Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Monday! What are You Reading? (8)

14 comments :
It's Monday, so that means it's time for another "It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" This weekly meme is hosted by BookJourney, and although I don't participate weekly, I try to. Sometimes things just get in the way or I find that I'm still reading the same book as I was the week before because I've been so busy.

If you keep up with my blog regularly, you might know that I planned to read three books last week. Unfortunately, I only got to read one, but I did start the second one! That's progress, right? This week's edition might be a bit repetitive, but I am going to try to add another book to it because I really, really want to read it. I just hope I can get around to reading all three, but that might be a bit difficult because I adopted two kittens on Thursday.

Okay... so here's what's on tap for this week:

The Remedy by Susan Srikant

You might have noticed that this book is now being featured in my "Currently Reading" box on my side bar. I started it a few days ago, and I'm really hoping to finish it today. Again, this book was sent to me by Susan Srikant in exchange for an honest review. I read and reviewed her book, The Disappearance of Lars Wellingsworth, and it was quite enjoyable. I'm looking forward to this one, and one other book by her.

Synopsis:
Joss Hall's little sister, Bibi, is dying, and it's all Joss's fault. Everyone agrees the situation is hopeless, but there is no way Joss is going to sit around and do nothing. She and her friends, Domino and Anton, decide to hike through the dark and dangerous forests of Burkett Mountain in search of a mythical creature with healing powers called a jarrlock, hoping to find a way to help Bibi before it's too late.

This entertaining adventure story takes readers on a quest filled with curious creatures and magical medicine.


Beau, Lee, The Bomb and Me by Mary McKinley

While I was searching through the YA titles on NetGalley, I found this one. I was immediately attracted to the cute font on the cover. I also was a fan of the title, so I read up on it, and requested it. I really liked the synopsis, especially because I was bullied a lot in high school, so I'm hoping that it's just as amazing as it seems... well... except for the whole Twilight reference, but I'm willing to forgive Mary for that one because I wanted to go to Forks before Twilight was even a thing.

Synopsis:
When Beau transferred to our school. I thought: "Good; fresh meat." Because I knew he would be tormented the entire time he was at Baboon High. Like I am. All day. . .every day. Growing up is a trip. . .

In high school, there are few worse crimes than being smart or fat. Lucky me, I'm both. But when Beau Gales blows in to town, it takes about two minutes for the jackasses at our Seattle school to figure out he's gay, and that makes him an even bigger target. Have you ever heard the saying: 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'? There's something to that.

When the bullying gets violent and Beau decides to run away to San Francisco to ask his Uncle Frankie for advice, we all go. Beau, me, Leonie (designated class slut), and a scruffy rescue dog called The Bomb--a tribe of misfits crammed into my mom's minivan. Throw in a detour to the
Twilight town of Forks, armed robbery, cool record shops, confessions, breakups and makeups, and you have the kind of journey that can change the way you look at the whole world--and yourself. 
 

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

So after I finish reading the review books, I'd like to try to read something for myself before keeping up with some of the other review titles I have to read. I read The 5th Wave this summer, so I'm really excited to see what happens next, especially because this book is sitting on my shelf!

Synopsis:
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.
 
    

 

What are you reading (or planning to read) this week? Feel free to tell me in the comments. You can also leave a link to your post so I can check it out. Who knows? Maybe you'll just help me add yet another book to my never-ending TBR list!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

10 comments :
Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
Series: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Publisher: Dutton

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Soundtrack Saturday (4)

2 comments :


Soundtrack Saturday is a weekly meme that I created so I can share some of the songs that pop into my head when I'm reading a book.

If you want to participate, all you have to do is create a post of your own using just four songs, link back to me, and add your name to the link-up tool so other bloggers can see your choices for the week. Feel free to expand upon it. For example, this week, I have two character songs for two different characters in the book.

This week's feature is Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Below are the songs that I have included in my version of a soundtrack for the book.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

10 comments :
Original Cover
Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Series: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: September 29, 2011

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (8)

24 comments :
Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) is an original, weekly meme hosted by the bloggers who contribute to the wonderful blog,  The Broke and Bookish. Each week, there is a new topic, and you get to create a Top Ten list based on it!

Summer is officially over, and the autumnal season has begun! Ergo, this week's theme is Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List.

Oh boy... I could go on and on with these, but I'll keep it related to a fall challenge that I'm participating in for a Goodreads group. If you're on Goodreads, and you're not a member of All About YA, you should join. I'm a moderator for the group, and I might be a little biased, but it's a pretty cool group. Also... I'm trying to stick to books that I already own so I can keep that TBR list in check.

