Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Source: Publisher
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future
I adore fairy tale retelling. Cinder luckily captured everything that Meyer wanted. It was a very creative and imaginative story. I loved Cinder. I found the cyborg aspect to be interesting and I liked how Meyer included how being a cyborg had pro and cons. I liked that she was strong and decisive. Iko was a fun character and I really liked her. Kai was amazing and I adored him. He was funny and also very persistent. The stepmother and  stepsisters were interesting, more so Peony. Queen Levana was well evil and I can't wait to see what she will do next. I found this plot to be really exciting and I didn't want to stop reading this book. The only issue that I had with this book was that the plot becomes really predictable at a certain point, but even with that I really enjoyed this book. I found this book to be really unique in how it was told. Meyer retold the tale in a matter that didn't sacrifice any of the world that she built. The world was really flawless and I want to know more about it. The lunar people, plague, and Cinder herself interest me and I hope that is addressed in Scarlet.  I am really excited to see where this series goes, especially with how this book ended. I recommend this book to  people that want a really epic book with a great cast of character and an awesome world. If you are lucky, this book will captivate you as much as it did me. I need more.

The 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge

Sara at the amazing blog, The Hiding Spot, is hosting the 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge. I decided to join, because I love strong female characters and also there are several books that I want to reread, so this qualifies for both. I am going for the hard level, which shouldn't be too hard. Either way, it sounds like a fun challenge, if you are interested or want to read Sara's original post here.
I'll keep you updated on the progress as the next year happens.

Six books that you should read in 2013

In no order...
1. Pivot Point by Kasie West
Pivot Point is epic, because it tells two stories at the same time. I became invested in the characters and just adored the plot. I am excited to see what she writes next.
2. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
I connected with the characters from the beginning. I didn't want to stop reading this book even when it was done.
3. Unremembered by Jessica Brody
I love Jessica Brody's other books, so I was excited to read this book from the beginning.
4. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard
This book has such a unique premise and I want more. I also loved Juliet. This book was just fantastic.
5. Taken by Erin Bowman
The world building of this book, was epic. I really enjoyed the character and it had a very fast pace plot.
6. Mind Games by Kiersten White
I don't know how to explain this book, but it was so awesome. The characters are easy to connect to and care for. The plot was also fast paced and awesome.
A more complete review for there book will come closer to their release date.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

In My Mailbox: Week of December 30, 2012

For Christmas I received:
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Reached by Ally Condie
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
 Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
 Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
 Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Recieved via Mail:
The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

I am so excited to read these books and they all sound amazing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

Source: Publisher
In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. 
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

I really enjoy Every Day. It was a lot different than anything that David Levithan has written. The concept of waking up in a different body everyday, was really interesting and I liked how Levithan explored the emotions and loneliness that A had everyday. I also enjoyed seeing A's analyze the characters as A woke up. I also enjoyed the relationship that developed between A and Rhiannon. The plot was really amazing and I felt myself captivated in the story. I really wanted to read more after this book ended. It is also very original. Levithan's writing is the best that it has ever been. Seriously I felt so many emotions in this book. I really hope that Levithan writes something like this book in the future. I really enjoyed it. I recommend this book, if you enjoyed Levithan's other books or if you want something unique in young adult fiction that has a twist in it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WWW.. December 5th

WWW is a new meme for me that I found on Gail's Blog, Ticket to Anywhere. Anyways, it is hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading. I think that it will be a fun way to  organize my reading and encourage me to read more.
What are you currently reading?
 I just started reading Requiem By Lauren Oliver.
What did you recently finish reading?
I reread Pride and Prejuidice by Jane Austen for a class.I also read The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard, Taken by Erin Bowman, and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I think that Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Everyone Sees the Ants or Ask the Passengers by AS King, Crash and Burn by Michel Hassan, or The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab are possibilities. It is Final Weeks, so really anything goes. Plus I am going home soon and these are just the books that are in my dorm that sound good.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Santa

