My Magnificent Mailbox #11

literati_rain66 Monday, August 30, 2010
In My Mailbox is brought to you by The Story Siren.

I'm a bit late, but better late than never! And this week, my beautiful kitty, Lila, wanted to join in on the fun. :) 

Borrowing From Catie over at Book Bound:
ARC of Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare
ARC of Firelight, by Sophie Jordan

From Kate O'Hegarty:
Mieradome, by Kate O'Hegarty

From Amazon:
Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

What did you get?

Really Ravishing Review (The Duff)

literati_rain66 Thursday, August 26, 2010 ,
The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)Review of The DUFF, by Kody Keplinger.

Quickie: Not at all what I expected, but very good. It was raw and honest and kept me turning pages until it was over.

Full: Bianca has just been told that she is "The Duff". The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. She looks around her and realizes it's true- Jessica and Casey are blond, beautiful, and confident. Bianca is the Cherry Coke sipping cynic with mousy brown hair who hates every thing about high school romance.

Wesley Rush, the school's very own hunky "man-whore" approaches Bianca and tells her that he is only talking to her because she is The Duff, and her friends will like him better if they see him talking to her, doubling his chances of getting with one of them. This hurts Bianca's feelings (as it very well should) and she is furious. How does she take out her fury? She kisses him. A big smackaroo right on the mouth. Being Wesley, he kisses back and proceeds to grab her boob. Line crossed! She smacks him and storms off.

At this point, my eyes were bugging out and I was shocked. Who in their right mind just up and kisses a random guy who they hate?! Crazy. But Bianca gets a high from it. She feels numb and all her anger dissipates when she kisses Wesley.

Things start to go downhill in Bianca's already unstable home life, and what better way to deal with it than to just be numb? She can't fix the problems at home, but she can escape from them.

Wesley becomes her escape. (And he is all too happy to be it!)

Things quickly escalate and before long Bianca is ditching her friends and making up lies so she can spend her time with Wesley, getting numb. Her life is crumbling around her, and she runs to Wesley's bed at each problem. Eventually she must come to the realization that every girl feels like The Duff, and every person makes mistakes. She also must realize that she has to stop running from her problems and deal with them, or she will be running forever.

I surprised myself- Wesley was my favorite character. The womanizing man-whore. Not typical for me at all. But Keplinger really did well in showing that image and reputation isn't everything a person is. There was so much more to Wesley than his womanizing ways. True, he was a pig. (Points though, for being smart enough to use a condom, even though they aren't fool proof) But once Bianca figured him out and got down under the surface of his actions, she found a sad, lonely boy who just needed company and love. (Awww) Real love, the caring kind, not just physical flings.

I simultaneously loved and hated Bianca. I loved her because she was witty and intelligent and not afraid to show it. She loved her friends, and had no problems being the snark to their charm. But I was ticked off when she did the whole, "I'll just use this guy to blow off my steam. Who cares anyway, since he's a womanizing pig and obviously won't care at all if I use him up and throw him away" bit. She hates him because he's so promiscuous and uses girls like hotel soap bars (one use and you throw it away) , yet it's okay for her to be promiscuous and validate it by his low moral standards? Not cool.

The DUFF was quite a story. It was dramatic and shocking, but still very real. I'm sure I've used the phrase, "thought provoking" way too much in my reviews, but it was. I've felt like the DUFF. I've also known when I wasn't the DUFF. (Horrible in a way, but true) It didn't really matter to me when I was or wasn't the DUFF, because I had great friends either way and none of us really cared.

It's a book that every girl can understand. That in itself is quite a feat, not to mention that she wrote it when she was only 17! You go girl!

4 out of 5 stars.

Terrific Teaser Tuesday #10

literati_rain66 Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is brought to you by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Book 2)This week's teaser is from Blood Bound, by Patricia Briggs. Book 2 in the Mercy Thompson series.

"Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average age law-abiding, solid, citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I were an average citizen.

Average citizens don't get visited by vampires."  (page 4)

Here is how it works:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2 or 3) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Remember to show the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Really Ravishing Review (City of Glass)

literati_rain66 Monday, August 23, 2010 ,
Review of City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare.

Quickie: Best one yet!

Full: Caution, SPOILERS from City of Bones and City of Ashes!! (There was just no avoiding it, sorry)
City of Glass (Mortal Instruments)

 City of Glass picks up right where City of Ashes left off. Clary has gotten a clue as to how to pull her mother out of her spell-induced coma at the end of City of Ashes. She must travel to Idris, the Shadowhunter city and find a warlock named Ragnor Fell. Only then can she hope to save her mother. Jace, of course, has other ideas and strongly opposes Clary going to Idris. He tries to get Simon to dissuade Clary from going, and in the process accidentally brings Simon to Idris through the portal. Chaos! Oh no! What reason could the son of Valentine have had for bringing a Downworlder into the sacred Idris?! Upset! Intrigue! Mistrust!

