Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: Personal Demons

Title: Personal Demons
Series: Personal Demons #1
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Published: 2010
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance---even her closest friends---and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him.
What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy---all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.
My Thoughts:
I have mixed feelings about this one. Some parts of it was fantastic - original, and dramatic. Other parts were predictable and cheesy. The language were sometimes too flirty and sappy to seem realistic, and I blushed while reading.

Frannie was an alright character, though I couldn't make her very different personal traits fit together into one believable person. On one hand she was flirty and somewhat a player, on the other hand she was a girl who wasn't afraid to get dirty while working on car engines, had lost her faith in God, and was blaming herself for her brother's death.
Overall this was an okay read, but I was expecting more than that, so I got a bit disappointed. I won't walk through fire to get my hand on the sequels.

Cover Thoughts:
Am I the only one getting 80s Nancy Drew vibes from this cover?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun-Post Friday: Top 100 YA Books

I'm sure most of you have seen this list already - I don't know where it originated but it has found its way through numerous blogs. This list lists the Top 100 Most Popular YA Books - the bolded ones are the ones I have read.

Top 100 Most Popular YA Books
1.Alex Finn – Beastly (No, but I've seen the movie)
2.Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3.Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4.Ally Condie – Matched
5.Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6.Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7.Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8.Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)9.Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10.Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11.Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12.Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13.Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14.Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15.Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
16.Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17.Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
18.Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
19.Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20.Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21.Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22.Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23.Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24.Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25.Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26.Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27.Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28.Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29.J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30.James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31.James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32.Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33.Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34.Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35.John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36.John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37.John Green – Looking for Alaska
38.John Green – Paper Towns
39.Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40.Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2) I own the 2nd but haven't read it.
41.Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42.Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
43.Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44.Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45.Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46.Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47.Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48.M.T. Anderson – Feed
49.Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
50.Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51.Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52.Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
53.Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54.Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55.Mary Ting – Crossroads
56.Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57.Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58.Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59.Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60.Meg Rosoff – How I live now

61.Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62.Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63.Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64.Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65.Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66.Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67.Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68.Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69.Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70.Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71.Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72.P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
73.Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74.Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75.Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick; Norah’s Infinite Playlist (No, but I've seen the movie)
76.Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77.Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (Again, seen the movie)
78.Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79.S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80.Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81.Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82.Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83.Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever

84.Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (I love the TV series!)
85.Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
86.Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87.Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88.Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89.Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90.Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91.Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92.Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93.Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)

94.Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95.Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96.Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97.Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
98.Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99.Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100.Wendelin Van Draanen
36 out of 100! I'm pretty happy with that result, since many of these books aren't available in my country. To tell you the truth, there are several books on this list that I never have heard of!
How many of these have you read?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (10/19)

Title: Amplified
Author: Tara Kelly
Release Date: October 25, 2011

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . . In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.
Sounds pretty good, don't you think?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (week 41)

From the Library:

Bloodlines - Richelle Mead

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood

Dead Beautiful - Yvonne Woon

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine. It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

Once Dead Twice Shy - Kim Harrison

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.
Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Published: 2010
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.
My Thoughts:
I loved this book! It was so sweet and fun. My three favorite ingredients; love, summer and road-trips, where all in there. Seriousness, pain and sorrow where mixed together with love, friendships, easygoingness and laughter into a perfect blend.
Amy and Roger were very likeable and realistic characters, they both had problems and flaws. I loved how they grew close to each other during their road-trip. From barely talking the first time, to sharing their emotions, opinions and thoughts on any matter.
Amy was, as the summary says, devastated about her father's decease, and she was blaming herself for his death. Even if her sorrow always was present in the book, it was far from dominating the story.
The icing on the cake for me was all photos, playlists, receipts and drawings inside the book (see photo above). This definitely added something extra to the book and made Amy and Roger's tour seem even more realistic. What is more, it also made me dying to go on a road trip myself! There are so many places to discover!
Rating: 4.75 of 5

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (10/12)

Title: As I Wake
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: September 2011

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.
I've liked all of Elizabeth Scott's books that I have read so far, but this one sounds a little bit different from them. Interesting!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mini Reviews: The Sky Is Everywhere, The Sweetest Thing

Title: The Sky Is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Published: 2010

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey.

