Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Nantucket Blue

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

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

Nantucket Blue
by Leila Howland
Published by Disney Hyperion
Publication Date:  May 7, 2013

(from Goodreads)

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.

The cover reveal for this book last week really caught my attention, but it is more than just a pretty cover that makes me want to read this book. The synopsis reveals that this will likely be a heart-wrenching read with a lot of character growth. And I love books set in the summer when possibilities seem endless. (It's a little weird to be thinking about summer books when it was snowing yesterday).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Books of the Month (3)

Books of the Month is where I share books I got In My Mailbox, read, and reviewed during the entire month. Variations of these types of posts exist on many blogs so I am not claiming credit for this idea.
Books of October


Paperback Swap

Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

For Review/Promotion:
Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
Easy by Tammara Webber (Penguin)
The Namesake by Steven Parlato (Merit)


The Lucky Kind by Alyssa Sheinmel

My review list is pretty lacking (almost non-existent). So while everyone is tackling NaNoWriMo in November, I will be working on my pile of review books.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Recommend A . . . Book from the Library

(altered from Chick Loves Lit
“Recommend A…” will have a new prompt every week, which Shanyn will have posted ahead of time on the Recommend A… page. All you have to do is Recommend with Chick Loves Lit on Mondays, following the prompt, and link up so Shanyn (and everyone else) can see what you’ve recommended!
 This week's prompt:
book checked out from the library

by Lucy Christopher
Published by Chicken House Ltd.
Publication Date: May 4, 2009
(from Goodreads)

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him. This is my story. A letter from nowhere.

Told in a letter to her captor by 16-year-old Gemma, Stolen explores the influence that a really wild and remote space can have on the inner development of a young woman.

Gemma, a British city-living teenager, is kidnapped while on holiday with her parents. Her kidnapper, Ty, takes her to the wild land of outback Australia. To Gemma’s city-eyes, the landscape is harsh and unforgiving and there are no other signs of human life for hundreds of kilometres in every direction. Here, there is no escape. Gemma must learn to deal with her predicament, or die trying to fight it.

Ty, a young man, has other ideas for her. His childhood experience of living in outback Australia has forever changed the way he sees things. But he too has been living in the city; Gemma’s city. Unlike Gemma, however, he has had enough. In outback Australia he sees an opportunity for a new kind of life; a life more connected to the earth. He has been watching and learning about Gemma for many years; when he kidnaps her, his plan finally begins to take shape.

But Ty is not a stereotypical kidnapper and, over time, Gemma comes to see Ty in a new light, a light in which he is something more sensitive. The mysteries of Ty, and the mystery of her new life, start to take hold. She begins to feel something for her kidnapper when he wakes screaming in the night. Over the time spent with her captor, Gemma’s appreciation of him develops …but is this real love, or Stockholm Syndrome?


I read this book based on another blogger's recommendation and it is only fitting that I pass along the recommendation. The synopsis gives a lot away, but the story telling engages the reader and is beautifully descriptive. I enjoyed reading this book a lot. You can read my review to find out exactly why. This is a library read that will add to my collection some day. It is just that incredible.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Giveaway: Easy by Tammara Webber

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He always saw her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

(from Goodreads)


More than 150,000 copies of the self-published e-book
sold in the U.S.…

9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list…

Over 35,000 ratings on GoodReads and climbing…

One of the books credited with jump-starting the
emerging “new adult” genre…
Now my readers have a chance to win a copy of this book
courtesy of Penguin Group (US)

Giveaway Details:
 Must be at least 16 yrs or older
Open to U.S. addresses only
Following is NOT required
To enter, fill out Rafflecopter below
Contest ends November 8th 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dear Teen Me - The Tour Has Begun!!

The Dear Teen Me Tour Has Begun!!
and IT IS HUGE!!!

 with 133 Stops - You just can't miss it!

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

My tour stop date is November 7th and I will be sharing a letter to my teen self. 

Until then, check out all of the tour stops at 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: The Lucky Kind by Alyssa Sheinmel

The Lucky Kind
by Alyssa Sheinmel
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 208
Source: Won from Random Buzzers

High school junior Nick Brandt is intent on getting a girlfriend, and Eden Reiss is the one that he wants. He has exactly four semesters to get the girl, but when the phone rings on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday night, life for Nick and his parents will never be the same. What had been a seemingly idyllic home life has become something else entirely. But with this shake-up comes a newfound confidence for Nick; he's become a bolder version of himself, no longer afraid to question his parents, and no longer afraid to talk to Eden.

