Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - 156

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

Young Money by Kevin Roose

From Kevin Roose, New York magazine writer and author of the critically-acclaimed The Unlikely Disciple, comes a vivid, inside look at the new generation of Wall Street bankers.
Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits

Every summer, thousands of high-achieving college graduates pack their bags and head to Wall Street to start new lives as junior investment bankers and traders at firms like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Citigroup. Even after a massive economic collapse, a career in the financial industry remains a tempting path for many of America's best and brightest. But what happens to these entry-level grunts once they join the money chase? And how did the financial crisis of 2008 change the high-flying world they inhabit?

YOUNG MONEY is an unprecedented (and unauthorized) trip inside the well-guarded subculture of Wall Street's youngest workers. New York magazine writer Kevin Roose spent more than three years shadowing eight junior employees at leading investment firms, all of whom began their careers after the crash. In an attempt to understand the financial world's persistent allure, Roose visited Ivy League recruiting sessions, attended singles mixers and pre-hire training programs for young bankers, and snuck into a secretive and powerful Wall Street fraternity. What he saw wasn't just 100-hour workweeks, big bonuses, and wild parties. It was the birth of a new Wall Street, one that forced its youngest workers to grapple with their consciences and realign their priorities.

With hundreds of interviews and mountains of original reporting, YOUNG MONEY is more than an exposé of excess; it's a hilarious and accessible story, told through the eyes of eight memorable, young financiers, that shows how the Great Recession changed the attitudes of a generation. (From GoodReads)

I absolutely loved Kevin Roose's first book The Unlikely Disciple and he even made me a fan of non-fiction! I can't wait to read about Wall Street and all the shenanigans that occur there. Young Money will be released February 18, 2014.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 101

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

1. Prodigy by Marie Lu
I was so impressed with this sequel to Legend and I think I liked it even better than its predecessor. There was action, romance, character development and a nice cliffhanger - where's the next book?!

2. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
This is the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty and it definitely doesn't suffer from Middle Books Syndrome.

3. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
This was a wonderful continuation of the story started in Angelfire.

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Once I realized how good CoS was I knew that this series was going to be amazing.

5. Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
This sequel came 5 years after the first book, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, but the wait was well worth it! The story was fun, honest, and an interesting look at relationships.

6. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
This book pretty much reaffirmed my love for The Mortal Instruments and sucked me fully into the universe.

7. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
This book is more of a companion to The Forest of Hands and Teeth and even though it was so different, I still enjoyed it immensely.

8. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
I wasn't planning on reading this sequel to If I Stay but I'm so glad I did. It's from the POV of Mia's boyfriend and there's a lot of resolution to the story.

9. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I just loved Catching Fire so much - sometimes I like it better than the first book! Also can't wait for the movie!

10. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
This was so much more action-packed and exciting than Delirium!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Summary:Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about. (from GoodReads)

So I read The Distance Between Us in less than a day... That's how fast it sucked me in and I couldn't stop reading! This book is such a fun read so don't start reading it unless you have a few hours to devote to finishing the novel.

First off, I want to comment on the protagonist's name. Caymen has the same name as the Cayman Islands, a popular tax haven for the extremely rich. Interesting or ironic? Especially since wealth is a such a big part of the novel.

I did enjoy the theme of rich vs. poor and how money can affect a relationship. Normally I think these types of conflict are contrived but Xander wasn't merely well-off ... his family owns a chain of hotels and he's regularly featured in tabloid magazines. He's one of the business celebrities so I could see how that might cause problems in a relationship. Also, Caymen isn't even middle-class; her mom is the owner of a failing small business. They can't afford to hire any employees besides Caymen and her mom.

I loved seeing Caymen try to navigate her relationship with Xander. She had to deal with pressures from her mom (who doesn't like rich people), supposed pressures from Xander's friends and family and another potential love interest. But I think she handled it wonderfully and I'm happy to say that mostly everything worked out in the end.

The think the strongest point of The Distance Between Us is the likeability of all the characters. Caymen was awesome and her sarcasm was hilarious. Kasie West is very witty! Xander was amazing and will surely top some lists of favorite romantic interest in YA books. He wasn't perfect but that just made him even more interesting. Caymen's friends Skye and Henry were nice additions to the cast and I enjoyed it when they shared scenes with our illustrious protagonist.

Overall, The Distance Between Us is a fun, flirty romance novel. I can't wait to see what Kasie West comes out with next!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday -155

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

Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook

Friendship is a bond stronger than secrets in this novel from the author of The Almost Truth and Unraveling Isobel.

As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared—they were both adopted.

Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact...until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it’s urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom—but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.

Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora’s loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora’s who is also looking for a way to respect Nora’s legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she’s really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics…(from GoodReads)

This book sounds really sad, but I'm intrigued. I wonder what's the secret! Year of Mistaken Discoveries will be released February 25, 2014.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 100!!!

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Books on My Fall To-Read List

1. Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin & John Heilemann
I love politics and I thoroughly enjoyed their first book on the 2008 presidential election. I can't wait to see what they do with the most recent one!

2. UnSouled by Neal Shusterman
Neal Shusterman is an amazing writer and I love this series so much. I'm in the middle of reading one of his other ones and it's not as good as this one but it's still very interesting. Just taking me awhile to get through.

3. In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin
I absolutely adore the titles of these books and can't wait to see how the trilogy ends!

4. Champion by Marie Lu
Another conclusion novel to a trilogy! I adored the second novel, Prodigy, which never happens so I have high hopes for this one!

5. Red by Alison Cherry
Red sounds so interesting - a world in which redheads hold all the power. Sign me up!

6. The Lair by Emily McKay
Emily McKay's debut novel, The Farm, was so good! Can't wait to see what happens next to Mel and her sister.

7. Just One Year by Gayle Forman
I could not get over how much I loved Just One Day; Gayle Forman really knows how to write!

8. Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
I was never a big fan of Beautiful Creatures but I'm will to give this a try because it's being marketed as a cross between Supernatural and The Da Vinci Code!

9. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Obviously I need my hands on this - plus I can't wait for the movie!

10. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
I read Falling Kingdoms almost a year ago and I'm still impressed by the fantasy world the author has created.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - 154

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to see what new books are going to be released.

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

In the grip of the deadly 1918 flu pandemic, not even the strong survive.

The Spanish influenza is devastating the East Coast—but Cleo Berry knows it is a world away from the safety of her home in Portland, Oregon. Then the flu moves into the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters are shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode—and into a panic.

Seventeen-year-old Cleo is told to stay put in her quarantined boarding school, but when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she cannot ignore the call for help. In the grueling days that follow her headstrong decision, she risks everything for near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history, and leaves readers asking: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself? (from GoodReads)

I've never read about a book about the 1918 Spanish Influenza, so this has definitely caught my interest! A Death-Struck Year will be released March 4, 2014.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 99

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Books I Would Love to See as a Movie

1. Heist Society by Ally Carter
This book is about art thieves who are all teenagers/young adults, which is an awesome concept! I think it's been optioned for film but I want to see it on the big screen soon!

2. Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
My favorite part of this book the atmosphere: it's set at a sleepaway summer camp. There's forests and a lake and I just love camp movies! Parent Trap anyone?

3. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Road trips are very visual experiences, so I think this would do well on the silver screen. We'd get a beautiful tour of the US.

4. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Another travel novel, but this time it's throughout Europe, which would be awesome to see.

5. The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
This movie is about a woman spy in the Victorian era. I want to see those beautiful dresses on screen!

6. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
City of Bones was just made into a movie so I think this series is next!

7. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Angelfire as a movie would need some heavy CGI and special effects but it would be so worth it!

8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I could see this movie being so creepy and atmospheric, since most of the book is set in the woods with zombies all around! Perfect horror flick.

9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Dystopian YA novels and their movie counterparts are super popular right now so let's just add to the genre!

10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Same as the one before, this movie would appeal to the fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust. (from GoodReads)

I was really excited to finally read Ruby Red because it's been on my to-read list for awhile and I think it's so cool that it was translated from German! I read a lot of American books so I was looking forward to trying something different. Luckily for me, I loved Ruby Red.

The book is set in London and I'm not sure if that's change because they are speaking English now or if the original was set in London, as well. London is a fabulous city and a great setting for a time travelling novel because it's so historical. I thought the concept of time travel in Ruby Red was very well done - it wasn't too complicated and it's cool how it's this big secret that no one can know about.

I thought that Gwyneth's family dynamic was an interesting part of the novel. She lives with her mom, brother and sister in a big house with the rest of her extended family. Since the time travel gene runs in families, it's essential to have a good support system because no one else in the world knows about this ability (except Gwyneth's BFF and the other families who also have the gene).

When Gwyneth figures out that it's her and not her cousin that has the gene, it causes a big rift in the family. Gwyneth's aunt and cousin think she's lying somehow and they pretty much act like little kids who have had their favorite toy taken away from them. Gwyneth starts spending time with Gideon, a time traveler who is two years older than her whose family also carries the gene. I'm sure you can guess that a romance blossoms between them and I really enjoyed reading those parts.

