Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

From Goodreads:
Just when seventeen-year-old Cullen Witter thinks he understands everything about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town, it all disappears. . . .

In the summer before Cullen's senior year, a nominally-depressed birdwatcher named John Barling thinks he spots a species of woodpecker thought to be extinct since the 1940s in Lily, Arkansas. His rediscovery of the so-called Lazarus Woodpecker sparks a flurry of press and woodpecker-mania. Soon all the kids are getting woodpecker haircuts and everyone's eating "Lazarus burgers." But as absurd as the town's carnival atmosphere has become, nothing is more startling than the realization that Cullen’s sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother Gabriel has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.

While Cullen navigates his way through a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood, a young missionary in Africa, who has lost his faith, is searching for any semblance of meaning wherever he can find it. As distant as the two stories seem at the start, they are thoughtfully woven ever closer together and through masterful plotting, brought face to face in a surprising and harrowing climax.

Complex but truly extraordinary, tinged with melancholy and regret, comedy and absurdity, this novel finds wonder in the ordinary and emerges as ultimately hopeful. It's about a lot more than what Cullen calls, “that damn bird.” It’s about the dream of second chances.

This book was a beautiful, wonderful, unexpected gift from the Book Gods. When I bought the book, I knew that it was supposed to be really good (double award winning good!) and it was about a bird or something. I wasn't really sure what it was about beyond that, and if I wasn't sure if I would even like it.

Once I was just a few pages into it, I knew that I was reading something special. Cullen, the main character, is a normal teenager in a normal, albeit small, town. Nothing exciting really happens to him until his brother suddenly disappears. Cullen is left with a lot of questions and no answers, while the rest of the town obsesses over a rare bird that may or may not exist.

But the entire book is not about Cullen. The chapters alternate from Cullen's point of view to the stories of some other characters. At first, it seems that these are just random characters that have nothing to do with Cullen, but eventually everyone's paths intertwine and tangle together and start to explain a lot of things about the book. This book shows how different actions of different people can go on to affect others in a lot of ways.

Cullen is smart, thoughtful, and funny. I really connected with him as a main character. Cullen's friends and family were all extremely realistic and easy to identify with. The characters in the other half the book are all interesting to read about, and it was fascinating to see how their stories fit in with the rest of the book. I feel like I was able to really connect with all the characters, and the stories of their lives will stay with me.

This book is funny and mysterious and surprising and depressing and absolutely amazing. On the surface, Where Things Come Back is about an ordinary, even slightly boring, situation, but John Corey Whaley manages to take that simple story and transform it into something extraordinary. I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone, especially fans of John Green.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Legend

Legend by Marie Lu

From Goodreads:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias' death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Woah. This book is freaking awesome. It was such a crazy experience reading this book. There was a lot of gasping and screaming and wanting to throw the book at the wall out of frustration. Just when you think you know what's going to happen next, BANG. SOMETHING CRAZY AND UNEXPECTED HAPPENS THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING. Marie Lu just keeps throwing insane plot twists in your face, and I don't know whether to love her or hate her for it. Just kidding. I totally love her for it.

Legend alternates between the perspectives of Day and June, two fifteen-year-olds living in the Republic. In a lot of ways, they are completely different. Day is a most-wanted criminal living on the streets, while June is a wealthy prodigy working for the military. But as the book progresses, it is revealed that the two characters actually have a lot in common. They have both suffered terrible losses, and they are both extremely smart and gifted.

Day and June are not some random citizens in a dystopian world. They are a Really Big Deal. Their names are widely known: June's for being a prodigy and Day's for being a criminal. They are important not just to the story, but to the world that the story takes place in. Being a sort of celebrity is very dangerous in this book, especially when trying to break the law and rebel against the government.

While the book does not focus on the relationship between Day and June, it is certainly a large part of the story. It feels incredibly real and believable. Day and June are not utterly obsessed with each other; there is no love at first sight. Their relationship is really gradual, and it just kind of...happens. I really like the whole forbidden-love element to it; they are supposed to be enemies, after all. These are two characters who compliment each other really well, and they make an excellent team. I can't wait to see where the next book in the series takes them!

Even though Day and June are so young, they are capable of everything that an adult is capable of. In fact, they are treated as adults most of the time. I think it's really awesome that two kids can be so smart and mature and responsible and aware of the world they live in. Since I myself am fifteen, it was really refreshing to read about intelligent and capable people my age. I admire June and Day for their bravery and strength and awesomeness.

If you are a fan of dystopian books, I think you will love Legend. It has a kind of Hunger-Games-ish feel to it, while managing to be completely different. (That makes sense, right?) Anyway, I'm really glad I picked this book up.

By the way, I picked up a signed copy of this book at Doylestown Bookshop in PA. Look at the shiny gold signature! :)


Sunday, March 25, 2012

IMM #2 (Megan)

In My Mailbox is an internet meme hosted by The Story Siren

To start this post, I would like to thank Rachel, Katherine, my parents, and both sets of grandparents for giving me book money for my birthday! As you will see below, I have put it to good use :) And believe me, nothing makes a better present for me than a TON of books. Now I just have to find time to read them all....

1. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

I've been wanting to read this one for awhile, and I've heard some really great things about it. Plus, I'm all for the whole girl being better than guys at sports thing. And the cover is cute :)

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
 I knew before this book even came out that I wanted to read it! There was so much buzz about it on Twitter from all of the authors, and other bloggers too. I can't wait to get to this one! Also, red writing? AWESOME!

3. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Can I just start out by saying how pretty this cover is? I love all the little swirls on the front! This is another series I have heard amazing things about, but haven't gotten around to reading. I'm betting that I'll love it though

4. Switched by Amanda Hocking

I've read Hallowed and Hollowmen, and I liked both of them a lot, so I'm excited to read another book by Amanda Hocking. Plus, this has been on my to-read list forever!

5. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

I have to admit I hadn't really heard much about this book before Rachel gave it to me, but I remember hearing that it was good. I might have to save this one till summer to get in the mood.

6. how to be bad by Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, and E. Lockhart
Another really exciting read! I love Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski, and I've heard great things about E. Lockhart's writing as well. Plus, this book just SOUNDS good!

7. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

I hadn't heard about this book either, so it's only fair to thank Katherine for giving it to me. I love books about road trips because there is just something cute and romantic about them! This will be another perfect summer read!

When we went to meet Lauren DeStefano, it just so happened that the Breathless Reads Tour had been to Doylestown Book Shop the day before. I was lucky enough to be able to buy a signed copy of this! Also, some of the writing is GOLD! I love when writing is different than it should be. 
 This is the other book I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of, along with Legend and Fever. I'm super excited to read Born Wicked!

10.Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
 I read Halo over the summer last year, and I liked it a lot. The characters were likable, and it was different from other angel books I'd read, which was refreshing. I can't wait to read the sequel!

11. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
There has been a lot of buzz about this book too, and it's been pretty highly recommended by quite a few authors and bloggers. It seems really interesting, so I can't wait to form my own opinion on it.

12. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
I love Lauren Oliver so much, and this series is just amazing! Naturally I needed my own copy of this. And the best part? YOU GUYS I GET TO MEET HER!!!! *FREAKS OUT*

13. Delirium by Lauren Oliver 
 It just so happens that I didn't own a copy of Delirium either, since I'd borrowed both from Rachel when I read them. So of course I needed the special edition.

14. Before i Fall by Lauren Oliver
Another excellent book by Lauren Oliver that I highly recommend! I loved this book so much, and so did my mom when I forced politely asked her to read it.

15. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder 
 I read I Heart You, You Haunt Me over the summer, and I loved it so much! There is something really fascinating about a book written in verse. I really can't wait to read this one!

16. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Rachel just recently read this and reviewed it, and totally fell in love with it. So when I told her I was ordering a ton of books, she demanded that I buy this, so I did! Because it looks amazing!

17. Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
Holly Black is another author I absolutely love, and I can't wait for Black Heart to come out! I haven't gotten around to reading her first series yet, but I plan to start soon.

18. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
I kind of have a thing for zombies, and this is along those lines. I've heard really good things about this book, and just the cover freaks me out a bit. So that's always a good sign.

19. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons 
 There's been a pretty good amount of buzz for this book too, and I've seen good reviews of it too. Plus, it just plain sounds cool!

20. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
I've had this book on my list for a long time, and I'm excited to finally get the chance to read it. Plus, I love Greek Mythology!

21. The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
I first heard about this book on a list of debut authors, and I have to admit the first thing that caught my eye was  the cover. It's so pretty! It seems like a great contemporary.

22. Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
This is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet, which I haven't actually read yet. But, I still want to read this book, and I'm glad I got the chance to buy it.

23. Personal Demons by  Lisa Desrochers 
I saw the description of this book, and I wanted to read it REALLY REALLY BADLY. And of course that was a long time ago when I 1. had no money, and 2. Had way too many things to read. Only one of these has changed, but I WILL read this eventually!

And that's it! It's a lot of books, I know! Again, thanks so much to everyone who gave me money! I could only afford to buy all of these books because of you guys! And thanks to everyone reading this if you stuck with me through to the end of this really long post!

Have you gotten any interesting books lately? Have you read any of the ones I just got? Let me know below! I'd love to hear what you think!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Rachel Rambles About The Disenchantments

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

From Goodreads:

Colby's post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Bev would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe. When Bev announces that she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.

I love love LOVE books that center on road trips. I don't know why, but I am obsessed with them. So when I heard of this book I was like "THIS LOOKS AMAZING I MUST READ IT NOW." And then I admired the pretty cover for quite a while. So I picked this book up with some pretty high expectations. 

