Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rachel Rambles About The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
From Goodreads:


It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she suceeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.


Oh hi so I'm a little bit obsessed with this book. 

My friend lent it to me, and I was like "oh yeah it's that book about Greek mythology and that evil guy who like, kidnapped his wife or whatever. Meh, Greek mythology is boring. I probably won't like it."

THANK GOD I ACTUALLY STARTED READING IT. About twenty pages in, I was already trying to figure out why the heck I thought I wouldn't like this book. Because everything about this book is awesome.

The plot is BRILLIANT. There are so many twists and turns and surprises, but as the story moves along, everything starts to come together and make sense. I read this book in one sitting because it moves so fast. Something exciting or mysterious or scary or suspenseful is always happening, so there is seriously never a dull moment.

Kate is a great protagonist. She has so much compassion for others, which is how she winds up in this whole mess to begin with. She's really strong, but she shows her soft side from time to time. The Goddess Test shows so many different sides of Kate, and she feels like a real person.

The character development in this book is absolutely amazing. Every single character has a story and a past and a personality. None of the characters feel like they're there for comic relief or to be a sidekick or anything. They each add something important to the story.

I was totally impressed with the relationship between Henry and Kate. Because it's a YA book, you obviously expect them to fall in love. But I thought the way they grew to love each other was so realistic. It wasn't insta-love at all. This book shows them evolve from strangers to friends to something more. Their relationship didn't feel like it was moving too fast. It was completely natural.

The Goddess Test is one of the best Greek mythology-based books I've ever read. Even if you're not a huge fan of Greek mythology (like me!) I think you'll enjoy this book anyway.

Now I just need to get my hands on the sequel. :D


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Saving June

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
From Goodreads:
When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.

How do I even begin to explain Saving June?

Saving June is flawless. 

It has two lovable best friends and a cute boy.

I hear it makes you want to go on a road trip.

I hear it's a bestseller... in Japan.* *I have no idea if that's even true but let's pretend it is, okay? 

Its favorite spot on my bookshelf is next to the best novels I've read. 

One time, my sister bought Saving June at Barnes and Noble.

And she told me to read it.

One time, it made me cry lots of tears.

It was awesome. 

So that was the Mean Girls version of my thoughts on Saving June. (If you haven't seen Mean Girls, sorry. What's the limit to the amount of times I can quote Mean Girls? The limit does not exist.)

Anyway. So this book makes my heart happy. My experience reading it involved laughter and tears and overall many FEELINGS. I have grown emotionally attached to the characters, and it's easy to accidentally talk about them as if they're people I know in real life. Some might call this a sign of insanity, but I call it a sign of a great book. 

I absolutely adore Harper. She's an excellent main character, and it's really easy to slip into her mind and see the world from her point of view. Her best friend Laney is the freaking best! Everyone should have a best friend like her. I love that their friendship didn't take a backseat to the romance, like some YA novels do. This book is as much about Harper and Laney as it is about Harper and Jake. Which brings me to that music-obsessed, mysterious, extremely attractive boy. :D Jake is sometimes annoying and sometimes funny and  sometimes sexy and I LOVE HIM.

Ahem. I'm sorry. I just really really REALLY want to go on a road trip, and with this book I was able to live vicariously through Harper and Laney and Jake. It made me feel like I actually did go on a road trip, so yay!

Oh and let's talk about the music! Jake is obsessed with music, so there is A LOT of it in the novel. If you are a huge crazy obsessive passionate fan of music, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. If you're looking for some new songs to listen to, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. I walked away from this book all "I need to buy ALL THE MUSIC PLEASE".

I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. It made me feel a lot of emotions and I think you'll feel a lot of emotions, too, so you should totally read it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Megan Rambles About Once

Once by Anna Carey
From Goodreads:When you're being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.

Warning. This the second book in a series, and there may be spoilers for Eve below.

