Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

All righty! 2011 is just about over and it's been a heck of a year for me. This is a quick list I put together of the books I read this year that really stuck with me. They may not have all out in 2011 but I discovered them this year. So here it goes:

Best Fantasy:

Firelight & Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Best Horror:

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Best Contemporary:

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Most Epic:

Eona by Alison Goodman

Most Shocking:

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Most Artistic:

Grafitti Moon by Cath Crowley

Best Cover:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Best Book of 2011:
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Friday, December 30, 2011


My nook got a new face today! Literally! Take a my nook...where I read books...I hang it on a hook...okay that's enough.

Isn't it adorable now? Just felt the need to spruce him up a bit. Also for anyone who is looking into getting a cover for an ereader, I recommend ones with rounded corners like this one. I had a cover before and it had sharp corners and it made dents in my palms when reading with the cover on. Not comfy.

Yay for my nook!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feeling Nostalgic

With how busy this time of year is for me and the cold weather, I'm always feeling the need to reread a well-loved book or series to remember good times. This year I've finally reached the point where I could reread the Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan. It is a hidden gem of a series. I don't know about anyone else who loves them but I read them to death as a kid. They were published in 2001 and that was the age where I was just starting to get really into paranormal type books. I probably read the entire series all the way through about 11 times before they got repetitive. After taking many years off from my favorite characters I finally feel the need to revisit them. Widow's Vale has come back to life in my mind again. For anyone who hasn't heard of this series, they recently re-released them with new covers, and even more recently as bind-ups. Go buy them!!

What my beloved copies look like:

What the new covers look like:
 What the bind ups look like:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cover Crazy (9)

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays.  Its a brand new meme where the idea is to showcase a  beautiful book cover each week.  This week I'm crazy about.....

by Sara Wilson Etienne

What I love about it:
  • Everything! The picture is beautiful and intriguing. You all know how I feel about girls in dresses on covers but this one in no way focuses on that. And heck, maybe it's just a corset. But I love the lace on that, the red ribbon over her eyes, the red moon, ocean, sky, ahh! It's awesome!
  • The border around the edge, it's interesting, and completely contradictory to the realistic picture but goes so well with it and matches her skin tone. 
  • The font for the title is great and something I've never seen on a YA book, yay for new fonts! 
  • I also like that her name is really small and up at the top and the title is the main focus at the bottom, almost like a painting. I really like when the title gets the most attention and not some big author's name.
What are you crazy about this week?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On My Wishlist (6)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.
After being out of touch with the book community for a little while, I just about peed my pants when I saw all the books that have been announced for release in 2012. So many good titles! This week I'm particularly excited about these two:

by Corrine Jackson
Release Date: December 2012

Remy O'Malley has the power to heal people with her touch, but her ability comes at a steep cost because every illness or injury she heals becomes her own.

That's all Goodreads has for a summary so far! Ah! But it sounds like the exact opposite of Shatter Me so yay!

by Suze Reese
Release Date: January 2012

Mira Johns is pretty much like any other teenage girl. Except that she knows how to harness electro-magnetic energy to communicate without words. And she's really, really far from home. Her assignment as an emissary to Earth sounds fairly simple: blend in, observe, and stay away from the planet’s primitive males. But after she finds one mysterious boy too irresistible for stupid rules, she realizes the real reason she's supposed to keep her distance: mates from her world can die if separated. But a series of serious accidents make it clear that someone wants to force her return. Mira decides her only hope is to uncover the truth to why she, the most mediocre of candidates, was actually chosen for this assignment—before the agency discovers her secret and sends her back home.

 As you can tell, I have a thing for books where the protagonist has some sort of special power or ability. Maybe it's just my secret dream of being an X-men...*sigh* one day...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh right! I blog, I remember now!

Where have I been?

