Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Hushed by Kelley York.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 7 comments Links to this post

Main Character: Archer
Love Interest: ??
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

I knew going into this book that it was going to be a pretty dark and deep read but I wasn't quite prepared for how dark and deep, it really was. Archer and Vivian are best friends. Vivian grew up with some pretty crappy stuff happening to her and when Vivian needed Archer the most, he wasn't there for her but he's spent every single day after that horrible event, protecting her. He's been saving her when she needs saving, protecting her when she needs to be protected and always just...there. He's in love with her but they've only ever been friends and it's not until he meets Evan and starts learning for himself that he's worthy of so much more than the broken friendship he has with Vivian that he starts to realize how much Viv has used him over the course of their friendship.

It's while he's with Evan that he learns that there is more to life than protecting Vivian. More to life than always hanging around Viv to make sure nothing bad happens to her. He can't protect her from everything, especially when she won't let him in but that doesn't stop him from trying.

When I put this book down after reading the last word, I was pretty taken aback at how disturbing this story was. The lengths to which Archer went to protect Vivian had my eyes popping out of my face and rolling around on the floor. Archer took loyal to a whole other level, a level that scared the crap out of me. He was such a disturbing character, one that stayed in my thoughts long after I finished the book.

The relationship between Archer and Vivian was one of the most unhealthiest relationships I've ever read about. The drama throughout this entire book was raw and gritty, violent in its telling and yet I couldn't stop reading it. The pages flew right by as I turned them on my nook, anxious for what was to come next. The telling of this story is really dark but was so real that I could totally see everything happening as their described in the book.

Getting to know Archer, Vivian and even Evan was one emotional roller coaster after another. The characters were twisted and the story was emotional and gripping. I couldn't put it down, it was one of those books that I had to keep reading to find out what happened next. I had to know what happened next and my eyes couldn't read the words fast enough.

It's been a while since I've read something this dark but the emotions and the raw telling of the story between these characters kept me coming back for more. There was so much going on and yet, it was easy to keep up. I have never heard of this author before but I know that I will definitely be reading more by her in the future.

I can't really pinpoint what it was about Archer that I liked. Realistically, I shouldn't have liked him at all because he was a murderer. On top of that, he was mean. He had a very abrasive personality, one that was very dark and just, well, mean but for some reason, I liked him. I won't say that I connected with him (it's hard for me to say that I connected with a murderer) but the author did a fabulous job of making me understand him, sympathize with him. The complex relationship he had with Vivian and the things he did for her made the story come alive. He did things that normal people would never think to do but he had reasons for doing everything he did.

Overall, this story was gripping and it was raw but it was refreshingly honest and captivating. Like I said earlier in this review, I couldn't put this book down and I'm mighty curious about reading more from this author so kudos to Kelley York on writing a novel that captured my interest and held it until long after I finished the story.

..and that's your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 6 comments Links to this post

Main Character: Jordan Woods
Love Interest: Sam Henry (highlight to find out)
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

What a cute story this book turned out to be. I knew that I would enjoy this book (I just had a feeling) and I'm glad to see that my feeling about this book didn't turn out wrong. I'm in a reading slump but I still pushed through and read this book, enjoying every word that Kenneally strung together to form this story.

This story follows Jordan Woods as she navigates her way through life as the only girl football player in the state of Tennessee who also happens to be one of the top high school quarterbacks in the state. She's got her eye on the prize and the prize for her is playing college football at Alabama State. It's always been her dream to play college football at Alabama and with this season being her last football season of her high school career, she's going to do everything she can to make sure that nothing distracts her from her goal.

Everything is going swimmingly until the day that Tyler Green comes onto her football field and distracts her with his Chace Crawford looks.

He's a new addition to their team and he's going to be the back up quarterback. He's also really, really good. So of course, Jordan gets spooked and is thrown off her game a little bit. Ty is the first guy that she's been attracted to in forever and if she backs down any little bit, he's going to take her position.

Reading this book was like riding shotgun in the car while Jordan aka Woods went through her day to day activities. I felt like I was a part of the action, instead of just reading it. At the end of the book, I felt like I really knew the characters in this book and like they were truly my friends. There were times when I wanted to smack Jordan with the obvious stick and kick Henry with the get your crap together stick. I enjoyed getting to know each and every single character introduced in this story. From Jordan and the boys on the football team (shout outs to JJ, Carter and Henry) to Ty, Jordan's family and the girls that Jordan befriends over the course of the book.

