Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (9/21/11): Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Publication date: October 10, 2011  (Poppy)

As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

- Tabbyc

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (8/17/11): All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Publication date: September 6, 2011

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.
Caffeine illegal? WTF? Noooooo! 

~ SynysterShadows 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (8/10/11): Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I really, really loved Vampire Academy. Hoping this spin-off series won't be a disappointment! 

Publication date: August 23, 2011 (Razorbill)

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

- Tabbyc

Friday, August 5, 2011

Seven Deadly Sins by Corey Taylor

Publication Date: July 12, 2011 (Perseus Books Group)

I’m not gonna lie; the only reason I was interested in this book at first was because Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor was the author. When I saw the title, I figured it was going to be a memoir of how he has committed each of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Boy was I wrong.

He makes it evident from the start that this is not going to be a memoir. He tells the reader that he will be talking about each of the seven sins are, as he puts it, bullshit. Committing a chapter to each sin, Taylor logically explains why each sin shouldn’t even be considered a sin. He occasionally throws in moments from his life in which he has committed the “sin” but then quickly points out the reasons as to why they aren’t a sin.

The only thing that ever sorta bothered me about this book was the random tangents he sometimes went off on. But most of the time he was able to relate it to what he was talking about.

All in all, I would suggest this book even if the arguments presented mean nothing to you. Look at more points of view, you know?

What I’m saying is that in all the chaos, remember to breathe, remember to smile, and remember that the only time to panic is when there is truly no tomorrow.

(3.75 out of 5)
~ SynysterShadows

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (8/3/11): The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Publication date: November 15, 2011 (Margaret K. McElderberry)

From Goodreads: 

Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.


In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.


Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

~ SynysterShadows 

Monday, July 25, 2011

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff

Publication date: January 26, 1989 (Grove/Atlantic)

I’ll be honest; normally I would never pick this book up on my own. The only reason I read it was because it was one of the options on a required reading assignment as part of my AP English summer assignment. I figured I would just read it for the homework and that I wouldn’t actually like it.

Boy was I wrong.

This memoir is about the gypsy, for the lack of a better word,  life of Tobias Wolff (who later adopts the name Jack) and his mother. After his mother got a divorce from his father, Tobias and his mother are always going from city to city, looking for a good life. At one point, the two meet Dwight who would later become Tobias’ step father.
The book mainly chronicles Tobias’ adolescent life in the town of Chinook. Wolff not only tells us what he did, thought, and felt at the time, but, on occasion, he also tells us what he thought when he recalled the event years later.

For the most part, I liked the book. I wouldn’t say I loved it but I enjoyed reading it. Wolff does an amazing job painting an image of not only himself but all the others in the book. I could understand how he felt, his thoughts, everything. Wolff does an amazing job of bringing characters to life, allowing readers to hate Dwight, sympathize for his mother, understand Arthur’s motives, etc, etc.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was how it got a bit confusing at times. Not to mention the occasional off topic tangents.

All in all, it’s a good book and I suggest it to those who are into reading memoirs and/or non-fiction.

(3.5 out of 5)
~ SynysterShadows

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7/13/2011): The Predicteds by Christine Seifert

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
Publication date: September 1st, 2011 

From Goodreads: 

Daphne is the new girl in town and is having trouble fitting in. At least she has Jesse... sort of. He wants to be more than "just friends," but there's something he's not telling her about his past. Something dangerous. When a female student is brutally attacked, police turn to PROFILE, a new program that can predict a student's capacity for drug use, pregnancy, and violent behavior, to solve the case. As the witch hunt ensues, Daphne is forced to question her feelings for Jesse-and what she will do if her first love turns out to be a killer.
- Tabbyc

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Publication date: July 12th, 2011 (Simon Pulse)
Source: Simon & Schuster eGalley
Hannah is anticipating a perfectly normal summer, until she attends a fellow classmates party and things start to fall apart. She loses her boyfriend to a sophomore and her best friend announces she’s going away when she needs her the most. Sensing that Hannah is struggling with things, aforementioned best friend asks her own boyfriend to keep an eye on her, not expecting it to come back to bite her.

I was super excited to see this tacked onto the bottom of my Galley Grab newsletter. I think the cover is cute and the plot sounded pretty good. I expected to enjoy this -

But I didn’t. At first I thought that I would like the way it flopped from past to present, but it only managed to whisk away the element of surprise. The first hundred or so pages were really slow for me. Only when the truth about what happened between Hannah and Ava’s boyfriend comes to light did it even begin to be remotely interesting.

Not much can be said about the characters, as we aren’t really given a chance to get to know them. I know they all have relationship issues, though, and Hannah is a major drama queen. I do kind of get why she was attracted to Noah, as he seemed to be a good guy.

