Saturday, June 30, 2012

Only The Good Spy Young (Book 4)

"When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.
Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.
In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past."
Plot: Book 4 in the Gallagher Girl Series gets deep and I LOVED it! The Plot is non-stop as Cammie, Bex, Liz and Macey worry that their favorite teacher is really a traitor and Cammie is on constant watch. The plot gets more covert spy like as you realize the girls are getting closer to actually becoming field agents.

Characters: I think you see a lot of progression in most of the characters, but my favorite appearance is Mr. Zachary Goode! Although, he is mysterious as ever!

Pros: Fun! Thrilling, Overall a great book in the series and not disappointing by any means.

Cons: NONE

Final Thoughts: I was so impressed with Only The Good Spy Young, mainly because the series although, entertaining was definitely the "young" part of Young Adult..  so it was nice to see this book take a more darker and older turn. I could not stop reading.

Monday, June 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (39) - Late Monday Edition

Hosted By The Story Siren

An Abundance of Katherines By John Green
Only The Good Spy Young By Ally Carter
Out of Sight, Out of Time By Ally Carter
Enchanted By Aleatha Kontis
The Storyteller By Antonia Michaels
City of Ashes By Cassandra Clare
City of Glass By Cassandra Clare
Bewitching By Alex Flinn
Princess In The Spotlight By Meg Cabot
Princess In Love By Meg Cabot

**Sorry Youtube changed their video upload thing and it has made everything weird ish

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ingenue (Book 2, The Flappers)

"Power . . . love . . . scandal . . .There’s never enough to go around.
In the city that never sleeps, Lorraine Dyer is wide awake. Ever since she exposed Clara Knowles for the tramp she was—and lost her closest confidante in the process—Lorraine has spent every second scheming to make her selfish, lovesick ex–best friend pay for what she did. No one crosses Lorraine. Not even Gloria. 
True love conquers everything—or so Gloria Carmody crazily believed. She and Jerome Johnson can barely scrape together cash for their rent, let alone have a moment to whisper sweet nothings in the dark. And if they thought escaping Chicago meant they’d get away with murder . . . they were dead wrong.
Clara was sure that once handsome, charming Marcus Eastman discovered her shameful secret, he’d drop her like a bad habit. Instead, he swept her off her feet and whisked her away to New York. Being with Marcus is a breath of fresh air—and a chance for Clara to leave her wild flapper ways firmly in the past. Except the dazzling parties and bright lights won’t stop whispering her name. . . . 
INGENUE is the second novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic Flappers series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . where revenge is a dish best served cold."
Plot: The plot was great, you pick up with everyone in New York for the summer. Gloria unrecognizable and  transformed from Debutante to a witty street girl. Lorraine working as a manager of a speakeasy and getting mixed up in the mob, Clara avoiding getting sucked back into her old life and Vera searching for her brother. It all comes together in the end, each of their stories eventually intertwining.

Characters: Everyone is pretty much the same, Minus Gloria who has a little more grit to her. Lorraine is still Selfish,annoying and getting into trouble. I love Clara and her ambitions and Vera is a little easier to like, since she comes of more soft.

Pros: Great Sequel, enjoying 20's read and good for a short summer read as well.

Cons: Nothing really, but I felt there was something missing I just don't know what.

Final Thoughts: I was happy to come back into the 20's with these girls and I enjoyed the fluffy read and liked the addition of a hired hit woman out to get Jerome and Carlito. I would have appreciated if that story line either had a better ending or continued on into the next book and/or was more prominent through the book. I also felt the ending was off, I just don't know why I feel that way. Overall, I would call Ingenue a good Transition book to book 3 and maybe a tad more stronger story..

