Next to be reviewed:

Hey, that's random!

What's crackalackin' lovely people?* Happy Memorial Day to you all, and happy Quit Facebook Day as well! It's such a lovely day, and I've found myself wondering what books will be on my summer to-read list. I usually try to put together a basic list of all the books coming out this summer, and previously released, that I want to get my hands on, before I'm out of school. So, I thought, who better to ask for recommendations than YOU. Do pray tell, what books are on your summer reading list, whether it be a real thing or a mental off-the-top-of-my-head type list? Do share! And, enjoy this fanfreakingtastic weather!
"American Honey"-Lady Antebellum,

*I promise to never say this out loud, or type it again...

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I've been lacking in the review department lately, but I'm back with a brilliant book! ~Remember to give suggestions for books you want to win for my 50 followers contest over here!

Overall Rating: 5.0 (I don't give this lightly my friends!)
Characters: 4.9
Plot: 5.0
Voice: 5.0
Cover Art: 4.2
Favorite Line(s) There are some many, so here's just a few!:
"Holy horses, Batgirl!"
"This one looks positively deranged with glee. Gram's right, we should sell them."-Lennie talking about the Fontaine boys.
"...And then, one day, her earthbound sister finally realized
she could here music up there in heaven,
so after that, everything her sister
needed to tell her
she did through her clarinet
and each time she played, the dead girl
jumped up (no matter what she was doing),
and danced."-One of Lennie's poems.
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life-and despite her nonexistent history with boys, finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors her own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole world exploding.

The Sky is Everywhere is beautiful. There's no other way to put it. This book is brilliant. I've never even thought of giving a book a 5.0 (the highest on my scale), but if any novel deserves it, I've found it. Jandy Nelson reminded me why I love reading and writing so much-why I love words so much. She uses her words to portray every feeling/emotion/place/person in such a fantastic way that the entire book feels like poetry instead of a narrative.Then, there's Lennie's poetry itself.

My favorite part of the story was getting to see and read some of Lennie's words. It's amazing how much emotion can be spilled out onto to-go cups and staff paper. All of her poems really add to the story and give an even deeper look into the mind of Lennie Walker. Her voice is already so strong, but the words she scrawls on what feels like any surface add another dimension to the story.

The path the novel takes is believable and in no way corny-like I always expect from stories dealing with grief.* Lennie's journey changes her dramatically, but she accepts the change and it makes her stronger. The fact that she does mess up only makes her human, and I love that she does mess up! This story was so very refreshing, and if you haven't read it yet I highly recommend. To everyone. Honestly, I believe that The Sky is Everywhere is a shoo in for at least being a runner up for the Printz Award this year. It's fantastic, and I can't wait to see whatever else Jandy Nelson has up her sleeve.

"Don't Wake Me Up"- The Hush Sound,

*You know, where the protagonist meets someone or goes on a life-changing journey and discovers that their grief is gone and they feel like singing show other words, something that never happens.

What I want in my mailbox (2)

What I want in my mailbox isn't really a meme, because I can't stick to memes and for the life of me can't remember which days they're on unless it's in the title. I just post whenever I feel like it. If you'd like to join in grab the button here, and post whenever the heck you want!
I want Matched! (By Allyson Condie) It will be released on November 30, 2010...AKA too far away.

Synopsis (from Allyson's blog):

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It's barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one... until she sees another face flash before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path no one else has ever dared follow-between perfection and passion.

SQUEE! I want it so bad...

Thanks to none other than Ms. Condie herself, everyone now has a chance to win an ARC of Matched! Just head on over to Allyson's blog by May 31st to get the details and enter!

"Ghost Man on Third"-Taking Back Sunday 

Holy Kazoo!


*does crazy happy dance* Huzzah! Thank you thank you thank you! I can't say it enough! Thank you so much for being awesome people who for some reason that escapes me want to read my slightly insane reviews and ramblings. This event, my friends, calls for a contest! I'll pick up any three books that you'd like, just leave a comment telling me what books you want to win that are already published or will be released within the next month. I'll take suggestions for the next two weeks, then I'll have a form ready for anyone who wants to enter! One more time: thankyouthankyouthankyou!


Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green!

