Friday, July 30, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

IMM is a meme hosted by The Story Siren to share what books you've gotten in the mail this week!

My first vlog! What I got this week, IMM:
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
White Cat by Holly Black
The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
Ash by Malinda Lo
Silver Phoenix
by Cindy Pon
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

What did everyone else get?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Follow My Book Blog Friday (5)

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
1.)Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list

2.)Follow our Featured Blogger - The Authoress

3.)Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.

4.)Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments!

5.)Follow Follow Follow as many as you can

6.)If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love... and the followers!

7.)If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

So welcome all new (and old!) followers! The Authoress's blog is absolutely beautiful - I need to make something that awesome.

Here's a question of the week: What book are you currently reading?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Title: Sea Change
Author: Aimee Friedman
Page Count: 292 pages
"16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?"

Review: I just finished this book. Literally, like a few minutes ago. I was sitting in my boyfriend's bed and I got up and threw it at the wall. Some spoilers, just because I'm annoyed.

Let's backtrack: this was not a terrible book, although the main character was really annoying and so socially awkward - I know she's supposed to be a science nerd and all, but come on. She seems to not have any social skills whatsoever and even though she claims to be really smart, she's actually kind of stupid. I figured out things - many things - before her, and she's supposed to be the intelligent one? I just didn't get it.

Her romance with Leo left a lot to be desired. Once I got over the fact that neither of them knew very much about each before their first kiss, I could kind of get into them. But I hate it when an author doesn't take the time to develop a romance and credits some kind of supernatural spark (a la love at first sight, blah blah blah) as the basis of their relationship. It always comes off as incredibly unrealistic. Some of their scenes were a little steamy, which I liked, but (and here comes a spoiler), it just bothers me when characters offer themselves up to a boy, AKA have sex with him, and they've done nothing but kiss first. This is so annoying and unrealistic and it happens in YA so much. I don't know any teenage couple that has gone all the way without doing anything but kissing first. It doesn't make any sense to me that people write this way.

And finally, we come to the end. Ah, the ending of the book. The stupid ending that leaves just about nothing resolved. I spent the whole book wondering whether or not this mysterious Leo was in fact a supernatural creature or not (actually not wondering, waiting for it to be revealed), and you never find out! Never! I really don't understand how this book came to be published if the ending wasn't really an ending. I guess this book was just a set-up for a series or something? If so, it did a really poor job. It just made me angry.

Onto some better stuff: the character development was totally good, which I love. This is a pretty light read, so if you're expecting something deep and entrancing, this isn't it. However, it wasn't a terrible book. I was just very frustrated with the end. Others might enjoy this ending, but it just really bothered me. Don't tease your readers if you aren't going to reveal anything.

Overall, I thought Sea Change was okay. It was light and fluffy and easy to read, if a little frustrating at times. Not my cup of tea, but others might enjoy it!

Romance: 3/5 stars
Overall: 3/5 stars

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Page Count: 368 pages
Summary: "In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget."

Review: I'm beginning to see a pattern here. I wasn't a huge fan of Lament, but I loved Ballad. I liked Shiver, but I loved Linger. Just a warning here: there will be spoilers for Shiver, so if you haven't read that yet, don't read this review.

Linger has four narrators: Grace, Sam, Isabel, and a new character, Cole. Usually, I'm not a fan of multiple narrators and I'm especially not a fan of when the viewpoints change multiple times in a chapter. It always seems amateurish, as if the author couldn't convey the other character's emotions well enough through the narrator. However, I really liked it in Linger, and the viewpoints changed a bunch of times a chapter. Somehow, it worked really well for this book.

The characters were awesome, as usual. Grace and Sam were a little gag-worthy and I didn't find it realistic at all that they never seemed to have sex or do more than kiss, especially since they already did. It seemed like they thought their love was above these kinds of things; Grace often spouts: "It's not like that!" But they've already had sex, so, I don't see how that works.

Isabel and Cole were great. I loved Isabel; she's such a bitch, but it works so well. Cole, on the other hand, I was on the fence about. He was a dick, but a barely likable one. That was his character, though. I'm not sure if the reader was supposed to like him. Near the end, though, he gets a lot better, and I found myself kind of liking him for his actions.

