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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5)

Richelle Mead

490 pages

Published May 2010

Rating: A+

Synopsis (contains spoilers for those who haven't read the the other books)

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong… After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere. She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

My review

Okay so I know I didn't review the other books in the Vampire Academy series but I received Spirit Bound for review so here goes!

I. LOVED. IT. This series is just too amazing. I loved the other books but Spirit Bound was just.. wow. I'm speechless. Spirit Bound continues after Blood Promise, with Rose and Lissa about to graduate and let me tell you, there's more drama than ever. The plot was excellent and the beginning had me hooked right away. Richelle brought new aspects to the storyline and revealed new things about spirit users, which was awesome to know. She's one of my favorite authors.

Rose is obviously one of my favorite heroines. She's beautiful, courageous, strong, hilarious, etc. I just love reading the books from her perspective. Everything she does is either funny or dangerous. I also love every character in this series, good or bad. They all have very deep personalities and wild characteristics that make the books so enjoyable. The characters have to go through even worse stuff in Spirit Bound and it was fun to see Lissa and Rose outside of the Academy with two awesome characters accompanying them, Eddie and Adrian. Oh and we can't forget our lovely bad boy, Dimitri! I love the turn of events in this book for him, Rose and Adrian.

Any bad things about Spirit Bound? No way! Well it was too short for me, I never wanted the book to end. I never thought that it would live up to my expectations since Blood Promise blew me away but Richelle continues to surprise me. Spirit Bound takes you on an unforgettable adventure that makes your heart race. I can't wait to read the last book but I'll also be disappointed to see the series end. If you haven't read these books yet, add them to your to-read pile! One of the best books I've ever read.

Birthday Party! aka, a contest! :)

Hey All!

Well in a few weeks, July 20th to be exact, is my 20th birthday!! And I am really excited. I thought that it would be really cool for me to have a contest for my birthday and spread a little love and give you guys presents! (AKA Books!)

I will be giving away presents to two lucky people who will receive two books! The first winner will be able to choose from four books and the next winner will get the remaining two. All four books that I plan to give away are some of my favorites, so I hope you all like them too or if you havent read them, then you definitely should!!

Here are the four books! :)
Three are by Sarah Dessen and one is by Laurie Halse Anderson.. two of my all time favorite authors!

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
& Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I hope all of you will enter! Because I really want to give away some books! Ha. I love giving presents to people and since its my birthday I decided that since I'll most likely be getting gifts from my parents (hopefully! haha), I should give some gifts to you guys! And its been awhile since we have done a contest!

So here are the rules! They are easy! Don't worry!
US residents only please! 13 years or older.


+1 for commenting
+2 for following.. old or new!
+3 spread the word! Via twitter, blog, wherever! Only once gets you +3, anything more than that will still just get you +3. INCLUDE LINKS!
+4 for telling me the best birthday gift you have ever gotten!

Thats a total of 10 total entries you could get, so enter! :)

Contest Ends July 19th!
And I will announce the winner a few days later!


So Enter!! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (35)

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


Girl Parts by John M. Cusick (This sounds extraordinary!)

The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens by Ashley Juergens (I love the show, The Secret Life of an American Teenager, so I'm super excited to read this one!)

Salvaged by Stefne Miller (NEED TO READ!)

**What did you guys get? :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Leaving Paradise

Simone Elkeles

Published 2007

303 Pages

Rating: B+

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

(from BN.com)

Let me first say that this book was pretty close to amazing. It had everything a book should have: desire, love, broken hearts, honest perspectives, amusement, and a good ending. I fell in love with book within the first few pages. I was hooked from the get-go.

