Monday, April 30, 2012

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl's mother died four years ago, she just finalized her divorce, and is going on a journey that will she will always remember because from that point on everything in her life changes. From that point on she can move on.

This is my second memoir not counting Born to Run which I count as just a biography. I don't know. No one else says it's a memoir so I won't either. So I am really comparing it to both books because Born to Run was about long distant running while this one is about a young woman trying to heal after her mother's death after she sabotaged her marriage and then goes on a hike for oh lets see... Eleven hundred miles! I also compare it to my first memoir because well... it's a memoir and it's about a girl trying to heal with her mother's death as well which is the whole purpose of her going out there and roughing it so here it goes...

So Born to Run taught me new things. I'm absolutely a wannabe runner and as you can guess a hiker too if I read this book. It didn't really teach me anything new except that I really didn't want to go backpacking and getting all those sores over my back, shoulders, and hips plus my toenails falling off. Haha! Yeah I know. Ew, right? I know the same thing with the toenails happens to long distance runners but still. I guess I really like running more than hiking or I've actually actively ran to get better at distance and I've never hiked before in my life but it this book didn't strike a chord with me as much as Born to Run did. But putting it on its own in the hiking aspect I just wanted some more about actually getting into hiking. I know she just went and never hiked like that before in her life and she explained it all but I guess it wasn't as exciting as Born to Run because I didn't walk away mind blown or like I learned a lot. But I can tell you I did walk away wanting to hike even more. What would it be like to just go out there and let you and only you dictate your survival. It compels you to want to move.

Now the other book I was talking about was The Rules of Inheritance. If you remember this girl's mother died when she was eighteen and she went through some dark things. It was a masterpiece so you really should go check it out. Anyways I didn't feel as much as I did with that one. I guess since it was just mainly focused on her pain and it was just a lot. It also could be that this book was a lot more positive. She let it out there like the other author did but the whole thing was her actively going out and doing something to let her heal while The Rules of Inheritance was her basically just digging a deeper hole. Cheryl did do drugs and she did get an abortion which is the same but it was like nothing. The drugs I saw her look past it and that was fine but she didn't even think twice about getting an abortion and that's just messed up. She didn't even talk about it later after she told us about her kids. It annoyed me a bit but not my life I guess... I won't go into that more because I don't want to sound too... I don't even know.

You may think she must not like this book. Well you would be wrong. I rated those two other books 5 stars while I rated this one 4. I thought this book was fantastic. It made me want to get out there. I loved hearing about those sores, aching feet, and the blistering sun. I want that so I feel this book satisfied me in almost every single way. It is definitely a mover and shaker like Goodreads proclaimed last month and well worth the read.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kickstarter #1

Hello everybody! I want to talk to you about Kickstarter. Kickstarter if you don't know already is a website for people to get funds for their projects. Many months ago I found a book there that led me to some great illustrators. It's called: A Rule Is To Break: A Child's Guide To Anarchy. Although I'm just a teenager in High School the least I can do is help spread the word about some awesome books that need funding. You may get an award so why not check these books out? I'll try to post new books as much as I can. Probably once a month... Well here are some new books I found today:

Here are some books who have reached their goal. Yay!

As you can see I like children's books. I've been thinking of reading and reviewing picture books because honestly I love them. I'm still thinking about it... So if you like any books please feel free to spread the word. Thanks guys (:

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Release Date: May 1st 2012
Chloe is the personality out of her group of three friends. Merc is the brains and Brie is the beauty. She has a passion for shoes, soap operas, and everyone she loves. She's always there for them when they need a laugh but now after a winter break without her best friends she is abruptly hit with her friends cold eyes and wavering friendship. Brie is none to happy with her and Merc follows her lead. Having no idea what is going on she is left outcast and she soon finds herself with the outcasts. Her crazy counselor disapproves of her former JISP, a program each student has to do to help the community, and forces her to join the tanking school radio. She is definitely not welcomed by this cast especially Clementine a.k.a. nose-ring girl who's attitude towards her can be matched by Brie's new one. However she is welcomed by the quiet yet handsome Duncan who's always there to fix everything. Can he fix her broken heart?

I needed Chloe! I've become absolutely obsessed and in love with a book that has anything to do with music (it's more to do with radio but it's still in the same area as music). I was so scared it would disappoint. I wanted another A Little Wanting Song. I found not another A Little Wanting Song but the great Chloe. She's a nonstop talker ready with a joke in hand and her heart on her sleeve. When she said seriously with wide eyes "Free burritos" I laughed out loud! I was hooked. Chloe won my heart.

Duncan also was a great part of the story. I loved his scarves. He reminded me of Mako:

He seriously broke my heart this week... anyways Duncan had a hard life and Chloe had to deal with some stuff. "Stuff" being her grandmother slowly losing it with Parkinson's. Her grandmother is just like her well she's just like her grandmother. She's this great spirit but she's stubborn and doesn't want to leave her Tuna Can - that's what she calls her home by the sea. She deeply worries for her but with her mom and her arguing all the time she feels like nothing will ever be resolved. They'll be at odds forever.

I thoroughly enjoyed the bantering of Queen Chloe and her Jester but there was one thing lacking... They all had to deal with some big issues but I didn't really feel them. It was a lighthearted book so I get it but drug abuse? It should feel like the worlds shaking for them but I still understand because this type of story doesn't read well with dark subjects like that. You will love Chloe anyways because she absolutely entertaining and hilarious. This debut novel shows great potential of Coriell and it'll be great to see what she comes up with next.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

Theodore Boone has got to be the most knowledgeable 13 year old on law around. He's spend his life around judges, lawyers, police officers and court rooms and prides himself on knowing everyone in the courthouse. His mother is a divorce court lawyer who always sides with the woman while his dad is a lawyer who spends his time in the office not going near the courts which he can't possibly understand because his dream is to become a great trial lawyer. He's so into this life that he even has kids coming to him for legal advice ranging from a dog committing a second offense of  walking around without a leash to the murder of the century in his small town. There hasn't been a murder for years and he's fascinated by this one but then he suddenly finds himself in the middle of it. Theo is determined to help his client in the best way possible but what if that contradicts with all he believes is right and just?

