Saturday, December 31

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 16, 2009
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Summary: It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

My Thoughts: Oh, Dessen, how I love thee. Out of all the books I've read so far from Dessen, I think this has got to to be my favorite one.

We are introduced to Auden who lives with her mother. Her parents have gotten a divorce and her father is remarried and just had a baby with his new wife. She also has a brother named Hollis who is running all over the country. He never stays in one place too long. Auden is really into education, studying, the whole nine yards. That is what happens when your mom is a teacher and writer, and your dad is a writer. They expect greatness out of you. That is all she has ever known.

She decides to go stay the summer with her father and his new family. She wants to see the baby anyway. Her name is Thisbe. Yes, they have funny names and there is a story behind each name.

Auden goes to stay with them and she finds Last Chance. They have the best onion rings ever. Just reading those words, I wanted to rush right out and get me some onion rings. She also meets a few new friends at her stepmothers clothing store. She gets to know them pretty well.

Auden is spending the summer realizing how busy her father really is, she's not sure he really even wants her there, and half the nights she spends out driving around, unable to sleep. Along For The Ride mostly focuses on family issues, but of course there is a little bit of romance.

Eli, oh Eli, Sweet Eli. Eli is somewhat mysterious at first, we don't really know much about him, other than that he used to ride bikes a lot and compete. He also has a brother and had a best friend named Abe. Horrible story there.

Eli and Auden end up bumping into each other and that starts the staying out all night together, getting to know each other, and Auden starts taking quests, to fulfill everything she missed out in high school. And Eli is there to guide her a long the way.

Eli and Auden make a great pair. They are both suffering from something, and can relate to one another. They are learning new things, and experiencing them together. Eli finally starts to open up to someone after most of his friends have started to give up hope.

Auden's family isn't perfect. She learns this lesson as the novel goes on. She learns that she just has to take it how it is.

Along For The Ride was a sweet novel. I loved every minute of it. All the characters just suck you right in, and you feel like they are really your friends. You begin to love each and every one of them. You learn their quirks, what makes them sad, what makes them mad. All the characters feel so real. As I finished the book, I knew I would miss them.

The good thing is, I can revisit them as many times as I want in the future.

Overall: Awesome!!! Loved this one! Sarah Dessen sure does know how to make you fall in love with a story, doesn't she? What else can I possibly say? Can I have my own Eli please?

I loved how each child was named after a story. Hollis, Thisbe, Auden! So creative!

Cover: Love it! This is probably my favorite cover of hers. I love the bike and I love the girl and guy, and how we can't see the whole person. It cutting off at the head, is perfect. I even love their clothes. It's so pretty.

What I'd Give It:

Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen

Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen
Release Date: May 11, 2004
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 228

Summary: While her mother, aerobics queen Kiki Sparks, spends the summer touring Europe, fifteen-year-old Colie Sparks is stuck in sleepy Colby, North Carolina. But she's not complaining. For one thing, her Aunt Mira is a sweet, laid-back eccentric; for another, no one knows that back home in Charlotte Colie is seen as a formerly-fat "golf-course slut," the school scapegoat. Then, by fate or by accident, Colie lands a waitressing job, where she meets Morgan and Isabel. The two wisecracking--and wise--20something waitresses help her turn her life around, and realize the potential that has been there all along. Sarah Dessen's newest novel is poignant, humorous, and full of characters to cherish--what readers are coming to expect from this extraordinary young talent.

My Thoughts: I've only read a few books by Sarah Dessen but I have loved them all. So I was very excited to pick up Keeping The Moon.

We are introduced to Colie whose mom is a known health nut/aerobics instructor. Both Kiki and her  daughter Colie have went from being overweight to shedding some pounds.

Colie is a cool girl. She has a lip ring and newly black hair. While her mom goes out of the country, Colie gets shipped off to stay with her aunt Mira for the summer in North Carolina. Colie doesn't know what she's really in for. She gets to Mira's and finds her aunt is a little out there. Colie has to learn to adapt to her aunt's ways and take it in stride. Mira even labels everything, especially if its broken.

Colie also meets two new friends. She isn't used to having friends since she didn't have any back home. Their names are Morgan and Isabel and she gets a job at a local bar and grill called Last Chance with them. It's something to do she figures. She also meets a boy named Norman who has his flaws but is also a great guy. He's a painter and has went against his father's wishes and just wants to paint. Colie even gets herself a portrait done.  He's an interesting guy, especially his fascination with sunglasses.

