Thursday, September 30, 2010

Challenge Update: September

Books I've read this month:

1. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
2. Wings by Aprilynne Pikes
3. The Secret of Scarlet Stone by T.L. Clarke
4. Karma Bites by Stacey Karmer and Valerie Thomas
5. Gone by Lisa McMann
6. Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
7. Candor by Pam Bachorz

Friday, September 24, 2010

CSN Stores $80 Certificate Giveaway Coming Soon

Hi guys! It's that time of the year where most college students are going back to well,, of course. So, I thought it'd be nice to host another CSN Stores $80 Certificate contest soon. It's perfect for students in need of dorm stuff like a coffee table and a few other things that you can find in any of the 200+ CSN Stores. So, stay tuned for the contest!

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.
At First Sight:

At first, I thought Perfect Chemistry was a completely predictable, too much hooking up book about two teenager. But then I kept hearing how amazing it really was and I said, well, why not? So I borrowed it from my friend and you know, the rest is history!

My thoughts:
You know I'm really bad at saying how much I love a certain book. But I'm going to try it: THIS BOOK WAS HOT!

Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes couldn't have been more different. They were born to be different and polar opposites of each other. But somehow, against all odds and standards, they manage to fall in love. The kind of love that lasts a lifetime and can never be broken. The kind of love that is so unique, few people experience it.

It was amazing, I loved how the relationship between the characters developed and how it wasn't perfect at all, instead, both characters are flooded with flaws. It was so believable. I get sick of books that have a typical story and becomes quite formula-y and plastic and totally not believable. But this book made me think that ANYTHING is possible.

It was amazing seeing Bittany's family and how it paralleled to Alex. Also, i can relate to Alex some way because I am Latina and I get the prejudices that Latinos get when they go to the States.

I loved this book because I laughed, I cried, I fell in love. All those are important when deciding if I really  love a book. This book has it and it made it into my favorite lists.

In One Sentence:
"Amazing, no words to describe it."

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

Monday, September 20, 2010

Karma Bites by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

Karma Bites

Life seems to have it in for Franny Flanders.
Her best friends aren’t speaking, her parents just divorced, and her hippie grandmother has moved in. The only karma Franny’s got is bad karma.
Then Franny gets her hands on a box of magic recipes that could fix all of her problems. It could even change the world! Finally, life is looking up.
But Franny is about to learn that magic and karma aren’t to be played with. When you mess with the universe, it can bite back in unexpected ways.
Copy sent by the authors.

At first sight:
It's a MG book which might be a bit surprising to some since I don't really read MG books but I must say, I loved the cover of this and it sounded so cute, so I went right ahead and accepted to review it.

My thoughts:
Franny Flanders is just your typical Middle schooler with typical middle school drama. Except that she finds a not so typical magical box that changes everything.

Her two best friends, Kate and Joey, do NOT get along but with a little help from some magical recipes, Franny plans to get everything sorted out...and a few other problems, too.

Franny is a delightful narrator. She's funny, sarcastic, and a bit silly at times. She's really outgoing and true to her heart. She's motivated by love for her parents, friends, and family. Her actions are real and her fascination with the magical are true to her age.

All of the characters are believable, funny, and fun to read about. I really enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.

This book is fantastically written with a great cast of characters. I loved it and I think it's appropriate for anyone, whether you're 8 or 80.

In one sentence:
"Fun, magical, and!"

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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Songs for A Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

Songs For a Teenage Nomad
After living in twelve places in eight years with her drifting mother, fourteen-year-old Calle Smith finds herself in Andreas Bay, California, at the start of ninth grade. Fearful of putting down roots anywhere, but armed with her song journal, she moves to her own sound track through a world that bounces her between the school drama crowd, a mysterious loner, and an unlikely boy who will become her first love. But it's the troubling truth she uncovers about her father that forces Calle to face the toughest choice of her young life.

I received this from the publisher.

Calle has lived on too many places in a little time but when she settles into Andreas Bay, she hopes that this would be the last place she'd ever have to move to. Calle has now to navigate through uncharted territory and find out the hard way, the truth about love, friendship, and family.

Calle is a wonderful narrator. She's very laid-back and likable. I also thought she was realistic at all times with her decisions and her way of handling things. I loved the fact that she had a song journal and the way she interacted with everyone.

All characters in this book are very well-crafted and dimensional. They all ring with the reader so that you can see a bit of you inside each one.

The love story is beautiful and realistic, if sometimes a bit painful. But Kim handles everything so well and detailed that you are left completely satisfied.

The writing is lyrical and amazing. The soundtrack is great and I couldn't help but imagine myself having my own song journal.

Overall, it was a great book and definitely one of my favorites of the year. It's that good.

In one sentence:
"Beautiful, lyrical, and heart-warming."

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

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (25)

IMM was started by The Story Siren and features the contents of my mailbox. This week I got:

For Review

  • Gone by Lisa McMann
  • Society of The Pink Crystal Ball
  • Risa Green
  • Arizona ( Beautiful Dead #2) by Eden McGuire
What did you get?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Secret of Scarlet Stone by T.L. Clarke

The Secret of the Scarlet Stone

Can You Help the Gabby Girls Solve the Clues?The Gabby Girls Adventure begins at the Vineswell Academy a very formal and strict elite all-girls school located just outside of upstate New York. The Gabby Girls, Gabrielle who is street-smart and very opinionated, Zora who is super-smart, Jessica who is painfully shy and a bit clumsy; and Rosalinda who is a diva and daddy's little-girl. They are drawn together by the only thing that they have in common, which is the mysterious scarlet pendant they each possess. But things seem even stranger when they find a clue that tempts them with the answer to the question they have longed to know. This unlikely bunch struggle to navigate through solving clue-after-clue. Each clue brings them closer to the key to unlocking their future and the answer to the mysterious deaths of their mothers. After all, Gabby Girls always stick together and everyday is an.........Gabby Girls Adventure! (edited by author)

Received from author.

Gabby Girls takes place in an elite all-girls school. Four girls, united by the secret of their pendants, get together to solve the mystery and discover their legacy.

The novel is more MG than YA literature. It's cute in some parts while in others, unfortunately, it's quite dull.

The good thing about this novel:
1) It has a good premise that catches the reader's attention.
2) It has a good ending, making the reader anticipate the second installment.

Now, to the bad things, which slightly outnumber and outweight the good things.
1) The book is flooded with adverbs. And I know this may not be major to some people, as a writer and avid reader, it bothered me. I couldhandle one or two in a page, but this novel had more than three in almost every sentence.

2) The dialog. The dialog was another problem for me. It was unreallistic and very cliched. It made me groan almost every time a girl said something because I just couldn't believe it.

3) The characters. While at times the characters do redeemed themselves, they didn't really pull it off for me. They're unrealistic and quite bratty and snotty. There's no way I could relate to the girls, especially when they were so mean and spoiled. I've read books where characters were spoiled before but those characters had a vulnerable side, too. These were just flat.

Overall, the writing didn't impress me at all, the characters made it unreadable sometimes and I thought about quitting it a few times, actually. The only thing that redeemed at least a bit was the ending which did leave me slightly interested in the next book.

In one sentence:
"Flat characters, a weak dialog and writing left me a bit annoyed with this book."

Plot: 3
Characters: 1.5
Writing: 2
Cover: 3
Overall Feeling: 1.5
Average: 2.2 stars

Saturday, September 4, 2010


OMGOSH! This is a really great prize and the lucky winner is........



I will be emailing CSN Sponsor with your email so that you will receive your gift card.


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