Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Dead to Me by Lisa McMann

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
243 Pages

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

VISIT THE AUTHOR:
FIND THE BOOK:

Review:
I feel sick over this book. It was brilliant.

Everything Lisa McMann writes is phenomenal.

This book was not what I was expecting. Though, I've come to realize that Ms. McMann doesn't exactly have the greatest relationship with happily ever afters. I LOVED this book. Everything about it blew my mind.

Ethan was an amazing character. Every ache he felt ripped my heart to shreds. Everything he thought filled my mind. Blake was, of course, my least favorite character. I can understand his motives, but the way that he went about it? It made me ill. He really was not a genuine character. Mama and Dad made me so sad. You could see their love for their son, but I just didn't think that they made the right decisions. Grace was wonderful. I adored her and the book wouldn't have been the same without her. Cami was great, too. Ethan's relationship with her made really only brought more to the book.

The plot was gripping. I couldn't put the book down. I kept telling myself that I'd only read another five chapters and the next thing I know, I'm finished with the book. I almost screamed when I read the ending. Such a twist, it's expected, but you just don't want to believe it. It broke my heart. And the fact that it ended that way? Ugh, I'm dying. If this doesn't get a little follow-up, I may never be happy again.

This book was utterly enthralling. I just can't find anything wrong with it. The prose fit the characters and plot perfectly. Everything about this book was just perfect.

Ms. McMann has done it again. It seems as though, she will never disappoint me when her work.



Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.


Have you read Divergent by Veronica Roth?
If you haven't, get on that! It's one of my all-time favorites!
If you have, you should know that in May, Ms. Roth's second book in the series will be released!


I know that blurb is making your hands twitch with want! I'm definitely feeling that way! Insurgent has already been pre-ordered from Amazon and should be in my possession on May 2! YES! Go check it out and pre-order it! You know you want to!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Dead to Me by Lisa McMann

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 


 Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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"...These are the question I dread, but I thought I could answer them. I thought I could give her up."

Chapter 9, Page 42
Dead to You by Lisa McMann












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Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
277 Pages

It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with Pilot, the lifeguard with shamanic skills. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.



VISIT THE AUTHOR:
FIND THE BOOK:


Review:
I love the narrator in this book. She's a bit whiny, but what teenager isn't? Her story is very relatable and so easy to read. What makes it even better is that you can see her growth as you read. The story is very simple. It's about a teenage girl and it's about life. I really enjoyed reading it.
I usually love books that are all about romance. I read more books based on romance than anything else. In this book, romance was not the key point in the plot and I still loved it. This novel was about growing up and learning new things about life and about yourself. It was very good in an inspirational way.
It had a nice, steady pace to it. I never got lost in the time frame, like I have with some contemporary books. It was just a nice, short novel about the hardships in life and how you grow up as you least expect it. You could really read about Sirena learning about herself as she made friendships and got to know others in her aunt's town.
This book as a magic to it, and within it. It's captivating and intriguing. It's simplicity makes it an even better read. It's got a minor paranormal concept that only adds to the book.
The romance in this book is angsty in a adolescent way. Girl sees boy. Girl's intrigued by boy. Boy saves girl's life. Boy reciprocates feelings, but refuses to act on them out of fear of harming her. Typical? Definitely. But the way the author writes it makes it so much more. Pilot, Sirena's love interest, had me from the very beginning. As the story progresses, so does her infatuation and mine, in turn. He's a great character and the "drama" that separates them is resolved in a excellent and realistic way. It was a great, teenage romance.
Another true character in this book is the ocean. It plays a huge role in everything that happens. I personally love going to the beach and swimming in the ocean. This novel brings everything I love and fear about it into words. The ocean is phenomenally written. It seems like everything that is caused by the ocean in this novel is fate.
This book was very good. I enjoyed reading it.

I received and e-copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

Book Review: Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2) by EL James

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:

Release Date: September 15, 2011
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
373 Pages

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades. 

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18.

VISIT THE AUTHOR:
FIND THE BOOK:


Review:
I'm so bummed. I wanted to love this. It has a great plot and original ideas, but it didn't work for me.

I am bothered most by the timeline. At the end of the book, Kate, Ana's best friend, mentions only being gone for sixteen days. Which means that the first two books of this series took place within a little over a month. …Really? It just isn't believable to me. It was totally and completely frustrating. I believe in love at first sight, but this was ridiculous. Letting a man control you that way after such a short period of time? In love, or not, it doesn't make sense to me. Ana really needed to control her own life and there wasn't much of that.

Ana wasn't as spineless in this book. That was one thing I really enjoyed. She stood up for herself much more and wasn't afraid to state her opinion. Though at some points, she relented too fast for my taste, but it was much, much better than the first book. Although, the fact that Christian wouldn't budge on any of Ana's requests, when she shouldn't have to request? That was utterly annoying. Their interactions at most parts in this book make it seem like more of a dictatorship than a relationship.

Also, this book had too many "big words" as my sister would say. It seemed like the author checked for a new word whenever she could. It wasn't necessary in the least and really took away from the story. It made everything more complex and personally, I don't want to have to look in my thesaurus every few sentences. Big words don't make the plot or the characters. This is especially so when the words weren't always used in the right context.

It still follows the same plot as the fan fiction. I see no difference. Which is both good and bad. I wish the author had changed it up a bit for publishing, but I respect her choice.

I will read the next one, but I don't think it will be the very next thing I read. I need a little break from the madness.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by EL James

The blurb as see on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 26, 2011
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
380 Pages

When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. 

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms. 

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny. 

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds? 

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.


WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18.

VISIT THE AUTHOR:
FIND THE BOOK:
Review:
I read this before when it was a fan fiction and I really liked it. I still really liked it, but I'll admit it's nothing near the pedestal that I put it on.
Ana is too meek. She isn't a strong female character in the least and that's one reason this really worked as a Twilight fan fiction because Bella isn't exactly the strongest lead either. And the whole "inner goddess" thing started to really annoy me after a while. Ultimately, Ana is not my favorite character, in this or really any novel.
I loved "Fifty Shades." But there are some points where he's too much. I don't know how the author manages to write a protagonist who can stand him in his entirety like Ana does. There seems to be no give and take with this man and that's not what a relationship should be. It should be 50/50, not…100% fifty shades. (I liked that pun, excuse it if you must.)
The BDSM part of this novel is very minor. It is erotica, and that is completely obvious, but I don't think besides a few scenes that I would classify it as a BDSM inspired book. So that's a little misguiding. 
Now, don't get me wrong. I didn't hate this book. I actually really liked it. It's an addicting read. There are just some details within the novel that really bothered me.
I love Kate and Elliot. Loved them a lot! And Ray, God, Ray is an awesome father. I loved his character with my entire being. The characters were written really well, but we never got to know Ana. There were a lot of mysteries  about her. I couldn't honestly tell you her favorite color.
Also, the fact that I originally read this as a fan fiction, it threw me off a bit to read the name change. I understand that to publish it, it had to be done, but it still didn't help when reading it.
I like how this book ends. With Ana finally sticking up for herself and doing what she needed to do. Though with the time span of this novel, if I were her, I would've done so a long, long time ago. I wish throughout the book, Ana would've stuck up for herself more. Christian, at one point, calls her a strong woman and I would never have picked that adjective to describe her. She has a lot of growing to do, which is understandable seeing as she just graduated from college.
I liked the drama. I'll admit it, I'm a drama obsessor. So that part of the book really worked for me. Ms. James writes drama very realistically. I was able to feel like the characters as I read through it. Not all authors can do that.
I've read both negative and positive reviews for this one. I personally liked it, but didn't love and obsess over it like I did when it was a fan fiction story. I will continue the series, and I'm sure I'll feel about the same about the next two books. I hope that I can love them, but I don't think that they will be as amazing as I once thought.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On My Wishlist (2)

On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City

This week, Emily's wishlist is going dystopian!

#1 The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in. 

And then you're dead. 

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back. Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. 

As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest. Because how will she go on if there isn't? 

Megan Crewe crafts a powerful and gripping exploration of self-preservation, first love, and hope. Poignant and dizzying, this heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the next book in this standout new series.

Doesn't that sound awesome? I am dying to read it... (Did you catch that pun?)

#2 Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:

Everything is in ruins. 

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. 

So what does Araby Worth have to live for? 

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. 

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. 

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Again, amazing! It sounds great and the cover? Beautiful!

#3 Rebel Heart by Moira Young

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:

The Tonton have been defeated. Lugh has been rescued. 
The heartstone has brought Saba and Jack together. 
Now, Saba and her family head west to meet him and start a new life. All should be well. 
But shadows of the dead are stalking Saba. 
And another kind of shadow is creeping over the dustlands. 
Then a messenger shows up. 
With news of Jack.









