Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Well today is Saturday and I'm hopping into the Book Blogger Hop! I know it generally starts on Friday, and Saturday is later than I usually like to submit my link, but better late than never, huh?

Book Blogger Hop

So each week there's this thing called the Book Blogger Hop. For those of you who haven't participated in it before, it's a great way to get your link out and find some new followers. All you have to do is enter your name in the link list and you're all set. Make sure you visit other blogs too!

Each week, there's also a question you have to answer just for fun. So here's this week's.

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

I do use a rating system. It's based on numbers, rather than stars like many do. Each rating is out of 20 points and there are five categories-- Plot, Characters, Ending, Style, and Title (how well the title connects with the storyline). I add up all those scores to give a total grade out of 100 points. I then give it a grade from A to D like they would in school. I also give cover scores ranging from A to D. I find this type of rating system works best for me because I like to get specific and I like being able to break it down piece by piece so my readers can know what to expect, possibly without even reading the whole review. 

If you're hopping over from the Hop, be sure to comment and follow! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Finally Friday!

Well, guys...it's been forever since I last posted! It's summer, of course, so I've been crazy busy with vacations, family visits, and other fun things that consume my time. Unfortunately, these things have not only consumed my time to blog, they've also consumed my time to read. The number of books I've been reading has severely decreased. It bothers me that I don't have time for them since reading and blogging are my two favorite things to do! :)

Sadly, I have to say that the problems that arose made it pretty much impossible to continue participating in the August 2010 Debut Author Challenge. Hopefully I can try it again in the upcoming months, but I'm afraid I have to pretty much drop out this month.

But it IS Friday. And I need some sort of post to be able to get myself back on track here. So although I haven't done anything this week, here's some sort of weekend wrap-up.

I'm currently reading the book The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I would give you a summary myself, but this one does it better than I ever could!

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey
dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. 

For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

So far it's been a touching a remarkable debut by Jandy Nelson. Like the rest of the summary goes on to say, it's a great book for fans of Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen. I'm fans of both and I have to agree. Jandy Nelson fits right in and I can see her becoming just as popular. I'm loving this one so far and I can't wait to see what she pops out next!

Since I haven't reviewed anything in weeks, we'll head right to the New Blogger Feature!

This week I'll be featuring a sweet lady named Danielle who runs the blog Every Last Page. I am so very grateful to her. I've been putting off her feature for weeks because I've never had the time to sit down to the computer and put it all together. So I apologize to her, and I thank her so so much for all her cooperation. And finally, here it is! (I'm sorry I can't make her image bigger. Any bigger and it starts to look pixelated.)

Meet Danielle, of Every Last Page! Here's what Danielle had to say:

I had been toying with the idea of starting a book review blog for a long time, and finally this summer I just decided to do it! I was afraid it would take up too much time (and it is) but I am having so much fun! I love reading, but what I love the most about it is sharing my thoughts about books with others. I hope to get my bachelors in Business Management (so I can open a bookstore) or go for my English/Creative Writing degree. I am still debating which route to take, since I sort of have a love/hate relationship with writing.

I have been married for almost two years now, and we are content for now in our apartment with two kitties, Alice and Rosalie. He is very supportive of my book buying/reading habit, even if my bookshelves are slowly taking up our living space! My favorite genres are historical fiction and YA. My favorite posts I've done so far are "My top ten favorite characters" (http://everylastpage.blogspot.com/2010/08/top-ten-tuesday-favorite-characters.html) and "Baby names from Literature" (http://everylastpage.blogspot.com/2010/07/baby-names-from-literature.html).

I love meeting new bloggers so feel free to leave me a comment and I will check it out! Have a great day :)

She has a great blog and she's one of the friendliest people I've talked to. She has some really creative ideas for posts, as you can see from her two favorite posts above. And I love what she named her kitties :)

Everybody head on over to Every Last Page and follow right away. You won't be sorry. Best of luck to you, Danielle, in all your future blog endeavors :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard : B+

Title: The Secret Year
Author: Jennifer Hubbard
Genre: Realistic Fiction (YA)
Publication: 2010 by Viking Juvenile
Pages: 363
Ages: 14-15+
Grade: B+

Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend. 

When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.

General: This was another book I decided to read for the August 2010 Debut Author Challenge. The unique premise really sounded fabulous to me and gave me plenty of hope for the book. The writing pulled me in at the beginning and kept me reading through to the very end. The author did a fabulous job of writing in the male POV. The whole story is very realistic and believable. All the romance and emotions in the book are uniquely true and raw; nothing tied up in a pretty bow or coated in sugar. It's one of my favorite things about the book--it's down-to-earth.

Plot: The story revolves around a teenager named Colt who has been secretly meeting with the wealthy Julia, a girl from the rich part of town. The first pages of the book begin almost immediately after Julia's tragic death in a car accident. Though Julia was never Colt's to begin with, because Julia had a boyfriend, he is forced to cope with and heal from her untimely death. Julia's brother, Michael, puts together the pieces and is able to present Colt with the journal Julia kept of their secret romance that lasted for a year. Through the journal, we are able to learn about their romance through both Colt's and Julia's voices. One of the things I loved about the novel is that we get all the details from the very beginning of the story; then, as we move deeper into the story, we are able to learn how each detail fits together like the pieces of a puzzle.

The plot of the book is fast-paced and interesting. It's a quick read--just under 200 pages--but tons happens in those not-quite-200 pages. The writing was wonderful, and seemed to effortlessly keep us moving right through the story of Colt's getting over Julia's tragic death.

Characters: I mentioned that the whole plot is very believable and down-to-earth, and that doesn't change with the characters. Every character has a unique personality and a detailed back-story. Every one of them is fine-tuned and thought-out, even with all the finishing touches and a cherry on top.

