Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday(Sept. 25th)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers: "'Tis tempting fate to say a ship is unsinkable'" "After all, I had given something. I had saved a boy's life"

- p.233 Bewitching by Alex Finn

I would love if you commented below with your own teaser because I'm always looking for new books to read!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

LOTW 13: Dress Lust

I just picked up Bewitching by Alex Flinn and I am in love with the cover. The dress on it is gorgeous and got me thinking about how many books have dresses I would die to have. It only made sense to me to make my list this week on my dress lust. So here is my five favorite dresses in no specific order.

1. Bewitching by Alex Flinn

2. Fever by Lauren DeStefano

3. Rumors by Anna Godbersen

4. Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

5. Everneath by Brodi Ashton


Friday, September 21, 2012

How I Review Books!

Hey guys! Since I don't have a review ready at the moment, I decided to do a post that's a little bit different. So today, I'm showing you my review process for the books I read. I don't know if any of you will actually find this interesting, but I thought it would be kind of fun. Also, please excuse my really low quality photos (and my bad handwriting) in this post. I couldn't find my camera's memory card so I just used my phone's camera instead.  Also, most of the writing on my post-it notes is just random examples, not actually things that apply to the book I'm reading. Anyway... let's get to the post!

So first, I start off with a few basic supplies that I use while reading a book.

1. Three different types of post it notes. 
Technically, I could just use the big ones and rip them up, but having three different sizes already prepared is just way easier.
2. A pen
I write in my books even when I'm not reviewing them. So for me, a pen is a must. I use a pen since I usually write on post-it notes rather than writing directly in the book. However, sometimes I use a pencil when I do feel inclined to write on the actual pages.
3. Highlighters
These are even more essential than the pen and the post it notes. I use my highlighters to highlight important lines from a book. For example, when there's foreshadowing, something significant a character says, a turn in the plot, etc. I also use them to highlight my favorite quotes from the books. This comes in handy a lot when I want to skip to my favorite part of the book if I re-read it or when I'm writing up a book quotes post.

4. Reading Journal (not pictured)

I absolutely love having a reading journal. I first use the pens, highlighters, and post it notes to record my thoughts while I'm reading and may not have my journal with me. Then when I'm done reading I use my journal to outline reviews and record my reactions and personal thoughts about a book immediately after I finish reading it. Even if you're not a book blogger, I definitely recommend you start a reading journal. It helps you have a better connection to the books you're reading and can be used to refresh your memory if you every want to go back and see what you thought about a book.

Now to the actual review process!

Okay, so a key part of my review process involves the large post-it notes. Before I even start a book I place three of them on the inside cover. These help me keep track of things that happen in the book, some general thoughts about the book, and things that I need to bring up in my reviews.

The first one I place under the title - I'm currently reading Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs - and label it "Characters." This helps me keep track of every single character that pops up in the book. As the book goes on I'll add notes about different relationships, what characters I like, etc.

Next, I make a t-chart on another post-it note that says "Likes" and "Dislikes." I then write down things that the author did well, and things they did badly. Usually these include the things we base our reviews off of like writing, plot, characters, and the ending.

The last large post-it note I use I label "Favorite Parts." On here I might write down certain scenes, quotes, or page numbers. It's really helpful for adding specifics to my reviews and to refer back to if I ever read the book again.

Aside from taking general notes on these larger post-its, I also take more specific notes in the actual text. I use the little yellow post-it notes to write down any questions or thoughts I may have while I'm reading and mark important parts of the book like plot twists.

I then use the smallest post-it notes and my highlighters to mark my favorite lines from the book. Mainly this is just for my enjoyment so I can go back and re-read my favorite parts, but usually I will mark quotes that show great character development or good overall writing, both elements that I take note of in my reviews.

After I'm done reading the book I write a response in my reading journal and then review all of my notes and highlighting. From there I rate the different elements of the book, give the book an overall rating, and then write my review!

That was just a quick overview of my review process and how I annotate my books. I hope it was somewhat interesting to you and as always, feel free to leave comments below!

Love always,


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: 2/28/2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 375
Flirt Factor: Playful
Overall: 5/5 Stars
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.

Just when I thought the series couldn't get any better, Lauren Oliver writes Pandemonium.


I'll try and keep this review as cohesive and spoiler free but my mind is sort of a jumble of love for Lauren Oliver this review might just be like me drooling.

Once again Lauren Oliver has created a horrible world full of believable characters. Almost all of the characters introduced are brand new and I love and feel for them all so much. I think that part of what makes this story amazing is how well each and every character is developed, even if they're minor. I'm trying not to spoil it but THAT ONE CHARACTER THAT GETS INTRODUCED NOW RUNS MY WHOLE LIFE and the ending had me so depressed.

