Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

Vee has a boring life compared to her best friend, Sydney, who is the star in the school play and is amazing at whatever she does.

But when Sydney kisses Vee's crush for over a month longer during the play than was necessary, Vee feels betrayed and decides to do a dare for the online reality hit NERVE.

NERVE is basically real live dares that are filmed live onto the Internet. Each dare has a prize for completing each dare to entice the player. The more dares, the bigger and better the prizes are until the players get a chance to participate in the Final Round.

Along with NERVE the players have to deal with Watchers: people who've paid to watch the players either online or in person, where they can win money for whomever posts the best live stream of the dares as they are happening.

Vee didn't really think her little dare would get that much attention. But after her and her wingman, Tommy, post it on NERVE's website, she's wanted for another dare - this time with a new partner to do dares with, Ian.

What started off as a way to do something daring and different than her normal personality is now becoming very serious.

And Vee's prizes are becoming more and more useful for when she finishes high school.

But are the dares becoming too hard? Can Vee handle the intensity of the dares or will she finally give up and lose all of the prizes that she has won? What is NERVE worth to Vee? Read Nerve by Jeanne Ryan to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
When I first read the synopsis of this book on Goodreads, I had the impression that it would be an online version of The Hunger Games, but I was definitely wrong.

This is just a very real and public game of Truth or Dare only without the "truth" option.

But don't be fooled - NERVE is not nice in all of their dares and they definitely hit home for every one of their players to make the dares hard to complete for the juicy prizes.

Vee is a hard character to love. She's easily likable but there are times when I either want to strangle her or slap her.

She does a great job with the dares, though, and trying to find ways around the rules that NERVE gave her for each dare. She's known as shy by her friends, but after this night of dares she won't be called that again.

So, yes, I did like this book. It was different, especially the topics in this novel making it fresh and new in today's YA literature.

But it wasn't a novel that I fell in love with automatically. I find time to set it down rather than staying up ungodly hours to finish it.

One thing I did like was the twists. A friend backstabs Vee, a new friendship occurs, and truths are revealed throughout each dare. It kept me on my toes til the last page.

I would definitely recommend this to teens who are looking for a bit of an adventure and a side book from The Hunger Games, even though it's considerable different. And anyone looking for a futuristic/sci-fi novel might find this rather interesting, especially with the different technology that's in this novel.

Also, so far this is a standalone novel so I won't be biting my nails to wait for the sequel, even though Ryans did leave it open at the end for another novel to be written.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the second novel in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

My review of #1: Obsidian.

Katy's life is upside down. Her neighbors are aliens and she's caught in the middle of an alien war between the Luxen's (the good aliens, also known as her neighbors) and the Arum's (the not so nice aliens who are trying to kill the Luxens).

Not to mention that her attraction for Daemon Black, the hot alien with smoking hot green eyes and over 6 feet tall, is off the charts and she's trying her hardest not to give in to temptation.

But after Katy helps save Daemon and Dee from an Arum attack, something has changed inside of Katy. Things are sort of...flying...without her touching them. Kinda like what Daemon and Dee can do... And that shouldn't happen if Katy was human.

The Arum is not the only thing Katy and Daemon have to worry about, now, though. The Department of Defense (DOD) is now in town. They know about Daemon and his friends from another planet and they are coming to "check up" on things.

Which means if they ever found out about Katy, things will be going down hill very quickly and Katy will be taken in for treatments...

Then a new boy comes into town, Blake, who is attached to Katy from the first instant. Something is definitely different about this boy, making Katy curious and Daemon furious with the attention Blake is giving Katy.

Can Katy control this new found power? Will she be able to help the Blacks or will her new ability hinder them? And can Katy stay away from Daemon and be with the "normal" new boy? Read Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
It's official - I've found another amazing series and another amazing writer to obsess over!

I didn't think it could get any better than the first novel, Obsidian, but I was proven wrong, thankfully!

