Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Published: January 10th 2012

Publisher: Dutton Books
Page Count: Hardcover, 316
Source: Bought
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Find the Author: TwitterWebsite
Buy This Book: AmazonBook Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. - Good Reads

I read this while I was on a blog break last year and wanted to post a review on it, mostly to share the love. This book was absolutely heart breaking. Thinking about it still gets me teary. Mostly because I actually lost a friend to cancer a few months before I read it and she actually was the only real life friend that I had that really loved to read, and she read a lot of YA. It hurts my heart that she'll never get a chance to read it, or any other book for that matter. And the character of Hazel reminded me a lot of my friend as well. Sarcastic and intelligent. The love story in this book is very beautiful and it's just...

Honestly, I don't want to ruin this book for anyone, but the ending surprised me, and I absolutely and completely recommend The Fault In Our Stars. Read it at least once. It's worth it!

And they just started filming for a film adaption! So we can all look forward to shedding tears with complete strangers in a crowded cinema! 

“Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Waiting on Wednesdays is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It puts a spotlight on upcoming releases we're anticipating! 

Release Date: April 15th 2014
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too. - Good Reads

I absolutely loved This Is What Happy Looks Like and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I need to read this NOW! I don't want to wait until April 15th! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Books to Movies Giveaway Hop: Win a book or dvd!

This giveaway hop is sponsored by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and BookHounds

Here is what you can win: 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones) by Cassandra Clare
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

US based giveaway. This is open internationally. International winners can only win a book copy. International winners must be located in a country that The Book Depository ships to! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer

Published: April 23rd 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: Paperback, 320
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Find the Author: TwitterWebsite
Buy This Book: Amazon, Book Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
From Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, comes this romantic comedy about one girl's summer job from hell. Think The Devil Wears Prada set in Disney World.
When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they've hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?
Once Zoe arrives, however, she's assigned to serve "The Queen"-Fairyland's boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.
Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe's job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams? - Good Reads

I have one word for this book: fun. I'm almost bummed I didn't save it for after I finish reading The Book Thief, because I know I'm going to need a pick-me-up! I couldn't resist though.

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True is the perfect fluff read. It had a really unique story that refreshingly centered a lot around the main character and her beautiful appreciation of her best friend and cousin Jess. She's a very selfless character and I found her admirable! The romance was secondary in this book, but very sweet as well. I think what I loved most about this book though was how when I arrived at the "dark moment" I seriously could not see a happy ending anywhere in the horizon, even though I knew it had to be there. Of course the ending was happy, but totally not in the way I expected! There was a big surprise! 

I'd definitely recommend this to those that love the light and fluffy contemporary reads! This fits the bill!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Check This Out: A Giveaway for Flight and Chimes and Mysterious Times

Look at this beautiful cover! This is a Middle Grade novel about a boy named Jack Foster that is coming out in May 2014. MAY 2014! And you have the chance to win it! Go enter over here at The Midnight Garden.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Published: January 3rd 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: Hardcover, 378
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Find the Author: WebsiteTwitterBlog
Buy This Book: Amazon, Book Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.
So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last... - Good Reads

Useless fact: Back in my younger years I was a hardcore fan of figure skating. Irina Slutskaya, Alexei Yagudin, Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze were a few of my faves. I still have almost any competition that ever came on television recorded on VHS and in a box packed away somewhere at my Moms. I totally should have been a figure skater. Unfortunately that didn't work out, so now I just read about them. 

Important facts: Bittersweet is about a girl named Hudson who is a figure skater with a bright future, but when family problems arise, she walks out on it leaving not only her figure skating aspirations behind, but also her best friend. Hudson takes her sorrows out with cupcake making in the family diner. Each chapter has a lovely little cupcake description that will really make you want to experiment in the kitchen or hunt down a cupcake place and eat at least five different kinds. I found myself pausing at the beginning of each chapter and trying to imagine how I could re-create these cupcakes. Mmmm... 

Anyway! Enough about cupcakes! 

So, this book is a very typical Young Adult contemporary. A girl who has fears, a girl who has a dream, young love, etc. I loved the setting and Sarah Ockler is a talent at descriptions and the dialogue was very good. The characters were also snappy, which I like! I think one of my favourite parts about this book was that the main character Hudson is flawed. I don't need a heroine to be the epitome of perfection or to make all of the best moral choices and Hudson makes many choices that are definitely not best-worthy, but the important part is that she learns from them. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Waiting on Wednesdays is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It puts a spotlight on upcoming releases we're anticipating! 

