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Sunday, December 15, 2013

All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles #1) by Cristin Terrill

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Source: BEA
Edition: ARC
Pages: 368
Rating: C

"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

After hearing All Our Yesterdays being talked about during the YA Editor's Buzz panel at BEA, I knew I had to score a copy of it-one way or another. At the time, I hadn't read any time travel books and it wasn't at the top of my priority list, either. However, the editor (whose name is escaping me) persuaded me to give All Our Yesterdays a shot. As much as I'd like to agree with the majority of All Our Yesterdays' fans, I honestly wasn't impressed.

I think the reason I'd avoided time travel books in the past is because I don't like the feeling of confusion. For the most part, I like to know what's happening during a book, and for the majority of All Our Yesterdays, I was so confused. Towards the end of All Our Yesterdays, most of the questions I had were answered... I just wish it didn't take so long. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy books that keep me guessing... but by the end, I grew so impatient that I didn't care about the ending that much.

Even though I didn't care so much for All Our Yesterdays, I understand why others do. The writing is really engaging and the whole idea is fantastic. The characters were really intriguing and overall, I did care what happened to them... just not enough to want to continue the series. I really wish I enjoyed this one more but I guess what they say is true: you can't make everyone happy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hereafter (Shadowlands #2) by Kate Brian

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Source: BEA 2013
Edition: ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy)
Pages: 320
Rating: B+

Summary and review of Hereafter may contain spoilers from the series' first novel, Shadowlands.

Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.

But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again.

YES! Hereafter was a whopping improvement from the first book in the series, Shadowlands. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Shadowlands, but I expected it to blow me away and it unfortunately didn't. Hereafter, however, was much better!

I didn't expect Hereafter to creep me out as much as Shadowlands did. After the mystery within Shadowlands was revealed, I thought all of the spookiness would disappear, and I. Was. Wrong. The creep factor absolutely remained in Hereafter, which I was so excited by since I rarely read anything of this nature. It's such a fun change of pace for me!

Kate Brian has a special quality to her writing that just sucks you in and doesn't let you go. Just like with Shadowlands, I had a difficult time putting Hereafter down. I can't be sure if it's just because the writing flows so well or if the storyline is just that gripping. Actually, it's probably a combination of both.

Even though I really enjoyed Hereafter, it was a little predictable at times. I wish there were a few more plot twists that shocked me, but that's okay. I have a feeling the next installment will have me guessing and then BAM! Totally (and hopefully) shock me.

Overall, Hereafter was a pretty satisfying read that left me craving more. Even though there are some predictable parts within, I would recommend it for anyone wanting a quick and spooky read, especially since Halloween is right around the corner!

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly feature that lets us share what titles we're waiting on!

What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

As some of you may know, I adored My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I read and reviewed it during the summer and thought it was just fantastic. I'm so excited to get my hands on What I Thought was True and hopefully it'll be just as great as MLND.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hey there! I'm Nick!

All right, so I'm really bad at writing introduction posts of this sort, but I'm going to give it a try. I'm Nick, and like everyone else here I'm pretty into shamelessly devouring and just as shamelessly enjoying the occasional "young adult" book, series--what have you. Chances are, if I'm reading a young adult novel it's going to be dystopian, futuristic, post-apocalyptic... something of that nature. Maybe not, I can enjoy a good romance, an arresting mystery, or just trashy teen lit in general. But I'm going to be brutally honest and opinionated, so if you read a review of mine, take it with a grain of salt. I'm going to back up my judgments, but if you don't agree with them, that's all right. Everyone is different. A review is just that, it's not an end-all, and you should never not read a book just because of one review.

So yeah. What I'm into besides teen lit: I love videogames. I love writing. My favorite writer is David Sedaris, he's a hysterical genius. My favorite film is Girl, Interrupted. My favorite book/series is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the series it belongs to (the Millenium trilogy). I love Girls; Lena Dunham is my spirit animal. I'm also helplessly addicted to American Horror Story.

