Monday, November 14, 2011

THE HUNGER GAMES TRAILER!

 Somehow can't embed youtube video but CLICK HERE

I'm sure by now most of you have already seen the trailer but I couldn't resist posting it. GAHHHHHHHH. I can not wait until the movie. I have my doubts about it, especially since the actors who play Gale and Peeta haven't grown on me yet but I have high hopes. 

I still need to review the trilogy. Will do that as soon as I reread them. 

Can't wait for March! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Dutton/2010/Young Adult/372 pages

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year or so, you've probably have seen lots and lots of raving reviews of Stephanie Perkins debut novel, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. I know I certainly have. But before all of the reviews started coming in, I was intrigued by the fact that the book takes place in PARIS! As someone who will be in AP French this fall and had this huge obsession with being an exchange student in France not too long ago (sadly my mother ruined those plans), I just had to get my hands on this book.

First off, I have to say that the title of this book is the kind of title that I'm embarrassed to be seen with. I can't help it! But I did enjoy it. It seriously made me smile because like I said, I love the French culture. And I loved that that I could pronounce all of the French names and knew; My French teacher has taught me so well.

Anna--loved that she's a film junkie and that she wants to be a critic, I liked critiquing shows, too! The only thing about that I didn't like is that she kept going on about how her father didn't send her a lot of money like the other parents did but she went to a cinema like everyday and French movie theaters are hella expensive from what my French teacher and business week says. But that's not important, just me being nit-picky. St. Clair was great. I like this relationship. But also, I really enjoyed Anna's friendship with the other students at the school.

From all the reviews I saw, I expected this book to immediately go on my all times favorite list; however, I only just enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on LOLA, which I hopefully I'll like better!

4 stars out of 5

Cover: D. I hate this cover. I don't like how you can see Anna's face but not St. Clair's. But more than that I just think it's so unoriginal.
Favorite Character: St. Clair!
Put-Down-Ability: 4

*Source: public library

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Push/2010/Young Adult/322 pages

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you wants to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL was amazing. This was my first time reading one of Siobhan Vivian's book and oh my gosh, I could not put this book down. This year has been the most stressful year and when I have the rare few hours that I can spending reading a book, the book had better be a good one for me to get through it.

First things first. I love anything feminism, it's just who I am. Natalie Sterling reminds me of myself.. I mean, both her and I have that feminist thing going on but wow I loved her even though I know for some people she might come off as whiny or too much of an overachiever. Vivian created a very realistic female character, and I'll even say that she is one of the most realistic characters I've seen in a long time.  From the very first chapter, I was hooked. In the first chapter or two, I wasn't sure where it was going. A lot of times when I read–especially when reading young adult–my mind starts guessing on what's going to happen (probably because I've read so many clichés and all). When the first significant guy was introduced, I was worried that he was going to be the love interest and I just thought there was no possible way for me to enjoy that relationship. Luckily, when I found out who the love interest was, I was happy.

I loved Connor. He's on the football team, his family has a local business selling Christmas tress, and Natalie thinks of him as somewhat of a manwhore or at least, a promiscuous guy. Now, I'm wary of most high school football players, but Connor surprised me. I loved how the relationship played out. NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL is wonderful. Can't wait to get my hands on more of Siobhan Viavian's books.

5 stars out of 5


Cover: C+/B- Definitely the type of cover that I'm embarrassed to be seen reading with and definitely the type of cover that I usually hate (guy/girl face to face or kissing) but that is close to what I imagined the characters to look like and yea.
Favorite Character: Natalie. As I'm sure you got from my review.
Put-Down-Ability: 1. The only time I put it down was during swim practice. In fact, I almost didn't go to practice because I stayed up until 2 in the morning reading this book (and that's how good this book is because my practice is at 7am. I had to wake up at 6:30 guys!). :D

*Source: public library

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today


On September 11, 2001, I was in the 2nd grade. I vaguely remember being inn my speech therapy session and another adult came in to talk to my speech therapist and seeing a look of disbelief on her face. I can't remember exactly what followed but I imagine, I was told to go back to my class. I remember my best friend at the time, who lived next door, coming over and we were going to watch TV. I grew up watching ABC and a whole lot of daytime TV. Of course, on all of the news station is was full coverage of the attacks, what seems like, 24/7. My eyes were drawn to the television, because unlike so many other children, I loved watching "adult" TV programs. I didn't fully understand what was happening but I knew it was bad. I watched on the TV screen, people crying and had their hands over their mouths to keep all of the dust out. I had to change the channel because my friend went, "Bianca, I don't want to watch anymore. My mom won't even turn the TV on because all she does is cry." 

