Thursday, January 31

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary: Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

My Thoughts: We are introduced to Zoe and Will.  Zoe lives with her father who is a drunk. Her mother is dead and he abuses Zoe pretty often. Hits her, calls her names, etc. Will has been tossed from one foster home to another. Neither one of them has gotten a break so when they meet each other they are instantly drawn to one another.

After a few months of dating, Will decides he is going to leave and take Zoe with him. They run away together. Will has some of his own money plus steals some to get where they need to go.

Nobody But Us is the story of two teenagers on the road, hoping for a better life than the one they know. It’s also a story of abuse and how it can affect us.

This one also switches back and forth between perspectives so we can see things from both Zoe and Will’s point of view.

I just never really felt connected to the story nor the characters. I could see where they were coming from but I just couldn’t really connect to either of them.  Yes, this is a real and crazy story but it just wasn't my favorite debut of the year yet.  Both characters do make mistakes and aren't perfect.

They both want better things but its just hard to get there for both of them. It’s a pretty realistic story.

Nobody But Us was a heartbreaking story but I just didn’t feel much towards it. I liked it enough to keep reading, but it was just okay. The ending though, wow. I didn’t really see that one coming.

Overall: It was just alright for me. I’m glad I gave it a chance but I tend to try to stay away from abusive books, I don’t know!  This story does have hope and some intensity!

Cover: I do really like the cover! I would pick it up definitely!

What I’d Give It:

Wednesday, January 30

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Harpercollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 2116 KB

Summary: Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

My Thoughts: This is a novella so its super short. We are back with Warner right after the end of Shatter Me. We see what happens in Sector 45 while they are gone. We get to experience things from Warner's point of view and how he feels.

I liked seeing things from Warner’s point of view, just to learn how he saw things when Juliette was around, and how he truly felt about her. This was so short so there isn’t really much to say about it. We get to see how he feels about his father and what he really thinks about him. We get to see how he looks deeper into Juliette’s mind.

I liked reading this enough, but it didn’t have much depth but it was a good short story in between books.

Overall: I liked it quite a bit. Since there really isn’t a main plot or anything it’s hard to really get into it. I’m glad I got to see things from his point of view though. A good look inside the villain's mind. You don't have to read this between books but its fun too!

Cover: It’s alright. I like the eye and the color!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, January 29

Prodigy (Legend) by Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend)  by Marie Lu
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 384

Summary: The Elector Primo of the Republic has died, with his son assuming power over what’s left of the USA’s West Coast as it teeters on full-blown chaos. June and Day join up with Patriot rebels so they can rescue Day’s brother and head east for the Colonies. In order to help, though, the rebels want June and Day to kill the new Elector, who may pose an even greater threat than his father.

My Thoughts: Yep, this one is just as good as Legend was. I loved Legend so I was so happy to dive right into Prodigy.

I’m not going to say a lot because I don’t want to give away too many spoilers! This is one of those books you must experience yourself! If you haven't read Legend, stop reading this review right now!!! Don't go any further!

We are back with Day and June. They have escaped and ran away to join the Patriots. Day escaped his execution with June by his side. But Day is hurt! He's in pain and can barely walk!  Things are crazy hectic right now.  They have decisions to make, big decisions, decisions that will affect their life along with the rest of the world.  June has betrayed her dear Republic and they aren’t sure who they can trust now.

Day and June meet a lot of old friends and new friends along the way. They hatch a plan that will change the world.  Change the way the Republic is run. And the Patriots will have a chance to change things as well.

Things don’t go according to plan and it creates a darn complicated situation for both June and Day.

Seriously, it is so hard to really write anything without giving stuff away so this is probably going to be the vaguest review I have ever written.

A lot of new characters to get to know, a lot of plots going on in the book and old characters return. I really liked seeing Tess grown up and how mature she has became.

Honestly, I liked how everything turned out in Prodigy but the ending.... The ending was devastating and made me shed a few tears!!  I’m not sure how that is going to play out, and I’ll probably be in even more tears in the next book.  How can they do that? How can that happen? NO NO NO!!!

Overall: So addicting!!! Loved it! It was just as good as Legend was. It took a little bit to really get to the good stuff but I loved every bit of it! I just love June and Day. I want the happily ever after for them. Is that too much to ask? LOL

Cover: Like it!  The covers are neat!

