Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hourglass by Myra McEntire - Review

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Source: Library Book
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



"One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?
"


First of all, I want to apologize for not being active for a full week! I'm so sorry, but school has been hectic and I haven't been able to do much reading this week. I promise you I'm back and stronger than ever :). Onto the review!!

Hourglass is definitely an interesting book. The first few pages pull you in when our MC Emerson (no offense, but what's with all these strange names? Hudson, Hadley, and now Emerson) is confronted by a lady who appears to be dressed in 19th century attire. Emerson then proceeds to thrust her hand through this woman to open the door, which causes the woman to disappear. Interesting. However, the pace goes downhill from there. Or should I say uphill, because its so. Freaking. Slow. I found myself just reading 5 pages at a time then getting bored so I would go do something else.

The first half of the book is just about Emerson "coincidentally" bumping into love interest Michael like literally everyday in the most random places (when jogging, or at a coffeehouse). It seemed forced really. There's no way one could bump into someone that many times in a week. What's worse is that said love interest isn't allowed to have an intimate relationship with Em, because he works for her older brother. So no romance..yet. Sigh.

This book is about time travel, which I found was a creative idea among all the other paranormals that are about vampires and witches. However, you could tell that McEntire was heavily influenced by Twilight when she was writing this book. Not as bad as say, Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, but I definitely had my eyes rolling at some parts. I know that all authors' main goal is to be as successful as Twilight or THG, but its not going to happen if you rip it off of them. THG came out after Twilight, and its not about vampires or werewolves, yet it proved to be a huge hit. It's not like Twilight in any way at all, but it was widely successful. So please authors, come up with your own stuff. Yes, that includes little details like having nightmares in your sleep and then being woken up and comforted by your male relative. :)

Sorry for rambling. Okay, now for the plot. Emerson somehow got this ability to see "ripples", which are people from a different era (not exactly ghosts, but similar), around her after her parents died in an accident. When she touches them, they go poof. She has a hard time deciphering who's real and who's not unless their clothing is definitely from another era. Emerson's brother hires an agent from a company called the Hourglass to help her with her ability and a bunch of crazy stuff goes down.

Although the beginning was turtle slow, the second half balances it all out because it was AMAZING. I literally could not put the book down. It was exciting and exhilirating. The ending was definitely unexpected for me. Characters who seemed good turned out bad and characters who seemed bad turned out good.

There were some people and things that I felt weren't touched on enough and whose stories felt incomplete. For example, Lily, Em's best friend, was only talked about for maybe a total of 15 pages, and then we didn't hear much about her at the end. One thing I loved though, was that McEntire handled her description very maturely. Only by her description and last name would you infer that Lily was Hispanic. I loved how she wasn't described by her race, and how you would have to guess that she was Hispanic. That made me appreciate McEntire in a whole new way. (I am in no way saying that being Hispanic is bad. I just hate how nowadays characters are described by race as if that really factored in who they are as a person. Tis all :))

Sorry for the long ass review. Although I had a lot of problems with this book, the creativity and emotion set in it outweighs all the negative aspects. I can't bring myself to give it 5 stars, but it does deserve at least 4. Great debut, now onto the sequel :).



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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {6}





Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it features the top ten books that comes to your mind under a certain category announced each week. This week's category is:


Top Ten Sites I Read That Aren't Book-Related

This is a fairly simple TTT this week! Here's ten other sites I visit that aren't about books:

1. Facebook - Almost everyone has a Facebook! Although I will say I haven't been using it

much lately.

