Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Huge contest from Bree Despain

Bree, the author of The Dark Divine is having a pretty great contest. She's giving away a bag of books! To enter you just have to link to her video of the teaser trailer to The Dark Divine or post the video itself. So of course, I'm doing just that.

Go check out the contest for yourself here. It's pretty awesome. :)

Pretty Monsters

Review of: Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
Release date: October 23, 2008
Pages: 389
Publisher: Penguin Group, USA
Grade: B

Pretty Monsters is a collection of 9 short stories; all of which were quite interesting. Here is a sentence or 2 about each story...

1. The Wrong Grave - Miles Sperry decides to dig up his dead girlfriend, Bethany Baldwin, to get back some poetry that he wrote for her after she died and wasn't smart enough to make copies of. When he opens the grave he has discovered that it is the wrong one. Now he's got some strange dead girl following him around all night.

2. The Wizards of Perfil - This is about a boy named Onion and a girl named Halsa. Onion's parents have died and Halsa's mother is watching after him and the other children. While in the market of Perfil she sells Onion to someone who says they will take him to the Wizards of Perfil. For some reason they bring Onion right back and take Halsa instead. Once Halsa is there she discovers that the Wizards are incredibly vain and super lazy. But there is something that neither Onion or Halsa knows about the wizards.

3. Magic for Beginners - A boy named Jeremy Mars and a few of his friends are obsessed with a show called The Library. Jeremy's mother and father of some problems getting along because Jeremy's father is a writer. When his father puts Jeremy in one of his books and then kills him off his mother insists that she and Jeremy go to Las Vegas to see the wedding chapel she has inherited from her late sister. But Jeremy is afraid that he'll miss the next spontaneous episode of The Library!

4. The Faery Handbag - Genevieve's grandmother Zofia has a mysterious handbag that is apparently a family heirloom and over 200 years old. She never lets the bag out of her sight. Zofia tells Genevieve crazy stories about how a whole little village lives in that bag, and a nasty dog too. If you open it up and aren't careful you could get sucked into the handbag and not come out for years even if you are only in the bag for one day. When Zofia dies Genevieve is to be the keeper of the bag but once Zofia is gone Genevieve can't find the handbag anywhere.

5. The Specialist's Hat - Samantha and Claire are identical twins who live with their father on the second story of a huge house. Their father is writing the history of the Eight Chimneys where they are currently living. Samantha and Claire have a babysitter who tells them about The Specialist who apparently goes around the house killing people and that she herself used to live there and has seen The Specialist when she was younger. Things get a little creepy when The Specialist himself shows up that night.

6. Monster - Bungalow 6 has to go on their camp out before camp ends for the Summer. It's pouring out but they still want to go. The boys from Bungalow 4 say they saw a monster and they are determined to see it. James Lorbick is kind of the loser of the cabin and Bryan Jones dares him to put on a dress once they've set up camp. He puts it on and ends up wearing it most of the night. When their counselor, Terence, goes down the hill to help out a female camper out of nowhere the monster shows up...

7. The Surfer - Dorn is kidnapped by his father and taken to Costa Rica to see the elusive Hans Bliss who was picked up by aliens years before and was told that they would come back to Earth someday. After landing in Costa Rica they are quarantined because of the flu pandemic that has been killing for quite some time now.

8. The Constable of Abal - After Ozma's mother, Zilla, has killed the constable of Abal they flee to a place called Brid that Ozma hates. Back in Abal ghosts were quite the fashion. Zilla made them that way but in Brid Ozma's mother acts like she despises ghosts and makes Ozma dress as a boy.

9. Pretty Monsters - Lee and her friends Nikki, Maureen, and Bad capture Czigany and (not on purpose) her sister, Parci for Czigany's "ordeal" which is a ritual in their all girls school. While on Lee's aunt's farm Lee keeps pulling out her current book about a girl named Clementine and a boy named Cabell.

