Sunday, April 29, 2012


You know you're extremely obsessed with Clockwork Prince when you see this:

and immediately think of Will Herondale and how you should NEVER trust a duck.....

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rococo Love

The Swing
by Fragonard

~good gosh I am in love with this painting! It looks so whimsical and playful and frivolous, and all about the lurve--but then there's the really scandalous aspect of it (I mean, just look where the guy on the left is lookin!)


Nutella + Will Herondale?!?!


It's like they knew me....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #12

 My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
to be published June 14th, 2012

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

My Book Boyfriend: Jack Caputo

MBB is a weekly meme hosted over at the Unread reader---check out the intro post here
I must admit, when I first started Everneath, I was a little iffy about Jack--I mean the guy was super nice and all, but I wasn't really feeling the chemistry between him and Nikki.... but then, as I got closer to the end, the more I started liking him. He's such a sweetheart!

Jack Caputo
  • Rich shaggy brown hair, chocolate eyes
  • has 1 eyebrow piercing
  • football player
  • has an older brother, who he sometimes takes care of
  • has a tattoo that means "ever yours"
"You were eleven," he said. "I was twlve. I remember Joey Velasquez talking about the pretty new girl in the neighborhood. Actually, his exact words were 'the hot chick.' But I didn't think a thing a bout it until I saw you at the baseball field. We were having practice at the park and your family showed up for a picnic. You had so much dark hair, and it was hiding your face. Remember?"
     I nodded. "I know what you're trying to do."
     He ignored me. "I had to see if Joey was right, about the hot chick part, and I kept trying to get a good look at your face, but you never looked over our way. I hit home run after home run trying to get your attention, but you couldn't be bothered with my record-shattering, superhuman performance."
      I smiled, and breathed in slowly. I'd heard this story so many times before. The familarity of it enveloped me with warmth.
     "So what did you do?" I asked, fully aware of the answer.
     "I did the only thing I could think of. I went up to bat, lined my feet up in the direction of your head, and swung away."
     "Hitting the foulest foul ball anyone had ever see," I continued the story.
I felt him chuckle next to me. "Yep. I figured in order to return the ball, you'd have to get really close to me, because..." He waited for me to fill in the blank.
     "Because someone made the mistake of assuming I would throw like a girl," I said softly.
     He pressed his lips against my head before he went on. "Which, of course, was stupid of me to think. You stood right where you were and chucked the ball farther than I'd ever seen a girl, or even any guy, chuck it."
     "It was all those years of Bonnet Ball my parents forced on me."
     "The entire team went nuts. You gave a little tiny shrug, like it was no big deal, and sat back down with your family. Completely ignoring me again. So my plan totally backfired. Not only did you get the attenion of every boy on the field--which was not my intention--but I got reamed by the coach, who couldn't understand why I suddenly decided to stand perpemdicular to home plate."

"You haven't moved on?"
He chuckled. "I have a lifetime of memories made up of chestnut wars and poker games and midnight excursions and Christmas Dances...It's all you. It's only ever been you. I love you." The last part seemed to escape his lips unintentionally, and afterward he closed his eyes and put his head in his hands, as if he had a suddent headache. "I've gotta not say that out loud."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Book Boyfriend: John Barton

Check out the intro post here

It's Wednesday! And you know what that means..... another My Book Boyfriend! I was originally going to post about another guy this week, from a book I recently finished and LOVED, but I've been absolutely swamped with exams! So, in a moment of laziness, I decided to use this old post I typed up a while ago about John.

I just had to post about dear ol' John from Looking for Alibrandi (by Melina Marchetta.... who is undoubtedly one of my favorite authors OF ALL TIME!)

Now John's not the main love interest in the story--in fact, he didn't really have many "romantic" scenes in the book--but I really liked the fact that he was a genuinely good guy.... and (no spoilers!) the ending just absolutely devastated me! It's hard to give any hints without giving away the whole ending, so you should definitely go read Looking for Alibrandi

"It had been three months since I last saw him, and he was looking even better. Not that he's a "pretty boy" or even bursting with sex appeal, come to think about it. It's the honesty and realness about him that I love. Its written on his face like a script." 

"If  he was a woman he would never need to wear rouge. He has that natural redness on his cheekbones. Although he's a bit on the thin side, it's his height that I like and the way his hazel eyes smile and change so instantly with his moods."

