Year summary: Top 5 books and series I read this year.

Friday, December 30, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

I’ve seen blogs all over the internet, and a lot of them are my favorite ones, do a blog post about their favorite reads in 2011 including series and standalone books.

So, this blog post is going to be about my top 5 books and series I finished and loved. These books and/or series are not necessary published in 2011 though.

Below are the books and series I read with no particular order Smile.

Standalone books:

anna and the french kiss

  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

This book is one of my all time favorites. It’s well written with beautiful people in the beautiful Paris.Unlike a lot of readers. I prefer this to Lola and the Boy Next Door.

This one is a must read.

 

 

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V for Vendetta by Steve Moore (Novelization), Andy Wachowski (Screenplay), Larry Wachowski (Screenplay), Alan Moore (Graphic Novel).

This book is mainly the screenplay of the same names movie. Although it’s almost 6 years since it has been published, this book is on the top of my favorite books. I read both the comic book and this one and I loved them both.

V for Vendetta is special in so many ways. I read it over 5 times and I wouldn’t hesitate to read it again :).

 

living-dead-girl

   Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.

I read this one just this past week and no words can explain how good it is. It received a lot of bad critics but for me, it was an awesome book.

The writing was the most terrifying thing about it in a good way. It’s almost like you could feel the character’s pain, sadness and numbness.

If you’re willing to take the risk, you should read this one, but if you don’t like violence and rape especially when it’s a little girl, then I don’t recommend it to you. Just as a note, I think this book in only suitable to 18+ readers.

 

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  The D.U.F.F (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger.

This is one of the books that just once you start reading it, you just can’t put it down. You feel like you’re related to the mains characters and you try so hard to know what’s in their minds.

The D.U.F.F is the 3rd best contemporary book I read this year after Living Dead Girl and Anna and the French Kiss.

  It’s a very good book :).

 

 

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   Dracula by Bram Stoker.

I started reading this one in 2010 but then stopped and re-read it until the end in July 2011.

This is a must read for any vampire fan, you have to read this so when you read about Dracula in other novels, you see how much nonsense there is in them.

I love this one!!

 

 

Series:

Unfortunately, I finished only three series this year. Hopefully more next year.

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  The Hollow Trilogy by Jessica Verday.

This is definitely one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read. As a huge fan of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and ghosts, I found this trilogy captivating with a lot of twists and anticipation.

 

  You have no idea how hard it was to wait for the final book in the series, The Hidden, to come out. When it did and I got it the same day as an e-Gift from a friend, I finished it in 2 hours!!!

I definitely recommend these series to anyone who’s never read YA books and who loves ghosts and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

I will definitely re-read it next year. This series has a unique place in my heart since it was the first YA series I read ever! This is what got me to reading Red heart.

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  Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

I’m about to finish this one, only 10 chapters left until I’m completely done with this series. I’m in love with these books. The story is completely amazing and so far, they are my favorite series on Vampires. Richelle Mead did a great job with this one, I’m a huge, completely crazy fan!!!

 

Twilight_Saga__Books_Wallpaper_by_miratio

   The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.

I know I’m kind of late on this one, but hey, I just started reading!!!

So, to be completely honest, I adore the books and hate the movies. The movies didn’t do the novels any justice (and no I didn’t see breaking dawn yet but I will eventually.).

If you want the advice, read the books before you watch the movies, and this goes to Breaking Dawn too. The last novel is the best one in all the Saga so you should probably read it before watching the movie.

That’s it!!

I’m also happy to announce that I finished my Goodreads goal by reading 51 out of 50 books this year!!! I didn’t even know if I could accomplish this. For next year, I’ll be setting my goal to 100 books Open-mouthed smile.

I’ll do another blog post on books I’m anticipating in 2012 and series I plan to read and/or continue next year hopefully.

Randa

Cover reveal: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

Friday, December 30, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

OMG!! So, Rachel Vincent, the writer of Soul Screamers, one of my top 5 favorite series, shared very good news on her blog. She revealed the beautiful cover of Before I Wake, the sixth installment in Soul Screamers which is supposed to be out on June 22nd, 2012 in the US and Canada.

So….. Here it is:

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Isn’t it so beautiful? And in pink!! *_*

There’s still no blurb revealed, because according to Rachel:

“ I’m not planning to reveal the back cover blurb until around March, so those in the UK (at least) will have had a chance to read If I Die. Because the plot summary for Before I Wake is the most spoilery plot summary in the history of spoilery plot summaries. Seriously.”

