Wednesday, November 30

Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 292

Summary: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Thoughts: First, let me start off by saying this, I don't read many books based on aliens. I just haven't found many that focus on that and if I have, I haven't been interested enough to read them.

In Obsidian, we meet Katy who just moved to a small town from Florida. She was never a party girl but she really does want to make a few new friends, so she isn't all alone all the time.

Within a few days of living in her new home, she meets the neighbors. They are two kids about her age. His name is Daemon and her name is Dee and they are fraternal twins. Dee and Katy instantly spark up a friendship. They like hanging out with each other. From the get go, Daemon hates Katy. He's rude to her, he's a smart ass. Even if he is a hot smart ass. Katy is infuriated with him.

Most of the book we spend wanting Katy and Daemon to just hook up already. They are sooo attracted to each other, it's so obvious. This is that sexual chemistry people talk about.

By the middle of the book, we find out more about Dee and Daemon and find out they aren't exactly normal.They are far from it. They are aliens! Aliens living right in the backyard! Aliens on our planet, and the government knows about them, WHAT??

The world building was quite nice and descriptive, I liked knowing more about where they came from and who they really were, and what they were capable of.

Katy is pretty good about accepting the fact they are aliens. It really doesn't bug her, too much. She just hates that Daemon is so arrogant and he runs so up and down/hot and cold. It's really starting to drive her crazy.

With all of Daemons and Dee's talents, Katy is left with something like an imprint on her. Alien hunters (this is the simple version of what they are called LOL) are after them and want to kill anything in their path, just to get to Daemon and Dee so most of the book Katy is also in danger.

Obsidian was an enjoyable read. It was fun, and I liked all the hotness between Katy and Daemon. It was also very easy to like Dee and want a friend like her.

I also have to mention this. Katy is a book blogger! Whohooooo!! She does Meme's and Vlogs! I loved this! Come on, book bloggers like myself, wasn't this freaking cool? I think so!

Overall: I thought Obsidian was a wonderful book and I can't wait to read Jennifer's other novels. I hear Half Blood is just as good, it's now on my TBR pile!

Cover: It's pretty smooth! Isn't that guy a cutie? Yes, he is!  But the girl is too pretty to be considered "a normal looking human." LOL

What I'd Give It:  

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages: 352
Summary: Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

My Thoughts: Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Shatter Me is definitely earth shattering! It was amazing! One of the best debuts I've read this year.

We are introduced to Juliette who hasn't touched anyone in more than 264 days. Her touch is deadly, she can kill someone just by touching them. Juliette has been locked up and thrown around for a long time. When she was younger, she made a mistake and has been punished for it ever since. It was an accident. She didn't mean to hurt anyone.

For 264 days, Juliette has spent time in solitary confinement, put into a cell to waste away by The Reestablishment because society thinks she is a monster.

Within pages of opening the book, Juliette gets a new cell mate. He's a boy!!! His name is Adam and he is swoonworthy!  He has tattoos and is hot!

Adam and Juliette get to know each other by spending time in the cell together. Their chemistry is amazing and I found myself falling for the blue eyed hottie pretty quick.    I loved how they talked, or didn't talk. I loved how they could relate to each other just by sitting next to each other. I love how they genuinely cared about each other from the get go.

After several weeks we learn that Adam is not who we think he is. He's someone pretty different. He's no ordinary prisoner.

Juliette ends up getting yanked out of her prison and taken into Warner's care. I loved how Tahereh Mafi portrayed Warner. While Juliette considered her abilities a curse, Warner knew her power and wanted to use it to further The Reestablishment’s cause.

Juliette is in a pretty tricky position. Is her power worth using it in the Reestablishment and joining Warner and living her live in more luxury than what she's used too? Or is it worth it to fight against him and be jerked around?

Juliette and Adam have this undeniable attraction between them. From the first moment they laid eyes on each other, I knew this could either be really beautiful or really tragic. There were some pretty sexy scenes throughout the book too. Steamy!

Shatter Me was something more than amazing. Amazing isn't even a strong enough word. I loved Mafi's writing style. I loved how she could be so detailed and make everything truly beautiful. Her words flowed so perfectly and each word was so beautiful. Everything was explained in such detail, I was on the edge of my seat imagining the snow, the birds, everything Juliette spoke of.

I also loved the strike through sentences. Certain sentences were crossed out and it made the book more unique.

Shatter Me was one of the best debuts I've read this year. I am so anxious for the next book to come out! It was everything I was expecting and I truly fall in love with it! I love you Adam! I adore you Juliette!

