Saturday, June 30

Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs

Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Summary: Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

My Thoughts: I liked Tempest Unleashed so much more than I did Tempest Rising!  And I loved Tempest Rising, so you do the math!

We are back with Tempest and she’s still a mermaid. She’s lived underwater now for 8 months and misses her family and friends dearly. But she knows she must stay and protect her clan. She must fight the battle and defeat the sea witch Tiamet,  no matter the costs. She must also work along side the Merqueen Hailana who she doesn’t really like very much. Hailana will do anything to yield the power even if it hurts people. She just wants the job done.

She gets a new trainer who has a lot of history with Tempests Selkie boyfriend Kona.  The trainer is easy on the eyes, but she doesn’t know if she should trust him or not. Kona is set to rule one day. He will be the Selkie’s King. Tempest doesn’t know what will happen with her and Kona, as Selkies never marry mermaids usually. Mermaids are their “fun and games” but no more.  

Tempest has started to accept she must live underwater but when her brother Moku is injured, she swims back without even thinking about. She must help him, must be with him, must make sure he’s ok.  She also gets to see her exboyfriend Mark, which puts a real damper on her and Kona’s relationship. She’s confused as ever, and doesn’t know who she loves more.

The war starts, people die, people fight, and Tiamet and Tempest go head to head, finally.  With each ounce of power Tempest possesses, more tattoos show up!

I really loved Tempest Unleashed. I felt like I was in her world, enjoying the sea creatures with her, and exploring the ocean. I love the way Deebs writes. Everything is so realistic and I can see things perfectly in my head.

And I’m glad Mark still has a chance in this. I really do like Kona, but I also like Mark, so it's hard for me to choose.

Tempest Unleashed was so fast paced that I zoomed right through it. It’s 400 pages and I still read it in one day!

Want to know what happens with Tempest and how the battle goes down? Read this now to find out!!!

Overall: Loved it more than the first. I haven’t read too many mermaid books but the series I have found I have really enjoyed. I hope there is another book in this series! I want to know what happens in Tempests life next!

Cover: Like it! I think its actually better than the first cover!  Love how we can see her tattoos and part of her tail!

What I'd Give It:

Wednesday, June 27

One Moment by Kristina McBride

One Moment by Kristina McBride
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272

Summary: This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The latest novel from the author of The Tension of Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

My Thoughts: While I loved McBrides debut novel, The Tensions Of Opposites, One Moment fell a little short for me. It didn’t have anything to do with McBride’s writing. I just don’t think I connected to the story or characters very well.

We are introduced to a group of friends, who have been inseparable for many years. They are best friends, they do everything together. The story focuses on Maggie’s point of view. We see things through her eyes. She is dating Joey. Joey is popular, funny, and perfect. Everyone likes him, everyone is his friend.

One day Maggie is dared to jump off a cliff, with Joey right by her side, she tries to take the plunge only to get to the top and find out a secret about Joey. We don’t know what the secret is, because Maggie experiences severe memory loss. She can only remember bits and pieces and not many of those at that.

One Moment focuses on Maggie recovering her memory and finding out the truth. From the first chapter, I had a feeling what the secret was, and I was pretty right on the dot. There were a few twists and turns, but I knew what was going to happen and maybe that is why I just didn’t connect to this novel very well. Am I happy that One Moment ended like it did? Yes. I was really hoping for that. Something better needs to come from something tragic.

I did like all the different characters. I liked seeing how they reacted to the situation and who had what feelings.

Do you want to know the secrets between the friends? Read this novel to go on the journey with Maggie and uncover the truth.

Overall: It was ok, I did finish it. I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt since I enjoyed The Tension of Opposites so much and I did enjoy it enough but I didn’t love it like I have other novels recently. It’s worth a read and maybe you’ll enjoy it a lot more than me.  Also, this is probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating for me, not quite a 3.

Cover: I do really like the cover. I like how we can see her foot reflecting in the water, very artistic. 

What I'd Give It:

Monday, June 25

Storm (Elemental #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm (Elemental #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 432

Summary: Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming . .  

My Thoughts: Storm is one of those books you see in the bookstore, you pick up and read the summary, and you aren’t sure its the book for you, so you put it down. And than you see it again, and you decide to give it a try and end up really enjoying it.

