Saturday, March 30, 2013

Review: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Title: Love and Other Perishable Items
Author: Laura Buzo
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: December 11th 2012
Pages: 256
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: Bought
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
Love is awkward, Amelia should know. From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, 15, is 15.
Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?
Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I love Australian books. I honestly can't think of a single book by an Australian author that I haven't liked. There's just something special about them. And that's how it was with Love and Other Perishable Items, too - there's no one great thing about it, but it's just such a cute, refreshing, fun read, and I loved it.

What I loved most about Love and Other Perishable Items is how well it conveys that feeling of having a crush. Amelia's crush on Chris is sweet and innocent - yes, it's naive, immature, and slightly stupid, but I thought her innocent way of looking at it was refreshing and just adorable. I think we can all remember feeling like Amelia at one point in our lives, and I love how Love and Other Perishable Items took me back to that.

Amelia is a great character. She's feisty, opinionated, awkward, and awesome. There's just this energy about her that I couldn't help but admire, even if she is, quite obviously, 15. I tend to go for older YA because 14- and 15-year-olds are not exactly the age group I identify with anymore, but I totally didn't mind in Love and Other Perishable Items. Laura Buzo somehow managed to make her main character authentically 15, while still making her relatable and, well, not annoying like most MCs in younger YA. There's an honest, innocent way about her that I just loved.

Going into the novel, I'd assumed it would be completely from Amelia's point of view, but a good third of the novel is actually written from Chris's. After reading about one month of Amelia's life, we get Chris's journal entries for that month. It might sound boring to read about the same events twice, but it totally works, because Laura Buzo gave her narrators two very distinct voices. Chris's voice is authentically male college student, and a total contrast to sweet, innocent Amelia's. His journal entries are slightly weird and often inappropriate, but always honest and entertaining, and I really liked that we got his point of view as well.

I loved all the interactions between Chris and Amelia. They're clever and funny - they had me laughing out loud (and attracting stares from everyone around me) throughout. I wasn't sure whether Laura Buzo would be able to pull off developing such an unlikely relationship, but she totally did - their relationship develops in a very natural way, and it's just plain adorable. To be honest, I was expecting the book to be more, I don't know, scandalous, I guess, but nothing bad really happens - it stays relatively innocent, and I liked it that way.

I was going to talk about the plot, but then I noticed that, well, there kind of isn't one - nothing really happens in Love and Other Perishable Items. If you're the kind of reader who needs lots of action and a strong plot, this book isn't for you because it's a book about... nothing. But I never even noticed that there are very few big events because it reads so nicely that I couldn't stop reading.

Another aspect I loved was the setting of the Land of Dreams. Reading about the supermarket setting and the dynamics between all the employees was so much fun. I especially liked how having most of the novel set at the place Amelia works, instead of at her high school, gave the book some maturity and introduced characters of a variety of ages.

I don't even know what to say, other than, I loved this book. It's not deep and moving, and it's not fast-paced and action-packed, but there's just something about it. With authentic characters and clever humor, Love and Other Perishable Items is a refreshing, sweet, honest portrayal of first love in unusual circumstances. I flew right through it and was entertained throughout. I can't wait to read more from Laura Buzo!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Title: The Lying Game
Author: Sara Shepard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: December 7th 2010
Pages: 307
Genre: Young Adult mystery
Source: Bought
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
I had a life anyone would kill for.Then someone did.
The worst part of being dead is that there's nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It's enough to kill a girl all over again. But I'm about to get something no one else does--an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.
Now Emma's desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me--to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she's the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Since I've been such a bad reader lately, rarely making the time to finish a book quickly enough to get emotionally invested and to properly enjoy it, I figured I could read something like The Lying Game. I figured that this book, like the Pretty Little Liars series, would a be a quick, entertaining read without much thinking required from the reader. And that's exactly what I got - The Lying Game is not a great, meaningful piece of literature, but it kept me entertained throughout.

