Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gayle Forman's If I Stay Giveaway


"In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands." (Summary from ifistay.com)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went
By: Gayle Forman
Source: Purchased E-book
Published: April 5, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"It's been three years since the devastating accident... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other. Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance." (Summary from ifistay.com)

Gayle Forman's Where She Went picks up three years after If I Stay and is told from Adam's point of view. Adam is living the life of a famous rock star and Mia, who left Adam three years ago, is becoming a star in the classical music genre. However, one fateful night reunites Adam and Mia and they not only look back on their past but also their future. 

Where She Went is an addicting story of pain and hope. Once again Forman's writing is beautiful and flows perfectly between the present and past memories. One of my favorite aspects of the book was that each chapter began with the heartbreaking and honest lyrics that Adam wrote. I enjoyed reading in Adam's perspective because it gave a deeper understanding into the choices he makes and the struggles he faces daily. Adam's past memories illustrate the effects that Mia and her family had upon him. It was also interesting to see how Mia is surviving and living her life after the accident. I strongly recommend Where She Went because it will not disappoint and once you start you will find it nearly impossible to put down.

My Rating:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
By: Gayle Forman
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: April 9, 2009
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands." (Summary from ifistay.com)

Gayle Forman's If I Stay is the powerful story of Mia whose whole life changes in an instant when the car she is in with her parents and little brother gets into an accident. Mia is watching over her own body as she is taken to the hospital and the rest of her family and friends wait to hear if she will survive. Mia is faced with a difficult decision does she stay to live her life or should she leave to join her parents and brother.

If I Stay is a heartbreaking and captivating story of survival and love. Forman's writing is beautiful and the plot flows effortlessly between Mia's past memories and the present. Mia's past memories provide a deeper insight into her life with her family, friends, and boyfriend. Mia holds onto her memories as she struggles to make her decision on whether or not she will live or die. She also watches as her grandparents, best friend, and boyfriend sit at her hospital bedside and talk to her. Mia is a strong and loving character and her story will stay with you even after you finish reading it. I am already looking forward to beginning the sequel, Where She Went.

My Rating:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering
By: Kelley Armstrong
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: April 12, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students–for every grade from kindergarten to twelve. Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya’s determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya’s home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts experiencing “bad vibes” about certain people and things. It does’t help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret…and he’s interested in one special part of Maya’s anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark."(Summary from kelleyarmstrong.com)

Kelley Armstrong's The Gathering is the story of Maya who lives in a small medical-research town. Maya's home is located in the park that her father works in and she helps out with the injured animals. Mysteriously cougars keep appearing around her home but, that is not the only strange occurrence in Maya's small town. Her best friend Serena, who was captain of the swim team, drowned in the middle of a lake. Also there is the new boy Rafe who is interested in learning more about Maya.


The Gathering is a suspenseful mystery in which Armstrong captures the reader's attention immediately from the first page. I love that it ties into The Darkest Powers series but, you won't be confused if you have not read the series. Maya is a tough, daring, and sarcastic protagonist who brings much comic relief to the plot and can also take care of herself. Maya has a few flaws and in the end she begins to realize them. Daniel and Rafe were interesting characters and I am excited to learn more about them. I enjoyed The Gathering but, the plot leaves many questions unanswered and the ending leaves on a cliffhanger. I will, however, be looking forward to the next book in this series and recommend The Gathering as well as The Darkest Powers series.  


My Rating: 

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy

The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy
By: Leah Wilson, Carrie Ryan, Ned Vizzini, Lili Wilkinson, Blythe Woolston, Sara Darer Littman, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellin, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terri Clark, Bree Despain, Adrienne Kress, Cara Lockwood, Elizabeth M. Rees
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: April 5, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon




"The Girl Who Was On Fire offers even more to think about for teen readers already engrossed by the Hunger Games. From the trilogy's darker themes of violence and social control to reality television, fashion, and weaponry, the collection's exploration of the Hunger Games by other YA writers reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss’ world really is."(Summary from goodreads.com)

The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy is filled with essays from a variety of young adult authors that provide readers with even more insight into The Hunger Games trilogy. The essays address some of the darker themes such as the violence of the games, as well as lighter themes such as fashion. The essays give the reader new ways to think about certain scenes or characters from the series. It also connects the story to other books, which helps explain where Suzanne Collins found her inspiration.

I found each essay to be highly interesting and I found it difficult to choose a favorite because each one gave me a new way to think about a certain aspect of the book. The essays not only discussed the symbols and themes that were easy to find but, it also discusses the subtle moments and the hidden meanings. I have reread The Hunger Games trilogy a few times already but, there is so much that happens in these books that each time I reread them, I find something new that I had overlooked before. The Girl Who Was on Fire provided me with a completely new perspective on certain moments and even characters in the series that I had previously missed. I recommend The Girl Who Was on Fire to any Hunger Games fan because you are guaranteed to learn something new about an extraordinary series that you already love.


