Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Vivan Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are hot on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the subarbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf? Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He's fascinated by magic and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would. Vivian's divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either, and her actions may endanger both. What is she really-human or beast? Which tastes sweeter-blood or chocolate?
Klause' writing is pure poetry, like chocolate melting on your tongue. She propels her bloodthirsty tale with dark,sexy prose and suspenseful storytelling. The world created by Klause is interesting and well described, pulling the reader in and making them wish they could were no longer homo-sapiens, but loup-garou. Vivian is a hot-blooded heroine who puts all other riot grrls to shame and Aiden is the guy all girls wish they could have. Blood and Chocolate is a masterpiece of adolescent angst wrapped in wolf's clothing, and its lovely, sensuous taste is sure to please high school teens.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

Maddie Crane has lived in the small, prestigious town of Hawthorne her entire life, and thanks to her mother, has always had the right clothes, the right friends, and the right experiences. She belongs to a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school called the Sisters of Misery. But even though Maddie spends her time with the most popular girls around, she has never felt like she truly belonged. But then her quirky Aunt Rebecca and beautiful cousin Cordelia come to live with her, bringing a glimpse of what the outside world is really like. Maddie and Cordelia forge a sisterly bond; Maddie drawn to her aunt and cousin’s free spirits and in-depth knowledge of runestones. But the Sisters of Misery aren’t so welcoming, especially after Cordelia takes a liking to several dashing men in town, one of whom being the leader of the Sister of Misery, Kate Endicott’s boyfriend. Kate and the rest of the “sisters” are determined to make her pay. The morning after a terror-filled, torturous ceremony conducted on Misery Island, Cornelia vanishes without a trace.
All I can say is…WOW! Sister of Misery is a stunning, gothic debut by an author I will definitely keep looking out for. Blending fantasy, thriller, and history, Sisters of Misery weaves a story filled with magic, mystery, and coming of age. Each character was magnificently drawn, from the bewildered Maddie to the mysterious Cordelia to the truly evil Kate Endicott. This book kept me turning pages all through the night. The many plot twists kept the story alive, the end leaving you begging for more. Thankfully, its sequel, The Lost Sister will be out August 2009, can’t wait!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nightwood by Patricia Windsor

Casey, Gena, and Maryann can think of a way better use of a week than a senior trip to Washington, D.C. Casey's plan is simple. Ditch the trip to D.C., camp out at her parents' amazing cabin in Delonga, and accidentally "run into" Lane and his friends on their fishing trip. She knows the boys will be across the lake--her friends will thank her once they're up there. Three girls for three boys will be the perfect party. After all, what could be more fun than five days in the woods? No curfews, no rules, and no parents. No one will even know they're up there.And no one will hear them when they scream for help.When the first body shows up, it's shocking. When the knock comes on the back door, it's horrifying. And when they realize there's nowhere to hide, they'll wish they were already dead.Surviving a week in the woods is a going to be a whole lot harder than these girls could ever imagine.
From the first page, Nightwood captured my attention with each chapter alternating the narrator giving many different perspectives, even delving into the killer's thoughts and feelings. I read this in no less than 3 hours, my heart pounding the whole time, eager to reach the end. What made Nightwood great was that it was an original horror story with great twists and turns; a definite must-read for teen and adult horror fans.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Harry Potter?

So, I'm sure by now you've all heard that the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie is being pushed back from November to July!! When I heard the news I almost cried. I was already so pysched to see it, it would've made the beginning of the year so much better, knowing that in November Harry would be here!
Although, with the bad news there is also some good news. The movie Twilight is being moved up from December 12 to November 21, which doesn't make up for having to wait for HBP, but it was a nice try.
I currently breezing my through Nightwood by Patricia Windsor and will definitely have a review up tomorrow, most likely a good one if the book keeps going as it is now.
So that's about it, hope everyone has had a good weekend. Today at my house we had a belated wedding shower for my cousin, Nicki who got married in Jamaica earlier this summer. It was pretty fun, though my sister left for college yesterday, so I didn't really have anyone my age to talk to: I ended up talking (actually, mostly listening) to my great-aunt babbling on about how once she accidently invited guests into the house while wearing her slippers, etc., etc....hilarious, really.
Happy Reading,
P.S. in case you were wondering, which I'm sure everyone was *crickets chirp* I finished my history paper on Killer Angels today! YAY!

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Back at her elite boarding school after a summer vacation in which she has grown from duckling to swan, sophomore Frankie starts dating cool, gorgeous senior Matthew and instantly becomes a part of his charmed social circle. Hanging with Matthew and his crowd is a thrill, but Frankie begins to chafe as she realizes that the boys are all members of the secret society to which her own father belonged, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, and that not only will they never let her join, Matthew will not even tell her about it. But that doesn’t stop Frankie. She is determined to prove herself to Matthew so she concocts a brilliant plan to infiltrate the Bassets and has them carry out a series of pranks that wittily challenge the politics of the school.
E. Lockhart’s writing is full of wit and spunk. Frankie is an interesting heroine whose insights on life are entertaining and thought-provoking. The biggest problems were my inability to like most of the characters (besides Frankie) and the neglected positives grew tiresome. The first half of the book is pretty meager in terms of plot, but picks up towards the end once Frankie has infiltrated the society. Overall, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was a lukewarm read.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard

So I know this isn't the book it says I'm currently reading, but for some reason I find myself in a reading rut. I normally would have my next book done by now, but I guess all of my late nights have caught up with me and I've been sleeping in like crazy. So, I decided to review a book I read a few weeks ago instead of leaving you guys hanging:
Meredith and Mallory Brynn are mirror twins born on either side of midnight one snowy New Year’s Eve. They have always been inseparable. But after they are nearly killed in a mysterious fire on their thirteenth birthday, the bond that has always joined them unravels. They begin to have visions and dreams that reveal the deep secrets kept by the people around them. Meredith and Mallory realize they have each been given a gift: Merry can see deep into the past; Mally can see the future. But when they discover that one boy is not what they imagined, their lives will be changed forever. If they can survive . . .
Sounds promising right: A thrilling plot with unusual characters written by an amazing author; sadly, it does not deliver. I had been eagerly awaiting this book, having enjoyed many of Mitchard’s previous works, but was surprised to find the characters boring, the story slow-moving, and the writing very amateurish. The twins’ personalities were very cliché: one the girly girl, the other the tom boy. A lot of the time, there was too much dialogue and it was hard to tell who was speaking, especially between the twins. The secondary characters were paper-thin, with no development. The girls didn’t even find out they were seeing into the past and future until over halfway through the book, and then their “mission” was to see if the boy that they grew up with, coincidently the crush of one of the twins, is really who they think he is. The visions the twins had were also not very clear, a lot of times acting on them before the reader even knew what the character had seen. The action only picked up in the last 50 pages or so. The Midnight Twins is the first book in a trilogy, but I highly doubt I will continue with this series. This book had potential; I just feel that Jacquelyn Mitchard rushed through it too quickly. So, if you seeThe Midnight Twins in a bookstore, I would recommend skipping over it and picking out a different Mitchard book. Try All We Know of Heaven, Now You See Her, or Cage of Stars.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Layout

Yeah, I know I've only been up a few days, but I decided to change things up a bit. My other template seemed too dreary, so I think this one gives a better atmosphere.
Anyway, I just got back from getting a pedicure and am about to crack open a new book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (what a mouthful) by a great author, E. Lockhart. After having read her book, How To Be Bad, which she co-authored with Lauryn Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski, I know it will be great.
Anywhoo, I just figured out today that my summer paper that I have to write on the book Killer Angels (which I must say isn't pleasure-reading) is due next week! Didn't know I guess I'll have to do that this weekend.
I hope everyone out there is having a great last few weeks of summer. Finish up those beach reads while you can!
Happy Reading,

Night by Elie Wiesel

Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, Elie Weisel was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel’s memories of the death of his family, the death of his innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man. This version of Night presents the most accurate rendering in English of Elie Wiesel’s testimony to what happened in the camps and of his unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.
It’s hard to find the words to review a book like this. Night takes you on a harrowing journey into the darkness of the human soul. An Amazon reviewer stated it perfectly when he said, “This is the longest short book I've ever read. It is one that has stayed with me from the first page, and I've never been able to shake the images brought forward, the misery and suffering, the existence of evil and brutality, the sadness and desolation.” A true classic, Night should be read by all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Chloe Saunders is an ordinary 15 year old girl whose main concerns are hanging with friends, meeting boys, and becoming a movie director. But things spin out of control when Chloe sees a terrifying ghost at school. She has a breakdown and is sent to Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. There, she is diagnosed with schizophrenia, her “hallucinations” a symptom. But the medication does nothing and Chloe keeps seeing ghosts. She quickly realizes that there is more to her housemates than meets the eye and they all agree that Lyle House is hiding something; but what?
As Kelley Armstrong’s first YA novel, this was a great success and a wonderful mix of supernatural drama and lots of conspiracy driven action. The writing was simple and kept the story flowing quickly. The only fault I have is that a few of the minor characters (Rae and Simon) were not developed enough; hopefully the sequel will expand on them. I did find myself falling in love with the character Derek: brooding, scary, and super strong, afraid to show that he really does care. The Summoning is a great page-turning read. If you love YA paranormal, you’ll love The Summoning. I cannot wait for the next installment, The Awakening, due out in May 2009.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So Far, So Good!

