November 29, 2011

Tune in Tuesday (16)

Tune In Tuesdays

 This meme is hosted by Ginger at GReads and music. Each week you can post an old or new song so that it gains more interest! So head on over and link up.

This week, I decided to go classic. I love this song and I think it's my dad's favorite song from The King too. Maybe it's the cold weather or I don't know, but I love listening to Elvis around this time of the year, I think his voice warms you from the inside out. 

So... here we go with I can't Help Falling In Love With You


So, what song plays for you?

November 28, 2011

Book Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger UK
UK Cover! SO CUTE! I Has It!
At First Sight: Ever since the accident that claimed her dad's life, Amy Curry hasn't been on cars or driving... or living. So, clearly, the idea of driving across the country - from California to Connecticut - is a quite distressing for her, even if she won't be doing the actual driving.

Instead, she'll have to road-trip for 4 days with Roger, a 19 year old guy she knew when they were kids as their mothers are friends.

Uneasy as Amy is about the whole thing, remembering her Dad's spirit of adventure and love for road trips, Amy agrees when Roger proposes to detour from the pre-established route and take the road-trip in the own terms, stopping on the places they want to instead of on the boring places Amy's mom had picked out.

So begins a small detour that turns epic as they go off route, often encountering Roger's friends and kind strangers, as they both go on a trip that has nothing to do with the actual distance covered.

Roger is reeling from a bad breakup with a girl he loved and who dumped him without warning or explanation, and he's a bit obsessed with finding answers. Amy is trying to come to terms with what happened that sunny morning her Dad died, and how that affected her relationships with her brother and mom and with life itself.

Second Glance: I had heard a lot about Amy and Roger's Epic Detour before I began to read it, it was mostly good things and I'm happy to say that it doesn't disappoint. The beginning was a little slow, but as soon as Amy and Roger hit the road, the book got into a nice, easy pace.

The book was all I hoped for in a road-trip book, how they got on little traveled roads and on busy roads and how each experience was a little different and a little awesome. I loved how they showed a bit of the local food in every stop Amy and Roger made - restaurants and fast food places - it made me hungry a lot while I was reading it. And the music! there is a lot of music in this book, even if it's by band I have never heard and I'm not entirely sure they exist, it was fun.

Amy and Roger US
US Cover
And I liked how Amy and Roger started to become friends while on the road, they vaguely knew about each other before hand, but they got to know each other a lot more while on the trip, and it was believable since they were spending practically 24/7 together.

Also loved Roger's friends and the descriptions of the places they were at. I wished for a bit more time with some of these people sometimes because they were that fun. And I'll admit that a few things felt kind of rushed, particularly toward the end, but these are minor gripes.

Bottom Line: Amy and Roger definitely are two people you want to spend some time with, I wouldn't mind have them for travel companions, and I loved reading their story.

Favorite Quote: "I think we have found the Highway to Hell. We really might be in an AC/DC song at the moment." - Roger
starstarstarstar1/2Personal Favorite

Alex

November 27, 2011

In My Mail Box (3)

in my mailbox

Hey guys! It's me again.

I was supposed to make a video but I'm getting kind of sick and my voice is all scratchy and weird.
Anyway, I did promise to show what I had gotten these last couple of weeks so here we go.

First, I got Daughter of Smoke and Bones from Rachel@My Reading Pile, I won it a couple of weeks ago, so thanks!!
books

Then I bought Magic Knight Rayearth Vol. 1 (Omnibus edition) which I actually reviewed in the site a couple of weeks ago, I had gotten it from NetGalley but because I loved it I decided to get it. And it's HUGE! I also got Sakura Card Captor Vol 2, I was supposed to get Vol 1 too, but there have been some issues with the order. Hopefully I'll get it soon, though.