What I'd Give It:

Sunday, January 27

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 340

Summary: Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again, you must learn to trust again.

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

My Thoughts: It took me quite a while to get to this one on my TBR. I got it soon after it was published but I hadn't read it yet. But I want to see the movie so I had to push it up and read it! I’m so glad I did.

We are introduced to Katie who has just moved to Southport. She doesn't have much money, walks to work, and spends what little money she does have on small items at the grocery store while storing some of the money in a can to save it. She’s always looking over her shoulder and being on the lookout for her husband.

Yep, thats right she has run away from him and is now out on her own. She was sick of the way he treated her and she had to get it away before it was too late. I liked seeing the flashback chapters so we know what she went through.

She meets a friend named Jo. Jo is actually living next to her. She also meets a guy who runs the store along with his two kids. His name is Alex. I really liked him and the kids. The kids were so sweet and innocent. Alex lost his wife a few years ago and he’s still getting over her death. He sees himself as content with things and isn't out looking for women.

But when he and Katie connect, he can’t help but fall for her. Katie starts to feel the same way but she doesn't want to get close because she’s scared she’ll have to run again.

I liked the chapters where we got to see in her husband’s mind and what was going on. But it was also very creepy. I didn't like his thoughts.

I really enjoyed this Sparks novel but I have liked a few others more. It was emotional, and suspenseful though and I’m glad to have read it. I’m also happy now I can go see the movie and compare. LOL

Overall: Enjoyed it. Read it in a day which is pretty fast for a Sparks novel. I loved Katie and Alex together. They were perfect for one another. And the ending was very traumatic and riveting.  Wow. Did not see everything that happened coming. There were a few surprises in there that threw me for a loop. If you like Nicholas Sparks books, don’t forget to read this one.

Cover: Like it. The bicycle makes sense! So cute!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, January 25

Hooked by Liz Fichera

Hooked by Liz Fichera
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: Get hooked on a girl named Fred...

HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Why is a girl taking my best friends spot on the boy's varsity golf team?

SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me - especially Ryan Berenger.

HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go - especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.

SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.

But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile...

My Thoughts: Whoa, I was so anxious to read this after a few friends told me how good it was. However, I really wanted to read it in 2013 for the debut challenge, but I just couldn't wait. I finally let myself read it at the end of November. I just couldn't wait!

We are introduced to Fred and Ryan who are complete opposites or so it seems. Fred is really good at golf, but she’s also an Indian. Ryan is a popular guy who hangs with the popular crowd. He is also really into golf.

Fred gets thrown onto the boys team since the school doesn't have a girls team, and the coach thinks she’s real good, but she takes the place of Ryan’s best friend. So what does that mean? His best friend is off the team. Eek!

This creates a lot of problems for the team, and how Ryan handles it isn't perfect. But neither was he. He had a lot of growing up to do, which I think he did pretty well and fast considering.

I won’t lie, I can see why a few people may not like this one. At first, the golf lingo had me second guessing the novel, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I loved it! I got used to the characters lives revolving around golf. And, the way Fred was picked on, I really hated that.

But the chemistry between Ryan and Fred was there. I liked it alot. I got it. I could see how much they cared about one another and how they wanted something to work. Neither one of them was just not sure what it was going to be or how their relationship would go down, but in my mind, I think it turned out ok.

I also liked the side characters like Mr. Trueblood and Fred’s family and friends. I also loved Ryan’s sister Riley, and I hear the next novel will be about her! YES!

I wasn’t so sure about Hooked at first, but I ended up loving the plot, the characters, and the way the whole story went. This is a wonderful debut and I can’t wait to read more!

Overall: Really loved it! I finished it in a day!  Please add this to your debut list! You won’t regret it! Oh Ryan, how I really like you!  I definitely recommend this one.

Cover: Come on, wouldn't you pick this up in a bookstore for the cover alone? I would! Its so freaking cute! Love!

What I’d Give It:

Wednesday, January 23

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256

Summary: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them
together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

My Thoughts: This one was so freaking cute! Such a romantic fun cute story!  We are introduced to Hadley who is flying overseas to see her dad. Actually to go to his wedding.
She has never met his fiance. Her mother and father split up and her father is already getting married. NO!