I've never read anything by John Grisham before so let me first say WOW. I love his writing style. I can even compare it to the great Rick Riordan. It doesn't have someone as funny as Percy or anything like that. It's just brilliant writing. I wonder how can he have missed my radar for so long. I was wary to read this because some people have considered it an adult read and I don't want to read a book about a kid lawyer and it be considered an adult read. It loses all values. Those people are crazy because this is definitely a middle school read and boy what a read!

Theo was this professional and very analytic type of person and you wouldn't think you'd be able to connect with a character like that especially if he's supposed to be a kid but you'd be dead wrong. Grisham creates this great character with all the qualities of an adult but also he creates a vulnerable side which you especially see when he gets in the thick of it. I would so love being his friend. I'd feel confident that he always has my back because he always does with the kids he helps again even when he is in the thick of it.

I expect great things with the next book... Theodore Boone: The Abduction. One this book was amazing and Two it just ended not as a cliffhanger but there's obviously so much more to add to the story. I expect it to be more dramatic too. You know in the first book how they are introducing the characters and giving you a feel on how they are, their personality, etc. It didn't drag on which I'm not saying. That aspect was perfect. I'm just saying there is so much more drama yet to come and I can't wait for it. And last but not least I expect more from his friend April well at least I hope. She has a lot of potential of being his number 2 and hopefully since I didn't see her being quite so strong in this book she can become a strong female character. So this book scored high for me. I even gave it to my friend to borrow so if you know if that happens the book is worthy of praise.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Name Is Olivia... and I Can't do Anything About It by Jowi Schmitz

Release Date: May 1st 2012
Olivia's mother has died and she is waiting for her in the form of an urn. It has to be mailed because her father and her moved to another town leaving her Grandma and Grandpa who think her father is very immature (which he is) behind. But it's only temporary. She doesn't need any friends especially not Sasha the boy everyone makes fun of or needs to worry about Milena and her friends teasing her or her not being able to live in a boat in the backyard of her dad's barbershop. It's only temporary after all.

Olivia's story is one I've come across plenty of times. Well not as quite as unique as her situation but a parent-dying-and-trying-to-pick-up-the-pieces type of story. She hasn't really let it out and let herself cry even though they are a "tolerant family." That right there and other things make the book really weird to me. Her father is always crying and I'm always thinking how the mother didn't get frustrated with him and yell at him because he acts just like a kid. And I mean JUST like a kid.

A lot of the story was a bit odd to me like it shouldn't be for someone in Elementary (well maybe fifth grade) more like Middle School but I still found it enjoyable at times like Sasha was an interesting part of it. I just wish I could have had more... I knew right away what was going on and don't like when that happens. I rather be surprised when the protagonist is but that's just me. All in all it was a nice read about a girl letting go.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

Could not put this in an order this week. So the books rated are not in order well maybe the first one is correct (; Warning! A lot of males on this list.

10) Maia from Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson. My favorite (sometimes) book ever. Maia loves to read... and she has to move far away and deal with evil sisters... She also is a explorer and is pretty resilient even if she is an orphan. So if you don't get why I love this book and character to death.. I don't know what else to say to you. She is just amazing and her and Finn make me happy.

9) Clay from Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Clay! My heart breaks for you. I just crumpled over this book and how great Clay was and what he had to deal with. Well worth one of my top favorite characters.

8) Ben Wolf from Deadline by Chris Crutcher. Another heart breaker. This guy was just incredible. He had a little bit of a complex because he was short. He's in love with this tall athlete and he's incredibly entertaining. He goes crazy with Malcolm X and just will win your heart over.

7) Maniac Magee from what else? Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. He runs away from home and runs everywhere. In love with him yet? He pushes the boundaries and he is incredibly strong and then he meets someone who bullies him into submission to stay with her and her family.

6) Thomas from The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner. What can I say about Thomas? He is a runner which if you haven't noticed till now is something I love in a runner. He also just has this quality about him like Percy Jackson and Jason from Rick Riordan books that makes him so likable. He is a leader through and through.

5)  Percy Jackson from The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Well I have to add Percy! Leadership again but also he's incredibly funny. I have so many liked quotes by him in Goodreads. And then he is a demigod and his love interest is someone like Annabeth. He can do no wrong.

4) Danny from Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena. I feel like Danny's character was made for me. The whole feeling out of place in the Spanish culture and he's just adorable because he's so quiet all the time but has a killer arm for baseball.

3) Harry Potter... from you know where... um... Magic, orphan, one of the best series ever created? I think you get the point.

2) Charlie from A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley. She's this incredibly quiet person who's got soul. I love how she's such a good person and she blows everyone out of the water. I look for music books just because of her.

1) Puck from the Grimm Sisters Series. Puck is probably my all time favorite character... ever! He is so mischievous and evil. He's gross but also very protective of the sisters and the grandma. I can't describe how much I LOVE him and love him with Sabrina.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Zero by Tom Leveen

Release Date: April 24th 2012
Amanda Walsh's a.k.a. Zero's life has made a turn for the worse. Her parents are still arguing, her dad is still drinking way too much, she wasn't able to get scholarship money to go to her dream school, and her and her best friend are just not talking.

