Review: The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

The Trouble With FlirtingThe Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Page Count: 288
Format: Paperback
Published by: Harper Teen
Source: Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Franny's supposed to be working this summer, not flirting. But you can't blame her when guys like Alex and Harry are around. . . .

Franny Pearson never dreamed she'd be attending the prestigious Mansfield Summer Theater Program. And she's not, exactly. She's working for her aunt, the resident costume designer. But sewing her fingers to the bone does give her an opportunity to spend time with her crush, Alex Braverman. If only he were as taken with the girl hemming his trousers as he is with his new leading lady.

When Harry Cartwright, a notorious flirt, shows more than a friendly interest in Franny, she figures it can't hurt to have a little fun. But as their breezy romance grows more complicated, can Franny keep pretending that Harry is just a carefree fling? And why is Alex suddenly giving her those deep, meaningful looks? In this charming tale of mixed messages and romantic near-misses, one thing is clear: Flirting might be more trouble than Franny ever expected.

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I borrowed The Trouble With Flirting from the library on a whim. I completely forgot that this was based on Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, which I have never read. I have seen the 1999 and the 2007 movies, but I don't remember enough about either to really compare them to this novel. That being said, I really enjoyed reading The Trouble With Flirting.

The protagonist, Franny, is spending the summer at an exclusive theatre program. Despite being an actress herself, Franny is actually working for her aunt in the costume department. Franny unexpectedly runs into her old friend, Julia. Also there is Julia's twin brother, Alex, who Franny used to crush on. Franny and Julia quickly reconnect, and Franny's childhood crush on Alex is rekindled. But then Franny starts noticing Harry - he's cute and sweet and flirts outrageously with all of the girls. Franny automatically writes Harry off as harmless and makes a point of not taking him seriously since she knows he spreads flattery and smiles to any female within range. But Franny soon finds herself torn between Alex, who runs hot and cold with her, and Harry, who flirts with all girls with equal fervor.

At first, Franny doesn't know who she is or who she wants. She spends an inordinate amount of time obsessing over who likes who, and who's been wronged by someone, and who should be together. Throughout the summer, Franny learns that appearances can be deceiving, and that first impressions can sometimes be wrong. As a reader, you never know if Franny will learn to trust the right person and end up with the boy of her dreams.

I found this to be a very light and fun book, full of witty humor and fun banter, which makes for a very quick read. There was a LOT of flirting going on. There were also tons of misunderstandings, many missed opportunities, and incessant petty jealousy - but most of this was just harmless teen angst and drama. I really enjoyed the story, and all of the relationship drama seemed really appropriate at a summer acting program. I really enjoyed the sweet, adorable, and amusing cast of characters. Overall, I thought this was a great contemporary novel, and I look forward to reading more from Claire LaZebnik.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (71) The Distance Between Us

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

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

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Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: July 2nd 2013 by Harper Teen

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

I am a huge fan of contemporaries, and this one sounds absolutely perfect for me. And look at that cover! Gorgeous. Depending on how much I enjoy The Distance Between Us, I may have to pick up Pivot Point to read also.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Tune In Tuesday (20)

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Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads!, but is now hosted at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands.

Thirty Seconds To Mars has a new album coming out soon. I am soooo not ashamed to admit my love for Jared Leto. He is only 3 years younger than me, so I don't feel weird saying he is smoking hot.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - Up In The Air (Lyric Video)

My daughter has been listening to the new song from Fall Out Boy... so I have heard this a ton of times.

Fall Out Boy - My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)

Florida Georgia Line - Cruise Remix featuring Nelly

I don't really like this song. Or at least I didn't until I heard this version. Nelly used to live in the same neighborhood as us, except it was across the lake. Nice house and all to party in, and right on the lake. He was on MTV's Cribs back in the day. But it's an old established hoity toity community, so he and his partying ways didn't last long before they ran him off. Since then he's out in West County with a bigger house and more land - and among most of the sports royalty of St. Louis.

Florida Georgia Line - Cruise Remix featuring Nelly - LINK to listen to streaming version.



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Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going VintageGoing Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Page Count: 320
Format: eARC from publisher
Published by: Bloomsbury

Synopsis From Goodreads:

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

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Going Vintage was just what I expected from the cover and the synopsis - a super cute, funny, and sweet contemporary novel that had just enough depth to really satisfy me.

