Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Farm- Amy McKay

Title: The Farm
Author: Emily Mckay
Source: Bought New
Series: Yes
Rating: 2/5


Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.


I loved the premise of this book when I read the back of it plus the blurb said it was a mix of resident evil and The Hunger Games which sounded completely fabulous so I picked it up and read it as soon as I had time to squeeze it in. I was completely sucked into the story in the beginning and the farther I got into it I found it harder to get into and put it down for a bit and picked a few books in between in the hopes of having more enthusiasm with it.


The plot was really intriguing. People being kept on farms like animals and vampires running things. Totally cool and original idea. Lily must keep her twin sister Mel safe on the farm. Mel is autistic and Lily promised her mom to watch out for Mel. In the before, Lily and Mel were just ordinary girls and now they are fighting to survive. Lily is plotting to leave the farm with her sister as soon as she can. One day a friend from the before comes to the farm.


This is where the book went a little downhill for me, I loved Mel and her point of view. I loved seeing things through her eyes. I was not a fan of Lily. She drove me crazy by diving into things without thinking it through and not even noticing she was putting others in dancer with her carelessness. I thought she was a little judgemental of everyone and jumped to conclusions to quickly about other characters. Carter was a bit of a jerk too.

The ending

This is usually what makes or breaks a book for me. I really did like the ending but unfortunately it was not enough to turn things around for me.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (56)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I bought a book. I told myself I was going to resist but I was in Target and I seen it was 30% off and I was all excited that I picked up my wedding dress so I bought it and I have already devoured it. Totally worth it.

Bought New

Just One Day- Gayle Forman

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave a comment below.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian- Sherman Alexie

Title:  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Source: Gifted from my secret Santa
Series: Standalone
Rating: 5/5

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Warning: I am a total fan girl of this book and may have ramble slight so I apologize in advance.

I started 2013 with this book and I finished it on New Year's day a few hours after I finished it. I am really glad I started 2013 with such a great book. I  got this fabulous book from my secret Santa.

Junior makes a decision to leave the Indian reservation to go to a all-white farm town high school. He is shunned by the people he lives on the reserve with and he feels like he does not fit in with the kids at his new school either. Junior was so brave. It took a lot of courage for him to step out of his comfort zone and better himself.

The plot is amazing. Sherman Alexie based his book of his own experiences. This book really just grabs you and makes you realize that this author is telling a real story, the things that Junior is experiencing is happening and will continue to happen unless more awareness is made and more help is given.

This book is just so good. It's beautiful and sad. I hope that this book gets taken off the banned book list because really more people should read this book. I am sad I waited so long, I want to tell everyone I know to read this and do not put it off like I did because you will love it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Midsummer's Nightmare- Kody Keplinger

Title: A Midsummer's Nightmare
Author: Kody Keplinger
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: No
Source: 4/5

Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.

This has to be the most awkward wakeup ever. Whitley wakes up after a one night stand to find out that the gorgeous boy she woke up next to is the son of her father's fiancée. She tries to supress her feelings for him since she will be stuck with him for the summer.

I was a big fan of Keplinger's first book The Duff so I was beyond excited when I got this from the library.

I loved all the awkwardness in this book. Whitley finds out that her father is engaged to a woman she has never met and now Whitley must spend the summer with her and her children. She does not take the news well, she only gets to see her dad once a year and now she has to share him with his new family. She tries to confide to her mother but she is still upset about the divorce and only has bitter things to say about him. Whitley's brother has a new wife and baby and does not always have time for Whitley. She starts to party and tries throwing herself at other men to distract herself from her feelings for her future step-brother. Whitley was pretty selfish, I could see where it came from but I liked that the other characters put her in her place.

The plot was interesting and hilariously awkward. I love how Keplinger will go places most people would be to afraid to go. The plot was pretty twisty and went places I could not even have imagined it would go. I hope that she writes more books soon because I only have one more book of hers to read and I feel like that will not be enough. There is just so many amazing things that happen in this book that I cannot possibly explain them without giving too much away. The only thing I can say is read this as soon as you can.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Queen of Cool- Cecil Castellucci

Title: Queen of Cool
Author: Cecil Castellucci
Source: Gifted
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

On the outside, Libby Brin is the most popular girl in school. She has the coolest friends, the hottest boyfriend, the trendiest clothes, and the hippest parents. But on the inside, Libby is dying - of boredom. In a moment of desperation, Libby signs up for an internship at the L.A. Zoo, much to the dismay of her friends, who'd prefer she spend her time with them, shopping, partying, and making fun of everyone else. To Libby, the zoo gig seems like something, anything, different to do, even if it means she has to work with two nerds - Tina (aka "Tiny"), a little person and aspiring actress, and Sheldon, an introverted boy with a brilliant, inquiring mind. But what happens when Libby realizes she actually enjoys working at the zoo and may even like Tina and Sheldon? Will the QUEEN OF COOL be forced to give up her crown?

