Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Title: Go Ask Alice
Author: Anonymous, produced by Beatrice Sparks
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: September 14, 1971
Genre: YA
Pages: 211
*Read for book club.

Synopsis:
The torture and hell of adolescence has rarely been captured as clearly as it is in this classic diary by an anonymous, addicted teen. Lonely, awkward, and under extreme pressure from her "perfect" parents, "Anonymous" swings madly between optimism and despair. When one of her new friends spikes her drink with LSD, this diarist begins a frightening journey into darkness. The drugs take the edge off her loneliness and self-hate, but they also turn her life into a nightmare of exalting highs and excruciating lows.

Although there is still some question as to whether this diary is real or fictional, there is no question that it has made a profound impact on millions of readers during the more than 25 years it has been in print. Despite a few dated references to hippies and some expired slang, Go Ask Alice still offers a jolting chronicle of a teenager's life spinning out of control.


This book really was an eye-opener about the roller coaster that is the world of drugs. The closest I’ve come to illegal drugs is stories from friends. I’m a person who really disapproves of doing drugs, including smoking cigarettes, because of the negative health effects. For someone like me, this book gave me the opportunity to see drugs through the eyes of someone who literally lived through the addiction... To see the other side of the story. Like I said, it was an eye-opener.

I think I forgot what teens can be like: when they like someone, that person is their true love; they change their minds about things every other day; they think their parents are out to ruin their lives; and so on. The diarist was all of these things, and sometimes it irritated me, but then I’d remember that this was a real person’s life and this was how she truly felt when she was writing. Being empathetic to the diarist really helped when reading this story. It was almost a requirement. I feel like it would have been wrong to judge the diarist. That would be like judging the life of someone who lives on the streets in your city. It’s just wrong.

It was really great to see the family relationship change. She started out thinking her parents were unloving and dismissive, but as the book progressed she began to realize that they really only wanted her to be safe and actually loved her very much. She also had a great relationship with her grandfather, but I’ll let you discover that one on your own. The relationship between her and her brother was great as well. After having gone through all the drugs and problems she did, she just wanted to be able to protect her siblings. Since her brother was much closer to her in age than her sister, she was most concerned about him following her same path. She wanted to make sure he was sheltered from the life of drugs, but was afraid to tell him of all her experiences, for fear that he’d think poorly of her.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was relatively quick to read because it’s journal entries, and I always find that those make the book fly by. It was shocking to read, especially when I would remember that it wasn’t fiction, and that this girl really lived what she wrote, when she was only 15. It’s not a book for those who are iffy about drugs and sex in what they read, but it’s definitely something I’d recommend to anyone who’s even thought of picking it up. Do it.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On My Wishlist (12)


On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

On My Wishlist this week:
Ape House by Sara Gruen
Publish Date: September 17, 2010

Synopsis:
Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships—but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets—especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans . . . until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

When an explosion rocks the lab, severely injuring Isabel and “liberating” the apes, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow. Then a reality TV show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest—and unlikeliest—phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-out, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them. Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind, including John, a green-haired vegan, and a retired porn star with her own agenda.

Ape House delivers great entertainment, but it also opens the animal world to us in ways few novels have done, securing Sara Gruen’s place as a master storyteller who allows us to see ourselves as we never have before.


I have to admit that I want to read this purely because I read and loved WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. It really was a super book. I hope that this one is just as good! It definitely sounds like an awesome book. I'm excited to read it.

Check it out on Goodreads here.

What's on your wishlist this week?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (20)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I'm just about to start reading Go Ask Alice, the real diary of a 15-year-old drug user, for the summer book club my friends and I are doing. I found a great teaser from the first page:




Yesterday I bought this diary because I thought at last I'd have something wonderful and great and worthwhile to say, something so personal that I wouldn't be able to share it with another living person, only myself. Now like everything else in my life, it has become so much nothing.




I'm excited to read this. It'll be weird realizing that everything I'm reading ACTUALLY happened in this girl's life. I don't know what I'm expecting, but I feel like it'll be hard to believe sometimes. I guess it'll just be proof that some people go through really tough stuff. I can't wait to get started.