Overall: Oh my freaking gosh! You need to read this book soon! Truly beautiful, amazing, magnificent, wonderful, thrilling, everything I wanted it to be! I loved all the characters, even the side characters. I love how Juliette has a conscious, I love how brave she is. I loved how Adam fits into everything. I love who he is truly is. Shatter Me is an addicting read from page one. You are bound to be sucked right into the story. And I hope you'll fall in love with it, just as much as I did.

Shatter Me in one word::: BEAUTIFUL!

Cover: Love it! I love the black and white background, as if its almost shattering. I love the way her hands are on her hips as if shes in control. I love her white puffy dress. Even the expression on her face is memorable. I love this cover!

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, November 29

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: December 1, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288

Summary: What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

My Thoughts: Wowzers! When I first saw Catching Jordan, I was super excited. I mean, first off, how freaking cute is that cover? Than I read the summary, girl on a football team? Yes, please!

I'll start off by saying this, I enjoyed going to football games in high school but do I watch it on tv? Nope. I think it was more about knowing the football players, right? I'm not really a sports girl even though I tend to like reading about them, at least in YA novels.

We are introduced to Jordan Woods who is your basic high school student, except she's not! Shes quarterback of the football team, used to hanging out with all the guys, they are "friends" to her. She's seen them at their worst, and they've seen her at her worst. There is nothing romantic about any of them really. She thinks of them as "buds."  All Jordan wants is to play ball, go to a good college and actually get to play. She knows it's going to be hard because she's a girl and it takes a while for guys to warm up to the fact that a girl could actually play. Her teammates have accepted her because they know she is good. They treat her like one of the guys, they respect her.

We meet a lot of the side characters. I won't go on about all their names, there are a lot. But I want to point out her best friend Henry. Henry was sort of a player, always hooking up with different girls. What do you expect? He is very popular and all the girls want him. Jordan and Henry have been best friends since they were kids. They do everything together, Henry joins the family for supper, he's been Jordan's go to guy forever. He even stays the night and sleeps in her room; in her bed! Of course they have to sleep head to foot. LOL. Henry was a good guy, he was funny, smart, a good football player, and from what all the girls say, SMOKING HOT!

The town welcomes a new guy to its neighborhood. His name is Ty. As soon as he walks onto the field, I knew it was going to cause trouble. Jordan thinks he's gorgeous and he's taller than her! Whoohoo! She's almost 6 feet tall!  He moved because of his family and all he wants to do is play football. The problem: he's also a quarterback. Jordan's position is now threatened rather everyone wants to think so or not.

Alright, so I'll stop with the plot now. Let's look deeper into the characters. Jordan was smart, athletic, and actually pretty when she wanted to be. She had a great family, except for her Dad not always supporting her.  Ty was an okay guy but I always felt something was a bit off with him and I had trouble connecting with him. I know he was a bit controlling because of his family and I understand that but I wanted to connect with him more. Now, Henry, I fell in love with from the beginning. He was the guy I was rooting for even when Ty came into the picture. I spent half the book wanting Jordan to end up with Henry because they were best friends and I just thought they should be together, but I know she had a thing for Ty but still! lol  And Henry and Jordan not talking all that time really bugged me too. I know he had things to deal with but come on! hehe

I loved the football angle of this book. I loved the romance. I loved all the guys. I loved the trips to eat. I loved the trips to the colleges. I loved how much Jordan grew as a person.  

Catching Jordan was football, mixed with romance, mixed with family, mixed with friends; a perfect blend in my eyes.

Catching Jordan was exactly what I was looking for. I am always looking for good romance contemporary stories and I don't feel like there are enough out there. In my opinion, this book was perfect. It was perfect to me.  I connected with Jordan and her football. I connected with Henry and his feelings. I even connected with Ty and his family issues.

Overall: Loved Loved Loved! This debut book will probably be one of my favorites of the year! Please read it now!

Cover: Smoking Hot! I love how we can only see their lower bodies.  I love the field. I love the helmet in her hand! Love this cover so much!

What I'd Give It:  

Monday, November 28

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

My Thoughts: Okay seriously, how to even write this review. Legend was flat out awesome! I picked this book up and I didn't want to put it down! If your a fan of The Hunger Games, you will probably enjoy it. It has that same feel to it but it is so different at the same time. It's freaking wonderful!

We are introduced to Day and June. June works for the Republic. The Republic is pretty much the people who run everything, a type of government. She also has a brother named Metias who is killed pretty early on in the book. We can tell how much they loved each other and how close they were as brother and sister. June is the only one who scored a perfect on her Trial Test. She is the Republic’s prodigy . Than we meet Day. Day is the world's most wanted criminal. He has committed several crimes (or so they say) and he is wanted by The Republic.

