Tuesday, April 30

The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program by Suzanne Young
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Summary:  In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My Thoughts: Whoa, this one was pretty fascinating. We are introduced to Sloane and James. They love one another. They will do anything to keep each other safe. They also have another friend who hangs out with them quite a bit at first. And of course there is also Sloane’s brother who we learn a lot about in flashbacks.

Teens are committing suicide. Its spreading. 1 out of every 3 commit suicide.James and Sloane have lost many friends this way already. The only way to stop it is to be admitted into The Program. Its a place where teens go to make them better. To make them change, to feel better.

I loved reading about Sloane’s brother and I felt like I really got to see him, and got to know him through her memories.

Sloane ends up in this place and she meets another boy who cares deeply for her. As she’s forgetting James, this other boy thinks he might have a chance with her.

People aren’t who they seem. Nothing is really. Its hard to trust anyone. Its hard to trust yourself even once your memories are taken.

I really enjoyed this one. It was weird at times, but in a good way. I loved James. He was such a tough guy but had a gentle heart. I loved the way Sloane and James got together. It was all too cute and romantic.  I loved seeing all the things play out in this one. It was crazy but good.

Overall: Enjoyed it alot. I tend to like Johnson's novels, so I can’t wait to see what else she writes.  I also read this in one sitting, so it did draw me in!

Cover: I like it. I like the yellow and I like how we can’t see their faces, only the backs of them.

What I’d Give It:

Sunday, April 28

Rise (Eve #3) by Anna Carey

Rise (Eve #3) by Anna Carey
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary: How far will you go when you have nothing left to lose?

When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America—and the blushing bride of her father's top adviser—Eve's whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb's memory, and the revolution he started.

Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King's court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she's called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion—killing her father?

In Rise, Eve must choose who to leave behind, who to save, and who to fight as Anna Carey's epic tale of romance and sacrifice in the chilling dystopia of The New America comes to a stunning conclusion.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed both Eve and Once so I was looking forward to this one. And I wasn't disappointed. We start the book off with Eve’s new life. She’s married to Charles and Caleb is dead. She’s in mourning but can’t be too forward about it since she’s supposed to be happy with Charles now.

Eve is working with Moss to take her father down. She has a lot of challenges ahead of her but she knows she can fight them. She’s a strong girl and very motivated. If anything, she’s motivated by Caleb’s death alone. She must make it so it actually meant something.

Eve ends up helping the girls from the school and there were some sad moments. A few of them I didn’t see coming and it hurt  a lot. I felt Eve’s pain. I felt what she had to go through. We are introduced to new characters and some of our old ones are gone, which was sad.

And the ending, whoa. I didn’t see it coming but I had hoped throughout the book that it would. This one kind of seemed stretched out to me but in a good way. It probably could have been shorter  but I liked reading about Eve and what she was going through, so I liked the extra stuff.

Overall: I really enjoyed this one. I’m sad to see this series ending, as I liked it a lot and read all the books as they came out. I still really like Eve as a character and Caleb-yummy.

Cover: Like it. These covers are always really pretty.

What I’d Give It:

Friday, April 26

Dead Silence (Body Finder #4) by Kimberly Derting

Dead Silence (Body Finder #4) by Kimberly Derting
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Harpercollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Summary: Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.

When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

My Thoughts: We are back with Violet and her best friends. She’s still solving crimes rather she wants to or not, she can still sense dead people. I still like Jay. He’s such a sweetie. Violet has her own imprint now that drives her nuts.

In this story, Grady is accused of murder. You may remember him from one of the previous books and Violet doesn’t think he did it.

We get a glance into the bad guy’s mind. This one is about a bad guy, who wants to be in charge, and makes his own little new family. I didn’t love it. I just didn’t feel it as much as the others.

I have really enjoyed reading this series, but this one, not so much. I just didn’t love it like the others. I did enjoy finding more about Violets family though and how they fit in the story. I also liked reading more about Gemma and Rafe. They always bring a little to the story.

I liked this one, but just not as much as the others. Maybe it was just my reading mood, I’m not sure. Liked it, but didn’t love it.

Overall: I liked it enough. I’m glad Violet is growing up and she is dealing with her situation and things are getting better for a her, a little.