The book is told from two points of views: Caleb Becker's and Maggie Armstrong's. They are two very different individuals but have something in common they both cannot stand to live with.Leaving Paradise is a book about their struggles. They both try to find peace after what happened that night. In short, Caleb was drunk driving and hit Maggie and from that point on everything was different. Caleb was put into a juvenile detention center and Maggie was in the hospital and undergoing major therapy, but now it’s a year later and much has changed but not necessarily for the better. Caleb is free, and Maggie is still living with her disability while trying to accept the fact that her life has completely done a 180.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I was surprised at a few of the twists it had. There were some things I didn’t expect but they made the book so much better. Not only was this book different from the average teen novel, but it was one that left me thinking about the little (or big) things in life that affect others. I definitely recommend this book to teens (and even adults) everywhere. The ending was unexpected, but it pulled the book together perfectly.


Scott Westerfeld

Published 2006

448 Pages

Rating: C

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

At first, I really didn't enjoy this book that much. The first 200 pages or so bored me to death and I just wanted to put the book down and and host a giveaway. I thought maybe someone else would like it more than I would, because it's a pretty popular YA series.

After the first 200 pages, things started to pick up and I started to get more engrossed in the story. The plot and characters became more refreshing and the entire "feel" of the book took a 180 for me. Do you ever pick up a book and just not even want to read it because the feel of it just doesnt do it for you? That's what I felt in the beginning of Uglies.

Am I going to read the sequels? It depends. As long as I have other books to read, I probably won't end up buying Pretties. What I mean by that, is my TBR (To Be Read) list is never-ending so as long as I have something else on my shelves, chances are... Pretties will not be in my shopping cart.

Overall, the book itself isn't a bad one; it's just not my preference.

Back in Action!

Hey guys!

I'm back from my marvelous vacation and I'm ready to get back into my reading routine. I did get some reading done while sitting by the pool, you know, getting my tan on. I FINALLY finished reading Uglies! I'm so proud of myself for finishing it and I honestly didn't hate it like I thought I would.

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my charger for my camera, so I don't have tons of amazing pictures to share. My mom bought some disposables thought so hopefully I can find someone's scanner to use so I can show you the pictures of me holding a stingray! By the way, they're incredible creatures, so gentle and sweet.

This is a beautiful little part of Nassau that I found that I just needed to take a picture of.

This is a monkey made of towels that the staff put together, hanging near our TV.

I took this picture of the beautiful view from my balcony on the ship. Waking up to that... is unexplainable.

Anyways, I'm back in action and ready to roll. Bring on the books :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Hey guys :) On Saturday at 9 AM I'll be heading to New York to get on a big boat. :D I'll be going to Florida, the Bahamas and a few other private islands. I'm so excited and I will be reading at night when I can, but I'll have no internet service available to post. The boat actually has a library and I'll definitely be checking it out. My mom looked at me like I was a nutcase when I said that. She said, "You're going to be on a wonderful cruise, going to amazing beaches and you'll be in the library? It's obvious that you're meant to be an English major."

Anyway, I'll miss you guys dearly! To anyone that's holding a contest, if I happen to win it while you're gone... if you wouldn't mind waiting until next Saturday that'd be great. But if you'd like to give it to the next person that's okay too.


Booking Through Thursday (12)

Do you prefer reading current books? Or older ones? Or outright old ones? (As in, yes, there’s a difference between a book from 10 years ago and, say, Charles Dickens or Plato.)

Briana: I don't usually read older books. I love to read new books because I can definitely relate to them more... but I'm sure older books are fun too. For example, I loved reading MacBeth in school. That was fantastic!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flawless (Pretty Little Liars Series #2)

Sara Shepard

Published 2008

352 Pages

Rating: A+

(The summary contains spoilers of book 1, Pretty Little Liars.)

Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.

And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive.

Wow. Just wow. I am amazed and completely in love with this series. Just call me hooked!

Okay, so I have to admit that I was a little nervous to read Flawless, because... well you know how sequels can be sometimes. I loved the first book and I really hoped the second was just as good. Little did I know that it wasn't just as good... it was better!

Just like the first book, Flawless started off with a flashback scene of Alison. As important as that first section may be, it's probably the most boring part of the book. But I get through it and then get right on to the good stuff, Chapter 1!