Storm was such a good book! I didn’t go into it with high hopes but I found myself really into the story and enjoying myself.

We are introduced to the Merrick brothers and Becca who goes to school with a few of them. One brother, Chris is even in her class. She’s never really given him a second look until one day in the school parking lot where he’s getting a good beating. She swoops in and saves his life. And that is where it all starts.  Becca has a bit of a past; a lot of rumors have spread about her and all the boys think she is easy.

Of course, there is a new guy at school named Hunter who also comes into the mix. We don’t really know much about Hunter at first.  He is such a sweetheart though.

Chris and Becca get partnered up on a class project; they are forced to see each other more, even when things become awkward.  As she learns more and more about the brothers and how each is an elemental, Becca’s life sure does take a turn and get confusing. The elementals are a group of people who have higher connections to the Elements. They can feel things other people can’t, and do things as well.

Oh my gosh, this story was pretty incredible. You learn all about the elements and what each brother can do. You also watch as they are hunted down to be killed.  There was some history splashed throughout the story so we understand why people want them dead and what their past is like.  Storm had a few twists that I enjoyed. And the love triangle, yummy. I don’t know if I would even call it a love triangle, just a girl who likes two different boys. I’ve seen some pretty intense love triangles and this one just felt more sweet to me than others have.

Storm really went beyond my expectations. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. Becca is a strong character and we really see how much she changes and how she realizes her inner strength. And hot boys is always a plus too.

Overall: Wow, this is a book you need to read this year. It surprised the heck out of me and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. The good news? We don't have to wait a year to read it. Fights, romance, betrayal, death, hot guys, what more can you really ask for in a book?

Cover: Like it! I like how we get a sense on what the brothers look like. Now I want to know which one is which.

What I'd Give It:

Friday, June 22

The Savage Grace (Dark Divine #3) by Bree Despain

The Savage Grace (Dark Divine #3) by Bree Despain
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 488

Summary:  A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.

Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.

With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

My Thoughts: We are once again united with Daniel and Grace. But this time, Daniel is stuck in wolf form after the last encounter in The Lost Saint. Grace is trying her best with the help of her friends to find a way to get him back to being a human. They are still in danger, with being hunted. In more ways than one.

So many new characters, which was awesome. Talbot is still around to make Grace’s life confusing and frustrating.  Actually liked him a lot less in this one!

Grace has a lot of tasks she has to do in this novel. She must find a way to help Daniel, keep her family safe, and find Caleb and his gang and do something about them. She also must think about college and what she is going to do.

By this point, you’ve read the others in the series, you know the characters, you know the plots, and you just want to know how it's all going to end, so I’m not going to go on and on and ruin it for you. Just read the novel to find out what happens to Grace and her crew.

The Savage Grace was a nice conclusion to the series. It was action packed, and I’m glad it ended the way it did. It was wrapped up nicely, almost in a big fat bow.

Overall: Really enjoyed it a lot. Still didn’t love as much as The Dark Divine, but it ended how I hoped it would. This is one of the best werewolf series I’ve read. And the books are freaking long, so very much worth the money for those who don’t like to spend $15 on 200 page books. haha.

Cover: Like it! Like the red. These covers are all pretty. Love the dress.

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, June 19

This is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 336

Summary:It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

My Thoughts: I'm not even sure where to begin this review or what to say exactly but I'll try.

This Is Not A Test is unlike any Summers we have read before. Usually Summers writes contemporary books and this book was so not that! Think of the world coming to an abrupt end and zombies taking over!

The protagonist, Sloane is a very ordinary yet unique girl. She lives with her sister Lily and her abusive father. Lily and Sloane had planned on running away, until Lily went without her.

The book opens up with Sloane and her father at their house while chaos takes over outside. After days spent on the run, Sloane ends up with a group of other kids from her school and they end up at the school to take shelter.  It's madness outside.

This Is Not A Test is split up into parts, detailing more and more as the story goes on. Days tick by, and the teens are debating on what to do. Do they stay in the school, or do they try to make it to one of the shelters? Yes, they have food and water but for how long? They are tired and scared.