Grace's parents: I HATED THEM. They are terrible parents! I'm not going to spoil it for those who haven't read it, but I was so annoyed at what they did. As if they had any right to act the way they did after they basically ignored Grace. Urgh, it just bothers me so much. I raged so hard whenever they came into a scene.

Linger was definitely kind of slow paced, but it had this languid feeling that fit the tone of the book. There are a lot of little hints as to what it happening, but Stiefvater makes the reader wait forever, until you're practically dying with not knowing what's going to happen. I think I've come to like this series a lot more since reading Linger; I feel like Stiefvater got into her writing groove with this second book that I didn't really feel with the first one.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend reading Linger, even if you weren't amazed by Shiver. I think it's definitely worth a chance.

Overall: 4.3/5 stars

Friday, July 23, 2010

Follow My Book Blog Friday (4)

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
1.)Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list

2.)Follow our Featured Bloggers -

3.)Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.

4.)Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments

5.)Follow Follow Follow as many as you can

6.)If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers

7.)If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

I've been a little down in the dumps about my writing this week, probably because Forget You by Jennifer Echols features both a main character named Zoey and this said character getting amnesia. A little to close for comfort for my tastes and people keep telling me to change my main character's name, but I'm so stuck with it that I can't, at this point. Maybe I'll just scrap the whole project, because both The Unlikelihood of Nostalgia and The Shape that Breaks officially suck.

So, this is a little excerpt from something I'm working on based on a short story I wrote. It's thoroughly depressing and totally fits the mood of this week's writing:

The radio signal cut out right about when the eye of the hurricane began to hover over us and for a moment, there was complete silence. The world outside was still. And then, in loud capital letters, the radio began to yell: “THERE HAS BEEN AN INFECTION IN RUSSO COUNTY. I REPEAT, THE INFECTED HAVE REACHED RUSSO COUNTY.”

We listened like there was nothing strange happening, even though my heart began hammering like the Infected were right outside our front door. Then my dad’s eyes opened wide and he pressed a finger to his lips as he twisted the volume dial on the radio. For a moment, I didn’t know why he looked so frightened, but then I heard it too: the high-pitched chuckle, like a hyena laugh, near the back porch.

In one hastened breath, my father, with his scratchy beard and huge brown eyes, said, “Go, the attic, Hollow, go.”

Irrationally, I grabbed the bag of marshmallows and ran up the stairs. I pulled the string and the ladder fell, creaking so loud I was sure that the something’s (they weren’t the Infected, no, no, no) outside would hear me, but that was when the huge crash, the shattering of glass, shook the house. I threw the bag of marshmallows up into the attic, and in one big breath, I was up the ladder and pulling it shut behind me, slow, slow, no creaks, please, please.

I don’t know what happened to my mom, but I heard what happened to my dad. Death gave him no dignity. I covered my ears and wished and hoped and prayed to a god my dad had told me didn’t exist. I breathed hard so that the noise covered his screams, but it didn’t, it didn’t, it didn’t.

The screaming seemed to go on forever and day and my heart was broken but the news prepared us for this. The television told me that they were too stupid to think about people hiding, but if they heard you, if they saw you, they would find you. They were stupid, yeah, but they knew that bullets killed people. They knew that if you pulled a trigger, it would spill the blood of the target. They didn’t get bullets and they didn’t get gunpowder, but they got guns. But they were too stupid to look for them.

I lay on my back, hands pressed over my ears, until there was almost silence. They were listening, heads cocked, distended teeth spilling over their lips, for more prey, for more blood to spill. The way the news had described them at first was halting, like they were afraid to offend, but as the Sickness spread, the descriptions became more sensational. My favorite one was, ‘half-vampire, half-zombie’ because it fit the pictures well.

They did not hear me. They did not wander up the stairs. I heard, briefly, the pantry door open and close, and then their hyena laughs, and slowly, painfully, they left the house, laughs fading, fading, fading in the distance.

How do you go downstairs? How do you know that blood will be everywhere, yet open the ladder anyway? How do you smell the blood – the tangy, metallic smell – and still go downstairs? How does your heart break and you do not die?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Negative Reviews

Coming up in the next couple of weeks, I won't be posting quite as often because I have to pack up my stuff for college and get out of here! I'm super excited, but once I settle in, hopefully I'll be back to my normal self.

