Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Mean Girls

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's edition is about mean girls (or girls we'd like to bitch slap). Here is my list:

1. Bridget Duke in Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison:
This girl eventually does get bitch slapped by life but throughout the entire novel I wanted to shake this girl to her senses. I don't understand how you can treat people like that and not be aware of it.

2. Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory:
I know this is based on history but this woman was a wreck. She was only concerned about power, power and more power. In the end again, she gets her head chopped off so I guess it goes to show that karma is a bitch.

3. Mrs. Coulter in The Golden Compass in Philip Pullman:
This woman has no maternal bone in her body. Not only this but she has no qualm hurting young children. I really dislike this woman.

4. Hilly in The Help by Kathryn Stockett:
This woman was the most racist and self-agrandizing person I have ever come across. I am not going to lie, I wanted to yell aloud at her while I was reading this book.

5. Jessica Wakefield in Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal:
I read Sweet Valley as a kid and teen and Jessica always rubbed me the wrong way but Elizabeth had a way to redeem Jessica at times. In this book which is 10 years later, Jessica carried on an affair with Todd (her sister's bf). I mean come on, do you really expect me to forgive you of this stupidity?

6. Delores Umbridge in Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
This woman is a monster! When she pulled out that magic pen that uses the blood of the user, I couldn't believe I was reading this. This character needs to be thrown to the Death Eaters.

7. A in Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
This unknown character takes pleasure in torturing other people. She is a complete bitch.

8. Amanda in Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This girl was a total douche to Anna. She constantly called her "La Moufette" and spread rumors. I just finished this book and I couldn't recommend it enough. It's super cute!

Anyhow, I only have 8 but this was a tough one. I can't wait to read what you wrote.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Publisher: Mira
Publishing Date: April 26th, 2011
ISBN: 9780778329862
Pages: 400 pgs

My Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

'I don't know how to tell you what I did.' The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle - her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her family - described a woman who embraced life. But they didn't know everything. Because the unaddressed letter reveals a terrible secret...and a legacy of guilt that changes everything they thought they knew about the woman who delivered their children. A legacy that will irrevocably change their own lives - and the life of a desperate stranger - forever. Diane Chamberlain gets to the heart of the story.

My Review:
This book was provided to me via NetGalley from the publisher. I have to admit that I could not put this book down. I have never read anything by this author but after reading this book I think I will have to remedy this by reading more books by her. Her writing style flows well and it draws you in. This book is about a midwife who kills herself at the very beginning of the novel. In her death her 2 best friends find out that Noelle, the midwife, was keeping quite a few secrets. It is difficult to write this review without spoiling too much of the book. Tara and Emerson, the two friends left behind, are not only dealing with their own personal problems but now have to face some of the mistakes that Noelle made many years ago. This book is about friendship, family and grieving. I found myself so immersed in this novel and at times found myself drying tears from my eyes. I could not recommend this novel enough. Once you think you have all the secrets figured out Chamberlain throws a few more twists your way, keeping you on your toes. Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend that you run out to your local bookstore and buy it right now.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review: Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: April 19th, 2011
ISBN: 9781442407510
Pages: 269 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:
Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss?

Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive....

Not your typical beach read.