Alyssa B. Sheinmel has written a powerfully gripping story about family secrets, falling in love, and finding luck in unexpected--and sometimes unwelcome—circumstances.
(from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

When I first read this synopsis of The Lucky Kind, I was drawn to the romantic aspect of the storyline. It sounded like one of those underdog stories, where the awkward geeky-cute boy tries to get the girl of his dreams. There is a little bit of that going on, but this story is so much more than this relationship.

The focus on the family dynamic is what makes The Lucky Kind stand out from other stories. Nick's parents are central to the storyline and his father's betrayal, or what he perceives as a betrayal, is important to his growth as a character. This event allows Nick to realize that his parents had a life before they became his parents. They made their own mistakes, their own choices - that they are human too. 

What I like most about The Lucky Kind is that is doesn't pull any punches, it's subtle in it's depth. I loved that Nick questioned his parents and their authority but not in a bratty, over the top defiant way(while he did have his moments).  It wasn't drama-filled which made it feel all the more real. Some readers may need the drama and may think that a lot doesn't really happen in the story, but that's not what I took from it all.

One of my favorite scenes from the book is when Eden tells Nick that she notices that his parents still hold hands. She demonstrates by talking his hand and holding it and then not letting go. This is the first time they've ever touched and she's so casual about it. 
Our hands are resting in the space between our legs, but loosely, like we've been holding each other's hands for years, like it's not a big deal. It doesn't even feel like she was really taking my hand, only that she was trying to show me something. (pg 45)
There are many tender moments like these that made me fall in love with Nick and Eden. And I appreciated that their relationship wasn't all swoon and lust. It felt real - full of confusion and doubt - the overwhelming feeling that can only come from a first love. 

The Lucky Kind is, in the best way possible, an emotional read. The story is moving and believable, subtle, and honest. I'd recommend it to any fan of contemporary YA.

Disclaimer: This review is based on the Advanced Readers Copy which I won from Random Buzzers/Random House. Any quotes mentioned may differ from the final published copy. I was not compensated from providing a review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon: Update #3

Time Period:5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

# Pages Read:
Total Pages:

Books Read:
finished Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
                          The Lovers Dictionary by David Levithan
                          started The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel


I'm currently reading a book that wasn't in my stack of read-a-thon books. Sometimes it's ok to veer from the plan.

Dewey's Read-a-thon: Update #2

 Time Period: 12:00 p.m. - 5 p.m.

# Pages Read: 144
Total Pages: 300

Books Read: finished
How I Changed My Life by Todd Strasser
                       started Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

Challenges: Turn to Page hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic

                     Day Break Mini Challenge hosted by I Heart Monster

I really enjoyed reading How I Changed My Life - it was a cute story. A fun book to start off the read-a-thon. I took a break to go to Tiffany Trent's book signing for The Unnaturalists and them come home and took one of my scheduled walking breaks. I feel like I haven't read a whole lot, but I have finished one book, am almost finished with another and I have the rest of the evening to read.  After I finish my second book, I plan to stop by some other blogs to see how everyone else is doing.


Dewey's Read-a-thon: Update #1

Time Period: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

# Pages Read: 170
Total Pages:170

Books Read: some of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and currently reading How I Changed by Life by Todd Strasser

Challenges: Introduction Questionnaire


As soon as I started the readathon, I had to take a break to attend my Weight Watchers meeting. #Priorities. I picked up some breakfast and ate with my husband. He has to work later today, but he wants to hang out and all I'm trying to do is read. It's been kind of a slow start, but I'll make up for it later. 

How I Changed My Life has some characters and storylines that parallel the movie Drive Me Crazy so after this readathon is over, I'm going to see how they are connected and if Todd Strasser was one of or the writer for the movie.