It is Christmas Time again! Yay! I am working on Finals Week at the moment, so this is some great procasination. Here are the Top Ten Books that I wouldn't mind Santa Bring me:
1. Tilt by Ellen Hopkins:
I love Ellen's writing and this is based by the teens in Triangles, which I enjoyed. So I really want to read this one.
2. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor: 
So, Daughter of Smoke and Bones left on just a bit of a cliffhanger. I am dying to read this one.
3. Reached by Ally Condie:
Just another sequel that I want to read. Being poor in college kind of sucks.
4. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin:
I really enjoyed the first book and really want to read this one.
5. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill:
This book sounds amazing and I keep on hearing amazing about it. I really want it. I also love the cover.
6. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFever
I have heard that this book is really epic and I really want to read it.
7. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson:
This has gotten good reviews and I also love Peter Pan. I want to read it.
8. The Third Killer Unicorn Book from Diana Peterfeund:
I hope that there will be a third book. I can totally wait ten years.
9. A few more books set in Hogwarts from J.K. Rowling:
I love these books and while the books haven't lost the magic. I fear someday that I won't find something new in the pages and that frightens me. I would love if there were more books that I haven't read 15 times, and while The Casual Vacancy is good, it isn't Harry Potter.
10. My textbooks:
They are kind of expensive and I could buy some of the books above with that money.

Monday, December 3, 2012

For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfeund

Source: Bought
It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.
But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.
Inspired by Jane Austen's persuasion, "For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.
I have been trying to write this book for months, but every time I started it, I began to sound like a fangirl  So I apologize for that. I really loved this book. Like really liked it. Like I read slow, because I enjoyed the writing so much that I wanted to savor every single word. Elliot North is a strong girl with a lot of pressure on her, at the same time, she was very realistic and approachable. I just really liked her. Kai intrigued me from the beginning and I wanted to know everything about him. I enjoyed the relationship between Kai and Elliot. I liked that they could just stare at each other and I felt all of the emotions. The letters were a lovely way to introduce the past without having a large amount of information dumping. While reading, I would look ahead to see when the next letter was, because I was very anxious to read them all.The plot was very tense and I liked the feeling of not knowing everything and becoming surprised on the way. I haven't read Persuasion yet, but I know from Emma and Pride and Prejudice that Austen is a huge fan of surprising her readers and I was glad to see that Peterfeund kept this element. I also enjoyed the  world that she built. I was interested about everything from the solar cars to the Birth Houses. Peterfeund's writing is spectacular. The imagery and dialogue were amazing and I found that I wanted to read more. I can't wait for more from Peterfeund in the future, hopefully another killer unicorn book. Even if it isn't, I am already excited for the next book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves Jane Austen and also to fans of romance. I promise that you will adore this book as much as I did. Even if you aren't in those categories  you should check it. It is one of those books that I would totally hand to everyone on the street, if I could afford to do so. This book is so magical and awesome.  It is now one of my favorites.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Envy by Gregg Olsen

Source: Publisher
New York Times bestselling adult true crime author Gregg Olsen makes his YA debut with Empty Coffin, a gripping new fiction series for teens based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories…with a paranormal touch.
Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits. 
Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined.
Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.

This book takes place in Kitsap County in Washington State. I have kind of lived there my whole life. So, I saw a lot of issues with the setting. The city of Port Gamble was well done, but there were just some issues that I had with mentions of other places in the county. There was also an insane amount of characters that I felt overwhelmed as I was reading. I love 3rd person-omnipresent, but this was too much for me. I constantly got confused between the characters. This definitely applied to the Ryan twins, because there wasn't anything overly distinctive about them. I wish that they had been developed more, because they seemed like cool girls. There were two things about the plot that didn't make sense for me. My younger sister was cyber bullied  The bully accepted a deal that included time in juvie and probation. This made the ending of the book really unrealistic to me, because it happened in the same . Another point is an espresso machine being in the bathroom. The espresso machine that Olsen describes is worth at least one thousand dollars and weights 30-40 lbs. I am sorry, but no one would move a machine of that quality, especially due to a risk of the well running dry. I did enjoy the suspense of the book and found it entertaining. There are a few other things that I found intriguing. I wish that there was more of a focus on just a few characters and I cared about them more. Olsen's writing is great and his voice is definitely unique. It just didn't feel right. I felt like this book was more slated towards adults, I mean there were teens, but the focus didn't remain on them for the majority of the plot.I think if it took place somewhere else, I might have enjoyed. Even with all of the issue, I might give Betrayal a chance. The premise seems a bit more interesting.  I recommend this book to fans of suspense that haven't lived in Kitsap County. Also, I would put this more as a crossover YA, so if you don't enjoy Adult, I would stay away.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