The following year, the students were asked to bring any picture they had of their family members who were currently or were in the military. I brought a picture of my father in his Marines uniform that was taken over a decade ago. The whole third grade, put on a patriotic performance one night. We were all told to wear something patriotic. I remember that they showed a video of some troops and that we sung, "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. 

It feels like just yesterday when the Twin Towers were hit. Every year, I find myself reliving that moment because I can't help but watch no less than a dozen programs on 9/11. And this year was especially hard for me to watch them.

On this day, I remember the thousands of people who lost their lives. Rest In Peace. I will never forget. I also salute the troops who our fighting for our country. 


GOD BLESS AMERICA! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (1)


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

The Top Ten Books Bianca Read But Never Wrote A Review For 

All of these books I plan on rereading and writing a review for later on. Also, these aren't all necessarily my TOP, top ten books....and no particular order.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin -- Elsewhere easily made the top three books I read in 2010. This book was beautiful and very, very thought-provoking. I also read Zevin's debut novel Memoir of an Amnesiac and enjoyed that, too. I'm so happy that I recieved an ARC of her upcoming book, All These Things I've Done.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins -- You can't be a book blogger without seeing a crazy ton of praising reviews of this trilogy. I had this book sitting on my shelf for months and when I finally did pick it up I devoured it. I also went to Chicago and saw Collins on tour. :)

Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott -- This was the second Elizabeth Scott book I read, and I read it straight after finishing her debut, Bloom. Perfect You was a book that I ended up reading in one setting. I don't think think I even got up to use the bathroom. I didn't review this one because I hadn't started my book blog yet. Favorite book that I've read of Scott's.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver -- My cross country team last year had to hear me go on and on about how much I couldn't wait to receive and ARC of the book in the mail. And once I finally did get my hands on it, I loved it. My love for dystopian novels keeps growing.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld -- I read Prep during my freshman year and loved it. It actually became one of my favorite books which I was not expecting. The cover is terrible. But I guess that's why you should never judge a book by it's cover!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky -- Also another all-time favorite. I read this one, straight through, during middle school. This book is so wonderful and the main character, Charlie, is easily one of my favorite literary characters.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen -- This Lullaby is easily my favorite Dessen book and the only book of hers that I've read multiple times. The main character, Remy, is different from all her other main characters. She's more edgier, cynical.. And it features one of my favorite couples in YA.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling -- I honestly don't know how I haven't reviewed these books yet. They are my favorite books EVER and I am quite obsessed. I've definitely have reread them since I started my blogs and have had long blog entries on related HP things. I guess, I hesitant to write reviews since I know whatever I have to say will never do the books justice.


Just as Long as We're Together by Judy Blume -- The fact that I don't have any review of a Judy Blume book is terrible. I love her books; I grew up on them! Again, mostly, it's because I haven't read them in a really long time and definitely before I started Wicked Good Books. I plan on rereading them all in the next several months though.


Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian -- I read this book earlier this summer and just loved it. I love the feminism, the romance, the writing. It was wonderful. The review will probably be posted soon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Little Brown/2010/Young Adult/288

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.

This was easily my most anticipated book of 2010. From the moment I first read the synopsis, I was intrigued. Not only because the main character and I share the same name but also because I ADORE plots like this. I seriously can not get enough of enemies turned lovers or whatever.


I know that the conservative parents will be shaking their heads at Keplinger's debut novel but if you are looking for an edgy, realistic portrayal of teenagers, you should pick up this book. I had never heard of the term the DUFF before which is: The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. And I'm sure most of us have felt like that at one point in our lives, I know I sure have. 


Wesley (did I mention that I absolutely adore this name?) was great. I loved reading about how Bianca saw him at first and the progression between the two of them. Bianca's sarcasm and pessimistic personality was definitely a bonus to read about. She kind of reminded me of Sarah Dessen's character Remy from This Lullaby (which I love). By the end, I was rooting for them to have a relationship that was more than sex. 


I can't wait to read Kody's next book! 