The Secret Year is a deep and compelling novel of love, loss, healing, and self-discovery. It kept me pulled in throughout the whole book, and it was a pleasant reading experience. Though the ending did seem to come rather abruptly and left me a little hungry for more, Jennifer Hubbard has presented us with a spectacular debut novel and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.


Plot: 18/20
Characters: 18/20
Ending: 14/20
Style: 17/20
Title: 20/20
Overall: 87/100

Grade: B+
Cover Grade: B

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Book Blogger Hop and Weekend Wrap-up August 6th

Friday finally came! And we ALL know that Friday brings us the lovely...

Book Blogger Hop

The Hop is a great way to gain some followers for all you book bloggers out there. Just head on over to Crazy For Books and put your name up on the list of links. It runs every Friday until Monday.

Each week, if you sign up for the Hop, there's a question to be answered. And this weeks question is...

Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what are your favorite reading tunes?

Ok, generally, I hate to listen to music while I read. It distracts me from being totally focused and in order to totally immerse myself in the story, which is my favorite part of reading, I need to be focused. But, if I had to choose, I'd say any pretty song that has no words! Honestly, though, I enjoy silence so the rare times I do get it, I like to take advantage of it :)

If you're visiting from the Hop, comment below to let me know where you're comin' from, and then follow!

Well, it's been another relaxed week here at FMNS. But here's what I DID do. 

I reviewed the book The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone. This one was the opposite of what often happens. I had low expectations for the book, and it totally blew me away. Michele Young-Stone is an author who defies the word "talented", and the novel left me wishing it didn't have to be over yet. The book left me breathless.

You can read that review by clicking here.

Also reviewed this week (actually just today) was the book The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez. It was an easy read, but it touched me deeply and left an imprint on my heart. I personally fell in love with everything about the book. The title has such a powerful connection to the plot that it left me with tears in my eyes.

You can read that review by following this link.

Currently I'm reading the book The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard. I'm reading it for the August 2010 Debut Author Challenge (as were the last two books mentioned--that thing is taking over my life! More accurately, my TBR list). I'm practically finished it, actually, and it's been very good. Not beyond spectacular, but I have a feeling we'll get into that when I write the review for it! But it IS a very good, very compelling novel and I highly recommend it. It's a fabulous debut novel for Jennifer Hubbard.

And that's the week! Unfortunately, I was unable to find anyone to feature this week! If you are a new book blogger (about 2 months or less), please email me at frommynightstand(at)gmail(dot)com. Also, PLEASE email me if you KNOW of someone who could be featured; I'm always on the lookout for promising new blogs. Thanks for reading this week! Au revoir!

The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez : A

Title: The Red Umbrella
Author: Christina Gonzalez
Genre: Historical Fiction (MG/YA)
Publication: 2010 by Alfred A. Knopf
Pages: 275
Ages: 10-12+
Grade: A

The Red Umbrella is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan—an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro's revolution.

In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.

As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own.

Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?

The Red Umbrella is a moving story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.

General: I was absolutely thrilled to be reading this book for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge. It looked (and the reviews showed) to be a moving tale of a Cuban girl and life's changes. When I got the book and started reading it, I was afraid it was going to be just terrible. Because there's none of the thrilling action of the Cuban revolution the summary seems to promise. Of course, the book totally picked up and I enjoyed every second of it. It's a quick and easy read; the print is rather large and it doesn't have an enormous amount of pages. But in the short amount of time it took to read, the story had a huge impact on me and left me teary-eyed more than once.

Plot: The story revolves mainly around a 14-year-old girl named Lucia. She's living a carefree life in Cuba, all the while totally uninterested in the horrors of the Cuban revolution going on around her. She is more interested by the new American fashion magazines and cute guys from school. Suddenly, she is jerked into reality when her own family is directly put in danger because of the revolution. No longer does it seem a far-off problem left to the adults to mull over in hushed whispers after the children are in bed. As the plot unfolds, it reveals a beautiful and fascinatingly thought-provoking storyline one is not sure to ever forget.

Characters: The characters are extremely likable, and very skillfully written and developed. Every character seems to just be calling for you to fall in love with them and get involved in their fictional lives. It's a beautiful reading experience each and every American unaware of the privileges we have in living in the United States. Historical Fiction isn't really my forte, and it's not necessarily my favorite; I find it hard to relate to, and thus difficult to get INTO the book. But for this book, not so. The writing and the characters just invite you in, to immerse yourself in all its beauty.

This book defied my every expectation, when I was THIS close to putting it down because I felt it wouldn't rise to them. It's a heartwarming storyline free of sugar-coating; an emotionally charged plot filled with deep feeling. It's not a glorified war novel or a dramatic story of survival. It's a story of hope and never letting go of what you hold inside your heart.The title, The Red Umbrella has powerful significance, and when that significance was revealed, it left tears in my eyes and a tug on my heartstrings. Christina Gonzalez's novel is a story of living a life of love despite the suffering in the world. It's the treasure of family, the value of freedom, and the true meaning of home.


Plot: 19/20
Characters: 19/20
Ending: 20/20
Style: 16/20
Title: 20/20
Overall: 94/100

Grade: A
Cover Grade: A

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday (4)

We're already at my fourth WoW post! These are so much fun to do :) Plus they help me find some pretty awesome books! This little post is a fun weekly meme started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Anyone can participate. Basically, all you have to do is choose a book that's coming out in the next few months or so that you're excited to read! So here's what I came across this week. I found it on Goodreads. I love that website. I shouldn't have made an account. I waste all my free time browsing the books on there now! But it did help me find this 2011 book...