I guess that's about it? Look out for my reviews and my keen male insight!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Source: Bought (Barnes & Noble)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 316
Rating: A+

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Tears. The Fault in Our Stars produces many, many tears. I'm sure you've already heard this before, though. I know that almost every other book blog in existence has already reviewed The Fault in Our Stars, but I figured I'd give my two cents as well, anyway! Even though I haven't read any "cancer books", I know that The Fault in Our Stars is so much more than that. I was actually a smidge bit anxious going into The Fault in Our Stars because John Green is supposed to be this YA legend. He has such a huge fan base and so many readers adore him. In the past, I've read Looking for Alaska and while I thought it was good, it wasn't as amazing as I hoped it would be. With that said, The Fault in Our Stars turned me into another adoring reader of Green's. I don't think any other author has ever made me sob in the way that Mr. Green did, and for that, I applaud him.

Going into this book, I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen. Bloggers were saying things along the lines of "The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most heartbreaking books I've ever read!" That can obviously only mean one thing, right? Wrong. Because I was so confident about my predictions, I didn't expect the unexpected. With that said, don't try and figure out what's going to happen. Why? Because The Fault in Our Stars isn't the type of book to keep guessing through. Just read it, indulge, and (silently, or in my case, deafeningly) weep.

What I liked the most about The Fault in Our Stars is that it felt so genuine. I didn't feel like I was reading a YA novel that was written by a 30 year old male (no offense, Mr. Green!) I felt like I was reading the true story of the exquisite Hazel Grace Lancaster and how she met her soul mate, Augustus Waters. Speaking of Augustus... can more people like him exist? Pretty please? Augustus is so unforgettable and will definitely stay in my heart forever as one of my favorite characters. You would think because I'm so obsessed with the main characters of The Fault in Our Stars, that I might not have enough room in my heart for any minor characters. WRONG, again! I pretty much fell in love with every character from The Fault in Our Stars besides Monica, even the characters I'm probably meant to dislike. They were just perfect, but flawed, but oh so perfect. I want to meet all of them.

I can't tell you how many pages of this book that I bookmarked (I could... but that would take a while.) I'm not the type of reader to mark my favorite pages or passages because nothing usually captures my attention enough to make me stop reading and do it. I made sure to do this with The Fault in Our Stars though. There's something about the way this book made me feel, that I know when I return to certain passages, the same feelings will return and it'll be amazing. This book just understood me. This was definitely a huge, gushy, choppy review, but I hope you've taken everything I just said into consideration.

If you haven't read The Fault in Our Stars yet, I highly, highly encourage you to do so, and please let me know what you think! If you've already read The Fault in Our Stars, let me know what you thought in the comments or leave me a link to your review!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (25)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly feature that lets us share what titles we're waiting on!

Until It Hurts to Stop by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Publication Date: September 12, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile

When you can’t trust anyone, how can you ever feel safe?

In seventh grade, Maggie Camden was the class outcast. Every day, the other girls tripped her, pinched her, trapped her in the bathroom, told her she would be better off dead. Four years have passed since then, and Maggie’s tormentors seem to have moved on. The ringleader of them all, Raleigh Barringer, even moved out of town. But Maggie has never stopped watching for attacks, and every laugh still sounds like it’s at her expense. The only time Maggie feels at peace is when she’s hiking up in the mountains with her best friend, Nick. Lately, though, there’s a new sort of tension between the two of them—a tension both dangerous and delicious. But how can Maggie expect anything more out of Nick when all she’s ever been told is that she’s ugly, she’s pathetic, she’s unworthy of love? And how can she ever feel safe, now that Raleigh Barringer is suddenly—terrifyingly—back in town?

I've heard so many amazing things about Jennifer Hubbard. This sounds like an incredible, dramatic read and I hope I get the chance to read it!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Current Obsession (1)

Hey readers! This is a feature I've been wanting to introduce for quite some time now. I think I'm going to call it "Current Obsession" and it's completely inspired by the monthly "favorites" videos that may be seen on YouTube  (ex: missglamorazzi, Tanya Burr, & DulceCandy87).

While BAM Book Reviews is primarily a YA book blog, I thought I would mix things up around here and show you all some random obsessions of mine. These obsessions can range from TV shows, movies, music, makeup, food, etc. For now, I'm going to stick to featuring one "obsession" per post. I'm so excited about this new feature because I'll get to share some of my other interests besides books and hopefully introduce all of you to some cool new things!

