Monday, May 31, 2010

Challenge Update: May

I'm participating in the Historical Reading Challenge and the 100+ Books in 2010 challenge:

1. The Bermudez Triange by Maureen Johnson
2. The Summer Of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
3. The Clearing by Heather Davis
4. Magickeepers: The Pyramid Of Souls
5. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
6. The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
7. Annexed by Sharon Doggar *
8. Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti
9. A Blue So Dark

42/100 books

Part of the Historical Reading Challenge

Sunday, May 30, 2010

100+ Followers Contest WINNERS

I got 10+ followers since the contest's beginning and I added 1 more book therefore there will be 2 winners. The first winner will get these three books:

Two Way Street
Tuck Everlasting
That Summer

The second winner will receive:
The Bermudez Triangle

The winners are:




I'll be emailing you both later (or you can email me if you see this first to: and you have two days to respond, otherwise other winners will be chosen.

In My Mailbox (18)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and features the contents of my mailbox!

For Review

  • A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler *SIGNED* 
I actually finished reading this one already. Expect a review soon!

  • Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti
I also finished this one so expect a review soon.

Annexed by Sharon Dogar


Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

In this powerful and gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter’s point of view. What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her? Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together. To know you’re being written about in Anne’s diary, day after day? What’s it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution? Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting.

As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them?

Anne’s diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter’s story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz – and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex’s occupants.

I have mixed feelings about this one, in good ways. It's a very powerful book - as the blurb suggest - and it's very historically accurate in all ways it could be. I find it amazing that Sharon Dogar was able to create such a resonating story based on a diary (which, getting all lit tech, is only from Anne's very biased point of view) and still make it truthful and honest.

Peter is just like every boy, no matter which year this story is set it. I love how the relationship with Anne seamlessly develops through the story. It doesn't happen in a blink of an eye  and it takes time.

The thing that I'm more mixed about it the slowness. For those of you who've read Anne Frank's diary know that it is in no way an action book, therefore, at times, it is quite slow. But nevertheless I liked how Peter's story was more than just Anne, it was about faith, family, and identity.

I wished Sharon would have taken more of a creative liscence and done more with the story but at the same time I feel like I would have been mad if it were not as historically loyal. Ah, I'm to confuzzled (yes, I made that up.)

In one sentence:
"Sharon Dogar once again creates a powerful story that resonates with the reader."

Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing: 5
Cover: 4
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.2

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

The Gardener
Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?

It's funny how I came across this one. I was reading a blog and someone (I can't remember who, sorry!) reviewed this and I was like "OMG! I have to get this," because I'm recently in a wild dystopian, sci-fi thing. So I emailed the publisher that very day and they were so nice and sent me a copy! It was actually my first time emailng a publisher and having them send me an ARC so THANK YOU!

The book was not what I expected at all. I imagined a very far future dystopian sort of thing but it was not, it's set on current times which makes it even more scary! It really worked well with it.

The book is extremely thought-provoking and I liked both Mason and the girl's relationship. His best friend, Jack, is hilarious. I loved him to death. The Gardener is very fast paced and unique.

OH! And the end is just FANTASTIC. Just wait.

In one sentence:
"A old problem given a completely new and unique premise make this a one-of-a-kind read."

Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing: 5
Cover: 4
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.4

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

First and foremost, what another wonderful cover for this one! I got this on my Kindle so I couldn't actually SEE the cover but I just admired the pretty picture. Anyways, moving on.

This second installment is better than the first. I got a bit annoyed because there was too much Ash, too little Puck (Team Puck) and the end...THE END! What a cliffhanger, my gosh. I can't wait to read the third book.

Vague review but basically, a good sequel. The only thing that bothered me was Meghan at some parts. She was a bit whiny and whatnot but I got over it (I just wish SHE would).

In one sentence:
"A stunning sequel to a wonderful series."

Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.4 stars

Anna Jarzab: An Interview

Anna Jarzab is the author of ALL UNQUIET THINGS. You can view my review of AUT HERE.

Anna Jarzab's Website.

Please welcome the fabulous Anna Jarzab in this interview brought to you only by Yay! Reads.

