Saturday, October 30, 2010

In My Mailbox 40

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie

For Review:
Freefall by Mindi Scott
The Haunted by Jessica Verday (signed!)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (!!!!)

Also Received:
Between Shades of Gray bookmark + DVD (that video had me almost crying at the end)
A treat/trick (?) from "A" ("A" from Pretty Little Liars)
Abbey's Hollow Perfumer's Kit (I can make my own perfume! So cool!)

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell (signed to me!!!)
Banished by Sophie Littlefield

Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster, Jessica Verday, Penguin, Lauren Bjorkman & Saundra Mitchell, ABC Family & "A", and Random Buzzers. 

What did you get this week? 


Friday, October 29, 2010


It's almost November, so you know what that means....

It's almost time for the evil awesometastic Nanowrimo! Otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. 

50,000 words in only 30 days. And apparently it's possible. (I only made it to 18,000 last year before my computer crashed). But this year, I'm committed to winning Nanowrimo. Granted, this will be the first time I handwrite my story, so it will be a bit different than what I'm used to. 

Any of you participating this year? 

Good luck to everyone who's participating! =)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pretty Little Liars: A Treat (or Trick) from "A"

Early on this past summer, I was contacted by ABC Family to see if I'd be interested in playing a game revolving around their newest TV show, Pretty Little Liars (based upon the novels by Sara Shepard!). Last time I got a package from them, it was very surprising to see what was inside! The experience was completely amazing (my full recap here), and I cannot wait for the TV Series to start up again on January 3rd, 2011!

So when I received an email a couple weeks ago from the mysterious "A" saying she had a treat for me, I was curious. 

The package came on Wednesday, and this what was inside:

Such an awesome package! The orange M & M's say "Trick" "Or Treat" and "A". I shined the flashlight underneath the paper, and it revealed a website (but I'll have to check back at 3PM EST on Friday to get more info). 

I'm completely curious what the site will say, I have a feeling A has a trick up her sleeve... She does like to mess with people! I'll share more once I know!

UPDATE: The website led to this sneak peak for the new season! Click the link to watch it or view it below! 


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Book: Mockingjay
Release: August 24th, 2010
Source: Bought
My Summary (skip if you haven't read previous books): 
Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice, and she's still haunted by the experiences from both Games. Her home has been destroyed, most of the people of her district too, except for whoever managed to escape to District 13.

At least she has her family, and her friend. Yet there are still people that need to be recovered, and death is on every corner.

Katniss goes from being used by the Capital to being used by the rebels. They need their Mockingjay, and Katniss is what everyone expects. But she isn't so sure that she is who they want her to be, or if she can be. In the end, she has to decide who to trust, who to fight for and who to fight with. 
Review: I think I'm still in shock, and it's been more than a month since I read Mockingjay.

I remember thinking that Catching Fire was an "emotional" book, but this one takes that description very easily. Katniss is far more raw, broken and different than the fierce, protective girl she was in The Hunger Games. All of this war has taken its toll on her. I've got to admit, I really was annoyed with Katniss on virtually every page. She didn't make decisions, she just followed and let everyone make her decisions for her.

The relationships in this novel were more strained. The friendships, romance, and some of the outcomes really broke my heart. This isn't a happy story, its very raw and depressing. I had to put it down a couple times because it just got to be a bit much. At the end, you just might need a pick-me-up of some sort, so whatever perks you up (candy, cheesy movies, whatever), make sure you have it on hand because you'll need it.

In Mockingjay, the fire that began in Catching Fire has truly burned sky high, and not everyone will walk away alive.

Highlights: Plenty of epic, jaw-dropping moments. And honestly, this book really got to me. There were surprises, and characters I was sad to see go. I was up, I was down, I was thrilled, and I was pissed off. It got me to spiral through a series of emotions, and I have to hand it to Collins for making me care about these characters, this story, this trilogy. I'm sorry to see it end. 

Lowlights: There were some decisions, particularly one scene in the end where a vote takes place that I disliked. I felt it went against everything the characters were working towards. There were a few other things too, like how Katniss never actually chooses her own path, future, even a guy. It's all done for her, and that kind of bothers me.


Reviews of other books in this trilogy:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (time two!)

