Monday, August 30, 2010

YA Review: Virginia

Virginia by Susan Hughes

Published: March 1st, 2010 by Kids Can Press
Genre: Um... I think we'll call it a mystery. Maybe a thriller. Oh, and YA, of course.
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 287 in my paperback copy.
Part of a series? No, it's a standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from the back of the book because goodreads doesn't have one): Virginia Donato has always had an indefinable quality that sets her apart from anyone else Ivy Morell has ever known. But when this childhood friend and neighbor confides in her, confessing that she has been visited by an angel and asked to do something "momentous," Ivy begins to think Virginia has lost her mind. As Iv struggles to make sense of her friend's bizarre claim, she notices other strange happenings in the Donato household.

Determined to find out more, Ivy discovers that Virginia's older brother Paul may have a shocking secret of his own, one that could have dangerous consequences. Can it be connected to Virginia? Should Ivy tell? And is there anyone she can turn to before it's too late?

Review: I've been avoiding writing this review for a couple days now because I didn't know exactly how to explain it, but I think I've got it. It has a kind of Nancy Drew meets Armageddon Summer (by Bruce Coville and Jane Yolen - if you haven't read it, you're totally not my BFF anymore) vibe with a good coating of Canadian...ness? I'm not sure where I was going with that, but you know what I mean. Right?

Plot (in my words): Oh, heck, no. I'm not even going to attempt to write about plot today. It's way too early for that and I've been up since before 4am.

Characters: Ivy is fourteen and going into grade nine. (And that's how the book says it! Not... freshman? Or whatever it is.) Her family is slowly but surely falling apart because of her mother's drinking and running is the only thing that keeps her feeling in control. She seems older and I wished at times that she was older so that I didn't feel slightly icky wanting her to be with a character in the book who was a couple years older than her. And fourteen just seems so young. (Haven't I said that before?)

All the characters are very interesting, though Virginia drove me nuts at times. I think that's how it's supposed to be, though. And can I just say, there is a certain boy in here who I really liked. *coughJoecough*

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: The voice at the beginning is kind of hard to get into. I was just shifting from another book, but it took me a couple pages to adjust and it seemed sort of rambly at the beginning. And sometimes there would be these giant blocks of text that probably could have been trimmed down.

PG-13 stuff: There isn't a lot of cursing or anything, but it is a kind of darker subject.

Cover comments: I quite like the cover. Purple is one of my favourite colours and I think the simplicity of the cover works really well.

Conclusion: While I had a couple of issues with this one, I did like it and it distracted me very well when I wasn't feeling good. Strong characters, a good though sometimes slightly confusing plot, good writing, and a heck of an ending. Plus, Canadian author!! Which is always awesome. Three and a half out of four roses.



Other notes:

- Susan Hughes also wrote Earth to Audrey which I LOVE. It's totally adorable and quirky and I recommend it highly for everyone, even though it's a picture book.
- When I was reading this outside, I lost my pen in my hair like three times.
- "Ooh, heating pad got a bit too hot."

And that's all!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (42)

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.

Okay, most of you guys probably know this band from the Eclipse soundtrack (which is soooooo much better than the New Moon one), but... I lost my train of thought. Here's the song!



(Howl - Florence and the Machine)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, August 26, 2010

YA Review: Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney

Published: September 2009 by Chronicle Books
Genre: Contemporary YA
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 366 in my copy
Part of a series? I believe it is a standalone novel.
Amazon link.

Summary (from the inside of the dust jacket because the goodreads one confuses me a little): 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.

Review: I really, really, really, really liked Blue Plate Special. It's sweet and sometimes heartbreaking, full of hope and just really, really good. I seriously have no words to describe how good this one was. I got so involved and attached to the characters that I got a little weepy eyed over the end (my mother kept looking at me like I was nuts).

Plot (in my words): I'm going to skip straight to the character part. You'll see why.

