Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Beautiful Lies

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a post where you can let people know what upcoming books you're excited about!

This week I am waiting on:

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
August 7, 2012 - Walker Childrens

"Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they’ve lived with since their parents passed away, can’t tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong—especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself? Master storyteller Jessica Warman will keep readers guessing when everything they see—and everything they are told—suddenly becomes unreliable in this page-turning literary thriller."

Why I Want It: I'm a big fan of Jessica Warman, I really enjoy her writing style. Also, this book sounds like it's going to get pretty creepy, and I've been getting into a lot of thrillers this year. Add into that the fact there are identical twins, and I'm all about this.

Also by Jessica Warman: Breathless (2009), Where the Truth Lies (2010), Between (2011)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

TGIF - Comfort Reads

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week a new question is posted for followers to answer on their blogs. This TGIF questions is:
Comfort Reads: Which books do you go to for comfort and familiarity? Is there a type of book you seek out when you're needing that extra bit of comfort in your life?

There are a few specific books that I reread over and over, usually because something about the characters feels familiar or comforting, but also sometimes because I remember reading them for the first time and when I read these books for second or third or fourth times, I can recall how I felt that first time experiencing those particular words.

If I'm in the mood for a comforting book, but don't want to do a reread, I will usually go for some contemporary realistic fiction, mostly coming of age stories or stories where the protagonist gains confidence or self-awareness by the end of the book. There are also some authors I will always go back to, like John Green, Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Maureen Johnson, because their writing styles feel so familiar to me by now. In high school I would reread all of Caroline B Cooney and Francesca Lia Block's books.

Pictured Above:
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
Paper Towns by John Green
Tomorrow, Maybe by Brian James
A Time for Dancing by Davida Willis Hurwin
I Can Hear the Mourning Dove by James W Bennett
Samantha Crane on the Run by Linda A Cooney
Echo by Francesca Lia Block
Twins by Caroline B Cooney

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for People Who Like Sarah Dessen

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday there is a different Top Ten topic to join in on, and you can see past and future topics on their features page. This week's topic is: Books For People Who Liked X Author. For this topic I chose Sarah Dessen, because in high school she was one of the first author's that I really latched onto and enjoyed basically everything she's ever written. So these books are for fans of Dessen who are looking for something new to read.

Top Ten Books for People Who Like Sarah Dessen:

If you liked these books:

Then you will like these books:

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

Just Like That by Marsha Qualey

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

For Keeps by Natasha Friend

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Night She Disappeared - April Henry - 2012

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

Published: Henry Holt - 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Dated Read: July 1, 2012
4 of 5 Stars: Fast-paced, intense, with quality characters.

Reason for Reading: I read Henry's Girl, Stolen in the Fall of 2010, and I really enjoyed it. I've recently started reading a lot more mystery & thriller books, and this book by Henry fit right in.

On GoodReads: Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

My Thoughts: April Henry seems to do a great job of putting a lot of action, emotion, and character building into a short number of pages. Both this book & Girl, Stolen were quick reads, but they both really packed a punch. I liked Gabie's determination to find Kayla and her insistence that she was still alive, and I admired Kayla's strength throughout her kidnapping. Henry writes realistic characters that I find it easy to see myself in. There are a few different POVs in The Night She Disappeared, and they all work really well, it is especially creepy from the kidnapper's perspective. Added in between the chapters are transcripts of 911 calls, police interviews, lab reports, and evidence logs. These extra pieces of information really add to the atmosphere of the book and completely sucked me in. Overall, this was a really great, quick mystery, that I think would appeal to a wide audience, teens and adults alike.

Quote From The Book: "There's something else I wanted to talk to you about before the police did."
"What?" I Wonder if he wants me to lie for him. Not tell about him and Kayla smoking weed in the cooler that one time.
"They asked for you first." Drew says, interrupting my thoughts. "The guy who called asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was delivering." (p.12)

Recommended To: Mystery lovers. Fans of I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab, or Samantha Crane on the Run by Linda A Cooney.

Books Read This Year: 55

Currently Reading: Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rules of the Road - Joan Bauer - 1998

Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer

Published: Speak (Penguin ) - 1998
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Read: June 30, 2012
4 of 5 Stars: Full of humor, fun, and strength

Reason for Reading: I had read one of Bauer's other books, and my mother had actually picked this up from the library, so I read it while visiting my parents.