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 1st, 2011

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one love--the deliria--blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Um, ok, that sounds majorly good!! I'm discovering something about myself, based on the books I like, the books that look good to me, and the new books coming out that I'm waiting for.

I love dystopia books.

Dystopia is the opposite of utopia. Apparently it can be characterized by a totalitarian government...but that form of literature includes books such as: The Hunger Games, The Uglies series, Matched, and other books like that. Like, sci-fi, futuristic novels and stuff.

So this book definitely fits into that "dystopia" category. I mean seriously. A "cure" for love? And... I'm really excited about it. This one isn't coming out til February of next year!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone : A

Title: The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors
Author: Michele Young-Stone
Genre: Realistic Fiction (YA)
Publication: April 13th, 2010 by Shaye Areheart Books
Pages: 384
Ages: 14+
Grade: A

Damaged people inhabit this debut novel: people who have been struck by lightning as well as those who have lost loved ones from death, divorce, drinking, or duplicity. Young-Stone tells parallel stories that hurdle storm after storm headlong into one another.

One follows the bullied Buckley R. Pitank, who watches as his beloved mother's life is buffeted by her mean-spirited mother and a fraud of an evangelical preacher. Just when she escapes and finds love, and Buckley sees the possibility of happiness, she is fatally struck by lightning.

The other is the story of Becca Burke, a lightning strike survivor whose drunk mother and philandering father have a hard time believing that she has been repeatedly hit by lightning. As Buckley and Becca grow up, Buckley writes The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, excerpts of which begin each chapter, and Becca becomes a painter. What happens when they do finally meet is inevitable.

Young-Stone is a very fine writer who has created a host of endearing losers—young, old, literate, and simple, all full of longing. What she does best is portray the incredulousness of the unlucky.

General: Let me begin by saying, this book turned out to be not at all what I expected, but I still loved it. I was amazed to learn that Michele Young-Stone herself, the author, was struck by lightning. It's an interesting novel for a long list of reasons, but this makes it all the more interesting.

No summary can even come close to capturing the great depth of this novel. The book has so many layers of pain and joy and energy and emotion that no piece of writing can even begin to describe it; I guess you just have to read it for yourself. There is also such an enormous cast of characters and an extensive plot, it too is impossible to summarize in a mere few sentences.

I immediately fell in love with Michele Young-Stone's style of writing. The plot was extraordinarily well-thought-out, and the characters, every single one of them, were thoroughly developed and honest. As you read her book, Young-Stone not only tells you the story, she introduces you into a whole new world. I felt like I just floated right through this book as I read, just drifting into the storyline peacefully and dreamily. Once I started, I felt no need to stop. There was no repetition, no "being bored with it". It's a refreshing experience to read a debut author who has true talent; and it's an even more refreshing experience to read an author like Michele Young-Stone who seems to be too good for the word "talented".

Characters:  The book includes a crazy amount of characters, but it mostly revolves around two young people, Becca and Buckley. In the beginning of the story, the two don't know each other, but both have had their lives turned around by the trauma of the natural phenomenon of a lightning strike. In addition to this trauma, they each have their own traumas at home. Becca has a sad, alcoholic mother and a cheating father. Buckley lives with his loving but broken mother. It's truly an experience to read about these characters and to learn about them and get to know them. There's so much pain in the novel and it becomes easy to sympathize with and feel sorry for the characters. Becca feels as though she's forced to "walk on eggshells" in her own home, and Buckley is afraid to be happy because he fears bad things will happen if he does because of the pain he's experienced in his early life.

Plot: I'll be truthful. After all this gushing about the novel, I do have a few small complaints. The beginning of the book moves very slowly. It takes a LONG TIME for the plot to fully develop. Because of this, many readers might lose interest before the plot even fully develops. There's such an enormous cast of characters, it can get a little confusing; and though very skillfully written, there are so many twists and turns in the plot to remember and think about that, as the reader, you can get to feeling like the book's skipping around. But if you give it time, the book evolves into a deep, enthralling, fascinating, FABULOUS book.


Plot: 18/20
Characters: 19/20
Ending: 18/20
Cover: 16/20
Style: 20/20
Overall: 91/100

Grade: A

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Time for Teaser Tuesday!! This meme was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading. The basic idea is this. You take out the book you're currently reading and flip to a random page. Choose two (2) sentences from the page and post them here. AVOID SPOILERS! Anyone can participate at any time, so feel free to join in!

Here's mine. Currently, I'm reading a book called The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone. So far I'm like ADDICTED to this book. I'm kind of nervous about doing a review of it because I know exactly how it's going to play out. And pretty soon, if I keep reading all these amazing books, I'm gonna start to sound like a broken record! Well, here's my teaser...

"She thought about the summer's end, another boring school year about to begin, aboutthe dried blood caked on her knee--and her world exploded. It cracked open and Becca fell inside a whiteness that erased everything: the driveway, the tree, the long summer's day, the blood, the ice cream."

I don't know. I just liked it. The book is about a girl, Becca, who was struck by lightning, and a boy, Buckley, whose life was also changed by a lightning strike. These two sentences begin the description of Becca's experience being struck by lightning. The author, Michele Young-Stone was also struck by lightning at one point in her life, so I guess she should know :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Today is a new experience! I just received an award from Ava over at Book Infinity! Thanks so much to her...that was very kind :)

So here's how it works. If you received this award, you have to write seven things about yourself, and then pass on the award to 15 other blogs for any reason of your choice.

Here are my seven things!

1. My dream is to be an author someday. How great would that be?! So far my luck hasn't been so great... I start what I'm SURE is gonna be the next big novel. And then it flops and I give up. Or, you know, forget about it. Whichever happens first :)

2. I'm really shy, believe it or not. I hate talking to people and being in large groups. My family makes fun of me for it, but I get extremely embarrassed with people. I guess blogging is my way of being outgoing without actualy being...you know...outgoing.