I was definitely caught off-guard with the ending. I was angry, because I thought I had been jipped a few pages; it was that abrupt. Then I thought, “Well maybe there’s going to be a sequel,” because I do have some unanswered questions. I can’t find mentions of a sequel anywhere.

Bottom line: Lauren went through a lot just to tell us that stuff happens and that we have to find a way to deal with it. This book does have mixed reviews, so you might want to check it out for yourself and tell us what you think. 

(2.5 out of 5)
- Tabbyc

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7/6/2011): Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Publication date: July 21st, 2011 (Razorbill/Penguin)

I’ve never been one for mythological stories but upon reading this blurb, I was intrigued. There is the cliche factor of having to make a life changing decision but the fact that it involves a siren is a new spin. This will certainly be an interesting book to pick up.

From Goodreads:
Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

~ SynysterShadows 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6/22/2011): Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publication date: October 4, 2011 (Simon & Schuster)

The Hush, Hush series is one that has received some, sometimes harsh, critique for the plot. It’s often called a Twilight rip-off. But disregarding that, I, among many other readers, are anticipating the release of the third installment of this series.

From Goodreads:

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

~ SynysterShadows

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6/15/11): Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Publication date: September 13, 2011 (Margaret K. McElderberry)

From Goodreads:

On the day after Halloween, Nan wakes up in a subway car. She is not dreaming. She doesn’t know where she’s been or what she’s done. She’s missing a whole day from her life. And she’s wearing skeleton makeup and a too-small Halloween costume that she doesn't remember putting on.

Nan is not supposed to wake up in places like this anymore. She’s different now, so far from that dangerously drunk girl who hit bottom in the Nanapocalypse. She needs to find out what happened to her, and fast. As she tries to put together the pieces of the last twenty-four hours, she flashes back to memories of her previous life. But she would never go back to her old friends and her old ways. Would she?

The deeper Nan digs, the more disturbing things get. This time, she may have gone one step too far. This time, she may be a walking ghost.

- Tabbyc

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6/8/2011): Seven Deadly Sins by Corey Taylor

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Hey, guys! So, this is my first Waiting on Wednesday because I’ve been oh so nice and dumped all of the last of the last two we’ve had on my blogging partner. Anyways, the book I have chosen this week is...

Seven Deadly Sins by Corey Taylor 
Publication date: July 12th, 2011 (Da Capo Press)

Corey Taylor is known as the singer of both Slipknot and Stone Sour. This book should stir curiosity among Taylor’s fans and possibly non-fans as he speaks of his life and the “sins” he has committed. Here’s what Goodreads has to say:

For the first time, Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor speaks directly to his fans and shares his worldview about life as a sinner. And Taylor knows how to sin.

As a small-town hero in the early '90s, he threw himself into a fierce-drinking, drug-abusing, hard-loving, live-for-the moment life. Soon Taylor's music exploded, and he found himself rich, wanted, and on the road. His new and ever-more extreme lifestyle had an unexpected effect, however; for the first time, he began to actively think about what it meant to sin and whether sinning could--or should--be recast in a different light. 

Seven Deadly Sins
 is Taylor's personal story, but it's also a larger discussion of what it means to be seen as either a "good" person or a "bad" one. Yes, Corey Taylor has broken the law and hurt people, but, if sin is what makes us human, how wrong can it be?


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6/1/2011): The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week's pick is...

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder 
Publication date: June 28th, 2011 (Simon Pulse)

From Goodreads:

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

- Tabbyc

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Combat Ops by David Michaels

Publication date: March 29, 2011 (Berkley)

Captain Scott Mitchell, leader of a unit in the elite fighting force known as the Ghosts, is sent to Afghanistan with his team. Their mission: to locate and kill or capture Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Zahed. Of course, this isn’t going to be an easy breach and clear mission and not just because Zahed is a top terrorist leader. Forces within Mitchell’s own comrades make things difficult for him to achieve his mission. With different missions clashing with Captain Simon Harruck and Mitchell’s own protegee Captain Fred Warris trying to undermine Mitchell’s control, Mitchell fights to keep his cool under pressure and to keep pressing forward with his mission.

For the most part, I liked this book but I would liked to have see more character development in the Ghost Leader and other characters in this book. However, it did do a very good job at being able to keep one on the edge of their seat, turning page after page. Although the novels are based on the Ghost Recon games, the novel has its own plot but it does share similar aspects with the game campaigns.

Besides the Army acronyms and such that are sometimes used, this novel still provides some of that raw grit and heart stopping action that war novels never lack.

“This is not the war you expected. This will never be the war you expected.”