What do you think?? Do you like it? Did you have another imagination for the cover??

All I know is that I love it and I can’t wait to see the must be beautiful UK cover Smile.

Randa

Review: My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent (e-book and Audiobook)

Thursday, December 29, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

soultostealtogifsmall

 

  Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.
  See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.
  And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

From Goodreads.

Get it from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository.

The cover:

Seriously, theses series has the best UK covers ever!! And if you read my previous reviews of the books, you’d already know that I love them all, but this one, is just amazing!! This is a UK e-book cover, I have no idea how it looks on e-readers but I’m sure it looks pretty cool :D.

The storyline:

My Soul to Steal has the most twisted storyline so far. It kept me anticipating what’s next. The introduction to new characters, in this case Sabine, was very good. As always, Rachel knows how to describe her characters very well along with their surroundings.

This story went smooth and was very good. Also, I was kind of happy I read Reaper just before this one, since they’re kind of related :).

What was unique about this sequel and which wasn’t in the previous books, was a lot of suspense. Sabine showing up just to make ruin what is already going bad for both Nash and Kaylee was killing me, and I kept just reading trying to figure things out, then I would stop, make my own conclusions then continue reading.

And unlike the previous sequels, the ending in MStS (My Soul to Steal) didn’t confirm or deny anything, in this case Nash and Kaylee’s relationship. It was weird and now I’m dying to read If I Die although I now know from the title that Avari is definitely going to have a big part in it.

The characters:

Kaylee, the main protagonist, is as always brave and strong. However, in this book, she really did upset me. She kept overreacting over stupid reasons. She was just weird this time.

Nash, well, poor Nash. He is weaker than usual, probably because of the Frost. He keeps apologizing to Kaylee and trying to bond the friendship again with Sabine while explaining to her that he is in love with Kaylee now. I hate this Nash because he’s so weak and has no idea how to pick up the pieces. He’s torn apart.

Tod kept showing up like he’s the hero in all of this. It’s  true I’m a huge fan of him but this time I didn’t like him. He was acting weird.

I will also mention Avari, since he keeps popping up in this book. He is one hell of a hellion. He goes after what he wants and doesn’t give up at all!!! That’s why I’m 100% sure I’ll see him in If I Die.

I shall give credit to Invidia for all the chaos she caused. You’ll know more about her when you read the book ;).

The audiobook:

I read the previous books in the series as e-books but since My Soul To Take, I decided to have this one as both an audiobook and an e-book, which was awesome since I love audiobooks.

This audiobook was well narrated by Amanda Ronconi and she did a great job speaking as Kaylee :).

Conclusion:

I loved My Soul to Steal. It is super cool, twisted, fun and amazing.

5/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Friday, December 23, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

living-dead-girl

 

  Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.
  Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
  Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.

  When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.
Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.
  This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

 

From Goodreads.

The cover:

This is the UK cover which I love. It says a lot about the story.

The storyline:

This is a story that I finished right now and I’m still in shock with tears in my eyes.

It is hard to go thru it all over and review it. It was amazing in awful ways.

Most readers wouldn’t continue reading this book from chapter 3, it was hard to absorb, not because the book itself was bad, but because the story was realistic, it could happen to anyone.

I love the book, the story, how awesome the writing was. I adore the heroine, the 15 year old girl who’s been kidnaped and raped over and over for 5 years and still found the strength she didn’t think she had when another little girl’s life was at stake.

I salute her for the unbearable she bared and how despite she didn’t believe she can feel any longer she felt when she saw her new born sister’s photo in the newspaper.

I salute her for her courage all these years and how despite describing herself as a Living Dead Girl, she lived and made sure her family stayed always safe at all costs.

And finally for the girl, I congratulate her for getting her freedom at the end :’/.

I salute the author for writing such a great novel talking about what others were afraid to mention, she did an awesome job writing such a wonderful story.

The characters:

No one is worth mentioning but the 15 year old girl (I won’t call her Alice, because that’s what that pervert used to call her.) and you’ll figure out her real name in the last chapter. Oh my God! no words can describe my current feelings…

Conclusion:

This is not a book for children, definitely for 18+. It has way too much gruesome pictures than any teenager can take, unless you’re used to horror bloody movies like me.

This is a must read is you’re ready to know how cruel our little perfect world can be.

