Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Covers Revealed!

Yay!!  I was just going through my "bookshelf" on Goodreads, when I noticed that some of the books on my "to-read" shelf were sporting some spiffy new covers!

First up...  the cover for Hallowed by Cynthia Hand!

Release Date: January 24th, 2012
Description:
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
Ahhh!!!  The first book in this series, Unearthly, was just sooo amazing!!  I really loved the cover for that one, and this one as well.  Definitely can't wait for this release!!

Secondly, the cover for Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer.

Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Description:
Is true love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Hmm, that's not really the description that I was looking for, but I guess we have to wait for Wolfsbane to come out first :D  This is another really great series that I can't wait to devour!  And apparently it was released a while ago?  Boy am I behind...



Last, but not least, the cover for Fear by Michael Grant.

Released Date: April 3rd, 2012
Description:
No description yet!
Another great series!  I still have to read Lies and Plague, but I'm sure that they're all great!  Can't wait for this one either!

What do you guys thing about these cover reveals?

Cleo :)

*All descriptions and covers are from goodreads.com

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cover Crazy (20)

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme that was created by Tawni over at The Book Worms to show which cover(s) you are absolutely going crazy over!

This week I absolutely love the cover for... The Pledge by Kimberly Derting!


Here's why:
  • I really love the contrasting colors and how most of the book is black... It kind of makes the book look creepy!
  • If you look really closely, you can see the word "pledge" in the background, faintly...  Really cool!
  • The model looks like she's carrying a secret, and in the description, it says that the main character, Charlie, has a secret.
  • The cover seems to really reflect the vibe and tone of the book.  If you read the description it'll make more sense :)
What do you guys think about the cover? 

Cleo :)

Review: Impossible


Title: Impossible
Author: Nancy Werlin
Date Released:
September 18, 2008
Pages:
384
Rating:
5 out of 5

Description: Lucy is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child's birth. But Lucy is the first girl who won't be alone as she tackles the list. She has her fiercely protective foster parents and her childhood friend Zach beside her. Do they have love and strength enough to overcome an age-old evil?

Inspired by the ballad "Scarborough Fair," this riveting novel combines suspense, fantasy, and romance for an intensely page-turning and masterfully original tale.

Review: Wow, I don't even know where to start....okay um THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE.

Each twist and turn the novel took was unexpected. Each moment had its own special feel. The book was tastefully written, and incredibly creative. The curse and the mystery that is woven throughout the book is simply mind boggling. The mystery really makes you wonder, and with the Elfin Knight (aka the bad guy) looming over and creeping when you don't expect it, it really gives you chills.

I liked Lucy's character, with her headstrong-ness and determination. Her relationship with Zach was really cute and awesome too. I loved how they were childhood friends and next door neighbors, and they eventually blossomed into more.

The lyrics of Scarborough Fair (or The Elfin Knight - whichever version/name you prefer) become that much more haunting through this story. Being an uber fan of music, I downloaded the song by Simon & Garfunkel, and it's whimsicality seems perfect for the atmosphere of this book. I liked the alterations the author made on the lyrics, especially the romantic duet in the end - someone should record it, it'd become my favorite song, no joke! I can't believe this entire book was based off a simple song - kudos to the author! This is definitely now one of my favorite books :)

Cover Review: I don't like the cover. Because I freaking LOVE it. I love the dress, the background, the way the model's hair is blowing in the breeze, the airy font....it's all really perfect. I'd like to imagine I was her and freaking gorgeous xD

keep on reading, fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

In My Mailbox! (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly/monthly/how-ever-often-you-want meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren! Since I just got a hoard of books via Amazon (LOVE) and the library to read over vacation, I though I'd share them all with you guys!Books!Aaaaand me ogling over two more books (cuz they wouldn't fit properly in the other pic xD)

Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning- The story of a seventeen year old girl rising to fame through her band, The Hormones - I don't know about you guys, but sounds like my dream (if only I could play guitar.... xD) And how cool is that band name?!
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard - I actually just wrote a review for this one, plus just watched the first episode of the TV series. A-D-D-I-C-T-I-N-G!
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley - About Terra, a girl with one "flawed" cheek, trying to claw her way out of the grip of her father and find herself through adventure, and a Goth boy named Jacob.
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Cleo's already read this one actually, but the cover looked so cute and the title so, well for lack of better words, epic, that I had to check it out!
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Steven Chbosky- My one friend obsesses over this book! It's really interesting because the author is actually from a district up north from here, and he wrote this book in high school. Plus it's being made into a movie right here in Pittsburgh with Emma Watson :O
Linger by Maggie Stievfater - Shiver was so good that I had to pick up Linger! I flipped through it, and already I love the green font! (colors make me happy ^-^)
Extras by Scott Westerfeld - Kind of a spin off book from The Uglies series, but the cover looks interesting, and it's set in Asia! How cool is that?
Torment by Lauren Kate - I debated for a while whether or not to read this book, because I didn't really like Fallen - the main character was too whiney for my taste - but this cover just looks so amazing and I hear the sequel it better, so I'm giving it another shot :)
It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han - I LOVED The Summer I Turned Pretty, and now I finally got the other two books! And appropriately enough, it's summer and I can fully enjoy the atmosphere of the books :D


Oh and as a heads up to all you book geeks out there, I'm leaving for CHINA tomorrow for summer camp! I don't know if I'll be able to access and computer or not, due to China's weird software, so I'll try to post as often as possible, though not as often as I can now. I'll miss my books, the blog, and all you awesome followers out there!

keep on reading, fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Review: Pretty Little Liars


Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Date Released: October 3, 2006
Pages: 304
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Description: Everyone has something to hide - especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna.

Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. And Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful.

But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.

How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were and the naughty girls they are now. And guess what? I'm telling.

Review: Everyone is obsessed with these books! At least most of my friends are. It's mostly the TV series actually - it's all I heard about the last weeks before it's season premiere! So, since I have a personal rule to always read the books before watching the movie/tv show, I checked this book out.

The books centers around the four girls' lives, switching narratives between chapters. This gave an interesting insight into each girl's life, along with their inner problems. On the outside, they're all spoiled, rich, and pretty. But they each have their own dark secrets and turmoils, along with the whisperings that they confided in their friend, Alison, who just disappeared...

Okay, so some aspects of the characters - well, pretty much all four main characters - are pretty ickily skanky. Each one of them has a secret about that. But then there's the inner turmoil from childhood past - self image, cheating parentals, perfection, being overshadowed, etc. that give the book a deeper meaning. And that was what made the novel more appropriately interesting for me.

However, what really fueled this novel on and gave it the juice was the mystery. What was the Jenna Thing? What exactly happened in the seventh grade that haunts each girl today? I liked how the author intersected sections of their past throughout the novel, without confusing the reader and keeping secrets so you wanted to know more - therefore spurring you to read more of the novel.

And then, most importantly, there's A. Leaving mysterious notes everywhere, creeping on all the girls, knowing things that no one should know....but WHO IS IT?! The dark mystery interwoven throughout the novel is pretty creepy. But it's also freaking GOOD. And in the end, the pain felt by all the girls is pretty dramatic and hits you hard. I think I feel worst for Aria though...though each of their situations really suck at one point.

Anyway, the ending is especially suspenseful, and I obsessed over wanting to keep on reading and grab the next book. Pretty Little Liars may seem shallow on the surface, but really is suspenseful, dark, and mysterious despite the pretty preppy girls on the cover. I'm definitely going to also check out the TV series - if it's anything compared to the books, it's bound to be uber addicting!

Cover Review: The covers of the series always interested me - the Barbie doll represents a character, who's real image is on the back cover. This one is Spencer I think. It's probably also a reference when the girls say they always felt Allison positioned them like dolls....

keep on reading fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Review: The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad

Title: The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad
Author: Judy Dearborn Nill
Date Released: December 20th, 2010
Pages: 200
Rating: 4 out of 5


Description:Fourteen-year-old Bibi Karstad hits the ceiling way too often. Recently transplanted to a small Oregon town by her channeler mother, Bibi hates living away from her father in Seattle. She also hates her mother's spirit guide, Prancing Bear, whom she calls Panting Bore. He scares her, as does a growing suspicion that she's more like Mom than she wants to admit. On Halloween night, alone in her mother's New Age bookstore doing research to discredit mediums, Bibi accidentally discovers a talent for levitating out of control. Now she must keep her ability secret long enough to win the newspaper contest that will return her to Seattle.

Review:
The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad was a very enjoyable short read. It was definitely really cute, and while it started off slow, towards the middle, it really started picking up.

