Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Catching Jordan

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: 1 Dec. 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 284
Rated: Lovable
Synopsis from Goodreads


What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

My Thoughts

I know hardly anything about football, but Catching Jordan sucked me into the game without boring me with mere details of football tactics like I was frightened it would while reading the beginning. Honestly, it made me want to watch the high school games in my neighborhood. I'm actually disappointed that it's not yet football season. That's a very strange thing for me to say. I love finding a book that will pull you into something you don't normally care about so fully that you wish to continue learning about it once the book is finished. That's what this book did.

Jordan is so uniquely proud and strong. Her love for the sport comes through in every page as she fights to keep her reputation and to be recognized by her star football playing father. She's so engrossed in her battle that she hardly allows herself a crush in fear that people won't take her seriously. Jordan struggles to find a place for boyfriends and crushes in her life devoted to her sport.

The loyalty on Jordan's team warms my heart. The guys trust her, defend her, support her. Their tight knit team is exactly the way every team should be. I felt as though I was surrounded by this amazing team of powerful individuals. By the end of the book, you could predict their responses and actions because their personalities had so clearly shown out throughout the book that you really got to know them.

I felt quite invested in the romances that played out, but the love for the sport and closeness between the teammates is what made me love this book. It's an absolutely fantastic read that I'd suggest to anyone. Even if you don't know football, you'll still love this book.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Almost time for BEA!

Heh, I'm so completely excited for BookExpo America! It's almost here! I'm leaving for NYC to stay with my cousin and her husband tomorrow afternoon. I'll be there from Saturday to Saturday. I'm intending on visiting The Strand, attending Teen Author Carnival, Blogger Conference, the Children and Young Adult Author Breakfast on Wednesday, and all the rest of BEA amazingness.

I'm beginning to feel pretty prepared for my first time at BEA. I got new shoes that are very comfortable, I got a new small bag for just the essentials, and I made business cards. However, I'm still on the fence about whether or not I should take an empty suitcase with me to hold my books in while I'm running around BEA. What do you think? Empty suitcase or not? It would be such a hassle to throw everything out of my bag for the day, and it would be possibly even more of a hassle to take an entire nother suitcase. What to do!

I'm going all by myself, and I'm hoping to make tons and tons of friends while there. Let me know if you're attending. I'd love to meet you! Comment on here, email me, or twitter me. I have chin length brown hair, and I'm 5'5. Here's some pictures of me, so come say hi if you see me around!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Goodbye School, Hello BEA

I know I've been MIA for quite a while now, but school is over now! I'm back!
I had a full load this semester and there's a very good chance I got all As. I'm waiting for my grade to be submitted for my last class. Creative Writing. Ahh, it was definitely my favorite class this semester. I had so much fun writing and critiquing with a fantastic group of students. I also had Psychology, Social Problems, and Health Education.

Now that school is over, my mind is completely devoted to BEA! I didn't have time to join everyone tweeting and blogging about it for weeks like I'm sure most people have been. I'm leaving in a week already! I scheduled my bus up there. I'm staying with my cousin and her husband for the week. I'm looking up everything I need to take with me. I'm planning out my days there.
This is my first time attending, and I've been practically jumping up and down in my chair with giddiness for this exciting event. Do you have any suggestions for me? I feel so unprepared!

I also really want to check out Teen Author Carnival. I heard about it a year or two ago and really wanted to make it. I guess I'll probably be able to this year! Anyone else going?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Moonglass

Title: Moonglass
Author: Jessi Kirby
Release Date: 3 May 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 232
Rated: Close to Love

Synopsis from Goodreads

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.
Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.

My Thoughts

I was really excited to read Moonglass by Jessi Kirby after reading positive reviews of it. The book got me excited for my trips to the beach coming up this summer! It highlighted beautiful parts of the beach while still noting the dangers of it. But, I was able to easily forget the bothersome aspects of the beach (my fear of fish and annoyance with sand) and I was able to instead imagine the most glorious views from the descriptions of thing like the "water that sparkled gold as the sun mad it's way toward the horizon."

