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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Candor by Pam Bachorz
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.

Review: Candor was a very refreshing read. The book has a lot of depth and emotion. As I read it, I was impressed and saddened by how the town of Candor was. The book wasn't exactly a gripping-can't-put-down novel, but it's close. The author did a great job illustrating the effects of the brainwashing down through the Messages--you get the chance to witness several characters go through the change as well as how they are completely oblivious to it. The whole idea of brainwashing was very hard to take in. I found it really depressing and unfair that no one really got a choice. To me, Oscar's dad, was the antagonist of the novel. It wasn't the messages, but him. He was just creating a fake image of perfection for every family in the town. It didn't help that Oscar was known to everyone as the "perfect" child either.

One thing I noticed was the author's writing style. The sentences are sometimes short, but it's what makes the book different. At first, I was a teensy bit irked by it, but then I learned to love Pam Bachorz's writing. :D Oh and the cover. It is absolutely PERFECT for this book. Now, I know the reason behind the orange.

I loved Nia and couldn't help but feel sorry for her. I really wanted to kill Oscar's dad (>:O). Sadly, I was not a character in the novel. And if I was, he'd probably brainwash me. Tehe. One thing that I felt that did not flow naturally was Nia's and Oscar's relationship. I really found it hard to believe that they loved each other in the beginning of the novel. I wish their love was shown more naturally. However, towards the novel, I could tell that Oscar really cares for her. Despite all of this, I loved Candor. The book was spectacular and made me really think.

What I thought of....

The Beginning: I wasn't sure how I felt at this point. Oscar and Nia's relationship was too rushed. Me no likey.

The Middle: At this point, everything got a whole lot better. I was left shocked and stunned at some things that occured. :O

The End: It was extremely intense. I never wanted it to end. I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. It was such a huge shocker. In fact, I'm not sure if I should hate it or be impressed. AH!! The madness.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reader Notes - Book Themes for Random Magic


Hey, guys! I thought this was really interesting and cool. You might want to check it out if you're interested in Random Magic by Sasha Soren! ;)


Inside Random Magic: Reader Notes - Book Themes

Some of the themes of the book, apart from the nutty adventures and colorful imagery, would be:

• Magic is everywhere, even in daily life, just have to know where to look.
• Always believe in yourself, even if no one else does.
• Inside every woman, there is a queen
• Brains can be more useful than brawn, in a lot of cases
• Knowledge is power
• Bravery isn’t a lack of fear, but a willingness to try even when you’re afraid
• True beauty is much greater than skin deep
• Loyalty, friendship and love are more valuable than gold
• Magic is: Magic. But it’s also: The power to create art, music, and beauty.
• There is spiritual beauty in physical objects, sometimes
• Humans are mortal, but the things they create are immortal.
• It’s foolhardy to underestimate the seemingly small and weak
• Don’t believe everything you see
• One person with courage is a majority
• Never give up
• Love is the most elusive but most powerful magic of all

Random Magic by Sasha Soren

[Part of the Random Magic Book Tour]

The author thought it would be nice if I'd try doing a vlog-review sort for this books. I thought it would be fun! But, my webcam stopped working...*tear* Guess there's not vlog for this week's IMM either xD I honestly wish I could have done much more for my tour stop, but school & the recent flu I got messed everything up. Anyway, here is lame review. (My review--not the book!)

Random Magic by Sasha Soren
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis: When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.

Review: I liked it more than I thought I would. The writing made the book fun, comical, and quirky. The characters are extremely great (I cannot even express my love for Winnie...) Henry and Winnie's adventures never ceased to end--and that only made the book more fun to read. However, there were some parts that I found difficult to read because of the use of metaphors and such. (I think I'm dumb xD) Despite that, I also really loved the mini descriptions under each chapter.

Something that made me go, "What?!" was the cover. Like many other Bloggers, I think Nicole Kidman is the person on the cover. xD But you know...never judge a book by its cover (especially this one!) It truly was a great autumn read.

What I thought of...
(no spoilers!)


The Beginning: Immediately, I was hooked by the first couple of sentences. However, the beginning of the novel was also hard to understand. It's one of those books that will make sense more and more as you go through it.

The Middle: It was less confusing. I liked it! :)

The End: I love, love the ending.

