Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (25) 9.28.13

Saturday, September 28, 2013 7:55 AM with 26 comments

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This meme allows us to share the books we've recently added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! *Clicking the link of a book's title will take you to Goodreads.



I was able to get back into the swing of things a little bit this week. Student teaching while working part-time is still kicking my butt, but I was able to post two reviews this week one for the book Fangirl, which I really enjoyed, and one for the movie 21 Jump Street, which is a hilarious movie that you should definitely check out if you haven't already. I'm currently reading Goodbye, Rebel Blue. It's really good so far and I will do my best to get a review up for it next week. 

This week, I added some more amazing books that I can not wait to dive into, including one that has been topping my most anticipated books of the year. So without further ado...here's what I've added to my shelf this week. 


For Review

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Tandem  by Anna Jarzab
This multi-verse novel has been one of my most anticipated novels of the year. I cannot wait to dive into this one. 
Red by Alison Cherry
So I've been looking forward to this one, too, but I am definitely curious about how good it is going to be. See, this novel is about a town in which redheads hold all the power and a girl who dyes her hair is found out by at least one person...so I'm wondering. If hair dye is an option than why wouldn't everyone just dye their hair red? This question seriously better be answered. 
Just One Year by Gayle Forman
The companion to Just One Day...which I need to read immediately.
Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
A boy's "cruel act" of killing a bird comes back to haunt him as an adult.
Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
The companion to The Distance Between Us...which I need to read immediately, ahem, again. Why do I request sequels to books I haven't read yet? That's a good question.  
Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr
A girl tries to solve the murder of her favorite teacher. I love a good YA mystery and that cover is sufficiently creepy.
Kingdom of Little Wounds by Suzann Cokal
A young seamstress and a royal nursemaid find themselves at the center of an epic power struggle. Look at that cover. Those mermaids!
Blythewood by Carol Goodman
Boarding school and dark secrets. Sold.
The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become. So I haven't read any review for this yet, but I cannot help but notice that my GR friends who have read it so far have all given it 1 or 2 stars. I don't always agree with my friends, of course, but my expectations of this have definitely been lowered.
No Angel  by Helen Keeble
The blurb on the cover is: He flies. He fights demons. He's looking down your shirt. Heh.
Bang  by Lisa McMann
The sequel to Crash

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves this week. What did you add to your shelves? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

21 Jump Street (Movie Review)

Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:54 AM with 4 comments


21 Jump Street

Directors:,  

Writers: (screenplay), (story)

Starring:, ,

 

Synopsis from IMDb.com: 

 

In high school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was a dork and Jenko (Channing Tatum) was the popular jock. After graduation, both of them joined the police force and ended up as partners riding bicycles in the city park. Since they are young and look like high school students, they are assigned to an undercover unit to infiltrate a drug ring that is supplying high school students synthetic drugs. Written by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

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MY THOUGHTS:

 

It would be easy to write off this movie as yet another cheesy update on a now irrelevant TV show, but to do so would be a mistake. 21 Jump Street is a surprisingly funny comedy that is immensely watchable and extremely charming.  


21 Jump Street follows Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum). Schmidt was a Eminem-looking dork back in his high school days who was saddled with the nickname of Not-So-Slim-Shady, while Jenko was a popular jock who ruled the school. While the two aren't advesaries, they certainly aren't friends either, with Jenko quick to make fun of Schmidt--though not necessarily in an evil bully way.



 

The two become friends when they both sign up for the police academy a few years after high school and realize that they could help each other out in the areas the other lacks (smarts and brawn). They quickly become good friends and are ecstatic when they graduate the academy. After majorly blowing their first bust, their captain ships them off to an old program that is getting re-booted (because the guys that come up with these things have run out of ideas) and the two find themselves as the newest members of 21 Jump Street, an undercover operation that puts younger-looking police officers in high schools. 
 
Schmidt and Jenko are to portray brothers. Their mission is to find out who the supplier of a deadly new drug is before it makes it out of the contained area of a certain high school. Getting their assigned names mixed-up, Jenko finds himself in AP Chemistry while Schmidt gets the easier schedule full of classes like drama. For the first time in his life, Schmidt finds himself hanging out with the popular crowd, while Schmidt is stuck with the chem nerds.

21 Jump Street is tear-inducingly funny in some scenes. I was laughing so hard during one part that it turned into something else completely (seriously, I don't even understand some of the noises coming out of my mouth) and I was so thankful to be watching the film alone.

This film is truly about friendship and what it means to be a friend both in high school and as an adult. It is a look at how high school has changed in just a few years, with students caring about their environment and being, in general, more tolerant of others' differences. Jenko, unable to understand this new world of high school hilariously blames the show Glee for ruining high school. These granola popular kids are the dealers, of course, with Dave Franco (Jame's younger brother) playing the head huncho. It isn't surprising that the action culminates during prom. With the boys stepping out of the limo in their white tuxes followed by doves.


The film also addresses finding a way to become comfortable in one's own skin. The joy that Schmidt feels after being accepted by the popular crowd is both funny and heartbreaking. The wounds of high school can most definitely linger for years after. I'm not trying to make this film deeper than it is, but it does have a layer of complexity that gives the film a heart that is often missing in these re-booted, slap-stick comedies.

The cast is absolutely pitch perfect, the jokes are funny, and the movie has some real heart. If you haven't seen this little gem already, I highly recommend it. 
   

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (24) What I Thought Was True

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:22 AM with 15 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.



15832932 What I Thought Was True
 
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick  
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: April 15, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:
 
From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.

Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

Why I'm Excited:

I absolutely loved My Life Next Door and cannot wait to read what this author has dreamed up next. I'm such a fan of books with idyllic summer settings, especially Nantucket, and have always been a sucker for the "wrong side of the tracks" + blue blood = love storyline. I love this charming cover, too. I seriously cannot wait to read this and am sure it is going to be a very popular choice today.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up! 

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fangirl (Book Review)

Monday, September 23, 2013 7:24 AM with 14 comments

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Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Number of Pages: 434
Release Date: September 10, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


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MY THOUGHTS:

I have to admit I was a bit weary of this book. As much as I wanted to enjoy it, I just could not get into Eleanor & Park, a book that every single one of my friends seemed to adore. I was easily pulled into Fangirl, however, and really enjoyed this charming book about this socially-awkward freshman girl who is obsessed with the magical world of a Harry Potter-like character.

While I love reading about this age group--the older teen/new adult, struggling to make it on their own for the first time--and the college setting, I usually shy away from the NA genre. While this book could easily be labeled as NA, it doesn't have that tragic chessiness that infiltrates most NA books (from what I've gathered), nor is it overtly sexual (and it doesn't have a boring kiss-y face cover-yay!). Instead it's an honest look at a girl struggling to find her place in the world. A girl who is forced to make friends on her own for the first time, instead of just being the + 1 of her more outgoing twin sister.

Cath had assumed that she and Wren (her twin) would be roommates when they move from Omaha, Nebraska to Lincoln to go to school. They've been sharing a room their whole lives after all. So she is blindsided when Wren tells her that she wants to room with somebody else instead. Cath gets saddled with the snarky, intimidating Reagan as her roommate. Reagan is an upperclassman who had been hoping for a single room. Reagan was easily one of my favorite characters. She finds Cath exasperating and bewildering, but starts to take her under her wing when it becomes apparent that Cath is too scared to even find the dining hall on her own. Reagan is constantly flanked by Levi, a boy who seems to be her boyfriend even though she is always going out with other guys. 

Levi is the best character. Open and friendly, he immediately takes a shine to Cath (who he calls by her real name of Cather). Sweet to everyone he meets, he does the nicest things for Cath, like insisting he walks her home from the library when the dude she is meeting there for her writing class does not. 

I enjoyed the emphasis of family in this novel. Both of her parents have made deep impressions on Cath, not necessarily in the best of ways. When Cath and Wren were only 8 years-old, their mother decided that she wasn't living the right life and walked away from her family. Their father, who has done the best he could for his girls, suffers from (I believe) manic depression. While this can help him greatly in the creative aspect of his career as a "Mad Man" (he works in advertising), it does also cause for him to occasionly veer off the road, figuratively. Cath is constantly worried about him now that he is all alone and is incredulous that Wren doesn't seem to feel the same worry that she does. 

