Deadly Little Secret (Touch #1) - Review

Deadly Little Secret (Touch, #1)Deadly Little Secret (Touch #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

I did enjoy the premise of Deadly Little Secret. I liked most of the writing and the main character, Camelia.

It is mostly a dialogue-driven story, which leaves the characters under-developed. I did not get to know Camelia all that well, even though she narrates, since not much goes on in her head aside from describing what she is doing and seeing. She does play the victim very well, even appearing quite dumb at times. Ben is intriguing and mysterious, but again, he is very underdeveloped. I need to know more than how great looking he is.

Camelia's 2 best friends are both miserable at home, so they have plenty of get-togethers where they all discuss how messed up their lives are. But these are 2 characters that seem to be there more to support Camelia in her time of need. Yet, oddly enough, Camelia doesn't return the favor.

I can't say that I know why Camelia liked Ben in the first place. He pushed her out of the way of an approaching car (sound familiar?) and she became obsessed with finding out why he saved her and then disappeared. I also don't know why Ben liked her. Ben was stand-offish and avoided direct contact with Camelia (sound familiar?) until they were assigned as lab partners in chemistry class... yes, another similarity to Twilight. But then Ben sensed that Camelia was in danger so they started spending time together.

The suspense was drawn out and the pacing was pretty good. There was also plenty of tense and slightly scary moments. It's a very quick read, easy to understand and follow.

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Follow Friday (5)

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs.

Question: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

- I'm not new to blogging, even though this particular blog is fairly new, but I would love to have more interesting posts.
- I am going to continue the memes I am involved in currently.
- I need to get better at doing reviews. I do reviews as soon as I read a book, but sometimes I have a hard time putting what I think and feel into words.
- I really need to read more books. I read very quickly, so I just need to find the time to read more often. My tbr is HUGE!
- I need to work on the layout of my blog. I want to keep it simple so it doesn't look cluttered.
- I would love to have a giveaway. Soon.
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Waiting On Wednesday (6)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown

Description from Goodreads:
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
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Top Ten Tuesday (4)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011:
(In no particular order)

1. Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

2. Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

4. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

5. Die For Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum

6. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin

7. Falling Under (Falling Under #1) by Gwen Hayes

8. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

9. Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

10. Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman
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Shatter Me - Review

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first half of Shatter Me is written with strikethroughs and run-on sentences that are a paragraph long and words and phrases are continuously repeated 3 times. And the metaphors are numerous. Depending on the reader, the writing may either be highly annoying or pure genius. I'm still not sure which it is.

Juliette is the protagonist. In the beginning her behavior is very inconsistent. One minute she is crying on the floor and the next she is standing up for herself against an army of armed men. Although she does get stronger as the book goes on. This is evident by the writing - the strikethroughs and run-on sentences and repeating everything 3 times goes away and the writing evens out. (These things DO come back later in the book, and seem directly tied to Juliette's mental state and feeling unsafe and insecure.)

Shatter me is set in a vague future. What is left of the civilization is suffering under The Reestablishment, who claim they are trying to undo the mistakes in the past and do things over the right way. The problems on Earth are huge - seasons are non-existent, food and water are poisoned, clouds are the wrong color, birds don't fly, disease is rampant, and people live is settlements that are controlled by The Reestablishment.

Juliette has been locked in an asylum in a room by herself with no contact with anyone for 264 days. She is a danger to others because her touch can literally kill. Then Adam shows up. Adam is Juliette's Romeo. He arrives pretty early in the story and we learn that he has been in love with her and looking for her since she disappeared 3 years ago.

Warner is running The Reestablishment. Warner takes Juliette out of the asylum and informs her that he wants to use her powers to help him keep order and run The Reestablishment. He orders Adam to be Juliette's bodyguard. Warner is your typical bad guy on a power trip. Juliette must decide if she wants to stay with Warner and help him. She is conflicted because even though she hates him and what he stands for, she is oddly drawn to him. She also has the opportunity to escape with Adam, whom she loves, and try to start over out in what is left of the world. Who should she trust?