I really enjoyed Jordan's family. Jordan's family is the kind of family that I have. They're close and they love being with each other. They get mad at each other but they never stay mad at each other and when things linger, they blow up at each other but eventually make up. I loved that Jordan's Mom was very active in Jordan's life. She never missed a game, she went to her practices and she babysat for her when she needed to (Jerry Rice so rocked my socks!). I loved seeing the frustration that built between Jordan and her Dad, the great Don Woods. He's an NFL player but never really supported Jordan's football playing. He never went to any of her games but when they finally deal with the problem, seeing him trying to meet her half way and help her any way that he could made me all warm and cuddly inside. I absolutely LOVED Jordan's brother Mike too. The way that he stuck up for her, the way that he was always there for her even while he was away at college just made me love him all the more.

As great as Jordan was throughout the book, for me the character that totally made this book for me was Sam Henry. I loved him right from the jump, even after we meet Ty and swoon all over him, it was Henry that I wanted more of. Seeing the bumps that Jordan and Henry go through in this book made the story really pop for me. I was always anxious for more Jordan and Henry page time. Their friendship, the obliviousness on Jordan's part and just everything was entertaining. I loved Henry and I loved the kind of friend he was to Jordan, so loyal and true. The kind of best friend every person should have.

There are a lot of things that I enjoyed about this book. It was an all around solid read that will definitely find a spot on my keeper shelf (must buy this book when it comes out). There were some things that left me scratching my head from time to time but it didn't take away too much from my enjoyment, like Henry's reasons for disappearing when Woods needed him and then some of the decisions that Jordan made throughout the book but overall I enjoyed this book. I'm so glad that I read this book and I definitely recommend this book to lovers of YA contemporary stories and sports themed YA stories because this was a totally fun read that readers will definitely enjoy. I will definitely be reading more from this author.

..and that's your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 3 comments Links to this post

Main Character: Shelby
Love Interest: Austin
Series: None, that I know of.
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Moonlight can totally change your life. And it all starts so simply. You. Him. The moon. You're toast. Okay, so maybe Shelby has made a few mistakes with boys lately (how was she supposed to know Wes had "borrowed" that Porsche?). But her stepmother totally overreacts when she catches Shelby in a post-curfew kiss with a hot senior: Suddenly Shelby's summer plans are on the shelf, and she's being packed off to brat camp. It's good-bye, prom dress; hello, hiking boots. Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges III.

But soon she realizes there's more to Austin than crush material-his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby's help guarding it. Shelby knows that she really shouldn't be getting tangled up with another bad boy . . . but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one? One thing's for sure: That pesky full moon is about to get her into trouble all over again.

I'm in the midst of a giant purge of my books and so I'm cleaning off my shelves. I'm running into books that I've read ages ago and have totally forgotten about and doing quick little re-reads of each book and of all the books that I run into, I'm going to do a review for this blog.

I read this book ages ago, so long in fact that I couldn't remember a hot dang thing from this book. This was one of those short reads, the kind that is over and done with in little time and for such a short story, I was expecting something and got something entirely different instead.

This story is about Shelby, who was sent to brat camp over the summer to get her crap together. Her Mom died and her Dad is with someone new and Shelby's acting out in an effort to get his attention. At home, she's left all alone with her thoughts and her grief and in a way, it's not helping her get any better. While I was reading this book, I got so angry at Shelby's father because he should have been around more. All Shelby wanted was to be a part of a family again but her father was too busy to see that and instead of dealing with her, he sends her off to brat camp to be with other like-minded teens.

This book is one of those fast reads that doesn't take much time at all to sink into but when you're finished reading the entire thing, you're kind of hoping you had gotten something else. It's not a bad book but it wasn't my favorite read. There were too many little things that got on my nerves like there really isn't any closure with Shelby's family but I did enjoy getting to know Shelby more (even though my adult self cringed at how many times I wanted to smack some sense into her), there were some things that were brought up and then easily dismissed or that just went away that I wish were dealt with. I was hoping for more from the storylines that were introduced and when I didn't get that, my enjoyment of the book dimmed so while it wasn't the worst book ever, it wasn't the best either.

..and that's your scoop!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Watch: Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 6 comments Links to this post

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? can you even know it until you've lost it?

Love and Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole.

I'm a sucker for this kind of romance. The moving to a new town and having to start over in a new place and meet new people, meeting that new boy that brings you's all just so sweet and I'm pretty anxious to read Tregay's take on this storyline. I'm sure I'll love it and for that alone, I'm so ready to read it. This book comes out on December 27, 2011 so mark your calendars!

..and that's your scoop!

Pre-order the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from The Book Scoop!

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 4 comments Links to this post


From my blog to your family, I wish my US readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. I've been blessed countless times over the course of this year alone from this very blog. I'm thankful to each of the readers that take the time to read my reviews and to read what I have to say on all the bookish things I write about and I'm most thankful to those of you who took the time to follow my blog.

I'm grateful to you all and hope your tables are full of delicious servings and you're surrounded by your loved ones.

I'm taking the day off to be with my family and friends, I hope you'll do the same.


Eat lots of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie because I will!

..and that's your scoop!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Guest Review: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Posted by ~ames~ at 6:00 AM 4 comments Links to this post

Main Character
: Chelsea Keyes
Love Interest: Clint Morgan
Series: n/a
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college-and everyone's admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.As a graduation present, Chelsea's dad springs for a three-week summer "boot camp" program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she's immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who's haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain-or finally heal their heartbreak?
I haven't come across too many contemporary YAs where the heroine is a sports player, so I was waiting eagerly for the library to get their copy. I'm so glad I read it, it was good.

Chelsea Keyes was the star basketball player in her hometown. She had a bright future with plans to attend college on a sports scholarship. She's going places...or she was, until she fell during a game and broke her hip. Now everything is changed. She's no longer comfortable in her own body, her relationship with her dad is beyond strained. She still has her amazing boyfriend who stuck with her through everything. But she can't get over what could have been.

Clint Morgan is an ex-hockey player with a broken heart. He goes to college and works, but doesn't have much of a life beyond that. He went into a funk when he lost someone close to him tragically. His friends despair of his workaholic ways when he comes up with his latest scheme, a boot camp to get people into shape. Can a girl with a broken hip mend a broken heart?

This book. OMG. Layers and layers and angst and lust and yeah, definitely a book for a more mature audience. But so good!

At the heart of it all is Chelsea and Clint, two very wounded individuals who have these hard, brittle exteriors that no one has been able to crack. When they first meet, they are definitely not what the other expected. And that's the first crack, I think. Then when Clint tries to push Chelsea to pick up a basketball, her shell cracks a little bit more.
"Show me what you've got," Clint says, casually swinging his arms and clapping his hands once in front of his hips.Doesn't the moron know that just touching the ball has caused the worst kind of ache to thunder through me? That it's like touching the warm skin of a man I love while he shakes his head, telling me no? That's what it's like for me to hold this basketball. It's like looking into the eyes of the man I love, who suddenly refused to love me back. You can't have me.
Then Chelsea pushes back, unknowingly, because Clint is attracted to her. And he hasn't opened himself up to anyone in a long time. But his growing attraction to Chelsea threatens his sense of self and his flinty exterior cracks a bit more.

Now, I'm going to tell you straight out - Chelsea is on her family's annual summer vacation when she meets Clint. So her boyfriend who stuck with her through everything is waiting for her back at home. And this is something that Clint and Chelsea both have to come to terms with. I relished the developing relationship between Chelsea and Clint though. If infidelity is a big no-no for you, then steer clear of this book. But if you don't mind when teenagers make mistakes and learn from them, then things aren't as bleak as they sound then, are they?

Also enjoyable was the broken relationship between Chelsea and her father. His hopes broke just as much as her hip did. She was his star. Chelsea feels like he's mad at her for what happened. She couldn't be more wrong. I liked seeing how they finally came back to understanding each other.

Playing Hurt is not your typical YA romance. I highly recommend it. B+

Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository|Kobo
Book cover and blurb credit:


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest Review: So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

Posted by ~ames~ at 6:00 AM 5 comments Links to this post
*My apologies to Wena for being in a blogging rut for freaking EVER and not posting here these last few months. I'm going to make it up to you, sweets!*

Main Character: Brooke
Love Interest: Scott
Series: n/a
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Good Reads

When Brooke's crush, Scott, moves from their suburban town to New York City, she decides to follow him there. Living with her formerly estranged dad and adapting to a new school are challenging, and things go from bad to worse when Brooke learns that Scott already has a girlfriend. But as she builds her new life, Brooke begins to discover a side of herself she never knew existed. And as she finds out, in the city that never sleeps, love can appear around any corner...
I have to be honest, I was hesitant to read this book. Why? This will have been the 3rd book in a short period of time where the heroine comes across as a bit obsessive. Is this the new trend of the moment? Because I don't like it. Obsessed with boys, obsessed with an older sister, whatever they're obsessed it, it makes them seem a touch psychotic and unbalanced.

Thankfully, Brooke wasn't obsessed so much that she crossed over that psychotic line. LOL Yeah she had a crush on a boy and worked things her way so she could move to be closer to him. Kudos girl, taking control of your life. But she didn't seem so crazy desperate that it turned me off. She kind of closed herself off from making new friends to remain true to the friends she left behind, but some people still broke through her shell. I liked that more than anything - that she made friends despite herself. It was also a bit bittersweet on the other hand when her old friends back in Jersey moved on in her absence. Boys will come and go, but your friends are what really matter. And it hurts when your friends move on.

I was also afraid that Brooke was going to be the biggest brat towards her father. Again, I was wrong. LOL I was wrong about so many things with this book! So I think the blurb does this book a bit of a disservice, because if you're sick of seemingly psychotic heroines as much as me, there's no way you'd want to read this.

But it's about more than a girl going after a boy she likes, it's about making new friends and finding beauty in places you'd never think to look. For that, I'm giving So Much Closer a solid B.

Book cover and blurb credit:


Monday, November 21, 2011

Root: An Interactive Story.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 0 comments Links to this post

I got some pretty exciting news in my email that I thought I'd share with my fabulous readers here on the blog. It's about a new interactive story called Root.

Guardian Teen Books has partnered with Random House for a new interactive, serialised story called Root - a fast-paced thriller set in the shadowy world of computer hacking and espionage. Every weekday for six weeks a new chapter will be released on The content will be directly influenced by readers’ contributions, such as their ideas for characters' personalities and skills.

The heroine Molly Root is a 15 year old computer genius whose friend Danny is killed after being caught stealing priceless data from a ruthless global corporation. Now she's in over her head. So far Molly Root's mission to get to the bottom of her best friend's murder has taken her on a perilous trail across London. Her key lead is a dodgy police detective - and her attempts to expose his shady contacts are testing her ingenuity to the limits.

As well as incorporating suggestions from readers, the story will also be brought to life via several social media platforms. For example, Guardian Teen Books' Twitter and Facebook accounts will be providing behind the scenes updates of how Molly is progressing, along with clips on Audioboo featuring the voicemails that Molly has discovered. This will be accompanied by onsite quizzes and photo puzzles on Flickr.

They've already started so if you want to catch up, you can visit the site here. It looks like a very interesting way to tell a story, I'm still trying to catch up myself so I'll let you know how it is later on.

..and that's your scoop!

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Monthly Wish List: November 2011.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 2 comments Links to this post
I can't believe that this month is already almost over but that doesn't mean I'm not going to post the books that made it onto my wish list this month. There weren't too many books that I found I was looking for but I did manage to make a mini list so here it is.

Check out my wish list for this month:

1. Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted.

Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she'd change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can't change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the 1860s world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily-not the four March sisters-who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Lauren Baratz-Logsted's winning confection will appeal to fans of Little Women as well as anyone who enjoys a modern twist on an old favorite.
I read this book (review here) and thought it was cute. I got this book for review on NetGalley so I need to get myself a copy of it, I enjoyed it so if you haven't read it yet, you should.

2. Faking Faith by Josie Bloss.

After a humiliating "sexting" incident involving a hot and popular senior, seventeen-year-old Dylan has become a social outcast—harassed, ignored, and estranged from her two best friends.

When Dylan discovers the blogs of homeschooled fundamentalist Christian girls, she's fascinated by their old-fashioned conversation themes, like practicing submission to one's future husband. Blogging as Faith, her devout alter ego, Dylan befriends Abigail, the group's queen bee. But growing closer to Abigail (and her intriguing older brother) forces Dylan to choose: keep living a lie or come clean and face the consequences.
I've been wanting to read this book ever since I first saw it on Goodreads. It sounds like those realistic contemporary reads that are right up my alley of a good reading time so this of course this one made it onto my wish list.

3. The Future of Us by Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler.

It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend.

They power up and log on and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.
I've read and absolutely loved Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and though the whole concept of this book sounds interesting so I'm definitely in for trying this one out.

4. Perfected by Girls by Alfred C. Martino.

Life isn't easy for Melinda Radford. She's the lone girl on the Ashton High wrestling team dealing with opponents who refuse to compete against her, a few who want to crush her, and a coach that seems less-than-pleased having a girl in his practice room. At the same time, Mel's parents have forbid her from seeing her new boyfriend, her grandmother insists she give up a fun job at the mall for a dreary office internship, and her infuriating older brother, who's the varsity team captain, is constantly flirting with her best friend, Jade. Just when it seems things can't get any more complicated, an off-handed comment puts Mel at odds with her teammates, her brother and, worst of all, her coach. But through a strange twist of tragedy and fate, Mel is given an unexpected opportunity to accomplish something no girl in Ashton High's history has ever done, and to redeem herself in the eyes of many. How will she handle it all? Can she handle it all?
I enjoy sports themed contemporary reads and this one sounds like it'll be a good one so I'm definitely up for trying this book out. I'm totally hoping for the best too since I've never read anything by this author before.

5. Touch by Jus Accardo.

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.A secret Kale will kill to protect.Except, there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s...
I've seen this book around blogland and on Goodreads and a lot of people seem to be enjoying it so I'm definitely curious. It's definitely going on my wish list.

There are a lot more I'm sure but I couldn't really find anything that caught my fancy so this is the list of books that made it onto my wish list. What about you?

What books were you looking forward to this month?

..and that's your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Hunger Games Movie Trailer.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 4 comments Links to this post

I absolutely LOVED the books from this series and even though I've been anxious about the release of the movie, I'm also a bit scared that it won't turn out the way that I hope it does but I can't seem to remember my reservations about the movie after seeing this trailer.

This trailer is full of awesome and from what I remember (I have a crap memory sometimes) it follows the book pretty nicely so woo hoo! I'm so going to the midnight showing of this book...who's with me?

March 23, 2012 couldn't get here fast enough to suit me...seriously!

Squeee, how hottie looking is Gale? I can't seem to remember why I was Team Peeta but I'm sure when I watch the movie, I'll remember...=)

..and that's your scoop!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz- Logsted.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 5 comments Links to this post

*EDITED TO ADD: Taking cue from Jane at Dear Author, I thought it pertinent to alert my readers that I don't support plagiarists but this author seems to (from a guest blog she wrote to promote a well known plagiarists blog). I won't be recommending this authors work to my family, friends or blog readers in the future.

Main Character: Emily
Love Interest:
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she'd change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can't change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the 1860s world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily-not the four March sisters-who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Lauren Baratz-Logsted's winning confection will appeal to fans of Little Women as well as anyone who enjoys a modern twist on an old favorite.

I can't really say why I wanted to read this book because I've never read Little Women before so I didn't want to see how this modern twist on the whole story would be (though modern twist is a bit of a stretch but well, you know what I mean) but interested in it, I was. So I requested it for review and was stoked when I got it.

I will say that this book has made me want to read Little Women because it cracked me up. Getting to know all of the March sisters, Jo, Meg, Amy and what not was interesting, well having to get to know them through Emily's time travel experience was cool. I can't compare this story with the actual story but I will say that being thrown into the world of one of your favorite books has got to be pretty thrilling. Getting a chance to change something you wanted would be even better, don't you think?

In this book, Emily knows exactly what she wants to change and when she's given a chance to do just that, she rushes off and the adventure begins. Emily is thrown right into the story of Little Women and sees the March sister for the first time. Her normal reaction is to freak out and freak out, she does. But over the course of the book, Emily really does come into her own. I really enjoyed that part of the book, we see the change in Emily start and then slowly and surely, her change happens and she's a better person for all of it. I'll tell you what though, there were times a plenty that I wanted to choke Emily the heck out but I let her slide on a lot of it because of her age. It would have been easy to not like Emily at all with all of the crap she pulls in this book but Baratz-Logsted does a great job of making the reader connect and understand what Emily is going through and where her head is throughout the entire book.