I enjoyed basically each of these stories. A few of them were so far fetched. You can definitely tell that Kelly has a crazy imagination which is incredibly awesome. I think my favorite story of the bunch was Monster. The ending of that one was just so strange to me. If you're in the mood for some crazy out of this world stories then this book is definitely for you. This would be a great book to read during the Halloween season.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Debbie Harry Sings in French

Review of: Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers
Release date: May 27th 2008
Pages: 234
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Grade: A

Johnny has had a bit of a tough life so far and he has always been somewhat of a freak. When he was younger his father died and his mother completely fell apart. Johnny had to learn how to pay the bills and practically take care of the both of them. When Johnny ended up falling in to the Goth scene his mother somehow came out of her funk and became all concerned for Johnny. All Johnny wants to do is party with his friends and drink. But one night at a club this girl gives him some sort of drug when all he wanted was an aspirin and he heads up in the hospital from a drug overdose.

Of course after the overdose his mother sends him to rehab and while there Johnny discovers Debbie Harry of Blondie singing in French. He is immediately taken aback. Debbie's voice blows him away and of course she's a complete bombshell.

After Johnny gets back from rehab things are a bit weird between him and his mother and his mother can't really handle it so she sends him away to live with his Uncle Sam and his daughter Bug in South Carolina. Johnny is flaming angry at first but once there realizes that his Uncle is pretty great and Bug is an awesome little kid. And of course, there's Maria Costello (as in Elvis). She's an interesting girl who Johnny takes a liking to pretty quickly. When Maria discovers Johnny's love of Debbie, and that secretly Johnny wants to be like her, she buys this dress that looks like one of Debbie's and tells Johnny about a drag contest in New York. At first Johnny doesn't know whether she's serious or if she's making fun of him.

With trying to practice for the contest, helping Bug with projects for school, getting bullied around nonstop by some guys who used to be Maria's friends, and dealing with the fact that his mother can't handle him Johnny has a lot on his plate.

This was a great debut novel by Meagan Brothers. It puts you inside the head of a pretty confused young man. Things are tough enough for teenagers in the first place but when you throw in the loss of a parent things can be even more tough. The title had me intrigued when I first picked up this book and it didn't let me down. Johnny was a really great in depth character and so was Maria. If you're in the mood for reading about a slightly troubled boy who turns to Debbie Harry, and of course his girlfriend Maria, to stop him from starting to drink again then this is a great book for you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Very LeFreak

Review of: Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
Release date: January 12th, 2010
Pages: 303
Publisher: Knopf Books (division of Random House)
Grade: B

Very LeFreak (real name: Veronica) is a freshman on scholarship at Columbia University who is practically addicted to technology. She's constantly on her laptop doing anything and everything she can think of. She's addicted to every single type of music that she seems to have on her ipod and she's practically attached to her iphone. She's always sending out meme's during class or making random playlists, and of course talking to her online crush, El Virus. They've been talking for quite a while and love to play out crazy fantasies with each other but they have never seen each others faces. Very also cannot seem to stop moving. She's constantly throwing parties and getting completely trashed. She doesn't seem to have an off button.

Eventually her roommate Jennifer (to Very its Lavinia), her friend (who used to want to be more than a friend before a specific incident) Bryan, her RA Debbie, and the Dean stage a sort of intervention letting Very know that all of her technology usage is getting way out of hand, aka she's addicted. Bryan has confiscated her laptop and her ipod and iphone are in the hands of Lavinia and Debbie. Very thinks this is ludicrous, how the heck can she live without her technology?

She gets over the whole "being told you're an addict to technology" thing pretty quickly actually. But when one of her friends who wasn't really big on the intervention in the first place gets her use of a laptop some information gets out to her which leads to Very practically killing Bryan..

She wakes up in the psych ward with Lavinia and her Aunt Esther over her. She is told that she will be going to a sort of rehab place called ESCAPE which stands for Emergency Services for Computer-Addicted Persons Everywhere in Vermont. Very is livid at first but once there for a week she actually starts to open up to her therapist there and all of her emotions start coming out. But then a sort of weird twist of fate occurs and her progress could start spiraling downwards.

