Friday, November 30, 2012

25 Days of Christmas

Starting tomorrow, December 1st this blog is going Christmas! 
For the next 25 days I'm going to be sharing Christmas/Winter related things every day. 
Things like my favorite Christmas songs, movies, books, maybe a couple of holiday crafts or recipes, who knows? Basically anything and everything that has to do with Christmas! 
So stay tuned and I hope you'll join me as I countdown to the big day! =D

Reading Challenge: December Linky

Alrighty, sadly this is the last month of the challenge =(
Link up any straggling reviews you may have left ;) 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Pangloss

Today's wordlover word is...

Pangloss (PAN-glos)
Noun- One who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances.
Earliest documented use- 1794
Example- " Steven Pinker is a Pangloss ... The world is a better place than it used to be."

Discover more about this word here:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Title: Deadly Cool
Author: Gemma Halliday
# Of Pages: 320           
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Source: Purchased
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts



First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.

I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.

My Verdict

I’m finding this review rather hard to write because as much as I enjoyed this book, I also had some major issues with it. It was a fun, page turning mystery that I devoured fairly quickly, yet I also felt like it was very disrespectful and almost mocking about certain subjects. 

What I did like:
  • The main character, Huntley
  • The lightheartedness, for a murder mystery
  • You get sucked right into the mystery
  • You feel as if you’re trying to solve the mystery right along with Huntley, Sam and Chase.
  • It was unpredictable and kept you guessing the whole time as to who the killer was.

What I didn’t like:
  • Extreme stereotyping
  • Crude sexual references & humor
  • Demeaning view of chastity
  • Namedropping (watched American Idol, Castle, Biggest Loser; listened to Daughtry) This drives me crazy!

When it came to the characters, aside from main character, Huntley and her best friend, Sam everyone else was super stereotyped.
  • Josh- gorgeous boyfriend who is really a cheating, lying, jerk
  • Chase- dresses in all black with chains hanging from his pants, and has black hair which falls over his gray eyes.
  • Kevin- tree hugger, life going nowhere older brother of her best friend.
  • School Grief Counselor- has no life and is essentially a cat lady.
  • Mother- portrayed as a smothering, overprotective, addicted to yoga, tofu eating “parental unit”
  • Color Guard Girls- Members of Chastity club, super perky, blonde hair, life is all pink, purple and sparkles.

The whole Chastity club part of the book was a pretty big deal, which is actually where my biggest quarrel lies. There were times the author almost seemed to be making fun of those who have made the decision to stay chaste. She portrays these characters as unrealistic, hypocritical, and a little nuts. Now you may not agree with a decision but that doesn’t mean you have to write a whole book that makes fun of it.

I was torn whether or not I should read the next book for fear it might have the same demeaning quality about it, but at the same time I really want to see where Huntley’s life goes from here. I guess I’ll give it a try and see how things go…

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Eccedentesiast

It's time for another segment of "Wait, There's a Word for That!" Where I'll share crazy words for things you never would of dreamed existed. 
So this weeks word is...

Eccedentesiast- One who fakes a smile, as on television.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: All the Broken Pieces

Title: All The Broken Pieces
Author: Ann E. Burg
# Of Pages: 240
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Source: Library
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 4 Hearts



Two years after being airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam, Matt Pin is haunted: by bombs that fell like dead crows, by the family -- and the terrible secret -- he left behind. Now, inside a caring adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events force him to choose between silence and candor, blame and forgiveness, fear and freedom.

My Verdict

All The Broken Pieces gives us a beautifully written look into the after effects of war, through the eyes of a seventh-grade boy named Matt Pin.

Matt was rescued from the Vietnam War and taken to America where he was adopted into a loving American family.

Now two years later, Matt is still carrying around the broken pieces of his past life. Knowing that Matt might need an outlet to talk about what he has been through, he and his father start attending group sessions for war veterans who served in the same war that Matt escaped. It is then that Matt must decide whether he is going to carry those broken pieces forever, or if he will open up and share his past with others.

While I enjoyed the issues addressed and the main story behind this book the one thing I was disappointed in was the character development. Besides his past, or the fact that he plays both baseball and piano we really don’t know anything about Matt. Who is he aside from these aspects of his life? What does he do when he’s not practicing baseball or piano? Who are his friends? What is he like when hanging out with friends? These are some of the questions I asked myself while reading.

To sum it up, All The Broken Pieces is a beautifully written, touching story that deals with heavy topics such as the after effects of war, survivor’s guilt, and adoption. The plot was deep, I just wish the characters were too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Somniphobia

Its time for another wordlover wednesday phobia edition. 
Todays phobia is...

Somniphobia- Fear of sleep

I can't imagine how a person deals with this fear. Do they never sleep?! Is that even possible? 
I can't imagine trying to keep myself from sleeping. I LOVE sleep! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Randomness: Guest Post!

Today the lovely Coleen Patrick is hosting me on her blog as part of her Reader Paparazzi segment! So if you want to know which fictional character I would want to meet, who I would chose to skype with, or what I ate for dinner last night than swing by and check out the full interview =) 

Breathtaking Book Cover: Mind Games

Todays Breathtaking Book Cover is...

Mind Games
Kiersten White

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Contest Winner!

I had so much fun being a part of my very first blog tour for Dear Teen Me! =) Zest Books was kind enough to donate a book prize pack for one lucky winner and it's time to announce that winner!

Congratulations to . . .

