Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 75

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to learn about new books.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young

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. (from GoodReads)

This is the sequel to Blood Red Road, which was an awesome book. So I am most definitely looking forward to Rebel Heart, which will be released October 30, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 21

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like making lists.

Top Ten Books I'd Give a Theme Song To

1. Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Song: “Iridescent” – Linkin Park
Comments: The lyrics fit this book so well!
Lyrics: “You were standing in the wake of devastation
And you were waiting on the edge of the unknown
And with the cataclysm raining down
Insides crying "Save me now"
You were there, impossibly alone

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go. Let it go.”

2. Book: Harry Potter
Song: “Keep Marching On” – One Republic
Comments: The whole song fits but I’m just gonna provide the chorus.
Lyrics: "There’s so many wars we fought,
There’s so many things we’re not,
with what we have,
I promise you that,
We’re marching on."

3. Book: Wake by Lisa McMann
Song: “Punching in a Dream” – The Naked and Famous
Comments: Check out the lyrics.
Lyrics: "If it falls apart I would surely wake it
Bright lights turn me clean
This is worse than it seems
I don't ever wanna be here
Like punching in a dream,
breathing life into my nightmare."

4. Book: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Song: “To Build a Home” – Cinematic Orchestra
Comments: This song is this book, to me. I feel like the lyrics are talking about the Institute. Also, there is this very awesome fanvid with this song that sums up the entire book. Don’t watch if you haven’t read it yet, though.
Lyrics:"There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don't feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home

And I built a home
For you
For me

Until it disappeared
From me
From you
And now, it's time to leave and turn to dust."

5. Book: All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Song: “All These Things That I’ve Done” – The Killers
Comments: The entire time that I was reading this book, The Killers’s song was playing in my head!
Lyrics: "When there's nowhere else to run
Is there room for one more son
One more son
If you can hold on
If you can hold on, hold on
I want to stand up, I want to let go
You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
I want to shine on in the hearts of men
I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand

Another head aches, another heart breaks
I am so much older than I can take
And my affection, well it comes and goes
I need direction to perfection, no no no no."

6. Book: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Song: “Life is a Highway” – Rascal Flatts
Comments: Self-Explanatory.
Lyrics: "Well, life's like a road that you travel on
There's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

Life is a highway, I wanna ride it
All night long
If you're going my way, I wanna drive it
All night long."

7. Book: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Song: “Ghosts That We Knew” – Mumford & Sons
Comments: What I love about The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy that it is about hope, and I think this song symbolizes that a lot.
Lyrics: "You saw my pain, washed out in the rain
Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins
But you saw no fault no crack in my heart
And you kneel beside my hope torn apart
But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from you
And we’ll live a long life
So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold as long as you like
Just promise me we’ll be alright."

8. Book: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Song: “Set Fire to the Rain” – Adele
Comments: This song was really popular and on the radio while I was reading Angelfire so I came to associate the two in my head. It also helps that the lyrics describe the book, as well.
Lyrics: "I let it fall, my heart,
And as it fell you rose to claim it
It was dark and I was over
Until you kissed my lips and you saved me

My hands, they're strong
But my knees were far too weak
To stand in your arms
Without falling to your feet
But I set fire to the rain,
Watched it pour as I touched your face,
Well, it burned while I cried
'Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name!"

9. Book: Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Song: “Across the Universe” – The Beatles
Comments: It’s obvious why I picked this one, especially since the author credits The Beatles as being part of her inspiration. It’s a great song though.
Lyrics: "Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe."

10. Book: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Song: “Tomorrow is a Long Time” – Nickel Creek
Comments: This is the same as Angelfire: I first heard this song while reading City of Bones and it kind of described how I was feeling. The ending is very angsty. It also describes a scene in City of Glass, which is cool.
Lyrics: "If today was not an endless highway
If tonight was not a crooked trail
If tomorrow wasn't such a long time
Then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all

Yes, and only if my own true love was waiting
If I could hear his heart softly pounding
Yes, and only if he was lying by me
Would I lie in my bed once again."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them. (from GoodReads)

I was originally drawn to Stolen Away because I really liked Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey (I haven't read the rest of the series yet, but I'm getting there). Unfortunately, Stolen Away was not that good, and definitely not as good as this author's previous novel.

There were several things I didn't like about Stolen Away. One, the book changes point-of-view between Eloise and her best friend Jo. There's nothing wrong with switching narration but I could never tell who was speaking because both characters sound identical. So that was pretty annoying.