(4 out of 5)

~ SynysterShadows

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bookish Beaus #1

Bookish Beaus

So we all have those characters that we nurse a soft spot for. Whether they be the love interest or have a 5 second appearance, they're there and we love them for it. HERE ARE MY MEN:

1. Fang from Maximum Ride

Fang is your typical dark haired, mysterious bad boy love interest. Although cliche, Fang’s witty  and sarcastic lines when he does choose to speak have a reader laughing when he decides to open his mouth. Not to mention he has wings and plays a mean harmonica.

2. Patch from Hush, Hush
Yet another dark haired, mysterious bad boy with a dark past. Mystery and bad asses tend to be a trend apparently. The plus side though is he speaks more than Fang does. His dialogue, although suggestive, bring humor to the usual tense atmosphere.

3. Tariq from A Thousand Splendid Suns
Oh the classic childhood best friend turned lover. His tough act around Laila makes a reader want to laugh because he’s trying hard to impress her. Not to mention he travels thousands of miles many years afterwards just to see her again when they get separated.

4. Taylor Ambrose from My Sister’s Keeper
First things first, the guy that played him in the movie was pretty cute, bald or not. Second thing, he saw past the cancer to the girl that Kate really was. His caring personality and gentle gestures show that he really cares for her.

5. The infamous Edward Cullen and Jacob Black from Twilight
Let’s get things straight: Yes, I like Twilight but I’m the farthest thing from a Twihard. I just happen to like the series. ANYWAYS, the infamous Cullen or Black debate. It’s a tie between them in my eyes. Stalker characteristics aside, Edward does care for Bella even if his care can sometimes cross the is-clingy-and-sometimes-over dramatic-about-his-love-for-her line.  Now Jacob is also awesome because he wanted to make sure Edward didn’t hurt Bella again even if he tried to steal Bella from Edward. And fell in love with their child. BUT THAT DOESN’T DIMINISH THE FACT THAT HE CARES FOR HER. Not to mention that he was probably a better choice than Edward, but...

Consider yourself tagged.

Waiting on Wednesday (5/25/11): Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

For my first Waiting on Wednesday post, I have picked... (drumroll)

Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Publication date: ~July 19th, 2011 (MTV Books)

From Amazon:

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions—it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment? 

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

- Tabbyc

Monday, May 16, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Publication date: May 10, 2011 (Penguin)
Gus Sweet’s job keeps him busy reinventing local restaurants. His daughter Mclean on the other hand, is busy reinventing herself.

Sarah Dessen’s newest novel What Happened to Goodbye is Mm-Mm-Good to the last drop - warts and all. A public divorce having torn her family apart, Mclean chooses to tag along with her father as he moves from here to there flipping restaurants. Four towns in two years and they all know Mclean as an entirely different person. Once they reach Lakeview, however, she finds herself showing her true colors.

The budding romance between the main character and the boy next door is more of an added bonus. What Happened to Goodbye focuses mainly on the drama and such within the Sweet family, but the heaviness manages not to smother you. I laughed, in fact. It’s the perfect realistic fiction recipe.

It’s so easy to relate and fall in love with Sarah’s whimsical characters, so I’m loving how she has on more than one occasion pulled our old acquaintances into the new books. While not an all time favorite (see Along for the Ride), it definitely does not disappoint and should be given a chance from fans new and old.

"After all these years of just passing through, I was beginning to finally feel at home."

(4.5 out of 5)

- Tabbyc

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush #1)

Publication date: October 13, 2009 (Simon & Schuster)

At first glance, this book may seem like another Twilight. Being a fan of the Twilight series, when I read the blurb and the first couple of pages, I was strongly reminded of Twilight. A mythological creature, or in this case, a biblical creature, arrives at a regular school and starts talking to a normal, human girl. But as you read on, Hush, Hush shows that it is not just a Twilight look alike.
Fallen angel Patch arrives at a small school in Portland where he has Biology class with human girl Nora Grey. Very much like in Twilight with Edward and Bella, Patch begins to not so subtly flirt with the unsuspecting Nora. She finds herself being drawn to him for a reason unknown to her. Cue entrance of cute human boy. Nora finds herself in the middle of a love triangle. While in the middle of her teenage conundrum, she also finds that she is being followed and targeted by someone. Trying to figure out the mystery of her attacker, Nora is also trying to solve the mystery that is Patch.
One of the problems I had with the book was with how quickly it delved into building a relationship between Patch and Nora. While in the end Fitzpatrick makes it work, it was a bit odd that she would introduce the love interest in the first chapter..Other than that the other problems were more like pet peeves.
The fast pace movement of the plot had me turning page after page. Fitzpatrick certainly knows how to keep a reader interested and wanting to read the next installment in this series.

"One more secret smile. One more shared laugh. One more electric kiss. Finding him was like finding someone I didn't know I was searching for."

(4 out of 5)

~ SynysterShadows