She loves the artist Salvador Dali (think clocks) after she was introduced to him by her all time favorite art teacher well Teacher period Mr. Hilmer who always told her she was doing a good job on her artwork. She doesn't like her body but it doesn't stop her from awkwardly trying to talk to the drummer with the killer eyes named Mike from Gothic Rainbow. He actually wants to hang out with her. (A lot of italicizing so far).

From then on out everything seems to be going right. Well she still isn't able to go to the school of her dreams but she's working on her art, her parents are still yelling but she's got the perfect Mike to distract her, and she's still on the outs with her friend but then again... she's got Mike to distract her. But not everything is what it should be. Throughout her summer Zero learns to discover who she truly can be.

LOVED Zero! Her personality was just so awesome and entertaining. She's just this teen that sometimes can be awkward and can be unsure of herself. It really doesn't make any sense to me how she had like no friends in school. There are always artists around. I guess since my school has art programs and music programs I'm used to people that would be otherwise known as outcasts which I really find super weird. I just wanted to kick her sometimes because seriously stop saying those things about yourself! But I'm one to talk since I've felt unsure and crappy about myself sometimes. The same thing with art. She can actually create it. I on the other hand can only copy an image that's already there. This book has made me want to draw again because even if I'll never be able to draw like others do...its fun! I love when books make me want to do things. I give thanks to books that make me want to do things!

Mike was cool. I didn't expect him. I mean I did because I obviously read the summary but I assumed he be more... into himself? I don't know why I think that of musicians sometimes, He is a punk skater boy so I just assumed... well he ended up being such a great guy with his own issues as well. He encouraged and I was like I love you dude! Such a great guy.

I didn't know who Dali was until she mentioned clocks and I assumed... correctly this time! I live in Florida so maybe I'll check out his museum in St. Petersburg this summer. The quotes in the beginning were very interesting. This guy was cool.

Definitely awkward with her friend. Didn't expect that but it was a nice twist. Later on too... I'd recommend that this book be read by older teenagers. Still if you are old enough to read it I'd recommend reading it. I absolutely loved it. Can't wait to read Party. Later Skater!

Socialpunk Blog Tour #5

Concluding the Socialpunk blog tour for me is an interview with author Monica Leonelle. Well enjoy!

What's your typical day like as a writer?

All of my days revolve around my dog, actually. I wake up and take her out, then feed her. She has another break at dinner and another before bed. She keeps me on schedule!

I usually try to get three things done per day. I'm a "burst of energy" type of person. So I will write a whole book in a week or two, then go back and edit it all in a week or two. And then I won't write as much for the next few weeks. On an average day I probably write a couple thousand words, during a book writing session I write closer to 5000 words a day.

On days when I'm not finishing a manuscript, I am catching up on a ton of marketing activities. Today, for example, is a "clear my inbox" day. So I've caught up on almost all my email plus about 25 interviews that have been sitting in my inbox from the last several days. I have to batch my work or else I spend forever switching between tasks.

Do you have any books that influenced you when you were growing up?

When I was a kid I loved this book called The Girl With the Silver Eyes. Here is the exact cover of the book I had: It's one of my absolute favorite YA novels, and surprise! Maggie Stiefvater loves that book too. This was the first novel that made me want to write fantasy and science fiction.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

I started a Gen Y blog in 2007 called Twenty Set. It actually gained quite a bit of steam early on, but eventually I moved away from Gen Y topics. The reason I started the blog, though, is because I couldn't clear my mind! I literally just needed to get things out of my system. So I wrote that blog 4-5 times a week for about six months until my ideas stop churning so quickly. My love for writing as an adult grew out of that experience.

What made you want to write the Socialpunk Trilogy?

Socialpunk is a bit like The Truman Show meets The Terminator, except Mark Zuckerberg is president of the world. I wanted to do a cyberpunk and Socialpunk is classicly cyberpunk, down to its roots. I loved the idea of being trapped in a virtual reality, and then acclimating to the real world.

I was inspired by the city of Chicago, by social media issues in our current world, and by the cyberpunk genre. The book is a bit like the Terminator series and I reference that a couple times just for fun. James Cameron is basically my favorite director ever, and he really inspires me with his world-building and storytelling skills.

What was your favorite part in writing Socialpunk?

I enjoyed creating the Socialpunks world. The 2198 world is magical to me. So coming up with all the descriptions and thinking through how everything works in the future was very fun for me.

Why did you pick artists?

Socialpunk is very reflective of today's social media-driven world in terms of artists, curators, and influencers. It's definitely a physical reincarnation of the digital media world. I love the social media concepts embedded in the book because I used to work in digital marketing.

What character did you love writing about the most?

I would have to say Ima, she's the main character and the book is told entirely from her point of view. What I love about her is how much she changes from the beginning of the book to the end. She feels very guilty and is constantly struggling with right vs. wrong. She's probably one of my favorite characters out of all the ones I've written.

However, I think I would be Ember. She's one of the Socialpunks and she's very beautiful. She has long hair that is literally rainbow-colored--each strand is a different hue. She seems kind of terrible in the first book but hopefully she redeems herself with readers in later books.

Do any of the characters resemble you?

Nasser is also exciting because he's got such big ideas and he's so damn reckless. He's willing to completely derail his entire hash just to pursue a dream. I'm a bit like him at times, to be honest.

The setting is Chicago and you live there. What's the greatest thing about Chicago?

I love that it's a city with skyscrapers and a grid system and no need for a car. It's the perfect setting for a cyberpunk.

Is there anything you want to say to your present and future readers out there?

Thank you for giving my books a chance! I appreciate every reader, even if they don't love the books. I definitely listen to feedback and read every review so that I can improve as a writer.

So there it is. The end of the Socialpunk Tour here. Loved that Monica was able to do this review for me. Thanks Monica! I hope you guys enjoyed this. See ya!

What have I been up to...