Tahereh Mafi's debut has a fascinating writing style. It has a unique feel to it. Throw in an unpredictable plot and intriguing characters and Shatter Me is a compelling read.

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Follow Friday (4)

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs.

Question: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

Considering the name of my blog, would I choose anything other than Persuasion? I could stand an eternity of Captain Wentworth writing ME beautiful letters. Of course, Anne would have to scram. And that would also rid me of the silly sisters and ignorant father. Sounds perfect to me.
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Waiting On Wednesday December 21 (5) Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4) by Shannon Delany

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4) by Shannon Delany
356 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin

Description From Goodreads: The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet--the possibility of a cure for lycanthropy. With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

The first book sets up what is to come in the rest of the series. Jessie meets Pietr, hot new Russian guy... not much action happens until the last 30 pages or so. The writing is okay, if a little repetitive and choppy. Still good enough to give 3.5 stars.

The second book wasn't quite everything I wanted it to be. The writing was just too scattered and all over the place. I would be reading a chapter, and then out of nowhere something else would start happening and I had no idea what was going on. Or a 2 person conversation would suddenly have up to 10 people involved without ever introducing anyone else to the scene. I would literally ask myself "Where did they come from?" This one ends on a cliffhanger.

The third book was so much better and much more focused and had much clearer writing. The plot was so much better. Jessie is in a mental institution and Pietr is off joining with the Russian mafia in an attempt to save Jessie. So we get a story with 2 POVs - Jessie and Alexi, Pietr's brother. While I did enjoy Alexi's POV, the alternating between Jessie and Alexi was distracting at times.
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Top Ten Tuesday (3)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings:

1. 2. and 3. The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set. Hardcover, of course. (Am I the only one who hasn't read these yet?!?!)

4. 5. 6. and 7. The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa. The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, The Iron Knight.

8. Illuminated by Erica Orloff.

9. The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols.

10. Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey.
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Follow Friday (3)

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs.

Question of the Week: When you've read a book, what do you do with it? (Keep it, give it away, donate it, sell it, swap it..?)

I borrow most of my books from the library, so those I return (obviously). If the book is really good I will buy it so I can keep it to read again and again. If I read the first book in a series and I enjoy it I will start buying the series to keep. All of the books that I purchase I keep, which truly delights my husband. Only not really.
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Waiting On Wednesday December 14

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1) by Aimee Agresti
Hardcover, 544 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books

Description from Goodreads:
"Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew."
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Saving June - Review

Saving JuneSaving June by Hannah Harrington

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Saving June was a good story, but I think it could have been much better. It just didn't have enough depth for me and I really didn't connect with the characters at all. Maybe because I am older and the characters were very immature. I especially never understood Harper. She was completely unrelatable to me.

The way all of the characters dealt with their pain and loss were were so diverse. Harper wasn't able to show any grief or shed any tears over her sister's death. And Harper couldn't be bothered to comfort her own mother when she was falling apart.

I have to give an honorable mention to Harper's selfishness. That was a huge part what propelled this story. It was Harper's selfishness that caused her to steal her sister's ashes and take them to California, because, well, going to California was her sister's dream. And because Harper knew her sister so well, she just had to do this for her. Only Harper didn't know her sister very well.

The music - there was lots of music in this book - was 99% stuff that I don't listen to. I guess Jake was supposed to be hip and cool because he was an obscure music junkie. I just wasn't feeling that part either. Analyzing lyrics and making them relevant whatever situation you are in isn't something I spend my time doing, so again I couldn't relate.

And Jake. I think he was mostly an asshole with a touch of 'depth'. You know, because of the whole music thing. He and Harper had a love hate relationship for most of the story, and their relationship just wasn't believable.

The whole roadtrip was disjointed and there were pointless side trips along the way. (On a personal note, calling The Gateway Arch 'the arch thingy' really pissed me off. Yes, I live in St. Louis. But I have never heard anyone, kid or adult, call it the arch thingy. Show some respect for a National Park. AND no mention of how awesome to photograph The Arch from underneath it. Because it really IS awesome.)