I want to discuss something that's kind of been bothering me lately - negative reviews. I'm a very harsh critic, whether with my writing or someone else's, as evidenced by my reputation in creative writing classes. So when I see bloggers just giving positive reviews because they don't want to be a downer, I think it's really dumb. Writers see negative reviews (at least, the good ones) as a way to improve. Either that, or they think, "Well, not everyone's going to love me." At least, that's how I think. I've been writing for most of my life and while I still don't like negative reviews, you get a thick skin.

It takes a lot for a book to impress me, so that might be why I grade them pretty harshly. None of the books I've read for Read Sam, Read yet were ones that I didn't really enjoy, so that hasn't come up yet, but it seems like books that get a ton of hype as being the best book ever are ones that I don't tend to like. For example, I'm currently rereading Shiver, which I enjoyed the first time around but didn't really think it lived up to the hype (I'll be posting a review of it soon!). Another one: The Iron King - I really disliked that book, but almost every review I've seen of it is praising it for being amazing.

So, when I get to books that I don't like, don't think I'm being harsh.

What's your opinion on negative reviews?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

There wasn't anything IMM last week, so there wasn't a post! However, this week I was lucky enough to get a book from a contest win and receive books that I'd purchases on (I went on a little spending spree because I hadn't had any money for a while, and then I had $100!)

So, without further ado, I got:

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
Burned by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
The Claidi Collection - Wolf Tower, Wolf Star, & Wolf Queen by Tanith Lee

I actually just got home from a Jennifer Weiner signing and I got a book signed by her for my boyfriend's mom, or else I would've gotten something! My mom got Little Earthquakes signed by her and she talked to me about YA books for a minute. She was so super nice and funny - I honestly think she should be a comedian or something.

What did you guys get this week?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Title: Sea
Author: Heidi R. Kling
Page Count: 323 pages
Summary: (from Goodreads) "Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.

And Sea’s real adventure begins."

Review: It's funny, I find it really hard to write reviews of books that I enjoyed. In books that were just so-so, it's a lot easier because I can focus on both the good and the bad things, but books I like? I get a little fan-girly about them.

Sea was definitely one of those books. I read it in practically one sitting, only stopping to eat dinner and maybe Tweet just a little bit. My reading spot is really uncomfortable, actually - knees up on my bedpost, which always digs into my skin - so it's pretty rare that I sit and read for really long periods. I did, though.

My favorite thing about this book, was, first of all, the main character. She was kind of a brat in the beginning and I rolled my eyes at it at first, but then I realized - Wow, she acts like a real 15-year-old! She isn't wise beyond her years or has a huge vocabulary, which I'm so used to in books nowadays. The narrators I write are too mature for their peers because I've always felt a little more serious and motivated than mine. But Sienna, she was so relatable. And she totally grew on me. Her character development was spot-on, but also so gradual that the reader didn't really notice (at least I didn't), until she pointed out that she was getting a lot more fearless.

Deni and Sienna's scenes were awesome. There's this kind of thing that happens to me, when there's a good first kiss in a book - I get butterflies if it's good enough. I definitely got butterflies with this one and most of the ones that followed!

I really loved this book. I love juxtaposition of the backdrop - the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami - with something so innocent as first love. It made Sienna see that her problems and fears weren't really anything compared to the children orphaned by the tsunami, when all she's lost was her mother.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this! I'd say maybe for 13-15yr-old range, if only because Sienna may be a little too immature for older readers.

Romance: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Follow My Book Blog Friday (3)

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

1.)Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list

2.)Follow our Featured Bloggers -

3.)Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.

4.)Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.

5.)Follow Follow Follow as many as you can!

6.)If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love... and the followers!

Hey guys! My name is Sam and I've had Read Sam, Read for about a month now, I think? I love reading and writing, so I thought I'd share my journey through it with the world. :)

How about you guys? How'd you get started blogging?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink
Page Count: 342 pages
Summary: "Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books."

Review: I wanted to like this book, I really did. The premise was interesting, for sure, even if it isn't the genre I'd usually read, and I kind of loved the idea of two sisters who want to kill each other.

