Dec
09

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: February, 2013 by Orion
Pages: 325
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Final Thoughts:
I left this one until last, the first chapter not exactly drawing me in a few months ago compared to that of Attachments and Landline. Since finishing those, I’ve had my paperback staring at me, telling me to hurry up before Rainbow has another book squashed in on my wobbly shelves beside it. Now, after closing the last page on Eleanor & Park, I couldn’t see why I’d put this one off for so long. Even though I’ve thoroughly loved all of her books, something about this one just sparked something in me that made me want to read and read and read.

Nov
27

Title: Unraveling (Unraveling #1)
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Published: April, 2012 by Balzer & Bray
Pages: 445
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

pSixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle’s mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died… and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth’s destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

Final Thoughts:
Coming off the back of a not-so-riveting read, I jumped right into this and got hooked. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line things soured a bit for me and all of the promise I had seen in the earlier chapters started to fade away. Plus, certain things irritated me like the instaluv, and main character, Janelle’s constant use of the saying ‘because I’m like that’. Yes, I got that she was like that, but I got to a point where enough was enough and I just couldn’t go on agreeing with her blindly simply because she was the main character.

Nov
24

Title: Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1)
Author: Kasie West
Published: February, 2013 by HarperTeen
Pages: 352
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Final Thoughts:
I have wanted to read this one for a while now. I’m a fan of time travel and stories with alternate timelines so I thought this would be just the thing for me. While it may not have lived up to the self-imposed hype I’d given it, Pivot Point was still enjoyable in its own contemporary romance kind of way. It has a mystery and a bit of suspense, but for the most part, it plays out very much like a lot of other YA romances. I guess the real point of difference comes from the fact that there were two stories running parallel to each other that we switched back and forth between every second chapter.

Nov
18

Title: Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3)
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Published: September, 2014 by Random House
Pages: 370
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Final Thoughts:
I don’t quite know how I feel about this series. It’s had its ups and downs, but has never quite managed to capture that same excitement I felt while reading Sarah’s previous series, The Demon’s Lexicon. Perhaps that was my problem going in. My expectations. I know that I took a lot longer to connect with these guys, but it did seem to happen somewhere during the second book. Kami was a thinker, she was funny, and she had a hero complex—all the makings of a good main character, but whether she lived or died, got the guy, or didn’t, it didn’t mean that much to me.

Nov
15

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Titles link back to Goodreads
The Queen Of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter (purchased)
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson (purchased)
Four by Veronica Roth (purchased)
Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer (purchased)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (purchased)
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (purchased)
The Death Cure by James Dashner (purchased)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (purchased)

It happened again. It’s been months since I’ve posted one of these. Work’s been busy, life’s been busy–I’ve just been super time poor. Also, I haven’t bought that many books. I’ve just been letting the few I’ve gotten accumulate in a pile before I tackled the task of finding somewhere on my over-stuffed shelves to squeeze them in. Personally, I think I need a whole new set of bookshelves. My current ones are looking ready to fall apart. I’d really like to get some built-in ones–wall to ceiling once I’ve built my own house. I think that would look awesome.

For now, though, I’m just getting more books. I don’t really know when I’ll read any of these as I’ve read only the first of Gena Showalter, Veronica Roth and Brigid Kemmerer’s books and none of the other series yet–oh, except for The Mortal Instruments, so I could potentially jump into Magnus’ bunch of stories anytime. I just need to get in the mood for a giant book. I’ve actually just finished reading Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unmade, the final in that trilogy. My review will come soon as I’ve thought it up. It’s just so hot this weekend, that I can’t really bare to sit a the computer for an extended period. I need ice cream, and I need it NOW. With that said, I’ll leave you to your stinking hot weekends–or chilly, depending on which side of the world you’re on.

So, what books have you gotten lately? Let me know what I should be checking out in the comments.

Nov
13

Title: Witches of the East (The Beauchamp Family #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Published: June, 2011 by Little, Brown Book
Pages: 273
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Freya, Ingrid and Joanna Beauchamp love their sleepy life in the East Hamptons. A new engagement, promotion at work, a happy home – its all going perfectly. And, to top it off, no one’s come close to discovering the secret of what they can really do in hundreds of years. But throw a few accidental love potions in the mix the Beauchamp girls are going to need more than a broomstick to clean up this mess…

Final Thoughts: This review is arriving a bit late to the party – I finished the book in early August just so I could watch the TV series without the risk of spoilers. Now season one of the series has ended in Australia and I still have yet to write about the book itself. Witches of the East (or Witches of East End depending on the edition), would you believe it or not, was the first book I’ve read about witches – WHAT?! – but I think it was an excellent intro to the genre. Part of my liking it had to do with the fact that the main characters are not teenagers, nor are they whiny or self-obsessed. Rather they are a mother and two daughters, each with secure jobs, stable friendships, and positive attitudes, and who’re in complete knowledge and command of their supernatural powers.

Nov
04

Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Published: September, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 279
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Final Thoughts:
Desperate for someone to like her, Elise is a character that stands out in all the wrong ways. Nobody knows her, or even cares to get to know her, but everybody hates her—or at least thinks they should. I don’t think I’ve felt so bad for a character before, really felt what they were feeling, the real, everyday struggles they were going through. There is so much emotional bullying going on at this school, more than your average mean girl insult thrown about here and there. This school felt unbearable. Without a single friend, I don’t know how anyone could cope in that environment. I truly wanted to jump through the pages and hang out with Elise before she went over the edge.