I’ll admit, at first, I wasn’t really sure what The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad was about because it kind of seemed like a whole lot was going on, but then, when she first levitates, it starts to make more sense. I think that Nill also weaved into the story the important of acceptance since Bibi has a hard time accepting her mother, who claims she’s a witch, and the fact that she can’t move in with her father.

Bibi, as a character, was really cool. At times, she sort of seemed to act like a little kid, and I would constantly get confused as to whether she really was in high school or not, but other than that, she was witty and fun to read about. She made the book really funny with her crazy little incidents and problems that she would always run into.

I kind of wished there was a little more to the story because after she first starts to levitate, it seems to go a little too fast, and it almost seemed like the portion of the story about her trying to win the newspaper competition was pushed out of the way.  I think what I'm trying to say is that I wished that the competition and the discovery of her power had equal parts in the story, instead of pushing each other aside.

Overall, Nill wrote a very light, and entertaining story.  The main character, Bibi, was very funny and made the book enjoyable.  If you're looking for a short read, then The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad will be perfect!

Cover Review:

I'm actually not the biggest fan of this cover.  It's a cute cover and I like that it seems to be depicting a pretty hilarious scene from the book, but when I first saw it, I'll admit, I thought that it was about a middle school student.

Cleo :)

*Description from goodreads.com
**Review copy received from author.  Thank you Ms. Nill!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Flipped


Title: Flipped
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Date Released: October 1, 2001
Pages: 212
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: When Julianna "Juli" Baker meets Bryce Loski at the beginning of second grade, she knows it's love, but Bryce isn't so sure, especially as her obsession with him grows and she stalks him throughout his school years. This story is told alternatively by sarcastic Bryce and spunky Juli, each with their distinct views on the story of themselves; they take you from the first moment they met to junior high, where one flip changes everything. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen is a book about first love, the troubles Bryce and Juli face, and the hilarious misconceptions that transpire between them.

Review: This. Book. Was. So. Cute. Period.
Yeah, maybe some may think it's targeted for younger kids, but I thought it was one of those timeless books that anyone could enjoy. Not only is there humor, childish pranks, and (of course) obsessive girl crushes (we've all had them at some point! ;) but on another level, this book can also address seeing through new eyes, on what values really matter in life, morality, and breaking free on what you may think restricts you.

From the start, it was really interesting seeing two wholly different perspectives on the same events, especially since their characters were so contradicting of each other at first. It intriguing seeing how one character would remember certain details of the same events that the other would simply bypass with a few words. The events that happen are so unique and yet familiar in that "oh-my-neighbor-would-do-that" way. Bryce seemed normal from his point of view, but throughout the book, you'd kinda realize he was a bit cocky, a bit prideful, and a bit of, well, a jerk. Julie, on the other hand, seemed crazy, eccentric, and obsessive in Bryce's eyes at first, but through her narration, you got the impression she was empathetic, kind, and spunky.

And then...there's the flip. Let's just say, it doesn't start with the chicken, but with the egg. You'll have to read the book to figure out what I mean xD Anyway, from that point, the novel just picks up the pace, and the ending quickly descends on you. I wasn't satisfied with the ending - it didn't close enough for me and I wanted MORE! But it let you imagine and think of what would end up happening...I wish there was a sequel! :O

While, there isn't a sequel, there is a movie that apparantly came out last year! Isn't it adorable? I saw the trailer and it looked pretty good. Bryce looked cute :) I'd definitely recommend Flipped to anyone - check it out!

Cover Review: It was the cover of this book that initially caught my eye. It was so simple, with the chick flipped upside down. Plus it was a really cute chick, so you know...xD

keep on reading, fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Specials


Title: Specials
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Date Released: May 9, 2006
Pages: 372
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: "Special Circumstances":
The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor -- frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.

And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it's easy to tune that out -- until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.

Review: *WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!* In this final book of Tally's adventure, she has once again been surgically altered - this time, to become a cruel, predatory Special. Once again, it was interesting to see her narration and point of view on the various events changing once again. Unlike when she was a pretty, Tally's memories are actually clearer and more intact than when she was an ugly - it is simply her perspective and analysis on the previous events that has changed. Westerfeld did a good job of changing her perspective while keeping elements of Tally's character intact, so you didn't feel like her character had completely changed from the previous books.