2. AOL - I use AOL to read news and for checking my personal e-mail. :b

3. Live/MSN - I use this to check more news and check my book blog e-mail.

4. Tumblr - An amazing site with gorgeous quotes and pictures. A must for me!

5. omgpop - I'm embarrassed to say that I do play games on omgpop.com when I feel like relaxing. :)

6. Furry-Paws - As most of you know, I am obsessed with dogs so it only makes sense to come on here once in a while.

7. Twitter - A lot of people tweet almost 10 or 15 times a day, but I never know what to say in my tweets, lol!

8. Youtube - Another go-to place when I want to unwind and watch funny videos.

9. Etsy - Used to look around for great items, as well as try to sell my own. :)

10. lookbook.nu - I love all the amazing looks and fashion on this website. For my girlier side :b



What's your TTT? Comment below!

Don't forget to join my various giveaways!!
Goosebumps Galore (Ends 5/30)
The Babysitter's Club (Ends 5/30)



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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stacking the Shelves {3}



Hey Everyone! I'm here today with another Stacking the Shelves, hosted at Tynga's Reviews. This is where we share what we bought, received, or borrowed each week :).

I actually only received one book this week, along with a signed Breathless tours poster I won. Slow week I suppose :).

For Review:




Changing Worlds by Donald E. Dambois


Summary

Danielle Walkerman and her family are looking to spend quality time together at a log cabin in the woods, only to get disrupted when alone in the hills, she discovers a pale girl with white hair lying unconscious on the ground. When they find out she's homeless, Danielle convinces her dad to let the girl, named Dharalyn, return home with them.

Danielle begins to notice strange things about Dharalyn. She continues to lose the color in her face and appears sicklier every day. When she catches Dharalyn drinking blood from Danielle's grandmother, the young girl, believing her grandmother had been attacked, throws her houseguest out. After learning the truth, Danielle struggles to overcome her prejudices. Realizing that Dharalyn needs blood to survive and that their bond is stronger than her fears, she finds Dharalyn and convinces her to return home.

Upon discovery that Danielle's family may lose their ranch, Dharalyn offers her most prized-possession, a pair of diamond bracelets. When the two girls travel to the city to pawn the diamonds from the bracelets, they meet with businessman Michael Moretti, a suspected mob boss who manages to swindle them. Dharalyn takes drastic measures to get the full amount of money from the crooked boss in order to help her new friends.

But that's not the end of the mob boss for the two girls. Michael Moretti sends a group of his henchmen to the girls' school after his suspicions are confirmed that one of the girls is not who she seems. When the men arrive at the school, the new friends face a dangerous fight for their lives.


I received this in the mail from the author, Donald E. Dambois via Bostick Communications. It sounds mysterious C:. Comment below telling me what you received on your shelves this week!

Don't forget to check out my 2 giveaways that are ending in 10 days!



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TBR Pile Reading Challenge 2012




The 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge is a challenge where you try and read all or most of the books that have been sitting on your shelves for a long time! This is so that you can clean up your bookshelf and say that you read all the books on it! :) There's also some prizes!

Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!

I am going for Level 3: A Sweet Kiss, which is 21-30 books. I will be posting a wrap-up post at the end of every month with the books I've read that month.

These are the hosts for the challenge:

Hosts:
Evie from Bookish - http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - http://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - http://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions

More info can be found here. I hope you all can join the challenge! I will be posting my reviews on here. (You can see my list on Goodreads!)

Here's the button:


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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Updates


Hey everyone! Next week is the last three days of school for me!! I can't wait! Unfortunately, that means that finals are coming up. I'm going to be studying really hard, so I have absolutely no time to read or blog. Because of this, I will be on a very very short hiatus, until May 23rd. I will try my best to get in at least one or two memes until then, but no reviews! ): I promise everything will be back to normal starting the 23rd!

Thank you all for being loyal followers... I can't believe I'm already almost to 150 followers! I love you all.



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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesday {1}

Hey everyone! I've been wanting to do Teaser Tuesday for a long time but have never gotten around to it. I'm not really interested in doing this week's TTT, so I figured I would start Teasure Tuesday. :)



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



For this week, I'm going to pick the teasers from:


by Ilsa J. Bick


"How dumb was it, me believing that Mr. Anderson was doing anything other than just being nice to the whacko new kid. He had to be thinking about what my dad had said: that I'd been on a psych ward and had problems." -page 160



Show me yours below! Thanks for stopping by!