Source: Borrowed
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. He’d give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. But when Cam visits the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she’s a girl from a parallel world. When Cam follows her there and makes an unbelievable discovery, it’s as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with the truth, he’s forced to make a choice that will change his life forever.
There are books that I am excited to read and then there are books that I AM EXCITED TO READ! This book came on the later category. I have been following Hainsworth on twitter for at least two years. When I heard about this book, I really wanted to read it. Sometimes, I get disappointed when I self-hype books. Luckily I didn't. I really liked Cam and that there was more to him than initial appeared. I also liked that it showed the difference in the alternative world. I also loved Nina. She was so caring and sweet. I also liked the devotion that she had to her brother. Viv was an interesting character and like with Cam, it was great to see how they contrasted. The plot had a few slow parts, but overall, I was sucked into this book and I couldn't read this fast enough. The book was full of surprises. I found this book to be very original. It had contemporary and sci-fi mixed smoothly together. The writing is also fantastic. Hainsworth has a unique way with words that made me want more. I can't wait for more from her in the future. I recommend her to people that want a captivating story that is full of intense emotion, while still balancing Sci-fi element gracefully. This is a must read,if you want a unique and epic story.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Source: Publisher
It all begins with a stupid question:
Are you a Global Vagabond?
No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.
Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.
But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.
Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

I connected to Bria from the very beginning, because since I was a little girl, I have wanted to travel everywhere. I also liked that she was flawed and felt unsure about herself, because that is exactly how graduating feels like. She also has made mistakes and it is wonderful to see her develop in this book. Rowan is another amazing character. He has also made mistakes, but he is trying to fix them. I Starling was such a lively character and actually reminds me of one of my best friend. The setting of Central America is so rich and vivid that I felt that I was there at times. The plot was engaging, because while it was slow, I didn't mind with such detailed and realistic characters. The writing was absolutely amazing. There was a lot of humor mixed into a story about discovering who you are and what you want to be. I also enjoyed the pictures that Hubbard included, because they added to both the story and Bria. If you want to travel and think that it will be an amazing challenge, this book is for you. I would also reccomend Wanderlove, if you enjoyed Maureen Johnsons' 13 Little Blue Envelope or The Last Little Blue Envelope and also Jessi Kirby's In Honor. Overall, if you haven't read this book, I would suggest it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Source: Publisher
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

I love Libba Bray. I love 1920's. I love anything to do with the supernatural. It would appear that this book is perfect for me and that is exactly what I found. The 1920's is like it's own character in the book. Bray captures the spirit of New York as it battles against prohibition, while for the most part battling for equal rights. I also enjoyed the actual characters in her.  Evie is a very strong character. She can be childish and over the top, but she is also funny, smart, and rather sweet on occasion. Mabel, Memphis, Theta, Henry, Sam, Uncle Will, and Jericho are all characters that added more to the story and many of them have secrets or stories that caused me to become attached to them. The plot is carefully crafted and intense. Near the end, I had a difficult time putting this down and when it ended I wanted more.  I found this book to be extremely original and I can't wait for more. As always, Libba Bray's writing is fabulous. The book is described so well and there are a few parts where I got chills and/or goosebumps from the creepy parts. I can't wait for more books in the future from Libba Bray. I highly recommend this book, if you enjoy Libba Bray's other books or are looking for historical fiction with a twist. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Contemporary Books Giveaway

Hey everyone!
I have come in possession of two extra ARCs. One is a signed copy of Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook. The other book is Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan.
Here is what Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook is about:
Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.
They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.
Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....
When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.
Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.
I have actually already read this and it is amazing. A full review will come closer to the release date. 

And this is the description for Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan:
Michael Hassan’s shattering debut is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It’s a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADD-diagnosed glory.
And it’s a powerful mediation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.
I am really excited to read this book soon. 
Anyways, to enter, just fill out the form below. US Addresses only. Ends on December 10th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

Source: Publisher
An all-day scavenger hunt in the name of eternal small-town glory
With only a week until graduation, there's one last thing Mary and her friends must do together: participate in the Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. And Mary is determined to win.
Mary lost her spot at Georgetown to self-professed "it" bully Jake Barbone, and she's not about to lose again. But everyone is racing for the finish line with complicated motives, and the team's all-night adventure becomes all-night drama as shifting alliances, flared tempers, and crushing crushes take over. As the items and points pile up, Mary and her team must reinvent their strategy--and themselves--in order to win.