[edit: Here is the book trailer! :)]


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random Magic Tour Schedule

Random Magic Tour
Oct. 17 - Nov. 25, 2009

Author site: Sasha Soren
Main blog host: The Other Shelf
Contact the tour: @RM_TheCoven
Catch up with the tour: @RandomMagicTour


1/Oct. 15
[Tour prep]

2/Oct. 17
Michelle
Michelle’s Book Blog
http://michellesramblins.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
review
author interview

3/Oct. 18
Aimee
My Fluttering Heart
http://myflutteringheart.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/aimeefluttering
tour bio
tour announcement

review
other book mentions: fill in the gaps project

4/Oct. 20
Allison
Well-Read Reviews
http://www.wellreadreviews.com
tw: http://twitter.com/wellreadreviews
tour bio
tour announcement
review
author interview
other book mentions: friday firsts meme
other book mentions: sunday salon meme
other book mentions: J.Kaye comments

5/Oct. 22
Casey
A Passion For Books
http://casey62588.blogspot.com
tw: http://twitter.com/casey625
tour bio (to be added)

6/Oct. 24
Kim
And Anything Bookish
http://andanythingbookish.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/sunxxmoon
tour bio (to be added)

6b/Oct. 25
Kate
The Neverending Shelf
http://neverendingshelf.blogspot.com/2009/09/random-magic-tour.html

Alt: The Other Shelf (Tour site)
tw: http://twitter.com/neshelf
tour bio (to be added)

7/Oct. 26
Trisha Lynn
Trisha’s Book Blog
http://trishasbookshelf.blogspot.com
tw: http://twitter.com/trishalynn0708
tour bio

7b/Oct. 27
Becky
The Bookette
http://thebookette.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement
Becky's alter ego: Nevermore


8/Oct. 28
Brande
Book Junkie
http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
review
author interview
Brande's alter ego: Winnie

9/Oct. 29
Jenny
Take Me Away
http://takemeaway-jennala9.blogspot.com

tw: https://twitter.com/JennyTakeMeAway
(Related: Doing Alice in Wonderland challenge, Sept.1, 2009 - Aug. 31, 2010)
tour bio
tour announcement

10/Oct. 30
Elnice
Ellz Readz
http://ellzreadz.blogspot.com/
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement

(reader notes) inside random magic: the garden

11/Oct. 31 (Halloween)
Mariah
A Reader’s Adventure
http://mariah-readingadventure.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

12/Nov. 2
Cat
Beyond Books
http://beyondbooks.ca
tw: http://twitter.com/beyondelsewhere
tour bio

13/Nov. 3
Jill
The O.W.L. Blog
http://owlforya.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement

14/Nov. 4
Juju
Tales of Whimsy
http://talesofwhimsy.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

14b/Nov.9
Charity Lynn
Keep On Booking
http://keeponbooking.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/CharityGamble
tour bio
tour announcement


15/Nov. 10
Alaine
Queen of Happy Endings
http://alainereading.blogspot.com
tw: http://twitter.com/madscrapper
tour bio
tour announcement

16/Nov. 11
Tina
Tina’s Book Reviews
http://willowdustreviews.blogspot.com

(alt: http://blogwithbitereviews.blogspot.com)
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement
review


17/Nov. 12
McKenzie
The Book Owl
http://thebookowl.blogspot.com

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement
McKenzie's alter ego: Nevermore

18/Nov. 13
Willow Raven
Red House Books
http://redhousebooks.blogspot.com

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

19/Nov. 15
Emily
What Book Is That?
http://whatbookisthat.blogspot.com
tw: http://twitter.com/heynocupcake
tour bio
tour announcement

20/Nov. 17
Jenn
Fallling Off The Shelf
http://fallingofftheshelf.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement

21/Nov. 18
Nicole
Books!
http://my-book-views.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

22/Nov. 20
Bianca
Wicked Good Reads
http://wickedgoodbooks.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement
Bianca's alter ego: Nevermore

23/Nov. 21
Michelle
The True Book Addict
http://thetruebookaddict.blogspot.com
tw: http://twitter.com/truebookaddict
tour bio
tour announcement

24/Nov. 23
Andrea
The Little Bookworm
http://thelilbookworm.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/lilbookworm
tour bio
tour announcement

24b/Nov.24
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Strange & Random Happenstance
http://strange-and-random-happenstance.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
tour announcement


25/Nov. 25
Eleni
La Femme Readers
http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com
tw: http://twitter.com/lafemmereaders
tour bio
tour announcement
vlogs (books)
review
author interview
reader notes: trivia
reader notes: book themes

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: The undead can really screw up your senior year . . . Marrying a vampire definitely doesn't fit into Jessica Packwood's senior year "get-a-life" plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he's her long-lost fianc√©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire's Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius's soul from eternal destruction

Review: The cover and the title do not do the book justice. In fact, the tone of the book is a bit more serious than what the title leads you to believe. Despite that, this book was so enjoyable! I felt myself anticipating every chapter, turning apprehensive as the story led on. I braced myself for the ending because I didn't know if it would be one that I'd like or not. And when it ended, I wanted more. Thankfully, the author wrote more of Jessica's and Lucius' story on her site. This book is probably one of the best vampire novels I have read. I could really see the budding love of Jessica and Lucius as every chapter went on. It wasn't some cliche "love at first sight" plot. Jessica and Lucius grew to love each other.

