Saturday, May 31, 2008

Reviewer Profile: The Page Flipper

Hello, hello, everyone! Sorry for the lack of Young Adult Weekly this week -- I was so super busy yesterday, and am again today, so this week really = zilch YAW. But I'll make up for it next week, promise :)

Anyway, on to Reviewer Profile Saturday! Authors, Reviewer Profiles are to help you get to know reviewers better. Reviewers, if you're interested in getting profiled, please click here to read the info post and email me.

This week's spotlight goes to the fabulous Page Flipper!

Name: Chelsea!
Alias: The Page Flipper
Mission: To help ignorants become literate. Kidding. My mission is to just have a good time. And connect with authors, readers, and publishers.
Genres: I'll read and review very type of YA. Seriously. Every type! And some MG or adult titles, too, if they sound interesting!

What's your occupation by day?
Reader. It's a 24/7 job. But I'm also a student somewhat. And a teenager. My occupation, currently, is to just be me. But I think it'll change to a grocery-bagger or coffee-refiller soon. I need a job.

What made you decide to tackle this whole blog reviewer biz?
I've always loved to read. And write. So I decided to start a blog to write about the books I read. None of my friends really read, so the main reason was to connect with other readers. But it's become so much more than that! I love it.

What are your blog's strong points?
Hmm. This is a hard question! I hate judging myself. Um. I guess the monthly contests? A lot of people enter into those. I'd like to say the reviews, since I work hard on those, but I usually don't get as much feedback on them! Ha.

What are the best aspects of being a reviewer?
Hands down, it's being able to talk to authors. I didn't know they were real people before this year! I remember the first time an author responded to me -- I almost peed my pants! (It was Laura Bowers, author of Beauty Shop for Rent, by the way. Fantastic book. And the first author I thought to send a message to!) Since then, I've emailed with a ton of authors. It's amazing. The free books aren't bad, either.

In your opinion, where lies the heart of a good book?
Characters! If the plot is exciting, but the characters dull, I probably won't enjoy it. But in reverse? Average plot but interesting characters? I'll love it. Characters MAKE the book.

What books rocked your world? Which authors?
This rocked pretty hard -- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I know this is a "classic", and could therefore be construed as boring to some minds, but the characters (Boo Radley, Atticus, Scout...) were perfectly flawed and realistic and wonderful. And recently, I read Looking for Alaska by John Green and really enjoyed that. The struggle over religion that the main character, Miles, went through, was so easy to relate to. Oh, and A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. Also, anything by Laurie Halse Anderson.

What are some of your other passions and interests?
Well, the ten minutes of the day that I'm not reading, I'll be writing. I love it. But aside from bookish things, I like to sing. I just got this American Idol karaoke game, and wow my throat hurts from singing on it so much! I really like music, playing the piano, going to concerts, that type of thing. And being outside -- I'm nature-ish. Simple.

Can you roll your tongue or do other nifty stuff?
Yes! I can also walk on my toes. Like...just on my toes? It's hard to explain. But it's freaky.

What music puts the rock to your roll? Any movies you can watch over and over again and not get bored? TV shows?
As far as music goes, I like old stuff. The Beatles. And various other British bands. Rock, mostly. For movies, I really like The Breakfast Club. And the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, because wow, Johnny Depp. TV shows? American Idol. Heroes. My guilty pleasure is Gossip Girl. Sue me.

Young Adult or death?
Both. They're equally inevitable to me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Frenemies by Alexa Young

What happens when two besties become full-blown worsties?

Avalon Greene rules the fashion scene at her sunny SoCal middle school with a diamond-clad fist, calling out classmates for their fashion-do's and most unfortunate clothes-pas. She's determined to host the social event of the season—a soiree in honor of her forever-friendship with Halley!

Unfortunately, Halley's new look is one thing Avalon just can't celebrate. . . .
Halley Brandon is just back from art camp and can't wait to share her funky new style with her best friend, Avalon. But when Avalon cries fashion foul, Halley realizes her best friend's true colors may clash with her own. Has their ultra-fabulous friendship finally gone out of style?

From sharing custody of their puppy, Pucci, to drawing up a list of who gets which friends, Avalon and Halley discover what happens when you battle the person who knows everything about you—and isn't afraid to use your secrets to get what she wants.

Best friends. Worst enemies. Frenemies.

Grade: A //

In light of Alexa Young's reply (click) to my review of Nothing by Robin Friedman on Monday, I'd just like to say that if I paid attention to some of the other reviews this book got, I wouldn't have read it. Now, it was a nice touch in the overall scheme of things that this book was actually sent to me (SIGNED AND EVERYTHING--thank you, Alexa!), but this just goes to show that yup, people's opinions may not always correlate perfectly with your own. (But I still maintain that Nothing was just awful.)

Anyway, I think it's just about time to get on with this review, eh?

I'm bad at listing out reasons I liked certain books. Frenemies is one of those - I can't pinpoint exactly what worked here. If I had to take a guess, I would say it's the execution. The plot itself wouldn't be able to carry the novel as strongly as the writing did. For that Alexa Young deserves a commended performance. Her snappy, subtly-engaging narrative is brilliant, graceful and effortless. Tip of the iceberg though.

I'm sure we all remember what it was like to be thirteen, when even the slightest weird sidelong glance from our best friends would shake our self-confidence. So it's no wonder that when Halley comes back from art camp and is styling in a whole new (and weird, according to Avalon) way, Avalon's quips about her new fashion choices put a strain on their friendship. It's a fast transition, and before they know it, they're parting ways.

My only criticism for this novel comes in here, at the friendship portion: We never really see just how good of friends these two girls are. There isn't a lot of back story, which is fine since this is a series. Alexa assures me she's working on making people realize how deep this friendship runs. (Which means character development and character soul-searching, and that makes me go squee!) That said, the split was handled particularly well in the sense that the reader gets to really feel the hardship it poses on both Halley and Avalon. While they're both working hard at establishing new scenes and new personas, they both also miss each other very much, even if they'll never admit it. This rang true. Very much so.

I know some reviewers seem to think this book is either immature or too fashion-focused. They're entitled to their own opinion, of course, but I respectfully disagree with both. If anything, I thought both Halley and Avalon were, all things considered, very mature girls. Sure, they got childish when playing pranks to get back at one another (friendship feud, hello), but who doesn't? Some of the things they did were outright hilarious. And the fashion thing was there, sure, but it didn't reach overkill levels; in fact, I hardly even noticed it. Then again, this isn't something that really bothers me.

