Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stacking The Shelves (4/19/14)

Stacking the Shelves
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This is where every week we get to showcase all the wonderful books we have received recently!

This week was my birthday and as a result my family bought me some amazing books that I loved this year. Thank you family! If you have not read any of these books yet I highly recommend you pick them up soon! 

Altered (Altered, #1)
The Beginning of Everything
Where the Stars Still Shine
Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)

What did you all get this week??

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: The Promise of Amazing

The Promise of Amazing
Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Pages: 371
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

The Promise of Amazing follows the story of Wren and Grayson. Wren is ranked in the middle of her class and has spent her high school years as the quiet good girl but she is ready to change that. Grayson was the star of his private school until he was caught in the middle of a term paper selling job and was expelled. One night when Wren is working a wedding at her family's venue that Grayson is attending, he starts choking and Wren steps into save his life. Grayson is determined to get to know the girl who saved his life and along the way they might just fall in love.
There is one thing that always irritates me in the publishing industry and that is when a book comes out with a synopsis and then the book turns out to be something else. The book is about Wren and Grayson falling in love and how they help each other see the best in themselves but I almost felt like that was just a side story in the book. A big chunk of the book follows Grayson and his old friends from his private school who were all in on this scheme to make money to send them on this big trip after graduation. To make the money they stole from houses. They would actually find girls who had rich houses and get the girls to take them to their houses. They would flirt with the girls till they found out when they would not be home and then go back during that time and steal expensive belongings from the houses. Graysons ex-best friend does not want him to walk away from the plan. When he finds out that Grayson no longer wants anything to do with it he threatens to take Wren away from Grayson. Most of the book followed this story and this was never mentioned in the synopsis. I thought this would be a light fun read but it was not that.
Putting that aside it was not a bad book. It had its dull spots but it was interesting. If the synopsis had said something about the stealing scheme I would have been more on board with the book. There is nothing specifically bad I can say about this book it was just one of those books that just does not stand out. I liked reading it but it is one I probably will not think to mention in the coming years because it just had no lasting effect on me. I did like how it was told in alternating points of view though. It allowed me to see both sides of the story even though I lot of the plot evolved around Grayson.
Overall The Promise of Amazing it is an interesting read about teens who are trying to find their way out of their mistakes with an interesting twist and a hint of romance. I will not say this is a book you need to go out and buy because it is not a must read but if you are looking for a new contemporary novel to try out to pass the time give this one a shot.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: No One Else Can Have You

No One Else Can Have You
Title: No One Else Can Have You
Author: Kathleen Hale
Pages: 380
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre; Young Adult Mystery

No One Else Can Have You follows the story of Kippy Bushman, a teenage girl living in the small town of Friendship, Wisconsin. Kippys best friend Ruth was brutally murdered in the corn field behind Kippy's house. Kippy and the town is so relieved when the police catch Ruth's killer but soon Kippy starts to believe that they have the wrong person in custody. Kippy brings this to the polices attention but they want nothing to do with her. This forces Kippy to try and piece the mystery together and find Ruth's killer before they kill again.

I love a good mystery and so I was very excited when this book came out. Once I finally picked up this book I was ready for a great mystery to occupy me. I really wanted to like this book but sadly I just did not. I am not saying it is a bad book, it is just not the book for everybody. I had heard this from other people but I love a good murder mystery, I watch all the shows like Criminal Minds and Hannibal that really go into depth about the mind of a killer, as a result I did not think that I would have a problem with the book. Even though I love those kinds of shows and books this one just did not work for me.

One problem I had was that I could not find one way to relate to the characters. Part of that was probably to do with the fact that a lot of the times they did not sound like regular teenagers to me. During the book you get to read journal entries from Ruth's diary. Most of Ruth's entries were vulgar. I know teenagers can talk in vulgar terms at some points but this was at another level then teen vulgarity. When I combined the vulgar and creepy content over the book not only did it not sound like teenagers but it also turned me off from wanting to read the book. The book and plot also seemed really jumbled to me. At times parts would go very slow and then all of sudden it would jump into this big turning point and then it would be gone in a flash. The book left me feeling almost out of sorts. 

The one compliment I do have for the author is that she is very good at concealing the killer. The reason  I continued to read the whole book was because I needed to find out who had murdered Ruth. This is probably the first time where I have not figured out the killer until the book tells you. The killer was somebody I had never even suspected and I liked that.

If you are really into murder mysteries I would not turn away just yet, like I said the book is not for everybody but maybe it will be okay for you. The writing is not bad, just the overall content seemed unappealing to me. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Art of Lainey

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event , hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we freak out about all the releases we are eagerly anticipating! 

The Art of Lainey

Title: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 384
Publisher: HarperTeen

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

COMING MAY 20th 2014

What are you waiting for this week??

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Sea of Shadows

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)

Title: Sea of Shadows
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Pages: 416
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Received from publisher for honest review

Sea of Shadows follows twin sisters Moria and Ashyn who are the Keeper and Seeker of the Forest of the Dead. The Forest of the Dead is where the empire exiles its criminals. Each year the Seeker must go into the forest to quiet the angry souls. But this year the seeking goes terribly wrong.
The sisters are separated by an ancient evil that is bringing alive monsters that were thought to only be in stories. The sisters travel the wastelands to journey to the emperor to warn him of the danger that has come to their land but when they reach their destination they discover a secret that will change their world.

I am not usually a huge high fantasy fan but I loved Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series so when I got sent it I decided to give it a try, man am I glad I did. I found Sea of Shadows so unique and engaging. Armstrong was able to create a well detailed precise world that I was able to picture in my mind. The plot was fantastic and somehow she made the book to seem very adventure filled even when at times the pacing had slowed down. The book seemed very though out and crafted. 

One thing I really liked about this book is it was told in an alternating POV between the sisters. I love these types of books but I enjoyed it for another reason in this book then I usually do.During the book the sisters get separated so through the alternating POV you almost get to have two stories in one book and I really liked that aspect. That even made it possible to have two romances in the book. The romance was obviously just starting to build in this book though and I really hope we get to see it evolve more in the next book. I usually get a better feel for one of the story tellers but I actually think I equally liked each sister’s story telling which really helped me read the book.

Armstrong really has a way with creating worlds. The plot was very unique and thought out but every little detail and characters were that way too. I thing I loved in this book was the different monsters Armstrong wrote about. Sometimes I get bored of the same monsters and creatures being repeated over and over again in YA but Armstrong was able to introduce some great variation in YA monsters in this book. I can tell that Armstrong has a master plan for this series and I am really excited to see what she has ready for us. 

Sea of Shadows was the perfect set up for a new series and I am expecting and hoping to find a lot more action and suspense in the coming books! 

Check out more about the author and her books here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Life by Committee

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!
This week I am waiting for: 
Life by Committee
Title: Life by Committee
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Some secrets are too good to keep. 

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat. 

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

MAY 13th 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: We Were Liars

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
We Were Liars
Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

MAY 13TH 2014

Why I'm Waiting:
I have been a fan of E. Lockhart since her Ruby Oliver series! I think it will be really interesting to see her write a mystery based novel this time!