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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strawberry Picking!

Today I went out and picked strawberries at 5:30 in the morning. It has been raining like crazy where I live in Michigan, so we got lucky when it wasn't raining today. But it was still super cold. My sister and I picked 64 quarts in 2 hours, which is a pretty good pace. We are going out again tomorrow and probably the next day too. And possibly Saturday. So, with any luck, I won't be able to walk by the end of the week. :s

It's totally worth it because we will be able to make lots of strawberry noodles (strawberries, sugar, and noodles mixed together (so the juice is soaked up by the noodles)). Its the best!!

What is everyone elses favorite strawberry dish?


June Monthy Totals

Books Read: 12
Pages Read: 3,963
Favorite Book(s): Bad Kitty, Academy 7, Jovah’s Angel
Least Favorite Book(s): Airhead, The Amaranth Enchantment
Rereads/Old Faves: 0

School is finally out for the summer, unfortunately summer jobs are in... I didn’t really do very well this month… next month I will do better!

Review: Beka Cooper: Terrier (A Tortall Legend) by Tamora Pierce

Title: Beka Cooper: Terrier (A Tortall Legend)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Random House
Date Published: 2006
Type of book: Fiction with some supernatural/magic
Main themes: law enforcement (Dogs), murder, magic, friendship, some romance
Pages: 581

Plot: from "Orphaned Beka Cooper, 16, is a trainee-a "Puppy"-in the Provost's Guard. Having spent the first half of her life in Tortall's slums, she is driven by the need to do what is right and see justice done. Paired with two of the best Guards, or "Dogs," in the organization and aided by her own gifts of magic, Beka learns her job, makes friends with two mages and a thief, and uncovers two serial killers who prey on the poor and unnoticed. With Terrier, Pierce tries out a new style of storytelling and succeeds admirably. Beka, the ancestor of George Cooper from the "Song of the Lioness" series (S & S), tells her story through journal entries, making for a thoroughly engaging read."

I'd been meaning to read this book (or any of Pierce's books) for a really long time, but always seem to have something else at the top of my to read list. This time, I moved Beka Cooper: Terrier to the top of the list because I've heard so many good things about Bloodhound, the sequel to Terrier.

At first, I really wasn't that impressed. I was a bit bored, honestly. But then it started to get interesting. I NEEDED to know who was murdering the children - and when I first put all the clues together I was surprised - which is definitely a good thing because otherwise I would have stayed bored.

I'm also very intruiged by the character Rosto - who flirts endlessly with Beka, but she doesn't trust. I really want to believe that he isn't all the things she thinks he is - maybe I'm just a sucker for bad boys.

I also like how the story is told in the format of a journal - it lets the reader feel much closer to the story.

I have Bloodhound at home right now and can't wait to read it. By the end of Terrier, Beka was a new favorite heroine!

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing Style: 10
Romance: 10 (the romance present was good)
Memorable: 10
Total: 50/50 (A)

Review: Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler

Title: Guyaholic
Author: Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Candlewick
Date published: 2007
Type of book: Young Adult
Pages: 179

Ideas expressed/message/plot: From inside cover: “V Valentine is the queen of meaningless hookups. Ever since her mom dumped her with her grandparents, she has bounced from guy to guy. Bu then, in the spring of senior year, a fateful hockey puck lands her in the lap of Sam Almond. Right from the start, things with Sam are different. V is terrified to admit it, but his might be meaningful after all.
On the afternoon of graduation, V receives some shocking news. Later, at a party, she makes an irreversible mistake and risks losing Sam forever. So when her mom invites her to Texas, V embarks on a cross-country road tip with the hopes of putting two thousand miles between herself, Sam, and the wreckage of that night.”

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I was expecting it to be a short, cute read (based on the cover and title), but it actually was a deeper, more honest portrayal of first love and mistakes than I ever would have expected. I definitely want to read more of Mackler’s books. I like the brutal honesty – there was no dancing around unsavory descriptions in this book. Other books to read by this author include The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, Vegan Virgin Valentine, Love and Other Four-Letter Words.

