Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: Adversary by Kate Kaynak

Adversary by Kate Kaynak
Release Date: August 20, 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal

The Story: The second book of the Ganzfield series.

Things are more dangerous than they seem at Ganzfield, and not everyone will survive. Does Maddie have what it takes?
See what happens next in the sequel to Minder.

Our Review: If you have read our review of Minder then you will know already that we loved it and were all very excited to read Adversary. We decided that we'd do a group review of Adversary because we loved it so much. So check it out:

Cindy's Review: When you read a second novel in a series you automatically expect it to be a filler novel in some way. There has to be some type of lame and frustrating story line that will finally lead into the third book, which is almost always as good or better than the first. I'm not saying that book three won't be better than book one but book two, Adversary, is anything but a filler novel.

Adversary starts out with Maddie and several others members of the Ganzfield student body being away from the school overnight. While they are away Ganzfield is attacked, leaving few survivors. This unlikely group of teenagers band together to fight back against Isaiah, the villain we met in Minder. Adversary also introduces us to a new student and G-Positive who can challenge Maddie in ways no one else can. How does this affect Maddie and what does it mean for her and Trevor? I'm not telling. You're going to have to read it to find out - and trust me, you want to read it.

Kate Kaynak's world is both incredibly original and believable at the same time. The characters are fun, passionate and completely unforgettable. I want to be friends with Maddie, experience Trevor's abilities for myself and maybe start a fire just to see Drew in action. Adversary had me on the edge of my seat for the entire ride and the wait for book three, Legacy, has been excruciatingly long. If you haven't already, pick this series up now. You won't be disappointed!

Kendra's Review: I was really excited when I found out that we were going to get the opportunity to do a group review of this book. I loved Minder, and was really looking forward to reading this one. And I was not disappointed. I liked that Minder set up the story, and that this book took it to another level.
I was so happy to see that Maddie and Trevor are still going strong. I love Trevor. And the two of them together are fantastic.

I also had some predictions of this book after I read Minder. I don't know that any of them were right. It just goes to show you that no matter what you think of a book, and how something about it might be predictable, it could surprise you. And that is what I love. I also love that no one is immune to tragedy, no matter who they are.

This series may be of the paranormal persuasion, but it is based in reality. The situations happening to the characters are something that could really happen, IMO. It is going to be a very long wait for Legacy.

Julie's Review: Adversary takes Ganzfield to a whole new level. I was pleasantly surprised by this book; I could not put it down. To be honest, I was the only one on the Books Complete Me team who had reservations about this series. I am delighted that Adversary proved just how wrong I can be! I am beginning to believe Kate Kaynak is a G-Positive as well as her storytelling "superpower" will leave the reader breathless....and wanting more.

Nicole's Review: Love at ‘second sight.’

Kate’s done it again. In Minder, we are put into another world, where people have traits that are unusual. In Adversary, we see the continued struggle for normalcy and secrecy. We are also given a summary of what happened in Minder, to refresh our minds (that’s if we haven’t read it enough times we could quote it) which I loved.

Maddie and Trevor continue to develop, their soul-mating, WOW. I felt intrusive reading about such a personal thing. And Zach- bad Zach! We are introduced to a few more charms- some are good, some seem good…. I will leave it at that so you can read it! There is never ending action going on, especially when Maddie’s mom finds out she’s a G-positive. G-positive runs in the family. Maddie learns a few tricks of the trade and ends up with a really big surprise!

You can’t help but want to put everything down so you can read this in one sitting. Though it did take me two sittings, because I had to go to work! One great thing, we even get a sneak peek into Legacy. If the title and that first chapter is any clue…

My favorite quotes:
“I say we use three different kinds of birth control and just go for it.”

“My mind is definitely NOT chaste and noble.”

Our Collective Rating: We all agreed that we loved this book even more than Minder and give Adversary:

Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Release Date: August 10, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: YA Paranormal 

The Story:  Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

My Review: Haven Moore isn't just your typical small town girl, trying to get out to the big city. She's been having visions since she was a little girl of a guy she's never met. She's not sure what it all means but her hateful grandmother is convinced Haven is possessed by a demon is seems determined to convince everyone else in town too. It's then that Haven's mother finally admits that her father believed she'd been remembering past lives. 

