Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #69

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Release Date: April 23rd,  2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray

When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they've hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want? 

Once Zoe arrives, however, she's assigned to serve "The Queen"-Fairyland's boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money. 

Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe's job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?

Last year I loved Sarah Strohmeyer's book, Smart Girls Get What They Want.  I'm looking forward to her new release because it sounds like such a fun and entertaining summer read.  With romance, relatable characters and just enough fluff mixed together, any contemporary lover will want to add her books to their wishlist!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?  

Current giveaways
-Unremembered by Jessica Brody (US/CAN)
-Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton (US/CAN)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Title: Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: February 1st, 2013
Pages: 309 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...

All Blaze wanted was a shot at getting a boyfriend. For a geek girl like her, it's difficult to find someone who appreciates her love of comics.  When her younger brother's soccer coach, Mark, finally takes notice, Blaze realizes that things may be looking up.  She's given a taste of what it's like to be sort-of popular, but after a wild night and a few big mistakes, Blaze is in the spotlight and not because she's the new it-girl.  Is revenge really worth it, or will Blaze just be digging a deeper hole?

There are so many things that I enjoyed about this book.  Blaze was such an honest and quirky character.  A little unusual for many teenage girls I've met, but that's why I liked her so much.  Though her interests are different from mine, I loved reading about her obsession with vintage comics and the fact that she illustrates her own throughout the story.  Even her experiences seemed completely relatable.  She's just a teenager who wants to live her own life, but because her family is broken, she's often the one who has to hold things together.

Another character I really admired was her brother, Josh.  Though his personality usually seemed much older than he was, seeing how protective he was over Blaze warmed my heart.  Everything backfires when Mark spreads a half-nude picture of Blaze around town, quickly damaging her reputation.  Suddenly she finds out who are her true friends and who aren't, but what I found interesting was that although Mark betrayed her trust, he wasn't portrayed as a true villain.  He showed remorse after the situation got out of control and he even tried to stick up for her, even if it was already too late.

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) is a hilarious read that will leave a smile on your face until the very last page.  It's the story of a girl and her alter-ego, The Blazing Goddess, who defeat each villain one by one.  I loved the fact that there's much more to the book than meets the eye.  Sure, it was a fun read, but it also held some serious topics within its pages.  The author did an awesome job with Blaze and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future!

Thanks to Sourcebooks, I have one copy of Blaze to give away!
US and Canada residents only.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

That's What Chey Said: When blogging becomes an obligation

I always look forward to blogging.  If I didn't, this blog wouldn't have survived for as long as it has.  That’s not to say that I don’t get overwhelmed from time to time.  Though I’m usually organized, that doesn't stop the anxious feeling that creeps up on me when I realize that I have so much to read and such little time to actually get it done.  How do you deal with the feeling that you’re drowning in books?

Over the past year, I've realized that it’s okay to miss a few posts.  The truth is that not many people will notice unless they check your blog daily.  Sometimes I have amazing weeks where I post 3 to 4 reviews, but sometimes I just have the time to post one.  When I have those slower weeks, I have to remind myself to relax and do what I can instead of letting the stress take over.

Blogging becomes an obligation when I let myself think that I’m letting my readers, authors, and publishers down by not posting a certain review by the date I originally planned to post.  When it comes to receiving books for review I try to post on or around the time of release.  Sometimes I let a few ebooks slip between the cracks because I don’t have the time, but I always make sure to review physical copies that I request.  As a blogger, you want to make people happy and to help promote books that you love, but when does it become less like a hobby and more like work?

When the stress takes over is when most begin to give up.  I find that if I force myself to read too many books in a short amount of time, I procrastinate.  Sometimes the pressure is good and I get everything done at the last minute, but sometimes I’d much rather focus on the current TV show I've been obsessed with instead of reading one of the many books in my TBR pile. 

I recommend that if you’re feeling obligated to blog more than blogging for fun, you should try to take a break.  It doesn't have to be long, just enough for you to take your mind off of posting for a few days.  This past week I took my time reading one book instead of cramming in as many stories I could during my free time.  I didn't disappear from the blog, but I still feel refreshed.

