Tuesday, April 22

The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group:Young Adult
Pages:  384

Summary:  Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances.

My Thoughts:  I enjoyed this one. We are introduced to Anna who has a group of friends and a boy she likes named Finn. Finn is a nice kid but he’s kind of dorky. Anna fits in nicely with her friends. They aren't super popular but they aren't super dorky either. I’d say they were average.

Anna starts dating Finn but she’s too afraid to tell anyone. She’s a bit embarrassed by him because her friends think he’s too nerdy. Well, Finn ends up going away for a while and he comes back pretty cute and sweet. All her friends instantly like him but he resents Anna. He also starts dating one of her friends.

I felt like there wasn't a lot of depth to this one. It was deep on some levels but on others it was just a fun book and I liked seeing all the sides of her friends and Finn. They did a lot and Anna goes to a music festival which I enjoyed.

I did enjoy the way things developed with Finn and Anna.  I liked seeing just how Finn felt about the old Anna and the new Anna. And vice versa.

I enjoyed the friendships. I enjoyed the romance. And the little bit of drama.

Overall:  I really did enjoy this one. I debated between 3 and 4 cupcakes. Its probably more of a 3.5 for me though. I enjoyed it, thought it was cute, liked the characters but it probably wasn't my favorite of the year.

The Last Best Kiss is definitely worth a read.

Cover: Love it! Super cute cover! I love how we can see their legs. Neat!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, April 19

Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman

Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  368

Summary:  There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

My Thoughts: I usually have a hard time reading books with a male perspective but this one, I just flew right through.

We are introduced to Gray Weathersby and his brother Blaine. They are a year apart and live in a small community called Claysoot. They’ve lived in Claysoot their whole lives. Their mother and father are both gone. They only have each other. And so when Blaine hits 18, they both know things are going to change. Blaine will be swept away by The Heist. Nobody really knows much about the Heist or why it exists.

Gray feels alone and his only comfort is Emma so he gets the idea that he will jump the wall. Anyone who has ever tried has came back burned. But he figures, oh well its worth the risk.

Gray and Emma’s worlds are about to change. Everything they have ever known is about to change, drastically.

I just couldn’t believe what was happening but it all made sense. I was surprised, I was sad, this one really tugged at my emotions.

And I loved the addition of Bree. She spiced things up for me and added more drama. Loved that.

I liked the plot. I liked how things happened. I also found myself drawn to Blaine as I got to know him more as well.

Even when Gray started to grow up, I still saw moments of him that seemed somewhat immature.

Overall:  I liked this one quite a bit, but I think its more of a 3.5 rating for me but I’m giving it 4 since I did enjoy it more than I thought I would.  

Cover: Love it! Love the people, and love the colors. Its so bright!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, April 15

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) Kasie West

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) Kasie West
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  368

Summary: Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed Pivot Point so I was excited to read this one!

We are back with Addie and Laila, best friends! Addie has seen what can happen and has chosen her path. But, she also missed out on a quite a bit.

Addie gets to visit her dad for break so she jumps on the chance. She wants away for a while and to be normal. But normal isn’t always a great thing either. While in Texas, she meets Trevor again. But of course she really only knows him from her vision and he doesn't know her. But the chemistry between them is amazing! I instantly liked Trevor again. He’s so sweet and cute! Just want to pick him up and hug him.
This time Addie wants to do things right, but things don’t go according to plan…

Back home, Laila has her own problems to face. And she’s got quite a few.

Honestly, I really liked this one. But I feel like if I say much I’ll give too much away. Pivot Point had so many twists and turns that if I mention many details, you’ll know too many important details so I’m just going to leave it at this.

I enjoyed this one! I still like the characters and the plot is so unique! Quite a lot of twists in Split Second as well! And a few new characters to add to the mix.

Overall: Enjoyed it! Glad how things went and turned out. I’m happy.

Cover: Like it! These covers are neat.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, April 8

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352

Summary: Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

My Thoughts: I really loved Hawkins Hex Hall series so I was anxious to read this one!

And while I enjoyed it a lot, I still loved the Hex Hall series more.

We are introduced to Harper who is your average teenage girl but with a whip of a personality and who is a little education obsessed. She wants to get into a good college, make her parents happy, and on top of that she is involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. Her life is too busy and she has no time for anything new.

But when she runs into a janitor getting murdered and him transferring his responsibilities (ninja kicking butt powers) to her she is pretty much in trouble. He was a Paladin and his job was to protect a certain boy.

A certain boy named David who has been Harper’s nemesis since they were children! Could things get any worse for Harper? Now she has to protect him! What a load of crap. LOL.

David and Harper have spent their lives fighting with each other, but now they must fight together to survive.

I loved Harper’s personality. She was so spunky and always had something to say. David was a sweetheart. I could tell underneath his comebacks, he had true feelings for Harper. They had chemistry!

People are out to kill David and now its on Harper to fix it. She has so many obstacles that get in the way including her boyfriend and her best friend. Things are not easy hiding who she really is.

I really loved both characters and I loved everything that was going on in the background. They had other things they had to tend too as well. They each had a life to live. But all in all, Harper and David made a good team and I could just tell something needed to happen between them.

And of course, Rebel Belle leaves us with a cliffhanger and its a good one. Now, I need the next book!

Overall: I really enjoyed this one! I wanted to give it 5 cupcakes but there was a few pages where it got slow and I needed it to speed back up. I really liked the plot of this one, how things went down, and how Harper and David related to one another. I loved the character development. I would definitely recommend this one, especially if you liked the Hex Hall series!

Cover: Love it! I love the prettiness of it, and I love the color! Its a cute eye catching cover!! 

What I'd Give It: 

Tuesday, April 1

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group:Young Adult
Pages:  464

Summary:  I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one but it was a bit weird. I didn’t read the novella first (when I started, I didn’t know there was one) but I may go back to it eventually.

We are introduced to Amy who has a hard life. She lives with her mother who pretty much ignores her. She drinks and just has her own life. Amy is pretty much ignored at school unless someone is picking on her. She’s quite invisible really. But she’s also average. She doesn’t really stand out.

One day a tornado comes and sweeps Amy’s home into Oz. But this isn’t any normal Oz. Its weird!!!! Everything is different or backwards and Amy is a long way from home.

I want to explain so much but if I do, I’ll give away so much and I don’t want too. This was such a fun story and I loved seeing how things are different from Dorothy’s Oz. But don’t worry Dorothy is around and so are all the other characters. I did really like the boy Amy meets and he made the story even better. I loved the plot. I love how Amy is destined to do things and how she believes she must follow them and set things right.

I really enjoyed this one and I want to say so much more but I don’t want to give away anything. If you know the original story of Oz, you’ll want to read this one and see how its different.

Overall:  Yes, its a bit long. But I enjoyed it anyway. It probably could have been shorter but I enjoyed all the moments with Amy and everyone else. I liked seeing how things played out and I’m glad I read this one!

It was a very interesting concept and I can’t wait to read the next one!!!

Cover: Like it! Its a bit dark but it makes sense!!! Neat.

What I’d Give It:


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