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List 

  1.  Isla and the Happily Ever by Stephanie Perkins - I started reading this last night, but it totally still counts because I'll finish it in the fall, right? Although I've been spoiled for one major event in the book, I still want to know what happens with Isla and Josh.
  2.  Rooms by Lauren Oliver - I've had my eye on this book for a while, and it seems like a great book to read around Halloween.
  3.  The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey - I just got my copy in the mail the other day, and I can't wait to get to it. I need to know what happens next. 
  4.  Flawless by Sara Shepard - I read the first Pretty Little Liars book last year, but I've finally got the next nine, and I'm ready to read them.
  5.  The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson - This is another one that's been sitting in a pile, waiting to be read. I've seen mixed reviews, but I'm really trying to mix up the genres that I read, so I'm throwing in some more fantasy this fall.
  6.  Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi - I read Persepolis for a college class a few years ago, and I finally found the sequel that I've been dying to read.
  7.  The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp - This is another YA book that I've been wanting to read for a while. From what I've read about it, it definitely seems like a book that I'd like.
  8.  Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern - I purchased this book awhile ago, and I still haven't gotten to it. It seems like a good book, but I'm afraid that I'll dislike it because it's been compared to The Fault in Our Stars.
  9.  Beau, Lee, the Bomb, and Me by Mary McKinley - This is an ARC that I was approved to read, but the synopsis really spoke to me. I'm hoping to read it this week.
  10.  The Remedy by Susan Srikant - Susan kindly sent me three books in exchange for honest reviews, and this one seems like a nice adventure novel that will appeal to many different age groups.
 So... What books are you wanting to read this fall? Feel free to let me know in the comments. And if you've written your own TTT post, let me know where I can find it. I'd love to see what everyone plans to read this autumn.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7)

20 comments :
Well, hello there! It seems like it's been forever since I wrote my last "It's Monday" post, but I promise that it's not because I forgot; it's because I was in the middle of two review copies, Damsel Distressed and My True Love Gave to Me, and I only just finished the second one last night.

But finishing them means that it's time to start some new books, and although I do have some more ARCs and review copies to read, I decided to take a little time to myself this week and read a book for pleasure while still working on those review copies.

In case you're new to "It's Monday," I'll give you some details.
  • The weekly meme is hosted by BookJourney
  • You get to share what you're reading and what you plan on reading this week with your readers
  • After you post, visit BookJourney and leave your link on the link-up
  • Feel free to peruse the other posts - I always do.
 Without further ado, I give you my reads for the week:

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Yes! I am finally getting to it after buying it oh so long ago. Unfortunately, I know one of the big events in the book because people on Goodreads don't know how to hide their spoilers. I almost didn't want to read it after I found out, but I had already purchased the book. So if you don't hide them, shame on you.

Synopsis:
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.


The Remedy by Susan Srikant

This book was sent to me by Susan Srikant in exchange for an honest review. I already read and reviewed one of her other books, and it was quite enjoyable. I'm very much looking forward to sitting down for a few hours with this middle grade novel.

Synopsis:
Joss Hall's little sister, Bibi, is dying, and it's all Joss's fault. Everyone agrees the situation is hopeless, but there is no way Joss is going to sit around and do nothing. She and her friends, Domino and Anton, decide to hike through the dark and dangerous forests of Burkett Mountain in search of a mythical creature with healing powers called a jarrlock, hoping to find a way to help Bibi before it's too late.

This entertaining adventure story takes readers on a quest filled with curious creatures and magical medicine.

Beau, Lee, The Bomb and Me by Mary McKinley 

I saw this title on NetGalley, and I was immediately attracted to the gorgeous cover. I also was a fan of the title, so I read up on it, and requested it. I really liked the synopsis, especially because I was bullied in high school, so I'm hoping that it's just as amazing as it seems... well... except for the whole Twilight reference.

Synopsis:
When Beau transferred to our school. I thought: "Good; fresh meat." Because I knew he would be tormented the entire time he was at Baboon High. Like I am. All day. . .every day. Growing up is a trip. . .

In high school, there are few worse crimes than being smart or fat. Lucky me, I'm both. But when Beau Gales blows in to town, it takes about two minutes for the jackasses at our Seattle school to figure out he's gay, and that makes him an even bigger target. Have you ever heard the saying: 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'? There's something to that.

When the bullying gets violent and Beau decides to run away to San Francisco to ask his Uncle Frankie for advice, we all go. Beau, me, Leonie (designated class slut), and a scruffy rescue dog called The Bomb--a tribe of misfits crammed into my mom's minivan. Throw in a detour to the
Twilight town of Forks, armed robbery, cool record shops, confessions, breakups and makeups, and you have the kind of journey that can change the way you look at the whole world--and yourself.   


So what are you reading this week? As always, feel free to tell me in the comments or leave a link to your post.

 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

ARC Review: My True Love Gave to Me

14 comments :
Title: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Editor: Stephanie Perkins

Included Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and Kiersten White

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Synopsis:
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons to stay indoors and fall in love.

