Current Giveaways:

None :(

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011 (2)

Is it just me or were there a ton of awesomely wonderful fantabulous great books released in 2011? No, it wasn't just me. To express my immense love for the marvelous books I've read this year, I decided to start doing posts that each feature one of my favorite books if 2011. These posts will come at random times. The books that I choose to feature are in no particular order of how much I love them.

The book I chose this time is...

What did you think of this book? Leave your thoughts in comments and leave links to your review of it :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Team Max!

As you guys probably know, the girls over at YA Sisterhood are hosting the YA Heroine Tourney. Well guess what! I'm an advocate! I am supporting Max from the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. She was 25th seed, but I have confidence in my girl!! But I can't do it alone! Please do me a favor. Grab a Team Max button and vote for her when the time comes!

Don't like any of those? Feel free to make your own! But let's all vote for Max :)

Trailer Time!

I love this trailer sooooo much! It's creepy and complete awesomeness! Fracture is a book I've heard great things about and I cannot wait to read. I have it on NetGalley and I am super excited!

Fracture by Megan Miranda

Fracture has an amazing premise and I can't wait to read it. It is being released on January 17th.

What do you think of the trailer? Does it make you want the book NOW? Have you already read it? DID YOU LOVE IT!?!?!? Let me know :D

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? (2)

This weekly meme is hosted by Book Journey.


*Frozen by Robin Wasserman (Check out my review!)
*Hushed by Kelley York (Review coming sometime closer to release date)
*Pyxis by KC Neal (Check out my review!)
*Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (Review coming sometime closer to release date)

Not too bad! I finished almost all of the books I wanted to, and I am slightly ahead on my TBR pile.


*Insight by Jamie Magee
*Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
*Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
*Gone by Michael Grant

I'm really excited for all of these! I hope I finish them all this week :)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frozen by Robin Wasserman (REVIEW)

Frozen by Robin Wasserman
Series: Cold Awakening Trilogy #1
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: eBook
Pages: 368
Source: Simon Pulse It

The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn't supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn.

And it wasn't supposed to ruin her life.

Lia knows she should be grateful she didn't die in the accident. The Download saved her--but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents' eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can't deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She's not the same person she used to be.

Maybe she's not even a person at all. ( - There are a ton of different summaries, so I just chose the one I thought was best :D)

Scott Westerfeld blurbed this book and I knew I had to read it. I pretty much read any book he blurbs, and he hasn't steered me wrong yet.

I didn't like this book. I LOVED IT. I was hooked from the very beginning. Wasserman has provided the world with a book that has marvelous writing, an original concept, and emotional depth. I was completely sucked into the world of Frozen, and I never wanted to leave!

I love the premise! It's unique and not at all confusing, which is always a plus. When books begin to go too in-depth about the wiring in our brains and whatnot in too little time, I feel like I'm going to explode! But in this, the main character Lia didn't completely understand the "downloading" herself, so as she learned, we learned. I feel like a story like this could go in a lot of negative directions, yet it was executed very well! The pacing was very natural. Nothing happened neither too fast nor too slow. And since the majority of this book is made up of emotions, even when there is not a lot of action, it is still interesting!  

Lia's a bitch. That much is obvious from the get-go. She's selfish, rude, stubborn, and, as one of the other characters likes to point out, she's very good at running away when times get tough. And yet, as the story progressed, I began to really like her. It's hard not to! She's so real. She's very relatable, even if you don't want to be anything like her. The desire to be pretty and popular and loved lurks in the heart of teenage girls everywhere, even if you don't succumb to it. Lia loses everyone she loves and everything she has ever worked for in her life. It's impossible not to feel horrible for her. People want to kill her. She's not even sure if she has a soul. She just wants to find out who she is - what she is. One thing I liked about her, though, is that she has a big heart for the ones she loves. She may not be good at expressing it, but you can tell she'd do anything for them. Even if she doesn't realize she's doing it for them. Needless to say, I felt very connected to Lia. Her narration had a melancholy, yet very determined tone to it.

