Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review: The Stone of Alexandria

The Stone of Alexandria by Lleu Christopher

Summary (from amazon): Michael Valens is a graduate student whose life is rather ordinary until a curiosity about the occult leads him to a secret magical society. He then begins to remember a past life in ancient times, where he formed a connection with an otherworldly Stone of incomparable power. As Michael tries to unravel these mysteries, dark forces attempt to use him and the Stone to gain supreme power over the world.

Review: Blegh. I really don't even want to write this. Warning everybody, this is not going to be a good review. When I first started the book, I thought it'd be like Diane Duane's books. Slow to start, but worth the read. Yeah... no.

Plot: Honestly, the plot is confusing. There are four or five subplots going on at once, it switches from place to place, time to time, without any warning, and there's very little real action. There was one subplot, started in the prologue, that didn't come into play until the very end of the book. It was way too easy to get lost.

Characters: I thought the main character Michael might be an interesting character, but I never really found out. There was very little told about him. I have NO idea what he even looked like! I counted three or four characters with M names, and there were just too many names that were too similar. It once switched from a scene with two characters named Michael and Sara to two characters named Matthews and Sandy without even a space as a warning. It was just confusing.

PG-13 stuff: I honestly didn't know if this was a YA book or an adult book. It seemed like a YA book at first, but then halfway through there was some swearing and.... stuff and the voice stopped sounding YA, so I'm not sure.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: First of all, a bunch of times there were I'd be reading along, and in the middle of the sentence there'd be an indent and a new paragraph. Then there were times when it would switch from being about one set of people to another set of people with just an indent, no space, no stars. It was so confusing.

Halfway through, I was so lost, and it felt like I'd been reading for so long (it's 430 pages and feels like a thousand), that I almost gave up.

Cover comments: It's boring, honestly. I don't like it at all.

Conclusion: Time for me to write a new review policy. No more self-published books. So I don't really recommend this. It was too hard to read. Two roses.


Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In My Mailbox (9)

As always, In My Mailbox is the creation of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea.

This week rocked! I got a ton of books!

Borrowed (from the library):

Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke

With the launch party of her mother's novel around the corner, Hannah Swenson has a dress to fit into. Dragging herself out of bed on a frigid Minnesota morning for exercise is bad enough. Discovering a dead body floating in the gym's jacuzzi? That's worse. Nor does it help that there's a plate of The Cookie Jar's cream puffs garnishing the murder scene. The fact that they were purchased by Hannah's part-time flame, Detective Mike Kingston, is simple the icing on what's shaping up to be one very messy cake...

(Summary from the back of the book.)

This arrived at just the right time. I was craving a murder mystery. :)

Received (aka won, from contests at Reader Rabbit):

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (Paperback)

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are in for a big surprise. They're waiting for an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables - but a skinny, red-haired girl turns up instead. Feisty and full of spirit, Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts' affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter. It's not long before Anne finds herself in trouble, but soon it's impossible to imagine life without her...

(Summary from the back of the book.)

I used to own a copy of this, but I had to leave it when I moved. It had a different cover, but honestly, I love this cover. Puffin has a whole line of classics with covers like this, and I'd consider buying them all, they're so cute and charming. With a bit of googling, I found somewhere for you guys to check them all out.

Dear Canada: Brothers Far From Home - The World War I Diary of Eliza Bates by Jean Little (Hardcover)

With more than 200,000 books in print, Dear Canada has fast become the historical fiction series for young girls. Jean Little’s latest addition is the diary of a young girl observing her world change as war rages thousands of miles away. It has been two long years since Eliza’s beloved older brother, Hugo, went away to war. Caught up in his enthusiasm, she couldn’t understand her parents’ less-than-enthusiastic reaction. Now that her other brother Jack has also enlisted, she yearns for the safe return of both brothers. If only she had a friend that she could talk to about her feelings.

(Summary from amazon.)