Sure, this novel did do the whole, "I'm gonna pretend I don't have feelings for you and ignore you while pretending I like someone else, and then have really intense, hot, steamy kissing scenes when I give in to temptation" story line.

And yes, I do hate those novels where one of the characters keeps a distance from the one they are attracted to when they OBVIOUSLY need to be together.

But somehow, Armentrout pulled it off so I didn't hate this novel.

In fact, I looked forward to those stolen kisses and when Katy lost her mind for a few minutes when kissing Daemon. But I sure do hope that the next book will involve more steamy scenes and less agonizing over the one they love.

I really liked the progressiveness of the situation with the DOD and the Arum's. Katy's new found power causes a lot of tension but she is trying her best to do what is right and she has nothing but Daemon's best interest at heart.

Also, I never mentioned in the first review, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that Katy is a book lover and a blogger. It makes me smile every time she has a little dance when new books come in the mail and when she does her "In My Mailbox" videos - especially the one where Daemon hosted as well.

It must be the inner book nerd in me. Oh well.

So if you haven't figured it out by now, I think everyone should read these books and any books by Jennifer L. Armentrout - even though I've only read these two novels so far.

But if her other novels are anything like these, I know I will fall automatically in love with them and will need my own copies (which I will be getting the Lux series for my own personal library at home, btw).

I'm ecstatic that the third novel, Opal, is coming out in December, 2012. Yes, it's still 3 months away, but it's not a year and I will be ordering this novel for the library I work at and will be THE FIRST person to read our copy.

I am going to use my librarian super powers to the max and make sure I read it as soon as physically possible.

Go get this book - this series - right away.

You won't be disappointed! (Or I hope not; otherwise I'll feel bad for straying you to an AMAZING book that you didn't enjoy!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the first novel in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Katy doesn't want to move. She especially doesn't want to move from Florida to a small nothing town in West Virginia.
But after her father's death, her mother needs to start over and start living again, which is hard to do in the apartment they had with him. So moving they are doing.

At first, it seemed like it could be alright. The next door neighbors include two teens her age, one girl and one guy. Dee, the girl, is an instant friend, which is good news for Katy. And the guy, Daemon, is smoking hot. Yes, she could get used to this arrangement.

Until Daemon opens his mouth and insults are flying out. Then Katy wishes she never laid eyes on Daemon, no matter how good looking he was.

Her neighbors aren't who they seem to be, though. Strange things occur when Katy is around them, things she can't explain.

And their friends, the triplets Ashley, Andrew and Adam, are the same way.

Then Katy finds out that they are aliens.

Which is weird enough except now she has traces of their magic clinging to her skin, attracting other aliens who are trying to kill her new neighbors.

So her plan of staying away from the annoying, infuriating neighbor boy goes up in smoke because he is the strongest of the 5 and has to be near her at all times in case the Arum, the bad aliens, decides to go after Katy while the trace of magic is still on her skin, lighting her up like a Christmas tree.

Basically she is stuck with him for awhile.

Things start to go downhill, though, when Katy is attacked by the Arum. Can Daemon protect both Katy and his family from the Arum, or will Katy be a liability that will get someone killed? Read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Oh. My. I've read amazing reviews about this series so I had high expectations when going into this novel.

And I was definitely not disappointed! It was everything that I wanted and I got even more!!

Also, I have to say that I am a devoted fan of the TV show Roswell from awhile ago. I was a little late in the fan club, but I have gotten there and I'll always be a fan. This book reminded me of it so much that it's no wonder I loved it so much!

Only it was better because I could enjoy the reactions myself when reading :)

So, Katy. She is one tough lady. Instead of running screaming for the hills when she found out that aliens actually do exist, she decides to stick around and learn more about their history, while also saving Daemon from a few sticky situations.

And Daemon. Oh, Daemon. He tried so very hard to be a jerk to Katy. And he was, but he always gave in to the nice, sweet Daemon just enough to keep Katy coming back for more, which I'm grateful for.

I'm not sure how to explain this novel. The attraction/chemistry is off the charts, the alien fight scenes were great, and the storyline was amazing.