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Want Want Want Wednesday (36)

Seraphina By Rachel Hartman
"Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page."
The Second Empress:  A Novel  of Napoleon's Court By Michelle Moran
"National bestselling author Michelle Moran returns to Paris, this time under the rule of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte as he casts aside his beautiful wife to marry a Hapsburg princess he hopes will bear him a royal heir
After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.
Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Jos├ęphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen—a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.
As Pauline's insightful Haitian servant, Paul, watches these two women clash, he is torn between his love for Pauline and his sympathy for Marie-Louise. But there are greater concerns than Pauline's jealousy plaguing the court of France. While Napoleon becomes increasingly desperate for an heir, the empire's peace looks increasingly unstable. When war once again sweeps the continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise’s family in Austria, the second Empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history—and change the course of her life.
Based on primary resources from the time, The Second Empress takes readers back to Napoleon’s empire, where royals and servants alike live at the whim of one man, and two women vie to change their destinies."
Above By Leah Bobet
"Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above—like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.
But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows’ attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home—not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer To Be Read List

Ingenue By Jillian Larkin 

Diva By Jillian Larkin

Kissing Shakespeare By Pamela Mingle

Every Day By David Levithan

The Ingredients of Gumbo By Julia Schuster

Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow By Juliet Grey

One For The Money By Janet Evanovich

You Have Seven Messages By Stewart Lewis

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest By Stieg Larsson

Witches of East End By Melissa De La Cruz

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Future of Us

"It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present."
Plot: The premise of this book, is genius and nostalgic. It begins right away and doesn't really lose steam until the ending. I think the plot fails, with the writing style of writing the story line in one week. Somethings happened to fast and unrealistically for a week and i felt it was a cop out to end the book, earlier then needed.

Characters: The main characters are Josh and Emma, the story told in both the perspectives and well, Emma is just an annoying and unhappy person and Josh really just doesn't have enough of a personality to be an interesting character.

Pros: Mildly entertaining, nostalgic, fun.

Cons: Timeline is unrealistic and would like a better ending.

Final Thoughts: When I began reading The Future of Us, the first few pages I was apprehensive, then I begin to getting deeply into and invested. So when Saturday comes and the book just ends and is tied up in this nice bow and everyone is happy. I can't help but be a little upset, cause I feel that I didn't get full closer. And maybe that is the point? that we shouldn't worry about the future? But, that isn't why I began reading this book! So So So Much potential and it fell short.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In My Mailbox (38)

Hosted By The Story Siren

From Net Galley
101 Things You Thought You Knew About The Titanic, Bit Didn't By Tim Maltin
Dearly, Beloved By Lia Habel
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow By Juliet Grey
The Queen's Vow By C.W. Gortner
Everyday By David Levithan
Diva By Jillian Larkin
Meant To Be By Lauren Morill
Love and Other Perishable Items By Laura Buzo

Serpent's Kiss By Melissa De La Cruz (signed)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Melissa De La Cruz Signing

So, A month or so ago I was suppose to see Melissa De La Cruz at LA Festival of Books but I ended up getting sick and not going.. (same situation as Maggie Stiefvater) Anyways, this week I was looking up signings and discovered that Melissa would be at Barnes and Noble Santa Monica - about an hour away from me depending on traffic. I was stoked that is was only a few days away, but was worried I wouldn't be able to go since Barnes and Noble as a policy that you must purchase the book the author is promoting to attend the signing and only the 1st 200 people get to attend. Being as I am without a personal car and not rolling in the dough.. I wasn't sure how this would happen. Luckily, I have mother who is VERY supportive of my blog, has a car, has money and lives 1 mile away from me. In other words my mom went with me and bought the book for me. I also knew there is usually a limit on the amount of books that could be signed, but I brought all my books by her, just in case.  The event beginning at 7pm, we left at 4:30 expecting Traffic and  a long line.We arrived a 5:15 and after purchasing the book, sitting alone in the conference room, until 6:20, when two other girls arrived. We talked to them and shared our interests in books, etc. This is where we learned also that at all the Barnes and Noble signings they have been too, they have not enforced the purchasing a book rule.  (which is good to know for future signings).