Cover: Like it. I like the red of the cover! Cute.

What I’d Give It:

The Beginning Of After by Jennifer Castle

The Beginning Of After by Jennifer Castle
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 432

Summary: The Beginning of After is a story of hope and healing from Jennifer Castle, a powerful new voice in teen fiction.

When Laurel's family dies in a horrific car accident, she struggles to put her life back together. She is now connected to David Kaufman, who lives down the block, and who lost his mother in the same crash. Both of their lives change--but not in the ways that they thought...

Castle blends tragedy with romance, teen angst, and wit in The Beginning of After, a bittersweet, powerful debut novel that stands as a testament to how people can survive the unthinkable.

My Thoughts: When I first saw this one, I knew I had to read it. But I bought it, and it got buried on my shelf for a while. Until a year after its released when I pulled it off, and knew I needed to read it right that minute.

We are introduced to Laurel who lives with her mother, father, and little brother.  They are a pretty happy family. Sure, she doesn’t always get along with her brother, but she still loves him so much.

One day they are a few houses down celebrating with the neighbors and her family decides to go to get dessert but Laurel wants to go home and study for the SATs. The neighbor boy David who also lives there also decides to go somewhere else. So while both of their families go for dessert, they are out doing their own thing. No big deal. Until Laurel gets a knock on the door later, and its the police.

She finds out that her family has been killed in a car accident along with David’s mom. His dad is in the hospital unresponsive.

This one motion sets off the rest of the book. Laurel has so much to deal with. She also kind of blames David and doesn’t think she can be around him, but she finds herself feeling like he is the only one who halfway understands and she wants to be around him.

Laurel withdraws from everyone and everything. She doesn’t want to go to school, she doesn’t want to do much of anything except stay in bed. I get it, I do.

The Beginning Of After was a wonderful debut and I enjoyed it, even if it was heartbreaking and sad. I loved Laurel and David as characters. I loved Laurel’s friends and her cool grandma. I liked how this one explored so many different aspects, death, sadness, grief, remorse, love, and learning to live with what you can’t undo.

I felt so sorry for both Laurel and David. It was heartbreaking. The Beginning Of After was different and unique.

Overall: I really really enjoyed this one, even if it was sad most of the time. I will continue to read whatever Castle writes next. She is sure not to disappoint me.

Cover: Love it. I love the colors and the way everything looks. Very attractive. Love.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, April 23

The Elite (Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

The Elite (Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 23, 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336

Summary: The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Timesbestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

My Thoughts:  I loved loved loved The Selection. It was one of my favorites of the year! And I remember yelling at the end of the novel because I wanted the next one right than! I was so happy to get to read The Elite! Whohooo!

We are back with America. The competition to win Maxon’s heart is now down to just six girls and the stakes are getting high. Each one wants him for her own reasons. Poor America is more torn than ever. She really does enjoy Maxon’s company but she also still has feelings for her dear old Aspen who just happens to be around a lot.

At times I wanted to smack Maxon. I could understand why he did some of the things he did but still. At times he would come off as sweet as pie, and then he would do something mean and I just hated it. Two sides to every story, right? I saw a few sides of him I didn't know existed.   And, Aspen, he finally has a mission. He likes being a soldier. But he still wants to be with Mer too.

I liked all the girls left in the competition. They each had their own strengths and weaknesses. They all wanted to win for one reason or another and America sure did have some challenges ahead of her.

America also finds out more about her country and the rebels are out to get something inside the walls. They keep invading leaving everyone hurt and scratched up! America finds out stuff she doesn't really enjoy knowing and it could get her into some serious trouble.

I love the characters, I love the plot, I love the clothes, I love all the girls, I love the guys, I love everything and everyone!

The Elite was just as wonderful as the first. I was swept away in all of its beauty again. I know you either hate or love this series and for me, its a love. But, I also felt like The Elite wasn't quite as good as The Selection. I just felt like nothing really got accomplished or settled. Yes, we did learn more about the characters but I’m ready for some nonstop action and to see who she ends up with!

If you loved The Selection, you’ll probably enjoy this one. If you hated it, probably not. 

