Friday, April 29, 2011

Hi, it's my birthday.

Some might think it's a big self-absorbed to go announcing that it's your birthday. But me? I'm all about birthdays! A birthday is a very special thing. It's the day you were born, and you should celebrate the fact that you're alive. No matter how crappy life gets (and trust me, I know how crappy it can get) you're still here and that's still pretty freaking awesome.

In my family we still bust out the ice cream and cake no matter what age you are. I'm actually on a road trip right now with my sister so I told the girls at work just to make whatever kind of cake they want for me. My awesome friend, April, decided to incorporate  my road trip on my birthday cake. This is the 4th time I think that April has ever made a cake and she did a fantastic job on it!

The guitar and music notes symbolize Nashville and Memphis. The hand of cards were supposed to be for Tunica, but you basically need an arc to go through there right now so we'll be gambling somewhere else. 

I hope you all have an awesome day, and if you're in Nashville at this very moment, look for the drunk girl downtown tonight screaming, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!"


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Released: April 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 269
Source: FinePrint Lit (Blog Tour)

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss?

Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive....


I had seen on a lot of my favorite blogs that people were just eating this book up. Chase's story is told over four summers, and I'll be honest - I found it kind of boring at first. I didn't really see what the big deal was, but Moskowitz's writing is so free flowing and has this way of grabbing you where even though you may, like me, kind of be meh about it at first, you don't want to put it down. I'm glad I didn't because this story just completely stole me away.

I thought this was going to be more of some torn romance, and I guess in a way it was. Melinda, the girl both brothers are kind of "with" has a lot to do with the story. I never liked her. Never grew to like her, but what really stuck out to me was the family dynamics. You had the oldest brother who no one ever knew if he was coming or going. The little sister who was stuck between still being a child and wanting to be a woman. A younger brother who was deaf and how everyone in the family coped with it. Then there was NewBaby mixed in with these parents who are there, but never really "there"....and they  The only word I can think of how to describe this family is: Strange. It's the kind of strange that sticks with you a couple days after you read it. There was a couple of times where the boarder line incest freaked me out. Was it because the parents weren't really around in the sense so they all relied on each other so much? I have a sister who I'm really close with, but not the way these kids were.

It's really hard to write a review for a book like this because even though I read it (almost in one sitting), it's kind of like I'm still not for sure what I read. Chase's story is very, very raw. Moskowitz does not shy away from any feelings or words. Sometimes over bluntness in books (and repeated ones too) kind of pushes me away, but with Chase's story, it had to be that way. There were so many moments where you could see him and his family just being broken and it just punched me. By the third summer came around - I was in shock. I can't remember the last time I literally stared at the end of a chapter for a few minutes wondering what the hell just happened.

I hope this review makes sense. After reading other people's, this one is either a hit or miss. Obviously for me, it was a hit. The kind of realistic read that is so screwed up yet it is so beautiful and powerful I just want to read it again because I know I missed something. So if you've been thinking about not reading this one because you've read a bad review, I really suggest going ahead and getting it yourself just to see. And if you were thinking for one second this was some beach read - think again. Definitely one for older teens due to all the language and sex.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rock This! Thursday with Behind Yellow Eyes

Rock This! Thursday is a weekly feature I have where I discuss books that are about or centered around one thing I love the most: MUSIC! Once in a while I'll even throw in a concert story, a band/artist you should hear, or feature bloggers and authors in an interview.

Today Gina from Behind Yellow Eyes with us to discuss books and music!

Tell us a little bit about your blog.
Behind Yellow Eyes is a fan site for Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series. We blog about the books, movie, and Maggie!

You're walking down the street - what song is following you?
Oh the song I always think of when I'm walking down the street-seriously-is "Bittersweet Symphony" by the Verve. The song is really long. And it just sounds like the kind of song you'd hear following you down the street. Like my own personal soundtrack. Also, the video is awesome. It's literally the lead singer walking down a city street, bumping into people. I've secretly always wanted to try doing that :)

Ha! Back when that song first came out, my friends and I attempted to run into people while walking down the street. But I grew up in a small town so there wasn't many people to really run into - not like in the video at least! I know we're only four months into the year, but what have been your favorite reads so far?
Hands down, WITHER. There aren't enough hours in the day for me to sing the praises of this book. It's absolutely amazing, and everyone should read it.