I currently have the next book in the series in my possession, so you know I'm jumping into that right away to continue this great chemistry attraction between the two characters. I just wish I would have waited until the 3rd novel was out because I will be wanting more, I'm sure, but the end of the next book.

Ladies - this is a must read. A. Must. Read. I got this from the library, but I think I'll be buying it soon to add to my collection of novels that I reread just for the pleasure of it. Because I will be rereading this again in the near future.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

The Carnival of Souls - The City where daimons exist and the place that was created by witches, only to ban them from the grounds when daimons became more powerful.

Mallory lives with her father (adoptive, not biological) who is a witch. Mallory is not a witch herself, but she knows about witches and daimons. She has been taught her whole life to hate daimons and kill them when she sees them.

In 17 years, she's never dated a boy before. It was all about learning to fight, staying in shape, perfecting her shooting range.

Then Kaleb comes into the picture. This is the first time a boy has caught her attention.

So, naturally, it would mean that he's a daimon, the species she learned to hate.

Kaleb lives in the Carnival of Souls. He's in the Marchosias's Competition, a fight to the death. This competition will allow the winner to go up in status, in class, and allow the winners to rule with Marchosias - the ruler of The City.

Aya is another competitor - the only female in history to go into the Marchosias's Competition and now she's one of the top contenders. But she went into this competition with an agenda in mind: win and not have to breed. She has a secret that she can't allow anyone in The City to find out.

When Marchosias changes the rules about the winner of the competition, it changes everything. The ruler, if male, will marry his living daughter when she turns 18 and be a part of the elite blood family - Marchosias's family. If female, she will marry Marchosias himself and produce another heir to his blood line.

And his daughter? None other than Mallory, who doesn't know she is a daimon.

Now Aya is trying to find another solution since she forbids to ever have children. And Kaleb, who is already falling for Mallory, needs to get out of a job he took to kill Mallory.

Things are about to get interesting for everyone in The City and in Mallory's world. Read Carnival of Souls to find out how it will end!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I love Melissa Marr. I loved her Wicked Lovely series, which I've reviewed on this blog, and she has created another amazing world full of daimon's and witches.

There are so many characters in this book that at first it was a little overwhelming - but now I couldn't imagine this novel without every single one of them.

Of course, I didn't mention all of them in my overview above. Adam is Mallory's "father" (the witch) and Evelyn is Adam's older sister, who is also one of the most powerful witches in the world and can be a little bit...intimidating.

Kaleb is probably my favorite character. He is extremely devoted to his family, which is just him and Zevi, another daimon is who also a cur like Kaleb. A cur is a person who can shift into a stray dog - they get razor sharp teeth and talons and their humanity disappears when they are in this form.

There was so much information in this novel that I'm not sure my review and overview does it justice, but I do want to say that I think everyone should read this!

The narrators of this novel alternate, through MANY characters. Here are the ones I remember: Kaleb, Mallory, Adam, Aya, Zevi, Evelyn, and more that I've probably missed.

So this novel should be read by everyone, no matter what gender or age. The cover is even gender friendly as there is no romantic scene to chase the guys away from picking this book up.

I can't wait for the next book in this series, though I don't know the name of the novel or even when it comes out (this is a very new novel that was just release, so I'm just being impatient).

I do know that I will be putting the next novel on my "To-read" list and sit on the edge of my seat until I get it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

This is the second book in the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire.

My review of #1: Hourglass.

Kaleb Ballard has always felt distant from everyone, but now his mother is in a coma, Michael, (his adoptive brother), is with Emerson all of the time, and his father, back from the dead, is keeping more secrets from Kaleb and sharing them with Michael, he feels lost in the crowd.

When he meets a feisty Tiger on Halloween only to find out that she's Emerson's best friend, Lily, things start to look up.

Well, at least for Kaleb's love life.

In fact, Jack is changing time zones even more now, causing anyone with a time gene in their DNA to see rips, images from the past and future.