I will never bash Gossip Girl, A-List, It Girl, The Clique, or any other Poppy novel because of their shallow and somewhat unrealistic characters. Those books are serving their marketable purpose and they're pretty damn good for what they're designed to do, which is be guilty pleasures. All I know is this: if Alexa Young set out to create a series resembling any of the Poppy books for the younger set, she failed. This book embodies good writing, fashion, friendship and foes seamlessly. Frenemies isn't the cheap-entertainment good; it's the genuine kind.

Strong recommendation from Reviewer X. I'll be following this series very, very closely.

Note: I want to apologize to you, Alexa, for being cryptic about this review for the past week and for leading you on to believe Frenemies would receive a negative review. What would be the fun of telling you I loved your book through e-mail? Hope this makes up for it. :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nothing by Robin Friedman

The most popular guy at his high school, 17-year-old Parker Rabinowitz is wealthy, smart, and drop-dead handsome. He's a sure thing for YHP (Yale, Harvard, or Princeton) according to his college consultant, whom Parker has worked with since he was 14. Parker's got just one problem: he's bulimic.

Nothing is presented in two distinct first-person voices — those of Parker and his 14-year-old sister, Danielle. Parker tells his side of the story in present-tense narrative, which becomes progressively more stripped down as he's consumed by the disorder. Danielle tells her side of the story in free verse. Danielle, who is barely even acknowledged by their achievement-obsessed parents, is known in school as "Parker's sister." Despite all this, Danielle loves her brother. And she's the only one who seems to notice what's happening behind Parker's perfect-seeming exterior, as he disappears into a world of deception and desperation.

Complex and realistic, this novel's ultimate message is one of hope. (No, actually, it's not.)

ARC. Book gets released on August 1st, 2008.

Grade: That's an F, simple as.

Note: Because precious time was lost reading this, and because this book's message is so undeniably wrong wrong wrong, and because this book pissed me off immeasurably, it just inspired a new snarky category here on the blog: Reviewer X Goes All X.

The only reason I even bothered finishing this is because I have to review it for Book Divas. Had that not been the case, well, I can pretty much guarantee you I'd have stopped reading this after the first ten pages. If I even made it to that.

Let's start with the main character, Parker, who was so groundbreakingly annoying and one dimensional, I couldn't figure out how anyone in their right mind could bear write about him, much less work consistently with him until the book was accepted for publication, and much less have someone else agree to publish a story about him. Here's this supposedly hot, rah-rah high school god who has a self-esteem the size of an ant. I can understand how this might come to be, what with his disgustingly obsessive father, but Parker is so whiny and pathetic throughout the entire book, I couldn't bring myself to care about his nonexistent self-worth. My only question is, how is this weenie so popular? He asks himself the same thing, so I think that's a valid point to raise. Incidentally, he suffers from bulimia, which I guess is supposed to make the reader feel sympathetic toward him and his needy introspections. However, his bulimia is completely unfounded, based on an passing comment his father made about appearances that Parker somehow spun to a personal level. Personally, I thought his entire transformation from repressed-and-stressed high school senior to OMG-obsessed/possessed troubled child was forced and contrived and entirely gratuitous. A plot device, if you will.

Despite his low, low self-esteem and identity crisis, Parker is actively hooking up with girls at parties, most notably with a girl named Julianne, who is, oh sweet god, yet another weenie added to the cast. The story behind them is that in the previous year, when Parker was a junior, he told his friend Spaz that he thought a girl named Amber was really hot. Like the good friend Spaz is, Spaz went ahead and hooked up with Amber, leaving Parker fuming. So Parker goes and starts hooking up with Julianne because she's got the hots for him and because she's also "incredibly hot". They hook up and they hook up and they hook up some more until Julianne starts getting the hint that she's being used and demands more commitment from him. He dodges her requests because he's "afraid" of something; what the object of his fear is, is never explained, which just adds to the overall exhausting enigma that is Parker's character. Really, he just still had the hots for Amber. Finally, she throws him an ultimatum and, put on the spot, Parker drops the L-bomb on her. That's right, he tells her he loves her. By this time, I was rolling my eyes quite ostentatiously. You won't see me using many acronyms in my reviews, but WTF?

This would be the time to add in here that Julianne's confrontation is the only time in the entire novel she shows any hint of a backbone. In fact, the entire female population inside this novel, with the exception of Danielle, Parker's sister, is thoroughly objectified through Parker's perspective. Need proof? Amber, the forbidden-fruit foxtress, is second-ranked in their class (Parker's first, naturally) and when it's looking like she'll kick him out of first place, Parker honest-to-goodness says, and I quote, "Amber should focus less on being smart and more on being a babe". I won't even comment on this one, so disturbing is it to me.

Moving on: Now we've got relationship Julianne-and-Parker, which means that the once somewhat self-respecting Julianne is reduced to a whiny girl who lingers on to Parker's every word and action. Parker snaps at her? She's "misting her eyes". Parker is being loving and caring and a huggable pooh-bear? She wraps her legs around him and makes out with him in the middle of the halls. Soon she becomes his "only reason for living". Never mind that he's still lusting after Amber and that the only real development in their relationship were a couple of hot 'n' heavy make out sessions. This is clearly a case of true love.

Just when this book couldn't get any more ridiculous, a family member finds out they have cancer. Breast cancer, to be exact. Of course, it couldn't possibly be the mom, as that would be too conventional for this novel's reliance on the inconceivable. No, it's the dad. All of this acts as a catalyst to the deteriorating family, which is what I can only assume a plot twist to add to the sob-fest that is these folks' lives. This obvious plot device was the last straw, the last flush this novel could possibly take before all-out tanking. It read like a cheap shot, a bad joke, and a lame gimmick.

And finally, the ending, which I gather was supposed to give the hope promised in the summary, fell through. It read like a brochure on the consequences of bulimia. No real feeling, no heart, just nothing. (Ironically, that's the name of the novel. Fitting.) Just no.

The only positive thing in this entire book is Danielle, Parker's sister. She's the shadowed-by-older-sibling girl, though I really don't understand why, as she is heaps more interesting than Parker could ever be. Still, the deliverance of Danielle's voice was botched: it was told in free verse for no apparent reason. Even if I had to plow through the eyesore that was presentation of her side of the story, I found her to be a highly respectable and relatable character, which is 10000% more than I could say for any other being present in this novel. I only hope that the remainder of the time she spends in that household before college doesn't taint her.