After finishing this book, I still don't know any more about June than I did when the book began. I don't know what it was that caused such unhappiness in her life. There were some hints along the way that were dropped. Remember the girl at the beach that was upset with Jake for bringing Harper around after..... what? And the hint about the same girl maybe 'liking' June.... no one ever mentioned these things again.

Saving June was not an engrossing read for me. It failed to grab my attention and draw me into the story. I see a lot of 5 star ratings, but this was just a 3 star read for me.

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Follow Friday #2

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs.

Question: Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?

Not everyone I know reads. In fact, I think some are allergic to reading. There is no better way to improve the mind than by reading.

My choice for everyone to read is On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Simply amazing! If YOU haven't read it yet, then you should. Now.

Waiting For Wentworth
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Third Sentence Thursday

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly feature that is currently being hosted by Proud Book Nerd.

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here (in the comments) or if you don’t have a blog, just post your sentence in the comments!

"It happened on the last day of school."
Deadly Little Secret (Touch #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I know that it's deadly. And it's a secret. But can you really classify a deadly secret as 'little'? I think I will keep reading and find out!

I am re-reading the first 3 books in this series before reading Deadly Little Voices which came out Dec. 6.
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Waiting On Wednesday December 7

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books

Description from Goodreads:
"It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?"
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Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish.

Up this week is Top Ten Childhood Faves. I have been checking out everyone's Top Ten this week, and boy do I feel old. Most of the books I am seeing I read to my kids when they were young. So my Top Ten may not go ever so well.

These are my earliest memories of reading. 1st grade circa 1974-ish. We were allowed to read at our own pace. Each of these text books had workbooks that went with them. You would read a story, do the pages in the workbook, then move on to the next story. After finishing an entire book, you would move up a reading level and start the next book. I remember carrying the books around school to show off what reading level we were at. It was always fun to be reading at a higher level than the kids in the grades above us.

I actually can't remember what books I read in elementary school. By 6th grade I had read everything in the school library and I started reading my mom's books. This was back before they wrote such explicit sex scenes in 'romance' books. Fond memories of sneaking those. I still have a few of my favorites packed away. Hee.

My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews is the most f'ed up book! Especially when you are a young teen and reading this type of stuff for the first time.

I remember reading Summer of My German Soldier after the movie with Kristy McNichol came on tv in 1978.

I read Sooner or Later after seeing Rex Smith in the movie version in 1979. I still love this movie. Yep, I'm a dork. I have this book along with the 2 follow up books.

Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Tissue Alert.
P.S. I Love You by Barbara Conklin.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
Nantucket Summer by Phyllis Green.

And these from my younger days that I picked up over the summer from our library sale:
Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton.
Tex by S.E. Hinton. (Huge crush on Matt Dillon in the movie.)
The Pistachio Prescription by Paula Danzinger.
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume.
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson.
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Review: Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly (Unearthly #1)Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Hardcover, 435 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by HarperTeen
Source: Library

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

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I was very reluctant to read Unearthly, especially after reading so many positive reviews of it. And the blurb/description of this book in no way made me want to read it. I am glad I ignored that and decided to give it a chance. It far exceeded my expectations.

The writing is terrific. Especially for a debut author. At over 400 pages, I was afraid it would have a lot of 'filler' moments, but that wasn't the case at all. The beginning may have started off a little slower than I prefer, but I soon got caught up in the storyline. The rest of the book flowed quite nicely.

Even though there was a love triangle of sorts, there was no insta-love going on (thank goodness). I liked that the characters actually took the time to get to know each other. Their relationship took time to develop, and we get to follow along as they fell in love.

Unearthly is different from a few of the other angel books that I have read recently. Clara actually has a purpose, a reason that she is here on earth. And figuring out that purpose isn't as simple as Clara thought it would be.

There was no real ending to the first book in this series. It wasn't a cliff-hanger either. Just a sort of stopping point. And all of the unanswered questions will make you want to read the next book to find out what is going on.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Follow Friday #1

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee.

Question: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don't like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!

