Thursday, May 31, 2012

Speed Date with the Darlington Family: Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

Hi! This feature is hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. Speed Dating is basically giving a shorter review of the book and it's ton of fun! Go check it out!


Title: Wentworth Hall
Author: Abby Grahame
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Bought
Add to your shelves 


Summary: The prettiest people often have the ugliest secrets… 

Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.

It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been… even as their carefully constructed fa├žade rapidly comes undone.

Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one… the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.

When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, everyone is looking over their shoulder, worrying their scandal will be next. Because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long.


Review: My thoughts on Wentworth Hall are a bit turbulent. I loved that scandal and the secrets that were involved in the book. But the characters? They were not what I was expecting. 


I thought this book would be entirely about Maggie but this book actually encompasses multiple people from the household. Everyone mentioned in the summary is a part of this book. It's not that I didn't like the switching perspectives but I never really got to know a character. You know how English teachers always say, "Show don't tell?" I wanted to be shown that Maggie and Michael actually had a romance and that Maggie used to be a fun-loving person. Sadly, that didn't happen. 


I loved the secrets and the intrigue that went on it wasn't hard to figure out at all. It was written very well but it was more than a bit predictable


Wentworth Hall is a fun book and it's definitely not short on scandal but I wish it would have lived up to my expectations. 


Rating: 
Sorry, this review is a bit long! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (81)

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to share books we can't wait to read! 


This is a little later then expected because, truthfully, I forgot that I even had to blog at all. I remember distinctly thinking that I had post ready. But as I sat eating my breakfast/lunch I realized that I hadn't. So without further ado...


This week's pick is:
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
September 11, 2011


Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?



Doesn't this one sounds SO cool!? I'm loving that it's in a little town and involves an imaginary friend. And I'm more than a tad curious about these "bloody deeds in the depths of the woods!" This definitely sounds like my kind of book.  And since I've never read anything by Brennan this will be a perfect opportunity





Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

Title: Body & Soul
Author: Stacey Kade
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Bought
Add to your shelves 


Summary: 
The Ghost
I’ve been trapped in the body of Lily “Ally” Turner for a month now. Talk about a fashion crisis on an epic scale. What worries me more, though, is sometimes I catch Will looking at me like he thinks I’m Lily...or that he wishes I were. Without the good looks of my former self, I don’t know who I am, or if who that is is good enough. I need out of this mess. Now.


Will and I have been looking for a solution, one that would separate me from Lily without killing her. But it’s not going well. Then, when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, we run into Misty, my former best friend and boyfriend-stealer extraordinaire, who claims she’s being haunted...by me. Seriously?


I’m determined to get to the bottom of who’s pretending to be the spirit of Alona Dare (while I’m pretending to be someone else) and then get the heck out of this body. Or die trying...


The Goth
I’ll admit it. It’s really weird to look at Alona but see Lily. I do know the difference, though, contrary to what Alona might be saying. And Alona is more than a pretty face to me, not that she would believe that.


Our one lead for some help in this messed up situation might be a page torn from the yellow pages-—the “Psychics” section-—I found in my dad’s stuff. One of the “fakes” seems a bit more real-—and odd-—than the others. Before I can investigate further, though, Alona is off and chasing a ghost that’s probably nothing more than a figment of Misty’s guilty imagination. Now Lily’s family is freaking out because she didn’t come home, my mom is ordering me to stay out of it, and something is definitely wrong with the person formerly known as Lily “Ally” Turner...


Review: Body and Soul is the conclusion to The Ghost and the Goth series, a series that I have loved for a little less then 2 years. The main thing that I love about this series is the characters.


Alona Dare is, of course, the ghost. I'm not sure if I like Will, the goth, or Alona better. They both have amazing qualities and imperfections. I think it's the imperfections that make them all the more lovable. Alona has problems with trust while Will has problems with taking control and standing up for himself. I think that's what makes me love them but their banter and just overall funniness is what really seals the deal. 


Alona and Will also have a kinda, sorta romance. They are constantly going back and forth and fighting with each other but they still care so much about each other. I smile almost every time Alona and Will are together and that's a lot!