The biggest problem I had with Stolen Away is that it lacked development. It lacked plot, character and romantic development, which really took away from the overall story. The novel is fairly short and because of that everything felt rushed. The Faery court and politics could have been explained a lot better and that added information would have made the story so much more interesting. I never really felt a connection to any of the characters, including the trio of friends Jo, Eloise and Devin, and their romantic interests, Lucas and Eldric. Speaking of romance, for both couples there was some kissing and than instant love. I hate instant love so much.

I did like a few things: the writing was pretty good and some aspects of the characters I really enjoyed. I liked how Jo was obsessed with King Henry VIII (like myself) and there is a reference to Ian Somerhalder which added some points in my book. Unfortunately these things are pretty superficial.

If you want to read fantasy, I would stick to Alyxandra Harvey's vampire series, which I think is much better, and skip Stolen Away.

Rating: 5 out of 10.
FTC: received from Flamingnet Book Reviews

2012/Walker Childrens/288 pages.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course… (from GoodReads)

I thought that Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters was so cute! Even though I'm 20, I still loved reading about Kelsey and all her freshman year antics. It helped that she was pretty mature for her age and also hilarious. If I enjoyed this, I'm sure a younger audience will love it even more.

I actually had a pretty good time in high school, so it was nice to see someone enjoying herself as well. Not that Kelsey didn't have problems, but they mostly revolved around a soccer bully, boring classes, and getting really awful candid shots in the school newspaper. She did have a pretty big fight with one of her friends, but by the end I think Kelsey had a successful freshman year.

Kelsey's voice and narration were great. It's written in first person so we get all of Kelsey's commentary on school, her family, and life in general. There were several times that I was laughing out loud, so it was good that I was reading this alone.

Basically, if you like stories about humorous high school experiences, then you will enjoy this, no matter what your age.

8 out of 10.
FTC: received ebook from publisher.
Release Date: March 1, 2012

2012/G.P. Putnam's Sons/288 pages.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 74

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.

Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie. (from GoodReads)

What attracted me to Cross My Heart is the fact that the characters are reading Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. I loved that book when I read it in high school, but I never hear anyone ever talk about it. So I think that's awesome! Cross My Heart will be released March 15, 2012.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 21

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers and readers to get excited about new books.
Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House was Going to be Abducted by Aliens
This will be a quick list because I have a lot of homework. And it's my 21st Top Ten Tuesday on Feb 21!!
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
3. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare
4. The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray
5. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales (I'm gonna need a laugh if my house is gone)
6. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
7. Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy by Carrie Ryan
9. The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
10. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton (Just read this and loved it!!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay. (from GoodReads)

Wow!! Wings of the Wicked was amazing!! I think this is the best book I've read in a very long time. I'm so glad I bought this at the bookstore when I did and didn't wait to get it from my library.

I really enjoyed Angelfire but I'm always worried about sequels because they tend to suffer from Middle Book Syndrome. However, I am pleased to say that Wings of the Wicked is the cure! If anything, this book was better than Angelfire, and that's really saying something for a trilogy.

Wings of the Wicked follows Ellie where it left off in Angelfire: she's hunting demons, going to school, and trying to control her feelings for Will. Let me say this, Will and Ellie's relationship is angsty. But in a really good way! It wasn't dumb drama; every time they were together you can tell they have undeniable chemistry and it is so cute how in love they are with each other. And even that makes sense because Will and Ellie have known each other for hundreds of years. Suffice to say, the romance is one of my favorite parts of this trilogy.

I feel like Ellie grew throughout this book. She suffers a lot, and I sympathized with her a lot because her life is pretty tough. But even so, she still remains strong and is still able to kick some demon butt. I love the fight scenes because it shows how powerful Ellie really is.

There were a few twists and turns which I enjoyed for the most part. The "betrayal" the summary talks about was painfully obvious in that I guessed it last book. But the ending leaves off on a cliffhanger which makes me want the next book so bad!!

Overall, I think Wings of the Wicked is the perfect blend of action, fantasy, romance and humor and I am now glad to say that this is one of my favorite trilogies!

Rating: 10 out of 10.
FTC: bought

2012/Katherine Tegen Books/528 pages.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? (from GoodReads)

First off, I have to say that I love the cover and title! I think both are the best in this trilogy. And now about the actual book...

