Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jingle Boy Review

Eeek, a review!! Catch it before it runs away!

Jingle Boy by Keiran Scott

Published: September 23rd, 2003 by Delacorte
Genre: Either contemporary fiction or romantic comedy, I think. With Christmas thrown in for flavour... I'm not good at putting books in genres, am I?
Page Count: 230 in my paperback copy
Part of a series? Nope, it's a standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from
goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Paul Nicholas is a self-confessed Christmas fanatic. That’s why he’s so smitten with Sarah — a girl who smells like peppermint and thinks picking out presents to the strains of “Winter Wonderland” is the ultimate afternoon activity. But when he catches Sarah making out with Santa Claus at the Paramus Park mall, his dad’s over-the-top lights catch the Nicholas house on fire, and his mom gets fired from Fortunoff’s because of something he did for Christmas for Sarah, Paul gets caught in a downward spiral of holiday gloom. This year, the spirit of Scrooge has settled in — and it’s not going to be pretty. Or will the spirit of the holiday prevail?

Review: I'm going to say right off the bat that it's hard for these kind of books and me to click. That's not to say I don't like them, it's just that it's easier for me to find little flaws and nitpick at them. That said, I quite enjoyed this one. The writing was good, the characters were interesting and all in all it was a cute book.

Plot: It's 7:30am, I've been awake since 3am and this is a library book, so this section is going to suck a little. But you all love me so you don't care.

Anyways, the plot was kind of predictable, at least the romance part. The non-romance plot was rather unique, which was good. It balances that way, right?

Characters: Jingle Boy is narrated by Paul in first person, which I thought was neat, because I don't read that many books narrated by boys, and he had a very unique voice. One of my favourite quotes from him is when he mentioned How the Grinch Stole Christmas and adds, "(The original cartoon form in its purest form, not the psycho, acid-trip Jim Carey version.)"

My favourite character, though, was Holly, his best friend. She was just completely awesome. She hated Christmas because her father left her mother on Christmas Day for a department store elf. (Revealed on page 6, so it's not a spoiler.) When Paul told her that he was feeling down on Christmas (to paraphrase because I don't want want to reveal a plot point) he describes her as having "a look of maniacal glee on her face not unlike the one the Grinch sports after he comes up with the idea to steal Christmas from the Whos."

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: There was one particular part that bugged me. It's partly described in the summary, but if you don't want to read it, just skip over this part. Paul buys a necklace for Sarah from the jewelry store his mother works at. He gets her to ring it up, using her employee discount and VISA, and she gets fired when she has to return it without a receipt. Here's my issue with this. Most stores don't let you put yourself through. My mom's store doesn't even let her put through relatives. And you definitely cannot do it with a credit card purchase and employee discount. So it just... doesn't work. I know different stores have different policies, but I'd think that that one would be pretty universal.

PG-13 stuff: Not much, really. If you were to really nitpick, there might be a couple things, but there was no cursing or sex or violence or anything.

Cover comments: The cover picture I'm using here isn't identical to the one on the copy I read, but the only real difference is that the title is in green, not red. I just couldn't find a good picture of the paperback cover. I rather like the cover. Especially the boy. :P

Conclusion: It was a good, cute book, nothing spectacular, but good writing and characters and a sweet happy ending. It's the kind of book you read when you're looking for something light and cute (and funny!!). Plus it's a good read for the holidays, when most of us could use something light, right? Three and a half roses.



Other notes:

Apparently while reading this, I decided that I should run the world because, as I notes several times, boys are dumb and weird. I really wonder about myself sometimes.

Vocabulary: Expenditure. Definition: 1. the act of expending something, esp. funds; disbursement; consumption. 2. something that is expended; expense: Unnecessary expenditures include those for luxury items. (Thank you,
dictionary.com.)

Okay, that's everything.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (24)

Crud, I forgot to do my Waiting on Wednesday post. Sorry guys!! Next week you'll get one, I promise. Guh, I haven't posted in a week... anyways.

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at
Random Musings for help with the title.

Today I want to talk about two songs that I've had on my computer for ages but I only just really listened to recently. The first is Remembering Sunday by All Time Low.



I love the end of the song, don't you guys?

And the second one is Hush by Automatic Loveletter.




Extra coolness points if you A.) know how these songs are connected and B.) can guess what book this makes me think of.

Okay, so, I'm really tired, so that's everything for this Friday.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Talk About (23) - late but Gleeful

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

I know it's late, but I forgot it was Friday. Whoops. :P

Anyways, I know that I've talked about mashups and covers before (have I talked about remixes? Maybe next week) but they're on my mind right now because I have the second Glee CD on repeat. If you don't know what Glee is, you've been living under a rock in another universe.

