Tag Archives: Young Adult

Before I die by Jenny Downham



Before I die by Jenny Downham

Publisher: David Fickling Books

Release Date: July 5th 2007

Pages: 336

Young Adult

Rating: 3

“Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.”


Expectations: Had never read a Jenny Downham book, I look forward to reading more.

My Thoughts: An enjoyable book. It felt real for me, growing up myself with a lot of doctor visits I can understand the need/want to get things done before it’s over. Some of the things however felt a little silly. Though now that I’m older I have a different perspective. I’m sure if I was that age I would have had a lot of off the wall things on my bucket list as well. The cover is nice, although that is not the cover I had but I like this cover much more than the cover I had. Since I tend to be more picky about covers with models on them. This book really was a tear jerker for me. The ending totally did me in. It was an inspirational book for me at the same time. Life really is too short to worry about small things.


Author Info:

“Jenny Downham (born 1964) is a British novelist and an ex-actor. In her first book, Before I Die, the fictional account of the last few months of a sixteen-year-old girl who has been dying of leukemia for 4 years. The book is told in the first person. The book was acclaimed and was short-listed for the 2007 Guardian Award and the 2008 Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year, nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and the 2008 Booktrust Teenage Prize, and won the 2008 Branford Boase Award.”



Other Books By Author:

You Against Me

Format:  Paperback, Paperbackswap

Cover Reveal: Pieces


My first cover reveal. I’ve very excited to share with you all the cover for Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle. This cover is nice and simple and the synopsis sounds really good. Definitely something I would like to check out in the future. There will also be a blog tour for Pieces in February scheduled by Xpresso Book Tours (http://www.xpressobooktours.com/)


PIECES – Rhemalda Publishing / February 14th, 2013
Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her … until she discovers he’s out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie—in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.

Pieces is a companion to The Breakaway and can be read independently, if desired.

Goodreads: Click Here

THE BREAKAWAY – Rhemalda Publishing / May 1st, 2012

When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it


             Goodreads: Click Here

Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She loves the seasons, but late summer and early fall are her favorites.

She adores chocolate,

sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in whatever time she can grab between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life.
Author Links:
  •    Website: Here
  •    Goodreads: Here
  •    Twitter: Here
  •    Facebook: Here

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King


Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 12th 2010

Pages: 336

Young Adult

Rating: 4

“Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.”


Expectations: I had heard wonderful things about A. S. King and her writing. I was hoping that I would enjoy it as much as other people seemed to.

My Thoughts: Wow…alot of emotions after finishing that book. I enjoyed it alot, I can say that much. The writing is good, and I love all the different perspectives. It worked very well for the story. The flashbacks worked out very well to. I do however wish I could have gotten a bit more out of Charlie’s character. Jenny Flick and her band of “detention-heads” were realistic and believable and I liked that. Vera felt so realistic it was scary. Her father kind of plucked my nerves at times but not too much. The plot was okay, but the ending was great. The end of the book was just the beginning for her and her father. The cover is perfect. End of story. Overall I’m going to give this book four stars. It wasn’t perfect but I really enjoyed getting to know Vera and Charlie. I enjoyed King’s writing and hope to get my hands on more of her books in the future.


Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“A.S. King is the author of the critically-acclaimed EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS (Little, Brown 2011) the Edgar Award nominated and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ (Knopf 2010) and award-winning THE DUST OF 100 DOGS (Flux 2009) and other fiction for teens and adults. Next up: ASK THE PASSENGERS coming October 2012.”



Other Books By Author:

Everybody Sees the Ants,

 The Dust of 100 Dogs

Format: Hardback, Paperbackswap

In My Mailbox (6) Oct ’12


“In My Mailbox” is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren that allows book bloggers to share the books they’ve received in the past week. They can be your own purchases, borrowed from friends, library checkouts, from publishers, won from a contest, etc.”


By Ilsa J. Bick. I’ve been wanted to get my hands on this for awhile. Happy I finally have a copy. Will hopefully read this soon.

It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Rot and Ruin

By Jonathan Mayberry. Heard some good things. Been wanted another zombie book to read.

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

The Sky Is Everywhere

By Jandy Nelson. I’ve read wonderful reviews about this book. The synopsis sounds great. Can’t wait to read this.

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

Hit List (Adult)

By Laurell K. Hamilton. #20 in the Anita Blake series. Yes, I have read all previous books. I am currently reading Bullet which I am enjoying so far.

Watch a video
A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa


Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen

Release Date: May 1st 2012

Pages: 504

Young Adult

Rating: 4 Stars



“Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?”

I didn’t then, not really.


Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.”


Expectation: I surprisingly received this novel courtesy of Netgalley. I have never read a Julie Kagawa novel before but had heard wonderful things about her Iron Fey series. (Which I have not read yet but plan to.) I expected a lot of action and was hoping for something new.

