Next to be reviewed:

I read because I can't have a puppy-sized elephant

...not yet anyway.

I've seen the question 'why do you read?' floating around the blogosphere a lot recently. At first I didn't really understand why it needed to be answered at all. I thought, 'why does it matter? reading for entertainment, escape, out of boredom...it all still means you're reading, which is most important.' But now I've been thinking about it. And while people reading is most important I'm beginning to think the reasons are at least interesting enough to write and read about.

The title of this post is 'I read because I can't have a puppy-sized elephant" which is totally true. I read because for the most part I don't have the lives depicted in the books I read. I'm not the most popular girl in school or the child of a meth addict. I don't ride a dragon to Beheading 101 or play piano professionally. I haven't been to Paris or gone ice fishing in Alaska.

That's why I read. Because I get to live 10,000 lives by proxy. And hopefully one day I'll get to do some of the amazing things I've read about, but for now I'll continue to live vicariously through my favorite characters.

**************************


Now it's your turn. Why do you read?


"Addicted to Love {Cover}"-Florence + The Machine,

Guest Post: Rachel Vincent +Giveaway!


♥ About the book:

Everyone else is talking about Eastlake High’s gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck, but Kaylee Cavanaugh has bigger things on her mind. Kaylee’s a banshee—her scream is a portent of death. 
But the next scream might hit too close to home. Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline has almost run out. 
Yeah—it’s a shock to her, too. So to distract herself from her own problems, Kaylee is determined to defend her school against the latest supernatural threat. That hot new teacher is really an incubus, who feeds from the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend’s delinquent ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren’t quite human either. 
But Kaylee’s running out of time, and those who love her will do anything to save her life. 
Anything. 
Soul Screamers: The last thing you hear before you die.
♥ About the author:

A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.

*********************************************

If I Die, the fifth book in the Soul Screamers series, will be released on September 27, 2011. To celebrate, Kaylee and Sabine (Kaylee’sboyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, who is a living nightmare) have agreed to be in the same room long enough to interview each other. Sabine won the coin toss, so she gets the first question. They’ve 
been told to keep it civil, but I make no promises…

*********************************************

Sabine: Kaylee, truth or dare.
Kaylee: This is an interview, Sabine.
Sabine: [shrugs] Think of this as an alternative format. Truth or dare?
Kaylee: There’s no good way to answer that question, is there?
Sabine: Why does there have to be drama behind every decision you make?
Kaylee: Fine. Truth.
Sabine: say—hypothetically—that you found out you were going to die in a few days and you had to decide who’s going to get all your stuff when you’re gone. Who would inherit, oh…your boyfriend?
Kaylee: That’s not how it works. You can’t inherit a person.
Sabine: Sure you can. People inherit kids from dead parents all the time.
Kaylee: Nash isn’t a kid, and I’m not his parent.
Sabine: That’s why this is hypothetical.
Kaylee: No, it’s hypothetical because… Whatever. You’re not going to inherit Nash, no matter what happens to me.
Sabine: Okay, but if you were going to die—
Kaylee: It’s my turn. Truth or dare?
Sabine: Dare.
Kaylee: I wanted you to say truth.
Sabine: That’s why I said dare.
Kaylee: Fine. I dare you to tell me the truth.
Sabine: [rolls her eyes] That is SO lame.
Kaylee: You started this.
Sabine: Ask your question.
Kaylee: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Sabine: I don’t understand the question. Worst, according to what unit of measurement? Monetary damage? Physical destruction? Psychological impact? Number of laws broken? I’m gonna need you to be more specific.
Kaylee: It’s not a complicated question. What do you feel guilty about?
Sabine: Okay, I’m not saying this is actual guilt—I’m not entirely sure what that feels like—but I don’t feel great about telling Nash that you don’t want to go to prom because you’re afraid you’ll look flat-chested in a formal dress.
Kaylee: Sabine!
Sabine: Well, it’s the truth! If you two are meant to be, shouldn’t he know what you’re afraid of? Besides, it’s a valid concern.
Kaylee: But it isn’t your concern!
Sabine: [glances down at her own chest] Thank goodness.
Kaylee: That’s not what I meant.
Sabine: My turn. This one’s easy. Wood or steel?
Kaylee: Wood or steel what?
Sabine: Casket. For your hypothetical funeral.
Kaylee: No more death questions.
Sabine: Okay. Fashion, then. How long afterward will Nash have to wear all black?
Kaylee: Do you want me to haunt you?
Sabine: If I answer that, is it my turn again?
Kaylee: No! It’s my turn, and you can’t take it away.
Sabine: You’re only clinging to your turn because you know I want it.
Kaylee: That doesn’t even make any sense.
Sabine: Is it true you’re so shiny and pure you actually glow in the dark?
Kaylee: Is it true you shriek and scurry into the corner every time someone turns the light on?
Sabine: Ha! That was pretty good.
Kaylee: Thanks. I’ve been practicing. To give credit where it’s due, though, you make a great target.
Sabine: You too. I might actually miss you once you’re gone. Hypothetically.