Dewey's Read-a-thon: Intro Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

My responses:
1. Virginia, USA
2. Rereading The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
3. I'm trying to keep it healthy, so apples and peanut butter
4.  I'm a thirty-something blogger at Actin’ Up with Books. I rediscovered my love for young adult books during my last semester of college and have never looked back. When I'm not reading or blogging, I spend my time with my book club Provisions and Paperbacks, scoping out independent bookstores, singing along to the tunes of Maroon 5, and generally just actin’ up in any way I can.
5. I'll read during this read-a-thon, last time, I filled my day with other things and didn't read all that much.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon: The Game Plan

There's just one more day until Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon begins. From past read-a-thons, I've found that it's important to have a plan especially with one day read-a-thons. I'm keeping the goals simple and I've selected a variety of books to choose from. Many of the books were impulse buys and a couple are books that I've wanted to reread. I do have a couple of things planned today - my Weight Watchers meeting and a book signing with The Unnaturalists author Tiffany Trent - but I made sure to fit that into my hour by hour schedule. I also plan to fit in a couple of 10-15 minute walks just so I don't get achy from sitting for hours at a time reading. I'm going to participate in a few challenges and provide status updates every few hours. I hope to stop by some blogs and cheer other readers along. If you're participating in the read-a-thon, let me know in the comments and I'll stop by your blog.

Read 800 pages
Devote at least 1 hour to Pride and Prejudice
(I'm trying to finish this one in 2012)

Books to choose from:

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan (reread)
Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Breakout by Paul Fleischman
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder (reread)
The abc's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
How I Changed My Life by Todd Strasser

apples and peanut butter, oranges, popcorn

Iced mocha, water, and tea

The Timeline
8:00 a.m. Pride and Prejudice
9:00 a.m. WW meeting and breakfast
10:00 a.m. breakfast break
11:00 a.m. Book 1
12:00 p.m. continue book 1
1:00 p.m. continue/finish book 1
2:00 p.m. Tiffany Trent book signing
3:00 p.m. Tiffany Trent book signing
4:00 p.m. Book 2
5:00 p.m. continue book 2
6:00 p.m. continue/finish book 2
7:00 p.m. Book 3
8:00 p.m. continue book 3
9:00 p.m. continue/finish book 3
10:00 p.m. Start Book 4
11:00 p.m. continue book 4
12:00 a.m. continue/finish book 4
1:00 a.m. Start Book 5
2:00 a.m.
3:00 a.m.
4:00 a.m.
5:00 a.m.
6:00 a.m.
7:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Not Exactly a Love Story

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

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

Not Exactly a Love Story
by Audrey Couloumbis
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 11, 2012

(from Goodreads)

Fifteen-year old Vinnie isn't having a good year. He's recovering from the worst case of galloping acne his dermatologist's ever seen. His girl moved to California without even saying good-bye. And the ink on his parents divorce papers is barely dry, when his mom announces that they're moving from Queens to Long Island.

The silver lining in all this is that they move next door to Patsy—everyone's dream girl. Not that she'd ever notice him. But when Vinnie calls Patsy one night, it leads to a chain of anonymous midnight conversations. Under the cover of darkness, Vinnie becomes Vincenzo, Patsy's mystery caller, and the two share a side of themselves they would never reveal in daylight and develop a surprisingly real connection (despite the lies it's built on). As Vinnie gets to know Patsy in real life though, it becomes clear both identifies can't survive and he'll have to find a way to hangup the phone and step into the daylight. Fraught with complications and crackling with witty dialogue, and all the angst and electricity that comes with always being just a phone wire away from the one you want, acclaimed author Audrey Couloumbis's YA debut is a smooth-talking Cyrano meets Saturday Night Fever and tells a quirky, flirty, and smart story that will appeal to fans of Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Frank Portman's King Dork, Natalie Standiford's How to Say Goodbye in Robot, and John Green's An Abundance of Katherines. It's not exactly a love story . . . but it's pretty close. 

The title draws me to this one and the comparisons to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and King Dork don't hurt either. This sounds like a really fun story with a lot of heart and all kinds of awkwardness - just what I like.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Taking Time to Reread: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

It is a shame, but I rarely take the time to reread my books. But yesterday while I was waiting in the movie theater for Pitch Perfect to start (we arrived 45 minutes early because we didn't have anything better to do) I started rereading The Duff on my phone. Thank goodness for the nook app because unlike the girl in the ticket line behind me, I didn't bring a book with me.

I've wanted to read The Duff again for a while because I read through it pretty fast the first time (back in 2010) and didn't take the time to enjoy the characters. With the second read, I focused more on the relationships between the best friends - Bianca, Jessica, and Casey and not so much on the relationship between Bianca and Wesley. Sometimes as readers we get so caught up on the swoon that other parts of the story fall to the wayside.