Release Date: April 1st 2014

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because she thought he’d understand since he died young just like her sister, May, did. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people—Janis Joplin, Amy Winhouse, Ameilia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more—although she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about what it’s like going to a new school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time, how her family splinters apart after May dies. She even writes about the abuse she suffered—while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May, and to see her as the person she was: lovely and amazing and deeply flawed. - Good Reads

I love pretty covers and of course that was my original draw to this book, plus the title! And reading the description, it sounds like it's very much up my alley! I can't wait to read it. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meme: Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature/regular meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish!

 Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

I can't wait to see everyone's posts this week! Hopefully I'll learn something new!

1. The Library: Libraries are amazing. I especially love that there are online catalogs. I can log on, download e-books, audio books or I can open up my GoodReads to-read list and search for books I'd like to read and request them! I love going in and having all my books waiting for me. I love libraries, but I don't like imposing on anyone trying to find some peace and quiet in the library with my spawns of uncontrollable noise (my children).

2. BlogLovin'. I recently came back to blogging after a long break and discovered BlogLovin'. I really love the layout of it and I've been subscribing like a madwoman! It's so much better than my Blogger feed! Leave me a link to your blog on BlogLovin' and I'll follow! 

3. RaffleCopter: Makes giveaways incredibly easy peasy. Heck yeah!

4. Kindle: I have moved. A lot. And when I say a lot, I really mean it. In the past year I've lived in Russia for a while, Colorado, Kansas and then we finally drove our car to Virginia and settled here last month and it's not out of the cards that we might leave the country again in the next year. My Kindle really keeps me happy because my books stay with me and not left behind because they are too bulky or heavy to drag along. I did have a dark moment last year with my Kindle though. It died completely on me in Moscow at my cousins right before a flight to New York. It was very, very sad. I wouldn't be lying if I said I might have shed a tear or two.

5. GoodReads: As I mentioned in #1, Goodreads. I'm 100% sure anyone reading this post is aware of GR since it's such a valuable website for those of us who love to read. It's great for keeping track of what you have read and what you would like to read. Before I read a book I always go to GoodReads and check the rating. Most of the time I scroll down and see what some of the people on my friends list had to say before/during or after I've read. I love exchanging opinions with others on what I've read and that is why I began book blogging. 

6. Twitter: If you do not have a twitter account, wait no longer. Go sign up! It's so, so important if you want to keep up with other bloggers, authors, publishing companies, etc. People tweet book news, news relevant to the books, giveaways, reviews, etc. Tons of great material to be had there, as well as a chance to spread the word of your blog! I have had some really fun conversations on twitter!

7. and The Book Depository: is where I go for all my e-books, of course. I also sometimes buy used books there as well. For instance, my IRL bestie needs to read Vampire Academy or else we decided last night on the phone, so I hopped over to Amazon while we were talking and ordered it for her for $4. Total. With shipping! The Book Depository ships to many, many countries for free. And sometimes the deals there are really good. I love using them for giveaways, because it opens up the giveaways to international readers because the shipping is free and therefor affordable!

8. Calendar: I'm no longer planning on really bogging myself down with ARCS, because that is a part of what burnt me out and caused me to take a break. Now I only request on NetGalley if I really want to read something and not because I feel I have to to keep up or be successful or what have you. But for those requests, a calendar can be a very useful tool in reminding you when you post a review. Especially helpful if you use Blogger, because my schedule post "helper" has been acting like a dick lately and I have to double check it posts because it's so unreliable. 

9. Nap Time: I'm running out of helpful suggestions, so I'll definitely say that for those of us who have children, nap time is a very beneficial time to get in some blogging and reading!

10. Coffee: The energy it gives is undeniable! And one of my favourite things to do upon waking is to get a cup and sit at my laptop to see what's new with all the blogs I love to read! 

Link me your Top Ten Tuesdays! I want to see! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Published: May 14th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Page Count: Hardcover, 297
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Find the Author: Twitter, Blog, Tumblr
Buy This Book: Amazon, Book Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.
Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.
Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 
Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as theNew York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance! - Good Reads

Based on my previous experience with Rachel, I knew I had to grab this book. I loved her Hex Hall trilogy. And this book even managed to exceed my expectations! The first few pages of a book are almost always tough for me to get through. Usually once I make it past, no one can pry the book away from my face, which is what happened with School Spirits.