Do you ever feel obligated to post?  Why?  
What do you do to make the feeling go away?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

In My Mailbox #69

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

So many books came in the mail at once this week!

-SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins
-The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
(ARCs from HarperTeen)

-What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
(Finished copy from Jennifer @ Books That Spark)

-Impostor by Susanne Winnacker
(Signed ARC from Making the Grade and author)

-Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper
(Signed finished copy from Making the Grade and author)

-Black City by Elizabeth Richards
-Hunted by Adam Slater
-In a Fix by Linda Grimes
-Hero by Mike Lupica
-Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
(ARCs and finished copy from Taschima @ Bloody Bookaholic)

-The Archived by Victoria Schwab
(Finished copy from Kait @ YA Vixens)

-Looking for Alaska by John Green 
-Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck
(Signed finished copies from Making the Grade)

I actually squealed when I opened the package from Harper to find Sweet Peril!  I LOVED Sweet Evil last year, so I'm really looking forward to begin.  It's also funny that I received an unsolicited review copy of The Boyfriend App after being accepted for the egalley last week.  Somehow they just knew I've been wanting to start that one...Maybe it's a sign?  :P

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?

By the way, if you're looking to get your hands on an ARC of Unremembered by Jessica Brody, check out my giveaway!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Fantasy/Retelling
Release date: January 1st, 2013
Pages: 377 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. 

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. 

She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Alyssa's family is far from normal. Her great-great-great grandmother was Alice Liddell and every woman in her family before her has been slowly driven mad.  There's a curse having to do with Wonderland, and Alyssa will do anything to figure out what it is in order to save her mother from having to go through shock treatments.  Little does Alyssa know, Wonderland isn't nearly as pleasant as it seems in Lewis Carroll's story.

I loved every single part of this story.  The characters fit their roles perfectly and I found Alyssa to be quite likable.  She proves to be a strong person, even when she believes that she's dragging everyone else down.  Jeb is her absolute best friend and when he follows her into the rabbit hole, it only proves his loyalty.  Not every character proves to be warmhearted, though, as we quickly find out.  Alyssa becomes unsure of who to trust, the lines between good and evil bleeding together.  Eventually, Alyssa realizes that she can't always wait to be rescued and she will learn to rely on herself to find a way back home.

When they enter Wonderland, we quickly realize that all of the ideas we've had in our heads about the magical realm are completely different than the way the author envisions it.  Everything described is very dark and macabre, but I couldn't help but fall in love with it all.  From Alyssa being able to hear the thoughts of flowers and bugs and turning them into works of art, to the hideous and surprisingly realistic descriptions of each creature, I was kept on the edge of my seat.  Even though I know Alice's story quite well, Alyssa's story is completely new and exciting.  I can't forget to mention the romance, either, because that was just as thrilling and dangerous as the new world that the main character is thrust into.

I found everything about Splintered to be beautiful and disturbing, both completely unexpected and familiar, as though the reader is merely looking through someone else's eyes.  The author included characters we all know and love, but there were also many new and treacherous qualities about them.  This book is perfect both for long-time fans of Alice in Wonderland looking for a fresh perspective, as well as readers looking for a fantasy with descriptive writing and incredible storytelling.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #68

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Ashes on the Waves
Author: Mary Lindsey
Release Date: June 27th,  2013
Publisher: Penguin

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever. 

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

I loved Mary Lindsey's debut, Shattered Souls, so when I found out that she was coming out with a new book this year, I knew I had to add it to my wishlist. Better yet, it's another Edgar Allan Poe retelling. I've always loved Annabel Lee, so I can't wait to find out how this turns out!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?  

By the way, if you're looking to get your hands on an ARC of Unremembered by Jessica Brody, check out my giveaway! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

That's What Chey Said: Disappointment in highly-anticipated books

Sometimes we have to wait months (don’t get me started on years) for books we’re dying for to be released.  In the meantime, you distract yourself with other books, but your mind never strays very far from that particular one.  You’ve been itching for it, because it sounds perfect and oh god, that COVER.  Oh, it’s also by your favorite author who has never let you down.  And the book is made of chocolate.  Whatever the reason, you have to have it.  The time for its release comes and you rush to the store to buy it, devour it in the parking lot and realize it’s not at all what you expected it to be.