I lost my one ring to rule them all and while I was searching for it in my wardrobe, I stumbled into Narnia. Tripping over the Goblet of Fire, I fell down the rabbit hole and landed in Oz. While taking a stroll down a yellow brick road, I met up with Bella. After attempting talking some serious girl sense into her sparkly boyfriend-crazed head, she pushed me into the Fountain of Youth. While splashing around, I caught a ride with Captain Ahab but we ran headfirst into Huck Finn's raft. While they were busy making fisticuffs, I scrambled ashore and took off running to Grandma's house. Following the breadcrumbs intently through the forest and brushing spidery Charlotte's Webs from my face I didn't even see Little Red right in front of me until I ran smack into her. Her basket went flying as did my golden compass which was my only real sense of direction. "Are you mad?" she screamed at me. "No, just lost," I replied. And off we went to dear old Granny's home. Yet once we reached the gates, Red went skipping off in the opposite direction strangely reminding me of Dorothy. Looking up, I saw the words "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." "Peachy," I muttered and stepped through and was blinded by a ring of endless light. This laboratory didn't seem very grandmothery let me tell you. Suddenly I heard "It's alive!" to my left and turned just in time to see a monster rise off the table. A horrible gurgling came from my right at the same instant and I whipped back around to witness a lovely looking chap turn into a monster. With a squeal, I ran through the lab and burst through to hills that were alive with the sound of music and a fields of rye. A boy stood in the distance catching children who ran too close to the edge and woman said something about the bird on the lawn. Off beyond the girl with an obvious interest in ornithology, a group of shirtless men shouted something about never talking about fight club and even further beyond them, Mr. Darcy was busy wooing a very British looking girl. Frustrated, I slumped down in front of a very giving tree and sighed. "You're late!" Looking up to see who accused me of tardiness, a white rabbit grabbed a hold of me and pulled me back into his rabbit hole. Somersaulting through my piles of laundry in my wardrobe I landed flat on my back in my bedroom. "You're late for a very important!" exclaimed my long eared friend and hopped back through to the other world.

And that's where I've been for the past month.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Tour: Triangles

by Ellen Hopkins

Today, Triangles finally hits the shelves! This is New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins' first adult novel. Most know Ellen for her YA books like Crank, Burned, and her newly released, Perfect. If you have read any or all of her books you know that she does not beat around the bush. Her books are raw and real and horrific. They deal with topics that most authors are afraid to touch or go in depth with. Not Ellen, she includes all the graphic details of some horrible things that occur in our world, which is why her books are so relatable and enthralling. As far as her first adult novel goes, nothing changes other than even more mature graphic details. And let me tell you, it is great.

In Triangles, we meet three women in their early forties who are all dealing with "mid-life crisis" situations. One is experimenting with extramarital sex even though she has the ideal life that so many envy. Another has a terminally ill daughter and a gay teenage son and a husband who isn't around to help her deal. And the last is a single mom struggling to find herself in the shadow of the promiscuous aforementioned character. Throughout the book we follow the drama, passion and realisitc stories of these three women in their downward spiral and uphill climbs.

As far as the writing goes, Ellen uses her signature style of writing in verse. This is a "no holding back" emotionally driven writing style. She writes about such extreme situations, thoughts and emotions that poetry seems to be the only way to express it. It's not flowery or overly descriptive, it's just real and powerful. You really are in the minds of the characters. Because her writing is so captivating and simple you can't help but fly through this book. You will laugh, cry and want to throw it across the room, but you are gripped by her storytelling and not let go until the end.

I'm very excited for the release of this book. And after meeting her at a recent signing for Perfect, I know that she is all ready writing her next adult novel called Collateral and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I also know there is more to come of the characters in this book only in a YA format. Very excited for that. I have read her work through all my teen years and now into my twenties. I am glad that I am aging with her writing and can't wait for more to come. 

Check out this video of her discussing this great book:

Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that features book-oriented lists each Tuesday. To see future lists click here.

Top Ten Books Whose Titles or Covers made me buy it

10.  Possession by Elana Johnson
I just love the cover of this, the white part is sparkly and why is there a butterfly in an ice cube? I had no idea what this was about when I bought it and did not care.

9. Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith
This is one of my least favorite books, but I love how bizarre the cover is. It's so bright that it stands out on a shelf. I also love the name Betwixt, it's a great word.

8. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
When this came out I immediately loved the cover, it's very whimsical and I love the colors.
7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
The simplicity of this cover is what made me buy it. I love the single sprout growing out of snow, very symbolic. The barbed wire intrigues you though. The title is fantastic too.

6. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
Who doesn't love this cover? Everything about it is gorgeous, the steampunkiness, the colors, the detail; the amazing details continue on into the inside of the cover. This is a beautifully made book all together.

5. Moon Palace by Paul Auster
I still am not sure what this book is about. I just got it not too long ago and there was no summary anywhere on it. But the gorgeous tattoo-inspired artwork is all over the front and back covers and inside flaps. I love the classic inked look.

4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
This is cover is creepiliscious. The girl is super scary and floating. And how great is the title?

3. Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe
I love this cover because it's not very "Americanized" it is creative and artistic and tells a story in itself.

2. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
I absolutely love this cover. It's great just glancing at it, and then when you realize that she is walking on the wall, your entire perspective changes. I literally this book in the story and turned it sideways and upright for a couple minutes. The art is just impeccable.

1. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy
This is one of my favorite covers on a YA book. I am still so angry that they republished these with different covers that don't come close to this one. It is so fitting and gross yet intriguing. I want so badly for the other two books that follow this to have matching covers. Also I love the title, great made up job title.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cover Crazy (8)

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms  on Mondays. Its a brand new meme where the idea is to showcase a  beautiful book cover each week. This week I'm crazy about.....   

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

What I love about it:
  • I have always loved the covers to this series, the cover to Eternal is what made me buy Tantalize to begin with. It may be getting overdone at this point but I love the angel wings on Eternal and I feel this cover rivals it very well with the black wings.
  • I like that the fonts all go together throughout her books. They change slightly from book to book but are still recognizably similar.
  • The color contrast is great, you get a good feel for how the book is going to go with the demonic red and black coloring. I also like that we have gone from soft angel wings and rose petals to red flames and black wings.
What cover are you crazy about this week?

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by awesome Kristi at The Story Siren which allows bloggers to share what books they bought/received each week.

This week I only got two books, but man oh man they are ones that I am beyond excited about. 
So tada!

The Death Cure by James Dashner

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I have been waiting so long for both of these to become available. I think I like The Maze Runner series more than The Hunger Games series so I am flying through The Death Cure right now. I also did a pathetic girl squeal and dance when I saw copies of Shatter Me at work. I've been interested in this since everyone came home with it from BEA. So much good reading!

Perfect Giveaway Winner!

Time to announce the winner of the signed copy of Perfect by Ellen Hopkins!

Drumroll please...

And the winner is:

 Check out her blog:  Katmunster Reviews
And her YouTube Channel: katvela

 A HUGE thank you goes out to all who entered. I appreciate it so much and best of luck next time!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that features book-oriented lists each Tuesday. To see future lists click here.
Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time

10. The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse
      I think this is the book that seriously got me into reading. It was the first book I vividly remember picking out by myself and falling in love with all on my own.

9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    This was the first classic that I read outside of school and evaluated on my own. Holden Caulfield is still one my favorite characters to discuss.

8. Abarat by Clive Barker
    This was the first book that I read that was just a complete mindfreak. I would love to relive all the awesome artwork and imagery that goes along with this book.

7. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    I'm pretty sure this made it onto most people's lists this week. One of the best series full of cliffhangers, who wouldn't want to relive the suspense?

6. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
    This is the book that started it all. My love of horses came from growing up around them, my love of reading about them came from this book.

5. The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
    I personally like this trilogy better than The Hunger Games, and would love to relive all the crazy twists for the first time.

4. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
    Yet another series that I'm sure made it onto everyone's lists this week. This book defined my childhood and I never wanted it to end.

3. Demon in my View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
    This was the first vampire book I ever read when I was about 13, this is what started the obsession.

2. Identical by Ellen Hopkins
    For the same reason why I had this on my list last Tuesday. The ending of this is jaw-dropping and changes the whole story; kind of has that "Sixth Sense" type of twist that once you find it out, the entire story changes. I want my jaw to drop again.

1. Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan
    I think this is my favorite series of all time. That may be a stretch but I can't think of another series that I ever felt so passionately about as this one. I have read through the whole thing probably a dozen times since I was about 12 and I still love it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cover Crazy (7)

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays.  Its a brand new meme where the idea is to showcase a  beautiful book cover each week. This week I'm crazy about.....
by Rae Hachton

What I love about it:
  • The colors. They are awesome. The end.
  • The watercolor painting style with the tree in the background, it is all very blurred and makes you look harder at it.
  • The font of the title is really interesting and it also blends in with the blurry background, intriguing.
What cover are you crazy about?

