Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding On
Keep Holding On
Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: 4.5 Stars!
Chew. Swallow.

Chew. Swallow.

Don’t look up.

Lunch is the worst, but there’s no safe place at school for Noelle. Keeping her mortifying home life a secret and trying to ignore the kids who make her life miserable are Noelle’s survival strategies. Her emotionally distant boyfriend, Matt, isn’t the one she really wants to be with. But there’s no way she could ever be with Julian Porter.
When Julian starts talking to her, Noelle is terrified. It seems safer to stay with Matt than risk a broken heart. But when the bullying of a friend goes too far, Noelle realizes it’s time to stand up for herself—and for everything that makes her keep holding on.

This book broke my heart in a hundred and sixty-five different ways. It’s the first book I’ve read that’s shown the emotional and the physical effects of bullying and it really got to me.

Noelle is constantly bullied at her school. Whether it’s because of the outfit she wore that day or the sandwich she packed, there’s always this punk ass kid, Warner, there to make her feel like crap. She’d much rather avoid lunchtime humiliation and I can attest that when you have no friends in your lunch period, the bathroom seems like a good option. And that’s where Noelle finds herself, avoiding the cafeteria and eating her lettuce sammie in the girl’s room. *insert sniffle*

But then good ol’Simon Bruckner comes along! And he invites her to join the school’s literary magazine, which they’d have to work on during the lunch period. HUZZAH! An offer Noelle can’t pass up! I saw Simon as a Godsend and I think Noelle did too! He’s just this super nice kid and I personally loved him and his skinny ties! :P

Considering that Noelle bypasses the lunchroom you’d think she’d be in the clear right? Wrong. Warner wasn’t the worst of her problems, there’s also a witch named Carly. And she threatens/verbally attacks Noelle almost on a daily basis. Oh my gosh. I wanted to reach through the pages and strangle her. She was terrible.

The underlying problem for Noelle is that she’s living in this community where everyone is extremely wealthy and she’s very low class. She can’t afford healthy food, “stylish clothes” or even feminine products.  She uses a crate as a nightstand, and she’s lucky if she sneaks a shower in the morning or if her laundry gets done. She’s embarrassed by all of this, so she tries to hide it from everyone, even her best friend. Oh! And she also has an absolutely horrific mother. For some reason I just can’t deal with mom’s who neglect their kids. At home, Noelle is basically invisible unless her mom wants to go off on some kind of tangent. I will not accept this. *insert chest pains*

Thank heavens for her best friend, Sherae, though! Even if it took awhile for Noelle to open up to Sherae, she eventually did. Sherae was there to pick up some of the pieces and was just a really good friend. (I very much would like to go over to her house for some chocolate cake.)

Throughout the book there’s also this adorably nice boy named Julian. *sighs* He’s the sweetest little thing. He was always giving Noelle compliments or talking to her about things she loves, and night...he calls her and asks her out! Problem is, she’s sorta secretly seeing a douche-tool named, Matt. UGH. That was the suckiest relationship in the history of ever. For multiple reasons. Thank goodness it ended.

After her fall out with Matt comes a turning point the story. A scene where a couple of girls ambush Noelle at the bus stop and shoot paintballs at her.  It was so painful to read. Not only because she actually got attacked but because she actually thought the guns were real. She didn’t even attempt to run.  She didn’t even try to fight for her life in that moment. Giving up would’ve been easier. *insert MASSIVE tears here*

THIS POOR GIRL. I don’t want to give too much else away except that something major happens to someone Noelle knows and it kind of changes her whole perspective. She learns that she needs to stand up not only for herself but for other people who are bullied as well.

By the end of the book she also learns that keeping people at a distance isn’t the best way to live and she finally let’s Julian into her life.  He is perfection. He’s passionate about the things he loves, he’s considerate of other people and he gives Noelle a second chance. HEARTS, HEARTS, HEARTS. I heart him.

Overall, Keeping Holding On is a powerful story about never giving up and learning to stand up for yourself. With loveable characters, deep-rooted issues and a bit of romance, this book packs an emotional punch! I definitely recommend it!

“I wish emotional bruises healed like physical ones.” 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Since it just came out this week and since it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, I'm going to be giving away an ARC copy of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver! 

Guys. This book. You must read it. The ending?! Phenomenal! Not convinced? Check out my review here!

To enter fill out THIS FORM! Good luck!

Day and Junebug Interview: PART I

Legend (Legend, #1)

Guys! Guys. Guys. I have an EXtremely special treat for you today! I had the HONOR and privilege of interviewing two of the most kick-ass characters to ever exist: DAY AND EFFIN' JUNE FROM LEGEND! After they agreed to an interview i proceed to pee myself and then pass out. And after talking to them i decided that i'm officially in love with them. *sighs* They are cool. Ehem...anywho, let's get on with the interview shall we?