And wow. This book... It blew me away. It's smart and funny and thoughtful and surprising and emotional. Reading The Disenchantments, it's not hard to imagine that you're right there in the book beside the characters. Reading the book is a journey itself. 

When I picked this book up, I wasn't expecting the main character to be a teenage boy. I don't really know why I was surprised, but for whatever reason, I was. When I was introduced to Colby, he was unexpected and kind of amazing. I loved being able to see the world through his point of view. He is a really interesting main character, and I enjoyed reading about him.

Another unexpected thing? The Disenchantments is not a good band. They have a lot of passion and energy, but not so much talent. This all girl band belts out lyrics and pours their hearts into their music, but the end result isn't exactly...good. But these girls don't care if their music is good or not, and I admire them for doing what they love anyway.

During the time I was reading this book, it was really easy to get lost in the lives of Colby and Bev and Alexa and Meg as they made their way from show to show on their tour. I felt like I was right beside them as they set up stage equipment and checked into dingy motel rooms and listened to music in Melinda, their automobile of choice. And when I had to put the book down to sleep or eat or go to school or whatever, I found myself longing to be a part of The Disenchantments. There's something so shockingly captivating about the story, and I wish I could really live the lives of the characters.

Colby's journey that he embarked on, both physically and mentally, is a story that will stick with me. The characters are people I won't forget, and I will carry memories of touring with the Disenchantments as if they are my own.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

From Goodreads:
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.

Check out the AMAZING trailer for this book! One of the best book trailers I've ever seen!

For some reason, this summary never really grabbed my attention when I first read it. I'd heard that this book was awesome and everyone was going on and on about how amazing it was, but I just wasn't really all that excited to read it. But I kinda shrugged, figuring I might as well give it a try, AND THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

From the first chapter, I was completely hooked on this book. I love the characters and the alternating points of views. I love the world that was so thoroughly created. I love the dystopian and sci-fi elements mixed together. Basically, I love everything about this book, and I am so glad I gave it a chance.

Now I totally understand what everyone has been freaking out about. This book deserves all the buzz it's been getting. Under the Never Sky has two awesome and strong characters dealing with their own sets of struggles, and you get to dig around inside each of their minds. The story switches from Aria's point of view to Percy's point of view, but the entire book is written in third person. At first, I was a little wary about this. Alternating points of views AND third person? It didn't seem like it would work very well. But Veronica Rossi is obviously very talented, and the story moved flawlessly.

Alia and Percy come from completely different worlds. They are polar opposites in every way. It is hard for them to relate to what the other is going through, which is kind of fascinating to read about. The whole "opposites attract" thing is taken to a whole new level in this book. And I loved every minute of it! Percy and Alia are such interesting characters on their own, and they are even stronger as a team.

I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I am definitely looking forward to the next one!

OH AND BY THE WAY, I am going to this Spring into the Future event in NYC next month, where I will meet Veronica Rossi! *cheers* *happy dances* Also, Tahereh Mafi, Anna Carey, and special guest Lauren Oliver will be there. I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Balthazar

Balthazar by Claudia Gray

From Goodreads:

Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

I have been waiting to read this book for a long time. The Evernight series by Claudia Gray is one of my favorite series ever, so when I found out there would be a companion novel I FREAKED OUT. If you haven't read the Evernight books, please please please read them soon. They are so amazing and I just want ALL OF THE PEOPLE to read them.

I think you can gather from the above paragraph that I had high expectations for Balthazar. Balthazar is one of my favorite characters in the Evernight books, so I was very excited to read more about him and his story. When I started reading, I was surprised by the fact that not only was this book in third person, but it also changed points of view. Half the book is told from Balthazar's point of view, and the other half is told from Skye's. I loved Skye in Afterlife, even though she had a pretty small role, so I was really happy to see her as one of the main characters in Balthazar.

There were a whole lot of things I didn't see coming in this book. I knew that Balthazar had a few centuries of secrets, but I didn't realize just how devastating and difficult his life had been before the Evernight books. It was pretty amazing to gradually uncover the secrets from his past. As I learned more and more about his life, I found it a lot easier to understand some of the things Balthazar does in the present.

Reading the Evernight series, I'd always loved Balthazar, but he was still always that guy who was NOT LUCAS. Well. In this book, I may or may not like Balthazar better than Lucas. MAYBE. I DON'T KNOW. DON'T THROW THINGS AT ME. JUST READ THE BOOK AND YOU'LL UNDERSTAND. But yeah, Balthazar is just...really, really, really HOT. Also like, intelligent and funny and charming and interesting and lots of other things. I want to be Skye so badly. I absolutely love the relationship between him and Skye. They are both such great characters on their own that when they are brought together, you get DOUBLE THE AWESOME.

And what's really cool about this book is that even if you've never read the Evernight books, Balthazar totally stands on it's own. You can read and enjoy Balthazar either as a companion to the Evernight series, or as just a really great standalone. (I totally recommend the Evernight books because they are amazing. Just saying.)

