Wednesday, June 30

Waiting On Wednesday (52)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.

Return To Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Maggie and Caleb just went through the worst year of their lives. Hit by a car and starting life over with a limp, Maggie never thought she would forgive Caleb. But she did-and fell in love. What they shared was real. But Caleb wanted to be free from the past-and a terrible secret: he wasn't the one who hit Maggie. So he left Paradise-and Maggie-forever.

When Maggie and Caleb run into each other in a different town, they can't deny their true feelings. Will Maggie let Caleb get away again? Or will Caleb face the truth and return to Paradise?

My Thoughts: OMG! I can't wait for this book! I'm so excited! Simone Elkeles is totally awesome! Squee! hehe!

Monday, June 28

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Summary: Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn’t have friends. She has, as she’s often reminded, issues. Drea’s mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on “a touch of Asperger’s.”

Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea’s preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.

It’s obvious that Drea can’t hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she’s found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?

My Thoughts: A great debut novel from Tara Kelly! We meet Drea who is just a girl who longs to be normal, she despises seeing shrinks, she just wants to be who she is without the constant reminder that she has Asperger's. Drea moves to a new town and she meets her neighbor Naomi who is best described in my mind as creative. She than starts school and meets Justin who she is instantly drawn too. He really likes Drea, you can tell from the get go. The 3 of them start to form a band and you can see how their relationship matures between the 3 of them. I really felt like I knew all the characters. Drea and Justin just had this bond that was amazing and he understood her even when she was tough to be around. This was such an interesting read, I won't say much or else I will give away the whole book but this is an emotional captivating book that will you remember. There were parts that had me smiling and others that had me crying.

Overall: Loved it. Such an amazing story from a debut author. I will read anything else she writes!

Cover: The cover is neat. Its a lot prettier in person than the pictures I find online.

What I'd Give It:

Join Me On July 12th!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to give a shoutout to the amazing Holly Cupala! I will be hosting a Re-Create A Cover Contest for Tell Me A Secret on July 12th! Come by and join in on the fun!

View The Tour Schedule HERE

Tell Me a Secret - Worldwide Blog Tour

Sunday, June 27

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Summary: Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

My Thoughts: First off, I'll start by saying I'm a huge Nicholas Sparks fan. The first book I ever read was A Walk To Remember during my teenage years. So everytime a new Sparks novel is released I know I will read it nomatter what its about. The Last Song was no exception. Ronnie and Jonah are shipped off to stay with their father for the summer. We start off meeting the main characters, Ronnie, her brother Jonah, her mother and father and the numerous "friends" she meets while visiting her father. While there, Ronnie meets Will and there starts a wild whirlwind romance. I don't want to give away the whole book but there were so many nice encounters between Ronnie and Will that most of the book I was smiling. But of course there is more to the story than that. There are lot of family problems that appear throughout the book. Each character grows so much by the end of the book. This is one of those books you will either love or hate.

I really loved reading The Last Song. I am glad I did not see the movie first because even from just seeing the previews I kept seeing Miley Cyrus in my mind for Ronnie. I'm not sure how I feel about Miley. I don't know if I can really see her as Ronnie. As for Will, well, the guy who plays him I could see him looking as cute as him.

Overall: Loved it. Can't wait to see the movie in August when it comes out on DVD.

Cover: I like it a lot. Love beach scenes.

What I'd Give It:

Friday, June 25

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Summary: Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares — has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

My Thoughts: Wow! Wow! Wow! As you may have noticed I'm a huge Elkeles fan! I adored The How To Series and this was just as great! We meet Maggie who was hit by a car driven by Caleb. Maggie has always had a thing for Caleb and of course Caleb was too blind to really notice her. She was his twin sister's best friend and the girl next door. Caleb was popular, hot, and had the girlfriend everybody wanted. One night during a party Maggie was at the wrong place at the wrong time and all bets were off. Ever since that night, Maggie has suffered. She has a limp now and had to spend months in recovery trying to get past the accident and still has the scars to remind her. Caleb had spent the last year in juvie trying to make up for his sins.

Caleb and Maggie get back out in the real world, school, work, and just basic life. They are bound to run into each other. Maybe even more than they realize. Nobody really understands what either of them has gone through and because of this, their relationships with other people are hurt.