*********************************************

♥ About the giveaways:

The first giveaway is ONE DAY ONLY. As in today...and no other day. So get right to this one! Win two copies of If I Die-one for you and one for a friend-by tweeting:

Dying for IF I DIE? - Follow the #SoulScreamersTour for daily giveaways & a NookTouchhttp://wp.me/P1r4rR-fv @rachelkvincent


The winner will be notified via Twitter, so be sure to check your @replies! 

**********************************

The second giveaway runs the entire blog tour! If you live in the US/Canada you came enter to win a Nook Touch completely stocked with the Soul Screamers series! To enter>


*Follow Rachel Vincent on Twitter, +3
*Like Rachel Vincent on Facebook, +3
*Like The Soul Screamers on Facebook, +3
*Sign up for Rachel's email subscription to get the latest updates, +3
*Promote the tour by adding the button {shown above} and link back to the tour page, +5
*Leave a comment on a blog post throughout the tour, +1 {up to +10!}







***************************************************


♥ Follow the tour:

Monday, September 19th - The Story Siren 
Wednesday, September 21st - Chasing Words 
Friday, September 23rd - The Page Turners 
Monday, September 26th - The Elliot Review 
Tuesday, September 27th Book Birthday - Mundie Mom's 
Wednesday, September 28th - Harlequin Blog 
Friday, September 30th - IB Book Blogging 
Monday, October 3rd - Electrifying Reviews 
Friday, October 7th- Teens Read and Write

"Lake Of Fire"-Nirvana,

review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington!




Summary: Harper Scott's "perfect" sister committed suicide. And she left questions behind. Between a boy she tutored who seems to know more about June than Harper does, eclectic mix CDs, and an unsent postcard, Harper needs to ask more than anyone can answer. So she goes to the only place she may be able to find solace from her tangled thoughts of June: California.


♥ Favorite Line(s):


"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum"


"And now that thread is thinning with every passing moment, worn down by the brutal scrape of reality grating away at it, bit by bit."


"P.S.--I'm not scared anymore."


My thoughts:
Saving June is the type of book that makes me want to pull words from its pages and carry them in my pocket for a while. It's heartbreaking and cool and fun and completely absolutely absorbing.


I want to hang out with Harper and Jake and Laney. I want to talk about The Doors and fire and how the universe kinda sucks sometimes, but the happy bits drown the others out at least partway. And I wish I wasn't rambling, but that's what this book does to me. It makes me want to speak and write and draw and make something out of nothing and cut some things to pieces. Guh.


The characters leap off the pages and dance around in my head. They sing and live and breathe and I wish I could come back, seep into the pages with them. And the plot! The whole 'road trip with an almost stranger with a random connection to you blahdy blah blahderson' is getting overdone, but Saving June made me want to know every detail of the trip.


Basically, Saving June is made of sunshine, rainbows, the hopes of children and many other lovely things. So...you should read it.


P.S. the last of my favorite lines killed me. Killed. Me.


Summing it up:


Saving June is absolutely fantastic. It will be released November 22, 2011. Mark your calendars!



"3 Rounds And A Sound"-Blind Pilot,

win win win



For those of you who only want me for my contests:
you're in luck! :)

In celebration of the release of the fifth book in Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, If I Die, I'm giving away the first four books in the series! This is also kind of a warm up to the If I Die blog tour which kicks off September 19th {P.S. I'm the second stop!}.