My Review:

I thought long and hard about how I would review this book, and I came to the conclusion that I would write a short review for each short story. I also want to let you know that I rated each story individually to come up with an average rating for the book because I thought that was the only fair way to review a compilation book like this. After reading and rating all of the stories, my final rating came out to be 3.833 stars.

Before I get to the individual reviews, I want it to be known that I love the more mature characters in this book. They aren't just teenagers; they are young people who have either finished high school or are in college. I think it's a very good starting place for people who want to read YA but also want to start reading more mature books.

"Midnights" by Rainbow Rowell (Five Stars)

The book opens with an amazing story by one of today's most popular YA and adult author. I thought Rainbow's story about the midnight hour on multiple New Year's Eves was an absolutely adorable story of unrequited love that grows into full-blown love. In just a few pages, Rainbow makes you fall in love with her characters in a way that you understand exactly what they are going through on each New Year's Eve.

"The Lady and the Fox" by Kelly Link (Three Stars) 

Up until I read this story, I had never heard of Kelly Link, but she brings a very unique story to the holiday collection. Her story is entertaining and full of emotion, but I felt like something was missing from it when I had finished reading.

"Angels in the Snow" by Matt De La Peña (Four Stars)

"Angels in the Snow" is a wonderful tale about finding comfort in the most unexpected places and people. Mr. De La Peña finds a way to create two characters from completely different worlds who are able to connect over a simple problem.

"Polaris is Where You'll Find Me" by Jenny Han (Five Stars)

This short story is only the second piece of writing I've read by Jenny Han, but once again, I was blown away by her ability to write a stunning story. "Polaris is Where You'll Find Me" is a story that the inner child in you will love for it's nostalgic Christmas feel. How the main character, Natalie, came to be reminded me a bit of the movie, Elf, but Han's story is still original in many ways. I love the fantasy feel of the story, and I can only hope that this will one day become a Christmas special.

"It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" by Stephanie Perkins (Five Stars)

Once again, Stephanie Perkins gives readers two characters who complement one another so perfectly. "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" is a story about a quirky girl and a Christmas tree farmer that will tug at your heartstrings. They are able to bond and realize that the most important part of being a human is not who you are or where you're from, but what your spirit is like on the inside. 


"Your Temporary Santa" by David Levithan (Three Stars)

I did enjoy reading this story, but I did not find it to be stellar. The plot of trying to convince a little one that Santa is real was cute, but I feel like that has been done more than a few times in pop-culture. You can really tell how much the older brother and his boyfriend want to help out by keeping the belief in Santa alive, but I felt like something was missing from the short story. 


"Krampuslauf" by Holly Black (One Star)

I will admit that I could not finish this story. I did not enjoy Black's writing style at all; I felt like it was very choppy and that she did not think the details in her story through before she started writing. I could not tell what was going on as many of the characters and their actions are not described well. The holiday traditions that she included were not clear. I just could not understand where she was taking it, so I stopped reading and moved on to the next story. I would say that Black's story is the oddball of the book because it is not like the other stories included in the book.


"What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?" by Gayle Forman (Four Stars)

Gayle Forman tells a charming tale that will appeal to anyone with a tiny inner Scrooge. She includes many references to pop-culture, including the one and only Ned Flanders, as a way for her characters to connect when they are stuck in a pastoral college town after mostly everyone has gone home for the holiday break. I loved how they were able to come together and create new holiday traditions while waiting for their own ways out of town.


"Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus" by Myra McEntire (Three Stars)

After causing some destruction with the church, Vaughn has to help out in the community or else he will have a record. He finds himself helping out with the Christmas pageant with the preacher's daughter, Gracie, to keep the pageant afloat. Again, I felt like something was missing, but the abrupt ending lets readers decide what happens next for these two.


I was expecting a much funnier story than what McEntire writes just because of the title, but it is a heartwarming tale of a delinquent and the town preacher's daughter.  


"Welcome to Christmas, CA" by Kiersten White (Four Stars)

In a small town named Christmas, CA that isn't a dot on the map,  Maria has to deal with the fact that she lives and works in a place where it is Christmas year-round. Her problem is that she's become so focused on hating Christmas that all she wants to do is get out. When a new chef starts working at the diner, things begin to change in the sleepy, little town.

I really liked this story a lot more than I thought I would. In the beginning, I was annoyed with Maria. I found her to be annoying. I understand that she has faced some tough times, but she was overly annoying. Eventually things turned around, and I enjoyed the rest of the story.


"Star of Bethlehem" by Ally Carter (Four Stars)

This is the first piece of writing that I've ever read by Ally Carter, and I am now a fan. Her story for the collection was very well-written. I found the tale a the teenage runaway to be both thrilling and sweet. I did find it to be slightly unbelievable in a Hannah Montana kind of way, but it was still a lovely story.