The concept for The Lying Game is, to be honest, kind of crazy. And I'm still not sure whether that's the good kind of crazy or the bad kind of crazy - it's just crazy. It's completely unrealistic and way more out there than the stuff I normally read. And in the beginning, I had some trouble with that. Having a dead girl narrate the book, but also tell us the thoughts of the other main character got kind of confusing. In the beginning, I kept having to check to make sure I knew which twin was which and who was talking. There were a lot of little things that didn't make all that much sense to me, like why Sutton remembers some things but not others - that seemed very constructed to me, very fitted to what the reader was supposed to know and what not. Then again, I can't judge whether something like that makes sense, since I don't know how the whole thing is going to turn out. And after a while, I decided to stop caring, and I got used to the confusing-ness, so I really liked the weird, original idea for the novel.

As was to be expected, the writing is not exactly great. It's not terrible, but it is very basic. But I guess it just fits the superficial tone of the novel. There were parts when the superficial stuff bugged me - almost all the characters are incredibly shallow and vain, and a lot of the consumerist stuff bugged me. Then again, it's not like I was expecting anything else - that's how the Pretty Little Liars books are, too, and most books like this, really.

The mystery is okay. It's not badly done, and it did keep me entertained. But I never got too invested in the whole case. Knowing there were going to be a million plot twists and many more books before we'd find out who the real murderer is, I didn't even try to guess who it could have been. It didn't take much from my enjoyment of the novel, though.

But, really, none of that even mattered. There's just something about Sara Shepard's style that makes the novel read so quickly; you can't help but flip the pages. The Lying Game is pure fun, fun, fun. It didn't impress me, but it didn't disappoint either - it's exactly the quick, entertaining read I was hoping for.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bookish Anticipation #23

Bookish Anticipation is a feature I do every once in a while to spotlight future releases I'm excited for. It was inspired by Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday. You can check out more of my Bookish Anticipation posts here.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: July 16th 2013

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.
But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.
Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined...

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: July 16th 2013

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: June 11th 2013
On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.
A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.
Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: June 4th 2013
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: July 16th 2013

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Red by Alison Cherry
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: October 8th 2013

Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.
Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note: I know your secret.
Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.
Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

Me Since You by Laura Wiess
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: September 3rd 2013
Sixteen-year-old Rowan is still reeling from her father’s suicide four months ago, after he failed to stop a man from leaping off an overpass to his death. The only witness is Eli, a teenaged boy wrapped deep in mourning for his own father, killed in action in Afghanistan. When Rowan and Eli meet, they recognize kindred spirits, and begin to navigate grief and its aftermath together.
Rowan can’t understand how her father could choose to leave her, and acts out, pushing away friends and taking risks with her safety. Rowan’s mother, wracked with her own guilt and sorrow over failing to save her husband, stops going to work and collects stray cats for comfort. Grief, fractured and unpredictable, rules their lives now. Rowan is lost—and sinking. But Eli represents a lifeline for Rowan, and as they struggle to make sense of what’s gone and what is left behind, they begin to fall in love. Me Since You is Laura Wiess at her finest—a beautiful, gripping and painfully honest examination of adolescence.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Release date: September 5th 2011
Pages: 273
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: Bought
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.
Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I loved Kody Keplinger's The DUFF, and Shut Out sounded like another fun, empowering read. But while there were parts that I really enjoyed, I found myself a little disappointed; in comparison to The DUFF, Shut Out felt underwhelming to me.

One aspect I did like is the way the topic of sexuality is addressed. That's what I liked best about The DUFF, and it's the best thing about Shut Out, too. Kody Keplinger has a very mature and realistic view of teenage sexuality; her portrayal is honest and empowering. The sleepovers and the scenes in which the girls discuss what is normal and what is not were probably my favorite scenes in the novel.

However, I'm not sure what to make of the characters. I did like the diversity, the different views of sex that Lissa, Chloe, Mary, Ellen, Kelsey, and the rest of them represent. But, in a way, that's the problem - they represent different views on sex, and that's it. They're limited to their opinion on sex, instead of having personalities and interests unrelated to the main topic, which I thought was disappointing. They made for a fun cast and I really liked the relationships between them, but I was underwhelmed by the actual character development.

