Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (35) 12.21.13

Saturday, December 21, 2013 12:52 AM with 27 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.

So as soon as I hit publish on this, I'm leaving for Christmas break for the next 11 days! I'm going to both Florida and Wyoming which is awesome, but will definitely be a bit tiring. In order to see all of my friends and family (that I want to see) I'm hitting four towns in 11 days and am taking 3 one-way flights. You know I'm a book nerd since I put in way more consideration on to how many and which books needed to come with me than I did how I am going to dress for 2 completely different weather conditions. (For real, it is supposed to be 80 degrees in one state and, like, 0 degree in the other.)

I am beyond relieved to be done with school. This week was full of complete awesome nothingness. I read, I watched TV and I slept, slept, slept. I did get my final grades: I have officially graduated from graduate school with a 4.0! I've applied for my certification from the state and am in a bit of a holding pattern until that comes in. I plan on applying to be a sub for the Spring semester for as many school districts as possible, but I need the certification from the state in order to apply. Hopefully it will be waiting for me when I get home. *fingers crossed*

On the book and blog front, I received a TON of books for review that I can't wait to share with you. I posted a review for the book Roomies this week and will back to my regular blogger self in January.

Thank you all for sticking with me this semester! You are all wonderful and I hope you have a spectacular holiday season! See you in January!

  

Now on to the books

For Review:

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The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
That cover! So sweet. Unfortunately this book is getting some pretty dismal reviews. I haven't read any yet, but it's hard to ignore the star ratings. This book is a love story. Obviously.
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
I'm reading this YA murder mystery now. This is one of my all-time favorite covers. Death has never been so cute. It isn't as good as I want it to be, but I'm hoping it picks up.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
A girl is thrilled to finally be settling down in the town she grew up in after years of moving around, but her father's PTSD from the war is threatening to change their lives.
Unhinged by A.G. Howard
I'm excited to dive into this sequel of Splintered, but I cannot freaking stand that cover. Did anybody imagine Morpheus as some emo dude who looks like a fourth-grade girl can kick his ass? Because that isn't how I imagine him. At all.
Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
A consummate good girl starts a friendship with a wild child.
Neverwas by Kelly Moore
I don't know what this is about. I still need to read Amber House and this is the sequel. I, um, cannot resist books with girls in red dresses for whatever reason. It's a serious problem.
See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne
From what I can deduce from the synopsis a girl finds out that the parents she believes are her parents kidnapped her. I'm hoping that's not the final reveal because the blurb pretty much spells it out for you. 
Hero Worship by Christopher E. Long
People with extraordinary powers exist in this world, but most are considered to have "bad blood" and so are barred from using them. I've read the first chapter or so, and this is really interesting so far. 
Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau
The sequel to The Testing. Which I haven't read. "Hey, Natalie," you ask, "why do you request books to sequels when you haven't read the first book." Yeah, that's a good question. Because I'm an idiot, I guess. Thanks for making me feel bad.

What I Bought

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I've heard this meet-cute book is awesome and I cannot wait to read it. This is definitely coming with me on vacation.
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
I've read this cute chick-lit book already, but needed it for my collection.

What I snagged from the library

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Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
I'm reading this over break. I am. 

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves. 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, December 19, 2013

Roomies (Early Book Review)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:29 PM with 18 comments

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Roomies

Author(s): Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 288
Release Date: December 24, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.


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MY THOUGHTS:

After looking at this cutesy cover and briefly scanning the synopsis of Roomies, I expected something in the manner of Meg Cabot's "Boy" series (Boy Next Door, Every Boy Has One, etc) which are these super fluffy books that are told entirely through email and are some of my all-time favorite mindless reads. I picked this up at the end of my crazy student teaching semester because I needed something that wouldn't make my brain melt any more than it already was. I just wanted mindless, cutesy fluff. While Roomies isn't a hard-hitting issue book by any stretch of the imagination, it wasn't nearly as...fun as I wanted it to be. It isn't told entirely in emails like I was expecting--I adore epistolary books--instead, this book is told in normal, alternating narrative with emails thrown in at the end of each chapter.

Elizabeth, who goes by EB, lives with her single mother on the East Coast. At the end of the summer she will be flying across the country to attend school in San Fransisco. EB's life has started to get complicated. She has broken up with her boyfriend and can feel her two best friends pulling away--or maybe she is pulling away from them. They are both staying close to home for college while she is leaving. Her relationship with her mother is also strained. She just cannot condone her mother dating married men like she does, and there is an underlying strain from their upcoming separation, as well. She is surprised to find herself falling for a new boy, Mark, a guy she meets while doing the landscaping for his house, but their relationship hits a few bumps when she finds out who his father is, plus the fact that she is leaving at the end of the summer. Finally, EB is trying to decide whether or not she should try to reconnect with her father, the man who came out as a gay man when she was a child and abruptly moved to San Fransisco. 

Lauren lives a different type of life in several ways. For one, she is the oldest child in a huge family. For another, she is from the Bay Area and so is only going a few miles away to attend school. She is also starting a new relationship this summer, though, with a boy she works with at a sandwich shop named Keyon. 

There really is something about that summer before college. You are on the precipice of something new and exciting, but also scary. What I did love about this story is how well the authors captured that on-the-edge feeling and the ways in which friendships begin to disintegrate when one person is moving away. In addition, while I was expecting for this to be cuter, it was still very easy to read and I liked both of the characters. Again, my expectations were for two girls becoming friends over emails, and so I was surprised when the girls didn't always connect and that the tone was often melancholy. I think I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't been in the mind-set for something silly fun. I also found this book pretty forgettable. I finished this a couple of weeks ago and had to look up the names to write this review. 

Overall, I did like this one (even if it doesn't really sound like it), but I didn't find it to be special in any way. If you like summer books and/or books about older teens about to start college, you will probably enjoy this one. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waiting for Wednesday (35) Summer on the Short Bus

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:43 AM with 10 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.



13635790 Summer on the Short Bus

Author: Bethany Crandell
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Release Date: April 1, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.
   
Why I'm Excited:

This sounds funny and cute and heart-string pull-y. I love a good summer camp story and this one sounds so original and more...heart-warming than most. Plus any mention of Zac Efron gets my attention. Definitely keeping my eye out for this one.

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, December 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (30) Top Ten New-to-Me Authors of 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 10:01 AM with 20 comments


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted byThe 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:  Top ten new-to-me authors of 2013

1. Amy Spalding: I absolutely adored The Reece Malcolm List and thought Ink is Thicker Than Water was a good, too. I love that her focus is more on family relationships which is rare in YA.
 The Reece Malcolm ListInk is Thicker Than Water  

2. Kasie West: With Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us Kasie West quickly jumped up my favorite authors list. I cannot wait to get my hands on Split Second.
Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1) The Distance Between Us 

3. Victoria Schwab: Vicious knocked me off my feet. I loved this dark, original tale and definitely plan on going back to read some of her older books (including The Archived which also came out this year).
Vicious 

4. Jessi Kirby: I loved Golden. Again, I haven't read anything else by this author yet, but I certainly plan to.
Golden 

5. Andrew Smith: Winger is such a funny, but gut-wrenching read. I'll definitely pick up more from Mr. Smith.
Winger 

6. Jennifer E. Smith: I know Ms. Smith has quite a few books under her belt, but This is What Happy was the first book of hers that I read. It won't be the last!
This Is What Happy Looks Like 

7. Kiersten White: I never got into Ms. White's Paranormalcy series, but I loved Mind Games and cannot wait for the sequel.
Mind Games (Mind Games, #1) 

8. Stephen Chbosky: Yes, I finally read Perks of Being a Wallflower this year. It was pretty awesome. 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

9. Rainbow Rowell: I tried 3 times to read Eleanor & Park and just couldn't get into it for the life of me, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Fangirl.
Fangirl 

10. Lauren Morrill: Being Sloane Jacobs was a fluffy, fun read. I haven't read Meant to Be yet, but I do have it checked out from the library. 
Being Sloane Jacobs

So those are the new-to-me authors I liked discovering the most this year. Who did you discover? Link me up!

Hey lovely readers, I love meeting new bloggers. If you decide to follow, my preference is through Bloglovin'. If you are a new follower, please let me know and leave a link so that I can follow back. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (34) The Vanishing Season

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 10:14 AM with 8 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.

I wasn't planning on doing a WoW this week, but decided to throw one together at the last minute. I am off to NYC today to sponsor an Actor's Society trip as the last hurrah of my student teaching semester. I still need to pack and the bus pulls out this afternoon so I won't be checking my comments or posting for the next few days. If you leave a comment (or if you left one on yesterday's post), I promise to respond next week. Happy Wednesday, everyone!


18634726 The Vanishing Season

Author: Jodi Lynn Andersoon
Publisher: Harper Teen 
Release Date: July 1, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.
 Why I'm Excited:

This sounds so intriguing. What or who is after the girls of the town? Is is a supernatural being or a serial killer or a combination? Who is the narrator? I want know! Also, that cover is just lovely. The tree, the wisps of butterflies, the reflection in the water.

