Sunday, June 19, 2011

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Release Date: 06.21.2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 298

**Spoilers from the first book Heist Society**

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

Let me say for a quick moment that I love when books aren't embargoed/on restricted sale. If you don't know what that means (I'm not 100% sure I do either, but here's what I think it means), the books that sell really well get embargoed, such as City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, where it's illegal (I think) for booksellers to put certain books out on the sales floor until the release date. But, if there isn't any special requests made on the book, the sellers can put them out when they get the boxes with the books in them!

This is why some people get books early, even if they didn't get them for review.

Anyway, Uncommon Criminals was not under any restrictions so I got it on Thursday when I went to the B&N. YAY!

Well, now that we've had a little lesson on how Shelbie thinks bookstores work, let's get to the review.

If I ever turn to a life of crime you can blame Ally Carter. Heist Society stole my heart, but Uncommon Criminals secured it with the thrill of the chase. The plot may be the greatest heist plot ever conceived if only for the brilliance of its simple resolution. It’s worth the read just to get to that last sentence. Now THAT is what we call a denouement people!

Kat is still running, deciding who she is and how she can use her talents for good. Vying for her affections we have the charming Hale, who makes living a life of leisure more appealing than it already is, and the good-boy-turned-bad-boy-but-still-good-boy, Nick. This second book sets up more thoroughly the triangle plot. While love triangles are so overdone these days, I appreciate this one where Kat seems less head-over-heels for them then they are for her.

Well, I am now quitting my life to join Kat's crew, you should join me and read Uncommon Criminals! (It didn't sound nearly as cheesy in my head--I swear!)



Quick moment of cover lust.

Now, I've seen the cover of Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick about five bajillion times, but every time I see it I get the same tingly feeling in my stomach. Isn't it just beautiful? I liked the covers of Hush, Hush and Crescendo, but this cover is just plain amazing. It makes me super excited for the release in October.

Anyways, just felt the need to put that out there. Do you guys ever get that feeling when you see a cover? What cover do you think is beautiful?

love always,


Quotes 6.19.2011

Oh my gosh guys, do any of you remember doing this? I do and I forgot how much I loved posting quotes. There might be some repeats because I haven't done these since August of 2010 but you can look up the rest of the quotes by clicking the "Fun Stuff" tab, and then clicking "Quotes".

Alright so I think that's it for the intro that for me always takes up like a page :) onto the quotes!

5.) "Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world? Have you ever noticed that?" (Beauty Queens, Libba Bray)
4.) "Time to switch to decaf, princess. If you're going to shriek at every bogey that jumps out and says 'boo', you'll be exhausted before we reach the edge of the woods." (The Iron King, Julie Kagawa)
3.) "At least she had a clear picture of what the Lying Game was now: Girl Scouts for psychopaths." (The Lying Game, Sara Shepard)
2.) "Only the man who has known freedom can define his prison." (Catherine Fisher, Incarceron)
1.) "Changing is what people do when they have no options left." (Holly Black, Red Glove)
Make sure to leave a comment if you enjoy these posts, and I'll keep doing them :)


The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan

Release Date: 06.14.2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Spoilers from the first books The Demon's Lexicon and The Demon's Covenant

The Goblin Market has always been the center of Sin’s world. But now the Market is at war with the magicians, and Sin’s place is in danger. Thrown out of the Market she loves, Sin is thrown together with brothers Nick and Alan—whom she’s always despised.

Alan has been marked by a magician and is being tortured so that the magicians can get to Nick. As Sin watches Alan struggle to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see him in a new light—but she and Mae are locked in a fierce rivalry over who will inherit the leadership of the Goblin Market, and a decisive battle with the Aventurine Circle is looming. Mae’s brother, Jamie, is holed up with the magicians, his loyalties in question. And Nick—well, who knows what a demon might do to save his brother? How far will Nick go to save Alan—and what will it cost them all?

I've been putting off this review because I'm still not really sure what I thought of this book. So this might turn a little rant-y. So beware!

First off, I think this was my least favourite of the series. But I was total fangirl over the rest of the series so I don't know if you should judge the book based on that.

This book was Sin's point of view, and from the beginning I thought that was kind of random because she hasn't really been a part of the books before. Then I realized there wasn't going to any Mae & Nick togetherness and I was all kinds of upset.

So throughout the book I went through being bored, to pissed off to loving it to I don't even know what. Trust me, if you follow me on twitter you were subjected to some pretty wicked mood swings that day.

That being said, I still really enjoyed this book. The plot was more twisted than ever, and the Ryves brothers were back and badder than before. I really liked Alan in this book (though Nick will forever be my favourite Ryves brother – he’s so hilarious) and think we got to see a little more of how his mind worked, and why he was so secretive all the time. I also liked the build-up of his relationship with Sin, and I thought they worked very well together (though he seemed to get over Mae rather quickly). It also meant that Nick and Mae could finally work on their relationship, which I was ecstatic about seeing as they were my favourite pairing in the series (though the amount explored was limited due to the fact they were no longer the focussing characters, which was a shame). I also liked reading about Sin’s opinions on everyone, especially her rival Mae, because it helped give a completely different viewpoint on the characters, which I found very interesting. But, by far, the best part of this book (apart from the wonderful characters) was the dialogue.



