Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Release Date:
July 31th, 2012

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

The Summer of Skinny Dipping
By Amanda Howells
Source: Bought
Book Description:
Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.

My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything.

A quote:
If you stay on the sidelines of the here and now, then your future will only ever be a pale version of a dream you never had the courage to experience.

Expectations: I bought this book because I thought it would be perfect as a summer read, with the summery-looking cover and a summery-sounding description. It turns out it is a perfect summer read, and it went beyond my expectations to even become a really good read that can be enjoyed anytime, period. This novel isn’t the glitz and glam of summer. It’s so much more poignant and meaningful. It’s about a summer that can never be forgotten, spent with a boy filled with life.

About Setting: The book is actually divided into three parts: Southampton, Indigo Beach and Georgia. Mia and her family live in Georgia but the summer is spent in Southampton. Indigo Beach is a name given to a place in Southampton where Mia and Simon would spend time together in the early hours of the day. One word for the setting of this novel: mesmerizing. I was probably hypnotized to want to be able to go to a beach house the entire time. Throughout the novel, I was living in a daydream. It was so lovely.

About Characters: I was trying to figure out Mia from the start. With her situation around her cousins, Corrine and Beth, who have changed so, so much, Mia is left to be confused and alone. Which left me confused about her emotions. On one hand, Mia would like to be on the same level with her perfect-looking cousins, and on the other hand, she wouldn’t go against who she really is. But the question of finding herself still remains. That’s what I love about the novel: the development of character. As jovial Simon comes into the picture, Mia slowly finds pieces of herself.

Simon is also a crucial part in characters. He is a one of a kind guy, an artist, and someone you would like to be friends with. (He brings up references to literary books! ). With him, it’s all or nothing. His self is evident and exposing. His relationship with Mia stems from a friendship into something that is real and valuable. Together, it’s like nothing can break them apart.

There were minor characters such as Corinne and Beth, Mia’s parents and sister, Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Rufus. Each of them had something you can remember them by. The most important one is Corinne, who Mia was best friends with when they were young. They were described as being “two peas in a pod”. Corinne is a ballet dancer who now is struggling in life but appears to be perfect, beautiful, and flawless on the outside. Her friend, Gen, comes to stay for the summer to be with Corinne and Beth. The three girls I thought were full of themselves and had attitudes that made you want to tear your hair out. In the end, however, change miraculously happens.

About Plot: Mia arrives in Southampton with high expectations, living off of memories with her cousins and aunt and uncle from years ago. When things aren’t the same, Mia finds that the summer may not be all that great like it was before. For the first part of the book, I thought it was already heavy with sadness. I didn’t know the pain in my heart would get worse as it neared the end of the book. But it did. The plot is very well done with lovely, magnificent writing that takes you to the story as it is happening. It makes you feel the way the characters feel.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y Y
The Summer of Skinny Dipping is heart-rending and beautiful. It should be perfect as a stand-alone novel, but I just discovered that there will be a sequel called The Summer of Sneaking Out. I’m not sure how that will turn out though, seeing as the ending to this novel is fine the way it is. I’m hoping Amanda Howells can bring greatness to the sequel as she did with The Summer of Skinny Dipping.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Small Damages by Beth Kephart

Release Date:
July 19th, 2012

It’s senior year, and while Kenzie should be looking forward to prom and starting college in the fall, she is mourning the loss of her father. She finds solace in the one person she trusts, her boyfriend, and she soon finds herself pregnant. Kenzie’s boyfriend and mother do not understand her determination to keep the baby. She is sent to southern Spain for the summer, where she will live out her pregnancy as a cook’s assistant on a bull ranch, and her baby will be adopted by a Spanish couple.

Alone and resentful in a foreign country, Kenzie is at first sullen and difficult. She begins to open her eyes and her heart to the beauty that is all around her and inside of her.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Showcase Sunday

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea.


For Review

Breaking the Devil's Heart by H.A. Goodman

And I'm back! Just for a day and then I'm off to work again 987531 hours a day. gets really tiring.

Anywho. I got this book in the mail a few weeks ago and my mom actually freaked out because of the cover. It does look quite frightening doesn't it?! I liked the first book of the series though so we'll see how this one goes.

Have a great week, everyone! Thanks for sticking by!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

[The Wolves of Mercy Falls - book 2]
By Maggie Stiefvater
Source: Won
Book Description:
At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.
A quote:
I never knew there were so many ways to say good-bye.