First off there was a lot of very mature material in this book so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under age 16. Some of what went on I thought was a little unnecessary to be putting in a book for Teens but I suppose some people like that. It's the only reason I gave it a B though. It was a really great book. I've never thought that someone could get that out of control with technology. But once Very starts pouring out everything that has happened to her throughout her life it makes sense why she'd want to escape into the virtual world. The girl had definitely had a tough life. But of course getting way too involved with her technology ended up making her life all the more difficult. This was overall a great book. The element of surprise plays a fairly big part. May parts I never saw coming which made the book really great, and the ending wasn't really lackluster either. If you've read Rachel Cohn in the past you'll be sure to like this book, and even if you haven't it'll be enjoyable :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Good the Fab and the Ugly

Review of: POSEUR - The Good the Fab and the Ugly
Release date: October 1st, 2008
Pages: 266
Publisher: Little Brown, Poppy
Grade: A

Halloween is nearing at Winston Prep and the four girls of POSEUR decide its time to to introduce their very first accessory. After some debate they decide on a handbag that they will call the "Trick-or-Treater". Now all that is left to do is to actually design and make the perfect bag before Halloween. Which doesn't give them a lot of time. And of course with Janie, Petra, Melissa, and Charlotte nothing is ever simple. Each girl has ideas for her own handbag and when it comes to picking out the right one they all insist..."Mine is the best!". What are the girls to do?

Of course there is also the drama of trying to figure out who sabotaged their drawing for picking the name of their group at their release party. If they could just find one of those many tags that has POSEUR written across it they may be able to find out who the culprit is.

There is also plenty of drama involving the guys of Winston Prep and one guy who doesn't go to Winston Prep but will soon be connected in some way. And also just the regular drama!

This was a great second book in the POSEUR series. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love each of the four girls and it's fun trying to picture what they're wearing. All of the drama makes you not want to put the book down, and of course the cute guys help as well. The ending left off at a very good spot for the next book to come in at. Therefore, I can't wait to get my hands on book 3, Petty in Pink!

Oh and also I think that POSEUR is a great series to read during the Summer. It's one of those kick-back-and-relax-in-the-sun type of series.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Review of: POSEUR by Rachel Maude
Release date: January 1st, 2008
Pages: 290
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Grade: B

Janie, Petra, Melissa, and Charlotte are all as different as can be.

Janie is a girl on scholarship at Winston Prep and never fit in the 9th grade. But now with her acne cleared up she feels as if she can be a different person, at least that is until she actually gets to school on the first day of 10th grade. She discovers that her twin, Jake has become one of the popular boys after hanging out with Charlotte all Summer long. Janie is also a fantastic drawer and would love to be able to make her own clothes.

Petra is the daughter of a very famous plastic surgeon. She is drop dead gorgeous no matter what she wears and everyone believes that her father has done work on her to make her flawless because, well, he's told people that. Because of Petra's parents constant fighting and the fact that everyone thinks she's little miss plastic rich girl she tries the best that she can to be the total opposite. She never brushes her long blonde hair, wears hideous clothing, and also smokes weed. She hates being a rich girl. Petra is obsessed about the earth and hates that everyone at Winston Prep is so material.

Melissa is the daughter of the rap king as people like to call him so she is mighty rich as well. She likes to go around dressing like a thug even though she is definitely far from it. Her mother has been in rehab since Melissa was little and her father is now marrying a girl that is significantly younger than him and that Melissa HATES with a passion. She wants to be a famous fashion designer when she's older. She is determined that it will happen.

Charlotte is little miss popular. Her parents is house is huge and of course they are very rich. She has guys drooling all over her but when she discovered that Jake (Janie's twin brother) has turned into a little hottie over the Summer she spends every moment she can with him on her father's movie set. She is determined to have Jake as her boyfriend but that would mean being nice to Janie and Charlotte isn't too excited about the thought of that. Charlotte is all about the boys but she also loves to sew.

Each of the girls proposes a class for their Special Studies having to do with what each of them is interested in. The teacher in charge of Special Studies sees the four different applications and ends up putting them together to form one Special Studies class. Each of the girls are extremely frustrated. How can they be seen together? But since they're stuck in this 10 week class they decide to make a fashion line. Ladies and gentleman...let the sparks fly.

I wasn't quite sure what to think when I first picked up this book. The cover made me think it wasn't something I'd really like to read. But Rachel is so good with drama that I got sucked into it. At the beginning parts were a bit confusing with getting to know each of the four girls, and throughout the book additional characters were thrown in. But all in all it was a pretty great read. If you like fashion, guys, and cat fights you are in for a real treat. I'm diving in to the second book in the series next: POSEUR - The Good, the Fab, and the Ugly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Review of: Positively by Courtney Sheinmel
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Pages: 216
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Grade: A

Emerson Price has had a tough life so far. When she was young her mother got sick from HIV which eventually progressed into AIDS. Then not long after that Emmy's parents discovered that Emmy has HIV too. She got it while her mother was pregnant with her.