To me, there was just something missing about Shut Out - I wanted... more. The whole sex strike idea sounded really fun at first, but the execution was kind of... meh. I wanted more battle-of-the-sexes type of stuff, more drama, just... more. Instead, Shut Out ended up focusing more on the romance storyline, which I just wasn't a big fan of. The romance is completely predictable; the love interests' characters are underdeveloped and too obviously of the good-guy/bad-guy variety. I found that whole storyline predictable and cheesy.

Then there's the family storyline, which I think had potential but didn't end up getting used enough. What we know about Lissa's coping with her mom's death, and her relationship with her dad and brother, stays very superficial; if we'd gotten to know more about this, I think the family storyline could have given us great insight into Lissa's character. The way it is, it didn't contribute enough to our overall view of the main character.

I know my review sounds very negative, but really, Shut Out is not a bad book. There were many things I enjoyed about it; it's a quick, fun, fluff read with a positive message. Sadly, there were other aspects, like the lack of drama and the cliched romance storyline, that I just didn't love, making Shut Out an underwhelming read for me. However, I'm still going to be reading Kody Keplinger's next books, just because I love her portrayal of sexuality, and am hoping to love A Midsummer's Nightmare as much as The DUFF.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My New Treasures #17

My New Treasures is a weekly feature here at Paperback Treasures to showcase all the books I received over the previous week. I do not take credit for this idea.

Sorry about the bad sound quality!

Jane by April Lindner (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Take Me There by Carolee Dean (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Cracked by KM Walton (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Dreams of Significant Girls by Christina Garcia (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Title: How to Save a Life
Author: Sara Zarr
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: October 30th 2012
Pages: 341
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bough
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. You can't lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that's exactly what it feels like she's trying to do. And that's decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family?
Mandy Kalinowski knows what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her, too?
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sara Zarr is one of my all-time favorite authors, and How to Save a Life proved to me once again why. It's so full of emotions, equal parts love and tragedy. It's real, honest, and beautiful, and I loved it.

What's best about this book are, of course, the characters. Neither Jill nor Mandy are easy to like, but that's because they're real - we are right inside their heads, and like with real people, we don't always like what we see. Jill is - she's a bitch, it's that simple. She has amazing people in her life, but she's angry, and she's treating everyone who's trying to help her like crap. There were so many scenes where I just wanted to slap her, but in the end, I did grow to love her. Ever since her dad's died, she's been angry and insecure, lashing out at everyone around her. But once her vulnerability started to show, I wanted to take her into my arms and never let her go.

Mandy is a character completely different from Jill; Sara Zarr did a great job distinguishing these two voices from one another. Mandy is unlike any character I've ever read about; I don't even know how to describe. She's naive, innocent, and vulnerable in a way that made me simultaneously want to cry at the horror of what she's been through, slap everyone that hasn't been there for her, and - like with Jill - take her into my arms and never let her go. There is something about her innocent way of seeing the world that is both heartbreaking and beautiful.

I love how much How to Save a Life focuses on family - I always appreciate when the rare YA book addresses that. But this novel isn't just about family in the biological sense; in the author's note, Sara Zarr talks about the recurring theme in her books of family made up of the people you choose to be close to, and it's apparent in How to Save a Life that she succeeded in communicating this message. I love the way the characters grow together in this novel; the way the relationships develop is honest and real, and it's simply beautiful to read about. Especially the ending made me want to laugh and cry and just live, all at the same time. How to Save a Life just made a complete mess of my emotions.