I don't want to say much else! Get the novel and devour it soon! Eat it up for breakfast, lunch, or supper. Either way, its gonna be good! 

Overall: Loved this one! I am so anxious for the next novel in this series. I hate that we have to wait so long! I must know what happens and I must know where America ends up and with whom! I need to know now!

Oh Maxon, Oh Aspen, how to ever choose?

Cover: Love it! Another pretty dress. I love the colors and how pretty she looks! These covers rock.

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, April 20

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Balzer And Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 403

Summary: Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

My Thoughts:  Why in the world did I wait so long to read this one? Shame Shame Shame! I loved it!

We are introduced to Rachel whose dad Jared is a courier. He’s the best and he is good at it. Her father also had an apprentice named Logan. Logan was super cute! He was smart yet strong and also so adorable.

Then there is Oliver. Oliver is like a father figure to Rachel and Logan. He cares for them deeply.

When Jared doesn't return from the Wasteland after retrieving a package, he is declared dead and Rachel gets a new protector; Logan.

The commander of the place threatens Rachel and tells her she has to fulfill what her father didn't. To find this package and bring it back to him.  He wants whatever is inside.

Rachel has a lot ahead of her. She’s in a real bind. He threatens Logan’s safety and Rachel would do anything for Logan.

What else can I say? I loved this one. I laughed and cried both. I wish I would have read it sooner but now I don’t have to wait so long until the next one comes out. I can’t wait. I loved Logan so much. And Rachel was so tough and she had such fiery in her. I’m so happy I finally gave it a chance. I loved the love story part of it, but I also loved the actual story.

I loved the characters and the plot. I loved how this one went down. I enjoyed it so much!

Overall: Loved it! Oh Logan, how I love thee. This one was awesome. I can’t wait until the next one!

Cover: Like it! The girl fits perfectly.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, April 16

Rock The Drop 2013

It's on Thursday, April 18th and everyone should do it! 
Print out some bookplates, drop a few YA novels around where you live and join #rockthedrop on twitter all day long to follow the party.
 All the info is here at Readergirlz!

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 432

Summary: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Thoughts: I had heard so many good and bad reviews for this one, I wasn't sure what I would think going in. When I read bad reviews, I try not to let it taint my thoughts. So many thoughts on this one.

I won’t write a hundred page review on this one, its been said before, it will be said again.

We are introduced to Abby who comes from an awkward family. Her dad is pretty intense and I can see why Abby wanted to get away for college, to reinvent herself. She also has a best friend named America who knows all about her past.

She’s a freshman at college and she meets a guy named Travis. Everyone knows Travis. He’s a man-whore. Every night he takes home a different girl and doesn’t bother calling them afterward. He’s got tattoos, fights, rides a motorcycle, about as bad boy as you can get.

Travis and Abby’s relationship gets off to a rough start. They are just friends but find themselves feeling more than they are supposed to for one another. They had a rocky relationship and they go back and forth a lot. Travis brings home different girls, and Abby is also seeing a guy named Parker.

I don’t know what to say about this one. It was intense. It was crazy. It was dramatic. But I liked it. Travis was emotional, and at times the relationship wasn't perfect and could be viewed at a bit abusive.  I loved Travis as a character though (minus being overprotective) and I could see why he was the way he was. He was sweet but bad-ass. I couldn’t help but like him even though he has many traits I’d like to throw out the window.

I did love the dynamic of Travis’s family. I could see myself fitting in with a bunch of guys like Abby did. I also liked the way Abby took in his family. She understood, she got it. She felt it.

I can see why people hate this one, I really can. At times, I would get frustrated, but I went into it with an open mind and tried to see it for what it was. It wasn't perfect, the characters weren't perfect, the plot wasn't perfect but it was real. It was gritty and rough around the edges. Travis wasn't perfect, far from it, but he had real emotions and he let them show.

I actually enjoyed reading this one, and I’ll read Walking Disaster just to see what its like.

Overall: I enjoyed it. Not quite a 5 cupcake rating but I liked it enough to want to know what happened, and I stayed up until 4 in the morning to read it.

Cover: It’s ok. It doesn’t really draw me in like covers usually do that I want to read.

