Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fairy tale review + news!

I'll start with the news/announcement. Alice from Alice in Readerland is having a "magical month" at her blog where she will be doing all sorts of fairy tale things. She'll be reviewing and reading fairy tale retellings and featuring fairy tale features which you do not want to miss. 

If you have read any previous posts of mine, you know I absolutely adore fairy tales and their retellings. Beauty by Robin McKinley? Amazing. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce? Hey, I'm actually reviewing that down below so keep scrolling and see how I like it! 

Title: Sisters Red

Publication date: June 7th, 2010

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. 

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

You know, when I started this blog, I told myself that I would never read any vampire or werewolf book. My prejudice mind said, "Ugh, not another Twilight thing." Well, I didn't even pay attention that this had werewolves when I read the synopsis because all I thought was that it was a fairy-tale retelling. 

Courtesy of Gillian Berry @ Writer of Wrongs
The book starts off really good. The prologue is set in third person and about how Scarlett lost her eye. Then every other chapter after that is first person from either Scarlett's or Rosie's perspective. I was glad for that because I was able to see inside their thoughts. If not, I don't think I'd like the other character nearly as much. 

While they are described as being so close that one sister is the other half, they are opposite. Scarlett lives, breathes, and loves hunting the Fenris. Since her attack, she's determined to not let any girl, no matter how stupid they are, be attacked again. Of course, she's also very protective of her younger sister, Rosie, as would any big sister. Rosie, on the other hand, wants to go on a solo hunt, but she doesn't love hunting. Unlike Scarlett, she wants something else to do in her life then train and hunt.

Then Silas comes into the picture. First, I love his name. My mom has always loved the name (if I was a boy, she would've named me that actually) so I guess it's stuck on me. He's a woodsman, Scarlett's hunting partner, and her best friend. He's back from out of town and instantly, he and Rosie are attracted to each other. 

I liked a lot of things from Sisters Red. The book was addicting and great, but the violence added to it. Maybe because at one scene near the end, there was so much love and hatred behind the actions that it made me go "YEAH! GO GO GO! OH NO!"Other things I love included the drawing class scene with innocent Rosie, which made me laugh, and the origami flower. The relationships were sweet and how Silas was there for the girls melted my heart. 

At the beginning, I figured that Ms. Pearce was actually doing a Little Women + Red Riding Hood twist. They're called the March sisters. That's clue numero uno. Clue number two is the whole Silas and sisters complex. If anyone has seen or read Little Women, you know how the sisters are. Jo is the main character and tough. Amy is the weaker one, but still strong in her own right. Laurie is the boy next door who, while he is friends with the whole March family, he's best friends with Jo. I have seen the movie bunches, but I still hate Amy. Hate her. Not only does she do some despicable things like with the fire and book and I want to reach in the screen and yank off her head, she also marries Laurie! SHE GETS LAURIE. I know Alcott, the author, thought Jo was better off without him, but I never liked it. 

Amy is her sister. 'Nuff said. 
So you can clearly see how the Scarlett + Rosie + Silas complex is very similar to the Jo + Amy + Laurie complex. At least Rosie is more likable than Amy ever was. Also, you see that even though she does wrong things (lies) and Scarlett gets mad, their sisterhood is greater. 

I did figure out the end surprise early, but it didn't ruin anything. I think Jackson Pearce even did it on purpose...or it was just me trying to figure things out way before they're supposed to. But even though I was right, Ms. Pearce pulled me into a false peace when she led me to believe something else. Then WHAM, I was actually right and now I'm devastated. Bravo, Ms. Pearce, bravo. 

A bonus point goes toward an epilogue because I absolutely adore epilogues. Who doesn't? It feels as if they don't have as many of them anymore. They usually make a trilogy then go, "Okay, well you've had three books of these characters, why do you need an epilogue?" 

Verdict: Pros definitely outweighed the cons in this captivating retelling.