I really loved this book. Love is an understatement here. I can't wait to read Return To Paradise. I instantly fell in love with Caleb, maybe it was his tough outer-shell but I knew deep down he had to be a sweetheart. Caleb, his having spent time in jail appealed to me even more because he had that bad boy aroma that I always tend to like. I also really liked Maggie, there was something soft about her that made her a wonderful character. Throw in all the side characters and Leaving Paradise is a real winner and a treat to read.

Overall: Loved it. From the first page I was instantly hooked, and stayed up way past my bedtime to keep reading. The attic scene was sweet! If you haven't picked this book up, run out and buy it now!

Cover: Really like it a lot. I like the hand holding and the tattoo on his arm. Totally fits the book.

What I'd Give It:

Book Blogger Hop

Come join the book blogger hop over at Crazy-For-Books!

Love Finding new amazing blogs to follow!

Thursday, June 24

In My Mailbox (40) 6/26/2010

In My Mailbox Is Inspired by Kristi@The Story Siren

This Week was better than expected it was going to be!

Bought a bunch and got a few through trades/review.

Return To Paradise by Simone Elkeles (not pictured) Got from Star Book Tours
The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Freak Magnet by Andrew Auseon

Wanted by Sara Shepard

You Had Me At Halo by Amanda Ashby

Unraveled by Gena Showalter
Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Majix Notes From A Serious Witch by Douglas Rees

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Other by Karen Kincy
Local Girls by Jenny O'Connell
My Soul To Keep by Rachel Vincent

Nice And Mean by Jessica Leader

So Many Boys by Suzanne Young

The Night She Got Lucky by Susan Donovan

Still The One by Robin Wells
Greek Double Date by Marsha Warner

Kiss It by Erin Downing

Summary: A girl's gotta do who a girl's gotta do.

Chastity Bryan has never been shy about going after what she wants. And when sexy, mysterious, so-not-from-this-town Sebastian walks into Chaz's life, she knows in an instant that what she wants next is him. Chaz has no intention of playing for keeps—but she most definitely has intentions. Who needs true love when you've got true lust?

Sebastian has no idea what he's in for—but maybe neither does Chaz?

My Thoughts: When I first saw Downing had another book coming out, I knew I had to pick it up! I really enjoyed Drive Me Crazy so I was looking forward to reading more from Downing. We meet Chaz who is your everyday small town girl. She wants bigger things, wants to have a bigger future, and move onto better things. There is the small town guy who likes her, Hunter. Her family wants her to be with him, because he's "perfect" for her but she knows she wants someone not from around there. She doesn't want to be faced into conformity. One day she meets Sebastian in her place of employment. She instantly feels drawn to him. Because of the small town atmosphere she knows he's from out of town. Come to find out, he's just visiting.

I really liked Chaz's character. She is outspoken and voices her opinion a lot. Yes, she has fears like the rest of us, but she was real. She didn't take anyone's crap. Than there is Sebastian who is just sexy. You can tell there's more to him than meets the eyes. Just because he's hot doesn't mean he's naive.

This novel was so much more than I expected it to be. I read some bad reviews picking it up but I really enjoyed it. I liked the issues dealt with in this book, virginity, pregnancy, love, trust, fear, etc.

Overall: I really liked it a lot. Its a little more serious than the Simon Romantic Comedies but if you like those, you will probably like this as well.

Cover: Its cute! I love how the bunnies are kissing and I love the heart above them.

What I'd Give It:

Wednesday, June 23

Waiting On Wednesday (51)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.

There are a lot of romance books that come out this month so I am highlighting a few of them this time!

Kiss Me If You Can by Carly Phillips
Summary: Sam Cooper ("Coop") has just become the most eligible bachelor in NYC. Now that he has foiled a jewelry-store robbery and has been rewarded with the ring of his choice, single women all over the city are fawning over the crime reporter. But Coop isn't interested in the admirers sending racy underwear his way. His attention is centered solely on Lexie Davis, the only woman in the city who claims not to be interested.

Instead, free-spirited Lexie is interested in Coop's antique ring, and its-potentially scandalous-history in her family. But Coop is quickly becoming more than just her route to the ring. When his investigation starts to uncover the truth, will she trust her heart-and her family secrets-to this most eligible bachelor.