Saturday, June 18, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Release Date: 05.24.2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 390

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Hi! Surprisingly I am still alive. Sorry guys I haven't posted in a LONG time, but with finals and then just being lazy. But I am back now! Hold the applause. :)

Firstly I would like to say. Libba Bray is my idol, I love her so much.

A plane of contestants from the Miss Teen Dream Beauty Pageant has gone down in the ocean, the inhabitants washing up on an island paradise. They are all determined to maintain the pageant perfection, spurred on by the spunky Taylor Renee Krystal Hawkins...from Texas, of course! Adina Greenberg, the pageant hopeful who joined to take the organization down, is dubious with this course of action. She thinks they need to prioritize things like food gathering, hut building, and finding fresh sources of water... not Taylor's platform of perfecting dance moves, the elbow-arm-smile wave, and imminent body hair removal. Elsewhere on the island there is a fortress built by The Corporation, a commercial giant responsible for...well, damn near everything in this book... and they are determined to kill the girls for financial gain. Trouble in paradise has become more than a mere turn of phrase.

Libba Bray clearly had fun writing this one... it shows. The narrative is set up in a steeplechase format with story interspersed. Bray also adds profiles, commercial scripted dialogues, notations, product placement, classified files, applications, and other various sillies. Bray pretty much spends the whole book making fun of...well, damn near everything... from Fabio to boybands to international terrorism to female socialization to James Bond to Supervillians to...yeah, pretty much everything. It's Parody! It's Lord of the Flies meets glamazons! It's silly as all hell, and it's so much fun.

So incredibly long story short. I love Libba Bray. Make sure to pick this one up.


Once again, not dead, I'd call that an accomplishment!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LOTW 10: Favorite Bookish Websites

Good day readers! We haven't done a List of the Week in a LONG time, so I figured it was time to post one. This one is comprised of some of my favorite bookish websites (in no particular order). Enjoy!

1. Goodreads

Obviously this one isn't anything new and exciting, but it's great for all book lovers because of the reviews, customizable shelves, giveaways, quizzes etc.
2. Netgalley

This site is great for reviewers! Basically, its a website where bloggers/librarians/booksellers can request ebooks to review. I like it because its much faster than requesting an actual hardcopy and the review copies won't take up space on my bookshelf.

3. Paperback Swap

I actually just joined this site so I haven't had a chance to use it yet. But it has a really cool premise! Basically, you sign up, list the ISBN codes of some of the books you'd be willing to part with, and then you send them to people who want them and with every book you send you get one book credit to request a book from someone else. Its nice because it saves money, and it helps books receive more love :)

4. Free Book Friday

What can be better than getting free books? Nothing I tell ya. This website showcases different authors each week and each week gives away signed copies of that author's book. It's not just one book either, they give away a book from multiple genres each week including teens, romance, and indie. Its a great opportunity to learn about cool books and win signed copies of them.


Okay, this website will only be cool if you're into vampires. I like this website for when I want... well vampire books. This website is a website dedicated only to vampire books. Fiction and non-fiction included. So when you're craving vampires... go to this website for recommendations!


This website is for the reader who constantly runs out of reading options and has no idea what to read. Basically, you type in a favorite book or author, click the one that matches best, and it gives you a list of books similar to that author/book. Way cool.

7. Edelweiss

This is another cool website for bloggers. Its an online publisher's catalog that combines the catalogs of several publishers' sites into one big site. Its also really cool because it supplies tools that tell you what books are being talked about now, books that won awards, etc. It also has a tool like Netgalley to request digital ARC review copies. I recommend this for the bloggers out there.

8. Publisher's websites- for teens!

Overall, I also love websites hosted by publishers created for teens. They provide great recommendations, giveaways, author showcases and more. Some I like: (Random House Teens)

Pulse it! (Simon and Schuster Teens)

I hope you enjoyed these bookish websites!

Love always,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Bumped by Megan Mccafferty

Release Date: April 26,2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Overall: 4/5 Stars

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common. (

Megan McCafferty's Bumped didn't start out exactly how I thought it would. When I heard about Bumped I had a vision in my head of a Lauren Oliver Delirium-esque novel; a book that would focus on the struggles of dealing with a dystopian society. Boy was I wrong about this book. Its not to say that this book was a disappointment, but it was considerably different than I imagined. The novel is centered around two sisters separated at birth, Harmony and Melody. I thought the book would be about their resistance to society, but it ended up centering around their resistance to each other. McCafferty's dual-narrator style made it easy to understand what the twins were going through. Although the twins weren't very eloquent (they are teenagers after all), their stories clearly drew a picture of their struggles with moral values, family, and independence. As the twins become entangled in each others' lives, McCafferty crafts an ever-changing plot that will have you on the edge of your seat. The characters were developed wonderfully, and I enjoyed how the smaller characters like the hunky Jondoe and best friend Zen created intricate subplots. This was my first time reading a Megan McCafferty novel, and I look forward to reading more of her work. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who likes romance, controversy, and friendship mixed into a dystopian novel.

love always,


Writing: 4/5 Stars

Characters:4/5 Stars

Plot/Setting: 5/5 Stars

Ending: 5/5 Stars

Cover: 5/5 Stars