Friday, November 30, 2012

November Wrap Up

I felt like I read a lot more this month and made time for myself to read so I actually did petty good with my TBR. I squeezed in a few books that were also not on my TBR but that I was dying to read. 

I also got caught up on my reviews. I was so behind it was crazy but thankfully I am caught up now.

This month I read;

The Secret Keeper- Kate Morton
Rage Within- Jeyn Roberts
Love Anthony- Lisa Genova
The Bridge- Jane Higgins
The Time Keeper- Mitch Albom
Ballads of Suburbia- Stephanie Kuehnert
You Better Not Cry- Augusten Burroughs
34 Pieces of You- Carmen Rodrigues
Karma- Cathy Ostlere
The Old Man and The  Sea- Ernest Hemingway
Scarlet- Marissa Meyer
Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima-  Keiji Nakazawa, Art Spiegelman
13 Little Blue Envelopes- Maureen Johnson
Bitter End- Jennifer Brown
Guys Read: Funny Business- Jon Scieszka

Thursday, November 29, 2012

34 Pieces of You- Carmen Rodrigues

Title: 34 Pieces of You
Author: Carmen Rodrigues
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: No
Rating: 5/5 

A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.

There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....

This book made me feel like I did after I finished reading Thirteen Reasons Why. I felt so emotionally drained in a good way. I read this in one sitting, I could not physically put this book down. It was so amazingly good. This was a mix of Ballads of Suburbia and Thirteen Reasons Why which are both amazing books.

This books switches between the main characters point of view.  Jake and Sarah have a rocky past together while Jess is treated like Sarah's little sister and nothing more for the majority of the novel. Ellie seems to be the person who is holding them together. Once she is gone, Sarah struggles with her own issues, while Jess seems to fade into the background. Jake moves away to school and avoids Sarah. 

These characters all had secrets, even Jess. I loved them all, especially Jess. I thought she was going to be a quiet background character who would only be seen as Sarah's sister and nothing more. Once more is revealed about Ellie, we see a new side of Jess and find out how close her and Ellie really were.

The plot was really good, but really sad. I was devastated that  Ellie died. I know it happens in the beginning but to see the people she left behind and how they were affected by her death. 

This book is just so good and I really cannot put into words how amazing it was. The only thing I can say about it is read it as soon as possible. It is just so good. I hope that Carmen Rodrigues writes more books soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Birthday Post!

I was going to do a book review today but then I decided since it is my birthday I am just going to announce this fact instead. I have to work on my birthday since I am still in training for my new job but my boyfriend promised that after work I get to do whatever I want since it's my birthday so I am thinking I am going to Chapters and maybe even the used book store after work if I can squeeze it all in.

We are planning on actually having a birthday party of sorts on the weekend which I hope means more books! I will hopefully have some awesome birthday books to show you on Sunday on my stacking the shelves.

In the mean time. Happy reading!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (48)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I got lots of books this week and they all look fabulous. 

Bought Used (Value Village)

Four Blondes- Candace Bushnell

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time- Mark Haddon (I had a copy which is MIA)

Bought Used from the Book store 

 High Five- Janet Evanovich

Cross Bones- Kathy Reichs

I am Number Four- Pittacus Lore

Prom and Prejudice- Elizabeth Eulberg 

Bought New (Kobo)

Destroy Me- Tehereh Mafi (Finally! :P )
Endurance- Ann Aguirre
Remembrance- Michelle Madow
Vengeance- Michelle Madow

Borrowed from the Library

34 Pieces of You- Carmen Rodrigues (Sooo good. I will have my review of this one up shortly).

What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Bridge- Jane Higgins

Title: The Bridge
Author: Jane Higgins
Source: Bookurious review book
Series: No
Rating: 3/5

The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.

Nik is still in high school but destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn’t chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS is hunting for Nik.

But Nik is on the run, with Sol’s sister Fyffe and ISIS hot on their trail. They cross the bridge in search of Sol, and Nik finds answers to questions he’d never dared to ask.

The Bridge is a gritty adventure set in a future world where fear of outsiders pervades everything. A heart-stopping novel about friendship, identity and courage from an exciting new voice in young-adult fiction.

This book catches the eye. The cover is really dark and creepy and the pages have the bevelled edges on it. I really liked the cover and the synopsis matched it. 