"The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" by Laini Taylor (Five Stars)

Again, this is another author who I've never read before reading this book, but I was very happy to have discovered this enchanting author. "The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" is an absolutely beautiful story that dazzles readers because it reads so much like the beautiful fairy tales of the past.

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 
The skating couples on the cover are couples from the stories.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ARC Review: I Remember Beirut

14 comments :

Title: I Remember Beirut

Author:



















I received this a PDF copy of this graphic novel by Zeina Abirached from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

18 comments :
Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) is an original, weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and Bookish. They love creating lists, and each week, there is a new topic for list creation galore!

This week's topic is all about authors. More specifically, we're creating lists of authors who we've only read one book from, but want to read more.

Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From But Need To Read More 

  1. Sara Shepard - I've only read Pretty Little Liars, but I own the next nine books in the series. I'm just waiting to finish a few books before I get to read them. I also want to read some of her other books like The Heiresses and The Lying Game.
  2. Laurie Halse Anderson - I've only read Speak, but Wintergirls is on my bookshelf.
  3. Rick Yancey - I read The 5th Wave this year, and I'm impatiently waiting for my copy of The Infinite Sea to get here.
  4. Harper Lee - Obviously, this one isn't going to happen, but if Ms. Lee were to ever write another book, I'd be all over it.
  5. Susane Colasanti - I've only read Keep Holding On. While I don't remember much of the plot now, I remember that it was an enjoyable read, so I'd like to read more by her.
  6. Mitch Albom - I read Tuesdays with Morrie during my senior year of high school, and I loved it. While some of his books are a bit too Christian for my taste, there are still some other ones that I'd like to read.
  7. John Green - Even though I read and hated The Fault in Our Stars, I feel like swearing him off completely is unfair. I'll probably end up giving Mr. Green one more chance before I write him off completely. 
  8. Hilary Duff - I'm really curious to see how the Elixir trilogy ends. Sorry... not sorry.
  9. Helen Fielding - I need to read the rest of the Bridget Jones books!



 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ten Book Challenge

14 comments :
I was nominated to do the Ten Book Challenge by Jennie over at A Bookworm Called Jennie. Click here to see her Ten Book Challenge.

So what do you have to do once you've been tagged?

All you need to do is list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Do not take more than a few minutes, and do not think about it too hard. They do not have be the 'right' books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Paste these instructions and tag ten friends through comments. Be sure to comment on my blog so I can see your list!

Jennie also included comments in her list, and I am doing the same, but not to copy her. I love quotes, so I'm including them because I feel like a quote will give you a reason as to why the books have stuck with me for so long. 

Here is my list in no particular order.

  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    "We accept the love we think we deserve."
    “Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody.” 
    "So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.”
    "An in that moment, I swear we were infinite."
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    “I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
    “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” 
  3. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
    “I can't eat and I can't sleep. I'm not doing well in terms of being a functional human, you know?”
    “I don't know how I can be so ambitious and so lazy at the same time.” 
  4. Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke
    "When are we gonna get a fat princess? How about a princess with bad acne and crappy posture and the mouth of a sailor? Probably never. Every. Single. One. Is the same. Totally hot. Totally predicable."
    "But pain can make you beautiful... if you try."
  5. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    "The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure."
    "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
    "Fear of a name increases fear of a thing itself."
    "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
    “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” 
    "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." 
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    “Guys like us got nothing to look ahead to”
  7. A Little Princess by
    “Everything's a story - You are a story -I am a story.”
    “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.” 
  8. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
    “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”
  9. One Day by David Nicholls
    “You can live your whole life not realizing that what you're looking for is right in front of you.”
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
    “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

     Nominees:

    1. Lauren @ A Blonde Librarian  
    2.  Tika @ Fangirl Confessions
    3. Gloria @ Gloria the Violinist 
    4. Connie @ The YA Book Thief   
    5. Blessie @ Mischievous Reads
    6. Jess @ My Reading Dress
    7. Robin @ Where Books Lead Us
    8. Anna @ Enchanted by YA
    9. Jazmen @ This Girl Reads A Lot
    10. Alison @ Alison Can Read

Saturday, September 13, 2014

ARC Review: Damsel Distressed

15 comments :
Title: Damsel Distressed
Author: Kelsey Macke
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Format: ARC
Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters' story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing

Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.

While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.

And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.

Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author's band, Wedding Day Rain.

My Review


Everywhere I look, it seems like most YA characters are very similar in regards to their physical appearances, but Damsel Distressed throws all of those common stereotypes out the window and introduces readers to a new kind of YA book. Why? Because finally, we don't have a skinny main character! We get a plus size girl with all sorts of problems, and I just love it! I truly hope to see more books like this in the future, especially if they are by Kelsey Macke.