I don't even know what to say; this is simply an amazing book. Evocative in really any emotion you could think of, with simple but stark writing and rich and unique characterization, How to Save a Life is a new favorite of mine. I can't recommend it enough.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Review: Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Title: Audition
Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release date: October 13th 2011
Pages: 458
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: Bought
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
Once you've been chosen, what step can you take...?
Seventeen-year-old Sara's dream of becoming a star ballerina is challenged when she falls for Remington, an older choreographer. Instead of success onstage, she becomes Rem's muse, which is a future she never considered--and one that threatens to break her heart.
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Although it sounded great, Audition ended up being a disappointing read for me. Verse novels are always hit or miss for me, and this one just turned out to be a miss. I don't even know why; verse sometimes works for me and sometimes doesn't, and in this case, it didn't. The writing style felt awkward, with unnatural transitions from line to line, and it just didn't flow the way I wanted it to. That made it really hard to get into the story.

Other than the writing, the main character is the real reason Audition didn't work for me. I couldn't connect with her because we got so little insight into her motivations and decision-making, and I never felt like I got to know her as a person. It bugged me how she kept going back and forth between wanting to stick with dance and wanting to leave that world behind and focus on academics and whining about it. I know it's because she's lonely and frustrated, but her immaturity just bugged me so, so much. Especially her stupidity about the whole Remington thing... God, I just wanted to slap Sara throughout the novel.

The secondary characters were very meh, too. I didn't feel like I got to really know them, either - they're all just personifications of one idea. There's the other dancers, Sara's classmates, her friends from back home, but none of them seemed like real people to me. An then there's Remington, who is the stupidest, most frustrating... blegh. Just no.

Another thing that bugged me were the dance terms. I guess it's realistic, since we're supposed to be reading a dancer's unfiltered thoughts. But there were so many of them, and they don't mean anything to me, so they were just annoying and boring to me. They gave me no insight into the world of dance; they were just random French words to me. I know it's hard but I've read other dance books that made it possible for me to understand and still seemed realistic.

The ending seemed too abrupt to me, and I didn't get Sara's motivations for the decision she ends up making. We don't know enough about her interests and goals - I have no idea what she's planning on doing after the end of the novel.

Luckily, Audition is a quick read, so it didn't have enough time to piss me off even more. But, really, other than that, I just didn't really enjoy any aspect of it. Audition felt underdeveloped and, in parts, just strange, to me, and I can't really recommend it.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Review: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Title: Who I Kissed
Author: Janet Gurtler
Publihser: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: October 1st 2012
Pages: 312
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: Bought
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
She never thought a kiss could kill…
Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...and she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.
Was she really the only person in the entire school who didn’t know about his peanut allergy? Or that eating a peanut butter sandwich and then kissing him would be deadly? Overnight Sam turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she’ll have to find a way to forgive herself before anyone else will.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Who I Kissed had a lot of potential, and there were many things I loved about it, but sadly, it fell flat for me. There were a couple of things that bugged me about it, and it generally just left me feeling very underwhelmed.

Sam is an okay main character. She's relatable and likeable most of the time; I really felt her remorse and guilt relating to the accident, and her struggle throughout the novel is realistic. But in every scene relating to boys, I wanted to smack her - she's ridiculously naive and passive. Yes, I get that she's traumatized, and that that's part of the reason she's acting this way, but still - her melodramatic feelings frustrated me. And she also had some slut-shaming views that bugged me.

I'm not sure what to make of the secondary characters. Maybe the problem is just that there are so many of them - Zee, Casper, Taylor, Alex, Chloe, and Kaitlin all seemed like interesting characters, and they all have their own issues that I would have liked to know more about, but I just don't feel like we really got to know any of them; I would've preferred to explore some of these characters in more depth instead of having such a large cast of secondary characters.

Then there's the family storyline. I loved reading about Sam's relationship with her dad and her aunt - both are great characters, and I love the all the crazy stuff Aunt Allie does to try to help Sam. But as part of the family storyline, Sam finds out some secrets about her mother, who died when Sam was younger. I'm not sure what to make of that - again, the set-up had a lot of potential, but I kind of feel like it was just too much. We couldn't explore Sam's feelings in enough depth.