But it was so slow.

Usually, I'll get annoyed if the beginning is a little slow, but I can slog through it if it picks up a little later on. However, Prophecy didn't ever pick up at all. Things happen, of course, but I feel like there wasn't much action at all and certainly not the action that was advertised in the blurb. That really frustrates me because it feels like the blurb is advertising something that isn't there.

Basically, the whole book was just finding out about the prophecy and discovering little clues as to what the prophecy means, exactly. (Because they are never just straightforward!) I feel like all of this sleuthing about the prophecy could've been figured out in say, seventy pages, and then the sequel would just be the rest of the book! It was a little unnecessary.

The characters were all pretty flat, aside from Alice, although I did like Lia's friends Sonia and Luisa. I would've liked to have seen the main character a little more conflicted about her decisions because I think it would've given her some depth instead of being a hero in all situations, no matter what.

My biggest problem, however, was with how lighthearted most of the book seemed. I couldn't get into the seriousness of the situation because the characters are just acting like they're trying to solve some grand mystery instead of being in fear of Satan taking over the world, which seems a little serious to me. And the whole astral plane thing? It was a little contrived. My disbelief was not suspended for this novel and I think that's a really important thing for these types of books.

I did want to like the book and around page 150 or so, there was a really juicy secret that came that made me want to read more. But after that, nothing really happened that seemed of much consequence and it disappointed me.

Overall, I didn't really enjoy this novel. I don't think I'll be reading the sequel, which I hope has a little more action than this one.

Overall: 2.5/5 stars

My Thoughts on Twilight


I just got home from seeing Eclipse with my sister, which I think I liked the best out of the three movies thus far. But me and Twilight have a long history.

When the first book came out, way back in 2005 before just about the whole had heard of them, I picked Twilight up at the library. And I fell in love. I read the book in about three hours and was so excited when the second book came out that I sat on the couch and read the first and second books in one sitting. I did this again with Eclipse.

However, right around the time that Eclipse came out - I got it early because Sam's Club messed up and put it out early - I started to get annoyed. I'd never liked Edward that much, but I fell in love with their love story, how deep and amazing their love could be. That was back before I'd ever been in a real relationship myself, so I thought this was how it should be. I had this whole fantasy that someone was going to sweep me away into my story sometime soon, and all I had to do was wait.

But I'm sorry, that's bullshit.

I'd fed on YA romance since I was about ten and stopped reading kiddie books. Not all of them were unicorns and rainbows - I remember reading this one gritty book in middle school where this girl gives her foster brother a blowjob and it was so not fantasyland. But most of the books I'd read, where some ordinary girl (just like me) was swept away into some love story or some magical adventure, hit me right in the heart. I wanted that so bad I would've nearly died for it. I think that's why I became a writer - it was the closest I could get.

Obviously, life isn't like that. And books like Twilight just encourage the view that life, here, as we are now, isn't enough. We need someone who cares about us so much that they want to control our lives and would die if we died.

Around the time I was sixteen, I started to get the whole BS vibe from Twilight. The books made me sob, especially New Moon, because how must it feel to have someone you love so much just disappear? I went through this kind of phase where I was just sad because this wasn't going to happen, this wasn't real. I wanted it to be, so bad, but it obviously wasn't.

And right when I gave up, I fell in love. And it wasn't a fairytale. We get into arguments a lot and I'm a control freak and he's so laid-back it's ridiculous, but it's nothing like what books told me. I was prepared for the feeling, but not all the other stuff that came with it. Love isn't just the feeling. It's so much more than that.

So, Twilight influenced me, of course. I don't detest the series, but I'm kind of ashamed that I ever loved it. I understand, yes, that that's what women want. They want someone who will be their everything.

The way I try to write, though? I don't want to do what was done to me. If someone at thirteen read what I write now, I want them to understand - it's not that simple. Life - and love - aren't that simple. We all wish it was, but it isn't. So maybe they don't get a happy ending or maybe they do, but I try to stay true to what would really happen. Love doesn't always conquer all. It doesn't need to. Sometimes, there are more important things.

