Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tune in Tuesday: My Teen Years Edition #4

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly segment hosted by Ginger from greads that showcases music. 
Each week you post a new or old song in hopes to gain it more interest.

For the whole month of July, Tune in Tuesday is going old school. Instead of sharing any song we will be sharing the songs from when we were teens.

Oops! I know I said last week was the last edition of My Teen Years but silly me forgot there was 5 weeks in July. So here we are again for one last peek (this time really is the end) into the music of my teen years.


I saw The Jonas Brothers in concert for the first time in 2005 when they opened up for The Cheetah Girls. Since that day I've seen them in concert eight more times. They are one of the sweetest most incredible bands I've ever had the chance to meet! 

Year: 2006
Album: It's About Time
Hit Single: Mandy

Year: 2007
Album: Jonas Brothers
Hit Single: S.O.S

Year: 2008
Album: A Little Bit Longer
Hit Single: Burnin' Up

Year: 2009
Album: Lines, Vines and Trying Times
Hit Single: Paranoid

Year: ????
Album: Jonas Brothers?
Hit Single: To Be Determined...

Rumor has it The Jonas Brothers are working on a new album. All I can say is if and when it comes out  I'm totally buying it, and if they decide to promote it by going on tour I'M SO THERE! 

Learn More About The Jonas Brothers:

What's your favorite Jonas Brothers song?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Foreign Cover Friday: I'll Be There

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...

I'll Be There
Holly Goldberg Sloan

(US Hardcover)
The sole reason I read this book was because of this cover.
I absolutely ADORE it! 

(US Paperback)
I don't know why they would ever choose a new cover after having that first one, which is perfect.
The butterfly is so fake and photoshopped looking it's not funny. Not to mention that it has no significance to the story whatsoever at all. 

(United Kingdom)
I guess this ones okay. Kind of funky and random. You can't tell a lot about the book from looking at this. The one thing I do like is that the wooden heart Sam made is included, which was a part of the story. Although, it kind of ruined how it looked in my head...

This one is just plain weird. I can't really tell what the picture is (looking out a window perhaps?) 
To make matters worse why is the title split in three? And why, oh why is it orange? 

This is the only other one besides the first that I really like.
It's made in the same style as the first but looks more cutesy than dramatic.

Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review: Waiting to Forget by Shelia Kelly Welch

Title: Waiting to Forget
Author: Shelia Kelly Welch
# Of Pages: 170
Publisher: Namelos
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Level: Middle Grade (Ages 10-15)
Rating: 3 Hearts

Note: Thanks so much to Shelia Kelly Welch for sending me a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review! 


(From Amazon.com)

T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he'd lock the door so they'd be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma's boyfriend got angry at them, he'd try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the window. But now T.J. is sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, wondering if Angela, unconscious after a fall, will ever wake up. Wondering, too, if he will ever feel at home with his and Angela's new parents—Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy, and Dan, who seems to want a different son. Going back and forth between Now and Then, weaving the uncertain present with the painful past, T.J.'s story unfolds, and with the unfolding comes a new understanding of how to move forward.

My Verdict

I always have such a hard time rating books that deal with tough subject matter. I settled on three hearts because it was well written, the characters well developed, and because the story was one worth telling. The thing that held it back from a higher rating for me was just how upsetting and sometimes depressing the storyline was.

The book opens with the main character T.J, sitting in a hospital waiting room wondering if his little sister Angela is going to survive. We know she fell but we don’t know how or why.

The book included three main timelines: Now, Then, and Between Then & Now, with a few additional sections (Between, Almost Now…) near the end. I found this writing style to be very affective for this story.

T.Js time at the hospital are the “Now” pieces. The author uses these parts to create tension and suspense as to what happened to Angela and if she is going to be okay. It’s not until the last few pages that we get the answers.

In the “Between” sections, T.J. and his sister Angela have just been adopted by a couple named Marlene & Dan. This is yet another smaller mystery because in the “Then” the kids are still living with their birth mother, so the whole-time you’re also wondering what happens to her that lands the kids in the foster care system.

My biggest issue with this book was that it was upsetting to read about a mother who cared so little about her own children. The mother (Celia) is a single mom who can’t hold a job (not because she can’t get one, but because she always quits), and she goes through many boyfriends (most of which are bad news).  The thing that upset me most was when one of her boyfriends would treat the kids like dirt and she just stood there and watched. At one point, I was so angry I wanted to jump into the book and shake some sense into her! The boyfriend has just flushed her 7-year-olds head down the toilet repeatedly and she blames the daughter for misbehaving, not her brute of a boyfriend! (There was practically steam coming out of my ears at this point.)

In the end, I’m glad I read this book. Despite it’s upsetting subject matter it was a good story, but I say that as a 21-year-old. However, this is meant to be a middle grade book for ages 10-15. I guess it all depends on the person, but this is definitely not the kind of book I was reading at 10 OR 15. It’s some heavy stuff for a 10 year old to handle in my opinion. I would recommend if for the oldest end of that and say 15 +.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tune in Tuesday: My Teen Years Edition #3

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly segment hosted by Ginger from greads that showcases music. 
Each week you post a new or old song in hopes to gain it more interest.

For the whole month of July, Tune in Tuesday is going old school. Instead of sharing any song we will be sharing the songs from when we were teens.

Sigh... today is the last week of the teen year edition. It's been so much fun reliving the music of those years and getting to know what everyone else was listening to. For todays post I've decided to post a bunch of songs that I might not have necessarily known who sang them back then (or now) but that I ALWAYS had to stop and listen to when they came on the radio. 

First Up...

Crash & Burn by Savage Garden

Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer

Blue by Eiffle 65

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

I better stop there, because I could go on all day!

When you were a teen, what were your favorite radio hits?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review: Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle

Title: Hurricane Dancers: The First     
      Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck
Author: Margarita Engle
# Of Pages: 160
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 2 Hearts


(From Amazon.com)

Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado—half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother’s Taíno Indian language and his father’s Spanish.

But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors.

My Verdict

The book starts out with a brief historical setting and list of main characters. With a historical fiction book I like when the author includes some sort of background on which they drew their ideas from. I also found the cast list to be very helpful since there were five main characters, all with complicated names.

The book was divided into six main sections: Wild Sea, Brave Earth, Hidden, The Sphere Court, The Sky Horse, Far Light, and told from five different perspectives.

  • Quebrado, a young boy who was captured from home to become a slave on the seas.
“Sailors call me a boy
of broken dreams,
but I think of myself
as a place—a strange place
dreamed by the sea,
belonging nowhere,
half floating island
and half
wandering wind.”

  • Bernardino, a ruthless pirate who wants nothing but riches.
“I once owned a vast land grant
with hundreds of naturals,
Indian slaves who perished
From toil, hunger and plagues.
Crops withered, mines failed.
All my dreams of wealth vanished.”

  • Alonso, is the governor of Venezuela, conqueror of the tribes, and now he’s Bernardino’s hostage.
“There were days when my sword
killed ten thousand.

Now, all those dead spirits haunt me,
and I am the one on a ship
in chains.”

  • Narido, a young fisherman who helps Quebrado after he washed ashore from the shipwreck.
Everyone calls me River Being
because I catch so many fish
with my feathered arrows
and winged spears.

  • Caucuba, a young girl who has stolen Narido’s heart. 
“When Narido is close,
my mind swoops
and tumbles
like the wind
in a stormy sky.”

I was quite disappointed in this book having read it right after Engle’s other MG book, The Firefly Letters, which really captured my heart. This time around I found the story lacking any emotional depth, I just didn’t connect with the story or any of the five main characters.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tune in Tuesday: My Teen Years Edition #2

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly segment hosted by Ginger from greads that showcases music. 
Each week you post a new or old song in hopes to gain it more interest.

For the whole month of July, Tune in Tuesday is going old school. Instead of sharing any song we will be sharing the songs from when we were teens.

I'm sure you've all heard the name Jesse McCartney before, yes?
But did you know that he got his start in a boyband named Dream Street?

My sister used to love them and her love soon wore off on me and before you knew if we were both spending are days watching the Dream Street Live in Concert DVD. 

After the group spilt up a few of them continued to pursue music, and I continued to listen and love it =)

In 2003, Greg's first solo song came out.

In 2004, Jesse came out with this hit...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Book Review: I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Title: I’ll Be There
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
# Of Pages: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Publication Date: May 17, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts


(From Amazon.com)

Sam Border wishes he could escape. Raised by an unstable father, he's spent his life moving from place to place. But he could never abandon his little brother, Riddle.

Riddle Border doesn't talk much. Instead, he draws pictures of the insides of things and waits for the day when the outsides of things will make sense. He worships his older brother. But how can they leave when there's nowhere to go? Then everything changes. Because Sam meets Emily.

Emily Bell believes in destiny. She sings for her church choir, though she doesn't have a particularly good voice. Nothing, she feels, is mere coincidence. And she's singing at the moment she first sees Sam.

Everyone whose path you cross in life has the power to change you--sometimes in small ways, and sometimes in ways greater than you could have ever known. Beautifully written and emotionally profound, Holly Goldberg Sloan's debut novel deftly explores the idea of human connection.

My Verdict

The word that comes to mind when trying to describe this book would be different, and maybe even a bit strange.

Main characters Emily and Sam cross paths one day when Sam walks into a new church, where he sees Emily sing, directly to him. After this the two share a brief conversation (if you could call “Hey” and “Hi” a conversation) anyways the two supposedly “connect” during this moment before Emily turns around and hurls into the bushes, and Sam runs away.

After this, Sam’s thoughts are consumed by Emily, and Emily is consumed with finding Sam. This is where the story lost me, I didn’t really understand their whole connection to one another, and if a whole book is going to be about this couple that can’t live without each other than understanding what draws them together is very important.

The story was written in a way I’ve never come across before in YA literature. I believe it is called third-person subjective, which is when the narrator conveys the thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc. of one or more characters. In this case it was over a dozen characters. At first I didn’t mind this style, but by the end of the book the author had us going into the minds of every little side character, which got to be annoying.

Overall, while the story wasn’t great, I did enjoy it. My biggest complaint would be the length. There were plenty of parts that weren’t necessary to the story that I think should have been cut to help whittle it down from it’s beastly total of 400 pages.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Billet-Doux

Todays wordlover word is...

Billet-Doux (bil-let-doux)

Noun- A love letter
Example- "Pete Hamill, journalist and novelist, loves his city and this novel is his billet-doux."
Origin- Late 17th Century. French. Literally meaning "sweet note."

Who knew their was a fancy word for love letter? But why complicate things? I'll just stick to calling it what it is, thank you very much. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Title: Such a Rush
Author: Jennifer Echols
# Of Pages: 336
Publisher: MTV Books
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 2 Hearts


(From Goodreads)

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.    

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business — until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers — and the consequences could be deadly.

My Verdict

My love of the gorgeous cover is the extent of my love for this book. It was slow paced, trashy, and full of annoying characters.

I couldn’t stand the main character of the book, Leah. While I admired her trying to make a better future for herself and get out of the trailer park life she’d grown up in, I just couldn’t stand her. She was always whining and complaining about being called the school slut (harsher word used in book), but does nothing to change it. In fact, she purposefully acts/dresses the way she thinks people expect her to. She gets mad at other people for thinking of her that way but thinks it herself. 

If I could use two words to describe the romance in this book I would say messed up.This is not your typical love triangle since Leah doesn’t actually have feeling for both guys. Leah’s been in love with Grayson since they were fourteen years old, but Grayson has never given her the time of day until now, when he blackmails her into dating his twin brother Alec. While Leah & Grayson’s feelings for each other deepen, they start to see each other in secret, while Grayson continues to make Leah go out with Alec, which made me furious!

The one part about the book I did enjoy was learning about the planes and details of flying. While I myself am terrified of heights and am afraid to ride on a plane, never-mind fly one. I found it really fun to read about someone as brave as Leah and her flying experiences.

As for objectionable content, there was an abundance of foul language as well as some sex scenes.

Overall, I wish I hadn’t wasted my time with this one. It was all very trashy in my opinion. I definitely won’t be adding any of Jennifer Echols other books to my TBR. 

Breathtaking Book Cover: Breaking Beautiful

Today's Breathtaking Book Cover is...

Breaking Beautiful 
Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Click on the cover to go to the books Goodreads page.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Interview: Gabrielle Prendergast

This months author interview is with up and coming novel-in-verse author Gabrielle Prendergast, who's first YA novel, Audacious, comes out in the Fall  of 2013. 

Welcome to the blog Gabrielle!!

Born Bookish: If your life had a theme song, what song would it be?

I think it would vary from day to day but Creep by Radiohead is how I feel most of the time. But maybe the Pretenders cover of it since I’m a girl. 

Born Bookish: You have two young adult novels in verse coming out in the next couple of years; Audacious in 2013, and its sequel Capricious in 2014. Can you tell us a little bit about each one?

Audacious is about 16-year-old Ella, who moves with her family to a new town and blows her plans of fitting in by falling for a Muslim guy, creating controversial artwork, and getting expelled from school. Ella makes a pretty radical decision at the end of Audacious and Capricious concerns the repercussions of that decision, amongst other things.

Born Bookish: What made you want to tell these stories in verse, opposed to traditionally?

I wanted to try telling a story in verse and this is the story that came out. Initially I was going to write something autobiographical but the story took on a mind of its own, partly because of the verse format. Sometimes a rhyme or a figure of speech that felt right for a poem would take the story into an unforeseen direction and I would just follow it. I worked with a kind of outline but I ended up not following it much. 

Born Bookish: Did you read many books in verse to prepare yourself to write one of your own?

Yes! I try to read pretty much every YA verse novel I come across, and lots of MG ones too. I read up to twenty or more books a month and usually at least a couple are in verse. I also try to read traditional poetry but I don’t enjoy that as much.

Born Bookish: A lot of people are hesitant to try reading this format, why do you think that is?

Lots of people are afraid of poetry. Poetry is ruined for people in high school I think. They have to study really obscure and inscrutable poems or poems that have no relevance to the life of an average 21st century high schooler (about mending a stone wall for example) so that turns them off. And a lot of contemporary poetry is intentionally incomprehensible and dense, because that is the challenge of “poetry.” But verse novels, especially those written for young readers are not like that because they are much more direct. It’s really not quite poetry and not quite prose. It’s something new.

Born Bookish: What is your favorite novel in verse?

I really loved Karma by Cathy Ostlere, which I read recently. I also thought May B by Caroline Starr Rose was fabulous.

Born Bookish: If you could take any classic novel and re-write it in verse, which would you choose?

Gosh, what a great question. Maybe Frankenstein by Mary Shelley? I’d like to see some gothic verse novels so this would be a great place to start.  

Born Bookish: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

Mostly I’m a “pantser.” I pretend I have a plan but I never follow it and sometimes I don’t even bother pretending. Often a story will really start to occupy my mind completely so I spend most of my day kind of living in scenes even when I’m driving or making dinner. That can get a little tiring but that’s the way it goes I guess. I have written things that were more carefully outlined. WICKET SEASON, which was published in March 2012, had a very detailed outline because I wrote it under contract with my publisher (Lorimer). And I used to write screenplays that way. I sometimes do a lot of preliminary research by reading about the subject matter and writing all kinds of rambling notes. But at some point I get “the urge to push” (to coin a childbirth phrase) and then I just start on page one and go. I write in Word for Windows. I don’t use any fancy outlining tools and I have no system of keeping chapters and scenes in order. I just start at the beginning and go to the end. Crazy and messy and often ineffective but that’s what I do. Basically my first draft is my outline. 

Born Bookish: I saw on your website that in addition to writing books, you’ve also written a children’s movie. How does writing a movie differ from writing a book? Do you go through the same process?

Actually Hildegarde was the one screenplay I “pantsed.” I had a half a page of notes then I wrote it in about four weeks. But of course it changed a lot through later drafts that I did with the producer and director and there was LOTS of outlining at that stage. 

Born Bookish: What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

I really think both The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies are incredible accomplishments. LOTR in particular I think is very close to being as good as the books. There’s really only one movie that I think is better than the book and that’s Blade Runner, which is based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Phillip K Dick. Blade Runner is a phenomenally good movie and the book is just so so. 

Born Bookish: Do you have any other books in the works that you can tell us a little bit about?

 I have a lower middle grade book called Pandas on the Eastside, which is out on sub now. Hopefully I’ll hear news about it soon. My current WIP is a kind of sci-fi romance thing, a bit of a beauty and the beast riff, but its proving to be more beast than beauty so I’m not sure when that will ever be finished. And there’s another completed middle grade, which is “problematic,” but I hope to find a home for it someday.

Born Bookish: Here at Born Bookish, I have a segment called Breathtaking Book Covers where I post the cover image of a book that I think is stunning. Is there a book cover that has ever taken your breath away? If so, what book?

I actually just wrote a blog post about this tonight (it goes up on June 23). I’m really into what I call graphic/iconic covers. 

Hannah Moskowitz has a book coming out next year called Teeth, which has this kind of simple evocative cover. 

I’m really over the wispy girls in passive poses covers that are so ubiquitous now, and the “dead girls” make me crazy. Make it stop. I’ve blogged about that too. 

Apart from that I actually really love the cover of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick but I wasn’t crazy about the actual book. 

Thanks for the interview Gabrielle! =) 

Note: Don't forget to check out my cover of the day post on Cover to Cover, where I talk about Mind Games by Kiersten White. Happy Friday =)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Title: Cryer’s Cross
Author: Lisa McMann
# Of Pages: 256
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts


(From Amazon.com)

Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer's Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she's not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world's sweetest boyfriend, behind.

But when Cryer's Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn't get close to... the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico.

Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she's always loved, Kendall keeps up the search--and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can't stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried....

My Verdict

This book was the perfect mix of suspense, mystery, and romance!

I’ve always been interested in the idea of living in a small, one traffic light town, where everybody knows everybody. I think that’s why I enjoyed the setting of Cryer’s Cross Montana so much! Population 212. The tight-knit community that banded together during a crisis and generally cared for one another was refreshing to read about.

I absolutely loved being in the mind of the main character, Kendall. Kendall has OCD, I’ve never read about a character with OCD and found it very interesting to see how her mind worked. How she had to count a certain amount of raindrops before she let herself stop, or how she checked the locks a certain number of times every night before bed.

It wasn’t just  Kendall I liked, the author focused on a small group of main characters, concentrating on their development and allowing us get to know them all really well.
  • Nico, he was so sweet! Him and Kendall were best friends since they were tots, he is the only one who understands her, and the only one besides her parents that knows about her OCD. 
  • Marlena, her and her brother Jacian are the new kids in town. Marlena is talkative, outgoing, and friendly, which helps her and Kendall to become friends pretty quick. 
  • Jacian, has a major attitude problem as well as anger management issues. He was forced to move to Cryer's Cross  by his parents when his grandfather needed help taking care of his ranch. I disliked him right from the start and even though he changes near the end I never did like him.
The one downfall of this book was that the ending leaves a little to be desired. While you find out the answers to the main mystery it's not explained very well and still leaves you a little confused and wishing it had been discussed in a little more depth. 

After reading this, I quickly ran to the library to grab Lisa’s other “suspense” novel, Dead To You. I’m so glad this was the first of Lisa’s books that I read because her other one didn’t live up at all. If I had read Dead to You first, I don’t think I would have picked this one up.


Can’t say I was too happy with the romantic aspect of the story though. My vote was for Nico all the way (I’m a sucker for the best-friends forever turned boyfriend, girlfriend kind of romances). For this reason, I never really gave Jacian a chance. I didn’t like him from the start and I didn’t want him with Kendall.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tune in Tuesday: My Teen Years Edition

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly segment hosted by Ginger from greads that showcases music. 
Each week you post a new or old song in hopes to gain it more interest.

For the whole month of July, Tune in Tuesday is going old school. Instead of sharing any song we will be sharing the songs from when we were teens. 

So to kick off Tune in Tuesday My Teen Years edition I'm going to take you all back to the year 2002, when I was 12 (which I guess is technically a tween not a teen but whatever). This is the year that my dad took me and my sister to our first concert. 
Here is who we saw:

Aaron Carter- The Main Act
Sigh.... my entire room used to be plastered with  posters of this guy. No lie, when the walls were full, I started hanging posters on my ceiling =/

Jump 5- Opening Act
To this day, I still own every single one of their CDs. Their music was wholesome, uplifting, and fun. I wish music like this was still popular.

No Secrets- Opening Act
Fun story about this one. So, we were in line at this fishmarket place to grab lunch before the concert started and the girl in the pink top was standing in line in-front of us. My sister didn't believe me when I told her so we called out her name to see if she turned around (lame I know). Anyways, it was her (I was right) and she ended up signing a bunch of stuff for us!

Triple Image- Opening Act
I couldn't even find any music videos of them on Youtube. I think they only ever had one CD.
Looking back, I can't believe I ever even listened to this.

Well, that was my first concert in a nutshell. 
Did anyone else listen to any of these groups growing up? 
If not, who were YOU listening to in the year 2002??