I loved the book, I don’t regret reading it and I would read it again If I wanted too without hesitation, but after the trauma goes away.

This is a 5 flowers book and a very close one to my heart Red heart.

5/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (spoilers)

Friday, December 23, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

spirit

 

   After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s and to her best friend, Lissa. It is at long last graduation, and the girls canÕt wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

   She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won’t rest until Rose joins him . . . forever.

 

From Goodreads.

The cover:

Hmmm… I kind of like and dislike this one at the same time.

I adore the UK covers more. My e-books have the UK covers, but since all my previous reviews of the Vampire Academy novels had a US cover, this one will too :).

The storyline:

This is a hard book to judge, review and rate.

I kind of liked the beginning of this book, it was nice to see Rose back with her friends. Dimitri hunting her down too was kind of amusing since he was acting unlike himself, which was fun.

The middle chapters were a bit of an issue, the story went slow and it hurt to see Adrian so in love with Rose while she was trying to lie to herself about whom she really loved. This obviously led to a fight when Dimitri showed up in Vegas trying to get his hands on her.

He failed, not because she was stronger nor smarter but because he wanted to let her go. The only fun thing was seeing Rose planning and executing Victor’s escape.

The last chapters were the best, as usual. Lissa and Christian were kidnapped by Dimitri to lure Rose. When Rose went where they’ve been kept as hostages, there was a huge fight and Lissa saved him.

Back at Court, Dimitri refused to talk to Rose at all and he told her that Love Fades. His Did. This is when she decided she is going to choose Adrian, again!

Yeah, then Tatiana dies and Rose got the blame and the book ends where she’s going to prison until a date is set for her trial.

And now, I can’t wait to start on the next and the last (already??) book in the series :s.

The characters:

Rose is my heroine this year when it come to fiction books. Imagine what she’s been through this entire series?? Without getting to the last novel. Few things I hated about her in this particular book was that she was lying to both herself and Adrian about their relationship which was selfish and lame from her. She should of just told him the truth all along, that she would never, ever love anyone but Dimitri. Anyone who reads the books can see that crystal clear. Also,

Adrian is my hero this time, he’s so freaking in love with Rose!! And he would do anything for her. He’s funny and direct and doesn’t like lies and twists. Love this type of men (or vampires in this case)!

Lissa is the good friend she’s been all along. Despite her good relationship with Rose, she bothered me a lot when it came to Christian. Instead of confronting him and trying to solve the problem between them, she kept getting jealous on him which was ridiculous because he loved her!!

You should know, the first thing to learn about Vampires, is that when they love someone, that’s it, they can’t love anyone else no matter how much time passes or if the other person dies. They are loyal. Which is why I’m a fan of Vampire.

Anyways, back to the review.

Christian is fun to be around as usual. you can’t quite get what he’s planning or thinking. He knows how jealous Lissa gets when he’s with other girls but he goes as far as he can.

Dimitri… I have no idea what happened to him!!! Now, I like him more when he was a Strigoi!! Don’t get me wrong, the old Dimitri was super awesome super beautiful, but the new kind of old Dimitri is hard to figure out!. I’ll keep my mouth shut and decide to see how things go with him in the next sequel.

Conclusion:

First, I need to say I’m sorry I spoiled this review, a lot! It was just too much to take!

There were a lot of sentiments in this book that were getting to me. This is why I love this series. It’s true this book was crazy and a bit slow to digest at first but the bigger picture is what matters.

This is not my favorite book of the series, but I don’t hate it at all.

Second, to be fair enough and judge it right, I’ll give it 4 out of 5 flowers.

4/5

Randa

Review: Deadly Cool By Gemma Halliday

Friday, December 23, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

Deadly_Cool

 

  First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

  As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.

  I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.

 

From Goodreads.

The cover:

I love this cover. It illustrates Hartley very well, and those iPod earbuds?? Oh my!! *_*

The storyline:

So, this is one kind of a book. I enjoyed every bit of it.

The beginning was great, introducing us directly to the issue while explaining things at the same time.

Hartley’s boyfriend, Josh is the worst boyfriend I’ve ever seen, though he did one thing only by cheating on her, this made the deal for me. The girl didn’t deserve this and he was her first love!

I hate boys…

Anyways, at the beginning when Hartley discovers a school mate dead at her boyfriend’s house, every evidence points to him as the killer. However, he shows up and apologizes to her and asks her to help him find out who’s the real killer who’s framing him.

