost- Sara Zarr
  • Fateful- Claudia Gray
  • The Lucky One- Nicholas Sparks

I am currently reading...

  • What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day-Pearl Cleage

The books I have left on my list are...

  • Ophelia- Lisa M. Klein
  • Grimms' Fairy Tales- Jacob Grimm
I am keeping track to encourage myself to finish my list. What does your May TBR look like and how much have you read? Leave a comment below, I would love to see what your reading.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The List- Siobhan Vivian

Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Source: Borrowed
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

I found the list to be quite scary in the sense on how realistic it was. It is possible to picture a high school where a list of the most beautiful and the ugliest girls is posted and everyone in school makes their judgements based on what the list tells them to. 

The girls in the novel were all connected by the list, in a way there paths crossed through the story as we get a view into each girls life in school and out of it. The girls listed as the most beautiful are not necessarily the happiest. Each girl faced different struggles.

I found all the characters to be interesting, some were irritating but once the back story was in place I found myself sympathizing with some characters more than others. I felt like I could connect with all the characters, even though they were all different they each were striving for the same thing.  The only characters I found were hard to understand were the male characters that used the list as a rating system and used it to judge without reasoning.

The ending was left very open ended and allowed the reader to fill in the gaps of what you think will happen next. The creator of the list surprised me. I was convinced it was someone the author did not mention, a third party look into the lives of the girls on the list. I enjoyed the book; it made me realize how scary high school can be.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (24)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week was a slower week for me which really is not such a bad thing. I got a few from the library which I have already finished (YAY) and I bought two books.

Bought New/Used

The Spiderwick Chronicles (Books 1-5)- Holly Black & Toni Diterlizzi (Used)
Insurgent- Veronica Roth (New- So excited to read it)


The Carrie Diaries- Candace Bushnell
Violet on the Runway- Melissa Walker
Masque of The Red Death- Bethany Griffin

Kiss Mommy Good-Bye- Joy Fielding ( Finished and returned- I forgot to put in the pile. )
 What did you get in your mailbox?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Violet on the Runway- Melissa Walker

Title: Violet on the Runway
Author: Melissa Walker
Source: Borrowed
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

I have never been interested in being in the fashion or modeling industry, but I am always fascinated on the subject so I decided to give Violet on the Runway a try and I absolutely loved it.  I enjoyed Violet; she was just a teenager working in a movie theatre who turned into a model.  I have a few friends who are models who completely love their job and I felt like this book portrayed both sides of modeling. It showed the friends and fun you could have while also showing the competitive and cut throat side of things also.

Violet did some frustrating things but overall I enjoyed her character. I loved how the second love interest is left open, it could happen if they both admit to it or it could just fade away. She has some pretty awesome best friends who were supportive.

The story was not at all what I expected. It threw some curves at me and I am glad that there is a sequel; I want to know what happens next with Violet. Plus it was blurbed by Sarah Dessen, how can you go wrong?

This is a pretty quick read, it does have some heavy parts to it but it completed the story. I am hoping to jump into the sequel, Violet by Design soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (23)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Disclosure: I have a ridiculous amount of books this week. No joke this is the most books I have ever received in one week.  Beware.

Why do I have so many books well it started with...

My friend who lives in a small apartment is having a baby in June (Yay!) so she needed to make her book room a nursery so she offered me some bookshelves so I went to get the shelves. She told me that she has a few books to give away so I said sure and that's when my book explosion started.A few books turned out to be 66 books which equals out to three Staples paper boxes overflowing. The boyfriend was not happy. Since I knew she would not get rid of them I went through ALL 66 books and divided them into keeps, and bring to friends/used bookstore. I divided the books I kept into YA and Adult. Enjoy.

The Adult Books

Final Diagnosis- Gary Birken M.D.
First Love- Adrienne Sharp
Somebody Else's Daughter- Elizabeth Brundage
The Greek Myths- Robert Graves
Material Girl- Julia London
The Testimony- Anita Shreve
An Empty Death- Laura Wilson
The King's Speech- Mark Logue & Peter Conradi
Bird in Hand- Christina Baker Kline
Pretty Woman- Fern Michaels

The Young Adult Books

Pulling Prince- Tyne O'Connell
Stealing Prince- Tyne O'Connell
Dueling Prince- Tyne O'Connell
Temping Fate- Esther Friesner
If We Kiss- Rachel Vail
That Girl Lucky Moon-Amy Timberlake
Vegan, Virgin, Valentine- Carolyn Mackler (So excited!)
The Queen of Cool- Cecil Castellucci
Singer in the Snow- Louise Marley
Bass Ackwards and Belly Up- Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain
Poision- Chris Wooding

This is where part two beings....

Once I was done sorting through the books I made the boyfriend happy by telling him the remainder (about two boxes stacked full) were going to the used bookstore so he agreed to help. Once I got there I looked around and picked out some more books (I had a lot of of accumulated credit so I did not have to spend a cent).

Credit Books

A Spot of Brother- Mark Haddon
Vampire Academy- Richelle Mead
FrostBite- Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss- Richelle Mead
Summer and the City-  Candace Bushnell
There is No Dog- Meg Resoff

And the final chapter...

At this point I was pretty sure my boyfriend was going to blow his top with all the books and new bookshelves I had ( I gave him one of the smaller ones and he's happy now) then we decided to get groceries and while there I FINALLY bought a book. It was soft cover AND it was under $10 so I got away with it.