4.8 stars out of 5

Cover: B-/C+ The cover definitely grew on me. When I first saw it, I thought, "Eh.." but now I feel its a good choice for the book. The girl has the over confident expression, which I think fits Bianca's personality. 
Favorite Character: I'm going to go with Bianca. But I also like Wesley. 
Put-down-ability: Could not put it down at all!! When I was finally able to check the book out from the library, I read this book in one setting. My goodness! I loved this book. 


*Source: public library

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

GET EXCITED!!!! HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS!

If you can't tell from the title of this post, I am super duper excited about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. Originally, I was only planning to see Part II but they sold out of all 2D tix and I don't want to see it in 3D so I ended up buying tix to see Part I & Part II. *SQUEEE*

#%@#$%^&*(&(&!!!!!!!%&()$!!!!

Not the official trailer but goodness! Snape is one of my favorite characters and I just can't wait to see how this is going to play out on the big screen! 


I can't believe that this is the last movie. I just can't believe it. I DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE IT. I have been to a lot of midnight releases/premieres for Harry Potter. It's hard to believe that this is the last one. :( I love HP. If you follow my twitter (@bianca1946) you'll know that I'm quite obsessed with it. I think JKR is a genius and HAVE YOU GUYS HEARD OF POTTERMORE

I was up way early in the morning last week (or was it 2 weeks ago?) to hear her announcement of it and attempted to get my email in dozens of times and it finally went through after an hour or so. Although, it doesn't officially open up until October, 1 million lucky fans will have the chance to beta the site and get on it early. I HOPE I'M ONE OF THEM. I hear you have to do a challenge and um, does anyone remember the days when JKR would post riddles on her site for us to figure out. If they are anything like that, the challenge will be hard. I'm somewhat worried. 

Oh, if you follow my twitter you might also notice that I talk whine about how much I wanted to go to LeakyCon. I SOOOOOO WANTED TO GO. And go to LitDay and Open at the Close and STARKID! Holy crap. Okay, I'm getting off. 

HAVE A VERY HARRY POTTER WEEKEND GUYS! <3 I just got a Slytherin shirt today and can't wait to wear it tomorrow night at the premiere! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: Alice in Charge by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Alice in Charge by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (#22)
Atheneum/2010/Young Adult/314 pages

At last, it's Alice in Charge--of her life, of her future...but, is it too much?

What I love about the Alice series is that even when it is the 22nd book, you can always count on Phyllis Reynolds Naylor to write about something new; they are never monotonous. I have been reading this wonderful, poignant series since I was in the 5th grade. In the few hours that it takes for me to read these books, I am transplanted to Silver Springs, Maryland and get to know Alice, her family and friends. Naylor has talked about suicide, first loves, Leukemia, etc. I didn't know what she would throw at us next.

This book takes place during Alice's first semester of her senior year. Can I just say that this alone almost made me cry. It's hard to believe that Alice is about to graduate and that Naylor is only writing 3 more books after this. In this book, Alice is the feature editor for her school's newspaper and I just love that it is actually a kinda big thing at her school, I love reading about it. There is a new guy at the school from Sudan, which I really enjoyed. And in this book, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, also presented the readers with a group of students at Alice's school that were part of a Neo-Nazi group. Yes, you read that right.

Patrick and Alice. Ahh...One of my favorite couples in fiction. Patrick has certainly changed so much over the years but in a completely good way. I loved reading the scenes between them. They have a long-distance relationship, well, actually it's nothing official but gosh, they are so great together. He graduated early from High School and is studying at the University of Chicago (yay for intellectual people!) and when he went back home to visit Alice....Short, but very sweet scenes!

Overall this wasn't my favorite book in the series, I don't know exactly which one is (I plan on rereading them soon) but its always great to read about Alice's life. Actually, this is the first time, I didn't pick up the book within a month of its release (didn't have the money to buy it and wasn't able to get it from my library until now) but Incredibly Alice is out now, so hopefully I can get that soon!!

Also, I'm sure all of you have heard about Wall Street Journal's ignorant article, I would just like to say that the Alice books continue to be one of the most frequent banned YA books (I think its holds the #2 spot?) but I'll tell you something. These books have changed my life for the better. I think they are so often overlooked but they are wonderful. #yasaves

3.8 stars out of 5
Cover: B- The Alice books have seen many different cover makeovers. But I have to say that the cover really intrigued me. It's rather simple but in YA you don't really see too many people of color on covers, unfortunately, and this is a very nice change!
Favorite Character: Alice. Duh.
Put-Down-Ability: 4/10. Some moments tend to drag on a little bit but overall, I didn't put it down much at all.

*Source: public library

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This Blog, Drama, and lots and lots of Anxiety.

HOLY HEAVENS! I did not mean for this post to be this long. Sorryyyyyy.

*oh and this post is filled with grammar mistakes. oops. sorry again.
Okay. So it's taken me awhile to figure out how to go about this post. I actually started typing but it ended up being such a long post that I just decided to cut it and put it on my personal blog since since I doubted you guys wanted to hear me complain about school. But here goes…

I want to take the time to apologize to all the readers of Wicked Good Books. You guys are awesome. I'm not sure how many of you guys actually read this blog anymore (not that there have been updates) but if you are reading this, I thank you. It truly means a lot to me. 

I had so many goals at the beginning of the year. So many challenges I was going to complete. I told myself that I would update every single day, read lots and lots of books and all of that good stuff. Unfortunately, junior year took me on a roller coaster ride. I know that its been said that junior year is the hardest year of them all but I thought I had it.

But then I got some teachers who didn't put in assignments that I knew I had done and turned in and which caused me to get a B+ instead of an A. I know I sound like such a freak but my GPA needed those A's! I got stuck in college algebra and college trigonometry, classes that I went to the principals, counselors, social worker to tell them that I wanted out. There was no reason for me to take these classes. I had all of my math credits. I should've been switched out; I did everything right. They didn't let me, my health begin to suffer. I've had asthma since I was 7 but it hasn't been really bad for years now; however, I also have anxiety disorders.

And lemme tell you, in the last 9 months, I have around 5 asthma and anxiety attacks. Two of which were during school, one of them, I actually even passed out. Out of the others, I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance and all of that good stuff. Most of these attacks were do to school related problems. But, you know, I would've definitely had suffer through all of those again for the month of May not to have happened. I should've known that with May 12 being my birthday, it was inevitable for May to be a terrible month.

I am in love with my theatre club at school. I've been in it since Freshman year, have worked on every single show (except the 2 small productions our new director wanted to do) and have wanted to be President since then. The seniors this year all wanted me to run because they felt that I would keep all of the traditions alive (which play a huge part in our club) and most importantly keep the group alive. They were telling me this stuff since September. But all of a sudden, this sophomore girl, who is probably the best actress in theatre and really popular decided to change from VP to Pres.

OKAY THE NEXT SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS ARE ABOUT THEATRE. LONG STORY SHORT: I didn't get president. I became depressed. But if you want to read about it, feel free. If not, just move on to the next bold part.

Next thing I know, she's begin to campaign. No one has ever campaigned for elections but she did, she bought sweets and passed out flyers; she was in 10th grade english honors right before I had my English class and wrote her name huge on the board pleading with students to vote for her; her boyfriend made them and their friends shirts writing a cool little slogan on it. I'm sorry, but I was too busy studying for the ACT and AP exams. Well, you probably guess what happened. It just so happened that all of her friends joined theatre this year and did the shows and they got to vote in the elections. I should've known I had no chance.

So, it shouldn't have been too much of a shock at the Renaissance themed banquet when they announce that the new President was not me. My closest of friends, knew how important this was to me. They heard me talk and complain, sick with worry that I wouldn't get it (I obsessed like no other, you wouldn't even believe) and once Her name was announced, they all looked at me. One even asked if she wanted me to take her home right then. I said no, since I was going to stick it out. But you have to understand something, the new officer list looked something like:

Pres - Her (will be junior)
VP - One of my best friends, who came to the school from a fancy private school this year, whose ONLY been in the club this year and has done only 3 shows with the club. But after Her went to run for Pres, she was the only one who was running. (will be senior)
Secretary - One of my friends. She said in her speech that she only was running because no one else was (will be senior)
Treasurer - Boy who will be junior next year. I feel bad that no one likes him and I know if he ran against anyone he probably wouldn't have got it.
Historian- Mostly only artists run for this but I don't get why, you're just making a scrapbook. Anyway, the girl who did win (BFF of President) did the very last show of the year, a very small, 3 week production. When the other people who ran, did ALL of the shows this year. Politics, I tell ya. 

I know I sound bitter about this whole ordeal but I'm not. I just wished elections were fair. This is the first year that seniors have been allowed to vote (which by the way, they all changed their vote to Her) and there was no trickle-down-system (talk about traditions!)

Anyway, back to the story. So I opted to stay at the banquet, but then, the other girl that ran for president, a girl that has become one of my closest friends this year, texted me from across the room asking if I wanted to go get a drink or something. I said yes, since I knew she would understand. The second that they were done taking pictures (I can't tell you how hard it was for me to watch that and the officers being sworn in) I ran to my friend's moms room (she's a teacher at the school) and I can't ever remember crying that much, in front of a teacher and friend. Good God, I sobbed my heart out.

My friend drove me around and we talked (well she did and I cried) about it. She was dealing really well since the previous week she didn't get the position of drum major and she'd wanted that since 5th grade. My mom called and ordered me home. And it was just hella bad. I was depressed, no joke. The banquet was Tuesday. I didn't go to school for a week. The next day, Wednesday, my friend came over and brought me ice cream and stuff. She told how everyone in AP Gov't was worried. :(  I missed going to graduation and seeing all of my friends graduate because I was in no shape to go out. My other awesome friend came over graduation night and his mom and him took me to a little restaurant. They definitely tried to get me to realize that it wasn't the end, I would have bigger and better things, "Bianca, please remember that all good things will come to you, if not today then tomorrow."

I actually wasn't planning to go back to school. I had a week left and at this point, the thought of going back just stressed me out. I had an anxiety overload. But then the damn social worker called. Yes, it was that bad. I'm lucky that I got to keep all of my credits. Due to all of my asthma/anxiety attacks, I missed a lot of days school 2nd semester. By a lot, I mean the attendance office had 10. Although, I swear, I feel like I missed at least 15....

I'm doing better. I'm still going to be apart of this theatre club, no matter what. I'm still going to try to do everything, I said I would do in the election. I'm going to do all the shows and also, I was willed down the Lead Critic for Cappies (this awesome cool international theatre program). Though, I'm doing better, I still find myself tearing up at the thought of not having apart in major decisions, etc. It hurts. I think the ONLY thing that would make up for this if I had the chance to go the International Thespian Festival in Nebraska (ONLY 3 HOURS AWAY FROM ME!!) and run/get elected Chairman or region II rep for International Thespian Officer. The only thing that's stopping me is $700 and it's probably too late to sign up.

I often feel that people don't understand how much I obsess about these type of things. I don't get like this very often. But I would've been so damn dedicated and would give up hours upon hours of sleep to make everything run smoothly. I have so many plans. But hey, that's life, I've learned.

OKAY I'M SORRY FOR THIS LONG RANT. I honestly, think she'll be a good president. I hope I didn't make her out to be a bitch, she isn't. She just did what she felt she needed to do. I'm going to live. This too shall pass.

OTHER NEWS: I took the SAT last Saturday and I pray that I got at least a 2000. I can't tell you how much I'm stressing out about not getting into my top school. I've wanted to go to Boston University since 5th grade. I had a really bad year and I wish I had a way of telling them, that my GPA does not equal how much potential I actually have.

I'm doing competitive swimming and it's going well. I just really need to start running. This is my last chance of going to State for cross country....Oh, and I have a job opportunity. I just came back from part 1 of training to be a lifeguard. I hope I get the job! This would be a wonderful experience ad my family and I could really use this money.

ABOUT WICKED GOOD BOOKS
So, not you pretty much know where I've been. What I've been up to. But I promise, Wicked Good Books isn't going anywhere, anytime soon. You're stuck with me. I will start posting reviews and stuff again this week! :-)

Biancaa

*Jeez. I can't believe that this was the condensed version. I posted the other version on my personal blog. I write too much. Always. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Blog Carnival Giveaway!!!!!!


I am participating in the awesome Spring Blog Carnival and giving away Rae by Chelsea Swiggett. 


Since she was a little girl, Rae Swiggett knew something was different about her. The sound of planes flying overhead could spark a panic attack. Being called on in class was enough to push her over the edge. She feared the unknown, life, death, people . . . even fear itself.

By the time she reached ninth grade, Rae was muddling through life in relative silence, convinced everyone was mocking her, judging her, picking her apart, bit by little bit. Rae knew she couldn't keep going on this way. She knew something had to give.