With the help of her best friend Beau Haven decides to head for New York City. There she searches for the boy she's been having visions about. Haven gets swept off her feet by Iain Morrow, a famous ladies man and millionaire and before long she doesn't know who or what to believe.

The Eternal Ones is the story of undying love through reincarnation. The main character, Haven, is likable if not a little too trusting. Her best friend Beau really carries their friendship. He's charming, funny, attractive, gay and not afraid to be himself. In a town as small as Snope City, that's something to be proud of and makes Beau the perfect best friend for Haven.

The relationships Haven made in New York kept me guessing until the very end. I felt myself being just as confused as to who could be trusted as she was. I wanted so much for her to finally solve the mystery and to find the man she's loved over centuries but it's anyone's guess until the very end. I loved this book. I found it unique and fun. The mystery kept me on my toes throughout the entire book and the ending has left me anxiously hoping there is a continuation of the story.

My Rating

ÒThe Eternal Ones is an engrossing and utterly enchanting story of true love, discovery and destiny that defies time. Thrilling and magical. A must read.Ó ÑDanielle Trussoni, author of Angelology
 I read and reviewed The Eternal Ones as part of  Good Golly Miss Holly ARC Tours

And the WINNER is...

The winner of our Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters and How to Speak Robot by Natalie Standiford giveaway is: 


Congratulations Tina! You should have an email from us. You have 48 hours to respond or we will have to draw another winner. 

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interview and Giveaway with Author Angie Frazier

I absolutely loved Angie Frazier's debut novel, Everlasting. I met her a local writing panel she participated in and bought the book. I'd heard the book was pretty good but I was blown away by just how much I enjoyed the story and am so very excited for book two in the series. I was lucky enough to interview her and am so excited that one of our lucky followers will soon win their very own signed copy. Enjoy the interview and don't forget to enter below!

1. When I first started reading Everlasting I was surprised at how very usual everything seemed. I knew that it had a supernatural element to it from the writing panel discussion you participated in in NH but I was intrigued to see when that element would appear. Has Everlasting always been a supernatural historical romance or was that something that evolved as you were writing it?

The first drafts of Everlasting had absolutely no supernatural elements in it. I really wasn’t sure what the story was supposed to be about for a few years! I just kept writing and hoping that the right storyline would find me. It wasn’t until I asked myself one question: “What does Camille want more than anything?” and the answer was, “She wants her father back.” And then Bam! It all hit me, and I was amazed that it was going to involve a supernatural element. It felt so right, like it was just what the story was waiting for.

2. Was there any one part in particular of Everlasting that you found difficult to write? If so, what was it and why?

     Oh, definitely. The most difficult scenes to write were the “romantic” scenes. Seeing the romance unfold in my head was one thing, but then having to put those emotions and actions into words was a whole different story. It was uncomfortable at first, and now I feel such a huge appreciation for romance writers!

3. Everlasting's heroine, Camille, is such a strong female character. Do you find it easy to relate to her?

     I actually find it difficult to relate to her. I’m not saying I think I’m weak (grin), but she is so brave and determined and willing to take risks…I admire her more than I relate to her. I think that is why her character is so hard for me to write. She’s a big challenge, and I love that.

4. You mentioned that there was a ton of research that went into writing Everlasting. That must have been really interesting or I can't imagine you would have been able to keep up with it. What was your favorite part about that?

     Yes, I admit that I am addicted to historical research. If I wasn’t a writer, I would want to either be an archaeologist or in a museum somewhere just researching objects, maps, papers and artifacts for a living. Writing historical fiction gives me that opportunity to delve into tedious research that other, more sane people, snooze over.

5. How many books will there be in the Everlasting series and when can we expect them?

     As of right now, there are two: Everlasting and its sequel (currently without a title) due out in June 2011. I would love to write a third and final Everlasting book, but need to wait and see.

6. I know that you are also publishing another set of books, the Suzanna Snow series, and the first is coming out early next year. Are you currently working on any other projects that you can tell us about?

