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You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~ Paul Sweeney

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott


When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.


Can I start by saying that I died a little inside while reading this book?

LIVING DEAD GIRL isn't a story for anyone who likes reading fluffy stories where the girl gets the guy and everyone goes home happy. No, no, NO.

If you're looking for that type a book, put this one down, and walk away with your heart still beating in your chest, because I just finished LIVING DEAD GIRL and now I can't feel anything.

I'm so numb.

Because Alice, a girl whose name is not really Alice, was abducted by a pedophile (because really that's what he is) who had some mommy-issues and justifies his actions by saying he's only looking out for Alice, and he loves Alice who needs him because he's all she has.

Told in a raw, lyrical prose Alice's story isn't new at all. There are girls like Alice all over the world, and though this book wasn't graphic, the things Alice was made to do, though only hinted at, made me cringe, it made me want to throw up, but I just couldn't put this book down, even though I was crying, and I wanted Ray to suffer, just as much as Alice was suffering.

But then as Alice revealed things about Ray's past, I began to feel sorry for him, because some kids who are sexually abused grow up to sexually abuse other kids and I loved the way Miss Scott made Ray's character come alive even though the story wasn't told by him.

LIVING DEAD GIRL was a disturbingly good read and if you like dark tells then I highly recommend this.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Review: Stay With Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr


When her half sister commits suicide, sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel has only one question: why? That question sets Leila on a journey toward discovery, uncertainty, and love.


Leila Abranel is the youngest in her family. Her father is in his seventies and her mother is a little younger than him, while her two half-sisters, Clare and Rebecca, are in their thirties.

Leila is a dyslexic teenager who is forced by her parents to act older and more mature. The only person her age she hangs out with, is her boyfriend Ben, who is becoming less of a boyfriend and more of a mistake.

When Rebecca kills herself, Leila, who has a hard time figuring out the meaning of words in books because of her dyslexia, is having an even harder time trying to figure out why her sister killed herself without saying goodbye to her.

As Leila tries to unravel the mystery, her family starts to fall apart. Her parents become even more distant, and Clare, the sister she thought didn't love her, becomes her best friend. But even in death, Rebecca still haunts Leila's life. Soon, Leila becomes obsessed with finding out her sister's secrets and that's how she meets Eamon.

The two flirt from time to time, but when things in Leila's life start getting more confusing, the two find themselves gravitating towards each other. And once they kiss, they know that they can not stay away from each other.

Eamon is 31 and Leila is 16.

A lot of people cringe when they see couples who share a significant age difference, but as I was reading this, I wanted Eamon and Leila to stay together. I just felt like these two characters belonged together and after a while, I forgot that Eamon was 15 years older than Leila. I liked their conversations. The way they looked at life.

I finished this book in two nights, because I simply could not put it down. The words that the author used fit together perfectly, and some of the things that Leila said hit me. It's a powerful read and I highly recommend it.

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson


Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own.
Joe is the new boy in town,
a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.


This book blew me away.

And I don't say that a lot.

The Sky Is Everywhere is a book with a great cast of characters, a lovable main character, and a plot that is beautifully heartbreaking.

Meet Lennie, ever since her sister, Bailey's death, she has been wanting to kiss and maul every guy in a two mile radius.

This includes Bailey's boyfriend, Toby.

The two aren't in love, but because they are both suffering from a great lost, they feel that the only way to cope, is to be with each other in any way possible.

Lennie feels guilty for being with Toby, especially since she knows Bailey would kill her if she was still alive, only Lennie can't help herself, and Tobey can't help himself.

Then Joe Fontaine enters the picture.

He is a hot, sexy, talented boy from Paris, who storms into Lennie's life, with his long eyelashes and dazzling smile.

It was amazing how well Miss Nelson developed Joe's character because I thought he was going to be a cliche, you know, how some author's like to make gorgeous love interest perfect, perfect, perfect, but Joe actually had depth, he had a voice that was almost as strong as Lennie's.

Speaking of which, Lennie is slowly falling for Joe, but she can't keep her hands off of Toby.