"From the creator of “Weeds” comes a heartbreaking and hilarious new series set in a women’s prison. Piper Chapman’s wild past comes back to haunt her, resulting in her arrest and detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper trades her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates."

Okay, so I jumped on the bandwagon that was rolling through Twitter. You caught me! Orange is the New Black is absolutely my new obsession. I'm twitching now that I've ended season one and have to wait for season two to be streaming on Netflix. I started watching this show on a Friday night and then finished the season finale on the following Monday night/Tuesday morning. THAT'S CRAZY for me. This show is a complete addiction and I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 18 (due to mature content.)

I had a feeling I would love Orange is the New Black because Jenji Kohan created it. As soon as I learned that Kohan was behind this marvelous show, I knew I had to watch it. Kohan also created Weeds which is one of my other favorite shows that you should watch (if you haven't already!)

As you can tell from the description of above of OITNB, the setting is a women's prison. Personally, I've always had such a fascination with prison so this show was especially interesting to me. However, I think it will appeal to a large audience: males and females of most ages. The show centers around so many different types of characters of different ethnicities and ages. I think that's why the show is doing so well so far. There always seems to be a story that someone in the audience can relate to and I adore that.

I was beginning to rethink my subscription to Netflix but now that Orange is the New Black is exclusive on it, my subscription will be staying put. Once again, I highly, highly recommend this show to anyone and everyone (mostly over the age of 18) and hope you adore it as much as I do!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Dial
Release Date: June 14, 2012
Source: Bought (Ollies Bargain Outlet)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 394
Rating: A+

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

My Life Next Door was one of the lovely books I brought on vacation with me this summer. I remembered reading a ton of raving reviews of this book and thought it would be the perfect poolside read... and it was! I took this book everywhere with me for 2 days in Mexico. Even when I went in the pool to cool down, I had to take it with me and hide in the corner (to prevent any book damage, of course.)

Has anyone seen the movie Cheaper by the Dozen? Well if you watch that movie, subtract a few children, imagine the family being 10x more fascinating and endearing, and use "the girl next door" type of character for narration, you'll have My Life Next Door. While My Life Next Door isn't the most action-packed read, I was still finding myself flipping the pages as fast as I could.

I found myself rather obsessed with the mesmerizing characters that Fitzpatrick thoughtfully created. The whole Garrett family is so hilarious that I found myself laughing out loud quite often while reading about them. I typically don't show any emotion when I'm reading a book, unless I'm reading something sad (cry baby alert!), but I completely wore my heart on my sleeve during this adventure--I couldn't help it!

The main character, Samantha Reed is pretty much perfect, not in the annoying way though! Samantha isn't like most teens I read about in YA. She's very level-headed and wise beyond her age. Oh... and Jase? He is also perfect. He's even more perfect than Samantha. Jase is amazing and everything any girl could ever want in a guy. He's sweet, funny, and has officially made it into my top 5 list of book boyfriends.

I won't spoil anything for you guys, but I do need to say that there is something that happens towards the end of My Life Next Door that is a bit somber, but realistic and very appreciated. Huntley Fitzpatrick knows how to write a book. Scratch that! Huntley Fitzpatrick knows how to write a freaking good book. If you enjoy a fun and tender contemporary, then definitely pick this one up. I couldn't recommend it more.

Waiting on Wednesday (24)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly feature that lets us share what titles we're waiting on!

Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR

A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

AH! This sounds like such a kick-ass thriller! I'm in the mood for an addicting, fierce read and this sounds like it would satisfy my craving. HURRY UP, OCTOBER.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shadowlands (Shadowlands #1) by Kate Brian

Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Bought (The Strand)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 328
Rating: C+

Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

I've been lusting after this book ever since they released the cover and summary on Goodreads. First of all, the cover is perfection. I'm not a graphic design expert in any way, shape, or form... but I can't imagine it being any more exquisite. Then there's the summary. Serial killers, a beach setting, the witness protection program... I was positive that this book would wow me. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Shadowlands and thought it was such an addictive read, but I expected so much more from Kate Brian. There were quite a few times throughout Shadowlands when I thought to myself, "Something just feels off...", "This isn't making any sense.", or even "This story isn't that believable." The whole plot of Shadowlands had a ton of potential but I felt like there were clumsy pieces that could have been thought out better.

