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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Map of the Known World

Lisa Ann Sandell

Published April 2009

272 pages

Rating: B/B+


Cora Bradley dreams of escape. Ever since her reckless older brother, Nate, died in a car crash, Cora has felt suffocated by her small town and high school. She seeks solace in drawing beautiful maps, envisioning herself in exotic locales. When Cora begins to fall for Damian, the handsome, brooding boy who was in the car with Nate the night he died, she uncovers her brother's secret artistic life and realizes she had more in common with him than she ever imagined. With stunning lyricism, Sandell weaves a tale of one girl's journey through the redemptive powers of art, friendship, and love. They say no land remains to be discovered, no continent is left unexplored. But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me. I want to do things-I want to walk the rain-soaked streets of London, and drink mint tea in Casablanca. I want to wander the wastelands of the Gobi desert and see a yak. I think my life's ambition is to see a yak. I want to bargain for trinkets in an Arab market in some distant, dusty land. There's so much. But, most of all, I want to do things that will mean something.-- From A MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD.

My review

A Map of the Known World was a very short, cute and inspirational read. I loved the whole feel about the book and enjoyed every minute of reading it. The plot was very creative, rich and intricate and kept me interested in what would happen throughout the book. It's a story about moving on and dreaming big; of never giving up on what you want.

I really loved Cora. I felt that she had a very promising future and a miserable past, which makes her a very interesting and captivating character. She was very strong and inspiring while trying to get over the death of her brother and the love she feels for his best friend, Damian. AND dealing with teenage issues like best friends and strict parents. I also loved reading about Cora and Damian's relationship grow throughout the story.

There were few bad things about the book but I did feel like the whole high school "group" thing was a bit overdone. It's not usually how it actually is in high school. The book didn't exceed my expectations but I wasn't disappointed either. Recommended? Sure! Read it when you have the time. I enjoyed Lisa's other novel, Song of the Sparrow (which I also reviewed), a lot more though.


Friday, November 27, 2009

In My Mailbox (26)

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Marisa: I got one book for review and I also bought a book this week.

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

I'm really happy that I got this book for review! It sounds great and I love the cover.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty-especially if they learn of her Sight-and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens. Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries. Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer. Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention. But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. His is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost-regardless of her plans or desires. Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; everything. Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

I FINALLY bought a copy of this book. I've wanted to read it for SO long.

(Arielle and Briana may post later.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Song of the Sparrow

Lisa Ann Sandell

Published May 2007

416 pages

Rating: A-


Since the days of King Arthur, there have been poems and paintings created in her name. She is Elaine of Ascolat, the Lady of Shalott, and now there is a book all her own. The year is 490 A.D. and 16-year-old Elaine has a temperament to match her fiery red hair. Living on a military base with her father, brothers, and the rest of Arthur's army, Elaine pines for the handsome Lancelot, and longs for a female friend. But when the cruel, beautiful Gwynivere arrives, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. Can Elaine find the strength to survive the birth of a kingdom?

My review

I've never read a book about medieval times before because to be honest, I thought they would be quite boring. I usually read paranormal romance novels but I decided to broaden my book interest and try out a totally different book type. I read the synopsis for this book and it sounded great and I definitely was not disappointed. The book is about war, love, honor and friendship. It starts off interesting and as the story progresses, it just gets better and better. I loved going through this gripping adventure with Elaine. She's a heroic female character; one of my favorites. She's very loving, strong and courageous. That being said, I felt like the characters' relationships lacked in depth a little bit.

The story is very beautiful, touching and Lisa did an excellent job of creating a new version of an old story, The Lady of Shalott. The original story is pretty depressing and sad but this story has a light, happy feel about it. The entire story had a lot of action, suspense and twists that kept me begging for more. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it wasn't long enough! I was sad when it ended but satisfied with the outcome.

I recommend this book to history fans, romance fans, action fans etc. This book is very imaginative and charming; a must-read. Loved it!


Friday, November 20, 2009

In My Mailbox (25)

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Marisa: I know I haven't been contributing to the blog lately and I want to apologize for that but I'm just so darn busy
! Anyway, I got a few good books this week.

The Line by Teri Hall

An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line. Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help. Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?

I just got this ARC in the mail for review and I'm so happy! It sounds so intriguing and mysterious! Can't wait!!!

Spell Hunter (Faery Rebels, #1) by R.J. Anderson

Forget everything you think you know about faeries. . . . Creatures full of magic and whimsy? Not in the Oakenwyld. Not anymore. Deep inside the great Oak lies a dying faery realm, bursting with secrets instead of magic. Long ago the faeries mysteriously lost their magic. Robbed of their powers, they have become selfish and dull-witted. Now their numbers are dwindling and their very survival is at stake. Only one young faery—Knife—is determined to find out where her people's magic has gone and try to get it back. Unlike her sisters, Knife is fierce and independent. She's not afraid of anything—not the vicious crows, the strict Faery Queen, or the fascinating humans living nearby. But when Knife disobeys the Faery Queen and befriends a human named Paul, her quest becomes more dangerous than she realizes. Can Knife trust Paul to help, or has she brought the faeries even closer to the brink of destruction? Talented newcomer R. J. Anderson creates an extraordinary new fantasy world and weaves a gripping tale of lost magic, high adventure, and surprising friendship in which the fate of an entire realm rests on the shoulders of one brave faery rebel.

I was pretty happy when I received this for review because it sounds great and I loooveee the cover!

Bite Me! by Melissa Francis

AJ Ashe isn't your typical seventeen-year-old vampire—as if there is such a thing! She's stuck in the middle of a huge fight between her two BFFs. Her ex-boyfriend—whom she's still totally in love with, by the way—is now her stepbrother. A former classmate—who, um, she may or may not have turned into a vampire—is stalking her. And now, apparently, the fate of humankind lies in her little undead hands. What ever happened to the good old days, when all a vampire girl had to worry about was the occasional zit and hiding her taste for blood?

This sounds like a cute read and I can't to read/review it!


(Arielle and Briana may post later.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reading Challenges??

Okay, so lately I haven't really been part of the book blogging world thanks to school, family, and other obligations, but I still check out the "Dashboard" from time to time to see what is happening. And lately I have been seeing 2010 Reading Challenges. I have always wanted to do a reading challenge, but for some reason..I don't do them. I think that I am kind of scared that I wont finish it, or forget about it, and etc. But for 2010 I feel like I NEED to do one. Dont ask me why, because I dont really know why, but they seem fun, and I am finally up for the challenge. lol.

So with that, I am curious to see who is planning on doing a 2010 Reading Challenge, and if so, which one are you doing?

I know there are many out there, and there will probably be more coming into the book blogging light over the next few weeks as 2009 turns into 2010 (crazy, I know!). I have just seen a good hand-full of them lately, but if you could post a comment about if you are doing one, why you are doing one, and which one..that would be greatly appreciated.

I am just wondering who is up for a Reading Challenge. I am hoping to sign up for one, but I want to find the one that is right for me..so if you guys could help me out and point me in the direction of some good ones, or the one you are doing, that would be fantastic!

Thanks :)


For those of you who are wanting to get your hands on a copy of Fallen by Lauren Kate, check out Kari's blog, A Good Addiction, where she is currently holding a contest where there will be 5 winners of Fallen! :)

If you do enter, please let her know that I refferred you, since we would both get 5 extra entries!


P.S. For all of you who think that I am being selfish by entering this contest (since I do already have my own copy of Fallen), please dont think that. I am entering for my friend, well she doesnt know about it, but if I do so happen to win, the book would go to her. Not me.

Wishlist Wednesday (23)


Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.

Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.

Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was.

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends — her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

I have seen this in Barnes and Noble so many times, yet I never pick it up. I know it just recently came out, and I really really want it! But I am trying not to buy books :-/ since I have so many already that are just dying to be read!

What is on your wishlist!?

(Marisa and Briana may post later)

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking The Spine!

Arielle: I did read Evermore, but I have not read Blue Moon. For the most part I liked Evermore (but I did have my problems with it). I want to read Blue Moon, except I have heard some iffy reviews about it. In time I will read it I'm sure. But I am still going to wait on the next book! :)

Shadowland by Alyson Noel

Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives—and fought off the world’s darkest enemies—so they could be together forever. But just when their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon Damen…one that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death—plunging Damen into the Shadowland. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick—and gets help from an unexpected source…a surfer named Jude.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She’s always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…

A: It sounds pretty interesting, so I am crossing my fingers that it is good!

Comes out: November 17th, oh WHOA! That was yesterday! Ha. Wow, I didnt even realize that. Oh well. Bear with me, please! Its been a long week already :)

What are you waiting on!?

(Marisa and Briana may post later)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (12)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.

-Open to a random page.

-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Arielle: All right, so since I am still reading Fallen, I decided not to do a TT for it. Ha, it would be my 3rd one for it, so I will not torture you guys with another one. Instead I will do one from a book I just got in the mail a few days ago! :)

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen

" Is he kidding? I stop and peer down at him. 'Thats not be boyfriend, its my dad.'

He half laughs, half coughs. 'Sorry. You never know these days. I'm Noah.'


Page 91.

A: Ha, this made me laugh out loud. I really cannot wait to read this book! I have read some great reviews on it, and hopefully I can start it soon! Maybe over Thanksgiving break! :)

What is your Teaser Tuesday!?

(Marisa and Briana may post later)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Perfect Chemistry

Simone Elkeles
Published 2008
368 Pages
Rating: A-

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.
(taken from BN.com)

Lets see, I can say this words that describe this book: Incredible! A-Must-Read! Hott!!! :)

I enjoyed this book so much, thanks to a few other book bloggers and their reviews of this book, and to my friend for owning this book, I finally read it. And I am so glad I did. This book was W-O-W! I loved every moment of reading it. Every page I turned I was wanting more. Ever line I read felt like I was right there with the characters, experiencing everything they were going through - the good and the bad.

As you read this book you are reading through the minds of two individuals, Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis. Alex is the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, the gang banger. He is a Mexican with a past that others see as bad, but he sees as just his past, something he can never forget. He is part of the Blood gang in a suburb outside of Chicago [the South Side], where him and his fellow gang members but also long time friends deal with drugs, alcohol, and frequent deaths of other members. Alex has had a tough life, but he never wants any one to feel sorry for him. Then there is Brittany, who is on the 'right' side of the tracks, the one with everything you could ever ask for plus more, plus shes the school head cheerleader. She's got the nice house, the fantastic car, the hot bod, the beautiful hair and of course the quarterback boyfriend. Except what you see on the outside, isnt always what you get on the inside. Brittany's home life isnt what you would expect. She rarely sees her father, and her mother has outbursts of total frustration, and her sister, well, her sister has problems of her own.

Brittany and Alex get paired up in Chemistry. Much to Brittany's protests to her teacher, she cannot switch partners. These two are total opposites, or at least thats what they think at first. But then, as their relationship together grows into friendship, they see each other for who they truly are. They both learn to lean onto one another, and what they have together blossoms into something beautiful.

This book is written very well, and at times it can be a little provocative [so it may not be suitable for anyone under 13], but it is an amazing story of two teenagers finding themselves, and learning to open up to someone else and become vulnerable.

I recommend this book to basically everyone, and I plan on rereading it in the future. And I cannot wait to read more from Simone Elkeles :)


Saturday, November 14, 2009



And the winner is...


Congrats Katie.

I am emailing you shortly!

And thank you to all who entered.

I have a feeling we will be having another contest soon, once we reach 300 Followers, and it looks like that could be soon (hopefully!)! So stay posted!!


p.s. If Katie doesnt get back to me within 48 hours, I will pick another winner. Thank you.

p.p.s Review of Perfect Chemistry coming soon! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


Hey you guys!!

Out 200 follower's contest is closed!

The winner will be announced either later today, or sometime tomorrow!

Thanks to all who entered!



In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Arielle: I received three books in the mail this week, and they are all from contests. I also borrowed a book from a friend, and got a ton from the library! (You can see my STILL unread Fallen book underneath my cell phone. ha.)

All righty, lets start off with the ones from the library, since they are less fun then the winnings. Ha. :) I got a ton from the library and I am really hoping I can finish them all, but if not, I can just renew them! AH! The joys of the library! :)
(the first two books are for school papers I am writing, so I wont both with those!)


Borrowed from a friend:
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles -- Thanks to my good friend, Jordan, I can finally read this book! I have been dying to read it!

Now onto the contest winnings! :)
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott -- won from Bri at What Bri Reads! Thank you so much, Bri! I cannot wait to read it!
Intertwined by Gena Showalter -- won from Katie at Katie's Book Blog! Thank you, Katie!! I am so excited to read this book! Plus I got some wonderful bookmarks which I am always happy to get! And a cute little Halloween bag with some treats. :)
Hold still by Nina LaCour -- won from Aryanna at A Maze of Books! AH! I am so happy to have won this book, it sounds amazing! Thank you!

It turned out to be a really great week!!

So, tell us what is in your mailbox! :)

(Marisa and Briana may post later)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Guys! Who wouldnt love a Kindle?

Well there is a great chance that you could win one yourself!

This is a huge contest at Bibliofreak!

So go enter, HERE!!!!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Friendly Reminder

Hey guys!

This is a friendly reminder that our 200 follower's contest ends THIS FRIDAY (11.13.09) at Midnight (Central Time).

So if you haven't entered already, go enter here!

Thank you to our follower's for making the contest a success so far!!


Teaser Tuesday (11)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.

-Open to a random page.

-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Arielle: Yup, I am still reading Fallen by Lauren Kate. :-/ I havent had a lot of time to read but I plan on finishing it this weekend (hopefully!). Soo..


"'It won't happen again,' Gabbe continued, 'I swear to--'

'It can't happen again,' Daniel whispered, but his tone pratically screamed lover's quarrel. 'You promised you'd be there, and your weren't.'"

Page 122.

A: This part taken from a bigger scene is pretty interesting. I really want to know more about Daniel! He is so mysterious. Its crazy.

What was your Teaser!?

(Marisa and Briana may post later)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Award!! :)

Thank you to the wonderful Choco at In Which a Girl Reads for giving us an award!

I'm supposed to:
~ List 7 of My Favorite Things
~ Send this award on to 7 other bloggers

7 of my (Arielle) favorite things:

1. Reading! DUH!
2. Peanut butter & chocolate together.
3. The smell of burning leaves.
4. Sleeping in!
5. My family & friends.
6. Thunderstorms.
7. College.

Now onto the 7 receivers of this award!

You guys are all great!

Friday, November 6, 2009

In My Mailbox (23)

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Arielle: This week I didn't get as many books as I was hoping for..but that is okay! I did get two great books in the mail, and a few from the library :)

For review from Author:
Bad Apple by Laura Ruby -- I loved this book! You can check out my review HERE. And she even signed the inside of the book, and wrote a "thank you" note for me on the sheet above the book. Oh, and the "Good Girls" thing is just a postcard that has a blurb about the book.

From Contests:
Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein - I won this from Kelsey at The Book Scout. I haven't heard much about this book, but it still seems very interesting! Hopefully I can read it soon.

Well that is it for me, kind of a sad week..but I have so much school stuff I have to do still so that is okay! I still havent finished Fallen.. shame on me!

What did you get in your mailbox!?

(Marisa and Briana may post later)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bad Apple

Laura Ruby
Published 2009
247 Pages
Rating: B+

"If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am."

High-school junior Tola Riley has green hair, a nose ring, an attitude problem, and a fondness for fairy tales, which are a great escape from real life. Everyone thinks she's crazy; everyone says so. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He gets her paintings and lets her hang out in the art room during lonely lunch periods.

But then rumors start flying and Tola is suddenly the center of a scandal. The whole town is judging her—even her family. When Mr. Mymer is suspended for what everyone thinks is an affair, she has no choice but to break her silence. Fairy tales won't help her this time . . . so how can she tell the truth? And, more importantly, will anyone believe her?

(taken from BN.com)

I had read a few reviews of Bad Apple, on in particular from Mandy at the edge of seventeen, and I immediately knew I wanted to read it. I was so happy when Laura Ruby had agreed to send me a finished copy of the book, and she even signed it! I read this book in an entire day, I even put off writing a huge paper because I was so engrossed in Bad Apple.

To start off, Tola is accused of having an affair with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer. Except, that isn't the truth. Yet, no one believes her; her entire school goes ballistic over this "rumor" and Mr. Mymer ends up getting suspended from teaching and Tola cant do anything outside of school, her mother makes sure of that.

Tola is the average "weirdo" at her high school; she has a nose ring, green hair, and dresses with a unique sense of style. She is an "art freak." She creates paintings of what she sees in her dreams, but also from what she reads in her Grimm fairy tale book. Her family life isnt the best; her older sister Madge isnt in college because she is apparently taking a 'gap' year, but Tola later finds out that something is going on in her life as well. Her mom and dad got divorced a few years back, and her father married a woman Tola and Madge cant stand, the "evil stepmom." And her mother loves nontalking talking, they talk about things but not about the stuff that really matters. Everyone seems to be very distant from Tola, and it is quite sad. But Tola has her best friend, June, who is keeping her sane through this whole "affair problem." And there is Seven (yup, thats his name), Tola has always been intrigued by him and what percolates between them in this book is cute. Although I do wish there was more of a relationship between them, but what is said in the book with them both is fun to read.

We see the struggle Tola faces with her fellow students, mainly a girl named Chelsea Patrick. Chelsea was Tola's best friend up until a few years ago, and Tola knows that she is behind all this mess, but she wont admit that to anyone. Chelsea is a true biotch, at times you just want to go into the book and smack her in the face. And then there are others who say crude remarks to Tola about the alleged affair, and a little more than halfway through the book Tola has a pretty funny encounter with one of them. They are in the gym at her school and it involves the school jock, and a paddleball paddle...its a pretty awesome scene where Tola finally lashes back, and stops being the victim.

Laura Ruby "paints" all these amazing pictures while you read the book. Sure, Tola may be the artistic person in the book, but Ruby is behind it all. While reading this book you can picture everything that is going on, that is why it is such a good book. You can imagine everything taking place right in front of you, and who doesnt love that about a book? Bad Apple definitely does that for you.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and at times I found myself laughing out loud. And at other times, I wished I could be there for Tola, to support her in the difficult situations she has to deal with. It is a great story of a girl finally able to find her voice and speak up for herself. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about characters finding themselves, and to those who loves a happy 'fairy tale' ending.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lock & Key *Re-post*

In the past few months I have read some good but also iffy reviews about Lock & Key. Sure it isnt my favorite book by Sarah Dessen, but I still enjoyed it. So I thought I would share my review with you, in case you didnt get the chance to read it before.

Sarah Dessen

Published: 2008

422 pages

Rating: A


“Ruby, where is your mother?”

With that question from the social worker, Ruby knows the game is up.

She’s been living alone in the old yellow house, waiting out the months until she turns eighteen and can finally be on her own legally. It certainly wasn’t in her plan to be reunited with Cora, the sister who left ten years before, and brought to live with Cora and her wealthy entrepreneur husband.

Suddenly life is transformed: a luxurious house, private school, new clothes, and even the change of a future Ruby couldn’t have dreamed of. So why is she wary, unable to be grateful, incapable of letting anyone close? Her old life has been left behind, but where does she fit in this new life? Only Nate, the genial, popular boy next door, seems to understand, perhaps he’s hiding some secrets of his own.

(from front of jacket flap)

This book is like any other from Sarah Dessen, absolutely amazing. Maybe I am just bias since I love all of her other books, but this book just has it all, all in perfect balance…deception, hate, sadness, love, scandal, friendship and a wonderful story. Not to mention an ending that doesn’t get me worked up.

Sarah Dessen has a way of connecting with the reader. Whether its because the story is close to your own personal one, or because her words just fill you with such emotion you don’t know whether to break down in tears or jump up and dance. The way she writes makes you feel you are in the story and experiencing what the main character is experiencing. When I read, I make “mini-movies” in my head based on the story, and with Dessen’s style of writing it is so easy to do that, and you almost wish the movie would never end.

The main character, Ruby, has had a tough life ever since she was young. Her parents got a divorce when she was only five and after that, she rarely saw her father. Her mother became distant from Ruby and her sister, and she started to drink more and more. The only positive thing left in Ruby’s life was her older sister, Cora. Cora is ten years older than Ruby and has always been there for her, Cora was her ‘mother’ after her actual mother stopped caring for her. But ever since Cora went off to college, she hasn’t been around much either. But that changes when Ruby is forced to live with Cora and her husband, Jamie. Ruby had been spending the past couple months living on her own ever since her mother left without notice, but now Ruby is reunited with her older sister who hasn’t been in her life for the past ten years.

Their relationship isn’t what is used to be and Ruby isn’t quite certain she ever wants it that way again. But when it turns out Ruby isn’t as put together as she once thought, their worlds collide and they both find once again that they depend on one another, and their sisterhood is challenged with Ruby’s independent attitude and Cora’s knack to repay Ruby for not being there.

Not only is this a great story about a troubled teen fighting for freedom, but it is a beautiful story of two sisters trying to make it work between them after so many years being apart. And oh yeah, I forgot to mention…the hot, popular guy at Ruby’s new high school, Perkins Day. His name is Nate, and not only is he charming, gorgeous, a great guy and loved by all that know him; he also has a past that he is hiding.

Ruby’s story is a captivating one and definitely something you should read.

(I didn’t talk about the title and its meaning, mainly because I have a slight issue with it. Its not a big problem, but the symbolism behind it I’m still processing, and kind of wishing Dessen went further into detail about it. But maybe it’s a good thing she didn’t. haha)