My initial reaction after finishing this book was something along the lines of OMG THIS BOOK WAS SO AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLE AND I LOVED IT AHHHHH. *ahem*.

I honestly think that Once was even better than Eve. Which is saying something. I count Eve among my FAVORITE BOOKS, and I had confidence that Anna Carey could make a good sequel, but what I didn't expect was for Once to completely blow all of my expectations out of the water.

Eve was a character that I had some trouble relating to in the first book. She made some decisions that I could understand based on her situation, but I would not have personally made. In the sequel, Eve is back and stronger than she was before. Right from the first page it is clear that Eve has come a long way since we last saw her. She isn't as scared as she was at the beginning of her story, and she is much more willing to fight for what she believes is right.

The other characters starring alongside Eve also shined in this book. The villains were amazingly written and the HATRED I felt for them was overwhelming. While I was reading Rachel and I had several conversations about how we both wanted to sneak into the book and kill a CERTAIN CHARACTER WHO'S NAME I SHALL NOT MENTION. (but shhhh! Our plan is a secret!) Caleb was also back in all of his stunning glory. I loved the way his relationship with Eve grew and progressed in this book.

Anna Carey definitely raised the stakes with Once, and I can't wait to see how Rise finishes up this trilogy! I know I will be anxiously waiting to find out since the ending of Once just about KILLED ME. Seriously, I've got to hand it to Anna Carey for writing an ending that will leave me sitting on the edge of my seat until Rise is released.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Megan Rambles About Endlessly

Endlessly by Kiersten White
From Goodreads:Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.

Fair warning before I launch into this ramble, this is the third and final book of a trilogy. So unless you have read both Paranormalcy and Supernaturally, you might want to run away and go pick up a copy. That way you can read them, and I won't accidentally spoil them for you! 

Now! Would you like to know what happened when I finished this book? It went something like this. I texted Rachel something along the lines of, "AHHHHHHH OMG I FINISHED ENDLESSLY AND AHHHHHHH IT WAS SO GOOD HOLY CRAPPPP!!! BUT WHY DID IT HAVE TO END?!?!?" And then I maybe  (okay, okay, I DID cry) cried a little bit just because the series was over. 

I shall try my best to explain why I love this book, and more importantly, this series so much! First, Evie. She is so bleeping hysterical! No matter what paranormal creatures show up to ruin her day, Evie is always ready to greet them with sarcasm, jokes, a bubbly personality, a great fashion sense (if you're into pink), and her trusty sparkly pink tazer named Tazey. Everything that comes out of Evie's mouth makes me laugh, usually hysterically. I am going to miss everything about Evie so much because she is a really fun character to read about.

And of course, there is Lend. I would like to give Lend the award for Most Awesome and Totally Perfect Boyfriend Ever! *claps* He honestly is the perfect boyfriend. Lend is sweet, he's caring, not too protective, and he would do anything for Evie. That kind of dedication is rare and hard to find even among fictional boys. I just love everything about Evie's water boy and I would like a boyfriend just like him please kcoolthanks.

My expectations were of course crazy high for this book. Endlessly is the last of the Paranormalcy trilogy and I was definitely looking for it to be amazing. Luckily, Endlessly didn't disappoint. If anything, it was even BETTER than I was expecting.

Evie is under a lot of pressure in this book. There are really high stakes, lots of danger, and almost no break in between all of the problems the characters have to deal with. While this exhausted the characters, it was great as a reader because the action never stopped and the book was never boring. 

Kiersten White also has this interesting habit of MAKING me like her characters. Just as she made me like Vivian in Supernaturally, there were two characters going into Endlessly that I absolutely HATED. If you've read Supernaturally (which you should have if you're reading this..) you can probably guess who they were. By the end of Endlessly, I have to say that I actually liked both of them. Believe me, I wasn't open to the idea at first, but Kiersten White just MADE ME LIKE THEM. So now, while I don't love those two characters as much as I love Evie, Lend, or Arianna I do actually like them. Kiersten White is kind of evil that way.

