Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Dreaming Anastasia-Joy Preble

What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?

Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.

In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…

This looks really good! I used to be obsessed with the events of the Romanov family and read many books about them. This will make a great addition to the collection! Dreaming Anastasia will be released September 1st.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

As most of us know, the issue of polygamist communities is big in the news right now, and this book effectively shows the dangers these cults pose to the children involved. Kyra’s story is complex and filled with emotion. Her interaction with her father, mothers, and siblings is surprisingly heartfelt and functional, with the Prophet causing all the tension. The one aspect of the book that felt forced was Kyra’s relationship with Joshua, a boy she was able to sneak off with each night and spend time with, although the fact that the community members were constantly watched was enforced throughout the book. It all just seemed a little too convenient. Otherwise, everything fell into place perfectly, with the ending leaving me thinking about the characters and hoping that everything would turn out alright.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In My Mailbox (10)

Here are the three books I got this week:


Watertales-Alice Hoffman
If you haven't encountered Alice Hoffman's watery fairy tales of modern magic, dive in! Aquamarine The tide brings in something unexpected that will change best friends Claire and Haley's last summer together. Indigo Martha and her friends discover that running to follow a dream is the only way they'll find the true meaning of 'home'.

School Reading:

Their Eyes Were Watching God-Zora Neale Hurst
A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the morals of her small town.

Hardball-Chris Matthews
How Politics Is Played Told By One Who Knows The Game

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie

Monday, July 20, 2009

Suite Scarlett Winners

The winners of a paperback copy of Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson are:


Congratulations!! I have sent each of you an email so I can get your mailing information. Please respond ASAP so I can get your books to you! Enjoy the read!

And a big thanks to everyone who entered! It was my first contest and was a lot of fun. I hope to be hosting more in the future. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In My Mailbox (9)

Here are the books I received this week:
Saving Francesca-Melina Marchetta
Francesca is at the beginning of her second term in Year Eleven at an all boys’ school that has just started accepting girls. She still misses her old friends, and, to make things worse, her mother has had a breakdown and can barely move from her bed. But Francesca had not counted on the fierce loyalty of her new friends, or falling in love, or finding that it’s within her power to bring her family back together.

Iodine-Haven Kimmel
Trace Pennington is a senior at the University of the Midwest in Indiana. Living with her dog, Weeds, in an abandoned farmhouse that lacks such basic comforts as heat and a shower, Trace is in her final semester. But once she enters Professor Jacob Matthias’ Archetypal Interpretation of Literature class, she turns her intense focus solely on him, dropping her classes and even abandoning her dog to move in to his place. But as she digs into Jacob’s past to discover why his first marriage ended and what became of his wife, her own past bubbles to the surface, forcing her to face painful memories and truths.

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie
P.S. I also want to remind everyone that this is the last day to enter to win a copy of Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae have one thing in common: they all want to die. When they meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens make a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination-Death Valley California-they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.

Crash Into Me is a heart wrenching look into the minds of four suicidal teens and the road trip that changes their lives. I was never quite sure if the characters would go all the way or not, and didn’t know until the very last page. The novel is told through the eyes of Owen, but the reader gets to know all four characters through series of online chats, top ten lists, and flashbacks, creating a deep connection between reader and character. Albert Borris delivered an excellent debut novel and I am looking forward to more of his great writing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in. Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?
This book had everything I love: well-developed, interesting characters, a cute, but not overpowering romance, and most importantly, a suspenseful, mysterious plot. I was also pleased to note that this debut novel swiftly avoided YA book stereotypes and stood easily on its own. I was pleased to discover that readers will be able to learn more about Alexis, as Bad Girls Don’t Die is to be a series. So, pick up this book if you are in need of a good ghost story, it will definitely deliver!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In My Mailbox (8)

Here's what I got in the last two weeks:


