Sunday, April 22, 2012

Randomness: Finals!

I'm sure you've all noticed the lack of updates recently. With the end of the school semester quickly approaching I've barely had time to look at a book, let alone read one. I'm absolutely swamped in final projects and preparing for finals!

The point of all this is to let you know that I'll be back to reading and posting regularly once school is out, which is in a mere two weeks! WAHOOO! =D

See you then!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Breathtaking Book Cover: Sky Always Hear Me & Hills Don't Mind

Sorry its a day late, but here is this weeks Breathtaking Book Cover!

The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind

Kirstin Cronn-Mills


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

I'm SO excited to finally share this review! I read this book back in January but was waiting until closer to the release date to post. With only 9 more days until it hits store shelves I figured it was about time! 

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
# Of Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts


(From Goodreads)

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined

My Verdict

I didn’t really know much about this book going into it except that it was dystopian, which was enough to make me pick it up. Plus the cover is really pretty!

I finished this book in six hours, which is pretty fast for me. I read three hours before bed and then three hours as soon as I woke up. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish before school but I was determined. I HAD to finish! As I was reading and time was running out I was going down a mental checklist in my head. It went a little something like this…
  • I don’t have to wash my hair; I can just throw it into a bun.
  • I can skip wearing makeup; I only have one class today. Big deal.
  • Am I really hungry? Or can I skip lunch?

I’m not even kidding. I could not stop reading I had to know what happened before I left and if that meant I showed up to school as an unshowered, unmakeuped, and hungry person than so be it.

The dystopian aspect of the book takes a back burner to the competition of the Selection and romance aspect of the story. There is talk at the beginning of the different castes 1-8, ones being the royalty and eights being the servants. Each person is assigned a caste, women who are lucky enough might marry a caste or two above themselves but no one ever marries below. This is why America, a five, and the boy she loves, Aspen, a six, must keep their love hidden.

When America is chosen as part of The Selection, she’s mad. She has no interest in becoming a princess or falling in love because she’s already in love with Aspen. But when America meets Maxon, he is nothing like she imagined, exceeding each and every one of her expectations. America starts to develop feelings for him. Are these the feelings of friends or something more? 

I’m sure you’ve already guessed that there is a bit of a love triangle that goes on here. Yup. There were times I hated America. I felt like she was stringing both guys along because she couldn’t make up her own mind but how could she? I was just as confused as she was. Aspen? Maxon? Aspen? Maxon? I can’t even decide, so how could she?!

I wasn’t expecting the major cliffhanger that was the ending. I think I might actually lose my mind waiting for the sequel. This has been one of my favorite books of the year so far!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Foreign Cover Friday: Flipped

Foreign Cover Friday is a weekly meme hosted by The Reading Fever, where foreign covers of the books we know and love are spotlighted and discussed. To join, either pick your favorite foreign cover or pick many foreign covers, and start discussing!

This weeks book is...


Wendelin Van Drannen

(US Version)
I may be biased because this is the version I read but this one is by far my favorite of the covers!
It's so simple and clean cut, which makes it very eye-catching. If you haven't read the story you might think an upside down chick it a little strange but trust me, it fits the story perfectly! 

(US Movie Edition)
This one is nice too. That tree also has a big part in the story so I can see why they would want it on the cover. However, if I'm not mistaken Bryce and Juli never actually sit in the tree together, which just ruins this whole idea for me.

(Thai Version)
This one has a strong relation to the story as well. So far all the designers have done a great job of capturing key objects or moments from the story. 

(Polish Version)
I was a little confused when I first saw this one because this is the exact same image that appears on the US dvd cover.

 (Version Unknown)
It's funny how tweeking just a few things can change something so much. 
The blue background just looks awful in my opinion, and the chick facing to the right instead of the left just doesn't look as nice, I don't know why.

(Indonesian Version)
This to me looks like another movie cover rather than a book cover. While I agree that the boy makes a really good Bryce, that girl doesn't look at all like Juli. 

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Randomness: Vote for Me!

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to write a quick note letting you all know that I have entered my blog in the Independent Book Blogger Awards on Goodreads. The winner gets a trip to The 2012 Book Expo in New York City!!!
The first round is reader voted, the top 15 blogs from each category that get the most reader votes will move on to round two.

Voting started yesterday and runs through April 23rd.

I would be so excited if you voted for me =D

Independent Book Blogger Awards
Vote for this blog for the Independent Book Blogger Awards!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review: Great Day Every Day by Max Lucado

Title: Great Day Every Day: 
      Navigating Life’s Challenges 
      with Promise and Purpose
Author: Max Lucado
# Of Pages: 176
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Level: Adult (Non Fiction)
Rating: 4 Hearts

NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.



The alarm clock rings in a new day and a chance to rejoice in it. After all: "This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."

But what about those days when the traffic snarls, airports close, and friends forget? Is there any hope for the days riddled with the hang-ups and bang-ups of life?

In Great Day Every Day Max Lucado unpacks Jesus' blueprint for dealing with such days: Saturate your day in Jesus' grace. Entrust your day to His oversight. Accept His direction. It's the only prescription to fill your day with God-given purpose.

When you find the divine promise of each day, you can face whatever it brings. Speed bumps and speeding tickets won't derail you. Hiccups and hard times don't have to ruin your day. In fact those days can become great days. Whatever you face, you can have a great day every day.

