Monday, May 30, 2011

Mailbox Monday- May 30, 2011

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

Best Intentions- Emily Listfield--PaperbackSwap

Awakened (House of Night #8)- P.C Cast & Kristin Cast--PaperbackSwap

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Sunday Salon- May 29, 2011

The Sunday Salon

Less than two weeks til the wedding!  I am so excited!  But this also means less than 2 weeks til the end of the school year.  And for that I am stressed.  I feel like I'm never going to get anything done!  Can I just go to sleep and wake up on the rehearsal day!  13 days and counting!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 41
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 35
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 32

I am currently reading The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross and up next is Priceless by Nicole Richie.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fill-In- May 27, 2011

Friday Fill-In

1. This week I will be crazy busy with end of the school year things and last minute wedding things!
2. I love it when So You Think You can Dance returns.
3. It's all about love.
4. Fun in the sun.
5. I demand that everyone have fun at my wedding.
6. This path, it's filled with ups and downs.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include checking things off my wedding to-do list and Sunday, I want to sleep!

Friday Finds- May 27, 2011

Friday Finds

The Hidden- Jessica Verday
In the long-awaited conclusion to the bestselling saga of Abbey and Caspian, readers finally learn the truth about Kristen's untimely death, the dark destiny that links Abbey to Caspian and ties them both to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and the hard choices that Abbey must make if she is to accept Caspian's love and their unexpected fate. Beautifully spun, emotionally gripping, and irresistibly romantic, The Hidden will leave readers breathless. (From Jessica Verday's website)

Nocturne- Christine Johnson
Some secrets are too dangerous . . .

After the tragic events of the summer, Claire is looking forward to a new school year. All she wants to worry about is finding the most gorgeous dress to wear to the Autumn Ball with her perfect boyfriend.

But as Claire knows all too well, the life of a werewolf is never that simple, or that sweet.

When Claire’s human and wolf lives start to collide, her worst nightmares come true. She is hurting her best friend. She has been caught lying. And then the unthinkable happens: Someone discovers Claire’s secret.

If Claire’s werewolf identity is exposed, everyone she knows will be put at risk. And the pack’s response comes at a cost higher than Claire can imagine. Claire will be forced to determine just how far she is willing to go to protect her family, her identity and her life, before she loses it all . . . . (From Christine Johnson's website)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- May 25, 2011

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

The Ivy: Secrets
by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
Publication Release Date: May 31, 2011

From Goodreads:

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation.

You're a student at the most prestigious university in the country, and you've been tapped for the most elite social club. You've made it!

Now Don't Blow It!

Callie Andrews triumphed during her first semester at Harvard: she made incomparable friends, found the perfect boyfriend, and received invitations to the most exclusive secret societies. But she may have ruined every-thing with one ill-fated night. Now she's keeping secrets from everyone, including—

Clint the upperclassman who's too good to be true

Vanessa the best friend turned backstabber

Gregory the guy who's a total(ly hot) mistake

and Lexi the social queen who wants to bring Callie down.

But Callie didn't get into Harvard by giving up, and she isn't about to now. Besides, she's not the only one with something to hide. . . .

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mailbox Monday- May 23, 2011

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

Ripple-Mandy Hubbard--review for an Around the World Tour

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Book Review- Ripple

I just finished reading Ripple by Mandy Hubbard for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

Ripple was a quick read, an engrossing story.  I was completely into the book right from the start.  I felt so bad for Lexi.  She had everything going for her until the night of her sixteenth birthday happened.  And the way she punished herself, by not letting herself have friends, was so sad.  I really liked her and wanted her to forgive herself.

And then there's the boys.  Cole and Erik.  Cole kinda confused me.  On one hand, I loved him and how kind he was to Lexi.  But a part of me thinks that it seemed a little too good to be true.  That he would go against what all of his friends thought about Lexi...although I liked that he didn't listen to them, it didn't really ring true.  If that makes any sense.  And then Erik.  The beautiful boy.  He seemed so into Lexi.  But I'm glad that she realized that he was so very wrong for her in the end.

Another thing I had a problem with, was Lexi swimming in her lake all night, every night.  I mean, I know her guardian is grandmother, and grandmothers can often times be naive.  But I can't imagine that doesn't realize that Lexi is gone all night long. 

Anyways, that didn't take away from the enjoyment of the book.  I love how the theme was pretty much love (although I won't tell you how).  I'm such a sap...a sucker for a good love story :)

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Ripple will be released on July 21, 2011.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 41
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 35
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 32

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

The Sunday Salon- May 22, 2011

The Sunday Salon

Our wedding is less than 3 weeks away!  Yikes!  We've sent in our final payment and are trying to figure out seating arrangements!  Between the end of the year stuff at school and the wedding stuff, I am so stressed out!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse #8) by Charlaine Harris
Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week: Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge: From Dead to Worse
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 38, 39
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 33, 40
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 30, 31
2011 YA Contemporary Challenge: 6

I am currently reading Ripple by Mandy Hubbard and up next is The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review- Between Here and Forever

I just finished reading Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott.