Libby is considered one of the most popular girls at her high school. On the outside her life looks perfect, she has popular friends, the right clothes, and parents that allow her to bend the rules. On the inside is completely bored and starts to realize how boring her friends really are. She notices a sign up sheet for an internship at the L.A. Zoo and decides to sign up. After she signs up she realizes that she will be stuck with two people she considers "nerds" one including Tina (Tiny) who goes to her school and Sheldon who is obsessed with finding out about other life forms. Libby finds herself starting to enjoy her time at the zoo and she starts to like spending time with Tiny and Sheldon but she is not sure if she is ready to lose her crown of cool.

The cover is completely cheesy but the story inside has a lot of hidden gems. I wish the cover would have reflected the book more, I found the cover put me off from reading for a long time. Libby was a smart, sarcastic character. She starts to notice how boring her life is becoming so she decides to change it and do something completely out of her comfort zone.  I really liked Tiny and Sheldon. They were really awkward but refused to mold themselves into what would make them more popular. I really enjoyed all the characters, even liked Perla who was a complete flake. I thought Kenji was a jerk but to my relief Libby does not seem to take him seriously, there is some romance between the characters but it does not take over the story.

The story is engaging. The characters blended well together and I liked how it ended. The book was not bogged down with romance like I first imagined it would be. I also like the internship about the zoo. I cannot think of any other YA books that include a zoo. I thought it was a quick, interesting read. I enjoyed it a lot more than I ever imagined I would. I devoured this book in one sitting.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (56)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I did bad this week and I went and bought two books. I blame it on my fiancée because he took me and they were on sale. This is how I am justifying it. I also got a library book I am really excited to read.

Bought New

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers- Lynn Weingarten

Immortal Beloved- Cate Tierman

Borrowed From the Library

Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves - multiple authors    

What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Gift- Cecelia Ahern

Title: The Gift
Author: Cecilia Ahern
Source: Bought new
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

Lou Suffern is a busy man, and his family's growing weary of constantly taking the backseat to his career. On a whim, he offers Gabe, a homeless man he meets outside his office, a low-level job, and the uncharacteristically kind gesture plays out in a very unexpected way when Lou learns that Gabe has the power to be in two places at once. As the holidays draw nearer, Gabe tries to make Lou realize the importance of his family, but slow-to-change Lou might not come around to Gabe's way of thinking until it's too late.

I was craving a Christmas book and this books delivered on this front completely. Lou is a successful business man who is very busy and does not have time for his family. His family is growing frustrated with Lou choosing his job over his family and leaves his wife alone with the kids. On a whim he decides to hire a homeless man sitting outside of his office building. Gabe gives Lou the gift of being able to be in two places at once. Lou takes advantage of Gabe's generosity but he might not learn his lesson in time.

Lou was a huge jerk. When he was split into two people he seemed to have two completely different personalities. There was Lou the businessman and then Lou the family man who wants to work on things with his family. I had a hard time accepting that the family man was under the jerk Lou. Gabe was very sweet and attentive. I wanted more back story on him to find out where he came from and why did he have this ability. I wish that Lou's wife would have given him a kick in the behind. She hid in the background and let him treat her like crap. I wanted her to grow a backbone so badly.

The story is split between the point of view of Lou's life and a police officer speaking to a teenager throwing a turkey through his father's front window. I loved the split story, it added so much to the story. The plot sounded a lot like The Time Traveller's Wife which is what caught my attention. I really enjoyed the story and thought it was well done.  This book was very sweet and sad at the same time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bout of Books Wrap-Up

I actually did really good on my goal. I completed 3/4 of the four books I wanted to read and I am currently reading the 4th book on my Bout of Books List.

The books I wanted to read were...

1) The Farm by Amy McKay

2)  Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

3) The Bad Beginnings (A Series of Unfortunate Events book#1)- by Lemony Snicket

4) Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

 I read...

1) The Farm by Amy McKay

2) The Bad Beginnings (A Series of Unfortunate Events book#1)- by Lemony Snicket

3) Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

I am currently reading...

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

I love Bout of Books and will participate every time. I missed the first ever bout of books because I heard about it too late but since then I always participate because it is a ton of fun and I find it really helps.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eyes Like Stars- Lisa Mantchev

Title: Eyes Like Stars
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Source Bought new
Series: Yes
Rating: 2.5/5

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

The synopsis of this book is what hooked me. It sounded so good when I was reading the inside cover at Chapters and it was in the bargain section so I could not pass it up so I bought it. The book sat on my shelf forever and the anticipation on when I could finally read it kept growing but once I actually started to read it I was really disappointed.