I found myself liking V - even though she was the cliche slut, that in real life most girls would hate. This book shows that you can't judge people only by their action or at face value - V had motivations that observers wouldn't be able to understand from their point-of-view. I liked that Sam wasn't present in the novel - she found her way back to him on her own, this is more true to life than a lot of other YA love stories.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing style: 10
Romance: 10
Memorable: 8
Total: 48/50 (A)

I recommend getting this book from the library. I liked it, but I probably wouldn't read it again.

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can participate in Teaser Tuesday, just follow these simple guidelines:

(1) Grab your current read
(2) Open to a random page
(3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
(5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

Title: Reincarnation
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Pg 167
"Jane says that I'm like a crazy person about fire but I can't help it. That's probably why I started taking laudanum, my nerves being shot from my fear of fire."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Title: Dark Visions:The Strange Power, The Possessed, and The Passion
Author: L.J. Smith
Release Date: September 8th 2009
Pages: 752

Synopsis from Wikipedia: "The story follows the protagonist, Kaitlyn Fairchild, as she attends, uncovers a plot, and ultimately defeats the Zetes Institute, a place where she went to learn about her own psychic powers. Kait and the four other psychics at the live-in Zetes Institute are the most powerful psychics in the country in their age group. They come from all areas of the U.S. and become friends.

Thematically, the trilogy is similar to Smith's other series in many ways. It uses the light/dark or good/evil conflict and even has the ambiguous character whose love for the heroine turns him to lightness and makes him a hero. Smith also employs the same narrative technique as in her other works in using the point of view of the young female heroine."

L.J. Smith first published this book as three seperate books during the 1990s, but now they are being republished as one book with a new cover. I'm really excited though because I love L.J. Smith's books and it will much easier to get this one instead of getting each of the others seperate, especially because they are out of print. I also really like the new cover!

At The Movies: YEAR ONE

Today I went with my boyfriend and his younger brother to see Year One, starring Michael Cera and Jack Black.

Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) are kicked out of their tribe after Zed eats fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. They head for the mountains, over which they expect to find the edge of the world. To Oh's surprise, the world does not end at the mountains. They travel onward, meeting such historical/biblical figures as Caine and Abel, and Abraham. Meanwhile, their tribe is sold into slavery. When Zed and Oh find out, they decide that they must rescue their tribesmen (and, more importantly, women) and set out to do so.

[from trailer]
Zed: You could be my right-hand man.
Oh: I've seen what you do with your right hand. No, thank you.

My Opinion:
Ok, so parts of this movie were funny. Parts were just ridiculous. Parts were downright inappropriate. Plus, while I totally love Michael Cera (everything he says is funny to me), I find Jack Black pretty freaking annoying. My boyfriend and his brother love Jack Black though... so they didn't really have a problem with that aspect of the movie. My boyfriend's brother thought it was hilarious, my boyfriend thought it was okay, and I wished that I would have saved my $8. I should have waited for the DVD. After it was in the dollar section. I say, skip Year One and go see The Hangover instead.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can participate in Teaser Tuesday, just follow these simple guidelines:

(1) Grab your current read
(2) Open to a random page
(3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
(5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's Teaser Tuesday:
Title: Guyaholic
Author: Carolyn Mackler

Pg. 128
"Maybe Aimee will bail on me and I'll have to deal... but in the end, it's not like I'm that mch differnt than her. I'm running away just like she does."

Look for my review of Guyaholic in the next couple of days!

Review: The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

Title: The Amaranth Enchantment
Author: Julie Berry
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publishing Date: 2009
Type of Book: Young Adult/Fantasy
Main Themes:Magic, Orphans, Love
Pages: 306

Plot: From inside cover: "IT ONLY TAKES ONE MAGICAL MOMENT... Lucinda Chapdelaine was orphaned as a young child when her parents left for a royal ball and never returned. Ever since, she has toiled away in her uncle's lonely jewelry shop under the cruel hand of her step-aunt. But now, all at once, Lucinda's lot is about to change.

