Friday, January 31, 2014

Review on Live and Let Shop

Who here enjoys books or movies about spies? I enjoyed the Spy Kids movies, well, the first one mostly. It's always fun to imagine that your parents are actually spies and they need your help to save the world. I mean, who doesn't love secret missions, cool gadgets, and guys in suits? Well, this book is more realistic about spies, but it definitely keeps you on your toes.
Live and Let Shop by Michael P. Spradlin

Live and Let Shop (Spy Goddess, #1)
Format: Hardcover/ paperback/ e-book
Pub. Date: March 1st, 2005
Not really. I'm just misunderstood.

Of course, that's not how the judge saw it.

That's how I wound up at freaky Blackthorn Academy. Talk about boring. There isn't even a mall nearby. I mean, what did they expect a girl from Beverly Hills to do?

Also, from the start I could tell there was something really weird about Blackthorn:

The headmaster, Mr. Kim, knew way too much about me.

The class schedule features Intro to Code Theory and Microelectronics.

A whole section of the school is off-limits.

Then the FBI showed up ... and Mr. Kim disappeared.

Well, here's something Mr. Kim didn't know about me: Rachel Buchanan never gives up when there are secrets to uncover. Watch out, Blackthorn Academy.

My rating: 3 out of 5 spies
My recommendation: Anyone who lies spies and boarding schools.
My review:
My copy was provided to me by Netgalley.
Rachel is a typical spoiled brat. She's ignored by her parents and she acts out against everything they say. Her mom tells her she dresses like a slob so she dresses even more like a slob. She befriends the bad crowd at school because they're the opposite kind of people her parents would want her to interact with and they care about her.
Well, she was wrong. When Rachel takes the blame for stealing a car her "friends" stole, she's given two choices. She can either spend a month in juvie or she could spend a year at Blackthorn Academy. Obviously, she chose the academy. But this school isn't an ordinary boarding school.
The school teaches you Tae Kwon Doe, Criminology, has a whole floor of the school off limits, and the headmaster freaking knows Jackie Chan. This definitely makes Rachel suspicious of the school.
I really like the beginning of this book and the premise of it. I thought it sounded cool about a spy academy and secretly being trained to be a spy.
Rachel is a witty character with actual problems and funny comebacks. I liked Rachel and she was an intriguing character. She doubts herself and doesn't think she's all that. She pretends to be invulnerable, pretends that having her parents ignore her is okay with her, but she actually had feelings.
Her friends were kinda flat to me. They didn't make very many appearances in the beginning of the book and Rachel didn't even like them or care for them all that much. But then she was suddenly going off on an adventure with them and depending her life on them. If there was more backstory, more feelings about them, I would have connected with them.
I would have preferred if this book didn't have the magic in it. I didn't think it was really necessary for the magic to be in it. It was too much what with the spies and the stolen artifact. Just being a spy is enough, I think, to make this book work.
Also, some things just seemed to happen way too coincidentally. Things fell in place rather artificially and didn't seem as if they would be possible in real life. The ending felt rather quick and seemed to skimp on the details.
But I do want to read the next book and find out what happens with Rachel. The book leaves at a cliffhanger that I definitely want to explore. Spies and more reside in this book, but it isn't too complicated and it's interesting enough for me not to want to put it down.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review on Love Letters to the Dead

Hello, how is everyone today? Today, I have a depressing topic to talk about today. Have any of you lost someone? Have you felt guilt over their passing, as if it was your fault? Or have you thought of happy memories and experienced the joy from the past? I have never lost anyone close to me and I know I am very fortunate for that. But I have read many touching books about what it's like to lose someone special. The book I read deals with the guilt of someone dying and how overcoming that special someone's death can lead you to a brighter future.
I read...
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the Dead

Format: Hardcover/ e-book
Pub. Date: April 1st, 2014
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.
My rating: 4 out of 5 letters!
My recommendation: Anyone who likes books in letter form or anyone who has lost someone close to them.
My review:
My copy was provided to me by Netgalley.
Laurel lost her sister, May, in a tragic accident a few years ago. Laurel looked up to her sister and thought she was perfect. She would always imitate her sister and loved her so much. But her sister died and Laurel's family fell apart. Her parents were divorced and her mother loved to California, leaving Laurel going to and from her house with her father and her aunt's house. Along with the feelings of grief and guilt Laurel felt over her sister's death, she's dealing with high school for the first time.
Laurel has to try to fit in and find friends who will care for her. Also, she finds romance in a boy with his own troubles inside.
Through letters written to people both Laurel and May loved, Laurel finally tells the truth of what happened between herself and May, the event that took place right before May died.
I love books written in a different format than usual and I love how the author made this book into letters to famous people. It was different than any other book I have read and the writing itself was beautiful and lyrical, almost like the events Laurel was describing were poems.
Laurel went through a magnificent internal journey to finally gain the strength to tell the truth of what happened to her. The pain Laurel felt was so real, so vibrant, I could practically feel it. Laurel felt both the pain of losing her sister and nursing a broken heart.
Laurel went through so much and her friends tried to help her in any way they could even though they too were filled with problems.
I didn't particularly like all the teenage angst in the book. It felt like it was too much with all the alcohol in drugs, but that is how teens grow up. They learn to deal with life and find the strength to rely on themselves rather than the outside forces they had relied on before.
The book also included too many quotes for my liking. Laurel included multiple poems she loved and while they were beautiful and I was glad that the author had included them, it felt a bit too much and like they were blocking the story, hiding some detail that could have been used instead.
This book is all about growing up and finding strength within yourself. I loved Laurel's struggle with her emotions and how she finally gathered the courage to confront her fears, to defeat the shadows in her world so that her life could shine bright again, shine bright like May's love for her sister.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review on Amandine

Hello, hello, hello everyone! Who wants to hear about a new book review? This book came out almost a year ago, and I got a copy from Netgalley and I like the author so I decided to read it.
Here it is... Amandine by Adele Griffin

Format: Paperback/e-book
Pub. Date: February 12th, 2013
Delia’s new friend is not what she seems

Each day of Delia’s first week of high school, her parents ask her the same question: Did you make any friends today? Finally, the answer is yes. Her name is Amandine, and she is the most exciting person in town. An artist, a dancer, and a teller of tall tales, she has enough charm to make Delia forget her loneliness. Like Delia, Amandine is an outsider—a city girl with too much personality for a small town.. Delia notices something strange about her friend from the start. Everything she says is a little bit too wild to be true. When the exaggerations get more serious, Delia finds it’s too late to escape. Amandine has chosen Delia—and if Delia isn’t careful, the vengeful, dangerous Amandine will set her life on fire. This ebook features a personal history by Adele Griffin including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s own collection.

My rating: 2 out of 5 lies!
My recommendation: If you like books about drama, and books with lessons, read this book.
My review:
My copy was provided to me by Netgalley.
Honestly, I didn't really like this book. Delia is a girl with no friends, no one she connects to. She's all alone in the world. Even her mother wishes she was someone else, someone who matters. But when Delia meets Amandine, she finds someone who cares. The problem is that Amandine cares too much. For once in her life, Delia has someone who cares what she thinks, someone who listens to her when she speaks. Amandine is the girl Delia has always wanted to be. And Amandine can be anyone she wants to be. She can be an actress, a singer, anyone.
But her imagination is too much. When Amandine's lies become too much, Delia's life falls apart and Delia must learn who her true friends are and what the consequences of a little white lie can be.
Amandine annoyed me. I hate how people who lie all the time turn on you and make it seem like you're the one who's been lying the whole time. It frustrates me to much!
Amandine had so many warning signs, but Delia still wanted to be her friend. Couldn't Delia see that Amandine's skits were her way of making new, elaborate lies? That Amandine's fantastical tales were just fantasy?
Even when Amandine's true self is shown, there was a part of Delia that wanted to be friends with Amandine still, a part of her that worshipped Amandine.
I didn't like the ending. It wrapped up too nicely and it made it seem like to fix your problems, instead of confronting them, you should just run away from them. I also didn't like how Amandine brought Delia's family into it and destroyed both Delia's and her parents' reputation.
This book was a quick, predictable read that does demonstrate the important lesson that lies just build up and up until they all explode, resulting in terrible consequences.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

YA Books That Come Out This Week

Lots of awesome books come out this week! We've got highly anticipated sequels, debuts, and more! Books you've been dying for are finally coming out this week! Feeling like you're missing an important book release date? Look no further because I'll be listing them for you right now!
Here we go!

The Unbound (The Archived, #2)

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn't easy -- not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

Manor of Secrets

Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore
The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.