My Rating:

Friday, April 8, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels
By: Cassandra Clare
Source: Purchased
Released: April 5, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon


"Who will fall in love, and who will find their relationship torn apart?Who will betray everything they ever believed in? Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. In the heart-pounding fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series, the stakes are higher than ever." (summary from mortalinstruments.com)

Cassandra Clare's City of Fallen Angels picks up a couple of months after the previous book in The Mortal Instruments Series, City of Glass. A mysterious person is killing the shadowhunters who used to belong in Valentine's circle. Clary is beginning her training to become a shadowhunter but, is finding herself distracted as Jace begins to pull away from her. Simon is not only still adjusting to his life as a daylighter but, he is balancing two girlfriends, Isabelle and Maia.

City of Fallen Angels is a dark and captivating follow up to City of Glass. The plot flows with each switch in character narration and I did not want to put the book down. I enjoy the different character point of views because it provides me with a deeper understanding of each character. Reading more from Simon's perspective has made me love him even more. The friendship between Simon and Clary is unique because, after everything they have been through and all of the changes that have taken place, their friendship has remained the same. 

Clary is a fearless heroine that is becoming even stronger as she begins her training. She has greatly matured since City of Bones and is learning to not rush into a situation without thinking. Jace is still trying to come with terms about Valentine and his biological father. Clary and Jace bring out the best in one another and their relationship has already survived so much but, they still have more trouble ahead of them to face. Jace is pulling away from Clary and as a result develops a unique friendship with Simon.

The new characters, Maureen and Kyle, are charming additions, and play important roles as the story progresses. It is interesting how the prequel, Clockwork Angel, ties into the plot of City of Fallen Angels. Clare once again creates a thrilling world to escape into with exciting characters and an ending that leaves you desperate for more. I can't recommend The Mortal Instruments series enough and City of Fallen Angels does not disappoint. I also suggest picking up the Barnes and Noble edition, which includes Jace's full letter to Clary from City of Glass.

My Rating:

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum

The Golden Spiral
By: Lisa Mangum
Source: Received from publisher
Released: May 10, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Abby knows that Dante, as a Master of Time, is the only one who can stop them from destroying time itself. She also knows that he will need her help. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby’s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically. As Abby’s world fractures around her, she must face a terrible truth: either Dante didn’t make it through the door, or he is lost forever. So with Dante’s blueprints in hand, she begins construction on a new door, a new time machine that will either save Dante—or doom him. With each new change that ripples into her present, Abby’s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point—and beyond. Zo’s power is greater than Abby ever imagined, but as she struggles to free Dante, she receives help from an unexpected—and unlikely—ally. The bank is eroding. The barriers are thinning. And time is running out." (Summary from lisamangum.com)
Lisa Mangum's The Golden Spiral picks up where The Hourglass Door left off and Dante has gone through the time machine door to become the Master of Time in order to stop Zo. Abby has still not seen any sign of Dante and she fears that he may not have made it through the door. Her life is also coming apart as Zo begins to change moments in her past which is having serious effects on her present life. Abby needs to find a way to stop Zo from changing anymore of her past and find a way to save Dante. 


Abby becomes a braver heroine who is determined and selfless in The Golden Spiral. She makes the best decisions she can in an effort to help the people she cares about. I enjoyed learning a bit more about Dante's past and how he got involved in building the door in the first place. The relationship between Abby and Dante grows stronger and it is clear that both bring out the best in one another. 


I enjoyed The Golden Spiral even more than The Hourglass Door, and found it almost impossible to put down once I started. The plot is filled with twists and I love that it keeps me guessing until the last page. It was interesting to read the beginning in Zo's point of view because it gave me a deeper perspective into his choices and how he feels about Abby. Mangum ties the plot all together in the last few chapters, including the questions I was left with from The Hourglass Door. I am anxiously awaiting to find out what happens next in The Forgotten Locket, which is coming out in June 2011. I highly recommend The Hourglass Door series, you do not want to miss out on Abby and Dante's story.


My Rating:

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum

The Hourglass Door
By: Lisa Mangum
Source: Received from publisher
Released: May 13, 2009
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"Abby Edmunds’s senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, arrives, he turns her life upside down and Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future, but the future of those she loves." (Summary from lisamangum.com)

Lisa Mangum's The Hourglass Door is the story of Abby, who is living a seemingly perfect life. She has her best friend and her longtime boyfriend but, Abby is secretly getting tired of the life that her family and friends have planned out for her. Her life is completely changed the moment she meets new foreign-exchange student, Dante. Abby can't deny the attraction she feels towards Dante, and the more time she spends with him, the more unusual things occur. Abby soon finds herself in the middle of a century old mystery and it may change not only her future but also her past.

The Hourglass Door is a great and unpredictable story with an interesting and different premise. The plot is organized and flows at a steady pace until the end and just when you think you have figured out what will happen next, a new twist appears. Abby begins to change as the story progresses and you see her moving away from her comfort zone and doing something unpredictable for a change and I was able to connect with her instantly. The relationship grows slowly between Abby and Dante as she tries to uncover his secret but, the chemistry is undeniably there from the first time they see one another. The last several chapters are suspenseful and makes it nearly impossible to put the book down. Overall I enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it.

My Rating: