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Monday, September 30, 2013

Sarah Dessen Book Club!

Okay, I'm finally jumping on the Sarah Dessen book wagon. Please don't hate me when I say that I have never read a Sarah Dessen book. I know, I know, I'm a terrible! Therefore when I saw that Heather, from The Bookables on YouTube, was starting a Sarah Dessen book club I had to join. Joining in is the perfect way for me to finally read some Sarah Dessen and be able to talk about it with others reading the same book! Here is the introduction video for it and during September the book to read was The Truth About Forever. Though I'm joining at the end of the month, I hope to have this one in a few days so I don't miss much.


I am excited to find out what we are reading in October and I hope you all will join in! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday



This week was a difficult list for me to make - there are so many fantastic releases this fall. I've been saving up for these couple of months and I am going to go broke again very quickly. 

Top Ten (New Release) Books on My Fall TBR




(out October 15th)

This follow-up to my favorite read of the year so far, Just One Day, is my most highly anticipated release this fall. I'm growing more and more impatient for this one to come so I can read it!

(out today!)

I've heard some amazing things about this one! The cover is beautiful and I'm hoping this fantasy story will be just as great! 

(out on October 1st)

This contemporary sounds like a great love story and I can't wait to read it!

(out already!)

This is another book I've heard nothing but fantastic things about. I love the premise and it sounds like I can relate to the MC, Cath in a few ways. I'm anticipating this one to be one of my favorite reads this fall.

(out already!)

The CW has picked up this story and made it into a TV show. I really want to read this one before the show airs! This story sounds like it will be an action-packed, great read.

(out already!)

This one is about time travel...time travel?! Yes, please! I've heard great things about this one as well and I can't wait to pick it up!

(out already!)

As a fan of dragons, but not finding many books with dragons, I am so happy to hear about this one! I  couldn't be more excited to find out what's behind that pretty cover.

(out on Sept. 24th!)

This book has a unique story about super villains!! I've heard some really good things about this one as well! I cannot wait to see what all the excitement is about!

(out already!)

I just finished Throne of Glass this month and I LOVED it! I cannot wait to find out what happens next!

(out already!)

I've been reading some fantastic reviews on this one and I am looking forward to seeing if I feel the same way!











Book Review | Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Title: Gated
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publication: August 6th, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Won it in a giveaway

Rating: 4 out 5 stars


Synopsis: Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:
Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress - the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside of the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of the days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.


Review: This book was not what I expected and I don't mean that in a bad way! I thought that this book would begin with a huge apocalyptic event and the story would be about everyone surviving in this compound while the world around them is dying. I was completely off with that one! To start off with, this book is about a cult. I actually really enjoyed reading about a cult, it's a topic that doesn't get discussed often and I found it intriguing.

I really enjoyed Lyla as our MC. I felt that she was a girl that stood boldly for her rights in the way that she went against those norms that were required in the cult - such as learning how to shoot accurately - while those around her were shooting at human cardboard cutouts (I think one even had was a child) she refused to because she had a hard time shooting at any human, let alone one that is innocent. She had a kind heart, and a pure drive to what's right and to seek the truth. She also had this curiosity factor that made her really enjoyable to discover new things with as you are reading. 

While this book isn't heavy on the romance, there is a slight romantic factor in this book. I usually like a little more romance (or potential for it) present in books I read, but this one I thought had just the right amount for the story. This story is about Lyla and her community - and that holds the interesting tale. I absolutely loved getting a new, fresh perspective from a world that you don't often get to read about in literature. This world of a community that follows one leader and has all these radical beliefs and rules that members must follow. This was a world set within a world and getting a glimpse inside of it fascinated me.

I would recommend this book for those that enjoy suspense and intrigue. If you're looking for a new take on a whole different world that similarly exists around us (in different ways) then you should check this book out. I really enjoyed this one and I liked that it was a stand-alone; I felt the story was a complete the way it was, and was a good one at that. : )


What are some books you've read lately that have given you a unique perspective in one way or another?


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Library Haul - Vlog style

I recently checked out some books from the library! Check em out! While you're at it, check out some other videos by RayKayBooks :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review | Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green

Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Jacqueline Green
Publication: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Won it off of Goodreads

Rating: 3 out 5 stars


Synopsis: When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it's no longer a party game. It's do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin "Angel" Thomas to prove she's more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn't even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they're forced to play along - or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from the surfacing? And who's behind this twisted game?