At the airport, she meets a boy named Oliver. Cute adorable Oliver. He’s also flying to see his dad. Oliver is British, this isn’t the first time he’s been there. But, he’s been attending school in America.

Oliver and Hadley spend the whole night talking to each other on the plane. They are seated next to one another. It couldn’t be more perfect. Hadley knows once the plane lands, she’ll
probably never see his sweet face again. What a drag.

They sure do talk about some interesting things all night long. They cover a lot of topics.

And the fly moment! Loved that conversation!

I have heard so many awesome reviews about this one; I don’t know why I waited so long to read it! It was really romantic and a fun read. I also finished it within a day. The words just flew right by.

And, Hadley gets more than she bargained for once they land. She keeps thinking about him no matter what she does and fate intertwined and she knows she has to find him again.

Hadley and Oliver= so cute! This book= cute as kittens.

Overall: Wow! Go grab a copy of this right now and start reading! I loved it! I should have read it on its release day! This one will pull your heartstrings. I want my own British Oliver please!

Cover: It’s sweet!  I love the heart that is drawn around them. And all the people around, it looks like it could be an airport. I think this rocks!

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, January 22

Me And Timothy Cooper by Suzanne Williams

Me And Timothy Cooper by Suzanne Williams
Release Date: December 14, 2012
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (Sold By)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 254 KB

Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Taylor Lawton has a crush on Timothy Cooper, a boy at her school, and as crushes go, things are normal. He ignores her. She doesn’t speak to him. Until their English teacher, Mrs. Walker puts them on a project together.

A turn of fate then throws them both for a loop. For an entire week, they will stay beneath the same roof. Will this be too much togetherness? What will Taylor do with Timothy’s painful secret?

A light novella with a touching storyline, this tale is enjoyable for both young adults and grown-ups alike.

My Thoughts: Boy, was this really short! I read the summary and I thought this could be great. It seems like my kind of story. But it also said novella, so I wondered, how short?

It was fairly short and the story did move really fast too.

We are introduced to Taylor who lives with her parents who never seem to be home. She stays on her own a lot with her grandma checking in on her. She also attends high school and she has a crush on a boy named Timothy Cooper. She thinks he doesn't know she exists until one day he talks to her for a school project. On that same day, she hurts her ankle, and Timothy picks her up on the side of the road, and he offers her a ride home. She ends up going to his house where his mom who is a nurse insists she stays there.

She ends up staying there a while and the two of them get closer and their feelings develop.

This was just okay for me. By the end of the week he was telling her he loved her. Just too fast for me!  Yes, it was a novella so there wasn't a whole lot of depth.  AND, even though it was so short, there was a little bit of religion in it which will turn some people off. I wasn't bugged by it, but him telling her he loved her so quick, I just didn't like!

Overall: This one was just okay in my opinion. It was a fast read so there is that.  If you're looking for a fast story to read, this might be for you! I hope a few more people do read is, so I can read some other reviews!

Cover: Love the cover ! It’s so darn cute it is what made me first notice the book. So cute!

What I’d Give It:

Sunday, January 20

Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton

Everbound (Everbound #2) by Brodi Ashton
Release Date: January 22, 2012
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

My Thoughts: Oh wow! I loved this one more than Everneath. Wowzers!

We are back with Nikki who has just lost the love of her life, Jack. He has taken Nikki’s place and Nikki is determined to get him back.

Everything in Nikki’s life is in a jumble. People blame her, her dad doesn't know what to think. She feels horrible and guilty, only she knows where Jack really is.

And then there is Cole, he left right after Jack went missing and hasn't been seen since, so Nikki but also find him somehow. He’s her only way to get back in, and rescue Jack.

Of course Nikki gets what she most desires, and finds her way back under, and she must go through a lot down there while on the surface she makes shocking discoveries. This is hard to describe without giving away major spoilers.

Lets just say I really enjoyed this one, and I’m glad we got to know Cole better. I shouldn't like him, I know this but part of me does!!! 

And I should have saw that ending coming, but I was left with my mouth gaping open wanting to scream. HA.

Awesome plot, awesome characters, am glad I gave this series a chance! Must read series for me!