After June's brother is brutally murdered by Day, June sets out on a mission to find him and bring him in to be put to death- execution style. She soon starts tracking him in the Slums sector and runs into him and his friend Tess. Tess is a 13 year old girl that Day found one day and took in. She's been running with him ever since. She's sort of a little sister type.

Day is out to get plague vaccinations for his family. This is all he cares about right now. Even though his brother John knows he's alive, the rest of his family believe him to be dead.

As June gets to know Day, she discovers secrets she never even imagined. Deadly secrets that can change the course of life. They can change every one's way of looking at things, all people could lose respect for The Republic.

I won't say much else about the plague, the secrets, Day and June's family.  I will just say that I loved both of these characters. They were such awesome teens. Legend was such an emotional read for me. It was addicting. It was marvelous. Legend was one of the best books I've read this year!

Overall: Loved It! Legend was so freaking cool. It was so amazing! I loved the world building, I loved the characters, I loved reading about the different sectors and what went on in each sector. Legend is a book you have to read this year!!!! It's definitely a book to buy!

Cover: The cover is kind of sparkly. It is plain but really fits the book. It is a nice cover to go along with the story.

What I'd Give It:

Saturday, November 26

Shifting by Bethany Wiggins

Shifting by Bethany Wiggins
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.

My Thoughts: When I first heard of this book, I thought it sounded good. But would it be good enough to hold my interest? It seems like there are a bunch of books that sound like other books and just don't really interest me as much as they used too.

I dove into Shifting with an open mind. I told myself if I didn't like it within the first 100 pages, I would just stop it. I had read bad and good reviews for it so I would stop if it didn't appeal to me.

Once I started, I couldn't stop. Before I knew it, I was 150 pages in. It sucked me right in.

We are introduced to Maggie who has jumped around from foster homes. She never stays in one for very long. Her parents died when she was young and so did her other family. She's been bounced around more times than I can count on both hands. She's almost 18, and she can't wait so she can be out of the system.  She has a record a mile long, most of the counts being indecent exposure.

Things don't come easy for her there either. She instantly makes an enemy and is labeled the new poor girl. She doesn't wear designer labels like everyone else. She's lucky she can shop at Wal-mart.
Her newest foster home is in Silver City, New Mexico with Mrs. Carpenter.

She does make one friend from the start who suggests she get a job at the restaurant she currently works at, so Maggie figures at least she can get a job and earn a little spending money and have something to do after school. She gets the job and becomes very close to all the staff. She enjoys working there.

She also meets a boy on the first day of school, Bridger. He's rich, and doesn't date local girls. No way could he ever be interested in her anyway, she figures. But of course they become friends.

Bridger and Maggie's relationship was very sweet. They connected with each other but I always knew deep down there must have been more to their story and they had to be more alike than we are lead to believe.

People come after Maggie, wanting to hurt her, Maggie hides a lot of secrets, she's always had too with nobody to really turn too.  Want to know what Maggie's secrets are? Want to know what becomes of Bridger? Read the book to find out.

Overall: Surprisingly, I really enjoyed reading this one. I did get sucked in, and wanted to finish the story. Yes, there is a paranormal element to it like a lot of books these days, but it was interesting, and I really liked Maggie's personality. I liked learning about her. I liked being along for the ride with her.

Cover: The cover is okay. Not my favorite ever but still okay. The snake aspect is interesting.

What I'd Give It:  

Friday, November 25

The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272

Summary: When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.
After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic!
Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?

My Thoughts: So this book involves the past (historical), fashion, and is middle grade which is clearly not my favorite kinds of books. But I wanted to give The Time Traveling Fashionista a chance anyway.

We are introduced to Louise who is 12 years old and in 7th grade. She is obsessed with fashion. She knows all about it, she loves it, and she enjoys vintage sales. So when she gets an invitation to attend a vintage sale, of course she is thrilled and just has to go! She ends up at the sale, faints, and is transported back to the Titantic.

What I Liked: I liked the idea of The Titantic. What girl hasn't seen the movie numerous times? I can honestly say I'm one of those girls who went to see the movie 2+ times in the theater and I own the DVD. I also liked the beautiful illustrations throughout the novel.  I liked Louise as a character even though it seemed like she didn't know much about The Titantic. If you take the dust jacket off the book, it's also very beautiful. Even the cover itself is stunning. I also liked the chapter headings and the colors.

What I wasn't thrilled with: Well, this is more aimed at tweens than Teens. It is more of a middle grade novel than YA, which I don't usually read. It is also historical which I tend to stay away from. Though it did take place on The Titantic, I was drawn to read it anyway.

I liked the other characters throughout the novel for the most part, I also liked learning a bit about fashion and what Louise knew about it.