Anyways, a little past 7 Melissa arrived and by then there was about 15 people in attendance (which shocks me!) Melissa began talking about her book and then proceeded into a Q&A which was a little awkward, since I guess no one really had any. So it turned into another chick and I basically asking Melissa Questions.. and surprisingly my mom even asked one! The good thing is Melissa is VERY good at giving long and in depth answers and I really learned A LOT more about her. After the Q&A it was time for the Book Signing.. where I proceeded to make sure I was the last in line.. I mean I brought like 6 books, on top of having Serpent's Kiss. So, I figured since there isn't a lot of us, and I am at the end, this could probably work in my favor and luckily it did! Melissa, complimented my shirt (I wore my Book Blogger one) asked about my blog, which I gave her one of my new Moo Info Cards... I am sure she will lose it haha. and basically was pure joy to talk to, cause she is freaking AWESOME. And Now I have realized I am not good at talking to Authors, this is when I get star struck.. this is when I decided to tell them over and over how much I love their books and why and blah blah blah... She was nice enough to take photos with the three of us who stayed and hung out and she even gave me a hug and said I was So Sweet.   So, now that I am babbling on and on.. here are the photos. (Ignore How Bad I Look)

Friday, June 15, 2012

How To Save A Life

"Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.
Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?
As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy—or as difficult—as it seems."
Plot: Told from two teenage girls perspectives we meet Jill, an angsty grunge teen who just lost her father and  quirky,naive Mandy who is pregnant and giving the baby to Jill's Mom. The book has pretty much the typical plot lines of a book with this scenario, minus the ending which seems to come out of left field.

Characters: I felt really none of the characters really grew. I believe Jill's reaction was the most reasonable and she acted exactly how I would have acted. Robin, is just a grieving wife, who makes decisions on a whim and Mandy annoyed the eff out of me. It was almost like she had a disability and had see had one (at least acknowledged in the story) I may have been more sympathetic to her severe naivety and lack of social cues. Then they is Dylan and Rav who are suppose to be the love interests... but really they are just there, nothing overly special or swoonworthy about them

Pros: Not a bad read, has enjoyable moments.

Cons: Lacking in some areas of the story line.

Final Thoughts: When I began reading How To Save A Life, I was interested by where the story was going, then it started to plateau, had a moment of redemption and then threw you a curveball of an ending, that overall left me unhappy. I can't say exactly what it was about this book that I did like.. cause There were moments it was enjoyable, but in general I found that it didn't live up to its title really. With Mandy, there was SO much going on in her past life, that really never got overly explained or resolved. And personally, I think Jill and Her's relationship never felt solid enough for Jill to change her initial opinion and I just got the friend vibe from both boys. So, what I am saying is I just wanted MORE and I didn't get that and I feel that is a common theme in the books I have read lately.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Want Want Want Wednesday (35)

Happily Ever After By Harriet Evans
"In her blockbuster international bestsellers, Harriet Evans perfectly captures the complex lives of young twenty-first-century career women with an “effortlessly readable . . . comic style and loveable characters” (Marie Claire, UK). At twenty-two, Eleanor Bee is sure about three things: she wants to move to London and become a literary superstar; she wants to be able to afford to buy a coffee and croissant every morning; and after seeing what divorce did to her parents—especially her mum—she doesn’t believe in happy endings. Elle moves to London. She gets a job at Bluebird Books, a charmingly old-fashioned publisher. She falls out of bars, wears too-short skirts, makes lots of mistakes, and feels like she’s learning nothing and everything at the same time. And then, out of the blue, she falls in love, and that’s when she realizes just how much growing up she has to do. Ten years on, Elle lives in New York, and you could say she has found success; certainly her life has changed in ways she could never have predicted. But no matter where you go and how much you try to run away, the past has a funny way of catching up with you. . . ."
I Hunt Killers By Barry Lyga
"What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?
Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.
In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?"

Days of Blood and Starlight By Laini Taylor
"In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed "Daughter of Smoke and Bone," Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

Hosted By The Broke and The Bookish

By Invitation Only By Jodi Della Femina and Sherri McInnis

The Summer We Read Gatsby By Danielle Ganek

Skinnydipping By Bethenny Frankel

The Summer My Life Began By Shannon Greenland

Flirting In Italian By Lauren Henderson

Very Valentine By Adriana Trigiani

Eat, Pray, Love By Elizabeth Gilbert

13 Little Blue Envelopes By Maureen Johnson

Dear, John By Nicholas Sparks

Something Borrowed By Emily Giffin