Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nightshade


Title: Nightshade
Release Date: Oct. 19, 2010
Publisher: Philomel
Source: Publisher

Description:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? 





Nightshade was a great read and a beast of a book! Usually I can get through a book in about a day, maybe a little more... Nightshade took me 3 days to read, and that was with some really long reading sessions. 
Nightshade is about a girl named Calla, who has known her whole life how her life was going to turn out. She would be a leader of a new pack along with her mate Ren. But then things get a little off track when she saves a human boy from a bear attack in the woods one day. Calla ends up changing in front of him. The next day at school who happens to wander into her class? none other than the human boy she saved from the bear, who seems to instantly know who she is! 

Calla feels an instant connection with Shay, which turns everything she has believed in upside down. Is it possible that she is meant to love someone other than the person her live has been intertwined with? Or is she being foolish, and should stick to what she has always known?

Nightshade is full of romance, a very tense love triangle, action and suspense. The perfect combination! I do have to admit that I wish the end had been a bit different, but I suppose it was for the best of the book. The issue I have is with that MAJOR cliffhanger, I am expected to wait until the sequel Wolfsbane to come out in the summer of 2011. Thats WAY too long! I have to know what happens. But then again I am sure thats the point of the cliffhanger lol. For all of you paranormal romance people (im one of you lol) there is a ton of sexual tension in this book, that will make you beg for something to happen. With Nightshade Andrea Cremer hit her debut out of the park!



~:{RATING}:~


Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Beach Reads Challenge

I have joined The Summer Beach Reads Challenge, as a result Sparkling Reviews has undergone a little summer makeover to go with The Summer Beach Reads Challenge. I hope that you all like it! Also make sure and check out the Challenge page that I have added to get more info on the challenge. Its a very neat challenge with different levels for every type of reader! It will go on until Aug 30th... Enjoy!




Thursday, July 29, 2010

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Purchased for Amazon Kindle


Description: 
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.

My Thoughts: 
I really liked Amy and Roger's Epic Detour. Was it the best book I have ever read... No, but it definitely wasn't the worst either. I also got to read this on a little road trip of my own, which I think made me enjoy it just a little bit more than if I was sitting home on the couch reading.

Amy's dad dies and her mom goes ahead to their new home in Connecticut to start a new life with less "memories". Amy is supposed to join her mom and drive the car to their new home, there is only one issue with this plan... Amy won't drive after her dad died in a car accident. So her mom enlists the help of Roger, her friends son. Amy is not looking forward to traveling across country with someone that she barely knows.

Throughout the trip Amy is working on coming to terms with her dad passing away, which is hard when she hasn't quite accepted that he's dead. Meanwhile Roger is working on an issue of his own in the name of Hadley. His ex girlfriend that he still isn't over. So as a solution to both of there problems they decide to go off of the itinerary that Amy's mom gave them, and take a bit of a detour.

Roger becomes just a little creepy to me with his obsession with his ex-girlfriend Hadley. He is trying to find out where she is staying so that he can talk to her. She isn't returning his call or texts, but he keeps on trying to reach her anyway that he can.

Along the way Amy begins to develop a crush on Roger but is determined to help him find Hadley and work out whatever it is he is trying to work out. I love how there are snippits in the book such as Roger's playlist (which is present at the beginning of each chapter), Receipts from their purchases along the way, and notes that she receives from Roger's friend. It makes you feel as though you are going on this adventure with them. Along the way you meet some of Roger's friends, and they make a few new ones.

From the minute I picked this up, I didn't put it down. I had to finish it in one sitting. If you are looking for a quick, fun read that will keep you interested from page one until the very last page. You should definitely check this out!

Rating: 9/10

 

20 Follower Giveaway Update!

Yay! We just hit 20 followers!!! You know what that means.... there are now two books in the 20 Follower Giveaway! 10 more followers and I will add another book to whoever wins the giveaway and so on.... Keep on treking guys you all are doing great at getting as many books as possible in the giveaway. I can't wait to see where we are by Aug 10th! Thank you to all the bloggers who are advertising for the giveaway. Good Luck to everyone!

 

Make Mine Blue!


Yesterday I received this beautiful purse in the mail from Make Mine Blue on Etsy.  Jenn is the person who made this purse. Jenn is friendly and has impeccable customer service! Getting a question answered by Jenn is like getting an email from a friend, she is friendly, to the point and doesn't make it seem like an imposition that you asked. The question I asked Jenn was if my Kindle in its case would fit into the purse shown (I sent the dimensions). She replied promptly stating that it definitely would fit. Also I received this 1 day after I was told the item would be shipped, to me shipping is almost as important as the item itself. I received the purse yesterday, it was wrapped beautifully in gift wrap and had a white bow made from ribbon. The picture doesn't do it justice! It is beautiful! It sits on my shoulder comfortably. My Kindle fits in it, in its case and I still have room for my wallet, keys and lip balm. It has a cute little pocket inside perfect for holding all your little items... I put my lip balm in there so it was easy to find. If you are looking for an original purse, with friendly service and might I add fast shipping! Jenn's products are both gorgeous and cost effective, for those who want something amazing and don't want to break the bank in the process! Make Mine Blue is where its at!