And honestly, it was this quote here that really made me love John :)

"I was a fairy-bread hogger at parties," he told me seriously, his eyes immediately changing. "I used to put them in my pockets or hide them wherever I could, until one day I was exposed when my host handed me my parka and four slices of fairy bread fell out. I was seven years old, and up till this day if I ever see fairy bread I palpitate and realize that psychologically I will never be cured."

MANday: Author CJ West challenge--YOU COULD WIN A $500 AMAZON GIFTCARD!

Hi all!
So, one of my favorite YA authors, Jillian Dodd, author of That Boy and That Wedding created a new challenge and it is the....

So basically, Jillian Dodd recently met author CJ West. Aside from writing great books, she couldn’t help but notice that he was pretty darn cute. So she politely inquired about the possibility of him appearing on one of her MANday blog posts. (Actually, she said, Do you have good abs?)  After a little help from some of her female author friends, they convinced him (okay, they bribed him) into agreeing.

So here’s the deal:
If we can get 5,000 people to comment on his website, he will be featured on MANday! In case you have never seen a MANday post, feast your eyes on this and this.  (Be sure to come right back here!!)
If you help us, YOU will be eligible to win a prize package of ebooks by both CJ West and Jillian Dodd, as well as some of their friend’s books. You can enter to win that package by doing this:
(It can be about anything--whether you like this contest, who your dream man is, who YOU think has the best abs.... etc.)

Also, go ahead and tweet this:  Help @jilliandodd convince @cjwest to be on MANday #teamnoshirt #contest #prize #kindle #books
If we reach our goal, we will also award a $500 Amazon Gift card to one lucky winner!!!
To enter, go to CJ’s blog and leave a comment.
He needs a little encouragement!!
List of e-books in prize package:
That Boy  by Jillian Dodd
That Wedding by Jillian Dodd
The End of Marking Time by CJ West
Sin And Vengeance by CJ West
Drawing Free by Elena Aitken
Devil Unknown a novella by Steena Holmes
Elemental Magic by Angela Wallace
Again by Diana Murdock
Telesa by Lani Wendt Young
Exiled by MR Merrick
The Bridge Club by Patricia Sands

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favorite Characters

Hosted over at The Broke and Bookish :)

My all-time favorite characters in books...

1. Percy Jackson from The Lightning Thief (and all other books in the series)
    He is just so darn hilarious, and he's such a great friend, and a mean demigod hero.

2. Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy
    Hands-down one of my favorite heroines of all time. Seriously, she is just do tough and bada$$ and funny and I just loved her sense of duty and selflessness as a guardian.Oh and did I mention that she's pretty witty?

3. Cinder from Cinder (read my review here!)
    Following the tough-heroine thing, Cinder is the coolest Cinderella I've ever read about! She's sarcastic, strong, and also quite selfless. Oh, and did I mention she's a cyborg and has an immediate internet connection in her head?

4. WILL HERONDALE. (from Clockwork Prince--review here)
     I'm sorry! I CAN'T RESIST! I'm trying not to make this whole list about book boys....but it's so hard! If you've read some of my previous posts, you probably know I am kinda sorta IN LOVE with dear Will. Oh. My. Holy cheese on rye, you guys, he is probably my all-time favorite book boyfriend. I even like him better than Jace! If you have not had the pleasure of reading about Will Herondale, then whatareyoustilldoinghere?! Go read the books! (OR check out my book boyfriend post on him HERE
(but quite honestly, ANY one of Cassandra Clare's characters could be on this list.... Will just happens to be my all-time fave)

5. Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopoholic
     Because.... ok, confession time: I am..... a... shopoholic. As such, I cannot not love plucky Becky Bloomwood and all her hilariousness when it comes to shopping dilemmas (such as shopping when you don't have money...)---If you haven't read the book, then I suggest you try to watch the movie; I love both the book and the movie and I think you'll love Rebecca in either media.

6. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
    If you've read this book, then I'm pretty sure you know why Atticus is so awesome. He's just such a good person and father---and also... I like his name.

7. Puck from The Iron Fey series
  Don't get me wrong, I adore Ash and Meghan together, but I freaking LOVE Puck! He's hilarious, but underneath all that humor, he's loyal, honorable, and brave--and a genuinely good guy, er faerie. Undoubtedly one of my favorite characters from the entire series (Grimalkin was a close second)

8. Professor Snape from Harry Potter
    He was, by far, one of the most complex characters in the entire series! At the end of the series, he was also one of my favorite ones too because his selflessness was just so astounding, and quite frankly, kinda inspiring.