The Hourglass society gets together to try and figure out what Jack is looking for. And they start taking major risks because, if they don't, the life that they know now will not be the same if Jack gets what he wants.

Can Kaleb and the rest of the Hourglass group find the device Jack is looking for before him? Will it be enough to keep their time frame the same? Or did Jack mess up time too much to be reversible? Read Timepiece by Myra McEntire to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
At the end of my review for Hourglass, I said that I really didn't enjoy it. While I was leery about reading this novel, I wanted to see if it was better because it also has a different narrator!

I love Kaleb. He appears a bad boy with his leather jacket, piercings, tattoos and tall, built frame, but inside he just wants to be loved and to protect the ones that he loves.

So I did enjoy this novel a little bit better than the first. I didn't have to read Emerson complaining all of the time.

I liked where the story went with the Hourglass society and it was a great build-up for the next novel.

I think this was a great addition to the series and now I'm excited to read the third novel, Infinityglass, when it comes out in June 2013.

For anyone who enjoys time travel and a mystery story, I would definitely recommend this to you! It would be better if you read the first novel to fully understand the story dealing with the Hourglass, even though I wasn't a fan of the first one.

For those that didn't enjoy the first novel, I would suggest giving this a try as it is a little different and might make you a believer of Myra McEntire's writing!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

It's been 9 months since London's older brother, Zach, died. They were only a year apart and were best friends, being homeschooled and traveling around the world with their dad's work.

Going to school was awful. London felt like everyone was blaming her for her brother's death. And Zach's closest friend, Taylor, was also her previous boyfriend, and is trying to talk to London again.

Things at home are worse than school, though. London's dad is burying himself into work. And her mom. She has blocked out the world and everyone in it, especially London.

She acts like she lost both of her children, instead of just Zach. But London knows that her mother loved Zach the most, so it probably felt like she lost the best thing of her life.

That doesn't make London want to go home at all. She's always ignored there and it feels like an empty house without Zach.

When a new family moves to town, London finds that she has a new friend. Lili and Jesse, brother and sister, were also previously homeschooled and Lili wants to be London's friend.

As for Jesse, London has this attraction to him that makes her feel alive. Whereas when she's with Taylor, she feels comforted by Zach's memory and the past they all had together.

Will London's family ever become whole again? Is London's attraction to both Jesse and Taylor wrong? Who will she finally pick in the end between the two? Read Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was not exactly what I pictured when reading the cover blurb. First, it's almost Christian Fiction because the father was a missionary and traveled to third world countries, taking his family with him.

Also, this deals with numerous topics. Some I didn't even mention in my overview above.

But even with the various topics, I found myself reading to the end because I wanted to know what really happened to Zach.

The situation with London's family was heartbreaking. Not only did she lose her best friend and brother, but she also lost her parents. Her dad is delving more into his work to hide from the death that happened and her mom...

Her mom makes me angry. Yes, she lost her son, but she has a daughter she needs to remember too. Instead she just ignores her, pretending that she has no more children even though London is crying out for her love after this terrible event happened to their family.

London behaved like I thought a girl broken would act like. She's running on fumes, not knowing what is up and down anymore after losing her main link of life. She's kissing two boys and not knowing what to do with either of them. And she has good days, but they are followed with bad days.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It wasn't my absolute favorite but it brought up a lot of points and problems that occur in families all over the world and it caught my attention to read until the last page.

For anyone who wants to read about a religious family caught in a situation, a sister trying to get past her brother's death, or a girl trying to find life again, this would be the book for you.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

When the opportunity comes along for every 16-20 year old girl to "audition" for Prince Maxon to try to be the next princess, everyone is ecstatic.

Except for American Singer. She doesn't want anything to do with the Selection. She already has the man of her dreams, even if he is a caste lower than her.

She's a 5 and Aspen is a 6, so legally it is really difficult for them to be together. Which is why they are keeping their 2 year relationship a secret from everyone they know.