Haven't yet decided if I want to give all four books to one winner or split them up or what, so let's just say there will be at least one winner. US only. Ends September 30th. Good luck!!

Form's after the jump {AKA, click "read more"!} :)

obligatory 9/11 post

First, go read this post by Meg Cabot.

Now, I'm only 17. Which means I was in second grade when "the events of September 11th," occurred. I never quite understood that phrasing. It's too clinical, too brief to summarize what happened. But that really is beside the point.

The only thing I remember from that day was the announcement made throughout the school telling all staff to turn off their TVs after the second tower was hit. That, and my mom telling me what happened on the car ride home from school, basically came out to: "Bad people made the towers fall, people were hurt." Other things were tossed around, names like Osama Bin Laden and different terms I didn't understand. I also remember a lot of crying adults.

For years, I understood that people were killed and hurt and missing and that made the towers being hit sad, but nothing more. It wasn't until just a few years ago I began to realize the true impact it had. Because I was like, seven, when everything went down I'm not going to try and preach about anything.

Just...

go hug your family.

And maybe a stranger or two, because today of all days a stranger shouldn't be just another face in the street.


review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger!




Summary: 
Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention. 

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.


♥ Favorite Line(s):
First lines>
"There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriend's car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield."


"It's not silly," he said. "What's silly is my deep-seated and unreasonable fear of fish" -- replace fish with birds and this is real, this is me.


My thoughts:
I think the fact that I've flipped through and almost marked this Very Borrowed* copy with my favorite little bits of dialogue and cattiness says enough about my feelings for Shut Out. It's fun, smart, a little eye roll inducing at times, but completely engrossing.


Shut Out takes place while Lissa is a senior in high school. She's the anal, smart, stoic girlfriend of football player, Randy. At first I thought I'd hate her to be completely honest. I usually can't take the whole Queen Bee Bitch character, but thankfully Lissa was nothing of the sort. Sometimes I still hated her for other things, but I usually hate every MC at least a little. But that means she wasn't perfect and, ya know, a real person, which was refreshing. Lissa is the kind of MC I love to read about.


Chloe, her best friend, can totes be my best friend any day. I'm one of the non-confrontational, "hey, I'm the doormat!" types, which means I loved living vicariously through tell it like it is characters like Chloe. The rest of the cast of characters were appropriately frustrating/endearing/swoon worthy/etc. and I ate all of the drama their various personalities brought out. ;)


The 'battle of the sexes' plot started out somewhat weirdly for me. I just wasn't interested at first. Boy, did that change. By the end I wanted to smash Randy's face with an egg rather than his car, cheer Lissa on from the rooftops, and er...stand and sigh a safe distance from Cash. The views everyone takes on the sex strike were varied and all had valid points. It's definitely a story to make readers think about a few issues.


Overall, Kody's second novel was just as fun, thought-provoking, interesting and real as The DUFF. A refreshing light read that I'll definitely flip through again.


*Very Borrowed = from an ARC tour/I will be torn to pieces if I write in it.


p.s. I'm in another review writing slump if you couldn't tell so...have a Charlie>



...and for my two dude readers>

    Summing it up:


    Anyone looking for a fun read! Shut Out is out now, so pick up a copy! :)




    "Someone Like You"-Adele,

    half-hiatus

    Hullo lovelies.


    If you haven't noticed, I've been kind of MIA lately. And not of the rapper variety.


    "Why?" you must ask, "Is it us, Cara? Do you not like us anymore?"


    To which I say NO. You see, all capital letters NO.


    Last week I scheduled some posts for over last weekend because I knew I'd be in summer reading hell {yes, I'm that kid who reads incessantly but only if I can choose the books}. Now those posts have been er...posted and I don't have time right now to keep up.


    Not because I don't like blogging or anything like that it's just....school. Guh. Just typing it out gives me the creeps.


    I'm a senior. In high school. About to graduate. Applying to college. Basically in the midst of everything that scares the hell out of me.