In conclusion: Stay far away from this book. I can't imagine the disappointment guys who have bulimia will feel after reading this. They don't need a whiny rich kid bemoaning his miserable predicament--they need a genuine narrator. They need a book whose heart is not a tragedy trifecta of minorities only placed therein to make a statement. Frankly, what they need is exactly the opposite than what this book delivered.

To think this book will get targeted at bulimic boys is the epitome of offense; it's offensive to the readership and it's offensive to me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Review Rating Revolution

Numbers are no more. I hated that system, so I'm changing it. Instead of numerical rating values, you will now see letters.

And that's all :)

Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Reviewer Profile: The Book Muncher

Hey, hey everyone! Hope everyone's having a groundbreaking weekend! I know I am :)

Anyway, on to Reviewer Profile Saturday! Authors, Reviewer Profiles are to help you get to know reviewers better. Reviewers, if you're interested in getting profiled, please click here to read the info post and email me.

This week's spotlight goes to The Book Muncher!

Name: Rachael Stein (but sometimes I go by Scarlet Haine)
Alias: the Book Muncher

Mission: to make the world a better place, one book review at a time (ya know, recommending only the best books)
Genres: mostly YA, but sometimes adult and younger reader books

What's your occupation by day?
High school student and tutor.

What made you decide to tackle this whole blog reviewer biz?
I decided one day that I wanted more books. Then I saw this awesome reviewing blog, and viola, a dream was born. It originally started as a way to get free books (I know, bad me), but now it's turned into practically a way of life.

What are your blog's strong points?
Uhh, the book reviews? Oh, and the list of contests :D

What are the best aspects of being a reviewer?
Reading books I might never have picked up in the first place and chatting with awesome authors and other amazing book reviewers.

In your opinion, where lies the heart of a good book?
If a book can inspire deep emotions or make you want to go out and save the world or conquer your fears, or basically just makes you think, that's a good book.

What books rocked your world? What authors?
Well, there are a lot, but I'll keep it as short as possible:

Books: City of Bones, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, A Little Friendly Advice, How Not to Be Popular, Wake, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Authors: Stephanie Meyer, Libba Bray, Marianne Curley, Scott Westerfeld, Melissa Marr, Sarah Dessen, Melissa de la Cruz

What are some of your other passions and interests?
Photography, and uhh.....sleeping?

Can you roll your tongue or do other nifty stuff?
Well duh. I can like cross my eyes really well (does that count as a talent?)

What music puts the rock to your roll? Any movies you can watch over and over again and not get bored? TV shows?
Music (artists): Jimmy Eat World, Jack's Mannequin, Linkin Park, 3 Days Grace, From First to Last, Panic! at the Disco, Yellowcard, The Used, Death Cab for Cutie

Movies: What a Girl Wants, Because I Said So, the Bourne trilogy (love those violent spy movies), Lord of the Rings (eek, awesome!!)

TV shows: Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty

Young Adult or death?
Do I need to answer this? I think you should know my answer :D
(Steph says: Oh, but Rachael dear, I do! :P)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Young Adult Weekly (Week of May 18th-24th)

Hey all, welcome to the sixth installment of YAWeekly! This week's is gonna be short because I have Physics to get back to and thus can't compile too many links. Hope that's all right with everyone :)

The Ravenous Reader helped me with the Reviewer links this week, so thank you for that, Ambeen! Go ambush her site now, everyone!

From the authors...

In my attempt to mention Amy in every one of these posts, I'll post this: Have you checked out the Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King excerpt up here? (P.S. to Amy: this is becoming kind of like an inside joke, no? :P)

Tina Ferraro (How To Hook a Hottie) and Kelly Parra (Graffiti Girl) are giving away FOUR Airhead (by Meg Cabot) T-SHIRTS over at YA FRESH!

Stephanie Hale (Twisted Sisters) celebrates a new book sale over at the Books, Boys, Buzz blog! And a little birdie tells me she's also giving away three copies of Twisted Sisters, so, you know...

Alexa Young (Frenemies) talks about the post-publication hype surrounding her debut's release. And speaking of reviews for her book, tune in next week for mine.

Tera Lynn Childs (Oh. My. Gods) celebrates her starred review from Publisher's Weekly! This is a huge deal, everyone.

Alyson Noël (Cruel Summer) shares her experience at Fontana Library! It sounded awesome.

Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) talks about how she came to love zombies. (I love Carrie's blog posts, I really do.)

Melissa Walker (Violet by Design) is giving away a copy of Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos. Melissa's blog is rigged with some fashion show info and photos, by the way, for any fashion fans around!

For those who've read Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde (The Day I Killed James), read this blog post--very inside-joke-ish!

Debbie Reed Fischer (Braless in Wonderland) posts pictures from a book signing event! It looked fun--especially that one shot of Debbie up on the podium. :)
P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night series) put up an updated FAQ section of their books!

Diane Rodriguez Wallach (Amor And Summer Secrets) posts about her trip to Italy. Jealous = me!

From the reviewers

Reviewer X had a slow week! Here's her review of Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber.

The Ravenous Reader bless her soul, helped me today compiling reviewer links! She reviewed tons of good stuff his week: The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde; Airhead by Meg Cabot; and Chill by Deborah Reber. Thanks, Ambeen!

Book Chic reviewed How to Be Bad and Madapple!

From The Corner of Megan's Mind reviewed Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Love that book, love Megan's blog's name, love that review.

Shooting Stars Mag is having an AWESOME batch of contests!
Win a marked up copy of both of Laura Wiess's books

Released this week...

Blood Roses by Francesca Lia Block
What shall we do, all of us?
All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?
What's real is what's imagined in nine tales of transformation by Francesca Lia Block.

Girlwood by Claire Dean
Polly Greene has always been considered strange, a girl who can see a person's true colors, a thirteen-year-old more comfortable foraging in the woods with her eccentric grandmother than hanging out with friends. But all that is about to change when Polly's older sister, Bree, vanishes into the woods. The only one who believes Bree can survive, Polly begins to leave food in the woods for her sister and finds a hidden grove she names Girlwood, where she believes Bree is burning a fire each night. Along with an odd but endearing group of friends, Polly clings to the hope that she can see her sister through the harsh, snowy winter. And, in the process, she discovers the cruelty, bounty, and magic of the woods. Will Polly save her sister? And even if she does, will Girlwood survive?

The Debutante by Kathryn Williams (Review Forthcoming!) (Guest Blog With Kathryn Forthcoming!)
Annie McRae has her whole senior year planned out. Early acceptance to Brown University, a field hockey scholarship to pay the bills, and days spent with her best friend Jamie and her boyfriend Jake. It is going to be perfect. Then her parents ruin it all by moving -- to Alabama. Now, Annie finds herself in an unfamiliar world where she isn't even sure she speaks the same language. To top it off, she discovers that if she ever wants to escape back to her comfortable Yankee life, she will have to become a debutante. As in white-dress-wearing, perfect-manners-practicing, curtsying girly-girl. Fighting every step of the way, Annie spends the year learning to be a lady. Along the way, she discovers that friends can come from the most unlikely of places and that change is not always a bad thing...

Ironhand by Charlie Fletcher
Now that George Chapman has upset the fragile truce between the warring statues of London, he has been drawn into a war that will test his mettle. He and Edie, a glint who can see the past, may have succeeded in their quest to find the Stoneheart, but their journey is far from over.
Edie and the Gunner, a statue of a World War I soldier, have been captured by the Walker, and it's up to George to save them. But first he must deal with the three strange veins, made of marble, bronze and stone, that have begun to grow out of his hand and curl around his wrist. Legend has it that unless he successfully completes three challenges, the veins will continue up his forearm, and eventually pierce through his heart.
As George struggles to find the strength within to face the choice he has made, to take the Hard Way, he is determined to use his power for good -- even as others wish to harness it for its great potential for evil.
Model: A Memoir by Cheryl Diamond (Wishlisted!)
There are 6.5 billion people on this planet. Sixteen of them are supermodels.
Every year, hundreds of the most beautiful people in the world come to New York to become models. At age fourteen, Cheryl Diamond was one of them.
Living on her own in a run-down apartment, Cheryl spent her days on go-sees, runways, and photo shoots. She watched other girls make mistakes, and swore she wouldn't be a victim...until a career-altering event changed her life and nearly ruined her shot at her dream.
This is the riveting, true account of Cheryl's triumphant rise, disastrous fall, and phoenixlike comeback in one of the hottest and most demanding industries in the world.

For a heme like Cole, life is a tightrope existence in which sunlight is his deadly enemy and one mistake could trap him underground, staring at the inside of a coffin lid, for eternity. After a century of wandering he may still look like a teenager, but he's known in the heme community for being observant, meticulous, and controlled—a master of life on the road.
When Cole is asked to take a newly created heme out for training, however, his usual caution may not be enough. If Gordon, the rookie who really is in his teens, can't cut ties with his old life and accept his new limitations, Cole will have to discreetly dispose of the kid—the same way a mad dog would be put down for the safety of society.
Cole thinks he can handle it. But no matter how carefully he plans, or how much he thinks he's in control, accidents still happen. . . .
Outcast by Michelle Paver
Torak crouched on a beach of black sand, his clothes in tatters, his face wild and hopeless as he lashed out with a flaming brand—lashed out at Wolf.
Ior two moons Torak has hidden a terrible secret—and now it is revealed. He bears the mark of the Soul-Eater and must pay the price. Cast out from the clans, he is alone and on the run: cut off from his best friend, Renn, and his beloved pack-brother, Wolf.

In the haunted reed-beds of Lake Axehead he is hunted by the Otter Clan and taunted by the Hidden People and, as soul-sickness claims him, falls prey to an even greater menace. Tormented by secrets and broken trust, he uncovers a deception that will turn his world upside down.

Outcast is a thrilling story of friendship, survival, and the need to belong. Like all the books in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Outcast explores the complexities of an ancient world filled with good and evil.

Some friends fade away....Others disappear.

Imagine you and your best friend head out West on a cross-country bike trek.
Imagine that the two of you get into a fight -- and stop riding together.
Imagine you reach Seattle, go back home, start college.
Imagine you think your former best friend does too.
Imagine he doesn't.
Imagine your world shifting....
Shift is a tour de force -- a literary debut that'll knock the wind out of you as it explores the depths of loyalty, the depths of friendship, and the unknowable depths of another person.
Next week on Reviewer X...

- Oh God, so many negative reviews
- A Reviewer Profile
- Possibly an interview
- Awesome stuff
Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Whatcha Reading?

For the lack of a better post for the day, I thought I'd ask this: What is everyone reading right now?

Me, I'm reading Frenemies by Alexa Young (fabulously signed by the same) and Nothing by Robin Friedman. I'm going back and forth them because I felt like doing something different.

Stay tuned tomorrow for YAWeekly!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber

A fun, sexy, murder-mystery/romance for all teen sleuths!

Aphra Behn Connolly has the type of life most teenage girls envy. She lives on a remote tropical island and spends most of her time eavesdropping on the rich and famous. The problem is that her family’s resort allows few opportunities for her to make friends—much less to meet cute boys. So when a smoldering Seth Mulo arrives with his parents, she’s immediately drawn to him. Sure, he’s a little bit guarded, and sure his parents are rather cold, and okay he won’t say a word about his past, but their chemistry is undeniable. Then a famous rock star’s girlfriend turns up dead on the beach—strangled by her own bikini top—and alarm bells sound. Is it too great a coincidence that Seth’s family turned up just one day before a murder? As the plot thickens, Aphra finds that danger lurks behind even the most unexpected of faces. . . .

Grade: C //

I'm an avid mystery reader (Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew and A-Z Mysteries anyone?) and having not read a good mystery novel in over a month, I bumped this up on my ever-growing TBR pile. I wasn't disappointed, but it definitely wasn't what I was expecting.

The plot boils down to basically this: A girl is found dead on the beach of a private island resort owned by Aphra's father, seemingly choked by her bikini straps. Everyone believes the straps simply got tangled and that it was an accident. Aphra, however, gets the tingling sensation that there was some foul play. And so she turns to the rest of the guests on the resort, all of whom look like they have something to hide, and embarks on an investigative endeavor to find the dead girl's killer.

My thoughts in a nutshell:

Not so much a mystery. Despite how marketing worked it, I had the culprit figured out ten pages after the crime took place. I suspect any reader will too (especially rabid whudunnit fans like myself). The other components of the story, such as Aphra's relationship with Seth, her mother's enigmatic background and whereabouts, and the island life in general were much more compelling.