Bought New

The Selection- Keira Cass (SOO good)

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Selection- Keira Cass

Title: The Selection

Author: Keira Cass

Source: Bought new

Series: I hope so

Rating: 5/5

I do not know who came up with this term for The Selection but it fits it completely. It has been described as if The Hunger Games and The Bachelor had a lovechild it would be this book. It is so freaking amazing. I did a little happy dance when I found it and it ended with me frustrated. 
To beginning to end this book had me. I could not put it down; I wanted to come up with an excuse not to go to work just so I could read this book from cover to cover. It was beautifully written, the story fell into place. I clung to every word; I did not want to miss anything this book had to offer.
This cover is gorgeous. I love the color of her dress on the cover. I want to paint a room in my house that color so I can keep thinking about this book. My boyfriend informed me we have no rooms to paint right now but I do have a basement so I might get my way. Possibly eventually when I work up the courage to finish my basement.
I think my favourite part of the book besides the great story was the amazing characters; they all moved me in a different way. In the beginning I loved Aspen. I thought he was selfless and completely delicious.  I lost a little love for him once America met Maxton.  I feel bad but he just was not as good as before. America was a strong character from the beginning, as always she grew more into her character as the book progressed but she was pretty set in her ways when the story began. I loved the different relationships she had with everyone from Aspen to her family.  She adapted to new situations well, she made mistakes along the way but she seemed to learn from them. She was unique and she did not let the selection change who she was. I could not completely review this book without a little swoon for Prince Maxon. Oh he is amazing.  He is essentially “the bachelor” who gets to choose one of the thirty- five eligible girls to be his wife.  He is resourceful and smart. He keeps his options open and seems to know what he wants.  He was an impressive character and I cannot wait to see more of him.
I feel like I am going to explode if I do not get my hands on the next book, why did she have to end it like that. Why?!?! I am so tormented; I need to know what happens. Speculation is not doing much for me. I need to know what is happening with Maxon and America and Aspen.  I thought it would be a neatly wrapped up ending which is was not at all.  I would have loved it if I had the next book in hand which sadly I do not.
Read this book, it is so good, and if you’re like me and try to sneak books into the cart while out grocery shopping this book is already out in soft cover which is super awesome for your pocket book.

Leave a comment below of what you think of this book, I would love to know.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Some Girls Are- Courtney Summers

Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Source: Bought new
Series: No
Rating: 5/5

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.

This is my first Courtney summers book and I loved it. This book is like mean girls x 10. It is scary. The sad part is bullying like this happens every day. I had friends who were bullied and I know how hard it was for them to convince themselves that when high school was over they would never have to see these people again. I was fortunate enough from grade 10 on to go to a small community high school where even the “popular” girls talked to everyone. I personally had a pretty good high school experience compared to Regina.

Regina was at the top of the social latter until a rumour about Regina and her best friend’s boyfriend starts.  The harder Regina tries to get her ex-best friend Anna to listen to her, the more Anna punishes her. Regina must now find her new spot at school; reaching the top of the social latter means you do not have a lot of friends at the bottom.

Regina was a lot tougher than I thought. She put up with a lot of crap without complaining about it. I admired her for that, her past was pretty unfortunate. It was sad to see how she treated people to get to the top. Her boyfriend was a complete jerk. I hated the way he treated her.

Then there is a boy who is sweet and makes everything better. This is the same boy that was pushed around and bullied for being different but helps Regina when she needs it most.

Anna was a hard character for me.  I hated how she treated Regina, but I could understand why she did not want to believe the truth about Regina.

I loved this book; it was brutally honest which was exactly what I wanted out of it. It touched on the hard issues that teens deal with on a daily basis. I recommend this to everyone and anyone.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (22)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I got a ridiculous amount of books this week. In my defence I bought them all on sale and the most expensive book was $6.00.  There is a giant book sale that happens a few times a year where I live, the last time I went I found a few good ones, but as much as I expected. This time I hit the jackpot of books.  I also went to Chapters after (why not?) and found some in the clearance section there too.  There is a lot.

I did however managed to buy more books in a series that I already had. I did not buy any books later in a series that I did not already own or else the pile would be even higher. I did find three or four new series I have been dying to read.

Bought New

Hunger- Michael Grant
Silver Phoenix- Cindy Pon

Splendor- Anna Godbersen

Rumors- Anna Godbersen
The Vampire Diaries (The Awakening and the Struggle Book 1 & 2)- L.J. Smith
The Vampire Diaries (The Fury and Dark Reunion Book 3 & 4) - L.J. Smith
Once Was Lost- Sara Zarr
Lies- Michael Grant

Envy- Anna Godbersen (Completed the series. I previously only owned the first book)
Ophelia- Lisa M. Klein
The Mockingbirds- Daisy Whitney

Angelfire- Courtney Allison Moulton

Mind Duel Book 1- Imma Argiro (99 cents) E-Book
Breaking Point (Mind Duel Book #2)- Imma Argiro (99 cents) E-Book

Illumination (Mind Duel Book #3)- Imma Argiro (99 cents) E-Book

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TBR for May 2012

I am going to try hard this month to read all ten books on my TBR pile. I included some borrowed and my own books to cover all my basis. The last two months I seem to forget which books I have on my TBR until the last few days of the month when I look over my list and realize I did not read as many as I wanted.
Here is the list!
1) Ophelia- Lisa M. Klein
2) Starters- Lisa Price
3) 172 hours on the moon- Johan Harstad
4) Wicked- Sara Shepard
5) Grimms' Fairy Tales- Jacob Grimm
6) What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day- Pearl Cleage
7) The Mockingbirds- Daisy Whitney
8) Once Was Lost- Sara Zarr
9) Fateful- Claudia Gray
10) The Lucky One- Nicholas Sparks

What do you plan to read in May?