I really liked the way the story line of this book went and it was the PERFECT ending to a series that I love so much! I am really going to miss reading about Evie's adventures, but there is a kind of silver lining to the Paranormalcy series ending. With Kiersten White's borderline insane ability to write an entire book in about 9 days (Mind Games wooohoo!!) there won't be a shortage of new books of hers to read for a LONG time! If you haven't read Endlessly yet, you don't want to miss it!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Three Summer Books

Hey everyone! I've been reading a lot more books than usual lately, and I would really like to keep up this fast pace without having to write out separate rambles for each book. So... I'm going to do mini rambles about some amazing summer books.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (summary and info: Goodreads).

This book was really fun and light, with an amazing summer romance. I liked the relationship between Samantha and Jase. Instead of being long and drawn out, the two of them really hit it off toward the beginning of the book. I really liked the important role that family plays. While I totally fell in love with some characters (George!), there were others who I ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT STAND. So that was a bit frustrating. :P But I appreciated how realistic this book was. There are plenty of superawkward relationship moments, as well as uncomfortable/frustrating/annoying family issues. My favorite thing about this book is definitely Samantha and Jase's relationship. They're cute and fun and romantic and sometimes awkward, but for the most part they're really comfortable around each other. It's a very realistic portrayal of a teenage romance.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
(summary and info: Goodreads)

Who doesn't love a good road trip book? Amy and Roger are forced to go on a road trip together from California to Connecticut, so obviously they fall in love, duh! This book has lots fun moments when the two of them are bantering or just hanging out in the car. And of course there are many of awkward moments when it comes to spending the night in motels/hotels/cabins/etc. "So, uh, there's only one bed..." "Oh...well, um, this is...this is awkward." I LOVE IT. Roger is supercute and I kind of think he's the best thing ever. And Amy is an excellent main character. She's dealing with grief from her father's recent death and also some other family crap. She handles it in a way that I think a lot of people can relate to. The best part of this book is that are actual pictures of scenery/receipts/road signs that they see on their journey. So you get to see the menu of the diner they're eating at, which makes it really easy to pretend you're tagging along on the road trip, just chilling in the backseat.

The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt
(summary and info here: Goodreads)

This is a really short book that I couldn't help but read in one sitting. It's more Middle Grade than YA, with the main character Drew being a thirteen year old girl. The characters are all wonderful. From Drew, who I think everyone can relate to, to the mysterious Emmett, to Nick the surf bum. I even grew emotionally attached to Drew's mom. This book...I just love it. I love Drew's pet hamster and her dead dad's book of lists and her mother's cheese shop and the paper cranes. It's such a simple story, but it managed to CAPTURE MY FREAKING HEART. And of course, it turns out to be a summer that changes Drew's life. It's the kind of summer that I think everyone experiences at some point. Or, at least wishes they could experience.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and you are all reading wonderful summer books!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Random Ramble: Why Summer Reading is Terrible (Megan)

So ever since sometime in Middle School my teachers have decided that summer reading assignments were a thing that needed to happen. At first it was simple stuff like "Read one book over the summer and bring it in on the first day of school" (which is what my brother had to do this year. He read The Hunger Games. GO BRENDAN). But now we actually get assigned books. And have to read them. And get tested on them. And I'm going to explain why I think this completely sucks. I will try to keep this from turning into a rant, but it still might. So this is your CAUTION TEEN ANGST WARNING.

Usually if you walk into a high school English class, there are two or three groups of people. The people who actually like reading (ie: Rachel and I sitting in the back of the room whispering back and forth about various books and giggling), the people who completely hate reading, and the people who don't really like it or hate it, but do it because they have to. Now at least the way it has always been explained to me, summer reading is supposed to encourage kids to read over the summer. Which seems like a perfectly fine idea on the outside, but take a closer look.

If you walk down the hallway and ask the same kids that were sitting in that English classroom if they actually did their summer reading, you will get answers that sound something like this.

