Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Hardcover: 395 pages
Release date: June 14th, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
Goodreads Summary: A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another. 

 “One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.” 
 The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? 
 A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.
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Seventeen year-old Samantha Reed seem to have a perfect life from the outside. She lives in a beautiful house, her mom’s the state senator and her promising future is just waiting for her. Her family is the exact opposite of the chaotic, loud and affectionate enormous family next door: the Garrets. For ten years, Samantha has been secretly watching the Garrets from her balcony everyday—observing from afar and wondering what it’s like to be one of them. Until Jase Garret, the second eldest son in the family climbs up to her roof one evening and joins her. Soon, the two got closer, fell in love and Samantha became a part of the Garrets. But when one event forces her to choose between her family and the family she grew to love, where will her loyalties lie?

Just when I lost hope of finding a good debut YA contemporary book, My Life Next Door reviews show up on my Goodreads page and reader, begging for me to prove that it’s beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Seriously, that cover is STUNNING. I don’t consider myself a cover whore but I do admit to being attracted to high-rated books. This book has both so it only took me five minutes before finally deciding that I need a copy pronto.

Compelling and addictive are some words to describe this book. It has every reason why I love reading contemporary and after 50 pages, I knew I was undeniably inlove. It has the right amount of upbeat mood and it is the sugary sweet romance read I hoped it would be. Setting those aside, this book offers so much more. While being a great summer read that’s perfect for unwinding, it has the substance and lessons every book should have. It’s about being the person you want to be and choosing the right decisions, even if doing so would mean sacrificing some of the things you love. Most importantly I loved how Ms. Fitzpatrick deliver these points across without being preachy. And the characters? They are all AWESOME (with three exceptions of course). I adore Samantha because she never took things for granted. She works hard even though she doesn’t need to and her character is grounded in reality. And Jase *swoons*… Samantha’s mother has overlooked the fact that Jase is the type of boyfriend she would want her daughter to have—all because he is a part of a large and messy family. And lastly, I won’t forget the most remarkable character in this book: little George! All Garrets are cool, but this little guy just stole my heart from the beginning.

Huntley Fitzpatrick just wrote my favorite debut contemporary novel this year. It is well-written and enough to keep you glued to your seat the entire time. Now what I have to do next is hunt for a physical copy and add this to my favorites-shelf.


Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (3)

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly book meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey to share what books we have finished last week, are currently reading and planning to read for the rest of the week. 

Wow, it's been awhile since we did this meme! Anyway, summer vacation here ended two weeks ago and as usual, we've been busy as hell with school. But I try as much as I could to squeeze in a little time to read YA , especially now that I think it won't be long before projects and midterms give me barely any time for reading. 

Last week I finished:
Somebody To Love
Somebody To Love by Kristan Higgins - This is the third Kristan Higgins book I've read and I liked it! It's written in both main characters' POV which is nice and the atmosphere is perfect for a summer afternoon reading. (3.5/5)

What a Boy Needs
What a Boy Needs by Nyrae Dawn - It's the companion book to Nyrae Dawn's What a Boy Wants which I enjoyed because of the characters and the fact that it's written in male's perspective.  Both books have those in common plus the swoonworthy moments, but this one deals with heavier issues, which made me love it more. (4/5)

Something Like Normal
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - This is one of the debuts I was highly anticipating this year. While it opened my eyes to the effects of war on soldiers, I have to admit that I was quite disappointed.  But this book has a deep and strong meaning, so I'm still encouraging everyone to read it. (3/5)

My Life Next Door
 My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - Now this is my favorite read of the week! I have a lot to say about it so watch out for a review to be posted sometime within the week. :)

Currently Reading:

What I plan to read:
The OpportunistDefiance (Significance, #3)
            The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher - I've been hearing great things about this one and just waiting until I'm in the mood to read it.
Defiance (Significance #3) by Shelly Crane - This series is AWESOME. It's one of my favorites so I can't wait to delve into Maggie and Kaleb's world once again.

