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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Title: Stargazer
Author: Claudia Gray
ISBN: 9780061284403
Publisher: HarperTeen

"Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all - vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas - a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross - or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning..."

This is the second book in the Evernight series - and to be honest, it took me a little while to remember exactly what had happened in the first book (just because there are so many vampire stories in my head at this point). Once I finally waded through to the right story, I finally found myself enjoying this book. It did take a little bit of work to get into, but I'm glad I did.

The story is so basic, but this book added a very interesting ghost story element that I really appreciated. It gave the story just a little more oomph to it and kept me involved. There's always the question of the love interests and all in these vampire stories. This one has a bit of a different view, but the same semi-triangle thing going on.

But this is a good book for those who are into the vampire romance. I'd recommend it specifically for the older YA reader - there are just a few scenes that are really kinda gorey and a bit of experience needed to get. I think. Of course, who knows... maybe middle schoolers will love this too and I'm totally wrong.

I do wonder when the next book will be coming out - I see that it's called Hourglass, but no date is set yet. I hope it's not too long, or I might forget the story again!

Author's Website
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Smugglers
Poisoned Rationality
Karin's Book Nook
And Another Book Read...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Title: Zombie Queen of Newbury High
Author: Amanda Ashby
ISBN: 9780142412565
Publisher: Speak/ Penguin

"Quiet, unpopular, noncheerleading Mia is blissfully happy, Rob - super hot football god - has asked her to prom! Life couldn't get any better. Eneter Samantha - cheerleader queen and Miss Popularity - who has made it quite clear that Rob should be her prom date. Mia is desperate to make sure she doesn't end up dumped in front of the whole school. So with prom in just a few days, she turns to Candice - her holistic, hypochondriac best friend - and decides to try a love spell to make Rob stay with her. Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus on her whole class instead, and she is their zombie leader! At first, she loves all the attention. But when she learns from zombie hunter hottie Chase that her classmates will actually try to eat her in a few days, she's not too thrilled. She's sure she and Chase can figure something out, but in the meantime, she's suggesting that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy."

I'm so ready for this zombie thing to take off. I mean, this vampire stuff has been fun (and my next book is vampire), but I'm ready to move along to the zombie stuff. It's so much fun and there's a lot of comedy to be had in the shuffling, water-hating, brain-eating zombie stories.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone open to moving on to the zombie stories. It's a great story and it pulled me in immediately. It's very humorous and upbeat - a very easy book to get into. I did wonder where the story was going to go at some points, but everything turned out perfectly.

There are a few other books by this author that I'm going to look for now. She's a great story teller and look forward to reading more of her stuff. I'd definitely recommend this one for any age, though - middle school and up.
Other Blog Review:

The Book Splot
Tiny Little Reading Room
Juciliciousss Reviews
Persnickety Snark

Friday, September 25, 2009

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad

Title: L.A. Candy
Author: Lauren Conrad
ISBN: 9780061767586
Publisher: HarperCollins

"Los Angeles is all about the sweet life:
hot clubs, cute guys, designer... everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.

When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a "reality version of Sex and the City," they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!

Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara - free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premiers -and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight.

In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it's not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be."

I really had some big reservations about reading this book. I have watched The Hills before, but that was for a completely brainless passtime. I was more than a little worried when I heard that Lauren Conrad had written a book. Usually it seems to not go well when a celebrity writes something - especially fiction.

The story was pretty much what I was expecting. As the saying goes, "write what you know." That's exactly what she did. Reading this book was exactly like watching an episode of The Hills. The conversations, the locations, the friendships, the feel... all the same. The only difference is the small look into the behind-the-scenes stuff. But it's nothing shocking - most of it seems about right (mikes, scripts, etc).

That being said - the book isn't bad. It's not great... but for chick lit, it's not bad. I'd really only say you should read it if you haven't watched The Hills or The City or whatever other spin offs there are. The story is fun, flows well, and it took me no time to read... but it's nothing new if you've seen those shows. It makes the story a bit repetitive if you have. And it was fast - it took me less than 48 hours to get through the book. But, again, I've heard the story.