Throughout the book, you’ll go through weird twists and awful discoveries that’ll keep you reading.

One of the many things I loved about this book is that Gemma, the author, did a great job making the characters alive. There were a lot of moments when I’d have acted the same way. It was funny to see Hartley mentally debating with herself on many things and because she’s awesome, she always chose to help others, even if it meant sneaking out of the house at midnight!!

And because I’m a geek, I fell more for this book, there were mentions of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Apple, Mac, Google and many more! And they were part of the story, not just mentions .

The writing was smooth, funny, fun, mysterious and very good. I just have nothing to complain about in this book!!

The characters:

Hartley is my heroine. She’s been through a lot of things and still acted strong and brave and fought to prove her ex-boyfriend’s innocence. She’s honest and blonde who adores Legally Blonde!! <333

I’ve always liked blondes despite what others might think of them, but her, I loved her!!

Josh….hmmm… Josh is an effing jerk. That’s it. Just because his girlfriend wouldn’t give in to him he went on and cheated on her, then came back asking her to forgive him??? What a boyfriend!!

Chase is super freaking cool. I’ve always loved Goths for their mysterious looks, and I loved Varen in Nevermore. So Chase was no surprise to me when he offered to help Hartley investigate the murder while he kept making jokes and funny statements. He is a gentlemen with a bad driving.

Sam is the BFF. She’s cute, funny, crazy and supportive. She’s been all the way with Hartley.

Other characters that are note worthy are Kevin who’s Sam’s brother, they kept borrowing his “evironmental friendly” car. Which was funny to read because each time he asked them to fill her with some sort of oil fuel lol. Caitlyn whom I let it to you to discover what’s going on with her.

My favorite quotes:

Some of them Winking smile.

“So it wasn’t your fault.”     

Chase shook his head. “Nope. Totally the guy in front of me. I mean, who stops for a yellow light, ya know?”     

Oh no… – Chapter 5

If everyone was on Facebook, MySpace was the virtual equivalent of a hideout in the woods. Deep, deserted woods. – Chapter 6

I scrolled down, hitting the Message Me button shaped like a skull and crossbones (Really, Josh? That didn’t strike you as just a little bit inappropriate?). – Chapter 6.

I scrolled down, hitting the Message Me button shaped like a skull and crossbones (Really, Josh? That didn’t strike you as just a little bit inappropriate?). – Chapter 6

“Unless you’re one hell of a hacker.” He grinned. A big toothy thing.     

“I take that smug look to mean you know one hell of a hacker?” I asked.     

“You’re looking at him.”     

“Shut up,” Sam said. “You can break into the phone company’s computer?”     

He shrugged. “Piece of cake. How do you think I got all those sexting messages?”     

“You read them?” Sam asked.     

He nodded. Then leaned in close. “You would not believe the filthy stuff some of our classmates are doing.” He gave her another wink.     

Sam looked like she was going to pass out from embarrassment. -- Chapter 8

“But it’s not healthy for you to bottle feelings up in here,” she said, gesturing to her torso. “You can’t feel better unless you’re willing to feel.”     

I felt Chase snort behind me. – Chapter 8

It was against the rules to light a cigarette anywhere within twenty feet of school grounds. The Goths sat twenty feet and two inches away, puffing like chimneys. Take that, establishment! – Chapter 14

Conclusion:

This was a wonderful fun read. I recommend it if you like laughter, mystery, thriller and social networks Open-mouthed smile.

5/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: Reaper (Soul Screamers Novella) By Rachel Vincent (audiobook)

Saturday, December 17, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

TheReaper_Concepts_REV.indd

 

 

   Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food, and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him - and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly, Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between...

 

 

 

From Goodreads.

The cover:

So this is Tod!! I’m glad I can finally see how my favorite character looks like Smile.

The storyline:

So I was supposed to read this before My Soul To Keep but decided otherwise since It is just a novella and it wouldn’t affect the story of the series. After finishing MStK, I decided that I needed to read this one. I had to know how Tod became who he is in the series.

This novella was short, accurate and good to read. I found a different Tod than the one in the series, acting like a selfish, non-human reaper but I found out why soon enough.

So to not spoil this review, I’ll just say that unlike what Nash says all the time, that he’s brother owes him, in fact, he owes Tod a lot!! You’ll be so shocked to find out!

The characters:

Tod is an awesome brother and Nash is obviously blind not to see that.