Ugh. Sorry guys. Last week was bad for me. I just went home and fell asleep but not only that. I have this big project due. I've decided I'm not going to stress it so much anymore. Whatever happens happens. So sorry! I'll be a better blogger. It's just one of those weeks. I also had Grad Bash Saturday which was AMAZING! I stood in line for Harry Potter for 3 HOURS! So mad. I wanted to quit so many times and my friend was bothering me about it the whole time... it ended up being good but still.... Best time of my life! My mom was freaking out. I kind of hate it sometimes but this time I loved her for it. She's such a mom.... Now I'm back with the last bit of the Socialpunk Blog Tour... the interview! Plus I actually read Zero a week ago and will post the review soon. Sorry again guys.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Socialpunk Trilogy Blog Tour #4

Ima lives in The Dome. You can't leave The Dome. She doesn't remember her younger years-the years she wasn't at Dome. Her best friend in the world is Dash and it's become awkward between them. See she loves him but can't tell him. He even sets her up with Nahum who is new to The Dome.

Her father is controlling and hurts her if she goes too far while her mother decides to do nothing while her daughters in pain. She runs away to go to a concert- her father hot on her trails but she makes it there with Dash which is where she meets Nahum and another boy... One of the boys with black hoodies grabs her just before an explosion kills a mass of people. But no one seems to notice. It must be the drugs the black hoodies were giving them so why is this one helping her?

She discovers the impossible. Her home is a simulation. The world is completely different. The real world with artists and people who are immortal. There body is basically technology and there is no love. She must decided now if she should stay and start over or save everyone from her home because there is a conspiracy going on and she's the hero that they need.

Yay! Finally got to review Socialpunk. I thought Ima was kind of hopeless in the beginning. Only because she was being carried around everywhere by guys which I know girls wouldn't mind that much but still! She did grow out of it even though she's completely oblivious to the guys mooning over her and of course how beautiful she is. She takes the lead and I respect her for it.

The beginning again I had a problem with because it moved to fast. I couldn't get into the characters and what was going on but it transformed from there and I was able to see the vision of the author's creation. It was quite excellent-- the plot and how the world was. Artists everywhere. Who would have thought that was the future? But it did say that was just the industry there so there's that. I would love to have so many artists everywhere though. I'd stare at all the art all day.

I ruined the ending for myself because I found it weird that it said on Goodreads that it was like 200 pages and it ended being much less. It was a face palm hit to the forehead moment. Oh well... It was a pretty shocking ending to say the least. I know that the two others are supposed to come out soon too so I would like to see Ima's/Cinder's reaction.

She kind of accepted it all pretty fast. I would not have changed like that if I were her. I love how they run everywhere though. That's fun. I don't like how they all aren't really them. Their bodies are made and aren't real... it's pretty creepy. This is of course is one of the things that draws me in. I completely loved the whole city. I can't wait to see how the whole story enfolds. Thank goodness for indies!

Trouble Gary D. Schmidt

Gary D. Schmidt famous for (well at least for me) The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy plunges himself into creating a story about brothers, loss, and forgiving.

"Henry Smith's father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you."

Henry's brother was hit by a car one day while out running. They were supposed to go climb Katahdin together but it looks like that's not going to happen. His brother lies in the hospital--his once athletic unbeatable brother. His brother speaks one word and it's directed at him... Katahdin. And now when he's on his beach and feels a wave... a silence and knows his brother is dead he knows what to do. He must climb the mountain and do what his brother said he could not.

 He can't convince his family of course. His family has been split apart. His father hasn't shaven in weeks which has never happened before and he won't leave the house. The house that was far from Trouble until Trouble finally found them. His mother is just sad. She doesn't like people getting into their business. The whole town goes on about how the Americans that have been there for generations and generation shouldn't be subjected to the new Cambodians. That Chay Chouan got away with murder but it was just an accident right? And his sister crying endlessly and never coming out of her room not even for her older brother's funeral. But he needs to climb Katahdin. It calls to him. So off he goes with his best friend Sanborn and his dog Black Dog to the mountain and along the way he finds himself going with his brother's killer. On a journey once met only for him and his brother trying to prove himself to him he finds Trouble and how Trouble will always find a way back to him.

Gary D. Schmidt (I love saying his name) has this signature I think. If you didn't know who wrote this book you would think it was him and you'd be write. I don't know what is about his books that make me feel they are all connected and familiar. Not like he repeats his stories... he does have something with two sides that are in conflict with each other. That's probably it but also his writing. Anyways I have had this book on my TBR list for at least 2 years now and so happy it didn't disappoint. It was close to an amazing book but not quite there. The whole thing with Trouble. I mean I didn't understand that. I could guess but I don't know why they were so obsessed with it.

Henry could have had a more dramatic realization with his brother but it was still okay. When everything was revealed about Chay I was just waiting till Henry realized or discovered what happened. I still couldn't believe it at the end because.. well you guys don't know what I'm talking about so I'll leave it there.

Chay was such a good guy and if I was Henry's mother I would consider forgiving him too. He did kill my son and I would have a little part of me die inside... but he deserved nothing from what his father gave him. I do understand though which is sad...

I want Black Dog! Even if she's all messed up. I love when I'm greeted by my dog and she's always happy so I'd be always happy too but I don't think I would handle her destruction that calmly...

I think Gary D. Schmidt fans will appreciate this book. It's older than the other two mentioned but I think it'll still resonate with them. And any others looking for books about a journey and conflict will like this book.