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - Review

Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Source: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.


“Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?”

Sometimes things will go in a direction that you don't want them to. You don't have any power to stop it, and you can't change its direction or its course. The end might even be inevitable, and as much as you try, you can't do anything about it. You might think that it's the worst possible thing that could ever happen, but sometimes it might even be the best thing for everyone.

That is what Hadley Sullivan is dealing with when she arrives at the airport, about to board the plane that will lead to the worst day of her life. She's dreading every moment she has to be with her traitor of a father and his soon-to-be-wife, who she's never met. What's worse is that she misses her flight by 4 minutes. However, if it weren't for her missed flight, she would have never met the boy who changed her life.

The characters were very likable, and I felt like I was there with them. The relationship between Hadley and Oliver is very epic and amazing and just ... witty. I love their light conversations and sarcastic comments between each other. It brought the book to life. Although, I wouldn't say that they were really in love. At least, it didn't feel like that to me when I was reading it. They just seemed like the best of friends, despite only having known each other for a couple of hours.

Oliver is amazing. He's such a gentleman (he carries Hadley's suitcase for her all the way to the plane!), and he is very caring and understanding. He seems like a really carefree, outgoing guy. However, later in the story we realize that there's much more to him than just jokes and teasing. He also has problems, which seem magnified compared to Hadley's complication. What's more amazing is that he managed to direct his attention to Hadley for the most part of the trip to London, while he had to go through such a difficult situation privately. He is probably the dream guy for most of the people I know.

I was surprised that Hadley & Oliver's relationship was not the main focus of the book. It only lasts about 100 pages, and then Hadley has to deal with the silent fight between her and her dad. I felt that Hadley forgiving her father was what the book was all about. We didn't really see much of Oliver after they parted in London. However, I really enjoyed reading about how Hadley was coming to terms with her father's abandonment. She realizes that it is for the best, and that no matter what she does, she can't make everyone happy at once.

The story in general didn't really make me cry, but I will share with you the passage where I did start to tear up. It's near the end, when Hadley goes to see Oliver:

"Back home in Connecticut, there's a bird bath just outside her kitchen window, which Hadley used to look out at while doing the dishes. The most frequent visitors were a pair of sparrows who used to fight for their turn, one hopping around the edge and chirping loudly as the other bathed, and then vice versa. . . although they generally spent the entire time squabbling, they always arrived together, and they always left together."
"One morning she was surprised to see only one of the birds. It landed lightly on the stone lip of the bath and danced around the edge without touching the water, rotating its rounded head this way and that with a sense of bewilderment so pitiful that Hadley had leaned to the window and peered up at the sky, though she knew it would be empty."



TSPOLAFS is a fantastic love story. Although it didn't exactly blow me away, it was still very true and very realistic. I have never been a fan of 3rd person, but it worked for me anyway, although sometimes I got confused when there were two "she"'s. It is probably one of the shortest books I've ever read, and it seems even shorter since its occurring during an exact 24-hour time period. However, don't pass up on it! :)


Don't forget to check out my 2 giveaways going on right now! They end May 30th.





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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stacking the Shelves {2}


Hey Everyone! I'm here today with another Stacking the Shelves, hosted at Tynga's Reviews. This is where we share what we bought, received, or borrowed each week :).


(Sorry about the obnoxious glare!)

From the Library:
I didn't receive that much this week, but I did receive Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross! I'm excited to read that one c:. I'm also going to go get Hourglass tomorrow so that's why it's not in the pic ^^.