This novel goes beyond a reader's expectations regarding zombie novels because we actually get to experience firsthand what is happening. People die and things aren't always sunshine and flowers.

I really liked getting inside all the character's heads. I felt like I got to know each and every one of them. They all had their own attributes and thoughts. My favorite was probably Sloane's, because I could see how hard things were for her and how she handled them. At times, she wanted to cave in and just let herself go.

I usually don't really read zombie books, but this one was pretty good.

Overall: I won't lie, this book is pretty graphic. There are some parts that make you really think and you can see the scene unraveling in your head. I really enjoyed This Is Not A Test. I still like Summer's contemps better but this is a nicely done fresh start for her outside her comfort zone. All in all, I really enjoyed this novel. This novel is somewhat weird, but in an interesting way.

Cover: It's neat. It's kind of dark in a way but it's also kind of pretty. The blue in the background and the way her hair is falling is neat.

What I'd Give It:

Monday, June 18

My Life In Black And White by Natasha Friend

My Life In Black And White by Natasha Friend
Release Date: June 14, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary: What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.

My Thoughts: I have been giving a lot of books 4 cupcakes lately because I really enjoy reading them but I don't love them like a 5 cupcake book. I want too, but they don't always live up to my expectations.

We are introduced to Lexie who has always known she is beautiful. She's popular and pretty and has it all, until one night she walks in on her best friend doing something she shouldn’t with Lexie’s boyfriend. She storms out and gets a ride home from her best friend's brother. They ram into a tree and he's left with a few broken bones and she's left with a messed up face that needs skin grafts, and lots of remodeling.

Lexie is left with the scars of her face and her life. She loses her beauty, her boyfriend, and her best friend in one night. She goes into a depression and doesn't know how to cope. She meets a new guy. I really liked him. He was sweet and actually had a personality.

My Life In Black And White was a really good novel, I just don't want to spoil it for you. I want you to feel what she feels. I want you to experience her loss so you can truly understand and appreciate this novel. I had a lot of feelings racing through me, I could see how she would see the world after this event.

Overall: Quick read for me. It was interesting, and the story just flowed right along in your head. She described things so clearly and you really understood her thoughts and feelings. Part of me didn't want to hate her best friend, especially after finding out the reason she did what she did. It wasn't right but I still felt for her a little bit. I also liked Lexie's sister. Totally a rad sister even if she didn't know it most of the time.

I really enjoyed this novel and I can't wait to read whatever Friend writes next.

Cover: Love it! It’s pretty!

What I'd Give It:

Saturday, June 16

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
Release Date: May 10, 2012
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256

Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time.

My Thoughts: Em has her whole life planned out. Going in the fall to study law at Harvard and interning at her father's law firm this summer. She lives with her mother, father, and little sister. But her real dream is cooking!

When Em gets a letter from her aunt Tilly inviting her to come stay the summer at Pepper House. After she talks her parents into it, she’s on her way. The catch; nobody has had any contact with Tilly for years. Em didn’t even know she had an aunt Tilly.

She arrives and instead of Tilly picking her up, a young man named Cade shows up. She’s taken back to Pepper House where she meets the staff, her cousin Frederick, and a lot of other characters.

Gosh, that chemistry between Cade and Em. Oh boy. He and Em really supported each other and were there for one another. Their relationship was so sweet and I enjoyed every minute of it.

There were a lot of twists and turns in this novel. I didn’t see them coming. And Aunt Tilly, who she is, wow.

I also liked Em’s relationship with her sister. It reminded me how great it can be to have siblings.

All the people at Pepper House were like family. They all got each other.

The Summer My Life Began was a pretty cool novel. It’s the perfect summer read. I really enjoyed it a lot. At times it did feel like it was taking a while to get through, but the last 50 pages I strolled through them, and all of a sudden, I was done with the novel and had no more pages to turn! I hadn’t even noticed until I hit the last page!

Overall: I really liked this one a bunch. Not my favorite of the year so far but still a good read, especially on a hot summer day. Take this one to the beach or swimming pool with you.

Cover: Like how she’s on a bike in her swimsuit! Fits the book! 