I was surprised and a little dismayed to realize this was only the beginning of the story. The end of this book is very much a cliffhanger - in that it stops dead in the middle of the story. That was a little annoying, but I suppose it keeps people coming back for more. I'll have to decide if I want to continue.
Other Blog Reviews:

Fug Girls Book Club
Ms. Bookish
The Novel World
The East Carolinian
Book Binge
Chick Lit Books

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

Title: Carpe Corpus: Morganville Vampires Book 6
Author: Rachel Caine
ISBN: 9780451227195
Publisher: Jam Books

"In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace - until all the rules got rewritten when evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He's kept a death grip on the town ever since.

Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants - the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires be content to go back to the old rules after having had such a taste of power?"

I think I have talked about this series before in blog posts. It's a great series that I've been with since the beginning - I tend to pick it up without thinking... just because I need to keep reading them.

The last few books have left some serious cliff hangers. Enough that I really just wanted to get on with the story - have some sort of closure. But this book solved all of those ills. It was exactly what I expect when I pick up one of the Morganville Vampires books. A great story that continues to keep my interest.

I was very thankful that this book didn't end on a questionable note like the other books have lately. And really I thought this might be the end of the series - things were just wrapping up so neatly. I know there's always more story to be had, so I look forward to those when they come out.

I'd say that if you're a fan of the vampire stuff, you need to read this series. The romance aspect is picked up in this story too - it's a good balance of both. Therefore, read it! :)
Other Blog Reviews:

Michelle's Book Blog
Literary Escapism
YA Reads
I Heart Monster
Juciliciousss Reviews
My Life in Books

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin

Title: Fade to Blue
Author: Sean Beaudoin
ISBN: 9780346014175
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

"Sophie Blue is sarcastic, artistic, and always decked out in black leather and Midnight Noir lipstick. A year ago on her birthday, her dad left. Or spontaneously combusted. Or joined an Amazonian cult. Either way, it's sorta bad timing, since a scary Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.

Kenny Fade is a basketball god. He's got the cheerleader, the scoring title, the matching sweat suit, and sneakers that cost more than his Jeep. He's the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad.

Sophie Blue and Kenny Fade don't have a thing in common. Aside from being reasonably sure they're losing their minds."

There are times that I think jumping into a book without having read any reviews or anything might not be the best idea. Generally I like being surprised by a story - I always read the inside cover (summary), but I don't really like to know how people have felt about the book. That seems to skew my idea of the story.

That being said, I should have looked up reviews for this book. It was very much not what I was expecting. The story started out the way I expected. But about half way through I kinda got hit in the face with a crazy story. There is a huge twist that I wasn't expecting and had a hard time understanding. It's extremely trippy.

That isn't to say that I didn't like it - it was just WAYYY different than I was expecting. I am marking this one as sci/fi for the sake of categorizing, but I really am not sure what to call it. Was it all a dream? Was it really happening? Who is what, now? I'm confused. But anyway... It's a very interesting book.

I suppose I would recommend this book to someone looking for something different - nonformulaic. If you're just looking for a fun YA story, this might not be for you.
Other Blog Reviews:

Em's Bookshelf
Robots and Vamps
The Book Zombie
Melissa's Bookshelf
Karin's Book Nook
Inkweaver Review
The Book Vault

There are MANY more reviews out there. And most of them good! So go for it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alphas by Lisi Harrison