Insatiable by Lauren Dane

Summary: Carina is used to wearing a mask. Her father and his men think her little more than a pretty prize to be won by a man more ruthless than the rest. When he announces his intention to marry her to one of his henchmen, a man known for his cruelty, Carina knows she has to move as soon as possible to get out. But getting secret information to the Federation has served her well for years and she appeals to them for help.

She expected rescue from a man who’d been her enemy. But she wasn’t prepared for just how intense her attraction to Daniel Haws would be. Born as adversaries into different ranks, and on the run for their lives, they now need each other to survive—by holding on to the only thing they have in common: a growing desire that is dangerous, irresistible, and insatiable...

And One Last Thing by Molly Harper
Summary: A romantic comedy about a woman who publishes the details of her husband's affair in his company newsletter, and then must deal with the consequences.

Crazy For Love by Victoria Dahl
Summary: Chloe Turner thought she was going to marry the perfect man-until her fiancé's plane crashed. And then she got the really bad news: he'd tried to fake his own death to avoid marrying her. Now America's most famous bridezilla (a tag she most definitely does not deserve), Chloe escapes to a remote island to avoid the paparazzi. And right next door is a man who just might be the cure
for Chloe's heartache....

A magnet for wild, complicated women, Max Sullivan is relieved to have finally found someone "normal." Chloe is his girl-next-door fantasy come to life, and best of all, she gets him. With her, he can be himself, a treasure-hunting millionaire who desperately wants out of his sexy but reckless job. But when Chloe's notoriety catches up with them, will their torrid romance make it to the mainland?

Eternal Kiss Of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost
Summary: An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness…and now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she’s only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master Vampire who thought he’d seen it all. Then Kira appears—this fearless, beautiful…human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life, yet sending her away is unthinkable.

But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose between the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.

My Thoughts: Most of you know I also read a lot of romance/paranormal books and there are a lot of interesting ones that come out this month I'm looking forward too!

Tessa Dare Blog Stop

I'm happy to be a part of the Tessa Dare Blog Tour and I want to bring your attention to her awesome books!

First In The Trilogy is:
One Dance With A Duke
Summary: In One Dance with a Dukethe first novel in Tessa Dare’s delightful new trilogy—secrets and scandals tempt the irresistible rogues of the Stud Club to gamble everything for love.

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members—yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke—until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?

Other Books To Check Out

Be Sure To Check Out The Next Stop On The Blog Tour

@Excess Baggage

Tuesday, June 22

Something Like Fate

By Susane Colasanti

Summary: Lani and Erin are bonded for life. One thing that connects them is their fascination of fate. Lani wonders how much of our lives has already been decided and how much we can actually influence. Since the Unknown can unexpectedly change our lives forever, how much can we really control? From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can't deny the intense connection they share. It feels like she's known him forever. She's not sure if he feels it, too. But it doesn't matter. Because Jason is Erin's boyfriend. Lani is determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than risk hurting her best friend. How long can Lani keep running from the boy who might be her destiny?

My Thoughts: I have been looking forward to this book for months, as most of you know from my blog posts about this book!!! We meet Jason, Lani, and Erin. Erin is dating Jason but Lani has liked him for a while. Lani feels, "why would Jason want an ordinary girl like her, when he can have gorgeous Erin?" Erin is usually the one who gets all the boyfriends. We can tell from the way Jason looks at Lani, he likes her too. The three of them spend lots of time together and the intense eye contact between Lani and Jason, you can see the chemistry that is brewing between them. Lani doesn't want to hurt Erin because Erin feels like a "sister" to her and she doesn't know what to do about her feelings. Erin ends up going out of town for a while so Lani and Jason get to know each other better as friends. Things slowly progress between them. What happens to Lani and Jason? What about Erin? I loved this book so much. Everything about it was amazing. The writing, the chemistry between the two characters. Susane has done it again!!! One word, amazing!

Overall: Amazing!!! Loved Jason from the first moment we meant him. You could see he was one of a kind and was a great guy.

Cover: Loved it. Instantly attracts you to it! Love the way they are holding hands behind the couch, and I love how the colors all go together. Even the girl's hair looks pretty in the ponytail. Come on, even the guy's arm is hot!!!

What I'd Give It:

Monday, June 21

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

When her boyfriend dies a most untimely death, Aura--who can see ghosts--is forced to reconsider her relationship with the living and dead in SHADE.

