Thursday, April 30, 2009

Discoveries!

Some books I have recently discovered (this morning) that I really want the pleasure to read:


The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Meredith and Mallory Brynn are mirror twins born on either side of midnight one snowy New Year's Eve. They have always been inseparable. But after they are nearly killed in a mysterious fire on their thirteenth birthday, the bond that has always joined them unravels. They begin to have visions and dreams that reveal the deep secrets kept by the people around them. Meredith and Mallory realize they have each been given a gift: Mallory can see deep into the past; Meredith can see the future. But when they discover that one boy is not what they imagined, their lives will be changed forever. If they can survive . . .


Look Both Ways by Jacquelyn Mitchard

In the second book of the Midnight Twins trilogy, Meredith and Mallory Brynn are finally coming to terms with their special gifts: Meredith to see into the past, Mallory to see into the future. But they never expect that their powers will reveal danger so close to home.

Mallory must help her best friend, Eden, find the strength to defy her destiny as a shape-shifter, before Eden gets hurt-or hurts somebody else. And Merry has her own friends to worry about when her visions reveal trouble brewing on the cheerleading squad in the form of Kim Jellico.

Both Mallory and Meredith must join together to rescue their friends before it's too late.


A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

From the moment their lips meet, Talia thinks Jack is her prince charming. He's not so sure. The girl he found sleeping in a moldy old castle is a hottie, but she's also pushy, demanding, selfish and one big pain! Jack wishes he had never taken that lame detour past the thorn thickets during his vacation. Now he's stuck smuggling Talia out of Europe. She has no papers, no clothes and no money (if you don't count a chest of eye-popping jewels). And how is he going to explain a 316-year-old princess when he gets home to Miami?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released.

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)*


Grimpow: The Invisible Road

Who: by Rafael Abalos
Where: RandomHouse Children's Books
How: read 512 pages
When: August 11, 2009

Why (synopis):
Grimpow had no idea who the dead man was, but hidden in his leather bag was a treasure that would change his life forever. Clutched in the man’s firm grip was a stone. A stone that will shape Grimpow’s destiny. For when he holds it in his hand odd things begin to happen. Visions of places he’s never been fill his mind and he’s able to read the strange language in a message meant for someone else.

So begins his journey with the stone. A centuries-long journey that has driven sane men crazy, turned peaceful men to violence, and made strong men powerless. No man has ever unlocked its secrets. But no boy has ever tried.

What (thoughts): I have never heard of this book before but I'm glad I saw it on Barnes and Noble's website! It says that this is the first young adult book by this author and this book is going to be published in 27 different countries. It's all set! I have to read it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Click Here (to find out how I survived seventh grade)

Click Here (to find out how I survived seventh grade)
By Denise Vega
5 out of 5 stars


Erin Swift isn’t exactly an ‘early bloomer’. In fact, she’s quite the opposite. Still in the process of becoming shapely, she starts the seventh grade. Then she learns that her best friend isn’t on the same track (Class A) as her. Talk about hyperventilation! How could Erin survive the halls of middle school without her fabulously dressed, head-turning leader at her side? Erin creates her own personal website where she can write about her feelings and events that she has been going through. When her website accidentally is shared on the school’s Intranet*, Erin has to keep her head held high so that she can find the strength to survive middle school.

Written with enthusiasm and creativity, Click Here is superb! Author Denise Vega did the most wonderful job of sharing the thoughts of the regular seventh grade girl. It was filled with humor and genuine characters that put a smile on my face. Everything made so much sense that it blew my mind. I am very fond of the excellent writing though at some points, it didn’t seem like a 12-year-old wrote it. This book expresses friendship the way most girls see it. If you’re either ten or twenty, you will be able to relate.

Contains: some crude humor

I am very glad that this book is so clean! Thank you for that, Mrs. Vega. : )




*definition: a computer network with restricted access

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

I'll never ...
eat cabbage
sing karaoke
stick my finger in a toaster
dress up as a cowboy (or girl)



And the winner is ...

stick my finger in a toaster!

(This week's poll may have been a little disturbing but don't think any less of me. I was in a 'mood', if you know what I mean. ;l


Sunday, April 26, 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)


Click Here (to find out how i survived seventh grade)
by Denise Vega

Erin, an aspiring webmaster, chronicles her humiliations and her increasing autonomy in her "personal, private, no one-will-see-but-me web page"-which becomes public. PW called this "a heartfelt book about a girl becoming her own person."

(My sister found this at our local library for me and I absolutely love it so far! It's so realistic and I can relate to it so well.)



Access Denied (and other eighth grade error messages)
by Denise Vega

Computer whiz Erin Swift is ready to start eighth grade. The Year of Humiliating Events (aka, seventh grade) is behind her and she's ready to rule the school. But eight grade comes with its own set of problems for Erin to navigate, including her first boyfriend, her first break-up, and the fact that her mom has been treating her more like an eight year old than an eighth grader. Even worse, there's a new girl at Molly Brown Middle School who is determined to remake Erin in her bad-girl image, and former crush Mark "Cute Boy" Sacks has been acting strange lately.

But as Erin's school year once against hurdles toward disaster, a personal tragedy forces her to realize that things, and people, aren't always as bad as they seem. Can she save what's left of eighth grade before it's too late?

(Coincidentally, I received the sequel to the top book from a new reviewing program called HipScouts. I just can't wait to read this one! It's kind of funny how these things work out. :)

If you have read and reviewed either of these books, please post a link in the comments. I'd love to read what you have to say about them! I'll definitely leave a comment on the review in turn. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Umbrella Summer

Umbrella Summer
By Lisa Graff
5 out of 5 stars

AGES 8+

The summer after her brother died from a rare accident, Annie Richards is overprotective and far too careful in everything she does. She wears a helmet when she is walking down the street, uses all of her allowance on Band-Aids, and isn’t herself anymore. What if she got a scratch and it became infected? What if she got gangrene? Anything and everything can bring a sickness, deformity, or future medical problem. When an old lady moves into the house across the street, Annie realizes that maybe, metaphorically, she could shut her umbrella just a smidgen.

Told with sincerity and clever similes, Umbrella Summer is the best book I’ve read that shows the aftermath of the death of a loved one in the most truthful way. One of the reasons this book was brought to my attention was the cover. It’s vibrant and, I have to say, fits with the book well. The storyline was fast-paced and only told through two weeks. Annie is a spunky, refreshing character and all of them are so realistic. The writing was unmistakable and the author’s talent was put to good use. I thoroughly enjoyed all this book has to offer! It’s adorable, memorable, and teaches more than one great lesson.

Contains:

Things that might scare younger readers
*different diseases
*mention of maybe-amputations

To read another review of Umbrella Summer, click here to visit AyeCaptain Reviews.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fat Cat by Robin Brande

Fat Cat
By Robin Brande
4 out of 5 stars

At the tender age of 8, Catherine Locke realizes that she is overweight. But her best friend, Matt, has always been there for her. When seventh grade arrives and Cat overhears a conversation between Matt and a different classmate, she’s changed forever. How could she be friends with someone who thinks of her that way? Four years later, Catherine is still trying to get over Matt. She has a different best friend now! Cat doesn’t need Matt anymore. Being a Science ‘geek‘, Catherine decides that her Science experiment will be life-changing. Maybe she can lose a few pounds along the way. After losing a drastic amount of weight, all she needs is a boyfriend. But what if the person she is in love is the one she has been avoiding for four years?

Fat Cat is another weight loss book, the theme that is a little over used nowadays. It’s hard for a book like that to seem unique, but with the eye-catching cover and the writing of perfection, I have a feeling this one will make it far in the Reader’s World. Catherine is a likable main character (something every book needs) and the challenges she faces aren’t all due to being overweight, which I find is a nice twist. To make it more interesting, Cat’s logic is completely the opposite of mine so whatever she does or says is surprising for me. I think the author could have done a better job with adding Cat’s relationship with her younger brother into the chapters she’s with her friends and such but, overall, I enjoyed this book. I am sure others will too!


Publication date: October 13th, 2009

Contains:

*sensuality
*inappropriate touching (which is portrayed as wrong)
*some crude humor



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released.

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)*

What: Lucky
Who: by Rachel Vail
When: April 28th, 2009

Where: HarperCollins Publishers

Why (synopsis):

It's all good . . . and lucky Phoebe Avery plans to celebrate by throwing an end-of-the-year bash with her four closest friends. Everything will be perfect—from the guest list to the fashion photographer to the engraved invitations. The only thing left to do is find the perfect dress . . . until Phoebe goes from having it all to hiding all she's lost.

Phoebe's older sisters warn her to keep the family's crisis totally secret. Unfortunately, her alpha-girl best friend looks increasingly suspicious, and Phoebe's crush starts sending seriously mixed signals. Phoebe tries hard to keep smiling, but when her mother is humiliated in Neiman Marcus while buying Phoebe that perfect dress and her father decides to cancel her party, she panics. How far will she go to keep up her image as a lucky girl?

With lucky, Rachel Vail begins a powerful sisterhood trilogy, comprised of one book for each of the three fascinating Avery sisters, with all their secrets laid bare during the year that completely changes their lives. Phoebe is the youngest; her story combines first love and flip-flops, friendship and sisterhood, humor and tears. Breezy, witty, and poignant, lucky is Rachel Vail at her breathtaking best.

(This book is listed as a reprint but I have never heard of it. I'm really excited! The first thing that caught my eye about this book is the cover. I absolutely love the dress! I wish I had one just like it. It's the perfect cut. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Poll Winner

Last week's poll was ...

Someday (hopefully) I'm going to:

write a novel
make a demo cd
teach a cooking class
learn about a different culture



And the winner is ...

write a novel!

(You have to admit, though, teaching a cooking class won't be that bad. ;)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw



My favorite series and books of all time!



Dairy of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
By Jeff Kinney
5 out of 5 stars

ALL AGES



Greg Heffley isn’t self-centered. Really. He just likes thinking of himself in a positive way, though it seems he always gets the bad end of the deal. Middle school is challenging enough. Adding a hippy-skippy mother, a baby of a brother, and reasonably attractive girls just makes the stress lever higher. Greg is trying his hardest to concentrate on the important things, like making his father happy and proud. But being the way he is, Greg is easily distracted, especially by wanting to blow dandelions, playing last minute jokes, and finding who the snack thief is. Told through his own journal and own drawings, Greg shares what it is like to be a wimpy kid.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw is too much like real life to not have laugh-out-loud moments. Not only was I giggling at every page, I was full-out belly laughing at Greg’s decisions and situations, which made my stomach feel a little weak but my eyes wanting to read more. This book is so realistic in every way: not wanting to get up for the remote because you’re in a comfortable position, resisting the urge to blow dandelions (which Greg isn’t too good at). It all made so much sense! I shared most every part to my parents and siblings and hearing my mother’s laugh, you would know for sure that this book is worth checking out at your library. : )






*Contains nothing inappropriate at all.

Free Pizza!

Or not.

Anyway, I thought I'd explain why I haven't been posting. Really, I have no good excuse. I'm just ("Just say it, GirlwiththeBraids!") ... lazy. Yes, I am. I can even give you an example:

I finished reading Girl at Sea on Monday. (It's Friday.) As you can see below, I just posted the review. Do you kow why? I just wrote the review! That's how lazy I am.

It's just one of those days, I guess. It is so nice outside (almost like summer), I had to go play in the forest and field (I live in the country) with my younger sibling. I wish I could use this excuse for all of those five days but, really, I only went to play outside yesterday.

So, think what you want! And, for free pizza, infront of Cici restaruants across the country, they are placing little penny-like things in their lawns and on their sidewalks that say, "Free Buffet". So, go get free pizza! :)

Girl at Sea

Girl at Sea
By Maureen Johnson
4 out of 5 stars


Taken away from her chances of winning over a handsome Southern, Clio is pulled into the world of seasickness and tiny spaces. Her father, ambitious and hopeful (and should I say cute), bought a yacht. The yacht isn’t huge but it would get them from here to there, right? What about from Sorrento, Italy to the middle of the sea? Stuck on a yacht (which should be exciting) but with five other people, can be tiring. Especially if there is a statuesque archeologist’s daughter who Clio envies, a cute research assistant who just might be taken, her father’s best friend who suffers from heart problems, her father’s new girlfriend, and, of course her father. Clio is annoyed already but the real reason is … what are they doing in the middle of the sea?

The first half of this book (pages 166 and earlier) where slow at getting to the point. It was boring to read about the same scenes, setting, characters, and problems. It was really a teenage drama. But when page 167 arrived, I was sucked in. The story behind the main secret (the reason they are on a yacht in the middle of the sea) began to intertwine with Clio’s personal life. That, itself, is exciting! Author Maureen Johnson is clever in so many ways. She took unoriginal characters (ex. snobbish, hot, etc.) and made their small qualities seem important through humorous dialogue and vivid descriptions of the whole ordeal. If you are patient enough, which means if you can deal with reading the first half of the book, this is a great story to have on your bookshelf.



Contains:

*underage drinking
*certain parts of the body brought to attention (don't worry it's PG)

I am also not a fan of the cover. Clio's personality would never hint that way (she wouldn't position herself that way, wear those clothes, and certainly not leave her mouth slightly open for a dramatic effect -or trying-to-be-attractive effect-). So mind the cover! As in, don't judge this book before you read it. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm on Twitter!

I recently received an invitation from TheBookworm of Au Courant to join Twitter and decided to take up the offer. You can find me here!


If you become a follower, you will be able to see what books I'm currently reading and what things I have on my mind. If you also decide to become part of Twitter, I'd thought I'd report that quite a lot of authors contact readers through that website. So check it out!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...



What book do you wish you could inhabit?

one of the Harry Potter books
the Holy Bible
a Sci-fi one (but be the one who lives)
one from the Pellinor series



And the winner is ... it's a tie between:

the Holy Bible and one of the Harry Potter books!

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)

Because it was Holy Week at my church, I was a little busy to fit reading into my schedule. Fortunately, I will get a review up within the next few days. :)



The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart


Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin



Fat Cat by Robin Brande



(Re)Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin

I also received a book called Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner but I am not planning on reading it. I just flipped through it a bit and ... oh, gosh. I wouldn't even dare. :(

If anyone has read these books, please leave a link to your review. I'd love to see what you thought of them and I would definitely leave a comment in return.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch
and me, Ruby Oliver

Who: by E. Lockhart

When: July 28th, 2009

Where: Random House Children's Books

Why (synopsis): Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it’s her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what’s more:

Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill.

Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.

In this companion novel to The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, Ruby struggles to secure some sort of mental health, to understand what constitutes a real friendship, and to find true love—if such a thing exists.


Thoughts: I received this book in the mail with a package of 0thers but I wanted to share this one because it's one I've actually been wanting to read. I have never read the two before this but I hope that the author fills me in about what happened, in this book.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Surprise! (Not really.)

I have decided that my latest layout was not the one I wanted. It wasn't clean and I've heard it's hard on the eyes. Being pink with hearts, it only attracts girls when, in fact, I also want male readers. While still being a creative layout, I think this one is more appropriate.