So, to recap: This book deserves about a billion stars. Balthazar is really hot and romantic and HE MAY OR MAY NOT GET NAKED I AM JUST SAYING.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Megan Rambles About Fateful

Fateful by Claudia Gray

From Goodreads When 17-year-old Tess Davies, a ladies' maid, meets handsome Alec Marlow aboard the RMS "Titanic," she quickly becomes entangled in the dark secrets of his past, but her growing love puts her in mortal peril even before fate steps in.


So THAT craziness above is Rachel putting her thoughts on this book into words. Now I am going to attempt to put MINE into slightly more coherent sentences, but there are no promises. BECAUSE IT WAS SO GOOD! 

First, Claudia Gray is amazing and I love everything that she writes! Evernight series anyone? If you haven't read it, please do! It is one of the best series of books out there, with so many surprises it's literally impossible to guess what happens. Also:there is a hot guy. So there's your incentive. While you're at it, make sure you read Fateful! And also Balthazar (which I will be stealing from Rachel soonish *cough cough* *hint hint*)

Personally, I love everything about the Titanic. Obviously, it is sad, and terrible that so many people died, but the entire story kind of fascinates me. Partially because I can't believe how stupid some people were in the situation, but also because there seems to be a certain magic about stories that take place there. That said, I was excited but also slightly terrified to read this book. I mean really, you all know how the movie ends *holds back sarcastic remarks about stupidity of certain people*. So I was slightly terrified that I was going to be facing another Titanic the movie. BUT IT WAS SO, SO MUCH BETTER! 

I'll start with Tess, who I loved. She was so brave, and she put up with a LOT of crap.Seriously if I had to deal with HALF of the comments she gets from her employer everyday, I would go INSANE. And then there is Alec. *swoons* I love him so freaking much! He's got problems, and his life is kind of insane, and I loved that. Because Alec wasn't perfect, which only made me love him more! Plus he had a really awesome dad. I even have a little respect for the villain, because let's face it, I tend to respect/like the evil characters in books. (Draco Malfoy, Snape, etc.) I'm messed up, I know. However, I still hate him.

One thing that is so unique about this book, is that you sort of know how it ends. You don't know what is going to happen, but you know that the ship is going to sink, and you know when, but the characters have no idea. So there is just this huge danger looming over the whole thing the entire time that made me REALLY worried the entire time. The thing that Claudia Gray did so well was make you fall in love with the characters. I loved them so much that I was completely wrapped up in their story the entire time and I kept trying to find ways around the ship sinking. Like "oh, well maybe this will be different!" just because I didn't want anything to happen to them! And then EVERYTHING STARTS HAPPENING ALL AT ONCE. And the ending of this book is so completely crazy you will NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS see it coming!

I love Claudia Gray, and her blending of history and paranormal *cough the freaking werewolves cough* was amazing! You NEED to read this book if you a. like the Titanic b. like Claudia Gray c. enjoy steamy make-out scenes (there are a few of those) and d. HAVE A SOUL.

That simple. Read it.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Megan and Rachel Ramble About Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

From Goodreads: Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Megan: I feel the need to start this ramble with a note to the person who created this book. It goes something like this: Dear Stephanie Perkins, you are a genius. Thank you for being awesome and writing these books. 


Megan: Now that our love for Stephanie Perkins has been clearly expressed, on to the book! 

Rachel: Yes. The book. Um, where to even begin? *heart explodes with love* I thought LOLA wouldn't even be able to live up to ANNA, but luckily, I was wrong. They are equally amazing!

Megan: They so are! I loved how much Anna and St. Clair showed up in this book! It wasn't just a mentioning as the characters walked past each other, they played actual, important roles in each others lives. I loved that it was like continuing Anna and St. Clair's story, just through a different character with her own issues. Plus, I mean CRICKET! ST. CLAIR! OH MY GOD.

Rachel: QUICK! You have to be stuck in an elevator with Cricket or St. Clair. WHO DO YOU PICK?

Megan: AHHH! Why do you ASK me questions like that?? Probably Cricket, only because I trust his tinkering/invention skills to be able to get us OUT of the elevator. But I wouldn't be complaining being stuck withe either one of them! Seriously, everyone, I have a challenge for you! Read BOTH of these books (preferably right now) and then TRY to answer this question: St. Clair or Cricket? And I say try because I know you will fail.

Rachel: I know that was a mean question. Especially because I can't even answer it myself. :D So anyway, yeah I LOVE CRICKET. *swoons* He is one of the most perfect guys ever. But he's not the only reason to love this book! There are so many others! Like, for example: LOLA. She is crazy and unique and fun and original and badass and awesome and I love her. She is totally unafraid to be different, to be herself. I admire her and I want to be her. 

Megan: I love her so much!! I wish I had enough confidence to wear HALF  of the stuff that she does! Her confidence really is amazing, and I would love to hang out with her! Also: Cricket with all of his inventions? I LOVE IT!  I've said this to Rachel before, but I shall share it! The fun of contemporaries like this one is that you know Lola and Cricket are going to be together, and you just get to ride along to find out HOW. 