The other characters I liked, too. Everything about Auden just depressed me. I didn't particularly love him, but there's something pathetic about him that makes me so sad. I loved Jude. Maybe I don't love him in the way I love Jace or Adrian Ivashkov, but I still love him. He's a total jerk who doesn't give a crap about anything or anyone. Nobody really knows anything about his past before the "download" because he refuses to speak about it, and when anyone brings the past up he gets all touchy and tells them it is irrelevant. He's the type of character I can't wait to see cracked open and exposed. I'm definitely hoping that the next book will have more of him!

There's not really any romantic focuses in this book. Romance is mentioned. Some of the characters have crushes, others are hooking up behind every one's back, the is some needy kissing. But none of the story really revolves around any of the romance. And it's a testament to how much I love the book when I say that romance wasn't necessary. This book was a lot more about Lia discovering who she is that who's pants she wants to crawl into.

I seriously loved this book and I need to get my hands on the sequel - PRONTO! It's something fresh and exciting and offers a nice break from paranormal. The F-word is thrown around casually and frequently, and there are references to sex, but nothing too horrible that would make you want to avert your eyes.

This book was originally called Skinned, and was released in 2009. Simon Pulse renamed it, gave it a new cover, and re-released it this year.

In My Mailbox (10) - The Linkedy Edition

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren!


I didn't do an IMM last week for two reasons. 1) I was too lazy *sheepish glance around* and 2) I barely had anything to show. But I do this week :) Oh, and the reason it is The Linkedy Edition is because all the titles link to Goodreads now!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - Thanks a billion to BookAHolics Anonymous for giving this to me :) I've heard awesome things about it and I can't wait to read it!

Eon's Door by J.G. McKenney - Received for review from the author!

Gone by Michael Grant - Borrowed from my teacher :p Heard so much awesomeness I decided I must read it. I will be reading it once I finish Incarnate.

New Girl by Paige Harbison - eARC from NetGalley

Hushed by Kelley York - eARC from Netgalley. I requested it once but got rejected. Desperate, I requested it again and got accepted. Already read it - LOVED. My review will be up close to release date.

Life Is But a Dream by Brian James - eARC from NetGalley. SOO EXCITED. The cover is gorgeous and the concept sounds super cool.

Street Dreams by Tama Wise - eARC from NetGalley. What can I say? I'm a sucker for M/M relationships.

Insight by Jamie Magee - Received for Image blog tour.

Embody by Jamie Magee - Received for Image blog tour.

Image by Jamie Magee - Received for Image blog tour.

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott - eARC from NetGalley. AHHH. I'm soooo siked for this, guys! I use to read Zoe's blog (Sadly, I don't have much blog reading time anymore) and I remember when this came out in the UK (I think it was UK), and I was like I WANT THAT BOOK. BUT NO. CAN'T HAVE IT. I got it!!!


I got a BUNCH of Pretty Tough swag, which I won with 2 Pretty Tough books over at Princess Bookie's Contest Craze. The books came before the swag, so they were in my last IMM. There was SO much. Stickers, cards, bookmarks...!

And, a Signed Hunted ( by DJ DeSmyter) postcard, which Ashley from BookAHolics Anonymous included with Between Shades of Gray! Thanks again, Ashley.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (REVIEW)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer my Michelle Hodkin

Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication date: Sep. 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 452
Source: Purchased
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong. (

This book has been hyped up to the freakin stars. All I hear about was how creepy and amazing it is. Now, I feel like all you Mara Dyer fanatics are going to lobotomize me for disagreeing. Don't get me wrong, this book is enjoyable, I just wouldn't rank it among the best of 2011. I'm still not sure whether I really, truly liked it or not. Many times, I was incredibly frustrated with the book and wanted to beat my head against the wall. But it is so oddly enticing and I had to keep reading.