But that's just my two cents.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

I haven't been writing much lately, mostly because I'm lazy. Sometimes I just want to hang out and go on Twitter and the Internet all day without having to worry about finishing TUON. And halfway through this draft, I've hit a kind of slump. However, I'm going to try to keep writing because I'm going to be so busy when I get to college, I won't have much time for it.

Anyways, here's a little teaser from TUON. Zoey and her best friend from the past, Alison, are hanging out in her bedroom.

“Hey, so,” I said, trying to change the subject. “I was looking up amnesia on that Googley thing-“

“Google,” she corrected. “C’mon, Zoe, it was around when we were thirteen.”

“Whatever, I don’t use the computer. Anyway, I was looking it up, and there’s this one guy who can’t remember anything at all about his life. He was found in this Burger King parking lot, naked and beat up, and no one has any idea who he is. He’s gone on all these talk shows and stuff and no one has come forward claiming to know him.”

Alison came over to sit on the bed with me. “What if that happened to you? Like you forgot everything?”

“You know what I always think about? Why those four years? Why not, just the past couple of days or weeks or something? Or just a concussion? Or something? I mean, I remember how to do some stuff, like the doctor said I would. The other day, I got behind the wheel of my mom’s car and I knew how to drive. I knew where my feet went and how to shift and everything. I knew. But it wasn’t because I remembered. Why is it like that, Al?”

She shrugged. “I have no idea. What happened to you is so rare! It only happens in soap operas and stuff. Not in real life.”

“And you know what? Some days, I really don’t want to remember. I just want to live like this. Because I feel kind of innocent, like the person that drank all the time and wore hoochie clothes wasn’t me and I don’t have take responsibility. It’s like I’m two different people, Al. But I’m not. I’m just me.”

She put her arm around me and I hadn’t realized it, but I was crying, tears rolling down my face. I hated crying, I hated it so much it made me angry. Around Alison, though, I didn’t feel quite so vulnerable. I didn’t feel like I had to be tough and hide from my feelings. I could just be sad and everything would be fine.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Shift by Jennifer Bradbury

Title: Shift
Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Page Count: 245
Summary: (from author website)When Chris Collins and Winston Coggans take off on a post-graduation cross-country bike trek, Chris's hopes are high. He's looking forward to seeing the country, dodging a dull summer at a minimum wage job, and having one final adventure with his oldest friend. The journey from Hurricane, West Virginia to the coast of Washington state delivers all those things... and more.

So much more that when Chris returns home without Win at the end of the summer, he's certain their 10 year friendship is all but over. But when an FBI agent begins asking questions—and raising suspicions about Chris—he learns that saying goodbye to a friend like Win is never as simple as riding away. Shift offers an adventure story and a missing persons tale spinning around a single question: What happens when you outgrow your best friend?

Review: I picked up Shift because it was in the new books section of my library, so I thought it would be a good current read. However, it came out in May of 2008 so it definitely wasn't as current as I thought.

Nonetheless, Shift was a great read! It was very short, but Chris's voice was so strong that it just kept me glued to the page. I would've read it all in one go had I not been interrupted by life (AKA work and The Sims 2). I think the books that catch me the most are ones with good voice. For instance, I just started reading The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and I can't put it down because the voice is so real and interesting.

My main problem with Shift, however, was that there was no sense of urgency in the plot. The jacket summary made it seem as though this book is a mystery, which it really isn't. There isn't much doubt about where Win is once Chris starts looking for him. It's more of a coming-of-age story and I thought it was really interesting that the main character was in college, because you don't get to read much about college life in YA.

The chapters were alternating flashbacks about their trip on their bikes, which I loved. It didn't glamorize the trip, but it did make it seem really fun and adventurous. I looked forward to those chapters more than the present-day ones. I kind of wish the book had been longer and just about the trip.

Overall, I enjoyed Shift. I was impressed, but I wasn't blown away.

Overall: 3.5/5 stars

Saturday, July 10, 2010

College + Books = No Love

No IMM this week - I'm still getting through my library books from last week!

My mom's been on me lately about getting rid of some of my books before I leave for college next month. I don't own that many, probably about two medium sized bookshelves worth, but apparently they don't want to deal with them when I'm gone. It makes my mom even more mad when I buy new ones!