First of all, I must applaud Kelsey Macke for the creation of this stunning book. Everything in this book is just perfect. It made me cry. It made me laugh. I pretty much experienced every human emotion possible while reading my book. In my opinion, I feel like the more emotions represented make it a better and more captivating read.

The main character, Imogen, is unlike any YA character that I've ever seen in a book before. First of all, she's overweight, and I mean that she's really overweight - not just a few pounds. As someone who struggled with my weight my whole life, I finally felt like this weight was being lifted off my shoulders because here is this wonderful character who I can relate to now. I'm twenty-five now, but much I still experience the nights where I want to binge eat like Imogen, and I felt like much of her struggles with obesity were realistic and true. Not only is Imogen overweight, but she's also got a lot going on emotionally and mentally. I loved her flaws. I love how she knows she has problems but she's afraid to fix them out of fear of ruining everything. I love how she learns to grow and becomes comfortable in her own skin.

I think fans of books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Love Letters to the Dead, and It's Kind of a Funny Story will be drawn to Imogen and enjoy her story because she also deals with mental health problems.

Macke shows her incredible support of the arts in this book, and as a teacher, I must thank her. I am obviously an English teacher, but I was very involved in my high school's music program when I was a student. I was in concert band, jazz band, pit orchestra, and marching band. I still support that music program to this day, so happy tears were brought to my eyes when I saw just how much Macke cares about the arts. Maybe people will read this book and realize just how important the arts are to keep in schools.

So how exactly does Macke show her support for the arts? Imogen, our main character, is involved in her school's musical. She works in the sound booth. During much of the book, Imogen is at rehearsals. Another way that Macke shows her support of the fine arts is by including a special event dedicated to them in the plot of the book. Can you say awesome? Also, there are going to be pages full of original artwork throughout the book. And finally, Kelsey Macke and her husband are releasing an original album as a soundtrack to the book. Talk about dedication. Ms. Macke certainly knows how to tell a story while supporting the fine arts. Kudos to her.

I loved this book, and everything that it represents. Yes, it's a retelling of "Cinderella" with a point of view twist, but it's so much more than that. It's a book about grief, love, family, and friendship. Most importantly, it's a book about self-acceptance that I think all teenagers and young adults should read.

Quotes I Enjoyed:

"I am whole. I am more than just the pieces that I see. I am so much stronger than I seem."
"When are we gonna get a fat princess? How about a princess with bad acne and crappy posture and the mouth of a sailor? Probably never. Every. Single. One. Is the same. Totally hot. Totally predicable."
"Happiness isn't a choice. And people who say it is are just lucky enough to not really need to choose it."
"But pain can make you beautiful... if you try."
"Shooting stars are for suckers."




Soundtrack Saturday (3)

No comments :


Soundtrack Saturday is a meme that I created so I can share some of the songs that pop into my head while I'm reading a book.

If you want to participate, all you have to do is create a post of your own using just four songs, link back to me, and add your name to the link-up tool so other bloggers can see your choices for the week.

I recently read Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, so I'm using that book for my soundtrack this week. If you haven't read Lola and the Boy Next Door, I highly recommend it to everyone. If you haven't read it, please stop reading because I do give away some spoilers in these Soundtrack Saturday posts to explain my song choices.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Friday 56 (6)

25 comments :
The Friday 56 is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.

The Friday 56 is a really cool book meme. You get to share a little bit of the book you're reading. You can either go to page fifty-six in your physical or e-copy, or you can select a passage from the fifty six percent marker on your e-reader. The only thing you want to watch out for are those spoilers. Try not to give away anything too important. The goal is to make someone curious enough to read the book you're currently reading.

This week, I'm going to post passages from two books that I'm reading, Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke and My True Love Gave to Me, a holiday story collection edited by Stephanie Perkins.


Damsel Distressed:

"Brice's arm is looped through Jonathan's as they walk down the aisle. They're completely adorable together. Like, make-me-want-to-barf adorable."

My True Love Gave to Me:

"I broke eye contact and kneeled down to pet Olive. I was so hungry now I constantly felt lightheaded.  My arms and legs felt like styrofoam. I'd finished off the hot dog bun and baby carrots and the yogurts the night before. When I awoke in the morning, I had half of the chocolate bar. I still felt hungry, though, and drank glass after glass of tap water thinking it would fill me up. It didn't work."
 
So those are my Friday 56 excerpts this week. I hope you enjoyed the little pieces of both of these ARCs.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments, or leave a link to your Friday 56 post. And remember that if you did a Friday 56 post to visit Freda's blog and add your link to the link-up tool.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

12 comments :
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday, we shine the spotlight on an upcoming release that we really, really, really want.

This week, I'm waiting on the sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. The sequel (and final book in the duo) is called P.S. I Still Love You.