Bertie has no idea how she ended up at the Théâtre Illuminata. She has just been there for as long as she can remember. The other people who are at the theatre are there because they are in a play and are in the book which binds them to the theatre. They only way they can leave is if there page is taken out of the book.

I tried to keep in mind that Bertie has never been anywhere else but the theatre but I still had a hard time connecting with her. I thought she was very immature and I found her relationships with the male characters a little confusing. I had a hard time figuring out what she felt for them. It seemed like she was interested but she would change her mind a few pages later. It was hard to concentrate on the plot with her all over the place.  She was selfish, when things needed to be done she was only concerned with getting the answers she wanted while everyone else was trying to clean up around her.I loved the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I seen it in theatre once and fell in love with the story.  I loved how unique they are and how they are fitted into the story.

The plot is what drew me in and kept my interest, I loved the idea of a theatre where the characters from the plays come alive in the theatre. The book was so mysterious, I wanted to know how and why it managed to keep the characters there. There was such a good variety of plays and characters.

I wish I could have give this a higher rating but Bertie really bothered me and put a damper on the beautifully crafted concept behind the book. I may eventually continue on with the series but I just do not have any will to do so at this time.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (55)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I did not buy a single book this week and I am so proud of myself it's ridiculous. I did however get one of my books from my Christmas Chapter's order and that book was....

I totally did the happy dance!!!! I am so excited to read this. My fiancée attempted to buy it at Christmas but bought me a copy of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by accident (totally did the happy dance for that too and gave away my extra copy which worked out in the end :) ).
What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bout of Books Day 4

Number of books I've read today: 0
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books: I am reading Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes I am also listening to The Woman in White which is really good so far! :)

The Season of Passage- Christopher Pike

Title: The Season of Passage
Author: Christopher Pike
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Series: No
Rating: 3/5

Dr. Lauren Wagner was a celebrity. She was involved with the most exciting adventure mankind had ever undertaken: a manned expedition to Mars. The whole world admired and respected her.

But Lauren knew fear. Inside—voices entreating her to love them. Outside—the mystery of the missing group that had gone before her. The dead group.

But were they simply dead? Or something else?

A haunting and unforgettable blend of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and suspense from one of America’s bestselling writers. A novel you won’t soon forget.

This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. Legit. To start this is my first Christopher Pike book and I am still pretty new to the sci-fi genre. I am a little on the fence on how exactly I feel about it and I am still a little lost if this is YA or adult.

Dr. Lauren Wagner has been given the opportunity to go to Mars. Another crew was sent a few years before but they never returned home. A new crew is being sent to find answers. Lauren's sister Jennifer is not happy about her sister going to space and her fiancée Terry is not pleased she will be gone for two years but this is not an opportunity she wants to turn down even if she does start having weird nightmares.

Jennifer was a little bit of an odd ball. She was hard to get a grasp on, the closer Lauren comes towards leaving the stranger she starts acting. Lauren was a pretty level headed character, her fiancée Terry was a little flakey and them as a couple felt a little odd. I really liked the other crew members, especially Gary. He was funny and got himself into the weirdest situations.

Going to Mars is something we have not yet accomplished so to see this as possible mission was really different. I felt like parts of the story were forced, there was a lot of little parts that I think could have been cut from the story to make it flow better.  I hoped that there would be a better connection between the plot and the characters.

The ending was disappointing. It dragged on and it seemed to head in a new direction before a hasty thrown together feeling ending.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bout of Books Day 1-3

I am a little behind on my updates. As per usual but I am going to do them all in one post to get caught up.


Number of books I've read today: 0
Total number of books I've read: 0
Books: I am currently reading The Farm by Amy McKay but I was feeling pretty horrible so I didn't get much reading done.


Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books: I finished The Farm by Amy McKay last night and now I am starting Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.


Number of books I've read today: 0
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books: I am reading Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bout of Books Goal

I am participating again in Bout-Of-Books again because I loved participating the first time. I am keeping my list pretty short this time as I have a cold and I am doing a lot more sleeping than reading the last few days.

I will be trying to read everyday but I am not sure how well that will go sadly.

My Goals

I want to read hopefully four books.

Books to Read

1) The Farm by Amy McKay- I have started this book but it has been taking me forever to get through it.

2) Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh- I bought this at a yard sale and I know if I don't get to this soon it is destined to fall down to the bottom of my reading pile.

3) The Bad Beginnings (A Series of Unfortunate Events book#1)- by Lemony Snicket- I bought this for a quarter and I really want to read it so I am hoping if it is on the list I will get to it.

4) Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes- This has been on my shelf wayyy to long. I hope I get to it.

What is your bout of books goal?

Broken A.E. Rought

Title: Broken
Author: A.E. Rought
Source: ARC from the publisher
Series: Yes
Rating: 3.5/5

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

Emma is trying to cope with the death of her boyfriend Daniel, she goes through her days robotically.  A boy starts at her school who acts like Daniel and at times even looks a little like him. He even calls her by the nickname only Daniel knew.