You Can Find Jenn and her beautiful creations here: Make Mine Blue

Rating:
Shipping: 10/10
Purse Quality: 10/10
Customer Service: 10/10
Cost: 10/10


Overall Rating: A++ 10/10


Product Reviews!!!



I have decided that I will be writing reviews on items that I receive that aren't book related as well. I write these for another location and thought it would be neat to have them posted to the blog as well, so that all of you can read and view these amazing products homemade just for their customers! I will be posting my first review today.  It will have a link to the person's store if you are interested in seeing, possibly buying an item from them. I will also in the future be hosting giveaways of some of the items that I receive. If I am in LOVE the item more than likely at some point you will see a giveaway of that item. I want you to be able to try the things that are absolutely amazing! All these items will be bought from Etsy.com. So keep tuned in for more giveaways and product reviews!

Forget You


Title: Forget You
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 20, 2010
Publisher: MTV
Source: Author

Description:
WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . .  AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER?  There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.  But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

My Thoughts:
 This book is now one of my all time favorites! It has romance, tension, passion... It amazing!

Zoey gets into an accident on the night of a big party at the beach, but Zoey can't remember anything from that night. She doesn't know where she was headed, or who she was or wasn't with. One thing she does know is that even though she can't remember anything she needs to make everyone believe that she remembers every detail of that night, otherwise her dad will lock her up in the "looney-bin". 

Doug pulled Zoey from the car the night of the accident, but is being very guarded with what he is sharing with her about that night. He shows up the day after the accident thinking that him and Zoey are now dating, but Zoey doesn't know why or how he would think that when she is dating hunky Brandon. Although Brandon seems to be avoiding her and won't answer her messages or call her back.

To add to the drama, Zoey's mom has been admitted to a mental hospital because she tried to kill herself after learning that Zoey's dad got a 20-something girl pregnant. After her mom is admitted, Zoey is made to go live with her father until her mother gets better. A father who is less than nice to his daughter and while out of town, hooks up video cameras in the house, so that he knows Zoey's every move.

Forget You turned out to be a great book! I read it in about 5 hours and loved every minute. I was actually a little sad to see it end. I loved how the relationship developed between Doug and Zoey. I even liked how I didn't know most of the book, what happened the night of the accident. I felt as though I was learning along with Zoey about the one night that she has forgotten. I will be reading this book again and again... I just can't get enough of Forget You as well as Doug and Zoey!

Rating: 10 out of 10!!!!

 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Ghost and The Goth

Title: The Ghost and The Goth
Author: Stacey Kade
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Source: Publisher

Description:
After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck as a spirit (DON’T call her a ghost) in the land of the living with no sign of the big, bright light to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser outcast who despises the social elite. He alone can see and hear (turns out he’s been “blessed” with the ability to communicate with the dead), but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.

Alona has never needed anyone for anything, and now she’s supposed to expose her deepest, darkest secrets to this pseudo-goth boy? Right. She’s not telling anyone what really happened the day she died, not even to save her eternal soul. And Will’s not filling out any volunteer forms to help her cross to the other side. He only has a few more weeks until his graduation, when he can strike out on his own and find a place with less spiritual interference. But he has to survive and stay out of the psych ward until then. Can they get over their mutual distrust—and the weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?

My Thoughts:
I had a really hard time getting into The Ghost and The Goth, I had to keep setting it down and coming back to it. However once I did get into it, I LOVED it! It just took some sticking with it.

Alona's character is shallow, critical and mean. She is the queen of the popular crowd, that is until she isn't watching where she is walking and walks in front of a school bus. Right after dying she realizes the friends that she thought she had, weren't the people she thought they were. When she goes back to the school to see everyone (not that they can see her), her "friends" are talking about how much they didn't like her. Her best friend was making out with her boyfriend only one day after her funeral, and by the way her friends were talking, its been going on for a while. As Alona starts to think all hope is lost, enter Will. The goth boy of Groundsboro High, and the complete opposite of Alona. While Alona is down about her friends and boyfriend, Will looks right at her and laughs! Which means only one thing.... that Will can see her! Will is the only one who can see and talk to her, even though he wishes he couldn't. Alona needs Will's help to try and find her way to the "light".. A place that she believes will fix all her issues and her wildest dreams will be reality.

The Ghost and The Goth in my opinion could have concentrated less on some parts and more on others. Overall the story line is good. The book had a very hard time keeping my attention in the beginning, towards the middle is where it starts getting really good! I did like how Kade was very true to the cliches in high school... she couldn't have gotten it more head on. Alona's shallowness got a little annoying at times, but the wittiness out plays the annoying. I loved the connection that was formed between Will and Alona, and how at first it seemed as though Will was never going to help her, everything turned out how I would have wanted in the end, even though the end came a bit soon and leads me to think there might be a sequel in the works? . So even though it was slow at the beginning and a bit shallow at times. I feel that it was needed for the proper progression of the story and the characters. Over all I did enjoy The Ghost and The Goth, I am very happy that I was able to stick with it! This is one story that I could read again.

