January 31, 2013

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 485
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

From goodreads.com: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . 

WARNING:  This review is spoilerific and I make no apologies.
If you haven't read it and don't want to be spoiled look away now.

My sister had been bugging me about this series FOREVER.  Ever since she first read the series she's been on me to read it so she could have someone to talk to about them.  She even spoiled the end of this one for me so she could talk it out.  I didn't mind though, and I still don't because surprise incest is not a good surprise for anyone.  I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Clary (Clarissa) Fray is a normal New York girl until she encounters Shadow Hunters in a club one night.  She is then very quickly thrust into a world where nothing is the same, there's danger in everyday places, and she doesn't know who to trust.

The strength of this book, I feel, lies in the characters and the emotions.  There is not one character I didn't like.  I felt betrayed when they were betrayed, I was scared for them all because I was truly invested and enjoyed each of them.  Also, the humor is fantastic.  The dialogue reads so funny and true to life (if life involved demon slaying).  There's this one bit about Clary and/or Simon giving Jase a sponge bath after they get out of danger that I just loved.  

“Do you remember back at the hotel when you promised that if we lived, you’d get dressed up in a nurse’s outfit and give me a sponge bath?" asked Jace."It was Simon who promised you the sponge bath.""As soon as I’m back on my feet, handsome," said Simon.

I can't wait to continue on with this series and the Infernal Devices books because I'm dying to find out where it's all going!

January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

Title: Escape Theory
Author: Margaux Froley
Pub Date: 3.12.13
From goodreads.com: Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide. 
 Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her.  As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn't have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentialityand tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch's death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined.

January 27, 2013

In My Mailbox (32)

Hosted by The Story Siren

On my nook:

Yes, I already own Anna, but how could I not buy it when it was only $2.99?  And Bliss was the Free Friday book this week.

January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pub Date: 2.12.13
From goodreads.com:  It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

January 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (36)

This week's topic is
Settings I'd Like to See More Of

1. Ski Lodges - More winter books please!  There's so much potential: skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating.  Not to mention LODGING.  Hot chocolate, fireplaces, cozy sweaters.  Cute boys everywhere.  I love reading winter-y books and don't know about nearly enough of them.

2. College - I want more New Adult that isn't terrible.  I hope that more authors will take on the challenge of writing a really good, believable college storyline.  Gayle Forman did it with Just One Day, Julie Cross did it with Tempest, Diana Peterfreund did it with the Secret Society Girl books.  C'mon authors, get on this!

3. England - I know, there are plenty YA books out there with an English setting, but I can't seem to get enough of them.  Being set in England usually means there's a cute boy with an accent, which is almost always an automatic A+ (I'm exaggerating, an accented love interest starts you off at a B- at most).  In the words of the immortal Britney Spears, "Gimmie gimmie more, gimmie more, gimmie gimmie more."

4. New Jersey - I LOVE when books are set in my state.   They don't even actually have to be near me, but it just makes me happy to have even a vague idea of the area they're referring to.  (See:  The Curseworkers books, The Stephanie Plum books)

5. Tour Bus/Concert Venue/anywhere that might mean there's a touring musician in the story because, hello, musicians, woo!  (And yes, that is a picture of 4/5ths of One Direction.  Can't help it.)

Do you all have any suggestions of books with these settings?  What settings are you most excited to see more of?

January 21, 2013

In My Mailbox (31)

 Hosted by The Story Siren

I had a really big book week last week.  I don't know how it happened, but I wound up bringing home so many books.  More than I meant to.  It's been a really big shopping week all around.  I need to try to curtail that this week.



 From publishers:

Big thank you to Penguin, St. Martin's, and Simon and Schuster!

January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (34)

Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Pub Date: 3.26.13
From goodreads.com: When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to "go vintage" and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma's list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy's cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she'll get it done. Somehow. 

January 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (35)

This week's topic:
Top Ten 2013 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To

This is a great topic for this week because I really want to get a jump on the Debut Author challenge.  Here are a few debuts that I can't wait to read.

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.
To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

When Evelyn decided to piss off her parents with a bad reputation, she wasn't planning to ruin her valedictorian status. She also wasn't planning to fall for Todd-the guy she was just using for sex. And she definitely wasn't planning on getting pregnant. When Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn's not sure where to go. Can a distant mother, a cheating father, an angry best friend, and a (thankfully) loving aunt with adopted daughters of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.
Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....
When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.
Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending.

Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna's new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can't know.
Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer.

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.
Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

Tim Macbeth is a 17-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is, “Enter here to be and find a friend.” Tim does not expect to find a friend; all he really wants to do is escape his senior year unnoticed. Despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “it” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, and she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone finds out. Tim and Vanessa enter into a clandestine relationship, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.
The story unfolds from two alternating viewpoints: Tim, the tragic, love-struck figure, and Duncan, a current senior, who uncovers the truth behind Tim and Vanessa’s story and will consequently produce the greatest Tragedy Paper in Irving’s history.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.
Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.
But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.(

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.
L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.
But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

So which debuts are you most looking forward to?

January 11, 2013

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Pages: 395
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

From goodreads.com: “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?