One last thing. To those Americans that didn't like how the Cambodians took their jobs and how they don't belong and how they are different and blah blah blah. You aren't special because your family has been here for generations. Immigrants are as much as Americans as you and in the words of Jack White's (The White Stripes) Icky Thump song "White Americans, what, nothin' better to do? Why don't kick yourself out? You're an immigrant too"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Socialpunk Trilogy Blog Tour #3

Okay I have been holding out on you guys. I actually received the first 10 chapters of Social Punk from the author. What I mean is she allowed all the bloggers to share it with you guys. I don't know how long you'll be able to see it or download it so I would recommend if you truly want to get to know this book to read it before May. Just in case.

Well enjoy!

PDF Format

I only know that the PDF works. If you need it in a different format let me know and I'll try to accommodate you.

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Mikey's sister was raped and the person is going to get off he just knows it. All he wants to do is bash his skull in. Because that's what brothers do when horrible things happen to their sisters. They protect. They make them stop hurting.

Karyn has never been the same since. She cries constantly and won't leave their home. He has to take care of her and their eight year old sister Holly. His mother is no help. She's either sleeping or she's drunk. Now when he decides to find information about the rapist or get him alone he stumbles upon his sister. The same age as his sister. He knows what he needs to do now. She was there and he knows that the best way to get information is through her.

Ellie's brother is accused of rape. She tells the cops that she saw nothing. I mean her brother who has always protected her and always been there for her doesn't deserve this. He didn't do this. Her family walks in a blur like everything is normal when it's not. They want her to be strong but it's all too hard for her. And then comes in this cute boy who crashed his brother's party. She doesn't even know his name but she is at the very least intrigued by him and then she is like a whole different person with him. But what happens when she finds out the truth of who he really is?

Can you say AMAZING!? That word sums up everything. I had no idea which side was telling the truth or not until much later which kept me guessing throughout which I can't tell you how much I appreciate when an author is able to do that. Ellie's brother Tom was picture perfect I didn't know what to believe. In the beginning it all unfolded from their side that they were trying to cover everything up. Give him a surprise like it's no big deal of what he was accused of. Then the other side was poorer and the way Mikey described how the cops saw them and their house... like they turned up their nose at them... that made me feel for him instantly. But then Ellie is this incredible nice girl who is so unlike her parents. Ellie is not what I expected. She is sweeter than I expected but also wilder than I expected. She has different personalities. She can be quiet and serious one minute and spontaneous and determined the next. She was perfect for the role as protective younger sister.

I feel like Mikey is not appreciated as much as he should be. Especially towards the end on how they treat his friend versus him when he's always been on their side and always helping. He's been the man and mother of the house. So it was ridiculous how they treated him in the end even before they found out about Ellie. Mikey is a little bit of a player. The author describes it and his buddies agree but I didn't see much of it because he was trying to keep his family whole the whole time and Ellie comes along... I so agree with Mikey. I would have bashed his head in. I don't trust the justice system that much especially of it was concerning something like this. He would have already been dead. I'm glad he didn't do it though because he would have never met Ellie.

I really don't know what else to say but how I loved this book and so happy I was able to read it. The author wrote Before I Die which I've heard is good. I'll have to check it out especially because of the review from the New York Times..."The reader can finish its last pages feeling thrillingly alive.... I don't care how old you are. This book will not leave you." Just what I need in a book. I've seen You Against Me on Goodreads ads and I always wonder if those books on the ads are worth the hype. Well I can tell you confidently this one is.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Socialpunk Trilogy Blog Tour #2

Continuing the blog tour is an excerpt from Social Punk by Monica Leonelle...

After playing God for six years with the world he created, he couldn't control any of his subjects, none at all. Over the years, he had watched them evolve and become the sum of their own choices rather than the sum of his; and for that, he regretted ever giving them life.

A small, blinking red light from just inside his eyelid reminded him of the news they sent him earlier that morning. The company had cancelled his funding and would shut down his project within three months. According to them, the project cost too much and took up too much space, and the inconclusive results couldn't be published reputably, now or in the future.

Six years of his work, tens of thousands of lives at stake--and he could do nothing to save any of it. He bowed his head, letting his chin rest on the rim of his breakfast smoothie. The smoothie reeked of powder--crushed pills--but he supposed he had better get used to it. He wouldn't be able to afford the luxury of real food after they canned him.

He closed his eyes and called up the camera view of one of his favorites, number 3281. She fascinated him; he couldn't deny it. When he had designed her, her pre-teen rebelliousness lit fire in her eyes. A survivor, he'd thought. He'd meant for her to have it all--to grow up, to get married to the love of her life, and to have a beautiful family of her own someday.

But he had only given her sadness so far. Instead of creating a strict father, he had given her an abusive one. Instead of creating a loving boyfriend, he had given her a friend who could never love her. And instead of creating a strong, proud mother, he had given her a meek one, who watched the whole thing unfold and did nothing about it.

He looked at his last and final creation sitting in the chair across from him--his own son, not awakened yet. The law forbade him to have any children of his own, so this boy would substitute.

But he had done the unthinkable with this creation--he had bestowed on it his own thoughts, emotions, and decision-making processes. He'd given the boy his own mind, his own physical characteristics, his own wants and desires.

He had never done so with any of the others because of the dangers of investing too heavily in any one of his subjects. But who could he kid? He had not stayed objective thus far, watching some of his subjects more closely than others, wishing for the happiness of some a the expense of others. He had become an abomination, a monster of his own doing, who had created subjects only to watch them suffer.

In ancient stories, gods frequently gave their sons as gifts. Now, he would give his son as a gift to her. number 3281. So she could be happy in her last months on earth, before they destroyed her with the rest of them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Socialpunk Trilogy Blog Tour #1

Hey guys! I have a special treat for you today. All this week I'll be talking about The Social Punk Trilogy well specifically the first book: Social Punk by Monica Leonelle. The author was kind enough to let me participate in this blog tour as well as review her book and later on even have an interview. So stay tuned this week for more updates about the book. For now a description of the book, about the author, and a giveaway!

