Thursday, December 31, 2009

A staple of my childhood reading is back!

This was posted on The Nest Book Club board I post on.

Yes that is right Mary Anne, Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, Mallory, Jessica, and Dawn are going to be back. I personally will probably read it even if they are more for children. I loved them when I was little and would often get a book as my reward for doing chores or whatever it was that week. They really helped me to love reading. I hope it works with bringing kids a joy of reading again.

December Reads

1.The Boy In the striped pajamas-John Boyne
2.Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes-Maureen Johnson
3.Living Dead Girl-Elizabeth Scott
4.How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls-Zoey Dean
5.Once Was Lost-Sara Zarr
6.Gossip Girl-Cecily Von Ziegesar
7.I am the Messenger- Markus Zusak
8.Cracked up to Be-Courtney Summers
9.Fighting Ruben Wolfe-Markus Zusak
10.The Handmaid's Tale-Margaret Atwood

Top 15 of 2009

I can't believe it is December 31, 2009 already. It doesn't seem like it. I read over 100 books this year so limiting my stack to 15 was hard, but here they are:

  1. Harry Potter Series-J.K. Rowling
  2. The Secret Life of Bees-Sue Monk Kidd
  3. The Truth About Forever-Sarah Dessen
  4. Jessica Darling Series-Megan McCafferty
  5. Wintergirls-Laurie Halse Anderson
  6. Just Listen-Sarah Dessen
  7. Along For the Ride- Sarah Dessen
  8. Thirteen Reasons Why-Jay Asher
  9. Lock and Key-Sarah Dessen
  10. The Luxe Series-Anna Godbersen
  11. Hunger Games/Catching Fire-Suzanne Collins
  12. The Last Song-Nicholas Sparks
  13. The Earth, My Butt, and other BIG Round Things-Carolyn Mackler
  14. Audrey Wait-Robin Benway
  15. Cracked Up to Be-Courtney Summers

There were so many more great ones, but these were my favorites.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday wan introduced to me by Jessica over at Reading is Sexy. It is a feature for bloggers to swoon over upcoming releases they can't wait to get their hands on.

My Pick:

Not my Daughter by Barbara Delinsky.
From Amazon: Three high school seniors make a pregnancy pact. Heightening the stakes, these aren't just any seniors--these are three popular, college-bound girls from good families. Set in an insular, tightly knit community in Maine, Not My Daughter explores the consequences of pact behavior on a small town, as well as the strain placed on mothers and daughters who find themselves in unfamiliar terrain. One of the Pregnant teens is the daughter of the high school principal-- a former teen mother herself-- and the local school board is quick to assign blame. When the national media gets wind of the story, the principal's job is put in jeopardy, as is her standing in the community. Not My Daughter is a timely exploration of teen motherhood and the hard choices that sometimes have to be made in life.
My take: This should be a good book that deals with an issue that is happening a lot now. I like books where the author doesn't sugar coat teens and their issues.

Cracked Up to Be-Courtney Summers

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers is a great Young Adult book. This is the book that would put everyone who thinks YA is not good written literature into a different mindset.

Parker was the perfect girl.....Cheerleader, honor student, popular, etc. until one day that changes, but why did it change. She starts to drink, skip school, and alienate her friends, family, and counselor. The book is told in present time with Parker flashing back to the night that changed everything. Oh and of course there is a great boy who helps her to find herself again.

I loved this book and want to thank Jessica over at Reading is Sexy for recommending it to me. Courtney wrote Parker real and with a real voice and I enjoyed watching her layers unfold and to find out what happened to her.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fighting Ruben Wolfe- Markus Zusak

Fighting Ruben Wolfe was recommended to me by Jessica of Reading is Sexy. This book was so much more than what I expected.

Cameron and Ruben are brothers. They have an older brother Steven and an older sister Sarah. Their father is out of work and their mother works to hard so they just kind of exist. That is until they are noticed by a man who hosts fights in warehouses. They decide to fight for money and we see the brothers learn about themselves through these fights.

This book is great to show pride, heart, love, etc. It has it all. Cameron is a lovable main character and I can't wait to read the sequel Getting the Girl to see where his life is at now.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays

From my house to yours have a great Holiday!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday was introduced to me by Jessica over at Reading is Sexy. It is a feature for bloggers to swoon over upcoming releases they can't wait to get their hands on.