This story features Lena after she has escaped into The Wilds and flashes between her time there and her time in New York with a group of invalids with whom she's created a new family. The flashing between what is titled as "then" and "now" was a really interesting way to tell two stories at once without overly confusing the reader. Gah it's so hard to type this without spoilers! I really enjoyed this plot line, I think that the way the story was presented was very interesting and different. The story had just enough emotional scenes to get me teary, scenes that showcased the invalid's love for each other that made me sigh, and nail biting moments that kept me turning the page.

If Lauren Oliver ever stops writing I think that Earth might just stop spinning, I touched on this a little bit before but you can spell perfection with her writing. I loved how she wrote Pandemonium really rough and short while Lena was in The Wilds, and then contrasted that while she was in New York. I think that that particularly showed the roughness of the world outside the city. Every scene was written so well I just wanted to weep while reading. Lauren Oliver stop being so perfect.

Finally, If you thought the ending of Delirium was bad, just wait. Oliver really knows how to how to take my heart and crush it into a million tiny pieces.

Well, I hope you could sort of follow that; and, if you are looking for line for Requiem it starts right here. Ugh, I can't wait another minute for it, let alone a couple months.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday(Sept. 18th)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:" 'What happens if I get bit or scratched?' 'Monsters have venom of their own. Each one is different. Most only cause unbearable pain if not treated quickly enough.' 'Most?' she asks."

- p.167 Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Feel free to comment down below and go to Should Be Reading to link your own Teaser tuesday!

Love Always,


Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors

Release Date: Jan. 22nd 2008
Publisher: Walker & Company
Age Group: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Pages: 256
Flirt Factor: Chaste
Overall: 3/5 stars

Two Juliets,both alike in desperation. . . Seventeen-year-old Mimi Wallingford, of the Broadway Wallingfords, has a life most girls can only dream of—complete with the starring role in her family’s production of Romeo and Juliet.  But acting is not her dream, and she’s fighting for the right to trade her script for a scalpel and become a doctor.Fourteen-year-old Juliet Capulet, of the Verona Capulets, has lived a lonely life—imprisoned by the feud that consumes her family and by her iron-fisted mother’s forcing her into an unwanted marriage.  She will do anything to avoid her betrothed, even if it requires faking a boil on her bottom—or something more dangerous. During the play’s final performance, Mimi’s wish to get away actually comes true when she and her heartthrob costar, Troy Summer, are magically transported into Shakespeare’s Verona. Now that she knows the real Juliet, Mimi doesn’t want to stand by and allow the play to reach its tragic end.  But if saving her new friend means changing the ending of the greatest love story of all time, will she and Troy ever make it back to Broadway? (blurb taken from Suzanne Selfors Website)

I picked up this book during my last trip to the library in the mood for a good romance book. I figured since it was based on Romeo and Juliet, the most famous love story of all time, I wouldn't be disappointed. While I did enjoy the story, it did disappoint in the whole romance department. There was maybe two actual romantic scenes. Enough with me ranting though, let's get to what I actually thought about the book.

While the book was hard to get into, once I got to the part where they enter Shakespeare's world I was hooked. I loved that Selfors took shakespeare's story and provided her own spin on things and made it more relatable to the modern teenager. She did a great job at not making the twists too predictable either, and while this is definitely no tragedy, there were a few surprises along the way. One of those suprises was when you met Juliet she was a spunky and adventurous girl who the nurse referred to as Beastie. In contrast when you meet Romeo he is completely love sick over Rosealine and mopes around for most of the book.

Selfors also did a good job at keeping the setting accurate to what you would find during the time period Romeo and Juliet was written. I think the constant setting helped keep some similarities to the original Romeo and Juliet.

All in all the book had a great idea for a story line, but the events that happened only needed 100 pages, not 256. I actually enjoyed it more then I thought I would after reading the first 20 pages and would recommend for anyone in the mood for a twist on a classic to read it.

Writing: 3/5 stars
Characters: 3/5 stars
Plot/Setting: 4/5 stars
Ending: 5/5 Stars
Cover: 3/5 stars


Saturday, September 15, 2012

LOTW 12: My favorite re-reads!

I love reading a great new book just as much as anyone else, but what I love even more is re-reading one of my favorite books. The following list highlights some of my favorite re-reads. These are books that read even better the second time around because you either notice things you didn't catch before, fall in love with the characters all over again, or just marvel at the wonderful writing. These are listed in no particular order.