As a parent of 2 teenagers, I really don't like when parents or guardians in books are conveniently absent or just plain clueless to what is going on. I like to think that I would know if my child and/or their friend(s) were a vampire, werewolf, angel, fairy, etc.

A slow moving plot is a real killer for me.  Just get on with the story already.

I'm not fond of Insta-love.  Give me something worth liking the boy or girl for.  Love, like characters, needs time to develop.
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Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares - Review

Dash & Lily's Book of DaresDash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to read something Christmas related, so I chose Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. I really liked how it started. Lily purposefully leaves a notebook on a shelf in a bookstore. Dash finds the notebook and follows the dares written inside. He then leaves the notebook where instructed. Lily gets the notebook back and discovers that Dash has left her dares to follow and instructions on where to leave the notebook for him. This goes back and forth, and it's cute and funny, and you get to really know the characters.

It's not a completely light read. There are some slightly deep moments. Dash and Lily are great characters - if a little too pretentious - but unrealistic. They both have a set of ideals and a particular view of the world. They get to know each other through the notebook. They don't meet right away, and they both wonder if they will even like each other outside of the notebook.

The other characters were unrealistic. Dash and Lily's friends and family were all quirky and had cool jobs and lived all over New York and would do pretty much anything for them. Even keep secrets and accommodate Dash and Lily set ups. It was all a bit much.

Overall, it was a good book. It ended up not being overly romantic (at least not to me). The writing was good, not great. I think this is a book you could read any time of the year, not just at Christmas.

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Waiting On Wednesday - November 30

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Zero by Tom Leveen
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Description from Goodreads:
"For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn't materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero's parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she's so much more than a name."

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Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Books on My TBR For Winter

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish. Top Ten List of Books on my TBR for Winter (in no particular order).

1. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand. I am currently in the middle of reading Unearthly. I can't wait to read the second in this series.

2. Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2) by Gwen Hayes. I may have to read the first book again since it was slightly confusing and I can't recall all the details right now.

3. Destiny and Deception (13 To Life #4) by Shannon Delaney. Hopefully we get more from Pietr's POV in this one.

4. Everneath by Brodi Ashton. I already have this on reserve at my library. I should be the first person to get a copy. Can't wait!

5. Fracture by Megan Miranda. A stand alone book. Not a series thank goodness.

6. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.

7. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.

8. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall #3). Hmmm, Archer or Cal?

9. Try Not To Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard.

10. The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols. Pure fluff. This will be much needed fluff after the other dark books I have listed.

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The Juliet Spell - Review

The Juliet SpellThe Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the eArc.

The Juliet Spell was cute and all, but not very deep. The characters didn't really get a chance to develop personalities at all. There was very little emotion in the story - the characters did and said things, but we never got a chance to know what they were thinking and feeling. For me, this made it hard to connect with either the characters or the storyline (which turns out really wasn't all that interesting!) Who doesn't love a handsome guy with an accent? But there needs to be something (anything) more to attract readers to the male lead.

Miranda is just an ordinary teen girl who uses her handy dandy magic kit to wish herself to be cast as Juliet in a local play. Something goes wrong, and instead she conjures up Edmund Shakeshaft, William Shakespeare's younger brother. Edmund takes his new reality hard at first (he cries for 12 hours. Who does that?) but he quickly adapts to his new surroundings. Amazingly, when Miranda introduces Edmund to her mother, she takes the news quite easily. Miranda's friends accept Edmund's presence like it's no biggie. They are all eager to 'help' Edmund adjust to the 21st century.

Edmund becomes Romeo to Miranda's Juliet, and zany times ensue during the play rehearsals. Lots of using the word 'ye' follow.

The Juliet Spell has a very cute premise, but the author just didn't pull it off. He should have stuck to the original 'magic' as explanation instead of trying to go high tech and math geeky to rationalize why Edmund appeared. And the sudden ending came.... suddenly. Not what I was expecting at all. It was very much of a let down.