Hi Anna, welcome to Yay! Reads. If you could go back to a specific time period, which one would it be and why?

Hm, that's a good question. I'm sort of literal, so I have a hard time putting aside the fact that in other time periods there wasn't as good of sanitation and transportation and communication, but I suppose I could like Regency England? I think the clothes would be flattering, or at the very least everybody would look pregnant so it wouldn't just be me. :) But, you know, this is what I love about literature--I can read Jane Austen and live in Regency England for a while, but I still have indoor plumbing and, like, the Internet and stuff. And my marriage wouldn't be arranged.

That's the great thing about books! You can travel anywhere without actually leaving your home comforts.

Can you describe your writing in one sentence?

Haha: Means well, tries hard, sometimes succeeds.

If you weren't an author and could have any other job in the world, which would it be?

A tour guide. Seriously, I've been giving this a lot of thought, and the thing I love most in the world is telling stories. For a while after college I wanted to work for Contiki as a tour manager, something I might still try to do someday, and I'm KICKING myself for not working at The Winchester Mystery House during the summer while I was in college--it was right down the street! I went on a lot of tours as a kid, because my parents believe in education and travel and education while traveling and they used to drag us to every old house turned museum and national park in the lower 48, and I always looked up to the guides. Imagine KNOWING SO MUCH STUFF ABOUT ONE THING!

I know!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Try not to get discouraged. This sounds simple, but it's so hard, especially when you're a young writer and your creative writing classes are full of young writers and all they want to do is one-up each other and put each other down. It's exhausting. Figure out who is a smart reader with intelligent, helpful things to say about your writing and then ONLY LISTEN TO THOSE PEOPLE. Forget the haters.

That is great advice and, being a young writer, so true!

If someone were to make a movie of ALL UNQUIET THINGS, who would play the main characters?

Gosh, that's hard. I always liked Amanda Seyfried for Audrey and Leighton Meester or Amber Tamblyn for Carly, although really all those actresses are too old, and Kyle Gallner for Neily, although maybe he's played too many creepy characters to go back and play someone more wholesome? I don't know. Casting is hard. I don't know how people do it for a living.

I love your choices, especially Amanda Seyfried, I'm such a huge fan!

Can you tell us a bit about your next book?

Not too much, since it's not finished yet, but it's about a teenage boy who disappears and his friends who go searching for him.

More mystery, I can't wait!

Finally, what's the weirdest fan letter or comment you've received about ALL UNQUIET THINGS?

I once got an email from a twelve-year-old girl who told me all the things she thought were wrong with AUT, justifying her criticism by saying that her sister writes novels and so she feels qualified to give advice. I wrote back and politely said that while I appreciate the advice, nothing can be changed since the book has already been printed. But I thought it was odd. I was a reader and writer as a kid and I never would've written an author to tell them all the things I thought were wrong with their book! But maybe I was just lazy...

Thank you Anna, for being with us today. AUT was an amazing book and we appreciate you for stopping by.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox (17)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and features the contents of my mailbox.

From NetGally

  • Annexed by Sharon Dogar
  • Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
I LOVED Sharon's WAVES and I'm dying to read this one.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Magickeepers: The Pyramid Of Souls (Book #2) by Erica Kirov

Magickeepers: The Pyramid of Souls

It was stolen from Alexander the Great. To keep it safe, Edgar Allen Poe bargained away his sanity. And somebody suckered P. T. Barnum to get their hands on it. It's the most closely guarded secret in the magician community. And it's missing.

What would you do to protect your family from an ancient pyramid capable of stealing your very soul?

Nick Rostov finally has the life he's always dreamed-and he'll do anything to protect it.

Nick has only now discovered he is part of an extended Russian family of magicians: the Magickeepers. He lives with his eccentric new relatives at the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where they perform daring feats of magic to a packed house. Real magic.

But Nick and his family face a new danger in the form of a stolen relic, the Pyramid of Souls. The tiny pyramid has traded hands many times throughout history. Its power can steal a magician's very soul.

Nick knows who took it: Rasputin, leader of the Shadowkeepers. Using his unique ability as a Gazer-one who can see into the past-Nick enlists his cousin Isabella to help him find it. Soon, the two are hot on the evil sorcerer's trail...until Isabella's soul is trapped by the very relic they're trying to find.