I adored Dreamland Social Club and was really excited to read this book. I found it to be a really fun and realistic read. Mary is a great character. She is about to go off to college and wants to have that last hurrah before going off to university. Like myself, Mary doubts herself and if her dreams are grand enough or if she is good enough for a boy that she likes.  I loved her friends. Her best friend Winter, her best guy friend Patrick, and Dez,  all have their own motives and reasons for participating in the Scavenger Hunt. They also each have an importance to the scavenger hunt. Winter reminded me of several girls that I know that didn't value themselves as much as they should have been. Patrick was sweet, but he didn't understand why some of his actions were bad. Dez was so funny and made me laugh so much. This book was an extremely fast read for me. I ended up reading it in two hours in one sitting. The plot is very quick and fun, but still has a mix of seriousness too. Overall, I enjoyed this book and found it to be very funny and enjoyable. Tara  Altebrando is a great writer and I am excited to read more from her. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Source: Publisher
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Karou is an awesome character. I liked that she was really creative and fierce. She was just a very lively character that thrived on her independence and strength. She doesn't compromise herself, but challenges people. Avika was also an awesome character and I liked that he was strong and evolved over time.
Zuzana was a great friend. She challenged Karou, but still wanted the best for her.  The plot was epic. By the time that I finished this book, I wanted more. Part of the reason is that Taylor created a complex story in a very imaginative  world that I felt immersed in from the first page to the last page. This story was extremely original and spectacular.  Taylor's writing was amazing.  It is just so beautiful and honest and hard to explain without making it me sound like more of a fangirl. I enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more. If like me in July, you haven't read this book, even though you have heard great things about it. You need to forget everything else on your To-Read Pile and read this like now. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dreams vs Reality of the Future

In two weeks, I start my second year of University. I am majoring in English Literature and Creative Writing and I often get asked the question that many liberal arts major hate: So, what do you plan on doing after college?
There is the practical Sarah that says she going to get a Masters Degree in Library and Information Studies, which will most likely give me a job with probably benefits and not be paid in monopoly money. There is also the dream Sarah that would like to get a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, where practically Sarah says I will probably freelance write and not have important things like insurance and such. Even though I would enjoy either career. I love reading books, but I also love writing. I am not torn between them, since they aren't exclusive to one or the other.
One of my university friends suggested that I should stop thinking about this, because I don't graduate for three years and technically I could always do both or just apply to both and see where I am accepted.
Either way, I am thinking about this especially when I fill out loan applications and they ask what I am going to do two years after graduation. The truth is that like most people I don't know what I am going to do. If I asked fifteen year old or seventeen year old Sarah, she would have a different image of where I would be. One would think that I would be Pre-Med and the other Finance(I don't like Math or Science as much now).
Anyways, I was wondering if anyone else felt this way or didn't really know what they were going to do as a young adult.
Best Wishes, Sarah.

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Explanation and Apology

So, I have had somewhat bad news for the past few months and I have been processing it.
It isn't new news that I am sick.
I have been open about it for the past six years.
I finally met with a specialist that understands my disease and was able to tell me everything that happened.
Pretty much I had a bone infection that would have disappeared instantly, if it was treated right.
It wasn't. It took over a year to start a treatment to get rid of this. Bone and infection aren't good friend.
As a result, there is a lot of a damage. My right hip joint is severely damaged.
My right sacrum joint doesn't show up on x-ray  or MRI and the left is severely eroded. Like when your bone breaks, the left side is trying to repair it. So I have bone spurs causing pain and inflammation. This is what has been causing my immune system to be overactive.  A lot of the muscles are  on Level 3 on the weakness scale, which means that they move, but not as well as they should.  So there is a lot of work to do,  to get as well as possible. I also have other health issues as a result and I am dealing with those too. I am also on some medicines that should begin to work in the next few weeks.
I am not angry or sad about this. It was just a lot to accept and writing it out, made it seem well real. At the same time, it feels really good to know what is going on
Anyways, I apologize for not posting regularly. I meant to explain why a while ago, but life got really crazy. I was close to finishing writing a book and the end of a year of college, when I found this out.
I hope that everything is going well and reviews soon.
Thank you for your patience.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Source: Bought

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.
To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.
But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. 
When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