But then Aspen tells American that she should fill out the paperwork to be a part of the Selection. He doesn't want any "what-if's" between them.

America did it because Aspen told her to. And then he broke up with her, breaking her heart.

She didn't expect to be chosen to go to the palace.

She didn't want to go, but once chosen, it was a little hard to say "no thanks" to the opportunity of a life-time for a better, richer life.

So she goes, along with 34 other girls. And the first thing she does is yell at the prince.

Which is how their friendship started.

As more time goes by, her and Maxon get closer as friends. She keeps the distance between them, not feeling romantic feelings for him since she is still devastated by her breakup with Aspen.

After raids happen at the palace, risking the girls's life, Maxon makes a decision to cut the amount of numbered girls to 6, making them the Elite chosen.

Will American be chosen as one of the 6? Will her feelings ever change toward Maxon, or will she still be hooked on Aspen? Read The Selection by Kiera Cass to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
The best way I can describe this book is: It's The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games.

No, there is no killing in this book like The Hunger Games. But the dystopian world and the different levels of society is very similar to THG.

I really, really enjoyed this novel. I heard about it before it was released and wanted to read it, but never got around to grabbing the novel. I'm kinda happy I waited cause the wait for the sequel isn't so long now :)

America is her own person. She's not afraid to do what she has to and the social status of Maxon doesn't intimidate her like it does for everyone else.

Since she also doesn't want to be at the palace, that also brings out the anger in her that she might not have had if she was actually trying to get the Prince's attention.

The one thing that I'm conflicted about is who I want America to end up with. At the beginning, I felt angry when America and Aspen broke up because they had such a great love story.

And then when America got to know Maxon and saw him as a guy, not a prince or a crown, I could see the appeal of her being with Maxon too.

So, overall, Cass did a great job making the reader fall in love with both boys. I think I know who I'm rooting for, but I'm not saying so I can change my mind if one or the other does something so remarkable that it sways to me to the other side.

I would definitely recommend this novel to any female reader, especially one who likes either of the two shows I mentioned above. It is a fast, informational read and is written really well.

I can't wait to read the second novel to see what happens with the Elite 6 and Maxon. The sequel, The Elite, comes out April 2013 and I will definitely be wanting to read it right away!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou is a unique 17 year old girl. She lives in Prague, she's an art student who is extremely talented when drawing, and she has blue hair.

Her hair comes out of her head that color, or it did after she made a wish, and her drawings? Some are drawings of monsters who she claims are real, but none of her friends believe her.

In fact, they are real. Brimstone, Issa, Twiga, and Yasri. They are who raised Karou since she was an infant, and are the inspiration for her drawing.

What Karou doesn't realize is that they are not from Earth. They have another world where there are numerous chimera's. The only reason they are on Earth is because they are raising Karou away from that world to give her a chance to stay out of the Chimera War.

Now she is running "errands" for Brimstone. She doesn't ask, well too much, and he will never tell her what the errands are for, she just goes where she is supposed to when she is told.

But around the world, there is a mysterious dark hand print that is popping up on doors.

Akiva is one of those people who are placing the hand print on these doors. He is the mortal enemy of the chimeras. And he is very close to winning the war for good.

When Akiva sees Karou and is fighting against her, he finds that he is distracted by her. As a seraph, a war angel, he has no emotions, so being distracted by Karou puzzled him. Then, with the demon eyes tattooed on Karou's hands, she was able to escape.

But that didn't keep Akiva from wondering about her and going out to find her to figure out the mystery that is Karou.

Only one other person got under Akiva's skin like that, but Karou couldn't be that girl since she died.

Or could she?

To find out the mystery that is Karou and how the Chimera War progresses, read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a great book! At first I wasn't sure where it was going, but the way Taylor wrote and created a new world for the reader kept me enthralled and wanting to know more about the characters and about the other world.

Karou is a unique character with blue hair, tattoos, and an amazing talent of drawing. All of her classmates in her art classes want to look at her sketch book to see the amazing characters and landscapes she makes. She has over 90 binders of drawings, so it's not homework to her but a way of living.