But on the off chance you might not have heard this song, here's the Glee cover of No Air, which is of course originally performed by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown.



And now, because it's my birthday tomorrow, I'm going to leave you guys with a Smile.



Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine. And it's only a little late! It's only been Thursday for a couple hours.

Now, I promised you guys a real post this week, and that's what I'm going to give you!! A real post with two completely different books, one fantasy and one contemporary fiction, and links and everything!

First up is:

Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham - Release date August 10th, 2010 from Viking Juvenile

How do you know when you’ve crossed the line between curiosity and obsession?

Carly never meant to become a stalker. She just wanted to find out who Brian started dating after he dumped her. But a little harmless online research turns into a quick glance, and that turns into an afternoon of watching. Soon Carly is putting all of her energy into following Brian’s new girlfriend—all of the sadness she feels about her mom’s recent breakup, all of the anger she feels over being pushed aside by her dad while he prepares for his new wife’s new baby. When Carly’s stalking is discovered in the worst possible way by the worst possible person, she is forced to acknowledge her problem and the underlying issues that led to it
.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I love photography. I'm not great at it, but I love reading about it (which was one reason I loved Bad Girls Don't Die) so I really love this cover, which was the first thing that caught my eye in a
Books to Pine for post by The Story Siren. And then the summary just sounds incredible. What do you guys think?

You can check out the author's
website or her blog for more information about her.

Now, my next choice I accidentally put on my list twice (and it wasn't that long of a list), so you can tell how much I want to read it!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready - Release date May 18th, 2009 from Simon Pulse

When her boyfriend dies a most untimely death, Aura who can see ghosts - is forced to reconsider her relationship with the living and dead in Shade.

(Summary from goodreads.)

It's not the best summary in the world, but it does make you wonder, doesn't it? Something about the "most" just makes me go hmm. It sounds to me like it could be very unique and interesting.

You can check out the author's
website here for more information on her books.

From what I read on her website or blog, can't remember which, this isn't quite the final cover, but it's really close, the tagline just needs to be added. And I found this picture:



It's the full jacket. Isn't it GORGEOUS? Click it to enlarge it, it's huge and absolutely beautiful.

Okay, that's it for Waiting on Wednesday for this week!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (22)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

My song this week has a bit of an interesting story. A friend of mine posted some of the lyrics on Facebook and they sounded familiar, so I looked them up and saw that they were from a Framing Hanley song. And I know that
Samantha really likes Framing Hanley, so I looked the song up on YouTube and got ever so slightly addicted to it. The only sucky thing is that YouTube doesn't like the internet I'm on and is really hard to load and Imeem doesn't have the full song... but it's not that big of a deal.

Anyways! This is Hear Me Now by Framing Hanley. Enjoy!!



Okay, I hope you enjoyed the song!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This is a really really special WoW for me because I love this series and I just found out about the cover. :D


Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine (Number Eight in the Morganville Vampire series)

The release date is May 4th, 2010 and I can't find a summary. But the cover is GORGEOUS. I love it and I can't wait to read this, especially now that I have the other books in the series. So YAY!!!!

Sorry for the crummy post, guys, it's 11pm and I'm tired. My to do list is very long :P

Next week I plan on having a scheduled post, so it'll be better, I promise!!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox (17)

Wow, I haven't done this in forever. This is actually a few weeks worth of books. As always, In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

I haven't done an In My Mailbox post in way too long! I haven't been posting enough lately. :(

But, anyways, here's my post! These are the books I've gotten over the last couple weeks, so there's more than there would be in a week.

For Review:


Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann - Hardcover

Daniel’s papá, Marcelo, used to play soccer, dance the cueca, and drive his kids to school in a beat-up green taxi—all while publishing an underground newspaper that exposed Chile’s military regime.

After papá’s arrest in 1980, Daniel’s family fled to the United States. Now Daniel has a new life, playing guitar in a rock band and dating Courtney, a minister’s daughter. He hopes to become a US citizen as soon as he turns eighteen.

When Daniel’s father is released and rejoins his family, they see what five years of prison and torture have done to him. Marcelo is partially paralyzed, haunted by nightmares, and bitter about being exiled to “Gringolandia.” Daniel worries that Courtney’s scheme to start a bilingual human rights newspaper will rake up papá’s past and drive him further into alcohol abuse and self-destruction. Daniel dreams of a real father-son relationship, but he may have to give up everything simply to save his papá’s life.

This powerful coming-of-age story portrays an immigrant teen’s struggle to reach his tortured father and find his place in the world.