From Goodreads:

Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...
Well, I think I might be unpopular in this opinion, but this book didn't really do anything for me.  I mean, reading the summary, I thought I would feel tons of emotion while reading the book, and all I felt was annoyance (which I don't think I was supposed to feel).  I got tired of reading about how great Tess was and how Abby knew she was so much inferior to her older sister.  And I got annoyed that Abby wasn't figuring things out.  I figured out the big revelation right at the beginning!  And I was annoyed by Tess.  Or I should say, what Abby told us about Tess.  How she acted just got on my nerves.

The highlight for me was Eli.  I loved learning that the "perfect guy" wasn't so perfect.  And since I have minor OCD, and my ex-boyfriend was majorly diagnosed OCD, this really interested me.  I actually would have liked the author to get even more into Eli's life.
Anyways, I know a lot of people loved this book, but for me, while I didn't hate the book,  I did want something that would move me emotionally.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
Between Here and Forever will be released on May 24, 2011.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 40
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 33
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 31
2011 YA Contemporary Challenge: 6
*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher for a review.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- May 18, 2011

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

Small Town Sinners
by Melissa Walker
Publication Release Date: July 19, 2011

From Melissa Walker's website:

Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for him make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion. Does falling in love mean falling out of faith?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mailbox Monday- May 9, 2011

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

Torment (Fallen #2)- Lauren Kate--PaperbackSwap

Vampire Mine (Hearts at Stake #10)-Kerrelyn Sparks--PaperbackSwap

OyMG- Amy Fellner Dominy--from publisher

Kingdom Keepers III Disney in Shadow- Ridley Pearson--PaperbackSwap
Fire Study (Study #3)- Maria V. Snyder--PaperbackSwap

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review- Queen of the Dead

I finished reading Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade tonight for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare - former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead - finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this - ugh - “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.

Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.

Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is - ahem - willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.

Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.

Queen of the Dead was a fun read, just as much fun as The Ghost and the Goth (which I find unusual since I usually prefer the originals much more).  Alona and Will are back and paired up, both in a job sense (to help ghosts) and in a relationship sense. 

Alona wasn't so easy to hate this time.  I mean, she definitely still had her "mean girl" side, but it wasn't as awful or prevelant as in the previous book.  And Will was still Will.  Although he did sorta show his "guyish" ways when a new girl is introduced in this book.  We find out more about Will's family and a big secret is revealed there.

The ending definitely leaves you wondering just what is going to happen next and I can't wait to find out!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Queen of the Dead will be released in May 31, 2011.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 39
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 33
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 30

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

Book Review- From Dead to Worse

I just finished From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse #8) by Charlaine Harris.

From Goodreads:

Sookie Stackhouse has a lot on her mind. Not only is telepathic Louisiana cocktail waitress still reeling from Hurricane Katrina tragedies and the explosion at the vampire summit; she's also understandably preoccupied with the devilish disappearance of Quinn, her main squeeze.

Another fun installment with our heroine Sookie Stackhouse.  And another book filled with action. I thought that there were seval surprises in this one dealing with lots of peoploe in Sookie's life: Jason and Crystal, Alcide and the werewolves, Eric and the new vampire takeover.  And finally, and the one that had the most impact on me, had to do with the meeting of her nephew.  On to the next book in the series, Dead and Gone.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge: From Dead to Worse
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 38

*FTC Disclosure:  I received this book for free by trading with a friend.

The Sunday Salon- May 15, 2011

The Sunday Salon

So we finally figured out how many people are coming to our wedding.  Although we still didn't get a bunch of RSVP cards back and our parents had to hunt people down.  How rude, people!!!!!  We invited 168 and 92 are coming.  Not too bad since its essentially a destination wedding.  Now we just have to figure out the final details and pay the final bill!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
 Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 36, 37
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 31, 32
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 13, 14 
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 28, 29 
2011 YA Contemporary Challenge: 5

I am currently reading Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade and up next is Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Review- Tempest Rising

I finished reading Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs last night.

From Goodreads:

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Maybe it was my love of the Little Mermaid growing up, but I seem to love mermaid stories!  And Tempest Rising was no different.

I found myself hooked in the story pretty early on. I wanted to know just what was going to happen next.

 I liked Tempest.  I liked that she cared so much for her brothers and Dad and that she was tomboyish.  And the surfing angle was new to me.  There was a lot of terminology that I wasn't familiar with (but could easily figure out) and it was fun to read about a new hobby.

And the love triangle.  Yum!  I honestly don't know which boy I would pick.  The boy from home who is loyal and gentlemanly and loves you so much.  Or the mysterious hot guy that comes from a world you know very little about, but know is about to become a major part of your life.