Rachel: Exactly. And the ride is crazy and frustrating and surprising and funny and awesome! Another thing I love about this book is Lola's parents. She has two dads! It shouldn't be something that's uncommon in books, but unfortunately, it is. So this was really refreshing. Her dads are really amazing, and I love their whole family dynamic. Lola and Cricket both struggle with situations at home that aren't always perfect, and it's very realistic. Also: THE PIE! (This makes no sense if you haven't read the book. Which is why you should go read it immediately!)

Megan: OH I WANT THE PIE! And I also loved her dads so much! They were hysterical, and awesome parents. Plus, I can't help but feel bad for her, because she's got double the over protective dadness. But they mean well, so it's all good! 

Rachel: *stares dreamily off into the distance* I'm sorry what? I was thinking about pie. And Cricket. Cricket eating pie. Pie and Cricket would be nice right now. Or anytime really.

Megan: That would seriously be awesome! I have to say the entire book I was very pro-Cricket and anti-Max. Because HELLO. IT'S CRICKET. Also: this just occurred to me. I am going to seriously recommend that you read Anna and the French Kiss before you read this. It isn't necessary, but it will make all of the scenes where Anna and St. Clair show up that much more special. 

Rachel: Oh. Yeah! I mean, you should read Anna and the French Kiss because it is a FREAKING AWESOME BOOK, but also because it's cool to see the characters from ANNA pop up in LOLA. Hmmm. So it appears that we've covered everything about this book. In that case, I guess I'll just swoon over Cricket some more... CRICKET I LOVE YOU AND I KNOW THAT THIS IS KIND OF WEIRD CONSIDERING YOU DON'T KNOW ME OR ANYTHING (ALSO: LOLA) BUT I JUST HAVE ONE QUESTION WILL YOU MARRY ME?!!?! *clears throat* *acts professionalish* Um. I mean, this book was an excellent and thoughtful read and I enjoyed the experience I went through when reading it.

Megan: CRICKET IS MINE! *coughs* oh, right. Reviewing.....You should seriously go read these books like right now because they are THE BEST THINGS EVER. WE certainly LOVE Stephanie Perkins, and you can share in the love! Leave a comment below telling us what you thought of these AWESOME books, and the COMPLETELY AWESOME person who wrote them! Otherwise, busy yourself with, you know, reading them.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rachel Rambles About The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

From Goodreads:
When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief she’ll never have to tell them that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief soon turns to heartbreak, as Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and not making waves, and Cam becomes an expert at this—especially at avoiding any questions about her sexuality.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. To Cam’s surprise, she and Coley become best friends—while Cam secretly dreams of something more. Just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, her secret is exposed. Ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure who that is.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

This book took me a really long time to read. Like, a REALLY LONG TIME. I read a little bit of it every day or so, and didn't finish until about a month later. Which is weird for me. Usually, I read books from start to finish in a five hour sitting. You might assume that this took me a long time to read because I didn't like it, but surprisingly, that was not the case.

I really enjoyed this book. It's hard to try to voice my feelings about it, because I think it's such an important book that needs to be taken seriously. It's the kind of book that makes you think. It raises questions about yourself and your life. I think that one day, this book will be taught in English classrooms so that bored kids can be forced to analyze everything. (I mean this in the best possible way! Books have to be really good to be taught in schools.)

The book starts out from Cameron's point of view when she is twelve years old. At first, I thought it was a little weird that the protagonist was so young. But as the book goes on, it spans over several years. The reader gets to be right alongside Cameron as she grows up, transforming from a naive preteen girl to a young women. 

In this book, Cameron struggles to come to terms with who she really is. Being a teenage girl is rough; especially if you have feelings toward other girls. She is afraid and embarrassed and self-conscious about being gay, which makes sense considering the small, conventional town she lives in. Cameron knows she won't be accepted for being herself. 

I think this is a book that everyone should read. I'll admit, it's not the most thrilling or exciting or action-packed read. In fact, sometimes it gets a little boring. But by the time I turned the last page, I feel like this book changed me in some way. Which I know sounds really cheesy and whatever, but it's true. Cameron struggles with so much during her teenage years, yet she never give ups. She never lets other people turn her into someone she isn't. She brave in a way that teenagers can identify with, and she inspires me.

I know this review isn't very good or informative or helpful. It's just really hard for me to try to explain what this book means to me. It's unlike anything I usually read, but I wound up really enjoying this book. If you haven't read it yet, I definitely recommend it. I know it's long and not always that exciting, but trust me, you won't regret it.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Hourglass

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

From Goodreads:
One hour to rewrite the past . . .
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

Hello, Michael Weaver. *swoons*

*glances up* Oh, hi. Didn't see you there... Uh... *tears gaze away from Michael* *wipes stupid grin off face* I was just, um, admiring this character. He's really smart and hot and funny and mysterious and hot. I'M SORRY AM I DROOLING? Oh right. I'm supposed to talk about, like, the book. And stuff.