My Review:
I received this book from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab and I was pretty excited to read it. First of all, I really like the cover of this book for some reason. That being said, I think the cover of the book really threw me for a loop when I started reading this book. For some reason, I had it in my head that this book would be narrated by a female so when the narrator ended up being male I was surprised. It's not often that I read books narrated by a male but I really liked this one. I come from a big family; I have 5 younger siblings. I really liked that the McGill family had 5 children in it. There is Chase, the narrator, Noah who runs away every chance he gets, Gideon is the deaf younger brother, Claudia the younger sister trying to be grown up but really still a kid, and Lucy the baby of the family. Every year the McGill family spends the summer at their beach house and meets up with Hathaway family. This novel spans over several years but the story only ever progresses in the summer. I thought this novel would be a light beach read but I was definitely mistaken. Moskowitz does a good job at keeping the reader entertained and interested in what is going to happen next. There is a love triangle as well between Chase, Noah and one of the Hathaway girls. This triangle gets a bit strange and at times I questioned whether brothers would really act this way. When it comes to the reality factor, I have to say I think Moskowitz portrayed a real family with real problems quite well. I know that some readers may question the parenting skills of the McGill parents but coming from a large family I know that it is impossible to keep an eye on all your children at the same time. It can get chaotic and you just learn to live with this busyness. I have to say that the ending blew me away. I do not want to spoil it for anyone but I will say that I was not expecting any of that to happen. I left the book feeling a bit sad and I wanted to read more about the McGill and Hathaway family. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: Easter Weekend

Book Blogger Hop
Today's book blogger hop is as follows:

"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

I have to say that I definitely do! I did that after I read my first Marian Keyes book. I went out and bought all the rest of her books. I am definitely glad that I did because I love all her books. I have done the same thing with series. If I like the first book I tend to go out and buy the rest of the series. This has been both good and bad. For example, I loved all the Sookie Stackhouse books but I found I got a bit bored of the Stephanie Plum books. I am curious to see what the rest of you do. Hope you enjoy your long weekend! I know I will :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publishing Date: April 9th, 2011
ISBN: 9780525422945
Pages: 264 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:

It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My Review:
**** If you have not read If I Stay, this review contains spoilers****
This book is the followup to If I Stay which I really enjoyed. I was excited to get this book from NetGalley as an ARC because I loved the first book so much. This book is written quite differently and is told from Adam's point of view. Adam is Mia's boyfriend who pretty much convinces Mia to stay rather than die after her horrific car accident that killed her entire family. Not long after the accident Mia and Adam break up and this completely destroys Adam as a person. It helps his music career but emotionally Adam has shut down. I am going to admit that I didn't like this book as well as I liked the first novel. I think that it may have something to do with the fact that I had a hard time sypathizing with Adam. I mean I have been through some pretty tough break ups but I did not turn into a complete bitch when this happened. I felt that Adam was a bit of an ass to the people in his life that were just trying to help him out. When he meets up with Mia, his personality changes a bit and he doesn't seem to foster as much hate for the world around him. Just because I didn't like the novel as much as the first one doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it none the less. I applaud Forman for trying to think of a new and different way to tell her followup novel. Many series today, seem to repeat the same plot line with little character development and Forman does not follow suit. Overall, I did enjoy the novel but it takes some time to really feel invested in Adam's character. At times I just wanted to slip into the pages and shake some sense into him. I definitely recommend this book but suggest that you read If I Stay first.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publishing Date: January 1rst, 2009
ISBN: 9780525421030
Pages: 196 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

My Review:
I have to say once I started this book I could not put it down. I read this book in less than a day and I am so glad that I did. The whole book is narrated from Mia's point of view. Mia is travelling with her family when they get into a fatal car accident. Mia must now decide whether she wants to live or whether she wants to join her family in death. The book shows different aspects and people in her life and this helps her make her decision. I do not want to tell you what ends up happening but this book really puts life into perspective. It can make you question what life is without family. Mia's entire life as she knows it has just changed in one instant. I can't even imagine something so horrible happening and I think that's why I couldn't put this book down. It is a short read but it is something worth reading. I definitely recommend it to everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: April 19th, 2011
ISBN: 9780373210268
Pages: 304 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