I think I forgot to mention in the review of Pretty Little Liars, that the chapters rotate between the 4 girls' (Aria, Spencer, Hanna, & Emily) perspectives. At the end of every chapter, there was a cliffhanger and I could not wait to get back to that girl's perspective. But then I got to the next girl's perspective and didn't want to leave that chapter. And the cycle goes on and on.

Although the first half of the book was awesome, the second half was incredible. Suspense, glamour, surprises, oh my!


P.S. I'm going to try and read Uglies for the umpteenth time. I need to atleast finish the book before I give it a bad review. I'll feel like I'm being unfair otherwise. Anyway, I really hope it gets better!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In My Mailbox (34)

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

Briana: Sooo, this week was the week of my birthday and my mother got me a few books :)

  • Burned (House of Night Series #7) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Flawless (Pretty Little Liars Series #2) by Sara Shepard
  • Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

** I kept the sticker on Burned because I didn't think you guys would believe me if I said I got the book for only 11 dollars!! && No, I've never read The Outsiders, crazy right?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Booking Through Thursday (11)

Do signed copies excite you? Tempt you? Delight you? Or does it not matter to you?

Briana: I love getting signed copies! It's an autograph from the person that just created a story good enough to get published. It's definitely exciting because the person that just created an amazing story didn't just have a printed copy given to you by the publishing company. They took the time to sign it and I feel it's so much more personal, even though they probably sign 100 books a day lol.

Burned (House of Night Series #7)

P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast

Published 2010

323 Pages

Rating: B+

(The summary contains spoilers of books 1-6)

When friends stop trusting each other, Darkness is there to fan the flames….

Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird’s soul has shattered. With everything she’s ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey’s fading fast. It’s seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampyre High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only 7 days left…

Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae’s hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home but also threatens to explode her whole world.

In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She’s always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess’s own voice, whether she wants it or not. Aphrodite’s loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey’s fate hangs in the balance.

Three girls… playing with fire… if they don’t watch out, everyone will get Burned.

(END of spoilers)

I'm so happy to say that even though Tempted didn't impress me, Burned did. I definitely felt an improvement, not only with the story itself but also with the slang. There wasn't as much of "I heart you" and "bullpoopie" kinds of phrases. There was still a lot of planning instead of doing in this book, if you know what I mean. The whole book was basically just talking about plans and right at the last 50 pages or so, something finally happened.

The connection between Stevie Rae and Rephaim is what really kept me reading. I can't wait to see it progress more and more through out the series. I'm definitely feeling a little beauty and the beast story going on here.

Something that I noticed that kind of bugs me is there are a lot of similarities between True Blood and House of Night. I'm wondering if the Cast's consciously got the ideas from the show or if they got them without even realizing they might be accidentally ripping the show off. The white bull, the horns, visiting the queen for help, and some other things I can't really remember right now.

Did any of you guys notice the similarities too? I'd love to know what you thought.


P.S. It's my birthday! :)

Paper Towns

John Green

Published 2008

305 Pages

Rating: B-

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew…

(from back of book)

There were parts of this book that I absolutely loved, but there were also parts of the book were I wish John Green either didn’t put in or wrote differently. Paper Towns is funny, compelling, thought provoking, and adventurous.

Paper Towns is divided into three parts: The Strings, The Grass, and The Vessel. Each section has its own quirkiness and excitement that keeps you on the edge of your seat. In the first section, the Strings, you meet Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman. They are both in high school but aren’t necessarily friends with one another. They have been neighbors since they were young and Quentin (Q) has had a crush on Margo ever since he could remember. But one night, Margo surprises Q at his bedroom window and takes him on an adventure/revenge trip of a lifetime. He believes this is a starting point for their friendship to blossom but the next day at school makes him rethink that thought.

The second section, The Grass, is kind of the mystery part of the book. Q and his friends plus a few of Margo’s friends try to uncover the secrets of Margo and what made her do what she did. This is the part of the book that is extremely thought provoking, as you read you try and figure out the clues along with Q and the gang. I was determined to uncover Margo’s secrets before Q, but that didn’t work out so well. Q definitely has a knack for discovering things that other people cannot.