For me The Juliet Spell was just okay. Enjoyable, but not overly so. Light and slightly entertaining, it could have been so much more. Maybe it will inspire teen readers to read Romeo and Juliet.

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In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by The Story Siren that allows bloggers to showcase the books they have received, bought or borrowed from the library.

Silence (Hush, Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Nocturne (Claire de Lune #2) by Christine Johnson

Borrowed from library:
Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand
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Waiting On Wednesday (November 23) Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Original Cover:
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: January 19th 2012 by Viking Juvenile

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive. He’s sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan’s depression that no one else has ever been brave enough—or cared enough—to ask. Ryan isn’t sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again."

Redesigned Cover:
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Review: Touch (Denazen #1) by Jus Accardo

Touch (Denazen #1)Touch (Denazen #1) by Jus Accardo

Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Page Count: 284
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

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Touch was enjoyable. The author created an interesting world. The idea of a corporation controlling the Sixes was unique and intriguing. However, I found myself confused sometimes when information was being thrown at me so fast that I couldn't keep up. I had to re-read some passages to figure out what I had missed the first time around. A little more background information on Denizen and the Sixes would have helped. I want to know how it all started.

I liked the characters. Deznee is an adrenaline junkie. She was strong and fearless and never backed down. Although I would have liked to see a little more vulnerability from her. Kale was innocent, yet strong and protective, especially when it came to Deznee. He was also cute, but totally clueless! I enjoyed watching Kale experience a lot of 'firsts'. The secondary characters are quite varied - from best friend to very bad men, everyone played an important role in the story.

Touch is fast paced, exciting, and sick and twisted. I will definitely be reading the next in this series.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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Die For Me by Amy Plum - Review

Warning: This Review is Spoilerific!!
Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum
Library copy read by me on August 7, 2011

First, let me say how much I liked this book. Secondly, let me tell you just how much this book reminds me of Twilight. Okay, to be fair, it doesn't 'remind' me of Twilight. It almost IS Twilight. (And I like Twilight.) Just like Twilight, Die For Me is not literary genius, but it is very entertaining for the most part.

Die For Me follows almost all of the same plot points from Twilight. It's eerily similar. But not so eerie if you read the author's blog and realize how much she loves Twilight. So she wrote her own version of Twilight, but instead of a family of vampires she uses the term 'zombie' - which is just to say that they are undead.

Off the top of my head, here are the ways that Die For Me is like Twilight:
Teenage Kate moves to a new city - Paris to be precise.
Kate meets boy, Vincent, under mysterious circumstances and is attracted to him instantly.
Vincent falls for Kate for no reason.
Kate obsesses over Vincent's good looks while not believing herself pretty enough to be worthy of him.
Vincent stalks Kate.
Vincent doesn't sleep.
Vincent is a 100 year old virgin who has never been in love before Kate.
Vincent wants he and Kate to stay pure.
Vincent thinks Kate should stay away from him for her own good, but he is miserable without her.
Vincent's Family has been around for centuries undetected. But they immediately take a liking to Kate and let her in their family unit.
Kate has a special power that no other human has.
Bad guys go after Kate to get to Vincent's family.
There's more, but I'll stop the comparison here.

I still can't believe that I like this book. It's total ripoff! But I gave it 3.5 stars anyway. And honestly, if I had never read Twilight, I would think that Die For Me was so original and different.

I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Hopefully Amy Plum can come up with the rest of this story without copying Twilight. Who knows, maybe she CAN have an original thought.
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There You'll Find Me - Review

There You'll Find MeThere You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wonderfully written with diverse characters, There You'll Find Me is very heartfelt. I am not a religious person, so I was leery about reading this, but I am glad I did. While there were a few Bible verses, it wasn't overly preachy. Although I did find it odd that ALL of the secondary characters in this story had such firm religious beliefs. It was with the help and guidance of these characters that the protagonist, Finley, found her way through a difficult time.

Finley has lost touch with God after the death of her brother. Reading her brother's travel journal, Finley decides to follow in his footsteps and spend her senior year as an exchange student in Ireland. She believes that visiting the places that brought her brother closer to God will do the same for her.