I have to admit a certain fondess for these books. These, and the Royal Diaries series. I literally once read like ten of those in a row.

Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year by Amy Belasen & Jacob Osborn (Paperback)

Hell hath no fury...

Jenny Green is a spoiled teen "princess" and the newest junior at Montreal's Molson Academy. Jenny wants a fresh start in her new school, and she's curious to see what Montreal has to offer, most especially in the boy department. Beautiful, charming, and sharp-witted, Jenny has no trouble getting the boys to fall for her.
But when she discovers just how despicable the male gender can be - with the lying, the cheating, and the utter disrespect - she decides to make them pay... with their lives.

(Summary from the back of the book.)

The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby (ARC)

Fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard's youth, beauty, and noble birth are enough to make her the envy of every woman in Tudor England... and now she has caught the eye of the king.

But life in the court of King Henry VIII is complex game. Catherine finds herself quickly transformed from a carefree teenager with dreams of a romance and riches to queen of England. Even luxury beyond imagination loses its luster as young Catherine fins her life - and her heart - threatened by the needs of an aging king and a family hungry for power. Catherine begins to fear that their agendas will make her a sacrifice on the alter of family ambition, delivering the young queen to the same fate as her infamous cousin, Anne Boleyn.

(Summary from the back of the book.)

Heartbreak River by Tricia Mills (ARC)
Alex thought she’d be spending the summer focused on her family’s rafting business, burying the memories of her father’s death last year, and leaving behind all the messes she made in its wake.
But when Sean returns to town, she is forced to reckon with her mixed-up crushy feelings for him—more powerful than ever before. It takes another tragedy to make Alex realize Sean has loved her, and forgiven her, all along.
(Summary from the publisher's website.)
Revealers by Amanda Marrone (Paperback)
Witchin' ain't easy.
Jules has a rebellious streak, a massive crush on Connor, and the abilities of a Revealer witch. By day, she and her coven friends seem like typical high school seniors. By night, they have the power to make werewolves, vampires, and ghosts reveal themselves, so they can destroy them. It's not exactly cheerleading, but at least the girls know they're doing the world some good.
One by one, Jules's friends turn eighteen and are initiated into the coven's inner circle. And one by one, they are getting completely freaked out. Jules is the youngest, and though her friends are too scared tell her what's going on, something's clearly not right. As her birthday approaches, Jules realizes she's got to find out what's behind the shadows of her coven before it's too late to save her friends...and herself. But what she discovers may be too powerful for even the toughest witches to defeat.

(Summary from the back of the book.)


Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers (Paperback)

What's the worst thing you've ever done?

When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened and it just might be her fault.

(Summary from the back of the book.)

Just One Wish by Jannette Rallison (ARC)

Annika Truman will go to the ends of the earth to help her little brother - or at least as far as Hollywood.

Stalking a famous (and hunky) actor and convincing him to come home with you shouldn't be too difficult - should it? Annika is desperate to get her brother Jeremy's favourite television star to come visit him in person. That's the only thing that will convince Jeremy that wishes really do come true. And Annika's deepest wish is for Jeremy to believe that his upcoming surgery will go well. Annkia will stop at nothing to give her brother the power of positive thinking.

(Summary from the back of the book.)

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty (Hardcover)

Guess who’s got a secret? When a class assignment forces three girls at a fancy prep school to become pen pals with three boys from the other side of the tracks, it quickly leads to secrets, lies, laughs, and some really excellent kidding.

(Summary from publisher's website.)


I haven't read the one before this, Feeling Sorry For Celia (I will, don't worry), but I'm still glad to get this one. It's been on my to-read list for ages.

The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty (Hardcover)

Bindy Mackenzie is the smartest girl at Ashbury High. She memorizes class outlines to help her teachers. She holds lunchtime therapy sessions for her fellow students. She is always kind, polite, and helpful. And she wears crazy nail polish to show she's a free spirit. But something is missing. And at the first session of the Friendship and Development Project, Bindy's worst suspicions are confirmed. Nobody likes her. Suddenly things begin to unravel. Bindy fails an exam. She can't sleep. She snaps at the principal. And she gets obsessed with the word "Cincinnati."