If you've read the book, you were probably just as curious about the ending as I was. For a while, I thought I knew who the book would be about, but apparently, I was half wrong. I'm sure those of you who read the first book will be able to figure out who this second boy in Lara Jean's life will be.

Oh, Jenny Han, please don't break my heart again.

Anyways, there still isn't a cover for the book, but we do have a synopsis! (When the cover is revealed, I'll edit this post because it just looks so naked without one.)

Synopsis:
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller
To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (6)

18 comments :
Happy Monday to all of you wonderful people out there!

It's time for another edition of "It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" In case you can't tell, this might be one of my favorite memes. It's hosted by BookJourney. Each Monday, we share what we are currently reading and what we plan on reading during the week.

Right now, I am waiting on a book to come in the mail for an ARC Tour. This is my first time participating in an ARC Tour, and I'm pretty excited. I think it will be a great way to bring more readers to my blog.

I'm hoping that the copy of Damsel Distressed gets here by tomorrow so I can start reading it and mail it off to the next person in line for the book.

Synopsis:
Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters' story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing

Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.

While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.

And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.


I'm also reading an ARC of My True Love Gave to Me, which is a book with twelve short stories about the holiday season. I was ecstatic when I found out that I was given access to this title because it was one of the top books on my request list. It seems like this book is going to be one of the top books of the holiday season.

Stephanie Perkins is the editor of the book. Some of the authors included in the book are Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han, and Gayle Forman. There are also some authors included who I've never read before, so I'm excited to discover their writing.
And just look at that cover! I love it. I can't wait until it's released because I will definitely have a copy of this book on my shelves.

Synopsis:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

So far, those are my reading plans for the week. I'll probably start a few more books, but I want to give these two some attention because they are time-sensitive. If I finish them, there will definitely be another book added to my plate.

What are you reading this week? As always, let me know in the comments or leave a link to your post.

Happy reading!






Saturday, September 6, 2014

Soundtrack Saturday (2)

8 comments :


Soundtrack Saturday is a book meme that I created so I can share my picks for some songs that I think of when I'm reading a book.

I'll be completely honest here. I think of music all the time when I'm reading. I just love imagining a certain song that fits a moment in a book. Or I think of a song that suits a character. It's kind of my thing.

It's pretty simple to participate in Soundtrack Saturday, and you only need to think of four songs each week to go along with a book you're reading or have read. Trust me on this one. It's easier to use a book you've read recently.

Guidelines:
  • You can use my image or make one of your own
  • Please link back to my blog somewhere in your post
  • Create a soundtrack for your chosen book
  • Add your name to the link-up tool so others can find and read your post
  • Have fun
Songs:
  • Include a song that you think goes well with the beginning of your chosen book
  • Include a song you think fits a character in your chosen book
  • Include a song that represents a relationship in your chosen book
  • Include a song that fits the ending of the book

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Friday 56 (5)

31 comments :
The Friday 56 is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.

If you want to participate, all you need to do is link your post to Freda's blog. (She posts a link-up tool when she posts her Friday 56.) Then you open the book closest to you (or the one you're currently reading) to page fifty-six (or 56% on your e-reader). From there, you find a sentence or two that you want to share that will make someone who hasn't read the book want to read it. Just try not to spoil anything. We don't want to give away any major plot details. 

This Friday, I'm reading Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Here's a tidbit of the happenings on page fifty-six.

"And they're off in their own world again. As if they don't see each other enough as it is. He stays in her dorm on weekdays, and she stays in his on weekends. Though I do admit their trade-off is appealing."

Okay... This might spoil a little bit, but I feel like I'm one of the last people to read Lola and the Boy Next Door. It seems like everyone else has already finished the series, and I'm still so behind! Oh well. I'm getting there. I even bought Isla and the Happily Ever After last week, so I'm sure I'll be reading it soon.

So what are you reading this Friday? Feel free to let me know in the comments, and as always, you can leave a link to your Friday 56 post, and I'll be sure to check it out.

Happy reading, and enjoy your weekend!
 

Review: The Disappearance of Lars Wellingsworth

2 comments :
Title: The Disappearance of Lars Wellingsworth
Author: Susan Srikant
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: August 9, 2014
Source: Paperback via Author in Exchange for an Honest Review
Age Range: Middle Grade
Everyone knows Lars Wellingsworth. He's the kid who lives in the mansion with the double towers and the locked iron gate. He's the kid who never gets to come outside. He's the kid who's missing.

Summer vacation at the grandparents' turns into a thriller for Jess and her brother, Conrad, when a local boy is kidnapped.

Step into your crime-solving shoes and piece together the clues in this entertaining, face-paced adventure.


 

 My Review


Imagine a simpler time. Summers. Lemonade. Lunches out on the front porch. Playing baseball with your friends. Staying outside until it's too dark. Just being a kid. For Jess and Conrad, they get to experience this part of life for two weeks every summer when they stay with their grandparents. Everything in town is simple and perfect until the richest kid in town is kidnapped.