Review: I haven't watched or read any of the Pretty Little Liars series, but this book reminded me of the premise and it sounded intriguing. This book revolves around a truth or dare game gone way too serious that people start to get hurt and serious events start to happen. It's hard to talk about this book without giving too much away, so please excuse the vagueness of this review.

I had a hard time relating to any of the characters. They were all annoying to me in some way or another. I felt that they all made stupid decisions and it seemed as though they all thought the world was about them which was a turn off. Not relating to characters made it difficult for me to get into the story.

I did however, like the storyline and the plot twists kept me intrigued and invested in what was going to happen next. I think that Green did a great job of interweaving the characters and completely blindsiding you with twists that you didn't see coming (and others that were predictable, but no less dramatic). 

I felt that this book could have been much shorter than it is. At nearly 400 pages, this book is quite big for the amount of action in it. I felt that parts of the story were dragging while I was waiting for the next event in the story. I heard that this book is going to be part of a trilogy and though this one ended on a small cliffhanger, I'm on the fence about continuing to read the series. 

Filled with drama and intrigue, this is an enjoyable read. While I didn't relate to any of the characters (normally if this happens, I can't even continue reading the book), I continued reading and was entertained with the many twists and turns that occur. I would recommend this one if you like mysteries or thrillers.


What are some great mystery/thriller YA books that you have read?


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shelftember!

I received an email from The Book Depository with their new promotion cleverly titled Shelftember. This inspired me to think of a feature for the blog with my own shelves, and showing what books fill (and overfill) my shelves. I thought I would share a part of my shelves each week for the month of September. I am in no-way bragging, I just thought it would be fun to share what books I own. I always like to see what books people have on their shelves, so I hope you all will join in and share too! :)


Titles:
Top Shelf:
Dualed by Elsie Chapman                                              
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
The Essence by Kimberly Derting                                  
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers                                    
Legend by Marie Lu
Delirium by Lauren Oliver                                              
Pandamonium by Lauren Oliver
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick            
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons
Black City by Elizabeth Richards                                   
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet By Marissa Meyer
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Every Day by David Levithan
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Program by Suzanne Young
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Partials by Dan Wells
The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
The Elite by Kiera Cass

Second Shelf: Most of these are ARCs that I received at ALA this year.
To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones
The Girl From Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson
The Burning by Elana K. Arnold
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Planet of Thieves by Dan Krokos
The Year of Luminous Love by Lurlene McDaniel
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Anomaly by Krista McGee
The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
The Vow by Jessica Martinez
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufmen and Meagan Spooner
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Hooked by Liz Fichera
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett
Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdams
Magical Fashionista by Tess Whitehurst
Hostage Three by Nick Lake
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
172 Hours On The Moon by Johan Harstad and Tara F. Chace
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Like After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Reboot by Amy Tintera

Any books on my shelf that are common with yours? Have you read and enjoyed any of these?





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

TTT (20): Books I Wish Were Taught in Schools


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Books I Wish Were Taught in Schools


Harry Potter Series

These books are classics that I think everybody should read. They offer many different thought-provoking events and also open up a whole world full of imagination. If there's one thing that I think schools could use more of, it's imagination and I think these books could help bring that to the table.

The Hunger Games

These are serious books that involve some serious consequences in a dystopian society. I think that these books raise many political questions and challenge political thinking. I also liked that these books were realistic in the sense that many die when fighting for a cause and there isn't always a happy ending for everyone in the end.

Aristotle & Dante Discover Secrets of the Universe

This book is a love story of two boys. This is a beautiful love story and one that I think everyone should read. I think having more diverse literature in schools will help students to become more open-minded and also help those students that were looking for the perfect book to relate to.

The Fault in Our Stars

This is another book that I think everyone should read. This book is a beautiful story with beautiful characters that you can't help but feel for. I think this book would offer an unique perspective to some students. The discussions about life that would come out of reading this book would be incredible.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I think that most students would enjoy this book. Most students could relate to Charlie's journey to make friends and keep them. I think they would enjoy going on Charlie's adventures with him as well.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

This book follows an Indian boy that goes to a rather prestigious white school. His story of struggling to embrace himself as a whole, rather than in pieces is a struggle I think most kids can relate to in one way or another.

Divergent

There are so many things about this book that can be discussed. Processes of the mind and traits - such as a discussion of whether one trait can dominate and define a person. Could a society divided in any way be successful? So many good discussions can come from these pages, not to mention a highly enjoyable read.

