August 30, 2012

Winter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson



Description: Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether. In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia. (read more about it here)

Epic Wins:

  • Anderson basically cracked a girls head open, stole the thoughts, and wrote them down. You can tell she worked hard to master this book and it paid off.
  • It’s real, raw, and yeah maybe a little depressing a times but it showed me a window into the soul of another person as their darkest hour came to a close and the sun rose.
  • Hope. Yes the world is awful and helpless at times but there is hope for a better future.
  • Lia- I loved watching Lia change and make serious realizations about herself and her situation. She was complex, relatable, and stubborn.
  • Lia would have a thought and but it would be crossed out and a new one replaced it. At first I thought this was odd but as Lia told me her story it all made sense and it went well with her personality. I found that I enjoyed it in the end.
  • Elijah- He was one of those characters that Lia runs into and he changes her way of thinking, he changes her life dramatically.
  • The way Lia loves Emma is so cute. They have this adorable relationship that is nice to see. Emma is her one ray of sunshine through her grim days.
  • No romance. This sounds like it should be a fail but I have my reasons. Every book presents a problem and usually it is solved via the romance. Not this one. This one proved that you have to go through these things alone sometimes; there won’t always be a cute boy as a reward. I liked that.
  • This book had an eerie beauty to it. It was bold, daring, and raw but most of all it was beautiful.


Overall: Heart-breakingly beautiful. This is a story that you don't want to miss!

Adieu,
-Kare

August 28, 2012

NOLICHUCK! TJ's Wild Adventures by Jackson Keene

**TJ is a typical fourteen-year-old who struggles with divorced parents, frequent bullying and having difficulty with schoolwork. He especially dislikes his history class, which is a bit ironic as his father is a big historian. After a particularly difficult day, TJ is home alone when he finally discovers a secret that his father's been keeping for years. This discovery changes his life forever.**

My Thoughts-
The Good:

  1. Time Travel -- This is (again) time travel. Like I have said before, time travel is amazing!
  2. History -- I LOVE history. The battles, the politics, the people, and of course, the romance. This book was chock-full of amazing historical facts. Most of the story takes place in Tennessee, near the Nolichucky River.
  3. Romance -- What I thought was amazing is how right when one of TJ's few ramances started, he found something very awesome when he got home. Very amusing in my opinion.
  4. Life in the 19th Century -- The things that TJ had to do in the 1800's, served as a life lesson that he will NEVER forget. Hunting, murderous and lusty Indians, and of course the food. I thought it was very intriguing that it was safer to drink whiskey than water.
The Bad:

  1. The Tavern Brawl -- I thought it wasn't very pleasing to have a man hurt like that, but that is just my opinion. I blame the circle of life. People get hurt (some worse than others) and some die. This is all I have to say for the bad.
Recommendation-
I only recommend this book to people who do not have weak stomachs or do not have a sense of adventure.


~Adiós,
Dallin


**This is not  a n official summary. It was written by Jackson Keene on goodreads.com**

August 27, 2012

Blade stuck in a Rock (or something like that)

Daily dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly 
(as always the pictures were found at We Heart It








What inspires you?

Adieu,
-Kare

August 24, 2012

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade



Description: Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead. I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker. I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?



Epic Wins:
  • The Ghost- Normally I would be hesitant with a popular girl as a main character but Alona was different. She was fierce, brutally honest, and snarky. At times I wanted to slap her in face because of her rudeness but other times I wanted to hug her. She has this determination that can’t be stopped, even by death.
  • The Goth- As if being singled out by his principle wasn’t enough Will also has to deal with a legion of ghosts, a mother who is ready to put him in the psych ward, and a mysterious, violent spirit. Add Alona to that list and Will has a very complicated life. He brims with positivity despite everything. I love how he smeared the stereo type he was given, he was so much more then a Goth.
  • The concept- Popular girl dies and the only person who can see her is the Goth boy she frowns on. I love stories based on irony so I knew this one would be good. I was not disappointed.
  • The In-between- I loved the way Kade set up the world that Alona finds herself in. It’s fragile and changing and she never really knows what is going to happen next much less the power she still has.
  • I loved the way Kade put Wills ability to see and hear ghosts in terms of schizophrenia. It makes sense to cover it that way.
  • The alternate points of view- This story was very well balanced by the two main characters. It just flowed from one character to the next.
  • Kade- She is kind of my idol right now. I wish I had written this book because it was so funny and flawless. I’m a fan.
  • Message 1- Being nice is always the key. Whether it’s while talking to your principle or trying to get to the great beyond a bit of kindness will see you through.
  • Message 2- Never make assumptions about people, sometimes you come out dead wrong. This is seen with Alona, Will, and their principle they all miss judge people.
  • Message 3- Everyone has tattered edges in their lives, others are just more apparent then most.
  • Message 4- Telling the truth, as crazy as it sounds sometimes, will always be more productive then trying to hide it. 

Overall: I am putting this book on my favorites and reading the next one. I can’t wait to jump back into this story. I’d place this book between Paranormalcy and Bad Taste in boys. So glad I finally got to read this, it was exactly what I wanted.

Adieu, 
Kare

August 17, 2012

Cover Me: Perception by Lee Strauss


Description: Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically. Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

PERCEPTION is a ( SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not too distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love. This is the first book in a planned three book series. 
Find more about Perception on Goodreads!


Just look at that cover!! Author Lee Strauss also has a book coming out in October called Jars of Clay. Check out the description below!!


Description: Sixteen year old Helena Vibius is the daughter of a wealthy business man in the city of Carthage, North Africa in the year 199AD. She’s not granted a tutor like her two older brothers are and must be satisfied with the teachings of her father. Which she is not.

Eighteen year old Lucius is a freeman--not a slave--living and working on the Vibius compound. His biggest desire is to learn about the world and one day leave Carthage to see it. A serendipitous meeting with the master’s daughter presents an opportunity. Should he take it?

Helena agrees to secretly teach him, a rebellious gesture that surely could do no real harm--as long as they’re not caught. And she mustn’t fall for this servant boy, either. Sometimes one does what one must not.


I think these both sound so awesome!! Enjoy!

Adieu, 
-Kare

If I Stay by Gayle Forman


Description: A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family. In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time. (more info here)

Epic Wins: 
  • Mia- She has a total passion for music and the cello. It was amazing how Forman set her point of view up. You got her past and her present. Her present was odd, she was in a coma so she was a narrator of sorts. 
  • The writing- Gorgeous but sad. Pretty but depressing. Discouraging but brilliant. 
  • It was like a window into the forlorn and confused soul of teen in standby mode. Precise. 
  • Adam- Oh Adam! He was a rock star, living on his guitar.  He loved music on a different level from Mia but with the same passion. 
  • The Concept was quite lovely. And the portrayal? Clear and cutting. (Did anyone notice the annoying volume of verbs and questions I just used? No? Me neither.)
  • The Family- I just LOVE Mia's family, they are so sweet and loving. Sometimes that doesn't show up in young adult lit but it's nice to see it when it does. 
  • Kim- I thought she was a stellar best friend. I also loved how they became friends, it was different. 
  • Message 1- Like a bullet to the brain, the message is loud and clear. Tell your family you love them every day and never forget. 
  • Message 2- Sometimes things will be hard but the worst pain brings the greatest joy. 
  • This book is hard to explain and it really set me back because I did react so emotionally to it. I sat here for ten minuets trying to come up with words awesome enough to describe this book. I apologize because these words *points up* just don't do it justice. 

Overall: Ahhhmazing! Beautifully breathtaking but totally befuddling. It really makes you think: What if that was me?

Adieu, 
-Kare

August 10, 2012

A Moster Calls by Patrick Ness



Description: The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. (more info here)


Epic Wins:

  • I have to start by thanking a blogger. She mentioned A Monster Calls as being an amazing book, one that I had to get my hands on. So, Ecey (Ece Red) , thanks for the recommend. 
  • This book was so very powerful, almost in the way that The Book Thief captivates. A Monster Calls has that same feel to it and I had a very similar reaction to it. Cried through the last 30 pages or so and felt that zing of this-was-better-than-an-average-book. 
  • Conor- He is such a brave kid, I have no idea how he kept so hopeful through the story, chin always up. 
  • Crazy Talking Yew Trees- Say what? I thought the way Ness weaved such a weird element into a mostly normal story was amazing. The tree itself was a joker and frankly one of my favorite characters. 
  • This book has a slight creepy side to it that I just loved. Monsters that visit you at seven past twelve and tell you stories? Yep, creepy.
  • The illustrations- The illustrations reflect the tone of the book so well that you can't have the story without the pictures. Dark yet alluring, I couldn't get enough of them!
  • Message 1- The truth is not a happy tale. Most of the time it won't be but the truth is the truth.
  • Message 2- Sometimes we know the truth but wish so hard that it isn't true that we pretend it isn't. It's a type of coping method.
  • Message 3- There are harder things than invisibility. When people can see you but still ignore you, that hurts worse. Conor learns this, with the yew tree's help of course.
  • Message 4- 'the wildness of stories'- how they twist and turn, confusing you. It's like in the musical Wicked (based off of The Wizard of Oz) where Elphaba is a girl trying to do the right thing, completely opposite of who she is in the original. Enough rambling, my point is that sometimes stories have secrets that you don't always see.


Overall: This book, condensed to three words, is creepy, heart-breaking, and powerful. I so hope you try this one out, I have a feeling you'll love it as much as I do!

Adieu,
Kare

August 08, 2012

A Wee Bit Late

Daily dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly 
(as always the pictures were found at We Heart It








What inspires you?

Adieu,
-Kare

August 07, 2012

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier


Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon—the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the eighteenth century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

My Thoughts-

The Good:
  1. Time Travel -- Every single book with time travel in it I have LOVED! (I have only read like 5 with time travel).
  2. London Setting -- I get to talk in a British accent in my mind! And of course it is a perfect English Accent.
  3. The Best Friend -- Lesley Hay is the best best friend Gwen could ever have. With her enthusiastic and accepting view on Gwen's family secret, she is by far my favorite book best friend.
  4. The Ghost -- James, the school Ghost, is only seen by Gwen. She must always talk to him, like how you pass by a cute puppy and can't help going "AWWWW! It's a cute little puppy."
  5. The Doctor -- Dr.  Jacob White is depressed and takes it out on Gwen. She can literally see his sadness.
  6. The Nice Old Man -- Mr. Thomas George is the nice old dude that did not give off creepy vibes. He awas also very kind and thoughtful
The Bad:
  1. The Boy -- I did not understand how Gideon could go from Charlotte to Gwen in a matter of hours. 
  2. The Boy's Creepy Relative -- The Count Saint-Germain is the creepy guy that everyone avoids if possible. Gwen was not so lucky to escape his power.


Recommendation-
I recommend this AMAZING book to anyone who loves to laugh and has a sense of adventure.

~ Adiós
Dallin

August 06, 2012

Authors are Rockstars: Jody Gehrman


I was recently approached about participating in the Authors are Rockstars tour hostted by Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books and of course I accepted. I was literally honored to get to present my author!! The amazing Jody Gehrman is here to talk about magic and her new book!


Author of:

Babe in Boyland
Description: When high school junior Natalie-or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper-is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected-especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?



Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (this is her new book!!)
Description: Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Not convinced of it's complete and total awesomeness? Listen to the first two chapters here!!

Top Five Reasons Why Jody Gehrman is a Rockstar
  1. She is intolerably funny. I admit she made me snort quite a bit. 
  2. I am not a re-reader yet somehow she tangled me so far into Babe in Boyland  that I had to re-read it or die. Or at least it would lead to my eventual death. 
  3. She writes about characters that you can't help but love.
  4. She is one of my writer idols, I pretty much want to be her when I grow up.
  5. She knows the teenage mind. Perhaps it's mind reading...

Money Spells for Mere Mortals by Jody Gehrman:

I've always been a wannabe witch. Unlike my main character in AUDREY'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, though, I have no magical powers (alas). I can't absorb emotions or weather and channel them into a powerful weapon like Audrey. I can't communicate with any living thing like Audrey's mentor Sadie. And I'm definitely not a necromancer like Audrey's nemesis, Cormack (actually, I'm quite glad about this last bit. Controlling the dead sounds very...stinky).

In my teens and twenties, though, I did dabble in witchcraft. I grew up in Northern California in the eighties, so my adolescence was steeped in new age mysticism. I stayed on the lighter side of the magic spectrum, favoring love spells over voodoo dolls, goddess worship over satanic rites. Even as a child I felt a spiritual power flowing through the trees and the creeks and the rainstorms. As I got older, extending those pagan instincts to spells and rituals seemed quite natural.

One day when I was nineteen I decided to try a prosperity spell. I was in college, flirting with the idea of financial responsibility, but I'd never been very thrifty and my bank account had dwindled to nothing. Rather than rush out and get a job, I bought a green candle, burned prosperity-enhancing incense, and prayed to the gods of plenty.

The next morning I went to my local ATM machine and discovered an extra thousand dollars in my bank account.

Cool! I thought. This is sooo easy! I'll never have to get a job!

Before you go out and try this for yourself, I should probably mention this is a cautionary tale, not a how-to guide. A few days later, after I'd gone out and blown my gift-from-the-gods on shoes and handbags and a large quantity of moneymaking incense, my bank informed me that they had accidentally credited my account with an extra thousand dollars. They were very sorry for any inconvenience this had caused me, and by the way my account was now a thousand dollars overdrawn.

So magic doesn't solve everything. Most of the time I have to work for a living, like other mere mortals. I'm still a dreamer, though; I'm not above trying a spell to ensure you'll all go out after reading this and slavishly devour my books!

Thanks for stopping by Jody!!

adieu, 
-Kare

August 03, 2012

Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole




Description: I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London. Every summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring. Until this year. And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned these things:

1. I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes. 
2. If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.
3. I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.
4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise. 
5. See number four above. Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve learned something from every one of them.

Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine. He goes to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis. I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy boots. See the difference? But hearts don’t care about differences. Hearts want what they want. And mine just wants to be Dante’s girl. My heart just might be crazy.


Epic Wins:
  • Reese (Part A)- What I loved most about Reese was her sense of humor. Her thoughts were pretty funny. No matter how pathetic her whining was she could always recognize that level of pathetic, which led to some funny commentary. Plus she had some sayings that were snort worthy. 
  • Summer- Beach, sand, and sunsets. They all make for the perfect summer setting. Not a bad place to be stranded.
  • The Slight Mystery- This strand of mystery is hard to pick up on and it could totally blow you away if you don't pick up on it. By some miracle I picked up on it about half way through and it became the thing I held onto through the story. 
  • The Climax- It totally through me off. I mean I knew something was going to happen but I hadn't put the pieces together fast enough. Seriously, where did that come from? It was intense. 
  • Message 1- Love is the most important thing. 
  • Message 2- Everything will be okay, eventually. 
  • Message 3- Trust your creeper vibe, always. 
Epic Fails:
  • Reese (Part B)- She was a whiner and seemed to contradict herself a lot. Sure she was love sick but she gives us girls a bad name when she laments every other page. Plus she seemed all too willing to forgive Dante's treatment of her. Okay rant over. 
  • Dante- He was God like and all but Reese put him on far too high of a pedestal. I have a few complaints about his character but I am probably just being nit picky so I'll leave them out. 
Overall: This book confused me. It was trying to be an epic action-packed book but it would careen into whinny romantic land far too often. Yes there were explosions but the stuff in-between was really hard to get through. 
it wasn't a bad book, in fact it was quite funny at time, but it just didn't do it for me. 

Adieu, 
-Kare

August 01, 2012

July Has Left the Building



Read this Month:

  • Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
  • Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (I want you to know this book blew my mind. That is all.)

Reviewed this Month:



Books I plan to Read for August:

  • Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  • Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (currently reading this one and it's ... interesting)
  • Fathomeless by Jackson Pearce (funny tidbit blogger doesn't recognize Fathomless as a word. It's suggestion? Fat homeless)
  • The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen by Andrea Cealo
  • Of Posidon by Anna Banks
  • Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings
  • A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
  • The Assasin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke 
  • Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
  • Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
  • The Ghost and The Goth by Stacey Kade
  • Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
  • Fat Cat Robin Brande
  • Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
  • Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson

Now this is a huge list but I have nothing but lazy reading time so my hopes for finishing most of these are high. I'm trying to play catch up right now while I am home and have time so we will see how this goes. :)

First- Since I have quite a bit of time on my hands I am also writing up a bunch of backed up reviews. Seriously these reviews are from like a year ago. Just know that as I am typing them I am mentally editing them (it's amazing how much one's writing style changes over the course of a year). You have been warned, it's not my best stuff. Apparently I write more on my reviews now.

Second- I know a while ago (like four months ago) I said that Dallin would be joining my little party. He is but he has been backed up with school and avoiding the long list of reviews he has to type up. HOWEVER: He is starting to post. He will be doing a few flash reviews to get warmed up and then head into the real stuff. (Authors/Publishers: If he has accepted a request from you he will get it up eventually he's just kind of slow.)

Adieu,
-Kare