While I was in Texas last week, my dad bought me a Kindle Touch for my birthday!! I love it! Currently I'm only using it for NetGalley stuff but it's making my life so much easier.
Kindle


And speaking of NetGalley, I go some new galleys:
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta - which I've started to read and it's BEYOND awesome.
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
The Princess of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
Life is But A Dream by Brian James
New Girl by Paige Harbison
The Cowboy Tutor by Linda Ford
Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey
Enchanted Again by Robin D. Owens
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Oh, and I also got some Non-Book related goodies. First, a couple of seasonal toys,
Toys
a memory stick in the shape of my favorite cartoon character and...
Sylvester

Harry Potter's 8 Disc Collection!
HP discs
And that's it for me for this week!

November 25, 2011

I'm visiting Teen Lit Rocks!

Teen Lit Rocks
I'm featured today in Teen Lit Rocks' Confessions of a YA Junkie

Drop by to visit! :D

Retro Friday (32) - Daisy is Back in Town by Rachel Gibson

Daisy is Back in Town
At First Sight: Daisy Monroe left Lovett, Texas when she was 18 years old and never wanted to look back. She moved to Seattle with her husband and best friend Steven, and they raised their son Nathan there, quite content with their lives.

But on the heels of Steven's death after a long illness, Daisy knows it's time to make things right, to go back and tell the boy she once loved the truth of what happened 15 years ago, the reason why she married their best friend and left town. But Jack Parrish isn't a boy any more.

All those years ago, Jack lost his girl and his best friend and he has never forgiven or forgotten, and Daisy's being in town just serves him to put him on a bad mood, not only because of what happened before, but because even after everything he still wants Daisy as much as he ever did.

But everything changes once Daisy's secret is out: she was three months pregnant when she left, and Jack was the father. Hating Daisy more than ever, Jack endeavors to spend some time with his newly discovered son, namely that he stays for the summer and helps him out on the restoration garage he owns, and while Nathan isn't sure how he feels about his biological father, he does love cars, so the plan should work.. only that it also means Daisy and Jack will have to see a great deal of each other. 

Second Glance: I know a lot of people don't like Daisy is Back in Town - or at least they don't like it that much - but I have always thought it was a rather fun book. Granted, it was one of the first contemporaries I ever read and I tend to look back on those with a particular fondness.

That being said, I think its a good book on it's own, perhaps not Rachel Gibson's best but I've always been a sucker for the secret baby plot so this book totally played to my tastes, and I kind of liked the fact that Nathan was a bit older than usual with this plot device.

The relationship between Jack and Daisy has always been very physical and I really liked seeing how they had to let go of that a bit to learn to like each other as people again, to remember they were once best friends and in love apart from being in lust. Jack's anger is understandable and well played, I thought; and while what Daisy did was rather cowardly and she didn't handle things well, she was quite likable.

In my most recent re-read, I kind of grew annoyed a bit more with Daisy's sister Lily - who's own woes are a major secondary plot - but over all the secondary characters were well done, I particularly liked Jack's brother Billy.

Bottom Line: For me Daisy is Back in Town is a a comfort read. It might not be the most spectacular book out there but it will keep you entertained for a good while, and Gibson's style is easy to get into and the pages just fly by.
starstarstar1/3
Alex
Retro FridayRetro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! 

November 23, 2011

Book Review: Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Friends With Boys
The Deal: Maggie has spent her childhood being home schooled by her mom, the only girl and youngest of her clan. But it's time for her to join her three older brothers at a public high school and, even though she tries to play it cool, she's in for quite a shock.

And her brothers aren't really helping, her dad just got made into Chief of Police, and reeling from her mother's recently departure - she left the family - and has a melancholy ghost following her around. 

But things do look up when she meets Lucy and Al and begins making friends with people not related to her. 

My Thoughts: Friends With Boys was a cute, quick read. I actually didn't know it was a graphic novel until I started reading it but it was quite good. I'm not the biggest fan of the style, but then I'm more of a manga-girl, and I often find comic-drawing a little harsh and, in this particular case, a bit dark (in color scheme not theme per se).

Anyway, the story was rather nice, I really liked Al and Lucy and Maggie's brothers. I've never have brothers but their relationships seemed true and there were lots of funny moments. Oh, and you can see a sample of it  at http://www.friendswithboys.com/
starstarstar1/2
Alex

November 22, 2011

I'm back!

Back!
Hey!!

I know the blog has been quiet in the last few days and that was mostly because I was IN TEXAS!!!

It was my baby cousin's QuinceaƱera and so off we went for a visit - I think this was the longest I had stayed in a while - and well, I was busy running around with my cousins and doing a little shopping at the outlets and just, you know hanging out.

We went to see Breaking Dawn part 1, which was Surprisingly Good, funny both accidentally and on purpose, and kind of gross but in a good way. Plus, I was with my home girls so, you know, sometimes the company makes the movie even better. 

Oh and I also got some cool stuff, bookwise! I'll put it all in the IMM for this weekend... 

And now I'm off to sleep as I didn't get much of that done and I'm WAY behind with my shows and well, you know. I planned to read a bit while I was there but it just never happens! I love my cousins too much not to hang out.

Love, 

Alex.

November 16, 2011

List Maniac #25 - Books I'm really looking forward in 2012


Alright, so last year I filled the last few weeks of the year in my blog with list about favorite stuff of the year and what I was looking for next year so I decided to make a few lists this year and start earlier. Since by this time of the year we got a pretty good idea of the stuff coming up next year - at least some of it - I figured I would start wit this list.

Books3

The Year of the Last in The Trilogy - Many of the books I've loved in the last couple of years have been part of trilogies, and their last books are coming out in '12, and they are seriously high on my "Most Anticipated" list as it goes:

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins - Things were very, very complicated by the end of Demonglass (book 2) and with very bad odds for Sophie and the gang, and I can't wait to see how it's all turned around, plus there are two hot guys here! Comes out March 13th.

Body and Soul by Stacey Kade - With Alona trapped in someone else's body and both her and Will trying to figure out a way to get her out, all I have to say is that I can way how they pull it off. Look for it May 29th

A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt - I loved the cliffhanger at the end of The Royal Treatment, and Desi's world is just one that I love visiting. Comes out June 26th

Endlessly by Kiesten White - While I was reading the previous book, Supernaturally, I keep getting the idea that trouble was brewing at the edges of Evie's world and I can't wait to see what it was.Comes out July 24th

Waited

Been Waiting for a Long Time For... - well, this one is self explanatory I think!
Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot (Book 4 of the Heather Wells series) - for a long time I didn't think there would be another Heather Wells book, so I'm really happy there will be on July 10th.

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter (Book 5 of the Gallagher Girls Series) - I was waiting for this book to come out during 2011 but was delayed. I really loved book 4 - Only the Good Spy Young - and I can't wait to see what's next for this series. I'm pretty sure this book will cover the first half of Cam & Co's senior year and gear up for the end of the series. Comes out March 20tth.

A Tale of Two Proms by Cara Lockwood (book four in the Bard Academy Series) - there isn't a lot of info on it yet, and there isn't a cover either, but I love, love, love this series and I can't wait for it.

Favorites

Other Favorites:
Goddess Girl Series books of 2012 - Artemis the Loyal (technically comes out December 2011) and Medusa the Mean, and whatever follows. One of my favorite series by far, I hear Persephone will be getting a new book (as will Pandora and Pheme, I think) as well as maybe something to commemorate the 2012 Olympics (Which would be awesome).

About That Night by Julie James. April 3rd.
Lately she has become one of my staples of Contemporary, I love reading her books as they are funny and well written.Plus, if I recall correctly, this is about two people meeting again after not having seen each other in a long time and I've always been a sucker for that story line.

A Night Like This by Julia Quinn (Book 2 of the Symthe-Smith Quartet) - May 29th
Really loved the first book of the series and I can't wait for book two as it promises to be cute as we keep following the adventures of the infamous Smythe-Smith Quartet.