Nick will do anything to rescue Isabella and recover the Pyramid of Souls. But will it be enough to save his family?

I was a bit surprised when I received this one. I had almost forgotten all about it. Then I realized it's the second one in the series. Thankfully, I read it and enjoyed it without reading the first and I was able to understand everything and not get confused.

I loved the folklore in this book. I loved seeing historical characters such as my personal favorite, Edgar Allan Poe. Like Harry Potter, this book weaves the magical with the ordinary. It's really well done, too!

The characters are likable and entertaining, sometimes funny. This will be a vague review because it is targeted to younger audiences but it was still really fun and entertaining. And the fact that it's just under 200 pages made it a fun, fast-paced, quick read.

In one sentence:
"A great story for kids who are fans of Harry Potter and the Narnia tales."

Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.2

Friday, May 21, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breathing The Spine and features upcoming and highly awaited releases.

This one seems to be a buzz today (also featured at Lale On Lit).

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In My Mailbox (16)

In My Mailbox was created by Krisi at The Story Siren and it explores the contents of my mailbox.

For Review

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Added!

Added to the contest: The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson. You can join the contest HERE. It ends on May 25th.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Clearing By Heather Davis

The Clearing

Amy, a sixteen-year-old recovering from an abusive relationship, moves to the country to start a new life with her aunt–all she wants is for everything to be different. In the clearing at the back of Aunt Mae’s property, she makes an amazing discovery—Henry, a boy stuck in the endless summer of 1944. Henry and his world become Amy’s refuge and she begins to learn that some moments are worth savoring. But when the past and present come crashing together, both of them must find the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.
I'm declaring this one of my favorite books this year. I am fascinated with the 1940's and WWII and this novel was just...timeless.

I loved Henry (lit boyfriend list: added). He seemed very true to the 1940's. I keep trying to think to which book I'd compare this one to and the only one that comes up...the first one that came up is Tuck Everlasting. It has that kind of feel. Henry is so sweet and I could picture him in my mind PERFECTLY

Amy was great, too. She's a very good narrator and her struggles are really clear throughout the whole book. I realized she's a very strong person and I was so proud of her at the end.

Aunt Mae was my favorite character. She was so unique and sweet. I loved her to death. I want her to be my great-aunt. Go Mae!

The end is not shocking per say but it's very different. I liked how it ended. It was open enough yet it closed all the right story lines. I LOVED it! Very unique story.

In one sentence:
"A timeless story that waves classic 1940s with contemporary."

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren and features the contents of weekly mailbox.

From NetGalley
  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  • The Clearing by Heather Davis
  • Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
For Review
  • Magickeepers: The Pyramid of Souls by Erica Kirov

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Bermudez Triangle

The Bermudez Triangle
Commenting on this post will give you +5 entries on the contest. If you haven't joined, do so HERE

"Their friendship went so far back, it bordered on the Biblical-in the beginning, there was Nina and Avery and Mel." So says high school senior Nina Bermudez about herself and her two best friends, nicknamed "The Bermudez Triangle" by a jealous wannabe back on Nina's eleventh birthday. But the threesome faces their first separation when Nina goes away the summer before their senior year. And in ten short weeks, everything changes. Nina returns home bursting with stories about Steve, the quirky yet adorable eco-warrior she fell for hard while away. But when she asks her best friends about their summer romances, an awkward silence follows. Nina soon learns the shocking truth when she sees Mel and Avery . . . kissing. Their friendship is rocked by what feels like the ultimate challenge.

Why, Maureen? Why do you have to do this to me? I feel so torn up about this book. I mean, I liked it but it...AGH!

The things that I didn't like:

1) The ending, it was quite blah and anticlimactic. Where did the excitement go? Huh?
2) Mel at the beginning. I hate needy people and Mel seemed very needy and pathetic to me at the beginning and mostly through the middle.
3) Avery at the end. Seriously, you have some serious identity crisis, sister.

I admit, the lesbian thing was weird but it grew on me and I was very much rooting for Mel and Avery. It was very sweet and simple.