    I have some tough classes as well as some awesome ones {yay, Theatre Arts!}, but all of them have lots o' work. Which means I might only post once a week for a while. Maybe more, less. But you can expect a decline in thine posting habits. Hopefully I won't blink off the face of the blogosphere like last year! *crosses fingers*


    To all my blogger friends, currently and to come>


    Still checking my email like a fiend, so feel free to send away. If anything vital or just generally awesome should stumble up while I'm on half-hiatus please send an email as that's the safest bet for reaching me!


    You all deserve stickers and flying popsicles and puppy-sized elephants {I will name mine Blu} and oodles and bunches and bits of good things.


    P.S. You all should most definitely read this!




    DFTBA,

    review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley




    Summary: 
    Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.


    ♥ Favorite Line(s):
    So so so many. Holy bananas. And guess what? For once I'll list them all. Except for my very favorite because I want you all to hopefully stumble onto it and realize the brilliance yourselves.


    "First piece I ever did was for her. A girl with roads and rivers and deserts running across her skin."


    "Midnight stumbling in his mouth."


    "There's nothing you can do for me now Bert. You're dead and I'm buried."


    "...I'd draw the hollow I get inside when I see a moon I could drink right out of the sky..."


    "I had this urge to throw cans at the windows so I could hear a noise that sounded like escape."


    "Be easier if we all called things what they really are."


    My thoughts:
    This book.


    This fricking book.


    It seems I'll have to move to Australia after all since now I've developed a possibly unhealthy obsession for Aussie YA. Like, to the point when I see 'Aussie' and 'YA' in the same sentence my ears prick up like a flipping Golden Retriever. First Melina Marchetta lured me in with promises of boys like Jonah Griggs and badass chicks like Taylor. Then Jacklyn Moriarity held me under with fun, original, highly 'quirky in the good way' adventures. Now Cath Crowley has me completely submerged with no hope of coming up soon.


    Graffiti Moon, first of all, has a kickass summary. I cannot possibly fathom how someone can not want to read the book after that summary. Nope. Does not compute. Then all of the glowing reviews, most from reviewers I highly respect? Sold. I was completely ready to be taken on a ride with this one, get caught up in the characters and story and run away to Australia for a little while. Ask and you shall receive.


    Lucy, Ed, Leo, Jazz, Dylan, Daisy, Shadow, Poet, Al, Bert, and even Malcolm Dove drew me in immediately. They're all distinct and separate, but have one thing in common: they have huge misconceptions about the people around them. I'm abso-friggin'-lutely fascinated and intrigued by how people regard strangers. How we all think we know people when I would argue most of us never truly get to know even two people in our lives. I think it's completely odd how the computer nerd can look at the popular girl and think she's got nothing more to deal with than a broken nail. She might be battling cancer. She might've just found out her house is being foreclosed upon. Or she might really have no problems larger or more pressing than a broken nail. The thing is that no one but her will know until she decides to share.


    As you can tell I think about things like this a lot, so when the entire cast of characters {okay, maybe not Malcolm Dove} think they know what the others are thinking and what they'll do and say {one even thinks she's a psychic} I eat. It. Up. I love the conflict that erupts when misconceptions are shot down at close range. When expectations are raised and lowered. Graffiti Moon gave me exactly what I wanted in that department, even some things I didn't know to ask for.


    Besides the characters, the plot never bored me and the pacing was pretty great. Even though these events take place mostly over a few hours, I felt like I'd been on a journey with everyone. The writing was poetic and rough and real and I loved the feeling it evoked while reading. I've been waiting for this book. For my new favorite. For something fresh and hopeful and bright with shadows.
      Summing it up:


      Graffiti Moon is a wonderful celebration of being young and trying to figure things and people out before they're gone, lost. Love love love times ten. Graffiti Moon will officially grace the US with its presence February 14, 2012.





      Link up: Goodreads//Shelfari//Amazon//Barnes and Noble//Cath's website

      Happy Wednesday!


      "Valerie"-Amy Winehouse,

      review: Fix Me by Rune Michaels!