The story line of this one wasn't as exciting as the previous two books but that's not to say that I didn't like it. It was still fun and ghostly. It just lacked that bang that I expected. I'm mostly willing to ignore that aspect just because this is such a fast read that it almost doesn't matter. This was also a great conclusion to the series. I still have one more burning question but it was mostly answered-I'm just too curious! The ending wasn't terribly happily ever after but it was still cute and more then hopeful.


If you're looking for a very fun series then I'd recommend picking this one up. I enjoyed every moment that I spent reading these books and I'm so sad to see it go. I can't wait to see what Kade comes up with next! 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Monday, May 28, 2012

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Schultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: Bought
Add to your shelves 


Summary: What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death? 
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

Review: I'd been meaning to read Spellbound for a long, long time. I'm so happy to say that I did! Not only was I impressed by this book I loved the characters and a new look on a curse. Spellbound is a great read if you're looking for something a bit different in the paranormal world.


First of all, I really liked Emma. She wasn't the easiest to connect with at first but after I got to know her she grew on me very quick. I loved how inquisitive she was about her curse. Yes, Emma has a curse. Now what exactly that entails I won't tell you but I personally think it's super creative. Emma's sweet too and I loved her friend Angelique! 


And Brendan? That boy is so adorable. He's just kind of fantastic. Emma and Brendan's relationship was full-out wonderful. It was almost too cute. The only thing I didn't like about it was that there was a bit of a case of insta-love. But this is one book where I understand it so it's alright.


Schultz also came up with some great new unique things. I loved learning more about the curse that was featured in this book. There's even little excerpts of from a "text" about the curse. This part of the book was just amazing.


Truthfully I'm kind of spellbound by Spellbound. I don't know if you can tell but I'm just a tad short of obsessing over this book. It's just fun, unique and has an adorable romance. I can't wait to read the next book! 


Rating: 4.5 stars

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm back!!!

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to write a quick note and say that I'm definitely back to blogging for this summer. I think it will take a bit getting used to blogging again but I can definitely deal with it! It feels weird that I need to start writing reviews again....

I'm so happy school is over. I don't have to study for anymore tests or do anymore homework. I had so much stress the past two weeks that it's probably good tat I didn't have to worry about blogging. School finished fantastically but I'm still happy it's over.

I'm going to go work on the review that is going up tomorrow and start working on a summer reading list. I can't wait to get back into blogging!

Happy SUMMER!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Never Wanted To....A sad, sad story

Hi everyone! I hope your day is going absolutely magnificent! I'm interrupting the usual programming here at Katie's Amazing Book Reviews to say that I'm leaving.

Don't give me that panicked look. I'm definitely not leaving for good. I love blogging and the community a bit too much to ever do that. But still...I never wanted to one of those bloggers. (If you've done this, please don't take offense. I just don't like leaving my readers and fellow bloggers hanging.)

I've always told myself that I could always keep blogging no matter what. Even if I was busy in school I'd never stop because I'd have the time. But, sadly, I don't have the time. So I'm taking a mini-hiatus.

To write this post I'm taking away some of my research time for an upcoming debate I'm participating in. I'm just too busy. But, I thought that you deserved to know why I was disappearing.

The good thing is that school ends on the 25th. Make sure that you come back after that because the blog will be up and running once more! I'm so sorry that I have to do this but I just think that it's very necessary. I really want to finish school strong.

Thank you so much!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Speed Date with Chloe: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

Hi everyone, toady I'm doing something a little bit different. I'm participating in a thing called Speed Dating-with reviews. It's hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. The purpose is to tell your thoughts about the book in about 150 words. I think it's a fantastic idea! Go check out her blog to participate.


Title: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe
Author: Shelley Coriell
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Amulet
Add to your shelves 


Summary: Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home. 


Review: Have you ever read a book that you initially thought you'd hate? This was exactly how I felt about this book. The first 100 or so pages of Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe were just short of boring and tortuous. I almost debated giving up on this book.

I'm so thankful that I stayed with this one. It turned out to be a very awesome book. I'm not quite sure what made me change my mind exactly. Chloe started to grow on me, as did the radio station aspect.