While Shadowlands is more of a plot-driven novel, I did enjoy Rory and the other characters (except Rory's sister, Darcy). Like the summary notes above, Rory and her sister Darcy fall in with a group of carefree teens that do nothing productive with their time. This was so much fun to read about considering it's basically an extended vacation with no limits for teenagers... who wouldn't love that?!

Overall, Kate Brian wrote a solid first book in a new series that will hopefully improve as it continues. Even though Shadowlands wasn't as amazing as I hoped, the end definitely left me wanting more and I'm really excited to see where the next book takes us.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (23)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly feature that lets us share what titles we're waiting on!

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins

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.

This. Sounds. AMAZING. If you didn't already know, I'm a sucker for a good forbidden romance. Also, last year I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Italy. This will be my first time reading a book that's set in a foreign land that I've been to. I'm really looking forward to see what Desrochers does with this title.

What are you excited for this Wednesday?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Anatomy of a Single Girl (Anatomy #2) by Daria Snadowsky

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Author
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 227
Rating: A-

(Spoiler alert for anyone that hasn't read Anatomy of a Boyfriend)

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn't want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

This book. This book is so real. I just had to state that before writing anything else because it's so true. Do you know how a lot of YA books feature an amazing love story that gives readers false hope about real relationships? Sure, sometimes that's just what we need! But Anatomy of a Single Girl sets the truth straight in the best way possible. This lovely book shows the readers that life and relationships aren't always perfect but can be great learning experiences.

After being in college a few years myself, I've definitely witnessed the types of "relationships" that Dom and Guy displayed. I'm not saying that a reader needs to experience a "friends with benefits" type of relationship, but relationships in general are important for finding out what type of person you want to be and what type of person you want to be with.

Overall, I really enjoyed Anatomy of a Single Girl. It was a super quick, amusing read that will keep you interested. The only thing I would change about this book is the length and depth. If it was a bit longer and had more depth, I think I would've connected (emotionally) more to Dom and the other characters. Other than that, I definitely recommend Anatomy of a Single Girl to anyone looking for a light read or someone in a situation similar to Dom's.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May, 2011
Source: BEA
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 402
Rating: A

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

I don't think I've ever read a book I didn't enjoy by Sarah Dessen. This woman can literally write about staring at a wall and it would still be an interesting read. With that said, of course, I enjoyed every page of What Happened to Goodbye.

What Happened to Goodbye is a character driven novel (just like many other of Dessen's) that comes with such a unique charm. Whenever I start reading one of her novels, I remember why I adore her so much. The writing is so simple and flows beautifully.

I loved how Mclean's world revolved around something as simple as a restaurant. It almost reminded me of Luke's Diner from Gilmore Girls, and come on. Who doesn't love Luke's Diner? Usually I crave some type of romance when I read YA, but there isn't a ton in Dessen's novels and I'm alright with that. She makes it captivating enough with other issues involving friendships and family.

What Happened to Goodbye is basically the perfect summer read for anyone that is craving something comfortable. It's not a very eventful novel but at the same time it's still entertaining and fun to read. If you've never read a novel by Sarah Dessen, I highly recommend you do so and while I adore all of her novels, What Happened to Goodbye is definitely in my top 3.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

Publisher: Egmont
Source: Publicist
Edition: ARC
Pages: 304
Rating: A-

Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

Okay, so if I'm going to be honest here... I should tell you all that I've never read Pride and Prejudice (don't hate me!) I do own it... I've just never had to read it yet for college and I'm always more captivated by the lovely YA out there. But there's good news! You can still enjoy Spies and Prejudice without having any knowledge of Jane Austen's most popular novel.

On page 4 of reading Spies and Prejudice, I knew I was going to love it. It already stole my attention and wasn't planning on giving it back. Every few pages I was finding the most hilarious and clever quotes. Talia Vance either took a really long time to come up with some of the jokes and cleverness that's entwined  in Spies and Prejudice, or she's just a natural comedian. Either way, I was giggling and smiling throughout most of the book.