A mysterious woman, a handsome young gentleman, and an unusual gem all enter the shop on the very same day. The woman is none other than the dreaded Amaranth Witch, and she has a daring task to offer. If Lucinda succeeds, she will not only reclaim all that is rightly hers, but she will discover a true friend... and perhaps a true love. Family secrets, magical surprises, and another royal ball will test her, but Lucinda is determined to find her own happily ever after."

This book, though it had its good points, was a bit of a let down for me. The characters seemed underdeveloped and one-dimensional and the dialogue was lacking. The book never really got anywhere - it was predictable. It wouldn't have been very hard for me to set it down and never pick it back up.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 6
Characters: 6
Writing Style: 8
Romance: 6
Memorable: 2
Total: 28/50 (D)

I hate to not like a book, but I really didn't like this one. It simply wasn't... anything spectacular. Lately I've been reading a lot of really amazing books, so maybe that makes me a little more biased against the mediocre books. I recommend checking this book out from the library if you think the plot summary sounds good, otherwise skip it. There isn't any hidden gem hiding here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Review: Airhead by Meg Cabot

Title: Airhead
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point
Date published: 2008
Type of book: Young Adult
Main Themes: Family, Love, Fame, Brain Surgery
Pages: 337

Ideas expressed/message/plot: From inside cover: “EM WATTS IS GONE. Emerson Watts didn’t want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister, Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Garbriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there – along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard.

How was Em to know that disaster would strike, changing her – and her life as she’d known it – forever? One bizarre accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.
Now getting her best friend, Christopher, to notice that she’s actually a girl is the least of Em’s problems.

But what Em’s pretty sure she’ll never be able to accept might just turn out to be the one things that’s going to make her dream come true…


I started this book, then forgot it in my car and forgot to read it for quite some time. Doesn't bode well for my review, huh? Actually - it was by far NOT my favorite Meg Cabot book. However, by the end, I was kind of getting into it. I will be reading the next story about Em (Being Nikki), but it isn't on the top of my To Read Pile.

Basically, Airhead is about a girl, tomboy Em Watts, who is involved in an accident that kills her - or at least her body. At the same time as Em's accident, the current teen sensation, model Nikki Howard dies - internally. Em's brain is put into Nikki's body. The story pretty much goes from there, doesn't have any twists, and isn't as funny as Cabot's novels usually are.

Another issue I had with Airhead was that Em seemed to be bit one note. I felt like the story never developed, Em was a broken record with her complaints and observations.

I did enjoy some of the minor character though, like Em's sister, Frida, and Nikki's best friend, Lulu. They showed a lot more dimension than Em/Nikki. I especially liked Frida's strong will and Lulu's wise advice about boys.

Finally, near the end, Em (in Nikki's body) goes back to her old high school as a new student and tries to be friends with her old best friend/secret crush, Christoper. I was interested in this part of the plot, but otherwise, I was disappointed.

I still love Meg Cabot though - this book just wasn't for me.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 6
Characters: 6
Writing Style: 9
Romance: 8
Memorable: 5
Total: 34/50 (C-)

I would recommend getting it from the library, but I wouldn't rush out and get it or anything. Instead read Cabot's Mediator series or her Heather Wells mysteries! Or enter my contest to win Jinx and Pants on Fire!!

Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Title: Before I Die
Author: Jenny Downham
Publisher: Random House
Date published: 2007
Type of book: Young Adult
Common Themes: Death, Living, Family, Love, Regret
Pages: 327

Everyone has to die. We all know it. With only a few months of life left, sixteen-year-old Tessa knows it better than most. She’s made a list, though – ten things she wants to do before she dies. Number one is sex. Starting tonight.
But getting what you want isn’t easy. And getting what you want doesn’t always give you what you need. And sometimes the most unexpected things become important.”

