Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Title: Going Too Far
Author: Jennifer Echols
Page Count: 256 pages
All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far... and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge - and over...

Review: We all know of my epic love to Jennifer Echols, as evidenced by my post a few days ago. So it's no surprise that I loved this book.

What I Liked:

  • STEAMTASTIC! I've mentioned this numerous times before, but I'll mention it again - Echols has this power to make sexual tension just leap off the page. When I'm reading a book and I get to the parts where it's all tension-y and it's really good, I know because I get this feeling in my stomach. I guess it's kind of similar to the feeling you get when you're about to kiss someone you like except not quite as awesome. Almost the entire book gave me that feeling, so, it's a winner!
  • Meg! I loved Meg. She was such a bad ass but you could totally tell that something had happened to her that screwed her up, really bad. Same with John, but I pretty much guessed what had happened near the middle of the book. 
  • One sitting? Okay, I didn't read this book in one sitting, but it was close. The only interval was sleep. I just couldn't stop reading! I don't know what Echols has done to me - she sucks me in!
Overall, I lovedlovedloved this book, unless that wasn't obvious. I cannot think of anything I didn't like, but my favorite book by Jennifer Echols still continues to be Forget You, which is a ten on the awesome scale of awesomeness. Go! Read this book! :)

Overall: 4.4/5 stars

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

No writing to share this week! So:

"Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!"

Currently, I'm reading Firelight by Sophie Jordan. Here's my little teaser from page 128:
"His words echo inside me. You should stay away from me. Something I already know, but sitting in the front seat of his car, I'm not quite succeeding at that."  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Page Count: 479 pages
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa.

As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Review: I read City of Bones a few years ago and borrowed its sequel from someone after that, but my interest in the series kind of petered out after I learned of the whole controversy surrounding Cassandra Clare, so I never got around to reading the last one. That, however, didn't hamper my enjoyment of Clockwork Angel. 

What I Liked: 

  • Steampunk FTW! I don't read many paranormal fantasy or whatever this genre is called, lol. But steampunk is always awesome, no matter how little I read of it. And I feel like this was starter steampunk - not too in-depth and not confusing at all to follow, like some that I've tried to read. 
  • Will? Wow, Will was an asshole. But he was so entertaining that I couldn't help but like him! By the end of the book, I was kind of on the fence about liking him, though. We'll see what happens in the next book with him!
  • Betrayal! All I'm gonna say, for those of you who haven't read the book. I don't want to reveal anything, but it stings!
  • Worldbuilding! I gotta say, Clare is an expert on her world, which I think is totally awesome. A reason why I don't like to write fantasy is because I can never get so in-depth with the world and remember all the details I need to, so I commend her!
What I Didn't Like:
  • Length, urgh. I love me some thick books and Clare tends to write some that are pretty huge. While I felt like there wasn't anything that I could've picked out and said, this wasn't needed, I did feel it got a little overlong. That's why it took me more than a week to finish!
  • Cliffhanger? I HATE CLIFFHANGERS. That is all.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this book to fans of The Mortal Instruments - you'll even recognize some of the characters! I think the world that Clare has created it awesome, although I did find Clockwork Angel to be a little long. 

Overall: 4/5 stars

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In My Mailbox (7)

I really think I need to get a Kindle or a Nook - maybe I'll ask for one of them for Christmas. I think it would take a while, but it would be less expensive to get one because all I buy lately are hardcovers.

Anywho, this is my awesome pull this week:

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

What did everyone else get this week? 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another little hiatus!

Sorry I've been pretty dead lately! I've been busy with school and rowing and all that other good stuff. And I don't want Read Sam, Read! to suffer because I'm busy. So I'm gonna take a week or so, probably until the Monday after next, off from the whole blogosphere. I'm going to visit my boyfriend in a week anyways.

Sorry, guys! Read Sam, Read! will come back better than ever!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Okay, so I'm aware that it's September. I'm also aware that delaying something for as long and you possibly can can only make it better when it actually happens. So, I've started to plan for my novel for NaNoWriMo.

Is it sad that two out of the three novels that I've finished were NaNo novels? I'm bad without a definitely deadline and thousands of other people trying to do the same thing, I guess.

This discussion happens with writers all the time: Are you a plotter or a pantser? And now, pantser's don't pants people: they just have an idea and go wherever it may take them! Plotters, on the other hand, plot every detail they can out until they know exactly what is going to happen, exactly how their characters would act, etc. Me, I've always been a pantser. I treat my first draft like my outline, just using it to get to know the characters and what parts of the plot work and don't work. A very, very long outline.