Details:
– DO NOT have to be a follower
– Giveaway is only open to the U.S. So sorry international readers!
– Ends May 8th. 


Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (44) + Winner of Mini-Challenge

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

REVIEW:
– Gary Goldschneider's Everyday Astrology
– Spy's Guide: Office Espionage
– Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Thanks Quirk Books and Simon & Schuster!

WON:
– (signed copy) City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Thank you so much Tara!

---------------

The winner of my mini-challenge for Princess Bookie's mini challenge is:

GABRIELLE! 

She has already been contacted and chose The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Mini-Challenge for Contest Craze

Hello! Today I am hosting this mini-challenge for Princess Bookie's awesome Contest Craze! Thanks Cindy for allowing me to host!

THE MINI-CHALLENGE

Answer one (1) of the following questions about a character in the book you are currently reading or the last book you finished:

1) What person, dead or alive, would she/he want to eat lunch with? Why?
2) What song describes a situation the character has faced or is currently facing? 
3) What book do you think this character would like to read? 

PRIZES
One winner will get to choose one of the following books:
• (ARC) The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
 • Rae: My True Story of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia by Chelsea Swiggett
• (Signed) Titus and Atreus by Meridi Myers



RULES:




US ONLY!!! I'm sorry to all my international readers. 
- Must answer one of the questions. 
- Please specify which book you would like to win. 
- Please leave a way for me to get in contact with you.

Extra Entry:
+1 If you are a follower.
You do not have to be a follower to enter! 


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han 
Simon & Schuster/May 5, 2009/Young Adult/276 pages
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY is a wonderful book to read if you want to feel closer to summer again, like I do. I didn't actually want to read this book because, and I don't know why, but I assumed that it was one of those type of summer books where 1) Girl goes to the beach and then 2) meets hot, charming boy that she never thought she could have but they end up falling in love. It isn't. 

Before I actually picked up this book, I had seen quite a few people reading it and seemed to be enjoying it. I finally got around to checking it out at the library and can see the appeal! The main character, Belly, has always to Cousins every summer since she was born. Belly's mother, Laurel, has been best friend with Susannah her whole life. Susannah has two kids, Jeremiah and Conrad. I knew from the start that she was going to have a relationship with one of them.

This book is amazing. Like I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the fact that The Summer I Turned Pretty is a summer book that has unexpected depth to it. The scenes with Susannah were emotional…I really enjoyed her character. I liked that she would always do things for Belly, like buy her things when her mom wouldn't. I also enjoyed the flashback scenes. Reading Belly's memories of past summers were a wonderful edition to the book.

I think my favorite thing about this book was how everyone was so close with one another. I liked that Belly had a close relationship with everyone and I really love seeing this in books.

*I read this quite some time ago so I'm a little foggy on some things. Will try to reread it again before I read the last book. 

3.6 stars out of 5


RATING
Writing: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Ending: 3.5/5
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Cover: C. The cover is pretty and every and definitely has that summer feel to it but its only okay.
Favorite Character: Belly...Susannah. Wonderful characters.
Put-down-ability: 3. Hard to put down!

*source: public library 

In My Mailbox (43)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

Gah! I have not posted an IMM in such a long time! These aren't all the books that I have received since my last one but I kinda just decided to do an IMM five minutes ago and these were the books I quickly grabbed.

For Review
From Egmont:
- Carmen by Walter Dean Myers
- Will Work for Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris
- Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
- My Life, the Theatre, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff
- Rich and Mad by William Nicholson (I got this some months ago...might've already showcased this)
- Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
- The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
- Hourglass by Myra McEntire
- Family by Micol Owstow
Thanks Egmont!


From Simon & Schuster:
- Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
- Stay by Deb Caletti
I'm actually not sure if these were surprise review copies or if I won them anyway, thanks S&S!

From Houghton Mifflin:
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Thanks Houghton Mifflin!

Won from Alea:
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Thanks Alea!

Bought from Half-Prize books:
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
- One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (not pictured)
For my English honors class we had to pick a 20th century novel from a list. I chose Catcher in the Rye but got the other books because I thought someone else would choose it but I also plan on reading them anyway. 


Hope you all got some great books this week!

**I did not get all of these books this week.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
Hyperion Book CH/2009/Young Adult/336 pages

Using the skills you've learned so far in Introduction to Psychology, please write a brief self-assessment describing how things are going in your freshman year. Presenting Concerns: The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots).