I was hesitant to read this book at first because, to be completely honest, I'm a crier. I knew when I started this book, that when I got to the end, I would sob my eyes out. And I already had a horrid cold, in the summer, when it was 90 degrees out. Ick. But I put my own personal comfort aside to read this book - and I'm glad I did. Even if I couldn't breathe out of my nose for hours.

Tessa is dying, and she doesn't have much time left, but she is determined to finish the ten things on her list before she does. Sex is the first, but it isn't the life changing act that one would think it is - its the smaller things, and ultimately, the things that aren't on Tessa's list that end up being the most important.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing Style: 10
Romance: 10
Memorable: 10
Total: 50/50 (A)

This book really changed the way I see to-do lists, that's for sure. It was deep and touching - and so so horribly sad - but it was so so good. Good seems like such a bland term, but that is the best way I can describe it. Like when you meet a "good" person, they fill you with such light and hope - that's what Before I Die is like. Read this book - in fact, buy it and loan it out to others. Everyone should read it once.

Review: Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe

Title: Bad Kitty
Author: Michele Jaffe
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date published: 2006
Type of book: Young Adult/Teen
Common Themes: Las Vegas, Murder, Mystery, Love, Friendship
Pages: 268
Plot (from book jacket):
“MEET JASMINE forensic supersleuth and unwitting victim of a naughty feline.
All Jasmine really wants is to enjoy her family vacation in Las Vegas. And avoid her evil cousin Alyson and Alyson’s best friend, Veronique. And show her suspicious dad that she can be a Model Daughter. And maybe meet the hot guy she’s been eyeing from across the pool. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, yes. One moment she’s an innocent bylounger, the next the central figure in a Las Vegas-sized mystery. Fortunately, Jasmine is both a forensics enthusiast and possessed of some very, well, special friends. Polly, Tom, and Roxy crash the vacation, BeDazzle Jasmine’s wardrobe, and find themselves key players in the most outrageous adventure in a town known for outrageous adventures.
All because of a very bad kitty.”

I've read quite a few of Michele Jaffe's books for adults (The Stargazer, etc), but this is the first of her books for younger adults that I'd read. I wasn't sure that I wanted to read it - in fact, it came out a few years ago and I always passed by it, but I TOTALLY regret that now. Because this book is totally, totally HILARIOUS! For real - I absolutely loved it.

I like books that have a mystery element - especially one that doesn't have really obvious solution right from the beginning (because that just makes the lead up so BORING). Add that to some super funny characters that you wish you knew in real life and you've got yourself a book that you can't put down and has people looking at you funny as you laugh-out-loud when everyone else is silent.

One the unique aspect of this book were the subtexts throughout. Everyonce in awhile the characters would have side conversations at the bottom of the page that were so random and funny. It reminded me of some conversations my friends and I have had.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing Style: 10
Romance: 10
Memorable: 10
Total: 50/50 (A)

READ THIS BOOK! Right now! Or at least when you finish the one you're currently reading...

Review: Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn

Title: Jovah’s Angel
Author: Sharon Shinn
Publisher: ACE
Date published: 1997
Type of book: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Pages: 358
Ideas expressed/message/plot: From back cover: “Return to Samaria, one hundred and fifty years after Archangel, where great storms and flood sweep down upon the land. And even the splendid voices of the angels – raised in supplication – cannot reach the god Jovah…”

I'm going to start off by saying that I absolutely love Sharon Shinn. I haven't read a book by her that I didn't like - and though the Jovah's Angel is different than books I would usually read, I still loved it!

Jovah's Angel is the sequel to Archangel, picking up one hundred fifty years after the previous book's conclusion. The story begins when the current Archangel, Delilah, suffers a fall that leaves her unable to fly, and therefore, unable to remain the Archangel. The angel Alleluia is chosen by the god Jovah to take Delilah's place. As in the book Archangel, Alleluia must find the man that she is destined to be with, but this time around, finding him won't be easy. Jovah, who knows all people who have been 'dedicated' to him, does not know the man Alleluia must find, referring to him only as: The son of Jeremiah.