The radio part of this one just was awesome. I loved the moments at the "station." When they were over I always wanted more! Chloe's show and the friends that she made there were fantastically rewritten!

When Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe ended I actually wanted more. This just goes to show that a book that doesn't start off awesome can turn into something you never want to end. Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe totally redeemed itself!

Rating:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (80)

Hi and happy Wednesday! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to share books we can't wait to read!

This week's pick is:
Defiance by C.J Redwine
August 28, 2012

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.


Any girl who can wield a sword is someone who I'm a fan of. And Rachel seems just like that girl. Logan doesn't sound half bad either! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing a romance between the two characters. I'm especially curious about the "monster that can't be killed" that's mentioned in the last paragraph. I can't wait for August!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

Title: Unbreak My Heart
Author: Melissa Walker
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Bloomsbury
Add to your shelves 


Summary: Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to. 


Review: Unbreak My Heart is a fantastic contemporary romance book.  But this book isn't all about romance. It has a much deeper meaning and I loved every minute that I spent reading this book. 


The fact that Unbreak My Heart involves sailing gives it a million points in my book. I'm not a sailor myself but for some odd reason I love reading about ships, sailing, anything nautical and I'm in. I thought Walker did an absolutely fantastic job with sailing aspect of the book. It was realistic and it gave Unbreak My Heart an extra bang that a lot of books don't have. 


The characters are truly what got me in this book. Clem is so fantastic. The pain she went through literally jumped off the page. I grew to care so much about Clem during the book that it was almost a joy to see her grow and change through the course of Unbreak My Heart. Clem wasn't the only character that was multi-dimensional or just plain wonderful, many of the supporting characters were just as great. Clem's sister, Olive, was such a cutie! I felt like I got to know her and many other characters through Walker's unbelievabley good writing.

Of course there's romance, the title suggests that much. The romance in Unbreak My Heart was just what I needed. It was cute, real and it wasn't fast and rushed. James' and Clem's romance was sweet and slow moving. It makes me smile just thinking about it! I don't think romance in books can get much better then the one in this book.

All in all, Unbreak My Heart is a fantastic book that will makes you feel many awesome, heart-warming emotions. Unbreak My Heart has the added nautical aspect but it's so much more special than just that with its awesome characters and romance.


Rating:

Monday, May 7, 2012

This is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott

Title: This is So Not Happening
Author: Kieran Scott
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Bought
Add to your shelves 


Summary: The summary had a bit of spoilers to those who have not read the second book or even the first one. You can highlight below to read it! The review does not contain spoilers.


After their long summer apart, Ally and Jake were hoping for a drama free senior year. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things will work out that way...again.


It turns out that Chloe is pregnant and says that Jake is the father. Hammond is pissed at his best friend, but mostly can't believe that Ally would stay with Jake. But Ally is tired of being apart from Jake and is willing to make it work. But that is easier said than done when Jake starts blowing Ally off to go to doctor's appointments with Chloe and Ally joins the school play and meets a new cute guy.But as graduation approaches, things get more complicated as new secrets come out and Ally realizes maybe Jake isn't the guy she thought he was. After everything they've been through can Ally and Jake get out of Orchard Hill with their relationship in tact? 


Review: This is So Not Happening is the end to one of my favorite series. This one, like the previous two, was filled was drama. I'm not a huge drama fan but this drama is done 100 percent right. 


My love for Ally grows and grows through every single book, and this one was no different. Ally's a very strong heroine and she never fails to be strong. She makes mistakes, like all people, but she's a real, relatable character. I suppose that's what makes her such a strong character and why I admire her so much. I'll miss all the other characters but I think I'll miss Ally's stubbornness and determination the most. .


But then I'm a huge fan of Jake, Ally's boyfriend. He is literally one of the most flawed love interests. He makes countless mistakes and says the wrong thing over and over again. You'd think I'd be sick of him. Truthfully, he can be a complete tool sometimes. Jake can also be one of the most caring and considerate people. I think that's what I like so much about Jake-he can be stupid sometimes but you're always rooting for him because you know that he deserves one more chance. And I don't mind saying that he's completely swoon, drool worthy or whatever. He's kind of hot.