Rachel Hawkins is a fabulous writer. Buckets full of green envy splurges out of me when I read her books, because she has such a knack for writing humour and banter! 

I absolutely loved Izzy. I found it very easy to relate to her despite us being wildly different. You know, since I haven't had the opportunity to kill any monsters and the lack of red hair. I loved Izzy's development throughout the book and I found the relationship between Izzy and her Mother to be a very nice touch to the overall storyline as well. 

The romance of the book was nice and light. As usual, I'm always shipping the "wrong couple". But seriously, Izzy + Torin = THEY NEED TO GET TOGETHER RIGHT NOW! MAKE IT HAPPEN! I'm serious. 

I would recommend School Spirits to those that enjoy a lighter paranormal read laced with plenty of humour and romance. Please read it and tell me I'm not the only one daydreaming about Izzy and Torin ending up together! 

UPDATE: I was under the impression that there would be more than one book. After further investigation I have discovered that this will be the only book. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2) by Suzanne Young

A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2) by Suzanne Young

Published: June 26th 2012
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Page Count: Hardcover, 282
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Find the Author: BlogTwitterFacebook
Buy This Book: AmazonBook Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf

Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is. 

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.
Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really? - Good Reads

Second books are often a big slump, but not this one! I liked reading A Need So Beautiful, but I felt it was too rushed for me to truly love the characters like I could have and I was disappointed it felt so short. I might not have been so harsh in my review had I known it would continue into this book. I barely skimmed the blurb before diving in, and I assumed it was about a different Forgotten, and that Charlotte and Harlin's story was over. It is so not over! and I now officially have Harlin fever! This book also featured a lot of character growth and a more in-depth look at the characters from the last book and their back stories, though it still felt much too short, just like the first book in this series. Seriously, Suzanne - WRITE MORE! YOU'RE KILLING ME! 

I have to say that, despite the shortness of the book, I still couldn't put it down. It was glued to my face until I finished! I'd definitely recommend this to those that are drawn to paranormals that contain angels - while the A Need So Beautiful series isn't about an angel in the classical sense, it is very similar, but without an almighty deity, religious structure or wings.

                                                          5 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink

Waiting on Wednesdays is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It puts a spotlight on upcoming releases we're anticipating! 

Release Date: November 14th 2013

Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.
The voodoo business.
Part of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaid’s run an underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in the family store, but she has a secret.
She doesn’t believe.
Struggling to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans – and voodoo – when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s powerful founding family.
But when a mysterious customer places an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s more to voodoo – and the families that make up the Guild – than meets the eye.
Including her own. - Good Reads

As she bands together with the other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly enemy – and the disbelief that may very well kill her.

I adore Michelle Zink and her writing and I'm really looking forward to this book! I'm actually not even that interested in voodoo and normally I'd probably skip over that subject, but because Michelle wrote it, it's a must-read! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Review: A Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful #1) by Suzanne Young

A Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful #1) by Suzanne Young

Published: June 21st 2011
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Page Count: Hardcover, 267
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Find the Author: BlogTwitter, Facebook
Buy This Book: Amazon, Book Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...
Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences. - Good Reads

I've been enchanted by this cover since this came out and it's always sounded like it's right up my alley, and I've had in my possession more than a few times, but it always ended up going back to the library without being read for various reasons.  

A Need So Beautiful is about a girl named Charlotte who has "The Need", which are random compulsions to talk or help someone. It's definitely in the angel realm of books, which I really love! 

Charlotte's character was likable enough as were the supporting characters: her best friend, foster family and her boyfriend Harlin. I liked that she had an existing boyfriend. When I read books, I often expect a romance to unfold within the book - it bodes well for feeling invested in the romance, but in this one it did work well for the story. This is a story about Charlotte and the struggles she needs to overcome, not just Charlotte and Harlin and their love, even though he is a great addition to the book.  

I think that the biggest issue I had with this book is the length. A Need So Beautiful could have been much more fleshed out. It felt very short and rushed. Had it been longer, I think I could have rated it much higher. Despite feeling rushed though, it did bring me to tears towards the end and was touching.

I am definitely interested in reading the next book, A Want So Wicked. I'll be picking that up next. 

                                                 3 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

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