Levi, whom I was supposed to guess that he’ll be here, is an awesome dead kid reaper! I’m a fan of him!!! Open-mouthed smile.

Conclusion:

This was a very good quick read from Tod’s point of view. As always, I love Rachel’s writing Red heart.

This is a favorite read.

5/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: My Soul to Keep By Rachel Vincent

Thursday, December 15, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

MSTKeep UK

  Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.

Until something does.

  Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked.

  And so is someone else…

 

         From Goodreads.

The cover:

This is one of my favorite covers because of the pink in it ^_^.

The storyline:

Okay. So the story in this sequel is pretty amazing!

What I love about this series is that each sequel is related to the previous one(s) and at the same time the story is unique. I was intrigued by Nash’s sudden change of moods, how Kaylee noticed something wrong was going on. It was hard to predict the story which is amazing!

At the end, seeing Addison’s comeback was thrilling, Avari’s return on the other hand was creepy.

The writing style of it was awesome, as expected, Rachel does a great job of describing the necessary stuff and leaving the rest for your imagination to work on :).

The characters:

Kaylee is strong as always. She faces her fears even when they’re scary and make her cry (like me). I just wonder how she can stand her cousin Sophie, who’s a total pain?!

Nash surprised me in this sequel, I didn’t expect him to be so selfish and to sacrifice what they had for… well, you’ll have to read the book to understand what I’m talking about ;).

Tod is mainly the hero in this sequel and I think he deserves to be. If there’s anyone who’s truly loyal to love that would be him. He made a huge sacrifice and the consequences were very bad. I love the Reaper!!

Addison’s return was one of the many shocking events in this book and it was a pleasure to see how she reacted in the story. No wonder Tod loves her!

These were mainly the most important characters in this story, in my POV (point of view). I’m not going to mention neither Avari because he’s a pervert nor Emma because the whole story she was whining upon Doug….

My favorite quotes:

Speaking of bloodthirsty hyenas…           

A car door slammed in the driveway ahead and my cousin, Sophie, stood next to Scott Carter's metallic-blue convertible, her huge green eyes shadowed dramatically by the streetlight overhead. –Chapter 1

Naturally. Because detention seems like an appropriate reward for someone trying to save her school from a deadly Netherworld toxin, right? – Chapter 5

"Emma?" I backed slowly away from the bed, my phone clenched in my left hand, as a strange, heavy, fluttery feeling settled into my stomach. Like I'd swallowed a swarm of iron butterflies.            "Not exactly…" A low, scratchy, unfamiliar voice said as my best friend's mouth moved.           

My heart rate exploded and my pulse roared in my ears. "Who, then, exactly?"          

"I am Alec. As presented through Emma Dawn Marshall."           

As presented…?          

Whoa… – Chapter 17

I'd played intermediary between Nash and Avari. The hellion had used me as his own personal walkie-talkie.           

And Nash had let it happen. – Chapter 17

Tod, if you're involved in this, I'll kill you! Except you can't kill someone who's already dead.     

But I could get him fired…. – Chapter 18

Aaaand here comes the catch… -- Chapter 18

Luck? We were depending on luck?           

Nash is so screwed…. – Chapter 18

"Tod! Get your invisible butt down here!" Or up here, or over here, or whichever way he'd have to travel to get to me. – Chapter 19

But more than any of that, I was thankful for the possibility he'd shown me: that a man really could love a woman enough that he'd do anything to protect her. That's how much Tod loved Addy.            That's how much I wanted Nash to love me. -- Chapter 26

Conclusion:

This is by far my 2nd favorite sequel in the series. I can’t wait to get started on My Soul To Steal, but first, I need to finish Reaper Winking smile.

5/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

The DUFF  Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

  But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

  Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

From Goodreads.

The cover:

It is simple and it says a lot about the main protagonist.

The storyline:

This is where things get sad, ugly, horrific, humiliating and at last happy and fun.

This book is unique in so many different ways. It was hard for me to finish it not because it was bad but because it told the truth, and the truth always hurt.

At first, I didn’t like the book, I had no idea who Bianca was and it all started with her kissing Wesley and suddenly they started sleeping together, and as one who hates this type of books, I almost stopped reading it. Then the good/sad part came along and it was hard to both read through it and to fight against the urge to finish it.

Kody did a great job describing how some peoples’ lives are totally messed up and how they go through it and why they do what they do to be distracted from their lives. She used a lot of cursing words, and a lot of inappropriate scenes but all what she described is true and happens in our real lives but everyone is too scared to admit it.