3. I love to BAKE. Cookies, brownies cakes, pies, anything. I love baking. I guess it started when I was determined to make up the greatest dessert ever made. I didn't get very far. I still have that recipe. It turned out disgusting. So now I just follow the recipe.

4. Kid's movies are my weakness. I absolutely love movies like Finding Nemo and Ratatouille. Movies that teens today are supposed to love? Forget it. I'm a Toy Story girl :)

5. My favorite food is (are?) sesame noodles. They're chinese noodles with this peanut-buttery, spicy-ish sauce. They're absolutely delicious and I'm in love with them. I finally found a recipe for them so I can make them myself and not spend a fortune on buying them all the time.

6. Having a blog has made me read slower. Seriously. I used to read ALL THE TIME. But now I have to put attention into working on my blog and I no longer read like three books in two days.

7. I was the girl in elementary school carrying a big fat book under her arm all through the school building and walking into poles while I was walking home because I was reading while I walked. Yep, that was me.

Well those are my seven things! So now I'm going to pass on the award to 15 other blogs (which, hopefully I can do all 15. But 15 is kind of a lot. So...I'll do my best).

1. Along For The Ride - Sara was one of the very first people to read and follow my blog, so it's only fair she should be first on the list. Thanks for helping me get on my feet, Sara :) (oh, and she has a really cute orange blog background which I personally love. and she does this cool meme of Monday with these amazing pictures.)

2. Kaitlyn In Bookland - Kaitlyn was also one of my earlier followers. I like her flowery blog, and her reviews are awesome. She uses fascinating words! :)

3. Pages - Kirthi is one of the nicest, most helpful bloggers out there. I was having trouble with my layout and she gave me a hand. She rocks :)  (oh, and currently she's holding a 400 followers giveaway)

4. The Cupcake Prose - Gabriella has like the cutest blog name I've ever seen in my entire life. I just love it. I also really enjoy following her blog because not only do I get awesome reviews, I also get to see recipes for some delicious cupcakes!

5. Book Fare Delights - Speaking of cupcakes!! This blog is beyond adorable. She rates the books she reviews in chocolate covered strawberries! I just love this blog overall. Plus, she's joining me in the 2010 Debut Author Challenge. Good luck!

6. The Book Fairy's Haven - Tammy is a blog I found on Twitter. The two of us became Twitter buddies before I even found her blog. But now we both read each other's. I love her Tinkerbell theme. I like Tink :)

7. The Mountains of Instead - I love Sya's blog, everything about it! I LOVE her design, the name is super creative, and her reviews are great.

8. I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read - Kate has a cool blog. It's like this sweet star-themed kinda thing. I like it. And her blog's name, I mean duh! Don't we all? It's an accurate title :)

9. Emilie's Book World - I found Emilie's blog through the Book Blogger Hop and I immediately liked it. I featured her blog in my Friday post as a favorite new blogger. So congrats on her moving forward. Emilie, I know you just won this award so you don't have to do it again, but it was worth mentioning.

10. Elena's Book Cafe - Elena was also featured in another Friday post as a new blogger. The whole theme of her blog is a cafe coffee type of theme, which I like. Her reviews are awesome, and she's definitely off to a good start!

11. Every Last Page - I found Danielle's blog and I obviously automatically liked it. I especially like her purple design. I love purple! However, Danielle's now gotten this award twice so I'm not gonna make her do it. She just deserved a spot on this list. I especially liked her new list of baby names from literature. Check that out.

12. A Girl Reads a Book - I think MY favorite thing about Bella's blog is her little meme that she started where she features a new series she likes. I'm always up for a good new series so now I know where to look! :) Also, Bella was extremely helpful messing with the blockquote setting on my blog and some weird HTML codes. I'm just a little HTML illiterate. So thanks to her :)

Well I think I'll stop there. 12 is a good number, and 15 is a lot. Congrats to everyone who received the award! And thanks again to Ava who gave me this award originally!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Candy by Kevin Brooks : A

Title: Candy
Author: Kevin Brooks
Genre: Realistic Fiction (YA)
Publication: 2005 by The Chicken House
Pages: 384
Ages: 14+
Grade: A

When Joe Beck, a fifteen-year-old suburban kid, gets lost in a disreputable neighborhood on his way to an appointment in London, he is struck dumb by his first sight of beautiful and seemingly innocent Candy. She talks with him, teases him, but reveals nothing about herself except her phone number. Later they have a perfect day at the London Zoo, and soon Joe is as addicted to Candy as she is to heroin, in spite of the threats of her menacing pimp Iggy. Almost nothing matters except his desire to free her from her terrible life-- not his band's chance for a recording contract, not the song he has written for her that has become a hit without him.

But there is something that still matters to him, and when he rescues the young prostitute from her sordid rooming house and takes her into hiding to sweat out her addiction, Iggy finds and uses that one thing that is stronger than Joe's passion for Candy, in a heart-thumping, breathless conclusion.

General: I'll be honest. When I picked this book out at the library, I didn't read the summary too well. When I got home and picked it up to start reading it, well, let's say I was in for a little surprise. Being a high schooler, my parents are pretty strict about what I read. So when I realized what this book was REALLY about--heroin and prostitution...well, let's say I nearly put it down. But I decided to read it instead, and promised myself I would put it down if it got too bad. But I'm happy to say, it didn't. The author, Kevin Brooks, tackled this tough subject with skill. He didn't take advantage of the opportunity to throw in terribly foul language or a random sex scene, and I greatly admire and respect that. I mean seriously. Prostitution? But Brooks skillfully and masterfully opened my eyes to the horrors of that world--without horrifying my own parents.