Okay, so sometimes the circumstances are different, but let’s face it, we’ve all had highly-anticipated books that let us down because of our high hopes.  It’s only natural for the excitement to build over the time it takes for the book to be printed and placed into our hands.  Sometimes the disappointment isn’t so bad, and sometimes it’s utterly crushing.  

In a way, it kind of feels like falling for someone, only to realize that they’re not who you think they are.  There are plenty of fish in the sea, but you wanted THAT one to fulfill your expectations.  Sometimes it’s just easier getting over it when it’s the start of a new series or a standalone written by someone you’ve never heard of before.  I find it most difficult when I’m let down by books written by authors I know and love, and most when it’s a sequel in a favorite series.

It takes time, but eventually you'll find a way to pick yourself back up again, discover more books to fall in love with and realize that you’ll probably enjoy more books than you’ll be disappointed by.

How do you deal with disappointment?  Is it a big deal, or do you find yourself able to move on easily?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

In My Mailbox #68

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

I got some awesome physical books, but I'm most excited for the eGalleys I received!

-Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris
(Finished UK copy from Jennifer @ Books That Spark)

-Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson
(ARC from Macmillan and Shelf Awareness)

-The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
(Signed finished copy from author and Making the Grade)

I read and reviewed The Dark Light last fall, which means that there will be an ARC up for grabs sometime soon (possibly for my blogoversary/21st birthday celebration?)  If you want to read my review, you can find it here.  :)


(eGalley from Netgalley and Amulet)

-Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
-The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
-Night School by C.J. Daugherty
-Born of Illusion by Terri Brown
-Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
(eGalleys from Edelweiss and HarperCollins)

I'm so excited to read all of these books, and I know I'll probably be reading the first few chapters of each of them soon just to get a little taste.  :P

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?

By the way, if you're looking to get your hands on an ARC of Unremembered by Jessica Brody, check out my giveaway!

Review: Irresistible by Liz Bankes

Title: Irresistible
Author: Liz Bankes
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 14th, 2013 (US/ebook)
Pages: 240 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

When Mia gets a summer job at a prestigious country club, it's hard work, but fun, especially as a romance develops with fellow student Dan. However, from the beginning she is drawn to the sexy, rich and bored Jamie--he's got everything he could ever want, and enjoys nothing more than messing with people's lives for his own entertainment. Mia knows getting involved with Jamie is a bad idea, but there's something so dangerously exciting about Jamie she just can't resist

As Mia's summer begins to unfold, she finds herself falling for not one, but two guys.  Dan is hardworking, loyal, sweet and obviously the guy she should start a relationship with.  Jamie is rude, self-centered and surprisingly intoxicating.  She knows she shouldn't, especially since he's the son of her boss and the boyfriend of her new friend.  Following a few after-dark encounters, Mia finds that she can't resist.

I knew that I would enjoy this book from the moment I started it.  The first chapter pulls you in, showing you how dangerous and seductive Jamie is, giving the reader a glimpse of what's to come.  Mia begins her summer on the right track, focusing on her work and a possible love interest named Dan.  Everything seems to be going well until she falls in with Jamie's crowd.  There are many qualities that I enjoyed about Mia, but I didn't care for her indecisiveness, although that was a crucial part of the story.  The characters all fit their roles perfectly, and they're one of the many reasons that kept me reading.

The romance that unfolds will make you tingle with excitement.  I couldn't help but want more whenever Mia and Jamie share a few flirtatious words or a forbidden encounter.  There were scenes that were incredibly steamy, probably not for younger teens, but what I loved most is that the author made the story incredibly visual.  If you look past the scandalous romance that takes place, something genuine comes out of everything that happens, which will leave a smile on your face after finishing the last page.

Irresistible is a very quick read that is perfect for any contemporary romance lover.  The author did an awesome job of showing both the poisonous and romantic sides of Jamie, which made the story all the more worthwhile.  Fun, exciting and sexy, this is one book that will leave its readers breathless.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Title: Dance of Shadows
Author: Yelena Black
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal, Mystery
Release date: February 14th, 2013
Pages: 447 (eGalley)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts.

Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister's shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames.

Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed . . .

Vanessa decides to follow in her sister's footsteps and attend school at the New York Ballet Academy.  Unfortunately, the school hasn't always held the best memories for the family, especially since Vanessa's older sister, Margaret, went missing a few years back.  This is the main reason that Vanessa chose to leave home, with the intent to find her.  While she's there, she notices some odd behavior that may lead to the truth behind what happened to Margaret during her Freshman year.

I enjoyed the first half of the story, especially the introduction of each unique character and the great descriptions that helped me visualize the school and the dances performed.  Even the mystery was intriguing, but I got a little lost once everything began to play out.  At first I loved the darkness of the tone the author was trying to set.  Something bad obviously happened to each of the prima ballerinas before Vanessa arrived, but it's nearly impossible to figure out what.  Eventually, things begin to unravel before the reader's eyes, but what disappointed me was that a few important questions never get answered.  This is only the first book in a series, so there's always hope for clarification in the next installment.

The author really knows how to play with your emotions, especially when it comes to each of the characters.  You never really know who is behind what, if they can be trusted or not.  This makes each of these characters pretty strong, but you can tell who is more important than the rest, which will make it easier to predict who will play the biggest role behind the mystery of each girl's disappearance.

Overall, Dance of Shadows was entertaining with awesome visuals and strong characters.  The paranormal aspects threw me off a little, but it was an intriguing idea nonetheless.  This book will be enjoyable for who find interest in dance and the occult.

Other reviews:
-Hysteria by Megan Miranda
-Also Known As by Robin Benway

Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Title: Also Known As
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary, Mystery
Release date: February 26th, 2013
Pages: 320 (eGalley)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. 

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

It's hard enough to be a teenage girl, let alone the daughter of two spies.  Maggie has been cracking the codes to locks since she was two-years-old.  She's become a rare and crucial safe-cracker, which means that she and her family must move from place to place every time they're needed.  They're real life superheroes who stop the bad guys, but will it ever become too much?  Will Maggie eventually crack under all the pressure?

I loved Maggie, whose hilarious personality made this story a new favorite of mine.  She's never been to high school, so when she's thrown into this prestigious New York private school, she's forced to find a way to make friends and get closer to the person of interest--Jesse Oliver.  Only there's one thing that no one told her...Jesse Oliver is charming and absolutely gorgeous.  She can't let herself get attached, because if she does, either she'll get hurt or her cover will be blown.  Either way, things are bound to get messy.

The characters were fresh and entertaining, and you will definitely grow attached to their personalities.  Roux, Maggie's first real friend is crazy and a little unpredictable, but she turns out to be pretty loyal.  Jesse definitely doesn't act like the spoiled rich kid I first expected him to be.  In fact, he's pretty sweet from the start, and the attraction to him grows the more that Maggie gets to know who he really is underneath the expensive clothes.  The romance that comes from this mission is adorable, and you can't help but feel everything that Maggie feels.  All of this may prove to be too much, but when they find out the truth, will her new friends stay by her side when she needs them most?

The author did an awesome job telling the story of a 16-year-old spy.  There are very few times where I enjoy a book so much that I read it in one sitting, but this was one of them.  I just loved the snarky and sarcastic tone, the writing and the story as a whole.  Also Known As is entertaining, especially for younger readers who enjoy contemporary and a little bit of mystery mixed into one.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #67

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Marie Antoinette Serial Killer
Author: Katie Alender
Release Date: October 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots. 

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. 

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Everything about this book sounds perfect for me!  What sounds like a serial killing ghost in France who also happens to resemble-and may possibly be- Marie Antoinette???  I enjoyed Bad Girls Don't Die and it totally creeped me out, so I'm really looking forward to this one!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?  

By the way, if you're looking to get your hands on an ARC of Unremembered by Jessica Brody, check out my giveaway! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: March 1st, 2013
Pages: 261 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup). 

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection. 

