Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The FIVE: Five Great Bloggers

Adele over at Persnickety Snark is hosting a series of FIVE favorites for the past week and it will end on December 31st. Today's topic is your five favorite bloggers.

Sabrina from YA Bliss
Ever meet someone and realize you could practiically be twins? That's how it is with Sab and I. If there's one person's opinions I trust when it comes to books - it's definitely hers. She's also been a great pusher influence for me to go outside my comfort zone when it comes to genres. I'm really hoping in 2011 I'm able to head down to her 'neck of the woods' for an awesome author event and hang out with her.

Jenny from Wondrous Reads
Jenny is what I like to describe as a Wonder Woman type of blogger. She has great reviews, interviews, and overall wonderful content on her blog. She's read so many books I haven't even heard of! There is always something going on over there. Plus she is super sweet, and even sends me pictures of Garrett Hedlund when she stumbles across them :)

Erica from The Book Cellar
Erica is huge book lover - have you checked out this girl's IMM's before? I am always so jealous of all the great reads she stumbles on! She has a really fun and spunky personality that shows a lot in her reviews. You know when a book is good because this girl shouts it from the roof top, and is a great cheerleader for so many YA authors!

Kari from A Good Addiction
I found Kari's blog just this year via the lovely world of Twitter and how both of us went CRAZY the night Jackson Pearce had tons of giveaways with the #SistersRed hash tag. I love how she writes her reviews - she makes it look easy! She has a huge love for boys in YA just like me. I'm pretty sure she must have a bed the size of a football field because she keeps claiming all the hot YA guys and saying they're chained up there ;)

Steph from Steph Su Reads
Here's where I have to admit something: I am envious of Steph's writing ability. The words just flow so easily, and she really brings out the 'root' of each book she reads. Even if she doesn't like one, she still gives all her fair reasons and explains everything. I love checking out her discussions and lists she posts. They are so interesting!

So who are some of your favorite bloggers? If you make a post like this, tell me in the comments so I can swing by and take a look.

♥amber

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers


Released: December 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 224
Source: Publisher


Rating: ♥♥♥♥


When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world?

When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Cullen seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?




---

Reading this book was like being caught in a fog. You never really knew what was going to be in front of you.  
I've grown accostmed to Summers writing strong, love-to-hate type of characters. So when I was introduced to Eddie, I was taken a back. She is nothing like past characters. She is fragile, broken, and has a very somber feeling to her.

It's not just Eddie's world that seems to be caught in this thick fog her father's suicide has left. Her mother walks around in his old house coat, shuffling through the house while her friend, Beth, has decided it's her duty to pick up the pieces. What she doesn't realize is that she's just driving Eddie nuts. As annoying as Beth was, I think in some ways she was kind of essential. Eddie's non-foggy ways were kind of brought out when Beth was around.

While her mother is off in her own depressed world, the only other person there that isn't driving Eddie nuts is her best friend Milo. I loved Milo. He was such a strong character who also brought back some life into Eddie. He cared a lot for her which was blatantly obvious from the get-go. I wondered how things would go between them as the pages went on, but soon we were introduced to Culler Evans who is a character of his own.

Eddie seems to think Culler has the answers she's looking for. The reason of why her dad took his own life without warning. Culler is one of those characters who you are weary of, but at the same time, you just can't help but like him no matter how screwed up his intentions are in the book.

Courtney Summers' books have always been more character driven. It's amazing how it never gets boring, not even for a second. I love how she plays them out. Giving us just pieces of them, not fully understanding their actions, and not having them apologize for being who they are. They're so real you have to question if maybe she's writing someone's biography.

I have never been the type of reader that needs an ending wrapped in a pretty pink bow especially when it comes to contemporary fiction. I like to somewhat wonder what happened to these characters after the story is done. But I think Eddie's story was cut too short. It just didn't feel "finished" to me. 

Overall, Courtney Summers is still one author that you MUST check out if you haven't. I have no doubt she will keep writing books that will keep her in a league of her own.

Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

♥amber

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Released: December 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Series
Pages: 307
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.


Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?


