Thursday, March 29, 2012

Follow Friday #11

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read

Q: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

A: Absolutely. Right now I am reading about 5 books and have started about 3 more. I have real ADD with books. Once I am really into one though, I finish that one then go to the others. Generally it takes me about about 1/3 of the book to really get into it for me to call it my one an only for the time being. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #9 The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly 
event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that
we're eagerly anticipating.

The Little Woods

Are the woods behind St. Bede's Academy really haunted, or does bad stuff just happen there? When Calista Wood, a new student, arrives midway through her junior year, St. Bede's feels like a normal school . . . until she discovers that a girl had disappeared a couple of months earlier. Some kids think she ran away, others think she was murdered, but it's only when Cally starts digging around that she finds the startling truth.

Watch as Cally enters a world of privilege, weekend-long parties, high school romances, and . . . well-kept secrets. This page-turner will appeal to teens looking for a fast-paced thriller. Written in a voice at once gripping and crystal clear, debut novelist, McCormick Templeman, will take readers on a twisting and turning journey as only a "new girl" can experience. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #4

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Bloggers choose two sentences out our current read to peak others' curiosity. 

Teaser #1 Cinder by Marissa Meyer Page 324

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

She snatched the old foot from the shelf - the small, rusted thing she'd woken up with after her operation, when she was a confused, unloved, eleven-year-old girl. She'd sworn to never put it on again, but at this moment it might have been made of crystal for how precious it looked to her.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins   location 1289

Anna and the French Kiss

Memories from earlier this week- sitting next to St. Clair in the dark theater, his leg against mine, the look that passed between us-flood back in and fill me with shame. The more I've thought about it, the more I'm convinced nothing happened.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mailbox Monday #10

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

Everlasting (The Immortals, #6)  Parties & Potions (Magic in Manhattan, #4)  Under the Never Sky 


Malice Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits, #1)The Rock Star's Daughter (Treadwell Academy, #1)Rowan: Kelly Foster (Volume 1)Across the GalaxySmitten (Zerrin, #1)The Selkie SpellSkeleton Lake (Skeleton Lake, #1)

Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)
Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
 Publishing Date: January 31st 2012
Pages: 364
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Series: Article 5 #1
Source: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.
Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.


I have had my eye on this book. Dystopian is the rage right now and I am ok with that. This one had a great premise. Freedom being completely taken away and new articles to the Bill of Rights, which is now known as the Moral Statutes, in place.

This book really got to me. Article 5 is about an article restricting children born outside of wedlock.

The main character, Ember, is the daughter of a single mom who never married. Even though this happened before Article 5 was in place, the soldiers come and take Ember’s mom to jail and Ember to a reform school.

Ember had to grow on me as a character, I am still not sure how I feel about her. Even though she is very stubborn, she starts off weak. She has a hard time understanding and coming to terms with the way her world really is. She wants to believe things are not as bad as they seem. When she finally comes to the realization that nothing is at it seems she finds a way to wake up and do something about it. In the end she has grown strong but she still seems a little naïve to me. I am looking forward to Ember growing more in the next installment.

I am all about Chase. He seems a bit of a jerk at the start, but for good reason. Once I was really able to know Chase, he grabbed my heart. He is brave, intelligent, and loyal to the right people. He’s one of the hero’s of story and really easy to love.

The story was a little bit slow at times, but it didn’t take away from the story at all. Even though it was seemed slow there was always something going on, every time Ember escaped from one situation there was another right behind it. I really enjoyed the story. There were so many opportunities to really think and wonder about the situation. The writing was vivid and full of emotions. The characters have to deal with grief, change, truth, and so much more. I can’t imagine how I would have dealt with so much at a young age. I am looking forward to the next installment.


Review: Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett

Scarlett DeddTitle: Scarlett Dedd
Author: Cathy Brett
Publisher:  Random House Children
Publishing Date: August 14th 2012
Pages: 208
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Thriller, Horror
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Digital ARC

Goodreads Summary:

Meet Scarlett Dedd. Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself trying to get out a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her! Left in limbo, bored to death and fearing her friendless state is terminal, an ominous idea pops into Scarlett's head. Can Scarlett really execute her grim plan? Or will it turn out to be a fatal and very messy mistake?


I received a digital ARC copy of this from The synopsis interested me and the cover creeped me out. I thought I should give it a shot. I thought this book was extremely entertaining. I have not laughed so much in a book in a very long time.

The story is about a girl, Scarlet who accidently kills herself and her family. This alone is funny; the family’s last name is Dedd, ironic. The author does a great job on creating an atmosphere this is not sad or disturbing but funny. The entire book is dedicated to Scarlett trying to figure out how to kill her friends, only so she can have friends in her world.

The book is full of great illustrations, humorous scenes, and corky, unique characters. Scarlett and her family had me in stitches most of the time. When they find out they are dead instead of freaking, like most people would, they embrace it. Scarlett’s little brother finds new ways of mutilating himself every day, while his father writes children’s books about the incidents and his mother draws for the books. The only one that is not enjoying being dead is Scarlett. She soon gets an idea from online to kill her friends so they can join her.  In the meantime her friends discover that Scarlett and her family are haunting their old house and do whatever they can to film it to become television stars.