Kids who like to read: "Yeah. I did it. But it was such a pain reading something assigned to me! I would have rather read one of my books instead!"

Kids who hate reading: "Of course I didn't do it! Why would I waste my time reading?" And then the kids who don't really care will probably be spread out somewhere in the middle.

So how is summer reading actually accomplishing anything? If the goal is to get kids who normally wouldn't read to read, news flash: it's kind of failing. They aren't going to read just because you tell them they have to. They'll use Spark Notes, or make someone else tell them what the book was about, or just decide they don't care at all and fail whatever assignment/test you give them. Then there are the kids who usually like to read, stuck reading something they don't want to.

Personally, reading a book that is assigned to me at school takes the fun out of it. Last year, our summer reading book was 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I'd been wanting to read it forever because I had heard amazing things about it, and I couldn't wait to get started! I think I ended up finishing it a week before school started. I just couldn't bring myself to sit down and read it! It definitely wasn't the book (because the book was AMAZING and if you haven't read it you really should) so I asked myself why. The answer? I didn't want to read it because some teacher had told me I had to. So even though the book was amazing and wonderful and I loved it, the experience was a bit ruined for me because it was associated with school.

The situation is only worse when the book is something I completely don't want to read. This year's book was The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien which is about the Vietnam War. It's totally out of my comfort zone reading wise and I wasn't thrilled about the book choice. At all. I just finished it recently and the book was completely not my thing. I felt like there was supposed to be this big message that I just completely didn't get at all. If I love reading, I don't think I should really have to force myself to read a book. (No offense at all to Tim O'Brien. I've read really great reviews of his book. It just wasn't for me)

So how is summer reading accomplishing anything? I love to read! I read all the time! I read instead of spending time with actual living, breathing people! I would most certainly read over the summer without a teacher making me do it. And the kids who don't ever read over the summer because they don't like reading anyway? They still don't do it. They might not ever read. After all, they're people who make their own decisions and there isn't really anything you can do to literally FORCE them to read a book other than giving them bad grades on the assignments when they don't.

Basically, if I could, I would get rid of summer reading. I don't see how it does anything to help anyone and it just hurts the kids who are already reading. I think teachers just need to accept the fact that some people just aren't readers. By all means, attempt to encourage them to read during the school year, but leave it there. Don't extend it into our summers.

I know the examples given in this post aren't true for everyone and there might be places where this doesn't apply at all. Everything I have mentioned here is simply what I have noticed in my own experiences both talking to my friends and other high school students. Everything in here is just my opinion based on what I have noticed over the years.

And.... end rantish post.

Sorry if I got a bit out of control up there.

If you kept with me throughout this whole big long thing, then thanks! Here are a few books I've finished recently that I highly recommend. (And even if you just skipped down to the bottom of this post, I don't blame you. Here are some book recs anyway. Thanks for stopping by.)

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky

All of these were amazing, fairly quick reads that I recommend to everyone!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rachel and Megan Ramble About The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
From Goodreads
Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, andThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Megan: AHHH I don't even know where to start with this book. It completely blew my mind! I just....Rachel please find a coherent way to start this conversation.

Rachel: I discovered this book about a year ago and completely fell in love with it. It's one of my favorite books ever because it is absolutely amazing.

Megan: It so is! You've been telling me to read this book forever and I'm so glad I finally did! Charlie's letters did take some getting used to, but I loved the format by the end of the book.

Rachel: It's definitely a bit of a weird book when you first start reading it. You go into this book all "what am I even reading right now?!" but then, at some point it just clicks and everything starts making sense and you're like THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. At least, that was my experience reading it.

Megan: Mine too! I loved Charlie. So much. He cares so much about everyone around him and really just wants everything to work out for everyone. He's also a little bit naive, but the way Charlie sees all of the people and places around him is just so different. I love him, and I kind of want him to be my best friend.