     Yes, Suzanna Snow is coming up in March 2011 and I’m very excited about it! A second Suzanna book will be out in 2012, and I’m crossing my fingers more after that as well. At the moment I’m working on a proposal for a dark paranormal historical YA. I have about four different stories I want to pitch. It’s all a matter of time and patience.

7. What is the best advice you can offer to others who are hoping to be published?

     My best advice is simple: Don’t “hope” to one day be published. Work for it. Make writing a big part of your life. Open yourself up to critique. Query endlessly. Read everything. Treat “getting published” less like a dream, and more like a goal.

8. As a fellow New Hampshiren (?) are you loving this cooler weather as much as I am?
     I love autumn! It’s a beautiful time of year—the foliage, apple picking, steely gray skies, and harvest festivals…I love living in New England and the fall is a big reason why. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.


Angie was nice enough to offer a SIGNED copy of Everlasting to be given away to one lucky follower. Thank you Angie! To enter, fill out the form below. You must be a BCM follower to enter. You can earn extra points by following us on Facebook and Twitter (+1 each), tweeting or facebooking this giveaway (+1 each), blogging this giveaway (+3), and adding our button to your sidebar (+5). You must provide links below of any tweets, facebook and/or blog posts to get the points. Giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, October 10th. Winner will be announced Monday, October 11th. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Fairview Felines (ARC) by Michele Corriel

Fairview Felines by Michele Corriel

Release Date: Oct 5, 2010

Genre: MG

The Story: All the cats in Fairview disappeared and only Thomas Weston, newspaperman extraordinaire (and eighth grader) can find them. All the while Thomas battles the never-ending hysterical headlines that pop up in his head!

My Review: This is a cute story for young teens. Watching as Thomas grows and learns that you can do anything you set your mind to. Also that you can fall in love at any age. Corriel has created a story to show teens that it's ok to do what you love, as long as your homework doesn't suffer! Thomas had a hard time in math, until he found a way that it made sense. Using his love of the newspaper, it helped him with fractions. But the biggest thing for Thomas, was trusting in his gut when it came to all the disappearing cats.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Revolution (ARC) by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Publication Date: Oct 12, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Historical Fiction

The Story:
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

My Review: I am so excited that I was able to read this book. There were so many surprises, that kept me guessing! As we follow Andi, you start to feel real bad for her. She essentially has lost her entire family. Her little brother is dead, her mother is in a coma like state- but awake, and her father hasn't been around for a year. Donnelly describes everything so well, I'm able to watch it as a movie in my head as I read. You're transported from Brooklyn (NY) to Paris (France). When Andi finds Alex's diary in an old guitar case, we are able to read Alex's experience with the French Revolution. There's something about being able to read about history, with some fictional stories thrown in. History is brought to life. So many emotions are experienced as you read REVOLUTION. I honestly couldn't put it down. I was literally reading it at red lights! I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

IMM- Take 10

All of us here at BCM are so excited to be a part of the awesome list of blogs who participate in the "In My Mailbox" meme. In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren so make sure you check out her book blog for a list of many of the blogs participating. She also has some helpful information on how to participate on your own blog. Click HERE to find out more.

This is a weekly meme where we will post any books (and other things) that we have received in the mail, bought, loaned from the library, etc. It's not limited to just books. It can be anything we have just gotten and are excited about.

So this week we are excited about the following:

Julie Received:

From authors/publishers/blog tours:

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
The Intern by Jess C. Scott (Author Interview and Review to be posted next weekend!)

From the Library:

City of Ashes and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
White Cat and Tithe by Holly Black
Raven by Allison Van Diepen
Mackenzies Legacy and Mackenzies Honor Linda Howard


The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of the Sixteenth-Century Miller by Carlo Ginzburg

Kendra received:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Kisses from Hell - anthology of short stories by Kristin Cast, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead, Francesca Lia Block
Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready
Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Cindy received:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork

So tell us what you think of our Mailbox this week and let us know what you'd like to read a review for first. :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guest post by Natalie Standiford

Can you discuss what some of your “big” confessions would have been as a teenager?

