Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next DoorLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say? Stephanie Perkins creates contemporary magic. LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR was witty, and quite simply, irresistible. I couldn't put it down.

Perkins hooked me with the mystery on why the main character, Lola, had such built up anger at Cricket, the boy next door. Now I will say the name Cricket threw me off. It didn't exactly scream hot guy. BUT it fit the love interests character. Cricket was quirky, just like his name.

The narrative Perkins created with Lola felt authentic. I totally believed she was that rebellious chick from my high school who didn't give a damn about what people thought about her clothes. She was only concerned about pleasing her inner artist. So it was awesome to tap into a character like that. Lola was totally kick ass, and I loved her.

Lola's older boyfriend, Max was definitely a hot character. And let's face it, there's something alluring about older guys to teenage girls. Rebellion comes to mind. I loved reading about them. The last YA novels that come to mind with an older love interest was Vampire Academy and Going To Far. So it was great to read that same twist here. Added some spice. Plus he was a rocker. Who doesn't like reading about HOT rocker dudes?

Another thing I liked about this novel was the cameo appearance by Anna and St. Clair from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. I freakin' loved that book and was so happy to read a little more about them.

So if you are a YA contemporary fan, add this one to your list!

View all my reviews

Double Take Cover: Balthazar: An Evernight Novel by Claudia Gray

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holy Crap guys, look what I found today!!! Balthazar makes my top five list of literary love interests that didn't get picked by the main character but should have. Can't wait for this! It hits shelves March 6th 2012.

For hundreds of years, the vampire Balthazar has been alone—without allies, without love.
When Balthazar agrees to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, he has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s newfound psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel, seductive master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Now Redgrave plans to use Skye’s powers for his own evil purposes.

Balthazar will do whatever it takes to stop Redgrave and exact his long-awaited revenge against his killer. As Skye and Balthazar stand together to fight him, they grow closer—first unwillingly, then undeniably. Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by her. . . .

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)

Hardcover, 316 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Tor Teen 
Source: Tor Teen provided Review Copy

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

My Thoughts:

Anna Dressed in Blood isn’t your typical ghost story. More than anything it’s about the strange connection between Cas and Anna. Anna is unlike any other ghost Cas has encountered. And when we first open the novel we read all about Cas and his ghost killing family tradition, and how the next ghost on his list is Anna Dressed in Blood.

The first chapter hooked me. I was caught up in the moment with Cas and the hitch-hiking ghost he had in his car. There was so much action packed into chapter one, the rest of the chapters kinda felt like filler until our first encounter with Anna. That was a scene I wasn’t expecting, but I can’t say I felt bad about what happened in there…I won’t tell you what happens because it’ll totally ruin for you.

I loved the darkness in this YA Paranormal novel. I wish more authors would push the limits like what took place in some of the scenes in Anna Dressed in Blood. I really liked those scenes, but the ones where Cas is alone and just thinking or feeling I found a little monotonous.

Overall I found this novel to be engaging and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dark and twisted paranormal stories.  This one was a 3.5 for me.

Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Everneath (Everneath #1)

Hardcover, 370 pages
Expected publication: January 24th 2012 by Harper Collins / Balzer + Bray 
Source: Netgalley


Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

My Thoughts:
I just closed this book and felt compelled to write this review right away. There are so many paranormal books out there that sometimes they all seem to blend together. Then, when you least expect it, you begin a paranormal novel that is so different you can’t put it down. I love it when a novel is so out in left field, it defies ever rational thought I have about what the underworld is suppose to be like. Plus, anything that can tie in Greek mythology and make you wonder if some things could actually be true…is a fantastic book. EVERNEATH grabbed me by the arms and yanked me into it’s world. I could not put it down. I read it in, like, two sittings. It’s that good!

The Everneath is a place where immortals called Everlastings, take Forfeits, basically human sacrifices, to the Feed.  They feed off emotions. And when we meet our main character she is just coming out of the Feed, and things are a little confusing, but so interesting you’ll find that you can’t turn the pages quick enough to find out what’s going on and how things got to the point they are. This was so different. This was a completely new description of hell and what is like. And I’ve never met an immortal like these.