Snappy characters. This novel relies on its plot more than its cast to move forward, which reflects in sometimes more told-than-shown character interaction and development. I would've enjoyed seeing more of the Aphra/father dynamics or a bigger revelation out of Seth about his family. Exploring those characters would've made for a more rounded book, in my opinion. I'm not saying the characters were underdeveloped, because I could get a definite sense of personality from all of them, but I think a bit more of their lives could've been touched here and there. The set-up's all there--it just needs to be used more.

Breezy writing. Loved this. Linda Gerber knows how to handle fast-paced novels without dawdling on insignificant details. Even though the mystery wasn't a challenge, she set it up well (albeit requiring some suspension of belief here and there), focusing on all the right parts. The action passages, in particular, were well-crafted and vividly described.

Bombshell ending. The ending was a big bomb dropped on me and before I even had time to digest it--ZAP!--it was over. This is my biggest gripe on the execution. Preparing for the sequel, no doubt, but come on! Don't like cliffhangers.

Hopefully the next book, Death by Latte, will touch on this issues I desperately want to know more about.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Which Book Should I Buy?

I got a book gift card for my upcoming birthday from a very, very awesome friend of mine today! Naturally, my next stop was my wishlist (which is cornering in at $1000, I am not kidding) and see what I could get for the exact amount. As it turns out, I have a lot of options and I'd love to have my blog readers help me pick the book! :)


Adiós to My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

The Key to The Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

Sold by Patricia McCormick

Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

Feel free to suggest stuff as well! I'm always on the lookout for the next Author Week inspiration :) Make sure it's out in paperback, though, cos I can't afford hardback. (If I could, dude, this post wouldn't even be happening because either Madapple, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, or The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, my top top top choices, would already be purchased. ;D)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Reviewer Profile: Hope's Bookshelf

Hey, hey everyone! Hope everyone's having a fabulous weekend. Authors, Reviewer Profiles are to help you get to know reviewers better. Reviewers, if you're interested in getting profiled, please click here to read the info post and email me.

Now, on to the profile:
Name: Hope
Alias: N/A
Headquarters: Hope's Bookshelf
Mission: To review good books that young adults should read. And to have fun doing it. [:
Genres: Young Adult.

What's your occupation by day?
Student. One who needs a job...

What made you decide to tackle this whole blog reviewer biz?
Well, I wanted to start a blog, but I didn't know about what, and I love to read, so... I put two and two together and came up with Hope's Bookshelf.

What are your blog's strong points?
Hm.. I'm not very good at finding my strengths... but I think I'm good and telling what I liked and didn't like about whatever book I post. If I don't like something, I'll tell you, even if it's not what other people believed.

What are the best aspects of being a reviewer?
I've always wanted to meet authors, and interviewing them to me is almost like meeting them, so that's pretty rewarding.

In your opinion, where lies the heart of a good book?
I think the book has to have a good message to it and be realistic. I'm not a person who cries a lot, so if the book is one of those Real Life books that can make me cry, then it's an excellent book.

What books rocked your world? Which authors?
I just finished Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr last night, and it's one good book, let me tell you that. Also, Sarah Dessen.

What are some of your other passions and interests?
I've been playing the piano for four years, and also singing. Music is my second love. [:

Can you roll your tongue or do other nifty stuff?
Uhm.. no, nothing very nifty that I can think of. I can roll my tongue, though, but that's about it.

What music puts the rock to your roll?
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Boys Like Girls, Avril Lavigne, Fall Out Boy, Beach Boys, Miranda Lambert, Fergie, Taylor Swift.

Any movies you can watch over and over again and not get bored?
GREASE. It's been my favorite movie since I was five. And I watch it once a week faithfully. And I know it's a TV show, but I Love Lucy is the best.

Young Adult or death?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Young Adult Weekly (Week of May 11th-17th)

Sorry for the delayed Young Adult Weekly! I stayed over at a friend's yesterday to work on our EcoProject, an assignment that weighs a lot on our final averages for four different classes. After reading endless IPCC reports, the entire Al Gore biography and An Inconvenient Truth criticisms/scientific accuracy articles, learning more than I care to know about electromagnetic radiation, and overall brush-up on global warming and its consequences, I can safely say: Dude, let's get this planet cleaned up, please? Not because is reading about what will happen if we don't boring and scary in equal parts, but because there is a way to prevent all of it.

Anyway, my environmental activism aside, let's get on with the fifth installment of Young Adult Weekly! You'll notice--hopefully--that this week's Released This Week... section is a lot longer. I decided I wanted a more complete list of titles, complete with cover art and summaries so you can get the full scoop! Hope it's not too overwhelming..

Young Adult Weekly
Week of May 11th-17th

From the Authors...

A.S. King (The Dust of 100 Dogs), is cool as ever, and this week she even had a new blog to boot, wherein she mentioned a certain keeper of Reviewer X (me), which was just awesome. I'll be posting the Fives tag here on my blog at some point, you can be sure of that, Amy! Thanks for accepting my urge last week.

Linda Gerber (Death by Bikini) celebrates her launch with a blog party where you can enter to win all sorts of cool stuff, like a copy of Ninth Grade Slays, a Borders gift certificate, a copy of Death by Bikini, amongst others!

Alexa Young (Frenemies), aside from being awesome, also had her launch this week! Here's her official post about it. She also went bookshop-bopping to search for it, and had several of her best friends do the same! And I thought this was worth sharing: Alexa guest blogged over at Enchanting Reviews about her first kiss. Fun reading, that one was! Have you not purchased her book yet? Well, here's a great list of blogs that are holding contests for it, so go go go!

Jennifer Ziegler (How NOT To Be Popular) posted a blog about her cool her mom is. Well, we can all safely assume that's a true statement, because like mother, like daughter, Jennifer is pretty cool herself. (And yes, I have valid proof to that effect.)

Debbie Reed Fischer (Braless In Wonderland) posted this really sweet blog about a reader who wrote this really nice fan note to her. Reviewer X was too slow to catch it last week when it was originally posted, but because I posted it this week, I'm hoping Debbie will forgive me! (You will, won't you, Debbie? ;D)

Jody Gehrman (Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty) was unfathomably overlooked from my Authors Who Rock sidebar thingo, but has now found her way there. (Look!) This week, Jody posted about dreaming of blurbs from Stephenie Meyer. That's the stuff. Also, if you're interested in having Jody as a conference-call guest over at your book group, read this blog post of hers.

Catherine Clark (Better Latte Than Never) posted about the misunderstood reception her book has been receiving. Nothing works my curious sensor better than an allegedly misconstrued cover, which is why this book is officially high-up on my to-be-bought list. I hope everyone who's read this book reads Catherine's blog about it so there's no doubt on your mind about her intention with this book.

