Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Sale Haul!

The next time you see a flyer for a local library book sale, I highly recommend you go check it out. Save money. Discover new things. R-E-C-Y-C-L-E. It might be a fight for all of the people if you don't have an idea of what you want, but there are cool things to be found even after it's been picked over. Hopefully. 


It's a Wonderful Life VHS
Apollo 13 VHS 
Just as I Am, the autobiography of Billy Graham 
email from God: for teens by Claire Cloninger 
Digital Photography- An Introduction by Tom Ang
The Selection by Kiera Cass 
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 
The Boxcar Children #1 by Gertrude Chandler Warner 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Volume 1 
The Jericho Sanction by Oliver North
Up Till Now, the autobiography by William Shatner (and David Fisher)

NOT pictured:

The Top 100 Pasta Sauces by Diane Seed 
Southern Living Annual 20th Anniversary Edition Cookbook 

All of that for $3! As in, total. Roughly 21 cent per item. Very cool. I'll be sharing most of these with friends and family because I am a kind person, and waiting none too patiently for next year's sale! 

- Rachel

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Something like Normal by Trish Doller

...chicks are naturally attracted to the scent of badass.

I HAVE READ SO MANY BAD BOOKS LATELY AND ABANDONED SO MANY BAD BOOKS HALFWAY THROUGH AND JUST. SIGH. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUR STANDARDS. Okay, they weren’t BAD. They had POTENTIAL. It’s just really clear that maybe there are some editors out there who have no business being editors? (or these authors had no editors to begin with) Whatever. It’s not my job to judg- oh. It literally is.

So, that’s why I haven’t read or posted much (anything) this year. Book slump. And life has been happening. And we both suck at blogging. Excuses, excuses. Anyway, I was kind of desperately searching through those little lists on Goodreads when I found

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Publication date: June 19, 2012 (Bloomsbury)

I know it’s “old,” but despite the thousands upon thousands of ratings/reviews, I haven’t heard anything about it. Ever. Maybe you guys haven’t either. So I’mma remedy that situation right now.

Picture it with me. Be intrigued. Swoon a little. It’s okay to be pulled in by the whole uniform thing. I don’t think we can actually help it.

Travis Stephenson spontaneously enlists in the Marine Corps after high school to escape the less than stellar relationship with his overbearing father. Though we don’t have much of an opportunity to get to know him pre-Afghanistan, the change in him is made fairly evident when he returns. Things at home have changed too, and not for the better. This is what a large portion of the book deals with, so the squee-inducing fluff-nugget of a cover is a bit misleading.

While Travis attempts to deal with the nightmares and grief on his own, (as an added bonus: enter cover) he starts spending some time with an old “friend” from middle school. It’s a rocky start - and a rocky middle - but she tries to understand him and is his only source of comfort in a world he feels undeserving of.

I’m extremely picky when it comes to books written from a male’s POV, and I’m happy (obvi) to report that I liked this one a lot. I appreciated the amount of research that was obviously put into it to accurately capture The Feels and the struggle of a soldier adjusting to life after loss and war. I was actually kind of mad when I reached the end. I wanted more, and I’m not going to lie, I cried. I laughed too. But I cried. The Fault in Our Stars didn’t even make me cry. I’m weird. Anyway, there’s a lot to take away from this book, but I’m not going to list them because I’m clearly not great at thought put-togethering, so you’ll just have to read it for yourself and judge me and my opinion of good literature.

I think this was a debut novel for Trish Doller, so I’m excited to take a look-see at her other works.

4.75 out of 5 (I KNOW. I have star issues. I can’t just throw them out willy nilly. Accept it.)

He was the person all of us should be, but most of us aren't. And if I could have taken his place to buy him a little more time in the world, I'd have done it. I'm sorry I couldn't.

P.P.S. Thanks to Yajaira for some of the random parenthetical additions.

- Rachel

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy #1) by Daria Snadowsky

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky 
Publication date: January 9, 2007 (Delacorte)

Dominique Baylor has never had a boyfriend. It’s her senior year of high school, and lo and behold, she runs into a very cute boy that catches her attention while attending a football game with her best friend, Amy. Wes and Dominique’s relationship quickly evolves from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend. Dominique is thrilled. And like a lot of teenage girls, within one month, she believes he is The One. And like some teenage girls, she allows a boy to change her.

Anatomy of a Boyfriend was a bit of an odd read in that it’s pretty realistic when it comes to sex and relationships. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in which it describes the awkwardness and fumbling that comes with having sex for the first time. It was also entertaining to see a teenage relationship portrayed so realistically (because let’s be real, a majority of girls believe their boyfriend is The One in one month max). Reading the whirlwind romance of Dominique and Wes was amusing to see, watching it quickly go from one step to the next.

But the book does have its faults. Dominique isn’t very dynamic, and her character is rather predictable. Amy also fills the expected role of sexual deviant best friend. Wes was a pleasant surprise in some of his actions and characteristics.