Another interesting thing about this book is the transitions. Often times I find myself skimming parts of the story on how a character gets from one scene to the next. Everneath there wasn’t a need to do that. There will just be a short italicized line that says: In my room, in my car, at Cole’s condo. That was really refreshing. I liked it because it cut to the chase and kept me hooked.

I recommend this novel to ANY paranormal lover. I cannot wait for book #2. I gotta know what happens. Nik and Jack’s love story tore me apart and I want more. It’s so great. This novel makes my top ten best books I read in 2011 list! Mark this one on your TO BE READ list immediately.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire Review

Friday, November 11, 2011

Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Source: Amazon (self published)

Two Different Covers Available:


The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books, either you love it or you hate it. I've seen this novel referred to as literary crack before, and I have to say I agree. This novel grabbed me from the moment the bad boy love interest stepped on the scene. He was amazing. He did things that I didn't expect and I was shocked. SHOCKED and appalled by some of the things he did in this book, which in large part hooked me even more. So many times I find myself predicting what's going to happen in a novel. Most of the time I'm spot on. I've read a ton of books and just about all YA books follow a certain formula ,so to speak, that make them predictable.I couldn't do that with this book.

The one thing about this novel is it's self published, so sure it had some things that maybe needed tweaked, but the main plot is about the relationship between the main character and the love interest and it's strong. It was hard to tell at times that this was self published! Not since Twilight have I read a novel formulated around the connection of two people that hooked me completely. I mean, I read this book twice in about a week because I missed the characters after the first go around.

I recommended this novel to my fellow reviewers here at READING, WRITING AND WAITING and there are a couple that are Team Travis right along with me and one other I know for sure didn't really like it. So, I recommend this book to be read with an open mind. Sure the love interest is a little heinous at times, and sure there are some parts that are unbelievable and could've been tweaked. But read it if you adore romances that are a little reminiscent of Harlequins with smokin' hot love interests.


Catching Jordan by Miranda Keneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Keneally
Source: NetGalley
Published: December 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

My Thoughts:
All I can say is wow. I absolutely adored this book, the cast of characters was well-rounded and not what I was expecting AT ALL. A girl who is not only the leading quarterback, but captain of her team, respected and loved by the team mates? Never would've thought it could be pulled off and with such talent. It was believable, partly because she wasn't just some girl who happened to be able to play football, she was from a football family with a pro father and brother on the way to the pros. The family complications were real, along with her flaws and insecurities. It had a great plot that didn't depend on a mean girl or guy to bring conflict to the main character, which is refreshing. Great voice, hooked me from the beginning and I ignored everything else in my life until I finished it. In the middle of the day! And the romance was hot, believable and so messy, just like real life. Add in a swoon-worthy cover and I give it five stars!

Dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzen --Review

Monday, November 7, 2011

Title: Dancergirl
Author: Carol M. Tanzen

Pub date: November 15, 2011 Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley

Book description from Amazon:

Ever feel like someone's watching you? Me, too. But lately it's been happening in my room.
When I'm alone.
A friend posted a video of me dancing online, and now I'm no longer Alicia Ruffino. I'm dancergirl. And suddenly it's like me against the world—everyone's got opinions.
My admirers want more, the haters hate, my best friend Jacy—even he's acting weird. And some stalker isn't content to just watch anymore.
Ali. Dancergirl. Whatever you know me as, however you've seen me online, I've trained my whole life to be the best dancer I can be. But if someone watching has their way, I could lose way more than just my love of dancing. I could lose my life.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

I found this to be an intriguing story. The idea of a stalker and the things that happen to Ali are very realistic. I can see them happening. I like the way Ali grew as a character and the ending was a satisfying one. Her character, along with best friend Jacy, were nicely developed. I was a little disappointed that the other characters weren't developed as well. Her friends were a mixed bunch, and there were some insights into their personalities, but they leaned toward the flat side.
The choice for the stalker was a great one. I figured it out when the first clue was given and waited to see if I was correct, or if it was one of the red herrings thrown in here and there. I devoured the book in one sitting which is why it got the extra half star. The writing was tight and a nice pace was achieved, however I didn't love any of the characters, nor root for them. It was extremely entertaining, it just didn't draw me in.


ARC courtesy or NetGalley

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs all images from the Flying Dreams Storybook Collection by Lorie Davison