Clary must unravel the mystery surrounding her mother, herself, Jace, and Valentine- and fast- in order to save her mother and the entire Shadowhunter race.

It's hard to give this book the credit it deserves without revealing major spoilers, but rest assured, it was great. For sure my favorite so far in the series. Lots of great action, twists, and mystery.

And finally, an end to the wacko love triangle! I have high hopes for all three of them, in their respective relationship endeavors. All ye who hated the ending of City of Bones, have no fear. Everything ends up okay, not in the way you expect, but okay nonetheless.

I'm greatly anticipating the next installments in the series. City of Glass would have been a nice and satisfactory ending, sure, but there was a very obvious (at least I thought so) plot thread that had awesome potential. Can't wait to see what happens!

4 out of 5 stars,

My Magnificent Mailbox #10

literati_rain66 Sunday, August 22, 2010
In My Mailbox is brought to you by The Story Siren.

This week was much better than the last two weeks, considering I got zero books last week!

Won from in a contest from Melissa Marr:
The House of Dead Maids, by Clare Dunkle

From Nantucket Bookworks:
ARC of The Duff, by Kody Keplinger
ARC of Teenie, by Christopher Grant
ARC of All Just Glass, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
ARC of The Red Thread, by Ann Hood
ARC of Beautiful Malice, by Rebecca James
ARC of The Princess Trap, by  Kirsten Boie
ARC of A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness

And three sneak previews of Reckless, by Cornelia Funke.

Terrific Teaser Tuesday #9

literati_rain66 Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is brought to you by MizB at Should Be Reading.

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments)This week's teaser is from City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare.

"The rune melted and ran as Clary stared at it, taking the shape of a hideous grinning skull. It's not real, she told herself fiercely, stifling her scream with her fist, biting down until she tasted blood in her mouth." (pg 66)

Here is how it works:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2 or 3) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Remember to show the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Really Ravishing Review (The Secret to Lying)

literati_rain66 Saturday, August 14, 2010 ,
The Secret to LyingReview of The Secret to Lying, by Todd Mitchell.

Quickie: Deeper than expected and easy for teens to relate to. Thumbs up.

Full: James is invisible. Nobody at school notices him. What's worse is that nobody notices that nobody notices him. He feels like he is inconsequential to the world. When he gets an opportunity to transfer to a "high school for geeks" he accepts, with the plan to start a new life for himself.

This plan is a bit flawed though, since it consists mainly of lying about everything in his life. He creates detailed stories of his past- stealing cars, being a street fighter, being a general 'tough guy'. As James tells us, "The secret to lying is this: believe yourself and others will believe you, too." But what happens when you start believing all your own lies? How do you keep a hold of your true self? Can you?

This book was surprisingly deep and thought provoking. What I expected to be a lesson about lying and the consequences of lying turned out to be a exploration of the question, "Who Am I?". James has a serious struggle finding out who he really is- and more importantly, he struggles with being okay with who he is. Every teen goes through this, and some adults do too. It's a tough question to answer, and we, like James, generally do some stupid things on the path to figuring out who we are.

I was right there with James as the line between reality and lies started to blur. At one point, I really wasn't sure what was real and what was a dream. That really helped me to see from James' point of view, since I was just as confused as he was. 

I stated earlier that I think The Secret to Lying will be easy for teens to relate to. One reason I said that is because James' struggle is such a familiar one. He wants to be noticed, and he does so by lying and acting out. He is constantly putting on a show, trying to impress people by pulling pranks and going crazy-  on the outside. On the inside is a jumble of lies and truths and half-truths and in attempt to control it all he starts cutting himself. He even creates wild stories to explain the cuts. He crashes his girlfriend's car. He jumps into an icy lake and gets hypothermia. He tries so desperately to be someone, when he already is someone but just can't see it.

4 out of 5 stars.

Wonderfully Wacky Winner!

Okay! We have a winner, chosen by Congratulations to Becky!! Please send your shipping info to me at redraindrops66(at)yahoo(dot)com and Stork will be sent your way as soon as it's released. (October)

Thanks so much to all who entered!

Have a Happy Hop #4

literati_rain66 Friday, August 13, 2010
Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is: How many books do you have on your "to be read" shelf?

