Sunday, June 28, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is where I share with you the books I've gotten in the mail or the library. Maybe you'll find a book you want to read along the way!*

(idea by TheStorySiren)

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

(I just love this cover. I think it's so pretty how the title almost matches the cover of the girl's lips perfectly. And now, while I'm reading her story, I picture this girl as Terra. It's a really good book so far! I really want to cry for her. *received old ARC from my sister.)

The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee

Ten-year-old Jennifer Day lives in a small mining town full of secrets. Trying to make sense of the sudden death of her teenage sister, Beth, she looks to the adult world around her for answers.

As she recounts the final months of Beth’s life, Jennifer sifts through the lies and the truth, but what she finds are mysteries, miracles, and more questions. Was Beth’s death an accident? Why couldn’t Jennifer—or anyone else—save her?

Through Jennifer’s eyes, we see one girl’s failure to cross the threshold into adulthood as her family slowly falls apart.

(I've been waiting awhile to read this book so you can imagine my excitement when this showed up. *received from RandomBuzz)

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Ivy June Mosely and Catherine Combs, two girls from different parts of Kentucky, are participating in the first seventh-grade student exchange program between their schools. The girls will stay at each other’s homes, attend school together, and record their experience in their journals. Catherine and her family have a beautiful home with plenty of space. Since Ivy June’s house is crowded, she lives with her grandparents. Her Pappaw works in the coal mines supporting four generations of kinfolk. Ivy June can’t wait until he leaves that mine forever and retires. As the girls get closer, they discover they’re more alike than different, especially when they face the terror of not knowing what’s happening to those they love most.

(This book I got from BookDivas to review. I love this author's previous writing so this book has to be good.)

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

(This one wasn't supposed to be sent to be from RandomBuzz but ... it was. I was supposed to get The Book Thief instead of this one, but it never came. Oh, well! This one sounds like a good book, too.)

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt

If it hadn't been for Lucas's photographic memory, they might not have remembered the man. It had been almost a year since she and Kari noticed him copying a famous Rembrandt painting in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. But now in the National Gallery in London, they spot the same guy, copying another Rembrandt. Then, when a never-before-seen Rembrandt painting is discovered in Amsterdam, the girls begin to suspect the truth. Convinced that no one will believe them without hard and fast evidence, the teenage sleuths embark on a madcap adventure to find the forger and bring him to justice.

(I received this book from the publishing company to review. I think it sounds like a nice short read and it's one of the top books on my pile. :)

That concludes what I got in the mail this week. If you've read any of these books, please leave a link of your review in the comments. I'd love to know what you thought of them! In return, I'll be sure to leave a comment. :)

*book summaries taken from the Barnes and Noble website

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Treasure Map of Boys

The Treasure Map of Boys
by E. Lockhart
4 out of 5 stars

Getting smothered with kind words and confusing signals, Ruby Oliver doesn’t know what to think of these boys. One’s her ex-boyfriend, one’s her secret crush, another is her best friend’s brother, and the other is a sweet and gentle soccer player. It should be entertaining to watch as different guys try to catch her attention and own her heart, but for Ruby, it just gives her panic attacks and ex-best friends. I guess that’s what you get for being yourself! Caught in the middle of love triangles and exploding science projects, Ruby has had enough. So her therapist tells her to make a treasure map of the relationships that you would like to have. There starts the other half of Ruby’s journey through Junior year in high school.

The Treasure Map of Boys is a book that won’t get out. of. my. head. It’s … unforgettable! Ruby’s story is one that has happened many times in real life, I’m sure, but is the first to be put down on paper. That’s one of the reasons it’s so unique. Author E. Lockhart’s writing isn’t the most original but it still has it’s charm.

Most of the characters were enjoyable to the highest level and I liked reading how Ruby tried to choose between them: which ones she wants as friends and which ones she wants to be more than friends with. It’s all realistic but at the same time, a little predictable.

I felt bad that Ruby had so many so-called friends that stood by her, but were never actually true friends. I found them selfish and … just plain mean! I didn’t like them at all. But there were a few things that bothered me about Ruby herself. She jumps to unproven conclusions and she never exactly finds out the truth to her thoughts. Other than Ruby being a little feministic, I enjoyed the book enough to recommend it.

Release date: July 2009


*inappropriate touching and talk of nudity
*sexual references
*Christians portrayed as ‘annoying’
*brief strong language

Poll Winner

Long time, no see! Well, I'm sorry 'bout that guys. I've been busy. Without further ado, this week's poll was:

When I'm bored and there's no book in sight, I like to ...

play Sudoku
listen to my CDs
mess around with my siblings
log on to Facebook/Twitter

And the winner is ... it's a tie between listening to my CDs and logging onto social networks!

Thanks to all participants and vote on the new poll! (I'll try to remember to post the winner next time. ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If You're Reading This, It's Too Late

If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
by Pseudonymous Bosch
4.5 of 5 stars

A month after being inducted into a secret society, twelve-year-olds Cassandra and Max-Ernest (which are their cover identities, of course, because the author is not allowed to give us their real names) are eagerly awaiting instructions to start a mission. Maybe to fight off the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais once again? Maybe to find a man made in a bottle five hundred years ago? After they are given a message to decode, their first mission as secret agents begin. Having several odd adventures, Cassandra discovers that maybe she wasn’t who she thought she was. Or maybe, she was exactly who she thought she was.

Though just as fast-paced as the first book, The Name of This Book is Secret, Cass and Max-Ernest’s stories are more mysterious and entertaining than ever. Clue by clue, Author Pseudonymous Bosch keeps his distinctive voice and creativity. Surprising events occur with every chapter which will bring in a large audience of younger readers (mostly boys). The format of this book is appealing so when there was a slow-moving part (which there were few of), that’s the main thing that kept me reading on.

If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late had the perfect ending but if there is going to be another book in this series, I’ll be the first lined up to buy a copy. : )

Contains: *some mild crude humor

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday on Friday

Waiting on Wednesday (Wednesday on Friday for now) is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released. (Except today, where I'm sharing a movie that is going to be released and a book already published.)

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)*

My Sister's Keeper
by Jodi Picoult

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

(GirlwiththeBraids: "Enough said.")

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

I wouldn't survive without ...

my kids
Bear Grylls
my daddy

And the winner is ...

(With fathers close behind.)

Thanks to everyone who participated and make sure to vote on the new one today! :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters

Prophecy of the Sisters
By Michelle Zink
5 out of 5 stars

AGES 13+

Lia Milthorpe’s birth had to be a mistake. Her mother had complications so Lia was born first instead of her twin sister, Alice. If only Lia hadn’t been the eldest, she wouldn’t have the strange mark on her wrist that appeared after her sixteenth birthday, or have a circle around her bed for protection, and she certainly wouldn’t have her younger sister fighting to let the Souls into our world. Finding a strange book in her dead father’s library starts the battle of Good and Evil … and the battle against each other. Maybe Lia was born first for a reason. Filled with chance, romance, and the fight to keep loved ones safe, this book dominates.

Prophecy of the Sisters
is songlike, compelling, and enchanting with each step further into the book. It was just a tad bit unrealistic which is the perfect amount for a captivating and greatly intelligent story.

Each chapter gets more intense and each character is continuously revealing more of their true selves within the pages. The book started out with the best possible scene, where all the emotions begin to change. I appreciate that the author did such a thing. The first words of a story are a big part of how I judge the book altogether. I’m confident enough to say that it didn’t let me down.

Author Michelle Zink twists the words used in daily language and makes it her own. It shows the world she is explaining and the lives she is telling about. I’ve used the phrase ‘the best writing’ in only one of my other reviews but now I take it back. I must say: this is the best writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading (and I’m not exaggerating).


*intense and scary moments that wouldn’t be handled well with kids under 13
*fictional evil spirits and talk of Satan (portrayed as bad)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

I like a good ...
romantic comedy
hairbrush (they're hard to come by)

And the winner is ...


(Though it's not really a mystery. I loved watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.)

Thanks to everyone who voted and be sure to go it again on the new poll!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quick Peek Inside My Mailbox

Just a quick peek of the books I've received this week:

The Amanda Project: Invisible I by Stella Lennon and Melissa Kantor
Comes a Horseman by Robert Liparulo
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley (I think this cool: I received a hardcover final copy of this book when it doesn't come out until July. Can't wait to read these two! :)

If You're Reading This, It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch (Couldn't wait to read this one! I spent months trying to locate a copy of it -couldn't stand to spend my money at Barnes and Noble- and finally it came up from my wishlist on PaperbackSwap!)

Book I'm borrowing from one of my friends:

Prophesy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (My current read. Excellent writing!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

Which actor do you like better?

Johnny Dep
Reese Witherspoon
Selena Gomez
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)

And the winner is ...

Johnny Dep!

(At least I know that there is one other person that likes Tom Felton. He. Is. Awesome.)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

(sorta, kinda, not really)

I couldn't finish this book. It was gory and gruesome. Horrid pictures and scenes came into my head with every sentence. The writing was too realistic, which I couldn't handle. My mother was the one who convinced me to stop reading it. She said, "If it will give you nightmares, don't read it. You don't want a book that does that to you, do you?" No, I don't. That why at page 30, I set it down.

Truth be told, I may read it someday when I'm not as easily frightened. But for now, it will sit on the shelf, mocking me for my cowardice.

If you think you can handle Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth, find out more about it by clicking the cover.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Prada and Prejudice

Prada and Prejudice
by Mandy Hubbard
5 out of 5 stars

Who said a school trip to London was going to be easy? And more importantly, why did Callie trip and fall in London? Maybe it was because getting used to five inch Prada heels can be difficult. Or maybe it was fate. Ever since her best friend moved, Callie has become a wannabe and waking up in 19th century England wasn’t planned on her to-do list to catch the eyes of the cool crowd. When a girl in a corset and long dress comes along and insists that Callie is Rebecca, her friend from America, Callie can’t help but take the opportunity. Falling in love with a duke, breaking a planned marriage, and going courting can be troublesome, especially when everyone thinks you are someone you’re not.