To deal with all of her emotions, she writes note after note after note after and sticks them in random places.

These notes were intricately woven throughout the novel, and they helped the reader see Lennie in a different light. It made us sense who she truly was and what she is truly feeling, and it helped us understand this supposed love triangle a little bit more, because Lennie doesn't love Toby, she hasn't even been in love, and she doesn't think she should ever be in love because Bailey is gone, and Bailey can't live her life anymore, so why should she?

The Sky Is Everywhere, like I said was heartbreaking. But it was also colorful, sexy, beautiful, and it took me on a ride I didn't want to give off.

This is a book you definitely don't want to miss.

I'm going to give it 5/5 stars but know that I would give this book all the stars in the galaxy if I could. It was just that GOOD.

Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


"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.


I had heard a lot of good things about Jellicoe Road before I decided to finally read it. Usually, I judge a book by the first line. If it hooks me, then there is a chance I might like the book. If it doesn't hook me, then I won't waste my money on the book unless someone I know reads it and says it was good.

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.

This is how Jellicoe Road begins. So many questions swirled around in my head when I read that line, and I knew that I had to know more about this character. So, I was pretty excited when I got this book for Christmas.

The beginning was a little slow and confusing. But I was intrigued by the idea of Houses and leaders and this "territory war" that seemed to be taking place. Although from the book description, I knew it was a boarding school, it seemed like something more. Like this story took place in a distant future.

As I started to learn more about Taylor, I fell in love with her. She has a distinctive, original voice, that is loud in my ears. I laughed at some parts. I cried at most parts. Mainly because I could relate to her feeling of being abandoned. Of not knowing who her father is. Of not knowing where she belonged.

One thing I liked about Taylor was that she wasn't a weak character, but she was definitely vulnerable. I think there should be more characters like her in YA, because often writers tend to portray girl characters as damsels in distress and Taylor isn't a damsel in distress. She's so much more than that.

As I said, the beginning starts off really slow and as you're reading you won't find out the big picture until the book is over, until you read the last page. Jellicoe Road is a mystery with many different nooks and crannies and doors you need to unlock yourself.

And then there's Jonah. Rough on the outside, but inside he's just like any other guy. He has a lot of emotional baggage, and he tries desperately to hide his feelings but sometimes it doesn't work out. I seriously have a crush on this character. He makes being a Cadet HOT. Seriously.

But Jellicoe Road is not just a love story. It's not even just Taylor's story. It's a story about how this 'war' was started. It's a story about how one must know their past before they can understand their present and realize their future. It's a story about broken hearts and death and seeing through walls that have been up for a long time.

I can't explain to you how beautiful, how heart-breaking, how touching this book is. I really can't. When I finished reading Jellicoe Road tears were streaming down my face, because this book was just that good.

I'm not even going to rate this book because it would pointless. This book goes beyond any rating system out there and ... JUST READ THE BOOK.

I promise you that you'll love it as much as I did.

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Tags: YA, paranormal, romance, angels


Luce must spend her senior year at reform school after her boyfriend dies in a mysterious fire. She suspects that the dark shadows that have tormented her all her life had something to do with it. When she meets supernaturally gorgeous Daniel, she feels a familiar longing, making her believe they have met before. Although Cam is clearly interested in her, Luce only wants Daniel, who runs both hot and cold. He tries to keep Luce at a distance, telling her that the truth would kill her as it has many times before


I won't say that Fallen was a perfect book, because it wasn't. There were flaws. And when I say there were flaws, I mean that there were a lot of them.

The intro to this book, though not hooking, was so well-written, that I knew I had to read on. Only when I got to the first chapter, I found out that the characters in the intro were not the same as the ones in the first chapter.

Instead, we our introduced to a girl named Luce, who is at a reform school for a reason she doesn't like to talk to about, to anyone. The story starts off a bit slow, but the characters are interesting enough to hold your attention. One of those characters being Arriane, a seemingly crazy girl, who shows Luce the ropes of Sword & Cross.