Nik is a high school student who is destined for a great career with ISIS who are the brains behind the war between the two sides. The Cityside and the Southside. Nik has been groomed into becoming a member of ISIS but when they do not choose him everyone is shocked and an explanation as to why is not given to him. The school breaks out into confusion when a bomb goes off and now ISIS is looking at Nik as a criminal.

Once I started to read the book I felt almost like parts were missing from the story. I would read a chapter and I felt like someone had taken pages out of the book, at times things jumped around really fast with no explanation and it was very confusing. 

I liked the beginning, but once Nik and Fyffe were separated from the others it felt like they took it too well. Two high school students are separated from there friends and family and they seem to take it in stride and there friends seem ok to let them go.

The main story line is this I am assuming country is divided by the Cityside and the Southside who are at war with each other.  The cityside teaches them that the Southside is the enemy and the Southside says the same about the city side. Where the story left off it felt like there should be a sequel which as of right now there is none. The ending seemed to open ended and I felt like nothing was answered only that the story was laid out and now the second book will go further into the history of this society. 

I felt like I missed a lot of the story which was not there. I enjoyed the plot but I found it hard to connect with the characters which took away from the great  plot. I enjoyed it but I seen so much potential that was not tapped into.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets-Larry Smith

Title: I Can't Keep My Own Secrets
Author: Larry Smith
Source: Bought Used
Series: No
Rating: 5/5

True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled "Not Quite What I Was Planning," the "New York Times" bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series--and an international phenomenon. Some of the most compelling were by teens, so now SMITH Magazine has compiled a book written entirely by these bold, brash truth-tellers. From cancer to creativity, prom dates to promiscuity, and breaking hearts to breaking laws, the memoirs in this collection reveal that often the youngest writers have the most fascinating stories to tell.

Met online; love before first sight.

Hair's pink to piss you off.

I fulfilled my awkwardness quota today.

I'm seventeen, engaged, and not pregnant.

My mom had my boyfriend deported.

Late for school every single day.

According to Facebook, we broke up.

How do you even properly describe this book? I have no clue. I seen this book probably about a year ago on a blog and I have wanted to read it ever since. I found it at a library book sale where I got a big bag of books for $3.00. 

This took me at most an hour to read but it was so powerful. There were some funny six word memoirs and there were some sad ones. It was really good. I loved so many in there that I cannot even explain. 

The only thing I can say about this book is get your hand on a copy and read it. I am keeping my copy tucked away on my bookshelf so I can re-read it any time I want. I gave it a 5/5 stars because it just grabbed my attention.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (47)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I went back to the book sale on Sunday so the first part is from that.

The next book is from my bank's book sale table to support the Goodwill. I have heard good things about this author and it looks like a good chick lit.

Bought New

All the Pretty Horses- Cormac McCarthy

The Eagle of the Ninth- Rosemary Sutcliff

Bought Used

Anybody Out There?- Marian Keyes (It's the fourth in a series but I am not sure if it follows the same characters or not...)

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tilt- Ellen Hopkins

Title: Tilt
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Companion novel
Rating: 5/5

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?
Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?
Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

This novel is the story of the teenagers of the parents in her adult novel Triangle. I am not sure if it is technically a companion or not but that is what I classify it as. You do not need to read her adult novel to read this one, the only difference is you know more about that is happening with the parents  of the teenagers in this novel.

These teens are all connected, Mikayla finds out she is pregnant and her boyfriend Dylan is starting to pull away from her. She must decide what she wants to do. Shane has fallen in love with his first boyfriend, Alex. Shane knows that Alex is HIV positive, but he also understands his life will be shortened by disease like his little sister Shelby. Harley is fourteen and is becoming self-destructive. She wants to be loved by a boy but when she is putting herself into situations where she can be hurt.

I love how the plot continued on from Triangles. I really enjoyed her adult novel, but I found enough information was provided that I did not feel like I would have been completely lost without reading her adult novel first. I enjoyed seeing the point of view from the main characters and occasionally from secondary characters who provided a new perspective into the situation.