1. The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
You can't help but love Anne Shirley even more the second time around. It's fun to go back to the first book and see the differences between the little girl Anne and the grown up Anne.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Some may disagree with this one, but I absolutely love reading Wuthering Heights. It's always interesting seeing how your reactions to the characters change the more you read the book. Also, I'm a huge fan of Heathcliff even if no one else is.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Okay, so really any John Green book would work for this one. I absolutely love John Green's writing and could read his books over and over. His characters are extremely well developed, the plot line is always interesting, and his writing is just absolutely beautiful.

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Like John Green, I could read any of Maggie Stiefvater's books ten times over and not be tired of them. However, this one is my absolute favorite. I've never read a book about anything like Stiefvater's water horses. This book has a strong female protagonist, a little romance, some suspense and danger, and a strong family element. And, as always, it is beautifully written by Maggie Stiefvater.
5. The Duff by Kody Keplinger
This is one of my all time favorite books. It is a little bit of lighter reading than the other books on my list, but still amazing. I love it because it has romance and a female protagonist that is incredibly easy to relate to.

6. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
This was one of the first YA novels that really impacted me. It has an incredible storyline and Libba Bray does an excellent job portraying the main character. I could read this one over and over again.

There are a lot of other books that I love to re-read, these are just some of my favorites.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Blogger Hop (15)

Book Blogger Hop

Since we are getting back into the swing of things we thought it would be fun to start doing the book blogger hop again over at Crazy For Books in order to connect with some other book blogs.

This week's question is:

Highlight one of your favorite reviews from the past month!

One of my favorite reviews this past month was by Amanda for Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler. Amanda, Shelbie, and I actually got to meet Elle and Blair last weekend which was really fun and part of the reason I like that review. I also liked how Amanda discussed the use of a writing partner and their effect on the book.

That's my answer, and I would love to hear what your favorite review from the past month is on our blog!


Review: Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler

Release Date: Sept. 4th 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Pages: 288
Flirt Factor: Chaste
Overall: 3/5 stars

From internet stars Elle and Blair Fowler comes a scintillating new novel that takes readers Beneath the Glitter of the glitzy L.A. social scene.

Welcome to a place where dreams are made.  And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.

After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite.  Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor.  But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.

Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal.  Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other. (Blurb taken from Goodreads)

I'm going to be blunt with you and just say I did not have high hopes for this book. While I have a secret obsession with Youtube beauty gurus, I didn't necessarily think a novel written by two of them would have a whole lot of literary merit. I mean, their gig is beauty stuff, right? However, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the Fowler sisters' first novel.

 It took me a couple of chapters to warm up to Beneath the Glitter. At first, Sophia and Ava London - the two main characters - seemed a little fake. They're easy going, fun girls who, for the most part, are enjoyable characters. However, during the first few chapters, it felt like the Fowler sisters were trying a bit too hard to give the Londons more serious sides. The first chapter opens up with Sophia being overly broody about a breakup and it just seems kind of forced. As the book progressed though, you get to see the more fun and bubbly side of the sisters. It was really fun to follow the London sisters around as they hung out with their quirky L.A. friends and experienced the outlandish things you could only see in Hollywood. The Fowler sisters really included a good mix of characters, from the eccentric best friend Lily to the adorable animal shelter volunteer, Dalton. These fun characters combined with the always interesting plot line - which included mingling with movie stars, rescuing animals, 46 courses of champagne tasting, and even sabotage - made for a quick, fun read that I finished in under a day.

As far as the writing was concerned, I had a love hate relationship with this book. The Fowler sisters wrote this book with the help of a writing partner and there were times when you definitely noticed. As a whole, the book seemed to be written very similarly to The Clique Series by Lisi Harrison. It was very fun and fluffy with a decent amount of drama mixed in. The end of the chapters even featured a LonDOs and LonDON'Ts list that reminded me a lot of  Massie's State of the Union lists that appear in Harrison's series. However, while I did enjoy this style of writing, like I said before, you could definitely tell that the Fowlers used a writing partner. Every once in a while you would come across a part of the novel that was over-embellished and used too many similes and too much imagery. You could tell that this was where the writing partner came in and kind of 'made stuff pretty.' The writing partner's style really clashed with the rest of the book and was easily distracting. I think there was one scene in the book where it literally said "the room was pregnant with emotion", which, after reading only a couple of pages of the book, you could tell didn't really fit with the overall style and tone of the book. What bugged me the most about this over-embellishing was the fact that there were parts of the book that weren't embellished that really needed to be! I mean, you get a paragraph long description of a look in a character's eyes when it's not even important, yet when the London sisters have their first kisses in the book (or any of the other kisses for that matter), you basically get one line that just says "They kissed."! Talk about frustrating. However, clashing writing styles aside, the writing was still decent enough that I finished the book relatively quickly and actually did enjoy it.

