Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review- Here Lies Bridget

I finished reading Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison last night for a Book It Forward Tour.

From Goodreads:

Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed "who me?" look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved—Liam Ward—can barely even look at her anymore.

When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression. Though she might end up dead, she has one last shot at redemption and the chance to right the wrongs she's inflicted on the people who mean the most to her.

And Bridget's about to learn that, sometimes, saying you're sorry just isn't enough….

Wow.  Talk about hating a character!  I could not STAND Bridget.  Not even a little bit!  She was horrible to everyone and condescending to everyone.  I honestly don't know how anyone could stand to be around her.  I mean, I know her "best friends" were her friends so that they wouldn't feel her wrath or whatever, but I mean really, I would have just stayed away from her.  At the end I guess she was slightly better, but it didn't come close to making up for how awful she was.

And there was a lot of info that we never got.  Like what happened with Bridget's mother.  And what brought on the break up with Liam (what was the final straw). 

This book just okay to me.  I just couldn't stand Bridget at all which overshadowed everything else.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 14
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 4
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 12

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Book It Forward ARC Tours.

Mailbox Monday- February 28, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week

Born at Midnight- C.C. Hunter- review for an Around the World Tour

Pale Demon (The Hollows #9)- Kim Harrison--Bookmooch
Sing You Home- Jodi Picoult--review for a Crazy Book Tour

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Sunday Salon- February 27, 2011

The Sunday Salon

So my friends and I ran our first 5K yesterday.  It was Disney's Princess 5K.  The theme this year was Beauty and the Beast and since I am obsessed with Belle, it turned out to be the perfect year to start!

Here we are right before the race started, at 6:15 am.

And we finished in 40 minutes, not too bad for us!

Today I helped throw my friend's bridal shower.  Her mom and sister (Maid of Honor) came in town and were supposed to be throwing it, but earlier in the week, her mom said that she was gonna lay it all on me.  Great!  Thanks for such a short notice!  But I pulled it off and we had fun!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 12
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 10
2011 YA Contemporary Challenge: 1

I am currently reading Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison and up next is Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fill-In- February 25, 2011

Friday Fill-In

1. Ooooh, I can't wait for my wedding.
2. It seems so far away, I can't stand it!
3. How the heck did I end up with so many books???
4. Disney is one of my favorite places to visit.
5. I'm not a bridezilla, I'm not!
6. In order for me to like it, it has to be good.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out, tomorrow my plans include running my first 5k, the Disney Princess 5K with 2 of my friends and Sunday, I want to have fun at my friend's bridal shower that I am helping to throw!

Friday Finds- February 25, 2011

Friday Finds

Bloodlust- Michelle Rowen
For those who feast on blood, Jillian Conrad is a fatal attraction. After being injected with a serum that made her blood both irresistible and deadly to vampires, she was used as a pawn to assassinate the vampire king. Now, the vampires want her eliminated.

Hunted and unable to return to her old life, Jillian desperately seeks to prevent the poison in her veins from killing her. And she must find a way to help her dhampyr protector, Declan, whose exposure to the serum has split his personality into one part uncontrolled desire, and one part stone cold killer.

But an even greater danger is rising. The Amarantos – a secret society of vampires – is seeking the infant daughter of the slain king to complete their quest for true immortality. And if they succeed, no one, living or undead, will escape the darkness. (From Michelle Rowen's website)

Die For Me- Amy Plum
“In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.”

“When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life—and memories—behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

In this incandescent debut, newcomer Amy Plum has created a powerful paranormal mythology with immortal revenants. The Paris setting comes enchantingly alive as a relentless struggle between good and evil takes place in its streets. Rich with romance, atmosphere, and thrills, Die for Me will leave readers breathlessly awaiting its sequel.” (From Amy Plum's website)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- February 23, 2011

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Release Date: July 12, 2011

From Maggie Stiefvater's website:

The conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy. In Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Book Review- Mad Love

I finished reading Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors last.

From Goodreads:

When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast.

That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth—that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.