Feel free to share your teasers with me! I'd love to see what you're reading.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox (18)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.




This week I got a lot of ebooks for review. I had been neglecting review requests while I finished school and got settled into being at home again. So when I finally replied to them, I got some interesting books to review! Check out what I got:


For Review
Acadia, Book I: The Lost King and the Goddess of Time by Ali Naqvi {Goodreads}
Daimon (Prequel to Half-Blood) by Jennifer L. Armentrout {Goodreads}
Inklings by Aparna Warrier {Goodreads}
Laney: The Brookehaven Vampires by Joann Martin Sowles {Goodreads}
Six Moon Summer by S.M. Reine {Goodreads}
All ebooks received from author except DAIMON (received through publisher).

Some of these are new genres for me (like INKLINGS, which is flash fiction), some are my genre, but more adult, and some are exactly what I love to read. I've already read and reviewed INKLINGS by Aparna Warrier. Check out my review here. I'm excited to jump into the others, too.

What did you get this week?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Inklings by Aparna Warrier

Title: Inklings: Very Short Stories and Other Babies Born of Ink
Author: Aparna Warrier
Publisher: Indie on Smashwords
Publish Date: April 23, 2011
Genre: adult, flash fiction
Pages: 9 (ebook)
Source: From author through Smashwords

Synopsis:
Very short stories and other babies born of Ink.

Stories tagged under urban life, oblique humor, romance, satire and even the purpose of life. In this book, you will find urban-style, simple prose, sprinkled with thought-provoking metaphors along the way.

Inklings offers a glimpse into the world of intelligent flash fiction, which, while not a popular genre in traditional publishing, is making an impact in online literature.

For an idea of what to expect, an introduction of five of the twelve stories in this anthology follows
1. Intoxicated by Impossibility - The story of one guy who can't fall asleep because of one girl who's not even there. Or is she?
2. Who wrote the Rules? - Existential angst clubbed with rebellion against The System.
3. The revolt of the coconut trees - Inspired by an academic study published in the Journal of Trauma, 1984, titled "Injuries due to falling coconuts".
4. So what? - What happens after the Storm.
5. Cheeky - A story about that chubby part of a certain person's face.


This was the first flash fiction that I’ve read. It was an interesting collection of works. Some of them were cute, others funny, and some I just outright didn’t understand. I’ve never been the kind of reader who analyzes what she’s reading, or enjoys picking things apart to see what kind of double meaning there may be that the author was implying. I just like to read and enjoy. So it’s for that reason, I think, that some of the stories either bored me or just went flying over my head.

There were a couple that I liked. Greenie and Cheeky were both cute. I found The Revolt of Coconut Trees to be funny, too. It’s about coconut trees who are willing to be cooperative with humans until humans start abusing them and taking advantage of them. So they attack and wipe out the human race. I suppose I shouldn’t find it funny, but the thought of coconut trees attacking and wiping out the human race makes me laugh.

Overall, I thought these stories were cute, and a great starting place for a new author. However, I don’t really think they were for me. It was probably just a personality conflict between me and the author, considering she “likes books that make her think deep,” which I totally do not. Still, it’s a quick read (just 9 ebook pages), so check it out on Smashwords if you’re interested.

Thanks to Aparna Warrier for the review copy through Smashwords.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

FOREVER Trailer!

I love Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy. And so I'm super excited that the last book is due out in two months today!! (July 12!) In typical Maggie fashion, she's having a super ginormous contest to spread the news about her book, and her newly released book trailer for it (which she spent TONS of time making). Check it out:



If you've never read any of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, I recommend you check them out. Maggie made super awesome book trailers for the first two as well. Check out the one for Shiver here and the one for Linger here. The great thing about these trailers is that they aren't spoilery. So if you haven't read the previous books, you can still watch away! They're pretty vague, so those of us who HAVE read the books just end up with our heads spinning, trying to figure out what it all means!

So if you're as excited as me, you will definitely want to hop on over to Maggie's favourite Indie, Fountain Bookstore, and preorder a signed copy.

For more information about Maggie Stiefvater and her books, visit her website here.

If you're one of those who haven't started the series yet, run on over to The Book Depository and snag yourself a copy of the first two books!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (24)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Ladybird Ladybird by Abra Ebner
Publish Date: June 1, 2011

Synopsis:
Samantha was born on a full moon to a mother already dead. Revived by doctors and given to her unloving father, Samantha was raised a cursed child, her only friend the ghost of her mother who speaks to her through keys. From the inside out, Sam burned with life, a fire so vivid it kept her peers at a distance, all except one. Leith, a quiet farmboy with a broken heart and demons of his own, enjoys the seclusion his classmates grant him, but the seclusion is all too familiar to Sam.

When their worlds collide... fires burn.


This a little novella, about 225 pages, and sounds like a fun, quick read. I haven't read any of Abra's books before, but her Knight Angels series really interests me. I want to read LADYBIRD, LADYBIRD because I'm really curious about the title. We don't really get any clues in the synopsis, and I'm interested to see why it has this title, and why it had to be said twice!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to this week?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (19)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I didn’t have a chance to give you a teaser from what I was reading last week, so here’s a teaser from City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. I tried to avoid spoilers from any of The Mortal Instruments books, so that everyone can read my teaser! Here it is:






“Simon, move!” It was Jace shouting; Simon looked and saw the other boy running toward him out of the fog, bloody seraph blades in his hands. Then he looked up.





Hehehe I gave you a cliff-hanger this week! I’m barely finding any time to read, and when I do, I’m partially falling asleep. Still, I’m really enjoying City of Glass. I like that it’s a different setting than the last two books, so hopefully it will be a fun adventure for everyone (both me and the characters)!

Feel free to share your teasers in the comments! I’d love to see what you’re reading.

Monday, May 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (17)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.



I've been really busy and almost forgot about doing an IMM! But here it is for you lovely folks!

Bought:
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King {Goodreads | Book Depository}

Gifted
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong {Goodreads}
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong {Goodreads}
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong {Goodreads}
(Buy all three from The Book Depository here)

I was at the bookstore with my friend the other day and was feeling like I hadn't bought any books in a long time, so decided to grab one that I've been wanting to read for a long time, but had never picked up yet. That's how I got THE DUST OF 100 DOGS. It looks awesome. There's pirates.

I may have mentioned in passing that I'm currently completing a placement in an elementary school for my program. Well last week, I noticed that my teacher had The Darkest Powers trilogy and I mentioned how I liked Kelley's writing but hadn't read her YA yet. So my teacher handed them over and said "Take them. I've read them already and probably won't read them again. Go ahead. Take them." Gahhhhh such an awesome woman. Can't wait to read them!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On My Wishlist (11)


On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

On My Wishlist this week:
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway
Publish Date: June 17, 2010

Synopsis:
Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers!

I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.


As you may have noticed, I just finished reading THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS by Terra Elan McVoy and reviewed it this morning. It was a really cute book about three sisters, and I'd like to read more like that (because I am one of three sisters). This one, THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, is also about three sisters, but they have supernatural powers. Right up my alley. It definitely sounds like something I'd enjoy and I hope I get the chance to read it!

What's on your wish list this week?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Review: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy

Title: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts
Author: Terra Elan McVoy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: May 3, 2011
Genre: YA, contemporary
Pages: 434
Source: From publisher through GalleyGrab

Synopsis:
Three sisters. One life-changing summer.

Calla loves summer because summer means Duncan. They’ve been best friends for years, but Calla has never worked up the nerve to tell him how she really feels. This summer, the summer before college, is Calla's last chance.

Violet isn't much of a rule breaker in real life. But this isn't real life, this is summer, and Violet is determined to make the most of it. Besides, a little sneaking out never hurt anyone. And sneaking out with James is 100% worth the risk...even though James is completely off-limits.

Daisy has never been the sister that boys notice, but when sparks fly with Joel at the first bonfire of summer, it seems so easy and right. So why is being his girlfriend so complicated?


Books about sisters have been catching my eye recently, and that’s why I picked up THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS. It sounded like a cute story about three sisters who are very close. And it was! I thought it would be nice to read, since I’m one of three girls, too, but it was a lot different from what I expected!

