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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Foreign Exchange (Review)

Foreign Exchange
By: Denise Jaden

Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets. 

As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Kiss of Deception (Review)

The Kiss of Deception
By: Mary E. Pearson

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Remember Me (Review)

Remember Me
By: Romily Bernard

Wick had thought her troubles were over.

But she should’ve known better.

Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

Remember Me is an edge-of-your-seat thrilling read that’ll have readers turning the pages at lightning speed! The paperback of Find Me is on sale simultaneously, and a digital original novella from Romily, featuring Griff, is on sale just a few weeks before!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Goodbye Sammy Keyes

So, I wanted to try something different on the blog today. This is not so much a review as a book talk, to say goodbye to one of my favorite series ever: The Sammy Keyes series. 

The end of this series, snuck up on me. Like, seriously. I read my first Sammy Keyes book, Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, when I was in the fourth grade. It was a Sunshine State book, I remember this detail, because in Florida, a Sunshine State book is one of those state books recommended in schools. I didn't really know what it meant (and to be honest, I still don't, I mean, I get that it is a special honor) but if you read a certain number of Sunshine State books at my elementary school you got invited to a pizza party. To fourth grade me, that was a big deal. So I picked at random because it was the one that appealed most to me. Never would I imagine that it was the start of a 13 year journey. 

I fell in love with the series, easily. I read it in middle school when it was actually perfect for my age because it's a MG series, but I still continued reading it in high school and in college and after college. I wish I could say it wasn't my guilty pleasure or dirty little secret, but as I aged up, it sort of got embarrassing reading it in public, especially because I was trying to exude this air of maturity. But the thing about Sammy Keyes is that, I enjoyed it. 

It never felt immature to me. It was always relatable. Even in college. Even after college. 

When I was younger I related to Sammy Keyes so much and I still do. The only thing that's changed is that I used to wish I could be her, but as I grew older, I appreciated Sammy more because I've read so many books since then and there's never been a character like Sammy. I read it through different eyes. Where I used to be amazed in all the trouble Sammy got herself into, now I'm also sad, because it's really a lot for a child to carry on her own. But that's the thing about Sammy, she carries the burden well. 

When I ordered Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, I almost didn't want to read it. I didn't want to say goodbye, because the end of this series symbolized the end of something really scary for me. It was the end of a big part of my childhood. I literally grew up with this series and the Harry Potter series and I already said goodbye to one and I wasn't sure if  I could say goodbye to the other. 

Then I got the chance to meet Wendelin Van Draanen and her husband, earlier this year, and I got the chance to talk to them. I got the chance to tell them how much this series meant to me and listen to them as they gave me writing advice. I had a chance to have Wendelin sign all my copies of all my Sammy Keyes books and I got some inside scoop about the last book in the series: Sammy Keyes wouldn't be narrating the last book, Wendelin would. 

Unedited photo at Little Shop of Stories

To be honest, I had heard that but I didn't want to think about it. Especially after I had unknowing read the last Sammy Keyes book that would be narrated by Sammy, herself. 

But I did read it. Honestly...if felt so weird that Sammy wasn't narrating it. I missed her and her voice, especially because I didn't know that Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise was that last book to be narrated by Sammy. I understood why it was important for Wendelin to narrate this novel, especially because of the plot and the last scene in the novel. I understood...but...still, I wanted Sammy. 

The last book is wonderful though, it was like walking down memory lane. It brought up lots of past Sammy shenanigans and reflected on Sammy's relationship with the crew and just people in general. Sammy is just one of those people who has a lasting effect, you meet her once, and you never forget. So it was so nice to revisit that especially at the end. I loved that aspect. 

I loved the mystery of this book. Admittedly, it's not as featured as it is in past books, but I'm okay with that. This novel wasn't about the mystery, it was about saying goodbye to Sammy. It was about getting closure and seeing how everyone had changed. It did what it was supposed to do. It brought Sammy's story full circle. 

Although it was bittersweet, it allowed me to say goodbye to Sammy and company. Once I turned that last page, I closed the door on a part of my childhood that was very important to me. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Even in Paradise (Review)

Even in Paradise
By: Chelsey Philpot

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (41): In the Afterlight


Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds. 

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

1. It's so close that I can almost feel it – I want it
2. Someone on Goodreads pointed this out and now I can't unknown it: The Darkest Minds / Never Fade / In the After Light.
3. I want my secondary ship to sail.
4. It's the final book in a trilogy, I want to know what happens. 
5. Ruby and Cole!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Starry Night (Review)

 Starry Night
By: Isabel Gilles 

Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren’s heart beats. In Isabel Gillies's Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Reboot (Review)


By: Amy Tintera

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Anatomy of a Misfit (Guest Review)

Anatomy of a Misfit
By: Andrea Portes
Reviewed by: Annie

Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ruin and Rising (Review)

Ruin and Rising
By: Leigh Bardugo

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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