This was a pretty okay book.  It wasn't super great, but it wasn't horrible either.  I think it did have a very important underlying theme though.  And it's in an interesting category:  YA Contemporary with a little bit of mythology thrown in.

As for the characters, I liked them but I didn't really connect with them.  They seemed a little distant.  I felt so bad for Alice.  Trying to be the parent while keeping her mother's secret from the rest of the world.  And Errol was off and on for me (although I think he was supposed to be).  At times I felt so bad for him and why he was running out of time to tell his story, and other times I wanted to tell him to chill and that Alice had her own problems to deal with.  But I really liked Tony.  He was such a sweet character!

The underlying theme was dealing with a family member with a mental illness.  I think it was such a strong message that Alice got when she finally realized that she had to be true to herself and that she shouldn't be ashamed of her mother's disease.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 12
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 10
2011 YA Contemporary Challenge: 1

*FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me for free by Bloomsbury USA for a honest review.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday- February 22, 2011

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to: Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

My two teasers:

"But seriously, who wakes up at seven o'clock in the morning to cry?

As soon as I sat down, Jillian, my other, more gossip-appreciating best friend, passed me a neatly folded note (she'd been the first one in fourth grade to be able to make origami and paper footballs)."
~pg 28, Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison (ARC)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mailbox Monday- February 21, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week

Skipping a Beat- Sarah Pekkanen--from publisher for review

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4)- Ilona Andrews--PaperbackSwap
Drought- Pam Bachorz--review for a Book It Forward Tour
Haven- Kristi Cook--review for a Book It Forward Tour

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sunday Salon- February 20, 2011

The Sunday Salon

Not too much this week.  My fiance and I decided to not do present for Valentine's Day since we have the wedding this year but I did thell them that I wanted flowers.  Which he conveniently forgot.  Boo!  We went to dinner at Bonefish Grill since we had a bunch of gift cards and it was really good.  Other than that, Bella got spayed (sp?) on Friday.  We were supposed to keep her calm and not jumping for a week but that only lasted about a day.  She hasn't been in any pain though, so thats good!

 I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
2011 A to Z Challenge: A
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 11
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 10
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 9

I am currently reading The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder and up next is My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday Fill-In- February 18, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

1. New experiences and possibilities make me nervous sometimes.
2. It would be an unexpected turn on a daily walk to find me (since I don't go for daily walks).
3. I'm looking forward to my wedding in June.
4. How expensive florals are for a wedding, I could never have imagined.
5. Try to find the thing in life that makes you happy.
6. Nothing really is what's extraordinary about me.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to (not looking forward to, so much since I feel bad for her) but cuddiling with my puppy since she got spayed today, tomorrow my plans include working 10 hours at Disney (blah!!) and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Finds- February 18, 2011

Friday Finds

Who Loves You Best- Tess Stimson
An unforgettable story about the complex choices women make for love, motherhood, and family—and the unexpected events that open our hearts to what really matters in life.

Clare Elias feels more than ready to conquer being a parent. She’s already mastered the business world, running a flourishing chain of boutique flower shops. Her husband, Marc, is handsome, successful, supportive—and nearly a decade her junior. Clare is at the top of her game, so how hard can motherhood be?

Then the babies come—both of them. And Clare finds herself in the midst of the crisis faced by every woman who’s ever tried to Have It All. She’s sworn she won’t have her children raised by nannies the way her inattentive mother did, but when help arrives in the form of pretty, young, hyperefficient Jenna, Clare has no idea that bringing this stranger into her family will change everything. As Marc becomes distant and secretive and, worst of all, one of her babies gets sick, Clare—and Jenna—must make the kinds of heartwrenching decisions that no woman wants to face.

Wise, witty, and powerfully emotional, Who Loves You Best captures the working mother’s joys and frustrations—as well as the guilty secrets of nannies—in a tale that is surprising to the very end. (From Goodreads)

I Still Dream About You-Fannie Flagg
Though her friends think Maggie has the perfect life, she's actually perfectly miserable. The former Miss Alabama is worried about how her life has turned out - she's given up on her dream of living in a beautiful home like Crestview, and instead is a real estate agent in Birmingham.