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I am in love with it. Seriously. If I was a book, I would definitely be proposing to Hourglass right this minute. This book is that amazing.

Myra McEntire's writing is just beautiful. This is one of those times that I just want to swim around in all her words because I love them so much. (What? Is that weird? I don't think so.) I want to hang onto every word, every sentence. By the end of the book, I was just dying for more.

The plot seems simple. Time travel. Lots of people create things about time travel. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I was completely blown away by the way time travel was presented in this book. It was original and surprising and captivating. The world Myra McEntire created is so unique and wonderful and thorough. It's not hard to imagine that everything in this book is real; that time travel really exists.

The main character, Emerson, is awesome. She might be tiny and unassuming, but don't underestimate her, because she can kick your ass. She's really funny and sarcastic and extremely realistic. There were so many times in this book where she would say or do something, and I was just like, "Oh, that's exactly what I would do in that situation!" Emerson is tough, but also vulnerable. She's shy and quiet, but also bold and daring. Her personality is a lot like a regular teenager's: it's not always predictable. I feel like Emerson is a character I can really relate to.

And okay, I can't hold it in any longer. MICHAEL. FREAKING. WEAVER. I love him a lot. I spent like, ninety percent of this book swooning over him. I mean, of course there were a few moments when I wanted to throw the book at the wall because Michael was being stupid/mean/frustrating/confusing/teenageboyish. But that just makes him even more amazing, because he has flaws too. 

Michael and Emerson's relationship is a crazy roller coaster that is confusing and weird and surprising and insane and unpredictable, and I love every minute of it. They're not really all insta-love and romantic. They have a lot of banter and joking and tension and sarcasm going on in all their conversations, which I absolutely love. They are one of the best couples ever, in my opinion.

Oh man. This ramble is getting really long. I could talk about this book for days. But I must end it soonish, so I will say one last thing: the supporting characters in this book are all awesome. Emerson's family and friends play important roles in her life. They are not just chilling on the sidelines waiting with a funny one-liner every now and then. They are a huge part of the story, and it's really refreshing to read about non-romantic but still loving relationships.

Also: Kaleb!!! <3. I mean, I am totally in love with Michael, of course. But I love Kaleb IN ADDITION TO Michael. WHEN CAN I READ TIMEPIECE?!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Her TBR Pile

Hello everyone! I've been really busy lately with school and reading and sleeping etc, so I feel like this blog has kind of been neglected because of it. Megan and I have a ton of rambles piling up in our drafts, and we will be posting them somewhat regularly from now on. Maybe. Hopefully.

So there's something in my life that I've been obsessing over lately....


There are a whole bunch of books that I have every intention to read. But unfortunately, some of them just keep getting pushed down toward the bottom of the TBR pile. And that makes me sad. *makes sad face*

Here are the top books on my TBR pile right now. These are the books I've had for years/months/weeks/days/hours and want to read SO SO BAD, but they are sadly being neglected and/or I just got them like five seconds ago. I HAVE THE BEST INTENTIONS THOUGH. I PROMISE I WILL READ THEM SOON. ALL OF THEM. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

But I don't really know what to read first or anything, so I'd appreciate your help. :) (Link goes to Goodreads page)

1. THE REST OF THE LUXE SERIES by Anna Godberson- I read the first book a few months ago, and LOVED it. I have the next three sitting there just waiting to be read, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I have no idea why.

2. Possess by Gretchen McNeil- This has been sitting on my shelf for quite awhile. Love the cover, love watching Gretchen's videos on YA Rebels. I will probably love the book too.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack- I have heard amazing things about this for so long. Hopefully I actually read it soon!

4. Born Wicked- by Jessica Spotswood- I bought a signed copy of this the other day and it looks really awesome and amazing.

5. Legend by Marie Lu- I bought a signed copy of this too. I have been wanting to read this for quite awhile because it seems like it will be epic.

6. Entwined by Heather Dixon- Two words: Pretty. Cover.

7. Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson- Like I said, I loved the first Luxe book. So I definitely am looking forward to another series by Anna Godberson.

8. Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr- This was given to me and it seems really interesting. The cover is really pretty and I love the title.

9. Partials by Dan Wells- I've heard a lot of buzz about this lately and am really curious to see what everyone's talking about.

10. Blood Red Road by Moira Young- I purchased this book in June of last year. WHY THE HELL HAVE I NOT READ IT YET?

11. The Maze Runner by James Dashner- I know there are three books and a prequel on the way and so I'm very much behind on this series, but I am determined to catch up!

12. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey- I've heard mixed things about this, but the summary caught my attention. As did the cover. (On a side note: I am kind of obsessed with every cover that HarperTeen does. They are all so pretty and awesome.)

13. Scored by Lauren McLaughlin- This sounds so good. When I read the summary I was like AHHH I NEED TO READ THIS NOW!! And then, you know, I didn't. But I really really want to!

(Okay, I just bought some more books .. *hangs head in shame* So I have to read these too...)

14. Graceling by Kristen Cashore- I feel so ostracized when everyone talks about this book and I've never even read it, so I am very much looking forward to finally reading it.

15. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley- I have been wanting to read this for months! And now I finally have a copy! Yay!

16. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl- Another book that makes me feel ostracized that I haven't read it yet. I mean, there's gonna be a movie! I need to get a move on!

And that is all of them. (Except the books I plan on stealing borrowing from my sister.) I think. I'm like, 90 percent positive that those are all the books I have to read. If you've read any of these books, let me know in the comments what you thought. Maybe you can help me decide what books to read next?! Because I don't even know where to start. Thanks! :)

Oh and if you made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, THANK YOU! You are my new best friend. *makes matching friendship bracelets* *does secret BFF handshake* *smiles creepily*


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rachel and Megan Ramble About Pandemonium

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

From Goodreads:
 I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

This book is so crazy and amazing that it has inspired us to do A NEW THING. We're going to do this ramble together. Double the rambling! Double the fangirling! Double the insanity! Be prepared for the utter lack of professionalism that will occur in this ramble. (Also, we are going to refrain from major spoilers. This is just going to be our general reactions to the book.)

Rachel: OH. MY. GOD. THISBOOKISCRAZY. I thought Delirium was AMAZING. Like, I was pretty positive that Pandemonium couldn't possibly be as good as Delirium. Especially after that thing that happened at the end of Delirium.... BUT IT WAS SO GOOD! EXPECTATIONS WERE EXCEEDED SO MUCH!

Megan: I KNOW!!! Lauren Oliver is now the GOD of ending books in my mind! Seriously, there are Cassie Clare cliff hangers *coughCityofFallenAngelscough* but OH MY GOD. THE ENDING OF THIS BOOK. I kind of burst into tears, while screaming "WHAT? WHAT?!?!?!?!" and rereading the ending about 60 times to make sure the words were REAL. My parents were really thrilled with me at that moment.......

Rachel: Hahaha! Your poor family.. And yeah, I mean, between Before I Fall, Delirium, and now Pandemonium, I am seeing a pattern with Lauren Oliver's endings. They KILL me each and every time. So, um, yeah. If you haven't read Pandemonium yet, we won't tell you what happens at the end, It was kind of awesome and epic but also shocking and terrible and evil. But we're getting way ahead here. Let's talk about, you know, the rest of the book. Besides the lovely ending.

Megan: Ooh and the ending of Hana too! But yes, yes the rest of the book! I love Lena so much. Usually I want a main character to be completely bad ass, but Lena isn't really like that. She has her moments, but she also has moments were she's just completely emotional and breaks down when she needs to. I love that about her, because honestly, I think I wouldn't like her as much if she didn't do that. There is some pretty screwed up stuff in Lena's world, and I think I would curl up in a ball and the corner and CRY endlessly if I was her. So basically, she handles things way better than I would.

Rachel: I love Lena. I think she's a really strong character. I mean, there are so many terrible things she has to deal with. I wouldn't be able to handle it. If I was in her place, I would act more like Bella-in-New-Moon-when-she-curls-up-in-the-fetal-position-and-cries. No offense to Bella or Twilight or anything. I'm just saying that that is how I would handle the situation. So I think Lena is pretty amazing to go on with her life and not give up and I love her for that. Okay. On to THE BOYS.

Megan: OH THE BOYS. It's only fitting to start this off with a OH MY GOD I LOVE ALEX. Because there aren't words for how much I love him. He is amazing and just.............gah! I believe my first reaction when I learned about Julian, because IT'S ALEX. There can't be anyone else for Lena! But as the story went on, I found myself falling more and more in love with him. I think that really shows just how good Lauren Oliver is at creating her characters. You can't NOT fall in love with them! Even the evils of the whole government make sense in a screwed up way. So as much as I love Alex, there is a little love for Julian sneaking in Rachel, feel free to FANGIRL over the guys too, but how about that Then and Now writing style for this book?

Rachel: So wow, way to totally read my mind and guess what I wanted to talk about next... Okay, I'll make the part about the boys quick: MY HEART HURTS. I just... I can't handle it... And it's impossible to properly discuss my feelings without major spoilers, so yeah. Just know that after reading this book, my brain was all "aofhlmpaerygoubvljwepghWHATTT?!?!?!?!!"  *clears throat* Ahem. So. This book is written just perfectly. It alternates from Then and Now, which has the potential to be weird or confusing, but it's totally not. With Lauren Oliver's writing, it works so well and I couldn't imagine the book being written any other way. The writing style is so unique and so completely perfect for this story.