Meanwhile, storms ravage the planet of Samaria and not even Alleluia can persuade Jovah to calm the weather that is destroying the planet.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing style: 10
Romance: 10
Memorable: 10
Total: 50/50 (A)

Seriously, this book is so AMAZING! It has an awesome love plot line, which is pretty much necessary for me to truly enjoy a book (there isn't anything like a good love story!). The book focuses strongly on the religion of the characters and their belief in the god Jovah, and for reasons explained by reading the book, technology. I found it relevant to today's world, despite the fact that it was a science fiction novel.

It is hard for me to say READ THIS BOOK! because I feel like so many readers shy away from scifi books. But this book, all of Sharon Shinn's books, are so much more that it doesn't even matter if you are a scifi reader. Here books have some of the best romantic plotlines I have ever read and the other plot lines (including religion) are so captivating that you forget that the characters are on another planet far across the galaxy!

Contest: Chasing Boys and The Boyfriend Game

I'm holding a contest for:

Chasing Boys by Karen Tayleur and The Boyfriend Game by Stephie Davis!

To enter, leave a comment telling me about the biggest crush you've ever had. Don't forget to leave your email in your post!

For extra entries:
+1 for becoming a follower
+1 for advertising my contest on your blog

Contest Ends: June 30th @ Midnight.

Good Luck!
*********CONTEST NOW CLOSED!*********

I'm Hosting My First Contest!! (In conjunction with the YA Book Carnival)

ShootingStarsMag is hosting the YA Book Carnival this week from her blog: I've decided to hold a contest as well. I'm not sure what to do for my first one, or if anyone will enter, so I just picked some random books out of my library that I liked or my sister liked. So here is the first one:

One lucky winner will get a copy of Jinx and Pants of Fire by Meg Cabot (hardcover copies)! They've been out or awhile, but I didn't read them until recently, and I'm sure some of you out there in the blogosphere haven't either - so here's a chance to have your very own copies!! Contest ends on June 30th. US Residents only.

To enter, leave a comment telling me which Meg Cabot character is most like you or which Meg Cabot book you like best.

To get an extra entry, become a follower! (Please leave another post telling me you are a follower or have become one! :))

Don't forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you win!

Good luck!!

*********CONTEST NOW CLOSED!************

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Title: Princess Ben
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Year Published:2008
Type of Book: Young Adult/Fantasy
Pages: 344

From inside cover of book:
"With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle's highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts: mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle pantries, setting her hair on fire... But Ben's private adventures are soon overwhelmed by a mortal threat to her kingdom. Can Ben save the country and herself from foul tyranny?"

I first noticed this book as I was combing the shelves at the local Walden's Bookstore. I was surprised when I saw that it was written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, who has written a couple other books, including Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen is also young adult, but isn't fantasy, so Princess Ben was totally unexpected coming from Murdock. I must admit, I was skeptical. I wasn't sure what Murdock's writing would be like as a fantasy writer. I was very impressed though. Princess Ben was an absolutely engaging read: fun, attentention grabbing, and satisfying. Also, the cover art was amazing; it was really eye-catching.

Princess Ben had some obvious main themes, but some I wasn't expecting as well. Magic and a fight against "evil" were expected. But there was a surprisingly well written love story as well. It some ways it was a typical coming of age story, but I wasn't bored by it at all. The magic element was fresh and interesting and Ben herself was immensely amusing.

My only negative comment about the book was that it was a bit rushed at times. When it comes to fantasy, I am more of an epic fan, so Princess Ben could have been a bit longer and it would have been great. I really would have liked to see further development of the love interest and a bit more exploration of magic. It was a bit too tidy for me perhaps.

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing style: 10
Romance: 8
Memorable: 9
Total: 47/50 (A-)

I would recommend getting this book from the library before deciding to buy it. I really liked it, but I'm not sure I would read it again. Or try to force anyone to read it because I loved it that much.

Revamping blog, etc.