Angie from Pinkindle

There were 159 entries all together, thanks so much to everyone who took part! =D 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: My Life Next Door

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
# Of Pages: 304
Publisher: Dial
Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts



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

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

My Verdict

I feel like I really need to explain myself with this book, because it was really good I just don’t think it was a good fit for me personally. I think the main problem was that I went into this book expecting one thing and it ended up being something completely different. Maybe I would have enjoyed it better had I not heard so much about it beforehand, I don’t know.

For example, I had heard that this was a “wholesome” romance, but I guess everyone’s definition of wholesome is different. I was expecting one of those, spend the whole book anticipating their first kiss kind of romances, not a sex after a couple weeks romance. So that was one of the big things I was disappointed in. Don’t get me wrong, Sam & Jase are a cute couple and it was a sweet romance compared to a lot of relationships I’ve read about in YA, it’s just wasn’t what I had been expecting, so I couldn’t help but feel let down.

Another thing that was hard for me to get past was all the politics. Samantha’s mom is a Senator, so naturally there is campaigning talk and events. I’m going to be completely honest and say that I absolutely can’t stand politics. I’m one of those people whose eyes glaze over whenever people around me start talking about it.

There was one aspect of the storyline that really tugged on my heartstrings and that was Samantha and Nan’s friendship. I don’t want to go into too much detail or spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read it yet, so I’ll just say that it was a part of the story I was really able to connect with. The thoughts and emotions that Samantha experienced during this time were so spot on it was crazy.

While I may not have been a big fan of the story itself, I must say that I did enjoy Huntley Fitzpatrick’s writing, it’s emotional depth, and her ability to create unique and memorable characters. It’s no wonder that Samantha watched the Garretts all the time. They were such a personable, rowdy, fun, and loving family it was impossible not to like them. I will definitely be checking out her next novel.   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Histrionics

Today's wordlover word is...

Histrionics (his-tree-ON-iks)
Noun- Melodramatic or hysterical behavior calculated for effect.
Earliest documented use- 1824
Example- " The notion that men can face adversity with stoicism while women are more likely to respond with histrionics is just one example of the gender stereotypes that permeate our culture"

Discover more about this word here:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tune In Tuesday: "Fast Car"

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! The feature is hosted by Ginger over at GReads! but until further notice you can find it over at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands.

Normally with cover songs you react in one of two extremes; you either love it more than the original, or you loathe it. Rarely do I come across a song where I love the original and a cover equally as much. 
So today I am sharing this anomaly with you =) Hope you enjoy them both as much as I do! 

Original- Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

Cover by Boyce Avenue & Kinna Granis

Learn More About Tracy Chapman:

Learn More About Boyce Avenue:

Learn More About Kinna Grannis:

How do you feel about cover songs? Do you love or loathe them?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dear Teen Me Blog Tour Stop!

Today I'm honored to be one of the stops on the Dear Teen Me blog tour hosted by Zest Books.
For this stop of the tour I will be sharing my book review and host a giveaway! 

Title: Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves
Author: Edited by Kristin Anderson & Miranda Kenneally
# Of Pages: 192
Publisher: Zest Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Source: ARC Provided by Zest Books
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts


Teenagers of the world, Dear Teen Me is for you.

For everyone who wishes they were on the football team. For everyone who would rather be in the glee club than ever run another lap. For the teens who dream of being far, far away from the small town or big city where they go to school. The prom queens, the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the good girls, the loners, the stoners, the class presidents, the juvenile delinquents, the jocks and the nerds.

The teens who have good days and bad days and sometimes really really really bad days.

This is for you.

A group of authors. some famous – some up-and-comers, who care about you.

My Verdict

I want to start off by saying that I’m not a big non-fiction reader so the fact that I finished this book is a big deal! This is actually the first anthology I’ve ever read from start to finish. YAY!

Dear Teen Me is a collection of YA authors letters to their teen selves. These letters are lighthearted, funny, sad, hopeful. Some deal with serious issues like bullying, eating disorders, suicide, self-harm, and homosexuality. They are letters that every teen can relate to and hopefully find strength in. I’m positive that any teen who picks up this book will be able to relate to at least one letter if not more!

My favorite letters were the ones by authors who took a humorous approach on things. Letters like:
“9 Things You Need to Know” by Robin Benway
“Stop Obsessing, Kiss That Guy, and Party Like it’s 1999” by Jess Rothenberg

Most of the letters included were short (about a page and a half) making it easy to read in small doses between classes and such.

Overall, I think this was a great collection of letters that have the opportunity to touch many teens and help them get through the rough times in their lives while also giving them hope for what the future holds.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 2, 2012

Book News: November Releases!

Surprisingly there aren't a whole lot of books I'm looking forward to this month.
I could only think of three.

Coming November 13th . . . 

Meant To Be
Lauren Morrill

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

(This has been one of my favorite YA books not only of the year but ever! You can read my review of it HERE

Reached (Matched #3) 
Ally Condie

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

Coming November 20th . . .

Middle Ground (Awaken #2)
Katie Kacvinky

In this provocative cautionary tale for teens, the sequel to Awaken, seventeen-year-old Maddie’s rebellion against the digital-only life grows dangerous. Maddie is in Los Angeles, trying to stay out of trouble. But one night, a seemingly small act of defiance lands her in the place she fears the most: a detention center. Here, patients are reprogrammed to accept a digital existence. Maddie is now fighting for her mind, her soul, and her very life. Once again, Katie Kacvinsky paints a disturbing picture of our increasingly technology-based society.

(I've actually already read this one and will be posting my review soon.)

What books are you waiting for this month? I'd love to know! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Reading Challenge: November Linky!

I can't believe it! How close is everyone to reaching their challenge goal?