I cracked up quite a few times when I was reading this book (Emily getting her period back in the day had me laughing out loud), it was interesting reading this book having not read Little Women (or seeing the movie for that matter) but it was easy enough to follow along and enjoy the story anyway.

I was digging on Laurie for a hot minute there and was glad that things worked out the way that they should have (or from what I know, anyway) on that note between him and Jo. The whole thing with Jackson and Charlotte worked out the way that it was supposed to and I'll say that in the beginning, that conversation between Kendra and Emily played through my mind toward the end of the book and was glad that Emily it. You really see that she learned a thing or two from the lesson her teacher was trying to teach and you saw her grow which I appreciated. There have been a few times when I read an entire book and I hate the protagonist just as much at the end as I did in the beginning. I feel like they don't learn or grow as much as I would have liked but that wasn't the case with this book. Emily was hard to take at times but at the end, you were glad that you stuck it out with her because she finally got it right.

I recommend this book to fans of Little Women and to fans of this author, it was a delightful read that made me want to try other stories by this author.

..and that's your scoop!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

In My Mailbox (45)

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 4 comments Links to this post

It's a new week and I got some new books coming out in my inbox that made me one happy camper.

One of the books has me over the moon since I freaking LOVED the first book in the series. Check out what I got this week:

Sorry, those were the only covers that I could find, so you'll have to be satisfied with that...sorry. I've been pretty anxious to get my hands on a copy of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand since I finished Unearthly earlier this year. I'm so freaking excited to read it and the other book that I've have ants in my pants and wanted to do a boogie dance is Catching Jordan by Miranda Kinneally. I cannot wait to break that book open and get some serious reading done. So this is one of my favorite In My Mailboxes in a while.

...and that's your scoop!

So what did you get in your mailboxes this week? Anything exciting and fantastic that I'll be jealous about? Share your loot with me!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Watch: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

Posted by Rowena at 3:22 PM 5 comments Links to this post

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen year old Samantha wishes she was one of them… until the day Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything.

Jase can sense that his beautiful neighbor is missing something in her sterile home, and as the two fall fiercely in love, his family makes her one of their own.

But when the bottom drops out of Sam's world, which perfect family will save her–and will her perfect love survive?

Set among the haves and have-nots of a coastal New England town, My LIFE NEXT DOOR captures the angst, the heartache, and the raw-nerve emotions of first time love—and biting loss.

This book sounds like it'd be a good one. Samantha sounds like an interesting character and I'm itching to find out what could possibly happen to Samantha that would cause her family (whichever one that is) to have to come to her aid. In contemporary YA, it could be anything. I'm a fan of the cover as well and I'm anxious to be apart of the romance that will blossom between Jase and Sam, so yes...I'm excited for this book. Must get my hands on a copy!

..and that's your scoop!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 4 comments Links to this post

Main Character: Harper
Love Interest: Jake (highlight to see)
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Everyone's sorry. But no one can explain why.

Harper Scott's older sister, June, took her own life a week before high school graduation, leaving Harper devastated. So when her divorcing parents decide to split up June's ashes, Harper steals the urn and takes off cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going—California.

Enter Jake Tolan, a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession…and an unknown connection to June. When he insists on joining them, Harper's just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanor and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what Harper needs. Except…Jake's keeping a secret that has the power to turn her life upside down—again.

What I liked about this book was how real it was. Harper's angst felt real and she behaved like a teenager. She had a bad attitude, she wanted to be left alone and she cursed. Another thing that I liked about this book was her best friend, Laney. Far too often lately, I've been reading YA books with the bitchy best friend who betrayed the protagonist and left me wanting to choke them out but not Laney. Laney was exactly what a best friend should be. Loyal and true. I really enjoyed seeing that she may have been this lively character but she was also a person who had her own problems but put them aside because her best friend needed her. She was just a great addition to this story and I enjoyed getting to know her.

I found myself really intrigued by Jake's connection to June. Why did he want to go on the road trip so bad? Why was he keeping his connection to June a secret? What's going on with him? I was so hot dang nosy that I wanted to know everything about him. He didn't come off as a jerk to me though he was jerk-ish at times. He was an interesting character that I thought brought out a lot of what I enjoyed about this book.

I enjoyed the friendship that turned into a relationship that formed between Harper and Jake. Harper wasn't an easy character to connect with since she was so stubborn and so head strong but it was understandable in her situation since she just lost her sister and her Mom was being a selfish cow, only thinking about herself and I wanted to punch Aunt Helen in the face more than once.

When Harper, Laney and Jake (well, and June too I guess) set off to California, I was excited. Ever since I read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, I've been a sucker for a good road trip contemporary. This was another great road trip contemporary. It's got characters that leap right off the pages, characters that you want to know better, characters you would want in your life. It's got a storyline that is interesting enough that you want to know what happens and the writing just flowed so well, it was hard to put this book down. That's saying something since I was in a mini reading slump when I first cracked this sucker open.

Seeing Harper deal with the loss of her sister, dealing with her broken family and trying to make sense of everything that happened made for an interesting read. It was easy to cheer her on since the author did a great job of making the reader sympathize with her. I really liked that Harper was this cookie cutter protagonist who is either too stupid to live or too perfect and sweet, it makes my teeth hurt. She was the right amount of bratty teenager and lost soul that it made it easier to want to understand her better. Her voice was refreshing and I really enjoyed getting to know her.

Jake would make a good book boyfriend. He was so raw and real. He wasn't this nicey nice kid who the sun rose and set with his smile. He was a flawed character that was interesting and good looking and you couldn't help but want to get to know. You could tell that there was a lot underneath the surface and you wanted to keep digging until you found out all of his secrets.

One of my main gripes in this book is that the characters are smokers. Harper is sixteen and she's a smoker and Jake is eighteen and he's a smoker. Ugh, it's a disgusting habit and I wish Laney would have nagged them more to get them to quit smoking but she didn't...which I guess makes them teenagers.

Overall, this was a great book that I enjoyed reading. There were times when Harper's abrasive personality got to be a bit much and times when I would get frustrated by Jake's mysterious connection with June but all in all, this book is enjoyable. I'd recommend this book to the 14 and older teenage crowd since there are scenes and language in here that aren't suitable for a younger audience but I enjoyed it and I recommend it.

..and that's your scoop!

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Book cover and blurb credit:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just Contemporary Month: The Tough Stuff.

Posted by Rowena at 6:00 AM 4 comments Links to this post

It's week two of the Just Contemporary month that's being hosted by Basically Amazing Books and Chick Loves Lit.

This week, we're discussing The Tough Stuff.

These contemporary stories are the ones that get you right in the heart. The stories that are hard to take at times and the ones that make you sit up and think about your life. It's one of my favorite things about the Contemporary YA genre, it tackles everything that we go through in our everyday lives. There's a story out there for every mood you're in and stories that deal with things that you can personally relate to.

On the other hand, books about the tough issues in life also let you step into the lives of characters who are going through stuff you've never been through but helps you understand where they're coming from and what they're going through.

I've never been addicted to drugs or in love with my brother, or lost my entire family in a car accident but I could feel the emotions that went through each of the characters involved in Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, Clean by Amy Reed and If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Through these authors words, they took me on an emotional roller coaster that put me right there with each of the characters going through these different situations and that's what the tough issues stories are great for, putting you right in midst of things you'd never go through in your life.

Stories like Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher made me take a look back to the teenager I was back in high school. It made me wonder if my actions would ever have driven someone to commit suicide. I don't think I was a mean person in high school but there were a few people that I didn't like and didn't really go out of my way to be nice too.

I loved reading this book, being a part of this story was heartbreaking at the same time that it was captivating. Seeing how the actions of others drove a young girl to commit suicide made me want my daughter to read this and be aware of her actions at school. This young girl was bullied enough that she thought life wasn't worth living.

Stories that tackle tough issues are worth reading because you walk away from each story with a different lesson learned. Whether it's to be aware of the way you treat others around you or that drugs are addictive and can land you in rehab, or that incest does exist. These things happen in real life and for a few hours, you're introduced into different worlds and walk the footsteps of people/characters who are going through these things and you learn, you understand and I truly believe that teens that are of age should be reading and learning these things.

There are a million reasons why I enjoy reading books about the tough issues. Incest, drug abuse, abusive relationships, eating disorders, are all things that I've never had any personal experience with but reading about them through the lives of the characters in books have made me understand that they're real issues with real consequences and I've learned so much while reading these books. If it's done right, the issues will speak to me and will put me right there in the thick of everything. These books tackle real issues and real life, I can appreciate the lessons I learn while reading these books.

..and that's your scoop!

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