Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Published: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen  
Pages: 288
My Rating:  5 of 5 stars

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

My Review: I can't help but love it when I am completely blow away by a book. It happens but not very often. First of all that cover. It's so...simple that I love it. If I saw this book in the bookstore then I would probably make a beeline for it, it's just so different. Speechless is different.

So we have Chelsea Knot a girl who can't seem to keep her mouth shut. She gossips, spreads rumors, and can't keep a secret. I really like Chelsea she was strong even thought she probably didn't think she was. If I was in her position I wouldn't have lasted that long being silent. I think I've lasted a day at most but that might be stretching it. I think she lasted four weeks without talking. She didn't even speak when there was no one else around to hear her.

Sam was just so adorable and sweet. As soon as he came into the book I loved him. He was just so understanding and good for Chelsea. At first I was sure that Brendon was going to be the love interest and I wasn't crazy about him. There was nothing wrong with him but he's not Sam. Whenever Chelsea was with Sam I couldn't help but smile, they were just so cute together.

The other characters in Speechless are as unforgettable as Sam and Chelsea. Especially Noah. Gosh I love Noah. Mostly because of what he said at to Chelsea near the end of the book but I don't want to spoil it for people planning on reading this so I won't say any more about that.

Speechless tackles some subjects that I know come up often and it does it perfectly. It really drove the message home. As I was reading, this book made me think about my life and my school. It was just so realistic. It reminded me of the day of silence that a few people at my school participated in. I'm sure many people will be able to somehow relate to the story if they've ever been to high school. But despite the serious subjects in the book I found myself laughing. It wasn't like this book was a depressing story about a girl who made some mistakes and was bullied. I mean sure it had that but it also had humor in it too which I loved because who doesn't like laughing?

I highly recommend this book to fans of Before I Fall. Actually I recommend this to anyone looking for a great book.

*I received this book via Edelweiss. Thank you!

Best of the Bunch- August 2012

Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories on the last day of every month. The aim of this meme is to share the best book that we have read or reviewed in that month and give it out Best of the Bunch award.

This month I read:
Nevermore by James Patterson My Review 4 of 5 stars
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake My Review 3 of 5 stars
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo My Review 3 of 5 stars
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas My Review 3 of 5 stars
Love Lines by Diana Nixon My Review 2 of 5 stars
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa (my review isn't up yet but it will be!) 5 of 5 stars
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth My Review 2 of 5 stars

And of Best of the Bunch for August is...

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

This was without a doubt my favorite book I read during August. My review will be up soon! As you can see August just wasn't my month I read mostly books that I liked but didn't love. I just love all of Julie Kagawa's books and I loved Ethan's story. Definitely deserves those five stars and the Best of the Bunch for August!

Feature & Follow #5

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community.

Q: Best cover? What is the best cover of a book that you've read and didn't like?

Isn't that cover just gorgeous? I mean really. Its so pretty that I just had to have it. In fact all of the Fallen covers are so pretty. Very deceiving because this has to be one of my least favorite series. At least the cover is beautiful. This series has to have some of the prettiest covers out there. Well at least I can enjoy looking at it on my bookshelf.

What about you?
Please follow and leave a link to your post so I can follow back!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Published: May 8, 2012  
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
My Rating:  2 of 5 stars

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

My Review: So Struck. Well at least I can say that I'm pretty sure I've never read anything about a lightning addict so its original. If only I had enjoyed it more. Honestly this book just wasn't for me. There were many things about this book that just left me annoyed or bored.

Going into this book I expected a story about a girl getting constantly struck by lightning. I wanted to read about her getting struck. I think that's the only reason I kept reading. I wanted to know what happened when she got struck. Instead I felt like I was being bombarded with religion. Now I don't have anything against religion in books but I felt like it was constantly being thrown at me. I don't like that.

So basically this entire book is centered around two cults. The Seekers and the Followers. The Followers are the people who well follow the Prophet. The Seekers are against the Prophet. I didn't really have a problem with the Seekers it was the Prophet that gave me a headache. It was just pages of him saying why he was right and why the world had to end and that God was speaking through him. It got old very fast. For most of the book I didn't see either cults motivation. It wasn't until the end that I finally found out that the Followers wanted to world to be "cleansed" and that the Seekers didn't want it to be.

Mia was also a big problem for me. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't like this girl. I wanted to. I really did. I mean a girl that's a lightning addict? That's just so unique and original. Mia started out as an ok character but then Jeremy came along. Now the book starts off with him trying/wanting to kill her and then he's stalking her. So guess what Mia does. She falls in love with him because he's hot. I honestly have no idea why Mia fell in love with him. He wanted to stab her with a knife because he thought the world would be better without her. Sounds like a great boyfriend right? There's also the part where she's completely fine with him stalking her. No just no. That is not ok. I found Jeremy very creepy. Just because he's hot doesn't mean he can stalk people.