Title: Alphas
Author: Lisi Harrison
ISBN: 9780316035798
Publisher: Poppy/ Little, Brown & Co.
"Thousands apllied. One hundred got in. Only one will winn.
Eccentric billionaire Shira Brazille founded the super exclusive Alpha Academy on exotic Alpha Island to nuture the next generation of exceptional dancers, writers, musicians, and inventors. It's a dream come true for one hundred lucky girls, but those not measuring up will be sent home at any time, for any reason. The one left standing will win worldwide fame.
Skye Hamilton
Known for her dance moves and ability to make superfast connections with boys, Skye plans on taking the alphas by storm - and lip-kissing all five of Shira's superhot sons.
Allie A. Abbot
Is one little inital away from superstardom. So when Allie J. Abbott's invitation to Alpha Academy arrives on her doorstep, she does what any crafty girl would: commits identity theft. Can she keep up the charade?
Charlie Deery
Beta-for-life Charlie is offered a last-minute place at the Academy, but there's an admission condition: dumping her boyfriend - Shira's son. It's hard to claw her way up when ninety-nine girls are waiting to sink their clawas into her superhawt ex....
If at first you don't succeed, you're not an alpha.
I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I have seen the Clique series around for years... but have never picked any of them up (I could never make myself hunt for the first one, so I just never got around to it). And I was a little worried that the story would be so sugary that I wouldn't be able to make it through.
But I was so very wrong. The writing is clever and I pretty much laughed my way through all of the descriptions. I have never read a book and thought, "These descriptions are awesome"... but in this book they are. For instance: "Tears burned Charlie's eyes like expired mascara." or: "The air was thick and sticky, and each breath felt like she was snorting a milk shake." Just awesome! The whole book is like that... and I loved it!
If nothing else, this book is a fantastic chick lit book - and I look forward to the next in this series. I also have to say that if you've been looking at the Clique books wondering if you should try them.... try this one.
Other Blog Reviews:
I really wasn't able to find many reviews... so maybe you should read it and review it yourself! ta da! More reviews :).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blood Promise: a Vampire Academy novel by Richelle Mead

Title: Blood Promise: A Vampire Academy Novel
Author: Richelle Mead
ISBN: 9781595141989
Publisher: Razorbill

"Guardian Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same. The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck; a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count.

But only one victim matters... Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa - her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess - or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake - and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend - can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?"

From the beginning of the Vampire Academy series I've been an avid fan. The story is so well thought out and flows just perfectly. It's one that I tend to recommend for the older vampire lover.

One of the things I've always loved is the power and force behind the main character - she's a take-no-bs kinda girl. And there was a part in this book where that fades completely for a while. It was the hardest part of the book to get through cause I just wanted to shake her out of it.

But luckily it was short lived and the story went on. Enough to where I can say I really enjoyed this book. Another great story in the vampire world - without really calling them vampires, so much. And I'm not going to give it away here, but I was shocked by the ending... I mean, actually gasping outloud.... So yeah. Good stuff.

I'd recommend this completely to anyone who has been reading the Vampire Academy series. If you haven't been - why not?!? Go pick it up NOW! You won't regret it.
Other Blog Reviews:

Courtney's Writing Blog
Melissa's Bookshelf
Fantastic Book Review
A Journey of Books
Pure Imagination
The YA Book Blogger

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Death by Latte by Linda Gerber

Title: Death by Latte
Author: Linda Gerber
ISBN: 9780142411186
Publisher: Sleuth Speak

"It was only a few weeks ago that Aphra Connolly's life changed completely. She had been living a quiet existance at her father's secluded island resort until Seth Mulo turned up, stole her heart - and provided information that led to her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn't quite what she expected.

Aphra's mom, Natalie, doesn't seem happy to see Aphra; and Natalie's partner, Joe, insists that Aphra go home. Even worse, Seth shows up, only to ask her to return the ring he gave her a few weeks ago. At least Natalie's hunky neighbor is sympathetic. But when Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie. And now someone just might be trying to kill her..."

After I read Death by Bikini, I knew I had to read the rest of the books by this author. Death by Latte picks up right where the last book left off - almost immediately. I really think that the teen mystery genre has been ignored for a while. There is so much room for growth and this author has been the perfect intro to getting interest in the genre again. It makes me wish for more!

I read some adult mystery books in the past, and this series is really just leaps and bounds from those stories. It has the element of romance as well as some semi-realistic mystery. You end up truly caring about the characters - enough to root for them and hope for the best. The titles are a little hokie, but it pretty well describes the book.

I would absolutely recommend these books to any teens looking for a good, easy mystery. The story is so light and fun that it's almost a book you can finish in a day. I'm definitely off to find Death by Denim - if I'm lucky enough to get it :).

Author Blog: Linda Gerber
Other blog reviews:

Reading Darling Reviews
Jandy's Reading Room
Stop, Drop, & Read
The Story Siren

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Title: The Stranger
Author: Albert Camus
ISBN: 0679720200
Publisher: Vintage International

"Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus's first novel, The Stranger, has had a profound impact on millions American readers. Through this story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed 'the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.'"


I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. As a rule, I'm not a huge classic book fan. There's something about the way this one was written that really gives you a look into this guys life - and you're able to see yourself in his descriptions.