Rachel: I agree. Charlie is a great main character. He reminds me a lot of Holden Caufield (who I love). Also, Sam and Patrick? Why can't they be my friends in real life? Because they are the best.

Megan: They seriously are! They're pretty awesome friends. And can I just say I LOVE all of the quotes from this book?

Rachel: Oh yeah. The writing is kind of beautiful. I originally borrowed this book from the library, but I just bought my own copy and I will totally be dog-earing it and attacking it with a highlighter. I know that everyone who's read this book or seen the movie trailer knows the "infinite" quote, which is beautiful and amazing. But there are a ton of other wonderful quotes too.

Megan: There really are so many! I really need to buy my own copy so I can attack it too! And while I know we're talking about the awesome of this book, I think it's only fair to mention how FREAKING EXCITED I am for the movie to come out. Because really.

Rachel: Dude, the movie looks like it's going to be PHENOMENAL. I'm so psyched to see it in theaters! OPENING NIGHT, BABY! From what the trailer has showed us, the cast is amazing and perfect. (Although I can't get past the fact that it's Percy Jackson and Hermione Granger. Hahaha, whatever. I ship it! :D) Also the fact that Steven Chbosky freaking DIRECTED it makes me ridiculously happy. If the author himself is in charge of this movie, how can it not be awesome?

Megan: I KNOW RIGHT!! I don't see how the movie can be anything but close to the book and completely amazing! And there is no way we aren't going at midnight. I can't even handle how awesome this book is and how much I love it. Imagine the excitement sickness* you're going to get!!

Rachel: (*Hahaha way to totally put an inside joke in that no one will understand.) Anywho. We absolutely loved this book and so we are SUPERCRAZYEXCITED about the movie adaptation. If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend that you do. It's one of those books that I think all teenagers should read at some point in their lives. 

If you've read this, let us know your thoughts in the comments. Are you as excited for the movie as we are?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Megan Rambles About Legend

Legend by Marie Lu
From GoodreadsWhat 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’s 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.

I was lucky enough to pick up a signed copy of this book after the Breathless Reads Tour had stopped by. While it took me awhile to get around to reading it, I am very glad that I was finally able to read June and Day's story. 

I think it's best to start with the font and cover of this book, because I loved it! When reading from Day's point of view the writing was gold, and it was black when June was telling the story. The jacket flaps were also a very bright gold color that I absolutely loved! I'm a huge fan of books that have a different color font than usual.

Now, on to the characters. I loved Day. So much. There are few things I love more than famous criminals (Cassel, Aladdin, Flynn Rider, just to name a few) and Day was no exception to this rule. He cares so much about his family, which is a really dangerous thing when you are a famous, wanted criminal. June is also a celebrity in her own way, graduating early because she's a genius and a total military prodigy. So any attempt to defy the government by either one of them is really dangerous. When you're famous, you can't really hide what you are up to very easily.

The villains in this story. THE VILLAINS IN THIS STORY. Rachel and I have a list that we like to keep of villains that we want to jump into books and strangle because they are so evil. Both of the villains in this book are so completely evil and do such terrible things without blinking an eye that there is no doubt in my mind they belong on that list. Everything about them makes me hate them. 

The plot of this book was completely impossible to predict. It took so many surprising twists and turns that all I could do was hold on tight and hope that things would get better for the characters. Marie Lu is kind of evil for writing a book that was so impossible for me to put down, and drove me crazy at the same time! I was on the edge of my seat at all times! And the ending of this book! So many things happened all at the same time, and I can not WAIT for Prodigy to come out! 

Another perfect aspect of this was the relationship between June and Day. Obviously it wasn't the main focus of the story with so many other things going on, but it was still an aspect that I enjoyed. When Day and June collide, kind of by accident and kind of on purpose, there is no insta-love between them. June is convinced Day killed her brother, and she doesn't want anything other than to bring him in. The relationship between them develops over time and it wasn't something that either one of them were planning on. I loved it so much and it was basically a perfect relationship. I can't wait until Prodigy to see how June and Day grow together. 