Who is your favorite band or singer? Why are they your favorite?
My favorite band has to be Incubus. I love the fact that their music has so much variety. Some songs are really intense and others are mellow and melodic. Their lyrics are so poetic and there's a lot of meaning behind them. I feel like they're in it for the real art of creating music, and that's huge for me.

Love me some Incubus. Do you have any authors on your instant-buy list?
Well, besides Maggie Stiefvater's books, I'm pretty sure from now on I'll buy anything Lauren DeStefano writes. I also really like Alyson Noel, Lauren Kate, and Stephanie Perkins.

What is one song you've overplayed worse than a Top 40 Station?
"Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland. That song is so catchy and it just gets stuck in your head-no pun intended! I still play that song a lot-it's great fun to sing along to in the car.

I know in the blogging world we all get caught up with what's coming out next. What are some books you think have been overlooked over the past couple years?
I'm going to cheat here and say Maggie's BALLAD and LAMENT. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series has gotten a lot of attention, which has brought more attention to these two. But they need more! They're really good!

I still need to read those! What's your all-time favorite genre?
Rock. Definitely rock. Nothing better.

Amen! Your least favorite genre?
Not a big fan of rap or techno.

You're given two golden concert tickets to go see any band from any decade. The only catch is that you have to take a character from a book. Who are you taking and who are you two going to go see?
Oh this is a really tough one! I think I'm going to surprise people and pick James from BALLAD and LAMENT. He's such a funny, quirky, kick-butt character and he appreciates music. I'd have an awesome time with him. I think we'd have to go see a back in the day Beatles concert.

Thanks for stopping by, Gina! Everyone make sure to go check out her site.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Released: April 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 264
Source: Won

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.


If I Stay was one of those books that punched me in my gut and made me cry. I thought the ending was perfect, but it made me think about it for days of what would happen to Mia and Adam now that she chose to stay. When I heard there was going to be a follow-up, I freaked!

Reading from Adam's point of view was awesome. He was already one of my favorite male characters to begin with, but this book made me fall in love with him. Hearing his voice in my head, knowing all the pain and anxiety he had with how his dream had came about and his life with Mia....*sighs* Forman wrote one of the most realistic guys ever.

Mia pissed me off when I first got into the book. My mind kept racing on how she could possible leave Adam the way she did. As the story unfolds, you could practically feel the pull these two have for one another and how badly the tension is. Plus the book is based on one night of seeing each other which is hard to pull off, but Forman does it beautifully. She manages to weave in enough back story and present time to make you really understand where both characters are coming from.

It's hard for me not to compare the two books together. If I Stay was such an emotional roller coaster. The mere mention of Mia's family in this book had me in tears. But Where She Went held more quiet punches. It's also one of the best examples of showing how much a tragedy can take a hold of your life. I still favor the first book more, but when I skimmed through this one a second time, I couldn't help but falling in love with it all over again. And the music! I loved reading the lyrics, making the tune of how they would go inside my head.

I highly recommend everyone to read the follow-up. If you haven't read the first book then you need to get your hands on it ASAP so you can get to this one!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Tour: Win a copy of Invincible Summer!

Invincible Summer by Hanna Moskowitz

Across four sun-kissed drama-drenched summers at his family's beach house, Chase tries to come to grips with his family's slow dissolution while also finding himself in a chaotic love triangle, pitted against his own brother in pursuit of the girl next door. Invincible Summer is a gritty, sexy, page-turning read from a talented teenaged author that readers won't want to miss.

1 person will get 1 copy of Invincible Summer. Giveaway will end April 27th at 11:50 PM central standard time. Open to US ONLY!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Queen of Glass Teaser Trailer!

If there's one book that I wish time would fast forward to 2012 for, it'd be Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Mass. Today she shared a trailer her friend and critique partner, Kat Zhang, made for her!

Seriously people, I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE NOW!!!

Wanna know more about Sarah and Queen of Glass? Check out the following links:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Character Interview: Matt from Lipstick Laws + Giveaway

What was the first thing you noticed about April that caught your eye?
She was sort of staring at me in homeroom and I thought she was awkwardly cute. The next day we talked, and I found out we have some stuff in common.

What are some of your hobbies?
I like pretty much any sport, playing and watching. I’m big into snowboarding too.

What is your impression of the Lipstick Laws?
I don’t know much about them, but I think they’re pretty bogus from the little I do know. I wouldn’t trust any “friends” who expect me to follow rules to hang out with them. Plus, I try to stay away from anything that uses the word lipstick.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Ummm… I dunno, ask a woodchuck.

Boxers or briefs?
That’s a pretty personal question, don’t ya think? My boys like room to breathe…so boxers.

If you could have taken April on a date in the book, where would it have been?
She said she likes football, so maybe to a game and then out for a bite after. That would be my choice anyhow.

What's your favorite song?
I Don’t Care by Fall Out Boy. It sucks that they broke up.

Yes, it does suck they broke up. I'm glad I got to see them in concert last year before the split. Thanks for swinging by, Matt! 

If you would like the chance to win a copy of The Lipstick Laws then here's your chance! There is a weekly giveaway going so just leave a comment with your e-mail address on this post and your entered! US ONLY 


Saturday, April 2, 2011

In My Mailbox

Just one book this week again! You'd think this might make my blogging self sad but due to the crazy schedule of life, I'm glad it was just one book. And plus it's a PRETTY FREAKING AWESOME BOOK!!

And Mandy Hubbard signed it!!

Sadly, it isn't mine to keep. I got it through Around the World Tours and will have to pass it along to someone else in a week. But here's a tidbit to know: The character named Nikki in this book, yeah I *points to self* named her. True story.

Okay, that's it for me and my bragging bit. What did you guys get this week?


Contemps Challenge: Post your April Reviews!

We're not entering our fourth month of the Contemps Challenge! March's winner was Kari from A Good Addiction! Congrats, Kari!

What is the Contemps Challenge? Click here to find out more details!

Remember: This challenge is ONLY for the 20 books released by The Contemps. Click here for a full list of all 20 books. You can also post ANY reviews you made in 2010 :)

Prize: 3 surprise books and/or ARCs and swag!

Open to US addresses only! There is no official sign up so no need to worry about that - just link those reviews up!

Note: If the linky box below doesn't show up for you, please post your link review in the comment section. Thanks!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philips

The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philips

Released: April 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Teen Book Scene


Ruby and her older sister Jinn live together on their own, just about making ends meet. Jinn is beautiful, with glittering blonde hair, and makes it her business to look after Ruby. They are horrified by, but try to ignore, the local newspaper stories of prostitutes who are murdered, their bodies eventually discovered underwater.

Then the no-good Nathan Baird turns up on the scene - again - and Jinn starts to change. First Nathan moves in with Jinn and Ruby, making Ruby feel an outsider, and then Jinn and Nathan move out, leaving Ruby alone. Jinn no longer has time to look after Ruby. And it seems to Ruby that Jinn herself needs looking after. Her beautiful glittering hair starts to lose its shine. And then Jinn disappears. A deeply moving, chilling, and incredibly powerful thriller that celebrates the love two sisters have for each other and mourns the events beyond their control that will conspire to drive them apart.


The beginning of the book didn't really grab me in like I thought it would. It was mainly because I had it in my mind that this was going to be more of a mystery book about the dead girls and the missing sister. And I will admit that I picked this book up mainly because my name is in the title. The book focuses a lot on Ruby herself. After her mother's death, it had always been her and her older sister, Jinn. When Jinn decides to stay with a guy who isn't good for her, Ruby has to adjust to this new life put in front of her.

After I got over the fact that this wasn't exactly a suspenseful book, I throughly enjoyed the plot. There was a great balance in Ruby. She was lost yet she wasn't. I haven't read many UK based book so all the slang and seeing the different culture really interested me. Gillian Philips is a wonderful writer. A lot of the passages were written beautifully and I could get lost inside Ruby's world.

With the aspect of the missing girls and who the killer was, I was very surprised. I was sure throughout half the novel that it was a certain someone, actually I would have even took a bet on it, but when the ending came around I had a what?! moment. Even if you thought this book was more of a thriller type novel, don't let that steer you away that it's not. It's still a wonderfully written story about a teenage girl finding her place in this world.