Won:
I never win anything. So you probably know how I felt when I was told I won a contest held by Rachel Caine herself! Although this was last year, I just got my present, which was a signed copy of Black Dawn along with some swag and a gift card, which I received last year. It's possible that I will giveaway the signed Black Dawn... :). I also won a comment contest and received a copy of Wither, which I haven't read yet and am stoked to! :)

For Review:



I received this pre-teen girl book called the Starlettes from this company called Bostick Communications and was asked to review it by the author. It looks so cute! I would have definitely been obsessed with this series 5 years ago.

I also received Timepiece from NetGalley for review (excited!!!)

Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)


Thanks for reading! Comment below telling me what you received on your shelves this week!
Don't forget to check out my 3 giveaways going on! (One is ending tomorrow!)


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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fracture by Megan Miranda - Review

Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: January 5, 2012
Source: Library Book
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


"Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death."



"If you had one day left to live, what would you do?"

Fracture starts off with a man in white who is "decidedly not God" (he is really the doctor in the hospital). We flashback to Delaney's accident and that's when it starts to pick up and get exciting.

Two things: The plot was excellent. The pacing was perfect.

We are immediately drawn into action after a short prelude. Miranda wastes no time with introductions, and that's what I look for in a story. I want it to pull me in within at least the first 5 pages so I can get hooked on it, and I'm glad to say that that is exactly what happened with Fracture! :)

There are only a few main characters in this book: Delaney, Decker (her best friend/neighbor), and Troy. I must say, Decker was a very annoying character for the first 2/3 of the book, but softened up a bit towards the end. Delaney meets Troy in a library, where he seems to know a little bit too much about her. We later find out that he had a similar accident as Delaney and possessed the same powers that she possessed. There are many twists and turns within Troy & Delaney's relationship, and there is a big reveal at the end regarding Troy.

Honestly, I think that the characters made up the weakest part of the story. Miranda did not succeed in trying to convey the character's emotions correctly, and I sometimes found myself confused, wondering if the person speaking was angry, sad, or joking/sarcastic. It would have helped to describe the way they were talking in a more pronounced way, so readers wouldn't get confused about the relationship between the characters.

Even with the lack of character development, this book took my breath away. It is another mostly-serious, meaningful book, which I really like. :) It reflects on the meaning of life and death perfectly. Although there are a few loose ends (which will never be tied since this is a standalone novel), I really enjoyed reading it. It is well-written, considering that it is a debut novel, and I especially enjoyed the last few chapters, which is where the meaning was held the most. Mixing love and tragedy along with discovery and finding our purpose in life, you won't want to miss out on Megan Miranda's shiny new debut novel, Fracture.




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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday {4}






"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: June 14, 2012

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.


I can't wait for this summery read, it's coming out right in time for the sun to kick in!

What was your pick this week? Comment below with links!

Please enter my Children's Book Giveaway here! There are 6 winners!

The Button:



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Monday, May 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {5}



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it features the top ten books that comes to your mind under a certain category announced each week. This week's category is:


Top Ten Favorite Quotes from Books

Scratch out what I said last week about the movie TTT being the best one yet... this one tops my charts. I LOVE quotes. I even made a page on here dedicated with quotes (which I really need to update by the way). Even though silly/funny quotes are super cool, I have to say the super deep meaning/analogy ones tug my heart the most. You can use quotes as a guide to do what you want in life, and to motivate you to do things you might not normally do. Whatever a good quote does for you, we can all agree that they are amazing, right?! Onto the TTT!


1. "Freedom has a way of destroying things."
-Tally Youngblood, Specials by Scott Westerfeld
This quote is short and simple, but it packs a powerful punch. If we didn't have regulations, everything and everyone would do as they please. The world would be chaos.

2. "It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
-Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

This one is pretty self-explanatory. In the end it won't matter who can do what or who knows what, but the choices that they make will ultimately show what kind of person they are.