Plot: So I began reading this and...I was immediately writing off this book as just a weird book. Because believe me, the beginning is really weird. At least, I found it to be so. The main character, Joe, meets the alternate main character, Candy, and he immediately becomes obsessed (to an unhealthy level) with this girl. All the while unaware that Candy is, in actuality, selling her body in exchange for drugs from her "pimp", Iggy, a controlling and violent man. Candy's history with this shocking "profession" is one of bullying and pain in her childhood. She met Iggy and he made her feel special and loved, telling her what she needed to hear. All too soon, he had her hooked on some pretty powerful drugs. But when Iggy ran out of money to purchase the drugs, he pressured Candy (real name, Candice) into selling the one thing she could for drugs--her body. She's ashamed and hurting...but Iggy turned out not to be the loving and kind guy she thought he was, and now she's trapped in this downward spiral she regrets to call her life.

After a few chapters the book certainly was looking much better, and less...um...odd. And then, in one chapter, with astonishing speed, the book picked up faster than I had time to think about it. And from then on, I was hooked on this book. Once it got, well, EXTRA INTENSE, I could NOT put it down.

Characters: I have to tell the truth. When we first learned about Candy and her secret life, I immediately decided I didn't like this girl, and that Joe needed to get himself away from her, quickly as possible, and as soon as possible. But then, when she tells her story, I realized. She's just a girl. She's a girl who made a few wrong decisions for a guy who manipulated her into feeling loved and special so he could get himself some cash, and some drugs. And she wants out. And you could feel it. I could feel the ache in Candy's heart to be free. I could feel her pangs of regret for getting with Iggy in the first place. And that was utterly heartbreaking and tremendously wonderful to be a part of, considering the skill Kevin Brooks has in his writing.

Joe is a harder character to figure out. He's complicated. Once he meets Candy, he loses his sense of loyalty. No longer does he sees things in black and white. He was kind of a naive boy before he met Candy. Now, his knowledge is more than he seems to know what to do with. But Candy means everything to him. He's willing to do anything to get her free. Free from Iggy, free from prostitution, and free from the grip heroin has on her. It's beautiful, honestly.

All in all, I can't even think of the right words to sum up this book. It's powerful, it's gripping, it's beautiful, it's thrilling. It's the promise of "forever". It's unstoppable love. It's danger. It's mistakes and plans, hopes and heartbreak. It's disturbing, it's provocative, it's enthralling, and it's awe-inspiring. This novel isn't an easy one to forget.


Plot: 18/20
Characters: 19/20
Ending: 18/20
Cover: 17/20
Style: 19/20
Overall: 91/100

Grade: A

2010 Debut Author Challenge!

Well, tomorrow's the first day of August...and I have some news! I decided to join in on the 2010 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It looks like a contest that's gonna be a lot of fun. Even for people who don't win, it's a crazy awesome challenge.

Basically, the idea is to read at least 12 YA or Middle Grade novels published by debut authors in 2010. Anyone can join in the fun, and you can jump in whenever. It's a monthly thing, so you don't have to have been participating since January. When you read a book that qualifies to be on the list, you go ahead and write a review of it. When you're sure your review is finished, post it on your blog (or Goodreads, Amazon, etc. if you don't have your own blog), then post the link on this page here.

On that page, you will also find links for the sign-up page where you will type in your name and your blog URL to let them know you'll be participating in the contest. DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE I DID! When I added my name to the list, I wrote my name, the blog's name, and my blog's URL. That is NOT what you're supposed to do. You are supposed to put in your name, your blog's name, and the link to your CHALLENGE POST (that would be this post right here). Ahem, oops. I fixed that...heheh.

Anyway, you'll also find a link to the page with the buttons you can grab. There's a whole bunch. You can choose your favorite. When you grab it, put it in your blog's sidebar to show your support!

There's also a page that has more detailed information about the challenge/contest. Check that out here for more information so you actually know what you're doing. Also on that page are some links you might find helpful in order to find some books for you to read. Not many of us can think of these things off the top of our heads, so those links are for sure gonna help ME, at least. Hopefully you, too. Anyway, the challenge begins tomorrow, the first day of August, and it will run to the very last day. Dude, check out this prize pack...

It's...pretty awesome! On this page you can find a list of what's exactly in there.

Here's my list of the books I plan to read for the challenge.

1. Split by Swati Avasthi
2. Wish by Alexandra Bullen
3. The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez
4. The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones
5. Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
6. Claire de Lune by Christie Johnson
7. The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
8. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
9. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
10. Sea by Heidi R. Kling
11. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
12. The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone

and one for good luck... :)

13. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

So, I'll do the very best I can to read and review all those books. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on them one way or another.
So I'm pumped for this! Anybody gonna join me?? Comment below if you plan on participating!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Book Blogger Hop and Weekend Wrap-up

Well it's finally here! Today is Friday! And you know what that means...

Book Blogger Hop

For the second week in a row, I entered my name in the list on crazy-for-books.com. If you have your own book blog and have not yet done so, I highly recommend doing it. It's a great way to get people to come visit your blog and gain some followers!

Each week, there's a question that has to be answered. This week's question is...

Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?

Ok...this one takes some careful consideration. I've read tons of new authors in this year so far. But...I'd have to say I have to go with Deb Caletti. I read her book, The Nature of Jade and absolutely fell in love with her and her work. That book got a rave review from me and you can check it out here.

So! That's that for the Hop. If you are coming from the Hop, do these two things for me!

1) Comment below and lemme know that you found me on the Hop.
2) Follow, follow, follow!

So. If you're already a follower, you probably know that this a new kind of post I like to do on Fridays (this is my second time doing the post) called the Weekend Wrap-up. The first time I tried this, the two posts ended up being separate. Then someone pointed out to me that by condensing them into one post, the brand new readers from the Hop can see kinda what I do around here. So that's what I'm gonna try this week!