Let's start with the thing that annoyed me the most: the dialogue. I get that people say weird things to each other. That's not what bothered me. I loved the little things like saying "'twas" instead of "it was,." and "you got some 'splaining to do". But not everything in life is bickering back and forth. Because that's what about 80% of the dialogue was - bickering. Don't get me wrong again, I like me some witty retorts, but not if that was ALL THE CHARACTERS USED TO SPEAK. It drove me to the brink of insanity. Also, there were a lot of unnecessary things in the dialogue as well that Michelle Hodkin could have found a much better way to incorporate into the story. For instance, there's a point where Jamie says, "But you're not going to listen to your black Jewish bi friend." Not those EXACT words, but somewhere along those lines. I mean, really? There was no other way you could have pointed those things out rather than blatantly saying it? And the fact that he is Jewish - totally unimportant.

Then, there are the characters themselves. I don't really mind them. Mara has her moments when I really liked her. Funny, smart, and willing to do what it took to get the information she craved. She was also very relatable. When something went wrong, she freaked out. She got annoyed and frustrated and upset. She made a lot of mistakes. She just wanted to fit in. But, in my opinion, she never did anything particularly mind-blowing. I never had that moment where I was like, "Wow, this chick is awesome."

And of course, Noah. Noah Shaw. I've heard so much wonderfulness about dear Noah. I heard him compared to the almighty Jace Wayland - by one of the girls at Mundie Moms. That's saying so very much about Noah Shaw. I was prepared for ultimate swoonage. It brings me enormous pain to say that while there were many instances where he had me grinning like a fool, I did not fall head over heels for him. I'm not sure I can even explain why, he just didn't do it for me. There were times when I did love him. He could be sweet and funny and he offered constant support for Mara, but I kind of felt like I didn't know him. I knew about him, but I didn't know him.

The other characters were great! I loved Mara's family. Daniel and Joseph especially. Daniel had that typical older brother thing going for him where he always gave his little sister a hard time while simultaneously having her back at all costs. A lot of people say that Mara's mom annoyed them, but I think it was good. Considering what Mara went through, it's nice to see a parent that cares.

I loved the plot at first. I was immediately hooked with the spooky prologue and the mysterious things that kept happening to Mara, but it began to sag for me. There were very few answers, and the answers that were given were slightly confusing. Some of the parts didn't seem all that important to include. And the ending? I have no idea what happened there. No idea at all. This book wasn't as mysterious as I anticipated, either. I heard it was really spooky, and the trailer looks really spooky! But alas, I was not very spooked. Also, one of the main things that intrigued me was the fact that Mara Dyer's name isn't really Mara Dyer. Guess what more we learn about that little fact.


But it was that last sentence that killed me, because HELLO - mystery and creepiness re-sparked. That last sentence is what will leave me hanging on my seat for the next book. That last sentence is what boosted the rating for this book.

I did enjoy this book, though not as much as most of the people I know of. I found myself getting irritated yet addicted. And even though I didn't enjoy this as much as I would have liked, I know a ton of people will LOVE it. I think it may have been the hype that has me so disappointed. I was expecting much more.
But this trailer is absolutely amazing!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pyxis by K.C. Neal (Blog Tour: Review + Kindle Giveaway)

Pyxis by K.C. Neal
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication date: Nov. 4, 2011
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Format: eARC
Pages: 216
Source: Author - Thanks, Ms. Neal!

Two worlds.... One 16-year-old girl must learn to protect them both. The nightmares haunting Corinne and her friend Mason hint at a universe that exists beyond the one they know. Her destiny is to protect a weakness between the two worlds, but the person who was supposed to teach her how is dead. As Corinne and Mason search for answers, she tries to ignore the sparks igniting between them, but can't deny she feels safe only when he's nearby. Will they find help before their nightmares break free?(

Pyxis was a quick and quirky read, something light to pick up and read to take your mind off of important things. And though it was far from perfection - like many things are - I still really enjoyed it!

As a person who loves to bake, I was pleasantly surprised when the opening sentence was about a bake sale. And then I discovered that the pastries were magical. I was hooked. The beginning is full of allure. Original magical aspects are introduced, mysterious dreams are haunting Corinne, and the guy she really likes is coming back from a very long trip - the only problem is that he totally played her before leaving. It's all good and drama-fied. But I think it starts to flop a little. Not much is really answered about Corinne and her friends' roles with the pyxis. There's not much of a climax. The ending is left wide open.