Honestly, I don't think I ever had anything to confess that's as big as the confessions of the Sullivan girls. My family didn't have any scandalous secrets for me to reveal, and I wasn't responsible for anyone's death that I know of. I had my share of inappropriate boyfriends, but the stakes weren't so high.

One thing I'd have to confess to my high school friends is that in many ways I hid my real self. I was worried about fitting in. Inside I was a geek and a weirdo, but I could hide it pretty well, and I did.

I'd confess to being sadder inside than I ever let anyone know. I felt like I always had to appear happy, because what did I have to be unhappy about? I was a lucky girl and I knew it. But that doesn't mean I wasn't sad sometimes, and not being able to show it made it worse. I think Sassy struggles with these feelings in CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS. She has a good home and a good education and all her needs are met and then some, so she doesn't feel entitled to be sad. And yet she is, and she can't explain why.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
Release Date:
Sept. 1, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day, their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . . and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.

And so the confessions begin....

The Sullivans are the only family Almighty Lou has. Almighty has been married many times, and has been getting richer with each one. After her latest husband passed away, she brings her son and his family together at Christmas, telling them that one of them has offended her, and unless that person put the offense in writting by New Year's Eve, the family will be cut out of Almighty's will, becomming penniless.

Wow! So, Daddy-o and Ginger believe that it's their girls who have offended Almighty, and so the sisters put into writting their offenses. We then read what each one did that might have offended their grandmother. It's so funny to read. The oldest, at 17, said that her offense was due to love. The middle one, at 16, claimed she was only telling the truth and the youngest at 14 said that she was invincible. Reading this story reminded me of my sisters (I have 3) and what would happen when Grams caught us doing something wrong. We all have our secrects we keep from family, "for their own good" and having to spill it out, or confess them, can get intresting!!

Natalie Standiford writes very well. Well, at least I was intrigued and couldn't put it down! Will Almighty reinstate them? You will have to read it to find out!

Oh, and want to know the best part? You can win a copy of Confessionsof the Sullivan Sisters AND How to Speak Robot, both by Natalie!! Just fill out the form with your name, email, and address. The winner will be drawn and the information sent to Natalie's publisher.

*You do NOT have to be a follower of our blog to enter, and you MUST be a USA resident*

Let's have some extras points? OK

If you blog about this- 2pts
Tweet about it- 1pt
Post on Facebook- 1pt

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Echoes by Melinda Metz

Echoes (Fingerprints #1-3) by Melinda Metz
Release Date: July 10, 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction

The Story:
Rae Voight thinks she is going crazy. In fact, she spent some time in a hospital for just that reason. Her mother spent some time in a hospital as well due to some mental problems, and she died while in there. Now Rae is afraid that she is going to follow in her mother's footsteps.
After returning to school, the voices that Rae thought she heard have not gone away. She hears them everywhere, disjointed phrases, thoughts that have nothing to do with anything. Until she hears a voice say "Rae must die."
When Rae finds out that the voices she hears are not just figments of her imagination, and are actual thoughts, she realizes that someone is out to get her. Now all she has to do is figure out who the thoughts belong to... before it is too late.

My Review: This book is an omnibus of the first three books of the Fingerprints series. I loved this book. I was hooked from page one. It is very realistically written, from Rae thinking she is going crazy, to figuring out what is actually going on, with the help of a friend, and still not believing it right away.
There is also the mystery surrounding who is after Rae, and why someone would even want to hurt her. I have been trying to piece things together, but I have no idea if I am even remotely close to the answer.
We also get to see a little bits and pieces of what was going on with her mother in the past. Was she really mentally sick, or did she have the same thing that Rae has, but just didn't know what it was or how to handle it. And everyone walks on eggshells around Rae because they are afraid that she might have another mental breakdown. There are only three people, that we know of, who know that Rae did not have a breakdown. And what are the consequences of the "gift" that Rae possesses?
There is a lot that goes on in these first three books. When I came to the end, I just wanted to keep on reading. I can't wait for the next omnibus to come out (I have checked my local library for the rest of the series so I didn't have to stop reading, but unfortunately they don't have it).
There were a few places here and there, where I didn't understand why Rae and her friends didn't ask for help from the proper authorities. There were situations that they could have/should have gone to the police, that would not have given away Rae's ability. But I guess that they were all so used to having to deal with things themselves, that was the only way they thought to handle it.
I was still hooked enough to overlook it (for the most part) and for that reason, I am giving this book 4.5 stars.