My Thoughts:
Another one of the, "What Can I Say" books. I don't get too many of those (The Twilight saga and Shiver). I loved this book. We meet Aura who can see ghosts. But this isn't exactly abnormal for people. Its like this alternate way of living. Its hard to explain, but its interesting. This is one of the those books that you really have to read it to understand so my review might not make sense, haha. So for Aura, she is used to seeing dead people. She has a group of friends. I instantly liked her best friend but didn't feel much for the others. We also meet her boyfriend who is definitely swoon-worthy. But guess what, we don't get to spend too much time with him when he's alive because right as Aura and her bf are going to make love, he dies. Yep, he dies. I wanted to cry! He becomes a shade and he stays around Aura. She than meets another guy who sparks her fancy a little bit and starts hanging out with him. Honestly, I was so torn between both guys, I could feel myself wanting to cry. I wanted to cry when her boyfriend died, I wanted to cry when he came back, I wanted to cry when she started liking another guy!!! I wanted to dislike the other guy, I really did, but I instantly felt a connection with him too. This book is so emotional, I'm thinking about it a few days later. That is a great thing! This is one of those books, you really have to read it to fully understand. There is so many details that can't be explained and you really have to pay attention. You have to feel for the characters, which is exactly what I did. I could feel Aura's confusion. I want the 2nd book now. Why does it not come out for so long? I want it now!! How can I keep tormenting myself wanting to know what happens??? Haha! If you don't already know, just read this book. The first chance you get, rather you are on the arc tour, OR you rush right out on May 4th and buy it! Just do it.

Overall: Loved it! One of the best books I will probably read this year. I adored this book!

Its pretty! And, the arc was a lot more prettier than in person. Its shiny.

What I'd Give It:

Sunday, June 20

Death by Bekini by Linda Gerber

Summary: Aphra Behn Connolly has the type of life most teenage girls envy. She lives on a remote tropical island and spends most of her time eavesdropping on the rich and famous. The problem is that her family's resort allows few opportunities for her to make friends - much less to meet cute boys. So when a smoldering Seth Mulo arrives with his parents, she's immediately drawn to him. Sure, he's a little bit guarded, and sure his parents are rather cold, and okay he won't say a word about his past, but their chemistry is undeniable. Then a famous rock star's girlfriend turns up dead on the beach - strangled by her own bikini top - and alarm bells sound. Is it too great a coincidence that Seth's family turned up just one day before a murder? As the plot thickens, Aphra finds that danger lurks behind even the most unexpected of faces...

My Thoughts:
We meet Aphra who works on an island with her dad. Her mom left a long time ago. Every day is the same, people checking in and out, Aphra helping out, doing her usual day routine. Than a family shows up, she is immediately drawn to the young boy her own age, Seth. She tries to find out more and more about them, and she starts to develop feelings for Seth. Her dad warns her to stay away from him! She realizes she must know now what is going on and why they are there. She realizes they are hiding out. This book is really cute! I liked Seth! He reminded me a lot of the friends I had when I was a kid. She learns where her mom is, she learns why the family is there. Read this book if you want to know the ordeal they are in! What happens between Aphra and Seth? Wheres her mom? Pick up a copy and find out!

Overall: I loved this one! It was a fast short cute read! And, it will fit in your purse so you can carry it around with you! I really liked Seth and I want to find out what happens to him in the next two books!

Cover: Its cute! Come on, a cover with a swimsuit, you know you have to read this one!

What I'd Give It:

Thursday, June 17

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary: Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life. When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

My Thoughts:
Whoa, another great book! I've been reading a lot of good ones lately! This is one of my favorites! We are introduced to Lily who is a mermaid. The catch, she's living with her aunt, going to high school, and doing normal things. She's from
Thalassinia and is the princess of the kingdom! She's been in love with Brody for years now and she has finally gathered the courage to tell him how she feels. She wants to bond with him and thinks he's the perfect guy for her. Things don't go as planned though. Enter Quince, the annoying next door neighbor who bugs Lily to no end! He's always there mocking her and causing problems for her. I didn't really like Brody, I felt like he wasn't good enough for Lily and he was somewhat shallow. But Quince on the other hand, sexy! The way he annoyed her, I liked it! They definitely had great chemistry. Part of me wanted her to end up with Quince from the get go, even though he wasn't her dream guy (Brody was). She runs into some trouble and ends up having to spend more time with Quince. All throughout the book, I wanted Lily to wake up and see Quince for who he really is and forget about Brody. But no, that isn't exactly easy for her since she has liked Brody for 3 years now and wants to be with him. I also liked the mermaid aspect of this book. I don't read enough mermaid young adult books. Haven't ran across many and this was definitely a wonderful story. I loved hearing all about Lily's home (kingdom) and loved all the details thrown throughout the story. I also loved the 3 challenges Lily had to go through with the boy. Forgive My Fins was action packed, full of mermaid talk, and powerful romance.