Rachel Caine (Feast of Fools) is giving away a mega-load of cool stuff including, but not limited to, an iPod nano and a copy of Feast of Fools. I'm psyched for this book, and I know any Morganville fans are too, so go and enter!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Vertigo) wants to know your take on the difference between Need vs Want. Lauren actually posts a lot of writing-related topics on her blog, so to all the writers out there, that's a pretty cool thing to watch out for.

Tina Ferraro (How To Hook a Hottie) posts about the creativity that is expected from a guy asking a girl to prom nowadays. Well, I'm still a long way off from going to prom, but what can I say? My inner-girliness goes SQUEE! when I read these types of things and get caught in the expectation.

Nancy Viau (Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head) is holding a contest over at her blog. For my contest entry, I'm saying:

My elementary school science teacher taught me that photosynthesis was, in fact, a natural process and a style of photography. Ahem, no further comment.

Move over, Ramona Quimby…Samantha Hansen is ready to ROCK!
Look for Nancy Viau’s middle-grade novel, Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head, this September. Get your signed ARC at BEA or ALA this summer!

Jennifer Echols (The Boys Next Door) posts about this funny video she says resembles a conversation she's had with her agent, Caren Johnson. Speaking of funny videos about literary agents and such, click here to see the funniest rejection reaction in history.

John Green (An Abundance of Katherines) along with Hank Green have this awesome youtube channel (as you fans should know!), and this week's notable videos were: Nerdfighting IRL and Hank's Punishment.

Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key) has a blog bustlin' with bubbly posts this week. I won't link to all of 'em; instead, here's a link to Sarah's blog for anyone who hasn't gotten caught up yet!

Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) posts about what she should post in her blog. It raises a lot of interesting questions, and hey, for writers out there, it's something to check out.

Aprilynne Pike (read blog to find out the title) posts about the official title of her upcoming book! Also, she posts about her official jacket photo, which I personally really liked. Can't wait to find out what her cover will look like!

Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing) posts about her new kitten in an interesting way that only someone like Libba herself can pull off.

Claudia Gray (Evernight) is holding the fifth contest before Evernight's publication. This is the penultimate one, so go and enter while you still can!

From the reviewers...

Reviewer X reviewed Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty and did an interview with the fabu author Jody Gehrman! Also, she (I) reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why along with a QnA session, AND interviewed Jay Asher!

The Ravenous Reader is holding her first-ever contest! Go enter while you still can!

Reader Rabbit reviewed Legacy by Cayla Kluver!

The Page Flipper
reviewed The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicole Kraus. I really liked Chelsea's review because it pretty much summarizes how I felt about it.

The Book Muncher reviewed Airhead by Meg Cabot! I also have this book on my TBR&R list, and I'm definitely moving it up.

From The Corner Of Megan's Mind (I'm still loving the name, Megan!) is holding a contest! Click here to enter to win an ARC of Otherspace by David Stahler, Jr! Megan also reviewed Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway, a book that currently sits on my TBR pile and has just moved up.

Hope's Bookshelf reviewed The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie!

Liv's Book Reviews reviewed I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder and Looking for Alaska by John Green!

Ms. Yingling Reads reviewed City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, a book which I'm certainly looking forward to reading!

One Page Is Not Enough reviewed How To Be Popular by Meg Cabot!

Book Chic interviewed Nico Medina (Fat Hoochie Prom Queen). He also reviewed Fat Hoochie Prom Queen and Straight Road to Kylie by Nico Medina!

Read, Read, Read is holding a contest over at her blog!

Story Siren reviewed Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott and had Heather Brewer (Ninth Grade Slays) do a guest blog!

Released this week...

Frenemies by Alexa Young (Review Forthcoming! Note: Alexarulz.)
What happens when two besties become full-blown worsties?

Avalon Greene rules the fashion scene at her sunny SoCal middle school with a diamond-clad fist, calling out classmates for their fashion-do's and most unfortunate clothes-pas. She's determined to host the social event of the season—a soiree in honor of her forever-friendship with Halley! Unfortunately, Halley's new look is one thing Avalon just can't celebrate. . . .

Halley Brandon is just back from art camp and can't wait to share her funky new style with her best friend, Avalon. But when Avalon cries fashion foul, Halley realizes her best friend's true colors may clash with her own. Has their ultra-fabulous friendship finally gone out of style?

From sharing custody of their puppy, Pucci, to drawing up a list of who gets which friends, Avalon and Halley discover what happens when you battle the person who knows everything about you—and isn't afraid to use your secrets to get what she wants.

Best friends. Worst enemies. Frenemies.

Death By Bikini by Linda Gerber (Review Forthcoming!)
A fun, sexy, murder-mysteryromance for all teen sleuths!

Aphra Behn Connolly has the type of life most teenage girls envy. She lives on a remote tropical island and spends most of her time eavesdropping on the rich and famous. The problem is that her family’s resort allows few opportunities for her to make friends—much less to meet cute boys. So when a smoldering Seth Mulo arrives with his parents, she’s immediately drawn to him. Sure, he’s a little bit guarded, and sure his parents are rather cold, and okay he won’t say a word about his past, but their chemistry is undeniable. Then a famous rock star’s girlfriend turns up dead on the beach—strangled by her own bikini top—and alarm bells sound. Is it too great a coincidence that Seth’s family turned up just one day before a murder? As the plot thickens, Aphra finds that danger lurks behind even the most unexpected of faces. . . .

It's All About Us by Shelley Adina
Tall, blonde Lissa Mansfield is used to being one of the "in" crowd--but being accepted by the popular girls at posh SpencerAcademy boarding school in San Francisco is turning out to be harder than she thought. And then there's her New-York-loudmouth roommate, Gillian Chang, who's not just happy to be a Christian herself--she's determined to out Lissa, too! If Lissa can just keep her faith under wraps long enough to hook Callum McCloud, the hottest guy in school, she'll be golden.

But when Callum pressures her to go all the way with him, Lissa has to decide for herself how far is too far. How can she see that line when he's so gorgeous and popular and she's so dazzled? And besides, she's too busy shopping for a Valentino and booking the hottest celeb for the Benefactors Ball. Who knew finding a place at SpencerAcademy would be so complicated?

All Night Long: A Nannie Novels by Melody Mayer
LYDIA KNOWS SHE blew it big-time with Billy, and winning him back is her numero uno priority before her endless LA summer finally does come to an end.

Esme can’t believe that a chica from Echo Park is going to spend senior year at über-wealthy Bel Air High, let alone that she’ll have her two best friends with her. Except there’s one tiny problem: the girl Esme was eager to help is slowly stealing Esme’s life. . . . Kiley doesn’t know what she’d do without Tom to lean on. Not only is she trying to work through her panic attacks, but she’s also been thrust into the national spotlight at the trial of Platinum. So with all that’s going on, why can’t Kiley get the guy she met at the all-night party out of her head?

All Shook Up by Shelley Pearsall
WHEN 13-YEAR-OLD JOSH finds out he has to stay with his dad in Chicago for a few months, he’s not too thrilled. But when he arrives at the airport, he’s simply devastated. His father—who used to be a scatterbrained, but pretty normal, shoe salesman—has become a sideburn-wearing, hip-twisting, utterly embarrassing Elvis impersonator. Josh is determined to keep his dad’s identity a secret, but on his very first day at his new school, a note appears on his locker. It’s signed Elvisly Yours, and instead of a name, a sneering purple smiley face. The secret is out, and when his dad is invited to perform at a special 50s concert at his school, Josh is forced to take drastic action. From award-winning author Shelley Pearsall comes a hilarious novel about a father and son discovering something about being who you are—and who you’re not.

Confessions Of A Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen
EVANGELINE LOGAN WANTS a kiss. A spectacular, heart-stopping, life changing kiss. Somehow The Crimson Kiss (a romance novel she’s become obsessed with) and Four Steps to Living Your Fantasy (a self-help book she’s reading) have fused in Evangeline’s mind and sent her on a quest for a kiss. But the path to perfection is paved with many bad kisses—the smash mouth, the ear licker, the “misser.” The phrase “I don’t kiss and tell” means nothing to the boys in her school. And worse: someone starts writing her name and number on bathroom walls. And worst of all: the boy she's just kissed turns out to be her best friend’s new crush. Kissing turns out to be way more complicated than the romance novels would have you believe . . .

The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde
IT WASN’T SUPPOSED to end up like this. But it did.

When Theresa brings James to a party as her date, it’s just for the night . . . and he knows that. But when everything goes horribly wrong, James drives his motorcycle off a cliff—and Theresa knows she’s responsible for his death.

Theresa tries to run away from the pain, becoming a new young woman with a whole new life. She meets people, of course, but she never really makes connections—she’s too scared she’ll hurt them, too. But what Theresa discovers is that you can try to run away from the pain—but you can never really run away from yourself. The only way out is through.

Fact Of Life #31 by Denise Vega
FACT OF LIFE #48: Kat’s mom is No-Last-Name Abra, the best home-birth midwife in Colorado. But with her own daughter, Abra can’t stop teaching and lecturing long enough to be a mom.
Fact of Life #21: Kat’s had a crush on Manny Cruz since seventh grade. Now Manny is showing interest , but could he seriously be into Weird Yoga Girl Kat Flynn?
Fact of Life #14: Gorgeous Libby Giles has always intimidated Kat. But lately there’s something different about Libby, and it’s about to bring her crashing into Kat’s Life. . . .
Hilarious and poignant, this is the story of one girl’s sometimes funny, sometimes painful path to self-acceptance and to finding her place in the world.

Fortune's Fool by Kathleen Karr
CONRAD THE GOOD serves as court jester to a most unworthy master: Lord Otto “the Witless,” who rarely appreciates jesting and acrobatics and more often rewards his good fool with a good whipping. So one night, Conrad flees, leaving Otto’s realm in search of a more enlightened master—taking with him only his noble horse, Blackspur, and his beloved, the servant girl Christa the Fair. As they take to the road, they soon learn that along with their quest comes hardship. But for all the hardships they encounter, there are as many unexpected joys and friends in unexpected places, and there is always their love for one another. And always, their destination lies before them: somewhere, a sanctuary where they’ll have the freedom to be together and be themselves.

Hot Mess: Summer In The City by Julie Kraut & Shallon Lester
EMMA FREEMAN IS waving buh-bye to her standard summer of stationwagoning around the suburbs. This summer she’s heading to the big city. Emma’s totally prepped for days at a fabulous internship and nights of socialite-ing around town. But when you’re 17 and not an heiress, reality is far from pink fizzy drinks and red velvet ropes. As the summer heats up, Emma learns that glamour is hard to come by when your only friend is too boy-crazy to hang, your budget is more H&M than D&G, and you spend 8 hours a day working for a man who proves that the devil wears Dockers too. Add one little white lie told to one very hot coworker and a roommate who makes Paris Hilton look junior varsity, and this summer in the city is starting to turn into one hot mess.

The Latent Powers Of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie (Review Possibly Forthcoming!)
A MOTHER WHO split for another man.

A father who works 24/7.

An older brother who excels at everything—and smokes a lot of weed.

A best friend, of the feminine persuasion, who only wants to be a friend, and who’s shooting a film set in cool Greenwich Village, New York.

Dylan Fontaine’s life seems to be full of drama he can’t control. But when he stars in his best friend’s movie, Dylan discovers that, sometimes, life’s big shake-ups force you to take risks—and to step into the spotlight.

Likely Story by David Van Etten
MALLORY IS A teenage girl living in L.A. and her mother is the oftnominated, never-winning star of a daytime soap; she is, in fact, the ultimate drama queen. After yet another blow-out about her mother’s awful plotlines and overacting, Mallory starts blogging about how she wishes soap operas were more like real kids’ lives instead of the ridiculous storylines the shows usually feature.

When her mother’s agent reads the blog, Mallory ends up in her own whirlwind drama, both at school and on the lot, as she works to protect the integrity of her original idea, cope with her mother’s jealousy, and get her best friend a lead role on the show. Factor in her boyfriend with the girlfriend, the cute but bad brother to said-best-friend, and the super-cute male lead on her show, and Mallory’s got plenty of her own melodrama to cope with.

Madapple by Christina Meldrum (Wishlisted!)
THE SECRETS OF the past meet the shocks of the present.

Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language—but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.

When Aslaug’s mother dies unexpectedly, everything changes. For Aslaug is a suspect in her mother’s death. And the more her story unravels, the more questions unfold. About the nature of Aslaug’s birth. About what she should do next.

About whether divine miracles have truly happened. And whether, when all other explanations are impossible, they might still happen this very day.

