Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #3

Property of Pen to Paper!

First of all, before I begin, I would like to wish all of you guys a HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Some of you may not celebrate it, but I think most all will. So may you guys have a wonderful time celebrating and dressing up and gather with friends. Also, congratulations to dentists. You'll get a boost in income soon. If anyone would like to spare going to the dentist, you can forward your candy to me! 

So for this Wednesday, in honor of Halloween, I tried to come up with a spooky book. But there was one book that actually kept popping up in my mind. 

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

It feels like I saw this on every blog before I came out. It was forever popping up on every other blog in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (which is still going on, I believe). Just for the fact that I was always seeing it and for the whole zombie thing, I refused to want to read it. I haven't been too interested in the whole zombie plot trend. So why is this on my Wishlist Wednesday? 

I actually read the back cover at Walmart. When I usually wait for my dad to get done grocery shopping every week, I wander through the (now pretty pitiful) book section, searching to find something good to pass the time away. I saw it and thought, "Is this really as good as all the hype I see?"

I read the back cover and was hooked. I then read a chapter or two before I had to go find my dad since I already wasted a good chunk of time beforehand reading magazines. Three words that went with me: 


I couldn't put it down for that short of time and was so disappointed that I had to. So now I'm going to push my procrastinator self into searching it on the library. 

What are you wishing for? If you've read Alice in Zombieland, did you like it? 
Are you excited for the Halloween festivities? 

So what do you need to do to join in? 
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: WINTER WHITE by Jen Calonita

Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are still reeling from the revelation that they share more than just the roof over their heads. The media has pounced on their story and the girls are caught up in a flurry of talk-show appearances and newspaper interviews. They've put on a happy public face, but someone is leaking their true feelings to the press, and while it seems like the world is watching their every move, at least they have each other.

But with cotillion season right around the corner, Izzie and Mira have barely had time to process their newfound sisterhood. Mira has dreamed of making her debut in a gorgeous white gown forever-now, if only she could find an escort. Izzie, meanwhile, is still struggling to find her place in Emerald Cove and it's seeming ever more impossible with EC mean-girls, young and old, doing their best to keep her down. As cotillion preparations heat up, though, there are dance steps to learn, manners to perfect... and secret initiations to complete? As if sophomore year wasn't hard enough!

It's time for the gowns to go on and the gloves to come off.

*WARNING* This is a sequel. If you have not read the first book, you might not want to read this review. So go buy it/borrow it/get it from the library/steal it (okay, don’t do that one!). Then come back here.

First off, I adore Jen Calonita. I've read every one of her books, own a few, and get them from the library constantly. Her books are ones that I love to just curl up and relax with. Her characters feel real and amazing and I want to be like them. I stinking love her books.

Her first book in the series, Belles, was great. I loved the plot and how she created the characters. I didn't have just one main girl character to enjoy, I had two. When you have two main characters, it’s easy to not feel connected with them, especially in third person. But I didn't feel that way at all with Izzie and Mira. I read it once then got it for my birthday a couple months ago. Right when I found out there was a sequel, I pre-ordered it. My day got even better when it arrived early. Who doesn't love getting books in the mail? Finally, I dove in.

Mira and Izzie found out about their true relationship with each other at the end of the last book. Their father is one and the same. In this book, they’re trying to deal with it all. Since their father Bill is running for Senate, he’s trying to clear away the “scandal” while others are popping up all over the place. Both girls don’t want to talk to him, much less be in the same room as him. Added on to all of that, they’re also participating in the famous cotillion. Mira has been dreaming about it for her whole life, while Izzie is only sticking with it for two reasons: to please Aunt Maureen and Mira and to do the initiation while watching Savannah Ingram suffer.

Along with the scandals and cotillion, both girls are having boy trouble–of course. Mira is confused about her relationship/friendship with Kellen while Izzie wants Brayden to step up and be a man. He couldn't stand up to his mommy, but he did yell at his sister a couple of times. His sister was another character that was introduced this book. Dylan is the black sheep of the family and dislikes her parents greatly. She even has a few problems with her brother. She manipulates him which then causes him to lose it with her. He tells her to stop, even though he can’t even do that to his mother where evil Savannah is concerned. I was with Izzie on this one. If he liked her so much, why couldn't he defend her and their relationship?

Mira did start creeping up on my nerves in one area. I felt that Mira was angrier and more unforgiving toward her father than Izzie was. That didn't settle right with me. In my mind, Mira had some right but not all. Her brothers forgave him. Why not her? I know it’s wrong, but Izzie was the one who had the most right to be angry. She didn't know who her father was! Mira did. So Mira and her “poor me” act grated on me in pieces of the book. I did sympathize with her in some aspects, but Izzie will always be my favorite by far.