It is now secret that I have loved Courtney Summers' other books and when I heard about This Is Not A Test, I got really excited to read it. Sloane isn't the usual survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse and the back story that Summers added. It made the story more vivid and I became further invested in the story. There are several other characters that added to the story. Rhys was strong, but his instinct to survive didn't over shadow his humanity. Grace was a sweet and kind character, but still wanted to live. Trace was angry and frightening, but mostly he wanted to protect Grace. Since she is the last that remains of his family. Harrison was afraid. Cary was a leader and wanted the best for everyone. I felt a connection to all of the characters and felt that I could honestly be any of them.
The plot was really exciting and I kept on thinking would I do that? The details that Summers add to the story were frightening and made me visualize it. Also while the book is about survival, it doesn't make survival boring. I didn't want to stop reading and that feeling lasted with me long after the ending.  This story was original for a zombie novel, because it added a feeling of suspense from Sloane's past. I also liked the idea of a school, because for most teens, they dread school. Now they are forced to either survive in a place that they hated or contend with zombies that want to murder them. The relationships were also different in the book. It wasn't the usual need for intimacy that is in a lot of survival novel, but something more realistic. Summers' writing style is sharp, fierce, and sparse. I enjoy her writing and find it to be amazing. Even thought it is during a Zombie Apocalypse, it remains realistic. As always, I can't wait to read more from Summers and highly recommend  that you read This is Not a Test as soon as humanly possible. I promise that you will not regret reading this book. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker

Source: Publisher
When a humiliating picture of Blythe goes viral, she's instantly the target of ridicule at her new school. To salvage her reputation, Blythe teams up with Luke to win the Senior Scramble scavenger hunt. But Luke is an unlikely ally and potentially can't be trusted.
Perhaps it's his Shakespearean witticisms that reel Blythe in despite her better judgment . . . or maybe she just craves the thrill of the game. But as the hunt progresses, their relationship heats up. Soon their madcap mischief spirals out of control. Blythe is faced with arrest and expulsion, among other catastrophes - until Luke shows her what the Scramble (and love) is really about.
 Blythe is a very likable character and I like that she was a strong character. She grew a lot in the book as she learned more about herself. Luke is a very intelligent and nerdy character. He was also sweet. The cover makes it seem like it is just a romance, but it also had a lot to do with self-discovery and deciding what to stand up for. The plot was really quick and I found myself engrossed in this book. Kristin Walker creates hilarious and happy books that are super quick reads. If you like A Match Made in High School, you will definitely love this book. I am excited to see what Walker will write next. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Winner of Fierce Reads Contest

Chloe won Cinder by Marissa Meyer and Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Sarah won Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
Angie won Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne and Struck by Jennifer Bosworth.
Emails have been sent. You have 48 hours to contact me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Immortal Rules Contest

I have one copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa for giveaway.
Here is the synopsis:

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.
Just fill out the form below and have US address by  the end of July 20th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fierce Reads Contest: Six Signed books (3 winners)

I went to the Fierce Reads event in Seattle on the 9th. It was really fun and a great event. It has taken ten days to post this contest, because I have moved out of my dorm, unpacked everything, and my brother left for Indonesia yesterday. So my time has been very busy. Anyways, I have six books to giveaway. Here is what the books are:
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.
Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.  
With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Stone and Blood by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

To enter, comment with what you think makes a book a Fierce Read and include which books that you would like to win from the contest.
For extra entries (1 each) like Fierce Reads on Facebook, Follow @MacKidsBooks on twitter, or tweet about the giveaway (Please include @sarahbear9789 in the tweet) and make sure to include it in a comment. 
This contest is international and there will be three winners. It ends on July 1st.  I hope that you are all having a great week.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post with Susan Carlton about Music

I have the pleasure of hosting Susan Carlton today. She was born in San Francisco, but wasn't of age until the hippie era had ended. Lobsterland was her first book and Love and Haight is her second book, which is about hippies, San Francisco, music, and much more. She has also written for magazines, including SelfElle, and Mademoiselle,  She now lives in Massachusetts with her husband. She is talking about the influence that music had with Love & Haight. I hope you enjoy!
I loved cuing up the turntable while writing Love & Haight, which is set in 1971. Yep, still have my turntable. My playlist was heavy on the San Francisco sound—bands that came of age along with drugs and peace and love. It was an epic time in San Francisco…Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Moby Grape and, of course, the Dead.