(Summary from publisher's website.)

Raven by Allison Van Diepen (Hardcover)

Zin dances with fire in every step, speaks in a honey-sweet voice, and sees with eyes that can peer into your soul. Nicole's friendship with him is the only thing that saves her from the boredom of school and the turmoil of her family life. It's no wonder she is madly in love with him. But she can't understand why he keeps her at a distance, even though she can feel his soul reaching out for hers.

Zin is like no man Nicole has ever met, and he carries with him a very old secret. When Nicole uncovers the truth, her love may be the only thing that can save him from it.

(Summary from the inside cover of the dust jacket.)

I reeeeeeeally want to read this one. It looks sooooooo good.

Bought: A bunch of old choose-your-own-adventure books from a library book sale, but you guys don't want to hear about those, do you?

Okay, I think that's it. Oh, right, there was also a couple bookmarks, which is cool because I love swag. :)
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, June 27, 2009

YA Book Carnival Contest - CLOSED


I'm just barely sneaking this one in, but it's still the 27th for me, by about ten minutes, so it totally counts! This contest is part of the YA Book Carnival hosted by Shooting Stars Mag. Click on the picture to check it out!

Anyways, I'm giving away

Poseur: The Good, the Fab and the Ugly by Rachel Maude

Fudes. Dudes. Attitudes.

You're not wearing that, are you?

Halloween comes to Winston Prep and the newly named teen fashion label POSEUR introduces the season's must-have accessory: a red-hot handbag called the Trick-or-Treater. But whose design is sweetest? Janie, Petra, Melissa, and Charlotte all insist: Mine. You see the problem?

Good thing, then, for the sweetness of revenge. Time to dust off that costume and put your best mask forward. 'Tis the season for candy, conflict, and couture.

The Good, the Fab and the Ugly is the second juicy novel in the stylish and hilariou new series from the publisher of the national bestselling Gossip Girl, The Clique, The It Girl, and The A-List.

(From the back cover.)

It's been out since October 2008, but I didn't get it until around Christmas that year, and I've never read it. This just isn't my type of book, but it might make a good summer read for someone who likes this kind of book, so I'm giving it away! Like I said, it's brand new. The only thing not perfect about it is that there's a bent corner from where it fell off a shelf, but I had it under like six others, so it's not bad at all, and hopefully it'll find a good home!

To enter, just leave a comment with your email address. No email address, no entry. If you don't want to leave it here, you can email me at Laina1312@gmail.com instead.

Extra entries:
+1 Tell me a song you could listen to hundreds of times and not get sick of.
+1 Become a follower. (If you use Google Reader or another feedreader, just tell me.)
+2 Be a current follower.
+1 Follow me on Twitter. (There's a link in my sidebar, just tell me who you are.)
+2 Be a current follower on Twitter.
+2 Link to this somewhere. It can be a blog post, the sidebar of your blog, Twitter, a message board, whatever you can come up with, but only once per place. For example, one blog post, one sidebar link, one Tweet. More than that is appreciated, but won't get extra entries. (I think that's fair, don't you?) Just make sure you leave me a link.
+1 For every new blog post you leave a comment one. (And I'll try to post more to give you fair chances to get those entries.) I'll add those up for you. (Thanks to deltay for pointing out the horrible original sentence that made no sense whatsoever I had before.)
+1 Tell me where you heard about this contest.
+1 If someone heard about this from you.
+1 Secret critera.

I'd prefer you guys do it all in one comment (obviously if you forget or need to add something, that's fine), and it's really nice when you format them like this

+2 Follower
+2 Link

But it's not necessary, it's just nice.

I'm afraid this is only open to Canada and the US only because that's all my mom will let me have it open to and I'm broke. Sorry. :( I may have an international one at a later date, though.