This week has been a rather calm week in the world of FMNS. I did two reviews this week. And here they are...

I reviewed the book To Be Mona by Kelly Easton. I had high expectations for this book, but unfortunately....the novel didn't live up to them. The story had a great set-up and fabulous potential...but it missed the mark a little. My review was not too great, and the book recieved the grade "D".

You can read that review here if you'd like.

Also reviewed this week was the book A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn. This one also looked fabulous--funny, entertaining, witty, and creative. And it certainly was all of these things! But in terms of characters development and the overall spark of the book...it just didn't beg to be read. That was a tough review to write, but it recieved the grade "C".

Check that out using this link.

I am currently reading a book called Candy by Kevin Brooks. When I started the book, I thought it was totally weird, and I was worried I'd have to read yet another book that disappointed me. But suddenly it picked right up! And now it's this extra intense book that I can't put down! I'm about 20 pages from the end and it's just...so good!

Well, there's my week! Now...for the part I just love. One of the parts (my favorite part) of the Weekend Wrap-up post is to feature a new book blog I discovered during the week and loved.

This week, I found a blog that's about a month old. Her blog has a cute background and plenty of promising posts. Looking around the site, this blog has potential and I can't wait to see what she does in the future. So far, in the course of about a month, she's gathered about 30 followers (which I'd say is pretty good!). I'd like you guys to go ahead and check out...

You can find her on the web at emiliebookworld.blogspot.com. I invite you to check her out and follow her to keep updated on all the new things she's cranking out. Plus, she's reading Shiver, which is like at the top of my TBR list, sooo... :)  Hahaa, well, Emilie, good luck in the blogosphere! Keep up the great work, girl!

Well, that's a wrap! There's our week here at From My Nightstand. For all you new folks, we hope you can keep on coming back. And if you are a new blogger with your blog less than a month old, send me an email at frommynightstand@gmail.com. I'll check out your blog and hopefully you'll be featured in the next few weeks! Thanks for reading, guys. Adios!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn : C

Title: A Kiss In Time
Author: Alex Flinn
Genre: YA
Publication: 2009 by HarperTeen
Pages: 384
Ages: 12+
Grade: C

I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic...

I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.

I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger's soft kiss.

I couldn't help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn't know this would happen.

Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!

Now I'm stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels. . . . The good news: My parents will freak!

Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?

General: So far, I think this may be the hardest review I've had to write yet.

When I picked out this book at the library, I expected a hilarious, creative novel, a brilliant re-write of a classic fairy tale. And...I guess maybe that's kinda what I got. But...perhaps I should have lowered my expectations just a little. Don't get me wrong. I liked the book. It was very funny; I found myself laughing out loud many times. It just...left me just a little thirsty for more, as if it hadn't fully and totally satisfied me.

Plot: Ok, I can't credit Alex Flinn for the plot. That's...an oldie. But a goodie! He certainly did a good job of making it much more realistic and modern. I very much enjoyed all the scenes where the "Sleeping Beauty" character, Talia, was forced to adjust to the "real" world. For example, the scene where she learns what a bus is, what a cell phone is, a camera, and WHAT?! Girls in PANTS?! My personal favorite was when she talks on the cell phone for the first time and actually throws it away from her in terror :)

The book made you think about things from the classic Sleeping Beauty tale that you never would have thought of before. For example, what if the guy who woke you up (Jack, in this case) doesn't even WANT to marry you? What if your father hates him, and thinks you've ruined the whole country? What if, what if, what if?

But...this is a difficult review, because the book just wasn't...amazing. It wasn't bad, at all. There were things about it that I really did like! But it just didn't stand out. It wasn't hard to put down, and it was not a quick read. It definitely took me longer than usual to get through it. When I did read, it was a good reading experience. The book is cute and funny. It just doesn't beg to be read.

Characters: The characters were very funny. Not the most developed characters ever, but very entertaining. Talia's absolute cluelessness is hilarious, and Jack's utter horror at the fact that they expect him to marry Talia brings a chuckle. But...like most of the other things about this book, it's very...mediocre. It's, eh, okay.

Each chapter is told from a different point of view, either Jack's or Talia's. I did like how that author very noticeably changed the overall voice and tone of his writing depending on who he had written was narrating it. I admired that about his writing.

Overall, the book isn't stunning, but it's certainly not a boring book. The whole novel is just...lukewarm. Not fascinating, but not enough to make you drool. I certainly recommend it as a book to read on the side or something. It IS an entertaining read. Just not a spectacularly fascinating one.


Plot: 14/20
Characters: 15/20
Ending: 13/20
Cover: 10/20
Style: 18/20
Overall: 70/100

Grade: C

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday (3)

Another Wednesday comes around!! This spectacular weekly meme was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Anyone can participate. Basically, all you have to do is choose a book that's coming out in the next few months that you're uber excited about! So...I've been doing my research...and here's what I found.

Matched by Ally Condie
Released November 30th, 2010

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

The summary reminds me of the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, which I enjoyed. So...this one looks to me like it could either be really good, or it could be AMAZING! So far on the reviews they've posted on bn.com, (the reviewers with advance copies...?), people really like it a lot. I guess we'll just have to see... I love the cover though. It portrays very well the idea of living trapped and totally controlled. Living in a bubble!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (3) : Waves

Well...I guess it's that time of the week, huh?

I'm currently reading a book called Waves by Sharon Dogar. I'm like...4 pages in. So...I think I'll do one of those "open-to-a-random-page-and-pick-two-sentences" things. So here's two random sentences from that book.

"We're back on the cliffs. We practically live here now, as though if we stay up here for long enough our lives might become as clear and spread out as the beaches below us."