The third section, The Vessel, is probably the funniest part of the book. Q and the gang are on a mission to get to Margo before she does anything she might later regret. This part of the book is divided up by hours and it describes the roadtrip to Margo. There are definitely some hilarious parts in this section, but also in the sections before.

The really big problem I have with this book is the ending. It was a decent ending, but I guess I expected something a lot more intense. But this ending is good with the fact that the reader can kind of guess what happens with Q and Margo.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this book. It had many great qualities and John Green wrote another winner. I believe most young adults would enjoy this book, especially if they are looking for something just a little bit different than what they are used to reading.


Monday, June 7, 2010

The Hunger Games Trilogy


Hi all!
Long time since I have been on the blog, and for awhile now I have been thinking about leaving the blog altogether, but I have yet to decide completely on what I will do. But on another note, this post is focused on The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

The reason I decided to write a post veered towards these books is because my younger sister is currently reading them after I have been telling her for months and months to read them. At first, she resisted and said she didnt think they would be very good books; but, now that she has finished the first one she is very much in love with them - as am I (and I am sure many of you are as well).

These books are first and foremost excellent young adult books. They are full of excitement, pain, love, friendship, shock-and-awe scenarios, and much much more. They have readers captured from the first page, and will leave them wanting more every page they turn.

This post in dedicated to the wonderful work of Suzanne Collins. But her work isnt over yet. After the first two installments of The Hunger Games, there is still a third Hunger Games book yet to be released.

The third, and final book, of the Hunger Games Trilogy is called Mockingjay which comes out on August 24, 2010 (a little over two months away!!). The synopsis from BN.com is as follows: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.


Not only am I excited to read this book, but I am also sad that it will be the final book. I feel like these books can be read by young adults but also by adults. Everyone will find something in these books that they like.

I am also pleased to say that they will be creating a Hunger Games movie that is supposed to come out in 2011, but I really dont know how well that isnt going. But I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will in fact have a movie, because I think it could be a really great one if they work hard at it! Here is a post by Marisa about the Hunger Games movie.

For those of you that have no idea what The Hunger Games or Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins are, I recommend reading these books as soon as you can! And if you need further proof that these books are awesome you can read reviews by Briana (here for Catching Fire), and by me (here for a dual review of The Hunger Games) & (here for Catching Fire).

I know this has been a long post, but I really just wanted to reiterate the fact that YOU need to read these books! They are truly amazing and will leave you craving more of Katniss and Peeta!

P.S. Hopefully I will be able to do some more stuff with the blog now that it is finally summer, and I do have some time to read if I am not working!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Booking Through Thursday (10)

It's been a while since I've done one of these but here it goes!

Which do you prefer? Short stories? Or full-length novels?

Briana: Definitely full-length novels! I hate only spending a few pages with a character compared to hundreds, especially if I love the character.

(Marisa and Arielle may post later.)

Tempted (House of Night Series #6)

P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast

Published 2009

319 Pages

Rating: B-

(May contain spoilers for anyone that hasn't read Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, and Hunted.)

So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul?

I definitely did not enjoy this book as much as the others. It's been a while since I've read the other books in the series, so I can't quite remember what happened in what book, but the other books, from what I remember, were so much more entertaining and exciting than Tempted.

I did like this book so don't get me wrong. The characters were funny and attractive, but definitely annoying. I don't know how much longer I can take the whole "I heart you" instead of "I love you" crap. I know they're probably aiming for a younger audience than 19 (I'm actually still 18, but I'll be 19 in exactly a week!) but I read a lot of YA books and I never seem to have a problem with the tween lingo.

Through the majority of the book, I kept wondering when the climax would come and what it would be. It finally came right at the very end, but I feel like that and maybe two other things were the only exciting events that happened in the book. The whole book seemed like it was just revolving on plans to destroy Kalona.

I am excited to read Burned, the next book in the series so I can see if anything else exciting happens, but I really hope I'm not disapointed. I feel like a B- is being very generous, but I've been reading this series for a while now so I guess I'm being a little biased.