From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alison Pace: Pug Hill

In May, I read A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace and adored it. Recently, I was given the opportunity to see where the story all began when I received a copy of Pug Hill (now available in paperback) for review.

With a relationship that makes her unhappy and a crush on an unavailable co-worker that makes her feel silly, Hope McNeill doesn't have the best luck in the romance department. Her apartment is too small to get the dog she wants. And though she works the coolest job -- she restores paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art -- she rarely sees the sunlight during working hours.

But she has Pug Hill, a spot in Central Park where she can watch pugs prance and frolic, which gives her a sense of peace and comfort. When she can't escape to the park, she has her favorite Zoloft commercial saved on her DVR.

After her parents ask her to give a speech at their anniversary party, Hope begins to panic and obsess. About a lot of things, like how she needs to stop sitting around and waiting for her life to begin. But first, she must learn to face her fears.

When she signs up for a public-speaking class at the New School, she meets an eccentric group of people, including a gay poet, a hot, well-dressed man who says "dude" a lot, and an angry novelist. Through the weekly class assignments and getting to know her classmates, Hope discovers things about herself (bad habits, poor choices), gains self-confidence, and learns to love and forgive not only herself for past mistakes, but the people around her.

Pug Hill is a charming book filled with whimsical characters, adorable pugs, and a realistic, likeable heroine.

I really enjoyed reading the beginning of Hope's story and related to her frustrations and fears. Even better, I cheered her on and delighted in her journey and growth.

If you like dogs, read this book. If you're single and overwhelmed by social expectations, read this book. If you enjoy fun, sweet stories, read this book.

I highly recommend it.

For more information on Alison Pace, visit:
@alisonpace
alisonpace.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

On Hiatus

I've been updating this blog for over two years, and it's been a fantastic experience. I've read great books, connected with cool authors, and met amazingly kind people.

But, lately, I haven't had content (zero access to new releases, thanks to a small library with an even smaller budget and my personal non-existent bank account) to update daily, and it's causing more stress than joy.

With that, it's time for a hiatus. If I come across any really incredible books, I'll be right here raving about them.

Until then, enjoy a beautiful, blessed fall season.

Photo courtesy of Carpe Cupcakes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Castle Premiere Tonight!




Don't forget to tune in to the season premiere of "Castle" on ABC tonight @ 10/9c.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Vampire Diaries & The Secret Circle



Don't miss the season premiere of "The Vampire Diaries" on the CW tonight @ 8/7c.


AND




The series premiere of "The Secret Circle" on the CW tonight @ 9/8c.

Thoughtful Thursday

"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."

~ Anne Frank

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Elizabeth Scott: The Unwritten Rule

I've recently become a fan of Elizabeth Scott's writing, so I'm reading as many of her books as I can. I just finished The Unwritten Rule.

Sarah and Brianna are best friends. They've known each other forever.

Brianna is dating Ryan. Sarah has had a crush on him forever.

But Sarah knows the unwritten rule. Every girl does: "You don't like your best friend's boyfriend."

So Sarah keeps her feelings to herself until something unexpected happens with Ryan. Now she's riddled with guilt. She doesn't want to betray her best friend. She doesn't want to break up Brianna and Ryan. But she doesn't want to miss her chance at love.

Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of stories like this, but Elizabeth Scott created a genuine, likeable character. Sarah's inner dialogue of longing mixed with guilt and loyalty to her friend was authentic.

But this isn't just a story fraught with high school boy-girl drama. There's also an exploration of Brianna's home life, which is mentally abusive and spills into her friendship with Sarah. Despite a close friendship and fun times, it's often hurtful and manipulative.

More than anything, the story is about a girl discovering her independence and deciding to take her own path and find her way.


For more information on Elizabeth Scott, visit:
@escottwrites
elizabethwrites.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sneak Peek: Crossed

Crossed by Ally Condie will not be available until November 1, but you can check out the first two chapters at Entertainment Weekly's website!









For more information on Ally Condie, visit:
@allycondie
allysoncondie.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Must Read: Virals

Kathy Reichs is giving YA Fiction a try with Virals. As a fan of her Bones series, I'm definitely adding this new series to my "must read" list.

Synopsis:
Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.

As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot-if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent. Fortunately, they are now more than friends: They are a pack. They are Virals. 