What I'd Give It:

Thursday, June 14

For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Summary: Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

My Thoughts: First off, I haven't read Persuasion, so I didn't have anything to compare it too. For Darkness Shows The Stars is a retelling of Persuasion. I usually try to stay away from retellings even though there are a few I've read and enjoyed.

We are introduced to Elliot who is a Luddite and Kai who is a servant. Two people from opposite world status. Kai works on Elliot's estate but the two become friends and write each other letters as kids. They sneak out to play with each other and share thoughts and things such as books. They talk about things, they enjoy each others company. As time goes on, Kai leaves the estate and pursues his own dreams.

A few years later he comes back to Elliot’s estate and the two meet up again. This time, he's become established and is no longer a slave. He's advanced quite a bit and is very skilled.  But he really resents Elliot for not running away with him. They pretty much despise each other now.

Elliot is faced with her own problems. She tries to take care of all the reduced and treat them equally. She does things around the farm and takes care of it. She's very responsible and handles a lot of things.

There are also a lot of other minor characters throughout the novel that I loved, especially Ro.

She has her own creations she is working on, and Kai has created the suncart.

Elliot and Kai learn what it means to work together and respect each other again. A lot does happen in this novel but the last half is definitely more fast paced the the first half.

At first, I also had trouble remembering who was the guy and who was the girl because of how similar their names are to boy names. Hehe.

I loved both Elliot and Kai's character. She was so strong and stubborn and so was he. They were both very successful in their own way.

Overall: For Darkness Shows The Stars was a good book. It wasn't my favorite of the year but I enjoyed reading it. At times, I did wonder what was going to happen, I wasn't sure.  Even though it is described as post apocalyptic it reminded me more of a historical novel but I still enjoyed it. This is what the world could be like, where reduced people were so dramatically treated differently or had certain duties they had to perform. All in all, I think this is definitely worth a read and I enjoyed it a lot.  

Cover: I love it! I think it's very pretty and the girl looks like she is having fun.

What I'd Give It:

Wednesday, June 13

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary: Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.f

My Thoughts: Kody Keplinger, how I always adore your novels!

We are introduced to Whitley who lives with her mother. She enjoys spending the summers with her father at his condo along the beach. She looks forward to it every year.  And this year is no different, it’s her last summer before college.

The novel opens up with Whitley attending a graduation party. Whose party? She’s not sure until she wakes up in bed next to a smoking hot guy. She doesn’t even recall his name, much less anything else. She can barely remember the night before. She does remember he’s a good kisser and pretty good at other things as well.

She storms out of the house, ready to go enjoy the summer with her father. Let all her worries be gone, sit in the sun and absorb the rays. That all changes when her dad picks her up and she meets his new family. She didn’t even know he was dating anyone, much less engaged! And he no longer lives in his condo!

Whitley is thrown into this new families life. Her father’s girlfriend, and her daughter Bailey and son Nathan. I knew right away I was going to like both Bailey and Nathan. Bailey was a fun little sister and Nathan was HOT! Boy, was he hot and sarcastic and funny. From his first words, I knew I was going to fall for him. That boy knows how to wow a girl without even trying!  The chemistry between him and Whitley, gosh...

Of course, it wouldn’t be right for Whitley to fall for her almost stepbrother, right???

Whitley was such a fun character. She could drink circles around anyone, and she always knew the right and wrong things to say. She just wanted her perfect little family back together, but knew deep down, she knew it wasn’t going to happen so when she began to be a part of another one, it was hard for her to handle.

And she meets a few friends along the way, and learns some new things.

I loved the family dynamic of this one, I loved the romance between almost step siblings, and I loved Nathan! He wasn’t a bad boy, but kind of a nerd. A hot and sexy nerd! I spent most of the novel smiling! That is how you know something is awesome! I sat out in my lawn chair, and soaked this book right up! Before I knew it, the sun was going down. I was so immersed in this novel!

A Midsummer’s Nightmare= Yummy!

Overall: I was a huge fan of The Duff and Shut Out, and this book makes another favorite on my pile! I swear I will read anything Keplinger writes! I am so excited for whatever else she has in store for us! I enjoyed A Midsummer's Nightmare and I was laughing out loud during parts! You can’t beat that!