9. Sophie Mercer/Archer Cross from Hex Hall
Ok, this is kind of a two-fer but what can I say? I'm a total sucker for a character with snark and a great sense of humour!

10. Jacob Tolan from Saving June
OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS, I am freaking in love with this boy! (Him and Will Herondale) All I can say is that Harper is one lucky lady for nabbing such a snarky, but sensitive and sweet boy like him. Seriously. Swooning right now just thinking about him! If you need more convincing, check out my book boyfriend post on him here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Everneath

Everneath (Everneath #1)
by Brodi Ashton

Published January 24th 2012 by HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...


Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Hades and Persephone myth is probably my favorite myth of all time---is that weird?
I was super excited for this book after finding out it was a Hades/Persephone retelling and let's just say that it was waaay better than I anticipated!

The creative and unique twist that Ashton put on the myth retelling blew my mind. I loved the history of the everliving and how Hades and Persephone factor into the Everneath. It was a greek myth retelling, but also a supernatural story of its own category. I loved how they also incorporated the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice (another of my favorite myths.)

I thought the whole concept was great, but at the same time, I felt like the book could've had some more oomph. I didn't particularly connect with the characters, despite the fact that I really did like them. Same for the whole love-triangle-thing. Jack was a sweetheart, but I don't know, his and Nikki's realtionship, while pretty inspirational and beautiful in theory, lacked that spark on paper. I could see the appeal of badboy Cole, but again, no real spark or connection. However, I loved Nikki's journey of redemption and her general goodness as a person. She knows that what she's done has hurt a lot of people, but she trying to make up for that, to try and make amends.

For the most part, I felt like the book was a little slow--not much action happening anywhere, just switching between the present and the past. BUT part that really grabbed me about this book was the ending. That was just..... wow. It was, without a doubt, the most powerful part of the novel and what saved this book from a plain old 3 star rating.

The good thing is that I think this storyline still has lots of untapped potential, so I will be reading the sequel when it comes out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Book Boyfriend: Dimitri Belikov

MBB is a weekly meme hosted by the Unread reader---check out the intro post here

Dimitri. Belikov.

Need I say more?
As I'm sure we're all quite familiar with his stats, I'll just jump right in to my favorite quotes...

Dimitri: "She might be wild and disrespectful, but if she has potential—"
Rose: "Wild and disrespecful? Who the hell are you anyway? Oursourced help?"
Kirova: "Guardian Belikov is the Princess Lissa's guardian now, her sanctioned guardian."
Rose: "You got cheap foreign labor to protect Lissa?” 

“She was right about something else too," Dimitri said after a long pause. My back was to him, but there was a strange quality to his voice that made me turn around.
"What's that?" I asked.
"That I do still love you."
With that one sentence, everything in the universe changed.”

“Yet, it had been Dimitri’s gentleness and thoughtfulness mixed with that deadliness that made him so wonderful. The same hands that wielded stakes with such precision would carefully brush the hair out of my face. The eyes that could astutely spot any danger in the area would regard me wonderingly and worshipfully, like I was the most beautiful and amazing woman in the world.” 

“No. If I let myself love you, I wont throw myself in front of her. I´ll throw myself in front of you.” 

"Because sometimes, a person can get so caught up in the details that they miss the whole. It’s not just the dress or the hair. It’s you. You’re beautiful. So beautiful, it hurts me.” 

Le swoooon

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Hosted over at Breaking the Spine

Princess of the Silver Woods
by Jessica Day George
date of publication: Nov 13, 2012

When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor’s twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it’s not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse.

The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.

OH my gosh I am such a sucker for fairytale retellings!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Tips for New Book Bloggers

Hosted over at The Broke and Bookish :)

Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers

(from what little amount of time that I have been a book blogger...)

1. Make friends and join other people's sites. 
Often times, when you follow other people's blogs, they tend to return the favor and follow yours--plus it's a great way to see what other people are reading.

2. Participate in fun weekly memes, like, say, Top Ten Tuesday, so you can put your blog out there for other people to see.

3. Participate in challenges--it's fun, motivates you to read, and puts your blog out there for other people!
4. Take advantage of other social networks--like goodreads, for example, not only have I discovered book bloggers through good reads, but I can find so many more reviews, and discover books I want to read--link reviews to places like your facebook/twitter/etc.