I usually don't read middle grade, but I'm glad that Susan gave me the chance to read this book. I really enjoyed it. It is very well-written, and easy to follow. I'm sure that younger readers would be challenged and entertained.

The story-line is interesting. Who doesn't love a kidnapping story, right? And the characters are loveable. Each one of them has their own little quirk, and it makes for a well-rounded group of friends. I thought of them as a mix of the kids from The Sandlot and The Little Rascals with a little bit of Harriet the Spy thrown in.

Oh... and I loved that the kids entertain themselves without technology! I think that is one of the most important parts of the book, and Susan never really even makes a big deal of it. The gang of kids in this book are just kids. Kids will learn that there is a whole world out there if they just go outside.
 

I'll definitely have a copy of this book in my classroom if I ever teach middle school. 


TBR Thursday (3)

2 comments :
TBR Thursday is a meme that was started by Sarah (Words with Sarah) to showcase what we plan on reading during the week.

All that you have to do is you pick a book that's been on your TBR list for three or more months that you plan on reading during the week or weekend. Then you make a post about it. Oh, and don't forget to link back to Sarah's blog. She deserves all the credit for this wonderful meme. Oh, and you can even add your name to the link-up tool so more people can see your post. Easy enough, right? I think so.

Okay... so I'll admit that I don't post this weekly. Life gets in the way, so when I finally do get around to reading a new book that was on my TBR pile for a while, I post. And it has been a few weeks since my last installment of TBR Thursday. I almost didn't think I'd be doing one today, but then I remembered that the book I'm currently reading has been on my TBR list for a while.

Ladies and gentlemen... I give you Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I read Anna back in July, but both Anna and Lola had been on my Goodreads "To Read" shelf for a while. I finally got around to ordering a copy of Lola, and then I was challenged to read it for a PIFM challenge, but it was my next read anyway. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

12 comments :
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. On Wednesdays, we (as readers) shine the spotlight on an upcoming release or two that we can't wait to get our hands on.

My pick for this week is probably not a surprise to anyone who frequently reads my blog posts. I've fallen in love with The Lunar Chronicles, so the book I am waiting on this week is Fairest by Marissa Meyer.

Fairest is scheduled to be released on January 27, 2015, so there is still some time left for me to wait. I can't wait to learn more about Queen Levana because I can't help but think that a lot of the story is missing.

I have so many questions. How did Levana come to be so cruel? What was Cinder's mother like? How is Winter treated? And most importantly... How did people come to live on the moon? But I am really excited for the full-color art. How freaking awesome is that going to be?


Synopsis:
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


So what are you waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments or leave a link to your post.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review: Cress

8 comments :
Title: Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Source: Purchased 
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever  had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Review


Oh my stars!

I have to start my review off by stating that the third book in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer is, in my opinion, the best one yet! I can only hope (and I truly expect) that more amazing things are on the way in Fairest and Winter.

Once again, Meyer's stellar use of dramatic irony had me hooked. I did not want to put this book down! I couldn't wait to see what happened when the characters found out information that I already knew. It was almost addictive to keep reading just for their reactions.

The newest main character, Cress, is by far the most adorable naive character I've ever come across in a YA book. Her story is so captivating and entertaining. I wouldn't have cared if Meyer wrote over a thousand pages for this book. I would have read it just to learn more about Cress because she is just that cute and quirky.

I also love how Meyer perfectly entwines Cress' story with those of the other characters, like Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, and Kai. It was wonderful to see how she was connected to them and how she can work with them. I truly hope that we see Cress grow and mature a little more in the next book like we've seen Cinder grow since the beginning of the series.

Now... the ending! I'm so happy. I loved the ending. It was the perfect cliffhanger, and I've been waiting for Cinder to say those words since the end of Cinder. I'm so glad that she is finally confident enough to reveal her secrets, and I cannot wait to see how this unlikely group of heroes will use that to their advantage in Winter.

 

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

20 comments :
Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and Bookish.

Each week, there is a different topic, and all you need to do is give your answers in the form of a top ten list, but if you don't have enough books for a top ten list, just fit whatever you can.

This week, we tackle the sometimes dreaded, but sometimes loved issue of going back to school. Okay... I've been out of high school for six years now, but I occasionally work at my high school. I miss the feeling of going back to school. I miss it so much that I think I'm going to go back to school next year to get my Master's in Education.

Alright... but moving on...