Now that I got all of the negative out of the way, let me move on to the positive.

There was Corinne. She was a little slow to understand and accept things, but she was sweet and funny and fun to read. There was Mason who is totally amazing. He's sweet and hot and smart...and...and...just amazing. And of course, Ang. She was totally innocent and adorable, and I wish she would have been in the picture more.

The relationship between Mason and Corinne was slow and sweet. There wasn't a large amount, and it wasn't instaluv. Their relationship/friendship had issues that needed to be worked out. At first, those issues were ignored, but then they are addressed. After things are resolved there is no "OMG, I LURVE YA FOREVZ. WE'RE SO PERF." Thank the heavens. Things are still in a very beginning stage, which is okay. That's what works for those two characters.

All in all, this book was a very sweet read. While it is not going to haunt my thoughts, I will be looking forward to the sequel! There are still a lot of questions that I have no doubt will be answered in the next book. And a romance I expect to progress!

To check out the rest of the stops, you can go here. Thanks so much to K.C. Neal for hosting me and allowing me to be a part of this awesome tour! Also, K.C. is holding a huge giveaway for a Kindle.

Good luck to you all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Book Journey.


*The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (My review)
*The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (review coming soon)

Eeep! I only finished 2! But I was at my friends house all weekend so...


*Frozen by Robin Wasserman
*Hushed by Kelley York
*Pyxis by K.C. Neal
*Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
*Enchanted by Rachel Wells

That's a lot to finish this week, but I'm already partially through Pyxis, Enchanted, and Frozen, and I'm on Thanksgiving break from school!

Did anyone else notice that all the books I plan to read this week only have one word for a title? Hmm.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011 (1)

Is it just me or were there a ton of awesomely wonderful fantabulous great books released in 2011? No, it wasn't just me. To express my immense love for the marvelous books I've read this year, I decided to start doing posts that each feature one of my favorite books if 2011. These posts will come at random times. The books that I choose to feature are in no particular order of how much I love them.

The first book that I choose is....

What did you think of this book? Leave your thoughts in comments and leave links to your review of it :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

2012 Debut Author Challenge

The DAC is hosted by Kirsti at The Story Siren. To learn more about it, visit her blog. I am really excited to be participating in this, because I saw the 2011 DAC all over the place and I was upset that I didn't start blogging in time to sign up.

These are some 2012 debuts I hope to read:

1. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
2. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
4. Fracture by Megan Miranda
5. The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg
6. Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
7. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
8. Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
9. When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen
10. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
11. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
12. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
13. Croak by Gina Damico
14. Slide by Jill Hathaway
15. Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
16. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
17. Struk by Jennifer Bosworth
18. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
19. Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
20. Level Two by Lenore Appelhans

Some of those I have on NetGalley, others I just have on my wishlist! I doubt I'll read all of those, but...fingers crossed! And good luck to everyone else taking part in the fun :)

Cicada by Belle Whittington (Blog tour: Guest post)

What are five I'd want with me on a deserted island, and what would I do with them?

If I were to find myself unfortunately marooned on a deserted island, I would like to have with me Bear Grylls, because then I'd be assured that I would survive the whole horrible ordeal. But Bear Grylls is not an item, he's an adventurer, so I suppose I can't have him on my "Deserted Island Wish List."

Just thinking about this actually makes me want to cry and rush to the nearest spa for a massage. But I must press on and complete the assignment and stop all this hemming and hawing. So, if I were to marooned on a deserted island, here are the top five things I would want to have with me:

5. Buckbeak the Hippogryff (So I could fly home)

4. A Pistol With Plenty of Ammo (In case Buckbeak wouldn't let me ride him, I would need this so I could not only protect myself from Buckbeak, but also shoot wild game. I don't do hand-to-hand combat of any kind...)

3. A First Aid Kit (So I can tend to any injuries I might have sustained...especially if I have been attacked by Buckbeak or have shot myself in the foot!)