Word to Parents: violence, language, creepiness 

Have you read the book? If so, what did YOU think? 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #10

Hosted by Pen to Paper

Title: Dark Triumph

Publication date: April 2, 2013

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

Why do I want this? Um, you obviously didn't read the synopsis or the first book, Grave Mercy. It's safe to say that I would DIE (along with my sister, Shelver) if I received an ARC of this. I would even die if I got a finished copy a month after its release. If I got any sliver of it, I would die. 

So much death, I know, but it's appropriate considering the circumstances. It's about nun assassins serving Death and Sybella is the toughest of them all. 

Robin LaFevers is not only extremely nice to fans (I had a chat with her over Twitter about Mexican food. It was quite nice.), but she's also an amazing writer. Added to that, Shelver told me some information she received from Robin about this book. So yes, I am extremely excited.

What are YOU wishing for this week? 

Monday, January 28, 2013

YA Giveaway Hop

Yes, that's right, it's GIVEAWAY TIME!

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer is teaming up with BookLove101 in this amazing giveaway hop all about YA books. Since this is a blog devoted to YA fiction, I thought it would be fitting to participate. So I'm giving away any $10 YA book from The Book Depository! 

There are so many $10 books you can choose from: the Gallagher Girls, Code Name Verity, Cinder, Shatter Me, and so many more! 

- Must be 13 years or older or have parental permission
- Must pick a book for $10 or less at The Book Depository 
- Must be a GFC follower to enter
- Must live in one of the countries The Book Depository ships to (look at their website by clicking on the button on my sidebar to see where they deliver). 
-Must not cheat. You WILL get caught.
- MUST respond in 48 hours of winning by email to confirm. Please check your email (and spam!) because I really don't want to have to pick someone else. 

Just to warn you, tweeting is NOT once a day. You guys might not care, but I love to know that before I enter. 

Now on to the good stuff after all the musts. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is a list of the other blogs participating and giving away amazing stuff!

Discussion: Two girls + one guy love triangle

Love triangles. Oh, I know, the dreaded subject of much friction and conflicted views. Some people love them, some people list them as pet peeves, and then there are others that decide how they feel about them on a case-to-case basis. However, this isn't a normal love triangle "are you for or against it" post. No. What I'm wondering is how you feel about a specific love triangle.

A two girls and one guy triangle.

Usually, you encounter the love triangle where the protagonist (girl) has to decide between her two (male) love interests. Twilight. The Uglies. Shatter Me. The Hunger Games. You see girls wearing a "Team So-&-So" shirt, which is a pet peeve of mine that I won't even discuss today, just to cheer on her pick in the fictional triangle dilemma.

But what about if a guy has to decide between two girls?

Recently, an amazing blogger friend of mine, Gilly, wrote a post about love triangles. She briefly touched on this particular subject and here is what she says:
There's also a double standard when it comes to love triangles. Most (not all, obviously) pro-love triangle people think the ones where the girl protagonist is trying to choose between two guys are acceptable, because of all the tangly feeelings and confusion and whatnot. But if a guy (usually NOT the protagonist) is trying to choose between two girls (one of who probably is the protagonist), people see him as a prick. Then there are the fun people who think, because a girl is torn between two guys, she is a trampire.
So if there's a case of having a two girls and one guy love triangle, usually one of the girls is the MC (main character) while the guy deciding is most likely not the protagonist. At least, that's the only one I really remember seeing. The story might have alternating POVs, but from day one, I bet it's no question which girl you're rooting for. You can't help it. Even in third person, unless the MC is utterly annoying and despicable, you will sympathize with her more than the other girl.

The first thing I think of is Taylor Swift's song "You Belong with Me." While yes, we get that the guy's girlfriend is horrible, I wonder if it's ever just twisted in the MC's mind. Does she really belong with him more? Is the other girl really that bad? What is reality and what is imagination? But yes, in this case, we see in the music video that the girlfriend is weirdly evil.

Unless I'm missing something, I want to know where the two girls and one guy love triangles are. Not the protagonist versus other girl triangle. Although I'm wary when the MC is a guy, I want to know his story with two girls that we have no biased feelings for. If done well, I think we'll be in agony over who to choose.

It isn't the same, but it's like in movies where the girl already has a significant other and while you like him, you ultimately root for the other guy. Movies (I proudly admit my dad was a big help, along with my mother, of course, for rattling off suggestions) such as Runaway Bride, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Superman Returns, Pretty in Pink, My Best Friend's Wedding, and even in a small way, While You Were Sleeping. They're nice guys and you like them, but you know the other guy would be better.

Two girls and one guy!
Like I said, not the same considering we're not in much agony over who she decides. But the idea of it is to give us something fresh. Maybe people who are opposed to love triangles will actually like this one before it gets old too. Maybe we'll have a stronger interest in guy protagonists.

Clearly, my thought on the two girls and one guy love triangle situation is that if it was done right, I wish I could see more of them. I want things mixed up! I want to root for characters in different kinds of situations! I want agony, people!

But what I really want to know is what YOU GUYS think of it all. Do you want to see more two girls and one guy triangles? More specifically, do you want to see a guy protagonist leading the story with no biased feelings toward a certain girl?

Comment below your thoughts!

Or nay?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: PRETTY CROOKED by Elisa Ludwig

Author: Elisa Ludwig

Publication date: March 13th, 2012

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”-known to everyone as the Glitterati-without them suspecting a thing, is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?


I had eyed this on my Goodreads to-read list for some time until YAY I passed by it in the library. Why I never thought to check the library system, I have no idea. But it's rare that there would be a book on my TBR list IN the library just waiting for me on the shelf. 

Willa has a single parent, her mother, who is an artist. They move around a lot, which Willa hasn't been too fond of. At last, though, her mother has sold paintings for the big bucks and they are on their way to Arizona. She's enrolled in the prestigious private school, Valley Prep, and now has an actual house. Not an apartment, mobile home, or car. She's quickly caught up in living up her new life and on her first day, Glitterati member Cherise runs into her. Literally. With her car, she accidentally runs Willa over while she's on her bike. 

The Glitterati is basically the popular group. While the stereotypical populars/top dogs in schools are the rich, beautiful kids, everyone in Valley Prep is rich and beautiful. So the Glitterati are the top dogs and the richest of the rich. 

She also meets Aidan Murphy, probably the richest kid in the school. Because his parents donate most of the money to the school and has the the most power, it's pretty impossible for Aidan to get kicked out. But he does try with pranks and stunts. Willa is instantly taken with him and I do see why she would be attracted, but I wasn't for it. He was a player in every way and while he did show a few soft spots, I couldn't root for him. Why couldn't she go for Tre? Such a better choice. 

After witnessing the scholarship getting bullied and humiliated, Willa is determined to help them. How? Oh, to steal from the richest kids and leave nice packages of clothes on the poor students' doors. 

Bill and I agree on eye-rolling.
I was excited about the thought of a modern day Robin Hood. It was just so stupid to me, the stealing very farfetched. I kind of get her line of thinking. She wants to equalize the field by giving the students nicer clothes so they won't be as teased as much. However, it just seems so juvenile. Granting people nicer clothes won't help their situation. She mentioned all their problems, but all she does is give them nicer clothes. HOW does that help? 

While Willa does show some guilt sporadically throughout the book, it was as if because Nikki and the rest of the Glitterati were so bad, it was somehow okay to steal. Sure, they are horrible teenage girls and I wanted to slap them for their horrible deeds. But that does not make it suddenly all right to commit a felony.

"He bullied me in my childhood so I will now MURDER HIS WHOLE FAMILY." 

So it might not be that extreme, but that's how I interpreted it. The whole time I was reading it, I tried to think of other ways she could have dealt with it. Also, while I get there's going to be other books in the series, there were just SO many loose ends. Aidan, her mother, her mysterious father, the FBI...and so on. It's okay to leave some things to be resolved in later books, but I just didn't feel as if anything got resolved. It was pretty frustrating. 

Although, I did like her writing style and Willa's voice. It was humorous, light, and I really enjoyed reading Pretty Crooked. Even though I had problems with the main plot point, I intend to read the rest of the series. I do want to know what happens and Willa was pretty charming, despite her decisions and silly actions. 

This read was charming and light, but also underdeveloped in areas and Willa portrayed bad judgement. If you can look past the things I stated, I say go for it. I'll be looking out for the second book, but having great hesitation with it. 

Verdict: Silly, disappointing, but oddly humorous and still makes me want to read the second book so I can find out what happens.

What do YOU think? Comment! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #9

Hosted by Pen to Paper

Title: Unravel Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Publication date: February 5th, 2013

Publisher: Harper Collins

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

Tahereh Mafi is amazing. I fell in love with Shatter Me, I still have to stop being lazy and cheap and get Destory Me which is from Warner's perspective, and why else wouldn't I LOVE to get this? The author writes so beautifully and from what I see, February 5th is the ultimate release date for amazing books.

I also look longingly at my screen with jealously whenever I see someone has an ARC of it.

What are YOU wishing for?

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I'd Like To See More

Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I know, I know, don't even pay attention to the date on this. I absolutely forgot to put a reminder for this after being out of town all weekend. But I couldn't pass this one up. I get to share ten settings I would love YA lit to be in!

1. 1920s

Or really, anywhere from the 1920s to the 1960s. I LOVE that era. I think of the flappers, Captain America, the World Wars, great music, and fun. Lots of fun. So if someone could produce more books in this setting, that would be much appreciated.

2. Ireland

I think I have read only one book set here. One. Ireland, my friends, would be a great place for characters to be! We have lots of London and other European countries, but Ireland? We can have cute men like in Leap Year, beautiful scenery, and lots of adventures. Besides, I have lots of Irish in me so it definitely can't be a bad place. 

3. Victorian England

My absolute favorites series in the Adult genre is set here and really, how could you not like this era? I can't think of a single YA book placed here. 

4. Africa

Not only am I determined to go there one day, I'm determined there will be more African books out there. Once again, I have read only one book set there and it wasn't really focused on the African setting around it. The wild animals, the village children, the safaris. Let me have something African!

5. The Carnival

Since I get Alice in Readerland's posts in my email (it's a wonderful thing), I saw her Top Ten Tuesday and ever since I saw this amazing point, I thought: YES. It can be magical or creepy or fun or all of the above. I haven't seen The Notebook. but I do know they meet at the carnival. So come on, let me have books at the carnival!

6. The Jungle

Think The Jungle Book or Tarzan! You can fight for survival, have desperate times, or be raised there or find your way around. Overall, it would be nice to read about the jungle for a change. 

7. College

Usually YA books end when they go off to college. Why can't I read about them THERE? And not the crazy, wild stuff. Sure, some people have not-so clean experiences in college, but I know plenty of people who DO. So clean college. Yes? Please?

8. Rome

It can be Ancient Rome or just Rome. It's a beautiful place with lots of opportunities of romance!

9. Christmas

Does anyone else feel like it's really hard to find good Christmas-y books? New York at Christmas time would be even better!

10. Egypt

Oh, Egypt. Pharaohs, pyramids, mysteries, and more. I love the idea of Egypt. The next best thing to visiting it is to read about it. 


So that's my list of where I want more YA settings to be in. What are YOURS? 

To conclude, here's a song that makes me pull even more for #8. 

Review: ALSO KNOWN AS by Robin Benway

Title: Also Known As 

Author: Robin Benway

Publication date: February 26th, 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Source: ebook from NetGalley and special thanks to the publisher, Bloomsbury.

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.



I cracked my first lock when I was three.

THAT was the first sentence. A simple, no-nonsense sentence that, if you for whatever reason hadn't read the synopsis, lets us know this is going to be a fantastic book. Spies, interesting synopsis, cool cover, even cooler title, and an amazing author. Honestly, how can it not be good? 

I'll get to that a little later. 

Maggie Silver has been wanting to be treated as a real spy and an adult by being granted a real mission (none of this opening a safe then spending the rest of the time pigging out in front of the TV business) forever. Her parents are spies as well and do the missions while Maggie is brought in when they need a forger or safecracker. 

Angelo, however, is an old family friend and like an uncle of sorts to Maggie. He's more in the story than her parents and is the one who taught Maggie everything. The forging? He's the king. It's declared in the story that since Maggie started so young, she's a prodigy and a valuable asset to the Collective, the agency her family works in. 

Finally, she's granted a solo assignment. However, it's not what she thought it would be. Maggie has to go to a uniform-wearing high school, befriend (or depending on who you ask, seduce) a lame "rebel-without-a-cause" boy named Jesse Oliver so she can steal his dad's documents about her family, all while her parents confuse her with their extreme over-protectiveness. 

Let me start off by saying this is filled with lots of wit and charm. Packed to the brim with it. It made me laugh out loud in parts and smile and go "I wish I was that witty." However, it fell flat in areas for me. 

Probably the one thing that started to get annoying was the spying itself and the unrealistic-ness of it. This whole book is about spying, right? So where was it? I went to the Goodreads page to see if anyone else felt the same and Alison Morris couldn't have said it better: 
As a SPY story this book is lacking. Maggie (our heroine) is purported to be an expert spy, as are her parents, but we see them do relatively little spying in the course of 350 pages. Sure, Maggie cracks a few safes and picks a few locks, but apart from that there's scant evidence of espionage. There are no cool spy gadgets, she does not (as the cover of my ARC would suggest) don ANY disguises, nor does she do impersonations, trail suspects, crack codes, deliver secret messages, or do any of the other things I've come to expect fictional spies (even teen spies) to do. I also found it agonizingly implausible that none of her wealthy, secretive targets appears to have a single security camera (at least she never mentions or disables one), let alone an alarm on their property. No - this book is neither a solid spy story, nor particularly satisfying as a mystery.
When I read that, I was thinking, "YES! Preach it." She explained my feelings on the subject and since I don't think I can say it any better, I'll just leave it to Alison Morris. 

However, the wit saves the day. Maggie is witty, charming, and snarky. She made me laugh and smile. Roux, her friend, can be over the top, but also witty as well. They're mentioned as being a lot a like during most of the book which I had to agree with. It was also refreshing in a way. More and more, it seems as if best friends are portrayed as completely different in novels or movies. In real life, they might be opposite, but usually they're pretty much the same. To have this pair of friends on the same level with only a few differences (with different kinds of parents and you know, the spy thing) made me enjoy the book even more. 

The friendship was all-around enjoyable. Not just between Roux and Maggie, but between Maggie and Angelo, and Maggie and Jesse. She's instructed to not become attached to anyone but she soon becomes incredibly close to both Roux and Jesse. I loved the way socially awkward Maggie and social outcast Roux clicked together, fulfilling each other's needs for friendship. 

Then of course, there's Jesse. He didn't make me drool, sigh, and make him wish to be mine, but I did like watching the attraction between him and Maggie unfold. The whole falling in love part felt way too fast for me though since I don't believe that's even possible, but their relationship was cute indeed.

Light, fun read? Yes.

Witty and charming? Yes. (Although sometimes, there are places that try a bit too hard.)

Romance, friendship, clever quips, and a family that's NOT broken? Yes.

But if you want a story with more spy action, more realistic elements, and something that will feed your Gallagher Girl impatience (how that's even possible, I don't know)? No, not in my opinion. 

Robin Benway is an amazing author who is definitely one of my favorites so maybe that was one of my problems. I had very, very high expectations for this book. I basically screamed when I found out NetGalley and Bloomsbury accepted me to read this a month before it comes out. Although this whole review might sound like I didn't like it, that's not the truth. I did like it a lot, but don't think it's jam packed with spy-y things and action. The unrealistic-ness of it prodded at me, but I think it's supposed to be a fluffy read, which it was.