Things don't seem to pick up until we meet Daniel, a boy who doesn't know Luce from Eve, and yet he flips her off, when she happens to catch his gaze.

Fallen was, I'll admit, a well-written novel. The descriptions were rich and vivid, but some characters and their relationships with others weren't as developed as they should have been.

There is a love triangle in this book.

If you don't know this by now, I love love triangles. I live for them, and I try to have a few of them in my novels, if it fits. But anyways, in my opinion, Miss Kate, did not do a good job with forming Luce's relationships with two seemingly gorgeous guys. Daniel, a boy who could care less about her, and Cam, a boy who likes her but whom she doesn't return the affection.

As I said, Daniel didn't care about her, sometimes he treated her like dirt, and yet she continued to like him. I mean COME ON. If a guy, treated me half as bad as Daniel treated her, I would not be attracted to him anymore.

And the author tried to explain that by saying that Luce felt like she knew him from somewhere. Forget that. Daniel didn't make sense as a love interest at first, and Cam, well I liked him. He seemed like a genuine bad boy, but he was also a little bit too nice for me, and after a while, I kinda figured out that he wasn't as nice as he appeared to be.

Some of the characters in this book were just THAT predictable.

All in all, Fallen was an okay book. There were a lot of flaws, and even though this book was well-written, it lacked in all the other areas. I will say that there was a good amount of romance, and that there were some scenes that took my breath away.

The minor characters, like Luce's parents could have been more concrete, because they were a little bland, and remember I said that Sword & Cross was a reform school? Well, it didn't feel like it. Sure there were the rules and regulations, but it didn't seem like there were other kids in the school, because Luce only ever talked about a certain group of people.

I liked the way the book ended, but the scenes before the ending were corny and rushed and you could really tell that it was planned out, but not executed as strong it should have been.

I give Fallen a 3/5 because it was a good read, but it just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Review: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Tags: YA, urban fantasy, mature, dark

Ratings: 4 out of 5


Love can be a dangerous thing....

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.


I learned about this book from the Tenners, a group of authors whose books are being published in 2010. I was so amazed by the premise and the title, that I searched the web continuously until I found out all I could about the book.

And then I saw the cover. Normally, I don't judge a book by the cover but I have to admit that it is certainly gorgeous. The way the colors swirl together, the way the title looks like it will slip away if you don't have a firm grip on it.

I had to read this book.

A week ago I had the chance to.

Honestly, I could not put this book down. As soon as I got home from school, I continued to read and when I finally finished the book today, I was like wow!

This truly was a great book. Not only is the book great, but it's certainly unique. I have never read anything in the vein of Bleeding Violet. Seriously, people are going to have a hard time comparing this book to Twilight.

Is it me, or doesn't every book that comes out where a girl falls in love with a supernatural boy eventually get compared to Twilight? It might just be me, but I'm telling you this book will not be compared to any other book out there.

First off, this is not your typical girl-meets-boy love story. The relationship between Hanna and Wyatt is real and honest and complicated. It's like a rollercoaster. It goes up and down, up and down, and just when you think they're going to crash, something happens and really, I've never read a love story like that.

Wyatt is a character with many different angles. You want to love him and you want to hate him. He has so many emotional battles and throughout the story he changes from this timid boy to a strong man.

As for Hanna, she is one of the craziest main characters I have ever encountered. She can seriously hold her own and some of the things she does in the novel will make you cringe.

She is wild and free and crazy and the way Miss Reeves constructs Hanna's character is amazing. At times you may be afraid of her and other times you really feel sorry for her.

Bleeding Violet may be a Young Adult novel but it is not for the faint of heart. I would suggest this book to more mature teens because of the nature of some of the things Hanna does and because of the amount of sexual tension in the book.

Otherwise, it was a very thrilling read. The prose was beautiful. Dia Reeves has a very poetic, dark way of writing and there are so many twist in turns in the novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I gave this book a four out of five because I felt that some of the minor characters could have been developed better, and at times too much was going on that it was hard to figure out what was happening, but at the end everything tied together and I really enjoyed reading Bleeding Violet despite it's minor flaws.