Perfect Review

by Ellen Hopkins 

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

In Ellen Hopkins' latest YA novel, Perfect, she achieves the same effect as every other one of her books, white-knuckled page turning. Even with this being one of her tamer books, I still was hooked from page one.

Perfect is a companion novel to Impulse, which to date is still my favorite novel by her. Impulse deals with three teens who attempted suicide and are learning how to live again through a rehab clinic and the friends they make there. Perfect takes place at the same time as that and deals with those outside the walls of the clinic and how even though they didn't take the drastic route of ending your life due to society's pressures, the severity of life is still just as prominent. It is told through the perspective of four characters: Cara, Kendra, Sean and Andre. Cara is Conner's twin sister; Conner being one of the main characters of Impulse. It was interesting to see how the "other perfect twin" deals with living up to their parent's standards. Throughout her story she actually questions her sexuality and deals with that. Kendra was one of Conner's ex-girlfriends and an aspiring model. She is willing to do whatever it takes to be the physical definition of perfection which leads her down the dangerous road of eating disorders and morality. Sean is Cara's boyfriend (are we starting to see all the love triangles here?) and he is living with the pressures that guys face; attempting to be the best athlete and in the best physical shape of his life. After one dramatic night, everything he has built his life up to comes crashing down. The last main character is Andre. He is a black male from a long line of men who have worked their way up from nothing to be something substantial. He feels like his dream of dancing is taking the backseat due to his father's definition of a perfect son. Whew...that was as short as I could make that summary guys sorry, a lot happens in this book...

The characters are the story in this book so I don't really feel the need to go into character development. It is obviously flawless. The writing is superb as always with Ellen Hopkins. Like all of her other books, it follows her same poetry writing style, which I love. She is the author that welcomed me into the world of books written in verse. I still don't know how she can take such ugly, horrific subjects and make them beautiful with just words. I think that's what I like so much about her writing, horrible things that are made beautifully tragic.

4 out of 5 stars, would recommend this to anyone. Top shelf, along with all her other works.

*Remember you can still enter to win a signed copy of this book!*
Click here to enter.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by awesome Kristi at The Story Siren which allows bloggers to share what books they bought/received each week.
I had a fairly slow week bookwise. I only got 2 things. One being:

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer

I got this because it was on sale for about $3 on my nook and I have been looking for a copy for quite some time now. So I am excited to read this. 

Also I got another CD that I preordered a while ago by another artist that I love and feel necessary to plug not only because she is amazing but she is also a writer. So this is actually somewhat book related.

The CD is amazing but what I was most excited about was the mini novella she wrote. And by mini, I really mean mini. Look how tiny it is! Sleeping With Nikki is only 32 pages long and only a couple inches big (which is relevant to one of her song's lyrics). 
So that's if for me this week. What did you guys get?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cover Reveal: Lenobia's Vow

Lenobia's Vow (House of Night Novella #2)
by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
 The second of the House of Night Novellas brings us Lenobia, the strong, beautiful horseback riding instructor, who guides Zoey through some of her darkest hours, and has a dark secret buried in her own past...In a small southern town at the turn of the century, young Lenobia is developing into a beautiful young woman with ideas of her own. But when she is Marked as a fledgling vampyre, her world turns upside down, and she is drawn to the musical streets of New Orleans. There, she learns of the city’s dark underbelly, ruled by powerful black magic. As Lenobia experiences her first love – and loss – and discovers a passion for horses to sustain her, she must come face-to-face with Darkness itself. And she may not escape without scars.
 Soooo...what do we think? 
I like it. But I am also a horse person, so I may have a biased opinion. I love the character of Lenobia and I like how she is portrayed. Very feminine and dainty yet a strong, prominent face. Only about 4 months until it comes out...le sigh.

Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that features book-oriented lists each Tuesday. To see future lists click here.

Top Ten Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open

10. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
      This book was one of those blow your mind and disturbs you to the point of thinking about it and getting the heebie jeebies for the next week kind of books.

9. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
    This whole book left me with my mouth hanging open, the entire concept of the story is so shocking to begin with and the ending was so open.

8. Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
    Did not see this book going that direction whatsoever, left me with my mouth open and tears in my eyes...must have looked really attractive.

7. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
    This book wrenched my heart out from the very beginning, did not know how it could end, sure enough...jaw dropped. 

6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
    Went into this book without high expectations, with the ending this had I put it up there with The Hunger Games on my list of awesomeness. 

5. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
    Thought this was going to be a stand-alone novel, so when I got to the last page I honestly thought that it was missing pages. Biggest cliffhanger ever!

4. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
    First book I ever read by her and I was hooked from the ending of this one. First book that I ever read that ended realistically and tragically.

3. The Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
    I couldn't rank one of these over the other, they are both so intense and heavy at the end. I don't think I've ever flown through a series as fast as I did with these.

2. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
    We all know about this story and ending at this point but it still is one of the best endings ever. 

1. Identical by Ellen Hopkins
    I had a hard time not putting all of her books on this list, the endings are the reasons I love her as an author. This one though is still the one I tell people about the most. The ending made this entire book, I didn't really like it until I got to the end and now it's one of my favorites of all time.

Monday, October 3, 2011


So I would say it's about ding dang time to have a giveaway on here.

In light of the past month of banned books and from a recent signing near me I have an extra SIGNED copy of Ellen Hopkins' newest YA book, Perfect to give away! Ellen is one of my all time favorite authors and she was amazing to meet.

So anyone who has not yet gotten a copy of her latest book now is your time! Perfect is a companion novel to Impulse, which is still my favorite book of hers. It follows her same writing style so it is written in verse and is AHHmazing. Perfect covers the hardships of trying to live up to society's idea of "perfection" from multiple character's perspectives and stories.

How to enter:
Leave a comment on this blog post saying something along the lines of "ZOMG! I want this book so much!" or you know...just "Enter me" and your name...whatever floats your boat.

  • This is unfortunately US only, I can't really afford the shipping internationally.
  • Giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, October 16th 2011. I will announce a winner on Monday, the 17th.
  • I have this spread between my blog here and my youtube channel so you can also enter there.
  • I will use to generate a random winner.

Good luck and may the odds ever be in your favor.

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by awesome Kristi at The Story Siren which allows bloggers to share what books they bought/received each week.
Got exciting things this week, I'm starting to feel like a grown up blogger, all getting stuff...and stuff...

Far From the War by Jeffrey David Payne
Freeze Tag on the Highway by Brian Krans
A Constant Suicide by Brian Krans
+ awesome swag from Brian!

2 signed copies of Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

...which means.....


Stay tuned for my next post for details!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

On My Wishlist (5)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

This week I heard of two books that I am beyond excited for. First and foremost:

There is no cover or summary for this book but I'm sure you all know what to expect...

by Neal Shusterman

Sequel to Unwind!

by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke is, in its simplest terms, a futuristic retelling of The Scarlet Letter. This sophomore novel from Mudbound author Hillary Jordan takes Hawthorne's classic several steps further, turning it into a pointed, blunt warning about the consequences of an America run by the church, not the state. Hannah Payne is sentenced to sixteen years of melachroming for aborting her child. Instead of bearing a scarlet "A" like Hester, Hannah's pigment is dyed a stop sign red, leading her to endure an ostracizing societal punishment as well. Jordan seamlessly interweaves the back story of Hannah's relationship with her unborn child's father; their relationship is sudden, passionate and the short interspersed flashbacks enhance the story and Hannah's spontaneous personality. While she stumbles through rebuilding her life, her sudden decisions in moments of trouble are made with confidence and determination. Jordan purposefully makes the story about Hannah's journey by keeping her secondary characters exactly that - secondary. Although they may guide and assist Hannah on her path, the decisions, character-building, and strength all come from within. Hannah is ultimately responsible for her future and she takes full responsibility for her past. While some readers may balk at Jordan's political and religious messages, the story of owning our decisions and actions is the focus of this engaging tale of redemption.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Theme Song Thursday (9)

After quite a hiatus of theme songs, I finally am able to get on my computer on a Thursday! High five for me! This week I am reading Ellen Hopkins new YA book, Perfect, which is a companion novel to Impulse. Both of these novels focus on the pressures of society and how different people cope with life. Impulse focuses on 3 teens who attempted suicide and end up in a rehab unit. Perfect deals with some of those left behind by the characters of Impulse and others that are dealing with maintaining the image of "perfection" as set by their environments. What better song to fit the book Perfect than a song called Perfect?