Overall, this was a quick, easy and fun read. The London sisters made interesting main characters, the plot was really entertaining, and I absolutely loved the cast of characters. If you want something deep and thought provoking, this isn't the book for you. However, if you would like a light read and enjoy books like The Clique Series by Lisi Harrison, Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler is perfect for you. Also, bonus! The book has a good sort-of cliffhanger ending that sets up for the next book in the series! Which, just FYI, I am definitely picking up when it comes out in Summer 2013.

Writing: 3.5/5 stars
Characters: 4/5 stars
Plot/Setting: 3.5/5 stars
Ending: 5/5 Stars
Cover: 3/5 stars

Love always,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Release Date: 2/1/2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: HarperTeen
Pages: 480
Flirt Factor: Playful
Overall: 5/5 Stars
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love
  I don't really remember how I used to set up these reviews so I'm just going to babble.

Oh my freaking god this book is so good. It's a mix of an amazingly horrifying dystopian world and awesome characters and adventure and a great plot line and ugh literally this book has no flaws.

Because I can't put into words the awesomeness that oozes from this book's pages I will put in some quotes that, if you have read this book, will make you weep.

"I'd rather die my way than live yours."

The story follows 17 year old Lena, who lives in fear of the disease and cannot wait to have her procedure administered so that she may be cured. She can feel the disease in her blood, and for her it is unbearable. She is counting down the days until she can be cleansed and free from the worry of ever contracting the deliria.

Then she meets Alex. "As soon as I look up, his eyes click onto my face. The breath whooshes out of my body and everything freezes for a second, as though I am looking at him through my camera lens, zoomed in all the way, the world pausing for that tiny span of time between the opening and closing of the shutter."

Alex is a beautiful soul with an intriguing and heartbreaking story. Not only is he strong, confident, and brave, but he is gentle and tender. While this is a wonderful, tumultuous, and exciting love story, for me this book was about sacrifice - Ultimate sacrifice. Lena’s relationship with her mother and her mother’s story was poignant, at times heart wrenching, and enormously gripping.

"I love you. Remember. They cannot take it".

And the ending? A cliffhanger of epic proportions. It will definitely be a book to treasure and savor for quite some time. Delirium is easily one of my top five favorites. Literally the only books that this is topped by is like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and the sequel which I will review next week!

Until then,
“Love. It kills you both when you have it, and when you don’t.”

Loving being back! xoxo,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Starting off getting back into things with the great Teaser Tuesday! If you are looking for a way to get integrated into the book blogger community this is an easy one to start with! Just go to the book you are reading at the moment, open to a random page and list two teaser sentances, then link below and Should be Reading but make sure to comment with links to your own Teasers or if you don't have a blog you can just post two lines in the comments!
This one is from Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter, which I finished, but I don't have the book I'm currently reading with me right now so this will have to work :) This is from page 77:
"What am I doing here, Bex?" I asked, suddenly afraid. "What time is it? How did I get here?!"

There you go! Best teaser on the internet.
Be sure to post a link to your teaser or post it below!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Would You...?

Hey everyone,

So, as a part of our revamp I was thinking about releasing something I have been working on for a while. As you know both amanda and I love books and don't know what we would do without them, but some people aren't nearly as fortunate to have the money to afford books or a library with a large selection to check them out from.

This is the basis behind Mortals Give Back, we make t-shirts with favourite quotes from books and with the purchase of one we donate a book to a community in need. They would sell for around $22.00 not including shipping and for now they come in two quotes on two different colour t-shirts.

One is the quote "it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live" from Harry Potter around the deathly hallows symbol. It will look something like this:

The second is a quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower and it's "and in that moment I swear we were infinite" and it will look something like this:

So my question to you is: 

is this something that you would be interested in?

Ehmegerd We're Back!

Being in high school and dealing with all the aspects of being a teenager and having homework and jobs, it's very easy to forget about this blog. BUT it is back and we are totally revamping it for the end of 2012 - 2013!

I am very excited about some of the updates we are making and I am so thankful that so many of you guys stuck around while us mortals were on hiatus.

Please bear with us as we get back into the swing of posting regularly because it's been so long (almost a year, yikes!) since we posted, and I know at least I'm for sure out of practice.

Thanks again for reading and I'm so excited to be back!