2. A Satellite Cell Phone (So I could call for help for someone to come save me from Buckbeak!)

1. A Book About How to Survive Being Marooned on a Deserted Island (In case the phone doesn't work, I can find out if eating Buckbeak might be hazardous to my health!)

Well, that about sums it up! Perhaps I should have just requested to have a magic lamp with a genie who would issue me three wishes! LOL!


Thank you so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog and giving me a chance to share a little silliness with your readers!

I hope everyone will stop by any or all of my social networking sites and say "hi!"

You can find me at these places:
Good luck to all of those who are entering the contests and giveaways along the way on this wonderful blog tour!


Check out and purchase Cicada.

Also, make sure you check out all of the other stops on the tour and comment on them for the chance to win these gorgeous items:


Thank you so much to Bree @ The Magic Attic for hosting this awesome tour and allowing me to be a part of it. Don't forget to visit all of the other stops and comment to gain entries into the grand prize giveaway and check Bree's blog on the 21st to see the winner announcement!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Enchanted by Rachel Wells (Blog tour: Excerpt)

"How’s working with your grandma, Mandy?" Henry asked, all eyes and attention suddenly averted to Mandy.

"Um, not bad, really," Mandy answered, wanting to crawl underneath the nearest rock. It was easier to sit here and not talk then it was to have all ears turned towards her.

"Learning any trade secrets?" Henry pushed.

"Trade secrets? What, you mean like how to cut the stems at an angle to give them a longer life?" Mandy shot back, confused.

Jack snorted under his breath, but Henry went on, "No, you know what they say about your grandma…"

"No, I don’t. Why don’t you enlighten me?"

Henry looked at Jack and Mandy thought she saw Ally shake her head slightly in his direction. It was quiet for a moment before he continued. "Have you ever heard of Mary Nasson?"

"I don’t think so," Mandy shook her head.

"Well, your grandma, so then you too, are supposed to be a descendent of hers."

"And?" Mandy asked perplexed.

"And Mary Nasson was supposedly a witch here in York in the 1700’s."

"An herbalist, actually," Steve corrected quietly.

All eyes flew to Mandy’s face to look for some sign of confirmation or denial or shock.

Mandy gasped a bit, speechless and stunned. "A witch? C’mon guys, there’s no such thing!" A nervous laugh escaped her mouth. The laughter sounded false and too high, but the rest took Mandy’s cue and tried to laugh it off as well. All except Henry. His face was solemn, firm even.

He shook his head and then answered, "Isn’t there? Grampa is convinced your grandma knows more than she lets on. He goes to your grandma’s shop every week to buy yellow daisies because he believes they bring him luck. He believes your grandma does something to those damn flowers, like casts a spell or something. He insists it’s true, and he insists your grandma is well aware of what she is."

Mandy stared at Henry, grasping for something to say. Was he serious? What was going on here? She felt she was on the verge of matching up a puzzle piece to the confusing week suddenly. Her brain was struggling frantically to find the piece and to find her something to say so that could quit staring at Henry like a simpleton. Finally another awkward laugh slipped out, shocking Mandy. She reached up to cover her mouth, surprised that it was her own voice she heard laughing. "Good one Henry!" she exclaimed, still laughing and shaking her head. "How’d you know I like ghost stories?"

Henry’s eyes burned into her face, but finally a smile crept over his face and he joined in the laughter.

Mandy is a quiet teenager who just wants to blend in with the crowd rather than stand out as anything or anybody. Mandy's pretty successful at this until her parents decide it's time to move from Boston to the quiet seaside town of York Beach, Maine, to "be closer to Nana". Although Mandy has been vacationing in York every summer since she was a child, she has no desire to live there and is worried about fitting in and finding friends during her senior year of high school.