"A person's a person no matter how small."
Horton Hears a Who
Now, if you are like my sister, I don’t recommend this book for you. She doesn't like contemporary and she would be very annoyed at the mysteries since they were easily figured out. It is also not a dystopian, mystery, action, or historic novel. This is a contemporary YA fiction book. Got that? And I personally love that there’s no cursing or sexual innuendo. And it still felt realistic. Not every contemporary book has to be a Sarah Dessen novel. Not every YA book has to have a PG-13 rating. Jen Calonita does a great job of being herself and writing amazing books. Books with enjoyable characters and dynamics. Every problem is a problem, no matter what it is.

I felt as if I could be friends with these characters. I could picture their world. It might not have been dystopian, but their world was different than mine. These teenage girls might not have undermined a government, but they do go against some pretty mean people.

The great part of this book was that it was very light and easy. There were conflicts, but I had a great time reading it. Jen Calonita even mentioned a character from her other series! That made me extremely giddy. It’s great when a character you love is mentioned somewhere else.

Did I mention how much I love Jen Calonita?

Word to Parents: I really don’t see why it wouldn't be fine, it was clean.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Kevins

You know, I really do try to get along with everyone. I befriend the shy people, I stick by the loud ones, I suck it up when I’m around slightly annoying people. I even give multiple chances to people who have ditched me occasionally. But then there’s some people who I really don’t want anything to do with. One group of people who fall under that category is the know-it-all’s.

Oh, everyone has that certain someone in their life. If you don’t, you’re either very lucky or an a know-it-all yourself. Because I know at least three people who are under the category of being a royal pain.

Let me introduce you to my college class on one particular Thursday. We were assigned randomly in groups to do a project. Individually, we had to save six out of sixteen imaginary people. As a group, you had to fight for the people you wanted to saved. My professor (I’ll call him Dr. Paul) told us that we also had to give in a couple times though. With seven people in a group, it was impossible to have all of the people each of us wanted. He also instructed that if there was a conflict on a person, we vote and majority wins.

One punk in my group decided to buck against that statement.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cover Love #1

Property of Bookshelvers Anonymous
I've decided to add on another meme! Readers, let me introduce you to Cover Love, if you haven't heard of it already. Every other Thursday (I will not be able to do it every week!) I'll be talking about a book that has a cover I like. That's basically it. I can gush, squeal, or just explain why I picked that exact cover. All thanks to Shelver at Bookshelvers Anonymous, I have this chance! 

Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

I was searching for books and then BANG--this smacked me in the head. I felt as if it pulled me through the screen. Just look at it. Personally, I love it. 

You see two different kind of worlds. You see the lighter side with two teens. But then outside of it, there's a darker, harsher world. It's as if it's being ripped. People are running. They're panicking and it looks like the world is ending. With the cover and the description, you know people are trying to survive. Although dark, I like the darker "world" the best. It's so creepy and even sad. I do love the contrast though with the bright yellow in the center. 

I'm not a huge fan of guy POVs, but I'm getting more and more used to them. This is one I'll probably pick up just because of that very cool cover. 

What do you think? What cover are you intrigued by? 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #2

Property of Pen to Paper
This is my second Wishlist Wednesday post, folks. If you don't know what that is, I strongly recommend clicking on this link to see the creator's post. You can also check out the other links at the bottom and see other blogger's wishlists!

When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to "go vintage" and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma's list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. 

But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy's cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she'll get it done. Somehow. 

Lindsey Leavitt perfectly pairs heartfelt family moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and a little bit of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.

The first thing that drew my eyes in was the word "vintage." I love vintage! I love the look of them, I love history and learning about the past, and I love to think about what my item has actually gone through. Does anyone else feel that way? No? Okay. 

Of course, I could never do what Mallory is going to do. Swear off technology? I might not be totally tech savvy, but my family is very technology centered. Oh, we spend time together, but you won't ever see us go a day without our phones, computers, or TVs. I even felt strange when I had to leave my phone in the car when I went into an amusement park for a few hours. That sad, my friends. 

I have a feeling this will be a funny book, a little predictable since it's a guy breaks girl's heart, girl is determined to do something to get over him story where the girl will probably meet someone new and have a hard time. But I don't care. It interests me and this is on my wishlist! 

It's also absolutely different from my last Wishlist Wednesday post (which you should also check out if you already haven't). Check back tomorrow for a new meme! 

Could YOU go vintage? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

Thanks to my sister, I read this book. Thanks to Ms. Hartman’s amazing writing, I stuck with it. I was interested by the cover and the plot, but I was also wary of how she would pull it off. She didn’t disappoint. In her debut novel and first book in the trilogy, she introduces Seraphina and the world of Goredd...and dragons.

Dragons are hated and distrusted by humans. In turn, dragons aren’t very fond of them either and distrust them as well. Unfortunately for Seraphina, she’s trapped in the middle. She can’t let either side know–excluding her dragon uncle and human father–about her secret.

She’s half-dragon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: AS YOU WISH by Jackson Pearce

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

Oh my goodness. I was actually very excited to read this. At first, the cover put me off a little. But when I read what it was about, I promptly put it on hold at the library. I then finished it in one day while I was at my grandparents’. The only thing bad about my decision for reading it so fast was that I had absolutely nothing to read while in the car on my way home.