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! EEEEEP! Holy snap. Day & June! I LOVE YOU BOTH SO MUCH! SQUEEEE! Ehem...I mean...thanks for stopping by.

Day: Thanks for having us, sweetheart.

Brooke: *melts* 

June: The pleasure is all ours!

How do you guys feel about having your story out in the world?

Day: Kinda uncomfortable, to be honest. Don’t want everyone knowing my identity now, do I?

June: Oh, come now. You know you like it.

Day, I’ve heard some people referring to you as a “Legend.” How do you feel about that? (Aaaand what if I told you that one of those people just so happened to be our very own Junebug?)

Day: Really? She said that? (turns to June) You said that?

June: I said no such thing.

Brooke: *coughs* I have it in print.... *coughs*

Serious question Day, would you ever let June braid your hair? Or, like, put beads in it or something?

Day: She can do whatever the hell she likes to my hair. Maybe no beads, though. They make too much noise.

June! Wouldn’t you totally want to braid Day’s hair!? *sighs* He’s got nice hair...

June: I don’t see how this relates to anything. It seems irrelevant.

Day: You got to admit, I do have pretty nice hair.

All-right, all-right, I'll braid his hair then! But let's get back to the really important stuff...

So, June. Day’s a pretty good kisser, yeah? ;)

June: Again, irrelevant.

Day: If you look closely at her, you can see her blushing.

While you're already blushing, do you have any fictional crushes Junebug?

June: Well, if I could choose amongst the fiction in your world, I would be attracted to Sherlock Holmes. Such an eye for detail!

Day: I don’t see what’s so great about him. He’s old, and has a weird hat.

How about you, Day? Any lucky ladies you’re dying to flirt with from another book?

Day: I’d love to try my luck with Karou, from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Too bad her boyfriend can probably kill me with his freaky eyes.

Okay, okay, enough of the mushy stuff! Weapon of Choice?

Day: Knives! Silent and easy to carry. Plus, the Republic can’t track them like they track guns. Pretty sweet, yeah?

Brooke: *sighs dreamily* yeah....

June: I can be a fairly good shot with a gun, although I prefer not to use it.

June, what’s it like to be in a Skiz fight?!

June: The fight itself wasn’t terribly difficult, but it’s the crowd you have to be careful with. I was a little reckless that day, although I don’t regret it.

Day, why don’t you fight in Skiz yourself?

Day: Too dangerous for both Tess and me—if the street police break up a Skiz fight and I get fingerprinted, they’ll know who I am. Besides, I’m a runner. Not a fighter.

Guys, what exactly is Kivaball? Either of you ever play it?

June: Kivaball is played between two people who are each against a wall, and each suspended in midair with harnesses. Both have rackets. You hit a ball back and forth in an attempt to get it past your opponent. It’s a fairly common game at my university.

Brooke: O_O Oh my gosh. That sounds intense. But totally fun!

Day: Rich folks’ sport. I prefer street hockey.

Or what do you guys like to do for fun?  Draw? Sing? Dance like Michael Jackson? Do you even have time for fun?

Day: I could spend all day running buildings. I’m also a pretty good dancer, darling, now that you bring it up.

June: I enjoy puzzle games. The Republic has some great simulation engines—I like going into virtual puzzles and then finding my way back out.

Brooke: Day dancing?! *SWOON*

GUYS. Aren't they fricken awesome?! Be sure to come back ON THURSDAY for part II with Day and June and a GIVEAWAY!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

700 Followers Giveaway: THE WINNERS

I am SO extremely happy that I left a blank comment section on this giveaway form! You guys are HIGHLY entertaining! Somebody gave me a “virtual-kitten-purr-hug” which I have never heard of before but I enjoyed it thoroughly, so thank you! Somebody else gave me an actual virtual high-five (see proof here!). I also had multiple claims that people already are or are now stalking me (I approve.) and let me not forget the handful of people who declared their undying love for me. I assure you, the feeling is mutual!

Also, a quick thank you to the person who gifted me a pool full of chocolate fondue! That should be a fun time!

The greatest compliment I got though was when somebody said they’d recruit me to organize a hot fictional boys stalk tour. I’m not exactly sure what that is...but I’m down! COUNT ME IN! :P

So I’m sure you just want to know the winners...fine, they are!

First place with the choice of two books:
Morgan P! 
And I gained an additional 25 followers during the giveaway so I added another winner! HooRAH!! Second place winner: 
Samantha @ Papercuts! 

 Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you so much for following! I loves yous!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 445
Team: Ben Michaels
Rating: 4 Stars! 
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life. 

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process. 

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.~Goodreads

Unraveling is an awesome debut that I really enjoyed! The main character, Janelle, is one tough chick! Not in a kick-ass-blade-swishing-bullet-blazing kind of way but more in a take-care-of-business-protect-those-she-loves kind of way. She’s very unselfish and she puts her baby brother, Jared, (who’s actually a technically I could still date him...hmm) before herself multiple times and I really admired that about her. Janelle and Jared’s home life isn’t exactly the best either. With their mom being bi-polar and their dad being part of the FBI, Janelle and Jared kind of have to fend for themselves. Their relationship is one of the strongest/cutest brother/sister relationships I’ve ever read about! Just the little moments between them, like Janelle fluffing his hair or asking if he was hungry, were my favorites!

At the very beginning of the novel Janelle is kind of just going through the motions—taking care of her brother, working as a lifeguard and sorta dating a boy she’s not even that in to. And then BAM! She gets hit by a truck. No—seriously, she does. And the first person she sees when she opens her eyes is Mr. Ben Michaels. *swoon*

Ben is the bad-boy/rebel/outcast who hangs out with other stoners at Janelle’s school. But something about him is…off. So Janelle becomes obsessed with figuring out who Ben Michaels is and I enjoyed every second of it! They were angsty and adorable. I mean how cute is it that he hacks into the school’s database to switch around her schedule so she gets into the classes she wants!? Pretty cute!

So Janelle and Ben team up and try to figure out this MAJOR thing that’s going on throughout the whole story. Oh yeah, and they only have a certain amount of time to solve the problem before WAVE FUNCTION COLLAPSE! (To find out what Wave Function Collapse is, please visit your local Interverse Agency or pick up Unraveling in April.)

Overall, Unraveling is a fast paced Sci-fi/ end of the world romance mash-up that’ll keep you on edge until the last possible paragraph! And with an ending like THAT...i'm hoping for a sequel!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Hunt

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 
 Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“I think we can trust him. I think he has goodness in him.”
“Excuse me while I barf in my mouth.” 

Dudes. This book was insanely good. It was so intense. SO INTENSE. EEEP! You need to read it when it comes out. That is all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine! And this week i am waiting on:

15 year old Tiger Lily, proud and fierce, wild and misunderstood, doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland, and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, big-hearted but hard to reach, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily.

Soon, she is risking everything - her family, her future - to be with the haunted, hunted, courageous boy who loves her. When - as a punishment for her rebellious ways - she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of PEACHES comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.~Goodreads

I am stunned utterly speechless by that synopsis.............

I cannot coherently form a sentence telling you how much I want this book. I am desiring it desperately. I think that’s the closest I can get to explaining my need for it.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)
Hallowed (Unearthly #2)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 403
Rating: 5 Stars!
For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.
Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.~Goodreads
TEAM TUCKER! Ehem...I mean.....TEAM TUCKER!!! Okay, I guess that is what I mean.

Guys, this book. THIS BOOK. It broke my heart. I laughed, I swooned, and I squeed but....I also got my heart stomped on, my hopes crushed and tear stains on my copy.

This series is one of my absolute favorites. I can NOT even begin to describe to you how much I love it. I just dooooo! And this sequel did NOT let me down. Cynthia Hand delivers again with an incredible story and amazing characters!

You guys! Hallowed was one huge emotional rollercoaster. WAH! There was this one part...oh my gosh...INSTANT TEARS! *sniffs* Did I mention the condition of my heart during this one? Broken...into sixty five thousand pieces.

In this installment there's also a whole bunch of Christian, and don’t get me wrong, I liked learning more about him. I think he’s a great person, and a wonderful friend to Clara. Key word being FRIEND. That’s it. Nothing more, maybe something a little less... :P

But I’m just one hundred and fifty seven hundred percent Team Tuck. Forever and always. I fell SUPER HARD for him in Unearthly and he’s perfection to me. He’s hilarious and sweet and respectful and sexy and *huffs* I want to marry him! He deserves someone who can treat him right, and I believe that would be me! My only complaint about this book is that there was not nearly enough of my adorable Avery!

One thing I’m super curious about is what’s going on with Jeffery! I felt so bad for him in this one! That POOR KID! WHY CAN’T WE JUST REACH THROUGH THE PAGES AND HUG OUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS?!

As for the took me by total surprise! I was not expecting the story to take the turn that it did. D:  

But ANYWAY! I’m anxiously awaiting/slightly dreading the final book in this series. Oh, god! I am going to bawl my eyes out!! My Tucker better get his Carrots! ;)

By the way, if you haven’t picked up this series yet, WHAT THE EFF ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!!?