Aaand don't forget to join our Blogoversary giveaway if you haven't! You can earn extra entries daily and there's still 5 days left to enter. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black

Paperback: 310 pages
Release date: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Goodreads Rating: 3.92
Goodreads Summary: The first in a trilogy, this gritty, fast-paced fantasy is rife with the unexpected. Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn’t fit in at home or at school, so he’s used to feeling like an outsider. He’s also used to feeling guilty—he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago. But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas—and a plan to con the conmen.
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Cassel comes from a family of curse workers—people who have the power to change your emotions, memories, luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. Since curse work is illegal they’re all criminals, but not Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic and feels as an outsider, as long as you ignore one small detail: He killed his best friend, Lila. As Cassel begins to unravel his past and memories he has to outcon the conmen.

This book is utterly amazing! Okay, I know maybe I’m bit exaggerating things here, but really everyone should read the Curse workers series. And yes, I read the series without waiting for another year for the next book to come and that I am grateful for, huh!

I’m quite startled from what this book had turned out to be from what I expected. The characters was incredible, every one has their remarkable persona to work. Cassel’s not the good person to be with to be honest not that he’s untrustworthy, but there are things he’s willing to do that maybe some does not want—especially his family. He’s got the looks, a cunning person, and like has this aura that will have everyone like him—beside him being a con. His brothers, Philip and Barron also make the whole story become one; they can be lethal at times and be caring the next day. Of course there are the ladies who’s also a part of Cassel’s life (Lila and Audrey) but there are times I somehow get lost with the love story that I forgot there is one and sometimes don’t care. Cassel sees a different side of all of these people he has known but never “gotten” that much to know. New friendships are formed. He realizes more people have information regarding his past than he ever think of and Cassel is determined to get to the bottom of everything. He needs to know who he really is. But the clues he pull together sometimes create more questions. 

With all the twists and turns that make me clutch my stomach and want to scream. Holly Black has a knack to write a super exceptionally astounding book that is so go to read. The prose is crisp and often humorous. The story will have you to the edge.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Paperback: 299 pages 
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Rating: 4.12 
Goodreads Summary: Joy Delamere is suffocating... 
 From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. 
Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far. 
 Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late. 
 Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.
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Don’t Breathe a Word is an incredibly touching story about Joy Delamere, a girl undermined in the protective cage of her parents because of asthma and her boyfriend’s abuse. Her life radically changed within a year when she met Asher, whose words reduces her self-worth slowly— driving her to abandon everything in her life behind and change her name to Triste, and seek help from the person who’s willing to provide her safety. 

The first thing I noticed and loved about this book is Holly Cupala’s writing. I usually steer away from darker contemporaries but I made this one an exception and read it as a challenge to myself. I can say it was well worth the risk. Holly Cupala worked her magic by weaving lyrical and candid words. These words hooked me more than I thought it would and taught me things without being preachy. It made me examine the dynamics of family and friendship. Blood or not, people who treat and love each other like family is considered one. It also took me into a journey of looking into the real world—the homelessness, the abuse and so much more. 

At first you’d think Joy’s running away from home is a drastic decision. But throughout the story, Joy slowly reveals to the readers her reasons and in the process transforms into a stronger person. From the Joy who was driven by fear, she became the Triste who has courage and strength to stand up on her own. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of her street family. Meet Creed: the alluring street musician who saw through Joy’s misery and let her join his street family. Their family consisted of two other persons, May and Santos, who have provided comfort for Joy and helped her adjust as well. 

This book is full of emotions that Holly Cupala effectively conveyed to her readers. I finished it in one sitting and I was emotionally involved the whole time. The ending wrapped up with everyone getting their paths straight. It ended a little bit too neatly but other than that, I have no other complains. 

If you love Contemporary and want something that deals with some issues not often tackled in YA, then this one is for you.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dark Seraphine by KaSonndra Leigh (Cover Reveal + Excerpt)

Hi everyone! Today we're pleased to be a part of the cover reveal for KaSonndra Leigh's new book called Dark Seraphine to be released on September. Also, watch out for a blog tour hosted by Reading Addiction complete with reviews and a giveaway soon. So without further ado, here's the cover and summary of Dark Seraphine plus an excerpt!

Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Title: Dark Seraphine (A Lost Immortals Prequel)
Author: KaSonndra Leigh
Publication Date: 9/20/12

Synopsis: "Mom always says the angels walk among us. She forgot to tell me that sometimes they're not all fluffy and nice."
Seventeen-year-old Caleb Wood has seen people he calls the walkers since he was a baby. It didn't take long for him to realize something…no one can see these strangers but him. They never stuck around or tried to touch him. And they never said a word. That was until one day on the first day of class in his senior year when an incredibly gorgeous girl strolls into his life…and things are never the same again.

      Soon Caleb realizes he has stepped into the middle of a growing conflict between two ancient groups. And his ability to see the invisible ones, the half-breeds that want to modify the human race, just might be the only hope both he and the mysterious, but infuriating Gia have of making it out alive.


There was no one in the classroom besides the two of us. To admit this girl made me feel a little shaky sounded weak. I put on a manly face, squared my shoulders, and sat in the desk behind her. The little kid in me still wanted to run away like a baby, though. 
And then she laughed. 
It was a high-pitched giggle, a normal girl’s sound. That wasn’t right. I don’t remember any of the other spirits laughing before. 
“So you wanna run from me, huh? Go ahead. I’ll just find you like I always do, Caleb,” she said, still facing the chalk board in the front of the classroom. Her voice was smooth like a musical instrument, maybe a flute. Nah. It was more like a harp. I could listen to it all day. 
But even her sexy pipes didn’t change the fact that she just read my mind. How did she do that?
“Are you going to run, or stay? I need a quick answer, because I have a lot to do today.” She turned her head to the side a bit. 
“I don’t run from anything,” I said, trying to ignore the prickle in my underarms. Good thing I used my dad’s deodorant this morning. That old-timers stuff was strong enough to knock out anything. 
She didn’t scare me as much as some of the other walkers, my nickname for them. But I wasn’t ready to get her digits either. As a baby, I remembered talking to a few of them. That ability disappeared sometime around my thirteenth birthday. This was the first time I spoke to one in four years. 
“What are you people: angels, ghosts, or zombies?” I asked, my voice squeaking on the last syllable. What a dork. 
“Can’t you be a little more creative?” She turned around in her seat to face me, an amused expression on her ridiculously gorgeous face. I sucked my breath. Her strange amber-hazel eyes pierced through me. The word beautiful didn’t do enough for this walker-girl. 
“I thought I was pretty creative,” I said.
“Nope. Your ideas suck,” she said with a smug face. 
“Nice. Thanks,” I said, getting annoyed.
“And I don’t sparkle in the sun, either. So scratch that one off your list too.” 
I frowned. “Then tell me the right answer. And you can go ahead and explain how I won the honor of being stalked?”
“I’m a creative mix of many things. Feel better now?” She tilted her head. Blue-black hair flowed around her face as if it were made of silky thread. “So others have come before me?” She seemed to be talking to herself rather than asking me. 
“Maybe,” I said. Why should I tell her everything? One thing I did know. At this rate, I was probably going to be committed to the loony ward on the first day of school. 
“I’m going to need your help soon, Caleb. You have to be ready,” she whispered, her face suddenly serious. Right then, I knew my world was about to change…forever. 

Who is the Dark Seraphine? Find out in September, 2012.

Author Bio

KaSonndra Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to write about people doing fantastical things in magical worlds. Her two sons have made her promise to write a boy book next. 

 She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora's Box (good writer's block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.
Follow her on these sites: Facebook ││Twitter││Website


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Collector and Poison

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria Scott 

Release date: March 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Goodreads Summary: He makes good girls...bad. 

 Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag. 

 Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment: 

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days. 

 Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.


Poison by Bridget Zinn 

Release date: March 12th, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Goodreads summary: A teen girl finds herself a would-be assassin, hunting down her former best friend, the princess of the realm, via the aid of an enchanted piglet.

What are you anxiously waiting on this week? Just leave a comment of the link to your WoW post!
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Paperback: 341 pages
Release date: March 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Goodreads Rating: 4.00
Goodreads Summary: They say ‘live every day as if it’s your last’—but you never actually think it's going to be. At least I didn't.