On the plane to Ireland, Finley meets Beckett Rush, an actor and heartthrob who is a tabloid favorite. Because of Beckett's well publicized exploits, Finley wants nothing to do with him. Of course Beckett likes Finley due to her lack of interest in him. Beckett finds a way to spend time with Finley - by helping her locate and visit the places from her brother's journal.

I liked the slow build to the Finley/Beckett romance. They were able to let go and be themselves around each other, which lets the reader get to know them also.

While this is a serious book with lots of issues going on, it still had cute, fun, and entertaining moments throughout.

Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for the eARC.

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Hereafter - Review

Hereafter (Hereafter, #1)Hereafter by Tara Hudson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I enjoyed reading Hereafter, it was a little lacking. The writing didn't have enough depth, at least as far as the characters go. I would have loved to learn more of what Amelia and Joshua were thinking and feeling. Especially after Joshua saw Amelia for the first time. While I think their need for each other was a little quick, I can understand why they would be attracted to each other (even if this attraction and 'love' was never explained by the author). I am grateful that they didn't profess their love for each other over and over. It was just there, through looks and touches and actions, but not over the top excessive.

Then there were times when the story got too 'wordy' for me. How many times and how many paragraphs do you need to describe a sunset? How many times do you need to describe the tingles when Joshua touches Amelia? Or describe Amelia's 'nightmare'?

Overall, the story flowed nicely. There was enough happening that it kept my interest and kept me reading to find out what was going on. Throw in a Grandma who can also see spirits, a bad spirit named Eli, and a little sister who needs saving, and you have an entertaining read. And it turns out a lot of things were never explained, so that leaves me wanting to read the next book to find out what happens.

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What Happened to Goodbye - Review

What Happened to GoodbyeWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I just finished reading What Happened to Goodbye, and I must say it's typical Sarah Dessen. Only this time it's a little boring. Nothing exciting happened at all. It just sort of rolls along.

The protagonist, Mclean, while likable, wasn't very deep. Since her parent's divorce, she has lived with her father, which means moving to a new town every 6 months due to his work. Mclean manages to reinvent herself in every new town. She can be whatever and whoever she chooses - she even has a different name with every move. It seems like it would take a lot of work to pull off a new persona with every new town. Her dad doesn't even notice that Mclean is a different person in each new place. And she doesn't get along with her mother, and feels that she doesn't fit in with her mother's life since the divorce (she remarried and has a set of twins). Mclean seems to have no problem packing up and leaving everything behind - she doesn't even make a point of telling her current set of friends goodbye.

In the latest move, Mclean becomes known as Mclean before she has a chance to become a new persona. So she finally decides to just be herself. Dave, the boy next door (literally) was flat and uninteresting. Even though everyone told us how different he was, he didn't display any qualities that would make him likable as boyfriend material. Sadly, Dave and Mclean didn't have chemistry, and there were no 'wow' moments between them.

I liked the new friends that Mclean made. They were an interesting lot, even if they weren't fleshed out at all.

Towards the end of the book, Mclean's lifestyle catches up with her and she is forced to realize why she has been hiding behind the varied versions of herself. It's all resolved quite quickly and with only the very slightest amount of teenage angst.

Another reviewer, Joy Kim, summed this up perfectly: "The good thing about Sarah Dessen is that you always know exactly what you're getting when you pick up one of her books. The bad thing is that you always know exactly what you're getting when you pick up one of her books."

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Where She Went - Review

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)Where She Went by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

I really enjoyed If I Stay, and I was looking forward to reading Adam's POV in Where She Went. I started reading and could not stop. I was about 88% finished when I was just overwhelmed and had to stop. My heart was breaking for Adam. It has taken me several weeks to have enough courage to pick up this book and finish it. I went over possible endings in my head. Did I want them back together, or would I be satisfied if they had 'closure' and walked away from each other? I was quite scared that I wouldn't like the outcome. Now I am glad that I took the break before finishing. The ending was emotional and very satisfying. If I Stay and Where She Went are definite must-reads for everyone.

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