*sighs* I'm in mourning for the summer, as of today. Why, you may ask, am I mourning when the sunshine and popsicles and all that good stuff is just around the corner? Well, I can't get anymore books out from my school library! I, being an unemployed, unlicensed teenager, do not have a car to drive me anywhere to get books, nor the funds to buy any. Because of this, I've been dreading the sad day for the past few weeks, and last Friday it came. So, I'm trying to go through the books I took out slowly (not working) and spend more time catching up on reviews! First up is An Abundance of Katherines by John Green...

Overall Rating: 4.6
Characters: 4.7
Plot: 4.5
Cover Art: 3.9

Favorite Line(s):
"The past, like Lindsey had told him, is a logical story. It's the sense of what happened. But since it is not yet remembered, the future need not make any fugging sense at all." -Colin Singleton having an epiphany. (c:

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He's also a washed up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin's on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl. Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin's hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.

John Green for President. I honestly don't know how the man does it. He could write a cookbook and I would probably count it as one of my favorite novels. Seriously, he makes it seem too easy. An Abundance of Katherines is one of those books that makes you happy/sad/confused/surprised/basically anything all at the same time, with seemingly no effort. Genius; especially the people Katherines is made of.

The characters are, like in all of his novels, fan-freaking-tastic. I can't even begin to describe how much I love them all. They allow the story to be amazing instead of just 'dude-can't-get-over-girl.' Even TOC, the little jerk, plays a part in the greater scheme of things.* The distinct personalities of everyone** blend together so well. I can go on for days about their awesomeness. As in his other stories, the events of the novel really do depend on the choices of the characters involved which makes the plot incredibly interesting.

I would love to know how John Green comes up with the stuff his plots are formed around. I really would. I cannot even begin to guess how a child prodigy with a name and anagram obsession's journey came to be. While it boggles my mind, I don't care because it works. It works so well. The 'heartbreak recovery road trip'*** is not a completely original idea, but Katherines makes you think it is.

I'm going to stop rambling now, because no matter how much I gush, I will probably end up making you not want to read the book. So, I leave you with one last message. Just read it. Have a John Green marathon, and revel in the awesome.

"Count On Me"-Bruno Mars
P.S. I have a new commenting system! Huzzah!

*I hate him like the Daleks hate Doctor Who... that's saying something.
**Besides Lindsey, since she's some kind of multiple personality disorder.
***I just made that name up. *bows*

New Look!

As you can all see, I'm still trying to find a style that "fits" and works well for me. So, for the next few weeks I'll probably be changing this here blog on a regular basis, while attempting to find something I like enough to keep.

Any opinions on the new layout? I actually really like this one, if I only I could manage to get that damn "new blog!" thing out of the corner! Alas, this is what happens when I try to use random graphics.

It's also four in the morning. Which means I don't have the energy to be photoshopping.

Anyway, for right now this is the new and improved theme.

Hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather-at least it's lovely where I'm from-and the fact that school will soon be out!

"Annabelle"-A Rocket to the Moon,

Mortal Instruments Graphic Novel News!

Some new panels have been released for the TMI graphic novel* coming out...sometime later this year. Huzzah! I don't know if anyone else is as excited as I am about this, but let me tell you these blew my mind! I'm an equal opportunity literature nerd, and enjoy manga, various graphic novels*, and comics. This means that having one of my favorite series being turned into a graphic novel* makes me squee like a pre-pubescent girl at a Jonas Brothers contest. Also, pictures of Alec make me happy.

So, without further adieu, here's the new stuff:

You can see Ms. Clare's thoughts, and more sneak peeks over here.
Turn your scars into stars**,
*...anyone else notice how many times I said 'graphic novels'?
**Are these inspirational (at least I think they are) quotes working, or am I going a little too fortune cookie?

Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green!

I've finally read it, yahoo! I feel validated as an official Nerdfighter now. *nods and smiles* *bows down to John Green and his awesome ways with the words*
Overall Rating: 4.8
Characters: 4.9
Plot: 4.7
Cover Art: 4
Favorite Line:
"I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable."

Synopsis: Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring -life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.

Looking For Alaska is brilliance in book form. I cannot stress this enough. John Green's voice is distinct and real, giving the novel a personal feel. When I finished, I felt I could take a trip to Culver Creek and find Pudge and the Colonel walking around.