The friendships and romances throughout the book were fun and imperfectly perfect. Mary Chris Moss ([GET IT?!] Berry's best friend) was probably my favorite character of the whole book and sincerely wish I knew someone like her. Tanner was sometimes predictable but still adorable to read about. The romance was perfectly balanced and wasn't over the top, which is a huge plus!

The only issue I had with Spies and Prejudice was the ending. Not even the whole ending! I was just easily distracted towards the end which usually means the book isn't catching my attention as much as I wish it would. It was dragging on and I had to force myself to keep reading. But I promise, this didn't last very long. Eventually I was flipping the pages at a steady pace and needing to know what was going to happen.

Overall, besides the dragging towards the end, I really enjoyed Spies and Prejudice and look forward to reading more of Talia Vance's work. I love when a book can make me laugh out loud and physically smile, and Spies and Prejudice did that.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Bought (Barnes and Noble)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 361
Rating: B+

Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his h
and, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Yay! I've finally read one of the books that the blogosphere has been raving about. I can definitely understand the hype. I usually don't find a lot of time to read during my school year, but I found a way to make time for Obsidian this past semester.

First, I need to profess why I enjoyed reading Obsidian. What I loved the most about this book is the addicting quality that comes with it. I never wanted to put it down for several reasons, including: the spunky and relatable main character (Katy,) cute boy, fast paced plot, and mystery.

While I really enjoyed this book, there were a few things that it could've done without. Like mentioned above in the summary, Daemon is infuriating. Like... really infuriating. I understand why people think guys with a jerky personality can be attractive. I think it was laid on a bit heavy though. At times I was sighing out loud because I just needed him to leave his attitude at the door.

For reasons I can't remember (I read this book about a month ago, oops!) I kept comparing Obsidian to Twilight. I kept noticing a lot of unnecessary similarities that started to get on my nerves. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't be the only person that noticed this.

Lastly... there's something in the book that isn't a huge deal but I felt it needed to be mentioned in this review. Katy is a book blogger. Some may find this to be awesome and make her that much more relatable! However, some may feel it was a cheap way to capture the readers' attention. I'm sort of in the middle. It doesn't really matter to me either way because it isn't big part of the novel, but I still felt the need to address it and any issues that may come with it.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Obsidian to other readers. I really look forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing where Armentrout takes these characters.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly feature that lets us share what titles we're waiting on!

Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah Jayne
Publication Date: July 16th, 2013

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."

AH! Need this book more. First of all, love the title. It reminds me of that song by Savage Garden. The whole concept sounds like such a page turner. Basically, I'm dying to get my hands on this.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share your answer in the comments or leave me a link to your blog so I can check it out!


Hey everyone! Just wanted to jump on the bandwagon and make it easier for all of you to follow BAM Book Reviews once Google Reader ditches us. I've personally been using Feedly which I love but everyone has their preferences so if you plan on using Bloglovin, then click on the link below!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you're not sure what reader to start using after Google Reader crashes, Parajunkee has a great post about some alternatives. You can check that out here!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Happy Tuesday! Well, technically it's Wednesday, but I'm going with it! I finally decided to participate in the amazing Top Ten Tuesday. I look forward to these posts every week so I'm shocked it's my first time participating. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a weekly feature/meme that gives you the chance to share your top 10 (insert adjective here) books! 

  • Small Town Sinners by Melissa WalkerThis was the first book I've read by Melissa Walker and I've been stalking her books on Goodreads for a while! Her covers are SO attractive. I'm a big fan of photographed covers with a little extra added to them. While the covers are what originally attracted me to Walker's books, she knows how to back them up with a great read.
  • Speechless by Hannah Harrington: Okay. I know what you might be thinking.  This is one of your favorite covers? There is no cover. That's why I love this so much. With all of the different covers out there, you have to stand out somehow. I think whoever thought of leaving the cover mostly blank was a genius. It  gave my eyes a break for once and let me focus on the actual story. Which brings me to another reason why this landed in  my top 10. When you read the book, you might understand the symbolism behind the cover. Bottom line: I love this cover or lack of.
  • Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth: Don't get me wrong, I love the cover of Divergent. But the cover of Insurgent?! While they're similar, I'm in love with the color scheme of Insurgent's cover. It's so peaceful like Amity and just PRETTY. LOVE.