There are times that the story is a bit ambiguous, but I can see why so many classes read this book in high school. It's really good for critical thinking and questioning things about life. Perhaps it's a bit heavy - as it doesn't exactly end on a high note - but it's an interesting perspective on life that just makes you think.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good classic to read. I would give them a caution that it's a pretty heavy story... but it's still very interesting.
Other blog reviews:

Pattywad Blogspot
The Mookse and the Gripes

There are lots of other blogs out there. Feel free to check them out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Title: Evermore (The Immortals)
Author: Alyson Noel
ISBN: 9780312532758
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

"After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school - but everything changes when she meets damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic, and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head - wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is - or what he is. The only things she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him."

I know that people have been turning to Twilight as the end-all paranormal romance book.... but this book is just SOOO much better. Fans of the Twilight series would probably love this story as well - and I'm excited to get my hands on the next book. There is a lot more mystery to this story. Things aren't laid out in the beginning so you're kept guessing through the whole book.

That romance part of it is absolutely well played. There are times when teen romances are a bit too obsessive and such (and this book does have those moments... but those are all explained in the end)... and this one is just a bit more realistic on how those things happen.

I'm very interested to see where the story goes in the next book - Blue Moon. This book could have stood alone and been a great book. So I kinda wonder where this story could go now.

I'm absolutely recommending this book to anyone who comes looking for the Twilight series. I will just have to convince them to not limit to the whole vampire thing - which I love too... but this story has such an interesting touch to it, that it's so unique!

Read this one asap!

(After reading other's reviews, I notice not many people loved this story. I suppose I enjoyed it for the unique characters... but obviously you can't just take my word on that. Do take a look at these other reviews before you pick this one up.)

Author Website: Alyson Noel
Other blog reviews:

Em's Bookshelf
Shadow Kiss
YA Reads
Write Meg!
Robots and Vamps

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Heroes: Volume One by Various and Tim Sale

Title: Heroes: Volume One
Author: Various and Tim Sale
ISBN: 9781401217112
Publisher: DC Comics

"A mere television show couldn't contain us. There are still more stories to tell, that we wanted to tell but couldn't... We hope you enjoy (this graphic novel) and let yourself get lost in the Heroes world."
-- Masi Oka, from his introduction

"Heroes volume one collects the first thirty-four installments of the online graphic novel. Read the amazing stories that happened in-between the aired episodes!"


I am a huge fan of this tv show! I am one of those people who is upset when I miss an episode. I hadn't read any of the online comic books, so I was really excited to get my hands on the book that includes a bunch of them.

The story was interesting - because it was really between the stuff on the tv show. I was expecting more of the regular characters, but was happy to see there were more stories I hadn't seen before.

The art was really cool because it was so much like the characters on the show (the ones that are on the show, that is). It's a little creepy at times, but I really enjoyed the graphics. I'd recommend this only to the people who are fans of the show, though... just because I think most others would be a little confused by the story. But I do recommend it.
Other blog reviews:

Associated Content

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Voice of Her Own by Barbara Dana

Title: A Voice of Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson
Author: Barbara Dana
ISBN: 9780060287047
Publisher: HarperTeen

"When something is most important to me and I do not want to lose it, I gather it into a poem. It is said that women must employ the needle and not the pen. But I will be a Poet! That's who I am!

Before she was an iconic American poet, Emily Dickinson was a spirited girl eager to find her place in the world. Expected by family and friends to mold to the prescribed role for women in the mid-1800s New England, Emily was challenged to define herself on her own terms."


This book was one of the more dry historical fiction books I've read in a while. The story is interesting - learning about famous writers, artists, etc lives are always intriguing. There was just something about how this story was written that was like a cutout of history. It does come full circle, but it doesn't have much action in between.

I am not someone who knows much about Emily Dickinson... and I feel like perhaps this story was written for the reader who already knows some background information about the poet - especially considering I really don't know how things turn out for her - besides becoming famous.

I would really only recommend this book to someone with a love of Dickinson's life. Otherwise it's a bit of a hard read. Perhaps it's not the writing, but the story for me. I guess I just wanted more out of it.
Other blog reviews:

Off the Shelf
Great Tween/Teen Reads

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