So I've decided that my blog needs to be updated, changed, and, for lack of a better term, given more attention. Sometimes my blog is neglected because my desktop at home is suuuuupper slllloooow. And it drives me nuts. I'd like to be able to say that I like to enjoy things and take my time, but that is totally not me. I make french toast on high. I love to saute things. I have a really hard time driving the speed limit. Even when I set the cruise. So, yeah, that is definitely a deterrent.

But that Sara is gone! Replaced with a new Sara that will set time aside to work on her blog. :)

I'd like to add some new feature-ish things. Like contests. And blogs about upcoming books that I am drooling over. (Not literally I hope). And other things that happen in my life. Because the blog is kind like these Amish brownies I had the other day (dry, really dry). And also I need some followers... other than the super amazing ones I have. Are we not enough? (You may be asking.) And honestly, you are, but don't you want fellow followers? And possibly people to converse with while persuing my blog? I'm going to go out on a limb and answer yes to that question.

So, yeah, its time to get serious.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Review: Along for the Ride

Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking
Date published: 2009
Type of book: Young Adult (Love, Divorce, Mixed Families, Relationships, Childhood, Death)
Pages: 383
I received this book from/at: Wal*Mart
My interest in this book is: fav author

Ideas expressed/message/plot: From inside cover: “Riding a bike is only one of the many things Auden’s missed out on. Even before her parents’ divorce, she was cast in the role of little adult, never making waves, focusing on academics to please her demanding mother.
Now she’s spending the summer before college in the tiny beach town of Colby with her father and his new wife and baby. A job in a trendy boutique introduces her to the world of girls, their friendships, conversations, romances. And then there’s Eli, an intriguing longer. A former star on the bike circuit and a fellow insomniac, Eli introduces Auden to the nocturnal world of Colby. Together they embark on a quest: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to put a tragic episode behind him. Combine two lonely people with a charming beach town and an endless supply of long summer nights, and just about anything can happen.”

Favorite characters, quotes/lines: Auden: I really related to her in many ways – like her no-nonsense attitude and the fact that she got things done, without anyone’s help. I can definitely relate to that in ways. But in other ways I am like the girls that she was slowly learning about. Eli: I felt like he wasn’t in the book as much as some of Dessen’s past love interests, but I loved when he was in passages.

When I finished this book I felt: I felt like this book was more mature than some of Dessen’s past books. It may have been that the main characters were older, or maybe it was simply the content. Either way, I liked that about Along for the Ride.

Other books to read by this author: The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby, Just Listen, Lock and Key, Dreamland, Keeping the Moon, That Summer, Someone Like You

I would recommend this book to: fans of Sarah Dessen and Young Adult literature with a romantic plot line

Review: Academy 7

Title: Academy 7
Author: Anne Osterlund
Publisher: Speak
Date published: 2009
Type of book: Young Adult/SciFi (Love, Orphan, Family, Academy)
Pages: 259
I received this book from/at: Barnes and Noble
My interest in this book is: author, plot

Ideas expressed/message/plot: From back cover: “SECRETS STAND IN THEIR WAY, DANGER LURKS IN THEIR HEARTS Aerin Renning is a scarred fugitive, Dane Madousin a rebellious son of privilege. On the surface, they have nothing in common. But the two most competitive freshmen at Academy 7 share an undiscovered bond. Both harbor a dangerous secret that threatens their own destruction. And while their safety depends upon their staying apart, the two are inexplicably drawn to each other. Even as unknown forces conspire to separate them, their competition turns to friendship, and their friendship to romance. Now not only their lives – but their hearts – are at stake. To survive, the two must unite all their knowledge, skills, and gifts to uncover a secret bigger than either could have imagined. A secret as big as the entire universe…”

Favorite characters, quotes/lines: Aerin and Dane: I really liked them together; they totally complemented each other.