The Book:

Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what's beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.

 The Author:

Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit. Monica's other books  are Silver Smoke and the second book from the Seven Halos Series is Tin Soldier.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Loser by Jerry Spinelli

Donald Zinkoff has always been messy, an atrocious writer, clumsy, and has never really one anything. One day someone finally takes notice and he is dubbed a Loser. He's made fun of and doesn't know it and he just takes everything because life is just one big laugh to Zinkoff. Then he does something that shows his real side and can be called a hero.

Spinelli is almost one of my favorite authors. You may or may not know that I have a rule that if I like four of an authors books I can call them a favorite author. Unfortunately this wasn't in league with his other books i.e. Maniac Magee, Wringer, and Eggs. So I'm still waiting... This wasn't a bad book it was just a little bit too childish even for me. I mean the main character was different and I liked that he literally laughed in the face of danger but I don't know... it was too innocent.

One right after the other I read a book about bullying. Lucky me, right? Well this was a change of pace from what I just read because it was a YA read. Zinkoff was a real sweet kid and there was some nice sentimental things going on at times but it was just okay for me.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Forgot To Say....

Happy Easter everybody! Have a great day! Listening to some Christian music right now....

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

Daelyn Rice is going to die in 23 days. That's the plan according to the website She would do it sooner she really wants to do it sooner but she can also wait. During the time between she goes on forums and sees other people's problems laid out. Some days she gets asked a question like How are you going to go? (paraphrasing) There's also this boy who seems intent to bother her but she won't smile at him or get connected because that's how she failed the other times... she felt some hope but not this time. But is there... hope for her after all?

Daelyn was the "fat girl" everyone always teased her and she was even sent to the hell on earth that was fat camp. She had a neck brace and I'm sure you already know it's from an attempt or she likes to say failure. Her parents are always checking up on her and her mother is always trying. I understand that but the father has this thing where he can check the computer to see what sites she's on. The suicide website can't be shown and he keeps on checking it and I'm like Dude! Get rid of the computer! Actually that wouldn't help....

So Santana I loved from the beginning because he was acting like a dufus just to be nice to her. But then in the end he did act like a boy. I mean that IM comment. WOW. So I'm still kind of on the fence with him. A lot was revealed about him when she went over his house. YES that happened. That's where the change in him really showed not really when he really talked about himself... I do understand that he was dealing with things too. He was desperate too. And we all are selfish so I don't judge him to harshly.

So I have to talk about it... suicide. I really can't believe I just talked about religion and then I get into a book about suicide. I'm so weird... So I really think the people who say that killing yourself is a coward's act really don't understand how unhappy you can be. They are probably the bully type of people who grow up. I really wish that people would stop looking down on people that do end their lives and just HELP. You know when someone's down. At least I know because I'm pretty aware of people. You cannot tell me that no one ever had an inkling. Everyone does hurt. And anyone can help. Even just some interest can make someone feel so good.

Bullying is also the main theme here. Even saying something silly can hurt someone who's already down. Don't talk about someone especially if they are right there. It hurts. Your laughing can bring someone pain. Think if you were unhappy and someone was talking about you and laughing at you. Just sympathize for once. This book brings up the issues that are ridiculous because they shouldn't exist. It is a type of book that people need to read once in awhile to remind them that you aren't the only person that matters.

One last thing... I felt this book was so close to being great. When it started to go to the end... I don't know maybe it was Santana or Daelyn but it didn't wow me as much as I would have hoped. It still brought something to me and it's still a book I'm glad I read.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK by Betsy St. Amant

Released: January 1st 2012
Addison Blakely is a PK. After seeing the words PK mentioned oddly in two books I've read in the past couple of weeks I have finally discovered what it means! Yay for me! It means preacher's kid. She does everything for her father (well that's how I see it) while he's always away doing something for the church. She gets to cook him dinner three days out of the week, worry about his health, and maintain the image hat is the PK by getting the best possible grades, choosing the right choices, and overall being perfect.

Then comes in Wes who she has been obsessively stalking. He is the brooding-leather-jacket-motorcycle-riding-get-away-from-my-daughter type of person. He's always around poodle girl as she likes to call his "girlfriend" and they are sure to be making out but Wes has caught Addison's eye and maybe he actually might like her.

Luke is the boy your mother and father would love to meet. He's always sweet to Addison but she has her eyes on Wes. Marta is a foreign exchange student who she deems a Godsend since she's always there and gives her great ideas unlike her best friend who ditches her. Now her EX-best friend.

So who will Addison pick? And what will she do when her holier than holy father starts humming and smiling everywhere since he's been going on dates with someone too close for comfort? And is she really as close to God as she is supposed to be?

YES! What am I saying yes to? I am saying yes to this book and how completely hard I fell for it. Addison for one really needs to cut down on the sugar because she's going to go in a sugar comatose one of these days. She was a bit of a pain... not pain pain. I mean she always attacked Wes on everything he did and I thought the author was trying to make him be the bad guy and say that he was so wrong in every way. It was frustrating. But then I liked that about the book. I liked that I didn't know what was going to happen and I'm staring at my screen thinking ummm.... how do I not know how this is going to end yet!? when I'm so close to finishing. This book made me really just think and keep wondering and I loved it for that.

Now I said that I thought the author was making Wes seem like a really bad guy but I was gung ho for Luke because dude... he is totally into you and he is a sweetheart. At the end it could have gone to anyone really especially since Luke is pretty much perfect. Marta, her friend I was talking about earlier, is a foreign exchange student from Germany and I felt it was so unreal when reading Ja from her all the time. I'm like what is this!? It took me awhile but I warmed up to her. And I was looking at it from her point of view and I would have thrown something at Addison a long time ago because she's ALWAYS having a crisis. And I felt Addison a little bit selfish because it was always about her but then I think I'm being too nitpicky because duh! self look at the title. Still think it sometimes.

