A Little Wanting Song

First Lines: Dad and I leave town in the early dark.  It’s the second Sunday of the holidays, and we pack up the old blue car with enough clothes for summer and hit the road.  It’s so early he’s wiping hills of sand piled in the corners of his eyes.  I wipe a few tears from mine.

Released: June 8, 2010

A little something to know about this before you get into it: it’s set in Australia.  So don’t freak out when you find out that “Christmas” and “summer vacation” are logically placed in the same sentence, as in “Christmas is occurring over summer vacation.”  That completely threw me for a loop when I was reading.

Charlie Duskin has always been pretty quiet and absorbed in her music.  She loves playing guitar and writing her own songs.  The downside is that she’s usually pretty lonely.  Since her mother died, Charlie hasn’t exactly had a large group of friends to lean on.

Rose lives in the country and hates it there.  She wants to escape to the city, like where Charlie lives.  Rose and Charlie are neighbors in the summer, when Charlie comes down to visit her grandfather.  And because Rose wants out, she has to play nice with Charlie this year, so she can try to stay with them in the city.  What Rose and Charlie didn’t expect was that they would actually enjoy each others’ company, even after years of slight animosity.

I thought it was cute.  I can really relate to Charlie, in that she loves her music and that she’s kind of a loner.  And Rose is that tough girl who acts like nothing fazes her, but in reality, she feels everything.  I liked her too.  And the guys, Luke and Dave, they were both sweethearts in their different ways.

I thought it had a really good message, that people aren’t who we think they are.  We’re all different, flawed.  I liked the way that played out.  It was in a way that you could totally see, without being hit-over-the-head-with-a-stick obvious.  It’s a message that’s great for any age to read about, to discover.

And hey, this only reinforces my post, The Next Big Thing (7).  It’s a book about music!

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The Next Big Thing (7)

The Next Big Thing is a segment of my creation in which I show a new trend I see in YA lit.  I am by no means an expert, just a girl with a little too much time on her hands and a love of all things YA.

The Next Big Thing: Music and Dance

There have always been books about music, and this may just be me, but I think there are more coming out now than there have been.  I’m a fan of books about music and dance because of my years in choir and show choir.  I love reliving those moments.  I also just love that it’s a combination of my two greatest passions: music and books.

There are a few titles that have been out for a while.  Sarah Dessen has written two about music.  There’s This Lullaby and Just Listen, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Also check out Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway.  I haven’t read this one yet, but I hear good things about it.  Recently, I’ve read Rival by Sarah Bennett Wealer, which is also a good read.

Coming soon, there will be Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg, who is a fabulous writer.  I’m looking forward to this.  There’s also Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe (which is about dancing) and Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez.

There are plenty more out there than these titles, but these were the ones I enjoy/hope to read.  Hope you found something to read!

The Prince & Me

This fairy tale is about to get real.

I adore this movie.  I think I first saw it on ABC Family years ago and it’s been one of my favorites ever since.

Paige is a college student who has to work for everything she wants, including an acceptance letter to Johns Hopkins.  Prince Edvard of Denmark has had everything handed to him on a silver platter.  When Eddy rebels and heads for Wisconsin to meet “wild college girls”, his path crosses Paige’s.  Paige finds him obnoxious and thinks him a spoiled brat.  Eddy thinks Paige is self-righteous and intimidating.  But the more time they spend together, the more they find each other’s better qualities.  But what will happen when Paige learns that Eddy isn’t just a rich college exchange student, that he happens to be a prince?

I watched this with my friend last night, who also happens to love this movie.  It’s just so sarcastic, so fun, so romantic.  Some love stories get boring after a while, or I find ways that make them seem less realistic.  This has never gotten old for me.  It’s a well crafted movie that takes every little girl’s fantasy and makes it real, if only for a couple hours.

And Luke Mably is so swoon-worthy.  Between his good looks and smooth British accent, I’m a goner.  And I want Julia Stiles’s hair!  It’s gorgeous.  It’s all so awesome.  I love this movie!

Blood Magic (Blood Journals, #1)

First Lines: I am Josephine Darly, and I intend to live forever.

I almost thought I’d never get time to finish this book!  Between classes, homework, and friends, I haven’t had a lot of time to just sit and chill.  This took me pretty much a week to finish.

Silla Kennicot’s life has been turned upside down.  First, she found her parents dead in their house from bullet wounds inflicted by her father.  Second, she receives a journal in the mail from a man she doesn’t know who claims he knew her father.  It’s a spell book.  Even though she doesn’t want to believe in magic, something about doing the spells just feels…right.