But just when Maggie begins to wonder if there's much point in going on, her life takes a wild turn, and she finds herself catapulted into one surprising discovery after the next. As Maggie learns valuable lessons about the nature of friendship, the challenges of modern life, and the dangers of impossible dreams, she starts to see how much more there is to life than what can be listed in a Miss Alabama bio.

Bestselling author Fannie Flagg's trademark comic flair is out in full force in this fabulous new novel about the unpredictability of life. (From Goodreads)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- February 16, 2011

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Meg Cabot
Publication Release Date: April 26, 2011

From Meg Cabot's website:

She knows what it's like to die. Now Death wants her back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.

That's how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who's made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.

Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.

What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows... just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven. But she can't stay away from him, either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most.

And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that’s exactly where John sweeps her:

The Underworld.

Mailbox Monday- February 14, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week

Wake Unto Me- Lisa Cach--review for an Around the World Tour

The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1)- Kelley Armstrong--review for an Around the World Tour

Book Review- The Gathering

I just finished reading The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong for an Around the World Tour.

From Goodreads:

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.

This book was a nice change in that I enjoyed it!  I think I was in a reading rut and just couldn't seem to read a book that I really enjoyed until this one.

That being said, I do have to say that for the most part, this book is pretty predictable.  I knew Maya's secret pretty much from the beginning.  As well as Rafe's.  But I'm not sure just how Rafe's secret is tied to Maya's.  Hmm.  And I"m not sure how their little community plays into it just yet, but I'm sure it does somehow.  And Daniel...sometimes I felt like he had feelings for Maya, and other times he just seemed like a big brother.

There were so many unanswered questions.  But in a good way!  In a way that makes it so you can't wait to get yours hand on the sequel.  And I can't wait to read the next book, The Calling.  Hopefully it will answer a bunch of questions that I have!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

The Gathering will be released on April 12, 2011.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 A to Z Challenge: A
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 11
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 10
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 9

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Sunday Salon- February 13, 2011

The Sunday Salon

Another busy week of wedding planning!  We got our wedding rings this weekend.  I actually ended up getting a more expensive ring than I had planned but my Fiance liked it better so it worked for me!  We also picked out the tuxes that the guys will wear.  And today I went to pick up my wedding gown.  It fit perfectly, but unfortunately the netting that goes over the bodice with the sparkles was wrinkled.  They said that the seamstress could probably fix it by slicing it open in several places but that since we have enough time, they are just going to go ahead an order a whole new one.  I hope that this one is better!  Keep your fingers crossed!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
The Chaos (Numbers #2) by Rachel Ward
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
2011 A to Z Challenge: C, W
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 9, 10
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 8, 9
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 7, 8
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 2

I am currently reading The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong and up next is Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Review- Wake Unto Me

I just finished reading Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach for an Around the World Book Tour.

From Goodreads:

A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.
Ehh.  This was just another "okay" book for me.  The book had some mystery/ghostliness to it.  But it was also sort of historical.  And I don't get into historical books at all.  Going back into the past just doesn't do it for me.  So I only really enjoyed part of the book.  That doesn't mean that I thought that it was a bad book, just that it didn't really spark my interest.
That being said, I didn't enjoy the characters.  I liked Caitlyn, Amalia, Naomi, and Raphael.  Although I do have to say that I don't really get how Caitlyn fell in love with Raphael.  She saw in a dream once, and BAM, knew he was the guy for her?  Huh?  Anyways, I really liked the three girls.  Caitlyn and Naomi seemed like such normal girls.  And Amalia didn't act like a princess at all.  And from what I read about Raphael, he seemed like a nice enough guy.
If you like ghost stories and you like historical fiction, give this one a try.  You might like it better than I did.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
Wake Unto Me will be released on March 31, 2011.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 A to Z Challenge: C
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 10
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 9
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 2
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 8 
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday Fill-In- February 11, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

1. Family get togethers are always crazy.
2. Being a teacher has its ups and downs.
3. Trust is something that is earned.
4. I'm not sure that I believe that its always for the best.
5. Parents is definitely one of area in life that I got lucky in.
6. He didn't hear what was said.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to a friend's surprise birthday dinner, tomorrow my plans include picking up our wedding rings and picking out tuxes and Sunday, I want to go try on my wedding dress that just came in!