This book was fabulous, I always love her books but this one was one of my favourites of hers. I loved seeing these characters again, seeing where they were now and how they were dealing with things. I loved the character growth, especially from Mikayla who has to make tough choices about her life and her babies life.  I hope there will be further novels about these characters, I want to know things will go from here for them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cold Kiss- Amy Garvey

Title: Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Garvey
Source: Bought new
Series: Yes
Rating: 3/5

It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants--what she "must" do--is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her--and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought--even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

Danny was Wren's first love and when she loses him in a car crash her life is thrown upside down and she feels so alone. She convinces herself she needs to find a way to bring Danny back and she does but now Danny is not the boy she fell in love with. He is no longer warm and full of life. Wren attempts to hide him in the loft of her neighbour's garage but her life starts spinning out of control then Gabriel comes into her life. He can sense the power within her and he seems to know what she did and he wants her to send Denny back.

Wren and Danny are that couple your envious of because they are so perfectly fit together. When Wren loses Denny she does not know how to cope. She pushes her friends and family away. I did feel for her in the beginning but as the story progressed I started to see how selfish she was. Danny is completely confused, he has no idea that he is dead. The Danny in the flash backs is so sweet and kind and it's sad to see this shell of him and I was angry at Wren for doing that to him. I also felt bad for Gabriel because he tried to help Wren but she would push him away constantly or send him mixed messages. Wren's mom was not always the most helpful either, she kept a lot of things a secret from Wren and her sister.

The plot was good, I liked the story and I could relate. When you lose someone you love it is hard to let go. I know I have felt that way before. I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book, I felt disconnected from the characters and the story throughout the second half of the novel. The ending answered my questions but I still feel like I was hung up on the middle. Overall I enjoyed the plot but not the main character in particular. I hoped to get more out of this book than I did. I still gave it a 3/5 because it was good but just not as good as I first hoped.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stacking The Shelves (46)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I got a ton of books this week. I went to Value Village at the start of the week and donated a bunch of stuff and came out with some awesome books. The middle of the week was a trip to the library and Friday I went to a local book sale and got some awesome books. My shelves are ready to explode.

Bought Used

Outlander- Diana Gabaldon (My copy was getting ratty)

We Need to Talk About Kevin- Lionel Shriver

Forgotten Garden- Kate Morton (My copy went missing so I picked up a new copy)

The Adoration of Jenna Fox- Mary E. Pearson

Borrowed from the Library

The Time Keeper- Mitch Albom

The Diviners- Libba Bray

Bought New

Monday Mourning- Kathy Reichs

White Cat- Holly Black (Only $3.00!!)

Mediator- Meg Cabot (Bind up of first two)

The Fox Inheritance- Mary E. Pearson

The Prince of the Mist- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Season of Risks- Susan Hubbard (I know own all three.Should start this series...)

Glimmerglass- Jenna Black

What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jenny Pox- JL Bryan

Title: Jenny Pox
Author: JL Bryan
Source: Free on Kobo
Series: Yes
Rating: 4.5/5

Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

Not recommended for readers under eighteen.

Eighteen year old Jenny is not allowed to touch anyone or else they will becoming infected with the "Jenny Pox". She has been doing pretty well with avoiding people and is in her last year of high school when she meets a boy who she can touch. She starts to fall for Seth but he is dating Ashleigh who is manipulative and holds a secret that is more powerful than anyone could imagine.

This book can get graphic. I would not suggest this for a younger audience. I read the reviews before I decided to read it and in the beginning I could not understand why such a warning would be put on this book but once I got into it I understood completely. The twist and turns this book had was crazy. I loved the beginning but I had no idea how this could be made into a story but Bryan managed it and it blew me away.

The characters were very old fashion. The setting was in a small town where religion was a big part of everyday life. The setting almost reminded me of a modern day Salem witch hunt which is the best way I could explain it. Ashleigh is the preacher's daughter who on the outside appears to be perfect in every way while Jenny is seen as more of the charity case who lives with her alcoholic father and is picked on her wearing gloves giving her the nickname of "Jenny Mittens". Seth is first perceived as the jock boyfriend of the most popular girl in school with the rich family who owns half the town but like Ashleigh he has his own secrets that he reveals to Jenny. 

Towards the end of the book I started to feel like this story was running out of steam and I was afraid there would be an unsatisfying ending but Bryan threw in one last twist that makes me want to continue this series so I can find out more. I could never have guessed where the story was going, I thought I would have it figured out and something would happen that threw me completely off and I would start wondering where things were going next. There was some sexy times in here and some pretty graphic violent parts but if they were not in the story it would not have had such a power hold and the best part was this book was free. I know it is currently free on Kindle, Apple, Sony, Kobo, and Smashword so check it out it is worth it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Enclave- Ann Aguirre

Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Source: Bought used
Series: Yes
Rating: 4.5/5

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

This book reminded me why I love dark books. The story grabbed me and did not let go, I am desperate to know what  happens next. I have already put book two on hold at the library and I am dying to buy the novella off the Kobo website. 