I was worried when I read two contemporaries in a row that the first one (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare) being so good would ruin this one for me.  I had been looking forward to reading it for a long time, and I really didn't want to be disappointed.  I have to say My Life Next Door didn't disappoint at all.

A huge part of why I loved this book so much was the Garrett family.  I loved each and every freaking one of them, but especially George and Jase.  I love super curious kids who just want to know more and more.  George was so adorable and I totally wanted to hang out with him.  Jase is who we got to know the best out of the family and you just can't help but love the boy.  I just really wanted to go over to the Garrett's for a bar-be-que.  I think it would be non-stop fun.

About halfway through the book I had no idea where the story was going to go.  I'm pretty sure I even said that out loud to my sister.  I just couldn't imagine what the conflict was going to be, but oh lord, was it worth the wait.  This book makes you fall in love and then BOOM - pits of despair.  I'm pretty sure the words I used were, "I don't know how they're going to make this okay ever again."  And if you guys haven't realized it yet I love a good tortured story.  I blame years of Joss Whedon shows.  Just, please, if you like contemporary at all pick this one up.  You won't be sorry.

January 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (33)

Author: Kristin Halbrook
Pub Date: 1.29.13
From goodreads.com: Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. 

January 8, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (34)

This week's topic is
Bookish Goals for 2013

1. Read 100 books
This was my goal for last year as well, and I almost didn't make it.  I wound up reading a lot of novellas and bonus stories to make that number at the end.  I blame my summer.  I kinda lost the will to read somewhere in June and didn't pick it back up fully until September.  This year hopefully I'll best that number without cheating.

2. Get better about posting reviews
I review almost every book that I read, but I'm really bad about posting them.  I'm going to try to be more regular with posting reviews.

3. Use more bookmarks
I have so many bookmarks.  SO MANY.  And I just got a new one from my sister for Christmas.
But I continuously use scraps of paper, napkins, post-its, and other non-bookmark items to mark my page.  This year I will get better about using actual bookmarks.

4. Spend less money on books
This year, the library is my best friend.  I'm usually pretty good about only buying books that I love/am pretty confident that I'm going to love, but I want to stay on top of that.

5. Read all the books on my Resolve to Read in 2013 list
I make these lists all the time and I never, and I do mean NEVER finish reading them.  Usually they're seasonal lists and I can't read a summer book in the winter and vice versa.  I will finish my 2013 list.  I think I'm off to a pretty good start, what with the first book I've read this year being on that list.  Woohoo, progress!

6. Comment more on other blogs
I need to get better at this.  I love you guys and I want you to know it!  I often read posts quickly and can't think of anything to say, but I know that I should be commenting.

7. Attack those BEA '12 books
I've read a few of the books that I got at BEA last year, but I really want to make a dent in my pile.  They all look so good!

8. Stop avoiding the big books
I am the worst at reading the really super popular books and I don't really know why.  It took me until this year to read Divergent.  I avoided The Hunger Games.  I famously (in my house anyway) refused to read Harry Potter when I was younger until my sister paid me a dollar to read them.  (Why?  I have no idea.)  This year I won't let the fact that something is mega-popular put me off.

9. Read more Middle Grade
I found a couple MGs that I absolutely loved last year, and I've been staring at a bunch at work that I want to get to.

10. Change my blog a bit
It's been almost a year since I started blogging (!!!) and I just want to do some different things.  Maybe change some of the graphics, do some new memes, etc.

What are your bookish goals for the year?

January 2, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (32)

Title: Shadowlands
Author: Kate Brian
Pub Date: 1.8.13
From goodreads.com: Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived… and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye. 

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

January 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (33)

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope everyone had a great holiday.  I'm so late to posting this because today was a super lazy day in my house.  We had a giant New Years slumber party last night: spent the night playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band, camped out in the living room, and spent the day in pjs hanging out and eating delicious food.  It's the best way to start the New Year, in my opinion.  Anyway, this week's super appropriate topic is
Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

Ever since I read The Fault in our Stars I've been meaning to read more John Green and I think Alaska is a good place to start.

I have been hearing nothing but good things about this book lately and it's made me so curious.  I've loved Peter Pan ever since I was little and I've always been intrigued by Tiger Lily.

I read the Mortal Instruments last year, but decided to take a break after the first three.  I haven't gotten back to them yet, but I want to make sure that I do soon.

My sister has not stopped raving about this one since she read it.  I trust her judgement, so I know I need to check this one out.

I've been waiting for Gayle Forman's next book pretty much since I finished Where She Went.  I'm super excited because she's going to be at my favorite indie bookstore signing in February and I'm promising myself that I will read it before the signing.

I was so bad with this series.  I read the first two and then didn't immediately get to Forever after it came out and never went back.  I will finish this series in 2013.

The buzz on this one has all been extremely positive and I'm really excited to check it out.

I read Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son this year after going to see Melina Marchetta speak and I just fell in love with her characters and her writing.  I'm so excited to have another of her books to get sucked in to.

I am dying for this one.  DYING.  I have to know how it ends.  Lauren Oliver is a beast and I will read anything and everything she puts out ever.

I started this one on line for another author's signing at BEA and I loved it immediately, but never went back to it after that.  I will pick it back up again soon.