(Summary from goodreads.)

This is for a book tour in January. It sounds really good, doesn't it?

Explorer X - Alpha by LM Preston - ARC

For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I just got this one yesterday. I peeked and read about half of the first page and really had to make myself not read more. And the author was so so nice and she included a poster and magnets and a couple bookmarks and more... I "squee"d a little seeing the swag alone. XD

From Walmart when we went to see New Moon on Monday:

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick - Hardcover

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.


(Summary from goodreads.)

You all know how much
I loved this book, right? I saw it in Walmart and it was the only book I wanted. The hardcover is even prettier than my ARC. And as soon as I got home, I read the last chapter to see the difference. XD Oh, don't forget you can click the picture to see the huge stunning version of it.

Bought from amazon:

Tempted by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast - Hardcover

Zoey needs a break after some serious excitement. Sadly, the House of Night school for vampyres doesn't feature breaks on its curriculum - even for a High Priestess in training and her gang. Plus juggling three guys is no stress reliever, especially when one is a sexy Warrior so into protecting Zoey that he's sensing her emotions. Wider stresses lurk too, and the dark force in Tulsa's tunnels is spreading. Could Stevie Rae be responsible for more than a group of misfit fledglings? And Aphrodite's visions warn Zoey to stay away from the immortal Kalona and his dark allure - but they also show that only Zoey can stop him. She's not exactly keen to meet up, but if Zoey doesn't go to Kalona he'll exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. She just has to find the courage to do what's necessary, or everything that's important to her will be destroyed.

(Summary from goodreads.)

My mom loves these books, so I get them as soon as possible for her. She's quite annoyed that the next one isn't out until April. :P

I LOVE this cover! If I'm not mistaken, the picture is pretty large, so click it for more detail.


Glass Houses by Rachel Caine - Paperback

From the author of the popular Weather Warden series. Welcome to Morganville, Texas.

Just don't stay out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero.

When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life. But they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.


(Summary from goodreads.)

I love these books so much. I devoured them when I read them, they're just so so good.


The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine - Paperback

Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I'm in love with these covers. I think they're just perfect for the book. They're all decent sizes, so click them to see more detail.


Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine - Paperback

Claire Danvers's college town may be run by vampires but a truce between the living and the dead made things relatively safe. For a while. Now people are turning up dead, a psycho is stalking her, and an ancient bloodsucker has proposed private mentoring. To what end, Claire will find out. And it's giving night school a whole new meaning.

(Summary from goodreads.)

This is such a good book, too, and I love how after two blue covers this one is so red and warm and pretty.

If you're wondering where Feast of Fools is, I already have it. :P

Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine - Paperback

In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.

Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.


(Summary from goodreads.)

I haven't read this one yet, but SQUEEE!!! I can't wait! And I'm not entirely sure who that is on the cover, maybe Shane, but man is he purdy.


Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine - Paperback

In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace-until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He's kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants-the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Question: If carpe diom (that isn't spelled right) means seize the day, what the heck does carpe corpus mean? Seize the corpse?


Fade Out by Rachel Caine - Paperback

Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again...

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger-and way more dangerous-than anyone suspected.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Love this cover! Especially that necklace, I want that necklace. This is a larger picture, so if you want, click it to see its full size.

Borrowed (from the library):

Starry, Starry Night by Lurlene McDaniel - Paperback

The star that led the three wise men could be the same star wished upon by those longing for a wish to come true. In the opening novella, "Christmas Child," 15-year-old Melanie feels cheated when her baby sister, born at Christmastime, lives only a few days. But the brief life of her sister shows Melanie the lasting value of love. Brenda struggles between noble intentions and real desires when she becomes the last chance for happiness for a dying boy in "Last Dance." The final story, "Kathy's Life," describes a girl who appears to have it all. Kathy is beautiful, intelligent, and has the perfect job as a live-in caregiver for a couple's baby boy. But not everything is as perfect as it seems: Should Kathy give up the one person she loves most in the world?

(Summary from goodreads.)

I think I might have read this one before, but I'm not sure.

Non-book things bought from Walmart that I'm including because I want to (there may just be some fangirling here, so be warned):

Glee: The Music, Volume 1 by the Glee Cast - CD

Ummm, instead of a summary, I'll put the track listing, okay?