Akiva is a tortured soul who only has one goal in life. But when he stumbles upon Karou, he starts to stray from that goal to learn more about this appealing person.

The attraction between these two characters was phenomenal. I wanted them to meet more and more.

Then Taylor threw in some more twists and turns that kept the reader wanting more.

I think I liked it so much because it was different than the other novels coming out today. I don't know much about chimera or seraphs, so I wasn't expecting anything particular when reading this novel.

This is the first of a series, and the second novel, Days of Blood and Starlight, comes out November 6, 2012, so just a few more months of waiting! I'll definitely be ordering this from the library as soon as I can!

I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who wants a unique, urban fantasy with a forbidden love, survival, and another world aspect. It was a fast read for me and I definitely wasn't bored throughout the novel.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Love Sick by Jake Coburn

Ted had it all in high school. He had the popularity and a full-ride scholarship to college for playing basketball.

That was before he drove drunk and smashed his knee.

He is a recovering alcoholic. Instead of going to college now, he is living with his parents, working a crappy job, and going to AA meetings to resist drinking again, because it already messed up his life once.

But then Ted gets a random opportunity...

Erica is going to college. She wants to get away from her dad and stepmother. And she wants to have more ways to binge.

She's bulimic - she deliberately goes out, buys sweet food, like donuts, eats as many as she can in a limited time, then makes herself throw up.

Her dad knows about this after she collapsed at a 4th of July outing.

So now, Erica's dad is giving Ted the chance to go to school, all expenses paid for, if he will just keep an eye on Erica.

Ted's not sure what to say. He doesn't want to pass up the opportunity to go to school for free, so he says yes.

And he meets Erica. They don't talk too much at first, but then secrets start leaking out and they get to know each other better.

But Ted has this horrible secret looming around them. He can't face Erica knowing that he's keeping the biggest omission of all. Will he confess to Erica? Will he leave when the secret too much? Because one thing's for sure: he didn't mean to fall in love with the girl he was supposed to be spying on. Read Love Sick by Jake Coburn to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a random book that I picked up from the used book store, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

These two topics are not easy to talk about. They are real life situations that people go through everyday, and I think Coburn portrayed the process very well.

Also, at the beginning, Coburn stated that he talked to Erica and Ted about writing this novel, so it's a true story. Sure, the names and schools, etc. are different, but this really occurred in the past and I think that hits home just as much as the topics presented in this book.

The format of this book was interesting. It was split into months, no chapters, and we got both Ted and Erica's point of view, along with reading the emails sent between Ted and his "bosses" about Erica, while also reading Erica's conversations with her shrink through online chess games.

I think this could be a good book for older teens, or any teen going through a horrible time with their health. It is very descriptive on how Erica binges, so I'm not sure if it's suitable for all readers, but I think it could be worth reading for those finding them in situations where they know they need help.

Again, a surprise from a random purchase. I love it when that happens!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola is a different gal than most. Instead of worrying about what jeans and t-shirt she's going to wear to school, she has to chose out of her collection of costumes.

Yes, you read that right. She makes her own clothes and wants to be famous one day in the future when she designs costumes and clothes.

So she's starting early by expressing her individuality by being a new person everyday.

No one really minds it. She's been doing this for most of her life and even her boyfriend, the 22 year old rocker singer (dating 17 year old Lola) thinks it's refreshing.

Lola is starting her junior year and things are looking up. She's got a great costume to wear for the Winter Formal - a Marie Antoinette get-up and a boyfriend to go with.

But then, the boy next door returns.

The Bells are very unique. Cricket and Calliope, the twins, are a year older than Lola but they are light years away in worldliness. Calliope has gone to the Olympics for figure skating the last two seasons and this year is her third. They have moved away so many times because Calliope needs the right trainer to get her the gold medal one of these seasons.

And Cricket was the love of Lola's life 2 years ago. But he broke her heart and moved away, again.