Characters: Madeline (1977) is overweight. She's an emotional eater dealing with an alcoholic, neglectful mother. Then she meets Tad, who doesn't seem to see her weight. (I really, really like him.) Madeline's parts are told in first person present tense and are heart-wrenchingly honest. I kept having high school flashbacks myself... shudder.

Desiree (1993) is sarcastic and rebellious. Her mother is abusive and blind to what's going on in their house. Her parts, told in verse, are at times heartbreaking, and also inspiring.

Ariel (2009) is smart and a bit naive. Her new boyfriend Shane... let's just say I don't like him very much, and you know how much I like people named Shane (see: Morganville vampires series reviews). She makes excuse after excuse for him until the trip to see her sick grandmother gives her some space and time to think.

The girls are all linked in a way, but I won't tell you what.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I think without the chapters telling who's narrating on the chapter title page, Madeline and Ariel's voices might occasionally be confusing, but not too terribly so, since their situations are so different.

PG-13 stuff: There's... a lot. Cursing, drinking, smoking and more... it's all done very, very well, but this is definitely a book for mature readers as there are some moments that are pretty graphic.

Cover comments: I really like the lettering and the little designs on the black, but something about the blankness of the plate doesn't click so well for me... but I still like it.

Conclusion: This might just be one of my favourite books this year. I highly, highly recommend it, and I'd be interested to read Michelle Kwasney's other and future books. Four and a half roses.



Other notes:
- I discovered that pens that go into pools still work.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 54

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

Okay, so there isn't a theme this week, but I think we could sort of call this a reading list, maybe.

So you start with:

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen - To be released January 11th, 2011

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I absolutely loved Flipped (did you hear about the movie made from it?).

So after you've cried your eyes out over that book, you can read:

Choker by Elizabeth Woods - To be released January 4th, 2011

You can never be sure who you can trust, even your best friend. A new thriller!

(Summary from goodreads.)

Okay, so that summary sucks, but I can't seem to find more information on it. Or the author. Guess I'll have to wait a while until it's closer to the release date. 2011 seems sooooo far away!

But, anyways, after a cry-your-eyes-out book, a thriller might be nice, right? And the cover is really neat. Very pink (not my colour) but still really cool.

So how's that for a reading list/theme thing? I think it works quite well. :)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, August 23, 2010

YA Review: Little Black Lies

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen

Published: October 2009 by Egmont USA
Genre: Contemporary YA
Binding: ARC
Page Count: 305 in my copy, goodreads says 320 in the paperback.
Part of a series? I believe it's a standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): 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.

Review: Never ever judge a book by its cover. I have to admit I did with this one, kind of like I did with Paisley Hanover Acts Out. I have issues with pink... I kind of put off reading this one because I thought it might be kind of Gossip Girly (not my thing) - and boy, was I ever wrong. Little Black Lies rocked! It was so much deeper than that, at times heartbreaking, and sometimes utterly hilarious. It's written in first person present tense, and is an excellant example of how to do that right.

Plot (in my words): Oh, good god, do I have to? It's 8am (and I've been up since 4). Basically... Sara's dad's OCD is spiralling out of control, her mother is in France, she starts hanging out with people she shouldn't, and all that, plus the huge amounts of homework she has to do, starts making her crack a bit. If you want a better idea of the plot, read the book. Thank you. :)

Characters: Sara is utterly awesome. I have a couple of notes in my review notebook that are just "I love her!" She's smart (a total math geek and admits it), quirky (before her mother left for France, she stole her mother's favourite sweater), and just really, really awesome. Her relationship with her father is also really, really interesting.

And of course there was a hawt boy. Leo. I really liked him, I thought he was a cool character, and Sara's relationship with him was really sweet.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: There's a few mention of things, like iPods, Myspace, Lindsay Lohan, that might eventually date the book... but then again, I suspect Lindsay Lohan is going to be a trainwreck for a long time.

PG-13 stuff: Um... yes? The back of my book says ages 14 and up, so it is a book for older readers and the subject matter echos that.

Cover comments: I love VW bus on the cover. I want one :P But pink isn't really my colour, and I think I judged it a lot by the cover. Bad Laina.