1. Don't Stop Believin' (Glee Cast Version)
2. Can't Fight This Feeling (Glee Cast Version)
3. Gold Digger (Glee Cast Version)
4. Take A Bow (Glee Cast Version)
5. Bust Your Windows (Glee Cast Version)
6. Taking Chances (Glee Cast Version)
7. Alone (Glee Cast Version Feat. Kristin Chenoweth)
8. Maybe This Time (Glee Cast Version Feat. Kristin Chenoweth)
9. Somebody To Love (Glee Cast Version)
10. Hate On Me (Glee Cast Version)
11. No Air (Glee Cast Version)
12. You Keep Me Hangin' On (Glee Cast Version)
13. Keep Holding On (Glee Cast Version)
14. Bust A Move (Glee Cast Version)
15. Sweet Caroline (Glee Cast Version)
16. Dancing With Myself (Glee Cast Version)
17. Defying Gravity (Glee Cast Version)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Sountrack by Various Artists - CD

1. Meet Me On The Equinox by Death Cab For Cutie
2. Friends by Band Of Skulls
3. Hearing Damage by Thom Yorke
4. Possibility by Lykke Li
5. A White Demon Love Song by The Killers
6. Satellite Heart by Anya Marina
7. I Belong To You [New Moon Remix] by Muse
8. Rosyln by Bon Iver & St. Vincent
9. Done All Wrong by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
10. Monsters by Hurricane Bells
11. The Violet Hour by Sea Wolf
12. Shooting The Moon by Ok Go
13. Slow Life [with Victoria Legrand] by Grizzly Bear
14. No Sound But The Wind by Editors 3:48
15. New Moon [The Meadow] by Alexandre Desplat

And finally:

The Twilight Saga: New Moon - 2010 Wall Calendar

I really like this. I think the pictures are gorgeous, Taylor Lautner is hawt, although the wig is horrible, I like Kristen Stewart's hair... where was I going with this? Well, whatever I was saying, click the pictures of the calendar because they're huge and awesome. So, yeah, fangirly-ness. :D

Okay! That's everything from like the last month. It's taken me hours to type up, but it was worth it, right?

Thanks for reading such a long post!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (21)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

So, I had a weird dream last night. That's pretty common, though, what was really weird was that it was set to music and I woke up with the song stuck in my head. So I decided since it was Friday, that it had to fate, and I shouldn't skip my Fun Friday post out of laziness. So here is the song I've had stuck in my head all day.

Shout by Alexz Johnson.



This is the mastered, newer version of the song. The older demo version is really cool too and you all should listen to it.



I personally like the beginning of this version and the volume of the other. But I'm insane, so what do you all think?

Okay, that's it for me for this week! What do you guys have stuck in your head today?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I'm doing a kind of special WoW this week, because its cover was just revealed.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - Release date February 1st, 2010

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

(Summary from goodreads.com)

Doesn't it sound incredibe? And isn't that one of the most gorgeous covers you've ever seen? Click it, it's a huge picture. I love it!

Also! Bonus! Sharon has already done a review (the lucky witch), so go check it out!

Okay, that's it for me for this week.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blogoversary Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered! You guys are awesome!

Drum roll please...


The winner of Boy Toy is Mariana!!! Congrats!!

The winner of the Barry Lyga postcards is Ashley (Books Obsession)!!!! Congrats!!

The winner of Explorer X - Alpha and a poster is throuthehaze!!!!! Congrats!!

The winner of Blue Plate Special is
Katie (Katie's Book Blog)!!!!! Congrats!!

All the winners have been emailed and have 48 hours to reply before new winners will be chosen. Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (25)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My choice this week is a tenner, soI don't think it has a cover yet. Soon, though, hopefully!

Whisper by Phoebe Kitandis - Release date April 27th, 2010

I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica whisper: I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that’s what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Doesn't that sound soooooo good? *wants*

I'm feeling really lazy (and exhausted from choosing four contest winners, it took hours), so I'm just going to do this one.
What are you guys waiting on this week?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hush Hush Review

Happy Halloween! In honour of one of my favourite holidays, I have a very special review for you guys!

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Published: October 13th, 2009 by Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/ Paranormal/ Fantasy/ Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 391 in my ARC, but the last chapter has been changed, so I'm not sure what it is now.
Part of a series? Yes! Thank goodness, or I'd die. Crescendo is the sequel and I can't wait for it.

Summary (from goodreads): For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Review: I've always said that Simon and Schuster puts out great books. This is proof of that. You all know my Edward Cullen issues, right? Need I bring up the life sized cardboard cutout again? Well, screw Edward Cullen, I want a Patch! Seriously, I have peanut butter filled pretzels and a Dairy Milk chocolate bar for the first time in months, if someone sent me a Patch, I could die happy.