Verdict: Witty and charming and not what I was expecting, but still enjoyable.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: AIRHEAD by Meg Cabot

Title: Airhead

Author: Meg Cabot

Publication date: January 1st, 2008

Publisher: Point


Emerson Watts didn’t even want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister, Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Gabriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there—along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard. 

How was Em to know that disaster would strike, changing her—and life as she’d known it—forever? One bizarre accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.


Meg Cabot, put simply, is wonderful. I've been a fan of her for years and have been going into bookish depression when I reach the last book of The Princess Diaries knowing that I can't read any more about Michael. While there isn't a Michael in this book, there is an Em. Or Nikki, I should say. 

Em is a video game playing, feminist teenager. She has one friend, Chris, who she's had a crush on since about seventh grade. Of course, does he know she exists in that way? Nope. Her little sister, on the other hand, is the opposite. Frida is obsessed with being popular, meeting celebrities, and becoming just like the Walking Dead (as Chris and Em have dubbed basically everyone in their school). Knowing that Frida is still too "silly" to be trusted by herself in a megastore, waiting for an autograph from her celebrity crush, Gabriel Luna, their mother makes Em go along with her. And Em makes Chris come too for moral support. 

Then everything goes haywire. When Nikki Howard, the supermodel, comes on to the scene, everyone suddenly diverts their attention to her. Frida is one of her biggest fans so she becomes a girl in a trance when she walks over to her to get an autograph. The chaos starts when a protestor shoots a paintball which then makes a TV from the ceiling come down. Em, being the big sister she is, throws herself to push Frida out of the way. 

The next time she wakes up, it's a month later and she's confused. She quickly learns about their brain transplant operation and that she suddenly has a different life. Emerson Watts is dead. She has to continue living Nikki's life along with her obligations, love life, and friendship with the adorable Lulu. 

The characters: I adored them. Meg Cabot always makes such great characters to fall in love with and it was the same with Airhead. Em is loyal and although pushy with Frida, you know she loves her. She's a great friend and has a backbone when she needs it. Gabriel? Still not sure about it, but he's growing on me. Chris? Loved him, grew suspicious of him, then my heart melted for him at the end. Gosh, I want more of Chris! 

And Lulu. I honestly didn't think I would like someone named "Lulu" but I did with this girl. She was so clueless and although I wanted HER to grow a backbone, you couldn't help than to love her. 

The plot: Loved. It. Modeling, brain transplants, body swapping of sorts. Added to that, Cabot's writing was so enjoyable as always. I loved where we ended off and craved for more. Did I mention that I read this in ONE sitting? The only time I took a break was too brush my teeth and even then, I still snuck glances at it. Utterly entertaining. 

The agony of waiting for the sequels to come in at the library because I'm going out of town and won't be able to read them until NEXT WEEK: Pretty much says it for itself. 

If you've read Cabot's other works, loved them, and haven't read Airhead yet, I suggest you remedy that ASAP, my friends. 

Verdict: A time-sucker that deserved it and gives Cabot another point in my opinion. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cover Love #6

Hosted by Bookshelvers Anonymous

Author: J. J. Howard

Publication date: April, 2013

Publisher: Scholastic Point

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake—and facing a terrible tragedy— Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi’s mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn’t there…but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus’s fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi’s ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it’s Lexi’s own future that’s thrown into question… 

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, last heartaches, and the importance of an excellent playlist.


Just look. Honestly, if you don't know why I love this cover, you haven't looked at it. I love the colors with the sky and the circus. There's Lexi with a bag in her hand, obviously just coming on to the circus scene. Everything about this cover screams "magical" to me which is great because it keeps reminding me of the last line of the synopsis: ...of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, last heartaches, and the importance of an excellent playlist. 

So not only does it have an amazing cover, it also has a synopsis that I adore. April 2013, I love you.