So, I've been trying to narrow down the books I'm gonna bring with me. It's really hard! There are so many good books that I own. So far, I have this list, which may get a little bigger, depending on the books I acquire, but for now, I have it at this:

Harry Potter 3-7 by JK Rowling
Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart
Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee
In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Cathyrynne M. Valente

I took a picture of them, but my camera won't stay on for more than a few seconds.

Anyway, in writing news, there is no news. I've been so caught up with reading and playing The Sims 2 and Frontierville on Facebook that I've done absolutely no writing. I'm stuck on a part with Zach and Zoey, just as I always am.

How's everyone doing on this fine Sunday?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Follow My Book Blog Friday (2)

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
1.)Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
2.)Follow our Featured Bloggers -
3.)Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4.)Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5.)Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6.)If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7.)If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Title: The Hollow
Author: Jessica Verday
Page Count: 513 pages
Summary: (from Goodreads)
When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Review: I couldn't finish this book. It sounded interesting, even if I'm not really into mysteries so much, but I was so bored by about page 150 that I just decided to put it down. The characters weren't believable at all - Caspian starts calling Abbey 'beautiful' within the first few times they hang out and he was totally creepy. He didn't even know her and he said he wanted to comfort her. I just didn't understand his appeal.

Abbey was really boring. The majority of the part that I did read consisted of her not being able to sleep, being convinced that her best friend isn't dead, and staying up all night to make perfume. Also, she did homework. I feel like some of the descriptions were so unnecessary - just skip a few days if nothing happens! You don't need to describe every single day in her life! I understand her friend died and she's upset, but c'mon. Apparently she had no friends besides the one who disappeared and now, she has absolutely no one to talk to. I find that really hard to believe. Also, she starts freaking out about Caspian taking an interest in her, but she doesn't even know him! I understand he's attractive but the guy honestly had no personality.

I'm not going to rant about it forever. I just didn't see the appeal of this book at all. Even the way it was formatted - double-spaced - didn't attract me at all. I'm curious as to what does happen, but not curious enough to read the whole 500 pages when I'm falling asleep with boredom at the 150 mark.

Overall: 1/5 stars

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

Before my teaser, a little announcement! The winner of my STEALING HEAVEN Giveaway was... Rebecca Royce! I've emailed her and I'm mailing out the book today, so congrats! :)

Anyway, onto the teaser!

“Zoe,” he repeated, like he’d said it the night before, like an ache.

“Hm?” I asked.

“Don’t ever tell anyone I told you this.”

I raised my eyebrows. “What?”

“I’m sorry I’m a jerk.”

I pressed my fingernails into the palm of my right hand, fighting back some huge feeling that was overtaking me, that was swallowing my entire body. “It’s whatever,” I said, but it wasn’t. He’d been my archenemy since I’d moved to Wildwood when I was eight years old. He’d ruined my thirteenth birthday party, he’d tripped me whenever he could when we were running, and he made fun of me so much that it was like a routine. But I could handle it. I had a tough outer shell. I was used to it.

I swallowed. “You know, the last thing I remember? It was you, slamming my head into my birthday cake, right after I blew out the candles. And I was so mad I wanted to cry because I’d been wishing that my dad would come back and save me from everything that had been going wrong. You weren’t even invited, Zach.”

He shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a delinquent.” He lifted the camera to take a picture, but he wasn’t looking at the screen. He looking at me, into me. His knee moved a little, touching mine, and something started in my stomach. Oh my God, he was so close to me, so close that I could just reach out and touch that freckle I was always staring at.

He snapped the picture and handed the camera to me for evaluation. You could see it on my face, the emotion I hadn’t even known I was feeling: wanting.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Title: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher
Page Count: 299 pages
Summary: (from Goodreads) Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

Review: I picked up Stolen based on a few recommendations from other blogs - Let the Words Flow and YA Book Shelf and I definitely have to say I don't regret it!

It wasn't fast read, for me at least. I meandered through in a few days, just trying to soak up the Australian outback and get into the tone of the book. The writing was awesome and the thing that I liked most was the fact that I completely empathized with Gemma. I felt everything that she felt, which is so rare for me in a book. That last hundred pages flew by because I wanted to know what happened. I began to like Ty just as much as Gemma did, understanding and sympathizing with him that was she did. It was almost like I had Stolkholm's syndrome myself!