Overall: This one was much better than the first in my opinion so if you did like the first, you’ll probably enjoy this one. At least give it a try!

Cover: Love it! These covers are so gorgeous! Amazing!

What I'd Give It:

Friday, January 18

The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook

The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256

Summary: From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head. Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose...

My Thoughts: I was blown away by this one. I read a few reviews saying it didn't have much romance and wasn't all they thought it would be.

But myself, I still loved it quite a bit. We are introduced to Sadie who has always lived with her mother and father. Her mother is kind of a loner and her father is always in and out of jail. He is good at cons, or maybe not so good since he sure does get caught a lot. Sadie has picked up a bit from him but she only uses it to steal money for college and never over five dollars. She likes to think what she is doing is alright.

Sadie has a best friend named Brendan. Man, I loved this boy. He was charming and knew he was hot, but also had a soft spot for Sadie. I could tell from day one, he had a thing for her even if he was always sleeping with different girls.

Sadie gets quite a surprise and has to come up with a way to earn more money for college. It’s not going to be easy so she invents a story that she might look a bit like that girl Ava who went missing years ago. But as Sadie discovers more and more, she starts questioning things and what the truth may actually be.

I loved Sadie. I even loved how she started seeing Chase, even though she knew he couldn't be much more to her. He didn't really know her.

The Almost Truth is the cute little novel I wanted it be. Its hilarious, yet heartwarming. I liked the mystery, I liked the characters, and I liked Sadie in general. I liked learning about her life and what was right and wrong.  I loved how she put clues together and it all dawned on her!

This one actually made me laugh a few times and smile constantly. Brendan was so cute and funny! Who wouldn't fall for this guy?

Even though this did have some serious messages, it was also a very fun read for me. I just had to know what was going to happen next and where Sadie would end up!

Overall: A fan of contempts? You have to give this one a chance! I adored it and loved it! It was a quick read for me but I loved every second of it. Fun plot, fun characters, and overall FUNTASTIC!

Cover: Love it!  Love how she’s crossing her fingers, and love how he is holding her. CUTE!

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, January 17

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 480

Summary: From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

My Thoughts: Oh my freaking gosh, I loved Second Chance Summer. I went into it hoping I would enjoy it but I fell madly in love with it. I loved it to pieces. I loved every single second of it even when things weren't perfect.

We are introduced to Taylor who lives with her mother, father, older brother Warren and younger sister Gelsey. They aren't the perfect family but things are normal and they care for one another.

Every summer they go up to their house up in the mountains and spend the summer but they haven’t done it in 5 years. Things have gotten hectic and their lives never seem convenient enough to go. The timing is just off.

Taylor also has a past with this house and their summers. She had a best friend and a first boyfriend up there. She left them on a sour note.

When the family gets shocking news her father wants the whole family to go and spend the summer together, abandon all other plans.

They get in their cars and go. The place is just as Taylor remembers it but she notices her first boyfriend Henry’s house is different. He’s moved away. She’s relieved she won’t have to face him. YES! She also figures if she stays inside most of the summer she also won’t have to face her old friend Lucy.

Things don’t go as planned for Taylor and she runs into a lot of people from her past.

I loved both her relationship with Henry and Lucy. Lucy was such a funny and carefree best friend and Henry was just swoon worthy. Oh Henry!  I savored and ate up those moments with Henry. I lived for them. I loved the moments with her family. I cherished them the way Taylor did.

This one is also devastating. It was hard reading about her family and what was going on. Probably because I've experienced losing a parent and its not fun. I could relate so much to Taylor and what she was feeling.

And the kicker, I cried my little eyes out at the end. I just sat there and had tears rolling down my face. I guess that is when you realize that a book is truly amazing. When it brings up so many emotions in you, you don’t know what to do.

Second Chance Summer started my reading year with a bang. It’s going to take a lot to live up to this amazing novel.

Overall: I enjoyed this one to pieces but not because it had sad moments. But because I could relate and I knew how Taylor was feeling throughout the novel. It was beautiful. It was lovable, it was just everything to me.  

I would severely recommend this to everyone. If you haven’t read it, please go and buy it, and put it on your reading pile now!