For more information, visit:
@KathyReichs
kathyreichs.com

Sunday, September 11, 2011

2001-2011



"The world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."

~ Helen Keller

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”

~ J.D. Salinger (The Catcher In The Rye)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Must Read: The Future Of Us

I cannot wait for the publication of The Future Of  Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (November 21)!

Synopsis:
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.

For more information, visit:
facebook.com/thefutureofus

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

"This is my new hobby. I watch my life
depart minute by minute.
I anticipate the end of everything
and anything--a conversation,
a class, track practice,
darkness--only to be left
with more clock-watching to take its place.
I'm continually waiting for something
better that never comes.
Maybe it would help
if I knew what I wanted."

~ Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lauren Kate: Passion

I'm a big fan of Lauren Kate's Fallen series, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on Passion.

Luce and Daniel are soulmates, destined to find each other and fall in love over and over again throughout time. Unfortunately, their love story always has a tragic ending. Luce dies and Daniel mourns until they meet again in another life.


Now Luce is determined to find answers and sets off on a journey through time to witness her past lives with Daniel. Her travels take her to Russia, England, China, and Jerusalem, to name a few. She witnesses major wars, sees the wonders of the world, and meets royalty. But she also watches a previous version of herself meet Daniel and then burst into flames when they fall in love. It's not easy, but she knows she'll find a way to break the curse that has followed her around for centuries.

Luce isn't the only one traveling through time. Daniel is on a journey of his own, desperate to find Luce and keep her from interfering with the past and rewriting history.

She's also being followed by Cam, several fallen angels, and outcasts determined to stop Luce's journey. The balance of good and evil is threatened by Luce's curiosity, and her journey isn't just a threat to her future, but the future of the world as we know it.

I have to admit that I almost gave up on this book and returned it to the library after only 50 pages. It took me awhile to get into the story. But once I did...wow! Intriguing.

As a history buff, I loved the time travel and felt like I was actually visiting the ancient Pyramids or watching a Shakespearean play at the Globe Theatre. It was obvious that Lauren Kate did a lot of research and carefully planned the story, which made it a fascinating read.

The action tumbled and built until the story's intense conclusion. I was on the edge of my seat and can't believe I have to wait until next year to find out how it all ends.

For more information on Lauren Kate, visit:
@laurenkatebooks
laurenkatebooks.net

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hunger Games Trailer



Jenny Hubbard: Paper Covers Rock

I saw Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard on the new release shelf at my local library and really liked the title, so I brought it home with me.

Set in 1982 at an all-boys boarding school, the story follows sixteen-year-old Alex and Glenn as they try to cope with the drowning death of their classmate Thomas.

Alex feels guilty, like he could have done more to save Thomas, and keeps all of his thoughts in a private journal hidden in the school's library behind an ignored copy of Moby Dick. It's through his writing, which also includes letters, poetry, and class assignments, that readers learn more about the events that lead up to Thomas's drowning. We also learn that Alex is a very talented writer, something his English teacher Miss Dovecott recognizes, encourages, and nurtures.

This makes Glenn paranoid. He thinks Miss Dovecott knows more about the drowning and the role they played and is using Alex to get more information about what happened and maybe pry a confession out of them. That's when he decides to devise a plan to get her fired.

Alex must choose between his friendship with Glenn, his feelings for Miss Dovecott, and his future as a student, which only adds to his guilt and confusion.

Paper Covers Rock is a powerful look at the many layers of boarding school life, especially honor and loyalty. I thought the use of Alex's journal was a smart storytelling technique, entwining literary quotes, observations of the world around him, and the innermost thoughts of a teenage boy brilliantly.

I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by Jenny Hubbard.

For more information, visit:
papercoversrock.co

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary Jessica Darling!

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty was first published on August 28, 2001. Can you believe it's been 10 years since we first met Jessica Darling?

If you've read it (And if you haven't, WHY? Read it. Now.), I'd love it if you left a comment with your favorite quote from the book.

I'll share mine this Thursday. =)

And, again, if you haven't read it (Seriously?), here's the Synopsis:

"My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? . . . I don’t see how things could get any worse."


When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?


A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment--from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious "Dreg" who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

I'm not kidding. Read this book. If fact, read the series. It's one of my favorites!




For more information on Megan McCafferty, visit:
@meganmccafferty
meganmccafferty.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday First

What is the first line of your favorite book?

Here's mine:

"A mile above Oz, the witch balanced on the wind's forward edge, as if she were a green fleck of the land itself, flung up and sent wheeling away by the turbulent air."

~ Gregory Maguire (Wicked)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


"Read to your heart's content.
Though if you are a reader,
the heart is never content."

~ Jenny Hubbard (Paper Covers Rock)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Bully (Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories)

I was bullied as a kid. By classmates and teachers. I was told it was just a part of growing up.

I've been bullied as an adult. By friends, strangers on the internet, and co-workers. The adult bullies insisted they were not bullies and the people claiming to be bullied were simply "weak."

It hurt every time. It was wrong every time. 

As a longtime resident of Western Massachusetts, the Phoebe Prince story really broke my heart. All of the stories break my heart. Because I've been there and know how hopeless it feels.

That's why I'm glad the Dear Bully anthology (September 1) was put together. I'm looking forward to reading it and hope everyone--bullies and those who feel lost and alone because of bullying--will read it.

Synopsis:

You are not alone.

Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.


Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.

For more information, visit:
dearbully.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Must Read: The Name of the Star

I love Maureen Johnson's books. I'm fascinated by the Jack the Ripper mystery. The Name of the Star (September 29) is the PERFECT book for me.

Synopsis:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city — gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, what is he planning to do about her?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. 



For more information on Maureen Johnson, visit:
@maureenjohnson
maureenjohnsonbooks.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sara Shepard: Twisted

In the span of two weeks last year, I devoured Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars Series. So good! Imagine how surprised I was to find out the series would continue with four more books. So excited!

Twisted picks up one year later. Alison's disappearance, which was a mystery that captivated both the town and national media, has been solved. And the relentless messages from "A" that tortured Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna have stopped.

But a much-needed relaxing spring break vacation to Jamaica doesn't go as planned. In fact, it drives a wedge between the friends, and they want nothing more than to forget everything about the trip.

And things aren't going so well for them individually either.

Aria's boyfriend has a sexy exchange student living with his family. And she's determined to get Aria out of the picture.

Hanna's dad is running for Senate, which brings them closer together until a photo scandal threatens everything.

Emily, after taking some time off from swimming, is determined to get back in shape and score a scholarship. And it looks like she might be close to making her dreams come true--and meeting a new best friend--until she's caught in a compromising position with an older man.

Spencer's found a new friend, who has the potential to become more than a friend. Problem is, he could possibly end up being her future stepbrother. Plus, he's got a secret that might destroy everything.

Still, things are about to get worse for the girls. So much worse. Haven't they learned by now that secrets never stay buried?

The title of this book speaks for itself. The lies are more twisted. The plot takes many twists and turns. And just when you think things couldn't get crazier, they do.

I couldn't put this book down. Every page oozed suspense, treachery, and dishonesty. It was the ultimate guilty pleasure.

I cannot wait to see what the pretty little liars get into next!

For more information on Sara Shepard, visit:
@sarabooks
prettylittleliars.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jennifer Hubbard: The Secret Year

I'm so excited that I finally got the chance to read The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard. It's been on my "to read" list for a LONG time.

Julia is from the rich, privileged world on Black Mountain.

Colt lives in the working class flats.

On the outside, it appears as if they have noting in common, but a late-night chance encounter at a local bridge leads to a one-year love affair. A secret love affair hidden from friends, family, and especially Julia's boyfriend Austin.

But a tragic car accident on Labor Day kills Julia and leaves Colt to mourn, come to grips with his guilt, and try to get over her. It's not easy because, just like his relationship with Julia, he has keep his sadness, confusion, and guilt private. And things become more complicated when he is given Julia's diary, which covers their year together in graphic detail.

All Colt wants to do is move on, but reading Julia's words opens old wounds and haunts him. But, more than that, makes him realize that she wasn't really his girlfriend in the first place.

This book was worth the wait. I thought the characters were strong and well-written. The story, which alternated between present tense, Colt's memories, and Julia's point-of-view via her private journal, was well-crafted, painting a portrait of grief, passion, and a harsh class war that was both palpable and touching.

The Secret Year was an impressive debut novel, and I look forward to reading future books by Jennifer Hubbard.

For more information on Jennifer Hubbard, visit:
@JennRHubbard
jenniferrhubbard.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Delirium: The Special Edition

The Special Edition of Delirium by Lauren Oliver is in stores now!

Not only does it feature this gorgeous new cover, it also includes a sneak peak at the sequel Pandemonium (coming March 2012) and a Q&A with the author.

You can check out my review of Delirium by CLICKING HERE.

And in even more exciting news, both Delirium and Before I Fall (my review is HERE) have been optioned for film by Fox 2000 pictures. Congrats, Lauren!

For more information on the Special Edition of Delirium, visit:
harperteen.com/feature/delirium

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coming Soon: Out of Sight, Out of Time

 Ally Carter revealed the cover art for the new Gallagher Girls novel, Out of Sight, Out of Time (in stores March 20, 2012) on her blog.

Fabulous! I love it!

Here's more info on the book:

With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet.

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.


I. Cannot. Wait.

For more information, visit Ally Carter at:
@OfficiallyAlly
allycarter.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tara Kelly: Amplified

Tara Kelly asked readers to suggest their favorite contemporary realistic YA Fiction novels/authors. Even better than creating a great discussion, adding new titles to my "must read" list, and generating a fabulous list of books (which you can find by CLICKING HERE), it put me in the running to win one of many great books, including Tara's upcoming release Amplified (in stores October 25). And I won!

Seventeen-year-old Jasmine Kiss just graduated from high school and isn't ready for four more years in a classroom.  She wants to put college on hold and pursue her dream of being a guitarist in a band, which doesn't make her father happy at all. He kicks her out of the house, and she's on her own.

She packs her amp and guitar into her not-so-reliable car and heads to Santa Cruz. Without a place to live and very little money, she scans the classifieds where she finds an ad for a band (C-Side) not only looking for a new guitarist, but a roommate. Two birds, one stone.  The only problem is that C-Side is looking for an experienced MALE guitarist. And Jasmine has a major case of stage fright. But she auditions anyway, knowing she can convince them to change their minds.

Up against a mountain of obstacles--band members who think she's a spoiled, rich girl who could never fit in, a crush on the bassist, and trying to hide her stage fright and inexperience--Jasmine stumbles a bit, but is determined to prove herself and her talent to make her dreams come true.

I really enjoyed this book. It had the feel of a really great episode of VH1's "Behind The Music," fraught with band quarrels, love affairs gone wrong, parties, the struggle to succeed, and an ultimate triumph. The characters were quirky, angsty, smart, and talented. The music reverberated off the pages. Tara Kelly really knows how to write rockin' music scenes.

Amplified is a gritty, rock 'n' roll, roller-coaster ride. 

For more information on Tara Kelly, visit:
@AuthorTaraKelly
thetaratracks.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


"Anger can try to break your heart,
but sorrow is what will.
What can. What does.

~Elizabeth Scott
(Between Here And Forever)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Elizabeth Scott: Between Here and Forever

I was very fortunate to win a copy of Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott! I really enjoy her writing and couldn't wait to read this one.

Abby is seventeen years old and has always lived in the shadow of  older sister Tess. Everyone loves Tess. She's pretty, popular, and makes good grades. She's perfect.

When a car crash on New Year's Day leaves Tess in a coma, Abby finds the shadow has gotten bigger. In fact, it's enveloping her. But it doesn't matter. She'd rather live in Tess's shadow than live without her.

Her schedule is quite simple: wake up, go to school, visit Tess at the hospital, then go home to sleep. Abby's life is on hold for Tess, which she doesn't mind because she knows it will be worth it when Tess makes a full recovery.

She even enlists the help of Eli, a gorgeous, rich boy who works in the hospital gift shop. Abby is convinced that hearing Eli's voice will coax Tess out of her coma and that Eli will fall madly in love with her. Because everyone loves Tess.

Instead, she finds herself intrigued by Eli and enjoying his company. But Eli is meant for Tess, so Abby pushes him away and denies her feelings.

Her guilt about Eli and conversations with Tess's best friend from high school and her college roommate trigger random memories that make Abby think she doesn't know everything about her sister after all. Maybe Tess wasn't as perfect as everyone thought she was.


Flashbacks provide background and insight into Tess, who may be in a coma, but is very alive on each and every page.

All in all, this was a heartbreaking story. Abby was a fascinating character. Insecure and broken, her emotions were electric. I felt her desperation. I understood her self-deprecation. But more than anything, I wanted her to be happy and stand in the sun.


I enjoyed this book. Elizabeth Scott handled sadness, depression, and the road to recovery with sensitivity and a unique voice.

For more information on Elizabeth Scott, visit:
@escottwrites
elizabethwrites.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Book Birthday: Juliet Immortal

Today is publication day for Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. Happy book birthday, Stacy!

Not only is the cover beautiful, but the story sounds intriguing. (More than a few of my college credits were dedicated to the study of Shakespeare.)

Synopsis:
"These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare



The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.


For more information on Stacey Jay, visit:
@Stacey_Jay
staceyjay.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011


Book Blogger Appreciation Week is next month!

From the official website:
"Book Blogger Appreciation Week is an annual celebration of book blogs. It’s a jam packed week dedicated to acknowledging the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to preserving our culture of literacy. This year’s celebration takes place September 12-September 16th. The week includes guest posts, daily activities, giveaways, games, special podcasts, and an awards program exclusively devoted to book blogs."

For more information, visit:
bookbloggerappreciationweek.com

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flashback Friday: Favorite Children's Books

Below are just four of my favorite books from childhood. What were some of yours?





Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


"His mind followed a dozen terrible paths
until he realized, with some comfort,
that there was nothing he could do, really,
about his situation.
He could only sail straight
and hope for the best."
 ~Dave Eggers (The Wild Things)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Judging A Book By Its Cover


This is one of my new favorites. I love the old typewriter keys and how the title and author's name fit into the heart-shaped characters above it.  It's simple, but eye-catching.

Do you have a favorite book cover?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New: Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever, the sequel to Sara Shepard's The Lying Game is out now!

Synopsis:
My perfect life was a lie.


Now I’d do anything to uncover the truth.


Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for: amazing friends, an adorable boyfriend, a loving family. But none of them know that I’m gone—that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad.


And my killer is watching her every move.


I remember little from my life, just flashes and flickers, so all I can do is follow along as Emma tries to solve the mystery of my disappearance. But the deeper she digs, the more suspects she uncovers. It turns out my friends and I played a lot of games—games that ruined people’s lives. Anyone could want revenge . . . anyone could want me—and now Emma—dead.

For more information on Sara Shepard, visit:
@sarabooks
prettylittleliars.com/the-lying-game

Monday, August 1, 2011

Must Read: Forgotten

When I'm bored, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. I know I'm not alone in this addiction, which makes me feel less guilty. Facebook has become nothing more than marketing, and it's creepy the way it takes your status update and immediately churns out 10 ads about the topic at hand or, worse, suggests 10 random strangers who like or talk about the same things.

Anyway, as I share my book blog with Facebook friends, I get a lot of book ads and suggestions. This is a GOOD thing. A few days ago, I saw the book cover for  Forgotten by Cat Patrick and was intrigued. I immediately clicked "like" and added the book to my "must read" list.

Synopsis:
Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.


When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

For more information on Cat Patrick, visit:
@seecatwrite
catpatrick.com

Friday, July 29, 2011

Must Watch: The Secret Circle

I'm such a television addict. If I didn't read so much, I might feel guilty about it.

The fall television season is upon us, and I'm already making out my schedule of returning favorites and premieres that I can't miss!

On that list is The Secret Circle on the CW!

Synopsis:
Cassie Blake was a happy, normal teenage girl - until her mother Amelia dies in what appears to be a tragic accidental fire. Orphaned and deeply saddened, Cassie moves in with her warm and loving grandmother Jane in the beautiful small town of Chance Harbor, Washington - the town her mother left so many years before - where the residents seem to know more about Cassie than she does about herself. As Cassie gets to know her high school classmates, including sweet-natured Diana and her handsome boyfriend Adam, brooding loner Nick, mean-girl Faye and her sidekick Melissa, strange and frightening things begin to happen. When her new friends explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they've been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of the Secret Circle, Cassie refuses to believe them - until Adam shows her how to unlock her incredible magical powers. But it's not until Cassie discovers a message from her mother in an old leather-bound book of spells hidden in her mother's childhood bedroom, that she understands her true and dangerous destiny. What Cassie and the others don't yet know is that darker powers are at play, powers that might be linked to the adults in the town, including Diana's father and Faye's mother - and that Cassie's mother's death might not have been an accident.

Based on the novels by L.J. Smith (The Vampire Diaries), the show premieres Thursday, September 15 @ 9/8 central (check your local listings).




For more information on The Secret Circle & L.J. Smith, visit:
cwtv.com
ljanesmith.net


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meet Gale & Peeta!

The new issue of Entertainment Weekly hits newsstands Friday, July 29 and features Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) and Liam Hemsworth (Gale) from the Hunger Games movie. Nice!

For more information on the feature, visit:
popwatch.ew.com

Becca Fitzpatrick: Crescendo

I loved Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush (you can read my review HERE), so I knew I had to read Crescendo.

When we last saw Nora Grey, someone had tried to kill her and she had just started a relationship with her guardian angel Patch (but don't let the word "angel" fool you--he's anything but angelic).

Now she's juggling summer school, a job search, and a social life.  Patch seems distant. In fact, he seems interested in someone else altogether. An old family friend, Scott Parnell, is back in town, and Nora can't help but feel he's dangerous. And, to add to her stress and confusion, she can't stop having visions of her father's murder. Clearly, things aren't going to get easier for her in this sequel.

She quickly becomes obsessed with finding out more about the day her father was murdered and her Nephilim blood line and dives head-first into solving the mystery. Alone. With each question answered, Nora puts herself, her friends, and her family in danger. 

Honestly, the book took a while to get going, and I put it to the side more than once to read something else. But once the action picked up, it was heart-pounding and captivating until its jarring conclusion. I stayed up very late, willing my eyelids to stay open, because I couldn't wait until the next day to find out how it ended.

Crescendo has a little bit of everything -- angst, romance, suspense, and a sympathetic heroine -- and is definitely worth a read. I'm glad I stuck with it!

I'm looking forward to the publication of Silence in October.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Must Read: Small Town Sinners

I've never read any of Melissa Walker's books, but Small Town Sinners has caught my attention!

Synopsis:
Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.

Melissa Walker has crafted the perfect balance of engrossing, thought-provoking topics and relatable, likable characters. Set against the backdrop of extreme religion, Small Town Sinners is foremost a universal story of first love and finding yourself, and it will stay with readers long after the last page.




For more information on Melissa Walker, visit:
@melissacwalker
melissacwalker.com

Friday, July 22, 2011

Must Read: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

Due to the success of Lauren Kate's Fallen series, one of her previous books, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (originally published in 2009), is getting a second chance in paperback. And I really want to read it!

Synopsis:
A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake


Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school's Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn't share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie's nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party - when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.


From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should've messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.


Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.

For more information on Lauren Kate, visit:
@laurenkatebooks
laurenkatebooks.net

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sara Shepard: The Lying Game

Though I didn't review the books, I devoured Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series last summer. It was beyond addictive. So there was no doubt in my mind that I'd read The Lying Game. And guess what? It's just as addictive!

Emma Paxton longs for the feeling of connection that comes with family. Her mother abandoned her when she was five years old, forcing her to live in foster homes.


One afternoon, her foster brother shows her a disturbing online video, featuring a girl who looks just like her. Could it be that Emma has a long-lost twin sister? Realizing she has nothing to lose, she decides to hop a bus, travel across the country, and meet her twin in person.

Sutton Mercer may look like Emma, but that's where the similarities end. Sutton has grown up in a life of privilege, surrounded by a supportive family, a doting boyfriend, and devoted best friends.


Instead of a happy reunion, Emma finds that Sutton is missing. Even more perplexing, Sutton's family and friends believe Emma is Sutton. Now Emma must play the part of a girl she knows nothing about while trying to solve the mystery of her disappearance. It's not long before she discovers that Sutton and her friends are entitled mean girls who play horrible pranks on everyone around them.

Is Sutton's disappearance a prank?

Or did someone get the ultimate revenge?

The Lying Game was definitely an edge-of-your-seat page-turner. The tension was palpable. The investigation into Sutton's disappearance was thrilling. The characters were downright diabolical.

My only complaint was that it didn't give me all the answers I wanted. Needless to say, I cannot wait to read the sequel Never Have I Ever in August.

For more information on Sara Shepard, visit:
@sarabooks
prettylittleliars.com/the-lying-game
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