Nana owns a flower shop in town and while working alongside her, Mandy makes a few friends and observes the oddities of the little town and its inhabitants. When she finds some old and cryptic correspondance hidden inside an antique trunk handed down from her Nana, the "oddities" turn into full fledged mysteries. As she unravels the forgotten and hidden history of the town, she simultaneously unravels her own family's past and current secrets while writing her future. With bits of romance and paranormal along the way, she is able to figure out the puzzle of the correspondance, the magic she never realized was surrounding her, and visions of the past and future. Will she walk away from her personal history and her future or will she realize it's ok to be somebody, even if that somebody is nothing like everybody else? (

Thanks so much to Bree @ The Magic Attic for hosting this tour and allowing me to participate. And don't forget to go HERE tomorrow and check out the next stop! There are tons of awesome posts on thetour, like giveaway and guest posts. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Destined by Jessie Harrell
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication date: Nov. 17, 2011
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell. (


Uh, hello gorgeous cover! That alone makes me want to read this book. But, I loooove the myth of Cupid and Psyche. That is probably my all time favorite myth. The first time I ever read it, I cried. I want to read this book sooo bad!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (ARC REVIEW)

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (The Pledge #1)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication date: Nov. 15, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Format: eARC
Pages: 321
Source: Galley Grab

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime. (

The Pledge was a very enjoyable read. It had flaws, but not enough to deter me from really getting into the book.

The writing was excellent. This was the first thing I have ever read by Kimberly Derting, and though I have heard fabulous things about her Body Finder series, I was still pleasantly surprised. The descriptions were so elegant and beautiful and I could picture every single thing in my head. However, where Derting exceeded in descriptions, she lacked in emotional value. I think that was what stopped me from falling in love with this book. Charlie was a pretty good character. I liked her. She had an unwavering loyalty to her little sister, she was determined to get some damn answers, she was stubborn as can be. But I just could not connect with her.

Usually, if I don't connect with a character then I can't stay interested in the book. But the plot was fast-paced and full of shocking, gasp-worthy twists that I would not have seen coming for the life of me. There were a lot of times when my jaw dropped and I was like, "WHAAAAAT!?" It was fun and exciting, which resulted in a quick read.

The world-building was a little iffy and unbelievable, but it was unique and intriguing. I'm looking forward to the next book when the whole world is flipped upside down. What I thought was really cool was that it was that the world was pretty close to our world today, aside from the whole oppressive society situation. A lot of the lingo was the same, the technology was the same...stuff like that.

I am really on the fence about the romance, though. At first I thought it was completely unconvincing. Charlie and Max had an undeniable connection...blah blah blah. Instaluv...blah blah blah. There was no foundation for their relationship...blah blah blah. But then it's not what I expected it to be like. The two characters weren't spewing cheesy romantic lines that made me want to vomit. In fact, the "L word" was not used between them once. I still see no reason why Max felt so strongly about Charlie. I feel like it was instaluv on his side of the relationship, whereas Charlie's feelings progressed quite naturally, beginning with mere attraction. I loved that she wasn't willing to jump at his every command and that most of the time she deliberately defied him. I would have like to have seen more reasons why Max was so "intrigued" by Charlie and why he was willing to throw away everything for her.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was gripping and exciting with beautifully crafted sentences. I cannot wait until the next book!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble (ARC REVIEW)

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication date: Dec. 27, 2011
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Format: ARC
Pages: 337
Source: Borrowed from Brent @ The Naughty Book Kitties
Some people spend their whole lives looking for the right partner. Nate Schaper found his in high school. In the eight months since their cautious flirting became a real, honest, tell-the-parents relationship, Nate and Adam have been inseparable. Even when local kids take their homophobia to brutal levels, Nate is undaunted. He and Adam are rock solid. Two parts of a whole. Yin and yang.

But when Adam graduates and takes an Off-Broadway job in New York—at Nate’s insistence—that certainty begins to flicker. Nate starts a blog to vent his frustrations and becomes the center of a school controversy, drawing ire and support in equal amounts. But it is the attention of a new boy who is looking for more than guidance that forces him to confront who and what he really wants.

J.H. Trumble’s debut, DON’T LET ME GO, is a witty, beautifully written novel that is both a sweet story of love and long-distance relationships, and a timely discourse about bullying, bigotry, and hate in high schools.