Deuce has worked hard all her life to become a huntress and she has finally succeeded. After her naming ceremony she is given Fade as a partner to go on patrols. Fade is not from the enclave. He is an outsider that other hunters found and they decided to allow him to stay. Since being partnered with Fade her world has been turned upside down, he shows her a side of the enclave she never knew existed. Deuce must choose between the world she knows and the world Fade had introduced her to.

Fade is the outsider bad boy with the soft middle. He takes care of Deuce and makes her see what she is missing, but at times he can also be a total jerk. I cannot say too much but there were times when I was not a fan of him. Deuce has been brought up to believe the elders are always right and know what is best. You can only be one of three things; a breeder, a builder or a hunter. She is a little wary of Fade at first which I totally understand. Who would trust this outsider who says he is not from the underground but as the story progresses she starts to grow as a character and trust him, she is not as naive as she first appears. I loved Stone and Thimble. I want to believe they will be in the future books, there is so much more to there story that has to be told. 

The storyline is similar to a lot of other apocalyptic/ dystopian books out there but Enclave has something that makes it stand out from the crowd. It has great characters facing impossible odds but still managing to stay sane. The story is a fast paced, even when the story seems to be slowing down and allowing the characters to rest you know it's not true. There is always something waiting around the corner to try and kill them. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (45)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Last week I forgot I made a second trip to the library and got three more books. I left them in the car and forgot they were in there until I was looking at my November TBR so these books are technically from last week. 

I also bought some books this week. I went to Port Huron on Saturday and of course I stopped at some book stores. I tried to get a Kindle Paperwhite but unfortunately none had them and the Nook I was interested in was also sold out. I will prevail. 

Borrowed From the Library

Tilt- Ellen Hopkin

Rage Within- Jeyn Roberts

Ten- Gretchen McNeil

For Review

The Bridge- Jane Higgins (I love this cover!)

Bought New

Shut Out- Kody Keplinger

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer ($4.95 at Barnes and Noble!)

Bought Used

Where We Belong- Emily Giffin (For $1.00 I could not pass it up)

What did you get in your mailbox this week? 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Monster High- Lisi Harrison

Title: Monster High
Author: Lisi Harrison
Souce: Gifted
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

From Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the horrors of trying to fit in.
They prefer to call themselves RAD (Regular Attribute Dodgers), but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, but this year two new girls enroll at Master High School, and the town will never be the same.
Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and cheerleading. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters who might be stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her.
She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?
I have to be totally honest, when I see the book was pink under the dust jacket I really did not have high hopes for it. I thought it was going to be completely girly and complete fluff. I am glad that it proved me wrong, sure it was super sweet and a little fluffy at times but it did touch on some real issues that people have in high school so I give it huge kudos and I regret judging the book by it's cover.
Frankie Stein is only fifteen days old, her father created her in his lab.  She is told she will be able to go to "normie" high school but when a rumour is spread that there could be a monster walking the halls Frankie starts to understand why her parents were so protective of her. She meets Melody Carver and thinks she might be the friend she needs to tell her big secret.
The point of view was divided between Frankie and Melody. Frankie thinks that life is just like in the glossy gossip magazines she reads and hopes that everyone will accept her for her. She soon finds that this is not the case and starts to rebel against her parents. Frankie was a little frustrating at times but once I put it into perspective that she only knows the outside world from teen movies and magazines I started to understand her character a lot better. She wants to tell the world what she is and hopes that the "normies" will accept the monsters. Melody has just moved from Beverly Hills with her family. She got a nose job from her plastic surgeon father but feels like everyone is only seeing her for her beauty and not the person she is on the inside. She wants to start over in Ohio. Her sister is a little flaky at times but underneath she is actually really sweet and tries to help Melody feel comfortable. 
 The plot was a little fluffy but it had a serious underlining message to it that I could relate to and I hope others can too.  The entire plot was really sweet which made it a quick read. If I had the time I could have read this book in an afternoon. The pages flew by.
I hope to continue with this series, I really enjoyed it and even though I expected something a little more spooky I was really impressed with this book overall.