This time, Lola is putting a stop to this madness. She was hurt and angry that he left and was extremely mean last time they saw each other. But now she has grown up; she is with Max, her boyfriend, and once she found out Cricket was in college a year early, she realized they won't be going to school.

Should be simple, right?

Not a chance. Lola's not completely sure... but she might still be eyeing the boy next door when she has a boyfriend in tow.

Now Lola needs to figure out what she wants, what she needs, and what is right. Because some things are not what they seemed and some events were not quite how either Cricket and Lola might remember. What will Lola do? Read Lola and the Boy Next Door to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I was intrigued to see St. Clair and Anna in this novel, and I really did like that novel, Anna and the French Kiss. I didn't review it on here, but gave it 5 stars on Goodreads so I must have enjoyed it :)

This was an interesting novel. I wouldn't say I hated it, but I can't say that I loved it either. It sort of fell in between...

The deal between Lola and Max was really odd. Not because of his age or anything, but because of the way he acted around Lola and his band. He seemed distant and somewhat using her. He liked her outfits but didn't at the same time.

Cricket is adorable. He's a lanky, skinny, tall, awkward, but balanced 18 year old boy. What is more adorable than that? You can tell right from the beginning that he has a thing for Lola.

There was a lot going on in this novel. From the Olympics training with Calliope to the love triangle of Lola, Max, and Cricket, to the biological parents of Lola and her adoptive Dad's (one who is her biological uncle and his partner), to Lola's interesting wardrobe, and then her friend Lindsey with her conservative thinking of dating when she's pining over Charlie.

....Did ya get all of that? It was a little bit much for me.

But I did like it a little bit. Especially toward the end when some of the scramble from above became a little bit clearer.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss or to those that are looking for a little bit of variety in a novel. Because Lola is definitely one spicy girl who likes to keep everyone around her on their toes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crash by Nicole Williams

Things haven't been going well for Lucy for a few years. And her senior year in high school is no different. She had to leave her prestigious private school, leave the house she grew up in, and move to the shabby beach house her parents bought awhile back to go to a public school, which has metal detectors at the doorway.

Not exactly what she had in mind for senior year.

But then she saw him. Jude Ryder. Bad boy to the extreme and for some reason kept attracting her attention whenever he was in the same room as her.

Only he was arrogant. The first words out of his mouth were, "I don't do girlfriends, relationships, flowers, or regular phone calls. If that works for you, I think we could work out something special."

So Lucy said no, she didn't want that. Which is how she got the one guy in all of Southpointe to get out of his 'use-her and lose-her' philosophy.

Now the whole school thinks she's either a slut or a magician, because Jude is not the same guy who left their school last year.

He pays attention to her, follows her to her classes, and is pursuing her rather than having Lucy chase after Jude.

But Lucy is unsure if her and Jude will work out. She needs to keep her nose clean because she wants to go to Julliard to be a dancer. She dances any type of dance, has since she was 3, and she's not going to chance losing that opportunity over a boy who has been to jail too many times to count and has dealt drugs, stolen cars, started fights, etc.

Only she can't stop thinking about him and when she's with him, everything just feels right.

Lucy has no idea what to do, and then the worst thing that could happen, happened.

It may be too much for Lucy and Jude to get past, because the event that unfolded 5 years ago has connected these two much more than they ever thought possible, or ever wanted to know about.

Can Lucy and Jude find a way to be together despite all odds? Or will it be too much for them? Read Crash by Nicole Williams to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Many reviewers have compared this book to Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, and I can see the resemblance a little bit, but I don't think it was as great as BD was.

For some reason, the characters rubbed me the wrong way. Some of the things that occurred in the book didn't fly for me either.

Don't get me wrong, it was a great novel with unexpected twists and turns that made my jaw drop when reading them. But I felt like there was too much in one novel to really delve deep into the characters and that the reader only got the dramatic love you/can't stand you scenes.

Which is how Lucy and Jude's relationship was.