This'll be open until... Sunday, July 26th, 2009. It'll close at 11:59pm on the 26th, and I'll use random.org to choose the winner. That's a whole month for you guys to enter, so good luck and get entering!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Edit: Well, I totally messed up the date there, so it's open another day, til the 26th.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (9) (And questions)

This isn't late because blogger is dumb, it's just late because I forgot it was Friday. Oops. :P

Anyways, Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a few songs I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at I Read To Much for help with the title.

This week we have something a little different. This is a mash-up of two songs, Love Story by Taylor Swift and Apologize by One Republic.



The originals in case you don't know them.



If that doesn't work for you, check it out on youtube here.

And Apologize.




And my questions are:

A. Should I cut this back to one song a week or do you guys like three?

B. If you're reading a book, and you've been reading it for like four days, and you're like halfway through it, but it's just REALLY hard to read, but you said you'd review it, is it okay to write a review about the half you read?

Okay, that's it for this week! Sorry I forgot. Again :P
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (11), which is late because blogger is dumb

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and for the second and third time now, blogger has messed up my scheduling posting. What's up with that?

This week, my first pick is already out in the UK, but not in the US, so I'd assume not here in Canada either, and thus makes it eligible for a WoW pick.

Dragonfly by Julia Golding

Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal in order to unite their lands. And he's not too pleased, either. They hate each other on sight. So, when Tashi and Ramil are kidnapped, they fear there's no escape - from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure help them or betray them to the enemy?

Sorry that the cover picture isn't great. It was the only one I could find. I really like it, though. The UK cover isn't nearly as nice in my opinion.

Summary from amazon.com.

And my other pick is:

Time of the Witches by Anna Myers

An orphan named Drucilla has finally has a place to call home with the Putnam family in Salem. Although her adopted mother is strange—haunted by a troubled past—Dru feels drawn to her as the mother she never had. When a new reverend and his family move into town with their servant Tituba, life takes a strange turn as young girls begin to fall ill and accusations of witchcraft begin to swirl. Reluctant to turn her back on the Putnams or her peers and overwhelmed by the power of groupthink among the other girls in town, Dru becomes one of the accusers herself. But when her best friend Gabe is accused, she must find a way to end the hysteria, or risk losing him forever.

Summary from amazon.com.

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

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In My Mailbox (8)

As always, In My Mailbox is the creation of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea.

Not a bad week this week. :)

Received:

Chicken Soup for the Soul Teens Talk Getting In... To College

These days, colleges are deluged with applications and the college application process has become the most traumatic thing that most students and their parents have ever experienced. Lots of books tell you how to get into college, but this book uniquely provides emotional, instead of tactical, support.
The stories in the book are written by kids who have been there and want to pass on their words of support to the kids behind them. Stories cover topics such as parental and peer pressure, the stress of grades and SATs/ACTs, college applications and interviews, recruiting, disappointments and success. These stories provide moral support and encouragement to high school students going through one of the most stressful events of their lives. Parents will find Getting In...to College a great source of support and inspiration as well.
Summary from amazon.com

Firewall by Henning Mankell

A body is found at an ATM the apparent victim of heart attack. Then two teenage girls are arrested for the brutal murder of a cab driver. The girls confess to the crime showing no remorse whatsoever. Two open and shut cases. At first these two incidents seem to have nothing in common, but as Wallander delves deeper into the mystery of why the girls murdered the cab driver he begins to unravel a plot much more involved complicated than he initially suspected. The two cases become one and lead to conspiracy that stretches to encompass a world larger than the borders of Sweden.

Summary from publisher's website.

Side-Tracked by Henning Mankell

In the award-winning Side-Tracked, Kurt Wallander is called to a nearby rapeseed field where a teenage girl has been loitering all day long. He arrives just in time to watch her douse herself in gasoline and set herself aflame. The next day he is called to a beach where Sweden’s former Minister of Justice has been axed to death and scalped. The murder has the obvious markings of a demented serial killer, and Wallander is frantic to find him before he strikes again. But his investigation is beset with a handful of obstacles—a department distracted by the threat of impending cutbacks and the frivolity of World Cup soccer, a tenuous long-distance relationship with a murdered policeman’s widow, and the unshakably haunting preoccupation with the young girl who set herself on fire. Fascinating and astute, Side-Tracked is a compelling mystery enhanced by keen social awareness.

Summary from publisher's website.

One Step Behind by Henning Mankell

On Midsummer’s Eve, three role-playing teens dressed in eighteenth-century garb are shot in a secluded Swedish meadow. When one of Inspector Kurt Wallander’s most trusted colleagues–someone whose help he hoped to rely on to solve the crime–also turns up dead, Wallander knows the murders are related. But with his only clue a picture of a woman no one in Sweden seems to know, he can’t begin to imagine how. Reeling from his own father’s death and facing his own deteriorating health, Wallander tracks the lethal progress of the killer. Locked in a desperate effort to catch him before he strikes again, Wallander always seems to be just one step behind.

Summary from publisher's website.

These three are fourth, six, and seventh in the series, so I'm going to have to order the others from the library because I could never read them out of order. It'd drive me insane.

Borrowed (from the library):

Joker by Ranulfo
It spits, snarls, screams, curses, and laughs at the world. It mocks leaders and followers. Restores our faith in love and security or drives us mad.
Australian author Ranulfo has cracked open the story of Hamlet. This is what he's glued back together.

Summary from publisher's website.
I also got a new charger to replace mine that was fraying really badly and dying and an adorable nosewarmer from Sarah Quigley which is now decorating one of my cat salt and pepper shakers because it's the perfect size for it. I'd show you guys, but I can't find my camera right now.
Also, sorry this is so late. I forgot about it most of yesterday and then was too tired to do it once I remembered.
Better late than never, though!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (8)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a few songs I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at I Read To Much for help with the title.

So I've done pretty much all female singers two weeks in a row now. Time for some guys! And how about we do some music that's a little bit older.

I love this song, always have - Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down. (Random video I didn't get through because I'm watching TV, so I'm not sure what it looks like. Embedding was disabled on the official one.)



Next is Drops of Jupiter by Train. Another song I love.



If that won't play for you, check it out here on youtube.

Last but not least, we have I'm Just a Kid by Simple Plan. Love them!!



That's it for me. What are you guys addicted to this week?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Edit: The only reason this one is late is because I messed up the scheduling! I didn't forget this time!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (10)

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

This week's picks are:

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
A prodigal son
A dangerous love
A deadly secret . . .
I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.
As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.
And my other pick is:
The Mark by Jen Nadol

Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.

The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her?

Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?

Summary from the author's site.



Now how cool do those both sound?
What are you guys waiting on this week?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In My Mailbox... uh 7!!!! Yeah, 7

In My Mailbox is the creation of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea. I had a really good week this week.

The borrowed (from the library):

Troubling A Star by Madeline L'Engle

After a year in New York City, Vicky Austin feels restless and totally out of place back home in rural Connecticut. Her time away, especially her friendship with Adam Eddington, has changed her. When Adam's great-aunt Serena gives Vicky a trip to Antarctica as a birthday present, Vicky can't believe her luck. It's the opportunity of a lifetime, and Adam will be working at one of the research stations there. But the trip is not what Vicky imagined. As she meets her fellow travelers, it quickly becomes clear that some of them are not what they seem. And that her trip into adventure is becoming a journey into icy danger.

I actually own this, but my copy is older, and I have all the others in this reprint, too, so I wanted them to match. My copy, in case you're curious.

Summary from amazon.com

Airhead by Meg Cabot
No one cares what’s inside.
EM WATTS IS GONE.
Emerson Watts didn’t even want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Gabriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there—along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard.
How was Em to know that disaster would strike, changing her—and life as she’d known it—forever? One devastating accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.
Now getting her best friend Christopher to notice that she’s actually a girl is the least of Em’s problems.
But what Em’s pretty sure she’ll never be able to accept might just turn out to be the one thing that’s going to make her dream come true….
NIKKI HOWARD IS HERE TO STAY
It’s what’s outside that matters.
I was looking at this one, and I started reading just a little, and I was three pages in before I remembered I had to read another book before I can read this one. I love Meg Cabot's books, so I can't wait to read this one.

Summary from here.

The bought (well, this isn't strictly true, I also bought a bunch of books from a library sale, but I don't think you guys would be interested in those, would you? They're just randoms. Well, let me know.):

Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer

Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle. When the fairies realized they’d never win, they moved their civilization underground and hid. All the families agreed, except the demons.
The demons planned to lift themselves out of time until they were ready to wage war on the humans once more. But the spell went wrong, and they were catapulted into Limbo. Now the spell’s deterioration is accelerating and the demon materializations are erupting. Even the fairy scientists cannot predict the next one.
But someone can. Artemis Fowl, teenage criminal mastermind, has solved temporal equations that no human can. So when a confused and frightened demon pops up in a Sicilian theatre, Artemis is there to meet him. Unfortunately, a second mysterious party has also solved the equations and has managed to abduct the demon.
Once again, Artemis will pair up with his old comrade Captain Holly Short, to track down the missing demon, before the spell dissolves completely and the lost demon colony returns violently to Earth.

Summary from amazon.com.

I'm pretty sure I already own this one, but if I do, my copy would be in paperback, and the one I bought was hardcover, so I may just give the paperback away. And it was only six dollars.

The recieved (aka won):

Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja

Carlota and Bethany are best friends. Bethany is the sensible one with a long-term boyfriend, Carlota is the crazy one with a wild past and rebellious nature. All is fine in their world - apart from Carlota hating her stepdad and longing for a old flame. And apart from Bethany thinking her boyfriend is about to dump her and that her period is late...Carlota comes up with a plan to put all their troubles behind them and go on a girls-only wild day out, with only their favourite magazine to guide them through the day. If they open it on a fashion page they have to get hold of a fabulous new outfit and pretend to be models. If they open it to a page on snogging, they have to find a boy to snog. The magazine will take them everywhere they need to go - but will it help them to reveal the secrets they are keeping from each other?

Summary from amazon.co.uk.

This one, Extreme Kissing, I won from About Books.

Wake by Lisa McMann

Not all dreams are sweet.
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

Summary from amazon.com

This one, along with the next three and a bunch of bookmarks and things, two of which are signed, and a Wake necklace, I won from Frenetic Reader. And it's signed. :D

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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

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

Summary from here.

Also signed.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Summary from here.

Also signed!!


City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

Summary from here.

This is an ARC copy and also signed!

Okay, that's what was in my mailbox this week. What was in yours?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (7)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a few songs I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at I Read To Much for help with the title.

This week I'm feeling a bit edgy. WARNING: I checked the lyrics, and there's no cursing, but there's some mature content in the following songs, so if you object or you're like twelve or something... sorry. But I like them. :) On to the tunes!

First (and second) up are two songs by Porcelain and the Tramps, My Leftovers and I'm Your Favourite Drug.





Third up is Cheap and Cheerful by The Kills.



That's it for me. Hope you guys liked the songs! What are you addicted to this week?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I have another theme, but I think this one is pretty easily guessed.

I was browsing in
Teens Read Too's upcoming release calander and I found my first pick.

The Vampire Is Just Not That Into You by Vlad Mezrich

Summary from amazon.com.

Are you in love with a vampire? Are you worried that you might not be his (blood) type? Do you wonder whether that cold stare means he isn’t interested . . . or if it’s because he’s been dead for three centuries (nothing personal)? Have you tried to coax him out of his crypt with a flash of your neck or a near-death situation that requires him to save you at the very last possible moment? Have you ever considered what it will be like to introduce him to your mother?

Even though your vampire’s skin is transfixingly translucent, he can still be very hard to read. Sometimes he’s simply holding back his true feelings, resisting the urge to bite you in the chance that one day you will truly love him. And other times . . . well, he’s just not that into you.

How can you tell? Undead dating specialist Vlad Mezrich has all the answers, utilizing quizzes, Top Ten lists, language analysis, real-life (and real-death) testimonials, and fancy charts to show you what you need to do in order to get your vampire and keep him forever. Once you go vamp, you never decamp – so let this eternally rewarding book show you the way to the vampire of your dreams.

It sounds cute and I love vampire books.

Then, while I was looking around, I found this:

Fade Out by Rachel Caine

I can't find a summary, but IT'S THE SEVENTH MORGANVILLE VAMPIRE BOOKS!!! FANGIRLY SCREAM!!!!!!!!!

Oh, my gosh, the cover is gorgeous!! I'd guess it's probably Eve, or a new character, or something, definitely not Claire, but I don't care I love it!!!! I love the US covers of these and don't have much fondness for the UK covers, personally. Sorry, rambling. Just... YAY!!!

(Love the necklace, too.)


Okay, so I'm off to hyperventilate from that.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, June 8, 2009

Templates and Headers

Does anyone want a custom header or blog layout? I'm bored and I want to make things :P I made my blog layout, and I made this today already. Anyone want anything?

Audrey, Wait! review

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Summary (from the inside of the dust jacket): Audrey Cuttler's life hasn't been the same since that song, "Audrey, Wait!" hit the airwaves. All she wants to do is go to concerts, hang out with her friends and maybe score a date with the cute boy who works with her at the Scooper Dooper.

But now, her ex-boyfriend's song about their breakup is at the top of the charts and she's suddenly famous! The paparazzi won't leave her alone, the tabloids are trying to make her into some kind of rock goddess, and the Internet is documenting her every move!

Will Audrey ever be able to have a normal life again? Get ready to find out, because it's time for Audrey to tell her side of the story.

Review: I'm trying really hard not to go all fangirl-y and "squee" on you guys, but seriously, it's that good. "Squee" and "eek" and "omgitwassosuperdoopergood" good.

Plot: The storyline actually reminded me a bit of the All-American Girl books by Meg Cabot, but by no means is that a bad thing because Meg Cabot is one of my favourite authors. Robin Benway's style of writing reminded me of Meg Cabot's too, actually, sometimes. Light and fun and absolutely hilarious, but not without substance. Anyways, back to the plot. The sudden rise to fame storyline isn't new, but you don't notice that while you're reading because it's handled so well.

Have you ever wondered how Delilah feels now? How it feels to have people blame you, even hate you, for breaking their favourite singer's heart? What if her name and address and phone number and email address got out? What would happen then?

That's what Audrey, Wait! is about. Hooked yet?

Characters: I love the characters! I was sitting there reading and cutting up a piece of paper to mark passages I loved about certain characters to share.

First of all, Audrey is just the coolest character ever, and so relatable, at least to me. She listens to her music so loud she's blown the speakers in her car twice (I do that to headphones far too often), cuts up her dad's tube socks for arm huggies, and possesses killer sarcasm. Audrey quotes(and appreciate these, I mildly choked myself and got really close to getting a paper cut on my chin to get them):
So we hurried upstairs, where I was right - it was empty save for an employee who was reading a magazine behind the information desk. Obviously no one had filled him in on the brouhaha downstairs, because he didn't seem remotely interested in me or James. (Side note: How awesome is the word brouhaha? I hearby resolve to use it more often.)
Her side notes are hilarious, don't you think? As you know, I'm rather fond of them myself.

(This next quote is from when she tries applying nail polish to her toenails while talking on her cell phone and balancing on one leg. She loses her balance and ends up covered in nail polish, the bathroom floor, too.)
My dad bent down and picked up the bottle. "Death at the Disco," he read. "Well, isn't that ironic?"