Cover: Love it!  Totally fits alright. Love the colors and how she’s sitting there.

What I'd Give It:

Monday, January 14

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon And Schuster Books For Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288

Summary: Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow prisoners, Felicia passes the endless hours downloading memories and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and the boy she loved, Neil.

Then a girl in a neighboring chamber disappears, and nobody but Felicia seems to recall she existed in the first place. Something is obviously very wrong. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, she learns the truth: a rebellion is brewing to overthrow the Morati, the guardians of Level 2.

Felicia is reluctant to trust Julian, but then he promises what she wants the most—to be with Neil again—if only she’ll join the rebels. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself in the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

My Thoughts: Well, when I first started Level 2 the only thing that came to mind was, this is weird, so so weird. But I actually enjoyed it. It starts off with a weird feeling to it, but it gets interesting really fast.

We are introduced to Felicia who lives a comfy life, or lack of life. She’s technically dead and lives in a hive. She has friends, she has her memories, especially her precious memories of Neil, her boyfriend in life. She doesn’t need much else, right? Everything is ok for her.

In struts Julian to rescue her. She knew Julian from her life and its weird seeing him here. But he promises her if she leaves with him, he can bring her to Neil. Even though she’s worried about leaving, she goes. If its a chance to see Neil, she’ll take it.

It’s hard to call this a dystopian novel, because to me, it just didn’t feel like it, but it was definitely unique.   It’s difficult to actually know what is going to happen or who is really whom or what side they are on. Julian introduces her to other people. They tell Felicia they need her to help with their plan. Are these people good, are they bad, or neither? Who are they really? What are their goals? At what cost?

I really loved this novel, once I got into it. Yes, it’s somewhat weird, and a lot of it is told in memories and I usually do not like flashbacks in novels so this one really spoke to me, and made me enjoy them.

So, the love interests? I really liked getting to know Neil, but I also had a thing for Julian. You can tell he has feelings for Felicia and its hurting him from the inside out seeing her pine for another guy.

The plot was really cool, as I got used to it. It just seemed deep and a lot to take in at first.

The other characters I liked getting to know as well. They were intriguing once I began to know a little more about them and what their plan was.

Level 2 was an interesting debut from Appelhans and I can’t wait to see what else she writes!

Overall: Loved it, once I gave it a chance. It’s unique, you just have to really give it a go to really understand it. Go in with an open mind. At first, it can seem confusing, but once you learn a little more about the way things run, you adapt fast! Awesome debut and awesome love interests!!!

Cover: It’s neat! When I first saw it, I thought, that is neat! I liked it!

What I'd Give It:

Wednesday, January 9

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Release Date: January 8, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary: A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

My Thoughts: I expected to like this a bit more than I did. I still enjoyed it a lot but I thought this would end up being a 5 cupcake for me, but it just wasn't.

We are introduced to Allyson who goes to England with a traveling group to enjoy the sites, and experience culture, and something she hasn't really given the chance to explore before, she’s happy and content, but she never has as much fun as she hopes.

Until she meets Willem. Willem is so sweet, and he’s a bit of a charmer. But, even though Allyson connects with him, I really didn't. She spends one amazing day with him and then its all over, and she goes home.  During the year, she constantly thinks about him, and that one amazing day. She doesn't even know his last name. So she decides she’s going to hunt him down, and things go from there.

Honestly, I wanted to love this more. The middle half felt like it dragged on, and I just thought she was being too depressed over a guy she spent one day with. It’s just one day!  I get it, I do. She gave a big piece of herself to him that day but if he was stupid enough to leave then that is his fault.  She was just too special to have to deal with that.

Just One Day was an interesting start to a series. I heard this is supposed to be another one. And of course this ends right on the spot I wanted to know what happened next.

I felt like this book was pretty neat, but I wanted a little more out of it, and some parts of it probably could have been taken out, and I would have been fine with that.

I did like Allyson as a person though, and a few of her friends. The characters were interesting enough to keep me reading, and want to finish this one.

Overall: Really enjoyed it, but had hoped to enjoy it a little more. Maybe I’ll like Forman’s next book a little more. I can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks of this one.

Cover: Like it. It makes you feel like you're really sitting there with her. Love the watch!

What I’d Give It:


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