And We Stay

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

No Place

No Place by Todd Strasser
When Dan and his family go from middle class to homeless, issues of injustice rise to the forefront in this relatable, timely novel from Todd Strasser.

It seems like Dan has it all. He's a baseball star who hangs with the popular crowd and dates the hottest girl in school. Then his family loses their home.

Forced to move into the town's Tent City, Dan feels his world shifting. His friends try to pretend that everything's cool, but they're not the ones living among the homeless. As Dan struggles to adjust to his new life, he gets involved with the people who are fighting for better conditions and services for the residents of Tent City. But someone wants Tent City gone, and will stop at nothing until it's destroyed...

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece" Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter, #2)

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

Infinite (Newsoul, #3)

Infinite by Jodi Meadows
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior, #1)

The Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver
Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equalled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself.

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined.

Uninvited (Uninvited, #1)

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

Timestorm (Tempest, #3)

Timestorm by Julie Cross
The breathtaking conclusion to the time-travel trilogy that is “both tender and electric” (Publishers Weekly)

The battle between the Tempest division and Eyewall comes to a shocking conclusion in this final installment of the Tempest trilogy, where the need for survival stretches the boundaries of history, both past and future, and the world Jackson once knew is a place forever marked by the detrimental effects of time travel.

As Jackson recovers from his brush with death, he’s surrounded not only by the people he loves most—his dad, Courtney, and Holly—he’s also amongst a few of the original time travelers. As he learns more about their life and how this world began, it becomes apparent that they need to put a stop to Thomas and Doctor Ludwig’s experimenting at Eyewall Headquarters. What starts out as an escape plan becomes a war between time and humanity, between freewill and peace. It’s the battle Jackson was born to fight and he’s not about to back down. Not for anything. Not for anyone.


Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?


Minders by Michelle Jaffe
A high concept, cinematic read with a surprising twist, MINDERS asks the question: who is really watching whom?

Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She's been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she'll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There's just one problem: Sadie's fallen in love with him.

Q: What if the crime is murder?

Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?

Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford's life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.

There are so many endings to series/trilogies! It's so sad to see such good books go.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

In My Mailbox Take 14!!!!!!!!

What'd you get in your mailbox this week?

Another week has gone by and what a boring week it has been! Guess what's I've been doing all week? And no, that is not a sexual reference! Apparently, my teachers thought that this is the week to do a boatload of homework. They all piled on the homework and I haven't had much time to do anything. But I did manage to make a trip to the library.
In total, I got 16 books this week! 12 I got from the library and 4 I bought.
Wanna know what I got?
(That just rhymed. Bought and got.)
Well, here you go!

Books from the library:

Neverwas  (Amber House, #2)

Neverwas by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed

Wild Blood (Switchers, #3) Wild Blood Switcher: am Rand der Entscheidung (Switchers, #3) Wild Blood (The Switchers Trilogy)

Wild Blood by Kate Thompson

Luminary (Anomaly #2)

Luminary by Krista McGee

Erased (Altered, #2) Erased (Altered, #2) Hide (Altered, #2) Memento (Amnesia, #2)

Erased by Jennifer Rush

Fugitive X (Revolution 19, #2)

Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum

The Vow

The Vow

The Gospel of Winter

The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

No One Else Can Have You

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Touched (Sense Thieves, #1) Der Preis der Unsterblichkeit (Touched, #1) Sonsuz Dokunuş (Sense Thieves, #1)

Touched by Corrine Jackson

The Holders (Holders, #1)

The Holders by Julianna Scott

The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen

The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen by Nicholas Christopher

Books I bought:

In a Heartbeat

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1) The Demon King Le Roi Démon (Les Sept Royaumes , #1) Das Amulett (Das Erbe des Dämonenkönigs #1)

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

The Princess Plot  (Scandia, #1) Skogland The Princess Plot

The Princess Plot by Kirsten Boie

Promise of the Wolves (Wolf Chronicles, #1) Promise of the Wolves Promise of the Wolves (Wolf Chronicles, #1) Das Versprechen der Wölfe (Wolf Chronicles, #1) La promessa dei lupi Promise of the Wolves. Dorothy Hearst Promise Of The Wolves (Wolf Chronicles 1) Promise of the Wolves: The Wolf Chronicles (Historical Fiction)

Promise of the Wolves

What ya'll get this week? I'm most excited to read No One Else Can Have You. It looks so morbid and apparently the book is weird. I definitely like weird books.
Happy reading everyone!