  • On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves: If you couldn't already tell from the blog itself, blue is one of my favorite colors. So there's the photographed cover which already makes this cover a front runner. Then in the photograph there's an amazing beach with gorgeous blue water? Win.
  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma: One of my favorite types of books to read are ones with forbidden love stories in it. You know, the kind of relationship that is either looked down upon, against the law, or just plain WRONG. This cover executes the whole forbidden love theme very well and is one of the main reasons why I decided to read it.
  • Salvaged by Stefne Miller: Can someone please tell me why so many people are disgusted by feet? I don't understand it. They're kind of like hands... just on your legs. Anyway, this cover makes me want to just lay in my back yard and read a good book. This cover screams "summer read"!

  • That Summer by Sarah Dessen: Even though this isn't my favorite Sarah Dessen novel, the new covers are AMAZING. They're just the makeover that these books needed to keep people reading them. First, the blending of the pink and orange in "Sarah Dessen" is so perfect and pretty. I love the simplicity of "That Summer" also. And pretty much any book with a beach on it makes me want to read it, so that's sold.
  • Identical by Ellen Hopkins: Lets just say if I didn't limit this list to only having one Ellen Hopkins book on it, her titles would take up most of it. I think Ellen Hopkins is pretty well known for her covers and how amazing they are. I just want to take a second to protest against the new covers for the Crank series, by the way. Stick with the old ones please!
  • I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
    The only reason I picked up this book was because of it's cover. I remember I was in a reading slump when I picked this up and wanted to read something different. I felt like I was constantly reading the same old stuff and I just needed a change. Admit it, this cover is unique. It's not the most attractive of covers, but it's definitely one of my favorites.

  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: You can hate on the book all you want, but you have to admit... the covers hit the spot. They're so PRETTY. A lot of you will probably disagree with me, but hey, besides word of mouth... something convinced people to read these books. And I'm pretty sure it was the cover. By the way, if you click on the link within the title, you can read my very first review! It's kind of embarrassing but you gotta start somewhere, right?!
So what are the top 10 favorite covers of books that you've read? Let me know in the comments or share your link so I can come check out your post!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: BEA
Edition: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 288
Rating: A

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

I. Adored. This. Book. 

There were actually quite a few reviews of this book that mentioned how they liked Saving June, Harrington's debut, a lot more then Speechless. I'm really happy that I read Speechless first because maybe I wouldn't have liked it as much as I did. Also, this means I have Saving June to look forward to reading!

While this may sound like an insult to some people, I think of it as a compliment: Speechless made me feel like I was watching a really good Lifetime movie. Almost like a moderately different but still similar version of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. And while there are similarities, the differences are large enough so I don't feel like I'm reading the same book.

Two of the main characters, Sam and Asha, are some of the most lovable characters I've had the pleasure to meet. What I loved the most about Chelsea and Sam's relationship, is that it took time. Yeah, they connected and there might have been some instant chemistry, but it took time for the both of them to realize that. It was real and believable. Asha (Chelsea's new BFF,) is the sweetest girl ever. I hope I get to meet someone like her someday, because she's absolutely perfect. 

Let's talk about the cover. I know there's a few different covers for Speechless, but I prefer the blank white one. It's definitely risky, because it's so blank. A lot of people (including myself) choose books by their cover. That's exactly what attracted me to this book though! The cover made me curious enough to figure out why it's so plain. I like how it fits the novel so well and I hope other readers can agree with that! 

I've had a craving for contemp novels lately, and Speechless definitely helped while making me want more. Overall, I'm really pleased that I read this book and I would recommend it to anyone in the mood for a great contemp and fans of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

What do all of you think of the cover? I'm dying to know what everyone else thinks of it. Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Bought (Barnes and Noble)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 327
Rating: B

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

I have been wanting this book for YEARS. I wouldn't be surprised to say that I've wanted this book since 2007, when it was published! I always told myself that I would wait for it to release in paperback because I'm such a cheapskate. Let me tell you... that took forever! But now that this lovely, powerful novel is finally released in paperback, I let myself buy it and indulge.