Conclusion: I really, really liked this one. I got totally lost in it, read for like three hours straight and probably would have gotten a major sunburn if it wasn't for my hair. I seriously recommend this. Four and a half roses.



Other notes:

- There are ant facts at the beginning of each chapter. (Anton High... get it?)
- Um... there's a note that just says, "Old muscle cars. VROOM. Yuuuuuum." I'm going to blame that one on the fact that it's hard to write in a floppy notebook outside.
- "Freaking wind." It got windy on one of the days I was outside and my umbrella kept taking off on me.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (41)

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.

This Friday's song is One Girl Revolution by Saving Jane. Girl power!!



What are you guys listening to lately?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, August 19, 2010

YA Review: Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe

Sorry, this is probably going to be a bit of a shorter review since it's a short book and I'm typing this up at 6:30am.

Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe

Published: November 24th, 2008
Genre: YA historical fiction.
Binding: Paperback.
Page count: 150, not counting the acknowledgements and such.
Part of a series? Um, maybe? It's supposed to be the first in a trilogy, but I don't think the other books have been published yet.
Amazon link.

Summary (from the back of the book): Fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty risks job, family, and eventually her very life to rescue a lifelong friend. Disguised as a draft resister, Katie infiltrates a secret Irish organization to prevent bloodshed. Tragedies challenge her strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can Katie balance her sense of justice with the law?

Review: Call Me Kate was a nice, quick read on a hot summer day. It wasn't exactly light subject matter (war sucks), but it is a shorter book.

Plot (in my words): The book covers the events of two years (1860-1862) in Katie McCafferty's life, from her father being injured in a mining accident and the jobs she gets to help support her family, and what it meant to be Irish in Pennsylvania back then.

Characters: Kate is fourteen at the beginning of the book and very mature, as is her voice, but I had some trouble connecting to her at first. After a couple chapters, that got better, though, and I was very involved with both Kate and the other characters in the books. I actually wish that Katie would have been a bit older than she was because fourteen seems so young to me, but I understand that that's accurate.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I had a real problem with the introduction. It reads very much as a history lesson, in my opinion, and I wish that they'd pushed it to the back of the book as is more common in my experience. I feel like it could throw off readers who started and got bombarded with facts right away. (Plus I hadn't slept and you guys know when I don't sleep, I have the attention span of a goldfish, so I had real trouble getting through the introduction.)

I also had some issues with the tenses sometimes, but I think I just notice that very easily and it wouldn't be a big deal for most people.

PG-13 stuff: The subject matter isn't a light read, but there is very little cursing or swearing or anything. Have you guys ever heard of the book series Our Canadian Girl? This one reminds me of those, only this one is for slightly older audiences. I'd say ages 12 or 13 and up would be fine for this one, depending on maturity of individual reader, of course.

Cover comments: I don't really like this cover. I don't think the girl looks like the Kate in my head at all, and it's not very eye catching to me. Plus it looks way younger than the audience is.

Conclusion: I think this would be a good book for classrooms or for people really interested in history. I hadn't read much about this subject before. The writing is good, the characters are interesting, the ending was a bit abrupt, but good... but it had some issues. It was very readable, though, so all in all, I'm giving it three and a half roses.



Other notes:

- I loved the accent my brain kept reading with. I love Irish accents :D
- "BEE I don't like this outdoor thing anymore."
- My toenail polish is turning very pink and less purple.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (53)

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

Blank Confession by Pete Hautman - To be released November 16th, 2010

Shayne Blank is the new kid in town - but that doesn't stop him from getting into a lot of trouble very quickly. The other kids don't understand him. He's not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. And his background doesn't add up. But when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There's more to Shayne - and his story - than meets the eye. As the details begin to fill in, the only thing that becomes clear is that nothing about Shayne's story is clear at all.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Sweetblood! I loved Sweetblood.

And next we have:

When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer - To be released November 23rd, 2010

A dancer driven to succeed.

A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.

The summer they share.