Becca Fitzpatrick's writing is amazing. It's so hard to believe that this is her debut novel. I practically tortured myself by only reading a tiny bit of this at a time at first yesterday, to make it last as long as possible, but today, I sat down and I was just going to read a little bit and I ended up finishing the book and I was whining about how I read too fast. It's a curse!

Plot: When Nora Grey's biology teacher decides to change the class' seating arrangement, Nora is paired with Patch Cipriano, who, in her words, is tall, dark, and annoying, but she can't help but be attracted to him. The story is fast paced and kept me so involved in the action that I literally could not stop reading. (And how's that for plot? Not bad, hey?)

Characters: Nora was very realistic. She isn't the most confident girl in the world, she isn't perfect, but she's balanced, real, and so easy to relate to. She's smart, too, which is something that I absolutely love in female characters. I also wish I had her hair. And her legs, but that's never going to happen, but I could totally rock a perm.

I could go on and on about the characters, but (in my mind anyways) the real star of Hush Hush was Patch. He's so freaking hot, from the scars on his back to that edge of danger he has to how he calls Nora "Angel". I may (read: so do) have bad boy issues, but he's one of the best I've ever read and I'm serious that I want a Patch. It would make my year.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I do have a couple complaints. 1. They changed the last chapter and I don't have a finished copy, so I can't compare and it's eating me up inside quite a bit. 2. Crescendo cannot come out soon enough. 3. It ended WAY too soon. (In case you think I'm serious, these are noncomplaints because it was so good.)

PG-13 stuff: There's some stuff. Mild swearing, violence, some fun moments (and that's all I'll say on that) but it didn't bother me any. I've read far, far worse in YA. There isn't anything bad, this just isn't the book for more immature readers. Please let me know if that isn't clear, because I worked tonight (made 25 bucks and a pumpkin) and I'm getting tired and I don't think I'm expressing myself clearly enough.

Cover comments: I bookmarked this picture (the one I use in this post) because it's so gorgeous, and huge. Click it if you dare. Seriously, click it, it's amazing seeing how big that picture is and I oh so much want it as a poster. That guy is so hot, which is always a plus. And I love black and white photography and I haven't seen many book covers, especially not YA ones, with black and white covers. It's just so dramatic, and then the red feathers at the top and the cool lettering... major props to the designer.

Conclusion: I got a little too close to selling my soul for this. I'm rather glad I didn't have to, but I'm so glad I could get it and read it, and as soon as possible, I will be buying a finished copy to compare the last chapter. And because it was so awesome, go shower some love on Becca at her Twitter, her livejournal, or her website. Four and a half stars to Hush Hush.


I can't believe how many reviews I've done this month! It's not many compared to some people, but for me, it's a lot. And that I've been blogging a year! Don't forget to enter my blogoversary contests before they close later tonight, and happy Halloween.

Peace and
pumpkin cookies,
Laina

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fun Friday: Give Me Something To Sing About (20)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

Tomorrow's Halloween! And since it is, what else could we have but




The Monster Mash!

Enjoy!!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In My Mailbox (16)

Wow, I haven't done this in forever. This is actually a few weeks worth of books. As always, In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

For Review:


Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maquires by Molly Roe - Paperback

Coming of age amidst the seething unrest of the Civil War era, feisty fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty infiltrates the Molly Maguires, a secret Irish organization, to rescue a lifelong friend. Under the guise of Dominick, a draft resister, Katie volunteers for a dangerous mission in hopes of preventing bloodshed. Katie risks job, family, and ultimately her very life to intervene. A series of tragedies challenge Katie's strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can she balance her sense of justice with the law?

(Summary from the back of the book and goodreads.)

The pictures in this post look a little weird because my firefox stopped working so I'm using Internet Explorer and it, well, sucks. So click on the pictures of the covers to see them better. :)


Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney - Hardcover

Blue Plate Special — Doomed loves, failed families, nixed dreams — someone else's leftovers are heaped on our plates the day we come into this world.

Big Macs and pop tunes mask the emptiness as Madeline watches her mom drink away their welfare checks. Until the day Tad, a quirky McDonald's counter boy, asks Madeline out for a date, and she gets her first taste of normal. But with a life that’s anything but, how long can normal really last?

Hanging with Jeremy, avoiding Mam, sticking Do Not Disturb Post-its on her heart, Desiree's mission is simple: party hard, graduate (well, maybe), get out of town. But after Desiree accepts half a meatball grinder, a cold drink, and a ride from her mother's boyfriend one rainy afternoon, nothing is ever simple again.