3. "The marks humans leave are too often scars."
-Hazel (I think?), The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Another insightful quote. TFiOS is one of my favorite books, and it's filled with a ton of other wonderful quotes, so I suggest checking it out :)

4. "It feels so separate, like I've touched something that's taken the color out of me. Or maybe I'm in color now and they're in black and white."
-Carmel Jones, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

5. "We don't see things as they are, we seem them as we are."
-Anais Nin

Not sure if this one counts or not, because I don't believe it's from a book. I admire this quote because of its overpowering truth. People will look at things differently depending on who they are.

6. "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
-Robert Frost

Again, not sure if this one counts but who cares?! Robert Frost is my absolute favorite poet. His words are filled with wisdom and understanding. They can be depressing at times, but uplifting at other times.

7. "Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal."
-Mia, If I Stay by Gayle Forman

8. "Life, he realized, was much like a song. In the beginning there is mystery, in the end there is confirmation, but it's in the middle where all the emotion resides to make the whole thing worthwhile."
-Steve, The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

9. "A cut. That's what I felt. Words can cut, slice, like a razor."
-Delaney Maxwell, Fracture by Megan Miranda

10. "It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart."
-Katniss Everdeen, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins




Let me know what you think and share me your TTT! I love reading quotes, so post on!

Don't forget to join my various giveaways!!
Children's Books - Giveaway Hop (Ends 5/13)
Goosebumps Galore (Ends 5/30)
The Babysitter's Club (Ends 5/30)
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Children's Books - Giveaway Hop

Hey Everyone! This is part of the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer. I recently just reached 50 followers, so I decided to host a little giveaway as a token of my thanks. I have some brand new books that my brother never touched, so I decided instead of selling it, I would give it away to a lucky follower of mine. :) Don't worry guys, I will be hosting an actual YA book giveaway in the near future, so stay tuned.

Do you have a child, grandchild, nephew or niece, or any other young children who love to read books? Is their birthday coming up soon, or is a special event just around the corner? Or maybe, you would just like to give them some books without an occasion! Any way, you can enter below to win a bundle of children's books! This giveaway is for children ages 7-12, and there will be 6 different prize packs (in different age/gender categories) with 6 different winners! Also, I sincerely apologize to all you International followers, but this giveaway is open to U.S. only, as I'm shipping these myself. Here are the bundles:


Bundle 1: Boys Ages 7-9
Includes the Andrew Lost series #2-6 by J.C. Greenburg, and The Hulk book by Acton Figueroa


Bundle 2: Girls Ages 7-9
Includes a Mary-Kate and Ashley adventure book, Junie B. First Grade-Boss of Lunch, Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl, and How to Draw Hello Kitty and Her Friends.



Bundle 3: Boy/Girl Fantasy Lovers Ages 8-12
Includes the Tales of Magic series #1 and #3-7 by Edward Eager.



Bundle 4: Girls Age 9-12
Includes Where I'd Like to Be by Frances O'Roark Dowell, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, and The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.



Bundle 5: Boy/Girl Animal Lovers Ages 9-12
Includes Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman, Wanted: Mud Blossom by Betsy Byars, Varjak Paw by SF Said, and Song of the Sea Otter by Edith Thacher Hurd.



Bundle 6: Horse Lovers Ages 7-12
Includes Wild Ponies by Jim Anrosky, The True-or-False Book of Horses by Patricia Lauber, How to Draw Horses by Lucy Smith, and Black Beauty (Retold by John Sanders).


The Button:





Thanks to everyone who participates. Also, thank you for 50 followers! :) Also, if I receive 100 entries for this rafflecopter by the deadline, there will be 2 more bundles added in, making there be 8 total winners! Enter now! :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway






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Babysitters Club Giveaway

I remember as a kid I was obsessed with the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins. Now here's your chance to win some books of the series! Whether for you or a loved one, these make a great gift :) Enter below! Sorry, but US only! Also, check out my Goosebumps Giveaway.