Well I guess that was kinda fun! Picking out random sentences from random parts in the book that I haven't read yet. I wish I could tell you what I think of the book so far...but I can't. Not yet. Hopefully soon I'll put up a review (after I put up the one for A Kiss In Time, which I finished this morning). If not, you'll see what I think so far in my weekend wrap-up post. So...with that, I'll get going. Have an awesome Tuesday, guys :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

To Be Mona by Kelly Easton : D

Title: To Be Mona
Author: Kelly Easton
Genre: Realistic Fiction (YA)
Publication: 2008 by Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 213
Ages: 14-15+
Grade: D

Sage Priestly is seventeen, and she longs to reinvent herself -- to strip away the fat, the past, the crazy mom, the unpaid bills. She longs to be her own version of the gorgeous and popular Mona Simms.

Sage starts dieting and exercising. She gets blond highlights and throws away all of her black clothes. Bit by bit she transforms herself. This is deeply troubling to her best friend, Vern, who is secretly in love with Sage just the way she is. But the boyfriend Sage wants -- the popular jock Roger -- suddenly notices her. And when they start dating, Sage thinks her life is turning around.

So why isn't Sage happier? Yes, Roger is a little too controlling and pushy, but isn't that what boys are like when you date them? What is it about the image Sage has created that just doesn't fit?

Smart, honest, and tough, Sage is a teen with more going for her than she thinks, but she still has a lot to learn.

General: I took this book out hoping for a really good read. The book looked like it had the potential to be really good, really deep, thought-provoking, powerful, you know. But...I'm sorry to say, I was disappointed. I debated whether or not to actually write a review of it. But I read somewhere on one of those blogger advice lists or whatever, not to be afraid to write a bad review. So...here goes.

This was a strange book to write a review for. There were things I loved and things I absolutely hated. When I started the book, I absolutely fell in love with Kelly Easton's writing style. It was funny and very tasteful. I immediately expected to love this book. But I was let down more and more as I read on.

The book has a small number of pages, and rather large print. It certainly was an easy and quick read. During the whole book, there were a lot of hypothetical questions such as "If you were a color, what would you be?" or "If you were a country, which would you be?". Those the author really took into depth. I liked those a lot.

Plot: The plot seemed to go everywhere and nowhere at once. Things were happening, but it was just...boring. She developed a relationship with her new jock boyfriend but it was just...uneventful and weird. She fell away from her guy friend who secretly loved her but it was just...dumb. Things happened, definitely, but it was just terribly uninteresting.

Characters: Talking about the characters is more difficult to do. Some of the characters were really well developed. The main character, Sage, is very real and honest. She has a lot of depth to her, as a character. Other characters, though, were so lacking I can hardly even begin to describe it. They just had no substance to them! They were so surface-level. The author never really took it deeper, took it a step further.

Another thing that bothered me about the characters was that the author seemed to explore their "secret side", or it would seem like she was about to take it a step further...and then she just...stopped. She just left it there. She would go JUST in depth ENOUGH about one character and then...poof. We'd be moving on. It was really leaving me hanging.

Overall, this book wasn't too great. Sure, it offers a look at the pain of having a bipolar parent and the hurt of domestic abuse. And I absolutely adored Kelly Easton's writing style. Weirdly enough, her style was, dare I say, brilliant and humorous. It made it all the more confusing and disappointing, as the book itself was a letdown. I was expecting a spectacular, powerful book and I came away disappointed. The plot was slow and underdeveloped, as were the characters. The ending was painfully abrupt. The book barely ended! You had no clue in the world what was going to happen to Sage. It was just...over. That bugged me. Honestly, I didn't enjoy this book too much.


Plot: 11/20
Characters: 8/20
Ending: 10/20
Cover: 6/20
Style: 18/20
Overall: 53/100

Grade: D

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

Well here it is! I told you guys that this week would probably be a good one for IMM and...it was! Unfortunately, I went on vacation with a limited supply of money so I only bought three books. But that's okay, because they all look good! And here they are...

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

This is a book I heard about at school, actually... We did a series of book reports and one girl did hers on If I Stay. It looked super good so I tried for weeks and weeks and weeks to get it out of the library but I couldn't get my hands on it. So I finally bought it. It looks really promising and I will certainly have a review up, good or bad.


Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

You heard plenty about this one from me, since I did a review like two days after I got it. But...here's a summary in case you didn't read that one. Then once you read this, you can go ahead and read it. (Laurie Halse Anderson did, and thanked me on Twitter, btw!)

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background - average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe.

His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his fathers boss's daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy and Tyler's secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in the school, in his family, and in the world.

In Twisted, the acclaimed Laurie Halse Anderson tackles a very controversial subject: what it means to be a man today. Fans and new readers alike will be captured by Tyler's pitch perfect, funny voice, the surprising narrative arc, and the thoughtful moral dilemmas that are at the heart of all of the authors award-winning, widely read work.

No further comment... If you would like to read my review of that one, you can check it out here.


Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource--hope.

This one looked really cool... I thought it would be fun to read something a little different, as the novel is a sci-fi kind of novel. So I hold out a lot of hope for this one too. I'm excited about it!


So...those are the three books I bought this week on vacation. You should have seen the bookstore. It was awesome. They had all kinds of books there. Usually bookstores like that have an ok adult section, an awful young adult section, and an extensive non-fiction and current events section. But not this one. It had kids, young adult, adult fiction, and not to mention, that extensive non-fiction section :)

Also, in the back that had some sweet toys and stuff. They had some board games, puzzles, and my favorite, mad-libs. Not to mention their AMAZING selection of playing cards. I personally collect fun playing cards (what a nerd) with pictures including baseball, Van Gogh's "Starry Night", Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", famous women authors, and lots more. I got all excited.