Too many AP classes. Workaholic mom. Dad in prison. Still, Ariel's sultry new boyfriend, Shane, manages to make even the worst days delicious. But when an unexpected phone call forces a trip to visit a sick grandmother she's never met, revealing her family's dark past, Ariel struggles to find the courage to make the right choice for her own future.As three girls from three different decades lives converge, they discover they are connected ways they could never imagine. Each of them finds strength that brings her closer to healing a painful past, and faith that there is a happier future.

(Summary from the inside of the cover.)

I'm currently giving this away! Not this copy, obviously... but you know what I mean!
So go check it out! It's open to Canada and the US until the end of the month.

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen - ARC

Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope.

As the new eleventh grader at Anton High – the most elite public school in the country – she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity.

In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants. And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing.

With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down.


(Summary from goodreads.)

I freaking love the hippy bus on the cover of this. (My name for it as I am odd, I'm pretty sure no one else on earth calls them that. Like the veggie baby thing.)

Bought: None.

Borrowed (from the library):

The Actual Real Reality of Jennifer James by Gillian Shields - Hardcover

This is the diary of Jennifer James. It contains:

One Heroine: Jennifer James, burdened by brains, struggling to release her Inner Babe

One High School: London Road Comprehensive, a no-hope English school in a no-hope English town

One Prize: A scholarship to the elite St. Willibald's College [Jennifer's idea of Paradise] offered to the winner of a tacky reality TV show, Down The Bog

and...

A Thousand Complications: Like Jocasta, the crazy feminist mother; Tallulah, the blond rival from hell; Marcus, the guy with green eyes; and above all, the actual real reality that Jennifer's chances of winning are less than Mega-Zero...

(Summary from goodreads.)

I was wasting time at the library the Wednesday before last waiting for it to get to be five o'clock so I could have some teddy bear books (and I get paid for this!) and I spotted this, so I grabbed it. I've never heard of it before, but it sounds cute. It's not part of a series, though, is it? Bonus points if you know why the name Tallulah amuses me.

Well, that's it for me for this week!

Don't forget to enter my contests for
Explorer X - Alpha and Boy Toy! Both of those are open internationally, and again, my Blue Plate Special contest is open to the US and Canada. All three are open until the end of the month.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (24)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week, my picks are a series, and technically one of them is already out, but I only heard about them today, so... I like rebelling in geeky ways, okay?

Darke Academy: Secret Lives by Gabriella Poole - Published August 6th, 2009

The Darke Academy is a school like no other. An elite establishment that moves to an exotic new city every term, its students are impossibly beautiful, sophisticated and rich. And the more new scholarship girl Cassie Bell learns about the Academy, the more curious she becomes. What sinister secrets are guarded by the Few -- the select group of students who keep outsiders away? Who is the dark stranger prowling the corridors at night? And what really happened a year earlier, when the last scholarship girl died in mysterious circumstances? One thing Cassie will discover is that a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, but knowing too much can be deadly!

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want it: Well, one, it sounds really good, two, I don't like WoWing a sequel when I haven't read the first one. So... Anyways, like I said, it sounds really good.

And dun duh da da (it's a drumroll... right?) said sequel:

Darke Academy: Blood Ties by Gabriella Poole - To be published February 18th, 2009

The Darke Academy is a school like no other. An elite establishment that moves to an exotic new city every term, its students are impossibly beautiful, sophisticated and rich. This term the secretive Darke Academy has moved to New York, and Cassie Bell is no longer the innocent new girl. Now she is strong, determined, and hiding secrets of her own. For Cassie has been introduced to the world of the Few and is struggling to come to terms with her astonishing powers, a dangerous romance and the malevolent spirit inside her, demanding to be fed. When an old enemy returns, bent on revenge, Cassie is tested to the limit. Can she rescue her friends from a horrific fate, or will she end up destroying them to save herself? Wherever the Darke Academy goes, death is never far behind...

(Summary from amazon.)

Why I want it: 'Cause it looks good. I'm on my third WoW in a row here guys, give me a break.

Okay, that's it for me. What are you guys waiting on?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die Review

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Published: April 21st, 2009 by Disney-Hyperion Books
Genre: Young Adult Thriller / Paranormal / Fantasy / Urban Fantasy methinks
Page Count: 346 in my hardcover copy.
Is this part of a series? Yes! According to Katie's website, it is the first book of three.

Summary (from goodreads): Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.