One of the things that I liked were Lucius' letters to his uncle. Not only were they amusing (you should see his comments about basketball), but they conveyed how his feelings changed about Jessica. They made their love story more believable and endearing.

What I thought of...

The Beginning: The beginning did not hook me, but the interaction between Jessica and Lucius was adorable and amusing.

The Middle: The first half of the middle was extremeley better than the beginning of the novel. When I hit the second half, I became frustrated. I hated Lucius for acting the way he did.

The End: ARG! It was so good :) However, it wasn't enough for me. I was glad the author wrote more of the characters' story on her website.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In My Mailbox (3)

I'm still sick this week so my voice is not as annoying. Anyway, here's my IMM vlog this week.

As usual, In My Mailbox was started by Kristi @ The Story Siren




Books I got from the library:

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Saving Juliet by Suzanna Selfors

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Trade/Borrow:

One Wish by Leigh Brescia (Thanks Wendy!)

For review:

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (For Other Shelf Tours)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

[I'm really behind on my reviews. I have to check Goodreads just to know what books I have left to review...I think it's this awful flu I have. But that's not an excuse, hehe. Anyway, here is my attempt at another review before I head off for more medicine. ]

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary. Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.

Review: This book amazed me! 0_0 The writing and the plot was fantastic. I was never bored. It was also quite terrifying at parts, but that was mainly because of the suspense. I never knew what psychometry was until I read this book. The stalker is downright creepy! :O Everytime I saw one of his entries, I was shocked at how psycho he was. I never knew what was coming; I would try to guess, but I would be proved wrong. I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of predictable books so this one was great for me! It was only around 242 pages and was packed with great suspense. I really cannot wait for the sequel, Deadly Little Lies, to come out.

What I didn't like about it was the characters. It was just unrealistic that Camelia and her friends never really did anything about the whole stalker situation. All they did was talk about what NOT to do. Camelia did not tell her parents anything even after she knew that creepy stalker has been inside her room. Another thing I don't like is Camelia's and Ben's "relationship." I don't think it was developed enough; more like Camelia's hormones and like of Ben's mysterious personality(and the fact that he saved her) got the best of her. I know they have feelings for each other, though. But it wasn't shown as strong as I hoped it would. Nevertheless, it was a great read! :) Props to the author for this magnificent story.

What I thought of...

The Beginning: The beginning hooked me from the first couple of sentences.

The Middle: Here is where I start forming predictions of who this "stalker" may be. I tried guessing the stalker as the most obvious person...

The End: Oh , god. This was one of the most suspenseful endings I've ever read. The stalker turned out to be this other obvious person. Although I was a bit disappointed that I was wrong, it was an okay ending. (Cliffhangers are a no-no...-_-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles


Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Review: This book was amazing! It never ceased to get my attention. I saw some tweets on Twitter recommending this book so I checked it out from the library. I finished this in one sitting and was blown away. Brittany and Alex have become one of my favorite couples of YA fiction. They were so real and it was really intriguing to read from both point of views. I have to say, though, at some points in the novel, I didn't like how all Brittany could think about was to keep a perfect image. I know she was kind of influenced by her parents so I understand. That being said, I liked how she changed by the end of the book. You should definitely give this book a try!

What I thought of...
[NO MAJOR SPOILERS! :D]

The Beginning: The start of the novel is fantastic. Great introduction to everyone! Another good point is that from the beginning of the novel, you can sort of sense how everyone's personality is.

The Middle: This is where the novel gets even more interesting. I loved every aspect of it! :)

The End: Awww...That's all I'm going to say. The ending is just too cute! xD

[Forgive me if I left out any other details. My mind is a blank because I didn't write this review sooner...]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In My Mailbox (2) VLOG!

First of all, before you click play on the video below and I'm dead serious about this: prepare to be bored to death.