Overall: Loved this one!! I recommend reading it! Buy it now!

Such a beautiful cover! Its so appealing, I love her blue lips!

What I'd Give It:

In My Mailbox (39) 6/19/2010

In My Mailbox Is Inspired by Kristi@The Story Siren

This is the last week and a half's worth of books I've gotten! Traded a lot, got a few for review, got a few arcs and books off pbs via games!

The Duff by Kody Keplinger (not pictures, already mailed via tours)
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Hunger by Jackie Kessler
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Ghosts Of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
Starcrossed by Jo Cotterill
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
The Search by Nora Roberts
Queen Of Secrets by Jenny Meyerhoff
Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck
Virals by Kathy Reichs
Spells by Aprilynne Pike
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Early To Death Early To Rise by Kim Harrison
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Heat Wave by Richard Castle
Cum Laude by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Sea by Heidi Kling
He's With Me by Tamara Summers

What Did You Get This Week? The next few weeks will be really slow for me, not many PBS books coming in!

Wednesday, June 16

Waiting On Wednesday (50)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Summary: Claire is a #hopelessromantic. Lottie is determined to set up her BFF with Mr. Perfect. Will wants his #secretcrush to finally notice him. Bennett is a man with a plan. Claire can’t believe it when her dream guy starts following her on Twitter. She never thought he noticed her, and suddenly he seems to understand her better than almost anyone. But the Twitterverse can be a confusing place, especially when friends act differently online than they do in person. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she’s falling for someone else, the last person she ever would have expected…. Told in an innovative format combining tweets, emails, and blogs, Tweet Heart is a contemporary romantic comedy that will set your heart atwitter.

My Thoughts: I think this sounds cool! I like the whole twitter thing! I'm not sure this is the final cover or not, I've seen a few different ones! Can't wait to read this one!

Monday, June 14

The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla

Summary: In THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, two teens are forced to make some very grown-up decisions when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Sixteen year old Samantha has been best friends with seventeen year old Jesse since she moved into the New York high-rise apartment next door to his thirteen years ago. Jesse is their school's poster child for popularity: good-looking, a star athlete, even Romeo in the school play. On opening night he collapses on stage. That's when doctors discover the unthinkable: a tumor on his spine. His type of cancer is virtually incurable – 97% of those diagnosed die within ten months. Jesse shuts down, refusing to see most of his friends. He submits to treatments of chemo and radiation, but he doesn't possess hope. Sam is the one person he’ll talk to. He convinces his mom to let her sleep in another bed in his room, saying he's afraid to die alone. That’s when Jess and Sam make a startling, bittersweet discovery: they’ve been in love all along. THE GIRL NEXT DOOR addresses the universal question: In an unpredictable world, how can we possibly feel safe?

My Thoughts:
I always tend to like these kind of stories. When I first saw this one in people's mailbox posts, I automatically knew I had to read this. It reminded me a bit of His Eyes by Renee Carter which I really loved. We meet Jesse and Sam. They grew up with each other and have been best friends since they were little kids. Jesse had another friend Pete and a girlfriend Cindy. Than he got sick and things went downhill fast. He was diagnosed with cancer and the only one he could stand to be around was Sam, because Sam really knew him and they had always been around each other. Sam started to stay with him all the time, even staying the night. Jesse started going through treatments while Sam stood by him.

Jesse and Sam started to get closer and closer, and became more than friends.

I won't spoil this novel but I just want to say a few things. First off, when someone gets sick, its hard. Jesse was going through so much pain, but so was Sam. They both knew he was going to die and all that they had was time. Time to spend with each other and try to enjoy their last moments together.Second, there were so many times I wanted to cry, and so many times I felt proud of both Jesse and Sam for being so strong. If you want to find out what happens, read the book.

Overall: Really liked it. I especially Jesse and Sam's first time. Thats about how it goes too! Really good book!