How would you like to win a copy of Echoes for yourself? Melinda Metz was kind enough to give us a SIGNED copy to give away so here's how you can win: Fill out the form below. You must be a BCM follower to enter. You can earn extra points by following us on Facebook and Twitter (+1 each), tweeting or facebooking this giveaway (+1 each), blogging this giveaway (+3), and adding our button to your sidebar (+5). You must provide links below of any tweets, facebook and/or blog posts to get the points. Giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, September 30th. Winner will be announced Friday, October 1st. Good luck!

Monday, September 20, 2010

IMM - Take 9

All of us here at BCM are so excited to be a part of the awesome list of blogs who participate in the "In My Mailbox" meme. In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren so make sure you check out her book blog for a list of many of the blogs participating. She also has some helpful information on how to participate on your own blog. Click HERE to find out more. 

This is a weekly meme where we will post any books (and other things) that we have received in the mail, bought, loaned from the library, etc. It's not limited to just books. It can be anything we have just gotten and are excited about.

So this week we are excited about the following:

Julie received by mail:  

  • Out of the Transylvania Night by Aura Imbarus 
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

From the Library: 

  • The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller,  
  • The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan (including all 5 books in the series),
  • The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan, 
  • Glimmerglass by Jenna Black,  
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson,  
  • The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, 
  • Feudal Society and The Historians Craft by Marc Bloch,  
  • Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James,  
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, and
  • Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Nicole received from author(s):
  • Revolution (ARC) by Jennifer Donnelly
By purchase:
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
By mail:
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • Beautiful Darkness (ARC) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

I received from authors/publishers: 
  • Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupula
  • Crash Into Me by Albert Borris
By mail/book tours/purchase:
  • The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
  • Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
So tell us what you think of our IMM this week and let us know what you received. Happy Reading! 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Beautiful Malice by: Rebecca James

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

Release Date: July 13, 2010

Publisher: Bantam Dell

Genre: Older YA to Adult Suspense/Psychological Thriller

The Story: Katherine Patterson wishes she could disappear. Instead, she does the next best thing. After the death of her talented younger sister, Katherine leaves her grieving parents to the media's merciless scrutiny and moves to a new city and enrolls in a new school. Wary and alone, she seeks nothing more than anonymity. What she finds instead is the last thing she expected: a friend.

Alice Parrie is the most popular and magnetic girl in school. Extroverted, gorgeous, flirtatious, and unpredictable, she is everything that Katherine is not. Her enthusiasm is infectious, her candor sometimes unsettling, and she is impossible to resist. She takes it upon herself to involve Katherine in an entirely different life of parties and trips. She introduces Katherine to Robbie, her soulful on-again, off-again boyfriend. She becomes as close to Katherine as a sister can be, maybe even closer. But Alice has secrets darker than anyone can imagine, and Katherine will soon discover the darkest of them all.

For Katherine Patterson, there is no escaping her past - only a descent into a trap far more sinister...and infinitely more seductive.

My Review: I found this to be one of those books that I couldn't put down, though at at times I wanted to stop reading and go to sleep (I finished it at 2:30am). I wasn't particularly surprised how the story ended, in fact, I had pretty well figured out much of it long before it was revealed. The remarkable part is that this story is really well written. I was impressed by the readability of the book more than the suspense factor.

While the characters of the book put it in the young adult genre, readers considering this book should be aware of that this book contains epithets not generally found in YA literature. Language may not be an issue for some, but I prefer to warn rather than someone receive an unpleasant shock should they choose to read this book.

My Rating:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Release Date: October 18, 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult 

The Story: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. 