      Summary: 
      Orphaned as a child, terrorized by her abusive brother, and haunted by memories, Leia feels exposed, powerless, and vulnerable. When her tormented mind can stand it no longer, she escapes to the zoo, where she finds shelter and seeks refuge. The zoo is a sanctuary: a protective space for families, and a safe place for the traumatized to forget. But can she ever feel safe? Can she ever forget?

      Once again, Rune Michaels brings us a harrowing psychological drama that raises questions about the very nature of humanity. This chilling tale will challenge our preconceptions of family, memory, and self, leaving readers wondering, are we the pinnacle of evolution—or are we just animals on display?

      ♥ Favorite Line(s):

      >Words. I need words. Words to run through my brain, words from books, from music, from TV shows; lyrics, paragraphs, dialogue. The words march through my head one by one, fast and loud, blocking out the pictures in my head, the movies running in my brain. I need the words, drumming onward, obscuring the view, keeping me safe on the inside of my head.

      >"I am not me," I cry, my teeth clenched, toes of my shoes digging into the grass too, hands clawing, but the earth is fighting back and won't let me in.


      My thoughts:
      Ahhhhh. Fix Me makes me go like this>





      Why? Because it had loads and bunches and oodles of potential. And it never quite got there.


      Nothing* frustrates me more than a story with so much potential that never quite delivers.


      Fix Me is made of beautiful prose and lovely lovely lovely strings of words. The language is truly beautiful. And yet it didn't help me connect with Leia. Leia, the mysterious orphan we never learn the name of. The one who's head we're inside but never quite get a hold of. It felt to me that as the story went on we lost her a little more.  The other characters are the same way: completely intriguing until they aren't.


      The beginning of the book is set up so nicely and then it's just...over. Almost as if there's a chunk missing between the rest of the book and the last ten pages. Everything is tied up so quickly and it definitely left me wanting more out of the characters. I wanted to grab Leia and yell, "This isn't right! NOTHING happened and suddenly you're just functional again?! Que es esto?!" Without really meaning to I let the synopsis and gorgeous cover raise my expectations. Only to be dropped.


       While I found trouble in plot holes, pacing, character development and the general impact of Fix Me, it is truly a well-written novel. Immediately after digesting some of the prose I wanted to write in journals, paint it on walls, yell it from rooftops and cars. I'm very excited to see what Michaels puts out next as I thoroughly expect to enjoy it immensely.




      *Okay, maybe like, clubbing baby seals and things of the like. But in bookish terms, nothing is more frustrating.
        Summing it up:


        Almost, but not quite. Fix Me is set for release December 6, 2011.





        Link up: Goodreads//Shelfari//Amazon//Barnes and Noble//Rune's website

        ♥ The flip side:
        Review by ReadingJunky

        Happy Saturday!


        "Girl"-The Beatles,

        review: Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst





        Summary: Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. 


        Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.

        The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?


        ♥ Favorite Line(s):
        Can't post 'em yet. Sorry, lovelies!


        My thoughts:
        Drink Slay Love is the Scary Movie of YA novels. It makes fun of its own genre and itself in the process. It's the anti-vampire, vampire book.


        To be completely honest I was never on the vampire bandwagon. I've only ever read two vampire books and never had the urge to dive into more. The only reason I decided to read Drink Slay Love was the fact that I couldn't find a single review that didn't discuss how "holy crap this is so funny I laughed 'til I cried." I do think it's funny, just not my kind of funny. I like dry, sarcastic humor and while there's some of that most of it is things relating to unicorns pooping rainbows and the like.


        Pearl was quite cool to me. She actually wants to be a morally exempt killer and when she starts to develop a conscience it pisses her the hell off. She kicked ass and while the supporting cast of characters were a bit lame, she had my attention throughout.


        I really don't have too much to say about this one honestly. *you all breathe a sigh of relief that this review is less than 10,000 words* It's funny, it's predictable, at times it's sweet. It's more of a joke, not in a bad way. Drink Slay Love doesn't take itself too seriously and opens the door for readers to do the same. Is it the next The Book Thief? Well, no. But it's entertaining. And sometimes that's what we need, something purely entertaining.
          Summing it up:
          A nice, light read. Something to break up heavier novels. Drink Slay Love will be released September 13, 2011.





          "Home"-Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros,