Monday, March 31, 2014

Alienated by Melissa Landers

Alienated
By: Melissa Landers
Released: February 4, 2014
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.  Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet" (Summary from goodreads.com)


I liked Alienated, but didn't fall in love with this story like I was hoping to. I started this book with some high expectations. 


Alienated is the story of Cara who is picked to host one of the first L'eihr exchange students, Aelyx.  Cara is a perfectionist when it comes to school and this opportunity will give her a scholarship to any college she wants. It's also a perfect way to get her journalism career started because she will have the inside information on the L'eihrs. As Cara gets to know Aelyx better though, she begins to fall for him. However, the anti-L'eihr group continues to grow and it's becoming more dangerous for Aelyx and now Cara as well. 

Cara was an interesting protagonist. I liked how determined she was, but she could also be really frustrating at times. Then there is Aelyx who was an interesting character and  I think that he was developed well. I loved learning all about the L'eihrs. I thought that the relationship between Cara and Aelyx was developed fairly well. I also really enjoyed how the chapters alternated between Cara and Aelyx. It was just interesting to read both of their perspectives on what was happening.

Alienated started off really good. I really enjoyed the beginning, but then after that it just started to lose my interest. The concept itself was great and I really thought that the world that Landers created was fascinating. I enjoyed reading all of the science about the L'eihrs. However, around the middle of the book I found myself getting bored. The middle started to get really repetitive and then all of sudden so much happened all at once in the last few chapters. So I felt like the ending was really rushed.

Overall, I did like Alienated. It was a really interesting world to jump into. I would definitely still read the sequel because I am interested enough in reading what will happen next for these characters.   


My Rating:
 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #146: The Museum of Intangible Things


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

The Museum of Intangible Things 
By: Wendy Wunder
Release Date: April 10, 2014

"Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after). Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them. As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #145: Since You've Been Gone


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Since You've Been Gone
By: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 6, 2014

"The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what? Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find? Go Skinny Dipping? Um..." (Summary from goodreads.com)

 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Maze Runner Movie Trailer



The Maze Runner
By: James Dashner
Movie Release Date: September 2014
Purchase the Book: Amazon

 The Maze Runner movie looks amazing! I love this book and I always thought that it would make a really great movie.   

What do you think? 

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us
By: Kasie West
Released: July 2, 2013
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop. So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company. She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about." (Summary from goodreads.com)


I loved The Distance Between Us! This is definitely on my list now as one of my favorite contemporary books ever. 

The Distance Between Us is the story of Caymen who works in her mom's doll shop. She has learned from her mother's experiences that the rich don't stick around. Then one day Xander Spence comes into the shop to pick up a doll for his grandmother. Xander's family owns a chain of hotels and is everything that Caymen's mom would hate. 

Caymen was a strongly developed and realistic character. I loved her dry sarcasm, it was hilarious! She was just all around a really fantastic protagonist who grows through the course of the book. She feels a sense of obligation and guilt when it comes to helping out at her mom's store. I understood why she was conflicted about choosing her own future or staying to help her mom. Then there is Xander and I loved getting to know him too. I definitely shared Caymen's first impression of him, but enjoyed learning that there was more to him than expected. I love the relationship that developed between Caymen and Xander. It felt real. There were also some really great side characters like Skye and Henry.

I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put this book down for long once I started reading. It was a great balance of drama, romance, and humor. This book made me laugh out loud quite a few times. It also had moments that just poked at my heart too. West's writing is wonderful and she brings such life to these characters. I'm definitely a fan now!      

I truly loved everything about The Distance Between Us! I can reread this book over and over again without ever getting sick of it. I strongly recommend picking up this book! It's a cute story with amazing characters!


My Rating:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Side Effects May Vary Launch

Side Effects May Vary 
By: Julie Murphy
Purchase:
IndieBound - B&N - Amazon
 


"What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I loved Side Effects May Vary and it is now on my list of favorite contemporary books! (You can read my review here)


To celebrate the release of Side Effects May Vary this week, Julie Murphy is asking for bloggers to share their own bucket lists. So here's mine:

First time I went in the Pacific Ocean
1. Put my feet in the Pacific Ocean (It was always my number one dream as a little kid growing up on the East Coast to visit California one day and go in the Pacific Ocean.)