In my review (read it here), I explained how much I identified with Bianca (as the designated ugly fat friend) but this time around, I also could see parts of myself in Casey (the too tall girl, she's 6'1", I'm 5'11") and Jessica (falling for the boy who wouldn't even notice her). It was fun to take the time to pick up things that I missed during my original reading. 

I was still loved the bickering chemistry between Bianca and Wesley. And I was more understanding of conflicts that I thought were resolved too easily from my first reading. Knowing what was going to happen took away some of the shock and anger that I felt when I first read it. (I'm intentionally being vague here as to not reveal any spoilers). I still do not think it was fine or as easily forgivable, but it allowed me to see it more from the character's perspective rather than my own. 

The Duff was definitely worth the reread. I think that I liked it ever more the second time around. It's one that I will probably read once again some day. As I make my way through new reads and review copies, I plan to reread more books that I loved and want to revisit. Up next: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Do you reread books? Or do your every growing TBR piles keep you from picking up some of your favorite books? I'd love to know your thoughts, so leave a comment.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

SuperFun Announcement: Freshman Year in PAPERBACK!!

Remember Kelsey Finkelstein? She’s fourteen, she lives in Brooklyn, and she's starting her freshman year of high school?

Well... now she's coming out in paperback.

Author Meredith Zeitlin is thrilled to announce the paperback release of FRESHMAN YEAR AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS, coming to bookstores March 2013 from G.P. Putnam's Sons.

In honor of this joyous occasion, we've made another CAT VIDEO.
Cats and books, you guys. Seriously, what else could you ask for?

I read Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters earlier this year and fell in love with this darling of a book. Here are some highlights from my review:
" . . . this book was too much fun. It has been a long time since I've read a book that made me smile and laugh over and over and over again."

"I loved Kelsey - she was real, fun, had a lot of heart, and could make fun of herself. Reading Kelsey, I was reminded of Jessica Darling from Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty and Ruby Oliver from The Boy Book by E. Lockhart - both characters that I love from books that hold a place in my heart because they take me back to that awkwardness of high school which, for me, really wasn't all that bad. I hope to read more about Kelsey in future books. I can't wait to know what happens her sophomore year!"
As the cats said, Meredith is working on her second book. We don't know if it is a continuation of Kelsey's story, but I sure would love it if it is!

Book Website:
Book Trailer:
Barnes and Noble 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Love Song for Jonny Valentine

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at 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 Love Song of Jonny Valentine
by Teddy Wayne
Published by Free Press
Publication Date: February 5, 2013

(From Goodreads)
Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum-pop, knows that the fans don’t love him for who he is. His image, his voice, and even his hairdo have been packaged—by his LA label and by his hard-partying manager-mother—into bite-size pieces for easy digestion, sliding down the gullet of mass culture, the biggest appeal to the widest demographic. But inside the relentless marketing machine, somewhere, is still a little boy, devoted to his mother and determined to find his absent father among the countless, faceless fans. Isn’t there?

A twisted, brilliant, and viciously funny coming-of-age story set inside corporate arenas and luxury hotel suites, Teddy Wayne’s The Love Song of Jonny Valentine explores with devastating clarity the underbelly of fame in twenty-first century America’s celebrity culture, told through the eyes of one of the most unforgettable child narrators since Holden Caulfield. From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Kapitoil, this new novel is a literary masterpiece by one of the standout writers of his generation.

I just heard about this book yesterday and it feels like it is one of those books that I just have to read. I'm interested to see how it presents the world that has become media and fame obsessed culture. It definitely would be a great book club selection.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon is coming up!!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is coming up! Saturday, October 13th to be exact. Join me and (at my latest check) 245 other readers for this one day mega-reading event. In addition to reading like a fiend, there will be challenges and giveaways. There will be cheerleaders who, along the way, will give us that extra boost to keep up motivated.

Why I’m signing up:
I usually read some every day or at least every other day, but I like the idea of dedicating a whole day to just reading with a bunch of other people whose goal is to do the same thing. I typically do not read review books during readathons and I choose books that do not have a high page count so that I can read more books. Sometimes it is about the quantity and I really want to move a lot of books from my TBR list to Read.

If your TBR pile is out of control and you want to go something about it, then you should sign up for the readathon too. (links below)

Sign-Up NOW! October 13th, 2012
Mini-Challenge Hosts


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