Saturday, January 29, 2011

Letting Go Giveaway #1

I've recently decided that it is time to let go of some books that I have been holding on to for a while. Simply put, I have too many books and not enough space for them all. If you want to know the whole story, you can read my Letting Go post.

As I clear off my shelves, I will be donating, swapping and giving some books away. For my first giveaway, I'm giving up my Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar. I read the first book, got hooked on the show and then got (purchased or swapped) more books in the series. But as it happens, I got sucked into the tv show and never followed up with reading the books. So instead of just having them sit on my shelves, I will be giving away the first five books of the series to one lucky winner. The books included are:

Gossip Girl
You Know You Love Me
All I Want is Everything
Because I'm Worth It
I Like It Like That

Again, the books I am giving away are from my personal library. I like to call them "Used but In a Good Way." If you would like a chance to win these books, just fill out the form below. Contest is now closed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Letting Go

I am a hoarder. Of books. Let me say it again. I am a hoarder of books. Ever since college, I've had this need to keep every book that I read, buy almost every book that I want or think that I need. As an English major, I took a lot of literature classes, and I do mean a lot, which of course would have extensive reading lists with anywhere from 6-10 books. I would have between 18 and 30 new books a semester. Multiply that by 4 semesters. Then add all of the literature classes I took in Graduate School and I easily had another 50+ books. For my YA literature class, I purchased the 12 books on my group's reading list (the class was split into two groups) and then I got at least 4 books from the other group's reading list. (This is when my love for YA lit started)

I never saw anything wrong with getting new books. I loved books and the stories and adventures that were within the covers. Some books I wanted because of the cover. Sad but true. Again, I didn't see anything wrong with having so many. They are a great investment. I would have an extensive library that my friends could borrow from whenever they wanted. But as the years have passed, they haven't really wanted to. (Those of you who do borrow my books, I'm not talking about you and I love it when you read my books).

My need for having new books didn't end when I graduated (shall I admit it? yes, 7 years ago). My favorite place to go shopping is the bookstore (as I imagine many of you reading this blog can relate). I don't have a closet full of clothes or a different pair of shoes to wear with every outfit. But what I do have are books, books, and more books. And you know what else? Even More Books. I have books that I had to have the day they were released and I still haven't read. I have several series that I've never even read (that would be you Harry Potter .  . . and Gossip Girl . . . . and Shopaholic).

I've commented here a few times about my self-imposed book buying ban which will be ending in 3 days (yes, I am counting them down), and how difficult it has been for me. But I am glad that I decided to do it because it has made me realize that I don't need every book I want. I don't have enough time to read every book I want to read and sometimes I am overwhelmed by how many choices I have. And I don't have the space to house all of the books that I own.

So what does this all really mean? It means that it is time to Let Go. It's time to let go of books that I read for school and will probably never read again. It's time to let go of the books that I started and will most likely never finish. It's time to let go of my "lender" copies - do I really need 3 copies of the same book? Nope. I sure do not. It's time to admit that I'm not going to read all of the classics I think I should read and if I decide to one day, I'll just check them out from the library.

Over the next few months I will be sorting through my shelves for books to donate to the local Adult Literacy Program, swapping a few, and hosting "Letting Go" giveaways. I'll have to roll my change for postage, but I think it is worth it. (that may be a shameless plug, but I hope you see it as an opportunity)

Does this mean that I will stop buying books? No way. I just won't be so quick to purchase. I will put more thought into my purchases and I will see if my local libraries have the books before I rush out to the bookstore. I say all of this, but there is a book released on February 1st that I will be getting. For sure.  A little book called Delirium, you may have heard of it. I didn't say I was cured, but I am ready for change.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Day Before

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Day Before
by Lisa Schroeder
Published by: Simon Pulse
June 28, 2011

Sometimes there's no turning back.

Amber's life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of her family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell that he's also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she's drawn to him. And the more she's troubled by his darkness. Because Cade's not just living in the now--he's living each moment like it's his last.
(from Goodreads)

I first found out about this book when I signed up for The Contemps Challenge. I've read Lisa's first two books and I have Chasing Brooklyn on my bookshelf right now. I've been waiting to read it but knowing that a new novel is on the way - I may read it sooner than later. It sounds so good and the I love the cover. I can't wait to read it and add it to my bookshelves.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows that Cameron can read minds. When Lewis Douglas arrives, he tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a place where she meets other Mind Readers. But when the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. (from Goodreads)

 The Mind Readers is the first young adult novel by Lori Brighton and the first book by Brighton that I have read. I was immediately drawn into the story of Cameron when I first heard her voice describing the thoughts of the people in the diner she was sitting in. She hears one man describing how he wants to kill his girlfriend and another is thinking about robbing the diner. Before either man does anything, knowing that only one of them will actually proceed with his plan, she gets up and walks away. 

After years of living with her grandmother, Cameron knows when to use her mind reading ability and when to keep it a secret. Exposing her abilities  had only caused problems for her before and she kept them hidden from everyone. But when Cameron and her friend discover the body of another friend washed up on the beach, Cameron must use her abilities to find out who killed her friend and help protect whoever may be next. At this same time Lewis, a mysterious new guy, comes to town and he may just have a few dangerous secrets of his own. 

The story opens with the mysterious murder but lends itself to so much more. In exposing the murderer, Cameron's abilities become common-knowledge in her school and instead of becoming the hero, she is ostracized by her friends and classmates. In what seems like a rash decision, Cameron leaves town with Lewis to learn more about her powers and find solace with those who are like her. This is where the story really begins. Not knowing who to trust and what to believe, Cameron begins to question if she has done the right thing by leaving her grandmother. Who are these people she is has chosen to live with? Is she ready for what may be coming her way?

Brighton has written a fantastic story about paranormal abilities. Every fast-paced moment is filled with tension as I, like Cameron, questioned is this really happening? Who is lying? Who can be trusted? The Mind Readers, likely written as a first of a series, allows for so many possible ways for this story to continue. Filled with characters who definitely have their own stories to tell, I cannot wait to read what will happen next.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On Not Buying Books

After I bought or received an excessive amount of books 2 weeks ago, I declared a book buying ban for the rest of the month on January. With overflowing bookshelves, stacks that are about to topple over and reviews that need to be written, I thought that it was necessary. So far it has been a success, but it has been a struggle too. I'm not purchasing books, checking books from the library or making any requests from NetGalley. Swapping is an option, but I'm trying to not do that either. Let me say that it has been difficult. This is probably the longest I have gone without buying books. But there have been temptations.

Yesterday, I worked overtime to try to dig myself out of the mountains of paperwork. It is probably one of the busiest times of the year for me and there is so much to do and not enough time to do it. I have a feeling I will be spending the next several Saturday's in the office. What does this have to do with my buying books? Well the entire time I was at work, I kept thinking about how great it would be to check to see if there were any book sales at the local bookstore. I was sure that buying a few books would make me feel better about working the long hours and that I deserved a little treat. I thought that I needed a little retail therapy and of course books are my go to remedy. I'm proud to say that I didn't even go to the bookstore, but I wanted to. Oh, did I want to.

Then late last night, I was looking at Barnes and Noble website to see what books I might want to buy once the book buying ban is over - I've been making a list. When I'm not buying books or reading books, I'm making lists about books. Anyway, my husband walks into the room (having just come home from work) and all I say is, "I want to buy some books." No, "Hi honey, how was work?" or "I'm glad your home." Just "I want to buy some books." Then he asks me which ones, I name the first two that came to mind and he says, "OK, pick out 3 and I'll get them for you." I start to waiver, as I do every time he does this. I feel guilty when he buys me books when I have so many that I still need to read. Sensing my hesitation, he then said, "Pick them now or I'm taking back the offer." I frantically (yes frantically like I'm on some soft of a binder) start to add them to my online shopping cart. It's so easy to just click, click, click and I'll have some new books on the way to my house. But even though I want some books, giving in to the ban really wasn't what I wanted.  I truly want to see if I go make it to the end of the month without buying any books. So I emptied the online cart and I don't have any books on the way to my house.

So, even with need for fulfillment and enticing offer, week two of the book buying ban has been a success. I only have one more week to go. I just hope that I don't go all crazyboots and buy every book that I want. I really want to start being more thoughtful in the books I do decide to buy. I'm hoping this is something I can gain from this whole experience.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

About Me: My Favorite Author

Just like picking a definitive list of my favorite books of all time, choosing my favorite author of all time is just as difficult. I'm drawn to many authors because of their writing style, the topics they write about and their characters within their stories. I become invested in them and want to know what will happen next. I love it when what an author writes leaves me satisfied but at the same time wanting more. And when choosing an all-time favorite author, I have to consider their collected works and not just my favorite book that they have written.

Keeping all of that in mind, I'd say Ellen Hopkins is my favorite author. In 2007, I was fortunate enough to attend an event where she was a featured author and meet her. She writes verse novels about real people with real issues showing that life isn't always pretty. When reading her novels, I can appreciate the effort that is put into to every poem. Each line placement and each phrase is written with a purpose. She is a great storyteller who shows me the world of her characters, but also draws me in and makes me feel, at times uncomfortable, but she makes me feel something and that is what I love so much about her books. After reading one of her novels, sometimes it can take me a few days to start a new one because I am still considering what I've just read - thinking about the characters and their story and  wondering what is happening to them. How does their story continue? Or I am just so affected by the story that it can take a while to take it all in.

Crank is the novel that I always recommend for people to read first but my favorite novel by Hopkins is Impulse.

Ellen Hopkins is also the author of Glass, Fallout, Burned, Identical, and Tricks. Her website is

And the Winners Are . . .

For my Dreaming of Books Giveaway
The Winners Are . . .

she selected the books by John Green


won the books by Dana Reinhardt

Congratulations to you both!
There were 94 entries in this giveaway. The winners were selected using Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway and to all of the followers, old and new. I love sharing these books through giveaways and hope to be able to offer many more in the future.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell
Paperback Swap

Last week I declared a book buying ban for the rest of January. I went a little overboard with my purchases to say the least. So I didn't purchase any books this week, but I did get this one through Paperback Swap. I had to spend 10 minutes convincing my husband that swapping and purchasing are not the same thing! I hope that I can hold out until the end of the month. My bending bookshelves will thank me and so will my wallet.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

And the Winner Is . . .

The Winner Is . . .

Jessica from Cover to Cover

She won  a copy of The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern from my "Spotlight On" giveaway

There were a total of 21 entries and using, number 11 was selected. Congratulations Jessica! I hope you enjoy your book!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

Thanks for visiting my blog to check out my giveaway for the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop. This hop is hosted by Martha's Bookshelf and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and runs from January 14th through the 17th. Over 150 blogs are participating!

I decided to participate in this hop because I am dreaming of organized bookshelves. So your gain is my gain too. It's hard for me to let go of books, but I need to. I'm finally beginning to realize that I don't need 2 or 3 copies of a book on hand if someone might happen to want to read it. So the books I am giving away are from my personal library. I like to call them "Used but In a Good Way."

There are 2 prizes for 2 winners!

Prize 1:
John Green Prize Pack
Looking for Alaska (hardcover)
An Abundance of Katherines (hardcover)
copies won do not include the Printz Award Emblem

Prize 2:
Dana Reinhardt Prize Pack
The Things a Brother Knows (hardcover)
Harmless (paperback)
FYI, the first print run of The Things a Brother Knows is missing three pages: 41, 168, and 222. The missing pages are available through RandomHouse. (Please don't let this keep you from wanting this amazing book).

If you would like to enter for a chance to win, fill out the form below. CONTEST HAS ENDED

Thanks for stopping by. Check out the other blogs participating in the hop:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

 Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. And they expect her to marry a boy from the neighborhood, to settle down, and to have grandbabies. If she wants a job, she could always be an assistant manager at the local grocery store.

At school, it's another story. Marisa's calc teacher expects her to ace the AP test and to get into an engineering program in Austin—a city that seems unimaginably far away. When her home life becomes unbearable, Marisa seeks comfort elsewhere—and suddenly neither her best friend nor boyfriend can get through to her. Caught between the expectations of two different worlds, Marisa isn't sure what she wants—other than a life where she doesn't end each day thanking God it's over.
(from Goodreads)

What Can't Wait is a thoughtful debut novel by Ashley Hope Perez. More so than any book I've read recently, What Can't Wait addresses the burden of familial expectations and the pursuit for Marisa's (the main character) own desires - education and independence. I liked how the family was an integral part of the story and didn't exist just to create conflict with Marisa. They help to shape her character and give more insight into why she does what she does.

I really loved getting to know Marisa. She was loyal to her family, especially to her niece, Anita. As she tried to be a good daughter, sister, aunt, and girlfriend, I could relate to the pressure that she was under to be all things to everyone while still trying to do her best to get into college. She wanted to help everyone that she could, as much as she could, but sometimes she assumed too much responsibility and not because she had to, but because she thought she had to.She didn't want to be the martyr of the family, far from it. But she didn't think there was any alternative which is understandable based on her relationships with her mother and father.

As the demands of her family began to increase, her commitment to school falters and her dreams of going to the college of her choice seems out of reach. After a frightening incident, Marisa withdraws even further and loses sight of who she is and who she may become. It is the journey back to finding what is important to her (and not anyone else) that makes Marisa's story so worthwhile. I loved reading every word of it.

What Can't Wait is the debut novel of Ashley Hope Perez and has a publication date of March 1, 2011 (but Ashley says it's available now!). I requested this novel for review from the author, received it via Net Galley, and this review is based on the Advance Reading Copy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And the Winners Are . . .

The Winners Are . . .

Meredith M.

They each have won a copy of Freefall by 2010 Debut Author Mindi Scott
for my 100 and 150+ Followers Giveaway

There were a total 72 entries and using, numbers 51 and 64 were selected. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest and for those of you who continuously visit my blog. I really appreciate it. For those of you who did not win Freefall, I encourage you to pick it up at your local bookstore.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.(from Goodreads)

I just finished Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and I think that is an exciting read. Told in alternating chapters, Brittany and Alex reveal their innermost thoughts which they keep hidden while they both strive so hard to project an image of perfection (Brittany) or toughness (Alex). The story sucked my in from the very beginning with the back and forth banter in Chemistry class and I couldn't wait to read how these two people were going to be brought together. I didn't like that it was a bet that initially encouraged Alex to go after Brittany. It didn't seem natural to the story and whenever it was mentioned it seemed like an afterthought. And maybe it was, something said without thought during a "guy moment" between Alex and Lucky.

I loved moments when Brittany and Alex revealed their true selves to each other, especially when Alex met Brittany's sister Shelly for the first time and when Brittany went to Alex's cousin's wedding. The wedding scene was my favorite part of the book because I felt that it was then that both characters were completely relaxed with each other (even though some drama did ensue), but they were real, open and without pretenses. I could really see that they were falling for each other in these moments. 

When their relationship begins to unravel because of Alex's gang involvement, I was torn because, by this point, I wanted them to be together. Seeing how Brittany was finally living her life for herself, and stand up to her family, I wanted Alex to do the same. His pressures were more life-threatening and life-changing, but I was rooting for the couple all along the way.

This is the first book by Elkeles that I have read and it won't be the last. I already have the How I Ruined Series and Leaving Paradise waiting on my bookshelf ready to be read. 

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

For Review:
The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel
Thank you Andrea and Bloomsbury USA
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
Thank you Harper Collins

I Know It's Over (and swag) by C.K. Kelly Martin - signed
Thank you to Kate and Jess at I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Thank you Random House/ Random Buzzers 12 Days of Christmas

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Cum Laude by Cecily von Ziegesar

Used (but in a Good Way):
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Paperback Swap

There are certain months of the year that I go a little crazyboots when buying books: August - my birthday month, October - huge book release month (at least I think it is), and January - in hopes that there will be a big snowstorm that will have me housebound for days. Of course this never happens but I always hope that it will and I buy books. Well, this is my excuse this year anyway. On Thursday I treated myself at a 3 for 2 bargain book sale at Books-a-Million and then came home to find I had 4 separate packages waiting for me! Needless to say I have imposed a book buying ban for the rest of January (and possibly February but that may be pushing it).  

 I can't wait to see what you got in your mailbox (and for the snow to start falling).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Spotlight on The Book of Tomorrow and Giveaway

Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she’s ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes, and a large four poster bed complete with a luxurious bathroom en-suite. She’s always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow.

But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country to live with Tamara’s Uncle and Aunt. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gate house is a world away from Tamara’s childhood. With her Mother shut away with grief, and her Aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin.

When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. She needs a distraction. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. With some help, Tamara finally manages to open the book. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.

This week I received a ARC of The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern from Harper. After reading the description of The Book of Tomorrow, I gladly accepted the book for review which will posted in the upcoming weeks.  I've wanted to read Cecelia's books for a while now and I think this one is a great book to start with.

Harper has generously offered an additional copy to be sent to one of my readers (note that I didn't say followers). If you would like to win your own copy of please fill out the form below.

Cecelia Ahern is also the author of P.S. I Love You, The Gift, Thanks for the Memories and  A Place Called Here.
You can visit her website at

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Dust & Decay

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Dust & Decay 
by Jonathan Maberry
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Expected publication: August 30th 2011

Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.
Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?
In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive. (from Goodreads)

I about flipped when I saw this cover. It is CRAZY. Rot & Ruin has quickly become one of my favorite books. I've been telling everyone about it (even if they aren't big readers), putting it on my favorite lists and made sure to donate a copy to the book drive this past holiday. It is that awesome and I want to let as many people as I can know. I'm just sad that I have to wait until August for Dust & Decay to come out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Resolve to Read in 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists. I am too so that is why I am participating this week.

Books I Resolve to Read in 2011

This year I am resolving to read more books that are already on my bookshelves. That's not to say that I won't buy any new books that would be crazy, ridiculous even, but I will read more books that I own.

Here are the top ten books I resolve to read in 2010:

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling- On January 1st, I declared 2011 the year I give Harry Potter a chance. I'd given up and just resigned to see the movies but I know there is a huge difference between the books and the movies, so I'm going to read them. Yes, I am.

2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - I could name the complete series of HP, but I only own the first four of the series and I am only including books that I already on the

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - It has been way too long. I have to read this book asap. That is all there is to say.

6. Wicked by Gregory Maguire - A few years ago I asked for Wicked for Christmas. As my husband always does, he went overboard and bought 4 of Maguire's books for me. Instead of starting with Wicked, which I had originally asked for, I read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister first. That book did a number on me, to say the least and a stayed away from Maguire's books. Now I'm ready to read his books again.

7.  At least one of the 4 Barbara Kingsolver books that I own

8. The Siren by Kiera Cass - I received The Siren from my friends 2 years ago for my birthday. They were excited to give the book to me because she is a local author and they know her. I hope to read it before my next birthday.

9. Monkey Bridge by Lan Tao - A former coworker loaned me this book. She wanted me to read it and never did. We no longer work together, but have kept in contact and she keeps asking me if I've read Monkey Bridge. I am ashamed to tell her that I haven't, so it is on the list.

10. I will finally finish The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - I've read the first 30 pages, but never finished it. This year I will.

So on December 31, 2011 it will be interesting to see if I kept my resolution and read all of these books. I do hope that this is one resolution I will be able to achieve.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In My Mailbox (18)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

 For Review:
Textual Healing by Eric Smith
Received from the author
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
Paperback Swap

Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Thank you Random House!

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (e-book)
Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin (e-book)

I also received my packages from The Broke and the Bookish Secret Santa 2010 and the Book Bloggers Holiday Swap which I blogged about earlier this week. 
What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Review: Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Those That Wake
by Jesse Karp
Publication Date: March 21, 2011
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Source: Requested from Netgalley
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound

(from Goodreads)

New York City’s spirit has been crushed. People walk the streets with their heads down, withdrawing from one another and into the cold comfort of technology. Teenagers Mal and Laura have grown up in this reality. They’ve never met. Seemingly, they never will.
But on the same day Mal learns his brother has disappeared, Laura discovers her parents have forgotten her. Both begin a search for their families that leads them to the same truth: someone or something has wiped the teens from the memories of every person they have ever known. Thrown together, Mal and Laura must find common ground as they attempt to reclaim their pasts.

My Thoughts

After an event termed Big Black occurs in New York City, a sense of hopelessness and fear is overwhelms the people of the city. Subliminal messages on cells, television and other electronic devices that contributed to the despair of the city. Crime, murder and suicide is increasing at alarming rates and there doesn't appear to be any slowing down. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp takes a look at the disconnection between people perpetuated by the one thing that is supposed to keep them connected - Technology.

I must admit that I had a difficult time getting into this book at the beginning. Characters were introduced without any connection and I was instantly trying to figure out how everyone would know each other. I was trying too hard to figure out why everything was happening rather than surrendering to the novel and just letting it unfold. Finally after surrendering to the book, I was able to become absorbed in the story of Mal, Laura, Mike and Remak, whose lives had unknowingly been altered and left in a state of confusion.   

It is during the four strangers' quest to reconnect with the lives and find the people who matter to them, they learn that a powerful entity has been working to keep them separated. They find that it is their own tenaciousness, survival instincts and hope that has left them unaffected by the technological entity that has taken over almost everyone around them. 

Those That Wake did make me take a step back and think about how technology, while in its attempts to keep us interconnected, can separate us and prevent us from making real connections. And all I can say now is that my eyes are open. 

Those That Wake is the debut novel of Jesse Karp and has an expected publication date of March 21, 2011. 

Disclaimer: I requested this novel for review from NetGalley and this review is based on the Advance Reading Copy. I was not compensated in any way for providing the review other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Books Read in 2010

Here is the complete list of books read in 2010. I cannot believe I read so many, 83 total. My goal was to read at least 52 books (a book a week).

The date listed is when I finished the book.
*Library Book
**Loaned from a friend

3: Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
5: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
9: Take Me There by Susane Colasanti
10: Unraveling by Michelle Baldini/Lynn Biederman*
11: College Girl by Patricia Weitz*
19: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
24: After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr*
31: After by Amy Efaw*

6: Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett
11: Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner*
13: If I Stay by Gayle Forman*
17: WTF by Peter Lerangis

1: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby*
6: Dead Girls Don't Write Letters by Gail Giles*
8: Right Behind You by Gail Giles*
25: How to Un(cage) a Girl by Francesca Lia Block*
26: The Realm of Possibilities by David Levithan*
30: Are You There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler*

1: My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr*
7: Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
9: Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block*
14: Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
20: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan*
23: Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
28: Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan*

2: Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn*
7: Shrimp by Rachel Cohn*
8: Harmless by Dana Reinhardt
15: Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher*
20: Love and Other Four Letter Words by Carloyn Mackler
22: The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison
26: Giving Chase by Lauren Dane
27: Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott*
28: Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas*
30: Prep by Jake Coburn

4: Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
11: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta*
12: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan*
15: Paper Towns by John Green
20: The Mission by Jason Myers
26: My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger*
27: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
30: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

3: Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
10: The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
13: Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
19: The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
22: I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin*
24: Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine*
28: An Underachiever's Diary by Benjamin Anastas
30: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
31: When I Was Older by Garret Freymann-Weyr*

4: Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty ***
6: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
8: This Is What I Wanted to Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone
14: The Truth About Delilah Blue by Tish Cohen
21: Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee*
27: Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
31: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

7: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
10: The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt
13: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen*
18: A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley*
20: The Fat Girl by Marilyn Sachs
21: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
23: Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
26: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
30: Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

6: Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
13: Perfect World by Brian James
17: Freefall by Mindi Scott
24: Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
30: You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz

5: The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block*
15: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
20: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger 
22: Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

2: Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
3: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
4: Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
5: Far from You by Lisa Schroeder
5: Crash Test Love by Ted Michael
27: Those That Wake by Jesse Karp 


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