At the end I was practically asleep. At the most intense part of the book I was bored. It was probably because I felt nothing for the characters. I didn't care when the Prophet was threatening her mother. I just didn't. There was also the little detail at the end about how far away the storm was. Mia said that she counted six seconds and then she said the storm was "six miles off. Maybe less" Maybe. There is no maybe about that. That storm is actually a little more than one mile off! Just take the number of seconds and divide it by five to get the miles. Every five seconds is about a mile. You can Google it!

Struck did have some redeeming qualities. It had a concept that was different from any other book I've read. I mean how many books about lightning addicts are there? I only know of one. Well I guess now I can say I've read a book about a lightning addict.

What's Next? #8

 What's Next? Hosted by IceyBooks
What's Next is a weekly meme hosted by IceyBooks!
Here's how it works:
-Every Thursday select three-five books (not too many, not too little!) that you want to read but can't decide which one to read first.
-Post the cover, and if you want, the synopsis or even a random line from the book, for each of your selections.
-At the end of your post, ask readers to vote on which one you should read next!

by Michelle Madow

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.

by Stephanie Lawton

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her. She can't understand why he suddenly gave up Boston's music scene to return to the South. He doesn't know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile's elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past. Will Julianne accept the help she's offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

What should I read next?
Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #8

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly Meme. It's hosted on  Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:

by Jay Kristoff
Release date:  September 18th 2012

The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Author Interview and Giveaway with Mindy Hardwick

Today I have Mindy Hardwick!

A little bit about Mindy Hardwick:
Mindy Hardwick’s tween novel, Stained Glass Summer, published December 2011, and her young adult romance, Weaving Magic, published in April 2012. She also writes contemporary, sweet romance including: Love’s Storm and forthcoming, Love’s Bid. When Mindy is not writing, she facilitates a poetry workshop with teens at Denney Youth Juvenile Justice Center. The youth’s poems can be seen at Mindy is a frequent school and library presenter and included on the Washington State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster. You can learn more about her at, follow her on Twitter @mindyhardwick or read her blog:

Mindy loves to hear from readers at Facebook:

When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

I first realized I wanted to be an author when I was a seventh grade teacher. I took a group of my students to a young author’s conference. When I heard the authors talk, I felt something deep inside that spoke to me. I’d always loved to read young adult and middle grade books, and I’d been making up stories since I was a child. After that conference, I tentatively dipped my toes into the water by attending SCBWI meetings in Seattle and taking a Writing the Picture Book Class. A few years later, I earned my MFA in Writing for Children and Teens from Vermont College, and launched my career as a children’s writer. 
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?

It’s a long, long process! Both of my books, STAINED GLASS SUMMER and WEAVING MAGIC, took ten years from the day I sat down to write to the day I saw them published. I wasn’t working on them the entire ten years. I also write short stories and articles, but I was working on them a lot of that time. Some of what took so long is it can take a long time for a story to find the right publisher. After I would receive a handful of rejections, I would go back to the drawing board and revise one more time. Eventually, both novels found great homes! (STAINED GLASS SUMMER is with Musa Publishing, and WEAVING MAGIC is with MuseItup Publishing. Both are small, royalty paying digital first publishers). 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Tough question! My favorite author as a teen was Cynthia Voigt. I loved Dicey’s Song and Homecoming. Dicey is a strong, girl character who is a survivor. When I wrote my first book, STAINED GLASS SUMMER, I modeled my main character, Jasmine, to be a lot like Dicey!

Are you currently working on anything?

I am working on a contemporary romance short story trilogy. The first one, Love’s Storm published in February. The second one, Love’s Bid, is in edits, and I’m drafting the third one, Love’s Gift which will be a holiday story.  When I wrote WEAVING MAGIC, I began attending the Romance Writer’s Conference in Seattle. I discovered that I really enjoyed writing sweet, contemporary adult romance stories as well as the YA romance. Love’s Storm is available as an ebook at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. 

Have you ever suffered from writer's block? If so do you have some advice for getting past it?

I have a hard time with the first draft. I get really excited about a story idea, start writing, and then get stuck in the middle.  I’ve learned to do some outlining before I start a book. The outline gives me a map to follow, so when I get to the middle, I’m not quite as panicked. The technique I’ve been using lately is Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet. You can find more information about it on my blog here:

What are the two best parts about being an author? 
  1. Talking to young writers and teens about writing and reading!
  2. The challenge—each story is different and challenges me to learn something new. I get bored easily, but I am never bored as an author.
I'm giving away an ebook of Weaving Magic. This giveaway is open to anyone! US and International. To enter please fill out the form below!
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May the odds be ever in your favor!