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Goosebumps Galore! Giveaway



Hello everyone! I'm here with another giveaway, this one for Goosebumps and Animorphs. I don't know what to do with them, so I decided to give them away to you guys! I'm almost to 100 followers, and at that point I will be giving away YA books. But for now, if you or a loved one is a raging Goosebumps/Animorphs fan, then enter below! A winner will be drawn everyday for 10 days starting Monday, May 21. Each winner will receive (2) either Goosebumps or Animorphs or both -- randomly drawn! So what are you waiting for? Enter below! US only.

Check out my Babysitter's Club giveaway as well!


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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler - Review

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows t
his chance may very well be her last...


“When you're out here alone, contemplating all the things you didn't do and the person you didn't become ... if you think about it too long a hush seeps into the gray space, and the wind will hollow out your bones, and the purest kind of loneliness comes up from the inside to swallow you like an avalanche.”

It is very rare that I give books 5 stars. I only give a perfect rating to books that I could definitely relate to and/or make me think a ton even after I read the book.

This is Sarah Ockler's third novel, after Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah. In Bittersweet, protagonist Hudson Avery is trying to find her passion in life and is having a hard time deciding which path to take for her future. Three years ago, she was training to become a professional figure skater, but all of that went down the drain when something happens in her family. She has multiple issues going on in her life-from her mother's failing business at their diner, Hurley's, to her dad abandoning the family to go frolick around in Southern California with Shelvis (a female Elvis impersonator).

The first 50 pages of the book were rather slow, but once Hudson meets Josh, it's like bam, everything starts picking up and the pages start turning at lightning speed!

The characters were very much alive in this book! I knew and understood each one of them, and they all had very good humor that had me laughing out loud, which returned a couple of stares from various family members. Hudson is especially witty, and hilarious when nervous. Since you can see all of her internal monologue, you know what she is thinking about and you can get a better understanding of her personality.

However, my favorite characters are that of Bug (her 2nd grade brother) and Trick (the chef at the diner). Bug was super super adorable, and everytime he said something I just wanted to pinch his cheeks and hug him. At 8 years old, Bug was very intelligent, but still had that little kid-ness to him, which made him even more adorable! You could look at him as a comic relief character that would lighten up the serious tone of the book. On the other hand, Trick was just wise. I liked how he was like a father figure to Hudson. He knew her from the inside out, and he always gave the best advice. You could tell that he genuinely cared for Hudson.

Some people will argue that Hudson made some pretty bad choices. And it's partially true; she did let her best friend down (twice, with two different best friends), as well as the hockey team that she helped coach, but I can't really blame her. She had one goal in life, and she was focused on it so much because it could totally alter her life. She didn't realize how she had been treating everyone around her. It was super important to her, and she thought it was her dream, so I would have encouraged her to chase it.

Of course, what you have all been waiting for: the romance. What Contemporary doesn't have some sort of love interest? In this case, there are 2. One of them I didn't really feel any connection or chemistry with Hudson (Will), but Josh, oh my, Josh. He is the definition of perfection. Ockler took her time with the building of Hudson and Josh's relationship, which made me more anticipated to finally witness them as an item ;).

Overall, Bittersweet is a very memorable and intriguing read. It covers much more deeper subjects towards the end, and I could totally relate to the main character when she had to make an important decision. I do not blame her one bit for her decision, because I actually went through something strikingly similar to what she went through just a couple of months ago. Sometimes when you don't know what you want in life, when you either have to pick one thing or the other, you are going to disappoint at least one person. You think doing something new will be exciting and a fresh start, when in actuality you just miss the people that were in your life before.

The title represents Hudson's choices in life: everything will always be bittersweet. Meaning, nothing is perfect; there will always be a cost to something. You will always have to pay to receive in turn. Hudson finally comes to realize that she could deal with the bitter part that comes with the sweet parts of her life.

Combining love and hate together, Ockler successfully portrays the story of a girl who has to make a big choice in her life and go against everything she knows. What really shines through in this book is the gripping reality of life and dedication. I will definitely be reading more of Ockler's work.





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