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Book: Entangled
Author: Cat Clarke
Release: January 6th, 2011 
The same questions whirl round and round in my head:

What does he want from me?

How could I have let this happen?


17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.

I don't even know where to start...I love this cover, and the synopsis is definitely unique. This one just has me so curious! 

Book: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Release: January 11, 2011
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming. 

Freaking. Awesome. Cover. And. Summary. (which makes me all the more grateful that Penguin was kind of to send me an ARC -- I can't wait to start it!)

What are you waiting on? 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Invitation Only by Kate Brian

Book: Invitation Only (Private series #2)
Author: Kate Brian (aka Kieran Scott)
Source: own
My Summary (Spoilers for first book!):
The newest addition to Billings, Reed's finally on top...sort of.

Even though she's a part of Billings, Reed has to play Cinderella for the rest of her new dorm-mates. That means cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. To make everything worse, Reed's boyfriend Thomas is still missing. Add to that a malicious roommate who snaps some very incriminating photos of you at a party, and you've got the worst luck ever.

In order to keep those photos out of the hands of the administration (which would result in saying 'bye 'bye Easton Academy), Reed has to spy on her four friends. The deeper she looks into their rooms, the more dirty little secrets she finds, and she starts feeling guilty. Because she knows one thing: Only the Billings Girls can get her into the Legacy, the most exclusive party of the year. A party where her missing boyfriend is bound to make an appearance.

So what does she do? Spill their secrets and keep her spot at Easton? Or keep silent, risking everything, to remain loyal to the girls who can help her have a future, and find her boyfriend?
Review: With the second installment in the Private series, Reed finds herself a Billings Girl (or kinda their own personal slave). But Reed is persistent, biting her tongue as she works her way through this all. I've got to hand it to the girl, I would not have nearly enough patience that she exudes. To top everything off, she's hurt and confused about Thomas being missing, and angry that he even left. To put it bluntly, Reed is having a really bad time (blackmail, missing boyfriend, cleaning duty).

As the tension builds up to the final chapters, the end will come as a surprise. I've got to say, reading this book again has me appreciating all the subtle hints that Brian drops (especially for future books), and I can't believe I never noticed them all before.

If you want an addictive series that's filled with suspense, mystery and cliffhanger conclusions, then try out the Private series.

Highlights: I've said it time and time again that suspense is what Brian excels at. She knows how to slowly build her way up to the final twists, and she does leave hints for readers to grasp at.

Lowlights: Ah, Reed...I just want her to grow some backbone and stick up for herself!


Reviews of other books in this series:
Private (book #1)
Untouchable (book #3 - to come)
Confessions (book #4 - to come)
Suspicion (book #10)
Scandal (book #11)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Book: Crusade
Release: September 7th, 2010
Pages: 480
Source: Bought
For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain's Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.

Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated—and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.

Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself—and her heart.
Review:  Vampires, battles, romance, secrets and so much more. 

Jenn Leitner, despite her own self-doubts, would make Buffy The Vampire Slayer proud. She's a self-described average girl, who works hard to keep up with her fellow hunters. But she's smart and a quick thinker, which helps her survive. The varying relationships between Jenn and her fellow hunters were intriguing and amusing. With a third-person narration, Crusade lets the reader delve into different characters minds and times to get a better view each person. There's a lot going on in Crusade, quite a few plot points, but it never becomes overwhelming. 

The different settings were wonderful and easy to visualize. Vampires have taken over, and it's truly a different and interesting world. By the time I reached the end, I was wishing for more pages. 

Crusade is filled with kick-butt hunters, secrets, bloodthirsty vampires, and epic battles that will leave you craving more.

Highlights: It was impossible to put Crusade down once it got going. It grabbed my curiosity, filled my need for some epic fights with vampires, and had smart, strong characters. Each character intrigued me, and I found myself wanting to know more them. The relationships were authentic, whether it be Jenn's bond with her sister Heather, or the friendship/romance with Antonio. Plus, the vampires were actually scary, so that's a definite plus. 

Lowlights: It took a few chapters to really get into the story. Jenn comes off a bit annoying at first, and she doubts herself a lot. Once Jenn makes it to California, everything gets interesting and Jenn has to start toughening up in order to save her sister. I also did dislike how some of the characters just kept their dark secrets from each other, especially when it probably will come back to bite them later -- no pun intended.