Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

Melkorka is a fifteen year old princess in Medieval Ireland. During a Viking raid on her kingdom of Downpatrick, she and her sister Brigid must flee to a nearby village. But all is lost when both girls are kidnapped by Russian slave traders. Now powerless under bounds and gags, Melkorka takes on a vow of silence-- much to the fascination and bewilderment of her captors.

I was disappointed in this book. I thought the idea sounded really interesting, so I kept reading even though I couldn't get into the story. It was just so boring and the writing was really sparse (not unlike the writing in Wake by Lisa McMann, but at least I enjoyed that story). Half-way through the book, I just wanted to put it down and stop reading. And I could do that without caring about what happened. That was the problem: I didn't care about Melkorka or what happened to her as a slave. So instead I just skimmed the last fifty pages. And it was a good thing too, because I didn't miss much. The ending was kinda dumb, so I'm glad I didn't waste anymore time reading this book. And it's a shame too, because the cover is gorgeous.

4 out of 10.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cave of Terror by Amber Dawn Bell

Cheyenne Wilde was a normal teenage girl until she turned sixteen, and found out that she was a vampire. Now trying to deal with bloodlust, school, a new crush, and intense gymnastics practices every day, Cheyenne is getting a little stressed. And finding out that she's her clica's first Vanator in 500 years doesn't help much either. Cheyenne has all this untapped power, and must learn how to use it to defeat an enemy clica that wants her dead.

Fantasy, as a genre, is supposed to draw you in and make the unbelievable believable. Cave of Terror didn't quite do that for me. There was a lot going on, as Cheyenne and the reader are both completely new to the vampirism, and not a whole lot was explained. Some parts were a little corny, and some of the words the characters were using didn't fit with teenagers today. This book reminded me a lot of Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley, because the main characters both find out about vampires when they turn sixteen and the some of the characteristics of vampires are similar. Even though the plot could use some work, the book was cute and funny at times. If you're looking for an easy read with vampires and romance, then this book is for you.

6 out of 10.

Release Date: December 2008

Thanks to Amber Dawn Bell for sending me the e-book!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day to everyone in the US! And if you don't live in the US, have a nice day! I also want to say thanks to everyone who visits my blog and leaves comments. You guys are great!

Now that all the sappy stuff if done; what is everyone doing for the holiday? Earlier I watched the parades on TV and then went to our annual Turkey Bowl football game against our rival school. It's really funny though, because I have a lot of friends that go to the "rival" school, I would have went to the "rival" school if we hadn't moved when I was still in elementary school, and my intramural club swim team uses the "rival" school's pool. So to me, they aren't really our rivals, but whatever. It was still fun. And later my grandparents are coming over dinner. I can't wait to eat some pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has been next-door neighbors with the interesting and magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelmen for his whole life. They used to be good friends, but now as high school seniors, their relationship has been reduced to mere acquaintances. But then one night, Margo climbs into his bedroom window, and that all changes. On a harrowing nighttime adventure through Orlando, which include pranks, revenge, and breaking into SeaWorld, Q begins to see Margo as he always pictured her: wild, impulsive, and fun. But his hopes of them becoming real friends are dashed when the next morning Margo has disappeared, something not uncommon for the free-spirited girl. Following clues left by Margo, Q and his friends attempt to find her, leading them on a road trip they'll never forget.

I thought this book was amazing. When looking at John Green's other books, Looking For Alaska is the serious, life-changing book, while An Abundance of Katherines is the fun, humorous book. But Paper Towns is a wonderful mix of both. It was funny, the characters were interesting, it had a good message. There was even a bit of mystery that made you want to keep reading so you could find out what happened. The plot was unique and the writing was flawless. Margo, especially, was an original character, and even though I wish the reader got to learn more about her, the book was perfect the way it was. I could go on and on, but in short, if you're looking for a great book or are already a fan of John Green, Paper Towns is a must read.

9 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Won!

I finally won a contest! Yay. I won a copy of Top 8 by Katie Flinn. I'm excited to read it. The contest was hosted by Dominique at The Book Vault.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight: The Movie

OMG! Twilight was so good! It obviously wasn't as good as the book, but I still liked it. It was really weird, though, because whenever I see the Harry Potter movies, I like them, but I'm always disappointed because they are nothing like the books. But this time, I wasn't disappointed. Sure, things could have been done better, but it was still good. There were so many funny moments! Everyone in the theater could not stop laughing. There was this guy sitting behind us that was hilarious. He kept adding his commentary to the movie, and it wasn't annoying, thank goodness.

Now for the things I didn't like. Everything was rushed. Edward and Bella falling in love and then the ending were the worst moments of speediness. But what can you expect from a two hour movie? I personally think an extra half-hour could have done wonders for the plot. Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart, as Edward and Bella, have me on the fence. At some parts I loved them and at other parts I didn't really like them. All the other characters were great, except Alice's voice was driving me crazy! It was really high-pitched. Other than that I thought it was a good companion to the book. If you havent' read the book, you should probably wait to see the movie, because things are explained a lot better in the book.

What did everyone else think?
By the way, I put this other movie poster up that I like much better than the original.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

After her father died a year ago, Macy has been in control of her life. Everything needs to be perfect: her grades, her hair, even her intelligent boyfriend Jason. So when Jason goes to Brain Camp for the summer and Macy is stuck with a boring job at the library, it's right where she wants to be. Until she meets the Wish Catering crew, where the employees thrive on chaos and craziness, so unlike her own life. She meets Wes, and they become friends by playing the Truth game, where you always have to tell the truth even in response to tough questions. Through a new job and bonding with Wes over funny and sometimes sad stories, Macy discovers a lot of truths about her own life.

This book was adorable. I don't think it was Sarah Dessen's best, but it was still a really good book. I love how I get sucked into the story and feel like I'm actually there. I seriousy wish I could work for Wish Catering; even with all the craziness, it seems like so much fun. Macy was a great character, and the sadness she felt over her father made her even more real. Complimenting her, other characters like Kristy and Wes were so interesting. Wes seemed like a great guy and I liked how he and Macy could pretty much tell each other anything, via the game Truth. What I didn't like was how their relationship really dragged on and it took forever for them to acknowledge their feelings for each other. I also like how Sarah Dessen links her books together by mentioning places and things present in other books. For example, Macy's family has a beach house in Colby, which is where Keeping The Moon takes place. Just a good book that anyone can relate to.

7 out of 10.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Day Until Twilight!

Are you excited?! Twilight is being released tomorrow! I know I can't wait. I wasn't even that excited for the movie until my friend started reading the books about two weeks ago. She's halfway through Breaking Dawn now and loves them. It's all she can talk about during school, so naturally I got re-sucked into the series. I know some people going tonight for the midnight showing. I'm jealous, but we still have school tomorrow, so I'm not that jealous.

Anyway, I'm going tomorrow night at 7:20. I have no idea how I'm going to get through school. What's everyone else's plans for the premiere?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How To Be Popular by Meg Cabot

Steph Landry has been the least popular girl in school since she spilled a red Super Big Gulp on popular girl Lauren Moffat's skirt a few years back. Ever since, everyone has always used the expression "Don't pull a Steph" when someone does something stupid. But Steph wants to change that. She has a secret weapon - an old book called How To Be Popular that she's going to use to become popular, much to the confusion and annoyance of her best friends Becca and Jason.

I love Meg Cabot and this book did not disappoint. Everyone at one point wants to know what it's like to be popular, so everyone will be able to relate to Steph. And this book is funny. At some points I was actually laughing out loud. The characters were cute and endearing, and even the mean popular girls didn't turn out to be as bad as everyone thought. Even though this story has the classic girl-likes-unattainable-guy, girl-finds-out-that-guy-isn't-so-great and realizes-she-likes-best-friend storyline, the plot was still interesting and kept me wanting to read more. The only things I didn't like were the characters of Jason and Becca because at times they were really annoying. It seemed like Steph only tolerated Becca because they had been friends for so long, which doesn't seem very nice, but whatever. It was still a good book.

8 out of 10.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bloom by Elizabeth Scott

Lauren's boyfriend Dave is perfect. He's popular, friendly, good-looking and is in love with her. She doesn't understand why he thinks she's so special, because she feels less than desirable. But then Lauren meets Evan Kirkland, an old friend now back at school. She feels bad betraying her boyfriend, but she can't help falling for Evan. As she gets in deeper with Evan, she must make a choice: her "perfect" boyfriend Dave, or the love of her life Evan.