This book may seem a little demented at first, I will say it is more suitable for the older teens and young adults, but in the end it was all fun and games and everyone learns their lesson.

Since reading this book I have found others by Cathy Brett that I plan on reading.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: Dark Life by Kat Falls

Dark Life (Dark Life, #1)
Title: Dark Life
Author: Kat Falls
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publishing Date: May 1st 2010
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Post Apocalyptic Dystopian
Series: Dark Life #1
Source: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

Dive deep into the vivid underwater world of Dark Life!

The oceans rose, swallowing the lowlands. Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water. Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor: the Dark Life.

Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea. When outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from Topside, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life. Secrets that threaten to destroy everything.


When I first found this book at the library I thought it looked very interesting, another dystopian with a very different setting. Kat Falls did an excellent job at building the world where Dark Life takes place. Everything in the setting of the book screamed careful thought and extreme creativity. Most of society live in stacked apartments above sea level, the homes are cramped with many family members living squished together. The other part of society live under the sea. This started out as an experiment, trying to find more room for people to live. They author created such an amazing place in the ocean. The descriptions were vivid and unique. I was able to see the world clearly and I could imagine what it was like to live on the ocean floor, even though it feels a little creepy to me.

The story is about one girl from above, Gemma, and a boy from the ocean, Ty, Gemma has come below looking for her brother, the only family she has and Ty is living and working so that he can one day own his own piece of land underwater. They soon meet an have to join forces when they discover that Gemma’s missing brother the outlaws that are threatening the Ty’s homestead could be linked.

I really liked the characters Gemma and Ty. There was enough character building for me to like the characters but not enough for me to feel apart of their lives. Gemma stands out to me more. She is brave and loyal. She has never been in the ocean before and instead of the idea causing her to fear the journey, she embraces everything she finds. She is not afraid to walk right into the hands of danger either, not when it could lead her to brother. Ty fears nothing about the ocean. He has lived there his entire life. He is the first born under water and plans to live his life there. Ty is full of secrets and a little closed off.

The story was good. Full of mystery and adventure, some things were predictable but I found myself surprised at other times. I had a little bit of a hard time getting into the story at first, it was a little slow, but by the end I was really into the book. I will continue the series to see how it all plays out.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio RacesTitle: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic  Inc.
Publishing Date: October 18th 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

it happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.


The premise of this book sounded really interesting and I love the other books by Maggie Steifvater, so I got this one from my local library. I really enjoyed this book. It’s really different then her Wolves or Mercy Falls and The Books of Faerie, but different in a good way. 
The story involves magical water horses. These horses are very big, fast, and dangerous. Every year on the island they have water horse races. Every year it has only been men, until this year. A girl joins the races and with a regular mare.
The story changes between character points of view of Sean and Puck. I really liked both characters. Sean is a young man, so he is a bit arrogant and proud, but he is also a hard worker and determined to make something of himself.
Puck starts out as a naïve, whiny girl but quickly becomes brave, smart, and determined. She learns a lot about the races in a short amount of time and is doing everything she can to win the race. I really love how quickly Pcuk grew up and knew she was the only that could ensure her life would be what she wanted it to be. She doesn’t care what other thought or had to say about her outrages idea to run the race on a mare with dangerous water horses.
The story was a great story of courage and faith. Like all of Maggie’s books the writing is amazing and flows effortlessly.  I do wish that the book would have been a series, but I guess not all stories have a reason to continue. 


Review: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

The Butterfly CluesTitle: The Butterfly Clues
Author:  Kate Ellison
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publishing Date: Feburary 14th 2012
Pages: 325
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: ARC 
Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.

But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind.

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.

This book has been on my TBR for a while. I waited patiently for it to be released, well maybe not paitenitly, then I had to wait about a month to get to a place in my reading pile to actually read it. I was really really excited. The cover is just gorgeous and the sysnopsis sounds amazing. Well, it didn’t dissapoint! This book had everything I would hope for in a mystery book. Mystery (of course) thrills, cooky characters, and a little romance. 

Lo has issues. She has OCD and anxiety and is pretty much a loner. One more thing. She collects things and often steals things. It calms her down and gives her purpose. One of the items she finds leads her to a murder. A murder she feels she must solve. And that is this story.

I will start by saying I fell in love with the main character, Lo, within a few pages. She is just amazing. It’s pretty obvious that she is OCD but she seemed a little autistic to me too. I haven’t read a book where the point of view is from such an intrigquing, strange, but easy to love character. Lo is very smart, brave but scared in the same breath, and unpredictable. She has hers issues and that is what I love about her. She does not let her issues get in the way. She is fully aware that she has the little ticks that others see as strange. She just can’t help herself. She does what she can to not let her ticks become obvious out in public, but that is hard to do at times. I also think it’s amazing that she basically lives on her own, her parents are both checked out in away, from parenting. She realizes this but knows she cannot let it affect her life. I love how driven she is, even if the drive comes from obsessive compulsion. I also love that fact that she does find someone that accepts her for who she is and realizes that there may possibly be more that will accept her as she is. 
The other characters are great too. They do stand out in their own way but really are shadowed by the main character. 