I remember I was really wary about reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth because it was about zombies, which weren't as popular as they are now (I am obsessed with The Walking Dead). But the book was so well-written and so detailed it could have been about anything and I still would have loved it. Carrie Ryan really does have a way with words, and that continues in The Dark and Hollow Places.

What I liked about this trilogy is that each book has a different narrator, but all the protagonists are connected so you still get continuity. Between Mary, Gabry and Annah, they are all different, but are similar in that they remain hopeful even in the wake of destruction. I think Annah is the most jaded character, but she is also the one that had the hardest life: guilt for leaving her sister behind, trying to survive in the horrible Dark City, scars on her face that make her feel ugly. It was definitely a change of pace to have a character already cynical (Mary and Gabry start out living fairly normal lives).

Luckily for the readers, we get to see Catcher, Elias and Gabry again, and it was cool to see them from someone else's perspective. Annah sees Gabry as perfect which is interesting after reading about Gabry in The Dead-Tossed Waves. And this trilogy would not be complete without romance. I think Carrie Ryan writes some of the best romance and I end up loving every guy she writes about. I already liked Catcher from before, but it was nice to see him open up someone because he spent all of last book pushing Gabry away.

As usual, the zombies were exciting and dangerous, but what I took away most from this trilogy is the importance of hope and survival, and carrying on even when it's easier not to. I think that's a great lesson to learn and is espoused in every book. I really enjoyed The Dark and Hollow Places and I can't wait to see what Carrie Ryan has in store for us next.

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: Christmas gift.

2011/Delacorte Books/374 pages.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 73

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.
Purity by Jackson Pearce
A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity. (from GoodReads)
With commentary on purity and viriginity, I think this book sounds really interesting and relevant to our society today. Purity will be released April 24, 2012.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 20

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for those who like books and lists.

Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart a Little

1. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
I was devastated at the ending of Clockwork Prince! I can think of nothing more heartwrenching than the state of the love triangle at the end of this novel.

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
First off, a world without love?? That breaks my heart! And the ending was just awful. But I am still looking forward to Pandemonium.

3. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
In my mind, everything eventually turns out well for Rhett and Scarlett, but I wish we got to see their happy ending on page.

4. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
This book is actually very light and funny, but when a main character died I cried my eyes out. I usually don't cry when I read books but I was literally bawling when I read this.

5. My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin
I felt so bad for the protagonist because he is suffering from immense grief.

6. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
These poor characters! First their love is forbidden because they are related and then the ending!!

7. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
I think this one is obvious.

8. Looking for Alaska by John Green
It's always sad when characters die.

9. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Another book with a character dying, but it's sad because it's alluded to throughout the novel.

10. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
This is sad because Sam learns a lot of lessons that are ultimately useless. Still a good read though!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin

Ashlyn Baptiste is falling. One moment she was nothing—no memories, no self—and then suddenly, she's plummeting through a sea of stars. Is she in a coma? She doesn't remember dying, and she has no memories of the life she left behind. All she knows is that she's trapped in a consciousness without a body and she's spending every moment watching a stranger.

Breckon Cody's on the edge. He's being ripped apart by grief so intense it literally hurts to breathe. On the surface, Breckon is trying to hold it together for his family and his girlfriend, but underneath he's barely hanging on.

Even though she didn't know him in life, Ashlyn sees Breckon's pain, and she's determined to find a way help him. As her own distressing memories emerge from the darkness, she struggles to communicate with the boy who can't see her, but whose life is suddenly intertwined with hers. In alternating voices of the main characters, My Beating Teenage Heart paints a devastatingly vivid picture of both the heartbreak and the promise of teenage life—a life Ashlyn would do anything to recover and Breckon seems desperate to destroy—and will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, John Green, and David Levithan. (from GoodReads)

I think that C.K. Kelly Martin is an underrated author. Her books are really good, but I never hear many bloggers gushing over her. I also love that the books take place in Canada (it's something different). My Beating Teenage Heart was engaging, emotional, and ultimately hopeful.

My Beating Teenage Heart was incredibly sad - Breckon's younger sister has just died and he's trying to deal with the grief. And since it was a totally unexpected accident, it was that much harder. I can't imagine going through what Breckon's family is suffering, but I think that Martin portrayed it very well. Everybody would react differently, and while I hope I'm not as broken as Breckon was, I understood his feelings and actions.

