Review: Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday.

Monday, April 30, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

This review is part of the 2012 YA Contemporary Challenge. Read more about it here.

social suicide by gemma halliday

 

  Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.
  Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the Herbert Hoover High Homepage would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper’s brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went... a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the Homecoming Queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH’s resident body finder, I’m stuck trying to prove that Sydney’s death wasn’t suicide.
  I’m starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos…

From Goodreads.

Get the e-book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

It is gorgeous, isn’t it? This series has one of the most beautiful covers with meaning related to the storylines :).

 

The storyline:

I have been dying to get my hands of this sequel to Deadly Cool for a long time now. After reading the first book and then reading the sneak peek, I was craving for the rest.

This story is set two months after the events in Deadly Cool.

To summarize what happened without spoiling things (much..) here’s what’s going on:

So, after the murders at Herbert Hoover High, Hartley Featherstone became a writer at the HHH Homepage. When their Homecoming Queen-hopeful, Sydney Sanders, cheats in a test, she gets suspended and banned from going to the dance. While this stared all types of gossip, Hartley saw it as a great story for the school paper, trying to get Sydney to tell her how she got the answers to the test.

When Sydney is found dead, by Hartley again, in her pool at home while she was tweeting, everyone is sure that she committed suicide by taking her laptop with her into the water while it was plugged.

Unfortunately, Hartley is not convinced that it is suicide, and soon enough, finds evidence that proves Sydney wasn’t intending to suicide, which means it wasn’t a suicide but a homicide which Sam calls Twittercide (I love this word!).

From this point on, things get more and more complicated and we find twists and mixed signals between Hartley and Chase.

And of course, the ending was epic! Yes, Hartley almost got herself killed, again! And no, it wasn’t Chase who saved her ;).

 

What I loved:

- The writing is very good.

- The storyline was somewhat mysterious, twisted and realistic.

- The characters were all likable.

- The romance between Chase and Hartley wasn’t rushed. Everything was (and still is) going slowly. So Hartley isn’t making any stupid fast decisions.

- There were a lot of funny moments where I had to read the passages over and over because they were funny and I had to get the full meaning sync in.

- The pace was good.

- Sam’s creation of amazing words to replace swearing is just phenomenal!! I couldn’t stop grinning each time I found “Holy fluffin’ fudge!”.

 

What I disliked:

- Hartley’s personality is somewhat different from the first book. She kept acting in a stupid way and repeating “Dude” a lot, which is not cool! (to me that is).

- The story in some passages of the middle chapters was blank. I was not moved at all.

- The mystery in Social Suicide wasn’t that hard to solve in my opinion. I was actually able to pinpoint the killer from chapter 6. Don’t get me wrong, I love being correct, but I love it when the twists and mystery are too much complicated that it makes it harder for the reader to have a clue.

 

The characters:

- Hartley is the female protagonist. She’s somewhat smart and brave. She can’t hide her feelings and usually goes directly to the point. She has crash on Chase, who’s the school paper editor although she’s not sure it is a crush and keeps convincing herself that it is nothing.

- Chase is the male protagonist (I think). He’s strong, good looking and mysterious. He rarely smiles and almost never compliments Hartley. He takes he’s job at the school paper very seriously.

- Samantha a.k.a Sam is Hartley’s best friend and her number one fan and supporter. She helps Hartley throughout the story and I love how we get to know her more in this sequel and see her other sides and obsession for making Hartley her dressing doll ;).

- Kyle is Sam’s boyfriend. I wasn’t expecting much from him but he turned out to be very nice! He’s most known for spreading rumors but in this sequel we see that he’s ready to do anything for his friends (Chase and Hartley) and girlfriend.

There are other main characters in this story who are: Mr. Tipkins, the Math teacher. Connor, Sydney’s boyfriend a.k.a ex-boyfriend. Quinn, Sydney’s ex-BFF. Chris, a team member at the school paper. Nicky whom you’ll need to find out who he is and others.

 

Favorite quotes:

The amazing opening:

YOU HAD TO BE INCREDIBLY STUPID TO GET CAUGHT cheating in Mr. Tipkins’s class, but then again, Sydney Sanders was known for being the only brunette blonder than Paris Hilton. --- Chapter 1.

Sam’s eyes got all big and round. “She went in the pool,” she finished for me. “Ohmigod. She was killed while tweeting. It was Twittercide!” --- Chapter 3.

“One crack about the tiara and you’re a dead man,” I warned him.     

He put up his hands in a surrender motion. “I wouldn’t dream of it, princess.”     

I shot him a death look… --- Chapter 20.

Conclusion:

This book was hilarious. It made me laugh, think, get scared and even be sad. I was somewhat disappointed but not very much.

If you enjoy contemporary reads with less romance, more mystery and twists all about a murder, then this book is for you.

4

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Randa

In My e-Mailbox: n°6. Awesome book week!