But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it.

 But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

The Sky Is Everywhere has gotten a lot of praise, and rightfully so.
 In this novel Lennie deals with her huge sorrow after her sister's death. Beside her is her flower-crazy grandmother, girl-crazy uncle, her sister's boyfriend Toby, and Joe, the new boy in town.

I'm usually not a fan of "dysfunctional" families, but this family was an exception. They shared love and sorrow, good and bad, and there were so many heart-warming moments in this book.

I absolutely loved all notes Lennie left behind her, it could be a poem about her relationship with her sister or a memory of a random moment they shared together. These memories were written down on papers, old receipts, house walls - any available spot. I feel like we not only got to know Bailey through these notes, but also got to know Lennie a bit better.

If you're looking for a great contemporary read filled with everything from love and happiness to trouble and sorrow, this is the book for you.

Rating: 4.25 of 5

Title: The Sweetest Thing
Author: Christina Mandelski
Published: May 2011

In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.

But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.
First off - how I would have loved to see all Sheridan's cakes! Her creations sounded absolutely beautiful! And how fun wouldn't it be to be a cake decorater?

While I was a big fan of Sheridan's cakes, I sadly didn't like her personality as much. She acted a bit too childish - and selfish. I wish she would have been happier for her father's sake, and tried to understand him, and get to know him, a bit better. After all, he was the parent who decided to stay with her and raise her, not the one who ran away and forgot about her.

Sheridan was naive when it came to her mother, she didn't want to see the truth so she pictured her mum as a hero instead, a hero who would come running as soon as Sheridan needed help. So, does Sheridan find her long-lost mother? You have to read the book and see!

Rating: 3 of 5

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (week 40)

From S&S Galley Grab:

The Pledge - Kimberly Derting

In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom….

Legacy - Molly Cochran

When her widowed father dumps 16-year-old Katy Jessevar in a boarding school in Whitfield, Massachusetts, she has no idea that fate has just opened the door to both her future and her past. Nearly everyone in Whitfield is a witch, as is Katy herself, although she has struggled all her life to hide her unusual talents. Stuck at a boarding school where her fellow studens seem to despise her, Katy soon discovers that Whitfield is the place where her mother commited suicide under mysterious circumstances when Katy was just a small child. With dark forces converging on Whitfield, it’s up to Katy to unravel her family’s many secrets to save the boy she loves and the town itself from destruction.

Two interesting books this week! Did you get anything fun in your mailbox (or inbox)?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cover Combat: Starcrossed

In Cover Combat a US/UK cover is competing against the Swedish cover of the same book. It's up to you, as the readers, to decide the best cover!

Today I am comparing the covers of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.

US Cover:

UK Cover:

Swedish Cover:

My Thoughts:
For me, this is a race between the US cover and the Swedish cover. The US cover is very beautiful, but would be even better if the girl wasn't cut off. I like the Swedish cover as well, the gold/black combination looks striking. So I leave this one up to you;
Which cover is your favourite, and why?
Leave a comment! :)
Read my review of Starcrossed here!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (10/5)

Title: Deadly Cool
Author: Gemma Halliday
Release Date: October 11, 2011

First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.

I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.
Yay, a YA mystery! There are not too many of those on the market, and this one sounds particulary good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

Today's topic:

Top Ten Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open
1. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
2. Demonglass - Rachel Hawkins
3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
4. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
5. Frostbite - Richelle Mead
6. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Monday, October 3, 2011

Read & Watched in September

1. The Sweetest Thing - Christina Mandelski
2. Past Perfect - Leila Sales
3. Misfit - Jon Skovron
4. Personal Demons - Lisa Desrochers
1. Prom
2. Revenge of the Bridesmaids
3. Fired Up!
4. Rio 3D
5. Die Hard: With a Vegeance
6. New In Town
7. Colombiana
8. Home Fries
9. EverAfter