 2. Swim with sharks (Sharks are my favorite animals and I would love to see a great white shark up close, but in the safety of a cage of course.)

 3. Visit 221B Baker Street in London (Since I was a teenager I've been a bit obsessed with all things Sherlock Holmes.)

4. Visit Shakespeare and Company in Paris (I make it a point to visit historical bookstores when I travel and this is at the very top of my list.)

5. Watch a play in the Globe theater in London (I've spent the past few years studying Shakespeare and reading all about the history of the Globe theater, so I would love to see it for myself one day)

 6. Attend San Diego Comic Con (I've gone to New York Comic Con for the past four years and I really want to make it to SDCC at least once.)

On the Golden Gate Bridge
7. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (Another part of my childhood dream to visit California one day.)

 8. Visit the towns in Italy where my grandparents grew up (I've heard so many stories that I want to see all of the places for myself.)

9. Visit Stonehenge (Stonehenge was one of the topics that completely fascinated me while studying European history.)

10. Road trip across the US (My parents used to take me on road trips down South when I was little and they are some of my favorite childhood memories, so I would love to do one again but make it a much bigger trip.)

11. Get a tattoo (Just always been fascinated by tattoos.)

12. Learn another language (I'm about halfway there on this one. I know a good amount of Italian and Latin, but I really want to become fluent in Italian. It would make understanding my family a whole lot easier.)  

13. Learn to snowboard (I hate the snow but always wanted to learn.) 
 


About Julie Murphy:

Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie's debut novel. Julie can best be found on her website (www.juliemurphywrites.com), tumblr (www.andimjulie.tumblr.com), or twitter (www.twitter.com/andimjulie).

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary
By: Julie Murphy
Released: March 18, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?  When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I've been hearing so much about Side Effects May Vary for months so I was really looking forward to starting this one. After finishing it, I can definitely say that to me it lived up to all of the hype.

Alice was diagnosed with leukemia and accepted that she didn't have much time left. So she decides to make a bucket list and enlists her friend Harvey to help her. However after she finishes her list, she goes into remission and now has to face the consequences of what she has done. Alice and Harvey were both well developed and complex characters. 

I have to say Alice isn't a very likable character. She can be mean and manipulative. She has her good qualities, but she also has these bad qualities too. The same goes to Harvey, although he is more likable than Alice. The relationship between Harvey and Alice was complicated as well, but still believable.

From the first page this story hooked me in. The plot was developed very well and the writing was just beautiful. This book made me laugh and brought me to tears. Murphy handled the topic of cancer well. I loved how the story alternated between the Then and Now. It worked so well for this story and really helped develop the characters. 

Overall I loved Side Effects May Vary. It was an honest and beautifully written story.
  
My Rating:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #144: Dangerous Creatures


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Dangerous Creatures
By: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Release Date: May 20, 2014

"Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay." (Summary from goodreads.com)

 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends
By: Elizabeth Eulberg
Released: February 25, 2014
Source: Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way. Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?" (Summary from goodreads.com) 

I really enjoyed Better Off Friends! It was a cute story!

Better Off Friends is the story of best friends Macallan and Levi. I loved both Macallan and Levi. They are complex characters who are both developed very well. They could be so frustrating some times, but I understood why they made the decisions that they did. I also loved the friendship that they shared and how it developed. It was realistic and reminded me of the relationships I share with my own friends. These two are so close and have all these inside jokes. I even felt like I was invading on their friendship at times while reading.

I loved Eulberg's writing style and really enjoyed how the chapters alternated between Macallan and Levi's point of views. Eulberg gave both of these characters really distinctive voices and I loved getting the chance to read both of their sides to the story. The plot was captivating and I read this book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down until I found out what happened between these two. I also loved that this story took place over the course of a few years. The pacing was just right and never felt like it dragged or was rushing through important moments. It was just really great to read the whole history of their friendship and to see how it grew. 

Overall I really enjoyed Better Off Friends. It was a really cute and realistic contemporary story about friendship and family. I definitely recommend this to fans of contemporary books!

  My Rating:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #143: Trust Me, I'm Lying


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Trust Me, I'm Lying
By: Mary Elizabeth Summer
Release Date: October 14, 2014

"Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average. But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal" (Summary from goodreads.com)