This book was so cute! It sounds kinda straightforward and unoriginal, but the book was really good. All the characters were interesting and had some kind of backstory to them. The only character that I didn't really like was Dave - even though he seemed like a great boyfriend. He was too perfect and when he talked he sounded robotic. So he was kinda boring. But Evan, I loved him. I thought it was kinda weird that Evan and Lauren lived together when they were kids because their parents were dating (it seemed awkward) but then it just gave their relationship some tension. Though, it was weird reading a book about a hot guy named Evan, because that's my younger brother's name and I couldn't help but think of him whenever I saw the name. That was the only thing I didn't like. Anyway, Elizabeth Scott is a fantastic writer and I can't wait to read her other books!

8 out of 10.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith

Joel Espen was the nice guy of the community. Always friendly, always kind, and always helpful, everyone considered Joel to be a friend. So when he unexpectedly dies of dehydration on a boy scout camping trip, the whole town of Haven is shocked and upset. In this heartbreaking novel, the six teens closest to Joel each explain their story and must learn to cope with Joel's death, and learn to live the way he did.

I was not impressed by this book at all. Since the novel has the point-of-view of six different teenagers, and each teenager takes turns narrating, the novel was choppy and unorganized. There was no plot, just six people rambling on about nothing. It really made no sense. The characters didn't have any interaction with each other and the author should have tried to tie them together better. Quite frankly, I don't know how this mess of a story was published. Even Joel's death seemed like a mockery: he was the only one who died of dehydration on the trip because he gave his water away. That's really noble, but has he no sense of self-preservation? The only saving grace of the book was the character of Joel, and he wasn't even alive. He seemed to be a good person, and a respectable role model for teens.
4 out of 10.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Yay, I was tagged to do this meme! Thanks, Allie of Just Listen Book Reviews!

Oh, btw, I haven't updated my iPod in, like, forever, so my songs are really old.

1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Put the artist after a dash following the song name.
5. Put any comments in brackets.
6. Tag some lucky people to spread the disease.

How would you describe yourself?
It Ends Tonight - All American Rejects

How do you feel today?
Miss Independent - Kelly Clarkson

What is your life’s purpose?
Losing My Religion - REM (ooh, good one)

What is your motto?
You Don't Have to Let Go - Jessica Simpson

What do you think about very often?
While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles

What is your life story?
Shut Up! - Simple Plan

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) - Wyclef Jean ft. Akon (Haha this is funny)

What will you dance to at your wedding?
3 AM - Matchbox Twenty

What will they play at your funeral?
Lovefool - The Cardigans

What is your hobby/interest?
Calling You - Blue October

If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
Toxic - Britney Spears

What do you want most of all?
Stand - Rascal Flatts

What is your greatest fear?
Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (lol)

What is your darkest secret?
Stolen - Dashboard Confessional

What is your favorite thing in the world?
The Take Over, The Break's Over - Fall Out Boy

If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
With Arms Wide Open - Creed

What is your theme song?
Where Is The Love - Black Eyed Peas

The next time you hear this song (aside from now, that is), you must dance.
Upside Down - Jack Johnson

What will you post this as?
Crush - Dave Matthews Band

I tag The Bookworm of Au Courant. Have fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wake by Lisa McMann

Janie Hannagan has an unique ability: when other people fall asleep, she gets to witness their dreams. This might sound cool at first, but its not. Janie has no control over her power, and the dreams paralyze her for hours at time, leaving her exhausted and frustrated. She can't tell anybody about her ability, including her best friend Carrie. But when Janie witnesses a frightening nightmare, for the first time she is not an observer, but a participant...

About half-way through this book, I had a feeling I wasn't going to like it, but I did like it, so that's good. I really liked Janie as a character, but I felt bad for her, too. The dream-watching seems exhausting and I think I would go crazy not be able to stop myself from witnessing other people's dreams. I also thought that Cabel was an interesting character; especially because at first I thought I wasn't going to like him, but once again, I was proven wrong. The whole premise of the novel was very new and creative, nothing like I've ever seen before. Now, there was one thing I didn't like all that much and it was the writing. It was very sparse and not-detailed, which led to passages such as:
She closed the door.
Laid on her bed.
And fell asleep...... And then its a new topic. The story felt really rushed and it was like the author was trying to tell the story in as least many words as possible. Although, I think it's more of a personal preferance of what style writing you like, so you could completely disagree with me. Besides that, I thought the story was a fresh and original read.