When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.
Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening - to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey - but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?
Review: I LOVED this book!! Katie Alender's writing is addicting to the nth and the characters are relateable and just plain awesomeness. I seriously started reading, looked up and was on page 186. By page 206, my notes became "Why must it end???" With that amount of question marks, too. While writing this review, I initially wrote something along the lines of "the most awesome ever" and then tweeted that I could not put that in a review. Jordyn told me I should, so blame her for the fangirling. :P

Plot: One of these days I'll just cut this out entirely. I really dislike writing about plot, it's freaking hard for me. Anyways, like I said, I started reading and lost track of time completely, so the plot doesn't drag in the least. It's not too scary, either. It's not dull in the least, but it's not oh-my-god-throw-the-book-at-the-phone-if-it-rings scary (it's happened). More spooky that scary, which is a good thing because I'm a wimp, especially when it comes to ghosts! There was this one part, though. It's actually in the
trailer and I got a little nervous. Because I'm a total wimp and the end of the trailor nearly gives me a heart attack everytime I watch it. Which has been like three or four times now.

Characters: I loved Alexis. Her voice is so relateable and honestly, reminds me of the way I talk. Only, you know, better written. She's just so real. And she has pink hair! As long as she didn't use Manic Panic, we're cool. (I'm a total Special Effects girl. Well, except that one time I used Kool-Aid.)

And Carter. I'm not going to say much about him because I'll gush like a
strawberry Gusher which are actually really yummy and I know, I eat like a five year old, but... anyways, he's just so real, you know? Like, you could see him being her friend, not just this movie star/minor deity that she's crushing on. You know? It's just very refreshing.

And the supporting characters were great. One of Katie Alender's talents is creating believeable, realistic characters who even if you don't particularly like *cough*hermother*cough* you still really really want to keep reading about.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: Um. Picture a blank stare here. I got nothing. Oh, I know! The sequel is too far away!

PG-13 stuff: There's very little of anything. I don't remember even any cursing. Other than slightly mature themes (not that kind of mature, get your mind out of the gutter), there's nothing to compell a warning.

Cover comments: I love this cover. It's absolutely gorgeous and haunting and it's as stunning in real life as it is in pictures. (Speaking of, click the picture to enlarge it, it's really big and you can see tons of details). I love the lace curtain and the frame and... I just love it.

Conclusion: I cannot tell you how much I loved this one. It was just pure awesomeness. Alexis was one of the coolest characters I've encountered recently, Katie Alender's writing is incredible and I can't recommend it enough. I really can't say how good it is. Read it, read it, read it! Bad Girls Don't Die gets four and a half roses from me.



Random notes: Apparently, I thought, Good Girl Gone Bad by Rhianna, Good Girls Go Bad by Cobra Starship, and Babydoll Gone Wrong by Skye Sweetnam should be on this book's soundtrack starting the book. I stick with Babydoll Gone Wrong, the other two were influenced by title alone. This also should have been up days ago, but my computer decided to hate me plus... well, I got a little distracted by Facebook games (oh, hush), so... well, at least I've posted it now!
Anyways, hopefully more Halloween themed posts soon!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (19)

As always, Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

I have two songs for you guys this week, both by Daughtry from their CD Leave This Town. The first is Ghost of Me:



And the second is Supernatural:




Peace and cookies,
Laina
(P. S. This was supposed to be last week's post, but it never posted. I hate when blogger does that.)

(P.S.S) I'm closing comments on this one because I literally get a spam one every day that I have to delete and it's getting old.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (23)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Okay, so, my first pick this week is a Tenner (I love that site, I really do.)


Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - Release date fall, 2010.

(No cover yet.)

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

(Summary from her bio.)

Why I want it: Wherewolves. Female werewolves (something I've only come across a few times). Love story (hopefully!). What more do I need to say?

I don't think it has an amazon link yet at least not one I could find, but here's the goodreads.

My other pick is:

Devoted by Shirlene Obuboi

After waking from a frightful nightmare, Abigail Lingston is alarmed to find that she is no longer herself. Her body is no longer under her control, and her mind is now inhabited by another entity, something terrifying and spiteful and heartless. After a tragic accident that leaves her roommate in critical condition and Abigail questioning her own sanity, Abigail finds herself in a new world, Fosha. At first glance, Fosha seems flawless - a perfect haven. However, shadowy manifestations of emotion, nicknamed Reefers, haunt its corners and alleyways, terrorizing citizens with feelings that should have died long ago. Only an elite few, guarded with resistance and armed with artificial purifiers called Facultas, can hope to destroy them. Yet the holder of the true, pure Facultas is Fosha's only stranger, and with the burden of an entire world on her shoulders, Abigail is unsure of how to handle the pressure?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Because it sounds amazing, that's why. I don't think I've ever read anything like this before. Plus I love the purple eyes on the cover.