So far, blogging has been a great experience! I’m having a ton of fun and it’s so easy (which is important to me seeing as I am technologically challenged). Fellow bloggers have been really great welcoming me to the blogosphere (lame, I know), and in adding me to their blog rolls.
Since getting started yesterday, I’ve had 18 views, half of which were just me marveling at my handiwork...I know I shouldn’t be this excited about a blog, but I’ve never had a MySpace or Facebook, so this is my way to connect to people who like to do what I do-READ!
I guess I’ll use this time to tell you all a little more about myself and what kinds of books I like:
*In regards to reading, I’m definitely a genre-jumper. I like a little of everything: fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, horror, mystery, thriller, memoir, etc. Basically the only kind I don’t read is books that are at all like the “Clique” series ,not to belittle Lisi Harrison or her writing, I know it is a very popular series, it’s just a little too “pre-teen” for me. I definitely lean toward “darker” books, meaning paranormal or fantasy.
*Some of my favorite books off the top of my head are: Harry Potter, Twilight Series, Life As We Knew It, The Ruins, A Great and Terrible Beauty series, Project 17, Certain Slant of Light, The Luxe, Fever 1793, Running Out of Time, Blink, The Missing Girl, Wicked Lovely, and Garden Spells.
*Besides the obsession with reading, I consider myself a fairly normal person. I go to a small, private, Christian high school and am about to begin my junior year: a time filled with ACTs, college visits, and extra-curriculars up the wazoo (Ahhhhh!). But, I’m actually ready for the challenge.
*My so-called ‘Junior Year Plan’ includes at least 3 college visits, 2 possible ACT exams, a potential job at the library (which I’m praying I get), learning (again) to play the piano, finishing writing one of my short stories in time for Literary Journal at school, and updating my blog at least twice a week...whew!
Oops, my “quick little post” turned into a full-blown rant! Sorry, I’ll try and limit those to one a week. Time to go get myself some ice cream, ciao!

Ordinary Ghosts by Eirreann Corrigan

For years, the all-male student body at Caramoor Academy has held an underground tradition of bestowing a secret master key to the campus onto one "worthy" (read: mischievous) student each year. Emil Simon would never have gotten the key in the usual way, but when his older brother took off after their mother's death, he left the key behind. With his emotionally distant father away on business, Emil uses his after-hours access to the school grounds to create a private place for himself. Eventually, he forges a connection with the art teacher's daughter, who is also making clandestine use of the Caramoor property.
The plot of Ordinary Ghosts is at times slow-moving, although Emil is an interesting central character. I did found it difficult however to handle Emil’s flippant, defiant manner and casual attitude toward sex, drugs, alcohol, and school. The book seemed to cast a bad light on teenage boys, inferring that their lives revolve around buying drugs, doing drugs, and having or thinking about having sex. Now, I don’t know what goes on inside a boy’s head, but I hope that my brother and other guys I know don’t always think the way Emil does. Besides that, Ordinary Ghosts is a touching story that deals with death and abandonment in a very realistic manner.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood

Morgan’s sophomore year ends with her boyfriend dumping her. Seeking attention Morgan hacks off all her hair and dies the stubble orange, causing her parents to send her on a week-long bike tour of Ireland. “As if pedaling across an entire country with a bunch of losers in padded shorts is supposed to cheer me up?” In Ireland her spirits are lifted a touch when she meets Colin, the cute redhead who drives the luggage van, Morgan’s morose feelings continue until a bike accident throws her headfirst into an alternate fantasy world, complete with wee Irish folk, magic, and a hunky warrior named Fergus. But all isn’t perfect in this corner of the past: a curse has plagued the land for years and it is up to Morgan, who is prophesied to be the savior of the century to bring them peace. Can she save the land and possible find some luck and love along the way?
This book was a great read mixed with the perfect amount of romance, adventure, fantasy, and humor. Morgan was a unique and witty protagonist whose hilarious descriptions of her tour mates left you rolling on the floor laughing. The book was kept interesting by Morgan shifting back and forth between the magical word and reality on the bike tour. Overall Why I Let My Hair Grow Out was a charming, enjoyable read and I am eagerly anticipating purchasing and reading the sequel, How I Found the Perfect Dress.

68 Knots by Michael Robert Evans

After a sailing camp owner’s suicide on board, eight teenagers from diverse background give the owner an impromptu burial at sea and take command of the sailboat. The sixty-eight days of summer remaining are full of amazing events: yacht races and pirate raids, a near fatal hunt for treasure, encounters with wildlife and coastal characters, and onboard parties and sexual tensions. But their freedom also leads to struggles for authority and power, some snap decisions with long-lasting consequences, and a few new friendships that could last a lifetime.
68 Knots was a riveting and refreshing read. Evans does a terrific job bringing his characters to light, allowing us into all of their minds as they question authority, morality, and relationships. The characters had great depth and each brought something to the table be it strength, laughter, toughness, faith, vision, warmth, leadership, or love. The book hooked you on the first page and pulled you swiftly through the rest with its amazing storyline; perfect for a day at the beach. The premise of the story is every young ocean-lover’s dream: to freely sail the open sea on your own boat, with good friends, good food, and plenty of alcohol! But running your own ship isn’t always easy, what with struggles for leadership, failed romances, deadly storms, and dwindling resources. Evans wonderful writing brings you right along for the ride through the ups and downs of the Dreadnought crew, leaving you completely satisfied and ready to hit the open sea for yourself!

Here We Go...

This summer I decided it was time to start my own book blog since I love reading other people's reviews-especially if they bash a book I love or love a book I loathe.
I have always adored books, but just this past year when I got my laptop began my booklists. I currently have a Books-to-Read list, a Books-to-Come list, and a list of the books i have read since June 2008...about 30 pages and steadily growing. So, I guess I better get started...