Top Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table (you know...back to school theme)

  1. Cath Avery from Fangirl - The girl refused to go to the dining hall, so you might be wondering why I'm picking her. Truth be told, I'm a lot like Cath. I had trouble fitting in in college, especially when my friends transferred away. I feel like Cath would be my other half, and we'd be besties because we understand what it's like to feel like such an outcast.
  2. Wren Avery from Fangirl - I think Wren would be sitting at our lunch table out of pity and family obligations. But I think that she would bring some life to the table.
  3. Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower - In a way, I can see myself trying to help Charlie fit it. I also think he'd be another great friend.
  4. Mia Hall from If I Stay - She loves music. I love music. She's in orchestra, and I was in band. I'm sure we'd have a lot to talk about just because of our love of instrumental and classical music.
  5. Adam Wilde from If I Stay - Come on. Where Mia goes, Adam goes. I also think he'd be another great and entertaining person at the lunch table. He and Wren would liven things up.
  6. Jude Hernandez from The Book of Broken Hearts - Jude and I would become friends because we've seen the horrible things that Alzheimer's can do to a person and a family. I think the rest of the gang would listen to her and cheer her up.
  7. Anna Oliphant from Anna and the French Kiss - Now this isn't any pristine French boarding school, but I think that Anna would fit in at our lunch table. She seems like a normal person who is just embarrassed because of her dad, and I think she'd want friends who wouldn't freak out about how he is famous. Besides, I can see Cath totally bashing him.
  8. Cassie Sullivan from The 5th Wave - Cassie seemed like a totally normal person before the apocalypse, and I think she'd be a great fit because she's not popular but she's not rude or snarky. I also think that if anyone made fun of anyone at the lunch table, she'd be one of the first to say something about it.
  9. Margot Song from To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Margot is determined and smart, and obviously daring and brave because of her college decision. I think she'd be the glue that kept the group in check. She'd always be making sure that everyone is on top of their studies. Plus, I feel like she and I have a lot in common, and we'd probably spend weekends together cramming for the SAT.
  10. Eleanor from Eleanor and Park - Eleanor would probably be the new kid at the table and just needed a seat for lunch on the first day of school. I think her hair might get a few crazy looks, but the group would accept her, help her find her classes, and eventually befriend her.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Liebster Award (5)

6 comments :
Ladies and Gentlemen, it looks like The Hardcover Lover is starting September off with a bang! Why's that? I've been nominated for a seventh Liebster Award.

I really can't thank you enough. And I mean all seven of you who nominated me. I never thought I'd get so much recognition in such a short amount of time.

Liebster Award Number Seven is all because of Nikki at Love at First Write. Okay... can we all just take a moment to let that blog name sink in. Okay... It's adorable!

Anyway. Thank you very much, Nikki. I am very grateful that you nominated me.

Answer's to Nikki's Questions:

  1. Q: Favorite Book Format?
    A: Oh. Just one. Hmmm. This is a hard one because I like so many different types of books, and because I'm not exactly sure if this question is referring to point of view, genre, or binding. I'll just give an answer for all of them just to make sure. I really enjoy omniscient books like the Harry Potter series or The Lunar Chronicles. There's just something about reading the book from an all-knowing point of view that drives me wildly insane... but in a very good way. My favorite genre is YA, and I enjoy many of the YA sub-genres. And for binding... Well you should all know the answer to that one. It's in my blog's name.
  2. Q: Why did you start this Blog?
    A: I really missed blogging, and I just love books. I wanted to take my love of writing and reading to a new level. I also wanted to share my thoughts with the world.
  3. Q: Favorite Childhood Book?
    A: A Little Princess
  4. Q:Four Top books on you To-Read list?
    A: Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After, Open Road Summer, and Emma
  5. Q: What do you think is your most under-appreciated post?
    A: Right now... I'm going to go with my meme, Soundtrack Saturday. I was hoping it would get a little more love on its launch day, but there's always next Saturday. You can find the information for it here if I've piqued your interest.
  6. Q: Who is your favorite author and why?
    A: I have a lot of favorite authors, but I'm going to go with J.K. Rowling. Here's why: About two years ago, I was a very lost young adult. I had no friends. I had just graduated from college, and I couldn't even afford to get my teaching certificate to sub. While I worked at a pizza shop one night a week to earn the money, I started reading the Harry Potter books. Suddenly, I wasn't so lost anymore, and I redeemed myself for being too cool to finish Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when I was eleven. I could have grown up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but I found them when I needed them most. Because of that, Rowling is my favorite. She gave me hope when I thought that it was lost.
  7. Q: Most prized book that you own?
    A: My autographed copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  8. Q: If you had a magic lamp, what would you wish for?
    A: Leather bound copies of all the classic books, a beautiful cottage, and lifetime season tickets for my favorite hockey team
  9. Q: Describe your blog with a phrase.
    A: The Hardcover Lover is like no other.
  10. Q: Favorite season?
    A: Winter. I love cold and snow.
  11. Q:Share your favorite quote.
    A: I answered this the other day, too, but I love this quote so much.
    “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”