I initially connected with Anna through her unwillingness to ask the questions that run through her mind about her mother or the run down cottage. It's something I've found myself doing with my own mother. If I've been irritated with her, I'll avoid saying anything to her, even if it's a perfectly decent subject she would love to talk about. I do it because I'd rather not talk to her at the moment, and I'll choose to stay quiet.

While I was able to connect with Anna this way, I found myself losing my connection with her the farther I got in the book. Events, thoughts, inklings, and everything else became too perfectly interconnected. The ideas seemed to stretch too far and incorporate too much. The material became heavier in meanings and emotions, and now... I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it anymore.

The romance wasn't the main focus of Moonglass. Anna's coming to terms with her mother's death is the center topic. When the romance did pop up, it failed to bring forth a spark strong enough to catch my attention. I can imagine the appeal of the attractive lifeguard that's reluctant to fall for the girl at first, but I never became attached to Tyler. I was waiting to fall for him.

Moonglass is a quick read and the writing is pleasant. I enjoyed Anna's narrative and the wonderful scenery. But, the book fell flat for me in a few areas. I did like it, but perhaps I was expecting too much out of it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: Stealing Heaven

Title: Stealing Heaven
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: 27 May 2008
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 307
Rate: Lovable

Synopsis from Goodreads

My name is Danielle. I'm eighteen. I've been stealing things for as long as I can remember.

Dani has been trained as a thief by the best--her mother. Together, they move from town to town, targeting wealthy homes and making a living by stealing antique silver. They never stay in one place long enough to make real connections, real friends--a real life

In the beach town of Heaven, though, everything changes. For the first time, Dani starts to feel at home. She's making friends and has even met a guy. But these people can never know the real Dani--because of who she is. When it turns out that her new friend lives in the house they've targeted for their next job and the cute guy is a cop, Dani must question where her loyalties lie: with the life she's always known--or the one she's always wanted.

My Thoughts

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott is happy making book. Today I was completely overwhelmed by my school work. I felt so much anxiety that I looked at my books and couldn't open them. I turned to this book and read 5 pages, laughed, and felt 8 times better. It gave me the shot of contentedness that I needed.

Dani goes along with anything her mother tells her. It frustrated me. Her mother raised her to obey. I wanted Dani to have a mind of her own. When around Greg, she had no problems making her own decisions, but she would barely allow herself to enjoy him or anything else. She never went to school, made friends, or dated. Her life was devoted to to her mother. Her mother was devoted to stealing. She didn't want to steal, though. She wanted to own her own home, furniture. She had to make her own decisions. To realize she had a choice.

It's definitely a page-turner. Greg and Dani picked at each other and made me giggle. Burdens rest on Dani's shoulders, but the story is rich with humor and sweetness enough to leave me content with a smile on my face. Greg brought in the humor and sweetness. He was instantly attached to Dani and determined to to get to know her. He was charming in a young boyish way that did not remind me of a cop, but there was no way to forget that he was a cop. Dani was constantly noting his uniform and reminding herself to watch what she says around him. He was still able to easily captivate her and me.

Finding time to read Stealing Heaven brought some much needed joy to my day. If you haven't read it, I suggest you bring the same happiness into your day, too. I'm excited to pick up more books by Elizabeth Scott.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Positive Thoughts

I enjoy college. I enjoy learning. I was homeschooled until I began college, so I feel that I am more eager to learn than many off the burnt-out kids who went through the public school system. Sure, there are people who are engrossed in their classes. Sure, people are more interested in classes that are involved in their major than they are in the other required classes. But, I do not want to burn out.
I want to engage in discussions. I want to be one of the students raising my hand and asking the professor questions during and after class. I want to read all the material. I want to do well on my exams. I want to be involved in co-curricular activities. I want to be a knowledge guzzler and learn. I want to be a good student. But, I find myself surrounded by students that despise every piece of worked assigned.
Do you know what comes up when you search "studying" in goodle images? A picture of a note that says "Studying is boring", and a bunch of photographs of frazzled looking people.
The students try to convince the professors not to put information we covered on the tests. They try to get out of doing homework. They don't do the reading. They complain and complain. It is wearing me out. I was sitting in my room and dreading doing my homework. I was thinking about how much I am dreading my Psychology exam. I don't want to do that. I want to stay motivated. Those school kids and their negativity are wearing me out. I LOVE COLLEGE.
I am telling myself to continue loving it. I am telling you that I will not let the negative students wear me down. I am telling you that I will continue to love college.
I will enjoy putting information in my brain. I will love looking up fascinating articles. I won’t be overwhelmed, and instead I will love reading about the brain in Psychology. I wanted to be in college for so long. I will look back on this time fondly and wish I could relive it. I will appreciate college. I will continue to love college.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Born Wicked