I liked how the three sisters were all narrators. They each had their own individual voice and I rarely got confused about whose head I was in. Calla is a perfectionist and people-pleaser, and a really hard worker, but also love-stuck with her camp best friend Duncan. Violet is the boy magnet who mostly wanted to let go and break the rules with her new friend Brynn. Daisy is the youngest who likes to keep to herself, but when some of her cabin-mates start bullying her, it’s hard to keep quiet. Each of these sisters was so different from the other, but they also fit together so well to be there and support each other. These three camp weeks really tested their loyalty and sisterly bonds.

The ending really surprised me. I was expecting everything to end up peachy perfect by the time the three week camp was up, and the sisters would be closer than ever, but I can’t say that’s exactly how it went. I was left wondering “Is that really how she’s going to end it?”, but at the same time it worked really well for these girls and their story. It is a stand-alone, and it works like that. Calla, Violet, and Daisy are ready to move on after camp.

If you’re looking for a cute summer read that contains themes of family, love, acceptance, and moving on, then this is a great one to pick up. I had so much fun at camp with these girls, and I bet you will, too.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (23)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Publication Date: May 31, 2011

Synopsis:
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.


Why I want to read this:
1. 2011 Debut Author!
2. Modern-day mythology retelling
3. Josie said she got the idea when she saw Romeo & Juliet and The Iliad (the Helen of Troy story) sitting side-by-side on her shelf. That alone makes it sounds amazing.

Watch this video to hear Josie talk about STARCROSSED:

Random Acts of Kindness - April Wrap-Up

Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.) is a feature created by Book Soulmates. Find out more information about it here. You can sign up each month with your wish list and participate by sending some RAK love, too!

Here's what I received for April RAK! (All books received are ebooks)

From Ivy:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins {Goodreads | Book Depository}
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes {Goodreads | Book Depository}
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins {Goodreads | Book Depository}


From Alyssa:

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson {Goodreads | Book Depository}

I sent out a few RAKs, too. It's an awesome feeling sending out books to people. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be participating for the month of May because I'm finding myself without much money now! I'll definitely be back for June, though.

Make sure you check out Book Soulmates! It's a great blog by some great girls!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Silence Cover Reveal!

I started an elementary school placement for my university program today, and I almost totally forgot that today was the release day of the cover of SILENCE, the third novel in the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick (check it out on Goodreads). But I didn't forget! And so when it popped into my mind on the way home, I knew I had to look it up ASAP. Check it out:


The waves. The wings. The dress. Oh man. So nice. So hot. Can't. form. sentences. :P

Here's the first two covers, in case you want to make comparisons. I think it fits nicely:
(Click the covers for my reviews)

If you're a fan of the books and have read them before, make sure you check out Hollywood Crush, the MTV blog that released the cover. They also gave a sneak peak from Silence, and there's a countdown widget you can grab.

I can't wait for this to come out! What about you? What do you think of the SILENCE cover?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In My Mailbox (16)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.



I'm sorry for the lack of IMMs the last couple weeks! Two weeks ago I was moving home for the summer, and last weekend I was at my cottage for Easter with the family and no internet. I probably should've been smart and written them up beforehand, but I was pretty busy. So I apologize! However, I now have a bunch to show you all!


Won:
Goodie Bag from @Kristi_Cook twitter
CoFA poster from @SimonPulseCA twitter
The Gathering (signed) by Kelley Armstrong and swag from @IndigoTeenBlog twitter

For Review:
Ashfall by Mike Mullin (from NetGalley)
{Goodreads}

Bought:
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous {Goodreads}

So lots of random stuff! And if I'm not living proof that you should join twitter, then I don't know what is! (I have won SO much stuff on Twitter, it always surprises me!) It's really a random bunch of stuff, and I can't wait to start those books I've got! I actually bought GO ASK ALICE for a book club my friends and I started. It's kind of a way to keep in contact this summer and also read some awesome books. Let me know if you're interested in seeing what we're reading for our book club and I might write up a post or a page!

What's in your mailbox this week?