Friday, April 29, 2011

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (67)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

Well, I haven't done an Alexz Johnson song lately, so how about one of those?



(Running With The Devil by Alexz Johnson.)

This song is from Alexz's Epic album that was, sadly, never released. But thanks to YouTube, we can enjoy it!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (81)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

No real theme this week. Not that one if needed, I just like sometimes having one.

Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke - To be released June 7th, 2011

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she's been told she's destined for great things. Zoë's the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she's sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: DRAGONS. Also, the author lives in Canada and writes romance novels. *oggles Goodreads* With VERY pretty covers... Erm, yeah, anyways. Dragons.

Also. I like the cover. Tis very pretty.

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore - To be released July 12th, 2011

Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want to read it: Witches. Ghosts. HOT COWBOY.

*cough*

Can we pretend that I had a tiny bit of dignity in this post? ;)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, April 25, 2011

YA Review: The Julian Game

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

Published: August 26th, 2010 by Putnam
Genre: YA Contemporary
Binding: ARC (Yes. This is a horribly late review. I suck.)
Page Count: 201 in my ARC.
Part of a series? No, I don't think so.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage.

As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter.

Review: So. I have this unfortunate habit of putting off reading books that I end up really enjoying because I'm not "in the mood" to read them. Somebody oughta smack this habit out of me because it really is one of my worst. I absolutely love Adele Griffin, and while The Julian Game wasn't my favourite of her books, I very much enjoyed it. It was a little predictable, but it had a lot of unique elements and Adele's writing is beautiful.

Characters: Raye was a quiet, smart less-than-rich new girl at a prestigious public school on a scholarship. Her best friend, Natalya, was a science-fiction enthusiast with a quirky family. Raye was befriended by rich, mean, popular Ella, to get revenge on the popular, gorgeous Julian. Julian, while perfect on the outside, was not quite what he seemed.

At first glance, they seem like the same characters you find in every book with this basic plotline. But Ella? She was a special dose of crazy. And I loved that Raye doesn't spend the whole book under Ella's thumb like in a lot of books like this.

Plus there was a certain character I LOVED. *coughcoughcoughHenryHenrycough*

Plot: This is a plot I've seen in at least three books and one movie. Smart girl who doesn't fit in gets used by popular, rich, mean girl. Smart girl ends up over her head. Mean girl does something to ruin smart girl's social standing. Smart girl recomnnects with her old friends and comes out the better for it.

No surprises here. I probably couldn't spoil this one for you guys if I tried. But the writing is gorgeous and that's where the book's strength lies.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I wished that the book was a tad longer to develop some of the characters more, and some of the characters were, as stated above, somewhat predictable, but horribly so. I didn't have any real complaints with this one at all.

PG-13 stuff: No language, nothing super graphic, but some older content. Blah blah blah, I feel like a movie rating system.

Cover comments: I love the cover. Both the wigs and gloves have significance in the book, and I love that. If you look really close on the cover, though, (on the ARC) you can see where the hairline is shopped on, but I saw earlier versions of the this where the girl was blonde. I'm really rather impressed by that, and it's just something I notice, not necessarily a bad thing. Plus I think they might have blended it a bit better on the finished cover.

Conclusion: I finished The Julian Game in just a few hours, I loved that it had different elements from other books with similar plots, I ADORED the ending, and I think Adele Griffin's writing is awesome. But this wasn't a five-star for me because of the predictability. But I do recommend this one to any contemporary fans out there and I feel kind of awful for not falling more in love with it. I'm going to give it a high three and a half and you guys really need to read it, because I do love Adele Griffin. So, yeah, like I said high three and a half.


Other notes:

I actually didn't have any other notes for this one. So that's it!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (66)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

(Yet) another song heard on Vampire Diaries!



(Siren song by Bat for Lashes.)

I love this song. And! I totally just did a siren themed Waiting on Wednesday post, didn't I? So it totally fits.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (80)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Starstruck by Cyn Balog - To be released July 12th, 2011

Gwendolyn "Dough" X doesn't think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don't seem to know that she exists. Thank the stars for her longtime boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman—or "Wish." He moved away to California three years ago, when they were 13, but then professed his love for her via e-mail, and he's been her long-distance BF ever since.

At the beginning of her junior year, though, Wish e-mails that he's moving back to Jersey. Great, right? Well, except that Dough has gained about 70 pounds since the last time Wish saw her, while Wish—according to his Facebook photos—has morphed into a blonde god. Convinced that she'll be headed for Dumpsville the minute Wish lays eyes on her, Dough delays their meeting as long as she possibly can.