Her father.... I kind of know the horribleness that is overprotective parents. I really loathe it because I feel like I can never really do anything. My life feels like it's not really started and I feel like such a loner especially with reading all the time and people saying oh she reads all the time. Why do you read all the time? Answer: I. Like. Reading. So I felt like I can relate to her in more than one aspect.

The God part was interesting. It was odd when she was talking about it. So.... sure. But with God everything is easy except when you get into the details. Details like how I could never believe in Purgatory, how people who are religious think my ideas are wrong (I know what they mean when you can't interpret/shape the message or the Bible of how you want it. I understand that but then if I don't believe some things it doesn't mean I don't believe at all), and more importantly the religious people or people in general who think being gay is wrong. It's none of your business. It isn't your life. God loves everyone especially since they love. Your the one hating. I think he would prefer those who love. I have yet to find a book with details like this including this one. I wish I could find someone struggling with the details not the main concept. I except God not so much the other parts...

So in the end this book was fantastic. As you can tell by this really long review that I enjoyed it and it made me think about God which I've been trying to find more in books. So I'm pretty content right now. Oh! When she made her realization in the end... it was perfect. I wanted to cover my mouth too. Addison Blakely won me over. This book is HIGHLY recommended.

Banished by Sophie Littlefield

Hailey Tarbell lives in Gypsum, Missouri. Her house being close to Trashtown where the Morries live. There people who are dirt poor and  look it too. They keep close together. And she feels drawn to them but doesn't know why...

Hailey lives with her Grandmother, Chub (a four year old she adopted as her little brother), and Rascal the dog. Her Grandmother is a mean old thing. She smokes and drinks, does nothing for Hailey and she sells drugs from her house. She had this hope... somehow maybe she could love her but no. She could never especially after she finds out she's been keeping secrets from her. How her mother really died, why Dun (a druggie) looks at her like that, and who she really is.

After an accident in gym class everything starts to unravel. She's a Healer and a good one too. She's never had to practice. She never needed to know anything... well she did actually break a cardinal rule. The only rule you should never break. Doing something unforgivable... An unknown woman to her, Prairie, comes to take her, Chub, and Rascal away while men are chasing her down but how would they knew who she was when she just found out herself?

This book was like a Hallelujah moment. It came to me and I couldn't be happier. It was like it was sent specifically for me. I've always wanted to read a healer book and I finally did! Did not see the whole rascal thing coming I can tell you.

Hailey had no one really. I mean the Morries had each other and they always stayed away from her which I can see why but she can basically save your life so I would say it's worth it to be her friend. Hit my head. HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP! All healed now! YES! I'm not going to die! See? Worth it.

I just wanted to grab Chub and hug him! He's a bit slow and oh so adorable! Also didn't expect what happened to him but I should have realized earlier. They basically told you plainly.

Ugh. The Grandma. I hope I wouldn't act that way if I was in her situation. I would probably be angry with the world too. I wonder why she wasn't a Healer too...?

The ending: :O! Loved it! So many possibilities and then I read the second book Unforsaken's summary and found out there is going to be romance! I kind of wish it was with the Morrie who was nice to her. I'm sure the author is not going to just let that slide. She's definitely going to go back to Gypsum. It's going to go down there. And then there are still so many questions lurking inside my head... like why are they called the Banished? What exactly did they do to get that nickname? Great YA book! So excited for Unforsaken!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen

I honestly felt completely blind sighted by this book. I mean I thought oh a prank war of football players and gymnasts and there are steroids so that should be interesting. THIS WAS NOT ABOUT STEROIDS!!! Well it was an underlying problem but I felt like the author just passed by it. One of the main characters, Kurt, took pills from his coach but then that was it... until nonchalantly two weeks later he just casually mentions that he is getting bigger because of the D-Bol (Steroids). It's weird that I know the name for steroids with reading Gym Candy and now this book. Gym Candy actually mentioning more. I understand that it can be used to say why the three football players were acting crazy but really it annoyed me that the author just waved it off. It's not cool to just use steroids. Kurt better be stopping! Other than that it was an amazingly powerful read that just.... wow.

Well I passed the summary... so what it's about: Kurt Brodsky is a new football player for the Knights. He's a Fullback which I've never heard of and I asked some guys and they didn't know (I know now that I definitely asked the wrong guys). It means he's a power blocker and runner for the other Fullback and the Quarterback (according to Wikipedia). Anyways he has had to take a lot of abuse. You can tell by just looking at him since he has a massive scar from the outside corner of his eye to his jaw as well as patchy skin that is confirmed later to be a burn mark. He's lived in foster homes and was accused of killing his best friend Lamar when it was actually the caretaker that did it. I'm still not sure if he did other things.... My first reaction to Kurt was that he sounded hot. A muscly guy who stutters. Super cute. I'm a girl. I get to react that way. I know this is a book geared more towards boys so they probably have a different first reaction more like Danny's reaction which is the second main character. Probably won't have the reaction to keep away from him because he'll probably end up going crazy and killing a bunch of people because he's a fictional character... it's probably more excitement because you know this guy will do some damage.

Danny is a gymnast. I don't know how the football players think that gymnasts are weaker than them. Have you seen their arms!? And what they can do!? Well Danny gets in trouble with the football players because he's in the gymnast group and is blamed for the pranks they have been pulling. I'm still angry at Danny for what he didn't do. I would have probably been freaking out too. But I would have yelled or something or maybe I would have been worried that I would get raped too... Yes. Rape. This has sexual abuse. I told you I was blind sighted. The whole scene was really messed up. I can't believe I got through that. The author has tortured me with that in my mind. Disgusting.....  So then you know don't read this if you think you can't handle it. Seriously. It has rape. It's really messed up what happens. Think about it.