5. (Cheesy, I know, but...) Be PASSIONATE and HAVE FUN. I don' know about you, but if I didn't seriously enjoy reviewing books and blogging, I'd probably make, like, 1 post a month or something, but I actually really look forward to posting reviews, or book boyfriends, or WoWs.

6. Turn captcha off!!!
Seriously. It's super annoying to have to do it everytime you post a comment.

7. Read what you want to read! It's your blog and you should post about things that you enjoy! Reading should be something you do for fun!

8. Be yourself!!! Again, it's your blog, and therefore for you as well as other people to read. But mainly, it's where you can talk about stuff you like so don't fee like you need to sound uber professional or posh. Just post about things that you find interesting and be honest in reviews.

9. Blogging is for fun! Honestly, I wouldn't be making as many posts as I do if I didn't love it.

10. Don't fret about the numbers! When you first start out, duh, not a lot of people will know about your blog and follow your posts, but that's okay! It takes time, and moreover, blogging should be because you enjoy it, not because you want high stats.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Random Ramblings: Dream Mortal Instruments Cast

Holy Angel Cakes.....
I saw this on Cassandra Clare's website and kinda went a little nuts....

Not sure who made this, but this is like my DREAM CHARACTER CASTING right here!!! >w<
I'd never really given much thought as to who should play Isabelle, but after seeing this picture of Alexandra Daddario, it was like BAM! How could I have not seen this before?! CLEARLY, the casting director for the movie needs to get Alex on board......
And--not sure who the guy is for Alec, but he really looks like an Alec.

HERE is the original post on CC's website
(all credit goes to the artist who made this montage)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
by Marissa Meyer

Published January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 


Rating: 5/5
Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. 

Let me start off by saying that there are quite a few Cinderella retellings out there. The story of Cinderella is one fairytale that is often retold  and given some new twist.

But NEVER, and I mean never ever, have I read a Cinderella retelling where the girl in question was a cyborg. Can we just pause for a moment and give Marissa Meyer a moment of appreciation, because to think up a fairytale like this takes some serious creativity.

I started this book with some trepidation because, seriously? Cyborgs? Cinderella is a mechanic??? A high-tech society setting in Beijing? Ye-ah, I was not so sure I was going to like this book, but boy was I wrong because I freakin' LOVED it. The more I read, the more the story pulled me in, the more I became invested in the characters and the plot, and the more I became addicted. I was originally going to give thie book 4 stars, but upon finishing, it would've been positively criminal to not give it a 5!

Cinder was totally not what I expected--in the best possible way! She had such spunk and I loved her sarcastic humor! She's also one of the strongest heroines I've seen in quite a while. She knows that being cyborg technically makes her "inferior," but she doesn't sit around moping or lamenting her fate. Even with her stepmother and sister's awful treatment, she stays tough and true to herself. And she's also a great friend and pretty darn selfless.

Prince Kai was also a great surprise. As I kind of detest instalove relationships, and, let's face it, Cinderella was the original instalove love story, I was worried that Kai and Cinder would have one of those love-at-first-sight kind of things, but thank goodness, Marissa Meyer, you have given me a wonderful fairytale, but still realistic romance.

The world of Cinder is so original and wonderfully crafted, that even though it's so different from our, I had no trouble imagining it. I loved that Meyer blended culture by making the story take place in New Beijing and also how eloquently she explained the technicalities of being a cyborg and how it made Cinder's life different from a human's. This book is so darn hard to categorize. It's party fairytale, part dystopian, part supernatural, part me when I say that it's in a category all of its own.

Warning: beware the signs of crushing disappointment, impatience, and furious shock upon finishing this book and realizing the sequel doesn't come out until 2013.

What. The. Frak.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Hey everyone! Just a reminder, the That Wedding writing contest is almost over so if you haven't submitted anything yet, THERE'S STILL TIME!

It’s time for you to tell us about your dream wedding! Every girl  . . . and a few guys at one time have all dreamed about their fantasy wedding. From the Cinderella dress and horse drawn carriage to getting married at Yankee Stadium.

We all fell in love with JJ & Philip in THAT BOY so it was only fitting that in THAT WEDDING, JJ and Philip made their dreams and fantasies come true with a beautiful, elaborate and complete fairytale of a wedding. We just didn’t the invite to the party of the year!

Now it’s your turn.  In 1000 words or less, tell us what your dream wedding is.  So grab your pen, paper and your guy . . .  girl and get to writing.