One of my favorite scenes in the novel takes place in the giant old Tower Records, which used to be on Bay and Columbus in San Francisco. Chloe, my main character, and Teddy, her ex, go into a listening booth, like a payphone except with less glass and less air. 
These are songs to write to, dance to, make out to.
  • Power to the People—John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
  • Lookin' Out My Back Door—Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Sunshine of Your Love—Cream
  • The Joker—Steve Miller Band
  • Somebody to Love—Jefferson Airplane
  • The Weight—The Band
  • For What It's Worth—Buffalo Springfield
  • Evil Ways—Santana
  • Piece of My Heart—Big Brother and the Holding Company
  • Loan Me a Dime—Boz Scaggs
  • Friend of the Devil—Grateful Dead
  • Get Together—The Youngbloods

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Source: Publisher
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.
So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

I would like to disclose that the first time that I read this book was before there were ARCs. Even with my early read of Bittersweet, I hope that you will value my review. 
Hudson is a very amazing characters. She thought she knew what her dreams are and now she is trying to redeem a mistake that she made. I could connect to Hudson so well, because she was very similar to most teenagers. I liked that she was ambitious and strong.There are two boys in the book, one is sweet and charming and the other isn't as sweet. For example, Hudson's best friend Dani was a perfect balance to her and added humor and reason to the book. Bug is Hudson's brother and is so adorable.  The other boys on the hockey team that Hudson trained with were random and hilarious. It was one of my favorite parts of the book.  Either way, Ockler creates  realistic relationships, through out the book. Ockler knows how to craft brilliant characters with multiple dimensions, while still keeping them relatable to her audience.
The plot of Bittersweet was amazing. It dealt with cupcakes, ice skating, and teenage angst. The amount of love that Hudson had for baking was awesome. I adored reading the cupcake mixtures and really wanted a cupcake after reading this book. The ice skating was really awesome and I enjoyed watching Hudson attempt to accomplish her dream. The teenage angst in this book is definitely warranted, Hudson is trying to decide what she wants without disappointing anyone in her family and is still processing everything that happened.  The complex plot was original and funny and Ockler crafted a story that was easy to get immersed in.
It is no secret that I love Sarah Ockler. Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah were both amazing and I honestly didn't know if Bittersweet would measure up. I was very reluctant, when I picked it up. Luckily it was amazing. Ockler's writing was original and fantastic. I can't wait for more from Ockler in the future.  She created complex characters that are realistic and interesting, while having an amusing, but serious plot that is skillfully written. I would definitely recommend this to fans of her previous books, Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, and Stephanie Perkins.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Source: Publisher
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent.
Sara was a very hardworking character, that even with all of her dedication to dancing, she was full of self-doubt. She doesn't feel that she is worth it. She also couldn't tell anyone about her choices and actions. I found her relationship with Remington to be complex and hard. At times, the relationship was creepy and I didn't enjoy it.  While this book is centered around dancing, it is mostly about Sara trying to discover who she is. The plot was relatable and interesting. I think that it is something that anyone can relate to. There was a lot of originality in the story. I liked the hope that was infused in the novel. Kehoe is an amazing writer, but I feel like the word choice could have been better in a few place. At the same time, it was gorgeous and thoughtful in other places. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys verse, especially, if you are a fan of Ellen Hopkins or Amanda Grace. I am excited to see what Kehoe will write next. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Love and Haight by Susan Carlton

Source: Publisher
 It’s 1971, and seventeen-year-old Chloe and her best friend MJ head to San Francisco to ring in the New Year. But Chloe has an ulterior motive—and a secret. She’s pregnant and has devised a plan not to be. In San Francisco’s flower-power heyday, it was (just about) legal to end her pregnancy. 
But as soon as the girls cross the Golden Gate, the scheme starts to unravel amid the bellbottoms, love-beads, and bongs. Chloe’s secrets escalate until she betrays everyone she cares about. MJ, who has grave doubts about Chloe’s plan. Her groovy aunt Kiki, who’s offered the girls a place to crash. Her self-absorbed mother meditating back in Phoenix. And maybe, especially, the boy she wishes she’d waited for.
 I really liked Chloe, because she accepted her action and was trying to make it right. MJ was funny and snarky. I really liked her. Kiki was very erratic and strange, but I liked that. MJ's brother was also sweet. The context of this book was really interesting. Like I have never read a book like this. The plot was about a very serious  topic, but had fun moments at the same time. I liked that the era of this book. It was embodied really well and I loved it. Carlton was amazing writer that knew how to make humor in serious topic. I recommend that you read this book, if you want something funny and based in the 1970's.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (Week of March 25th)

For review:
Love and Haight by Susan Carlton
Black City by Elizabeth Richard
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Shadow and Bones by Leigh Bardugo
Cold Fury by TM Goeglein
No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz
The Implosion of Aggie Winchester or The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin
The Right & The Real by Joelle Anthony

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post from Marni Bates on Music

I love music. So I am very excited to share a post about how music affects writing. Marni Bates has written the books Marni(about her struggle with trichotillomania) and Awkward(about Mackenize who becomes internet famous). Both were amazing. So I am excited to share this post. I hope you enjoy. 
I love finding music that fits my novels! And when I stumble across a song that connects to my life, I listen to is obsessively. So here's my playlist for Awkward: Starz in Their Eyes ~ Just Jack. This song definitely inspired me to write Awkward because it's about the way people can manipulate you when you reach a certain level of notoriety. I definitely see Mackenzie as someone with stars in her eyes when her YouTube video garners four million hits.

Solo Impala (Take the Money and Run) ~ The Fashion. I couldn't resist referencing The Fashion in the book. I love the sense of energy and urgency in this song. I think a part of Mackenzie wants to take the money her newly acquired fame could bring and run. But beyond that . . . this song really has nothing to do with the book. I just love it.  

Sideways ~ Let's Go Sailing Okay, I always think about Mackenzie and Logan when I hear this song and not in a happy, bubbly way but in an I'm-about-to-bawl-my-eyes-out way. I listened to it on repeat when Kenzie finally figures out that she likes Logan . . . and thinks that he's back together with Chelsea.

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart ~ Wilco Another heartbreak song. I always pictured Mackenzie listening to this during quiet moments on the bus with ReadySet and Corey. (Spoiler alert! It comes up in Jane's book, Invisible.)

The Show ~ Lenka I think this song encapsulates Awkward so well! Here's a sampling of the lyrics: I'm just a little bit caught in the middle Life is a maze and love is a riddle. I don't know where to go, can't do it alone. I've tried. And I don't know why . . . It fit the story so well that I used it in my homemade book trailer.

Overboard ~ Ingrid Michaelson I almost used this song for the book trailer. In fact, I was tempted to use almost every single Ingrid Michaelson song. If you haven't listened to her, you should remedy that immediately. Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles provide the soundtrack to my life. Both of them have wonderful songs with clever lyrics. In fact . . .

Gonna Get Over You ~ Sara Bareilles (or "Uncharted." It's so hard to pick just one song!) I think of this as Mackenzie's victory song when she finally realizes that she doesn't have to spend her life fearing the Notables. It's also her anti-Patrick song. Love it! (Spoiler alert! If things hadn't worked out with Logan, I think Mackenzie would have listened to this song and pulled herself back together. It wouldn't have been easy, but she's a strong girl. Although I'm still glad she didn't have to do it!)

A Million Ways (to be Cruel) ~OK Go I totally geeked out when Awkward readers asked me if ReadySet was modeled on OK Go. The answer: yes! If you guessed this, you win major bragging rights! I've been an OK Go fan for years so I guess it was only natural for them to spring to mind when I started to create my fictional rock band. Naming them ReadySet was an intentional homage . . . and I'm thrilled that people picked up on it! For those of you unfamiliar with their work: YouTube the following: Here it Goes Again, White Knuckles, and This Too Shall Pass. You won't be disappointed!

I think A Million Ways to be Cruel might be the most fitting for Chelsea Halloway (the reigning Notable queen, Mackenzie's nemesis, and the main protagonist of book four). She knows exactly how to use people's weaknesses to her advantage but she still hasn't figured out how to battle her own insecurities. There might be a million ways to be cruel but what Chelsea will have to face is a lot harder than high school! Hmm . . . I think Get Over It and You're So Damn Hot might be fitting for Chelsea too! I've got it! Chelsea's song is The World Should Revolve Around Me by Little Jackie! Sorry, I tend to focus solely on music for my work in progress. Which is actually calling my name . . . Bye!


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