In comes Ashlyn, who is like a spirit, but she's tethered to Breckon and is forced to watch him. At first she can't remember who she is, but then suddenly the memories start coming back. I liked learning more and more about Ashlyn, and finally seeing what happened to get her to this state.

The book is narrated by both characters, so you get to see into each other's heads. This is a book where you definitely need both perspectives.

Overall, I thought My Beating Teenage Heart was very well-written and definitely emotional. Like I said earlier, it's not totally depressing, as the ending is very hopeful. I would recommend this to fans of dramatic and heavier fiction.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: received from publisher.

2011/Random House/288 pages.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 72

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorce dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancee and her kids. The fiancee's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about. (from GoodReads)

I absolutely loved The Duff (haven't read Shut Out yet) so I know I'm going to enjoy this one! Plus I'm always interested in stories about step-families - they always have so much drama! A Midsummer's Nightmare will be released June 5, 2012.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish for those who like books and lists.

Top Ten Books I'd Hand to Someone Who Doesn't Like to Read

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Sorry that these books are on every one of my lists, but they deserve to be! Nuff said.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Everyone and their mother is reading these books (even my dad read them!) and I gave them to a friend who doesn't read a whole lot and she obviously loved them.

3. The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
I would give this to a teenage girl because I love all of Caletti's work and I think all her protagonists are extremely relateable.

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
This is a requirement in many schools and I haven't heard of anyone disliking it yet. It's a pretty easy read, as well, which adds to its appeal.

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzergerald
This is definitely a good classic for non-readers. Even though it's 80 years old, the language is not too hard to read. Plus, jazz, drinking and parties? What high schooler (or anyone else for that matter) doesn't like that?

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth
This book is very engaging and really keeps you on your toes. All the action makes it feel like you're not even reading a book.

7. Paper Towns by John Green
This is my favorite of his so far (haven't read The Fault in Our Stars yet) and I think both boys and girls would love this!

8. The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
These are two of my favorite series and the fantasy world is beautifully written. There's also plenty of action, bravery, humor and romance to satisfy everyone's needs.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is another easy, but awesome, classic. I first read it in fifth grade so I think it's a great book for all ages.

10. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult is an extremely talented writer and all of her books are wonderful.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.

Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true. (from GoodReads)

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started Paradise - the cover is pretty generic. I had no idea this was going to be about music; it seemed like a plain romance by the cover. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the protagonist, Paisley, is the drummer of a band, but she was keeping it a secret from her mother. However, I did not think Paradise was executed that well, and had a horrible ending.

I liked the premise and setting a lot. Paisley lives in rural Texas, so it has that country feel. Her mother is really strict with Paisley and her sister, and would not approve of Paisley drumming in the band. I definitely understand where a parent like that is coming from, but it made no sense that Paisley's mother would push her sister, Lacey, to be a singer. Lacey has no desires to be a musician, but Paisley's mom doesn't care. I thought it was odd that she would support one daughter who wanted to be a singer but wouldn't support the other who wanted to be a drummer. I could see if her mom was pushing Lacey to be in science fairs or something, but the entertainment business?

The book is called Paradise, and that's because The Waylon Slider Band (Paisley's band) hires a new lead singer named Gabe. Paisley calls him Paradise because that's the town he's from. They have an "instant romance" that was based mainly on lust. There's a lot of kissing, which is fine, but I honestly don't think there was one scene where they have a serious conversation. Light flings are fun, and I wouldn't care too much about that but...there's the ending.

No spoilers, but the ending would have worked better if Paradise and Paisley had had a real relationship. But since they didn't, the ending came out of left field (in a bad way). I was not impressed at all with how the author concluded this book.

Even though Paradise has some good points, like focusing on music in rural Texas, the actual story and ending make it hard to sing the praises of this book.

Rating: 6 out of 10.
FTC: received from the publisher

2011/Feiwel & Friends/256 pages.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 71

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.
Endlessly by Kiersten White
The third book in the Paranormalcy trilogy.The final chapter of Evie's adventures. Old friends, new ones, all wrapped up in impossible decisions. And some ball gowns. Because what's a life of normal and paranormal drama without a ball gown or two? (From GoodReads)
I know this summary doesn't really tell anything about the book, but I'm still excited for Endlessly! The other books in this trilogy are really cute so I can't wait to see how it all wraps up. Endlessly will be released July 24, 2012.