This is a complicated book to decipher. There was hints in the book that sort of gave things away a little early I felt. The clues at times felt really obvious.

Alex starts at Emma's school and everyone notices, including Emma. Alex plays a big part but Emma is the point of view we are getting the story from. Emma is pretty self absorbed and she switches back and forth with her feelings. One minute she is completely upset about Daniel and in the next she seems to be falling in love with someone else. She was not a realistic character which was unfortunate. I thought Daniel seemed almost too perfect, Emma constantly compared Alex and Daniel. Alex's father was a complete nut and Alex knows this but does nothing. The characters lacked depth to me.

The plot was intriguing. It's a love story with a science fiction twist. It is the story of Emma and Daniel but it is also the story of Alex and how he came to be. The amount of research into the story is amazing. I loved how medical facts were blended with the science fiction aspects of the story. It was really unique.

A little at a loss about this book. I enjoyed the unique subject and plot to this book but the characters were a little underdeveloped and not completely realistic which made the story hard to follow at times. I hope the next book in the series will have more character development.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (54)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week I stuck to my New Year's resolution and I did not buy any books. It was really hard but I did it and I am proud of myself. I did however get a book from my secret Santa which I have already devoured and loved.


The Absolutely True-Diary of a Part-Time Indian- Sherman Alexie (Loved this book- so complex and beautiful) .

This week I finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian on New Year's day. I also threw a party at my house on New Year's eve which was so much fun. I had a great time with my friends and family and since I was feeling inspired from my party I went completely out of my comfort zone and started to look into stuff for our wedding and today I am going to a bridal show. This is totally not my scene but my life is changing so I am going with the flow.

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Let me know!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pushing the Limits- Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My first impression of this book was it is going to have a lot of kissing (always good) but maybe not a lot of story. When Echo is introduced we are seeing her after the traumatic event that has caused her to block the entire day from her mind. Echo father has placed a restraining order against her mother so she cannot be in contact with Echo. The family dynamic is very unique, Echo's brother left for Afghanistan and her relationship with her father and his new wife is pretty rocky. When a new counsellor comes in and pairs her up with Noah the "bad boy" she does not take it well, but she wants everything to go back to normal so she agrees. Noah is not pleased with being paired up with Echo Emerson but in order to get his brothers back he knows he will have to suck it up. Then there was Beth. She was not my most favorite character, but she did bring a lot to the story, I liked that she played the role as strictly friend and there was no love triangle mess. She was pretty snarky throughout the book but I thought that Echo did a good job of standing up for herself against her. 

Both Noah and Echo have there issues. Noah trying to get his brothers back while Echo feels like her father is trying to replace her brother. The plot does take you places that I did not expect. I had a basic understanding and idea of what was going to happen but I did not have it completely figured out.

I am glad the next book in this series will focus on Beth but I still hope that there is some Noah and Echo mixed in.  I want to see where the characters are going in the story. This is a pretty quick read even thought it is a little bigger. I managed to read it in its entirety in an afternoon. It was a really good contemporary, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary novel that will hook you from the first chapter.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Books I wanted to read in 2013

I have a lot of books I want to read but these books are ones I really just dream about reading but I think I will never get to so I am determined to read at least a few of them this year.

1) My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece- Annabel Pitcher
2) Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore- Robin Sloan
3) Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
4) Tell the Wolves I'm Home- Carol Rifka Brunt
5) Dear Teen Me- Multiple authors
6) Charmed Thirds- Megan McCafferty
7) One Day- David Nicholls
8) Monster of Men- Patrick Ness
9) The Tea Rose- Jennifer Donnelly
10) Angelology- Danielle Trussoni

What's on your list?


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January TBR

This month is sort of a freebie month for me, I choose a few books at random to read to start the year of right. I also gave myself some new year resolutions.

1) Work out- I started this in November and I am keeping up with it.

2) Finish my Book Addict Reading Challenge. I have participated three years in a row and every year I miss 1-2 books off my list so I am determined to complete it this year.

3) Listen to more audio books. I listened to a lot more this year and I loved it so I want to try hard to listen to more this year.

4) Write reviews after finishing the book. I started the year of doing really well but then I started to slack off so I want to try to do better this year.

5) Buy less books, especially new books. I challenge myself to this every year and normally fail but I keep trying anyways :)

6) Borrow more from the library. I love my local library but sometimes I buy instead of borrowing even though the library has a copy. Oops.

In January I would like to read...

The Peach Keeper- Sarah Addison Allen

The Eternal Ones- Kristen Miller

Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayers

Harriet the Spy- Louise Fitzhugh 

Bro Code for Parents: What to Expect When You're Awesome - Barney Stinson

I may vary of my list ( I normally do) but these are the books I really want to read this month.