Friday, April 27, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

IMM

 

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. It gives us, book bloggers, the opportunity to share all the books we bought, borrowed, and received this week whether they are ARCs, paper books or e-books. More infohere.
Covers are linked to Goodreads.

This week was a wonderful book week for me, mainly because of the books I got this week and the ARCs I received on Netgalley Open-mouthed smile. Also, because of the surprise I found in my mailbox when I got back from school this Wednesday afternoon *___*, more details on this later Winking smile.

So, no more delays, let’s get started Smile.

E-books I got:

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e-Galleys:

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Goodies:

If you’ve been following me for a while you’d know that I’m obsessed with Die for Me by Amy Plum and that she’s one of my very favorite authors. (Which is probably why my friend gave me her e-ARC of Until I Die).

Amy was kind enough to send me a personalized bookplate a while ago. But when I came back this Wednesday, I found another mail from her which contained two bookmarks one of which is signed to me!!! How can I not love her?! Red heart

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Thank you Amy very much! Smile

Amy is on a blog tour right now for Until I Die which you should check out here. More info on her blog.

I hope you had a wonderful week and happy reading!

Randa

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake final cover.

Thursday, April 26, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

The final cover of Anna Dressed in Blood’s sequel, Girl of Nightmares, has just been announced.

It took me 15 minutes to actually decide which one I preferred. I loved the first cover and I read on Kendare’s blog that they were going to change the cover. But what I expected was a major change, fortunately, the changes were good!

With no further delay here’s the new cover:

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And here’s the old one:

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My PoV:

First of all, the new cover looks extremely beautiful. You can see more details which is nice. Also the colors are softer on the eyes Smile.

Second, and finally, the covers of both the first and second cover go very well together!! Which is even better!! And do not forget that now the cover is more fitting to the blurb Open-mouthed smile.

Here are the two covers side by side for comparison:

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I think the new cover is gorgeous!

Here’s the blurb from the sequel:

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In this follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

From Goodreads.

Pre-order the e-book for an August 7th release from: Amazon, B&N or The Book Depository.

So, what do you think? Do you like the new cover? Will you be getting the sequel? Let me know in the comments Smile.

Randa

Review of a past read: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

Anna-cover-final

 

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
  Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder 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: move, 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, but now stained red and dripping 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.
  And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

From Goodreads.

Get the e-book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

I love it!! The UK one is cute too, but this one has an intense idea about it <3.

The storyline:

I read Anna Dressed in Blood back in October. I chose it mainly because of the description which I usually don’t do because mostly I read books without reading their blurb so that I stay anticipating what to come!

I must say, this book is amazing from every small detail. What caught me first was the writing. It is simple and easy to understand and yet it held so much emotions in it. Kendare described everything very well without exceeding in it.

The characters are all amazing. They’re all connected by Cas, the protagonist, and they all work together with him at the end. There are different relationships in this story: friends, family and family issues, mainly Anna’s, but they keep trying to help each other and solve their problems.

However, Anna’s character is very hard to understand and her mysterious death is a puzzle to solve. But with Cas’s and the other’s help, she becomes more in control and less freaky.

The story itself is intense from the beginning to the end. It has a lot of terrifying events, descriptions and gore scenes which are all amazing! I loved each one. After all, it’s not everyday that I read an amazing horror book! Smile

What I loved:

  • The story is amazing and unique.
  • The writing is simple and easy to grasp.
  • The scenes Kendare created were so good I could imagine the story Open-mouthed smile. The gore, the blood, the deaths, the gosts, Anna’s murder…etc were excellent aspects of the book.
  • The characters were interesting. Each character had a part in the book which is quite good. You could see that they worked together and helped each other.
  • The ending left me speechless!!!

What I disliked:

  • There was a lot of F**** words in this book. I wish it didn’t have to.

Favorite quotes:

The Goth kids would know the story best, but they’re also the hardest to ditch. If they got the idea that I was serious about killing their ghost, I’d probably wind up doing it with a gang of black-eyeliner-wearing, crucifix-carrying, Buffy the Vampire Slayer wannabes twittering around behind me. --- Chapter 5.

“What are we doing?” I ask. “You’re trying to get me to not kill you, aren’t you?”

Anna crosses her arms. “Considering that you can’t kill me, I think that would be a wasted effort.” --- Chapter 12.

“What do you mean?” Thomas answers.

“Come on. I’m the freaking Prom Queen. Cas is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you, your grandpa, and his mom are all witches or wizards or whatever, and Anna is … Anna. What am I doing here? What use am I?”

“Don’t you remember?” Thomas asks. “You’re the voice of reason. You think of the things we forget about.”

“Yeah. And I think I’m going to get myself killed. Just me and my aluminum bat.” --- Chapter 23.