Viola feels invisible. Her parents don't seem to care much about her and she doesn't really have any friends except her ex-boyfriend. Seven months ago, her childhood best friend and boyfriend of one year came out as a homosexual to her. She's devastated and slowly retreats. While her best friend and ex, Lawrence, becomes more popular, Viola is more desperate to belong somewhere. However, she doesn't seem to make an effort. They still remain best friends, oddly enough. Then when she mentally makes a wish, a jinn appears in different places around her continually through her day.

Jinns are genies. Punished jinns are like the genies in a lamp. Jinns are immortal, grant three wishes (with limits), and live in Caliban. They also don't have names or are in relationships. But when they get to earth, they start to age. They feel and see the aging process everywhere and get incredibly antsy to get back.

So when Viola meets her jinn (who she just calls Jinn), they have a problem. Jinn is more than ready to go back, but Viola is too nervous to make a wish. Eventually, they become closer and after she makes her first wish by accident, Jinn realizes he's falling in love with her.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #1

Property of Pen to Paper

First. Ever. Meme. 

It might not seem as if it's a big deal, but it is. I don't really understand directions all that well (blame my mother), so I was really afraid I'd screw it up and get sued or something. But I did it and I was fine! I've been wanting to do this meme ever since I saw it. Not only does it have a very pretty button, but it also sounds fun. I get to gush about books I want to read? Great! So thank you, Dani from Pen To Paper for hosting this fantastical meme. 

Now on to this book.

You or your Alt? Only one will survive. 

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.


I love twins. Always have. My childhood was all about obsessing over the Mowry and Olsen twins. I would pester my mom to see if I really had a twin who either: died or was placed for adoption. I don't have a twin, but I always wanted one. I loved the idea of someone else looking like me. Twins share a remarkable bond and I wanted (still do) that. So, okay. These are "Alts" but I don't exactly care right now. 

This book is obviously dystopian. Well, well, I also love dystopian novels. And it has some romance!

The name made me pause a second or two though. West Grayer? There's some odd names in YA nowadays, mostly in a dystopia. But West Grayer sounds more on the masculine side for me. I think of Wes and Wesley. The last name doesn't help all that much either. But I'll overlook it. She sounds like a kick-butt fifteen year old. I'm wondering why everything is really starting out so early if they have until twenty years old, but I guess we'll figure that out when we read it. 

But do you see the cover? Oh, West even looks tough there! You don't see some model on the front making a "tough" face. You see a girl walking away in what looks to be an alley with weapons in her hand! A knife in one hand and a gun in the other. It might sound odd, but she even looks pretty in the back. Her hair is swishing and her clothes look very nice. Sorry, I'm just already in love. 

It also sparks some interesting points. Every adult that is living in Kersh is a murderer. You cannot be living without killing your Alt. And every child is probably living in fear, wondering if they're the ones going to die. Like the end says, every child also probably thinks there's someone out there better than his or herself. Then think about the society! It's twisting around where a potential sibling is being raised by another family. You're then turned on one another in a cat-and-mouse game to live. Then it starts all over again with your own kids when you have them. They will have an Alt and your child will either die or their Alt will. Perfect, huh? 

Elsie Chapman is already intriguing me. I really cannot wait until this comes out. I just really hope it'll be good. 

What book can you NOT wait for? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Perfect Transport

I should first introduce myself. It's only polite. I'm Sunny and the creator of this blog. If you read my "About Me" page, you'll already know a little about me. Like I say on my Twitter page, I'm tall, an animal-lover, and not very fond of handshakes. I think those are the three basic things you need to know about me. For now. Well, I also love books. Sadly, not a lot of people do. They think it's boring, waste of their time, associate it with school. But do you know why I love them? They're our closest things to time travel, in my opinion.

Books are the perfect transport. You open up a good book and you’re transported to a different world. No matter what the genre, if the author does it right, you’re no longer in your own world. You’re in the character’s home. You’re in a dystopian. You’re in New York or some hick town in Kansas. You’re in 1840 England. You’re at a different planet than Earth.

You can escape reality for a second and imagine a different world. You think like the character, you connect with them, you cry or laugh with them. It doesn't matter, you’re transported.

Not only does it connect you with imaginary dimensions and characters, books connect you with other people. How do books become best-selling? By people recommending and spreading the word about them! You talk about the books and what scenes you like the best. Even books you don’t like, you complain about it with each other.

It’s a great feeling of satisfaction when someone comes back to me and says, “Oh my gosh, I loved [insert book name] so much!” Or even when they just tell me their opinions about a mutual loved or hated book. I like hearing what other people think, but also saying my own suggestions and opinions.

Of course, starting a blog is scarier than talking in person. You just see a blank page with a blinking black line. That’s all you see as your mind races to think of the correct words for what you’re thinking. You don’t want to bore people or have them feel as if they wasted your time. Obviously, you want them to enjoy it.

 Just as books are friends, I hope in this blogosphere, friendships are made as well. 

Tell me: why do you love books?