I wasn't exactly sure where the plot was going to go in this one. I was expecting a shocking conclusion to the series but I was almost glad to see that it wasn't a huge conclusion. It was sweet, and it fit the feel of this book perfectly. 


I'm sad to see this fantastic series come to a close but it was a great one with This is So Not Happening. If you want to love and care about characters then I strongly suggest you pick this one up. The romance, the writing and I have to admit it, the drama, is what makes this a series that I wish would never end.


Rating: 



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Romeo and the countdown to the end: May 6, 2012

Hi everyone! This was a great week for me in terms of books!

Bought:
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris-This references the countdown to the end because this book sounds like it was some crazy, awesome sci-fi elements in it.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth-I don't think there is any question why I need to read this.
Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame-This sounds a lot like Downton Abbey which makes me all the more willing to give it a try. 
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle-This is a modern day retelling of Romeo and Juilet but I believe it focuses on Rosaline. 

I cannot wait to read all of these books! They all look fantastic!


For the Nook:
This is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott-I've already read this one and I loved it!

For Review: (from Netgalley)
I got a ton of books from Netgalley this week so to save time I'm only showing the titles and authors, not the covers.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
One Moment by Kristina McBride
Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris
Touched by Cyn Balog
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Before You Go by James Preller

As you can see I went a bit crazy. But many of the books I'd requested about a month ago and they just now came through!

This was inspired by Kristi over at The Story Siren to share the books we got during the week!


Friday, May 4, 2012

What to Read (22)


What to Read is just a little thing I like to do that features a slew of books from a certain genre. Sometimes I don't exactly do genres, but you get the gist!

Today I'm featuring:
My Favorites of April but What about May?
I read 9 books in April and just about everyone of them was absolutely fantastic! 
But my favorite two were...
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
This is one didn't come out in April but it was certainly one of the best books I read all month. It shows the harsh reality of what happened in the past, especially to the Baltic countries in Europe. This was was so hopeful and just plain beautiful. If you want a read that absolutely touches you, then pick this one up!

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
I've featured this one a ton. But people it's just that good, just that amazing. The best thing to me about The Book of Blood and Shadow was the characters. Every single one of them is fantastic. Just thinking about this book makes me SO happy. 

There are many, many May releases that I cannot wait to get my hands are. Here are a couple!



Insurgent is already out but my copy hasn't got here yet! I'm so sad....There are so many other books I'm waiting for this month that I would have a huge post if I posted them all.

Are there any May releases you just can't wait to get a hold of?



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Speed Date with Em: The Summer my Life Began

Hi everyone, toady I'm doing something a little bit different. I'm participating in a thing called Speed Dating-with reviews. It's hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. The purpose is to tell your thoughts about the book in about 150 words. I think it's a fantastic idea! Go check out her blog to participate.


Title: The Summer My Life Began
Author: Shannon Greenland
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: May 10, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Speak!
Add to your shelves 


Summary: Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time. 


Review: The Summer My Life Began is a cute, very fun-hearted read that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It could be a little cheesy at times and predictable, though.


Em was, like the book, very cute. She didn't have much dimension nor did I connect with her. But she was a fun girl to read about. Her escapades on the island and in the kitchen were fantastic to read about. Now that I loved.

The Summer My Life Began features an adorable romance. I didn't want to think much while reading this book and the romance was perfect for that! I loved the dates that Em and Cade, her love interest, went on.

The overall plot of this one is predictable but one time I was pleasantly surprised. Greenland's writing style is sweet and simple. It was absolutely perfect for this book!

Overall, The Summer My Life Began is the perfect read for a lazy summer day. It has everything from cooking to a sweet romance and a awesome beach setting!


Rating:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (79)

Hi everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to share books we can't wait for!

This week's pick is:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
August 7, 2012

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


This sounds amazing. Literally amazing. There's an assassin and a kingdom...and I just need to read this now! And training sessions with Captain Westfall? Sounds fun to me! :) This has tons of great reviews because I believe that this was on some sharing site or something of the like before. 


What you are waiting on this week? 

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