My Verdict

Great Day Every Day was another great book by Max Lucado. I’ve read two of his earlier books, which I thoroughly enjoyed so I had no doubts when getting this book that I would enjoy it too.

One of the things I love about Max’s writing style is how casual it is. It gives the feeling as if you are sitting down and having a conversation together. Another thing I like is his sense of humor. He is able to write serious books about serious issues but still be funny, I often found myself smiling or laughing as I read.  I also like how he uses real life examples of church members, athletes, etc. to get his point across. I’ve learned so many amazing stories from his books. Here is my favorite from this one.

“When ancient sailors sketched maps of the oceans, they disclosed their fears. On the vast unexplored waters, cartographers wrote words such as these:
“Here be dragons.”
“Here be demons.”
“Here be sirens.”
…Unlike his colleagues, however, Sir John Franklin was a man of faith. The maps that passed through his possession bore the imprimatur of trust. On them he crossed out the phrases “Here be dragons,” “Here be demons,” Here be sirens.” In their place he wrote the phrase “Here is God.”

Each chapter was closed with what was called A Daily Compass, which summarized the key point and offered encouragement for bringing this to fruit in your own day; each one also included a few Bible verses. This format seemed to me that you were meant to read a single chapter a day, but I often read two or three in a sitting.

The actual book was only 112 pages, with a large discussion guide (pgs. 117-136) in the back as well as a Thirty Day Journey that offered daily goals, encouragement, and Bible verses.

It’s been a while since I read one of Max’s books and I forgot that you always have to have a pen/highlighter handy while reading. I found myself tearing little scraps of paper and marking a bunch of pages I wanted to go back to later. Here are just a couple of the parts I marked.

“Worry is to joy what a Hoover vacuum cleaner is to dirt: might as well attach your heart to a happiness-sucker and flip the switch.”

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.”

I found his words sticking with me throughout the day. I would often be at work or about to complain about something when a specific passage would pop into my mind and help me to work on changing my attitude. This book is definitely one I’ll be keeping on the shelf to read again.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Cachinnation

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...

Cachinnation- Loud or hysterical laughter.

I love when your at the movies and there is that one person who's laugh fills the whole theatre, it makes me smile and want to laugh along with them.

Below I've included some videos that are sure to make you laugh!
Enjoy =D

Cause we all know there's nothing cuter than a baby's laugh!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Review: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Title: Still Waters
Author: Emma Carlson Berne
# Of Pages: 240
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: December 20, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts



Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget.

But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety.

Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

My Verdict

As soon as I finished reading this book I looked up the author to see if she had written any other books because I wanted more! I don’t read YA thrillers often and was a little nervous when I started this but now that I finished I’m just itching to get my hands on another one.

This book was SO creepy! It probably didn’t help that I was always reading it in the middle of the night, when I was the only one in my house still awake, which of course made it seem even more creepy.

I really liked both of the main characters, Hannah and Colin. From the very beginning Colin seems like a sweet, caring, boyfriend, I found it really hard to be wary of him, which we’re pretty much told to be from the synopsis.

Reading this book was like watching that movie where the main character is about to turn around and you know the bad guy is going be right there yet you still scream when it happens. The whole time I read I was on edge just waiting for that moment.

Pine House seemed like its own character the way Hannah and Colin called it by name and the detail in which it was described. I had a clear picture of it in my mind and felt like I was there walking through it.

There were a few loose ends throughout the story but nothing too bothersome. Little facts, like how neither of the characters think to bring food with them on their weekend getaway and how after being abandoned for 10 years Pine House still has food in the cabinets that Hannah & Colin actually eat! GROSS! 

The town where Pine House is located is practically desolate with just a few strange inhabitants. The way the town and its people were described it seemed like something strange had happened there in the past but this was never really explained. . I thought this aspect was going to play into the story more and that we would learn why it was the way that it was.

In conclusion, I’m so glad I gave this one a chance and picked it up! I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for Emma’s next book, Never Let You Go coming out this December! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Breathtaking Book Cover: So Close to You

This weeks Breathtaking Book Cover is...

So Close to You
Rachel Carter

Click Here to Add This Book on Goodreads =)

The sky in this is unbelievably GORGEOUS! I also love the contrast of her windblown, bright red hair against the blue.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Randomness: April Releases!

Coming April 17th...

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls
Mary Downing Hahn

Based on an actual crime in 1955, this YA novel is at once a mystery and a coming-of-age story. The brutal murder of two teenage girls on the last day of Nora Cunningham's junior year in high school throws Nora into turmoil. Her certainties, friendships, religion, her prudence, her resolve to find a boyfriend taller than she is - are shaken or cast off altogether.

Most people in Elmgrove, Maryland, share the comforting conviction that Buddy Novak, who had every reason to want his ex-girlfriend dead, is responsible for the killings. Nora agrees at first, then begins to doubt Buddy's guilt, and finally comes to believe him innocent - the lone dissenting voice in Elmgrove.

Coming April 24...

The Selection
Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Breaking Beautiful
Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.

When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness

Elizabeth Norris

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

These are the books I'm looking forward to this month! What books are you waiting for?

Reading Challenge: April Link Up

 Link up any reviews you've written lately for the novels in verse reading challenge! =)