This book was serious and intense from start to end, probably due to Tally's new, colder character. Still, I felt that without as much comic relief as the other books, the book was almost exhausting to read, you know? Well really serious books are kinda depressing for me anyway (Maybe I like being happy too much xD) Still, that didn't impact how well and dramatic the book was written. The plot kept you on your toes, due to Tally's inner turmoil to find herself again. It was also interesting however much of her emotions she recovered throughout the novel, she still wanted to stay Special, unlike in when she was pretty. Oh and I think Shay finally redeemed herself in my eyes by the end - she really annoyed me a lot in the previous books. At the climax of this novel, Tally's vigor and quick minded slyness really surprised me too, and gave the novel a good twist.

Anyway, the ending was definitely surprising, and I think Westerfeld did a pretty good job of closing Tally's story. If you haven't checked out these series yet, you're missing out! I enjoyed these books a lot :D

Cover Review: I really liked this cover most out of the rest of them, because of the interesting markings on Tally's face and the way her face is tilted up...it looks really cool :)

keep on reading, fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (9)


Well, the blog hasn't posted one of these in a while, and I personally love sifting through awesome quotes in books, so here you go - it's Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. If you wanna play along, just follow the guidelines below!
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • 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!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
So here's my teaser:

"To be held above the earth and brushed by the wind," she said, "it's like your heart has been kissed by beauty." Who in junior high do you know that would put together a sentence like that? None of my friends, that's for sure.
-pg 98, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

I actually just finished the book and it's pretty awesome :) I'll post a review soon but for now, keep on reading fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

P.S. Hey, if you have any other great Teaser Tuesdays, leave a comment - I'd love to check them out!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Epic Mini Reviews Galore!

Lately I've been falling a bit behind on my reviews, so to catch up, I'm smashing them all together in one post for you all to enjoy! These are five pretty freaking awesome books, of which I highly suggest you all check out :D

Title: Defiance
Author: Lili St. Crow
Date Released: April 19, 2011
Pages: 259
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review:
I waited for just about FOREVER for Defiance to come out, since Jealousy had left off with a horribly suspenseful ending (For those of you who haven't checked out the Strange Angels series yet, do so!) And I definitely wasn't disappointed! There was so much tension in the novel, especially towards the end. I missed Graves a lot though :( love that Goth Boy. I liked the introduction of the character Nathalie too, and Ash! Well, what happens to him is great - I'll leave it at that. Something I love about the way these novels are written is that they're extremely direct - it's like you're IN Dru's mind. There aren't any silly introductions or explanations about previous books, and even when Nathalie was introduced, the information was pieced together in Dru's thoughts, and you eventually caught on, instead of long paragraphs of blah-blah-blah. I really think in this novel, that kick-ass Dru that we love so much really came out again, though at the same time, you could still see her more sensitive side. LOVED it, and can't wait for Reckoning to come out this fall!


Title: Saving Juliet
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Date Released: January 22, 2008
Pages: 256
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review:
I actually already read this book once a long while ago, but that was before I read the legit play Romeo & Juliet (which is GREAT by the way, read it if you haven't - Shakespeare was a genius) so I decided to reread it. AND LOVE IT ALL OVER AGAIN. You're thrown into Shakespeare's world of Verona, only there's a whole new twist to Shakespeare's entire plot, with new depth to Romeo, Juliet, Benovolio, etc. I especially liked how Juliet was a mischievous, spunky, and adventurous girl - it gave her a great new side. And Mimi's narration of the book was really true to life - it was her thoughts, every single detail, nasty or not, told to you through a true teenager's mouth. If there's one moral this book also left, it was that judgments cannot be based on appearances. Romantic, hilarious, suspenseful, and original, this book is DEFINITELY a must-read.


Title: The Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Date Released: January 1, 2011
Pages: 304
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review: A girl needs a girly book now and then right? Maybe others would think it's kinda shallow, but I thought this book was AWESOME. So maybe Penny's decision to swear off boys for the rest of high school seems a bit extreme, but after
being trampled over guys for so long, who can blame her? I loved the concept - her proclamation of independence. It's because of this that this book is so relate-able (is that a word? the internet doesn't think so :P) Since Penny sees all these girls being manipulated by guys, changing for the wrong reasons - something I see every day. Well this is her declaration of independence, and she becomes an icon for girl power. I really liked Diane's transformation throughout the book too, from cheerleader + Miss Perfect to average teenage girl. I also loved Penny's eccentric parents and their obsession with The Beatles; it added a unique flair to the novel, and all the references to them (including the awesome cover!) were really cool :D This book also makes me think of this quote by Thoreau - "Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder..." ^-^ anyway check it out!


Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Released: August, 2009
Pages: 400
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: When there's so many supernatural books out there that are incredibly shallow and
doused too much in ... well skankyness, Maggie Stiefvater did a GREAT job in writing a unique, powerful, meaningful, novel. I'm not the greatest sucker for romance: usually if it dominates a book too much I get bored, but Shiver was just amazing. Stiefvater's style of writing is really beautiful, in a descriptive way that somehow still captures the teenage voice, without making anything too tedious. The plotline maintains a good level of originality, and towards the end, starts getting oh-so suspenseful, with this somewhat cliff hanger ending that makes you want to keep on reading. I also really loved how the font was BLUE! (I'm a color lover. Woot!) and how the story was told from both Grace and Sam's perspectives, so you got both sides of the story and you could see their sweet connection. Oh and the cover of this book is really cool - I love the colors, especially with the red splot sticking out, and the wolf - it gives you chills of winter that are all to appropriate for the book.

--->Psssst! If you haven't checked them out yet, Baylee's written a full review for Shiver you can see here
and Cleo's also written a mini-review as well!


Title: Pretties
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Date Released: May 5, 2005
Pages: 370
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: *WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS. SKIP BLUE SENTENCES* So I finally got my hands on Pretties, and from the start, it was this insane rollar-coaster ride of a plotline, that I immediately tore through. I don't know how Westerfeld comes up with this stuff, but it's not good, it's PHENOMENAL. Tally goes through this amazing adventure throughout the book, making your mind work, and definitely lived up, if not surpassed the first book Uglies. It was really interesting seeing Tally as the same narrator, but different since she is now a "pretty-head" and therefore more shallow. And then throughout the novel, is her gradual transformation to being clear minded and "bubbly" again. And then there were her choices - between her old and new life, represented respectively by David and Zane, the two guys in her life. I'll try to give away as little as possible, but in general, it's really ingenious and suspenseful the whole way through. I love the futuristic world that is created by the book: it's so thorough and interesting, and it's one of those settings that makes you wish you could jump into the book. If you haven't read Uglies yet, you're missing out!

Well that's the end of my mini review rant. Stay tuned for further reviews on epic reads! :D

keep on reading fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: Two Way Street

Title: Two Way Street
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Date Released: June 26th, 2007
Pages: 288
Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Description:
There are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.


Review:

This book was way beyond cute!  I loved reading about Jordan and Courtney’s road trip and watched as their love for each other grow even more than it was before.  You totally saw that Jordan was still in love with Courtney even though he felt that he couldn’t be with her, and that Courtney was absolutely heartbroken over what she thought, and totally was, a perfect relationship. 
Another great thing about Two-Way Street is that you got to see it from both Jordan and Courtney’s point of view, whether it be from the present or the past.  From Jordan’s point of view, you eventually piece together why he had to break up with Courtney and from Courtney’s point of view of how she’s trying to get over the break up, but really can’t.   What also makes Two-Way Street a really good romance novel was the fact that this broken up couple had to go on a road trip with each other!  Imagine all the tension and awkwardness that went down between the two!   It was pretty funny reading about the experience. 
Overall, Two-Way Street was very likeable.  It was a really cute romance story and I think I might read some more books by Lauren Barnholdt if I’m looking for a good romance and a good laugh :D 
Cover Review:
This cover was definitely very cool when I first saw it.  It's kind of like one of those covers where the image wraps around the whole book, so on the back cover, you see the guy working on the end of the car!  However, I noticed that the car on the cover isn't really like the one in the book because in the book, it was supposed to be a truck, I believe...  But this is a very cool cover.


Cleo :)

*Description from goodreads.com
**Review copy borrowed from a friend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (11)



I don't know about you guys, but I have SO many books I can't wait to come out! Anyway, this is a weekly meme, which is brought to you by Jill at Breaking the Spine! This meme is where you can post about what book(s) you're really look forward to.

This week I'm waiting for....Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay!


"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.