The first book of this series was amazing. This one looks like it will be just as good, if not better! I can't wait for its release in October.


What's on your wishlist this week?


Friday, February 24, 2012

Follow Friday (2)

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q: Activity! Take a picture or describe where you love to read most.

A: I love to read in bed. It's where I do most of my reading. I love getting comfortable and snuggling under the covers. I usually love to have my cats or dog buried in my side as I do. They love to read too!

Where do you like to read?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

In My Mailbox (1)

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




In Emily's Mailbox:

From Netgalley:
             
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Release Date: March 1, 2012

For Review:
Release Date: February 24, 2012
Release Date: December 23, 2011

Bought:
Release Date: May 1, 2004

In Edwin's Mailbox:

No movies or books, but Starbucks coffee bags from my mom!


What is in your mailbox this week?

Book Review: Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Pocket
384 Pages

The engagement is phony, but the diamonds are real... 
Devastatingly handsome Jack Payton, the black sheep of his well-bred family, isn't exactly marriage material, but for a fake fiancĂ©, he'll do just fine. Not that Eleanor Coggins has a choice. If she's going to prove that Jack's wealthy half brother Banner Westfield murdered her best friend, she needs total access to the family estate. 

Once Jack and Eleanor blow Banner's cover, they can go their separate ways...or so she thinks. In order to win custody of his twelve-year-old daughter, Jack seriously needs to improve his reputation. An engagement should do the trick, but with Eleanor's vivacious wit and irresistible curves, it's the pretend part that's getting harder.... 

With a little help from an ex-con turned home security expert, a police chief with a scandalous secret, and an unexpected visitor, they must expose Banner's dangerous tricks before they become his victims. But can Jack convince Eleanor to turn their own seductive little lie into the truth?



WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18.

VISIT THE AUTHOR:
FIND THE BOOK:


Review:
I liked this, but I didn't love it. I just couldn't get into the last 45%. There is a twist that makes the book just get cheesy and annoying. I didn't really like Ellie (Eleanor, Nora, El). She annoyed me from the very beginning. There is a line between being gutsy and brave and being an idiot and reacting without thinking. I just didn't like her at all. I liked Jack, somewhat. He was annoying at some points, too, but it was easy to see that he was a good guy. 


My favorite character was Libby. She was such a sweet little girl. The last chapter was very touching for these three characters. It was a good ending for a cheesy romance book. Rocky was awesome, too. He was fun and added some seriousness and comedy to the novel. And though I didn't like her in the being, Elizabeth was another great character. She really stepped up at the end.


I was really bummed that I didn't like it as much as I hoped to. The blurb made it sound so interesting and really got me searching for this book. So once I had to start skimming the novel to keep my interest and be able to finish it, I was sad. The premise is great. The characters definitely need some work. And I just couldn't get into the whole "rich people lifestyle." The wealthy people in this book were so stereotypical. Plus, it seemed completely unrealistic. 


The author had a very interesting writing technique, but I didn't like the flipping between point-of-views. I wish she had stuck with Ellie's and interpreted Ellie's thoughts on Jack's reactions. Knowing how they both felt the entire time was just frustrating. There was no mystery in this novel. Everything was obvious and the whole basis of this novel was supposed to be mystery.


I wish I could've liked this more than I had, but I just... didn't. I don't know if I will read any more of Ms. Ambrose's writing, if they are all like this.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Title: Blackout 
Author: Mira Grant
Release Date: June 1, 2012
Publisher: Orbit

Rise up while you can. -Georgia Mason

The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.

The year was 2039. The world didn't end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.

Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there's one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it's this:

Things can always get worse.

Blackout is the conclusion to the epic trilogy that began in the Hugo-nominated Feed and the sequel, Deadline.

WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18.

The book this week that I am DYING for is Blackout by Mira Grant! It is the final book in the Newsflesh series. It doesn't come out until June. I don't think I can wait that long. Seriously. Every time I think of this book, I want to cry because I want it so bad! This series is one of my all-time favorites. They are addicting. Zombies, action, zombies, adventure, zombies, strange love, zombies, journalism, zombies, kick-ass heroine, a kick-ass hero and did I mention zombies? (Can you tell I'm a fan?)

To view the prequels please check their Goodreads pages: Feed and Deadline!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 


 Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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"Jack had spent the whole day thinking about it, and there was no other solution: He needed to get laid. Two years of jail had done strange things to his libido." 

Chapter 5, 15%
Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose


WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18.










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