6 out of 10.

The next book in the series, Fade, will be released February 10, 2009.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rumors: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

Even though it's been a few months since Elizabeth Holland's untimley demise, rumors still fly about her mysterious disappearance, as noted in the newspaper. Amidst these rumors are the mourning family and fiance, Henry Schoonmaker, who are ready to return to society and all its winter season gatherings. But now that Manhattan's princess is gone, who will take her place? Will it be Elizabeth's younger sister, Diana, whose prospective marriage could pull the family out of debt? How about Elizabeth's best friend Penelope Hayes, who has her eyes on Henry? Or could it be the Hollands' former maid, Lina Broud, who has somehow entered society's elite circle? As the wealthy know, it's never a dull day in Manhattan...

I still can't get over how original this series is! It's like Gossip Girl, but instead takes place in 1899. There's still plenty of scandal, and Gossip Girl's notorious website is even present, this time taking the place of the society pages in the newspaper. There's a lot of historical detail and it's all very interesting. The one thing I don't like, though, is that some of the characters seem very one-dimensional and flat. I'm sure that's the author's intention, but they seem so shallow, it's almost boring to read. But it's only one or two characters like this. I think Anna Godbersen wants to make it easy for us to know which characters to love and which to hate, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Besides that, there are characters who are grow and develop, like Elizabeth and Henry, and that makes up for any other characters that might be lacking. Even so, the book is extremely readable, and if you don't like historical fiction, I'm sure you'll still fall in love with this series.

7 out of 10.

Envy will be released in January 2009.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monthly Contests: December

This is a new "feature" on Simply Books. I'm going to write (type) out a list of all the contests going on in the blogging community. Just call this your unofficial guide to winning free books : )

(1) winner gets a book of their choice for under $25.
Occurs every Monday.

(1) winner every Friday!

(1) winner gets a Breaking Dawn t-shirt. Ends 12/29/08

Win copies of The Reincarnationist and The Memorist by MJ Rose. Ends 12/27/08 9 pm CST

(1) winner gets a copy of Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss
Ends 12/27/08

(1) winner gets a copy of Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Judy Gehrman
Ends 12/31/08

(1) winner gets Read My Lips by Teri Brown, Likely Story by David Van Etten, Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti, The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson.
Ends 12/31/08 Midnight

Contests in January!

Kristi is giving away a slew of books! Ends 01/16/09

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos

Rico is a Cuban-American, but doesn't look it. His pale skin and light hair set him apart form the other Latinos in his community. Feeling isolated from his culture and misunderstood by his parents, Rico runs away to Wisconsin to live with his friend Gilberto. While there, Rico doesn't have to worry about being Cuban because everyone thinks he's white. But in the land of milk and honey, Rico feels a part of him missing, and is determined to discover who he really is.

Este libro es muy bien. In other words, this book was very good. This surprised me because I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I definitley liked how Oscar Hijuelos added some Spanish into the book (with an English translation, of course). I'm in Spanish IV and I like to see how much Spanish I've actually retained and can recognize. I thought that Rico was an interesting character and I felt sympathy for his identity crisis. He had trouble discovering who he was as a person and I think every teenager can relate to this. Even though I liked this book and thought it was good, I don't really have much to say about it. It didn't elicit much of a reaction out of me. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but you'll just have to go with it. : )

6 out of 10.


It seems like every year NaNoWriMo sneaks up on me. And I'm never prepared with a story or plot or anything. This is my third year participating, but I still haven't "won" yet. The reason? Mostly because November is one of the busiest months for me. High school swimming starts and we have like two hour practices every day. Top this off with a junior-year workload and you got yourself one busy person.

Last year I just reused the same story from the year before. I didn't feel bad about this because I know that I'm not going to finish. But now I'm totally bored with it. I'm not going to explain the plot but it takes place in Revolutionary America. Anyway, I've been rolling around this other plot in my head that also takes place during the Revolution. I have no idea why I'm writing historical fiction, you would think that present day would be easier. I can never think of any good contemporary fiction plots.

So I have to do some thinking and start writing. How is everyone else doing?