Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: Losing It by: Cora Carmack.

Title: Losing It
Author: Cora Carmack
Release Date: February 26 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Page Count: 288
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★


Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

I picked up this book at Target and I put it down three times before I finally decided to buy it. The cover looked like something light and fun and the description was very Pretty Little Liars' Aria and Ezra -- College Edition, but I bought it and I adored it.

Bliss is a 22 year old virgin, which might as well be a leper as far as she's concerned. The night before classes armed with her bestie and too much make up, Bliss decides she's going to do something about it. Everything is going according to plan when she encounters Garrick reading Shakespeare on her way to the bathroom. It's smooth sailing until she panics when they get back to her apartment and makes up an off the wall excuse to get Garrick out of her apartment -- thinking it doesn't matter since she will never see him again... atleast until she shows up for her first class tomorrow morning...

Bliss is my absolute favorite. I loved her awkwardness. I found her incredibly relatable and hilarious. I had a great time hanging out with her

Garrick is delicious. I literately wanted to shake Bliss several times when she was pushing him away. Girlfriend... He's British and seriously into you! What's your deal?!

Cormack's writing is hilarious and steamy in all the right spots. Definitely something I would read again!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by: Sarah Ockler.

Author: Sarah Ockler
Release Date: June 1 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 290
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★ 

 "Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?"
"Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer

On her 15th birthday Anna Reilly gets everything she has ever wanted – Matt her best friend as a boy kisses her and from that moment a secret love affair is born - a secret from everyone including her best friend and Matt’s sister Frankie. The three of them have been inseparable since Anna can remember and she’s fears a secret like this might ruin everything and after Matt suddenly dies Anna is sure the secret is going to go with him.
A great
 summer read. When Anna and Matt get together in the beginning of the book I was immediately sad because we know from the summary that Matt is going to die. They are so good together. It almost seemed like a waste of a good romance. I completely understand why it takes Anna so long to get through it. Not only is she losing her best friend but her super dreamy new boyfriend. Sad right?

I developed a love/hate relationship with Frankie throughout the book. At first I didn’t really know what to think about her since she was acting out over the death of her brother. But I didn’t really like that she kept pushing Anna into doing things she thought she should be doing. Granted I know she had no idea about Anna and Matt but it still frustrated me. I also felt like she was pretty selfish when it came to grieving over Matt it was like she felt like she was the only person who should be able to be sad.

However the more I got into the book the more I liked her. Sure she’s superficial and pretends to be dumb but so do a lot of girls. She reminded me a lot of a girlfriend I had in college who was very similar around guys, but she her heart was in the right place and Frankie’s is too.

Nothing’s better than a summer romance and Anna and Sam’s is perfect. I loved falling in love with Sam just as Anna did. Slow and second-guessing at first and then finally giving in all at once. He is perfect to help her get over Matt.

I thought this book was going to be dark and intense and while it does have those moments the lightness and healing are what made this book so wonderful. Watching Anna put not only herself but her best friend back together is heartwarming.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Travel.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I don't like or seek out books that that deal with tough subjects, they make me uncomfortable and really I just want to read for fun, but when I do stumble upon some books that do they tend to stick with me.

1. The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love at First Sight by: Jennifer E. Smith
London? Check! Meet cute English boy in the airport? Check! Be seated next to him on plane? Check!

2. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by: Maureen Johnson
Europe? Check! Adventure? Check! Adorable supporting cast? Check!

3. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by: Morgan Matson
Road trip? Check! Music? Check! Cute college boy? Check!

4. Anna and the French Kiss by: Stephanie Perkins
Paris? Check! Cute Parisian boy? Check! Movies? Check!

5. Two-Way Street by: Lauren Barnholdt
Road trip? Check! Road trip to college with your recent ex? Check! Dual POV’s? Check!

6. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by: Ann Brashares
Greece? Check! Soccer Camp? Check! Cute boys? Check!!

7. If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend by: Alison Pace
London? Check! Italy? Check! Art? Check!

8. Twenty Boy Summer by: Sarah Ockler
Cali? Check! New Boy? Check! Coming of Age Story? Check!

9. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by: Lani Taylor
Prague? Check! Bad Ass Heroine with blue hair? Check! Fantasy? Check!

10. The Juliet Club by: Suzanne Harper
Verona? Check! Shakespeare? Check! Drama? Check!

Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by: Katja Millay.

Author: Katja Millay
Release Date: June 4 2013
Publisher: Dutton Children's
Page Count: 448
Source: Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★ 

 I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances
- GoodReads

The Sea of Tranquility – how more perfect of a title could you fathom about a girl who doesn’t talk? I know that isn’t where the title comes from and that it is actually talked about in the story but I just thought it was extremely fitting.