Perfect Chemistry

Students are often required to read Romeo and Juliet, but I think this modern love story would be more enjoyable to students. It is similar to Romeo and Juliet in the sense of forbidden love but has a happier ending. This book is fantastic and one of my favorite love stories.

Wonderstruck

This book is half filled with beautiful pictures. I think that adding a little variety in and having a book filled with pictures that tell the story as well as the words would be a fun challenge to the students. Students that don't enjoy reading (sad occurrence, but it's more common than you think) may enjoy reading this book since it is told through pictures as well as words.

Orleans

What I liked most about this book is the different language. This survival story is told from an African American girl's perspective and she speaks using ebonics. I think that it is crucial to students to see literature from not only different point of views but also from a full, unique perspective that immerses you in the world and the MC's unique mind.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Most Anticipated September Releases

I love fall for many reasons...one of them being that there are so many promising books being released this fall. So many that I'm going to have to break the fall up into monthly posts. Since we have officially entered September and some of these books are going to be released tomorrow, let's get started.

September New Releases



Released on September 3rd



Scorched

Scorched by Mari Mancusi


Trinity
Don't leave me here... It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she's going crazy. It wouldn't be a big surprise - her grandpa firmly believes there's a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it's begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it...

Connor
He's come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

Caleb
He's everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head - a dragon that won't be tamed.

I don't think there are enough dragon books out there. This one sounds unique and action-packed. One of the ones I'm most excited for this month. I love this cover as well - it looks fierce!




All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill


"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 same terrible present - imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war wages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted scientist 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.

A book about time travel? Sign me up. I've heard great things about this one, I can't wait to see if their true.



The 100

The 100 by Kass Morgan


In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland...before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

I heard that this one has already been picked up to be a tv series. Must be something good in these pages and I can't wait to find out.



Starry Nights

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney


Seventeen-year-old Julien is a romantic - he loves spending his free time at the museum poring over the great works of the Impressionists. But one night, a peach falls out of a Cezanne, Degas ballerinas dance across the floor, and Julien is not hallucinating.

The art is reacting to a curse that trapped a beautiful girl, Clio, in a painting forever. Julien has a chance to free Clio and he can't help but fall in love with her. But love is a curse in its own right. And soon paintings begin to bleed and disappear. Together Julien and Clio must save the world's greatest art...at the expense of the greatest love they've ever known.

A modern fairytale of a girl trapped in art by a curse? And a boy that has to save her? Sounds like an amazing story, I can't wait to read this one!



Released on September 10th



Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life - and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.

Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is one her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I've heard so many amazing things about Rainbow Rowell and all of her books. This is one highly anticipated book and so far I've heard nothing but good things. This is another book that I'm most excited about!




Antigoddess (Goddess War Series #1)

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake


Old Gods never die...

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the causes of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra - an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn't involve herself in the business of gods - in fact, she doesn't even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don't just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

I love greek mythology and this book has a very unique and interesting spin on greek mythology. I am really, really excited to read this book!



September 17th Releases



The Burning Sky

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas


It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning...

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation - or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world as ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family - even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

I've been on a high fantasy kick lately and this sounds right up my alley. This book is one of the ones I'm most looking forward to. I've also heard some great things about this book, I can't wait to read it!




3:59

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil


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

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

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

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

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

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

The premise of this books sounds so unique..a parallel universe? This books sounds like a creepy one, perfect for fall!



Killer of Enemies

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac


Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones - people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human - and there was everyone else who served them.

Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones' pets - genetically engineered monsters - turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen's powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun.

As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be more than a hunter. Lozen is mean to be a hero.

This cover is FIERCE and this book sounds pretty bad-ass. I am very excited for this action-packed, dystopian read that is looking like it's going to be a perfect fall read!



This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales


Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski's strong suit. All throughout her life, she's been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

As a huge music fan, the title alone attracted me to this book. This book is hollering at me to read it!



September 24th Releases


Vicious

Vicious by V.E. (Victoria) Schwab


A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates - brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Elie is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find - aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will.

Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the arch nemeses have set a course for revenge - but who will be left alive at the end?

A super-power book centered on mostly villainous characters...oh my goodness, YES. I can't wait to see were Victoria takes us with this one! 



Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender


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

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

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

A murder-mystery with Marie Antoinette and a French boy? I'm really excited to see what this one is all about!

What books are you most looking forward to in September? Have you pre-ordered any for this month? Have you read any of these already, if so, what did you think of them?