But when she sees Wish at school, something amazing happens. He looks at Dough like she's just as gorgeous as he is. But Wish is acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced that there's more to Wish's good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun. He tells Dough that a mark on Wish's neck marks him as a member of the Luminati—an ancient cult of astrologers who can manipulate the stars to improve their lives. Is Wish and Dough's love meant to be—or are they star-crossed?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Well, Wish and Dough are awesome names for characters, and I also think that it's a really neat idea to have a plus-sized main character who has a romance, but doesn't loose weight to get the guy. So, yay! I also really like the simplicity of the cover.


Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia - To be released July 12th, 2011

Brought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture. Shirin, an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom, are thrown into eachother's lives when they become roommates. This is a story of 3 paths slowly beginning to cross and merge as they spend the year apart, but the summers together. Through navigating the social-cultural shoals of the school, developing their adolescence, and learning the confusing and conflicting legacies of their families' past, Shirin, Ingrid, and Vivien form an unbreakable bond.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Well, I'm very interested in finding out a little more about this one, but it sounds sweet and very interesting.

Okay, so what are you guys waiting on this week?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Things I Talk About on Twitter (9)

Kaitlin asked to see a picture of my kitchen. Seeing as my kitchen is a mess, I vehemently refused, but I did agree to post a picture of my backyard looking out my kitchen window.


(This is one picture where the date stamp is actually right. It was February 5th, 2008. Old picture. We had way more snow this year. Also, pictures of my yard/around my house always make it seem like I live in the middle of the woods. I don't. Our town just has a lot of trees.)

It was really bright the day that I took this, so I didn't use a flash... and I think it makes for an interesting effect.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

(Also! Follow Kait's blog. Because she's awesome and if she gets 100 followers, she'll dance on video. And I really want to see that. XD That's all.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (65)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

I did a post with a Florence and The Machine song before, but how about another? :D



(Blinding by Florence and the Machine.)

Doesn't this song remind you of Sleeping Beauty? More of a dark retelling or, like, the Grimm Brother's original (because, dude, how twisted is THAT thing???) than the Disney one. Though the Disney one isn't exactly all sunshines and rainbows. That dragon scared the heck out of me as a kid.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (79)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.


The Revenant by Sonia Gensler - To be released June 14th, 2011

When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn't belong in anymore, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching job at the Cherokee Female Seminary.

Nothing prepares her for what she finds there. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite—educated and more wealthy than she, and the school is cloaked in mystery. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie's room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it.

Willie doesn't believe in ghosts, but when strange things start happening at the school, she isn't sure anymore. She's also not sure what to make of a boy from the nearby boys' school who has taken an interest in her—his past is cloaked in secrets. Soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something...

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want to read this: Ghosts! I love the character's name, too. And you know how I feel about ghost stories.


Luminous by Dawn Metcalf - To be released July 7th, 2011

As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.

When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Gorgeous cover. Awesome author. Totally different sound from anything I've read in a long while. How could I not want to read it? (Also... I like saying Consuela. Tis a fun name to say.)

What are you guys waiting on this week?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Monday, April 11, 2011

YA Review: Drought


Drought by Pam Bachorz

Published: January 7th, 2011 by Egmont
Genre: YA Science-fiction, I would say. Kinda distopian... only not.
Binding: ARC
Page count: 392 in my ARC, but goodreads says the hardcover has 400
Part of a series? I don't THINK so (sob), but I wish!!
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.

She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.

So she stays.

But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

Review: I cheated on my 2010 ARCs with Drought. (I only have a couple left... but they stare at me while I'm sleeping, whispering, "Read us... read us.") I meant to just peek at the first page, but I got lost in the voice and the next thing I knew, it was 6am and I had finished the book. (Not quite literally, but darned close!) It just sucked me in and I don't quite have the words to describe how much I loved it. (But I shall try.) (Also, how many parenthesis can I use in this one paragraph?)

Characters: Ruby is a 200 year old teenaged girl. (Don't worry. This is revealed on the first page, so it's not really a spoiler.) (MOAR PARENTHESIS!!!) (Okay, I'm done.) Pam Bachorz managed to make Ruby sound like a little old-fashioned and yet undeniable like a teenager. That, my friends, is talent. Ruby's voice was amazing. She took responsibility for everything, carried the weight of the world on her shoulders, but even though she was almost 200 years old, she wanted the same kind of things most teenagers want.