The Time Traveling Fashionista was interesting but didn't hold my interest as much as I wanted it too. The good thing is, it's under 300 pages and every other page seemed to be a picture so it flew by quick.

Overall: It was just okay. I think if your into middle grade or historical you'll enjoy this book much more than I did. Will I read the sequel? Yes, most likely I'll try it too. Even though it is not typically my type of book, it wasn't that bad and I did finish it.

Cover: Love it! The cover is very appealing and will attract Ya, middle grade, and adult readers all over I'm sure. Love the dress.

What I'd Give It:  

Tuesday, November 22

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Release Date: November 21, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 356

Summary: It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

My Thoughts: The Future Of Us was a great book! I loved every single detail of it and it flew by really fast. For being almost 400 pages it didn't take me long to read it at all. It was one of those books where you blink and your finished with it, it's that good.

We are introduced to Emma and Josh who have been best friends forever. However, they haven't really spoken in about 6 months because something happened between them and now things are too awkward to be best friends anymore.

Emma gets a new computer given by her father and she gets the internet. Josh gets sent over to her house by his mom to bring her a AOL Cd-rom. She hooks right up to it because it has free hours of internet.

She isn't expecting to find what she does. She finds a website called facebook. What in the world is this? Her and Josh log onto it and find out that this is the future. They can find out what their future holds or anyone else's.

As Josh and Emma learn more about their future and how everything they do today can affect tomorrow, they try to go on with their lives. Emma starts getting attention from her life long crush Cody and Josh gets in good graces with the popular girl Sydney.

I loved all the 90's lingo in this novel. Wayne's World, CD roms, CD's, cell phones, all the new technology bright me right back to my teen years.

Emma and Josh are likable characters. I connected with them both. I liked their friendship. I liked all the status updates from their future self's. I loved every little thing about this one.

I also loved the way it ended of course! Spectacular. The Future Of Us is a book you should buy as soon as its released! It is a must read!

Overall: Loved it! It makes my top favorites of 2011! Loved everywhere this story took me. Loved the side characters. And it had funny parts too!

Cover: Love! Love the girl and guy and how its all squiggly.

What I'd Give It:

Sunday, November 20

Variant by Robison Wells

Variant by Robison Wells
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 384

Summary: Benson Fisher thought a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

My Thoughts: I want to point out I don't read many books from a male POV. I never really can connect to them and usually I just don't like it. I started reading Variant and instantly connected with Benson.

We meet Benson who is a teenager who has been bounced around from foster home to foster home. He's been in so many the parents usually don't even get to know him. He's even been in one for less than a day. He's used to it by now. He wishes he could have stability but nobody wants to keep him around very long. This is the way of some foster homes.

He applies for a scholarship at a school, he figures what the heck, should at least try it.  He gets accepted and we are bounced right into his life going to the school. Maxfield Academy is so different from regular schools. There are no teachers and no real homework, doesn't that sound amazing? The students also all the the jobs around the school. They do the maintenance, the cooking, and even the punishment (kinda). The students basically run the school but nobody really knows why. They also realize that nobody ever gets to leave and if they do, the student just disappears. You also must follow all the rules or else you will get sent to detention. The buzz kill: nobody ever comes back from detention.

From day one, Benson wants out. He doesn't like being trapped in this school. He doesn't understand anything and wants to get away. He also joins the V's. There are a bunch of groups (or gangs) that people stick too for safety.  If you stick with your own, they will protect you.

They also are set out to do tasks. One day in class they are learning one thing, another night they end up being locked out of the school with only 10 sleeping bags between 70ish students, and another playing paintball. You never knew what was going to happen.

Benson realizes there isn't a way out, nobody knows what is beyond the wall but he knows he needs to escape. He also meets a girl named Jane and gets to know her.

Maxfield Academy is such a different school than anything I've ever read about it. It's mysterious, it's controlled by cameras, it's WEIRD!

I really enjoyed reading Variant. Some people are classifying it as dystopian. I think its more science fiction than dystopian though.  I loved Benson's character, I loved how driven he is. I also loved all the other characters we got to know throughout the book.

All I can really say about Variant is, it's like nothing I've read before. It was so good. There were so many twists that I didn't see any of them coming.

Do Benson and his friends finally get out of the school? Do they all survive? Who doesn't make it? Who gets sent to detention? Want to find out, pick up a copy now!

Overall: Really really liked this one! It was a really awesome book! Definitely a debut to read this year. But you should be warned, there was a major cliffhanger that will leave you wanting to know what happens next! I sat there speechless for a few minutes before I wanted to throw the book at the wall! NO! LOL

Cover: I like it. I like the blue color and the boy and girl on the front. It's interesting.

What I'd Give It:


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