Legend is one of the best dystopias I have read, and I highly recommend it! Don't miss this one!!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Megan Rambles About Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
From Goodreads:Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

It's SUMMER! Which means, ROAD TRIP. Since I can't actually take a road trip (don't have a car/license and can't drive, no big deal) I have decided to read ALL OF THE ROAD TRIP BOOKS this summer. 

First, A MILLION THANKS TO KATHERINE for giving me this book for my birthday. I hadn't heard of it before, so I wouldn't have experienced the AWESOME that is this book without you. 

Obviously, I love road trip books. So I had some pretty high expectations, which this book exceeded. When Amy's mother tells her she needs to drive the family car across the country from California to Connecticut, there is one small problem. Amy doesn't drive. Not since her father died in a terrible accident three months before. ENTER ROGER. The kid Amy and her brother used to hang out with when they were little, he's grown up. And I think Amy and I can both agree, he's grown up WELL.

I totally love Roger. Everything about him is just amazing. He's caring and has such a big heart! I completely felt for him throughout the whole book. While trying to figure out why Amy seems to act so strange occasionally, he also has plenty of his own baggage to deal with. I won't spoil what's up with him, because you'll have to read to find out for yourself!

I really liked Amy as a character too. She wasn't totally bad ass like some of the other heroines I love, but she was really strong. Losing her dad definitely wasn't easy for her, and throughout the story she has to struggle to deal with this horrible thing that happened to her and her family. I thought she handled it wayyyy better than I would have, and I was really proud of were she ended up at the end of the story. 

The other thing I absolutely loved about this book was the format of it. Thrown in with the story were actual pictures of the places Amy and Roger traveled through, receipts, and postcards that helped tell part of the story that might not have necessarily been in the text. All of the pictures were taken by the author, because Morgan Matson has actually taken the road trip described in the book! I thought that was just about the coolest thing ever, and it only made me want to take a road trip of my own even more!

I could ramble on about all of the reasons why this book is perfection and I love it for hours, but I know you probably don't want to listen to that. So instead I'll leave you with the "suggestion" to GO PICK UP A COPY OF THIS BOOK. I promise you won't regret it! And Rachel, as soon as we can drive, I have scheduled a road trip for you, me, and Katherine. Not optional. Just so you know.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Random Ramble: Blogging & Things (Rachel)

So Megan and I have kind of been slacking off lately when it comes to this blog. We are well aware of it. In the beginning of summer, we were all "YAY NO SCHOOL! NOW WE WILL HAVE SO MUCH TIME TO BLOG!" But I'm pretty sure we're actually putting LESS time into our blog than we were during school. Whoops.

You see, it's summer. And we're teenagers. So we kind of don't want to do anything all. And that includes the blog. We love blogging and rambling and everything, but why would we try to form sentences and be intelligent when we could just sleep or swim or eat? (I'm not even going to say "have a social life" because hahahahaha no.)

Megan has been going on ALL THE VACATIONS, and I have been...really lazy. Also my internet has been really weird lately, just randomly not working for me, which causes me to FREAK OUT because my entire life revolves around the internet, basically.

But anyway. The point is, we totally and completely fail at being good bloggers. But that's okay. I mean, it's not like we have thousands of people checking our blog everyday because they think we are so wonderful and perfect. We really don't have a lot of people following us or checking our blog or whatever. I think. We don't really look at our blog stats, because we kind of don't care.

But, Rachel! You are probably saying, Why even bother writing posts and things if nobody is going to read them? That is a good question! And the answer is that it's fun. I don't know about Megan, but I enjoy letting out all my feelings and posting them on the internet. I like the book blogging community. I like that if I have something book-related to say, I have a place to say it. So blogging is wonderful. But that's the thing; it's supposed to be fun for me. So when I'm having trouble putting my feelings about a certain book into words, and I just can't find a way to say what I want to say, I don't stress over it. I just delete the draft and move on. I don't write about every single book I read. Only the ones that make me freak out and scream that I NEED TO TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT IS WEIRD AND TOTALLY AWESOME AT THE SAME TIME. Blogging is really just saving me from talking to myself about it.