Emerson is 13 and her mother has just died from AIDS. She was always okay with having HIV when her mother was alive because her mom knew what it was like. Her father never understood and divorced Emmy's mom because of it when Emmy was a little girl. Now her father is remarried to a woman named Meg who is now pregnant. Emerson has never liked Meg and now since her mother is gone she has to go live with her father and Meg. She vows to herself never to let Meg into her life because she feels like it would be betraying her own mother.

Now that Emmy's mother is gone Emmy feels so out of place. She feels like everyone is just feeling sorry for the "sick" girl. She even believes that her best friend is only being nice to her out of pity which is not true at all considering that they have been best friends for years. She pushes everyone away and at one point tries to skip taking her very important medication. Her father and Meg are scared at what will happen. So when things take a turn for the worse at the house Meg mentions a camp that she has heard of called Camp Positive. It is a camp for girls that are HIV positive. Emmy's father tells her that she is going no matter what. Emmy refuses to be happy about the decision.

But when Emmy gets to camp she meets a girl there named Whitney who starts to change Emmy's outlook on things. She still isn't crazy about being at a camp for kids that are HIV positive but being around Whitney makes it better for her. Then one day Whitney gets pretty sick and she has to leave to go to the hospital which sends Emmy off the deep end. But in the end this camp might have been the best thing that Emmy has experienced.

This was such a heart wrenching story. The whole time I couldn't help but feel bad for Emerson. I couldn't even begin to imagine what living with HIV would be like; especially when you're that young and have just lost your mother. I didn't think she'd ever give Camp Positive a chance but was glad to discover later on that it was changing her attitude towards life a little bit. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes heart wrenching but at the same time uplifiting books. This book was really great and I actually read it in one day so I can definitely say it is a page turner. And I found it interesting that it was based off of the author's experience with the Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Foundation. That fact made this book even more real to me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kisses and Lies

Review of: Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
Release Date: January 13th, 2009.
Pages: 309
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Grade: A

After discovering that someone had put Dan McAndrew's Epipen in their purse at the party that Scarlett had kissed and accidentily killed Dan at she starts an investigation of Dan's murder. With the help of her new friend Taylor at Wakefield Hall they start looking at who was at the party that night and who had the purse that Dan's Epipen was in. When Taylor is on a mission she notices that there is more than one of the same purse that Dan's Epipen was in. At this point Scarlett is stuck. So as a last resort she writes a letter to Dan's mother saying how sorry she is about Dan and that she would like to come up there to talk about what happened with the family.

While all of Scarlett's investigating is going on her crush on Jase (the son of the head grounds keeper at Wakefield Hall) is developing. Jase even asks her out on a date which gives Scarlett mixed feelings and all but she isn't about to pass up the opportunity to go on a date with Jase!

While Scarlett is still reeling from her date her cell rings. She immediately picks it up and discovers that it's Dan's mother. She tells Scarlett that she would like it if Scarlett comes up during the Holiday that is nearing. So Scarlett does just that. But once there she is hit with some nasty surprises. Is Dan's killer living at Castle Airlie (the castle that has been in the McAndrew family for centuries), and is Scarlett in immediate danger?

I have got to say that Kisses and Lies was even better than Kiss Me, Kill Me. I am loving the Scarlett Wakefield Series. Lauren Henderson is so good with suspense. I didn't ever want to put this book down. It really seemed like there was a different surprise/shocker on every page. I loved that. And the ending was a big shocker to me. I didn't see it coming at all. I'd highly recommend reading this book, but only after you've read the first one in the series, Kiss Me, Kill me. It will make a lot more sense that way. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the third book!

Check out my review for Kiss Me Kill Me :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why look, its Breanna!

Okay everyone so I know I'm a complete loser and just dropped off the face of the book reviewing world but I'm working on coming back to it. I've been busy with life and it's driving me crazy! Taking care of 2 three-year-olds is a pain and it has cut into my reading time. So has looking for a job but I think that problem is close to finally solved. So starting very soon I will hopefully start reviewing again. I know I've lost some of my followers but I hope to maybe get some new followers! I wonder if I can even remember how to review anymore, haha.

So ladies and gentleman hopefully I'm back!