Yeah, most of the time I don't have the patience for this. Like last year, with TUON. I wrote it, hated it because I was a pantser and now I hate the story even more with the second draft. Maybe because people keep telling me, "THIS IS SO CLICHE. LIKE A SOAP OPERA. Blah blah blah." You're not supposed to listen to those people, but they've wormed their way into my head. So, TUON is on haitus.

And the rewrite of TSTB? Well, I like that one. But I can't get over the idea, once again. Celeste is so whiny. And I didn't really understand heartbreak when I started writing it because I'd never had a boyfriend.

And now, we have my NaNo novel. The idea itself has been puttering around in my head for a couple of years but I'd never fleshed it out enough to make it make sense. But! I've been writing notes!

So, I've totally been productive. And since there's a month and half left until November, maybe I can actually outline! For once!

Is anyone else doing NaNo? Started planning yet? 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Love Letter to Jennifer Echols

No teaser this week - I haven't written anything worth showing off!

Dear Jennifer Echols,

At first, I wanted to dislike you. You had a book about amnesia that featured a character named Zoey, for God's sake! Everyone would think I copied you or something. But then I gave Forget You a chance. And I fell in love. Forget You and me, we had a love affair, but as always seems to happen, it was over far too quickly.

Then I got Endless Summer. Then Going Too Far. 

It has been decided, Ms. Echols. You have surpassed Sarah Dessen on the YA contemporary scale that I hold so dear. And that's mighty hard to do - Sarah and me, we were going strong for at least two years.

Never stop writing books! You have a way of describing characters and sexual tension that makes me swoon like none before.


:) Creepy or what?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Review: The Boys Next Door and Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Title: The Boys Next Door & Endless Summer
Author: Jennifer Echols
Page Count: 587 pages
 The Boys Next Door: Lori lives for summertime on the lake. She spends all season wakeboarding, swimming, and hanging with her friends—including the two hotties in the house next door. With the Vader brothers, Lori's always been one of the guys.

But while Lori and the "baby" brother, Adam, are inseparable friends, she can't deny a secret crush on Sean, the older Vader boy. This year Sean's been paying Lori a lot of attention, and not in a brotherly way.

But just as Lori decides to prove to Sean she's girlfriend material, she realizes that her role as girl friend to Adam may be even more important. And by trying so hard for the perfect summer romance, she could be going way overboard....

Endless Summer: The sequel to The Boys Next Door sees Adam and Lori happy together - until they fall asleep in his truck for an entire night. Lori and Adam can't stay away from each other, but they're forced to because of Lori's dad, who absolutely forbids it after they spend the entire night together. To make things worse, Adam will be sent to military school if he can't stay away from Lori. Told in alternating viewpoints, we get a peak into both character's personalities.

Review: Sorry for my craptastic summary of Endless Summer - I couldn't find an official one and I didn't want to copy another reviewer's! I'm gonna review these two books as one because they were packaged that way.

What I Liked: 

  • Swoon! I don't know what it is about Jennifer Echols, but she makes me swoon like no other! Adam is gorgeous and he and Lori's scenes together have sparks absolutely flying off the page. It's rare that I get that dropped-out stomach feeling so many times in a book, but this one takes the cake!
  • Characters! Again, I don't know how she does it, but Echols makes characters so real! They are so genuine and you can't help but like them - they seem like real people! Her characters are maybe some of the most believable that I've ever read.
  • Adam. This part should probably be in the swoon category, but Adam get's his own, haha. I loved him, although he did get a little jealous and controlling in the second book, but I could totally look past that because that's how he is! Same with Lori - she's always making stupid plans that are so over the top but I think it's the flaws that made me like her.
What I Didn't Like: 
  • Plot of Endless Summer? It was a little flimsy - I think this was just more to play with the characters than anything else, but that doesn't excuse the fact that the plot was just - Lori and Adam can't see each other! Ah! It kept me captivated because the writing made me swoony, but I was a little eh about the plot
  • Adam being Adam! I know, I know. I was almost certain I wouldn't mention this, but Adam frustrated me so much! I can totally get where he was coming from, but sometimes he had these blinders that were all LORI LORI LORI and it made him jealous and overprotective. Lori can take care of herself. Well, kind of. But it just bothered me to see him get to jealous and then doubt her. 
Overall, I recommend Endless Summer but I liked Echols's other book, Forget You, more than this one. If you're gonna start with any one, start with that one! 