Colie discovers so much about herself through this novel. She really begins to accept herself for who she is and to not let what others think of her mean so much.

Keeping The Moon was another Sarah Dessen novel I really enjoyed. I didn't love it quite as much as others but it was still a great book. I loved all the characters. I loved her friendships, and her relationship with her aunt. She really started to care about her and what happens to her. When everyone talks about Mira, Colie wants to pipe up and tell them off. She starts to really gain independence and becomes her own person.

Keeping The Moon didn't have too much romance in it (it had some, but usually the books I read are filled with romance) but it had enough of other details going on, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Overall: I really liked it. The characters were real, the storyline was real, I could see this all really happening. Dessen has a way with words and she makes you feel like you are really the main character.

Cover: It's too plain for my taste. Yes, the sunglasses are a nice touch but it could have been much better.

What I'd Give It:

Friday, December 30

2011 Debut's I Read

I also got through quite a few debuts this year! I wanted to read more but along with all the other books I read, I just didn't have time! LOL

I read exactly 50 of the 2011 debuts!

I am going to read a lot of 2012 debuts this year! 

1. Haven by Kristi Cook 
2. Liar Society by Laura and Lisa Roecker
3. Clarity by Kim Harrington
4. The Revenant by Sonia  Gensler 
5. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
6. Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris
7. The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
8. Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton  
9. Enclave by Aguirre  
10. Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik 
11. In The Arms Of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane (?)
12. Born At Midnight by CC Hunter
13. Rhymes With Cupid by Anna Humphrey 
14. After Midnight by Lynn Viehl
15. OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy 
16. Never Sit Down In A Hoopskirt And Other Things I Learned In Southern Belle Hell by Cricket Rumley 
17. Demon Trappers Daughter by Jana Oliver  
18. Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
19. Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
20. Dead Rules by Randy Russell
21. Forgotten by Cat Patrick
22.  Touch Of Frost by Jennifer Estep
23. The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
24. Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
25. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
26. Frost by Marianna Baer
27. Variant by Robison Wells
28. The Time Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetskey
29. Shifting  by Bethany Wiggins
30. Legend by Marie Lu
31. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
32. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
33. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
34. Spoiled by Jessica Morgan Heather Cocks
35. Flyaway by Helen Landalf
36. Ashes Ashes by Jo Treggiari
37. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder 
38. Saving June by Hannah Harrington


Here Are Debuts I read before January 2011.

1. XVI by Julia Karr 
2. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton 
3. Across The Universe by Beth Revis 
4. Other Words For Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal  
5. Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley  
6. Populazzi by Elise Allen
7. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder 
8. Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
9. Wither by Lauren Destefano   
10. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky 
11. Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
12. Back When You Were Easier To Love by Emily Wing Smith

2011 Books I Read

Well, for 2011, I read a lot less books than I did in 2010. Guess I was more busy! hehe!

Of course some months were way better than others. 

Here are the books I read in 2011. 

1. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
2. Will Work For Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris
3. Steel by Carrie Vaughn
4. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
5.  Shadowspell by Jenna  Black
6.Stay by Deb Caletti
7. Pearl by Jo Knowles
8. Haven by Kristi Cook
9. My One And Only by Kristin Higgins (DNF)
10. The Liar Society by Laura and Lisa Roecker
11.  The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
12. Clarity by Kim Harrington
13.  Jenna and Jonah Fauxmance by Emily Franklin
14. Ten Things We Did and Probably Shouldn't Have by Sarah Mlynowski
15.  Born At Midnight by CC Hunter
16. In The Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane
17. Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

FEB 2011
18. Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
19. Epic Fail by Claire  LeZebnik
20. Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens
21. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
22. Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
23. The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
24. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
25. Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris
26. The Last Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
27. Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
28. Its Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
29. Between Here And Forever by Elizabeth Scott
30. We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
31. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
32. Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
33. The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
34. A Lot Like Love by Julie James

35. A Good Boy Is Hard To Find by Suzanne Young
36. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
37. Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
38. So Many Boys by Suzanne Young
39. Rhymes With Cupid by Anna Humphrey
40. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
41. Never Sit Down In A Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned In Southern Belle 
Hell by Crickett Rumley
42. Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
43. Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