And dude. You know I fell in love with Ford. He was smart and sweet, imperfect and conflicted - and yummy. I liked that he wasn't Superman there to save the day, that he wasn't a perfect character, you know? He might just be one of my favourite book boys in a long time.

As for the other characters... I liked who I was supposed to like and hated who I was supposed to hate. But I don't want to say more because it might spoil some things.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc: There were a couple characters I really didn't like. But I think that's what the author was going for... so that's not really a bad thing. There was one thing at the ending that wasn't completely explained, but I honestly hope that there'll be a sequel. :P

PG-13 stuff: There's some mild language, romance, violence, etc, but it's or older teens, obviously. The back says 12 and up.

Cover comments: I absolutely love this cover. The trees are spooky and creepy and the girl's eye is a little scary, but gorgeous at the same time. I also really like that because all you see is her eyes and hints of her nose and hair, you can draw your own conclusions of what Ruby looks like.

Conclusion: In an ideal world, I think I would like to reread this one a few times before talking about it. Maybe then I'd say all this better. I really do not have words for how much I enjoyed Drought. There were times where I'd think, "Okay, I'll stop reading after this chapter," (because, you know, it was 4am and all), then the next thing I'd know, I'd have finished another three. The voice is addicting and gorgeous. And I think the scariest thing is that things like this... not so far out. (Well, besides the 200 year old thing. But the whole cult-ish thing? Yeah, that happens. Tis spooky.)

As I read, I kept trying to think of what Drought reminded me of, but every time I thought of something, I'd then think, "Oh, but..." In the end, I came up with: One part Hunger Games + One part The Giver + a dash of Lord of the Flies + a sprinkling of Running Out of Time (Margaret Peterson Haddix) + a whole lot of unique coolness.

I highly, highly recommend this one. It's dark and delicious and I think it might even appeal to guy readers. Four and a half roses.


Other notes:

- "I haz a sad."
- "I haz a sadder."

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (64)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.



(Breathless - Better Than Ezra)

I like the Taylor Swift's cover, too, but I really like the guy's voice in the original lately.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (78)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini - To be released May 31st, 2011

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Nantucket! That's just fun to say. And lots of dirty jokes start with, "And there once was a man from nantucket..." etc. So besides the awesomeness of the sound of the summary, I like that it's set in Nantucket.

Also. Is it just me, or are there a LOT of books with the title Starcrossed or some variation of that? I can come up with like 3 different books. Strangeness there.


What We Keep is Not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell - To be released June 8th, 2011

Fifteen-year-old Angie never used to think much about God—until things started getting weird. Like the statue of St. Felix, her secret confidante, suddenly coming off his pedestal and talking to her. And Angie's mother, who's busting up her third marriage for no apparent reason. Then there's Jesse Francis, sent home from Afghanistan at age nineteen with his leg blown off. Now he's expected to finish high school and fit right back in. Is God even paying attention to any of this?

Against the advice of an increasingly vocal St. Felix (who knows a thing or two about war), Angie falls for Jesse—who's a lot deeper than most high school guys. But Jesse is battling some major demons. As his rages start to become more frequent and unpredictable, Angie finds herself losing control of the situation. And she's starting to wonder: can one person ever make things right for? Someone else?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: It sounds different. Interesting, and different. Plus I adore the cover.

Well, I have nothing interesting to say here.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Things I Talk About on Twitter (8)

Spiggleys

(It's not dirty. Get your mind out of the gutter!!)


Spiggleys. (Yes, that's the back of an elephant's head. It was the closest white thing I had.) They're pipecleaners glued around pom-poms, then the pom-poms are covered in glitter. I wore them on the headband I always wear for out outerspace/alien storytime. I think I'll wear them again on the bug storytime I'm planning.

(Also, ignore the date stamp. It's wrong because I usually have it turned off, but it keeps turning back on.)

Okay, I need some ideas. What do you guys want to see in these posts?? I'm kinda running out of ideas.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (63)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

So. I've admitted this on Twitter, but never quite on here: I have an embarrassing love of Disney. Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Pair of Kings, Good Luck Charlie, Suite Life of Zach and Cody/On Deck, I'm in the Band, Sonny With a Chance... I'm a total Disney addict.

Including a lot of the music. One of my favourites is Selena Gomez.



(Naturally by Selena Gomez and The Scene.)

I think she's a great actress, a good singer, and adorable to boot.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.