It sounds like such a creative twist on the original story! And I'm also a huge fan of the cover - Juliet looks really pretty :) I can't wait to check it out when it comes out, August 9th this summer!

keep on reading, fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: House Rules

Titile: House Rules
Author: Jodi Picoult 
Publish date/Publisher:2010/Washington Square Press
Pages:532
Rating:5/5


Synopsis


When your son can’t look you in the eye . . . does that mean he’s guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.
But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?


Review

The only other book penned by Jodi Picoult that I have read is My Sister's Keeper. I'm sure most of you have either read and loved that book, or heard of its praise because it truly was amazing. House Rules doesn't disappoint either. I was hooked on this book the moment I read Case 1. I really didn't know what to make of this book at first because of what it focused on. I mean, an autistic kid who may or may not have committed murder? Can you spell d-e-p-r-e-s-s-i-n-g? 
Well if you can't, I just did it for you. 
But this book really, truly was a huge surprise and I loved every minute of it. Picoult's characters are just so relatable and real I always end up feeling what her characters are feeling. I absolutely LOVED Jacob. He was so unexpectedly funny even though you knew he was practically incapable of purposely making a joke. With Jacob being autistic, there was supposed to be a lack of emotion in him because his brain doesn't function that way. While I definitely saw that disconnect, Jacob even stating it himself, I felt every frustration, every sadness, and every bit of love he felt towards others, even if it may have been microscopic in size and portrayed in an unusual manner. I loved being able to see the world in a new light through Jacob where everything really was just black and white. There were no grays and everything had an order that had to be followed in fear of the consequences. Seeing how Jacobs condition affected his family was so accurately portrayed by Picoult in my opinion. Another character I loved was Jacob's brother. He is portrayed as a side character but in reality, once you finish the book, you find out he is actually an important aspect to why Jacob acts the way he does throughout the novel. I love how this book switches to multiple perspectives, which I think is really important in a novel like this. It gives the reader more a better chance to actually peace the clues together about the crime, but leaves just enough to the imagination till the very end.
The plot is so put together and so well thought out in a way that reflects off of Jacobs personality. All suspects and investigators answer your questions but then leave you with so many more to ask. The story creates a lot of suspense and Picoult does a pretty good job of having the story take place over a reasonable and accurate mount of time. Picoult also succeeds in making Jacobs ordinary life just as crazy as his life after the murder. I personally love shows like CSI and Bones so this book was right up my alley. At first I was a little disappointed with the ending but I felt it was for the best because the unpredictable life of Jacob Hunt deserves an unpredictable ending.
I highly recommend this book it was so captivating, heartbreaking, frustrating, humorous, and insightful. Jodi Picoult definitely has made a new fan, and hopefully you'll become another one after reading House Rules.

COVER
I love the cover, it depicts one of the scenes mentioned in the book and I think it captures Jacob completely. What you see on the outside is and innocent and imaginative child playing in the sand. But on the inside he's nothing you've ever encountered before and that, is the reason why he is also alone. 

Review: Tangled


Title: Tangled
Author:
Carolyn Mackler
Date Released
: December 29, 2009
Pages: 308
Rating:
4.5 out of 5
Description: Paradise wasn’t supposed to suck.

Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean. Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all.

It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting. It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn’t have to be a jerk just because people think he’s one. It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come to terms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences. And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise….

From confused to confident and back again, one thing’s certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.

Review:

This book is a spontaneous, random, and pretty awesome adventure of four random people who's lives somehow interconnect through one vacation.

I really liked how the book is formatted, with each character narrating a month - resulting in a four month span of the novel. Each character is so different, as they represent different stereotypes - Jena as your average, waiting on romance, teenage girl, Dakota as the jerk-ish, jock, player dude, Skye as the Miss Perfection, and Owen as the dorky, awkward adolescent. So the different perspectives through each section made it really interesting! The author also brought so much more depth to their seemingly stereotypical characters. I especially liked the hidden pain and vulnerability that Dakota showed; considering his character, you wouldn't expect it.

I also really loved the plot, and how each character is connected with the others in some slight way. Although not every one of them meet each other, and actually all four of them never do meet at once - something I expected to happen - they all impact each others lives, whether they know it or not.

The whole novel really felt like real teen life - the author wasn't afraid to take it too far sometimes, and revealed some of that real teen craze and awesomeness you see out there.

The ending was really cute too (I'm not gonna spoil it, but I loved it and you'll have to read it to find out!), and I liked how in conclusion, the author tries to tell you a simple moral - sometimes, you just have to live your life to the spontaneous-osity max, and it's pretty amazing.