Addictive, thought-provoking, and shocking, Madapple is a page-turning exploration of human nature and divine intervention—and of the darkest corners of the human soul.

Maiden of the Wolf: Hallowmere by Tiffany Trent and Angelika Ranger
Werewolves are on the hunt in this next volume of Hallowmere...

With the culmination of Between Golden Jaws, Corrine and all of her friends are thrown into separate fairy worlds. Ilona finds herself in one of these raths, a world controlled by an evil countess so obsessed by youth, she sacrifices young girls to draw their life force into her own. Forced to join the countess's troop of werewolves, Ilona must help in their mission of kidnapping girls from the mortal world. As she puzzles over how to save the girls without putting herself in danger, she begins to fall for one of the werewolf lieutenants. It's the chance for love she's always dreamed of, but at what cost?

No Cream Puffs by Karen Day
MADISON IS NOT your average 12-year-old girl from Michigan in 1980. She doesn’t use lipgloss, but she loves to play sports, and joins baseball for the summer—the first girl in Southern Michigan to play on a boys’ team. The press call her a star and a trailblazer, but Madison just wants to play ball. Who knew it would be so much pressure? Crowds flock to the games. Her team will win the championship—if she can keep up her pitching streak. Meanwhile, she’s got a crush on a fellow player, her best friend abandons her for the popular girls, the “O” on her Hinton’s uniform forms a bulls-eye over her left breast, and the boy she punched on the last day of school plans to bean her in the championship game.

Roots and Wings by Many Ly
GRACE’S GRANDMOTHER HAS died, and she and her mother must travel back to the Cambodian community to give her a proper Cambodian funeral. But Grace wants to use the trip to solve a few mysteries, like who her father was, why her mother and grandmother moved from St. Petersburg to Pennsylvania, where they’re the only Cambodians Grace has ever seen, and what Cambodian culture is really about.

Embraced by her mother’s old friends, Grace feels both at home and lost, fascinated by the traditions she’s never known, but strangely judged by some members of the community. Can she make sense of, and honor, the life of the grandmother she barely knew? And will revelations about the past bring Grace closer to her mother, or push them even further apart?

Suck It Up by Brian Meehl
ARE YOU UP to your neck in bloodsucking vampire stories?

Tired of those tales about dentally enhanced dark lords?

Before I wrote this book I thought all vampires were night-stalking, fangpopping, bloodsucking fiends. Then I met Morning McCobb. He’s a vegan vampire who drinks a soy-blood substitute called Blood Lite. He believes staking should be a hate crime. And someday he hopes to march in a Vampire Pride Parade. He was also the first vampire to out himself and try to show people of mortality, like you and me, that vampires are just another minority with special needs. Trust me—this is like no other vampire book you’ll ever feed on.

So, as my buddy Morning says, “Pop the lid, and suck it up.”

Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor (Review Forthcoming!)
HERE’S A CONTEMPORARY retelling of Andersen’s tale, revamped and fleshed out for today’s hip tweens. As she did in Cinderella (As If You Didn’t Already Know the Tale), Ensor re-imagines this classic, adding her own inimitable humor, flair, and stylish black-and-white silhouette spot illustrations. Thumbelina is that story most of us can’t quite remember. Okay, sure, it’s about a tiny girl just the size of your thumb. But did you know that her troubles (or adventures, if you prefer) begin when she begs her mother to let her sleep outside on the porch? And that in no time she is engaged to a frog, and then a mole, and even receives a proposal from a miniature king?

Where People Like Us Live by Patricia Cumbie
I want to shake Rita. She thinks all the screwed-up things in the world are happening somewhere else. But bad things are happening right here.
It's a routine Libby's used to by now: pack up, move, start over, repeat. This time it's to Rubberville—population: faces, names, a few factories, and Angie, a girl who nearly-but-not-quite gets Libby killed the first day they meet. Angie is everything Libby wishes she were: outspoken, fearless, and happy to risk it all to have a little fun. But one day Libby learns that behind Angie's attitude is a frightening secret. Libby faces an impossible choice: Does she protect her friendship or her friend?

Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling (Wishlisted!)

Finding love is simple with the One True Love Plan.
“If only life were as easy as your sisters.” Abby’s heard that one before. And it’s true —Shelby and Kait aren’t exactly prim and proper. Abby is determined not to follow in their footsteps, so she has created the One True Love Plan. The most important part of the plan is Rule #1: Find Someone New. This means finding a guy who hasn’t already dated Shelby or Kait. But when Abby starts falling for the possible father of Kait’s baby, she has to figure out if some rules are meant to be broken.
This debut novel, a modern comedy of errors, is as lighthearted and irreverant as its title.

My Tiki Girl by Jennifer McMahon
Maggie was looking for a friend in Dahlia. She never guessed she’d find love, too.

All the tenth-grade girls hate Dahlia Wainwright—a smart, natural beauty and freaky outsider all in one. And that’s exactly what Maggie Keller is drawn to, for she herself is an outsider, having withdrawn from the high school elite crowd after a car accident that killed her mother—an accident for which she blames herself. But Dahlia’s friendship—a manic journey into new identities and outrageous behavior— transforms Maggie in ways she could never have imagined. In her stunning first young adult novel, bestselling adult author Jennifer McMahon paints a lush portrait of the healing power of love.

Saga by Conor Kostick
The breathtaking sequel to the multistarred Epic!

Ghost is part of a street hacker airboard gang who lives to break rules. When they realize that their world—Saga—is being periodically invaded by strange human beings, they don’t know what to do. That is, until they learn the complicated truth: Saga is not just their world. It is a sentient computer game, the replacement to Epic on New Earth, and it’s addictive. The Dark Queen who controls Saga is trying to enslave both its people and the people of New Earth. And she’ll succeed unless Ghost and her friends—and Erik, from Epic, and his friends—figure out what to do.

The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies by Lizabeth Zindel
When does truth become gossip?
Maggie’s parents have just split up, and she’s moved from New Jersey to New York City with her mom. Desperate to make new friends and to distract herself from troubles at home, she falls in with a group of social butterflies at the ritzy private school she now attends. These girls keep a top-secret record of their classmates’ most intimate details on a wall in one of their apartments. Maggie’s friends insist they are collecting the truth—not gossip—about the lives of today’s teenagers. But she soon learns that certain information in the wrong hands can do irreparable damage.

Next week on Reviewer X...

- Death by Bikini Review
- Reviewer Profile
- Unplanned new reviews!

Have a nice weekend everyone!