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

We've all heard of Toddlers and Tiaras, but we've never seen it from the sibling's perspective.  Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality tells the story of Lexi, a teenage girl whose entire life revolves around trying to please her mother and younger sister.  When the family is struggling with money due to Mackenzie's pageants, Lexi decides to step up.  Someone has to be responsible for their well-being, right?  Unfortunately, Lexi is still just a kid and she deserves to live a little too.  In this story, we watch the Girl with the Great Personality blossom into a responsible and beautiful young woman and learn that what you see isn't always what you get.

I've heard it a lot growing up--you're such an awesome person, any guy would be lucky to have you--yet I didn't get into my first serious relationship until after I graduated high school.  Guys hardly bothered to look my way.  Why?  Because I was the one with the so-called "great personality".  It's not a bad thing, in fact, having an awesome personality is one of the best qualities anyone can hope for, but when you're younger, you don't always look at it that way.

Lexi is tired of hearing about her great personality when being compared to her friends, peers and even her seven-year-old pageant princess sister, so she decides to make more of an effort with her appearance...and it works.  Everyone begins to notice her, at school and pageants, and even her sister is a little jealous.  Her mom finally seems to accept her and she even gets asked on her first date, but is it really because of her, or is it because of the makeup caked on her face?

The characters were all done really well, and I couldn't help but love or loathe each one of them.  Lexi's best friends were her rocks.  They stayed with her throughout her transformation and remained there when she needed them most.  The only character that really- I mean REALLY- bothered me was the mother, who resembled Honey Boo Boo's mom in my mind.  I had to put the book down a few times just to regain my composure after certain scenes involving her.  As for the love interests, I really took a liking to Taylor and could easily see that he was genuine from the start.

This story shows that the best revenge is self-acceptance.  So what if you're the girl with the great personality?  You can get beauty queens by the dozen, but Lexi realizes that personalities like hers are rare.  Elizabeth Eulberg creates another heart-warming story about self-discovery that any contemporary lover will want to add to their TBR list.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

That's What Chey Said: Love Interests in YA

Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I decided to base this week’s discussion post on love interests in YA.  Sometimes you fall in love with them too and sometimes there’s nothing that annoys you more, but either way, these characters stay on your mind.  I’ll be listing the types that stick out most for me (only trying to focus on the good, I may post about my pet peeves in a later post) as well as naming a few of my favorite guys in YA.

The Protective Guys.  Everywhere you look, they’re there.  While I like a heroine who can take care of herself, I also can’t help but fall for the guy who proves that he’ll be there for her whenever he’s needed.  These characters only work in certain stories for me, but one of my favorite protective guys is Noah Shaw from the Mara Dyer series.

The Bad Boy with the Big Heart.  It's a very familiar title for love interests in general, but that’s completely fine with me, I never seem to get tired of this type.  Of course, not every bad boy will make your heart pound.  Some act like complete asshats, but more than half the time, they can make just about anyone swoon.  In fact, two of my favorite male characters would fall into this category--Alex Fuentes from Perfect Chemistry and Kaidan Rowe from Sweet Evil. 

The Boy Next Door.  He’s sweet and considerate, ultimately the boy that you want to take home to your parents.  He may not always be your neighbor, but he's the one that's always been around, whether you realize it or not.  The first boys that pop into my head for this category are Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door and Jase Garrett from My Life Next Door.

Finally, The Best Friend whose feelings are unclear to the narrator but painfully obvious to the reader.  I mean come on, how many times have you read this?  I know that I have dozens of times, but even so, I still tend to enjoy it if it’s done well.

I'm a sucker for romance, and although I've never met any boys similar to the ones described in most books, I can't complain because it's surely nice to fantasize.  Anyways, who would want to read story after story with male characters who actually act like teenage boys?  No thank you, I had enough of that in high school.

Who is your favorite swoony boy/type of romance in YA?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

In My Mailbox #67

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

I had such an awesome week in books (and bookish things)!

-And For Your Information... by Denise Deegan
(Finished copy from Hachette Books Ireland)

Random Buzzers
-Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore
(ARC bought with Buzz Bucks)

(from Santi for Valentine's Day)

-Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
(ARC from Elena @ Novel Sounds)

-Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux
(Signed, from Making the Grade and author)

-Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown
(Signed, from Making the Grade and author)

-Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
(Signed, from Pawing Through Books and author)

-Nameless by Lili St. Crow
-The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
-Unremembered by Jessica Brody
-Mug, hot chocolate, chocolate covered pretzels and swag
(ARCs and goodies from Rachael @ The Book Muncher)

This is one of the best week in books I've had in a while!  Three signed books, two lovely mugs and chocolate?  Can every week be this awesome?
Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?