HA! I'm honestly not sure anymore. There are plenty on my literal shelves that I have bought/acquired that I still need to read. And my Goodreads shelf has quite a few as well. If I had to guess, I'd say somewhere around 300. Ish? Probably more than that.

As always, if you're stopping by from the Hop, leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to stop by your blog!

Have a Happy Hop!

Terrific Teaser Tuesday #8

literati_rain66 Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is brought to you by MizB at Should Be Reading.

The Secret to LyingThis week's teaser is from The Secret to Lying, by Todd Mitchell.

"The more they listened, the more I lied, laying the groundwork for the new me. James Turner: Reckless fighter. Pyromaniac. Delinquent. Troubled runaway who'd stolen cars and lived on the streets of Madison. If they believed only half the things I said, it would be enough." (page 24)

Here is how it works:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2 or 3) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Remember to show the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Don't forget to enter to win STORK by Wendy Delsol here!

My Magnificent Mailbox #9

literati_rain66 Sunday, August 8, 2010
In My Mailbox is brought to you by The Story Siren.

This week I only got one book. ONE. I know! Crazy! But it's been a really busy week, and we have company. So no reading has been done, and no trips to the bookstore or library. Sad.

But I did get one, and so by golly, I'm doing an IMM post. My lovely brother in law and sister in law got me Leaving Paradise, by Simone Elkeles. Yay!!
Leaving Paradise

What did you get this week?


Really Ravishing Review (Before I Fall)

literati_rain66 Thursday, August 5, 2010 ,
Before I FallReview of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver.

Quickie: GO GET THIS. It's definitely one you're not going to forget soon.

Full: Sam Kingston has it all. She's one of the "It" girls in her high school. The ring leader of their little popularity pack is Lindsay, Sam's bestie. They giggle over boys, party, swap lipgloss, and start rumors. Sam's biggest concern is how many roses she'll get on Cupid Day, when everyone sends their friends and love interests a rose with a cute little note attached.

All that changes though, when Sam dies. On the way home from a party one night, Sam's group of friends is involved in a car crash. The strange thing? She wakes up... on the morning of the day that she died. Sam re-lives February 12th over and over again, each time trying to change things.

Along the way Sam discovers a few things about her friends, herself, life in general, and most importantly, how to appreciate the little things.

Before I Fall was fantastic. One of the most interesting books I've read in a while. You might think that reading about one girl's day over and over again would get dull, but it absolutely wasn't. She goes through quite a lot, and her journey is inspiring and thought provoking.

It is aimed at an older teen audience, or at least I think so. There is a lot of drinking, smoking, cutting class, and talk of sex. It's beautiful and I loved it, but I wouldn't want my kids to read it until they were about 14 or 15 and had an understanding of it all. It's perfect for older teens though, because it really addresses some tough issues, things that are hard to talk about. And it really gives a good outlook on life, makes you feel like it's worth living, even though it can be hard and difficult to understand sometimes.

I think Before I Fall struck a chord with me right now because I'm having a personal struggle with "people molds". I expect people to fit into these ideas I have about them, but they don't. My world has been turned upside down because a person I thought I knew recently revealed something to me that horrified and angered me. But does that make that person a "bad person"? I still care about this person, but I feel like I have no idea what to expect from anybody.

How does that relate? I wanted to put Sam in the "bad person" box. Along with Lindsay and Rob. I was shocked by some of Sam's thoughts and desires and her general attitude. As soon as I started to read about Sam I was going , "Ugh, what an icky person." But was she really? She did things that were unkind, even cruel. She lost control of herself, she did all sorts of things that I consider "bad". But in the end I was proud of her. She didn't have a big revelation and change her whole life, friends, and habits. But her perspective changed, and that was enough for me.

This was pretty much exactly what I needed to read right now. I'm still struggling with "people molds", I think we all do. I, myself, appreciate rules and lines and black and white. So it's difficult for me to remember that people aren't rules and lines and black and white. We're a big pot of "Momma's Soup Surprise". (You can't put soup in a box. It will soak through and leak and surprise you.) We're a bit of this, a little of that. And with each bite you discover some other unexpected ingredient. But for the most part, "Momma's Soup Surprise" is pretty good. I need to remember that.

5 out of 5 stars.

My Magnificent Mailbox #8

literati_rain66 Sunday, August 1, 2010
In My Mailbox is brought to you by The Story Siren.

From Nantucket Bookworks:
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
Days of Grace, by Catherine Hall
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan (Signed by both of them!!!)
ARC of The Gendarme, by Mark T. Mustian
Elegy for April, by Benjamin Black

Yep, that's it. Not a very big haul this week, but I'm pretty excited about Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and I'm reading Before I Fall right now. :)

What did you guys get?