The same thing goes for when I just don't feel like working on blog posts because it's summer and I want to go to the pool and read and listen to my ipod and be happy because I don't have to worry about school for another month. Reading and having fun is a priority for me, because if I force myself to work on the blog when I don't want to, suddenly it becomes more like homework than something I do for fun.

And it's okay for me to slack off, because this is not a professional blog. I know that a lot of book bloggers treat their blog like a job, and they put a lot of time and effort into it. They work with publishers and authors and Important People, or at least they're trying to get to the point where they can work with publishers and authors and Important People. I love these kind of bloggers. I visit their blogs almost daily and I think they're all amazing.

But Megan and I are fifteen. We have other things to do, and we can't stress ourselves out and spend our time worrying about this blog. So we keep things very unprofessional-like. We don't request ARCs from publishers. We're not even interested in requesting ARCs from publishers. As cool as it would be to read some awesome books before everyone else, we just can't. We have enough books that we own or can borrow from a friend or the library that we'll never run out of reading material. I don't want to feel like I have to read a book just because I'm supposed to review it by a certain time, because life just gets in the way and I might not have time. I'd rather just read what I want to read, and buy or borrow new releases when they come out. I mean, I still enter giveaways for certain ARCs that I want, but if I don't win, whatever. I'll just wait till the book is released. 

This is not to say that I don't take this blog seriously. Because I do. It's a high priority for me, just not the highest. Right now, at least. During the school year, this blog is more important to me than homework or school assignments or whatever. (Because I am the master of procrastination and homework sucks.) But during summer, reading a crapload of books is more important to me than reviewing or rambling about them. 

I don't really know what the future of this blog will be. Megan and I are going to be high school sophomores this fall, and I have no idea what to expect from my next three years of Hell high school. I hope that this blog can be a thing that we'll work on over the years. I hope it will grow and improve and become really awesome. Who knows, maybe we'll get somewhat professional and start accepting ARCs and have a beautiful design and a lot of followers and stuff. Or maybe Honors Chemistry and Honors Algebra 2 (Why did I even sign up for these classes?! Ugh.) will take up all our time and we'll have to stop blogging. I have no idea what's going to happen. 

I'll always be a reader. I'll always read and obsess over books, regardless of whether or not I'm a blogger. Blogging is fun, but it is also really hard at times. To all the bloggers out there putting a zillion times more effort into your blog than I put into mine, YOU ARE AMAZING. Awkward Voldemort hugs for you all! Really. You guys spend so much time and energy on a blog that you don't even get paid for, and I am in awe of your awesomeness. 

I do love this blog. I'm glad Megan and I started it because it's usually a lot of fun and I've made a bunch of internet friends who are full of awesome. But when it comes down to it, I am a lazy teenager who is moody and hates doing anything that is not laying in bed all day reading and/or watching Youtube videos. I'm not going to pretend to be an amazing blogger, because I'm so obviously not.

This post has gone in about a thousand different directions. I hope you were able to keep up with all that. If not, well, I will leave you with some book recommendations:

These books are all amazing contemporaries that I've read within the past week or so, and I think you should read them. Yes, you! With the face! Read them.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
From Goodreads:Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

I can't even begin to explain how much I NEED THIS NOVELLA. Shatter Me is one of the most unique and interesting book that I have ever read. Tahereh Mafi created a world and a writing style that I just wanted to keep reading. While I try not to die waiting for Unravel Me, I do have something AMAZING to look forward too. 

One of my favorite characters in Shatter Me was Warner. He was so evil, yet there was something about him that made me understand him. I am beyond excited to get a peak inside his head and learn more about the villain that I love to hate!