Then there’s Nick Pardee, who just moved to town and doesn’t know Silla’s past.  He is drawn to her, even though everyone warns him away.  But Nick’s hiding secrets of his own.  When Nick and Silla begin sensing a dark presence lurking around them, they have to work together to stay alive.

I liked it.  It’s a bit different about its magic than other books are, but that was fine.  And it switches perspectives between Nick, Silla, and a journal.  That was nice because it wouldn’t have been the same just from one perspective.

There’s almost always a sense of danger, which was fun.  I liked the relationship Nick and Silla had.  It was very cute.

I’m sorry if this turns out to be one of my worst reviews.  Reading it over the week made me scatterbrained, particularly since this was the first week of classes.  My apologies.  I enjoyed reading it and I’m totally going to see what happens in the sequel.

Spotlight Friday (7)

Hello lovelies!  Did you think I’d forgotten about this?  Not a chance.  I’ll explain through one word: college.  Busy busy.

Spotlight Friday is a segment of my creation in which I talk about 3 upcoming books that have my attention.  I hope you find something here you’ll enjoy!

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: December 6, 2011

*Potential Spoilers if you haven’t read Clockwork Angel*

Summary (from Goodreads): In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends. 

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them. 

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do? 

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

What’s To Like: Uh…Jem and Will?  Is that good enough?  I know I didn’t fall in love with the first book like I’d wanted to, but I’m so interested in the characters that I want to keep reading to see what happens to them next.  I don’t even really care about the steampunk or the mysteries.  Just give me some sarcasm and these characters and I’m set.

My review of Clockwork Prince.

Crossed (Matched, #2) by Ally Condie

Release Date: November 1, 2011

Summary (from Goodreads): In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

What’s To Like: Again, another book where I sort of liked the first one and I’m just interested in seeing where the 2nd goes.  I’m kind of on dystopia burnout right now, but I love this cover.  It’s a bit like breaking the glass ceiling, you know?  And that symbolism alone is enough to get me interested.

My review of Crossed.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Summary (from Goodreads): Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting asThe Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices,Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

What’s To Like: What isn’t there to like?  Juliette sounds like an incredibly strong heroine, so I’m excited just to see that.  Plus, evil dudes in government?  Juliette’s awesome/horrifying power?  There’s so much that’s going to happen and so much excitement already building.

My review of Shatter Me.

The Education of Bet

First Lines: Everything I needed to wear beneath my clothes was already in place.

Historical fiction with a strong female character!  I love it!

This is the story of Elizabeth, usually just called Bet.  Elizabeth is a maid’s daughter who was taken in by the grand-uncle of the family her mother worked for when her mother died of typhoid.  Bet and Will, the grand-nephew, have been friends since that day.  While Bet is stuck at home, working as almost a companion to the old grand-uncle, Will is out getting expelled from school after school.  Bet is sick of it, wanting an education of her own.  So she formulates a plan: she’ll take Will’s place at school while he follows his own dream.  But school isn’t exactly what Bet thought it would be.  Especially not once she begins falling for her roommate…

I thought it was really cute.  Bet’s a strong, driven character who’s got something to prove, not only to herself, but to everyone else that women shouldn’t just sit at home.  I loved that.

I liked a lot of the characters.  Will, Uncle, James.  They were all great.  Each one was different and had their own qualities.

I just liked the story!  I don’t really know what else to say.  It’s pretty short, so it’s a fast read.  Some parts are pretty predictable right from the get-go, but even so, I liked reading it.

The Next Big Thing (6)

The Next Big Thing is a segment of my creation in which I discuss different trends I see emerging in YA lit.  I am by no means an expert; I’m just a girl with way too much time on her hands some days.

The Next Big Thing – Heroines Without Memory

For some reason, this is seriously huge in the next year or so.  As I was looking through upcoming books, I kept noticing a lot of the main characters had amnesia of some sort.  And I think I know why this trend is taking off the way it is.

As teenagers, we struggle to find ourselves, to separate ourselves from what everyone else thinks we should be.  Amnesiacs have it 100 times harder, because they can’t even remember who they were before.  Also, when amnesia shows up in an action/mystery, it makes for a great suspense story.

The book most people are probably familiar with is Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin, where Naomi falls down a set of stone stairs and loses her memory.  On the more suspenseful side, we have The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan.

There are so many unreleased books coming!  I’m looking forward to Elizabeth Scott’s As I Wake, mostly just because it’s Elizabeth Scott.  She’s so amazing.  There’s also The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, Unremembered by Jessica Brody, Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler, and Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf.

I feel like I should make a corny joke here about how I hope I don’t forget to read these, but I can’t even think of a good corny joke.  Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to reading these when they come out.