The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens. You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or—in my case—remember to say goodbye to them at all.

But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you’d want to change...?
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I’d be honest the first time I started to read this book I always end up being stuck on the prologue part, uhm…like three times (he he). I did not like, at first, the concept or the story of Before I Fall but then as I started to read it again—and because of the good responses from a few friends that this is a good book—I saw that it was indeed a good one after I read it.

How Samantha changes the course of events on her life—the day of her death-- even after her death was like spinning through a whirlwind. The way you end up being on that same date, same events and the same people was somehow confusing for Samantha. I love how she changes the pieces of events on the day she died. How she figure out what was the purpose of living again for a week on the same date (Feb.12th). Readers will definitely have to read every part of the story, just like I did out of curiosity. Because if you end up flipping through the pages and just like pass through it, you might miss some important parts on it. The lesson in this story is the thing that strikes me as the strong point of the book, that it’s never too late. Never too late to change the wrong things we’ve done, to make up for the lost time, to save someone and… to save ourselves from falling.

This is one of the books I like this 2012 and can’t wait to read more of the book that will be a worth read just like ‘Before I Fall’! ;)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan

Paperback: 281
Release date: December 1st, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Goodreads Rating: 3.98
Goodreads Summary: What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

First and foremost I like the cover of this book, with its vibrant and exquisite image of two persons walking hand in hand. To be honest some of the reasons why I read a book is when it captivated  my eyes but it doesn't mean that I rely too much on them. 

Catching Jordan isn't the typical Young Adult contemporary, it isn't the ordinary Boy-meets-Girl situation but instead it holds its own kind of romance with enough conflict and in my opinion I was pretty impressed on the romance part although it is quite obvious that Henry has hidden feelings for Jordan. I rarely read a book where best friends of the lead character gets an "Ever After" with them because most of the time they were just confidants or become rivals and there will always be some new boy/girl that'll be introduced whom the lead character is going to end up with so this book is new for me.
Plus Football fans would like to read this book because the story does not only revolves around love and conflicts but also on one of the famous sports, Football, which is Jordan's passion and her life. It added spice and uniqueness that makes it ain't lacklustre. 

Catching Jordan is a story of friendship, dreams, being strong despite the reasons that life gives you for you to let go and most of all...falling in love when you least expected it. I enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait for its movie. Great Book!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Kindle Edition: 360 pages 
Release date: December 8th, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 
Goodreads Summary: Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles. 
 A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page.
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Since finding out about the release of this book, I immediately knew I had to get my hands on it. After many months of waiting I finally had the chance to do so. Even with the excitement, it took me awhile to start reading it because the subject of cancer is quite sensitive to my family—having an uncle died of it and an aunt as a survivor, while my mom has been fighting Lupus for over a decade now. I’m glad I picked it up when I deemed myself ready because after putting it down, I was emotionally spent.

At first hundred pages, I could connect neither to the story nor the main character. It’s the biggest problem when you dislike being in the skin of a negative and blatantly sarcastic heroine like Cam. Against my initial criticism, I continued to immerse in her story. I know exactly nothing about a mind of a teenage cancer patient which helps me understand and open my mind. The good thing about her personality though, was her honesty and her love for animals. I was happy to see the transformation Promise, Maine has brought her. What makes it real is the time it took for her to see and realize the wonders of life. It didn’t happen with a snap of fingers and rather developed in a believable pace. She started to believe in things— things she has never believed in before like miracles and true love.

More than half of the book fell flat to me I almost put it down. I’m glad I didn’t because the remaining pages eclipsed the tediousness of the first half. I was indulged with a more alive and even romantic atmosphere. The plot doesn’t have complications and I didn’t have to guess to know what will happen in the end. Does it lessen the emotional impact to me? Definitely not. It wraps up with the kind of bittersweet ending that left me wanting for more, while at the same time resolving that it is the perfect one for this book.

The Probability of Miracles is a beautiful story of love, family, friendship and believing in unexpected, wonderful things that may happen in our lives. I recommend it to everyone especially to all the teens out there. This is the debut novel of Wendy Wunder and I can say I’m definitely on the lookout for another book of hers after this one.

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