Characters:

Cas is the protagonist and the one who does the swearing throughout the book. His father was a ghost slayer and when he died he left his job to his son. He’s courageous, smart, serious and not the laughing, having fun type, obviously. When he heard about Anna, he didn’t even flinch to know she’s a girl. But when he met her, he knew she was going to be a tough ghost to eliminate. And then, he was interesting in knowing what happened to her that made her this way and mainly, why she didn’t kill him in the first place!

Anna is the female ghost protagonist. She is amazing! She’s deadly, unforgivable and loved to torment everyone including other souls she took. However, when Cas starts showing interest in knowing her, we start to see her sad, lonely side where she’s nice and not dripping blood.

Thomas became Cas’s friend after being annoying at the beginning. He helps him from the beginning to end where he,along with his Grandfather and Cas’s Mom, play a huge role in something important.

Carmel is totally not your average prom queen. She is totally cool and fun to be around. She helps Cas along with Thomas to kill Anna but later she likes her and they all become friends.

Conclusion:

This book is one of it’s kind. It takes you to places you wouldn’t imagine. Its settings and characters are fun to be with. I have no idea how to describe it anymore!

I would recommend this read to readers who enjoy mystery, thriller and horror genres.

5

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Randa

In My e-Mailbox: n°5

Friday, April 20, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

IMM

 

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. It gives us, book bloggers, the opportunity to share all the books we bought, borrowed, and received this week whether they are ARCs, paper books or e-books. More info here.
Covers are linked to Goodreads.

Hello everyone!

So for the past few weeks, I’ve got some amazing books that I can’t wait for summer to come already so I can read them!! *__*

Let’s get started Open-mouthed smile:

E-books I got:

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E-book I was gifted:

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Thank you so much to my precious and generous friend Asma for gifting me this book on it’s release day! She knew I was dying for it!!! ^.^

I hope you had a wonderful week in books.

Happy reading!

Randa

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

This review is part of the 2012 YA Cotemporary Challenge. Read all about it here.

The Statistical Probability

 

  Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
  Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.
  Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

From Goodreads.

Get the e-book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo (not available in my region. You have to visit the Kobo e-book store and search for it.).

The cover:

Hands down everyone. This cover is gorgeous! And no. Not because of the kiss.

The storyline:

What can I say really?!

I started reading this book yesterday afternoon when I was on the road for one hour and a half. I didn’t know what I was really expecting but the first few pages got me in immediately.

You see, this story is completely unique and has a huge amount of feelings, sadness (I cried 3 times because of both. Mostly because of my mood, which is stressed…) and family relationships which is what this is all about.

So Hadley is a seventeen year old girl with divorced parents and soon to be married father. She misses her plane after 4 minutes delay but has no idea how these 4 minutes will turn her world upside down.

While she waits for her next flight, she meets this mysterious guy who helps her with her luggage whose name is Oliver and happens to be going to London like her. He’s cute, funny and most importantly he seems to put her at ease and understands her very well.

They keep talking and they get to know each other in just 7 hours and when the plane lends, it seems that 7 hours aren’t enough at all. But she can’t say a thing, because she doesn’t believe that you can actually fall for someone you just met on the plane!

Anyways, to not spoil anything anymore, the story develops into heartbreaking suspense and confessions and also into forgiveness and happiness. The ending was fitting and it kept me wishing for more. But thank goodness this is a standalone, so I can hope for the best and imagine the rest Winking smile.

What I loved:

  • The story is set in London. What’s not to love? Smile.
  • The writing is very good and clear, and somehow Jennifer delivers the right feelings of the surroundings and the characters. Whish is awesome.
  • The story is unique. I had no idea what was going on except that I had a good guess that the ending was a happy one.
  • The suspense is really good.
  • I was afraid that the romance would overweight the real story but it didn’t. The whole aspects of the story were very well balanced.

What I disliked:

  • Nothing.

Favorite quotes:

I have many favorite quotes but I’d spoil the story if I share them. Sorry.

Characters:

Hadley is a normal girl, who is claustrophobic, with big hopes and sadness that keeps her from seeing the goodness in the world surrounding her. She hates her father for what he did and can’t seem to understand why or how her could ever be okay with everything that happened. She meets Oliver at the airport and everything seems to be good. Even her claustrophobia isn’t bothering her anymore when she’s around him.

Oliver is a British boy who came to US to study in Yale. He’s going back to London when he meets Hadley and suddenly feels interested in knowing her as if she’s a puzzle to be solved. They seem to fit together and he knows it.

Other characters worth mentioning are Hadley’s parents, her new stepmother, Charlotte who is super cute and nice and Charlotte’s friend, Violet whom you’ll get to know at the end of the book Open-mouthed smile.

Conclusion:

This was an amazing contemporary read. After I was 3 chapters in it was decided that it’s going to be a favorite read for me and that it would get no less than four stars. But later on, things got even better and the story took different directions. So 5 stars it is!

If you’re a contemporary fan and wants a quick read that has romance, I recommend this to you.

5

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Randa