Rescue Me by Rachel Gibson -May 29th.
Not sure what is it about it yet, but I'm pretty sure the hero is the brother of Autumn from Any Man of Mine and he seemed like an interesting character.

Renegade Magic by Stephanie Burgis - April 3rd.
Kat, Incorrigible was one of my favorite reads of this year and one of my favorite books about sisters. I adored Kat and I can't wait to send more time with her as she's made of awesome and magic.

Others

Books that Keep Tempting Me - and I blame other bloggers for it!
Reunited by Hillary Weisman Graham - I saw this one at Pirate Penguin's blog and I loved the sound of it. It's about three ex-best friends who go on a cross-country trip to see the band they used to love and who are playing together again. Comes out June 12, 2012.

The Disastrous Story of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg - February 13.
I keep seeing this book around and it looks very good, just the kind of story I like. About a girl who dies and then she has to work through the 5 stages of grief and w

Isla and the Happy Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - I'm not the hugest fan of these books (Lola and Anna) but I liked Isla during Anna (when I remembered her) and the book is set in Paris and I feel like Mrs. Perkins' writing keeps growing on me.

Okay, so that's me. This is not all I'm waiting for but the stuff I'm more excited about. What about you?

November 15, 2011

Tune in Tuesday #15 - SOS by ABBA

Tune In Tuesdays

 This meme is hosted by Ginger at GReads and it showcases music. Each week you can post an old or new song so that it gains more interest! So head on over and link up.

This week I picked ABBA's SOS. 
Don't know why, probably because I was watching Mamma Mia! the other night when I couldn't sleep. I generally like ABBA's songs, though, they are kind of very positive in a way.



So, what song plays for you?

November 14, 2011

Book Review: Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett

Geek Girl
At First Sight: One day, on a whim, Jen Jones bets her two best - and only - friends Beth and Ella that she'll turn Geek Prince Trevor Hoffman into a bad boy, someone that would fit in their world of goth misfits. The girls accept and so the bet is on. 

Jen is sure she can make geeky Trevor like her, as he's a geek and she's a girl, but she isn't prepared for how nice Trevor is, how good. And even though, to her, everything started as a game, she soon isn't sure she can play anymore. 

After a difficult childhood with abusive parents and years of bouncing around in the foster care system, Jen doesn't exactly believe in nice, or that people might actually like her and want her around, but being with Trevor and his friends is a revelation. Even if a bit shocked, they take her in. 

Not to mention her current foster parents aren't half bad, and the more time she spends with Trevor and his 'goodness' starts to rub on her, the more she realizes of this. And the more afraid she is of loosing it all, once the truth comes out. 

Second Glance: Geek Girl wasn't at all what I expected, I think I expected something sweet and cute like Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern, but it was nothing like that. I'm not sure if I agree entirely with the author's definition of Geek, but it works well enough as a description, I guess. 
b
The story itself was more sad than I expected, mostly because Jen's life has been pretty rough, and I admit that in the beginning I didn't like her, she came off as bitchy and fake. But once she starts to share more and more of her story, you realize there is a reason for both things. She sounds fake because a lot of her is fake - part of a defense mechanism she has put up to keep from getting hurt, and her being 'goth' falls into that too.

I really liked Trevor, and his family -he was seriously decent but toward the end of the story showed a side of him that was less than perfect and very human and I liked him for it, I don't think I would have been able to like him if he hadn't shown he can make mistakes too. All in all, I really liked how his relationship with Jen developed. 

Also liked plenty of secondary characters, some more developed than others, which was nice. Particularly Jane  and Tamara - Jen's best friend and foster-sister. 

Now, I did have a couple of problems with the book. I found the book a little hard to get into - because of what I mentioned before, Jen sounding a bit fake and bitchy. And also, the pace could have used a little tweaking, the book felt kind of long at times and it really isn't that long, and it did cover a lot of time.

Bottom Line: Geek Girl was a surprise read for me, I was surprised how invested I got in the story and all. Though it was funny, it was by no means lighthearted, but it had dashes of hope that surprised me (again with that word :) ). And it made me cry, which I so wasn't expecting!