And the moment it all goes wrong.

Dance is Soledad Reyes's life. About to graduate from Miami's Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, Soledad plans on spending her last summer at home working in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall with what sounds like an outrageous proposition. Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.

But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later and Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.

(Summary from the author's blog because I didn't like the goodreads one as much.)

Why I want to read this one: I love Carmen and I think the cover to this is absolutely beautiful. Oh, and the title reminds me of this song. Anyone else?

Okay, I think that's everything for this week. What are you guys waiting on this Wednesday?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Handwriting

Ashy (who is awesome, by the way, so go follow her blog) tagged me to do this post. I thought it'd be fun, so I figured I would.

The picture is a bit blurry, but here's the list and you can probably figure out what I wrote with that.

1. Name/Blog Name
2. Righty or Lefty or Both
3. Favorite letters to write?
4. Least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
CRAB
HUMOR
KALEIDOSCOPE
PAJAMAS
GAZILLION
7. Favorite song lyrics?
8. Tag 7 people
9. Any special note or drawing?


And I tag:

Lauren
Kelsey

Aaaand I think that'll be it for me. I don't want to tag people who don't want to be tagged. But if you want to do this, ask and I'll tag you formally in the post if you want :P

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, August 16, 2010

MG-Review: Leaving the Bellweathers

Leaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti

Published: 2009 by EgmontUSA
Genre: Middle grade contemporary fiction, I believe.
Binding: ARC
Page count: 241 in my copy.
Part of a series? Yes, there's a sequel coming out in October 2010.
Amazon link.

Summary (from the back of the book, because I didn't love the goodreads one): Every family has a black sheep. The Bellweathers are a family of black sheep. Spider loves dangerous animals, Ninda plays bagpipes, and the triplets Spike, Brick and Sassy wreak havoc on their quaint lighthouse home in the town of Eel-Smack-by-the-Back. The Bellweathers stoic butler, Tristan Benway - eager to escape this madness - is penning a tell-all memoir, but as he helps the children through their scrapes, he begins to wonder if he really does want to leave the Bellweathers.

Review: I absolutely love this one. The voice is charming, hilarious even, and the characters are very funny. I've told you guys how much I love middle grade books, right? And this is definitely one of my favourites. Even the switches from first person to third person are done very, very well.

Plot (in my words): Well, as the summary says, Leaving the Bellweathers details Tristan Benway's plans to leave the Bellweathers (gasp) as he writes a book about them and helps them through their various adventures. Um... is that enough about the plot? Oh! But there is one plotline that I think might just carry over into the next book and I'm very interesting in reading it.

Characters: As I said, the characters are very funny. The main characters are the Bellweathers and their butler, Tristan Benway, and the Bellweather characters include fourteen year old Spider, thirteen year old Ninda, and nine year old triplets Sassy, Brick, and Spike. Spider (who is about four years away from being drool-worthy) likes endangered animals - but only the deadly kind. Ninda, as the summary says, plays bagpipes.

And then there are the triplets, whose favourite foods include carrots and chocolate syrup, anchovies and peanut butter with whipped cream and green beans with marshmallows.

This is a very character-driven book, and they're awesome characters at that, even the smaller characters. So how about some character quotes! Oh, do keep in mind that these are from the ARC, not from the finished copy, so they're subject to change.

(About Mrs. Bellweather)
pg. 13

It never occurred to anyone to argue with Mrs. Bellweather. It would be like arguing with a rainbow - or a brillant sunset.
Arguing with a rainbow amuses the heck out of me.

(About Spider)
pg. 25

Spider's lair suits him well. The windows of his dank and musty chamber are few and high, letting in very little light. He was quite pleased when his mother painted the the room black, less pleased when she returned the following week and painted it burnt sienna.
Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I do think that there are a couple loose ends that weren't tied up, but I understand that that's to carry over into the sequel.