I could say, that I know several authors that could take Prada and Prejudice to the next level. I could also say that the writing was too childish. But I won’t. That would lying. Author Mandy Hubbard has a unique sense of dry humor and an eye for outstanding storylines that made this book phenomenal. The writing was charming and repeated thoughts that needed to be echoed. The metaphors are fun to think about, along with everything else. This book is great to read out-loud, especially to a group of middle school girls. The sentences are smooth and slide off the tongue so naturally, it’s easier to understand and listen to. I will be looking out for future releases by this author!

Release date: June 11th

*an illegitimate child that was spoken of

Monday, June 1, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is where I share with you the books I've gotten in the mail or the library. Maybe you'll find a book you want to read along the way!*

(idea by TheStorySiren)

The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield

Margaret Lea works in her father's antiquarian bookshop where her fascination for the biographies of the long-dead has led her to write them herself. She gets a letter from one of the most famous authors of the day, the mysterious Vida Winter, whose popularity as a writer has been in no way diminished by her reclusiveness. Until now, Vida has toyed with journalists who interview her, creating outlandish life histories for herself - all of them invention. Now she is old and ailing, and at last she wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. Her letter to Margaret is a summons.

(This is the first time I've heard of this book, though I think I should have heard of it a lot earlier because it was published in 2007. Oh, well! At least I have it in my hands now.)

Jack with a Twist
by Brenda Janowitz

Planning a wedding can be a trying experience…

A little prewedding anxiety is normal for every bride, and Manhattan attorney Brooke Miller isn't worried. She's got the loving support of the world's greatest guy, so planning her nuptials should be a piece of cake.

But that was yesterday.

Today, Brooke's landed her fi rst big case and has just discovered that the opposing attorney is none other than her fiancé, Jack. But that's okay. These two professionals aren't going to let a little courtroom sparring get their legal briefs in a bunch.… Right? Wrong! Now Jack's pulling every dirty trick in the law books, and Brooke's starting to suspect that maybe he isn't the man she thought he was. Warring with her fi ancé at work and at home, Brooke realizes that she'll have to choose between the case of her life, or actually having a life.

(Just looking at this book's cover makes me think of the commercials of a Lifetime movie called Maneater starring Sarah Chalke. -I never to watch that movie, btw.- But this book looks cute and flipping through the pages just makes me want to read it more.)

Scot on the Rocks
by Brenda Janowitz

When her ex-boyfriend, Trip, gets engaged to Hollywood's latest It Girl, Manhattan attorney Brooke Miller plans to attend the wedding. Who says a modern girl can't stay friends with her ex? Besides, Brooke's got her sexy Scottish fiancé, Douglas, to take as her date. Okay, so maybe he's not exactly her fiancé, but they're living together in his apartment, so she'll be getting the ring any minute, right? Wrong.

After a fight leaves her without a boyfriend (much less a fiancé) just days before the wedding, Brooke faces the ultimate humiliation of attending her ex-boyfriend's nuptials alone. Desperate to find a replacement to fill Douglas's kilt, Brooke concocts an outrageous plan to survive the wedding and win the man of her dreams, all with her dignity ever-so-slightly intact.

(I had to buy this one because it's by the same author of the above ^ one. I hope I'm not going to be disappointed!)

For the Love of Pete
by Julia Harper

Dante Torelli is an undercover FBI agent assigned to protect a mob informant and his family. But when the informant's hiding place is blown, a baby girl is snatched by a ruthless hitman. Now, Dante must save the toddler, uncover the traitor in his department, evade various bad guys, and deal with the toddler's sexy aunt, all before the biggest mob trial in Chicago history, set to begin in just three days.

When Zoe Adler's stepsister went into the witness protection program because of her sleazeball boyfriend, she wasn't supposed to tell anyone. Except the two sisters have always been close, and Zoe has been babysitting her niece, Pete, since her birth. What harm could it be to secretly get Zoe an apartment in the same building where the FBI is keeping the family under protection? So when someone inside the FBI turns and a hitman snatches Pete, Zoe is right there. During the shootout, she jumps into a sexy, uptight FBI agent's car and hangs on as he pursues the hitman. No matter what it takes, Zoe is going to bring her niece back.

(Flipping through this book -after I bought it at a rummage sale-, I found that it has some parts that I don't want to read. So, so far this book is a disappointment.)

by Scott Westerfeld

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.

(All this time, I thought the guy's name was Westerfield! Well, anyway, I have never read any of these books before so I hope that after I read this one, I will want to read the others. I know. I have crazy expectations!)

If you've read any of the books listed, I would appreciate if you left a link to your review in the comments. I'd look to see what you thought of them! In return, I'd be happy to leave a comment on the post. :)

*summaries borrowed from BarnesandNoble's website