---


This is my first time reading a Sara Shepard novel. I've been watching Pretty Little Liars, but still haven't checked out the series. I had planned to, but when I read the synopsis to The Lying Game, it just seemed a bit more intriguing.

Right at the beginning we know one thing is certain: Sutton Mercer is dead. She's still stuck on Earth though, and having to always stick around her twin sister who never knew even existed named Emma. A big information dump is given about Emma in the first few chapters. I guess it's so the reader gets the down low on her before she transforms into Sutton's life.

One thing that kind of bothered me a bit from the beginning is how Emma just  jumped right into finding her long-long twin sister before she knew she was dead. She saw a snuff video of Sutton, and what looks to be her possible murder then she gets messages from "Sutton" saying she wants to meet up, but even says: Things could be dangerous. Yet, that part of the text doesn't really seem to cross Emma's mind too much. It bugged me that she was more nervous about meeting her twin instead of I dunno being freaked out that things COULD BE DANGEROUS!

When Emma tries to tell people that Sutton is dead, confirmed by creepy texts messages she's getting, no one wants to believe her. As the reader and Emma both find out, Sutton is known for her pranks. Her and her "friends" have a sort of club called The Lying Games. For the past years, they've always tried to out-do one another, topping each prank after prank. So when Emma goes around saying her name is Emma, and Sutton is really dead, everyone thinks she's lying. Now Emma knows she has to stick around to find out who really killed her long-lost twin sister.

Sara Shepard's writing style is fast paced. She gives you the basics you need to know about characters, and keeps the questions and the need to know what's going to happen going. Sutton is in a way telling you the story because she can see and feel everything Emma is feeling as she tries to solve this murder. Since Emma's parts are written in third person, sometimes when Sutton's voice popped up, I almost forgot she was the narrator.

You do get the sense of characters, but it seemed to be more built up over the mystery and plot of Sutton's killer, what Emma should do next, and who to trust. Plus many small questions thrown out here and there like the disappearance of a guy named Thayer. The mysterious guy named Ethan who doesn't give anyone the light of day, but does for Sutton. These girls who are supposed to be Sutton's friends, but it seems they all need to just watch their backs from one another instead.

I did like this book, and I do plan to read the next one. The only downfall I saw was at the end of it, I felt kind of cheated. I know this is a series with many different questions crammed into the beginning, but it seemed like there should have been a bit more answers than what was given in the end.

Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

♥amber

Sunday, December 26, 2010

In My Mailbox #40

I got a nice loot of books to show you guys this week! I tried doing a vlog, but I'm just going to have to wait until I get a flip camera. My dinky one made my IMM look like a horrible dubbed foreign film where my words and mouth movement were not matching up at all. I decided to post pictures and divided it up in sections.


For Christmas - I hope you all had a very merry one!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (From my sister)
Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales (From parents)
Hans Christian Andersen's Completely Fairy Tales (From parents)
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

The last two books were a gift from my friend Laura who is not a book blogger, but she does manage a Borders Express in Exton, PA. I really want to go to her store some day because she ALWAYS has the coolest authors stopping by! Like Rachel Caine and A.S. King so both of my books were signed!


Also, if you happen to swing by Laura's store, you should tell her to write more Steve. She'll know what I'm talkin' about.

For Review

Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston (Star Book Tours)
The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan (Teen Book Scene)
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard (Around the World Tours)

Won and Bought

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Won from the lovely 2011 debut author Courtney Allison Moulton. I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED TO READ THIS!!)
Freefall by Mindi Scott (Bought)


Swag!
Swag was from Laura and Courtney - thanks again girls!!

That's it for me! What did you guys get this week?

*In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

♥amber

Survey Time - Tell Me How The Blog Is Doing!

With 2010 coming to a close I would really like to hear your feedback on how you thinking I'm doing. I've made some blogging goals for 2011, but I'm all about improving JYTBB for you guys!

So please take a minute or two out of your time and fill out the form below. Be as honest as you want! If you think this blog sucks - tell me why! If you think this blog is doing great - tell me what you like about it! I'm up for any suggestions too!

Thanks!


♥amber

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

MC Pictures, Images and Photos

I hope everyone has a very blessed time with their friends and family this Christmas. I'll be back to regular blogging and commenting sometime next week. Family is in and I'll be spending a lot of time with all of them :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday


Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Release Date: July 2011

Ashline Wilde never received an instruction manual on how to be a 16-year-old Polynesian volcano goddess. If she had, it might have contained helpful warnings such as:

• Dreaming about your (thankfully) mortal boyfriend may cause your bed to spontaneously combust
• Oven mitts should be worn at all times during heavy make-out sessions

Instead, Ash has to learn these life lessons the hard way as her dormant powers erupt at the most awkward times. In the wake of a hometown tragedy, Ash transfers to Blackwood Academy, a boarding school nestled in California’s redwoods, where a group of fellow gods-on-earth have mysteriously convened. As if sophomore year couldn’t get any worse, her storm goddess older sister, the wild and unpredictable Eve, resurfaces to haunt Ashline. With a war between the gods looming over Blackwood, Ash must master the fire smoldering within her before she clashes with her sister one final time, which leads us to life-lesson #3:

When warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Sounds fantastic, right? Have you guys seen this author do vlogs over at YA Rebels? He is hilarious!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight by Sophie Jordan


Released: September 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal - Fantasy
Pages: 323
Source: We Love YA Tours


Rating: ♥♥♥.5

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.


Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.


Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

----

I've never read much fantasy type novels so dragons are a whole new world to me. The idea of what Sophie Jordan created sounded excellent. The beginning chapters were very engaging and action-packed. I wanted to know more and more about the Draki and their pride. There was something about Jacinda that I really liked off the bat. She was a very curious and had real emotions which made her a realistic character even though she could, you know, shift into a dragon.

After a close call with dragon hunters, her family picks up and moves to the mortal world where the storyline of "new girl with secret meets hot guy with secret" takes over. When she meets Will, who she instantly recognizes as a hunter, she knows she should stay away. That of course cannot happen.  Both of them are drawn to one another. Trust me, it's obvious these two are attracted to one another. The author writes the emotions very well. I could literally feel their attraction, but I wasn't buying this instant love between the two. It was more lust than love.  So those were the two things that really set me back from this book. I'm just tired of seeing that type of plot line in books.

Back to the parts that I did enjoy. I thought the action in this story was great! I loved hearing bits and pieces of what the pride had planned for Jacinda, and her struggle with expecting who she was and what she was. I wished there was more of that because that's what really held my interest. The ending held a nice twist, and I do plan to pick up the next book when it comes out to see what will happen next.

♥amber

Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

I've seen this fun little feature around several blogs and decided to join in on the fun! The Book Blogger Hop is basically a way for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! Plus a great way to find more book blogs to love :) For more information on the Hop, swing by Crazy For Books.




This week's questions is: 
"What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?" 

Hhhmm....this one is tough. Plots are the basis of any story. It's what gets us from point A to point B. If something isn't happening, I'm usually waiting to hit page 50 so I know if I should give up or not. (I have a 50-page limit to all books.) BUT I love characters. Since most stories I read are told in first person, I need these characters to be rich, well-rounded, and show me what they're made out of. I don't necessarily have to love all the characters, not even the main character, but they have to be interesting enough for me to want to know what is going to happen to them. So for my answer, I'm going with: characters. 

♥amber

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Top 10 Picks of 2010 - Vlog Style!

Wait...where did the year go? Seriously, it just feels like last month I posted my top reads of 2009. How could 2010 already be done with?! .

There were SO MANY excellent reads this year, and so many fantastic debut authors! It was hard to number down my favorites out of everything I read, but I finally got it done. So without further ado, I introduce you to JYTBB's Top 10 Reads of 2010:


EDIT: I know there are some spelling mistakes in the video. That's what happens when you finalize a video at 1 in the morning after you get done cursing Windows Movie Maker for freezing up on you 15 times. So let's just all pretend that I do know how to spell, mmmkay? Thanks!





If for some reason the video won't load for you - my list:

10. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
9. She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott
8. Shade by Jeri-Smith Ready
7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
6. A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker
5. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
4. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
3. Freefall by Mindi Scott
2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

So what were some of your favorites for 2010? Is your reading pile going to be growing heavily next year? I know mine is!

♥amber

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In My Mailbox #39


Review
Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Goodreads | Amazon)
Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Way It Is by Donalda Reid (Goodreads | Amazon)

Won
Snow Queen by Emma Harrison (Goodreads | Amazon)

Paperback Swap
Before I Die by Jenny Downham (Goodreads | Amazon)

Bought
Highborn by Yvonne Navarro (Goodreads | Amazon)


I got a lot of books on tour this week which on one hand works well because it is FREAKING COLD OUTSIDE! I really have no desire to get out of my house so snuggling up on the couch with a book works for me.

*In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

♥amber

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rock This! Thursday with Book Savvy

Why did you start blogging?

I read a lot. So much so that my co-workers, family, and friends had been getting tired of me going on and on about the good (and not-so-good) books I experience. I had to get it out somewhere and this is the place! I honestly couldn't care less whether people "Follow" my blog or are persuaded to buy the books I love. To me it's all about sharing my experiences and passion. The one thing I DO love about the "Follow" option on Blogger, I always follow back and because of this I have found some extraordinarily cool bloggers that I otherwise never would have met. I think I go more fan-girl over bloggers than I do authors. This community I've discovered has opened my life to people I couldn't have met otherwise and every one of them holds a special place in my heart and world.

What are some of your favorite reads this year?

Every book I've read has impacted me in some way. Whether it was entertaining, enlightening, or inspiring. I started Book-Savvy earlier this year and in doing so, that changed the way I perceive the books I read because I want to make sure that I not only absorb them through my own eyes, but I have to thing about the general audience and what they may or may not enjoy from the story. My personal absolute favorite this year was The Iron King and The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa. Her subject matter brought me straight back to my childhood and revisiting the terrifying (as a child) tales my Grandmother would tell me about Faeries. As a result of this I've started to recall and share the same stories with my own children, which is something I am forever indebted to her for. Ash would KILL me for saying that, lol.

You're walking down the street - what song is following you?

Depends on what time of day and the weather. I like to sing old Kate Bush songs to ward off scary thoughts when walking alone. On the other hand, I'm disturbingly clumsy, so an onlooker may envision some old player-piano music reeling as I trip over invisible forces I refer to as "Gravity Surges."

In the book blogging world, there always seems to be a lot of hype about this book or that one. Is there one you've stumbled across that hasn't had a lot of hype, but you think readers should definitely pick up?
OMG, yes! Depending what you're into, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell was the most TERRIFYING book I've ever read. Lament by Maggie Steifvater was one of the best faerie books I've read. The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride was really amazing, too.

Who is your favorite band or singer? Why are they you're favorite?

Alesana. Their lyrics are akin to an amazing paranormal romance, with music that fully express how I would musically interpret the emotions. They put on a helluva great live show, too. It's a good thing they don't play more than a couple shows a year in Detroit, because I would become a huge Groupie and neglect the rest of my world. Very talented and intelligent guys.

Has reading a book ever changed your life?

Every book I read deeply impacts me and alters my perception on life to some degree. Some of the most influencial to me were the Harry Potter books. I survived a most ugly and painful event in my life by getting lost in those books whenever I could.

What is one song you've overplayed worse than a Top 40 station?

"All Night Dance Parties In The Underground Palace" by Alesana. I've listened to that song at least once a day for the past 2 years.

If someone were to write a book about your life, what would the title be?

Lost and Found and Lost Again: The Mind of Heather

I likes the title of that! Do you have any guilty pleasure music?

I love the "Punk Goes Crunk" compilations, don't tell anyone. I am so adamantly anti-Hip Hop, they would never let me live that down.

You're given two golden concert tickets to go see any band from any decade. The only catch is you have to take a character from a book. Who are you taking and who are you two going to go see?
I'm Taking Ash from The Iron Fey to see Alesana's "Where Myth Fades To Legend" tour. Or Varen from Nevermore to Alesana's "The Emptiness" tour.