There's some mystery in Ruby Red, mainly dealing with past family members who stole an important artifact and it's Gwyneth and Gideon's job to get it back. I'm excited to see what they uncover because I'm sure there will be several plot twists. Overall, I'm looking forward to reading the next installment.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2011/Henry Holt/322 pages.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pure by Terra Elan McVoy

Summary:Promise. Betrayal. Confession. Revenge. Tabitha and her four best friends all wear purity rings, symbols of the virginity-until-marriage pledge they made years ago. Now Tab is fifteen, and her ring has come to mean so much more. It’s a symbol of who she is and what she believes—a reminder of her promises to herself, and her bond to her friends. But when Tab meets a boy whose kisses make her knees go weak, everything suddenly seems a lot more complicated. Tab’s best friend, Morgan, is far from supportive, and for the first time, Tabitha is forced to keep secrets from the one person with whom she’s always shared everything. When one of those secrets breaks to the surface, Tab finds herself at the center of an unthinkable betrayal that splits her friends apart. As Tab’s entire world comes crashing down around her, she’s forced to re-examine her friendships, her faith, and what exactly it means to be pure. (from GoodReads)

I think that the author had really good intentions when writing Pure, but some of them got jumbled in the overall story, which has a messy plot at times. I enjoyed the book, but it definitely has its flaws.

Good things about Pure: after the beginning, I was able to get really involved in the story! I wanted to see what would happen between Tabitha and her new boyfriend and how the conflict between her and her friends would be resolved. I was looking forward to seeing Tabitha examine her own vow and seeing her come to terms with her friend Cara's decision was great. Tabitha was definitely one of the more mature characters in the book and I loved how she stood by her friend when everyone else dropped her. Also, Tabitha's boyfriend seemed like a genuinely sweet guy and she was lucky to have him.

Like I said, I enjoyed the overall story but there were definitely things that were problematic in Pure. First, the summary is pretty misleading. Using words like "betrayal" and "revenge" makes it sound like we're in for a thriller and Pure was definitely tamer than I expected. Also I thought there would be moments when Tabitha questioned her own vow to be pure, especially now that she has a boyfriend. That is never brought up, though it should have been! Instead the story focuses on how Cara slept with her boyfriend and how it breaks their group of friends apart.

Tabitha's best friend Morgan was incredibly self-righteous and she is the reason why people can't stand ultra-religious people. She is supposed to be the foil to Tabitha's maturity but she was definitely annoying. In addition, I didn't like how the girls in the novel would use made up words and slang like "gah." I've never heard anyone say that so it's extremely unrealistic.

I mentioned before that the story was jumbled. A lot of sentences were very confusing and it seemed as though a thorough editing job was needed. I skipped a lot of the narration because it was unnecessary. I'm still not sure what the point of the novel was. To stand by your friends? To think for yourself? To be non-judgmental? Those were all preached but the novel is marketed as deciding what "pure" is. I don't think that question was answered.

If you're interested in the concept of purity rings and all that entails then I would recommend Pure but otherwise you might find something else more enjoyable.

Rating: 6 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2009/Simon Pulse/336 pages.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - 153

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to see what new books are going to be released soon.

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice. (from GoodReads)

I really enjoyed John Corey Whaley's first novel, Where Things Come Back, so I'm excited to see what he'll do with this one! Noggin will be released April 8, 2014.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 98

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Books I'd Pair With Required Reading

1. Jane by April Lindner & Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane is just a modern retelling of the classic Jane Eyre but they are really fun to read together! You get to see how April Lindner takes all the small details of the original and makes it contemporary.

2. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray & Lord of the Flies by William Golding
These novels share the theme of a group of young adults stranded on a deserted island and what happens when there is no longer organized civilization.

3. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd & The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
Even though I haven't read The Island of Dr. Moreau, I know it was the inspiration behind The Madman's Daughter which is told from the point-of-view of Dr. Moreau's daughter (she's not in the original).

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins & 1984 by George Orwell
It would be great for readers to see what classic dystopian fiction looks like.

5. If I Lie by Corrine Jackson & The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Both novels have the theme of a woman being shunned for sexual impropriety. Things haven't changed much.

6. Unwind by Neal Shusterman & My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Unwind is science fiction but it deals with the same issue as in My Sister's Keeper: the importance of bodily autonomy for everyone, including minors.

7. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney & To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
These books are obviously meant to go together by the titles but actual stories do as well. In The Mockingbirds there is a group on campus who dole out their own justice, especially when it's ignored by the school or police.

8. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare & A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities is referenced frequently in Clockwork Prince so an understanding of Dickens's novel will help you make some predictions!

9. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys & The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank 
Both books (even though one is fiction) highlight the experiences of young girls during WWII. Lina is taken to a Siberian labor camp by the Soviet Union and Anne must hide from the Nazis so she isn't taken to concentration camp.

10. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg & Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Prom and Prejudice is just a fun and light retelling of the original.