The ending left me like I was toward the beginning--hooked and wanting to know what happens next.  The ending left off where it could be stand alone, but could also easily lead into a sequel.  And I really hope that there's another booking coming up! (Oh, and I really liked the cover!)

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 37
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 32
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 14
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 29

*FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me for free by Bloomsbury USA/ Walker Books for Young Readers for a honest review.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Teen Book Scene: Top Tens List: I'm Not Her

I am honored to host Janet Gurtler, author of I'm Not Her, on my blog today as part of a Tour. She is presenting us with a top tens list from one the characters from the book!

Here are Kristina’s Top 10 Canadian actors in TEEN shows  (In honor of her Canadian creator- Janet Gurtler)

Ben in Felicity – Scott Speedman

Michael in Roswell- Brendan Fehr

Michael J Fox in Family Ties and/or Back to the Future

Brandon Walsh in Beverley Hills 90210 (0ld School)- Jason Priestly

Joshua Jackson- Dawson’s Creek

Neve Campbell – Party of Five

Rachel McAdams- Mean Girls

Ryan Gosling- Remember the Titans

Shawn Ashmore- X-Men

Keanu Reeves- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Thank you so much, Kristina!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- May 11, 2011

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

Fairy Bad Day
by Amanda Ashby
Publication Release Date: June 9, 2011

From Amanda Ashby's website:

It’s going to be a fairy bad day...

First, my rightful designation of dragon slayer is STOLEN right out from under me by Curtis Green. Sure, he’s really cute, but that doesn’t give him an excuse.

On top of that, I am assigned to slay fairies. I know what you’re thinking—how hard could it be, right? Wrong! These menacing beasts with their tiny hipster clothes and mocking sarcasm love taunting me. And they won’t STOP!

But the thing that tops my list of stuff to ruin my day? That would be the GIANT KILLER FAIRY that I have to hunt down and slay because I am the only one who can see it. There is someone who can help me. Unfortunately…it’s Curtis.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Class of 2k11 guest post-- Christina Mandelski

Over the next little while (honestly not sure how long it will be), I will be posting guest blogs by authors from the Class of 2k11! I am so honored to be doing this!

Each author will be talking about who they would cast in the movie version of the book.
Next is Christina Mandelski, author of The Sweetest Thing.  I just revewied the book yesterday.  You can read it here.
Here's a summary of her book from Goodreads:
In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

And who would Christina cast in her movie?

Isn’t it every author’s dream to create a beautifully written story – to pull readers into the pages and take them on a journey that they won’t soon forget? It’s all about the literature, right? Um … yes, that’s true, of course. But, if we’re being honest, at some point in the writing process certain authors might allow themselves to expand on that dream. You know, dress it up in Prada heels and sequins and take its picture under the HOLLYWOOD sign?

In other words, we might wonder … what if they turn my book into a movie?

You’ve probably already gleaned that I’ve done a little fantasizing myself. I’ll admit it. And while my debut young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, may never make it to the big screen, I’m ready, just in case. Would you like to meet the cast? I’m still waiting on a few of them to return my calls, but another thing we writers have is patience. I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

So without further ado … the fantasy cast of THE SWEETEST THING:

Sheridan (aka Cake Girl) Wells, fifteen year old cake decorating prodigy, hapless romantic and disgruntled daughter will be played by talented newcomer Hailee Steinfeld. She’s nominated for an Oscar for her role in True Grit, but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind expanding her resume while making some spectacular cakes and kissing cute boys.

For bad boy Ethan, I discovered (well, okay, he was probably already discovered) the uber hot Alex Pettyfer, who is starring in the upcoming movie I am Number Four. He’s also, I hear, vying for a role in The Hunger Games. He can go ahead and work on that little movie too, if he must.

Best friend and nice guy Jack’s role goes to Jeremy Mockridge, who as far as I can tell only works in Germany. But I saw this picture and thought – “It’s Jack!” I’m hoping this movie will finally give him the big American break he’s been looking for. You’re welcome, Jeremy.

Mean girl Hayley goes to Taylor Momsen, formerly of Gossip Girl, who has that nasty look down so well. I’m mean, look at her, she’s got “cat fight” written all over her.

Sheridan’s dad, Donovan, is a superstar chef and budding reality TV star. He’s played by one of my personal favorites, Josh Duhamel. Maybe he’s a little young, but I’ll take any excuse to stare at a picture of him, so there he is.

And Nanny, Sheridan’s feisty baker grandma, naturally, is played by the indomitable Kathy Bates. If you can get past her memorable role as a psycho fan in Misery, she’ll be ideal.

So there you have it, my dream cast for The Sweetest Thing. Oh, and if you go and see it, look for me because I’m going to insist on a cameo. I’ll be the one in sequins and Prada heels, standing next to Josh Duhamel.

While reading this I was thinking, yeah, I can see these people as the characters but I had to look up Jeremy Mockridge.  And when I saw him, I immediately thought "Omigosh!  That is the PERFECT Jack!!"

The Sweetest Thing was released today!