Monday, March 29, 2010

Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace

Dear Santa,

I've been a good girl this year. (Well . . . pretty good.) I have a nice life and there's only one thing that I really want one thing that's missing. If you happen to have an extra one lying around your workshop, I would really like a husband. I promise to take good care of him.

Love, Abbie

With a successful bakery to run, super cute nieces and nephews to spoil, and plenty of good friends to keep her company, Abbie s not about to start crying over the fact that she s doesn't have a boyfriend to spend Christmas with. But when her sister convinces her to write a note to Santa, Abbie has no idea that a little Christmas magic is about to land her the man of her dreams. Or rather, that man is about to land smack dab on the floor in front of her Christmas tree with no memory of how he got there.

Now Abbie and Ben have to figure out where he came from, who he really is, and if he's actually available.

I know what you are all thinking... WHAT IN THE HECK IS SHE DOING READING A CHRISTMAS BOOK IN MARCH?!?!?! Well, let me tell you. I heard about this book late last year and have had it on hold at the library FOREVER! Seriously? I think when I put in on hold I was #184 in line. Ok, maybe not that high, but it was in the fifties at least. :) And you want to know what? I read it in about 2 hours. I think it was a little less than 200 pages. And I waited 4 months for it!!!

It was a little strange for me to read about a woman in her mid-thirties after reading SO MANY Young Adult novels. I'm used to reading about 16 year olds... But overall, I liked this book. There were things about it that I didn't love. However, I have to say that it was a good choice for a light read-- it made me smile (and made me want cupcakes), and I didn't have to really concentrate on it as I was reading. My mind could wander here and there and I didn't feel like I had to go back 3 chapters to figure out what I missed. It was slow at times (Is that possible in a 200 page book that only spans a week???) but like I said, it was just a fun, feel-good read. Fluff. I needed some fluff. It was a fun Christmas-time story, but also great to read any time of the year when you just "need a little Christmas, right this very minute." Word of advice though, if you put it on hold at the library now, you may be in luck and get it around Christmas. MAYBE. Good luck!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

That's right, folks!

I am offically one quarter of the way done with my 100 books in 2010 challenge. 25 books in about 2 1/2 months. W.O.W.

Things I've learned:
  • I am a sucker for bad boys.
  • Stong female characters are hard to come by.
  • I REALLY like fairies.
  • It IS possible to get burnt out!
  • I like YA Fiction a lot more than I ever liked Adult Fiction.
  • I hate reading books with sequels. Usually it's the WAITING for the sequels that is the problem. Usually...
  • I am a sucker for good guys.
  • I STILL hate The Great Gatsby. ;)
  • There are a multitude of fantastic books out there that I have yet to discover.
So, off I go to DISCOVER!
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Amazing Grace by Megan Shull

Gorgeous teen superstar Grace Kincaid has it all- an electric smile, million-dollar endorsement deals, and blond cover-girl looks. But what happens when America's "It" girl doesn't want "It" anymore? And right there, in her custom-made Nike warm-ups, tears streaming down her face, Grace says the three magic words. Three simple words-and her new life begins. For the hottest girl on the planet, life's about to change.

I have to say, I really liked this book. The chapters are short--some of them just a few sentences--and are separated by short, and sometimes silly headings, like "three zillion years later"...

The story was one many girls can relate to--not the whole "tennis star turned hideout extrordinaire" but being a teenager and realizing one day that you don't have a clue who you are or what you are doing, and the journey of finding yourelf. I thought it was well written- a quick read. Grace was the first female character in a book that I have liked in quite a while. She was...REAL. I feel like every time I've picked up a book lately, the male character has been so strong-- because he HAS to be drool-worthy, but in the process the females get, well, overlooked. I just genuinely liked this book. It wasn't a romance. It was just a book about a girl finding herself. Definitely read!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Library Madness!!

I went to the library today and found some books that sound AWESOME. Stay tuned...

Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred?

Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her.