I really enjoyed the fact that  PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME is a Young Adult book where the main character is in college; there needs to be more YA books feature college aged characters. I read the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty, which I found really enjoyable, last year (or was it 2009?) and the main character starts off in high school and in the other books she is in college, but technically I found out that they're considered "adult" and not YA. I definitely think that its a nice change from the usual YA book that takes place in a high school setting. 

I picked up this book because the main character, Leigh Nolan, is a psychology major and that is something that I'm thinking about majoring in college myself. I loved how at the start of each chapter there is a little definition of psychology terms. The start of the book starts off with:
Psych Major Syndrome: A common affliction wherein a psychology major, overwhelmed by conditions, effects, and disorders, begins to overanalyze her own life

Alicia Thompson creates characters that are believable. Leigh goes to a small, liberal arts college. Her boyfriend also goes there. I didn't like him but I did really like Leigh and the other guy. I'm not going to use his name because I feel it would give it away, but once you're reading the book you'll know who it is right away.


This book did have it's downs. At parts it was a bit too slow for me but overall, this book was pretty good. I loved all the psychology references, like the Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank that Leigh had to fill in for one of her Psych classes. I liked that her parents studied tarot cards and all of that – that they named her Tuesday. I especially enjoyed when Leigh got assigned to go to a middle school and be a mentor for girls. Those scenes were great! 


I hope Alicia Thompson comes out with a new book. I'd love to read something else by her.




3.3 out of 5 Stars.
RATING
Writing: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Voice: 4/5
Ending: 3/5
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Favorite character(s): Leigh. 
Cover: 
D. I like the colors but the girl facial expression makes it looks like she has dazed off and whatnot...
Put-down-ability: 5. This was a pretty fast read! 

*Source: public library. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Princess Bookie's Mini Challenge: Most Anticipated

Princess Bookie's Mini Challenge is to post a blog entry on your most anticipated book!

I have a lot of books that I'm anticipating (really good books coming out this year!) But the book I picked to showcase is:

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Release Date: April 26, 2011
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.


I really enjoyed Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series ( you can read my reviews of Charmed Thirds, Fourth Comings, and Perfect Fifths) and I'm very curious to see how this book turns out. In the last year I've gotten extremely into dystopian novels.  Bumped sounds intriguing – a world where teens have babies? And they're considered the most prized members. I can't wait to get my hands on this!!


Other books I'm anticipating:
 Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
But I Love Him by Amanda Grace
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
The Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mini-Challenge: Princess Bookie's Name Your Star


This Mini Challenge Consists Of:
Date A Tv or Movie Star
-Close Your Eyes!
-Imagine You Just Won A Contest Consisting Of A Date (Dinner And A Movie)!
-FYI:Cartoon characters are exempt.  
-Mission
-Write A Blog Post Telling Me Who You Would Choose
-Explain Why You Choose Them
-Be Creative In Your Post (maybe include a picture of said person or tell me what you would order for dinner)

LLOYD DOBLER (played by John Cusack)! Holy crap. If you have seen the movie Say Anything (one of my favorite movies and definitely my favorite romance movie) you will understand why I chose him. 

I mean, of course I'm going to choose a guy that plays a boom box with "In Your Eyes" playing. And Lloyd is the sweetest thing ever. After our dinner, I hope it would be raining outside, so when we come to a puddle he'll take off his jacket and put it over it for me to walk over. 

A girl can dream can't she?

As for dinner I'm sure we'd go to a down to earth restaurant, and not anything fancy-smancy. We'd have some type of Mexican or Italian food. And raspberry lemonade (even if it is juvenile). 

***

Other runner up:
Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) from Criminal Minds
and some other people that I'm too lazy to name



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Princess Bookie's Contest Craze!


The wonderful Cindy at Princess Bookie has started her Contest Craze that will be running from March 9 to April 10! Make sure you head over to her blog and check out all the amazing prizes, contests, and mini challenges (one of which, I'm hosting)!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CSN Preferred Blogger!!

The ever so wonderful CSN has named be one of their Preferred Bloggers and is giving me an opportunity to review another one of their products.

CSN has over 200 stores and you can get everything from a bookcase to Eames lounge chair.

Thanks CSN!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Own Personal Reading Challenges: Judy Blume & Poetry

I know I have just cluttered my blog up with many reading challenges today but this is the last of them! These are challenges that I haven't seen on other blogs and so I just created my own. Feel free to join in!

I LOVE Judy Blume. I plan on rereading all of Judy Blume's Fudge books (5), MG books (9), and YA books (4) before 2011 is up. There are only one or two of her books in these categories that I haven't  read.

Goal: 18 books


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I've always loved poetry and now that I' have really been inspired to write my novel, poems and short stories and I have an even greater appreciation for them. I can't get enough!

How the challenge works: Read any kind of collection of poetry book. Or a book by a poet that might not necessarily be a collection of poems.

Charles Bukowski
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
Love Poems and Sonnets of William Shakespeare
Ariel by Sylvia Plath

Goal: 10 Books

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POC Reading Challenge 2011

I am definitely doing the the Persons of Color reading challenge again! You can sign up HERE.




Goal: Level 5 - Read 16-25 POC books 

Possibilities:
Angela Johnson
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

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BA Reading Challenges 2011

Bookish Adour's Reading Challenges look awesome! She has five different challenges on her blog and I'm going to be participating in three of them. Hey! Don't look at me like that. I have no control over myself when it comes to challenges.

DYSTOPIA CHALLENGE 
Dystopia Challenge
Goal: Contagion Level (15 books)
Possibilities:
1984 by George Orwell
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Feed by MT Anderson
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Giver by Lois Lowry
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Extras by Scott Westerfeld
1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
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THE COMIC CHALLENGE
The Comic Challenge
Goal: Zoink! Level (15 comics)
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OFF THE SHELF!
Off The Shelf!Goal: Trying Level (15 books)
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The TwentyEleven Challenge

I couldn't resist! This challenge looks like so much fun! The challenge is hosted by Bart's Bookshelf and pretty much there are 11 categories that you need to read at least 1 book from each category (and a max of 2) with a total of 20 books altogether. Meaning you can pick two categories where you only need to read one book and in the nine others, you'll read two. 

I have listed the categories with possibilities of the books I want to read for them italicized. Bold is what I read for it. 

1. To YA or not YA (since I read mainly YA, I have to read an adult fiction title or two)
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult 

2. …With a Twist (sub-genres)
Dystopian (that is a romance) -- Delirium by Lauren Oliver 

3. Hot off the Presses (book published in 2011)

4. It Wasn't Me! aka Bad Bloggers (picked up solely on the recommendation of another blogger)

5. Show it Who is Boss! (book has to be already on your bookshelf as of 1/12/10)
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Inside The Mind of Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller 

6. Bablefish (book has to be translated from a language that is not your own)

7. Will-Power? What Will-Power? (book that is bought new during 2011)

8. Mind the Gap (last book you need to complete to duology/trilogy/series)

9. Back in the Day (reread an old favorite)

10. Way Back When (read a book that was published before you were born...for me that is 1994)

11. Slim-Pickings (any book between 90-150 pages)

YA of the 80s & 90s Challenge 2011

YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge

I just found out about this cool challenge that The Book Vixen is hosting and would love to participate! It's pretty simple, all you have to do is read YA books that orginally came out in the 80s or 90s. I feel really confident about this challenge since a lot of the books that I've been planning on rereading or reading for the first time are in these decades! 

Goal: 15 books 

Some books that I'll probably (re)read:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
Just As Long as We're Together by Judy Blume
Letters to Judy by Judy Blume

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Movies Watched In 2011

Decided to keep track of the movies I watch this year. Will probably keep it in one master list and write a short opinion about the movie next to the titles. We'll see.

Goal: 60 Movies

January:
1. (rewatch) The Parent Trap (1998)
I first saw this movie when I was a little kid. I have seen this movie probably at least 40 times. I think it is a wonderful family movie! 8/10
2. Lean On Me

GLBT Challenge 2011


Signing up for the GLBT Challenge once again! This year there are no levels which is fine by me, since I think I'll do better like this, just at my own pace.

I don't have specific books that I'd like to read but here are some possibilities:
(reread) The Perks of Being a Wallflowers by Stephen Chbosky
Alex Sanchez
My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman
Ash by Malinda Lo
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan
other David Levithan books
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
Torn by Amber Lehman
Julie Anne Peters
Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger


Goal: Read 10 books