You take Ash - I'll take Puck! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Heather! Everyone, make sure you go check out her blog here.


If you are an author or blogger who would like to swing by and discuss books and music with us, shoot us an email:justyourtypicalbookblog(at)hotmail(dot)com


♥amber

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday #24


How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain 
Release Date: May 4th, 2011

David Gershwin's summer is about to take a turn for the weird. When his dad's new patient Zelda tells him she’s from outer space and on a quest to take Johnny Depp back to her planet, he knows he should run away screaming. But with one look from her mean, green eyes, David's hooked, and soon he's leaping across rooftops, running from police, and stealing cars just to stay by her side. He might not be a typical hero, but David's going to get the girl even if it takes him to the ends of the earth—or beyond.

What about that title DOESN'T scream read me?! It sounds like it will be one of those crazy, whacky, and hilarious type of reads. Plus ya know, I'm always down for anything that mentions Johnny Depp ;)

♥amber


The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa 
(Book #2 in the Iron Fey Series)


Released: August 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal - Fey
Pages: 359
Source: Library

Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5


Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.


Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.







---
Just like in the first book, I was so excited to dip right back into Julie Kagawa's imagination and get to see all the characters I had loved. There is one thing I noticed about the plot, and that there is never a dull moment. There is always something happening to Meghan, some sort of road block or new discovery that is sure to keep all readers on their toes when they dip into this series.

In the first book we learned that the Iron Fey was put into the fey realm due to the ever-growing technology we in the mortal world seem to be so obsessed with. I thought that was such an interesting and a refreshing concept to have in a book because it is SO true. I am not a tech-savvy person, and I never really plan to be because it's not my thing, but I loved how so many realistic things are incorporated in this other world. 

There's not much of the plot I can discuss without giving away something, but like I mentioned before, Julie knows how to keep the pages of turning, and there is a lot of action in this story. With the action and battles, there is also the romance side of it. Now I know without a doubt that Puck and Meghan have more of a BFF relationship, and it'll probably stick that way, and I'm glad about it. I really, really am. My love for Puck doesn't make me hate on Ash at all. I think he's a great character, but I haven't really been won over by the two of them being together. I see a connection, just not a strong enough one yet. But hey, there are still two more books that can convince me of this otherwise.

Anyhoo, for the second book in a series, which is always the hardest to win me over for some reason, this did not disappoint at all! I am so anxious to get my hands on the third book, and thankfully it comes out soon because I don't think I could wait much longer to find out what's going to happen next!

Webpage | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

♥amber

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2011 Reading Challenges

At first I had all four of these challenges up in separate posts, but decided just to combine them all. For 2011, I plan on giving my blog way more attention than I have in the past, and thought why not just sign up for a bunch of fun challenges for a kick off?



The Book Vixen has set up one awesome reading challenge for 2011! The goal is to read as many YA books that were originally published in the 80s and 90s as your heart desires. The only requirement is that the book(s) have to have been first published sometime between 1980 – 1999. Find out more information here.

Seeing that I was born in 85, I'm pretty excited to go back and read all my favorites from childhood and tween years. I decided to dip back into some of my favorite series, and some I hadn't read yet so here ya go for this list:

1. Girl Talk by L.E. Blair
2. The Boy Next Door by R.L. Stine
3. Say Cheese and Die by R.L. Stine
4. Sweet Valley University by Francine Pascal
5. The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin
6. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
7. Roswell High: The Wild One by Melinda Metz






Sabrina from YA Bliss is hosting a 2011 Historical Fiction Challenge. Historical Fiction is not my normal cup of tea, but I'm going to give it a try!

Choose your level:

Level 1: 5 YA HF books in 2011
Level 2: 10 YA HF books in 2011
Level 3: 15 YA HF books in 2011

Rules:
All Historical Fiction books must be YA or MG
Books don't have to be 2011 releases.
Anyone can join. Please link to a public (web) place I can find you.
You can join at anytime. The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011

Find out more information on this post.