The story is also awesome. The author does a great job on opening the mystery up by tying it into the Lo’s obsessions. Lo wil do whatever ever she can to solve the mystery. The other part of the story is what has happened in Lo’s life with her family. Her brother dissapeared and shortly after found dead. Lo is still having difficulties dealing with her brother’s death. This is just one of the reasons she is so obsessed with death of a girl found in a not so good neighborhood and obsessed with finding out what happened to her. 

I will say it again. I found this book amazing. The story flowed smoothly the entire book, not one single snag for me. I found myself immersed in the story, even when I was not reading it. I stil find myself thinking about “tap tap tap bananan” everytime I go through a door. (you will have to read to find out what that means) I really wished this was a series with a whole new mystery, I am not ready to say goodbye to Lo.

Pick one up as soon as possible if you love exciting characters and a good mystery! 

Kate Ellison spent a lot of time as a child, in Baltimore, pretending to be things she wasn't: a twin, a telekinetic, a benevolent witch with a box full of magical stones, a spy, a soccer player. She trained as an actor in Chicago and has walked across the entire country of Spain. She is a painter and jewelry-maker, and has at least one artist friend who really does keep his true name a secret from the world. He told her, but don't ask her to tell you—she's not gonna do it. Kate lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Butterfly Clues is her first novel.

Review: Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler

Sass & SerendipityTitle: Sass and Serendipity 
Author:  Jennifer Ziegler 
Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Publishing Date: July 12th 2011
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Classic Retelling/ Contemporary/Chic Lit 
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover 
Daphne Rivera and her sister Gabby could not be more different. 

For fifteen-year-old Daphne, the glass is always half full, a dab of lip-gloss can ward off a bad day, and the boy of her dreams—the one she's read about in all of her beloved romance novels—is waiting for her just around the corner. 

But Daphne’s older sister Gabby wishes Daphne would get real. In Gabby’s world, everyone’s out for themselves, wearing makeup is a waste of time, and boys only distract you from studying before they break your heart. The only boy Gabby trusts is her best friend, Mule, who has always been there for her. 

Both Gabby and Daphne are still reeling from their parents’ divorce, though in very different ways. While Gabby will never forgive her unreliable father for failing her mother, Daphne idolizes her daddy and is sure that everything would work out fine if her cranky mom would just let him back into their lives. 

When a crisis leaves the girls and their mom homeless, help comes from an unexpected source, and both girls are courted by surprise suitors who shake up their views of the world. Suddenly the glass isn’t so clearly half empty or half full . . . and love seems a lot more complicated than they ever could have imagined.

This book I received as a book club read. I love the cover and I am excited to read a classic retelling. I went into this book with no prior knowledge of the classic but was ready to dive into the story. It was a good kind of read with lots of love, turmoil, and feelings. 

This is a story about two sisters. Two sisters that were complete opposites and wanted to live their life differently than the other. They do not approve of each other's lifestyles and choices. This is the story about their love for each and also finding themselves. 

This was a fast enjoyable read. Sass and Serendipity is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I have to admit that I have never read Pride and Prejudice, so I went into this book knowing nothing of the plot and characters.  For those of you that have not read Pride and Prejudice... this story follows two sisters, personalities opposite, and their life together as they have to learning, loving, and finding themselves. The story is a great story of growing up letting go. It is also a story about sisterhood and friendship. 

I liked the characters. They were unique and quite different from each other. One is a real leader, responsible, somewhat down to earth but really hard on herself and others. The other is a follower, irresponsible, always has her head in the clouds, and tries to look for the good in everyone. Each of the sisters has their strengths and weaknesses and by learning to live with each they learn they need a little of their sister in themselves.

I don't know the original story at all. I have never read the story and I am not sure I will. I have enjoyed the retelling though. I would think the story is comparable but updated but I really can't say for sure. It felt very modern with a classic kind of flair.

It was a fun read. It was a good book to settle down with in the evening and find laughter, tears, and some warm fuzzies inside.

Jennifer Ziegler

I make my living writing, talking about writing, teaching workshops on writing, editing people’s writing, and creating programs about writing for The Writers’ League of Texas, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas.
I also married one of my favorite writers, Chris Barton, who writes beloved, bestselling books such asShark vs. Train and The Day-Glo Brothers. Together we live in Austin with our four kids (three sons and a daughter) and our dog, a Jack Russell terrier mix named Ernie.
When I’m not doing anything writing related, I like to read, go on long walks, do yoga, cook, eat, hang out with friends and family, and go camping or exploring. I also need plenty of time to daydream.

Follow Friday #10

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read

Q: What is the longest book you've read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

A:  I really don't have may books over 500 pages. The longest I have read was Breaking Dawn for 768 pages, which would also be my favorite 600+ read, I also read Tea Rose at 765 pages which was really good. And of course Eclipse and then The Host, both over 600 and I enjoyed very very much. 

What about you? 

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