The ending was perfect in every possible way.

The characters:

Bianca is your typical not-popular girl. Believe it or not, but I know that every girl in us (girls) has her version of Bianca, whether you’re a Duff, a player, a geek or a cheerleader. I respect her for many reasons.

Wesley is awesome. Simple. He knows what he wants and he’s not ashamed of it. When he knew that he needed to stop and go after Bianca, he did. I like this about him.

Jessica and Casey are every girl’s dream of best friends or BFFs. They are awesome friends and they stood up for Bianca and helped her with all the tragedy in her life. And they’re super funny and cute!

My favorite quotes:

This is a new section in my review in which I’ll highlight my favorite quotes throughout the book Smile.

“And my name isn’t Duffy. It’s Bianca. We’ve been in the same homeroom since middle school, you self-absorbed son of a bitch.” Bianca to Wesley – Chapter 1

“Oh, come on,” I fumed. “The guy is a man-whore. I can’t stand him. He sleeps with everything that moves, and his brain is located in his pants—which means it’s microscopic.” Bianca to Casey – Chapter 1

After thinking about it for a while, I decided that there were a lot of benefits to being the Duff.    Benefit one: no point in worrying about your hair or makeup.    Benefit two: no pressure to act cool—you’re not the one being watched.    Benefit three: no boy drama.    I figured out benefit three while we were watching Atonement in Jessica’s bedroom. In the movie, poor Keira Knightley has to go through all of this damn tragedy with James McAvoy, but if she’d been unattractive, he never would have looked at her. She wouldn’t have gotten her heart broken. After all, everybody knows the “it’s better to have loved and lost…” spiel is a load of crap – Chapter 7

The game was over.    The Panthers had won.    And I was still the Duff. -- Chapter 12

Oh God! I thought, realizing what that twinge in my gut must mean. Oh God, I’m jealous. I’m seriously f***ing jealous! Oh, shit – Chapter 16

“No!” I shouted, spinning around to face her. “No, no, no! I do not love him, okay? Love is rare and hard to find and takes years upon years to develop. Teenagers don’t fall in love. I don’t love Wesley.” Bianca to Casey – Chapter 19

Then the inevitable happened. I thought of the douche bag. The playboy. The womanizer. The one person who could ruin this moment for me. Yes, I had a crush on Toby Tucker. How could I not? He was sweet and charming and smart… but my feelings for Wesley were way beyond that. I’d skipped the crush kiddie pool and jumped right into the deep, shark-infested ocean of emotions. And, if you’ll forgive the dramatic metaphor, I was a lousy swimmer. -- Chapter 21

Confused, I unfolded the paper and read the single sentence that was scrawled across the top.    “Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you.” – Chapter 24

p.s.: I know you’re rolling your eyes right now, but I don’t care. Honestly, it’s always been kind of a turn-on. Wesley in his letter to Bianca. – Chapter 25

Note to self, I thought. Murder Jessica when there are no witnesses. – Chapter 27

Conclusion:

This book is so realistic and fun to read. Once you start it you won’t be able to put it down.

I’ll give it 4 stars and put it as a favorite. I loved it!!!

 

4/5

mevideo

 

Randa

Review: My Soul To Save By Rachel Vincent.

Sunday, December 04, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

MSTSave UK

  When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

  So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

  The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can't possibly understand.

  Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk….     From Goodreads.

 

The cover:

As the previous book in the series, I love this one’s cover Smile.

It’s the British cover version of the book and it’s my favorite one Smile. Though one thing to keep in mind, it has everything to do with the story and I mean the girl’s eyes’ color, not the color itself Winking smile.

The story and the characters:

I’m a huge fan of Rachel’s style of writing XD. It’s like you’re in the character’s mind! Which is usually, as far as I know, is not a common things among books. I loved everything about it, from the settings to the characters to the secondary ones to the fiends (loool Smile with tongue out) to Avari…

It was twisted and weird and funny and romantic (a lot, but not enough for me to leave the book) and I couldn’t put it down once I really got into what was going on.

What I love about these books is that they’re connected, in each sequel you read what happened in the previous book and how it’s affecting the current story. Very interesting!!!

The ending was sad but good in the same way Smile. I’m proud of how strong the characters are especially Kaylee.

The conclusion:

I know this review is somehow short but when I love a book and don’t have anything bad to say about it, I write only what’s important and what I liked Smile. The rest comes to your own personal taste.