I'm choosing to take this challenge on Level 1:

1. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
2. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
3. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
4. Wildwing by Emily Whitman
5. Vixen by Jillian Larkin

A couple months back, Sabrina and I were talking on twitter. She likes to take jabs at my more than comfortable style of reading. I love contemporary and paranormal. I pretty much stay with those two genres while Sab has a variety of genres she reads. So we both challenge one another to read 5 books the other one hadn't read and probably wouldn't.


Please do not laugh at my failed attempt at a graphic :)


1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
2. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
3. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
4. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
5. Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein




You can no longer sign up for The Contemps Challenge, but the goal is to read 18 of the 21 books coming out in the following year.

1. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
2. Freefall by Mindi Scott
3. Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
4. Girl, Stolen by April Henry
5. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
6. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
7. Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
8. Trapped by Michael Northrop
9. Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
10. Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
11. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
12. Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
13. Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
14. Sharks and Boys by Kristen Tracy
15. Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
16. Pearl by Jo Knowles
17. Family by Micol Ostow
18. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

♥amber

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Released: February 2010
Published: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal - Fey
Pages: 363
Source: Bought


Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.



---


I have heard wonderful reviews about this series, bought it months and months ago, and JUST NOW got to it. My first statement to myself is: Amber, what the heck took you so long?!

Julie Kagawa is a brilliant woman. I would love to jump into her ear and wiggle my way into her brain so I could see how her imagination works! Me and Fey books aren't exactly best friends. I do love a good book on faeries, but my problem is some authors just go a bit over my head. You start giving me weird names that have a million 'y' and 'i''s in them and I just cannot do it. If you share the same problem like me, well don't fret because Julie's writing is smooth and can suck you in within minutes.

Meghan is a great narrative. She has a great mix of being head-strong and vulnerability. You can tell as you read that she is frighten, which she should be considering that there is never, and I mean NEVER a moment where she's not in some sort of danger, but she still has this determination to get her brother back. I love characters like this!

Now if you've been around a few blogs, you've might have heard of this whole Team Ash and Team Puck thing. I'm always down for a dark, brooding type of guy. He's someone that you can easily fall for, but he's distant, and guards himself well. And I should have fallen for him.

BUT

There's Puck. Puck who completely without a doubt steals the show in this book. He is nothing but hilarious, quit-witted, and charming in his own Puck-way. Though him and Meghan are pretty much best friends, and honestly, I wouldn't want them to be together because I doubt it would work, I still really loved Puck almost more than I loved Meghan.

Basically if you were like me and still haven't gotten around to reading this series, you need to go pick it up! You will be amazed by this world Julie has created. The way her characters easily come to life just had me in awe. And did I tell you there was a talking cat? I don't even like cats, but I was loving Grimalkin!



Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

♥amber

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox #38

Once again, I've gotta play catch up! At some point I'm going to start doing vlogs, but first I need to get a camera. I've been thinking about getting a flip cam, but I was curious of what other people have. I know a lot of people just use what's on their computer, so other than a webcam, does anyone have suggestions?



















Review:
Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers (Amazon | Goodreads)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (Amazon | Goodreads)
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (Amazon | Goodreads)
Wither by Lauren Destefano (Amazon | Goodreads)
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain (Amazon | Goodreads)

Library:
Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler (Amazon | Goodreads)


That's it for me! What did you guys get this week? Make sure to leave a comment so I can go drool over your mailbox!

Also I wanted to point out this post I did the other day. My friends' 8-year-old daughter, Macy, has been battling a form of cancer called ALL Leukemia for two years. She is such a sweet little girl who has been put through something no child should ever have to go through.

Her parents are absolutely buried in medical bills. I know it's the holidays and I know money is tight due to the economy, but NO PARENT should have to worry how they're going to afford to keep their child alive because their insurance will not cover a lot of the cost. So please, if you can spare even two dollars, swing by this page and leave a donation. It would be very appreciated!

* In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie.

♥amber

I've reached 600 followers! Giveaway time!

On Friday night I noticed I had 599 followers. That one little number was just begging to be changed so I did what any respectable blogger would do.