Megan: Exactly! Basically, this book was just amazing. I really couldn't imagine following Delirium any other way. If you have not read this series, you definitely need to dig yourself out from under a rock, and RUN to a bookstore to get these now. I love everything about these books from the plot, to the world, and from the main characters to the supporting characters. Also: Requiem? When oh when will you show up at my door??

Rachel: I need Requiem like yesterday! So to recap: This book is so unbelievably amazing! I still can't decide which I like better: Delirium or Pandemonium, but let me assure you, they are both so freaking good. *flails* SO MUCH LOVE! Megan, would you like to add anything before we leave?

Megan: I think you summed it up! We'll release all of you from this longer than usual ramble, and let you get back to PICKING UP THESE BOOKS. Because I know that's what you're going to do right? *smiles politely*

Rachel: Have you read Pandemonium yet? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments! We can fangirl together! Also, let us know what you think of this new joint ramble thing we're trying. :) We had fun squealing and flailing and freaking out. We hope you enjoyed reading it!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Megan Rambles about THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

From Goodreads:
 Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I am seriously having trouble expressing my love for this book. Because it is just so GOOD. I love all of John Green's books, but this might be the best one yet. I still have a soft spot for Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, but THIS BOOK IS SO FREAKING AMAZING.

It may seem like a book about kids with cancer would be extremely depressing, but I spent just as much time laughing out loud as I did crying. Honestly, only John Green could make a book about kids with cancer funny. I laughed hysterically throughout the entire first half of the book, and towards the end, I laughed through my tears. There were plenty of tears!

Okay, so yes I will admit I was sobbing while reading this book, and yet I still LOVED EVERY SINGLE WORD. The writing was beautiful, and the characters amazing. Hazel had a really interesting way of looking at everything, and I loved the sarcasm and honesty that she approached her life with. And then there was Augustus Waters. OMG I LOVE HIM. Just everything about his character was amazing, from the way he talked to how adorably sweet he was to Hazel. Not to mention the supporting characters, who made me DIE OF LAUGHTER. Especially Isaac. I love Isaac.

I know I say this a lot, but you seriously need to READ THIS BOOK. It's one of the best books I have ever read, and it's really just BRILLIANT. If you are sitting there saying something along the lines of "I don't want to read it, because I don't want to CRY........." well my response is: JUST DO IT. The book is totally worth every single tear that I shed, and you absolutely will not regret reading it!

Finally, this review would not be complete without a HUGE thank you to Rachel, who let me borrow her copy, even thought it was signed, because I loaned mine out [*coughcough* to a BOY -Rachel]. And also, thank you so, so, SO much for introducing me to Nerdfighteria and demanding that I read every single one of John Green's books RIGHT THIS SECOND. You're awesome.


IMM #2 (Rachel)

In My Mailbox is an internet meme hosted by The Story Siren.
Over the past few weeks, I have acquired quite a lot of books. These are all the books I got within a pretty short period of time, which is A LOT for me. Especially considering that I am supposed to be on a book buying ban...OOPS.


I've been wanting to read this for so long now. I'm so glad I finally have a copy. And, okay, just look at the cover. It is beyond awesome!

 There is a lot of buzz about this book lately, considering it's being made into a movie and all. So I thought I'd pick it up. It sounds amazing, and everyone seems to like it, so hopefully I'll like it too.

I just started reading this book (about 100 pages in) and so far it's really good!


This book sounds so good. I mean, it won the freaking Printz Award. AND the Morris Award. I can't wait to read it.

This book is the sequel to Wither, and I LOVED it. It is beyond amazing! Read my ramble here.


 The sequel to Delirium. I've already read this, too, and holy crap I can't even put my feelings about it into words. That being said, I'll attempt to put a ramble up soon!


This book sounds amazing, and when I found a signed copy, I knew I had to buy it. I can't wait to read it!


I found a signed copy of this too, and I've heard nothing but great things about it. I am very excited to start reading it.


The Evernight Series is one of my favorite series of all time, so I am freaking out about the this companion novel. Balthazar has always been one of my favorite characters in the series, so I have high hopes for this book.


 There's been a lot of buzz about this lately and it sounds really interesting. I'm curious to see what I think of it.


I haven't read anything by Melissa Marr, but apparently this book is a collection of short stories and it sounds really cool. Also, the cover is freaking gorgeous!


This is one of those books that I feel like EVERYONE has read except for me. I am determined to change that!


I've already read Where She Went multiple times. This is one of my favorite books ever, and I FINALLY bought my own copy.


Another book I've already read. I borrowed it from Megan originally, but I love it so much that I had to get a copy for myself.


Maureen Johnson is one of my favorite authors. I've read and loved each and every one of her books. So I decided to finally buy the ones that I didn't already own. Now I have all of her books. :)


Since I've purchased all these books, I have officially run out of room on my bookshelves. But that's fine with me. There are far worse things than having too many books! 

Did you get any good books lately? Have you read any of the books I just got? Let me know in the comments!