Cover: I've seen two different versions of the cover but they are both cool.

What I'd Give It:

Sunday, June 13

Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Summary: Sailing aboard her father’s trade ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a girl of society in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love, or condemn herself and her father to poverty.

On her final voyage before the wedding, the stormy arms of the Tasman Sea claim her father, and a terrible family secret is revealed. A secret intertwined with a fabled map, the mother Camille has long believed dead, and an ancient stone that wields a dangerous—and alluring—magic.

The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar, a handsome young sailor whom she is undeniably drawn to. Torn between trusting her instincts and keeping her promises to her father, Camille embarks on a perilous quest into the Australian wilderness to find the enchanted stone. As she and Oscar elude murderous bushrangers and unravel Camille’s father’s lies, they come closer to making the ultimate decision of who—and what—matters most.

Beautifully written and feverishly paced, Everlasting is an unforgettable journey of passion, secrecy, and adventure.

My Thoughts: We meet Camille who is aboard her fathers ship one last time. She is getting married to another man soon so this will be her last voyage with her father. Is the fiance the right guy for her? Probably not. Is he a good match for her? Maybe. Does she love him? I don't think so. Is there a right guy? Yes, his name is Oscar and he's a worker on her father's ship. Of course her father would never allow them to be together. She also realizes that her father has a plan to make a pit stop outside the course. She wonders why and tries to figure it out. She finds her answer and its not really the answer she is looking for. Things get hectic and her whole life is turned upside down and things all go downhill from there until we find out more about her father and his secretive plans. I really liked Camille and Oscar but I just felt like there was something lacking. Maybe because they never really would tell each other flat out how they feel about one another.

I liked Everlasting. It was well written but I just didn't love it. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction but will give one a chance every once in a while. For a historical fiction to get even 3 cupcakes from me, it means it must be somewhat good because I'm just not a fan of the genre.

Everlasting was interesting and there was enough action packed throughout the book to make it worth reading. If Frazier writes another book, will I read it? Yes, even if its historical.

Even though I just liked this book, if your a fan of historical fiction you might like it a lot more than me, or even possibly love it.

Overall: Liked it. I liked Oscar and there were a few moments that were somewhat romantic, like when the horses are involved.

Cover: The cover is beautiful. I like how they are sitting in a boat and the colors really go together here.

What I'd Give It:

Saturday, June 12

In My Mailbox (38) 6/12/2010

In My Mailbox Is Inspired by Kristi@The Story Siren

Well I'm not at home right now but I'll still show you the books I brought with me to read that I got this week before I left! I'm only gone for the weekend!

I am an official member of the Forgive My Fins splash team (bookmarks are so pretty)
Love Bites by Ellen Schreiber
Crash Test Love by Ted Michael
Rich and Mad by William Nicholson
Grace by Elizabeth Scott (already read, getting ready to ship it out)

What Did You Get?

Friday, June 11

Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Summary: A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.

My Thoughts: Its hard to explain this review, how I feel about this book. When I first saw this novel a few months back I immediately was happy because another book was being published by Scott. I adore her books. I typically read her young adult romance books and I was a little concerned because this had more of a dystopian feel. Its also a really short book so I figured I would give it a try even though I don't normally read dystopian. I think its a little harsh of me to say I'm not into it, because the ones I have read I have really enjoyed (Restoring Harmony for example) I think I just haven't had a lot of exposure to it.

We meet Grace who is an angel of death. What does this mean? It means that she was born to be an angel of death, she was supposed to die. But she chooses to live and because of that, she must face the consequences. Her people pretty much abandon her and she is going to be killed or cast out either way. She than turns to a friend and goes on the run. She is arranged to meet Kerr to go on the run with him. Kerr is not whom she believes he is. He becomes an unlikely ally. Grace discovers a lot about herself and the real outside world. Its not all flowers and sunshine and she must learn to survive on her own. Its hard to explain how much I enjoyed this book without giving away spoilers. The little twists and turns are ones that you must experience for yourself.

Much of the novel, I did not see coming. Parts of it left me with my mouth hanging open wondering what I just witnessed. My heart beat a million miles an hour rooting Grace on for being a strong young women. Elizabeth Scott has successfully created a dystopian novel that left me wanting to cry for Grace's situation, cheer for Grace's strength, and fall for the bad boy Kerr.