Definitely pick up a copy of Tangled sometime - it's one of those great books that leaves you feeling sappy and warm inside xD

Cover Review: The cover of this book was mostly what made me read it. I love the simplicity of it, with the blue and pink heart connected together. It defines the book pretty well :)

keep reading fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Cover Crazy (19)










Cover Crazy is a weekly meme that was created by Tawni over at The Book Worms to show which cover(s) you are absolutely going crazy over!

I know Cleo usually does this, but seeing as she's in China, I thought I'd give it a shot today :D


This week I'm going crazy over the cover for... Hourglass by Myra McEntire!

Why do I love it?
  • The cover is really simple, yet powerful, for several reasons.
  • The way the model is posed, with her hair billowing down and her simple black dress, with the foot posed out, is really elegant and mysterious.
  • The font of the title and the way it's in the middle of the cover pops and gets your attention.
  • If you don't notice it at first, the girl is standing on the side of the wall facing the floor - it's a really cool illusion!
I definitely wanna check this book out sometime. Thoughts, you guys?

Hope you're all enjoying summer as much as I am! :D

keep on reading fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Friday, June 10, 2011

I just came to say hello! (:

Hello everyone! 


Okay so I know I have been gone and haven't posted anything in like a million years, so I'd like to give props to Cleo for running things so smoothly! 
My end of the year was quite stressful. Note to self: never ever take AP classes because I think I lost two years of my youth just stressing over them. 
But now that Cleo is going back to China (without me unfortunately!) I felt I should make an effort to get myself back in the blogging game! 
I was supposed to go with her originally but it wasn't working out. Stupid summer school. If my school had let me take Spanish 1 when I was a freshmen we wouldn't be having this problem. D: <--- pouty face.


So yea I have to waste my summer taking another course while Cleo gets to go back to China. 
But that means until she can get her proxy to work, I'll be on the blog more than ever because I've been so lacking. 
I'm posting under my account but I'll probably have to switch to cleo's sometimes in order to make tweaks to the site.


I hope everyone is having a GREAT summer



I have a lot of writing to do so keep checking in for new posts!!!

Review: Uglies


Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfield
Date Released: February 8, 2005
Pages: 425
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where you only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world - and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Review: This book is pretty notorious. Most of my friends have read it and every single one gushed about how good it was. So I decided to give it a shot. And I wasn't let down at all - this was definitely a GREAT read.

The book is set in the future and addresses an important controversial topic - looks or smarts? This is the choice that Tally is forced to face, and her adventure in doing so is spread throughout the whole novel.

The book started a bit slow, because to me, the setting where Tally lived seemed so shallow - everyone cared about looks, there was some childhood mischief thrown here and there, and that was it. Tally herself seemed really annoying to me in the first half too, her morals too questionable and her character seemingly shallow and simple.

However, once Tally is faced with her ultimatum, and it is revealed there is a much darker force behind the pretty operations, the book starts moving faster and faster, gaining speed and suspense until it really is impossible to put down. I finished the whole second half in one car ride - incredibly worth it, even with the splitting headache afterwards!

Once Tally is thrown into the outside world and discovers all about the Smoke, she is plagued by inner conflict in whether or not to return to her old society or start a new life. At this point, a lot of depth was added to her character, and I liked her a lot more, because she seemed a lot more relatable and real. Another twist that added to the plot was her decision between her friendship with Shay and her developing feelings for David. It was a really interesting kind of love triangle, with two girls and one guy instead of one guy and two girls.

Eventually, Tally is forced to make choices and face the impacting consequences that result from her actions. Her resolve to set things right that spurs her in the second half intensifies the book to a new level and by the end, has you on your toes jumping up and down like a poprock. And right when things reach their climax, the cliffhanger ending drops down on you. And your like ":O WHAT!? WHAT KIND OF ENDING WAS THAT!? I NEED MORE!"

Anyway, definitely pick up this book, because it's action packed, exciting, and intense, and I loved it! But if your impatient like me, check out Pretties, the sequel too, which I personally can't wait to dig into!

keep on reading fellow book geeks!