April 2011
44. Sharks and Boys by Kristen Tracy
45. The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
46. Recovery Road by Blake Nelson
47. Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
48. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
49. Radiance by Alyson Noel
50. Instructions For A Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson
51. Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday 
52. Love Story by Jennifer Echols

May 2011
53. Collide by Megan Hart (DNF)
54. After Midnight by Lynn Viehl
55. OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy
56. Deadly Little Games by Laurie Faria Stolarz
57. He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
58. Sirensong by Jenna Black
59. My Life The Theater And Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff
60. Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz
61. My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
62. Shift by Jeri Smith Ready
63. Touch Of Frost by Jennifer Estep
64. Almost Final Curtain by Tate Hallway
65. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
66. Wherever You Go by Heather Davis
67. Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala

68. Legend by Marie Lu
69. Dead Rules by Randy Russell
70. Forgotten by Cat Patrick
71. Royally Jacked by Niki Burnham
72. Past Perfect by Leila Sales
73. The Rivals by Daisey Whiney
74. Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley
75. Flyaway by Helen Landalf
76. Clean by Amy Reed (DNF)
77. Unknown Criminals by Ally Carter
78. The Eternal Sea by Angie Frazier
79. Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer 

80. Notes From The Blender by Brendan Halpin
81. Nocturne by Christine Johnson DNF
82. Want To Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman
83. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
84. Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau
85. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
86. Ashes Ashes by Jo Treggiari
87. Awake At Dawn by CC Hunter
88. Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs 
89. Time Traveling Fashionista by Bianca  Turetsky
90. Viola In Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
91. Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala
92. Ink Exchange (2) by Melissa Marr
93. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
94. Variant by Robison Wells
95. Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern
96. Variant by Robison Wells
97. My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent
98. My Soul To Save by Rachel Vincent
99. My Soul To Keep by Rachel Vincent
100. My Soul To Steal by Rachel Vincent
101. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
102. Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning
103. Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
104. Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

105. If I Die by Rachel Vincent
106. Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
107. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
108. Until There Was You by Kristin Higgins
109. Notes From An Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne
110. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
111. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz
112. Fake Me A Match by Lauren Barnholdt
113. The Future Of Us by Jay Asher
114. Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz
115. Beyond The Grave by Mara Purnhagen
116. Siren by Tricia Rayburn
117. The Boyfriend Thief by Shanna Norris
118. Frost by Marianna Baer
119. Soul Thief by Jana Oliver 
120. Kiss Of Frost by Jennifer Estep

121. Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
122. Spoiled by Heather Cocks
123. Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst (DNF)
124. Chain Of Reaction by Simone Elkeles
125. Playing With The Boys by Liz Tigaar
126. Head Games by Keri Mikulski
127. Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) by Lauren Oliver
128. Viola In The Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani
129. You Have Seven Messages by Lewis Steward (DNF)
130. Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani

131. Forbidden by Syrie James
132. Pure Red by Danielle Joseph
133. Torn by Erica O'Rourke
134. Between The Sea And The Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
135. Life Is But A Dream by Brian James
136. Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
137. Fracture by Megan Miranda
138. Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
139. The Vision (Mark 2) by Jen Nadol
140. Evernight by Claudia Gray
141. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
142. So Over You by Gwen Hayes
143. Stargazer by Clauida Gray
144. Shifting by Bethany Higgins
145. Hourglass by Claudia Gray
146. Afterlife by Claudia Gray
147. Faking Faith by Josie Bloss
148. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

November 2011
149. Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
150. Amplified by Tara Kelly
151. Fever by Lauren Destefano
152. Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen
153. After Obsession by Carrie Jones
154. Don't You Wish by Roxanne St Claire
155. How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr
156. The Best Of Me by Nicholas Sparks
157. Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
158. Partials by Dan Wells 
159. Immortal City by Scott Speer
160. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
161. Undercurrent by Tricia Rayburn
162. Truth by Julia Karr
163. The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
164. Obsidian by Jennifer Armatraut
165. Getting OVer Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
166. Try Not To Breathe by Jennifer Hubbard
167. The Disenchantments by Nina LeCour
168. Saving June by Hannah Harrington

169. Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers
170. Croak by Gina Damico
171. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
172. Digit by Annabel Monaghan
173. Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
174. Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes
175. The Probablity of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
176. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
177. City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
178. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
179. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
180. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
181. The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
182. Shot Through The Heart by Niki Burnham
183. The Marked by Inara Scott
184.The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
185. Glimmer by Phoebe Kitandis
186. The Selection by Kiera Cass

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