Grace has everything you could ever ask for!

Overall: Loved it a lot. It's just so intense I'm still thinking about it a few days later.

Cover: Really love it. Its beautiful right? Yes, it is!

What I'd Give It:

Shout Out For a Create-A-Cover Contest

Tynga is having a create-a-cover contest that I think everyone should check out and go enter!

The Prize Is an ARC And Pre-order of Crescendo!

Isn't that enough motivation right there to go check it out and Enter! I nod head, "Yes It is!"

Check Out The Contest HERE

Thursday, June 10

The Oracle Of Dating

By Allison Van Diepen

Summary: No one at Kayla’s school knows she’s the famous Oracle of Dating—the anonymous queen of dating advice, given through her own Web site. Kayla doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Two relationship disasters were enough to make her focus on everyone else’s love life. But then her advice backfires on her own best friend. And Kayla starts to seriously obsess about Jared Stewart—the very cute, very mysterious new guy in school. Suddenly, the teen queen of advice needs her own oracle of dating--and she knows just where to find one...

My Thoughts:
If I had to describe this book in one word, I would use the word, "awesome!" If I had to describe this book in one sentence, I would say "Every girl who has ever liked a boy should read this book."

We meet Kayla who is pretty much average. She has her group of friends, doesn't get out there and date but is every one's friends. She understands every one's problems and has enough of her own. She's had a few boyfriends but neither one was an ego boost. She started a site called The Oracle Of Dating. The Oracle Of Dating is a place where people can IM or call to get dating advice. It also has a website where Kayla can give advice. Kayla starts to like a boy in her glass, Jared. Jared is one of those guys you try not to be attracted too and just want to ignore but that never happens. No matter how much you try to avoid him, you feel yourself pulled into him thinking about him at all hours of the day.

Kayla has to raise money so she has a speed dating night. Of course Jared comes thinking Kayla might be participating but she's not since she's the one in charge. The form he had to fill out afterward and what he wrote, had me just giggling like a schoolgirl. You can feel the sparks between Jared and Kayla all throughout the book. Kayla is unsure Jared likes her and when he starts dating the popular girl, that scares Kayla off even more.

I had so much fun reading this book. The advice Kayla gave all the characters was wonderful. I felt myself transformed back to my high school years wishing I had an Oracle Of Dating, somewhere to turn too when I needed a question answered. Getting to know each of Kayla's friends throughout the book was also a plus. I felt myself blushing, laughing, smiling throughout this whole book and Jared is just so freaking adorable.

Yes, this is a cute girly book. If your looking for something fun and romantic, this is the book you should read next. It is also deeper than it sounds, I could see myself being friends with Kayla and taking her advice to heart. I could see myself falling for Jared. There is also a sequel in the works and I can't wait to read it.

Overall: I loved this book. Its cute, fun, and overall exciting and a thrill to read.

Cover: Really like it a lot. The girls all have such colorful clothes on and it just spices it up a little.

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, June 8

Waiting On Wednesday (49)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Summary: One happily-ever-after rocking chair…

And no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol’ Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track, because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company’s new Miss Perfect. If that isn’t bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a 3-0 birthday bash in the family funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a relationship with the town’s most eligible — yet not so warm and fuzzy — veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark’s attention. So Ian’s more comfortable with animals… So he’s formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it’s time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But, dang — if he doesn’t shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont’s unlikeliest eligible bachelor…

My Thoughts: I love Kristan's books! She always has the sweetest descriptions and I love her book covers! They always have that hint of sweet romance to them! Can't wait for this one!

Winner Of Amy And Roger's Epic Detour

The Winner Of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is:


Please Contact Me To Claim Your Book!

Monday, June 7

Author Interview And Review

Welcome Amanda Howells To Princess Bookie

1.If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I try never to think of what's wrong with a piece of writing when it's too late to fix it. That way lies madness! I just accept the fact that it will never be perfect. Revision is an endless process, and it can go on forever—but deadlines get in the way, and that's probably a good thing.

2. Did you ever experience writer's block while writing The Summer Of Skinny Dipping?
2. There were many tough moments in the process. And yes, I definitely got stuck. It's not that I stared at a blank page for ages; my writer's block is more like I have a sense of a problem—of plot, or character—and I can't see how to write my way through it. So I end writing and deleting a lot, and eventually if that doesn't work, I just write around the problem by moving on. The answer always comes, like doing a puzzle and keeping a tricky piece out until you get close to the end when you can see the shape of everything around it.

