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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.