MarMar<3

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Just a Heads Up

Today, I'm leaving for China to see relatives and celebrate my grandpa's 90th birthday!  Woo hoo!!  I'm definitely excited.  But, I just realized that Blogger doesn't work in China, because China blocked it (they also blocked Facebook as well, and Youtube... I'm definitely not happy with that either).  So, when I land in China, which will be on the 11th (I know, I get to skip a whole day *jumps up and down*), I'm going to try my hardest to try and get Blogger to work because I know that there are mystical ways *cue mystical music* Hahaha, maybe not mystical, but there are ways, and I just have to figure it out!

Hope you guys have an awesome book filled day!

Cleo :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Date Released: February 1st, 2009
Pages: 351
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:
The undead can really screw up your senior year ...

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

Review:
Awww, this book was really cute!  At first, I was a little hesitant, maybe because of the title? And kept putting it off for a while, but then I decided to try it, and seriously got sucked in to the world of Jessica and Lucius.

At first, it started off a little slow.  At first, I'd read the first couple of pages, but then I'd put it down and go on to something else.  But this time, I couldn't stop.  When you get past the first few pages and find out why Lucius is there, you simply can't help but keep reading on!  Fantaskey put in so many surprising twists and turns in the storyline as well that it kept it really interesting.  I also really liked Jessica and how she tried to prove that she wasn't some vulnerable American girl who can't do anything.  Although, at the part where she skips her graduation... I didn't like her too much there :/  But she got better afterwards.  Ahhh, Lucius.  He was like the dreamy Romanian vampire that everybody wants but can't have because he's unfortunately (for us, not for him) betrothed to Jessica...  I found him pretty funny, too, because he'd say weird things like "writing instrument."  Hahaha, it made me crack up.  Oh!  Another great thing was the wittiness and funniness that Fantaskey added to the story, it really made it enjoyable!

Overall, this was a pretty good book!  Don't let the title fool you!  The beginning is a little slow, but once you get passed it, OMG, it's great!  Definitely can't wait until the second book comes out in early 2012!!

Cover Review:
The cover makes the book look really dark and scary (sort of), but it really isn't.  It's a cute cover though, with Jessica and Lucius dancing. 

Cleo :)

*Description from goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.

Book News & I'm Back (Again)!

YEAH! IM BACK!  That was probably the longest week and half-ish ever!  I obviously couldn't stay away because I posted two things while I was gone...  But I have now been liberated from school for about three months!!  Whos ready for some more blogging??

Tumblr_lk4p3wagkr1qhor1to1_500_large
YEAH!! Freeeeedom!
Yesterday, I discovered to very awesome things that I guess are kind of like book news.  One's a cover release, and the other one is an announcement.  Weeeee!! It's been a very exciting week :D

First thing's first.  Drumroll for the cover release for...


Wings of the Wicked by Allison Courtney Moulton!  If you haven't read the first book, Angelfire, then you definitely should before Wings of the Wicked comes out!

Secondly, I saw an announcement that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are releasing a short story e-Book and prequel to their upcoming release, Beautiful Chaos.  Isn't that exciting??  Oh!  Wait, I almost forgot to tell you guys the title!  It's called Dream Dark and it's supposed to be from Link's point of view.  Another very important piece of information, it's coming out on August 2nd, so mark your calendars!



Yay!  So, that's basically all the book news that I've spotted this week so far!  Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a review up!!

Hope you guys have a great rest of the week!

Cleo :)

Cleo :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cover Crazy (18)


Cover Crazy is a weekly meme that was created by Tawni over at The Book Worms to show which cover(s) you are absolutely going crazy over!

This week I'm going crazy over the cover for... The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith!


Here's why I love it:
  • I love the color scheme!  It really makes the red pop out.
  • Who doesn't love a red heart around a couple kissing on their cover?  It's really cute!
  • The font is really adorable!  And I love how the arrow is going through the "The".
Do you guys like the cover?  It sounds like a really good book and I can't wait until it comes out 2012!

Oh!  And this is me unofficially coming back from my short break.  As you can see, I cannot keep away from you guys :)  But I will be officially back on Wednesday.

Cleo :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

YEAH! The Iron Knight Cover!

I know I said that I wouldn't be posting till next week, but who could resist posting about the cover for The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa???


This cover is just simply gorgeous!!  I really like how they kept with the theme.  Ahaha, the model is definitely very cute :) I can NOT wait until this book comes out so I can read from the point of view of Ash this time!  I'm sure it will be amazing!

Well, see you guys in a week!

Cleo :)