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, April 13

Easy by Tammara Webber

Release Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Age Group: New Adult
Pages: 336

Summary:  Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

My Thoughts: So, this novel is considered New Adult. I haven’t read many New Adults yet so I was a bit weary on what I was going into.

We are introduced to Jacqueline who is in college. She followed her high school boyfriend to college. They dated 3 years and he finally broke up with her telling her he wanted to explore. She was heartbroken. She stopped going to class for a few weeks. In the midst of this, his brother tried to rape her! Ick.

But the rape was stopped by a fellow student named Lucas. Lucas all of a sudden starts to show up everywhere. And Jacqueline sure is drawn to him. He was a bad boy but a sexy one! Oh my. She also gets a new tutor who she also finds herself into. But she has never meant him, only talked to online. Their schedules never seem to synch up.

Jacqueline is a very likable character. I could relate to her and see things from her side. I understood why she needed those 2 weeks after the breakup and how she could be so upset from him. She put way too much of her life into him.

When her ex’s brother starts trying things with other girls Jacqueline knows she must stand up to him in some way. And her ex-boyfriend tries to come around again but Jacqueline just isn’t into it.  

And new bad boy Lucas also has his own secrets and his own past which I liked knowing about it. He had been through some mega crazy stuff but he handled it well, considering.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the romance and tension between her and Lucas. But it was hot! It was sweet, yet sexy. He never tried to force her and yes some of it was pretty graphic but not too bad.  I also loved the way things ended up for Lucas and Jacqueline. Sweet Sweet Story!

I really enjoyed this one! And now I want to go read Webber’s other stuff.  She has a way to storytelling and I’m excited to read more New Adult.

Overall: Enjoyed it alot. Loved the characters and their personalities, and enjoyed the plot even though it was such a touchy subject. These books are either a hit or miss because they are so serious that you have to go into them with a clear mind and hope your not upset by the end. This one played out things alright, and I liked how Jacqueline handled things.

I will be reading more from Webber this year.

Cover: Like it. In my mind, I didn’t see Lucas looking like that exactly but I could see how some might. I think its a neat cover either way.

What I'd Give It:

Wednesday, April 10

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Summary: If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

My Thoughts:I really loved this one!  

We are introduced to Graham and Ellie. Graham is a movie star and all the girls sure know him! Ellie is just a plain ordinary girl. When an email message goes awry, they end up talking to one another. The emails continue and they get to know one each other but Ellie has no idea he’s Graham Larkin!

Graham loves hearing about her small town and decides its the perfect place for his next movie. So that is where they film. Graham and Ellie get to know each other in person this time!

Ellie has her own secrets and she knows that she doesn’t want to be in the public’s eye, where Graham always seems to be. She tries to keep those secrets hidden for everyone’s sake.

Lets see, what else can I say about this one? It was so cute and fun! It had laughable moments, a sweet romance, and cuteness galore!

I also liked all the side characters. They were also fun to get to know.

I know I didn’t say much about this one but it was so freaking cute and I think everyone should give it a chance. If you like contemporary romances you’ll probably like this one.  Graham and Ellie were perfect for one another.

Overall: Loved it! Cute romance.  A great book to read out in the sun on a nice day!

Cover: Like it!  I’d definitely pick it up. Cute.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, April 9

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Publisher: Bantam
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352

Summary: “With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”

Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.

My Thoughts: This one was a weird one for me. I did like it but just didn't really connect to it very well and it took me awhile to get into it.

We are introduced to Lora who isn't rich and doesn't have much. She’s used to it. She lives the way she lives and has to deal with it. She’s sent off to a boarding school for rich kids basically. She doesn't really have a choice.

She goes there and makes friends and enemies. Man, she sure did have a destiny. She finds out stuff about herself that is amazing yet terrifying!!!

She also meets a few different boys! Oh yes! Love triangle, kind of. LOL.

I honestly hesitated about writing this review, I wasn't sure how to put this one into words. I liked it, but I didn't fall in love with it like  I wanted too so this is basically a really short review!

I liked Lora. She was brave and had a lot up her sleeve. Will I read a sequel if there is one? Yes!

Overall: Liked it, took awhile for me to get into though.

Cover: Its so pretty!

What I’d Give It:


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