So anyway, Lucy is an okay character. She likes to self-doubt herself, likes to make excuses, and happened to date the wrong boy who had a dark past because she couldn't get over Jude and made a dumb decision.

Jude has had a harder life than Lucy maybe. So to say he's a troubled boy would be an understatement. And for some reason I absolutely loved him. He was possessive, angry (very, very angry), and reckless. But somehow he pulled it off.

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I would give it a 2.5 rating, because I really loved it and I really hated it. Others who've read it have adored it, so I must be in the minority.

For anyone who wants to read a book somewhat similar to Beautiful Disaster, this might be a book you could try. I'm not making any promises, just a suggestion.

Also, there is a sequel coming out, Clash, in September 2012. So basically, now-ish. I might *might* get it to see how things go for Lucy and Jude now that they are in college, but I'm not sure if I will or not. Guess I'll just have to wait and see!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

South of Nowhere - TV series

I've recently been watching the concluded TV show called South of Nowhere about this Ohio family who moves to Los Angeles, CA because their parents found better jobs that they want to improve on.

The mom works as an ER nurse, the father is a guidance counselor for teens, and they both find that being in a city gives them a better chance to use their practice to the fullest.

There are 3 siblings: Glen, who is a popular jock, impressively good at basketball; Clay, adoptive brother who is very, very smart (takes AP classes in high school); and Spencer, little sister, cheerleader, and a little bi-curious.

Each character has their own paths to take in school. Of course, Glen is a shoe-in for the jocks, though him and Aiden, star of the basketball team, get into it when they are fighting for the team spot and for the head cheerleader, Madison.

Spencer is trying to be the girl she was back in Ohio but she is finding herself changing with the new environment. When she finds out her best friend, Ashley, is gay, Spencer tries to figure out who she likes more: Aiden or Ashley. 

Clay, growing up in an all white family while being African American, has never been judged by his race until he moves to LA. Now, he realizes that just because of his skin color, cops are more suspicious of him than his siblings and has to get used to being different from the rest of his family.

This show has every event and subject you can possibly imagine:

  • Small town to city living
  • Sports/sports injury
  • Sexual orientation/sexuality
    • Bisexual
  • Racial differences
  • Infidelity
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Religion
  • Drug addiction
  • Underage drinking/clubbing
  • Adoption
  • Gangs/School lock downs
  • Unknown half sibling
The episodes are 30 minutes long and there are 3 seasons of this show. It aired from 2005-2008 on The-N station, which is now called Teen Nick. It actually goes pretty fast when you have the time to sit down and watch it. 

I'm not sure why I watched it as quickly as I did. I think the character Ashley reminded me a lot of Sophia Bush when she was in One Tree Hill and Aiden is a cutie :)

But this tackles a lot of different subjects that I think the viewers can relate to, and the viewers will want to find out more and more about each character to see how the grown and change from when they first got to California. 

Funnily enough, I really enjoyed it and watched the episodes online in 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. I think others will enjoy it as well and it doesn't take forever to watch the complete series (unlike Smallville where it's 10 seasons long! haha)

This was a hidden gem for me and I'm glad that I decided to watch the first episode to see what it was about!

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Month, New Changes

First off, Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is enjoying this day off of work to celebrate our hard working labors (my dad is a construction worker, so I always celebrate this holiday!)

And secondly, I finally got a full-time position in a library! It's a public library position where I will work in all library departments, but the main chunk of my job will consist of working with the Young Adult collection, creating teen library programs, and other teen related stuff.

I'm so excited to start! It will provide experience that I'm lacking and get me back into the swing of being employed again, plus I get to read this library's collection of YA books, which I'm hoping to check out a few items already that I've been dying to read!

Because I'll be working 38 hours a week, I probably won't be reviewing as many novels on here like I have throughout this year after I finished school in December.

But, do not fear, I WILL be reading and reviewing - it just might not be as frequent as you're used to :-)

Actually, I have a few reviews already written to be published, so it might not be so different as the previous months. Just wanted to give you a heads up about the new changes going on with me!