Important Info & Rules:
Contest dates: March 19th – April 19th

Winners announced – May 7th

All entries are to be written in English.

You must be 17 years of age or older to enter. If you are under, parents’ permission is required.  

Entries must be submitted via email. A word attachment is necessary, but encouraged.

All entries must include the following:
                Site you are entering on:

Entries are emailed to

Each site will pick 3 of their favorite Dream Wedding stories.

One (1) grand prize winner will be chosen – Winner receives a KINDLE FIRE – booyah!

Each site will have one second (2nd) place winner - $25 Amazon Gift Card – Or Barnes & Noble if you have a Nook.

Each site will have one third (3rd) place winner – E-Copy of THAT WEDDING by Jillian Dodd

We have joined forces with some fantastic blogs to bring you an amazing contest!

Waiting on Wednesday #10

Hosted over at Breaking the Spine

 Alice in Zombieland
By Gena Showalter
(to be published September 25, 2012)

She won’t resist until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

My Book Boyfriend: Dave

MBB is a weekly meme hosted over at the Unread reader---check out the intro post here

I recently reread Sarah Dessen's What Happened to Goodbye and now I find myself with a little bit of a crush on Dave <3

Dave's actually not my all-time favorite Dessen boy, but still, he is quite charming :)

Now, a little bit about him....
  • black hair--messy, kind of curly, kind of long
  • his dream: a road trip to Texas with his friends after graduation 
  • pretty much a boy genius (but not arrogant at all)
  • went to Lakeview High School because he wanted a normal experience for once
  • likes basketball
  • likes to hang out in the storm shelter of the unoccupied house next door---but not in a creepy way!
  • has really uptight, controlling parents
  • basically: "boy genius, smoothy maker, cellar dweller"

"Coast is clear," he reported, letting the door drop fully open, hitting the ground with a thud. "You should be able to go home now."
"I'd hope so," I said. "since it's only, like--"
"--fourteen feet, seven point two inches, to your back deck," he finished for me. I raised my eyebrows, and he sighed. "I told you. Weird kid."
"Just kid?"
Now, he smiled. "Watch your step."

"So," he said as we turned onto the main road, the muffler rattling, "I've been thinking." 
He nodded. "You really need to go out with me.:
I blinker. "I'm sorry?"
"You know. You, me. A restaurant or movie. Together." He glanced over, shifting gears. "Maybe it's a new concept for you? If so, I'll be happy to walk you through it."
"You want to take me to a movie?" I asked.
"Well, not really," he said. "What I really want is for you to be my girlfriend. BUt I thought saying that might scare you off."

As we headed toward town, I leaned back, pulling one leg up underneath me. Beside me, Dave was looking out the window, and for a moment I studied his face, brightened now and then by the lights of oncoming cars. I thought of all the times we'd been together, how I kept coming closer, then retreating, while he stayed right where he was. A constant in a world where few, if any, really existed. An d so as he sat there beside me, I moved a little closer, resting my head on his shoulder. He didn't turn away from he window. HE just lifted his hand, smoothing it over my hair, and held it there

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

random ramblings: the perfect 'Tessa Gray'

By the Angel..... I don't know why it didn't hit me before, but IF there is ever a movie made about the Infernal Devices series (by Cassandra Clare)--and let's face it, there probably WILL be--- they should definitely cast the lovely Nina Dobrev as

I don't know if it's how she looks in old-fashioned get-up or her wonderful portrayal of Elena Gilber (Vampire Diaries) who's just as kind and caring as Tessa, but I just think she would be the absolute perfect casting choice!

Anyways, totally random, I know, but just thought I'd share my thoughts.

(and is it just me or does Nina look a lot like Lily Collins--who happens to be playing Clary in the Mortal Instruments movie? Oh.... THAT'S probably where I got the idea for Nina as Tessa....)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books that were Totally Deceiving!

Hosted over at The Broke and Bookish :)

Top 10 books that were totally deceiving....

Finding Daddy
I thought this would be a fairly light, fluffy read about family dysfunction..... but holy cheese on rye, this book was CREEPY! Scary, even! And... a little gruesome.
If you plan to read this, be warned!

Death by Bikini
Sounds pretty weird, right? Like it should be a fluffy murder mystery.... BUT IT'S NOT. This series was so intense and action-packed that it swept me off my feet when I read this! I was very pleasantly surprised with this book.