My Review:
I have to say that I requested this book from NetGalley because there has been so much hype on the blogosphere for this book. I don't usually buy into the hype but so many people had good things to say so since it was available I decided to give it a try. I am really glad that I did because this is an amazing book. The book centers around Kate who has been given the chance to become a goddess. She must stay at Henry's estate for 6 months of the year and must pass a series of tests in order to become a goddess. Kate is doing this mostly to keep her mother alive but in the end she ends up really enjoying her time in the estate and she falls in love with Henry. This book is centered around Greek mythology and I have to say that Carter does a very good job of integrating the mythology into the plotline. I have read books in the past that have Greek mythology in them and I have found that you can get lost very easily if you aren't familiar with the myths and the gods/goddesses in Greek folklore. Carter is able to keep her story going and integrate Greek mythology without going overboard. I really enjoyed her writing style I spent my day Saturday reading this book. I couldn't put it down and since it was the first nice spring day in Ottawa I was happy to be reading outside in the sun. I definitely recommend this book, you will love the characters and the story and you may learn something new about Greek mythology. This book made me want to do some more reading about the myths. I would definitely go out and buy this book as soon as you can.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publishing Date: April 18th, 2011
ISBN: 9780547341262
Pages: 435 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:

In seventeenth-century Scotland, saying the wrong thing can lead to banishment—or worse. Accused of being a witch, sixteen-year-old Maggie Blair is sentenced to be hanged. She escapes, but instead of finding shelter with her principled, patriotic uncle, she brings disaster to his door.
Betrayed by one of her own accusers, Maggie must try to save her uncle and his family from the king’s men, even if she has to risk her own life in the process.
Originally published in the UK, this book has a powerful blend of heart-stopping action and thought-provoking themes.

My Review:
I have to say that the cover is the thing that caught my eye with this book. It's just so beautiful; who wouldn't want to read a book with a cover like this? Anyhow, I was happy to see that I was approved to read this book from NetGalley and I couldn't wait to get right into it. I have to admit that while I was super excited to read this book at first once I started reading I found that at times the story lagged. I really love the character of Maggie Blair. She was so strong but at the same time unsure of herself in this book. She was quite endearing and always had good intuition. She was loyal to family regardless of what might happen to her as well. I thought that this book might have played a bit more on witchcraft but it was nice that the book maintained historically true. Many people during these times were killed because they were thought to be witches. In reality, they were no more a witch than you or I. Religion played a huge role in the book and this is also fitting with the time. Religion was a big debate during this time and many people were sentenced to death for not prescribing to the right religion. This kind of thing really bothers me. I feel that as long as you are staying true to yourself and living morally then who is anyone else to say that what you believe in is wrong. Isn't the fundamental basis of religion love and understanding? If that's the case then why have so many people died over the years in the name of religion? It is something that really frustrates me and while reading this book I found myself cheering on Maggie who didn't know what she believed in and refused to conform to what someone else wanted her to. As I say, while at times I found the story lagged a bit in the end I was happy with the way everything played out. I would definitley recommend that you read but I do warn you that if you are looking for this book to be paranormal and about witches you will be disappointed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Stay by Deb Caletti

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 9781442403734
Pages: 320 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....

I have never read anything by Deb Caletti but I have heard good things about this author. I was excited when I got this book from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab and started reading this book immediately. To be honest I didn't even know much about the book but I really liked the cover. What can I say? I'm a bit of a cover whore. Anyhow, I really liked the message in this book. I have only recently started reading YA and I have found that an alarming number of books center around love at first sight. I think this idea is dangerous for teens and this book shows you why that is the case. In this book Clara falls in insta-love with Christian after seeing him at a basketball game. The second time she sees him at the game she follows him outside, alone, and ends up kissing him right away. From this point, I started to get a bad vibe from this Christian character. I couldn't help but notice that throughout the book they never once have a real substantial conversation and their relationship slowly turns into something dangerous. Christian exhibits domineering character traits and often plays the victim. I couldn't stand this character and I suppose that is really Caletti's point. I liked that Clara had a good familial support system with her dad. I also really liked the writing style of this book. The author jumps from past to present and back again. It allows us to see snapshots of Clara's life now and this gives us insight into her life in her recent past. I think that while this book may be disturbing to some, it is important that teen girls read this book. It showcases just how dangerous certain relationships can be. Caletti does not make it seem easy to leave such relationships and that is the point. Once you are in something that dangerous it is difficult to leave. I also like the fact that Caletti doesn't make Christian's character to be over the top physically violent. This type of abuse is mostly psychological and in my opinion not many people take that as seriously as they should. Overall I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I believe that it sends an important message not just to teens but to any woman who reads this book.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Want to Watch