Okay, that's it for me for this week!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween stuff

Halloween is pretty much my favourite holiday. Christmas is great, obviously, but there's more stress and, well, winter (cold is like my worst enemy) and there's just something about Halloween. Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, witches, chipmunks, all that good stuff, I love it. I love the coloured hair spray that you can only get in my town around Halloween (I've already bought like six cans) and the accessories and decorations... yeah, I just love it.

So, I'm not changing my layout or anything (although if any of you guys want a custom halloween layout, let me know!) but throughout October, I'll be doing special paranormal/spooky themed posts. No contests, unfortunately, but you guys can earn extra entries on my blogoversary contests by commenting on any post tagged "Halloween" (and yeah, I'll be adding a tags gadget for that tag alone). You can earn up to five extra entries on the contest of your choice. One extra entry per comment and it has to be an actual comment, not just "Great review!" because that's just lazy, and include "#extra entry for (book title)" in your comment so I know which contest it's for and that it's not just a general comment. Clear?

And if you guys want to play, post about it, whatever, go right ahead. Bonus points (not for anything, you'll just be my best friend) if you know what Spooktacular was inspired by.

Okay, that's it!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Guess what?????????

Hush Hush is released today!!


Falling in love was never so easy . . .
or so deadly.

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Click the picture. No, seriously, click it it's gigantic and incredible and awesome and I love it and want it as a poster more than I wanted the lifesized cardboard cut out of Edward Cullen. (Shut up.)

Hokay, some link love.
Hush Hush's amazon page.
Becca's website.
Her livejournal.
Her twitter.
Aaaand... oh, right, the awesome trailor that I totally love!

I'm hoping to read this really soon and get the review up for you guys. Keep an eye out for a review of Bad Girls Don't Die soon, too.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blogoversary Contest #3!!! - CLOSED

This is my last contest for my blogoversary contest, but this is a good one! I actually just got this book today myself and I can't wait to read it. It looks really really good.


Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney

Blue Plate Special Doomed loves, failed families, nixed dreams — someone else's leftovers are heaped on our plates the day we come into this world.

Big Macs and pop tunes mask the emptiness as Madeline watches her mom drink away their welfare checks. Until the day Tad, a quirky McDonald's counter boy, asks Madeline out for a date, and she gets her first taste of normal. But with a life that’s anything but, how long can normal really last?

Hanging with Jeremy, avoiding Mam, sticking Do Not Disturb Post-its on her heart, Desiree's mission is simple: party hard, graduate (well, maybe), get out of town. But after Desiree accepts half a meatball grinder, a cold drink, and a ride from her mother's boyfriend one rainy afternoon, nothing is ever simple again.

Too many AP classes. Workaholic mom. Dad in prison. Still, Ariel's sultry new boyfriend, Shane, manages to make even the worst days delicious. But when an unexpected phone call forces a trip to visit a sick grandmother she's never met, revealing her family's dark past, Ariel struggles to find the courage to make the right choice for her own future.

As three girls from three different decades lives converge, they discover they are connected ways they could never imagine. Each of them finds strength that brings her closer to healing a painful past, and faith that there is a happier future.

I can't wait to read this one!

So, the rundown on this contest:

The Prize:

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Blue Plate Special.

The Rules:

This is only open to Canada and the US (publisher's rules, not mine, sorry!) and you must enter by 11:59pm on Saturday, october 31st, 2009, my time. To check what time it is where I live, go here. I don't live there, but it's the same time.

To Enter:

Leave a comment with your email address. No email address, no entry. If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email address in a comment, you can email your entry to me at
Laina1312@gmail.com

Extra Entries:

+1 Become a follower (If you use a feed reader such as Google Reader, that's fine, just let me know.)
+2 Be a current follower. (Again, google reader is fine.)
+1 Start following me on Twitter. Be sure to tell me who you are so I know and don't block you.
+2 Be a current follower on twitter. (Please tell me who you are here, too.)
+2 Link to this contest somewhere. You can do that in a blog post, in your blog sidebar, on Twitter, on a message board, whatever you can think of, but it only counts once per place. A sidebar link and a blog post link do, however, count as seperate entries.

Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries. You only need to leave me a comment with your email address or email me that you want to enter. That's it. The rest is completely optional.

And please try to keep it all in one comment. Obviously if you forget something or need to change something, you can post again, but please don't comment once per entry, that drives me nuts. (Sorry, but it fills up my inbox like crazy.)

Quick recap:
Prize: One copy of Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney.
Open to: Canada and the US.
Open until: 11:59pm Saturday October 31st, 2009.

Okay, get entering and don't forget to enter my Explorer X - Alpha and Boy Toy contests. They're both open internationally.
Peace and cookies,
Laina