Shortly after Mallory discovers that her long-time boyfriend is cheating on her online, she comes across a notebook that belonged to her grandmother. Inside the notebook are lists that Mallory's grandmother wrote when she was a teenager. One of the lists inspires Mallory to take action and change her life for the better. Mallory naively believes that things were easier when her grandmother was 16 because of the lack of technology. So Mallory decides to live her life like it's 1962 - with as little modern technology as possible. I loved that Mallory was able to learn about herself and what she wants out of life while she attempted to complete the items on her list. She didn't let Jeremy's betrayal bring her down, and she was determined to be strong and prove that she could do something worthwhile.

I really loved the characters in Going Vintage. Mallory's younger sister, Ginnie, decides to help Mallory accomplish the items on her list. Mallory and Ginnie were very close, and I loved the support that Ginnie gave to Mallory. I felt that all of the family relationships were portrayed realistically. I loved the revelations that are made as Mallory spends quality time with her family. Mallory uncovers some things about her mother along the way. She also (unknowingly) forces her Grandmother to relive her past and face some harsh truths.

These are a few other things that I enjoyed about Going Vintage:
LISTS!!! There were lots and lots of lists.
Jeremy really WAS a tool!
Oliver was quirky and lovable AND adorable! And he had a terrific personality. But you probably knew that just from his name.

My favorite quote from Mallory:
"I thought The List was going to take me back to a simpler time, but in some ways it's just made my life more complicated."

I found the plot to be very interesting and the story moved along at the perfect pace. There was humor and snark and just a touch of conflict to keep things interesting. Overall, I thought Going Vintage was a fresh and fun contemporary story that I really enjoyed reading.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Sunday Updates (27)

Inspired by features from The Sunday Post from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Sunday Summary from Book Twirps.

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Borrowed From The Library:
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by HarperTeen

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Borrowed From The Library:
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Borrowed From The Library:
Paperback, 359 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by Walker Books for Young Readers

My daughter needed a book to read for English class, and she had originally picked out This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen, which I quickly talked her out of. She has an aversion to reading and basically tells me anything that I read is stupid. Because (obviously) she is 15 and knows everything. Duh! Perfect Chemistry was her second choice, and I think it's a good choice for her. I wanted her to have something a little juicy (and hot) to keep her interested. But you should have seen her UGH! face when I told her there were 2 more books in this series. I quickly explained that she doesn't HAVE to read them, but if she wanted to continue reading about the other 2 brothers she could. She was also worried that there would be inappropriate scenes in the book, and now I can't remember if anything really bad happens! I'm thinking since it's YA it should be okay for her to read.
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Waiting On Wednesday (70) Charm & Strange

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

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

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Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: June 11th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin

Synopsis From Goodreads:

When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

Doesn't this sound completely creepy and awesome?

What are you waiting on this week?
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Tune In Tuesday (19)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads!, but is now hosted at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands.

When In Rome - "The Promise"
happy happy joy joy. This song is from (egads) 1988. I just heard this on the radio the other day, which is why I am featuring it this week. This video is classic 80's cheese, but I love the song for some reason. (The guy with Fabio hair has a lisp AND a hole in his crotch. Please save me!)

So last Monday after I found the above song on YouTube, I wanted to listen to some music that I hadn't heard for a while. I saw a link to a Cheap Trick video and I watched it. Then I just went to their channel and played a whole bunch of stuff and basically relived my youth (or at least part of it) listening to Surrender, I Want You To Want Me, Dream Police, The Flame, and my all time favorite, If You Want My Love. Fast forward to Saturday when my husband and I were hanging out watching TENNIS baby. He turns to me and says I forgot to tell you how cool American Pickers was this week (which aired on the same Monday that I had been doing my YouTube Cheap Trick marathon.) He tells me that the guys got to meet and 'pick' the guitar player for ...................... CHEAP TRICK! How crazy is that? Then I grabbed by TouchPad and showed my husband my YouTube 'history' with all the Cheap Trick videos! So I just HAD to feature them for my Tune In Tuesday today.

Cheap Trick - "If You Want My Love" 1982

Cheap Trick - "The Flame"

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Review: Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder

Falling For YouFalling For You by Lisa Schroeder

Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Page Count: 355
Format: Hardcover
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

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Falling For You is definitely a dark and emotional contemporary novel. The story begins with the protagonist, Rae, in the hospital. The story then goes back 5 months to the beginning and leads up to the events that result with Rae fighting for her life.