I really enjoyed this book - I loved the concept, the setting, the characters. Ty was a little creepy, but by the end of the book, I liked him a lot. Maybe it was because there was the distance of a book between us, but it was easy for me to forget what he'd done and start to like him. He was so into the desert and its beauty that it was hard to think that he could be evil.

My favorite part was the end because I wanted to know so much what would happen. There's one point that just tugged at my heartstrings and I was just a conflicted at the main character about what she should do.

I can't find one bad thing to say about this book, but I didn't think it was perfect. Maybe it was a little bit too slow or maybe the descriptions were a little too in-depth sometimes - I'm not sure exactly what could've been improved. When I closed it, I was satisfied, but not sad that it was over. An awesome book changes you, in some way, and this book only nudged me a little.

I'm not gonna rate the romance, so this is just overall:

Overall: 4.5/5 stars

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I've been trying to fancy my blog up lately and hopefully it's been working - I have 40 followers now. I guess that isn't such a big deal, but it makes me feel good when people read and comment on my posts. I really try to give in-depth reviews of the books I'm reading because I appreciate it when bloggers do that, tell what they like and also what they didn't about a book. I know that I've bought a book on a blog's recommendation, so I don't want to recommend books that aren't worth your money!

Basically, I just wanted to thank everyone who's been reading and commenting on my blog. I've had people from Germany and Brazil and Hawaii visit here, which I think is really interesting. So, awesome readers and followers - thanks for being amazing and making me feel right at home in the blogosphere!

My STEALING HEAVEN giveaway ends tonight, so hurry up and enter in the last fifteen minutes of the Fourth of July!

Hope everyone had a good holiday!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by The Story Siren.

Just got home from the library, so I suppose it isn't in my mailbox, per say, but that's about the only way I can get book without bankrupting myself!

This week I got:
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Folly by Marthe Jocelyn

What about everyone else?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Hello everyone! My name's Samantha and I've been blogging off-and-on for about a 6 months now. I first began blogging because I love reading and it's that simple! I saw all the amazing book blogs around and I figured - I read as much (maybe even more) than some of them, what about making one myself?

I read mostly YA romance or contemporary, but I will read just about anything that catches my eye.

Why'd everyone else here start? What genres do you read?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Elizabeth Scott Giveaway

To celebrate the new awesomeness that is Read Sam, Read, I've decided to host my first-ever giveaway! And since I've just reviewed Elizabeth Scott's amazing The Unwritten Rule, why not some Elizabeth Scott books?

So, one lucky person will win:

Onto the entries:
+1 for being a new follower; +2 for being an old follower
+1 for following me on Twitter
+1 for tweeting about this contest
+3 for blogging about contest

Leave the links to your entries in the comments, along with your name and email, so I can get back to you.

Let's make this a short one - it'll end on the 4th of July! Also, open to US residents only.

Review: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Title: The Unwritten Rule
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Page Count: 210
Summary: (from Goodreads) "Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend. Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend. Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful. Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more..."

Review: I've been wanting to read this one since it came out and there was tons of blogger buzz about it. The premise is just so... forbidden. (Some spoilers, but very teeny ones!)

In reality, Sarah's situation sucks. Royally. But I found it a little hard to feel bad for her because she didn't do anything about it. She never told Brianna that she liked him, she never stood up for herself when Brianna was putting her down - I guess I just get a little frustrated with characters who don't stand up for themselves or what they want because they feel they aren't worthy, you know? I'm such an outspoken, opinionated person that it's hard for me to relate to those kinds of characters. (I think it would be even harder for me to write one!)

I really like Elizabeth Scott's books. I feel like she gets to the heart of things, to where teenagers can relate the most. Her characters are just very... real to me. Brianna was exactly the way she was because of her parents and I could see it so well in Scott's writing. Her characters were always consistent, up until the very end.

The plot did move a little slowly to me, which I think is a bad thing in a book this short. I was never bored, but I would've liked to see a little more, I don't know, oomph.

I have a hard time reviewing this book because I liked it, I just don't have much to say about it!

How about this? Go read it yourself!

Romance Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars