Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: Shackled by Angela Carling

Welcome to Shackled Weekend! 

Event Schedule
Today- Book Review
Tomorrow- Author Interview
Sunday- Book Giveaway

Title: Shackled
Author: Angela Carling
# Of Pages: 212
Publisher: Acacia Publishing
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts

Note: Many thanks to Acacia Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!



After shy, quiet Lucy and her family move from their small hometown in Minnesota to Seattle, Washington, she is surprised when Ryan, the most popular boy at school, asks her out. Soon, she is swept up in a whirlwind romance and her naive and trusting nature allows her to fall head over heels in love with her too-good-to-be-true suitor. Suddenly, Lucy finds herself enraptured by the excitement of her new relationship, leaving her blinded to the warning signs of danger ahead. Can her fairy tale romance last, or will she find that her prince charming is more like a wolf in sheep's clothing?

My Verdict

New girl Lucy moves to Washington with her family when her dad gets a new job. When the good looking and seemingly perfect, Ryan gives her a tour of the school, Lucy immediately falls for him. Their relationship moves at super speed before Lucy realizes just how deep she’s gotten herself, only by then it’s too late.

I was a little nervous about reading this book, knowing it focused on an abusive relationship, but I think the author handled the subject really well: portraying the ugliness of abuse without getting graphic like other books I’ve read.

Ryan’s abuse is rarely physical, it’s more emotional and controlling. He’s absolutely obsessed with Lucy and wants her all to himself. He tries to control her life as much as possible by pushing all their friends away and only hanging out alone. He completely melts down if she talks to another guy or brings up hanging out with anyone else. He even goes so far as to put a bug in her cell phone so he can make sure she isn’t talking to other guys.

The story is told from three different perspectives: Lucy, Ryan, and their friend, Mason. I’m glad the author chose to do this because it helped me to understand where Ryan was coming from and how he got to be the way that he was. Without those chapters from his point of view I would have looked at him a lot differently. 

This book starts with a prologue that is taken from one of the most intense scenes at the end of the book. It is used to draw you in and keep you reading. I must say it worked. Once I got into the story, I was constantly thinking about it while at work or elsewhere wanting to know what would happen to Lucy next.

Despite how good the story was, I did have some slight issues with the writing. The first being, that there were a fair amount of grammatical errors sprinkled throughout that should have been caught by the editor. Secondly, there were a lot of repetitive descriptions.

This is the second book by this author that I’ve read and I noticed that she ended them both in a similar fashion. The whole book builds up to this one big climax and then she skips ahead a few months to tie things up without dealing with the after effects of that climactic event. This is something that bothered me with Unbreakable Love as well, but when it happened again in this one I was kind of annoyed.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story but think it could have been better had there been some more revisions and an ending that dealt with the immediate after effects of what happened.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Weekend: Shackled by Angela Carling

I've decided to have a book weekend this week dedicated to YA contemporary novel, Shackled by Angela Carling. Each day this weekend I will feature something that has to do with this book or its author. Here is the schedule:
  • Friday- Book Review
  • Saturday- Author Interview
  • Sunday- Book Giveaway
Don't be a stranger, be sure to stop by this weekend once, twice, or all three days! =)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Lulu

Today's wordlover word is...

Lulu (LOO-loo)
Noun- A remarkable person, idea or thing.
Earliest documented use- 1886
Example- "I told my students about an incident from my boyhood, my first-ever interaction with fungus, and it was a lulu."

Discover more about this word here:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

Title: What My Mother Doesn’t Know
Author: Sonya Sones
# Of Pages: 259
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 1, 2003
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 1 Heart



My name is Sophie.
This book is about me.
It tells
the heart-stoppingly riveting story
of my first love.
And also of my second.
And, okay, my third love too.

It's not that I'm boy crazy.
It's just that even though
I'm almost fifteen
it's like
my mind
and my body
and my heart
just don't seem to be able to agree
on anything.

My Verdict

I started one of Sones’ books in the past and didn’t even bother finishing it, but I’ve been hearing so many good things about her lately that I decided to give her another shot.

This time I picked up a copy of What My Mother Doesn’t Know and once again I was disappointed. I wouldn’t have even bothered finishing if it weren’t for the fact that I was trapped at work for seven more hours with no other source of entertainment.

Contrary to the blurb on the back of the book, Sophie IS boy crazy! She goes through three different guys in this short book, and whenever she’s not with one she’s dreaming about one. Heck, even when she has a boyfriend she’s dreaming of a different guy! I disliked Sophie from the very beginning, I found her immature, shallow and annoying. Her entire brain was about making out with boys and nothing more.

I didn’t feel like this book had a plot line at all. It basically just followed Sophie around during her dating escapades. At one point during the story Sophie considers breaking up with her “then” boyfriend rather than telling her best friends who he was because she was afraid they’d make fun of her. This just proved to me how shallow she really was; if you can’t even tell your so called “best friends” who you’re dating for fear they’ll make fun of you instead of be happy for you, then maybe they’re not really true friends.

While reading at work my co-worker looked over at me and said wow, you’re really not liking that book are you? Apparently I had quite the grimace on my face. It was while I was reading an awkward passage about girls popping each other’s zits at a sleepover (GROSS!) There were a lot of awkward passages like this scattered throughout the story.

Overall, I was unable to understand people’s interest in Sones’ books and did not find it worth my time. I won’t be reading anything more from this author.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Breathtaking Book Cover: Flicker

Todays Breathtaking Book Cover is...

Kaye Thornbrugh

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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
# Of Pages: 240
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 2 Hearts



Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

My Verdict

Jessi’s first book, Moonglass, was just an okay read for me, so I wasn’t expecting much going into this one. Good thing, because this was actually worse than Moonglass. In Honor is a contemporary romance that had less than likable characters and a romance that lacked any sparks.

The two main characters, Honor and Rusty were neither likable nor relatable.

Honor spends most of the book acting like a child or crying about something. She is always blaming others for her problems and never takes responsibility for herself.

As for Rusty, he is pretty much an alcoholic at the ripe old age of 18. He’s talked about as if he’s this drop-dead gorgeous heartbreaker, which I couldn’t understand because there wasn’t a single thing about him that I liked. His humor reminded me a lot of Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights, only less likable.

What really bothered me about this book were the parts that were extremely unbelievable. Would you really go scuba diving in the middle of the night with someone you’ve known for less than 24 hours? No. At least I wouldn’t. It was these types of scenarios along the way that made the whole road trip seem absurd.

The plot, the characters, it was all just so-so.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Giveaway: The Girl Who Was On Fire

I know I'm a few days late but in honor of The Hunger Games DVD release I've decided to host a giveaway! Up for grabs is a copy of The Girl Who Was On Fire, a collection of essays written by a number of different YA authors. 


In The Girl Who Was on Fire, thirteen YA authors take you back to Panem with moving, dark, and funny pieces on Katniss, the Games, Gale and Peeta, reality TV, survival, and more. From the trilogy's darker themes of violence and social control to fashion and weaponry, the collection's exploration of the Hunger Games reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss' world really is.

• How does the way the Games affect the brain explain Haymitch's drinking, Annie's distraction, and Wiress' speech problems?
• What does the rebellion have in common with the War on Terror?
• Why isn't the answer to "Peeta or Gale?" as interesting as the question itself?
• What should Panem have learned from the fates of other hedonistic societies throughout history and what can we?

The Girl Who Was On Fire covers all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy

Authors Included are:
  • Leah Wilson
  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Mary Borsellino
  • Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Terri Clark
  • Bree Despain
  • Adrienne Kress
  • Sarah Darer Littman
  • Cara Lockwood
  • Elizabeth M. Rees
  • Carrie Ryan
  • Ned Vizzini
  • Lili Wilkinson
  • Blythe Woolston

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"May the odds be ever in your favor"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Author Interview: Tracy Bilen

Tracy Bilen is the author of YA suspense novel What She Left Behind.
I've read What She Left Behind and absolutely LOVED it! 
You can read my review HERE

Born Bookish: What She Left Behind is your first book. How does it feel to see it on store shelves?

Amazing! Getting the cover art in my e-mail inbox and seeing my book on the shelf were the two most exciting days for me!

Born Bookish: You did such a great job creating the character of Sara’s dad. Every time he came into a scene I swear my heart stopped beating. Was it hard to create a character that was so terrifying?
Thanks! Writing some of the other characters was actually more difficult for me, but for all of my characters it took many drafts for them to start to become real people to me. With each draft I tried to add more unique details.

Born Bookish: Sara spends a lot of her time worried about what her father might do next, jumping when she hears the front door close, or his footsteps down the hall. Did you ever scare yourself when writing those scenes?

I usually write late at night, so yeah, sometimes if my husband was out of town and I had to check to see if the garage door was shut, my heart was pounding a bit (especially if I had forgotten to close it!)

Born Bookish: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? Do you make yourself write a certain amount of words a day, etc?

When I’m writing my first draft, the first 30 pages come very easily because I’m caught up in a new idea. After that it’s more like work and I always set a word count goal for myself and chart my progress in a notebook. I’m a teacher, so if I don’t have a looming deadline, during the school year my goal might be as low as 100 words. But on school breaks or when there’s a deadline, I aim for 1,000 words a day.

Born Bookish: Which character was easiest for you to write? Why?

Sara was the easiest because I was telling the story from her viewpoint and it was easy to live the story through her in my mind.

Born Bookish: Do you find it hard to throw obstacles in your characters way or make life difficult for them?

I think it’s definitely a learning process to figure out how to do that right! But I don’t mind giving them obstacles because it spurs the story forward.

Born Bookish: If you had to choose a song to portray your book, what song would it be?

Wildfire – the seventies song by Michael Martin Murphy…it plays an almost haunting role in the book

Born Bookish: If you could travel anywhere in the world instantaneously where would you go?

I’d probably go back to France since I’m a French teacher.

Born Bookish: What was your favorite children’s book growing up?

Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. I loved to re-read these series, and Anne felt like a kindred spirit because she loved to write. I also keep a quote from her on my classroom wall: “Today is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.”

Born Bookish: What is the best book you’ve read this year?

I’ve read tons of great books this year, but my most recent favorite is The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin

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

I’m currently writing another YA thriller…think explosions!

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’m a sucker for tornadoes (what they look like, not the devastation they cause), so I loved the cover for The Waiting Sky (Lara Zielin)

Thanks so much for the interview Tracy!! =D

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tune in Tuesday: Taylor Swift

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.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
Taylor released her newest single last week that will be on her upcoming album RED which comes out October 22nd! Taylor's music is always amazing so I can't wait to hear the new album!! 
- - -
 Let me just warn you that once you hear this song you won't be able to stop listening to it!
It's upbeat, catchy, and funny. After you've heard it once, I'm sure you'll be singing right along like I was =)

Learn More About Taylor Swift:
Official Website

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book News: Ebook Deals

Just wanted to share some great Kindle book deals I stumbled upon today.

Reaching For Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Girl Who Was On Fire compilation by various YA authors

Encalve by Ann Aguirre 

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

The Good Braider by Terry Farish 

Breathtaking Book Cover: Jane

Todays Breathtaking Book Cover is...

April Lindner

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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Author Mad Lib: Tracy Bilen

I'm excited to reveal a new feature I'm going to be doing here called Author Mad Libs.
This is a segment where I'll give an author the title and list of words needed to complete the story,
I will then post the completed Mad Lib here.

So without further ado, the first ever author to participate in the Author Mad Libs is... 
Tracy Bilen! 

Here is her Mad Lib.

"Police Call"

Calling all cars... Calling all cars!
Be on the lookout for Ballerina. She is wearing a soft suit, a gray sled, and is carrying an old brown elephant. She was last seen in the vicinity of Africa, waving a loaded plate. She is charged with holding up a candy store and running off with the owner's rock. She is also accused of stealing a 1955 rainbow and a frilly  refrigerator. It is advisable to approach this person with adorable caution, as she has been known to carry a loaded gun. She uses the alias "Billy the SUV" and has been known to disguise herself as a tree. Watch out for this frozen criminal. That is all.

Note: (This Mad Lib was taken from SON OF MAD LIBS. Copyright 2001, 1988 Price Stern Sloan, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, New York). No copyright infringement intended.

Tracy is the author of YA suspense novel What She Left Behind

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book Review: What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen

Title: What She Left Behind
Author: Tracy Bilen
# Of Pages: 256           
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts



In this suspenseful thriller, Sara and her mother are going to secretly escape her abusive father—when her mother mysteriously disappears.

Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it.

With each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

My Verdict

What She Left Behind exceeded my every expectation. I hadn’t heard much about it beforehand, but after seeing the eerie cover I knew I had to read it, and I’m so glad I did. 

The book centers around Sara, a shy, soft-spoken girl who’s just trying to cope with her new life. Before Sara’s family moved from Philly they were one big happy family, her mom, dad, and older brother, Matt. That all changed when they moved to the small town of Scottsfield, Michigan and Matt commited suicide. Ever since then her father has become abusive, taking out his anger on Sara’s mother, blaming her for what happened to their son.

Each chapter is categorized by a day of the week. I liked this idea, it helped me to keep track of things. One of the other things I thought was neat, was how all of Sara’s writing assignments for this one class were included. Through these writing assignments we learn more about Sara’s past and the relationship between her and her brother, Matt. I felt like it was a creative way for us to learn more and get a better understanding of Sara.

The tension in this book was incredible! I was on high alert the whole time, looking over my shoulder, jumping and gasping from shock. The author did such an amazing job creating real, three-dimensional characters. The struggles that Sara is going through and how she deals with them seemed completely realistic for a girl in her situation. The dad was absolutely terrifying, like you got the chills whenever he showed up kind of thing.

Here’s a teaser quote that will make your skin crawl:

My heart pounding, I make my way down the hallway to my parent’s room and turn on the light.
   I stifle a scream. My dad is sitting on the bed, fully clothed, and completely awake. In the dark.
   ‘I didn’t think anyone was home,’ I say.
    My dad just stares. I’m used to his silence by now, but this is excruciating.
    ‘Your mom’s gone,’ he says matter-of-factly.

Bilen creates this incredibly realistic picture of an abusive relationship, as well as a heart-pounding mystery and a budding romance. This book has it all folks. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Breathtaking Book Cover: A Brief History of Montmaray

Todays Breathaking Book Cover is...

A Brief History of Montmaray 
Michelle Cooper

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

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review: Swipe by Evan Angler

Title: Swipe
Author: Evan Angler
# Of Pages: 288
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: April 6, 2012
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 1 Heart



Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong?

Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, Swipe follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn't even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship.

The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It's almost Logan Langly's 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn't been able to shake the feeling he's being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back.

My Verdict

FINALLY! I think I started this book about 3 or 4 months ago and I’m just now finishing it. Reading this book was like pulling teeth for me. I had to force myself to read it little by little.

I always feel bad when writing a completely bad review of something, especially when I was taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. However, I agreed to review this book and give my honest opinion, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Usually, one of my favorite things about reading Dystopian is learning about this new world that the author has created. I was very disappointed in how we learned about this future world. The only way we learn about it is through Logan’s studying for his Pledge exam, or just random passages about how things were before. This seemed like a very dry way of presenting the information, almost like reading a history textbook for another world.

The character development just wasn’t there. I didn’t feel like I really knew Logan, Erin, Dane, Hailey, or any of the other characters. The main character could have been beaten over the head and about to die and I had no problem putting the book down right then. No part of me cared what happened next.

I was going to say how boring I thought the story was, but it really wasn’t that nothing was happening because it was- CONSTANTLY. I think the reason it came across as boring was that there was too much of it (I didn’t think that was possible) and it was all very anti-climatic and just kept happening. Problem arose… problem solved…. arose…. solved, and even the things that didn’t get resolved right away were very predictable, which took away the excitement.

The ending was pretty dramatic, definitely trying to hook you for the next book in the series. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the bait and will not be continuing on with the next book.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Random Reads #2: Tiger Lily

Random Reads is a monthly segment where you use to choose a book from your TBR list to read during that month. 

June is the first month I participated in Random Reads. I read and reviewed Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. You can read my review HERE

For July,  I didn't make a post because the book it generated I decided to delete from my TBR rather than read. It was Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay.

This month I got...

Number 85= Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, on my list since June 30th 2012.


Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

I've already requested the next available copy from the library. 
Hopefully it won't take too long to arrive!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tune in Tuesday: Hunter Hayes

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.

Wanted by Hunter Hayes 

I downloaded this song during a promotion on Amazon for only $0.25. I instantly fell in love with the song, and started listening to it every night on repeat until I fell asleep. Because of this song I went and picked up Hunter's full length album and I couldn't be happier I did.

My second favorite song from the album is
"Cry With You"

Learn More About Hunter Hayes:
Official Website

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
# Of Pages: 432
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 26, 2008
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts



"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

My Verdict

I’ve never been so glad that I stuck with a book than I am with this one. I absolutely hated the beginning and didn’t think I was going to finish, but boy am I glad I did.

The book starts out very cumbersome, introducing at least twelve characters within the first twenty pages or so. It was hard to keep everyone straight, especially with everyone being divided into either townies, cadets, or students at Jellicoe High.

Another thing I really disliked was how the territory wars weren’t explained until halfway through. The book dives right into these “wars” right at the beginning and I couldn’t figure out if they were real and it was some sort of dystopian age or if it was some big game that has spiraled way out of control.  Once we find out, it made so much more sense, I only wish it was explained a lot sooner. I would like to tell you so that you’re not frustrated like I was but I don’t think I should spoil it, I don’t think we’re meant to know until later.

I honestly thought I would give up on this book, but once things started to get explained better I was totally hooked, reading almost the entire book during an eight-hour shift at work (it was slow that day.)

There are two main story lines going on, Taylor’s life as it’s happening and Hannah’s manuscript as it’s being read by Taylor. There are a lot of other smaller story lines going on, but I promise they all connect in some way or another at the end.

The character development is what really made this book for me. Taylor, Griggs, Raffy, Chaz, Webb, Fritz, Jude, Narnie, and Tate are all such strong characters that grow a lot over the course of the story.  None of them were perfect, they all had their fair share of flaws, but that just made them more real, more believable. I grew so attached to them all by the end of it, I wasn’t ready to let them go.

Objectionable content includes some swearing, and one very brief sex scene.

I probably wouldn’t have stuck out this book past it’s slow start if it wasn’t my Random Reads book for the month of June, but because I felt obligated I stuck with it and discovered a great story and an author that I look forward to reading more from.