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: 7 Feb. 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 326
Rates: The Best to Love

Synopsis from Goodreads

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

My Thoughts

Many people have been waiting to get their hands on Born Wicked. However, the synopsis left me with only a mild interest in the book. I am so very, very glad I read it. It has been a while since I read a book with girls in corsets this was this incredible. Witches and prophecies have a taken on a new light in my eyes. Lately, I've been tired of the spins in magical novels, but this book reminded me how wonderful a story about witches, secrets, and courting can be.

Cate, Maura, and Tess, the three sisters, are rich with personality. Maura is stubborn, and she drove me a little crazy the way refused to do anything other than her way. Tess is less in your face and very intelligent. She's the quiet smart one. Cate. Oh, being in Cate's head is a pleasure. She deals with new secrets flying at her left and right. Dealing with courting and keeping her sisters safe. I'm pleased to say that she does not make poor decisions and make me shudder. For the difficulties she faces, I feel she makes good choices. She has to make decisions regarding her own feelings and wishes while thinking more about what is best for her sisters.
The boys. They are dashing men that make me grin. They make me wish I was being courted by the architect gentleman or the scholarly gardener. I'll refrain from revealing anything about them. But, let me tell you, you will never want to stop reading about them once you have started.

Jessica Spotswood created something amazing. I could not put the book down until it was finished. Witches, the Sisters, the Brotherhood, Cate and her sisters. Everyone is has secrets. Cate has choices, but she is pulled in every direction. I NEED the next book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: 2 Jan. 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 256
Rate: Lovable

Synopsis from Goodreads

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

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.
My Thoughts

I love The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Love at first sight is all fine and dandy, but there is a line between obsession and a slow fall to love that starts at first sight. Hadley and Oliver's falling in love does not feel overwhelming and fast; it is just right. I have read books that have the characters become instantly obsessed with each other, and it makes me roll my eyes. This book is smooth. I was completely content while reading it.

There was more to the story than Hadley and Oliver falling in love. Hadley was dreading seeing her father in London. She was dreading his wedding. She had no desire to go to London. Oliver is heading toward is own troubles in London. They are teenagers dealing with problems and getting to know each other. Oliver is a funny guy, and his conversations with Hadley were very entertaining.

This is the type of story that I will always believe can come true. It is a story I would make up in my head while on a flight. I think everyone makes up little stories in their head, and they especially come up with them when traveling. Making up background stories for people are them, making up stories of people they might meet. I always fear writing one of mine down and not capturing the right voice or mood. But, it was done here. It was written down perfectly.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: The Scorpio Races

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: 18 Oct. 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 409
Rate: The Best to Love

Synopsis from Goodreads

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
My Thoughts

The Scorpio Races had me so captured I could not stop reading it even with Christmas festivities around me. It didn't event stop me from exclaiming my feelings about the book while reading it. I stayed up all night to finish it. Maggie Stiefvater wrote a book that made me to completely happy and set on edge. It is a masterpiece. She created a suspenseful story with characters that stole my heart.

Sean Kendrick. The more I read it more the powerful it became. He was hard and lovely. Kind and fierce. So at odd and different from everything else. His love for his capaill uisce was as magnificent as the creatures. His love for Puck was more curious and giggle worthy with it's suspense.

Puck was proud and full of fight. Kate Connolly. She wanted life to stay the same, but it was changing. She was trying her best to keep her brother, her house, her horse. She was willing to do everything she could and keep her pride too.

The deadly creatures in this book make for an intense story when paired with the proud people on Thisby. The pride and other motives compel these characters to enter the race that many will not live through. The sea horses are terrifying and fascinating. The Scorpio Races captured me from the start.