I also loved- loved loved loved loved- the set-up of the story. The book is divided into two sections, 'before' and 'after.' In 'before,' each chapter title is the countdown until The Event, as I called it. 'After' counts forward away from The Event. This style really makes you focus on the main event of the story. The entire first half of the book has you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens, and when you find out, well, saying it's shocking is an understatement. Also, it emphasizes how no one in the story expected anything, as their lives continue on normally leading up to it. Plus, it shows the evolution of the characters 'after.'

Onto the characters. Oh, my dear Pudge. His voice is incredible to read in, and his emotions are so clean cut. He loves you, he hates you. There is no in between. Then there's Alaska, I can't even begin to describe her. Come to think of it, no one seems to know that. The entire book is basically spent trying to figure the girl out, and no one comes close. She's such a complex and fun character; she's truly fun to read about. The Colonel is just an oddball. He's very his own person, and I give him credit for that, but he's in his own little world a lot. Those three together are a memorable combination that while hilarious are also very endearing.

To sum all of those random thoughts up:
1) Read this book.
2) It's brilliant.
3) ...seriously, read it.
4) John Green's a genius.

Yup, I'm pretty sure that's it.

How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?
*In other news, my signed Maureen Johnson book came in the mail today! Yahoo!

Mythical Bad boys and More, OH MY! (some spoilers)

Hello, and welcome to my latest rant. Grab a comfy chair, a cup of iced tea (ah, Turkey Hill iced tea, how I adore thee), and some extra patience. Today we're talking about the bad boy/mythical creature that is ALL the rage in YA fiction lately.

I'm pretty I'm not the only one perturbed by the lack of normal boys (if such a thing exists) in recent releases. It seems that every love interest is OMG SO HOT as well as a werewolf/vampire/creatureofthenight/fallenangel/fairy/zombie/wizard/
dangerousmonsterthing. Now, I'm all for the imaginary creatures. In fact, they rock my world. I love comparing different authors' take on how their creatures behave, and how the worlds they live in differ. So why, you may ask, do I have a problem with the main male character in a novel being one of said fictitious beings?

Because they're all the SAME.

They may have different names and ages, physical characteristics and love interests, but when it all boils down they follow the same equation.

superhotboy + superhuman quality + dark past + current problem linked with dark past + girl (obviously obsessed with said boy, and CAN'T live without him) whom he can never be with because of current problem linked with dark past that is in turn linked to his superhuman quality + a side of stalkerish tendencies = too many books!

Now, I'm not knocking every author who chooses to have a male protagonist who happens to be a mutant or some other thing. I'm just saying that these creepy dudes* keep popping up everywhere. The sad part is that most of these novels bring messages of self-degrading, female weakness, and verbally abusive relationships. Let's evaluate some of these characters, shall we?

First up, is Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick:
In this story, we meet Patch a fallen angel who is trying to kill the girl he falls for to return to his former angeldom. Sounds harmless enough, until you actually read the book. Throughout the novel, the protagonist, Nora, basically thinks Patch is a scary weirdo who may or may not be following her. She tries to distance herself like a smart girl but is shut down as 'overreacting.' Then she miraculously decides, 'Hey, maybe this dude's not so bad!' Even after he admits that he's been attempting to KILL HER. Our smart girl just lost a good amount of IQ points. *facepalm*

The next example is the most famous of them all, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer:
This one doesn't need nearly as much explanation. Boy wants to, again, KILL HER. Oh, but Bella's so in love, she's willing to risk her life just to be with Edward. This example gives me an excuse to post this video: (WARNING: Strong language and even stronger opinions, watch at own risk!)

Alex also pulls in another part of the equation I missed earlier. The girl is terribly boring and has no personality or hobbies whatsoever.

So, I guess I should get onto the main point, right? Well, I could continue to give examples until my fingers turn to stubs, but right now I'll just get on with it.

Cliche characters seem to be popping up more and more frequently nowadays, and I don't particularly like the direction some books are heading. With messages I know I don't want to read about, and the same formula. So, what do I get out of this rant? Well, besides venting, I want to hear your thoughts on the subject. Do you think I'm overreacting and these are just random coincidences? Do you like reading about the mythical bad boy? Do you not? I value all of your opinions, and would love to hear them!

*At least I think they are. *shudders*
Don't be a cliche,

Last Liners!

