Friday, June 10, 2011

North of Beautiful


It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

She's tall, blonde, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her small, stifling town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid out plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?


For me, this book opened up an entire new world on a few different levels. I have known people with port stains but have never given much thought to what they might be feeling and this book definitely puts that into perspective. Throughout the book, Terra's insecurities are highlighted, not only in dealing with the general public but also her overbearing, egotistical, and just downright cruel father. I found myself wishing her father was real, someone who could feel my touch just so his face would be able to connect with my fist.

Justina Chen Headly not on encompasses the insecurities of a teenage girl living a difficult life, but also the lives of those around her. Yes, Terra was the main character, by all means, but in the end I found I knew just as much about her as I did her mother, her two obscure brothers, and the batty artists at the local studio. And to me, that is a real accomplishment for an author as many often forget just how important the back stories and feelings of secondary characters are to the development of the book as well as the primary character. Ms. Headly not only wrote about these people but painted a picture so vivid that it became hard to decipher in my mind if they were all just apart of a book and not people actually living in this world.

Prior to reading this book I had no idea what in the world geocaching was. Chances are some of you don't even know what it is. But I became intrigued by it and what it had done for not only Terra but her relationship with Jacob and later, her mother. What was this mysterious 'treasure hunt' that only required GPS coordinates, and is it really something I could do? Not only did I find that it does exist but I found myself quickly becoming involved with this new community, something I am grateful to Justina Chen Headly for.

Overall the book was extremely well written and Ms. Headly created something I think I will forever have on my shelf, considering it to be an ongoing favorite. The story she created, the world she managed to paint for me, is something I love revisiting whenever I can. If you haven't already picked up this book, I highly recommend you do so at your next visit to your bookstore. It is easily found with its beautiful, soft cover; it is also my recommendation that, if you are a true book lover who just loves to hold them in your hands and see the vibrant colors of the hardback beneath the sleeves as I do, then pick up the hardback.

Monday, June 29, 2009



Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one—her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning—Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.


I have been excited about reading this book since I first started talking to Cheryl last summer. And when I got a copy in the mail I was so bummed that I would have to put it off because of school. But boy, was it worth the wait! Just by looking at the cover I knew I would enjoy it as it just captures the mood of the book: it captures the summer in the south.

Even though this was your typical Young Adult book, it was still able to stand alone because of the little extra things in the plot. Things like Savannah's asthma, her mothers strong personality, and even just the environment. All of it makes me wish this story exhisted in real life and I could see it play out in places other than my mind. While reading it I could feel the hot days and her difficulty to breath. You know it is more than just a regular book when an author is able to accomplish that.

Through this book the author has given me a treat: one that I will revisit time and time again. This is a must have for summer reading. On your next trip be sure to pick this one up.

20 Boy Summer


According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ....Zanzibar....Bay.... is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.


I loved this book. It is one that just brings the feelings out of you and makes you want to cry, laugh out loud, and giggle like a little girl all throughout. As I sit here and try to think of something I did not like, I find it impossible. I loved the cover, the plot, the characters, everything in the bindings.

When the book starts, you think, "oh, how sweet" but then the worse happens and through the characters and you, the reader, onto an emotional roller coaster. There are even those time when you just want to scream at the characters to not do something or to get their heads out of the clouds.

The author did a fantastic job creating this story. It is one I really got into and enjoyed so much. I will most definitely be picking this one up again and I can only hope you will be doing the same. This is not one to be passed up.



Too much busyness hampers this disjointed YA fantasy adventure from Marco (
The Sword of Angels). After young teens Moth and Fiona flee domineering adults in the vaguely steampunkish mountaintop city of Calio, they cross the fog-covered Reach into a land of magical beings. Most notable are the Skylords, glamorous creatures who look like angels but act like Nazis. Years before, a conscience-stricken female Skylord stole the titular device so her race couldn't abuse its powers. Now Moth has it but doesn't understand how to use it. When Fiona's grandfather, governor of Calio, appears over the Reach in a warship dirigible, and the Skylords attack with the help of various flying monsters, Moth and Fiona's tale is almost smothered.


Even though I have previously given another John Marco book not such a good review I agreed to review another one. This time a Young Adult Novel that is the beginning of a series called the Skylords Series. Once again, I was set off a bit by the cover. It is just too adult looking to be a Young Adult book.