But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who-before it's too late.
I have to say, I think the first book, Deadly Little Secret, was much better. This one was fairly predictable actually and that was disappointing. The only thing that really threw me for a loop was the identity of her new stalker. And even that, to me, was a bit far-fetched. In my opinion, the author should have just given the first one a happy ending and left it alone. It was still a really quick read, much like the first one, but who wants to read a mediocre book?? Even if it is quickly?
Better luck next time!!

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

High school sophomore Nora Grey, a dedicated student striving for a college scholarship, lives with her widowed mother in a country farmhouse outside Portland, ME. When Patch, her new biology partner, is suddenly thrust into her life, Nora is both attracted to his charm and put off by his inexplicable awareness of her thoughts. Eventually, she learns that he is a fallen angel who wants to become human. She is susceptible to his control, but other forces are at work as well, and Nora finds herself caught in the middle of dangerous situations and unexplainable events.

Hmmm... where do I begin?? I picked up this book one day, read the first few sentences, and didn't want to put it down. Nora? Not a huge fan. But Patch?? "Please sir, may I have another??" ;) I loved this character. The danger, the mystery, the nice butt... wait a minute... Anyway--he just OOZES sex appeal. What girl HASN'T fantasized about a bad boy? If you say you haven't, I'm calling your bluff. Patch is so many sexy literary characters rolled in to one. How convenient.

I desperately wanted to love this book! But...I really think it was Patch that got me through it-- after about two-thirds of the book, I was a bit confused about where it was going. And by the end, I was, well, scratching my head. To be honest, I was more than a little bit bummed. All of those things I loved... gone. :( If you have already picked this one up, then you maybe know what I mean. I don't know if I want to read the next one, Crescendo-- I just don't think it'd be the same. I guess I'll read reviews after it comes out and decide then. :(

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. Told from alternating points of view, the narrative takes a classic Romeo & Juliet plot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. Readers will easily identify with the strong, dynamic characters. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money.

I was drawn into this book immediately and couldn't put it down! What a beautifully moving story-- it is one of the most well-written books I have read in a long time. I loved Sam and Grace's stories. I loved reading how it went from their seemingly forever separate stories to suddenly becoming just one story-- theirs. Not "his" and "hers". I don't even know how to describe this book. There were times when my heart literally ACHED for Sam or Grace. I felt like I knew them and I felt helpless to make everything okay. I felt nervousness every time it would note a temperature drop and longing when they were apart and pain when things went so very wrong and loneliness when there just didn't seem to be a way and... love. Love when the book finally came to a heart-wrenching close. Love for Sam and Grace, love for the author for the emotional ending and love for the book in general. I would definitely recommend this. Now, what are you waiting for?? Go pick it up!!

I wanted to make a small note about the cover-- I have hated this cover since I started reading the book. It talks MULTIPLE times about a golden forest and it just made more sense to me that it should have been golden, like fall. But as I wrote this review and was pondering the book, I thought the cover just looked so...cold. Which is the whole point. Duh. Now I have to say that I like it much better. :)

Watch for the sequel, Linger, which comes out in July 2010!!

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

I read this book last summer for my book club, but I just got the sequel, Pretties, on Paperback Swap. So, I decided to re-read Uglies to refresh my memory. Now that I've read it again, I'm not really sure why I did. I remember liking it the first time, but thinking that it was SO SLOW. The second time around was worse. It was such a struggle for me to get through this book this time, and as much as I would like to make good use of the credit I used on the sequel, I just can't bring myself to pick it up. If I have to read the word "bubbly" ONE MORE TIME.... ;)
Okay, now maybe I am being a bit too hard. I do like the concept for the book. I like the quote on the front cover of the book-- "In a world of extreme beauty, everyone normal is Ugly." It sums up the thoughts of every "Pretty" in the book. Basically, if you haven't had "the operation" you may as well wear a bag on your head--it'd draw less attention than your face.  I loved the Smoke, and I loved David, but I wish they had MORE of David and the Smoke. Maybe that's the problem-- Tally spends the first half of the book getting to the Smoke and then she's back in Uglyville/Pretty Town. :( Maybe I should read the next one...someday.