My Thoughts: I’m going to start off by saying that the first half of the book was a bit slow for me. Then the character that I enjoyed the most (of course) disappeared. The ending of the book was thankfully fast paced and filled with action and plenty of emotion. Some of the fight scenes made me feel like the first time I read the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. The rabids seemed a bit more zombie at times than vampire but I liked that about them. They weren’t something to fall in love with and they didn’t sparkle. They were what they were intended to be, vicious demons that eat human flesh. It was quite refreshing to read a young adult novel that got more into the gore than the romance. Don’t misunderstand me though, there was romance but I felt like there was enough action to compensate for the amount of romance thrown in. I thoroughly enjoyed Allison’s character. The love interest on the other hand, didn’t click for me. I liked his character but I didn’t feel the connection between them. Although that may be because some other male caught my attention. (I’m not naming names but I’m sure you will understand if you have read the book.) The love interest was a bit expected for me. The cover is sadly a letdown for me. Allison is Asian…and the girl on the cover…is not. The world-building however was wonderful and I could fully picture Allie’s surroundings.  I will continue the series, I’m hopeful that the next book is just as good or even better. I’m giving this book a four stars, I was tempted to give 3.5 but I don’t give half stars and I felt like the ending pushed it to 4 stars. Read the book for yourself to see how Kagawa’s shot at vampires plays out for you. I give her a high five for her wonderful world-building and play on emotions.

Favorite Quote: “Do you believe in God, Allison?”

“No.” I said immediately. “Is this the part where you tell me I’m going to hell?”

“This is hell.”



*I was frustrated with Kanin leaving the story so early. Well, the beginning I felt was a bit too drawn out, once I was getting into Kanin’s character he was taken out of the story.

*Jeb was another thing that frustrated me. I felt like I needed a bit more from him. And Ruth should have had another talk with Allie or something, though I liked that she stood up for her brother, even though she was pretty much terrified of her own shadow. The scene with Caleb and Allie was heartbreaking.


Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“Born in Sacramento, California, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine, where she learned many things. How to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks, and that writing stories in math
class was a fantastic way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and a plethora of pets. She still laughs whenever she sees a centipede. She is the author of the bestselling Iron Fey series and can be found at http://www.juliekagawa.com.” – Info courtesy of Netgalley.

Series: #2 & #3 in Blood of Eden TBA

Other Books By Author:  GoodReads List of Kagawa Books

Format: Ebook courtesy of Netgalley

For People Who Like: Strong heroines, Vampires, Dystopian, Fighting for Humanity, Good world-building, Epic fight scenes, Intense action, and much more…

In My Mailbox (5) May ’12


“In My Mailbox” is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren that allows book bloggers to share the books they’ve received in the past week. They can be your own purchases, borrowed from friends, library checkouts, from publishers, won from a contest, etc.”


by Andrea Kremer. I bought this book from Barnes and Noble with a gift card that I got for Christmas. I’ve heard good things about this series so I thought I would give it a try.

DarkFever (Adult)

by Karen Marie Moning. I’ve heard good things about this series from my romance blogging friends.

Wicked & Son of a Witch

by Gregory Maquire. I’ve seen & heard about this series for awhile, and I found it for about three dollars each. Figured I couldn’t go wrong.

The Virgin Lover

by Philippa Gregory. I love this period in history and I’ve been watching shows and reading about it for awhile. I’ve heard good things about Gregory’s writing so I’m looking forward to reading some of her books.

The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini. I’ve been planning on getting this book for awhile and found it for about four dollars and bought it.

Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury. I found it at an old bookstore, I loved the bookstore and plan on going back. Excited to finally have a copy of this book and plan on reading it sometime this year.

Shadows on the Moon Available Today!


I am a member of Netgalley and the first galley that I ever read and reviewed (slightly earlier, oops) is Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott. I really enjoyed this book. My review can be found here.


Check out the Trailer as well.

Zero by Tom Leveen (ARE)


Zero by Tom Leveen

Pages: 304

YA novel

Format: Ebook courtesy of NetGalley

Rating: 4 stars

Standalone novel

Add to Goodreads

“For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn’t materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero’s parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she’s so much more than a name.”



Probably my favorite contemporary so far. If you enjoy contemporary novels, pick this one up. The characters overall I enjoyed. Sometimes Zero’s angst was a bit much and sometimes I felt she said the same thing to many times. Example ” Later, skater” It was appropriate at times and others…not so much. But other than that I liked Zero. Boy angst worked, girl angst…not so much.  She learned something about herself and her life in the end. I didn’t like her dad but that may just be because he is a drunk. The best friend, I wanted more from her! I loved the plot line that was going on between her and Zero. What I liked the most is that the story is believable.

Something I want to point on in this book is, the sex scenes were more detailed than I expected for a YA novel. I’m not sure which range of YA he was aiming for…

But! Score points for Leveen – No Insta-Love!

Sometimes the art metaphors were a bit overwhelming. I like but I don’t know enough about it.

Sad? It had its moments. It definitely had potential to be a a way more sad book.

Overall I give the book four stars. I enjoyed the book and was happy with the ending and happy overall with the characters. The story was believable.

Skinned by Robin Wasserman


Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: September 9th 2008

Pages: 361

Young Adult – Science Fiction/Dystopian

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: “The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn’t supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn.

And it wasn’t supposed to ruin her life.

Lia knows she should be grateful she didn’t die in the accident. The Download saved her–but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents’ eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can’t deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She’s not the same person she used to be.

Maybe she’s not even a person at all.”


Expectation: I really wasn’t expecting anything, because I didn’t know much about the book and I had never read a Robin Wasserman book before, but I was hopeful.

My Thoughts: The beginning was a bit confusing, but then for the most part Lia’s condition made sense. World building…I was a bit confused on how the society worked. I would have liked a bit more back story concerning the faither’s. I felt like that part of the plot died off. The pacing was fine, I felt like it could have moved a bit faster but it wasn’t too slow. With Lia going through what she does, looking at her life, and trying to find herself, it makes you look at your own life. Makes you think about whats important and what it’s like to be human. The romance wasn’t really the focal point of the book and I liked that. The ending wasn’t necessarily surprising but it was kind of sad, and I like when there is a sort of sad element to an ending. Not all endings are happy. It seems a bit more realistic that way.

I prefer the original covers, or the covers that when you put them together make a body, although that set had different names. I’m not sure why. Not to self: Look into the other covers. If anyone knows feel free to let me know. I feel like the cover (the one at the top of the review) doesn’t match up to what’s inside of it. Overall I’m giving the book three stars. I enjoyed it and I will most likely continue the series.


Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“I’m the author of the Cold Awakening Trilogy (Skinned, Crashed, and Wired), Hacking Harvard, the Seven Deadly Sins series, and the forthcoming Book of Blood and Shadow. I’m also a crazed Stephen King fan and David Foster Wallace evangelist with an embarrassing list of Important Books I’ve Never Read But Can Bluff About Well Enough to Discuss at Cocktail Parties. I’m working on it.” – GoodReads

Series: Skinned #1 Crashed #2 Wired #3

Other Books By Author: Awakening Chasing Yesterday #1 Lust Seven Deadly Sins #1 and more…

Format: Hardback, from PaperbackSwap

For People Who Like: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Family Drama, Robotic Themes, Teen Drama, Glasses, Adrenaline Rushes, and the list goes on…

Wither by Lauren DeStefano


Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for YoungReaders

Released: March 22nd 2011

Pages: 358

Young Adult – Dystopian novel.

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: “By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?”


Expectation: I expected a lot from this book, there was so much hype around it, yet I didn’t know much about it. I don’t think it disappoints. For being a debut novel, I am impressed.

My Thoughts: I’m just going to start off with this book got me out of my reading funk. I was sitting in my classes waiting to get out to read a few more pages before my next class. This book was tragically beautiful. I loved the characters, they all very much had their own personalities. The writing just made me feel for Rhine and her sister wives. Not so much for Cecily though, she got on my nerves in the beginning. I loved Jen as well, all throughout the book. I liked Rhine because she never gave up. She was determined no matter what to escape her unwanted “marriage”. The main love interest (or the forces upon interest) was okay, he was kind of a bizarre character. He does seem a bit naive in a way though. Now for the actual love interest, I enjoyed him. It’s an almost impossible friendship that could be more…I can’t wait to find out what happens in Fever.

The plot was interesting, I feel like it could have been a bit more extravagant but it was still nicely done. The world building I could understand and I enjoyed. I had never read a book with polygamy so it was something new. The cover is nice, normally I don’t like covers with just pretty models but the designing makes the book. The pacing was also nice, I almost couldn’t put it down. There wasn’t really a time where I was bored or it was slow. The ending left with a cliffhanger, naturally. I think it was nicely done and a good spot to leave off. Not that I’m happy about the cliffhanger. I mean I want to read fever right now! But alas, I shall have to wait. But look forward to fever in the future. I am giving Wither 4 stars. Overall I could barely put the book down. As I said I look forward to reading fever and will definitely be continuing the series.


Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“Lauren DeStefano (pronounced: de STEFF ano) graduated Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT in 2007. Her debut novel, WITHER, the first in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, is out now.” – GoodReads

Series: The Chemical Garden –  Wither #1 & Fever #2

Format: Bought, Hardback

For People who enjoy: Dystopian, Controversial topics, Strong Heroine, Evil father in laws, Secret Laboratory, The concept of sister wives or Polygamy,  Death Disease, and more…