The plot too a little getting into but once it started I kept up pretty well. A few things here and there got me confused but then, later on, made more sense. I loved the characters in this book and could relate to them. The fantasy aspect was a definite plus and, as I was reading, I could make connections to different things that had happened in our history.

Overall, this book was good and one I might be able to read again. John Marco did a good job on this Young Adult fantasy piece and has definitely peaked my interest. Next time you are in the store pick up a copy and see if it is something you might be interested in. Who knows, you might just find a new series to follow.

My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters


It’s the end of junior year, and summer is about to begin. The Summer of Passion, to be exact, when Jory Michaels plans to explore all the possibilities of the future--and, with any luck, score a boyfriend in the process. But Jory has a problem. A big problem. A curvy, honking, bumpy, problem in the form of her Super Schnozz, the one thing standing between Jory and happiness. And now, with the Summer of Passion stretched before her like an open road, she's determined for Super Schnozz to disappear. Jory takes a job delivering wedding cakes to save up for a nose job at the end of the summer; she even keeps a book filled with magazine cutouts of perfect noses to show the doctor. But nothing is ever easy for accident-prone Jory--and before she knows it, her Summer of Passion falls apart faster than the delivery van she crashes.


This book pretty much put every girls insecurities down on paper. Even though Jory's problems are about her nose and all of her focus is about fixing that problem, every teenage girl can relate to this book. Not only that, but it is quite amusing the predicaments Jory manages to get herself into.

The characters are welled defined and I was not left hanging by any means. It was easy to follow but at the same time very enjoyable. The plot allowed me to sit there and think how this is someone's just seemed so real to me. Even though I was a bit annoyed how some things turned out for her I just chalked it up to life experiences.

All in all I thought this was a good read and one I could definitely pick up again. Sydney Salter did a fantastic job creating this story and make it like I was talking to a best friends who was going through all of this. It was funny and entertaining yet, at other points, serious. This book was a complete package and one you should pick up on your next trip to the bookstore.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shadowed Summer


Summer in Ondine, Louisiana, is always predictable: hot and boring.

Not this one.

This summer, Iris is forteen. This summer, she doesn't have to make up spooky stories for excitement. Because a real one falls into her lap. Years ago, before she was born, a teenage named Elijah disappeared. All that remains of him are whispers. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she's convinced it's the ghost of Elijah.

What really happened? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris.


This book was a quick, easy read and a good one at that. I wouldn't go as far as saying it blew me out of my shoes it was so good, but it was something that kept my interest during one of the long bus rides in Ireland.

The main character, Iris, was probably one of the best things about the book. She can't quite do things on her own and is always with her best friend Collette. A typical young teenager who hasn't seen much outside of her town, she goes looking for things to do and one of them is calling upon the spirits in the local cemetary. I can't really get on her for that one, I have done it! But it is how she grows throughout the book that I really think keeps you interested. She goes from a follower to a leader.

Though I wouldn't rate the book in my top favorites, I do rate it in the top 30. Saundra Mitchell did a great job creating small town life and the secrets many of them hold. Go pick this one up, especially if you are a younger teenager; you will enjoy it.

You Are So Undead To Me


Megan Berry's social life is so dead. Literally.

Fifteen-year-old Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a bunch of dead people with a whole lot of issues.

All Megan wants is to be normal--and go to homecoming, of course. Unfortunately, it's a little hard when your dates keep getting interrupted by a bunch of slobbering Undead.

Things are about to get even worse for Megan. Someone in school is using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into flesh-eating Zombies, and it's looking like homecoming will turn out to be a very different kind of party--the bloody kind.

Megan must stop the Zombie apocalypse descending on Carol, Arkansas. Her life--and more importantly, homecoming--depends on it.


At first, once I finished the book, I wasn't sure what to think. As a matter of fact I am still having trouble putting my thoughts about it into words. I know I loved it, I did not want to put it down and I can not wait for the next installment. Megan, a typical teeanager, just wants to be normal, popular, liked by a boy...oh, and not someone zombie's come to when they are restless.

I think what I loved most about this book is that Stacey Jay took a normal teenage day in the beginning and morphed it into the beginning of the rest of Megan's life. Not only that, but it was such a smooth transition. Everything that needed explaining in this book was explained and I wasn't left wondering in the end about how this or that happened, just what comes next. It was a thrilling read with expected and unexpected twists and turns they left you wanting more.