I absolutely love the appeal of The Ghost and The Goth, The books is just stunning! Alona is beautiful and you get a lot of Will's personality in the way he hold himself on the cover. The cover is one thing that got me interested in The Ghost and The Goth. The cover holds true with the story that Will really wasn't interested at all in Alona at first. It's just an amazing cover! They couldn't have done any better if they wanted to.

Go out and get yourself a copy of The Ghost and The Goth, You wont be disappointed! Its a great summer read.

Rating: 7.8 out of 10

13 To Life

Title: 13 to Life
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Publisher

Description:
Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing.  Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town.  It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…

My Thoughts: (WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!)
I felt that 13 to Life was a bit cliche in the whole werewolf romance genre. I mean a girl meets a mysterious boy and is drawn to him not knowing why. It just seems a little over played by now. But once I got into the book, I noticed it was a but different than that, but the first few chapters will lead you to believe... hmmm I think I have read this before.

I really love Jessica's character, she is a little naive but in a good way. She is always trying to help someone before herself, which is a bit of a down fall in this book, because she is always trying to help her friend be happy, even though it means sacrificing her own happiness. Jessica is hiding a secret most of the book as to what happened the night that her mom died in a car accident, and how the accident happened. I was absolutely floored when I found out what actually happened, and must admit I was confused as to Jessica's motives to keep the person close that did this to her mom.

Pietr has some secrets of his own! His family is running from something and has moved to Jessica's town to keep themselves safe. After enrolling in highschool Jessica is assigned to be Pietr's guide for the week to make sure he doesn't get lost. Immediately Jessica begins having feelings for Pietr and Pietr is relentless to make her his, despite Jessica pushing him away.

All through 13 to Life, I could have sworn it was just another werewolf romance, and that I absolutely without a doubt knew what was going to happen. I was wrong! Not only was I wrong but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed 13 to Life from beginning to finish and with the cliff hanger at the end, I can't wait for the sequel to come out. Anyone that likes Twilight or werewolves this book is right up your alley!

Rating: 8.5 out of 10


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In My Mailbox!

IMM was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren to get more information on how you can join IMM.

This is what I received last week in the mail. I am posting this a little late. I will be posting again on Sunday. This week was a pretty good week! Here is what I got!

For Review:
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Siren By Tricia Rayburn
Matched By Ally Condie
The Ghost and the Goth By Stacey Kade
Beastly By Alex Flinn
Ghostgirl By Tonya Hurley
Ghostgirl: Homecoming By Tonya Hurley
Ghostgirl: Lovesick By Tonya Hurley
Nightshade By Andrea Cremer (not pictured)
Pegasus By Robin Mckinley(not pictured)

Thanks to Tonya Hurley for sending me her entire series for review! So what did you get this week?!?
Comment and let me know!

20 Follower Giveaway!


I will be posting a contest today called the 20 Follower Giveaway. Here is how it works! You can start entering today. After I receive 20 Followers I will add two books to the giveaway. For every 10 followers after that I will add one book. This is all leading up until Aug 10th 2010, At that point I will choose a winner at random. So start following my blog for your chance to win! The picture is the first 6 books that will be up for grabs! If I don't reach 20 followers by the end of the contest I will then giveaway one book out of the 6 shown, the winner will have their choice of book!
ATTN BLOGGERS: IF YOU BLOG ABOUT THIS POST ADD 10 ENTRIES AT THE ADD UP.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Birthmarked Review

Author: Caragh O'Brien
Release Date: March 30th, 2010
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Source: Publisher

Description:
IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

My Thoughts:
This is a fantastic debut for Caragh O'Brien!
From the first page, I couldn't put it down, Gaia is a
very easy to relate to character, which is one aspect
that I believe made this book shine. Birthmarked is
made up of action, bravery and a touch of romance.
It was a little bit of everything I look for wrapped up in an
amazing read! Gaia is a very brave girl who decides
that the only way to save her parents, that were arrested
and taken inside the Enclave, is to go in after them.
Something that is unheard of for anyone that resides
outside the wall. Along the way she must uncover
the secrets that her father and mother kept in order
to stay alive once inside the wall. Birthmarked is full of
suspenseful and thoughtful moments which makes you
really feel as though you are accompanying Gaia on her
adventure.I read this book in one sitting, which I felt the need
that I had to do, because I just wasn't able to leave off not
knowing what was going to happen to Gaia and the friends
which help her along the way. I am really hoping that the
author will come out with a sequel to Birthmarked. I can't
wait to see what else Caragh O'Brien has up her sleeve.
Birthmarked is a must read for anyone, not just young adults.
It will appeal to any crowd, because it has a little something
for everyone. To all my readers I suggest you run out and
find a copy of Birthmarked... trust me you won't regret it!

Rating: 9.7 out of 10

 
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