My Pick:
Some Girls Are-Courtney Summers
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard-falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High......until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.
Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes that Michael could be more than just a friend....if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.
Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.
My Thoughts: Drama, Love, Character growth all the makings of an excellent book. I can't wait to learn about Regina and Michael and see what happens with the fearsome group.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenges

Over at The Story Siren she is doing a 2010 Debut Author challenge. I have decided to join in. The rules can be found here and you can also click on the button in the sidebar. I will keep a list of the books that I have read in the sidebar and also any reviews that I do will have the 2010 Debut Author challenge label for an easy find.

I am really looking forward to doing this! My list of my tentative books is as follows:

1. The Secret Year- Jennifer Hubbard
2. The Body Finder-Kimberly Derting
3.Tell Me A Secret- Holly Cupala
4. Firespell- Chloe Neill
5. Before I Fall- Lauren Oliver
6. The Naughty List-Suzanne Young
7. Party-Tom Leeven
8. Match Made in High School-Kristin Walker
9. Whisper-Phoebe Kitanidis
10. A Blue So Dark- Holly Schindler
11. The Best and Hardest Thing-Pat Brisson
12. The Cinderella Society-Kay Cassidy
13. Forget-Her-Nots-Amy Brecount White

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given! Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:
Around us, I can sniff out a savagery in the noisy southern air. It knifes its way into my nose, but I do not bleed blood. It's fear I bleed, and it gushes out over my lip.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe-Markus Zusak
Lines 3-5

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gossip Girl- Cecily von Ziegesar

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar was a guilty pleasure read. I watched the first season of the show and stayed away from the books because I was worried I wouldn't like it or it would ruin the show for me because the book was so much better. It kept tempting me though and I finally gave into temptation. The book is just as juicy and delicious as the show.
This book follows Blair, Serena, Nate, Dan, Jenny, Chuck, and a few other sidekicks. Blair, Serena, Nate, and Chuck are from privileged families and it shows. They have also been friends since they were toddlers, but are they friends or frenemies. Dan and Jenny are different from them and yet Dan longs for one and Jenny longs to be one. Does she do it?
If you have watched the show then you know the characters, but the book is different when it comes to their personalities. If you love the rich and famous you will love this book even if they aren't "real rich and famous".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In my Library Bag

Kristi over at a great YA blog I frequent The Story Siren has a blog post called In My Mailbox. I am trying not to buy books so I go to the library way to often so I decided to do a play on her post and do In My Library Bag.

Picked up:

The Summer I Turned Pretty: Jenny Han

The Adoration of Jenna Fox: Mary Pearson

Witch & Wizard-James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Hush Hush: Becca Fitzpatrick

Gossip Girl: Cecily von Ziegesar

Waiting on Wednesday

Yes I know it is Thursday, but I still want to put this on here. It is a new blog post that I found over at Reading is Sexy that I wanted to add to my blog.

Today's Pick:
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Release Date: January 7, 2010
Genre: Young Adult
Description from Amazon:
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.
Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one-not even Julia's boyfriend-knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he is tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?
My Thoughts: Sounds deliciously good and I can't wait to read it.

I am the Messenger-Markus Zusak

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak was an excellent book. The first chapter is the best and keeps you wanting more. The message in this book is a good one for people. The book is heartfelt, meaningful, funny, suspenseful, etc. I really could list about a million adjectives, but I would rather you just read it and decide on your own.

The book starts out with Ed and his friends in a bank during a bank robbery. Hilarious as it is the worst bank robbery ever. Ed becomes a hero after he gets the robber, but to him he isn't because he is stuck in the small town he grew up in and is nothing more than an underage cab driver. Then he receives an Ace of diamonds in his mailbox with addresses listed. He knows that people need his help and he starts on his journey. The journey takes him to help people as well as learning about himself.

The characters in this book are great even the dog, Doorman. Markus Zusak really knows how to write rootable characters that you want to keep learning about. Can't wait to try more of his books.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 YA challenge

I came across this YA challenge from a post on the Nest Book Club. Since I had read quite a bit of YA this year and have a ton on my TBR pile still I have decided to do this challenge. The original post of this challenge is on J. Kaye's Book Blog. The rules are as follows:
1. Anyone can join. You do not need a blog to join. Just go to J.Kaye's Book Blog and leave your books in a comment under the post.
2. There are 4 levels:
--The Mini YA Reading Challenge-Read 12 Young Adult novels.
-- Just My Size YA Reading Challenge- Read 25 Young Adult Novels.
-- Stepping it Up YA Reading Challenge- Read 50 Young Adult Novels.
-- Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge- Read 75 Young Adult Novels.
3. Audio, eBooks, rereads all count.
4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
6. Challenge begins January 1st thru December 2010.
I plan on trying for the Stepping it up YA Reading Challenge.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2010 Challenges