And, as you can see, I like changing this blog's setting so don't be surprised if you come tomorrow and it is yet a different layout. ;)

P.S. If you can't see the hand reaching out to the ladybug, it's okay. The layout doesn't fit everyone's screen but at least you can see the teen-weeny ladybug that is the main object in the background.

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

What would you rather find?

a dragon egg
a diamond ring
an ancient manuscript
the right words to say


And the winner is ...

the right words to say!



(I think this poll had the most votes this blog has ever gotten. That's great!)

Thanks to everyone how participated!

Sundays at Tiffany's

Sundays at Tiffany’s
By James Patterson
3 out of 5 stars


Jane was eight years old when her imaginary friend, Michael, had to leave her. Michael promised that she wouldn’t remember him, sparing any hurt whatsoever. But she did remember and so did Michael, so clearly. Twenty three years later, Jane works not only 9-5 but 9-9 at her possessive mother’s production company where she is producing a play and movie based on the adventures that Michael and Jane had when she was little. In the middle of it all, Jane meets Michael again … and they are both surprised that neither of them forgot each other. In the mist of love, memories, wounded hearts, and a painful future, Jane and Michael must to do everything to stay together.

Sundays at Tiffany’s started sweet and until the last 1/6 of the book, I loved it. It was imaginable while being impossible and the love that Jane and Michael shared with unbelievable and touching. James Patterson twisted the idea of imaginary friends and made them reality. Then there was the last 1/6 of the book, the forty pages before the ending. It is clearly seen that an innocent relationship was not enough for them and they had to take it a step farther. It ruined everything the book had stood for: innocence, pure love, and the perfect relationship that had the perfect boundaries. I was highly disappointed with that subject but the ending had been lovely, though that still doesn‘t make up for the things that I didn’t appreciate.

Contains:

*sexual references
*sex scenes
*brief paragraph that contains homosexuality


(received book from a blog giveaway)

30 Days to Finding and Keeping Sassy Sidekicks and BFFs

30 Days to Finding and Keep Sassy Sidekicks and BFFs
By Clea Hantman
5 out of 5 stars

ALL AGES

Friendship is a relationship too and it needs work just like any other, author Clea Hantman teaches in this must-read, 30 Days to Finding and Keeping Sassy Sidekicks and BFFS. Some girls have “frenemies”, some have clingy wannabes, and others have friends that they want to keep forever. Do you want your friendships to grow stronger? Or to start a new one and meet new people? This books takes you day by day, to finding and keeping friends that with last a lifetime. In a world filled with dreary days, regretful breakups, and messy family lives, everyone needs a good friend and this book will help you achieve just that.

Even if you are not interested in the main topic, this book is still a must-read! It teaches genuine kindness and in a polite way, none the less. To make it even more interesting, a song is provided at the end of each chapter, summing up what was written about that day. It really was fun! Activities and creative ideas are shared and books, movies, and other things are listed as things you can do with your friends. It is hands-on and there are parts in the book where the author actually asks you to provide sentences that you are to write down in the spaces. Three cheers for the celebration of friends!

(Contains nothing inappropriate at all.)

*received from and reviewed for RandomHouse

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released.

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)*


What: All We Know of Heaven
Who: by Jacquelyn Mitchard

When: May 5th, 2009
Where: published by HarperCollins
How: 336 pages

Why: Bridget Flannery and Maureen O'Malley have been BFFs since forever. Then a brief moment of inattention on an icy road leaves one girl dead and the other in a coma, battered beyond recognition. Family and friends mourn one friend's loss and pray for the other's recovery. Then the doctors discover they have made a terrible mistake. The girl who lived is the one who everyone thought had died.

Based on a true case of mistaken identity, All We Know of Heaven is a universal story that no one can read unmoved: a drama of ordinary people caught up in an unimaginable tragedy and of the healing power of hope and love.

(This book sounds ... wonderful.)


*synopsis taken from the Barnes and Noble website