Expectations: It has been such a long time since I’ve read Shiver that I almost forgot what had happened in the story. So reading the description made me a tiny bit confused. Who’s Cole? I wondered if he was a character I missed from Shiver. No, it turns out he’s a new one, who I’ve come to really like. But throughout reading Linger, I remembered everything about Shiver. It took some remembering, of course, but I ended up loving Linger almost more than I did with Shiver.

About Setting: The small town of Mercy Falls. What I picture? A similar setting to Twilight’s Forks, Washington. It makes sense since there’s woods and what feels like gloomy days. It is Springtime in Linger, however, so the days are brightening but are sometimes filled with rain.

About Characters: I love Sam and Grace and their heartbreaking relationship, but the ones that steal the show are Cole and Isabel. Each of them illuminated in this novel. The way they shone to me individually and together made me so attracted to them. Cole’s character is broken and he covers this up by creating a steel mask of cynicism. Not to mention he is trying to escape from his past. Isabel on the other hand is dealing with a great loss. With the two on a crash course, they’re meant to grow with the help of the other. Also, a similarity or pattern that I find in all the major characters is that they’re all experiencing pain. That’s what makes this series such a pull-at-your-heartstrings kind of book.

About Plot: New hardships come in between Sam and Grace. It feels as though not much happens in Linger though I was fine with it. It sort of prolonged the inevitable that was always there between Sam and Grace, with the addition of a sub-plot (Cole). It is in the end when I could finally see where the trilogy is headed. The writing is absofreakinglutely beautiful. I can’t get enough of it. It makes my heart squeeze, especially with all that angst. I love me some heartbreaking stories.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y Y
Linger was perfect after Shiver and there is still so much to know about everything. Forever, here I come!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Release Date:
July 17th, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen
[The Iron Fey - book 3]
By Julie Kagawa
Source: Borrowed from Sarah at Read Away the Day
A quote:
I wished that, for once, faery tales – real faery tales, not Disney fairy tales – would have a happy ending.

Thoughts (Vague Spoilers):
Expectations: GREATNESS. Wow. I expected this to be as good as the first two books in the series, but this caught me by surprise. It’s even BETTER. WOW.

About Setting: Ohhh, the lovely world of fey. More parts of the kingdom of the Iron Fey are explored. The clock tower? I imagined it rusty and ancient and full of ticking clocks. It looked like a scene from a movie!

About Characters: There was major change in all the characters, which meant I fell in love with them more and more. Meghan’s strength changes (for the better of course) and she grows into this strong, adoring heroine that I didn’t see coming from the very beginning of this series. She was clumsy and gentle and also screamish before. She still is -- I think there’s a part of her that always will be -- but she’s grown to take better control of that. Ash and Puck are still so adorably amazing, yet I’ll forever be Team Ash. He’s changed in a way that reveals him so more of him is shown. He’s more comfortable. Through Meghan, that’s only possible. As for Puck, I still love him and his sense of humour, but he’s changed as well. He isn’t as wild and free as a bird like before, but he continues to become the comic relief of the series which I’m glad of. GRIM! I will cry with joy at the mention of him every time. His entrances are always the best and you can’t get enough of him. There were also new characters introduced such as Glitch, Razor, and the Clockmaker.

About Plot: Nevernever is in ruins while the war is in the works. Both the Summer Court and the Winter Courts must prepare for the oncoming attacks. Everyone is in battle mode so there is bound to be some epic action scenes. And the new fighter in the crowd? Meghan Chase, who’s learned how to fight! Man, is she the awesome heroine or what?!
And the ending = heartbreaking!!! I’m just hoping that this series ends nicely! Oh my gosh, The Iron Knight...I’ll be waiting for you!

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y Y
Five stars, guys. Obviously. I mean, who wouldn’t love this series? It’s the bomb! You will love it! Please, please, please try this series if you haven’t already! It’s my only suggestion at the moment.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult

Release Date:
June 26th, 2012

What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

I've always been a fan of Jodi Picoult's other books. I've only read a few but they have a deep spot in my heart and they always make me cry. Jodi Picoult is famously known for her book, My Sister's Keeper. This book seems different from her other works and I'm looking forward to reading it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday's Finest

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

Paper Towns
by John Green

I'm starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It's so hard for anyone to show us how we look, & so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.