Anyway, I hope you don't mind my obnoxious voice! Enjoy :D

[Hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren :)]



Books mentioned:

The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Hollywood is Like High School With Money by Zoey Dean
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Picture Perfect by D. Anne Love
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
Look Both Ways by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz (0_o )
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Oblivion Road by Alex McAulay
Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Other stuff:
The Goods from Jessica Verday's site! :D

Happy reading to all! (;

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Veronica 'Ronnie' Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father ...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms - first love, the love between parents and children - that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts ...and heal them.


Review: This is the first Nicholas Sparks novel that I read and it was pure amazement for me to go through everything with Ronnie, Will, Steve, etc. Thankfully, I checked this puppy out of the library so there was no need to buy it. If I could, I would definitely purchase it. It's beautiful and probably the first book that made me cry towards the end. I did not see that climax coming at all and it was heartbreaking for Ronnie to go through that. There were some characters that I wanted to know more about though, like Creepo Marcus xD. Every character is very relatable and real unlike many others. I must admit that I had a hard time imagining Miley Cyrus as Ronnie in the beginning of the novel because she didn't have purple streaks in her hair! I know it's silly...

What I thought of:

The Beginning: It was a great introduction to Ronnie and the rest of the characters. I really like Steve's character and the way he's very considerate. The prologue of the novel was also interesting. We see Ronnie be her rebellious self for a bit before Creepo Marcus ruins it for her.

The Middle: It was definitely better than the beginning with many things occuring. Not only that, but it was cute and endearing seeing Will and Ronnie interact the way they were. I hated a couple of character's guts and wanted to beat them up near the part of a wedding....but then the hate-o-meter turned into a tear-o-meter once I hit the climax. Read it and you'll know what I'm talking about. You just won't expect that to happen (unless you read a summary somewhere...) and when it does, your jaw won't be able to stay in place. At least for me, that is. When I read the letters in the books, I completely lost it. (During the whole climax, you might want to listen to When I Look At You by Miley Cyrus. If you hate her like me, you'll like this song because it fits the mood. But her voice is still as annoying and nasal there...don't hit me!)

The End: Oh, the ending. It was truly sad to see everything crumble like that for Ronnie. But it was nice to see her stay strong and play the piano. I loved the ending! :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: Shelby’s summer plans go totally awry when her horrible stepmother sends her off to “brat camp” as punishment for one too many broken curfews. Camp is full of spoiled rich kids, obnoxious counselors wanting Shelby to talk about her feelings, and a totally inhumane “no cell phones” policy. Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges III. But soon she realizes there’s more to Austin than crush material—his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby’s help guarding it. Shelby knows that bad boys get her into trouble…but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one?

Review: I found this book on the shelf of my library and checked it out almost immediately. I was really excited to read it, but its plot didn't really cut for me. It was good, but I didn't love it like I thought I would. I do like the wholeconcept at camp, but the characters were flat for me. One of the reasons I keep reading books even if they're boring is because of the characters, but for this book I felt the characters needed more development. I didn't get into it until the middle. It was really predictable as well. The book is a short read so you all might like it if you're looking for a book to kill time.

What I thought of:

The Beginning: The beginning did not get a hold of my interest. I would keep turning pages just to see where the story led, but I would also find my mind wandering elsewhere. Heck, I wasn't even excited when Austin showed up in the novel.

The Middle: It picked up better and we finally know a little more of some characters. As for some others, I honestly knew nothing about them. The events happening around this part were enganging though. This part was definitely cute and fun to read.

The End: It was definitely better than both of the previous parts. It wrapped up nicely, although a little cliche and cheesy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Throwdown Thursday (7)

Since I didn't do a post for this meme last week, this week's winner is from two weeks ago...

And that winner is...The second cover of The Espressologist!! :D I have to agree with that also.

[Just a warning. Today I am abusing the use of ellipsis...]




For this week...
the contestants are bigger and sweeter than ever...

The Sweet Life of Stella Madison or Coffeehouse Angel?

Both covers have a girl posing with a delectable food item in their hands...and their books involve food.

Which cover do you think is sweeter?


Oh and this meme was started by Kate @ The Neverending Shelf =)

Blog Roll!

Here's a list of awesome bloggers! To be added to my list, just shoot me an e-mail at andanythingbookish@gmail.com =]

The Book Lush

The Book Scout
A Flight of Minds
The Here. The Now. And the Books
Karin's Book Nook
Lucid Conspiracy
A Maze of Books
Michelle Hodkin
The Neverending Shelf
Notes from the Nerdette
Sparrow Review