Saturday, September 28

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Point
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary: Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.

My Thoughts: I was so excited to get this one! It had a beautiful cover and the summary sounded interesting. You always know when going into a book like this, it is going to maybe be a bit weird.

We are introduced to Colette who finds out she has some crazy family history. She gets the opportunity to travel abroad where she meets a cute boy and finds out some family history. She keeps seeing a necklace that resembles her own. And the symbols have to do with Marie Antoinette.

I honestly finished this one and still don’t know what to think about it. I understood how she wanted to fit in with her friends, but I don’t know how she could stand being friends with them. I also liked learning more about her family history as well. But I just didn’t find myself really connecting with this one. I couldn’t relate to Colette and I just didn’t care much about the Marie Antoinette story-line. I think if you're more interested in that, you’ll probably like this one.

Marie Antoinette Serial Killer was just ok for me. I finished it, and it was alright but I couldn’t really relate to it very well.

Overall: It was a fast read and short but I just didn’t find myself in love with the story or any of the characters. This one was just an ok read for me.

Cover: It’s so pretty.I would pick this up in a store!

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, September 24

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 216

Summary: Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

My Thoughts: This is my first Trish Dollar! Yep, I haven’t read the others even though I need too!  We are introduced to Callie who has been on the run with her mom since she was a little girl. Her mom kidnapped her basically and she has never really known her father. They move around a lot so Callie has never really had much of anything to call her own. She’s never had any real friends or real actual belongings.

Until one day they get pulled over and that creates a whirlwind of events to start happening. Her mom goes to jail and Callie goes to live with her father. She meets a lot of family she never really even knew existed.

And she also meets a boy.  Oh, and the boy. He is charming, cute, adorable, but some people think of him as a player and warn Callie to stay away.

Callie grows so much in this novel, she finally has a real family, and she gets treated with respect and love. Her mom loved her of course but not quite in the same way as her father does.

I really loved this one a lot. I can’t wait to read more by Trish! It was a really fast read because it was so addicting. This novel was about love, family, happiness, change, and a million other good things. I want to say so many things about this one, but I’ll leave you with this, GO BUY IT the first chance you get!

Overall: Loved it! A favorite of 2013. Just what I was in the mood for. Charming and adorable. I was rooting for Callie the whole time! She was a tough girl with a sweet heart.

Cover: Love it! Its kinda sweet and adorable in a way that makes you want to go lay under the stars! LOL

What I'd Give It:

Sunday, September 22

In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 240

Summary: Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her.

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

My Thoughts: Road trip with a hot guy? YES PLEASE.

Honor is a cool girl. I liked her. I thought she was neat. Honor loses her brother Finn in combat. She’s just not the same after that. They were close. Best friends. Nothing can replace him. She’s going through the grieving process. They have his funeral and a while later she gets a letter from him. It must have been one he wrote before the accident happened.

Inside is a letter telling her to follow her dreams and to go see her favorite singer Kyra Kelly and tell her about Finn being in love with her. Honor has followed Kyra’s career from the beginning. He sent her two tickets.

So, she does the only thing she knows how. She listens to her brother. She gets in the car he left her instead of driving off to college. She heads to California from Texas to see Kyra perform. But right in tow is Finn’s best friend Rusty. He happens to be in the right place at the right time and goes on the road trip with Honor.

I liked their banter. They had been best friends for years as well until Rusty and Finn got into a fight and stopped talking. They both had full rides to college but instead Finn chose the Marines.

At times things get pretty awkward between Rusty and Honor. But its also very interesting too. You can tell they both feel things for each other that are more than friendship. They see each other in another light. They have a few stops along the way and I enjoyed seeing these events happen. They were enlightening and just what Honor really needed.

I thought this one was a well written novel. It was cute, but also had a deeper meaning. I liked both Rusty and Honor and I liked they way they could relate to one another.

It was a wonderful novel! A nice contemporary!

Overall: Loved it! Loved the characters, loved the road trip even if it was for crappy reasons, and I loved the way things ended. It felt right.

Cover: Love it! Also love the back of the cover as well, where we can see the guy! Very cute!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, September 20

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352

Summary: After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

My Thoughts: I seriously love Simone Elkeles! One of my favorite authors of all time! Whenever she has a new book coming out, I must read it quickly! Love her and her stories!

We are introduced to Derek who lives with his stepmom and her son. His dad is in the Navy and is on duty right now. Well, his stepmom ends up pregnant so they move back to her hometown where her younger sister and father live. This is a big change for her as she hasn't talked to them in a long time. But she needs family at a time like this. They pack up and move to Chicago. Its quite a big difference for Derek. He had some trouble back home and he has to start all over.

He meets Ashtyn who is his stepmoms sister. He doesn’t quite hit it off with her but they soon get used to living with one another. Talk about chemistry, they sure do have it!

Ashtyn plays football. She’s a tomboy I guess. She wants to play pro one day. This is her dream. She is dating the quarterback and she knows what she wants. But things get shoved in her way too and things don’t go as planned.

I loved both Derek and Ashtyn. I loved their bickering back and forth and I loved the shed scene, heck both of them! They were both such likable characters. And Derek’s little stepbrother (really he considers him a brother) was so stinking cute!

Even though Derek didn’t handle things very well some of the time, I still could see his point of view. And I understood why he kept his secrets. I understood what he went through with his mom and I understood how hard things were for him, and to get close to anyone really. I understood Ashtyn too. There was just something about her I could relate too.

I really loved the plot of this, and I loved the whole family. I loved the way they came together and made things work. And I adored how it ended. Things wrapped up nicely and I was proud of how far Derek had come and how he was fighting for what he wanted.

Overall: Another favorite from Elkeles for me! I can’t wait to see the rest of the series! They are going to be AMAZING! I hope! I loved this one to bits and pieces! Winner!

Cover: Its cute!! Love it! It fits perfectly and I’d grab it off the store shelf! Yay!

What I'd Give It:

Thursday, September 19

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 336

Summary: “More than a ridiculously sexy, HOT read, Desrochers takes you on a wild ride of self-discovery and bittersweet romance.”
— JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This is forbidden love and longing done absolutely right! Complicated and sexy doesn't even begin to cover Lexie's journey.”
--JAY CROWNOVER, New York Times bestselling author

Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years … and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

My Thoughts: I wasn't sure what to think as I began this one! We are introduced to Lexie who lives with her father, her stepmother, and her step brother Trent. Well, he’s away at college some of the time but she still grew up with him. They are a pretty good blended family. She also has a boyfriend, who she eventually dumps. He cheats on her, and she deals with it in her own way.

One night, while she’s upset about her ex boyfriend, she finds herself in bed with her hot step brother. This is really where things start and things get pretty hot! I know its wrong on so many levels, but I enjoyed their chemistry. They had it alright.

Lexie realizes what she did may jeopardize their whole relationship. He is like her best friend and she doesn’t want to lose that, so its a good thing she’s leaving for a while. She’s going to Rome. With some distance between them, she hopes she can rekindle their friendship and make things right.

In Rome, she meets another guy named Alessandro. He’s a deacon, and she is sent to him after going to confession. He wants her help teaching some children about art. This is perfect for Lexie since she loves art so much. She finds herself really into helping the children and she loves spending time with Alessandro. Until of course some feelings develop there.

Things with him are just as complicated as Trent. I could tell from the beginning they had chemistry and there was something there but Lexie figures he’s safe since hes a deacon. I loved watching their relationship and at times I laughed out loud at the things Lexie thought and the things he said.

I liked how much Lexie grew and discovered what she wanted. She finally figured out what would make her happy and I’m alright with the way things turned out.

This one may not be for everyone. Just go into it with an open mind and see if you love it/hate it. There is some religion thrown in the novel and some moments some people will not like, especially between Trent and Lexie. But I enjoyed all the little moments. I liked seeing things blossom and I liked seeing how they both felt. I also loved Alessandro too .

I really enjoyed Lexie with both guys! It was a hard choice!

Overall: I enjoyed it a lot. I liked seeing Lexie with both guys. I liked the relationship with both and I’m content with who she ended up with even though at times I was rooting for both guys. I'm excited to read more!

Cover: Like it! Its mysterious! 

What I’d Give It:

Wednesday, September 18

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Summary: Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

My Thoughts: I really liked Past Perfect by Sales so I was excited to read This Song Will Save Your Life.  And I enjoyed it, alot.

We are introduced to Elise who is pretty unpopular. She tries to be popular, she really does. She studies magazines, she looks at the latest clothes, she even buys them to fit in. And yet, still nobody really notices her. She goes to school, goes between her parents houses and nobody really cares about her. She’s just “around.” She gets sick of this. She hates that way she feels. She finally does something that changes everything. But in the process, it also changes how her family sees her.

One day she is out walking during the night like she does a lot of nights. It clears her mind, and she stumbles upon something awesome! And underground dance club. She ends up meeting two other girls and gets invited in. This changes her world right then and there.

She becomes entranced in the music, she knows where she finally belongs. And, she finally finds something she is good at and enjoys. DJing!!!

This one was sweet! It was cute! And yes, there is a love interest even though I really wasn’t too fond of him. His name was Char and I wanted her with someone else throughout the whole story. Char just wasn’t the one for me.

I loved how Elise realized so many things during this book. I loved her personality. I loved how even though she never felt like she belonged, she finally found something that made her feel that way.

I just loved Elise and her new friend from the club. I loved the way she saw the world. And I really enjoyed this one all throughout the story. I even really liked her parents, her dad was pretty cool. I even was satisfied with the ending!

Overall: I really enjoyed it! Loved the characters, loved the plot, it was a wonderful summer read. Would be great for fall too! Awesome story! This one is probably more of a 4.5 cupcakes for me!

Cover: Like it! It fits since she has earphones on!  Also like the colors.

What I'd Give It:

Monday, September 16

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer And Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Summary: Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.

My Thoughts: Well, the reviews I have read for this are really really good!  For me, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else.

3:59 had an interesting premise, it really did. And interesting characters as well. We are introduced to Jo and Josie. They are the same person, but not. Of course, it was Josie I liked and the Nick from Jo’s universe. They were good together. They live in parallel universes and each universe is a bit different from the other. The same side characters but they all seem to be a little different. Things aren't exactly the same. When the girls end up in each other’s universes, things go haywire.

Each girl has wants and needs from one universe to the other. Even though they were quite different, they really weren’t.  They basically have a lot of tasks ahead of them and they have to find out the truth and what really is the truth.

I’m not going to say much about this one. While a lot of people say its amazing, I just couldn’t really connect to it. I did finish it but at times I almost stopped.

Interesting concept and I must now pick up some of the other’s author books to see if I like them more.

Overall: It was alright. I just didn’t love it or connect with it very well. Hopefully you do more than me. I also read a lot of novels so I’m not going to fall in love with everyone I read, I know.   And that ending about killed me. I wanted things to be so different!!

Cover: Like it. Its kind of creepy and mysterious.

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, September 10

Relativity by Cristin Bishara

Relativity by Cristin Bishara
Release Date:  September 10, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary: If Ruby Wright could have her way, her dad would never have met and married her stepmother Willow, her best friend George would be more than a friend, and her mom would still be alive. Ruby knows wishes can't come true; some things just can't be undone. Then she discovers a tree in the middle of an Ohio cornfield with a wormhole to nine alternative realities.

Suddenly, Ruby can access completely different realities, each containing variations of her life—if things had gone differently at key moments. The windshield wiper missing her mother’s throat…her big brother surviving his ill-fated birth…her father never having met Willow. Her ideal world—one with everything and everyone she wants most—could be within reach. But is there such a thing as a perfect world? What is Ruby willing to give up to find out?

My Thoughts: This was very interesting! And I enjoyed it alot! We are introduced to Ruby who lives with her father. They have an okay relationship. Also living in the house is her father’s new girlfriend (or was it wife?) and her daughter. Ruby does not get along with the daughter at all.

They move into this new house and Ruby notices a big tree on the property. Its mysterious and kind of weird looking. Ruby is drawn to it! Ruby was such a fun girl. She was in love with her best friend from back home, and hopes someday he sees he feels the same.

One day, Ruby gets chased to the tree and she’s hurt, her leg. She ends up going into this tree (secret door) and she finds herself in a new reality. She realizes this tree is pretty magical. It can take her to different realities and she can see how her life is different and how things play out. She gets to see her best friend in a new light and she gets to meet her mother!

Relativity was a creative story and I enjoyed it. I liked seeing how Ruby’s life could be different. This one had some major deep hidden messages but it was also a fun little novel. She got to see her life in nine different wormholes!

Overall: Loved it! I enjoyed reading it and read late into the night and finished it. I had to know what was going to happen before I went to sleep! I thought this one was great. I loved Ruby and how she looked at things.

Cover: Like it! I think I would pick this up in a bookstore. It’s neat enough to catch my attention!

What I'd Give It:

Monday, September 9

The Truth About You And Me by Amanda Grace

The Truth About You And Me by Amanda Grace (Mandy Hubbard)
Release Date: September 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 264

Summary:  Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.

Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured—and missed out on—in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.

There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen—because she hasn't told him the truth.

The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet—both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.

My Thoughts: I was super excited for this one. A new one from Mandy Hubbard, plus this subject. It sounded very interesting... and “forbidden.”

We are introduced to Madelyn who is 16 years old, and in college. She is in a special program where she is much more advanced than the rest of her classmates so she gets to take college courses. She’ll be ahead as long as she keeps up. By the time she’s 21, she’ll probably even have a masters degree.

She goes to college classes, and she really likes one of her teachers. Bennet.  He smiles at her just the right way, he moves the right way, everything about him pulls her in.  And, he’s very attracted to her too thinking she is older than what she is. He is in his mid twenties or so.

They see each other out of class by coincidence while both of them are hiking, and this starts their romance. Right place, right time. He really does like her, but he won’t do anything with her until she isn’t his student anymore.

It was so hard for me to not like Bennet and Madelyn together. I know how wrong it was, how much younger she was, that she was a minor, but yet, I still wanted a nice perfect ending during the whole book.

What can I say? I really enjoyed this book through and through. I thought that it was all written in letter format would annoy me, but it didn’t. Madelyn tells us exactly what happened, how she felt, etc.

But that ending did about kill me... I just wanted to cry my eyes out.

Overall: Satisfied even if the ending broke my heart. I recommend reading this to anyone who likes Mandy Hubbard. I still need to read a few of her other books! FYI: Mandy Hubbard and Amanda Grace=same person!

Cover: Love Love Love it! I would grab this book the instant I saw this cover!

What I’d Give It:


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