Cover: I like it, but I just don’t see Whitley really looking like this girl. I do like her hat though.

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, June 12

Just Listen Winners

The Winners of Just Listen are:

Paige Comfort Books
Juhina Maji Bookshelf
Sarah Book Life

Please respond within 48 hours and email me your addresses!!!

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 224

Summary: Megan survived the plane crash—but can she survive the aftermath? An intense, emotional novel from the author ofThe Unwritten Rule and Between Here and Forever.

Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a plane crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. But the truth is, she doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back.

Scared and alone, Megan doesn’t know whom to turn to. Her entire community seems unable—or maybe unwilling—to see her as anything but Miracle Megan. Everyone except for Joe, the beautiful boy next door with a tragic past and secrets of his own. All Megan wants is for her life to get back to normal, but the harder she tries to live up to everyone’s expectations, the worse she feels. And this time, she may be falling too fast to be saved....

My Thoughts: Geez, Geez, Geez. I hope some of you enjoy this book more than I did. I miss the old Scott. The contemporary novels that used to make me squee. I was sooo excited to get my hands on the new Elizabeth Scott, but I felt like this book had the same feel as As I Wake which was the book I liked the least of Scott's.

We are introduced to Megan who has survived a plane crash. She is the only one who walked away with a few bruises and scratches. Nothing too horrible. We get to experience the next few months with Megan unfolding what she went through, her memories slowing coming back about the crash, and the way she distanced herself from everyone and everything she loved.

There is also a boy in this story. His name is Joe and he is Megan's next door neighbor. He's a sweet boy. I really liked him but I never really felt Megan connect on a deeper level with him. Yes, he was a bit swoony but nothing like Scott's other past male characters.  Joe has his own tortured past so he knows what Megan is going through, to an extent.

Megan starts to lose everything she once held dear due to her pulling away from everything. Everyone thinks she is a miracle while she doesn't even know what made her so special or why she walked away when everyone else died.

I did like seeing Megan interact with her family. However, her mom and dad seemed pretty dense, and I wish they had acted up and tried to help more.

Honestly, Miracle was just an okay read for me. I did finish it and it had its moments but like I said above, I miss the older Scott books. I want her to go down that road again and write another contemporary that I fall in love with.

Miracle was an interesting look at surviving a plane crash and what it can do to you physically and mentally but I just didn't relate to this story or to Megan. I never really felt myself like her very much. I didn't like watching her throw everything away, I didn't like watching her sink fast. The thing I liked the most was Joe. Oh sweet Joe.

Overall: Liked it, it was okay, but didn't really do it for me. Gosh, I hope that next Scott book I read I fall madly in love over and have some fangirl squee moments.

Miracle is more like a 3.5 cupcake book for me. I hope you like it more than I did.

Cover: Like it, its a bit dark but it fits.

What I'd Give It:

Sunday, June 10

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary: Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

My Thoughts: Oh gosh, it literally took me about 5 days to read this, that is a long long time for me to read a book. I had trouble getting into it. I couldn't find a stable ground to really liking it, at first.

I've been on a mermaid kick, I've read numerous books regarding them and Lies Beneath is from a male's perspective and I thought that would make it really unique and good, it was different but I didn't love that aspect like I thought I would.

We are introduced to Calder who has a few sisters. He comes back to the lake during the summer to spend with his sisters. He's drawn to it. His family has a debt to collect so when mysterious new girl Lily and her family moved there, Calder and his sisters hatch a plan to collect the debt; killing Lily's father.

Of course things don't go as planned as Calder starts to actually care and like Lily.

I wanted Lies Beneath to feel magical. I wanted it to be really really really great for me, it was good and I started liking it to the point where I can say I really enjoyed it, about halfway through. The first 100 pages were hard for me to get through. I felt myself drifting to other things and wanting to get up and move around.

Lies Beneath was a good read as I get more into the book. I debated between 3 and 4 cupcakes because the beginning was slow but by the middle, I was intrigued and found myself wanting to know what happen. The ending was a bit off for me, but by the end I was happy to give it 4 cupcakes.

Overall: I really liked it once I got started. It took me a while though. All in all, it was a fun book.