Friday Finds- February 11, 2011

Friday Finds

Secrets (Ivy #2)- Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
Gregory or Clint? Clint or Gregory? Matt, anyone? And what is Lexi up to . . .exactly? When we last saw Callie Andrews, she was caught on the horns of a dilemma. Lexi was threatening to expose all of her safely guarded, deeply buried secrets from high school, and Callie had just hooked up with bad-boy Gregory--despite the fact that she had a perfect (sort of) boyfriend and her BFF Vanessa had claimed (sort of) Gregory as her own. Yow. Entertaining, hilarious, addictive, scandalous, sexy, and smart, The Ivy series is an insider's look at freshman life at Harvard University. This isn't high school anymore! (From Goodreads)
The Watchers (Delacroix Academy #2)- Inara Scott
Dancia’s back at Delcroix, but this year, everything is different. Dancia is Talented, and her powers have earned her an invitation to join Delcroix’s real raison d’etre — the Program. All Dancia ever wanted was to use her powers for good — and now Delcroix is going to give her the training she needs to make it happen.

At least that’s what the school says she’ll learn to do with her powers. Her cuter-than-cute boyfriend, Cam, insists that it’s true, and so do all the other students. But a little voice inside her wonders, if the Program is so great, why did her friend Jack run away rather than join? And why are angry ex-students attacking the school?

Dancia’s a loyal student . . . and a loyal girlfriend. But if finding out what’s really going on means talking to Jack, well — it’s a risk she just might have to take. (From Inara Scott's website)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- February 9, 2011

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Outside In
by Maria V. Snyder
Publication Release Date: February 15, 2011

From Maria V. Snyder's website:

Me?? A Leader??

Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion-between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again-while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book Review- The Chaos

I just finished reading The Chaos (Numbers #2) by Rachel Ward for a Book It Forward ARC Tours Review.

From Goodreads:

The curse of the NUM8ERS continues in Rachel Ward's CHA0T1C, earth-shattering sequel!

Adam has more than inherited his mother's curse: When he looks in someone's eyes, he not only sees the date of their death...he feels the searing, shocking pain of it. Since Jem died, Adam has lived by the sea with his great-grandmother, Val. But when rising tides flood the coast, they return to London. The city is an alien, exciting, frightening place. Most disturbing of all, Adam can't help but clock how many people's numbers are in January 2027; how many are on New Year's Day. What chaos awaits the world? Can he and Sarah stop a catastrophe? Or are they, too, counted among the "twenty-sevens"?

Unfortunately, once again this plot didn't really do it for me.  While the idea of someone being able to see the date when people die grabs me, the characters just don't.  I really just didn't care about them.  More troubled teens that I just wasn't compassionate about.

And the whole setting of the story was just weird for me.  It was like the world was at its worst, but I never really figured out why.  Almost like a bad dystopian novel. 

I don't really have too much to say.  It wasn't horrible.  It just didn't really interest me.

I gave this book a rating of 2.5/5.

The Chaos will be released on March 1, 2011.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
 2011 A to Z Challenge: W
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 9
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 8
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 7

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Book It Forward ARC Tours.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mailbox Monday- February 7, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week

Not My Daughter- Barbara Delinksy--Bookmooch


My Name is Memory- Ann Brashares--review for Crazy Book Tours
Lost Voices- Sarah Porter--review for Book It Forward Tours
In the Company of Vampires (Dark Ones #8)- Katie MacAlister--PaperbackSwap
Mad Love- Suzanne Selfors--from publisher for review
Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance- Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin--from publisher for review

Miss Hildreth Wore Brown- Olivia deBelle Byrd--from author for review

Forgotten- Cat Patrick--review for a Book It Forward Tour

The Lipstick Laws- Amy Holder--review for The Teen Book Scene