When I finished this book I felt: This book wasn’t at all what I expected, but I loved it. It had a distinct science fiction vibe. Academy 7 sounded intense and the world of Aerin and Dane was rich and vibrant. My only complaint was that their seemed to be a big buildup – then the ending was kind of anticlimactic. Osterlund’s first book, Aurelia, was the same way. But I still really like them. Both books are totally different, but both amazing.

Other books to read by this author: Aurelia

I would recommend this book to: fans of Osterlund and/or scifi with a romantic plot line

Review: Wild Roses

Title: Wild Roses
Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date published: 2005
Type of book: Young Adult (Divorce, Depression, Love, Musicians, Insanity)
Pages: 296
I received this book from/at: Ishpeming Public Library
My interest in this book is: Plot, Author

Ideas expressed/message/plot: From back cover: “Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan lives with a time bomb (a.k.a. her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violin player and composer. To Cassie, he’s an erratic, self-centered bully. And he’s getting worse: He no longer sleeps, and he grows increasingly paranoid. Before, Cassie was angry. Now she is afraid.
Enter Ian Waters: a brilliant young violinist and Dino’s first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian she knows she’s doomed. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain, but this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.
In the end, only one thing becomes clear: In the world of insanity, nothing is sacred…”

Favorite characters, quotes/lines: Bunny and Chuck: They were so off-the-wall and unique, I wished they were in the book more; Cassie: I liked her running commentary on Dino and her other relatives, she was funny; Cassie’s grandmother: I usually laughed out loud when she made an appearance!

When I finished this book I felt: Cassie: she was extremely easy to relate to, she said a lot of things I could see myself saying

Other books to read by this author: The Nature of Jade, The Queen of Everything, Honey,Baby,Sweetheart, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye

Review: The Reluctant Heiress

Title: The Reluctant Heiress
Author: Eva Ibbotson
Publisher: Speak
Date published: 1982
Type of book: Young Adult/Romance-ish (Opera, Mistaken Identity, Love)
Pages: 325
I received this book from/at:

My interest in this book is: one of my favorite authors, plot
Ideas expressed/message/plot: From back cover: “A STAR-CROSSED ROMANCE Being an heiress in 1920s Austria with nothing but a broken-down castle to your name and nary a penny to your purse could be frustrating for anyone but the Princess Theresa-Maria of Pfaffenstein. Tessa, however, is thrilled with her situation, as it allows her to concentrate on her love of the arts – and no one in the Viennese opera need know that their delightful and charming under-wardrobe mistress is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera in search of suitable entertainment for his high society guests, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life – and love – than just music. And while the attraction between them is undeniable, Guy’s insufferable snob of a fiancée only solidifies Tessa’s determination to keep her true identity a secret. Yet, after a chance meeting with the handsome Englishman, Tessa’s reserve begins to melt, and she starts to wonder if it’s too late for a fairy-tale ending.”

Favorite characters, quotes/lines: Tessa: I thought she didn’t seem as young as Ibbotson said she was, so even though Guy was older, they seemed to be a good fit; Martha Hodge: Guy’s foster mother was an amazing character, much better than Guy’s horrible fiancée!

When I finished this book I felt: It wasn’t my favorite Ibbotson book, but it was pretty good. It seemed to drag on in many parts though, which didn’t seem to be the case with the other books. Her writing is so lyrical, though, that it makes up for the slowness.

Other books to read by this author: A Countess Below the Stairs, A Song For Summer, A Company of Swans, The Morning Gift
I would recommend this book to: Fans of Ibbotson

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Reviews Coming Soon

I have been super-duper busy lately. And my books have been neglected and are glaring at me all the time. Seriously. But I have gotten a couple read and will be posting the reviews soon.

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

I miss reading though so I am going to try to make time. I really don't know what is keeping me so busy, but everytime I try to read, I fall asleep. That has never happened to me before. I feel OLD. And I'm only a college-student. What is going to happen when I really am old? *Shudder*

Super Exciting Contest!

Presenting Lenore is hosting an amazing contest/giveaway for the books Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It ends June 17th, so enter soon! It's too good to pass up!