Rae had a pretty depressing home life. (I know I would have been depressed if I had to live like that, but maybe that's just me.) Rae's stepfather is a real piece of crap, and her mother is whiny and clingy and needs a man in her life, so she puts up with his various shortcomings. As the story progresses, the step-father's asshole tendencies increase to the point where I couldn't understand why the mother would want him around, especially knowing how he was treating her daughter. A small part of me was disappointed that Rae couldn't figure out how to stand up for herself against her step-father. On the other hand, I understood that it was hard for Rae because her own mother condoned and supported the step-father's behavior. Despite her less than happy home life, Rae still tried to be positive, and I liked that about her.

When Rae meets a new boy at school, Nathan, they fall into an uneasy relationship that pretty much goes downhill from the beginning. We learn that Nathan has troubles at home also, but he deals with his problems differently than most. Rae attempts to distance herself from Nathan because she really needs to deal with her own troubles. Nathan's downward spiral into possessive and stalkerish behavior was a little over the top, and it seemed to me that it came on quite suddenly.

Rae works at a local florist, and counts her boss and co-workers as her friends. I was glad that Rae had their friendships and support when she needed them most. Leo works next door at the coffee shop, and he and Rae have budding friendship going on. Leo was a huge bright spot in this book - both for Rae and for the reader. I adored Leo and I would have loved to know more about him. He was smiley and happy and easy to be around, and Rae found herself constantly drawn to him.

Falling For You was well-written and had the perfect blend of prose and poetry. I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding how Rae ended up in the hospital. I liked the way the story switched from past to present in a way that flowed and was understandable. The story comes to a climax and we see how Rae has become a victim to the actions of those around her. I couldn't help but want Rae to have a happy ending, but I wasn't sure how that was going to happen.

Overall, I really enjoyed the ups and downs I felt while reading Falling For You. It's definitely an issue book with lots of family and relationship problems, and according to the author, "themes of darkness and light".

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Trust in Me by Bethany Lopez Book Blitz and Giveaway

Series: Friends & Lovers #3
Genre: New Adult Contemporary


Roni’s dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer were smashed under the brutal rage of her ex-husband's fists. Getting divorced and starting over at the age of twenty-two was never her plan, but maybe in Texas, she'll find her path. When the town's local player, Rich, opens a Rec Center, she sees a way to rekindle her dancing dreams...and maybe have a little fun with her sexy new boss.

Rich never expected to fulfill his dreams in the town he planned to leave behind, but that's just what he's doing. His reputation as a noncommittal ladies' man might make it challenging to earn respect in the business world, but he's willing to prove that he's serious. In fact, when it comes to pursuing Roni, he's more than willing. But she's taking a page out of his book, not wanting to risk another relationship. Can he convince her that his playboy days are over and that she can trust him with her heart?

Previous books in the Friends & Lovers series:

Author Bio:
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Author Links:

Bethany Lopez is generously offering up ONE ecopy of any of the books in the Friends & Lovers series.

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Waiting On Wednesday (69) All Our Yesterdays

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

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

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Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2013 by Disney Hyperion

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Marina has everything. She’s got money, popularity, and a bright future. Plus, she’s best friends with the boy next door, who happens to be a gorgeous prodigy from one of America’s most famous families.

Em has nothing. Imprisoned in a small white cell in the heart of a secret military base, all she has is the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

But Marina and Em have one big thing in common: they’re the same person.

Now Em must travel back four years in time in order to avert the terrible future from which she’s fled, and there’s only one way to do it. She must kill the person who invented the time machine in the first place: someone from her past. A person she loved.

But Marina won’t let them go without a fight.

Whoop! This sounds awesome! That premise has me all sorts of intrigued. Bonus points for being a stand-alone.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Top Ten Tuesday (19) Spring TBR List

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Tune In Tuesday (18)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads!, but is now hosted at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands.

My daughter and I were spending some quality time together gushing over hot guys..... I mean listening to music. She insists on playing Justin's new song (which I can't stand!) so I had my turn to pick, and you know I picked the GOOD songs. At least I was picking the jams until she kicked me out of her room. Bonding time over.

And I had to include Bye Bye Bye because that's where my daughter's love for JT began. She wasn't even 2 when this CD came out, so I took her to the store and she was running all over saying "Bye Bye Bye" until she found it. Super cute.

Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around...Comes Around (Short Version)

Justin Timberlake - Medley: Let Me Talk To You/My Love

Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body

N Sync - Bye Bye Bye

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Sunday Updates (26)

Inspired by features from The Sunday Post from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Sunday Summary from Book Twirps.

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Received For Review:
Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: July 16th 2013 by MTV Books
Oh my. I am SO EXCITED about this one. This is the third Jennifer Echols book out this year.

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Received For Review:
Hardcover, 240 pages
Expected publication: April 30th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
I just know this one is going to make me cry.

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Borrowed From The Library:
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Current Giveaways:

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Cover Reveal: Lost in You by Heidi McLaughlin

Coming May 1st
Cover by Sarah Hansen ~

Lost in You by Heidi McLaughlin

Ryan Stone is a less than average teenager. He doesn’t have fancy clothes. He doesn’t carry around the latest smartphone and he definitely doesn’t have an MP3 player. Instead, he goes to school, does his chores and dreams of a new life away from Brookfield where he’s expected to follow in his blue collar family’s footsteps.

Hadley Carter is America’s Pop Princess. A successful recording artist living her dream with a sold-out tour and a handful of Grammy’s there isn’t much that she wants for, except love. But finding love on the road is near impossible when all she longs for are romantic dinners, a nighttime stroll on the beach and holding hands with someone who isn’t going to exploit her.

When a chance encounter introduces Ryan to Hadley, will he be like her adoring fans looking for a way in, or will it be Hadley who pursues Ryan even though it might cost her the only career she's ever known.

Lost in You is a story about following your dreams, taking risks and getting lost in love.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Facebook | Blog

About Heidi:

Heidi is the author of USA Today, Digital Book World, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestselling novel, Forever My Girl

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she's writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games.

USA Today Bestseller - Forever My Girl - Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

$15 Amazon gift card GIVEAWAY courtesy of Heidi McLaughlin

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Waiting On Wednesday (68) Fault Line

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

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

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Hardcover, 240 pages
Expected publication: November 12th 2013 by SimonPulse

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.

I love this cover, but I'd sure like to know what the lighter and the sparks represent. I can't wait to read this contemporary debut and discover what it's all about. I think I'll be moving this arc up on my tbr so I can read it sooner.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Triple Threat Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Welcome to my stop on the Triple Threat Blog Tour hosted by Bloomsbury Teens! Today I am featuring my review for Hysteria by Megan Miranda.

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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Walker Childrens
Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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.

In another riveting tale of life and death, Megan Miranda's masterful storytelling brings readers along for a ride to the edge of sanity and back again.

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I really enjoyed Megan Miranda's debut novel, Fracture, and I completely loved her second book, Hysteria. I ended up reading it in just a few days because I didn't want to put it down. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about the story and anticipating picking it back up. The pacing was wonderful and the story was captivating and really held my attention.

The protagonist, Mallory, suffered through a pretty traumatic event and only remembered small snippets of what happened that night. Her memories weren't clear, and at times I thought she was unreliable as narrator because I wasn't sure which parts were her true memories, and which parts she was imagining or remembering out of context. At times Mallory even questioned her own sanity, which also made me question it. This made the book more exciting for me because I never knew what was coming next.

Mallory was haunted by the memory of her dead boyfriend, Brian, and she was having flashbacks of the night that he died. As more and more flashbacks were revealed in the story, it made it harder to figure out exactly what happened. I slowly started piecing the story together along with Mallory and I was shocked by what was revealed.

I thought the main characters in Hysteria were well developed. Mallory seemed like a normal teenage girl who was dealing with some really hard times. I loved Mallory's best friend, Colleen. They had a very special friendship and were still tight despite all the drama going on with Mallory. Reid proved to be a loyal friend and really stuck by Mallory, and I enjoyed the way their relationship developed.

Hysteria is an exciting read that is full of mystery and intrigue. I really liked the way all of the pieces of the story came together. Overall, I thought Hysteria was very thrilling book that I highly recommend.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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The wonderfully awesome people over at Bloomsbury Teens have allowed me to host a giveaway for 1 copy of this book.
Sorry, but giveaway is for U.S. only.
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
On March 11th, one winner will be drawn for a copy of Hysteria. You will have 48 hours to respond so I can forward your information to Bloomsbury.

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