Alanis Morissette-Perfect

I think this song may be self-explanatory as to why it fits the book Perfect so...well...perfectly. Sorry, felt the need for a bad pun there *snickers*. It definitely showcases Cara's and Andre's relationships with their parents and how they can never live up to their expectations. Also who doesn't love some Alanis from time to time?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Harmonic Feedback Review

Harmonic Feedback
by Tara Kelly 

Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn't have friends. She has, as she's often reminded, issues. Drea's mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on "a touch of Asperger's."
Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea's preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.
It's obvious that Drea can't hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she's found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?

Tara Kelly's book, Harmonic Feedback, develops such a parallelism between the rhythm of life and music that by the end you are so lost in the sound of society. This book stirs up the same emotions as sitting back, closing your eyes and listening to the most meaningful songs you've ever heard.

The book starts out with Drea, a teen girl who seems to live a life of constant complications. Her mom is always moving her around, constantly with a new boyfriend. Her only solace is obsessing over sound design and creating music. Drea has always been thrown from doctor to doctor and it is very prevalent that she is just diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's and that that is apparently all that defines her. She can't seem to fit in with societal norms and escapes with music. When she moves in with her grandmother, she meets Naomi. Naomi is the girl across the street who "is trouble" according to everyone else. Quirky, crazy Naomi quickly befriends Drea and accepts her for just who she is. Justin is the boy from school who is also new and slightly off-beat. The three of them bond over a love of music. As the book progresses, it becomes less of a normal contemporary YA book to a heavy, moral-questioning story about drug abuse, addiction, relationships and life. This book left me rethinking why I follow society's behavior and why a different way of thinking is just categorized with a disease name and therefore wrong. Chills...this book definitely gave me them.

The characters all have such intensely descriptive personalities that you can't help but love them. Naomi reminds me of a character from an Ellen Hopkins book. She is struggling with life and deals with drugs and wrong decisions. But she has such a pure spirit, she only sees the good in people and accepts everyone. She was very inspiring. Justin starts off as the typical cute boy from school who takes a liking to the protagonist. He turns out to have an equally as conflicted soul as Naomi. Drea is so frustrated with being looked at as different because she has issues communicating normally. Because this book is written from her perspective it is so easy to see why. Not one of the characters in this book is simple.

The writing is what accomplishes that. Because the book is told in first person, it aids you in understanding the frustrations of a person with slight mental handicaps. And as I write that, I hate even saying the term "handicaps" because that isn't what it should be considered at all. Tara Kelly's writing inspired me to not only take a look around me and see how fake society is, but to question why I should follow its standards. As a character, Drea helped me to see that, as a representation of real people, she touched me in a way few book characters can. I strongly back Kelly's writing in this book and feel that everyone should read this. It is fantastic, musical writing that made me laugh, made me cry and made me want to live life how I want.

5 out of 5 stars, top shelf, magical.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cover Crazy (6)

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays.  Its a brand new meme where the idea is to showcase a  beautiful book cover each week.  This week I'm crazy about.....

by Margie Gelbwasser

What I love about it:

  • The simplicity of the empty swing giving the idea that someone just jumped off of it. Brings back childhood memories but at the same time is kind of ominous as to why they jumped or if they meant to.
  • The muted colors of the trees and grass and the dark gradient scale of the sky in comparison to the only bright color: the red of the swing.
  • The simple font for the title and that none of the words are capitalized, visually appealing.
What cover are you crazy about this week?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by awesome Kristi at The Story Siren which allows bloggers to share what books they bought/received each week.
I didn't get that many books this week, yay me for having self restraint!

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Also this may not be book related but I got my preorder of This is Our Science, Astronautalis' new album in my mailbox this week. He is an amazing indie rapper, any of you who have not heard of him, check him out. This CD has just been playing on repeat in my car this whole week.