By the way, if you're looking to get your hands on an ARC of Unremembered by Jessica Brody, check out my giveaway!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Review: Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Title: Hysteria
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary, Mystery
Release date: February 5th, 2013
Pages: 336 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

Everywhere she looks, Mallory is reminded of her dead boyfriend...who she killed.  Though she isn't very fond of the idea of going to a boarding school in a different state, her mind changes quickly after one too many encounters with Brian's heartbroken family.  At Monroe, she feels like the odd one out, but soon befriends the son of her dad's childhood friend and slowly realizes that she shouldn't punish herself forever.  It was all self-defense, right?  At least, that's what her lawyer keeps telling her to say...

Expecting a lot of mystery upon opening this book, I can say that I was definitely satisfied.  The reader is always kept on their toes, especially throughout the first half of the book.  Here is this completely screwed up girl full of self-doubt, and I can't say that I blame her.  No matter where she turns, there's someone who will look at her with fear in their eyes.  She doesn't want to be judged, but then again, what she did was unforgivable  and she knows that.  The more she spends time isolated from everyone she loves, the more she realizes that the time we have on this earth is limited.

The uncertainty kept me interested and the fact that the main character was haunted by the memory of her boyfriend was what I enjoyed most.  The writing made the reading experience even more spooky.  The only complaint I have about Hysteria is that although everything was built up nicely, the climax was a bit of a disappointment.  I suppose I wanted something a little more supernatural, or at least something that fit into the story better.

Overall, the story was a perfectly paced and creepy read.  The author's style was a little unusual, but in a good way.  I'd definitely read more of her work in the future.  While Hysteria probably won't be a book for everyone, I can certainly say that I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #68

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Golden
Author: Jessi Kirby
Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BYR

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a mystery in her lap—one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.

Such a short summary of the book, but I'm really, really looking forward to finding out more. I enjoyed both of Jessi Kirby's previous books, and Golden seems like another great summer read!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?  
By the way, if you're looking to get your hands on an ARC of Unremembered by Jessica Brody, check out my giveaway! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Title: Unremembered
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux BYR 
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Science Fiction, Romance
Release date: March 5th, 2013
Pages: 320 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe. 

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world. 

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them. 

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

Unremembered is the enticing story of an extraordinary girl who seems to have been the only survivor of a plane crash.  She has no memories to guide her, and when she isn't claimed by a family, there are people who are nice enough to take her in for the time being.  They reteach her the things she should already know and make sure she feels at home, even if she doesn't know where home is.  When an unfamiliar boy comes into the picture and tells her that she's in danger, she's not sure who to believe

Let me start off by saying that although Unremembered wasn't entirely what I expected it to be, I still became entirely engrossed in the mystery behind this main character's past.  I was surprised at how quickly the story pulled me in and kept me turning the pages for more.  Every chapter released new information to both Sera and the reader, and that's what I think made the story the most interesting.  You and the main character always seem to be on the same page, and that way it's easy to feel connected.

The romance is also done really well, and that's because nothing feels rushed.  The pacing is perfect for everything in the story, especially the unveiling of the relationship between Sera and the mysterious boy who can't stay away.  Though Zen was one of the most important parts to this story, I still felt as though we never learned much about him, so I'm hoping that we'll get to see a little more in the next book in the series.

Overall, I loved every aspect of this book.  The mystery, the characters determination, and even the time travel made the story better than I could have hoped.  Although I haven't read any of the other stories written by this author, I'm glad to see that she was able to do science fiction exceptionally well.  Unremembered is complex, exciting, unique and definitely worth a read!

When I received this book last week, I noticed that there were many of you who wanted to get your hands on it, therefore I'm going to hold a giveaway for my ARC!

Giveaway info
-US and Canadian followers only (sorry, I can't afford INT shipping right now!)
-Ends March 5th, 2013
-Winner must reply within 48 hours