The first paragraph of the book is intense. If that doesn’t draw you in I don’t know what else would. To be honest it scared me a little bit. I was afraid this book was going to be all darkness and no light. Man was I wrong.

When the book opens all we know about Nastya is that a tragic event has taken from her everything she loved and left her with a severe enough hand injury that it will never work the same. We learn that since the incident Nastya has stopped talking and moved in with her Aunt Margot.

Enter Josh Bennett – steel-toed boot wearing, Angel of Death to most people. Josh is the last person Nastya thinks will save her from herself but when she wanders into his garage lost after a long run she finds something familiar about it and a feeling that she will most definitely be returning to feel again.

Nastya is a sassy character and I love that about her. Her inner dialogue really drove the story home. She collects names! How cool is that? It was interesting to watch the new people she was encountering start to chip away at the icy exterior she has created around herself.

I would totally date Josh Bennett. Who doesn't love the strong silent type? I found myself looking forward to his short POV interludes. He was such a warm character despite all the things he has had to deal with throughout his life. I just wanted to hug him and tell him that it was going to be ok.
I adore Josh and Nastya’s relationship and think it is completely necessary, but the relationship that surprised me the most was the one that develops between our heronine and Drew – Josh’s cocky-one night stand loving-best friend. Drew and Nastya grow together over the course of the book and bring things out in one another that the other didn’t think was possible.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review: Second Chance Summer by: Morgan Matson.

Author: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 8 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster's Children's Publishing
Page Count: 468
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★ 

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love

I was really apprehensive when I picked up this book because I knew that dad was going to die at the end, don’t look at me like that… its says it in the blurb on the back of the book, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read something that made me really sad. I am a very emotional person who cried whenever she saw promos of when Pam and Jim got married on The Office, still do actually. So I had a friend of mine read it first to test the waters. Now ladies and gentlemen, my friend Rachel is a self-diagnosed sociopath, meaning she has zero feelings like a Vulcan, and this book made her get teary eyed. She is however a daddy’s girl and I feel like that should be said.

I felt a lot of emotions with this book. I felt annoyed with Taylor every time she tried to run away. I felt annoyed with Henry at first because he was a big meany head. I felt a since of nostalgia whenever they would do the flashbacks to the last summer at the lake. But mostly I felt sad because the Edwards family didn’t function as a family but more as acquaintances living in the same house. I think my favorite part of the book was watching Taylor’s relationships with her siblings bloom. It sounds cheesy but it really warmed my heart. That and Warren and the girl from the Pet Store. So adorable.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review: The Name of the Star by: Maureen Johnson.

Release Date: September 29 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 
Page Count: 372
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★ 

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities

Call me a freak, call me morbid but I’m am super interested in Jack the Ripper. I think what interests me the most is the fact that they never caught him or even had any idea who he was. I stumbled upon this book when I was in a rut and looking for something good to read. I picked it up for three reasons: 1. Jack the Ripper! 2. I loved the 13 Little Blue Envelope books from Maureen Johnson. 3. I studied in London one summer when I was in college and everyone that knows me will tell you I am obsessed with it.

I thought this book was ok. I did not hate it by any means but it was not my favorite book I have picked up so far this year. I think my expectations were really high. I loved the concept of the book and I think if it had been shorter and a little more action packed that I would have enjoyed it more. There was a lot of down time, where not a lot happened.  The book had some great characters though and they’re what kept me reading. I’m intrigued to find out how this is going to go on to a sequel.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Matched by: Allie Condie.

Title: Matched
Author: Allie Condie
Release Date: November 30 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 369
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★ 

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow

How would you feel if in the blink of a computer screen, your best friend, whom you’ve had a crush on your whole life, was suddenly that was chosen for you to spend the rest of your life with? This is Cassia’s life after her Matching Ceremony on seventeenth birthday. This should be the happiest day of her life but for Cassia it’s a little anticlimactic. While all of her friends are learning things about their Matches via the microchip they’ve been given Cassia is hesitant, feeling like she knows everything about Xander already. Little does she know that a single face and “glitch” in the microchip will change her world as she knows it.

Cassia to me was a little boring, almost like a Stepford Wife, in the beginning. She did everything she was told and was the Society’s biggest supporter. She believes in this system that to her knowledge works. Her parents are happy. Her and her family are healthy, what the Society is doing is a good thing. It isn’t until she sees Ky on the microchip, that I was intrigued by the bravery in her. Ky brings out a strong, rebellious side of Cassia, that I didn’t think was coming.
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