And thanks you, Endlessly Bookish, for making me aware of it by putting it as your Waiting on Wednesday post. Subscribing by email, following blogs, and just the blog community in general is so useful! 

What cover do YOU love this week? Do you love this cover? Why or why not? 

As always, comment below :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy

Publication date: April 3rd, 2012

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Source: Shelver's bookshelf

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


I'm going to start this off by showing you my reaction AFTER I finished the book. When I read the last page, shut the book, and set the book down beside my sister, Shelver, I felt like I only had one reaction:

That, readers, is the reaction of WHY DIDN'T I READ THIS SOONER? Oh, all of you must have experienced this one time or another. It doesn't matter if you're a blogger, author, librarian, or just a reader. At one point in your life, you have stumbled across a book that you wished you had read sooner. 

If you haven't read Grave Mercy yet, add that one to your list. 

Having been a failed abortion, left with hideous scars on her back, and marked as the daughter of Death, Ismae can't help but be strong. The townspeople have tormented her and her father has done even worse. Then after her dreadful father sells her off to a vile farmer, the local herbwitch and priest rescue her by whisking her off to the covenant of St. Mortain. 

This covenant? Trains assassins. A marque will appear on whoever Mortain says needs to die. Usually, it's one who goes against their duchess. We meet some people including the special Annith and Sybella before we leap three years to a trained Ismae. 

Ismae is then placed with an important assignment: protect Duchess Anne from the French army and any dreadful, pushy suitors from stealing her duchy. To do this, she is forced to pose as the duchess's half-brother's mistress. Of course, the covenant thinks he might be a traitor as well so Ismae is always on her guard with Gavriel Duval. 

Duval. How wonderful is he? I mean, it's not my real last name but I knew he'd be good once I saw we had the same last name minus an "l." Suspicious, kind, stubborn, protective, and loyal...not to mention good looking. And Beast.

Give me a moment while I smile. 

Beast, Duval's friend, is one of the most charming characters ever. Although a secondary character, I looked forward to reading about it him whenever I had the chance. Basically all the characters, whether secondary or the main ones, I felt attracted to. I had no problem in getting sucked into the story and was never bored with one character. From the strong Duchess Anne who made me incredibly proud to Crunard who made me suspicious to Madame Hivern who was complex enough that you didn't exactly know what to think of her to Sybella who, although you only got a morsel of her, made you intrigued and craving for more. 

The characters were complex. That's what it comes down to: the characters were complex. I could never trust anyone all the way and they weren't fillers either. They had personalities and felt real, not just someone to be stuck in a story to just be there

Nocturne, the horse? Yes, I was even attached to him too. He made me want to avenge him by storming off the treadmill by doing who knows what, but gosh, I will do it emotional. Let's just leave it at that. The horse made me a little emotional. 

Ismae was wonderful too, while at points she might have been too stubborn, I'll over look it. She cannot be affected by poison. That's right. She won't die. She might feel something mild, but it won't kill her. She can talk to the souls after they're newly dead and can tell when someone is about to die. She can kill a man any way she wants to and believe me, there are a lot of ways. She's tough. Loyal. Not too sure of who to trust. Smart...and an overall great main character. 

I also wanted to point out the cover. The main line seems oh, so threatening on the top of the cover with the girl on the front having a crossbow in hand. The old buildings in the background have a nice touch too. I love the feeling with the cover, it feels deadly to me and since this book is all about death, I'm glad it wasn't just a girl with a pretty dress on the front.

But I guess I have to point out one other thing: Death. The whole covenant and Ismae worship him and while I see the point there, it made me a bit uneasy with my personal beliefs. However, most people won't have a problem with the whole plot of Death/St. Mortain. Also, Ismae did something inappropriate in the end that was crucial to the story, but still...parents should know about. 

Verdict: An intriguing, wonderfully crafted book that makes me impatient to read the sequel. 

If you would like to buy this book, I recommend going to my sidebar and clicking The Book Depository button and shop there. FREE shipping!