What’s Eating Gilbert Grape-Peter Hedges
Gilbert Grape hates his life. At 24, he's still living at home in the boring small town of Endora, Iowa, working a part time job as a clerk in a failing family owned grocery store. His long suffering older sister is always on his case, his young sister likes to pretend he doesn't exist, and his mother hasn't left the house in years. And then there's Arnie, Gilbert's retarded 17 year old brother, whom he loves and yet resents. But things are changing in Endora. As Arnie's milestone 18th birthday approaches, and with it all of the Grapes and a mysterious, unassuming girl who has Gilbert as confused as ever, he might just begin to see his family in a whole new light.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood-Rebecca Wells
The Ya-Yas are the wild circle of girls who swirl around the narrator Siddalee's mama, Vivi, whose vivid voice is "part Scarlett, part Katharine Hepburn, part Tallulah." The Ya-Yas broke the no-booze rule at the cotillion, skinny-dipped their way to jail in the town water tower, disrupted the Shirley Temple look-alike contest, and bonded for life because, as one says, "It's so much fun being a bad girl!" Siddalee must repair her busted relationship with Vivi by reading a half-century's worth of letters and clippings contained in the Ya-Ya Sisterhood's packet of "Divine Secrets." It's a contrived premise, but the secrets are really fun to learn.


Bad Girls Don’t Die-Katie Alender
There’s something wrong with anti-social Alexis’ younger sister, Kasey. Not only is she a doll-crazed 13 year old, but sometimes her blue eyes go green, she uses odd, old-fashioned language, and even loses track of chunks of time. Is it just in Alexis’ head, or is her sister possessed?

Crash into Me-Albert Borris
Four suicidal teenagers go on a “celebrity suicide road trip”, visiting the graves of famous people who have killed themselves, with the intention of ending their lives in Death Valley, California.

Killer-Sara Shepard
Rosewood’s four prettiest girls keep a million deadly secrets…and they’ll do anything to make sure they stay buried.

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Break by Hannah Moskowitz

Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah's only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders.

When Jonah's self-destructive spiral accelerates and he hits rock bottom, will he find true strength or surrender to his breaking point?

Hmmm, this sounds like a really depressing, yet interesting book on a touchy subject. I'd like to hear more about it. Break will be released on August 25th.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (and 100th post!)

Once again, sorry for the lack of posts and the missing IMM post yesterday; I was out of town and didn't have internet access. Since I only got 2 books last week, I'll just add them onto this week's IMM.

I am proud to say that this is my 100th post! My blog's anniversary is actually coming up soon and I have already decided that my goal for next year is to double the amount of posts. 100 in a year is really not enough. hopefully I'll be able to accomplish that goal.

Now here's my review:

Dru Anderson has been “strange” for as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town with her father to hunt the things that go bump in the night. It’s a weird life, but a good one–until it all explodes in an icy, broken down Dakota town, when a hungry zombie busts through her kitchen door. Alone, terrified, and trapped, Dru’s going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. The monsters have decided to hunt back–and now Dru has to figure out who to trust, who to fight, and when to run. And not incidentally, she has to figure out how she’s going to get out of this alive. And she has to do it by sundown, or it’s all over…

This book was a total supernatural nail biter! It had a little bit of everything: werewolves, zombies, vampires (called suckers), and many others, plus a total b.a. heroine, Dru. Even though Dru was a good protagonist, the book would not have been the same without the character Graves, Dru’s werwulf-bitten friend. His sarcastic and witty personality kept some lightness in an otherwise dark and depressing storyline. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Betrayals and discovering more about the interesting supernatural world that Lili St. Crow has created.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (Thursday) (15)

Sorry this is a day late, I guess I just spazzed and forgot! Well, better late then never!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

This looks so freaking good!!! I love weird dystopian sort of books like this. I will definitely pick this book right up when it is released October 6th!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City, and Scarlett lives there with her four siblings - Spencer, Lola, and Marlene. When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest called Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deceptions. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

First off, let me say that this book has gotten me out of my non-reading funk. The past few books I’ve read were really basic and predictable, but Suite Scarlett was an extremely unique and character-driven novel. This book had so many things going for it: a fascinating New York hotel setting, complex sibling interactions, a cute but not overwhelming romance, quirky characters, and witty dialogue. I loved the entire Martin family, especially Scarlett and her hilarious aspiring actor brother, Spencer. I am greatly looking forward to spending more time with these characters in the next book in the series, Scarlett Fever, set to be released in February of 2010. So check into the Hopewell now-I know you’ll enjoy your stay!