In a way this book reminded me of Meg Cabot's Mediator Series, another all time favorite. Real life clashes with the unreal but leaves you questioning whether it could actually happen. This is another one you should pick up and keep up with when the next few come out. Stacey Jay did a fantastic job by keeping me wanting more and I am sure she will do the same for you.

Prada and Prejudice


To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?


That's right, you guess it, another book set in the era of Jane Austen. Just when you thought the whole Jane Austen craze had simmered down there comes along another book that has now become another favorite of mine. I am telling you, you can't go wrong when you give me a YA book with a historical setting, romance, and mystery all woven into it.

As far as the book goes, it definately capture my mind as soon as I began to read it. Did not want to put it down, let alone have the story end. Callie, the main character, is right after my own heart. Clumsy, awkward, talks before she thinks, and many other qualities that just kept me laughing and blushing! (In real life it doesn't take much to get me blushing but, when reading, it is a good sign that I am into a book when it evokes that kind of emotion.) Not only did Callie add so much to the story, but so did the other characters like Alex and Emily. Their story was underway long before Callie showed up, she just became another actor in their strict aristocrat lives.

Overall I think this one is worth picking up. Even if you don't enjoy books with historical settings, you will enjoy this one, I promise. Mandy Hubbard did a fantastic job creating Austen-era England, something that must of taken immense research on her part. Not only that, but she has creating chracters that you just fall in love with, whether or not you really want to. So go pick it up on your next trip to your local bookstore, it is being released June 11.

In Your Room


Molly and Charlie have fallen head over heels in love—even though they’ve never met Molly is a fashion-conscious city girl in L.A. Charlie is an earthy, mountain-biking dude from Boulder, Colorado. Each of them has big plans with their respective friends for the summer—until they discover that their parents decided to swap houses!

Luckily there’s no amount of homesickness that a bit of snooping can’t cure. Charlie and Molly begin crawling under beds and poking around in closets to find out a little more about each other—and they like what they find.

Can Charlie and Molly’s long-distance romance survive jealousy, misunderstandings—and the thousand miles between them?
I was excited to read this book. I hadn't heard much about it and I had just stumbled across the author's page one day, but I knew it was definitely my type of book. The summer romance, though not your typical one, is sweet, fun, and lighthearted with a few twists and turns. The idea that families switch homes for a summer was mind boggling to me but then the two teenagers from the family fall for each other, just too perfect!
I think you have all gotten by now I am a sucker for romance, and this book was no exception to that. Though this one wasn't typical in any way, which just drew me in even more. The characters, mainly Charlie and Molly, were so different yet so alike I just had to giggle aloud at some of the things that happened, were said, or were thought.
The book followed the typical layout, all is good and then it goes downhill for a bit and then ends with the butterflies all over again. But it worked for this book and made it an easy read that just left you with a smile. Jordanna Fraiberg did an excellent job weaving these two stories into one and I can not wait to read more from her.

Around the World in 80 Dates


Travel writer Sydney Alexander is ready for one particular journey to end: her frustrating search for a Mr. Right. As a Christian twenty something navigating the weird world of dating, she's encountered more than her share of frogs. From men who can't keep a jo to self-centered professionals, her lackluster dates leave Sydney wondering where the good guys are hiding.

But things are looking way up. Just after landing her dream job, she meets an eligible round of bachelors, including a dashing European, a promising blind date, and a charming coffee-shop wordsmith. Now Sydney will discover just how far she's willing to compromise to land her dream guy.


When I first got the book I was very excited to read it. I hadn't read many reviews on it so I have no preconceived notions about it. The book started out well, I was able to follow the jumps between characters. I also enjoyed the main character, Sydney, very much. Her choice in men, most of the time, not so much.

Even though I did enjoy the plot and the characters I felt as though it got to a point that the book went a little bit too far when it came to being a parallel narrative. It became confusing, as there wasn't any indication who was telling the story until you got a few lines in and could figure it out on your own. Most times, when reading a parallel narrative, the viewpoints are broken up in chapters. However, in 80 Dates, it could flip a couple times within a chapter.

Aside from the broken parallel narrative, I thought the plot was interesting and definitely captured my mind. I didn't expect her to end up with who she did in the end, but, then again, that is the point isn't it? I do suggest picking this book up, though it may take a few sittings to get through to keep stories straight and how everything matches.