Thursday, December 31, 2009

Walking Backward Review

Title: Walking Backward 
Author: Catherine Austen
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date: October 2009 
Pages: 176 
My Edition: Paperback 
Reading Level: Juvenile fiction Ages 9-12 
Themes: grief, family, siblings, family 
Where I got it: won from LibraryThing sent by Orca 

Summary from Orca:
When Josh's mother dies in a phobia-induced car crash, she leaves two questions for her grieving family: how did a snake get into her car and how do you mourn with no faith to guide you? Twelve-year-old Josh is left alone to find the answers. His father is building a time machine. His four-year-old brother's closest friend is a plastic Power Ranger. His psychiatrist offers nothing more than a blank journal and platitudes.

Isolated by grief in a home where every day is pajama day, Josh makes death his research project. He tests the mourning practices of religions he doesn't believe in. He tries to mend his little brother's shattered heart. He observes, records and waits—for his life to feel normal, for his mother's death to make sense, for his father to come out of the basement. His observations, recorded in a series of journal entries, are funny, smart, insightful—and heartbreaking. His conclusions about the nature of love, loss, grief and the space-time continuum are nothing less than life-changing. 

Walking Backward was a quick, sad but touching read about a 12 year old boy whose mother just died in a car accident. The story started on July 30th and ended on September 6th, where each of those days were journal entries of the main character's life after his mom's death. A couple times I felt myself becoming bored, but once I got to the end it got better because the mood was lightening and their family was coming back together. Several times throughout I felt very sad or though it was pretty funny. At the end, you also finally find out who actually put the snake in the car, which was very surprising to me.

The plot was very original and nicely written. The story seems like it's for younger children, but I don't think I would have enjoyed it has much if I had read when I was younger. If you know a younger child whose parent died, I think this would be a good book for them to read. My only complaints would be it became a little boring at times, and I think the book isn't really for younger children because I don't think they would enjoy it as much. 


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly awaiting. This week I can't wait for Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter. I really liked the first two in the Gallagher Girls series, so I really want to read the third book and this one! The cover is so cute and the title as catchy as the others. It comes out next summer on June 15th, 2010.

Only the Good Spy Young 
(summary from Goodreads)
By: Ally Carter
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. She just didn’t know that life would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against a mysterious organization called the Circle of Cavan. Now, even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. Danger has followed her to London where she discovers a trusted ally has been labeled a rogue operative. The Gallagher Girls quickly realize that the Circle’s agents are closer than they’d ever feared—maybe even within Gallagher Academy’s own walls. History of Espionage takes on an entirely new meaning as Cammie and her friends go looking for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm Back! : )

Hey everyone, hope you all had a fabulous holiday! I just back from my dad's, so sorry for the lack of posts since Christmas. I saw Avatar last night and to sum it up in two words...FREAKIN' AMAZING! It was soooooo good, and the CGI was very amazing. I didn't see it in 3D, but I can't wait to see it again : D Anyways back to books...I will post WoW tomorrow, a review Thursday, Friday Firsts on Friday, a review on Saturday, and my IMMB post for the last two weeks on Sunday. Hope everyone has a great week and New Years! Here's the trailer to convince to go see it:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

Happy Christmas Eve : D I will be taking a short break after Christmas because I have swim practice every day basically, and I'm going to my dad's for several days. I won't be able to get on for a couple days, so I won't be able to approve comments or check my email. Anyways I hope everyone eats lots of delicious food, spends time with their families, and gets some awesome books for Christmas/Hanukkah/ect!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly awaiting. This week I can't wait for The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway. I loved Robin's first book Audrey, Wait!, so from the description I know this one has to be good too! It comes out next year in August 2010.

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June 
(summary from Goodreads)
By: Robin Benway
Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers! I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Invitation Only: Private Book 2 Review

Title: Invitation Only (Private Book 2) 
Author: Kate Brian 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 
Publication Date: Nov. 7th 2006 
Pages: 272 
My Edition: Paperback 
Reading Level: Young Adult 
Where I got it: the Library 

Summary from Amazon:
Reed Brennan's future is looking as bright as the two-karat diamonds in her new housemates' ears. Being accepted to the most prestigious private boarding school in the country wasn't enough for Reed. She had to break every rule to do it, but she has accomplished the impossible:

Reed is a Billings Girl now. And with her new status come respect, envy, and, most important, opportunity. Not to mention the parties. Unfortunately, at the next illicit party in the Easton campus woods, her roommate snaps some pictures of Reed in more than one compromising position. She uses the photos to blackmail Reed: Dig up dirt on the most powerful and popular Billings Girls or she will have Reed expelled.

And speaking of parties, the Legacy is coming up. It's the invitation-only Halloween party in NYC and it's rumored that Thomas -- Reed's MIA boyfriend -- will be making an appearance there. Too bad Reed isn't even close to invited. Life as a Billings Girl is every bit as glamorous as Reed imagined. What she didn't bargain for is the tangled web of private lies these girls weave.

Invitation Only was a great sequel to the scandalous first book Private. The series are nice, quick reads. I read this one in less than 2 hours. The second one goes more into the story of how Reed has to prove herself to the other elite Billings girls. It was filled with deception, blackmail, and a little sneaking around. The books are a lot like Gossip Girl but are more fun to read. I would never do any of the mean and petty things the girls do in the books, but it's still fun to read about the scandals in these types of books. The ending was quite shocking, and of course left me craving to read the next book in the series, Untouchable.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

IMMB (18) and Snow Pictures!

IMMB was started by The Story Siren. In My Mailbox is where I post the books I won, received for review, bought, or borrowed. 

 I didn't receive any books this week, but I did buy several things for my friends and family! I did however receive about 18 inches of snow on Saturday. I can't remember ever getting this much snow in southern Pennsylvania. Here are a couple pics I took:

My back porch full of snow and still more falling.

Our Christmas tree with a white, winter wonderland behind it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Hunger Games Review

Title: The Hunger Games  
Series: Hunger Games Book 1
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages: 384
 Publisher: Scholastic Press 
Publication Date: September 14, 2008 
My Edition: Hardback 
Reading Level: Young Adult 
Borrowed From: the Library 

Summary from Suzanne's website:
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When her sister is chosen by lottery, Katniss steps up to go in her place. 

Review (*minor spoilers*):
Whoa, what a truly amazing book! Where should I even begin ... I really loved The Hunger Games and basically read the entire book in a sitting. (I couldn't go anywhere because there's more than 16 inches of snow on the ground!) It had a very unique story and very shocking twists. It's sci-fish but not over the top because it's set in a time not so far away. Also, there was the right amount of action and suspense even romance, but thankfully it doesn't go into much gruesome details about the competitor's death matches. I have never read anything like it and just love their unique names: Peeta, Katniss, Gale, Prim, and many others. The storyline is so original and intriguing, and who knows it could possibly happen someday. 

I love that the main character is a strong female who is tough and smart but yet she can't believe someone may not be acting; Peeta is really in love with her, but she can't see it's really true and not just an act. I really liked that the author added a little romance because it lightened up the mood of the book, and I now love Peeta. The Hunger Games is truly a page turner that will make you not want to stop reading. If you are one of the few people that haven't read it yet, go out and get it now because you will not be disappointed! I can't wait to go the library and read the sequel Catching Fire, to see what will happen next to the Hunger Game champions Katniss and Peeta. 


Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Firsts (10)

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.
  • Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
  • Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
  • Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title and the author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)
  • Did this first sentence help draw you into the story? Why or why not?
The book I'm currently reading is The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins. I just started it since I just finished my last book, so I'm only about 20 pages into it. The beginning is really good so far, and I can't wait to keep reading! Here is the first sentence:

"When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold."
This a pretty good first sentence. It's intriguing, but not very informative. The next few lines explain more, so this a good first sentence. I have heard and read so many rave reviews about The Hunger Games, so I know it has to be good. I hope to finish it this weekend since I don't have swim practice at all, and it's going to be snowing!

What's your current book's first sentence?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Magic Study: Study Book 2 Review!

Title: Magic Study (Study Book 2) 
Author: Maria V. Snyder 
Publisher: Luna 
Publication Date: October 1, 2006
Pages: 392 
My Edition: Hardback 
Reading Level: Young Adult 
Where I got it: the Library 

Summary from Maria's website:
Yelena's new role as Soulfinder has made the Sitian Council uneasy. Worried that her new powers will corrupt her, the Council debates her fate. Yelena, though is trying to keep Sitia and Ixia from going to war. In the middle of political wrangling, Yelena receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by Ferde, the Soulstealer who murdered eleven girls and has escaped from prison with Cahil Ixia’s help. Cahil believes if he joins with the new Daviian Clan, he will have enough support to regain the Ixian throne. Testing the limit of her skills, Yelena becomes embroiled in the desperate fight to stop Ferde and the Daviian Clan from siphoning enough power to unleash a Fire Warper on the world. That would be worst than war between the northern and southern lands. Especially since, of all the powers Yelena possesses, she couldn't set fire to a candle wick if her life depended on it. And there is more at stake than just her life. 

Magic Study was a great sequel to Poison Study which by the way was amazing! It was a little slow at times, but at the end I couldn't stop reading. I kept flipping page after page to find out what action or trouble was going to happen next. I loved that my favorite Ixian characters (Ari, Janco, and Valek) were in the book even though Yelena wasn't in Ixia with them. The characters are so well written and described, it just makes me fall in love with the story. Yelena and Valek are a perfect together, and I really like reading about their troubles and their sweet & loving relationship. 

The books have the perfect amount of action, fantasy, adventure, mystery, and romance. The plot was very intriguing and surprising. I didn't expect much of what happened in the book, so it was very awesome to learn & read about Yelena's magic and finally read about her long-lost family. I now can not wait to get my hands on the next and I think final book of the series! I hope Fire Study will be as good as the first two and end nicely. On my next trip to the library, I definitely will be getting it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly awaiting. This week I can't wait for Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus. Anastasia's debut book sounds great, and the cover is very awesome! It doesn't come out for a long time...July 10, 2010.

Shadow Hills
By: Anastasia Hopcus
Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

IMMB (17)

IMMB was started by The Story Siren. In My Mailbox is where I post the books I won, received for review, bought, or borrowed. The book titles are linked to their Amazon pages. These are the books I got this week:
The Cinderalla Society by Kay Cassidy (Won a signed ARC and bookmarks from her blog!)
Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski (Paperback redeemed with buzz bucks from RandomBuzzers)

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (ARC won from LibraryThing to review) 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince DVD (not pictured, but I was so excited to get it on the release date for less than ten dollars! I have already seen it twice.)

What great books did you get this week?

My Bookshelf Collection/Addiction!

Hey everyone, I thought I would share my addiction of collecting books and overflowing shelves with you guys : ) I now have really no more possible areas for books in my little room. Anyways, here are several pics of my books!:

My headboard over my bed full of mainly paperback books!

Closer up views

My little shelf full of my smaller sized books with Twilight and Harry Potter pictures surrounding it : D

Meg Cabot collection, Series of Unfortunate Events Books 1-12, and other random books!

My hardback collection with little ceramic knick knacks in front of them.

Twilight saga, Harry Potter books, and some other big hardbacks.