Speaking of, Wren is obviously the most important person in her life and she feels an emptiness as the two continue to grow further and further apart. Wren is having a "typical" college experience. On her own for the first time, too, she is partying with her roommate every night and distancing herself from the Simon Snow fandom that Cath is still a major part of. She has also started to talk to their mother who is trying to find a way back into the twins' lives. Cath cannot believe that Wren would have anything to do with the woman and this is also causing a major wedge. 

The romance that develops in this story was so sweet. I loved seeing Cath come out of her shell with a guy who obviously adored her. I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't say any more.

Finally, I would be remiss not to talk about the fangirling part of Fangirl. Simon Snow, as I've mentioned, is very much a HP-type character. For years Cath (and Wren, though she isn't writing anymore) has been writing a fan-fiction. Her site is extremely popular with hundred of thousands of hits per entry. She feels so much more comfortable in Simon's world than she ever could in her own. In her work Simon and the Draco-like character, Baz, are in love--even though they struggle with their feelings with each other. The book includes several entries of the story which was a great addition to an already fun book. While I neither read nor write fanfiction, the world of fanfic that Rainbow has created for this world seemed very realistic. I think most of us readers/bloggers can understand the desire to disappear into our favorite fictional world and I really enjoyed this aspect of the book.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Fangirl. The novel is realistic and sweet and fun. I loved all of the characters. I loved the fanfic aspect. I will definitely give Rainbow's next book a try and am glad that I didn't let my dislike of E&P keep me from picking this one up. 

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.*

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (24) 9.21.13

Saturday, September 21, 2013 1:17 AM with 22 comments

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This meme allows us to share the books we've recently added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! *Clicking the link of a book's title will take you to Goodreads.


I'm sorry for the lack of posts save for the couple of memes I've been able to keep up with. Student teaching is awesome, but it is also kicking my ass. I'm trying to read on my short lunch break and before I pass out at night, but I'm not getting through as many books as I'd like (and I still have so many good choices that I'm in the middle of at least 10 books right now). I did finish Fangirl a couple of nights ago and have the best of intentions on writing a review this weekend. I'm also almost done with Tom Perrotta's new short story collection, Nine Inches, and will hopefully have a review up for it as well. This week I got a ton of books I'm excited for that I'm hoping I'll able to get to. I need to put myself on a NG/EW diet, but I just get so pulled in by all those pretty covers. I hope everyone is doing well and having a great weekend!

E-ARCs

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Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell
Rebecca Blue, known as Rebel, decides to finish a dying girl's bucket list and it changes her life. I'm really excited to read this one. It sounds so bittersweet.
Made of Stars by Kelley York
A YA mystery about a brother and sister trying to clear their friend's name when he is accused of his mom's murder. I love this pretty cover.
Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron
The son of Frankenstein and his bride goes on a road trip with Jekyll and Hyde's granddaughters. I mean, for real, is that not the best synopsis ever?
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Two teens fall in love. She gets pregnant; he moves away. Three years later he comes back and they begin to fall in love again. Very interested in how this is handled. 
Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
I have to admit that I couldn't get into Beautiful Creatures. I tried...3 times, but I'm still intrigued by this book about a girl who finds out after her mother's death that she had been a part of a secret society protecting the world from a demon.
Hereafter by Kate Brian
The sequel to Shadowlands...which I need to read next. I adore the covers for this series. 
Blackout by Robison Wells
Two teens lives get tangled with the lives of two terrorists.
Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
Two teenage zombie search for love. I have to admit that I find love stories between zombies a little off-putting, but this does look funny.
Six Months Later by Natalie Richards
A girl falls asleep in study hall and wakes up six months later with no recollection of what has happened over those months.
Constable and Toop by Gareth P. Jones
A boy who lives in a funeral parlor is haunted by the people his father buries.
Losing It by various authors
A collection of short stories about losing the big V. 

Won

I won the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway over at I Heart Y.A. Fiction run by the lovely Sabrina. I love her blog. If you've never visited her before--you should remedy that. Thanks, Sabrina!

What I snagged from the library

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Nine Inches by Tom Perrotta
This brilliant author is one of my all-time favorites. I'm loving this collection of short stories.

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves this week. What did you add to your shelves? Link me up!
Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (23) Year of Mistaken Discoveries

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 11:01 AM with 14 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.



Year of Mistaken Discoveries Year of Mistaken Discoveries

Author: Eileen Cook   
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 25, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:
 
Friendship is a bond stronger than secrets in this novel from the author of The Almost Truth and Unraveling Isobel.As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared—they were both adopted.

Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact...until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it’s urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom—but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.

Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora’s loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora’s who is also looking for a way to respect Nora’s legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she’s really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics…

Why I'm Excited:

I just think this sounds interesting. That last line sounds kind of sinister and you all know I love a good mystery. Plus, I'm really drawn to books that focus on friendships and the bonds the between girls.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up! 

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (23) Top Books on my Fall TBR

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:03 AM with 17 comments


Top Ten Tuesday s a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today plus links to a whole slew of other blogs. After you read mine, of course.





Today's topic is: The books that are topping my Fall TBR

There is nothing I like more than searching Goodreads and other such sites for upcoming releases. I probably spend more time looking at books than I do reading them (that is a sad but true statement). There are a bunch of books coming out in Oct, Nov, and Dec (the months I'm limiting myself to) that I can not wait to get my hands on. 

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Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Release date: Oct 15
A socialite is actually a spy in the companion to For Darkness Shows the Stars. That cover!
Perfect Ruin  by Lauren Destefano
Release date: Oct 1
This book is about a floating island in the clouds! What else do you need to know?
Premeditated by Josin McQuein
Release date: Oct 8
This book is about a girl who wants to avenge her cousin after she commits suicide. 
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Release date: Oct 22
I think it's safe to say that most of my friends are waiting for this conclusion to the Divergent triology.
Tandem by Anna Jarzab
Release date: Oct 8
I've been excited for this multiverse novel with this stunning cover for months.
Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
Release date: Oct 15
Bridget Jones!
Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron
Release date: Oct 3
The son of Frankenstein and his bride.
Cold Spell  by Jackson Pearce
Release date: Nov 5
A fairy tale re-telling of The Snow Queen.
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release date: Nov 5
The FBI starts using "talented" teens for cold cases.
This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink
Release date: Nov 14
A girl whose family has been in the voodoo business for 50 years.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
Release date: Dec 10
A spaceship crashes on a nearby planet. I've been lusting after this cover for months.
Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding
Release date: Dec 3
I absolutely adored Amy's debut, The Reece Malcolm List, and cannot wait for this one.
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Release date: Dec 31
There is really nothing I like more than a good YA romance. This looks adorable.
Roomies by Sarah Zarr
Release date: Dec 24
An epistolary novel of two college roommates sending emails the summer before their freshmen year.


I tried to keep it as close to 10 as possible, but 14 isn't bad for 3 months worth of gorgeous new releases. What's topping your Fall 2013 TBR? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (23) 9.14.13

Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:27 AM with 20 comments

STSmall_thumb[2]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This meme allows us to share the books we've recently added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! *Clicking the link of a book's title will take you to Goodreads.


E-ARCs

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Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Marie Antoinette
I love everything about this candy-colored cover and cannot wait to dive into this story.
This book looks eerie and original and disturbing.
Find Me by Romily Bernard
I love a good YA mystery. This one is about a girl trying to track a girl's killer when she finds the girl's diary and reads the words: Find Me.
Heather + Cooper = Forever. I'm so excited for this one. 
Shadows by Robin McKinley
I'm not exactly sure what this is about. I know it's about magic, but I don't know too much beyond that.
Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb
The Tudors plus witches should equal awesomeness. Fingers crossed.

What I snagged from the library

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Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
Painting come to life in this book set in Paris. I love that cover.
The 100 by Kass Morgan
I've been dying to get my hands on this book about 100 teens being sent back to Earth to see if they can survive on the once inhospitable planet.

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves this week. What did you add to your shelves? Link me up!
Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!