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's edition is top ten books I want to see as a movie. Here are my picks:

As you can see I had a hard time trying to pick 10 so I have 12. The thing is I often see movies based from books and they really botch the storyline. (ie My Sisters Keeper- they changed the ending completely). I would like to see these books as movies but only if they keep the integrity of the story.

I'm excited to see what you all picked.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blogger Hop: The Non-Weekend Edition

Book Blogger Hop This week's question is as follows: Outside of books, what is your guilty pleasure? Well if I'm being honest with myself, it's reality TV. I don't know why but I watch any kind of reality show you can name. I watch: The Hills, Real World, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, Rich Bride Poor Bride, Four Weddings, Jail, Hoarders, Rehab at the Hard Rock, America's Next Top Model, Sister Wives, Survivor, the Apprentice, Amazing Race. Well I think you get the idea. I think that for me it's an escape. I know that half the stuff on these shows is fake or scripted but I can't help it. I admit though, I don't usually watch them when they are on; I usually PVR them and fast forward all the parts that drive me nuts. (Ex: I only have 2 pictures in my hand and the name that I do not call will be elimated from the competition... Good ole Tyra. Maybe you should change it up a bit.) Anyhow that's my guilty pleasure, what's yours?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Krisit at The Story Siren. It is a weekly meme where bloggers share what they were excited to get that week.

Here is mine:

I have heard so many good things about all these books and I can't wait to read them. What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Sisters

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine It gives people a change to tell everyone what they're excited about. Here is my pick this week with a summary from GoodReads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting. Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness. Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected. As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.

I have read every single one of Brashares books and I can't wait to see how she continues with the Sisterhood of the Travelling pants series. The book comes out June 14th so there isn't much time left to wait.

What are you waiting on?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

Publisher: Houlton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia
Publishing Date: April 4th, 2011
ISBN: 9780547363066
Pages: 240 pgs

My Rating: 3 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her. For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity. But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?

My Review:
I received this book via NetGalley and I was immediately drawn in by the cover. I know that age old phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover" but I would hazaard a guess that if you're honest with yourself most people who read books do judge a book by it's cover. I am way more apt to buy an edition with a nice cover as opposed to an edition with a less than nice cover even if the words inside are all the same. Anyhow, I have to admit that I read this book a day and I couldn't put it down. That doesn't necessarily mean that it was the best book I have ever read but it was definitley light and easy to get into. I like Holder's writing style and I would probably read another one of her novels. That being said, I think that for me, being 28, it was hard for me to relate to the characters in this novel. I remember being in high school and wanting desperately to fit in but I'm not sure that I would sacrifice my happiness just to fit in with the popular crowd. I was definitely the awkward teen; some may even say I was a geek/nerd but I remember having a good group of friends and support system that I'm not sure I would have traded in for the bitchiness displayed in this book. I have to admit that I became frustrated with the main character at times because I felt like she was losing her integrity by following in the same footsteps as "Brit-Brat". I am glad that in the end she turned it around but I found myself wanting to yell at her sometiemes. I can definitley see the appeal of this book for teen readers but I felt that my age difference made it a bit difficult to enjoy the book as much as I would have if I was 16. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars but I would definitely recommend it for teens.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It gives us bloggers a chance to show everyone what we excited about receiving throughout the week. Here is what I got in my mailbox:

All of these books are for my Kindle and I'm quite excited to read a number of them. What did you get in your mailbox this week?