This year I challenged myself to read 100 books. I have now surpassed that goal. I am now thinking of challenges for next year and thought of these:

1. Read at least one book over 500 pages a month
2. A to Z Book titles
3. A to Z authors
4. A to Z new authors

I am thinking of doing one YA challenge too, but haven't picked one out yet. I want to keep updating my blog and hope to add new content.

Once Was Lost-Sara Zarr

Once Was Lost was my first Sara Zarr book. I have had her book Sweethearts on my list for a while, but haven't gotten around to it.
Samara is the daughter of a small town preacher. Everyone thinks they have a perfect family until her mom goes to rehab and her dad ignores her. Then a young girl goes missing and Samara starts to question what she has been raised to believe.
I really liked this book. I felt for Samara and wanted to just give her a big hug. I liked her friends and to watch her grow and figure things out on her own. The character of her dad bugged me to no end, but at the same time I could see why he did the things he did.
I now can't wait to get to Sweethearts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Other recent Young Adult Books.

Some others that I have read:
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: It was just an ok book. It follows Ginny through an adventure that her aunt set up for her through 13 letters. She travels around Europe and learns about her and her aunt. There wasn't a whole lot of character development though.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: GREAT BOOK. It is a quick read about Bruno who is a young boy during WWII. His father, who is an officer, moves Bruno and the rest of the family next to a concentration camp and we see the time through Bruno's eyes. John Boyne told this story fabously.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer: A book as delicous as my peppermint mocha latte I was drinking while I read it. It is a quick Young Adult book about a girl who works for "starbucks" and does match making based on your favorite drink. There wasn't a lot of character development and yet I drank it up.

Living Dead Girl-Elizabeth Scott

What a hauntingly good book. Living Dead Girl follows "Alice" who was kidnapped by Ray at age 10 from a school field trip. She is now 15 and has been dealing with Ray's abuse for the last 5 years. She is wondering what is going to happen next since the first "Alice" was killed at 15 when she got to old.
Elizabeth Scott wrote this book very well. She captured Alice's feelings and thoughts perfectly. I loved the ending and really the whole book. I will put a disclaimer that it while the scenes aren't really graphic graphic as it is a Young Adult book you will get the picture. I read this book in one day because I just needed to know what was going to happen no matter how uncomfortable I felt. I can't wait to read more from Ms. Scott

Over the Holidays-Sandra Harper

I wanted something Christmas to read to keep me in the Christmas spirit. I saw this at Target and read the synopsis on the back and thought it sounded good. The book ended up being nothing that I thought it was going to be. I expected a light Christmas themed book, but it was actually deeper and didn't really center on Christmas at all.
Vanessa and her husband JT have twin 9 year olds so while Vanessa would rather not celebrate Christmas she has presents to buy, cookies to bake, and a tree to put up. At least this year she doesn't have to go to her sister in law,s house who is the Queen of Christmas. Then surprise her Sister in law and family come to visit her for Christmas. Many things happen there afterwards.
There were a lot of "WTF" moments for me, but it was a good read.

Shadowland-Alyson Noel

The third in the Immortal series picks up about a week after Blue Moon ended. We see Ever and Damon trying not to touch each other and yet still having a relationship. Ever gets a job at a bookstore and we meet someone from her past. Roman is still there making trouble for Ever since losing his beloved Drina.
This one was not as interesting as the other two in the series. I found it lacking in the suspense and character development areas. I felt that I was guessing everything ahead of time. That being said I did still enjoy it. The next one Dark Flame comes out this summer.

Splendor-Anna Godbersen

Splendor is the last book in The Luxe series. It is bittersweet as I love new books following old "friends", but hate that it is now over.

This book wraps up the lives of Elizabeth, Diana, Henry, Penelope, and Carolina. I don't want to spoil the series for those who have not read it, but the ending was not what I expected and in fact was disappointed at first. Now that it has been a little while I am happy with it.

Diana follows her heart, Carolina gets what is coming to her, Penelope is still the love to hate girl, Henry learns about himself, and Elizabeth finds information.

I am sad to see my friends go.