One example I can give is Mia's ex-boyfriend, Jake. I couldn't seem to get a handle on him, but I knew he was an important part of Mia's back story. I wanted to reveal that he was not Mia's true love, and that from the get-go something was a little off between them, but I couldn't find a way to show that to the reader, instead of just telling you "he wasn't the right one." After playing around with different versions of Jake and getting frustrated, I ignored the problem, and the solution came when I wasn't looking so hard for it. I knew a small, but key moment describing their very first meeting would go a long way toward conveying who he was and what kind of boyfriend he would be. But that moment eluded me right up until the end of my final draft, when I got the idea that Jake would perform a magic trick at school, and that he would rope Mia into the trick. Once I wrote the scene it slotted perfectly into the book (to me, anyway) and revealed Jake as a guy capable of dazzling Mia and making her believe she's in love, but ultimately he's a lightweight.

3. How long did it take you to write your book?
It took me just a summer to write the first draft. But the better part of 9 years to publish it! And in that last year, I rewrote it significantly.

4. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I enjoyed writing the "bad" characters—Genevieve and Corinne. Their dialogue was fun. But the narrator, Mia, develops most in the story, so she was the most complex and challenging for me to do. She really matures from beginning to end. There's the love story that transforms her in a huge and obvious way, but I also like how she becomes a more sensitive person to her family through the course of the summer; in the beginning she believes she has everyone else figured out, but by the end of the story she realizes our perceptions of others are not necessarily the truth—often, far from it.

5. Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
I'm so tired from writing them onto the page—they should be inviting me to dinner! And a very fancy dinner, thank you very much! Oysters and champagne, please.

6. What is your all-time favorite book?
Impossible question to answer. I'll narrow it down by choosing some YA: I love Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever. It's such a smart and moving and well-crafted love story. Of course all her books are great but that's my favorite (That Summer comes in second). A classic YA that I've always loved is Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die.

Thank You Amanda For Visiting Princess Bookie!

The Summer Of Skinny Dipping

Summary: After getting dumped by her boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Mia Gordon is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hampton's with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives, her cousins are distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever. That's when she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. Simon isn't like the snobby party boys her cousins seem obsessed with; he's funny, artistic, and utterly adventurous. And from the very first time he encourages Mia to go skinny-dipping, she's caught up in a current impossible to resist. Timeless in feel, The Summer of Skinny-Dipping is a poignant, literary read sure to dazzle tweens and teens alike.

My Thoughts: We are introduced to Mia on the first page. I really liked her and could see myself friends with her. She's originally from Georgia. Her family decides to take a summer vacation to the Hampton's to visit her aunt, uncle, and cousins. She feels they are the complete opposite of her. Mia isn't a stick-pole or stylish and her cousin is the complete opposite, skinny, hot, tan, and she seems like she could be a popular girl at school. Mia is just ordinary. She hangs out with her cousins but she always feels like an outcast. She tries to fit in, but never really does. She than meets next door neighbor Simon. Simon has a bit of a reputation. Last summer he dated one of the girls from the Hampton's, fell in love with her too quick, she cheated on him and he kinda went crazy. Not really crazy, just lost his temper. It was understandable though. The situation he was in, was definitely not ideal. Mia starts hanging out with Simon, even though she fears what her cousins will think of her. She starts meeting him late at night down on the beach. I loved this. They even had a signal. 3 flashes with the flashlight means they should meet up. They start to become friends and get to know each other. This is the perfect summer book. I read it in April and I was ready for summer to be here already. Everyone should have a summer romance like Mia and Simon's. I honestly didn't know what was going to happen. I was worried about Simon and Mia going back to their own cities and never seeing each other again. But by the end of the book, we know what really happens and to say I had tears in my eyes is an understatement. This book was a beautiful emotional gripping story of how Mia comes to terms with her she is and what she wants to become.

Overall: Loved it. It was such a good book. Everyone deserves a summer romance like this. If only I could go out on the beach and soak my toes into the warm water and sit on the sand. I recommend it to those of you looking for a summer romance or just wish it was summertime!

Cover: Its really cute. I like how the girl is running on the beach in her swimsuit.

What I'd Give It:

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