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, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (29) Winter Book TBR

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:11 PM with 16 comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted byThe 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: Books topping my Winter's TBR pile

I've never been much for cold weather. Even though I grew up in Wyoming, I never got into outdoor Winter sports. Brrr. Instead, I would snuggle up with my favorite books. As an adult, not a whole lot has changed. I no longer leave in frigid WY, but the Northeast isn't exactly paradise. As I type this, snow is falling outside my window and all I want to do is snuggle up with a good book (although since I'm at work, that isn't really an option). Luckily, this Winter is shaping up to be a good one as far as new books are concerned, plus I have some older books lying around that I should finally have some time to read now that my student teaching semester is coming to an end. I did try to narrow this down. I really did. Sorry if it drives you crazy when people's lists are more than the allotted ten. I swear I'm not trying to be a jerk.

 These are the soon-to-be released books topping my list: 

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Alienated by Melissa Landers
A girl's life changes when she is offered the chance to host the first alien exchange student. 
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
I have to admit I'm a little skeptical of yet another retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but that cover. Gah! How could I not give this a try?
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
In the early 1900s a girl who wants to be an artist is shunned when she poses nude in an art class and brings shame to her family. 
Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
The sequel to Mind Games which I loved. I can't wait to find out what's happens with our sisters next. 
Split Second by Kasie West
The sequel to Pivot Point...which I loved. Um, I can't wait to find out what happens next (not to sound like a broken record. I have too much on my mind to be super original right now). 
Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
I'm imagining Harry Met Sally for teens. 
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
I usually shy away from sad books, but this one about a girl who's best friend has cancer sounds really good for some reason. 
Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mylnowski
A flu shot gives a group of high school kids the ability to read minds. Seriously, that sounds so fun. I've been a fan of Ms. Mylonwski since her Red Dress Ink days. 
Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
I'm excited to read this romance that takes place over the course of one evening.
Panic by Lauren Oliver
I'm excited for this book about graduating seniors who play some sort of traditional, mysterious game. 
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
The blurb is this: Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary brilliantly-plotted urban triller that will leave you guessing until the very end. Um, yes, please!
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
A girl with leukemia enacts a bucket list full of revenge against those who she feels deserves some comeuppance, only to find out that she is going to beat her cancer. 

Older books I plan to read over Christmas break because I'll finally have some time to read:

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Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
This book has been on my TBR for a ridiculously long time. I have it checked out, so I'm ready to go. 
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This one is a little embarrassing. I have literally had this book checked out for, like, four solid months. Every time I run out of renewals, I check it in and then back out. I will read this over break. 
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I bought this one fairly recently. I've heard nothing but good things. 

So that's what I'll be reading over these next few months. What books are topping your Winter pile? 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, December 7, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (34) 12.7.13

Saturday, December 7, 2013 11:53 AM with 13 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.


Hello, again. So, I only have one more day of student teaching. One more day! This semester absolutely flew by! I leave for NYC on Wednesday with some of my students to go see 4 Broadway shows (Peter and Starcatcher, Big Fish, Kinky Boots, and one with a foreign name I can never remember). We also get to go the MET--which I am beyond excited for--and other touristy things like that. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my student teaching would end on such an amazing note.

I can't get too far ahead of myself, though. I still have one more paper to crank out and still have to put together my Student Teaching Portfolio that I have to present to my department on Tuesday. So I do have a long weekend ahead of me (although with that rainbow at the end, plus, you know, getting my masters in a week I know better than to complain about 1 more long weekend). 

On the book and blog front, I posted a review for the book Ink is Thicker Than Water on Thursday. It is by the same author as The Reese Malcolm List (which I loved). Ink is also definitely worth reading although I do have to admit I don't have the same love for it. I snagged a couple of great books this week. I did already read one and am hoping to post a review on Monday, but school work has to come first, of course.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

For Review

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Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
I've already read this. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as fun as I was expecting. This sounded like total fluff, and while it wasn't super serious or anything, it was deeper than I was expecting. 
Control by Lydia King
After her father dies, a teen's sister is kidnapped by people who believe her DNA holds a powerful secret. 

What I bought

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The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
This may be my favorite book of all time. It's awesome and amazing and mind-blowing. I have this is in hardcover and mass market, but found it for $2 at HPB in trade pb which is my preferred format. How could I pass that up?
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I've read this book about a girl who is relieving the day she dies over and over, but I didn't own a copy. Again, $2. 

What I snagged from the library

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Meant to be by Lauren Morill
I've heard good things about this book about a girl who finds love on a class trip to London. It looks cute.
Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
I really liked Goodbye, Rebel Blue, so I decided to check out another one from the author. About a girl who joins the school radio station. 
The List by Siobhan Vivian
I actually read this one last year with my teen group, but I really liked it and have been thinking about it lately, so I decided to give it a second look.

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves. 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!!!