On GoodReads: Jenna Boller is too tall for a sophomore and she's not much good in school. Her sister Faith got all the looks in the family, but boy, can Jenna sell shoes! She's supremely happy at her after-school job at Gladstone's, where the big white sign over the door says "We're Not Just Selling Shoes, We're Selling Quality." When elderly Mrs. Madeline Gladstone, the crusty president of the company, chooses Jenna as her driver on a business trip to visit other Gladstone's stores, Jenna goes reluctantly--with trepidation at driving the huge Cadillac, and at the prospect of leaving her alcoholic father behind. But on the road, Jenna learns "great road truths" such as "Never eat at a place called Mom's, because it's a safe bet Mom's been dead for years." She also proves to be indispensable (possessing an eagle eye for shoddy quality and sloppy service), and soon learns to admire and love the irascible Mrs. Gladstone as well as her old friend, "World's Best Shoe Salesman" Harry Bender. When Harry dies suddenly, Jenna realizes that she wishes he had been her father. Trouble looms in the form of a company takeover by Mrs. Gladstone's sleazy son, Elden, "Shoe Rodent," but Jenna summons courage from Harry's memory and saves the day for quality shoes. 

My Thoughts: This book was so funny at times, and so touching and heartfelt at others. It was very tame compared to many more recently written YA books, but it worked well. I liked seeing Jenna find her strength and confidence over the Summer she worked for Mrs. Gladstone. Bauer seems to always write good, strong female characters that have some type of work-force talent, which I find really enjoyable. Jenna's struggle with her father's alcoholism is very realistic, though a bit cheesy at times, and her final confrontation with him shows how much she has grown and changed over the course of the book. The side characters were also wonderfully written and unique. Bonus: Road trip.

Recommended To: If you liked Joan Bauer's Hope Was Here, or if you like road trip novels, like Morgan Matson's Amy & Roger's Epic Detour or Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Quote From The Book: "The car was pointed away from the garage door, which meant that to get the car out, I would have to back it up. I was a C-minus backer-upper.
"A Cadillac, Floyd always said, is entirely trustworthy. It has been tested in any and all conditions and will perform to the utmost to protect its driver."
Was this a car or a Seeing Eye dog?" (p. 27)

Books Read This Year: 53 of 100

Currently Reading: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nothing - Janne Teller - 2010

Nothing by Janne Teller translated from Danish by Martin Aitken

Published: 2010 - Atheneum (originally published in 2000)
Age Group: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Date Read: June 28, 2012
3 out of 5 Stars: It was good/baffling/disturbing/too hard to categorize

Reason for Reading: The text on the jacket flap (see below) completely got to me. It sounded so interesting that I had to find out if the children in the book ever proved that there is meaning in life or not.

 On GoodReads: "Pierre Anthon left school the day he found out that it was not worth doing anything as nothing mattered anyhow. The rest of us stayed behind. And even though the teachers carefully cleared up after Pierre Anthon in the class room as well as in our heads, a bit of Pierre Anthon remained within us. Perhaps this is why things later happened the way they did...  
Thus begins the story of Pierre Anthon, a thirteen year old boy, who leaves school to sit in a plum tree and train for becoming part of nothing. "Everything begins just in order to end. The moment you were born you began to die, and that goes for everything else as well." Pierre Anthon shouts and continues: "The whole thing is just one immense play which is about pretending and about being best at exactly that."
Scared at the prospects that Pierre Anthon throws at them together with the ripening plums, his seventh grade classmates set out on a desperate quest for the meaning of life. Nothing they do will make him come down, not even pelting him with rocks. So to prove to Pierre Anthon that life has meaning, the children decide to give up things of importance. The pile starts with the superficial—a fishing rod, a new pair of shoes. But as the sacrifices become more extreme, the students grow increasingly desperate to get Pierre Anthon down, to justify their belief in meaning.

My Thoughts: My feelings for this book are so hard to put into words. I really enjoyed the writing, though I could often tell where the translation from Danish to English was a little off, and I liked the idea of meaning and wondering what has meaning in the world and what makes life worth living and things worth doing. As the children in this story begin to demand what each other must give up and put into the "heap of meaning," the demands became more and more disturbing. What started with some books, shoes, and a fishing rod, ends up with a coffin, Jesus on the Cross, and other, even more disturbing, items that involve criminal behavior to retrieve. I am still thinking through this book. It was so baffling and strange, but also really well done.

 Recommended To: Anyone up for a really strange, disturbing read. And someone with a strong stomach.

Quote From The Book: "How come everyone's making like everything that isn't important is very important, all the while they're so busy pretending what's really important isn't important at all?"

 Books Read This Year: 52 of 100

Currently Reading: Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Books 41-51 of 2012

The final part in my series of Catching Up posts. 
Find books 1-20 here, and books 21-40 here.

Books 41-51 of 2012:

The stand-outs are:

Keep Holding On - Susane Colasanti
All These Lives - Sarah Wylie
What She Left Behind - Tracy Bilen
The Year of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty

Coming Soon: Regularly scheduled posts!

Books 21-40 of 2012

This is my follow up the my last post, the first 20 of 2012.

Books 21-40 that I read this year are:

Of these 20 books, the ones that stand out to me are:

If Only - Carole Geithner
Legend - Marie Lu
Bitterblue - Kristin Cashore
Wither - Lauren DeStefano
The Selection - Kiera Cass

Friday, June 8, 2012