Favorite Quote: "What is it that Superman said? Something like, 'Once you choose hope, anything's possible."
"I don't think that was Superman. I think it was Christopher Reeve himself who said that."
"Yeah, well, Christopher Reeve is Superman"
- Jane and Jen.

starstarstarstar
Alex

November 11, 2011

Retro Friday (31) - The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands

Accidental
At First Sight: Victor Argenau wasn't sure what to expect when he was sent to Port Henry to investigate an add in the single's column from a "Single Vampire Female". As an Enforcer for the Immortal Council, it's Victor's job to make sure other Immortals don't step out of line, and advertising one's being a vampire? definitely stepping out of line.

In Port Henry, he meets Elvi Black, a beautiful, single immortal who has gotten all her ideas on 'vampire behaivor' from movies and folk lore. At 62, she looks as if she were 25 and she really isn't sure how she came to be a vampire, only that it happened during a trip to Mexico and that without her best friend Mabel, and everyone in Port Henry, she would have died.

Sure, Elvi finds it a little tiresome to be the town's Vampire, sleeping in a coffin and avoiding sunlight, but she figures things could be worse. However, aware that she's not getting any younger, Mabel enlists the help of their friend Teddy to find Elvi some Vampire friends, so she's not left alone when nature takes it's course.

The situation is nothing like Victor expected, and he isn't sure what to do, specially after he, his friend D.J. and the other single, male Vampires invited along to meet Elvi - Alessandro, Edward and Harper - spend a week in town getting to know Elvi and realize what a nice person really she is.

Second Glance: The Accidental Vampire was such a fun, campy book!!! I think that with vampire novels, when one of the partners in the relationship needs to be 'turned', it can get a little repetitive, but I have to commend Lynsay Sands because so far her Argeneau Series isn't reading like that.

And this book is a great example of it! The situations weren't at all like the ones presented in previous books and I found this story really, really funny. I loved the secondary characters - the other vampire men were so much fun! - and it was just cute.

Bottom Line: If you're in the mood for a funny paranormal romance, with a lovely contemporary feel, The Accidental Vampire might just be what you're looking for! It'll make you laugh, I swear.Oh and even though its book 7 in the series, you can pretty much read it on it's own.
starstarstarstar
Alex
Retro FridayRetro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! 

November 10, 2011

Book Review: If I Tell by Jane Gutler

If I Tell
The Deal: Jaz has always felt out of place in her small town as the one and only bi-racial girl around, product of a fling between her very blond mother and a black football player - who doesn't want anything to do with her. Always an outside, Jaz has made a point of keeping everyone at a distance, except for her best friend Lacey and her new friend Ashley.

Aside from that, her life isn't too bad. Her father might not want her but her maternal grandparents adore her, and even though her grandfather died a few years ago, she loves her Grandmother and has a good relationship with her mom and her mom's boyfriend Simon.

Until the night she catches Simon kissing Lacey, and then is told -the very next day - that her mom is pregnant. With a new baby on the way and without Lacey or Simon to talk to, Jaz ends up feeling more lost than ever.

My Thoughts: I think the official summary of If I Tell is a bit missleading, as it makes it sound like this story is all about the secret Jaz is trying to keep from her mom, but I thought this was more about how Jaz wasn't sure where she belonged because she was both black and white, and how left out she always felt because of it.

And, oddly enough, I had a problem with that. Jaz gets very repetitive very fast, and she doesn't seem to realize - at all - that she's at least in part responsible for her isolation, as she has kept everyone at arms lenght since a bad bullying incident when she was in the fourth grade. More over, she is surrounded by love - her grandparents always adored her, as did her mother even though she doesn't know much about being a mom - and so her feelings of not belonging came out more like whining than anything else.

There were some nice characters in the story, like Ashley and this guy Jaz likes, but I didn't like Jaz a lot so this book wasn't a winner for me though the writing was pretty solid.
starstar1/2

Alex
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