It took me at least 30-40 pages to really get into this book, but once I was at that point, there was no distracting me from devouring it. As you know from the synopsis of Thirteen Reasons Why, listed above, Hannah Baker gets the chance to tell her full story and the reasons why she committed suicide. The first few reasons seemed a bit minor and fixable... until the other reasons were unveiled. This girl just could not catch a break. I couldn't imagine going through everything Hannah did and remaining sane. As the novel went on, her reasons got much worse to the point where I couldn't even guess how much worse they could even get... but they always did.

However strange this may sound, I typically prefer reading novels with a female's POV. It's rare that I come across a novel I really enjoy with a male narrator although there have been cases: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. And now, I can gladly add Thirteen Reasons Why to that small list. Even though a lot of the novel is narrated by Hannah from the tapes, I always enjoyed reading about Clay and what he was thinking. He was an absolute sweetheart that was really easy to sympathize with and I hope to read more novels with narrators similar to him.

While I really did enjoy this book, I think the hype it continually gets made it fall short in the slightest way. I was expecting to cry my eyes out during the whole novel which didn't happen, and I cry pretty easily! Even though the hype may have made this book fall a bit short for me, I still really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for something gripping and haunting to read.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Books A Million
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 327
Rating: B-

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
The Selection is definitely not what I expected it to be. At all.

But I liked it! I think.

The whole idea of the book is that there is a Caste system. Everyone is numbered One to Eight. The lower your number, the higher your caste, and the better life you live. Generally Fives to Eights live the hardest, shortest, and poorest lives in the entire society. Ones are the royal family.

The royal family?! Yes. The royal family. The entire book is set in the future, but this future has gone medieval. A monarchy is in charge of the country and everyone is on their knees just begging to join them in their reign.

Everyone except for one girl.

America Singer is the young protagonist of this novel. She is a Five and loves that she gets to sing and play music to bring money to her family. She is a typical teenager who wants to help her family, find her passion, and fall in love.

The Selection (the title of the novel) happens when the Prince of the royal family comes of age. Every eligible, single woman between the ages of sixteen and twenty is entered in a contest. Thirty-five of thousands are chosen to go to the castle and compete for the Prince’s affections. It’s sort of like The Bachelor!
America is chosen for the Selection and is shockingly dismayed. All she wants to do is stay with her love, Aspen Leger, a Six. But her mother wants the money and status that comes with marrying a higher number.

Maxon Schreave, the Prince, is nothing like America imagines him to be. He’s just the typical guy. Except for the entire country is watching his every move as he learns to date and interact with women for the first time. A little stressful, no?

I don’t want to give away any more details! All in all, it really is like The Bachelor, but there are a few more twists and turns!

I would recommend reading it if you’re interested in a non-dystopian YA novel. Tell me what you think about it! I honestly still haven’t decided if I like America or not (she seems a little whiney to me), but I am anxious to see how the next this plays out!

Friday, January 18, 2013

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Bought (@ my local indie)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 261
Rating: C+

My name is Sophie.
This book is about me.
It tells
the heart-stoppingly riveting story
of my first love.
And also of my second.
And, okay, my third love, too.

It's not that I'm boy crazy.
It's just that even though
I'm almost fifteen
it's like
my mind
and my body
and my heart
just don't seem to be able to agree
on anything.

WMMDK (What My Mother Doesn't Know) was pretty cute! I think it was meant for the younger, YA crowd (15 and under) but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable for anyone older. I read the entire novel in one sitting which wasn't a big deal since it's written in verse. Even though the book is around 300 pages, it feels like maybe 100 or less due to the format.

While WMMDK was entertaining enough to keep me reading, I can't say that the story will stick with me forever. It's more of a light and fluffy read that can be used to kill some time and take your mind off anything serious. 

The main character, Sophie, did make me giggle out loud a few times from her outrageous thoughts. I do wish that I would have connected a bit more with her though! She was a little immature for a 15 year old. If I didn't know her age, I would have guessed she was around 11 or 12 years old. 

So basically... give this book a shot if you need to kill some time and are looking for something slightly entertaining.