Anyway, since they had such a great selection of young adult books, I had trouble picking out what books to get that wouldn't spend all my money...so this is what I got. Personally, I'm happy with what I bought. Hopefully they'll make good reviews!

Header... FIXED!

Hey guys, I have really big news!! The header (in case you didn't notice when you came in) is totally FIXED! The text is sooo much better, the annoying "be trendy" part has been covered over, and the ad up top is less noticeable!! Exciting!!

See, I'm not super tech savvy. At least, not HTML savvy or anything like that. So I was kinda lost when it came to fixing it up. Soo... One of the blogs I follow, Pages, uses a template from the same website where I found mine (which, by the way, is pretty awesome. You can check out that website from the link over the header). I saw the template she uses on the actual website and I saw that she had managed to make some of the changes I needed to make. So I sent her an email desperately asking for her help and...VOILA! She totally helped me!

Kirthi, I am forever in your debt. Thank you so much :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Layout!

So...I know this is a lot of posts for one day...but I felt that it was necessary to share this bit of information.

In case you didn't notice... THE BLOG HAS A NEW LAYOUT!

I thought this one was pretty :) I'd love to know what you guys think. I'm currently working on the header. Not a big fan of the title among other things...hopefully I can get that fixed. Anyway, yeah. Lemme know what y'all think. I like it, personally.

The Book Blogger Hop! (1)

Oh my gosh! FINALLY I've become a part of the...

Book Blogger Hop

Yaay! For all you book bloggers out there who have yet to "hop" on over to the Book Blogger Hop at Crazy-For-Books.com... What are you waiting for?! Go do it! It's a great way to pick up a few more followers, which we all know we love. So...yep, now I'm on that list myself. And y'all need to join me.

Well each week (beginning on Friday), the Book Blogger Hop begins. Each Hop, there's a question every participant needs to answer. This week's question is...


Heheh...ok, I just did this one in the las post I did, my Weekend Wrap-up (which, by the way, I just realized interferes with the Hop; therefore, for the weeks to come, I'll probably just stick em together), so...I'll do it again! Currently I'm reading the book A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn. From reading the back cover, the book looks plenty promising, and I sure hope it turns out to be that way. I'm not real far into the book (maybe 2 or 3 chapters) so...I don't have too strong an opinion of it. But, we'll see!

So there's this week's question. Like I said, go enter yourself on that list if you haven't already. Oh! And if you're a new visitor hoppin' on over from the Hop, DO THESE TWO THINGS, DUUDEE.

1) Lemme know you're from the Hop by writing a comment down below, and...
2) Go over to your right and press the "Follow" button! Simple as that!

Thanks guys. You rock. You make this worth it :)

New! - Weekend Wrap-up

Hey there, all my fabulous awesome wonderful readers...Today I'm going to try something totally brand new! I've never seen it anywhere else, so maybe I can get to start my very own personal weekly meme! So here's how this one works. It's called Weekend Wrap-up, and basically what you do is bring the past week to a close by summarizing primarily what you blogged about (the reviews you did, mostly), what you're currently reading and what you think of it so far, and also whatever it is you want to talk about. Then, you tell your readers about a blog you recently discovered that you'd like to share with everyone else. Feel free to participate if you would like to.

Well, here's my week. This week began on Sunday the 18th. And on the 20th, Tuesday, I celebrated my one-week blogoversary!! Wooo!! This calls for some celebratory balloons:

Just like those :)

Ok, well, so for that special occasion I did a little list of the things I've learned about blogging, which you can check out here. That just has a bunch of fun stuff on it that I felt necessary to tell ya'll. Including the fact that I can't spell "nightstand" right, and that when I really love a book, my review of it makes no sense. So that's a fun post which you cn go ahead and check out if you want a break from my boring-ness.

Also this week I did two reviews of some awesome books.

I reviewed a fabulous book called A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. It's a fantasy book that takes place in a boarding school in Victorian England in the 1800's. That one got great reviews from me and recieved a grade "A".

You can check out that review here.

I also reviewed a book I truly am in love with called Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. That was kind of a spur-of-the-moment review since I first read the book a little while ago. But I recently purchased it, so I figured it was necessary to crack it open again and do a review of it. In my opinion, it's a highly overlooked book by Laurie Halse Anderson because Speak and Wintergirls and other more popular books overshadow it.

You can read more of that at this link.

Currently, I am finally reading the book I featured in my "In My Mailbox" post, A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn. So far so good. I'm not real far into it (maybe 3 chapters or something). But so far, it's been a decent re-write of the classic Sleeping Beauty story. I mean, it's not been terribly fascinating, but I have a feeling the book's not going to hit the "funny part" the back of the book reveals until we meet the male main character (whom we haven't yet been introduced to). So, I'm certainly holding out a lot of hope for this one. A review will be up when it's finished.

And that's about it for my weekly summary. Now for the fun part :) 

This past week, I discovered a new blog via a website with tips for book bloggers. She posted on there and I got curious and visited her blog. Well, turns out the blog's less than a month old. I wandered around and read some posts there. The blog is adorable and it looks incredibly promising. So far she's built up her followers well; at the time of this post she had 34 (but I'm thinking she may gain a few now). So I'd like to introduce you all to...

Her blog address is elenasbookcafe.blogspot.com. So far, content is great and the layout, I must say, is adorable. I'm glad to have found her and begun following her, and I hope you guys all will agree with me. Elena, congratulations and welcome to the blogosphere :)  We wish you best of luck.

Well that's about it! I definitely enjoyed doing that today! I can totally say we're gonna be doing that eeeveeryy Friday from now on. I hope some of you guys will hop on the train! :)
Love you guys :)


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