So, this isn't really a meme, but if you really would like to join in, go right ahead! I've always felt that the last line (or lines) of a book is the most important part of a book. That's what the reader remembers most, and what sums up the whole book, IMO. So, I come with my favorite last lines of the moment!

"The most important thing for any con artist is never to think like a mark... Marks think they can get something for nothing. Marks think they can get what they don't deserve and could never deserve. Marks are stupid and pathetic and sad. Marks think that they're going to go home one night and have the girl they've loved since they were a kid suddenly love them back. Marks forget that whenever something's too good to be true, that's because it's a con.

-White Cat by Holly Black

 Also! I've decided to post a quote from the first chapter of Red Glove. But see, I don't know if I'm really supposed to, or if I'm allowed to, so I have to do it all sneaky like. So, I'm just going to type and "I haven't inherited a chain of hotels. There are no diamond mines in Tanzania. I have never been to Tanzania. These are just a few of the stories my mother has spent the summer spinning for a string of blond girls in hopes they make me forget about Lila. They don't." Oh look! It just snuck in there! Anyway, that quote is from none other than Cassel Sharpe himself.

Give a hug,

New Bloggers!

Think is pretty ironic, seeing as how I'm very new myself, but I've decided to post about two bloggers who are even newer than myself, and would love some support!

First, we have Julie from The Paradise Library, who happens to be a friend of Staysi and I in the real world. Yes, a world does exist outside of the internet my friends, it's shocking I know. Anyways! Julie has recently started up a blog and I would owe you all greatly if you'd check it out!

Also, a fellow teen writer, Alex, has a great blog up over here, where he writes about being a young novelist and what that entails. His first post is up, so go check it out and comment with your thoughts!

In other random news, Staysi and I will be announcing our prizes for this contest we've been working on for... too long. I promise, this time I'm serious. If I don't announce them before May 21st I'll... go within five feet of the crazy goose from hell that's been stalking me for the past few weeks. That's a big step, because I'm freaking terrified of any type of bird. See lovely followers, I DO care, facing an insane animal for you. All in a day's work. (c:

Stay away from stalker-birds,

Character Connection! (3)

Character Connection is a weekly meme hosted by The Introverted Reader! It's dedicated to bringing the characters we love to the blogging world and showing their true colors. (This is also in no way just another way for me to rant about how much I love certain characters and want to pull them out of the book and go on wild adventures together. Nope, no way.) Anyway, read at your own risk!
This week's Character Connection is dedicated to Angel from the Maximum Ride series! *Some spoilers will be included, so if you can't stand to know anything about the series before you read, then don't continue reading. You'll just be torturing yourself later. While this youngin' is only six- or seven depending on which book you're on- years-old, she can kick your behind to next Tuesday if she wanted to.

Though Angel isn't my favorite character, she's the one person from the flock that truly scares me. She's just too BA for her own good, and I'm completely serious when I say that. Throughout the books, she seems to develop a new skill every week. This leaves me going, "She has gills?!" "She can communicate with fish?!" "She can transform?!" Add to this the wings and mind-reading/control thing that she already has going, and Angel is the most terrifying first-grader I've ever heard of. The good thing is that she mostly uses these 'gifts' for good, and even more often to help the flock survive.

My only problem is if she ever has a tantrum, the world might implode... literally. Also, I'm convinced that she is a secretly very evil little girl. All in all, Angel is very interesting and very well-developed, though this hardly makes her predictable. The next James Patterson novel is titled Angel after her character, so some more Angel drama is sure to come!

Be happy,
P.S. Once again credit goes to burdge-bug for her lovely artwork!

Review: Maximum Ride by James Patterson!

So, I've decided to mash the first four Maximum Ride books into one post, because I've that's how far I've gotten in the series. It also helps that each sequel picks up right where the previous book left off. For those who haven't read the series, the first four books are: The Angel Experiment, School's Out- Forever, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, and The Final Warning. I'll review the latest two novels, Max and Fang, probably within the next week, so think of this as a two-parter. (c:

Overall Rating: 4.5
Characters: 4.8
Plot: 3.9
Cover Art: 1 (I really hate every every edition.)
Favorite Line: 
This was so hard to choose, because I honestly bookmarked about every other page. The dialogue is too fantastic. For right now though, I'll just pick a few of my favorite parts to share. 
"'You are a scary, scary child, you know that?' I asked her. She smiled."- Max to Angel
"Get off her!"-Ah, Fang being all protective... I love it.
"'You...are...a...fridge...with...wings,' Fang ground out, punching an Eraser hard with every word. 'We're...freaking...ballet...dancers.'"-Fang, once again being his BA self.
Master Summary: 
The flock-Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel- are human-avian hybrids created by scientists at a facility called the School. Basically, they have wings-like 13-ft-wide wings. So life's all good flying high in the sky right? Well, if you can overlook the fact  that human-wolf hybrids called Erasers along with many other groups and organizations are trying to slaughter the flock at every turn, then yeah life's great.

I'm obsessed with this series...
Yes, I'll admit it, I want to join the flock... if only to stare creepily at Fang all day. James Patterson manages to weave an interesting and gruesome world filled with trials and tribulations, without the story feeling too dark. It's quite the opposite actually. The characters are well defined, and hilarious. They stay together, for the most part, and lean on each other for support. The flock really does make these novels, and I absolutely adore reading about them!

The plot(s) of the Maximum Ride series start off interesting, and fast-paced. This continues through the first three books, but starts to feel redundant in the fourth. I've been told that the fourth book is the... uhm lacking of the series thus far, so I'm hoping this picks up again in the next installment.

So, what I'm saying is that if you haven't read this series, do it. They're all great reads with even better characters. I hope you all enjoy this series as much as I did!

EDIT: Today I realized how insane it is that an uhm... older gentleman can write so well as a fourteen year old girl! Just another reason to read this book, it crosses genders and generations!

Have a marvelous night!

P.S. The fantastic drawing of the flock is by none other than the amazing burdge-bug! Click the linkymabob to see her 'Other Fanart' gallery, which includes some more Max Ride fanart that will knock your socks off!

Meeting Cassandra Clare and Holly Black!

*yawns, while stretching* Hello, world! I seem to be going MIA quite a lot lately, which is no good at all. Well, I've decided to just stop it and make sure this here blog is taken care of! So, without further adieu, I present to you my most recent signing adventure.

I hate traffic. These were the first thoughts that swirled through my head when my friend Julie and I ran frantically into the Free Library of Philadelphia last Saturday. I'm sorry to say, we missed the entire Q&A session. We literally had to run in the 'out' door because they'd already locked up. All of this because some ...lady didn't know how to pull her car off to the shoulder instead of blocking traffic. I can't even begin to describe the level of road rage I already have, and I've only gotten my permit!

Alright, back to the topic at hand. The signing, right. It was fantastic! I urge all of you lovely people to leap at the chance to meet either Cassandra Clare or Holly Black, because they are great people, not to mention amazing authors. We luckily were allowed to actually interact with them and ask questions while our books were signed, as opposed to being pushed along like we were on some kind of conveyor belt. I had the chance to profess my love for Alec from TMI, AND tell Holly how much her book broke my heart (more on that in the review). They also told stories about their cats, Lioness and Fuzziwig (God knows I can't spell that) respectively, and how Chairman Meow and Church are based off of them. It was like they were... normal people!

All in all, it was a great experience, and I wish I remembered more details of the conversation so I could share. Yeah well, you win some, you lose some. The big win of the night occurred right before we left. I was still talking to Holly, when she reached down into her bag, pulled out the first chapter of Red Glove, the second book in the Curse Workers series, in cute book form, and gave it to me. I freaked internally, read it in minutes, and let me tell you folks, the drama is far from over.

I will spare you, and stop ranting endlessly. I'm in a rather sleepy state, but alas, it is what it is. I will not be posting the picture of me with the authors, because it is rather horrible, and I like my readers' retinas intact.

*Side note, the picture in this post is of Clary and Jace from the Mortal Instruments series, drawn by burdge-bug on deviantArt!

Hope your day is filled with awesome,

Upcoming YA Releases This Week!

On May 4th two highly anticipated (at least for me!) books will finally be released! That's right ladies and gents The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, first in The Kane Chronicles, and White Cat by Holly Black, first in the Curse Workers, will be available in your local book store this week!

The Red Pyramid:
Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

White Cat:
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Both of these look fantastic and I can't wait to grab my copies!
Have a great night!