29 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Moment of Us

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine which asks what book we're most looking forward to.

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Publication date: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now . . . not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are? Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be. And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them . . . Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.

Look at that cover. *pets it* I love Lauren Myracle so I'll definitely be giving this one a read and look forward to it! August isn't too far away. Right?? Well...

27 May 2013

Review: The Originals

The Originals by Cat Patrick
Publishing date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

THE ORIGINALS follows three girls, clones, who are in hiding from the government and have no option but to live one life. I was drawn in by the story, but also by Cat Patrick whose past books I have enjoyed. I'm just going to jump right in and say I didn't love this one as much as Cat Patrick's other novels, Forgotten and Revived. Forgotten is a book that just stayed with me after reading it. The Originals...not so much. It wasn't a bad book, but I guess, to me, it just pales in comparison to her other works.

Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey's characters are so different from each other. The way each handles their situation is very distinct and I could see why their mother would be able to tell them apart. Lizzie is a girl who is able to handle herself. She's argumentative (in a good way) and able to stand up for what she believes and wants and I love that.

For me, the romance was kind of lackluster. I didn't feel the chemistry between Lizzie and Sean like I did with the couples in Forgotten and Revived. Those were some hot romances. That's not to say I didn't like either Lizzie or Sean, I think they're nice characters, but together they didn't do anything for me.

My main complaint of the book is that everything is solved too easily, there are almost no struggles for anybody. I find Cat Patrick's books to be more about character studies, so the included mysteries don't usually take center stage. But if they're going to be included, they should become just as important as the characters and this one fails for me.

It's the the story and the characters that captured my attention and kept me reading. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad book, but to me, it became just an okay book.

24 May 2013

Review: The Fourth Stall

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander
Publication date: February 8, 2011
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.

Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours.

THE FOURTH STALL: a noir for middle graders! It's definitely different from other books I've read, and I didn't think it was a needed genre until I finished it. More noir for the young'uns please!

Mac's office resides in the fourth stall in the East Wing boys' bathroom. He isn't there to do his business, but to do business. Mac sits in his office and hears the problems of his fellow classmates. If it's a problem he can solve, and he can solve any problem, he'll take it on. For a fee, of course.

There's a lot of great humor in the book and a lot of times I couldn't help laughing. Especially at the descriptions and escapades of Mac's team of bullies. The first time they're all introduced is quite brilliant really, and it's a part that stayed with me after I flipped the last page. I love the fact that there are really no good guys in the book. Even Mac, who always tries to do things for good, can screw up at times. And the nemesis? Truly and mysteriously evil throughout. But, this leads me to my next thought:

The book is violent, yes, but I particularly found the gang of high school upperclassmen who seem to have no qualms about going after elementary and middle schoolers to be quite unnerving. It's hard to read middle-grade books as an adult sometimes (one rule seems to be that parents can't exist). I'd be curious to get feedback from someone whose in the age group it's intended for to see how they felt (haven't met one who has read it yet). But then, maybe I'm just being ignorant and teens are beating up younger kids nowadays! It has been a while since I've been to middle school. Apparently, we are not keeping these children and teens busy enough. More homework, I say! More chores! More ballet recitals! And if they're not in ballet, then make them go to one!

Overall, will I be picking up the second one in the series? For sure.

22 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Reality Boy

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine which asks what book we're most looking forward to.

Reality Boy by A.S. King
Publication date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown for Young Readers

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. 

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that. 

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

I love Everybody Sees the Ants and am about to start Ask the Passengers soon, so I'm really looking forward to Reality Boy. Her books are so powerful and I can't wait for this one! Contemporary usually isn't my thing, but A.S. King is one of the few contemporary authors that I know I'll keep going back to no matter what.

What are you waiting on?

21 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Covers of Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week: My Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of Books I've Read

In no particular order:


 What's on your Top Ten Tuesday?

18 May 2013

Review: A Corner of White

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
Publication date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).

Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot's dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.

As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds -- through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called "color storms;" a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the "Butterfly Child," whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses...

I'm going to say that A CORNER OF WHITE is one of the most creative YA novels to be released this year. I might even already call it the most creative. GASP! Yeah, I went there.

Moriarty's fairytale world where Elliot lives is one I've never read about before. It's almost like the modern world in which we live, but with lots of magic and fairytale elements. It's not like urban fantasy, so maybe it's rural fantasy. Get it? Because Elliot lives in farming country? What I think I found the most interesting was the idea of color storms. In Cello, they have various color storms (i.e. red, yellow, purple) where each is more dangerous than the others. It's a new and creative idea. Or at least it is to me from all that I've read, because I haven't read everything. #Angiefact

As for Madeleine's world, which would be our own modern one, it's...well...our own modern one.

A CORNER OF WHITE contains Moriarty's witty dialogue and fantastic characters. The dual main characters Elliot and Madeleine are easy to sympathize and laugh along with. As for the secondary characters, I love when I can grow to adore them just as much as the protagonists, and the author didn't disappoint me here.

I like how Madeleine and Elliot connect with each other from two different worlds, and how their stories are intertwined. Speaking of stories, my main fault with the book is that I found the story to drag at parts which, unfortunately, didn't keep me reading sometimes. Unlike Moriarty's past books which I've loved (Feeling Sorry For Celia, anyone?) and couldn't put down. I give lots of Angie Points (I just created these) to the author for starting a series that I found to be completely different from what she's written before. I think the final product is a success, minus a few parts of the book I found to be slow.

03 May 2013

Review: Paper Valentine

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Publication date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

I had a little romance with Yovanoff's second novel THE SPACE BETWEEN and was so excited about reading PAPER VALENTINE. Now, I didn't connect with it the way I connected with Space Between, but I still enjoyed this uber creepy read.

I've decided that Yovanoff must be one of those rare authors that is still able to find ideas that no one has thought of before. Or else, she's just really good at masking overdone plots and making them her own. PAPER VALENTINE is a serial killer mystery that could have bordered on the cliche, but Yovanoff makes what I'm going to now coin a "Yovanoff."

A Yovanoff: when an author adds new elements to an old plot

She writes characters with heart and flaws, and the characters in this story are no exception. Hannah has a nice arc and her relationships with the other characters are complex and natural. I also liked that the romance took a background role and wasn't at the forefront, as it's not what the book is about. It was also super sweet!

Now on to the mystery, it isn't the most unpredictable mystery EVAR, but there are some nice twists in there to throw the reader off. You think you've got it all figured out and then something new is added to the mix. The whole thing had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning all the way through.

Once again, Brenna Yovanoff has yet to disappoint me! Though I do still need to read THE REPLACEMENT...

01 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine which asks what book we're most looking forward to.

Blackout by Robison Wells
Publication date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Laura and Alec are trained terrorists. 

 Jack and Aubrey are high school students. 

 There was no reason for them to ever meet. But now, a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible powers. And these four are about to find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all.

Soooooo, I am kind of over the whole "kids get super powers" plot, but this is Robison Wells and I am a fan of his Variant series. It was super intense and I'm looking forward to what he can do with this one. It sounds like there are some new elements added so it could be different! *crosses fingers*

What are you waiting on?