Towards the end, there's a twist to the story that I am not a huge fan of. I can't really talk about this without spoiling it, but I can say that it made a large part of the novel feel kind of pointless. And the ending, I didn't love either - things wrap up too nicely for my taste.

Despite all of the negative stuff, there is one thing I loved, and that's Janet Gurtler's writing. Like in I'm Not Her and If I Tell, the writing is what carries the novel. Janet Gurtler has a style that flows really nicely and is quick and easy to read; it's subtle but beautiful, and what I enjoyed most about Who I Kissed.

Still, though, I can't help but be disappointed by this novel. Each storyline and character had a lot of potential, but I just feel like there was too much going on - the way it is, we couldn't explore any one storyline in as much detail as I would have liked, and there's a lot of unnecessary drama that takes away from the main plot. Who I Kissed is not a bad book, but it just left me feeling very underwhelmed.

Friday, March 01, 2013

New Releases March 2013

New releases:

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 1st 2013
Don't mess with a girl with a Great Personality.
Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).
Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.
The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 5th 2013
They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.
But we are still here.
And there are more of us every day.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.
Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.
Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.
But we have chosen a different road.
And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.
We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 5th 2013
A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.
Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.
As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

Panic by Sharon M. Draper
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 12th 2013
Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.
But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?
Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.
It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked #2) by Elisa Ludwig
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 12th 2013
Willa Fox was told to stay out of trouble. In fact, it was an order from a very serious juvenile court judge.
However, that was before Willa found her house ransacked and a mysterious email from her mother telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Willa knows her mom’s in danger and that no one at school will miss her after her recent sticky-fingered stunts with the Glitterati. So with the help of her pal Tre and with her degenerate crush Aidan as her wingman, Willa violates her probation and hits the California highway in search of her mom.
But when Willa and Aidan’s journey turns dangerously criminal and they wind up being the focus of a national manhunt, they realize it’s sometimes easier to escape the law than the truth—and that everything Willa thought she knew about her mom, and her life, was wrong.

Operation Oleander by Valerie O. Patterson
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 15th 2013
Ninth-grader Jess Westmark had the best of intentions when she started Operation Oleander to raise money for a girls’ orphanage in Kabul. She named her charity for the oleander that grows both in her Florida hometown and in Afghanistan, where her father is deployed. But on one of her father's trips to deliver supplies to the orphans, a car bomb explodes nearby and her father is gravely injured. Worse, her best friend’s mother and some of the children are killed, and people are blaming Operation Oleander for turning the orphanage into a military target for the Taliban. Is this all Jess’s fault?

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 19th 2013
The story of a girl figuring out the truths and illusions of life and love, both in the nostalgic past and in the very real now. Laugh-out-loud humor combines with a hint of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.
The cure for a broken heart? Go vintage and live like it’s 1962!
Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, isn’t just cheating on her. He’s cheating with an online girlfriend. So Mallory decides to swear off boys and modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to “go vintage” and return to a simpler time. She sets out to complete grandma’s list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous.
The list proves to be trickier than it looks. Obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how intriguing she finds Oliver (er, Jeremy's cousin). But with the help of her sister, Mallory will finish the list and find peace. Somehow.

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 21st 2013
Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

OCD, The Dude & Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 21st 2013

With frizzy orange hair, a plus-sized body, sarcastic demeanor, and "unique learning profile," Danielle Levine doesn't fit in even at her alternative high school. While navigating her doomed social life, she writes scathing, self-aware, and sometimes downright raunchy essays for English class. As a result of her unfiltered writing style, she is forced to see the school psychologist and enroll in a "social skills" class. But when she meets Daniel, another social misfit who is obsessed with the cult classic film The Big Lebowski, Danielle's resolve to keep everyone at arm's length starts to crumble.

New in paperback:

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
Purchase from Amazon | Add to Goodreads

Release date: March 7th 2013

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.
Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 19th 2013

Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fiancés, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise:
Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.
While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her....

The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon

Release date: March 19th 2013
Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would prefer to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo."
Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...