Overall, this book is a good read, and I’d certainly recommend it to YA lovers.

(3.75 out of 5)

~ Yajaira

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (5/7/14): Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

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

Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Expected publication date: September 23, 2014 

When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.
Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.

- Rachel

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (4/30/14): Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth

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

Four by Veronica Roth
Expected publication date: July 8, 2014

From Goodreads:

 Fans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by Four: A Divergent Story Collection, five short stories told from Four's perspective. Each brief story—"The Transfer," "The Initiate," "The Son," "The Traitor," and "Free Four"—explores the world of the Divergent series through the eyes of the mysterious but charismatic Tobias Eaton, revealing previously unknown facets of his personality, backstory, and relationships.
Numbers. Theo James. Cute scenes. Need I say more?

~ Yajaira

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling

Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling
Publication date: May 15, 2008 (Viking Juvenile)

So, Fancy White Trash. I picked out this book when I was ordering a few other ones from Barnes and Noble. The summary initially interested me (because who doesn’t like a good YA family drama-ish read every now and then?) and the title was entertaining.

Fancy White Trash brings the story of sixteen year old Abby Savage who is entering her sophomore year of high school with a set of rules to find her One True Love. She comes from the infamous Savage family, a family of all girls who are notorious for being, in Abby’s words, sluts. Abby is also forced to confront her feelings for her best friend’s older brother (and ex-boyfriend), Jackson, after he returns from a trip to Nicaragua.

I didn’t go into this with high expectations, but I wasn’t expecting it to be bad either. With that said, I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s an easy read if you’re looking for something light to read in between books, but it’s not something that will have you going to your friends and telling them, “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.” The plot is predictable, Abby doesn’t have much character development (her best friend Cody has more development than her but even then, rather flat), and the drama seems forced.

Boy, does it sound like I dislike this book.

Like I said before, if you’re looking for something to read in between really good books, I’d suggest this as it is a read that’s good enough to pass the time. I enjoyed it enough to finish it, but I was not completely riveted by it.

(3 out of 5)

~ Yajaira

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (4/16/14): No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

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

Expected publication date: December 9, 2014 (Harper Teen)

From Goodreads: 

Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.
When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.
Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

Glowing ARC reviews, North Carolina, and a boy named Will. Sweeeeeet ;) 

- Rachel

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In Honor of National Library Week

I stopped by my favorite library this week. Which should I review? 

Hush, Hush (#1) by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead
A World Away by Nancy Grossman
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell 
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver 

- Rachel

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Ain't Even Mad (Divergent trilogy)

The following opinion (this really isn’t a review) may contain spoilers for Divergent. Please proceed with caution even though I will try to avoid spoilers. Actually, it eludes to spoilers so yeah, be very cautious.

I’ve recently finished the Divergent trilogy and prior to reading it, I knew there were quite a few people out there who were not happy with how Allegiant ended. And then I ruined the ending for myself by reading reviews on the box set on the Barnes and Noble set because I’m dumb. Obviously I was surprised that Veronica Roth would even do something like that seeing as it’s something readers ever really see (and I have never read.) It did upset me initially, but I decided to move forward and still finish the trilogy because I couldn’t just leave a series unfinished.

And upon reading the ending, I both was and wasn’t upset.

I was upset in that Tobias just absolutely hurt my heart. His reaction made me want to cry and I was glad that Roth had given him such a realistic reaction especially considering all that he and Tris had gone through together. I was upset in how it ended, but ultimately, I understood.

So I wasn’t upset with Tris’ fate. She had spent essentially all three books struggling between the half of her that was Abnegation and her new found half that was Dauntless. She knew deep down inside she could never shake her Abnegation roots because that who she was, but she also knew she wasn’t entirely Abnegation. And sacrificing herself was ultimately a union of her personality: she was both selfless and brave.

So even though I wish it could’ve ended differently, I’m not mad at the direction that Roth took Allegiant even though quite a lot of people are upset.

What did you guys think of the ending?

~ Yajaira

Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Sale!

Hey, guys! I’ve recently run into the small problem of my bookshelf becoming too full, so I decided to try to get rid of some books. I’m selling these books for a little less than half of their retail value seeing as they’ve yellowed over time. Shipping will also be added on top of the price, but it shouldn’t be that high seeing as I will be using the USPS. If you’d like more information on a book, feel free to comment below or send an e-mail to me at

Books for sale:
It Happened To Nancy ($2)
The Color Purple ($3)
Finding Kate ($2)
Annie’s Baby ($2)
Jay’s Journal ($2)
Darkness Before Dawn ($2)
Prey ($3)
Tears of a Tiger ($3)
The Taking of Pelham 123 ($3)
Enrique’s Journey ($7)
The Burn Journals ($5)
The Lovely Bones ($5)

~ Yajaira