PG-13 stuff: There's next to nothing. Not a kiss, not a curse, nothing. I would personally say that this one is appropriate subject matter-wise for younger readers, like nine or ten, who read at an advance, up to fourteen or fifteen since the writing is so good and up. Really, these would be good for anyone who likes Lemony Snicket or Eva Ibbotson, but especially good for MG-readers who aren't quite ready for YA books yet.

That make sense at all?

Cover comments: I think the cover is really cute and quirky and very suiting for the book. I'm glad to see that on the sequel's cover, they haven't changed anything.

Conclusion: This is an excellant book, well-written with a good, happy ending that made me really want to read the sequel and a definite recommend for just about anyone. Four roses.


Other notes:

- This was the first book that I read sitting outside with my feet in my pool. The water was very cold at first and I have a couple of notes that just say "my feet are cold."
- I love that their town is named "Eel-Smack-by-the-Bay" and that they live in a lighthouse.
- Benway needed an agent!

And that's all, folks.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, August 14, 2010

YA Reviews: Fade Out + Kiss of Death

WARNING: These reviews, even the summaries, WILL having spoilers for later books in the series. There ain't a whole lot I can do about that so either skip them or read at your own spoiling risk if you haven't read them. I'm doing my best to avoid spoiling. I take no responsibility if you read past this having not read the books. It's not my fault. I don't know any other way to say HERE BE SPOILERS, guys. :P

So how are these going for you guys? Are you liking these posts? This is the last one!

Fade Out by Rachel Caine - The Morganville Vampires Book Seven

Published: 2009 by Signet (And my copy says Signet on the cover!)
Genre: YA Fantasy / Thriller / Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 237 in my paperback copy
Part of a series? Yessirreebob.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, life has changed - dramatically. 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 - almost.

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. Yet when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. As she and Claire investigate, they soon realize that not is only the subject of the film the vampires themselves, but that this project is a whole lot bigger - and way more dangerous - than anyone suspected.


Review:
You'd think after the big dramatic happenings in the last book, this one might... flounder a little. You'd be wrong. This one is slower in a way, with no huge "DANGER SCARY" plot right away, but there's still tension and it builds up to a new "DANGER SCARY" plot. There's also no huge cliffhanger on this one, just a general "more to come" feeling that works really well.


My favourite character? Still Shane :P I love him. But Myrnin is really, really good in this book too. He's still nuts, but I think that's more him than anything. The man wears bunny slippers with fangs. How can you not like a character like that?


I don't get Claire sometimes, as much as I like her. The girl doesn't like English Lit! But, no, that's just her science brain. I do love her. :) And it's cute how she gets jealous over Shane in this one. (With reason... I didn't like the chick she was jealous about either.)

I *gasp* don't have a favourite Shane quote, but I do have a Michael quote.

pg. 22

The tips of his ears got a little pink, which (even in a vampire) was adorable.
Gosh, but the boys in these books are hot... Ahem. Anyways.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.:
I still wish that there was more about when people get bit... but I'm just weird that way.


PG-13 stuff:
Actually, this one is a little lighter than others. A little less tense...


Cover comments: This series has like my favourite covers ever. They're so dark and yet full of life at the same time. I love this one especially because black, red, and white are my favourite colours together. And I think this is either Eve or Kim on the cover, but I can't decide. I think I'll go with Eve because I don't choose to believe Kim deserves a cover. :P

Conclusion:
I really, really liked this one and it's great to see a series that doesn't jump the shark and flop after a big event. Um... oh, gosh, I'm sorry that this is so short. Let's just call it a mini-review, okay? Anyways, four and a half roses.




Other notes:

- I love the playlists she has at the ends of her books. One day when I have good internet and time, I'll go through them and listen to all of the songs.

Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine - The Morganville Vampires Book Eight

Published: 2010 by Signet
Genre: YA Fantasy / Thriller / Paranormal / Urban Fantasy Binding: Paperback. Page Count: 241 in my copy.
Part of a series?
Si.
Amazon link.

Summary (from the back of the book because I didn't like the goodreads one): Vampire Michael Glass has just received the call he's been waiting for all his life. His music has attracted the attention of a heavily connected music producer who wants him to cut a demo and play some dates - which means Michael will have to enter the human world.