I still actually really loved this book. It went in a completely different direction than I thought it would but it definitely caught my attention. Crazy, powerful read. The ending was perfect. I noticed really late but the book's title has the word rage on it and it's red. I felt so stupid I didn't figure that out before. Awesome Cover by the way... So I'm off to find me some more YA Sports reads!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Ten Books To Read in A Day

Top Tuesday is a weekly Meme by The Broke and the Bookish

Honestly this was ridiculously hard to put in order. I am still thinking about it. My reactions to most were... My eyes! Why did I do this to myself!!!???, If you don't leave me alone right now you will be seriously injured, What did you say? (family members trying to talk to me), and How long do I have to wait before dad figures out I haven't had lunch yet?

10) I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier
The first book I read that made me discover the genius that is Robert Cormier. Has a huh kind of ending.

9) Rules by Cynthia Lord
Made me want to attack Catherine if she DARED hurt David. Which she kind of did. Which made me a very unhappy person...

8) How Not To Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
I read a ridiculous amount of chapters on Barnes and Noble which never happens late at night and then the next day I went to go buy it literally the next day. Barnes and Noble can be very sly. Loved the Goody-Two-Shoes Jack. Love the name Jack and he was 100% sweetheart!

7) The Death Cure by James Dashner
Because it was the last Maze Runner book I had to put it up here. This was one of those books that I had to finish and I ate my food with while I was cringing inside. I'm still sad that I didn't like it as much as the others.

6) Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
I couldn't help but read this in one day. One of the most likable main characters ever and then her love interest the oh so interesting shapeshifter. And then the END!

5) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
One of those My Eyes! books. I HEART Clay so much!When it was his turn I was so freaking HAPPY! He started crying I started crying. It was beautiful.

4) Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Another My Eyes! and Why did I do this to myself!!!??? So deep and heartbreaking. There was crazy things going on here. Things that revealed myself that I didn't expect like Whoa! Back away. Ben took a piece of my heart with him.

3) Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
*Swoon* The greatest love triangle ever! I love both guys and being my fist angel book I was definitely impressed.

2) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I was going to put Hunger Games on here but I put this one instead because it was the last and it was the one I most appreciated. It's a If you don't leave me alone right now you will be seriously injured type of book. Amazing ending. Love crazy Peeta.

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Yes. I can read this in one day. This is a more I will curse you out leave me alone book, Lunch gets in the way of everything *whining*, and a very happy satisfying feeling.

Monday, April 2, 2012

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I finally relented and got this book. I have nothing against it. It's really popular but it never interested me that much. It was out of the norm. It actually had a "bad boy" who wasn't a complete ass. He wasn't really one ever actually. He was painted to be the bad boy but he never did anything wrong. He fought for his friends... He may have had a sarcastic attitude and could be a little mean but  I really didn't see it which made me really like him. Because bad boys can be overrated. You're cute for a second but then everything goes down hill because you are really wrong for the girl and you try to "reform" but you're still a jerk in my eyes because you act all tough and are never really sweet. Jace is there with Peeta with me. He's not super nice but he has the dark and good side on his... well side so he wins me over.

Getting ahead of myself there. Jace as you can tell is the love interest. Clarissa or Clary for short goes to a night club for all ages called Pandemonium (remind you of a certain book?) with her friend Simon who sounds really boring even though he can be helpful.... She sees a boy killed by these three invisible-to-everyone-but-her-tattooed-teenagers. From then on she gets sucked into the life of the Shadowhunters who help keep the Downworlders (regular people) safe from demons and werewolves, vampires, etc. who have gone rogue. But the thing is why can she see them and everyone else can't? What did her now kidnapped mom keep from her?

This actually ended up being pretty good. The whole premise and the characters were... fresh. That sounds weird but that's what they were. You couldn't say that Jace was exactly like this person and this book is just like blank. I'm talking about Jace too much aren't I? *smiles* At the end I couldn't believe how he was acting... pretty disappointing. Simon I knew about. It was pretty obvious but I don't really much care for him. Alec was a nice surprise. He started out cocky and so self assured and ended up being too... careful. I wish he just stayed the same. Well when he told Clary off that was something. Clary was cool... Honestly the book didn't WOW me but I still ended up liking it a whole bunch. Clary was just Clary. I liked how again she didn't resemble anybody else. She just has to get tougher. If she doesn't I'll probably not finish the series... I'm sure she will. I don't know why I'm being so harsh right now. It kept me reading that whole almost 500 page book and it was really good. I'm just expecting better for next time especially since that is A COMPLETE LIE with Jace and Clary at the end... It has to be. It better be.

March 2012 Cover Love

Another month another new batch of beautiful covers....

It annoys me that there aren't an even number of Cover Loves this time but whatever...
My picks for Cover Love for this month are Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Jump by Elisa Carbone, and The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith.

The cover of Paranormalcy is so fantastic but then the character is nothing like the stoic girl in the front image. I think it's her pink dress from the Prom... I have a thing with girls on covers. I know I have already admitted it but it's so true and then there are girl's in the cover withe dresses. Now THAT clinches it for a beautiful Cover Love.

So happy that Jump came into my life! There are hardly any YA Sports reads out there especially one with rock climbing. Loved the story and loved the bright colors and scenery that is the cover. Plus the Heart in the middle that I just noticed... *shakes head at themselves*

The picture of The Rules of Inheritance has become so symbolic now that I've read the book. It instantly drew me in. A rebel of a girl with short hair, a cigarette in her hand, and clearly something heavy on her mind. It's a moment. It is a perfect moment that captures the book perfectly.

Ah. I can't wait to find more beautiful covers.... already have some in mind (of course I do).