Things that I liked:
1) The humor. When there's Maureen, there's no shortage of humor.
2) Nina. This was my favorite character--minus a part where she too becomes needy and moody and pathetic, but that, thank God, doesn't last very long.
3) Parker at the beginning. But in the end...ugh, he annoyed me so much I hated him, you'll see why.

So you see, it's a three on three and a very torn up / messed up review. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of people who are not satisfied with it like me, a ton of people who will love it, and a ton of people who will hated. So let's see how I grade this book.

In one sentence:
"Maureen Johnson puts her stamp of humor in a completely different book."

Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3
Writing: 4.5
Cover: 3
Overall Feeling: 3
Average: 3.4

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine.

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

At the start of this mesmerizing new installment of the Immortals series, Ever is helping her friend Haven transition into life as an immortal. But with Haven drunk on her new powers and carelessly putting them all at risk, their friendship becomes more and more strained. At the same time, Ever delves deeper into magick in order to get control over her enemy Roman and free Damen from his power. But when the spell she casts on Roman backfires, she’s bound to her deadliest enemy. Frantic to reverse the spell the moment the moon enters a new phase, she finds her efforts are fruitless—there’s a strange, foreign pulse coursing through her, one that propels her toward Roman. Desperate to break free of this terrible curse before Damen or the twins can discover what she’s done, she turns to Jude and delves deeper and deeper into dark magick, ultimately risking everything she knows and loves—including Damen.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay

What if you had everything:

A gorgeous boyfriend who was madly in love with you?
Quirky hip parents who totally got you?
A musical talent that could take you anywhere?
What if your biggest problem in life was choosing which path to take?
Follow your first love--music-- to New York City?
Or stay with your boyfriend, friends, and family?

What if one day, you went out for a drive...

And in an instant everything changed?

What if suddenly all the other choices were gone?

Except for one--the only one that truly mattered?

What would you do?

A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands. Summit Entertainment has rights to 'If I Stay' for the movie.
First thing: why is this book being compared to Twilight? Gayle Forman's writing is amazing and poetic, not at all like Stephenie's. Also, the story, the plot, EVERYTHING, is completely different. Jeez, I'm just so tired of people comparing EVERY SINGLE love story to Twilight. Ah, rant done.

Mia has everything and loses everything in a blink of an eye. Her story is raw and real and it's definitely heart braking. Many people have said that Mia seems distant but I feel this was necessary. She was looking at everything from the outside and she was in a limbo that she couldn't understand.

I love how the story had flashbacks. I especially loved Mia's parents. When you see them through flashbacks, you want to cry because the realization that they (SPOILER) are gone (END SPOILER) is tragic.

Adam is sweet and real. God, I want a boyfriend like him.

I also loved how the story took place in 24 hours. It made me anxious to see what was going to happen last but since I knew that the decision was going to be probably the last page, I kept myself from reading it (I usually read the last page of the book first). One of my friend only read the last page and she had goosebumps.

I wasn't expecting it. That last page, God, it is to die for. So unexpected and so beautifully described...I couldn't keep my tears at bay.

In one sentence:
"Like nothing you've read before: tragic and hopeful at the same time."

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5 (I just LOOOVE this cover).
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5

Sunday, May 2, 2010

All Uniquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

All Unquiet Things

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.
Wow, just wow. This book was impressive. I love how it was a love story, yet, not between the people you think.

Neily is heartbroken after Carly dies, even though they broke up more than a year before. She was his first love and he never stopped loving her. He is convinced there is more to Carly's death than the authorities have discovered. There's definitely something wrong....

Audrey was Carly's cousin. After she arrived at Brighton, both of them got involved with the popular and sometimes dangerous crowd. Audrey's father was convicted of the murder but Audrey is convinced he didn't do it. Now, both Neily and Audrey put aside their differences to solve Carly's murder once and for all.

I finished the book in two days, it was THAT good. It's very surprising and it keeps you on your toes. I love how it's very original, I mean, I haven't read a YA murder mystery in a while, if ever.

Plus, I'm adding Neily to my lit boyfriends.

In one sentence:
"A surprisingly fast read that you won't expect."

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5


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