Private series
This pretty much looked like a grown-up version of the Clique series, but my friend really recommended it, so I though what the heck?
Umm.. turns out that this series is actually super duper addicting! Seriously! And, there is a LOT more going on than just spoiled prep girls..... like, say... murders and a psychopath!

Not sure if this really counts---it was highly deceiving to me because here I thought: Oh hey, cute story about a summer romance.... and I mean it was... but good gosh I did not expect that every single character could be talking in a southern accent! All the dialogue was pretty much written phonetically, which drove me crazy.

Saving Francesca
DO NOT judge this book by its cover. It is highly deceptive. I know it looks all cute and chick-lit-like and fluffy and a quick read.... and if you think that, then you obviously have not read Melina Marchetta's books. This book was an utter emotional rollercoaster!

The author makes this book out to be about Hansel and Gretal and the evil witch.... but let's just say she totally threw me for a loop when she connected it back to the fenrir (wolves).

I didn't really know what to expect from this book.... certainly some sort of supernatural element.... but DEFINITELY not what the actual twist was...
Totally. Did. Not. See. It. Coming.

 Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran
I read this for school, so I was totally expecting to be like your average children's book (but in French of course).... but let's just say there were some *ahem* mature content involved.... *cough cough* les putes for one.

If you've read this, then I think you probably already know why the ending left me bug-eyed and sputtering.
No spoilers, but all I can say is.... nothing is as it seems *smiles cryptically*

Reckless Magic
The blurb talked about how one of Eden's main tasks was saving her friend from a foreign prison.... but there wasn't even any TALK about it until 4/5ths of the way through the book! Not the most deceiving thing, really, but I couldn't think of anything better...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Published January 10th 2012 by Dutton Books

 Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.


Rating: 5 stars

This is by far the most unique YA cancer novel I've ever read (though not to say I've read very very many).
Hazel and Augustus were both such distinct, quirky, unique characters. A lot of people have complained that they don't talk like regular teens, and yeah, they would be right. I have never met any teenager that talks as intellectually or metaphorically as Augustus Waters--or describes a swing set as "pedophilic" for that matter. They are both shockingly mature for their age and everything out of their mouth sounds like a perfect, quotable, well-planned speech. So no, they're not exactly normal, everyday teenagers, but I think their individuality is really what gives the novel its spark.

Hazel is definitely a character that will stay with me for a long time. What really drew me in to her was her view on cancer patients--how they are the collateral damage of evolution--and the fact that, unlike most people, she didn't particularly care about leaving some big mark on the world after her death. Augustus, on the other hand, was just so sweet and hilarious in his love of metaphors! I honestly could not think of a more suitable couple than the two of them. They complement each other in the best way.

I also loved how John Greene incorporated the fictional novel, An Imperial Affliction (by Peter van Houten) as such a central part of the novel. In a way, the girl in the fake book mirrors Hazel. AIA is also a driving force for the plot of this novel and connecting thread for Hazel and Augusts. (Admittedly, I was terrified in the beginning that The Fault in Our Stars would have a similar ending to that of An Imperial Affliction...) Plus, it's always nice to see a character super passionate (might I say, obsessed?) with a book (so I know I'm not alone on that front!)

I wish I could think of the perfect way to describe this story, but I think Jodi Picoult summed it up best when she said that this book was "filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy." Usually, when I'm least expecting it, the most hilarious dialogue will suddenly pop out and make me laugh out loud. Then, in the course of just a few sentences, the author can shift the mood to one of somberness! John Greene is so talented at this, I've found, and this story of his is so written so poignantly that I got quite emotional myself.

Honestly, this book was quite an emotional roller coaster. One minute you're laughing, the next you're probably going to be on the verge of tears, because the story is undoubtedly sad, but it so poignant. I especially loved the ending, how Greene concludes with the letter. It. Brought. Me. To. Tears.

I highly highly recommend this book--absolutely beautiful! And I guarantee that the story will stay with you for a long time.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

There's always some trepidation when you find out one of your favorite books (of all time!) is being made into a movie.

There's always that sense of fear that it's going to be a let-down because you don't think the directors could ever make it as awesome as you pictured in your head.

Believe me, I had all these fears about seeing the movie, but I mean, come on, of course I was still going to watch it! It's the freakin' Hunger Games!

And honestly? I was pleasantly surprised upon finishing the movie.

Let's start at the beginning.