It’s a must read!!

5/5

Randa

Review: Blood Promise By Richelle Mead

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

The blurb:

blood

  DIMITRI'S HEART HAS GONE DARK
  Now Rose must journey to the ends of the earth to find--and kill--her one true love...
Or has the time come to join him?
BOUND BY LOVE, BUT SWORN TO KILL...
The rest of the world had considered Dimitri dead. And to a certain extent, he was. But I hadn't been able to forget a conversation he and I had once had. We'd both agreed that we'd rather be dead—truly dead—than walk the world as Strigoi. It was time to honor our words.
  Guardian Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same.
The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . .   Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?
  Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

From Goodreads.

My review:

The cover:

This is one of my favorite covers. It holds mystery in it :). And it certainly says a lot about the book!!

The story:

As a huge fan of the series, I was somehow disappointed in this sequel.

The first half was going so slow, that I was that close to stop reading it. I hated how Rose got away from St. Vladimir and how she acted somehow selfish. I know she was trying to be strong and all but that wasn’t cool at all.

The second half was better but I can split it into two parts as well; the first part was the worst part of the whole book, I completely hated Dimitri as Strigoi!!! Somehow, the chapters describing how had Rose gone as a Blood Whore for Dimitri were the longest and the bad part. I felt like he was using her. And unlike the other sequels, this one got me unease :s. The second part however was super awesome and cool, especially the fact that Lissa actually punched someone!! :D.

I loved the ending, it’s one of my favorites. I loved how strong is the friendship between Lissa and Rose and how much they really appreciate each other. And the big surprise at the end, which I kind of expected, you know ;).

The characters:

This is where it gets better! I had the honor to meet the Belikovs whom I loved, especially Olena (Dimitri’s mother). She was calm, nice and caring. His sisters were good too :).

Sydney was nice to meet, especially sine she’s the narrator of Bloodlines, I had fun trying to figure her out. She’s a nice person and a trustworthy friend :).

Adrian is my favorite one in this book. He was patient, funny, calm and caring. I like him very much now!

Ah, and Abe of course, I won’t spoil this one (I already think I spoiled this review :s). He’s a mystery uncovered at the end of the book and it was super fun to figure him out ;).

For the rest of the characters, and I mean the Lazar family, hmmmm…. I don’t need to say a thing except that I’m happy we won’t see them anymore.

Conclusion:

I’m really confused. I love the series but I have to be fair. I didn’t enjoy this book at all until I was at the last 3 chapters, and I counted them. At least, I figured why it wasn’t that much fun for me, it was because of Rose’s friends. I didn’t realize how much I liked Lissa, Christian, Adrian, Alberta and the St. Vladimir environment until they were almost missing in this sequel.

3/5

 

Randa

I accept the 2012 YA Contemporary Challenge!

Monday, November 28, 2011 1 Comments A+ a-

yacontemp03

  Contemporary YA has always been my favorite genre. Sarah Dessen is really the author that got me into reading. My blog would not exist without her books so I figure this is the perfect way to honor those books! So with the help of Angela from Reading Angel, I introduce to you the 2012 YA Contemporary Challenge!
  Levels:
Level 1: 5+ books
Level 2: 10+ books
Level 3: 15+ books
  Rules:
You can read any contemporary YA novel that is published between January 1, 2012 and December 30, 2012 but you must read them in 2012! (All formats accepted: paperback, ARC, e-book)

More info on Katie’s book blog.

So this is the very first challenge I enter Open-mouthed smile.

I’ve already read two contemporary books, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door and I really enjoyed them.

For the year of 2012, I found that I had already marked some contemporary books as To Read on my goodreads, and to make it easy on everyone, I’ve created a public list on my Springpad (a review of it coming soon on my tech blog ;)) which contains all the books I’m planning to read, and as time comes by I’ll add moreSmile. Also, you can add this list on to your own Springpad and edit it!!! Isn’t it cool?? ^_^ (Sorry, the geek inside me is super strong Nerd smile) lol.

I’m also going to be reviewing these books on Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon and Barnes & Noble in addition to my blog :).

I’ll try to read as many as I can, but I’ve got to find a balance between Senior year and reading. So, I think the most of this reading will be done in the breaks we get, especially in summer! Open-mouthed smile

If you have any recommendations let me know Winking smile, I’m newbie to this reading Blogosphere and I need as much help as I can get Smile.

Happy reading!

Randa