But he won't be alone. He's been assigned an undead escort, which includes immortal enforcer Oliver, as well as Michael's human friends: rebellious Eve, oft-misunderstood Claire, and courageous Shane. And with that mix of personalities, this is going to be a road trip from hell.


But what waits for them proves more perilous than they thought. Caught between humans who hate them and a savage party of traveling vampires out to create a blood-soaked feast for themselves, Michael and his friends may not make it to the show on time... or ever.

Review:
Kiss of Death opens with Claire Danvers turning the white laundry of all the residents of Glass House pink. Don't you guys think Shane would be real cute in pink undies?
Then, for the first time in eight books, Claire and company leave Morganville. For people who regularly face danger, death and other drama, they can be really, really big wimps outside of Morganville, which I find hilarious.

When they inevitably find trouble wherever they go, Claire KICKS BUTT!! I think this is my favourite Claire book because she is freaking AWESOME in this one.


But of course, Shane's still my favourite, and I have a Shane quote. Also an Eve quote - she's the one speaking at the beginning:

pg.80

"Damn. That was stupid, wasn't it? We nearly got killed over ice cream."

"Another thing I don't want on my tombstone," Shane said.

"You have others?" Claire asked.

He held up one finger. "I thought it wasn't loaded," Shane said. Second finger. "Hand me a match so I can check the gas tank." Third finger. "Killed over ice cream. Basically, any death that requires me to be stupid first."
Cons, compaints, bad stuff, etc.: I got nothing. There wasn't even a cliffhanger. I just wish that it was longer or that I had Ghost Town now!!

PG-13 stuff:
Oh, totally. But it's also really well balanced with humour and always handled really, really well.


Cover comments:
It took me forever to figure out who was on the cover and when I could kind of guess, I wasn't sure if that's quite how I pictured that person... but that's just my opinion.


Conclusion:
Definitely one of my favourite books of the series and I can't wait for Ghost Town Seriously, I need it NAO. A-plus, melikey, four and a half roses.




Okay, so that's the last of my Morganville posts! What did you guys think?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Oh!! Don't forget that I'm posting over at The YA Lit Six on Saturdays!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (40)

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.

Okay, so I saw this song on Castle a few weeks ago and really liked it.



What do you guys think?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (52)

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

Wow, I've done a week of Waiting on Wednesdays... that's cool.

Anyways, I'm really excited for both these books.

First up, we have:

The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith - To be released November 2nd, 2010

Law Walker knew Katie Mullens before she was crazy. Before her mother died. Law knows Katie’s crazy now, but she’s always been talented. And she keeps filling sketch pads even though her drawings have gone a little crazy as well—dark, bloody. What Law doesn’t know is that these drawings are real. Or were real. Katie draws what she sees—and Katie sees dead people. People who have died—recently, and not so recently—in accidents, from suicide, even a boy who was trapped in a house that burned down more than 100 years ago. And it’s this boy who makes Law want to get to know Katie all over again. So what if his dad doesn’t want him dating a white girl? So what if people think Katie is dangerous? The ghost boy is hiding a secret that Law needs to know—and it’s much bigger, much more shocking than anyone ever expected.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Ghosts. Cute boy. Forbidden romance (love that, always). Interracial relationships can be rare in books (and tv and movies) and that's not true to life. GHOSTS. Psychic drawings (kinda like the Dark Visions books by L. J. Smith). I love the name Law. AND the cover is gorgeous. Oh, and The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon is really good.


The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney - To be released November 2nd, 2010

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way - the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds - a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this one: Because it sounds INCREDIBLE. I actually got a bookmark of this when I got Nightshade and I just think it sounds really, really good. And I really like the cover.

Oh! But look what I found. It's a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird... do you think they did that on purpose?? They must have, right? What do you guys think?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Edited to add: After I wrote this up, they changed the cover somewhat. So here's the new cover:



Peace!