I'm not sure what I expected from Don't Let Me Go, but I didn't get it - I got more. TEN TIMES MORE. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh!!!!! This book is, like, three billion different kinds of perfect. It goes where few YA books dare to go, and goes there SO GOOD. I seriously haven't stopped thinking about it since I started it! It was stunning and heart-breaking and so painfully real.

I feel this book will definitely bring many people out of their comfort zones. It touches on subjects that people generally shy away from: homosexuality, parental abuse, prejudice, extreme bigotry and bullying, and loooooots of sex. But I think anyone who has enough balls to pick this book up and read it will fall head over heels for it like I have. I read the first paragraph and I was GONE. I was done for. Totally hooked. I kept making my dad mad because I would stay up too late on school nights to read it. I kept making my teachers mad because I wouldn't stop reading while they were trying to teach. I kept making my friends mad because I put in my headphones and ignored them while I read it. I loved it that much.

The plot was great, obviously, but what really made the book for me was the characters and the emotional punch that they packed.

There is Nate,  and he has some serious issues. His dad pretty much disowned him when he came out of the closet (but he was a total douche long before that); his boyfriend (AND SOUL MATE!!!!) moved to New York to take an acting job that sucked up all of his time and involved other hot gay guys that were frequently naked or shirtless and totally crushing on him; Nate is still kind of recovering from some intense emotional damage and trauma; and everyday he goes to school he has to face passionate protesters and homophobes. He gets jealous easily, has a tendency to hurt himself,  and he doesn't believe in himself at all. But he's so sweet and strong and determined, and I loved him so much. Even when I hated him.

Then there was Adam. We don't see a lot of present-Adam, because he is off in New York pretty much throughout the entire novel, but we do see past-Adam who is crazy and funny and sweet and one hundred percent dedicated to Nate.

Danial was awesome. Just totally and completely awesome. He was hilarious and supportive (and a MAJOR tease!!!). First, he was there for Nate. He stuck around and protected him throughout everything. Even when it meant that he had to withstand the criticism and spite. Even when boundaries were crossed. Even when people thought he was gay as well, even though he was "straight as an arrow." Then, when he felt that Nate no longer needed him, he was there for Luke. AND BOY DO I HAVE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT LUKE. I didn't mind him at first. Sure, he was slightly creepy and a tad pathetic, but it was so easy to feel bad for him. He'd never had a boyfriend before and he was freshly embracing his sexual orientation. But then. Oh oh oh oh, thennnnnn. Not only does he begin to border on pathetic (because HELLO everyone could tell that Nate and Adam were going to be together forevzzzz!!!!!) but he does something completely unforgivable. I'm not heartless, so I still feel HORRIBLE for certain events that involved him, but I hate him. I really do.

All of the more minor characters were great as well. There were Adam's parents with their unwavering support and kindness, Nate grandmother who decides she needs to learn more about what gay people do, Juliet who was sort of a walking contradiction to herself (one minute she was throwing herself at Nate, and the next she was talking about how perfect Adam and Nate were for each other and how they were obviously meant for each other), and Mr. Wolf who dealt with a lot of shit from Nate and still supported him.

The writing was absolutely stunning. It has a way of sucking you in and twisting your emotions. I loved it. I couldn't get enough. There were scenes that should have made me uncomfortable, but were just amazing and perfect and great. Nothing is sugar-coated. It is all stated blatantly. The progress of the novel is natural and smooth and that's what adds to the relentless realness of this book.

I will be reading more of Trumble's work.

playlist is in the back of the book and J.H. Trumble even wrote which scene that song described.

This book was just fabulous. Easily glided it's way into my favorite books of 2011 (maybe EVER). I loved it so much. SO FREAKING MUCH. And I need more of it. I will be buying the final copy, and I will be reading it over and over and over again. Reader discretion is advised. Like I said, nothing is sugar-coated, and though it is a YA novel, and though I am only 15 and I FREAKING ADORED IT,  would definitely say this is more fitting for older readers. But seriously, swipe away any hesitation you have of reading this book and just crack it open. I promise you that you will not regret it, and I believe that with every fiber of my being.