Cover: Love the cover! Love the colors and it's really pretty.

What I'd Give It:

Friday, June 8

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Release Date: October 10, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary: As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

My Thoughts: Why, oh why did I wait so long to read this novel? I’m not sure because I ended up eating it all up in two days. I loved it.

We are introduced to Hannah, who is part of the Manhattan Ballet Company.  She loves what she does but she’s no famous ballerina. She’s more like on the level with everyone who is ordinary. She’s not famous, she’s not popular, she’s just average.

But she wants to be famous, she wants everyone to know her name, she wants everyone to come watch her perform.  Hannah suffers through everyday with sore feet, sore muscles and bones, all so she can do what she loves, and work her way to the top.  

Hannah left her parents when she was 14 years old, to follow this dream. She wanted it so bad she would let nothing get in her way.

Hannah has two love interests throughout the novel, a rich guy Matt and a musician named Jacob. I always liked Jacob more even though Matt knew more about what she was going through. He understood it. He could feel her love for it.  But Jacob, was just ordinary and he showed Hannah that there is so much more to the world than just one thing.

I loved this novel. I loved how it took place in New York City. I love reading about NYC because it makes you feel like you are there, you are enjoying walking Times Square or walking down a crowded street. Or riding the subway.  Hannah’s journey became my own and I wanted to see what this world was all about.

Hannah was a likable character but at times she could get annoying. I think that happens with every character. While reading a novel, we see the good and the bad usually.   I loved seeing her go through her days and spending the evenings in her apartment with her best friend. I loved seeing her get excited when she got a part.

I also liked meeting all of her friends and fellow dancers. They each had their own personality and I enjoyed seeing who each one really was. I liked all their attitudes and how they present themselves.

Bunheads is a charming story that will wow any girl who ever imagined being famous or even a ballerina. Or even a dancer at all.  Bunheads was such an interesting honest true story.

Overall: Awesome novel.  Loved every single minute of it. Loved seeing firsthand what it could be like to be a dancer/ballerina. I really enjoyed Bunheads and I think you will too if you like reading novels about dance or YA Contemporary. And sweet Jacob is a plus too.

Cover: Like it! Like how there is a girl all over it, in a dress! Its cute.

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, June 7

What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen

What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256

Summary: “Don’t even think of leaving… I will find you,” he whispered. “Guaranteed.”

Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it.

With each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

My Thoughts:  We are introduced to Sara who lives with her mother and father. Her brother committed suicide and she is still trying to pick up the pieces. Her father is very abusive and beats on her mother if she doesn’t follow the rules exactly. He also still talks about and talks to her brother like he is still around telling Sara to tell him to get chores done or what he should/shouldn’t be doing.

The abuse has gone on for years now and one day Sara’s mother tells her to pack a bag and the next day they will be leaving him. Sara wakes up the next day, goes to school, and waits for her mom to pick her up and she never shows up. This sets a lot of thoughts in motion through Sara’s head. She wonders where her mom is and if she went to find a new job and house without her. Is she coming back? When?

Sarah also has two guy friends throughout the novel. They are Alex and Zach. Alex is a classmate who takes an interest in Sara and Zack is her brothers best friend, also her friend. We see her relationship change with both guys over the course of the novel in one way or another.

This book was pretty intense. It was a bit mystery and a bit romance. Her dad was a total psychopath, I know that for sure! I thought she should try to get help from the get go, it just wasn’t right!

I did like the characters, and they kept the book interesting enough for me to finish but What She Left Behind wasn't the right book for me. It was just so-so for me. But obviously a lot of other people will like it and enjoy the plot. It focuses on domestic violence and I guess that is something I don’t really like reading about, haha.

Overall: What She Left Behind was an ok book. It was written nicely, and easy to read. The words flowed nicely. I just didn’t love it. I didn’t find myself very interested in the plot or how things happened in the book.

If you're a fan of family issues or suspenseful books, you’ll probably enjoy this one. This is probably more of a 3.5 rating if I did half cupcakes!

Cover: It does fit the book. I like how the girl is running in the woods around all the tall trees. It’s kind of got a dark feeling to it.

What I'd Give It:


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