I went to twitter and bribed.

The bribe was: If I hit 600 followers I will do a giveaway with an ARC of either Delirium by Lauren Oliver or Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

Three minutes later, I went to my blog and I had 607 followers! The magic of Twitter, people!

Being true to my word - IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!!

1 Winner will get a choice between either one of these ARCs:




Since I love ALL of you followers - IT'S GOING TO BE INTERNATIONAL!!!

BUT there is one catch! You HAVE to be a follower to enter this giveaway. I never have this as a guideline in giveaways, but since I'm celebrating reaching 600 followers this is ONLY open to my followers!

And yes, you can become a new follower to enter this contest. And yes, I will be checking to make sure the winner was an actual follower of the blog before I announce them being the winner. And yes, I will delete your entry if you are a liar, liar pants on fire!


Giveaway will end December 25th at 11:59 central standard time. Any questions please shoot me an email :)

♥amber

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Released: December 2010
Published: Dutton
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 372
Source: Around the World Tours


Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

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


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


---


There's no doubt that you've seen a million posts up already gushing their love about this book. Yes, this will be another review where the blogger feel head over heels with Anna, and will re-read it many upon many times. And I know with all the hype, some people might get it, and not love it as much as they thought they would. Honestly, if it wasn't for a couple bloggers who kept telling me I had to read it, I probably would have overlooked this book at least for a while.

What I love about Anna is that she is one of the best well-rounded and realistic characters I have read in a very long time. She is not perfect. She is not a doormat. She is not too cool for her own good. She is just a regular girl who is experiencing this whole new adventure in a new city. I've never been to Paris, and I doubt I'll ever get the chance to go. But Stephanie Perkins writes that place so vividly, I felt like I've already been there. And hey, if I ever want to go re-visit, I can just jump back into the book ;)

Then there is St. Claire who you're already sighing a bit over when you first meet him. BUT St. Claire is just an average guy. He's not tall, dark, brooding, and acts like he's the biggest badass around. He's short, funny, laid back, and if I were at that school I'd either be in love with him or his best friend. I prefer the in love part, but you can tell he's just one of those guys who would sit next to you and strike up a conversation no matter who you are.

The romantic part of this story is obviously swoon-worthy and the part I really enjoyed. The attraction to St. Claire is there, but it is so well plotted. There are so many "almost" moments just like in real life. The relationship really does grow in this strong friendship that the two form throughout the school year. The host of friends Anna has were never just in the background to me. They were all so clearly individual and entertaining. Even everything above isn't the only reason why I loved this book. I loved seeing Anna grow from the girl she was when she stepped into that new school in strange city to the girl she became at the end of the story.

Stephanie Perkin's writing flows so easily, I was seriously about a hundred pages into the book, and didn't even realize it. She is so well in tune with Anna, you really do feel everything she writes and what Anna goes through. Another thing I wanted to add in is something I've noticed in a lot of books lately where the mention of sex or cursing sometimes goes a bit overboard. What I like about this book is that it was there when it needed to be there. Nothing was over-done.

So basically my name is Amber and I am an Anna Fangirl! If you love a wonderfully well-written contemporary novel then you have to get this one. For being a debut author, Stephanie Perkins has blown me away and made me an instant fan. I will definitely be picking up anything she writes next!

If you want to see my fangirl reaction when I first finished Anna months ago, check out this post.


Stephanie Perkins has always worked with books--first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow.


Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads









 ♥amber

Friday, December 3, 2010

Win a copy of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain + Nail Polish!


The Lost Saint by Bree Despain 

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace’s relationship with Daniel is put in danger — in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her — not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

1 Winner will get:

-An ARC of The Lost Saint
-A bottle of blue nail polish

I would have uploaded a picture of both of these, but it won't load up for some reason - sorry guys!

Rules:
- Must be 13 years of age
- Must have a US MAILING ADDRESS 
- Leave a comment here telling me why you want this book with your email address. If you don't have both of these - I will delete your entry. 
- Giveaway ends December 15th at 11:59 PM central time

♥amber