"Don't you think?" I said before I could stop myself. Damn you, Alanis Morrissette
Last one, I promise, about her giant cat (random thought, my other "A" book was Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, and it had a giant cat in it, too. How odd is that?), Bendomolena:
Bendomolena, disgruntled from being woken up so early, glared at me and then glanced at my picture on the computer screen. I swear to God, her little kitty eyebrows rose up in surprise. It was way too early to be judged by my cat, whose biggest accomplishment in life was rolling over. So I covered her eyes.
PG-13 stuff: There's some cursing, but nothing monumental, some... well, "adult situations" (I don't know what to call it, but that just feels dumb), and some underage drinking which I hate in books and out of them, too, but it was well written enough that it didn't bug me too much, and the number one reason Audrey breaks up with her ex-boyfriend is he smokes too much pot, so it's not taken lightly.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: It's not a big deal, but there's this one thing where a few of the words are spaced out l i k e t h i s and it's odd. I think it might be for emphasis or something, but they don't use it very often, so it might just be a spellcheck. Otherwise, I don't have any issues with the book.

Conclusion: Audrey, Wait! totally and utterly rocks. (Get it? Rocks. 'Cause it's a book about music... yeah, I only amuse myself.) It's funny, it's real, it's deep, it's about music which I love, and it's just all-around awesomeness. (Huh, what do you know, that's actually a word. Seriously, I spellchecked it!) Read it, read it, read it, read it! Four and a half roses.


Note to anyone who's read it: Don't you think Music is My Boyfriend or My Favourite Tune would suit Audrey just perfectly?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (6)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a few songs I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at I Read To Much for help with the title.

This week is about new music (to me, even). Two of these songs I've only just discovered this week and the full version by this artist of the third was only released recently.


First up is Wine Red by The Hush Sound



Second is The Other Woman by Alex J. Robinson



Last but certainly not least is Darkness Round the Sun by Alexz Johnson.



What are you guys addicted to this week?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A short review of a short book of short stories by a short reviewer

And that short book is:

Cleavage Edited by Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley

Summary (from the back of the book, amazon link here): Stories a girl can get a grip on! A brand new collection of fifteen original stories about girls who challenge convention, and girls who wish they could. These young women make us think about taking pride in wearing our bodies just the way they are.

Hilarious, edgy, comforting, intense, these stories are full spectrum, from the crazy antics around town of a giant 'regina' to bittersweet moments with a mom who has cancer. A pubescent girl longs for breast implants, a teen carries on a tongue-in-cheek correspondence with a glam magazine columnist, a painter's daughter experiences the first awakenings of gay sexuality ... These stories are about holding back and letting loose, about sex and glamour and common sense.

Review (and I'm not quite sure how to review a book of short stories, so please be patient with me as I try it.): Cleavage was quite a cute book, surprising at times in its emotional depth. There was one story in particular that nearly made me cry, but at other times it was funny enough to make me laugh. I wouldn't call it groundbreaking or anything, but it's a good read, and would be great for a younger girl, especially. I probably missed out on really reading this at the right time, but it'd be perfect for a girl thirteen or fourteen or even younger, and it's a great read for anyone, really.

Most of the stories are written in first person, with a few written in third, which I liked. Being a short book, only one hundred and eighty-six pages, all of the stories are pretty short, but they hit the mark each time. Oh, and a rather cool thing is that most of the authors of the stories in the book were Canadian. Not all, but most.

Cover notes: Much like the book, the cover is cute. I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture, but it's not actually yellow, but lime green.

Conclusion: To me, it wasn't extraordinary, and I wouldn't exactly say edgy, but good nonetheless and totally worth reading. Three and a half roses out of five, as it's not groundbreaking or anything but is a very good book.



Sorry it's so short, I didn't know what else to say!
Peace and cookies,
Laina