Romance: 4/5 stars
Overall: 3.8/5 stars

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In My Mailbox (6)

I haven't had much time to read lately, but I have gotten some awesome books IMM! :) As always, IMM is hosted by the AMAZING Story Siren.

So, here are the great, fabulous, amazing books:

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols (!!)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

I'm actually about halfway through Clockwork Angel and I'm still reading Endless Summer, so I'll have reviews of those up this week! :) 

What else did everyone get this week? 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Page Count: 390 pages
Summary:Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

Review: There will most definitely be spoilers inside, so beware if you haven't read it yet! I can't write a review of this without spoilers - I don't think it's possible!

What I Liked:
  • The Final Hunger Games! Um, hello? What's not to like about the final installment of this awesome series? Although this one was definitely darker and gorier than the last two, where the violence wasn't quite so war-like and more for survival, I still loved it to pieces. It had a different tone as well and I think I liked the first book the most of all, but I don't think you can even compare them - all three are so different!
  • Katniss is messed up! Okay, this might be a great thing to like, but I thought it was so realistic how damaged Katniss was during this book. She's been through so much and it's taken a huge toll on her. I loved that she didn't just stay strong and carry on, like we always expect protagonists to.
  • Reality show? Loved that Katniss' becoming the Mockingjay, the symbol of  the revolution, made her have more TV time. I thought that the revolution would be me underground than that, but it made so much sense when you consider the culture of this book. 
What I Didn't Like (Okay, these won't be minuses, really. Just things that made me sad.):

  • Peeeeeeeeeta! You don't know what you got till it's gone, right? And Peeta, oh Peeta. I was so happy when he was rescued, halfway into the book, and then he's CRAZY. Like insane. It made me so sad and I wanted the old, sweet Peeta back so bad.
  • ANOTHER Hunger Games? Okay, there has been much debate about this part of the book. Why would Katniss agree to have a Hunger Games with Capitol children? To scare Snow before he dies, because she meant to kill Coin all along? Or was she just going crazy?
  • Violence. Near the end of Mockingjay, I got a little sick to my stomach from all the violence. Everyone dying in these disgusting ways, urgh, and then PRIM. I think the violence was necessary, but it shocked me. Until now, the violence in these books has been pretty tame, but the end, gah. Thinking about it makes me feel bad. 
Overall, I still think that the first in this series was the best, but I did love Mockingjay. A definite book to read.

Overall: 4/5 stars

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday! :)

I've finished the last story I posted, well the first draft at least. It was just a short story, although it doesn't have a name yet.

Today's teaser is from something I just started to work on! :) Enjoy!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

Sorry for not posting an IMM for the past few weeks, I've been super busy! :) Anyways, just went to Barnes & Noble's yesterday (with my boyfriend who is visiting from USF!) and got:

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

So excited to read this! I just finished Forget You by the same author, which is a book I definitely recommend. 

What did everyone else get?

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Page Count: 360 pages
Summary:When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Review: I've been hearing about this book for AGES. Right before I left for college, I picked it up at B&N, even though I'd always thought it looked pretty cheesetastic. Might as well give it a chance.

What I Liked:

  • Chemistry. No, not the class. The main characters did have chemistry, which is always good. Alex was flawed and he sounded gorgeous, although as he was a gang member, I can totally see Brittany's apprehension.
  • Flawed characters. Oh yes, both of them were definitely flawed. I'm glad that Brittany's character wasn't a Mary-Sue, which I think she totally could've turned into. 
I'm moving on to the things I didn't like quickly because I have a little more to say there.

What I Didn't Like:
  • Brittany, urgh! In the beginning of the book, I hated Brittany, although I did warm up to her near the end. She was just so... she needed to think for herself, stop whining about needing to be perfect, argh. I just couldn't deal with her. She needed to chill out. I guess it was more her parent's fault than hers, but still. It was too much. 
  • Cheesetastic! I'll be the first one to say that I get swoony at well-written, realistic romance, but this book was totally a ball of cheese. Sometimes it worked and it was engrossing, but other times, like the gag-tastic epilogue, I wanted to shoot the author.

  • Brittany's sister. Disability as a plot device? Eh, not my thing. It seemed like Brittany's sister's disability was something just to give Brittany depth, not something realistic at all. I don't know, it just didn't strike a chord with me at all.
 Overall, I was a little apathetic about this book. The plot was entertaining, but it had this kind of romance novel-esque feel about it that made me want to put it down sometimes, so I guess not even in the engrossing sort of trashy way of romance novels. I don't mean to be harsh, but I really wanted to like it and I was disappointed that I didn't.

Romance: 3.2/5 stars
Overall: 3/5 stars