First off, I think the directors did a great job with the whole set of the Hunger Games. I think the portrayed District 12 perfectly. Granted, it's not quite how I imagined it in my head--a little shadier and poorer-- but I think it stayed true to how Collins wanted District 12 to be like. The Capitol, on the other hand, was a little more futuristic than I personally pictured but I loved the set up for when all the tributes made their big appearance--you know the scene: when Katniss officially become The Girl on Fire. That was perfect.

As for the casting.... okay, I know I didn't exactly make it a secret that I didn't really like the casting choices, but ohmygoodnessgracious, I would like to take back every bad thing I ever said about Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. YOU GUYS, I was so wrong--he was a fantastic Peeta! Believe me, I did not expect him to be--I had much rather it had been Alex Pettyfer or Benjamin Stone---but I'm pretty sure that just about everyone who saw the movie was presently surprised by Hutcherson's performance. He practically oozed Peeta-ness! Granted, I'm still a little peeved that he's longitudinally challenged, compared to Katniss, but hey, nobody's perfect.

My personal choice for Katniss was the fabulous Lyndsy Fonseca (who plays Alex in Nikita), but, all the same, I think that Jennifer Lawrence did a fantastic job portraying that independent, rough-around-the-edges, angry Katniss Everdeen.

Liam Hemsworth as Gale was utter perfection. Seriously. There couldn't possibly be a better Gale Hawthorne out there.

Haymitch, on the other hand, was totally not what I was expecting, I mean, I knew he was a drunk and pretty darn lazy, but I didn't expect him to be so.... Oh gosh, I don't know, scruffy? I mean, he did make a good Haymitch, but just... meh. Not what I was expecting.
Effie Trinket was also different from how I imagined. I mean, kudos for all the drama and flair that they dressed her with, but I just envisioned her to be more youthful. Otherwise, I don't know, with all her make up and stuff, she looks a tad creepy!

I have to say though, the casting people definitely hit the jackpot with their picks for Rue and Prim. Honestly, it's like the casting crew peaked into my head and plucked them out of thin air! They were absolute perfection. They couldn't have picked better people it they'd tried!
I know there was some controversy because Rue was black, but seriously? Who cares? If you've seen her in the movie already, then you know she was the right girl for the job.

One of the things the directors added to the movie, that I adored, was the whole Control Panel + Seneca Crane scenes. I loved that you got to see how they controlled the Game and watched everyone--which we never got to see in the book. Really, really enjoyed that.

I think just about the only thing I didn't really like was the shoddy camera work at the very beginning. Maybe it was just me and my position in the theater, but it felt like the camera work at the very beginning was kinda jerky and headache-inducing.

All in all though, for a book-turned-movie, the Hunger Games was a huge, phenomenal success. Seriously. The pacing was great--possibly a tad slow in the very beginning, but believe me, once you get to the Game itself, you will be kept on the edge of your seats, without any time to even chow down on movie treats! I know as far as movies go, Hunger Games a little on the long side--not Titanic-long, but still... but believe me, you do not feel it at all!

Another thing the directors did super duper extremely well was the emotion aspect of the movie. Some of the scenes in the book were so chock-full of emotion that kept me awake into the wee hours of the night, and I think the movie translated that amazingly! My top 3 favorite emotional scenes in the movie were
1) The Reaping--one of the greatest scenes in the book and I was worried at first that the movie wouldn't be able to hold a candle to all the turmoil and selflessness Katniss felt in the book, but honestly, the scene almost made me teary-eyed!
2) Rue's death--undoubtedly one of the saddest moments in the book, and I will unabashedly say that my eyes got a little watery when I watched it in the movie! Especially seeing how Rue's district reacted to the whole thing! Just... plain AMAZING.
3) Katniss and Peeta in the cave---I don't know about the rest of you, but that was kinda the moment when I really fell in love with Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. It wasn't exactly like it was in the book, but nonetheless super sweet and romantic and you could totally see the chemistry between the two! Loved it!

All in all, the movie was flipping fantastic! Probably one of the best book-turned-movies I've ever seen!
5 stars.
If you haven't watched it, then I highly recommend that you do!

Review: Flat-Out Love

Flat-Out Love
by Jessica Park

Published April 11th 2011 by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.

When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages.


Rating: 5/5 shining stars
Oh. My God.

   I think. I am in love. Goodness freaking gracious this book was magnificent! I'm sorry, I think I need a moment, lest this entire review turn into incoherent babble and ranting about how much I utterly love this book.....


Okay okay, reasons why I love this book
  • the HUMOUR. Why can't I be funny like the people in the book?! It totally wasn't the trying-too-hard kind of funny but totally natural and sarcastic and just plain hilarious.
  • Perfect Mix of Family Dysfunction and Romance--I adored the entire Watkins family--even Flat Finn! Especially Celeste, though. She was so precocious and quirky and lovable! And I even loved Matt's geeky T-shirts!
  • Slow-Building Romance---I've probably said this before, but I hate insta-love. This book had the perfect slow-building romance and funny playful banter. It was very natural-feeling, albeit a little unconventional. I loved Julie and Finn’s messages. And I will unabashedly admit that I was a little in love with the boy myself. Okay, blatant lie. I was utterly enamored.
  • Julie--she was a great protagonist. Super funny and nice and full of life, which was just what the Watkins family needed. She also had her own family problems involving an absent dad, which made her real. Plus, she's super interested in psychology, which of course scores her some brownie points with me.
  • The Mystery--so, it's not a mystery in the normal sense of the word, involving murders and Sherlockian hats, but you definitely know that something happened to the Watkins family that made them so.... "stuck." The entire book I was wracking my brain trying to figure out the secret! I ended up guessing it right, but only just before the secret was actually revealed. 
  • The General Quirkiness--- This book was just.... different from every other book I've ever read! I mean, there was romance and family and "dealing with stuff," but... I don't know, this book was a mix of silly with quirky and just so... like a teddy bear in book form! 
  • The fact that it was in 3rd person and I still loved it!!! Normally, I really am not a big fan of 3rd person narratives because I find it hard to connect to the characters... but this book did not give me that problem AT ALL!
  • The Facebook Statuses--I really really REALLY enjoyed how the author would incorporate the different status updates with each chapter. Absolutely hilarious!

 Seriously, YOU GUYS, I highly highly highly recommend this book! It's a great book, plus it was only like $2 on my nook! No doubt one of my best nook-finds ever!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Book Boyfriend: Simon Ross

MBB is a weekly meme hosted by the Unread reader---check out the intro post here

This week, I'm crushing on Simon from The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Now, some info about Simon....
  • is 17
  • "He was handsomer than I'd thought he would be, his hair the color of dark copper, his eyes an intense gray-blue with chips of light in them, like marbles"
  • is an artist (painter)
  • loves jazz
  • likes The Great Gatsby
  • is a romantic (as opposed to a realist)
  • wants to backpack through Europe after graduation

"I'm Simon Ross," he said after a while." I don't know if you noticed me noticing you earlier. Noticing your dress. There's not a lot of elegance around here."

Simon lay back on his hands and stared up at the sky. "I had seen you. I was curious about you. And I tried to disarm you by flattering you. That's what I do when I'm intimidated."
"Intimidated?" I gave a little snort. I couldn't imagine any guy being intimidated by me.

"You looked so pretty in your white dress. Untouchable. And you were so guarded. Being a guy can be nerve-wracking, you know, Mia."  

Simon reached across the driver's seat and lightly stroked my cheek, still holding that devilish grin. "Welcome to the now, Mia. Sit back and enjoy it."

I told Simon that black holes were stars that had collapsed and died. And that they weren't empty at all but the densest form of matter known to exist, 
"So they're the opposite of what they're called."
"Yeah..." I trailed off. "Except that things fall into them And once something is caught in a black hole, it can't escape. A black hole keeps everything trapped inside, even light."

"Like you," Simon said softly.
"What's that supposed to mean?" I angled my head so that I was looking up at him, at the dark lines of his face.
"You're beautiful, Mia. But you keep all of your light inside. You don't let it show."

"I'm not withholding anything from anyone," I said, after a while. "What you see is what you get. I'm not..." I trailed off. I was thinking about Corinne. And Gen. And Stacy. All those confident girls who outshone me.
"You are," Simon growled in his hoarse voice. His voice was so sure, so full of belief that I wanted to kiss him. "But you hold back. And that's okay." As Simon's lips met mine, I turned in his arms until my hands were at his neck, my fingers in his thick hair. "The rest of the girls out here are just shooting stars," Simon whispered into my ear. "They're on a crash course to nowhere. But you, my lady friend, you're a black hole. You've sucked me in, and now there's no escape."


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