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My Review:  After hearing more than once that this was a good book I finally decided to check it out on audio from my library. I'm not one to read a book cover before reading the book as I tend to like the surprise and wow, this book was such a surprise for me. When the book first began I was intrigued by what had happened to Clay to have kept him up the whole night before. When the tapes from Hannah first began to play, I immediately felt frozen with fear at what she would say. I felt as if I were Clay and even though I didn't know if I wanted to hear what she had to say, I couldn't not listen.

This book brought up so many emotions for me as to what high school and really, life in general, are like. From the moment Hannah began telling her story I was so wrought with sadness and a desire to change the ending that I knew was coming that it hurt to listen. It hurt to know that there are so many others out there who are going through those same things or who have gone through them but had no one there to listen. So many teenagers (and adults for that matter) don't truly understand how their actions can impact someone's life. It's heartbreaking how something so simple and avoidable can spiral out of control, ending in the loss of an innocent life. 

After reading it, I was discussing it with a blogging friend and she was telling me how she worried that some depressed young adults may take this book as an example of how they can succeed in taking their own lives or it might be just the excuse they were looking for. I absolutely see that side of the argument and understand how that could upset some people but I see it more as there are people going through these things and almost no one realizes it. I felt that this book really gave a first person narrative into just how excruciatingly cruel young adults can be at times and I think that every young adult should read this. Especially those young adults who are not contemplating suicide. You need to see what your actions can do to someone who isn't in a good place in their life. You need to understand that there are consequences for your behaviors. You have no real way of knowing what someone's life is like just from what you see at school. You can't possibly imagine how hard it is for some people to even get up in the morning when all they face at school is ridicule or judgment from those surrounding them.

Now, I don't want to get on my soap box and tell you that I've never treated another person unjustly or never called someone a name without fully knowing the story behind the rumor. We've all done it and I'm sure most of us have regretted it or at least known better in the moment. I'm not perfect but I can tell you this: I promise you after reading this book, I will never again make that mistake. I will think about what I say and do and how my actions can affect those around me. 

This is an absolutely INCREDIBLE book and if you get the opportunity, I would definitely recommend listening to the audio version.

My Rating:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Review: Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Everlasting by Angie Frazier
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Fiction

The Story: Sailing aboard her father's ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a lady in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn't love in order to preseve her social standing. On her last voyage before the wedding, Camille learns the mother she has always believed dead is in fact alive and in Australia. When their Sydney-bound ship goes down in a gale, and her father dies, Camille sets out to find her mother and a map in her possession - a map believed to lead to a stone that once belonged to the legendary civilization of the immortals. The stone can do exactly what Camille wants most: bring someone back from the dead. Unfortunately, her father's adversary is also on the hunt for the stone, and she must race him to it. The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar - a handsome young sailor and her father's first mate - who is in love with Camille and whom she is inexplicably drawn to despite his low social standing and her pending wedding vows.

With an Australian card shark acting as their guide, Camille eludes murderous bushrangers, traverses dangerous highlands, evades a curse placed on the stone, and unravels the mystery behind her mother's disappearance sixteen years earlier. But when another death shakes her conviction to resurrect her father, Camille must choose what - and who - matters most.

My Review: Everlasting is a beautifully written and engaging tale of love, loss and adventure that will take you across the seas from California to Australia through the eyes of the admirable Camille. Like many seventeen year old girls in her time, Camille was engaged to be married and is given little choice in the matter. She believes her mother died giving birth and her father just wants her to be happy - or so it would seem. Once Camille is married she will not be allowed to sail with her father, making this last trip with him more important than she even knows.

I adored Camille's strength and perseverance. When their ship went down in the sea and took her father with it, Camille refuses to give up on him and is determined to get him back. Oscar, her father's first mate, and Camille's not-so-secret admirer goes along for the ride to try to protect Camille. On their long expedition, Camille learns just how strong she is and how far she's willing to go for love. Everlasting is an incredibly sweet yet incredibly action packed debut from Angie Frazier. The story pulled me in from the very first page and I enjoyed every bit of it. I found the storyline to be unique and intriguing and am excited to read more by this extremely talented new author.

My Rating:


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