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: R.L. LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 509
Rating: 5 Scintillating Stars!
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? 

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?~Goodreads

I think what made this book so incredible was it’s insanely strong lead, Ismae. She goes from being this weak insignificant girl at the beginning of the book to this tough powerful woman by the middle of it. And with a little help from the local Herbwitch, Ismae is able to escape her original fate.

Once she arrives at the convent of St. Mortain the story really takes off! I loved reading about her time there! Not only does she learn martial arts and royal family history and how to use a dagger and mix poisons and ride horses and seduce men and then kill them...she becomes apart of something bigger than herself, she becomes a daughter of Death; the ultimate assassin. How bomb is that?!

At the convent, Ismae trains while she waits for her first mission; who she has to kill and the where and how she has to kill them. I thought I would feel some kind of remorse for those Ismae basically slaughtered, but I didn’t. Her perspective was so incredible that I couldn’t help but see the way she took someone out as an art form. It was that awesome.

But when it comes to who she executes, all Ismae has to go on is blind faith. She does as the convent tells her, no questions asked, and she believes that it’s what has to be done for the greater good. But when a certain nobleman disputes with her on the matter, she starts to question everything she’s been taught to believe.

Gavriel Duval....wounded son of the deceased Duke, protective older brother of the Duchess, and charming bachelor of the court. This man is damn near perfect. When he first enters the story he’s very headstrong and has an attitude that slightly repels Ismae, but alas they have to work together. They’re both very secretive and they’re both take-no-bull type of characters which causes disagreements to ensue. Their witty banter and teasing is adorable, their combat skills are top-notch annnnd their scars are sexy...soo they're pretty much perfect for each other! And once Ismae gets to know Duval she comes to understand why he acts the way he does, what he cherishes and values most. He’s so completely compassionate it’s practically impossible not to fall for him.

*sighs* The romance that takes place in this’s seriously breathtaking. It builds and builds and builds so tantalizingly slow that by the time Ismae and her glorious love interest were alone...I was practically drooling in anticipation. Oh my goodness gracious! I have never read a book in which a simple ankle touch could be so damn sexy. Hot damn...there’s this one scene in which Gavriel is stitching up one of Ismae’s wounds and...whoa. He says all the right things, touches her in all the right I may or may not have reread it multiple times...

To add even more intrigue to the story insert a creepy messenger bird, a diabolical suitor, a poisoned lover, a battle, a visit from Death himself and a powerful kiss and you get one fantastic tale. This stunning debut is one that you have to experience for yourself! I highly, highly recommend it, even if you’re not a historical fiction fan, it’s so worth the read! Thank heavens or...Death...that it’s a trilogy!! PICK IT UP WHEN IT COMES OUT IN APRIL!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

♥ "My Wings Are Sexier Than Yours" ~Team Daniel ♥

So you may or may not know that this month is a very special month.... cuz of that one holiday that makes everyone go all crazy for chocolates and hearts? Yep, i'm talking about Valentine's Day! And what better way to celebrate than involving some sexy fictional boys, right?! Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries and Lisa from Read Me Book Mark Me Love Me have come up with the most incredible event ever! With tons of character interviews, author extras, contests and goodies to be given out...the event it pretty epic! To find out more about all of the awesome things going down during the event, click the banner below!

Now, for the most important thing that's going on during this: THE FICTIONAL BOY BATTLES! The ultimate smack-down to find out which boy is better for a certain lady! And OF COURSE, when a swoon-worthy fictional boy is in need of some pimpin'...i come runnin'! So, for the Love Triangle Debates, i had the honor of defending Mr. Daniel Grigori when he was put up against Cam Briel from Lauren Kate's Fallen series!

You can read my defense down below or over on Brodie's blog! And once you read the defense, don't forget to VOTE! Initiate drooling in 3....2.....1....


Daniel Grigori might seem aloof and distant at times, but underneath his leather jackets and ripped up Tee’s, he’s literally, yes literally, an angel.

So what makes Daniel Grigori the right corner of the triangle for Luce to pick?

Well there's this: 
(Tell me you wouldn’t want to run your fingers through his perfectly tousled hair!? I mean look at it! UNF! And those lips?! Yowza!)

ANNNNNNND there's also this: 

Ooh, yeah. 

Ehem, right...abs aside, Mr. Daniel Grigori is a perfect gentleman. He is an angel after all! Like, legit. He has wings and everything. And his wings happen to be HUGE! (You know what they say about big wings right? *wink*) Annywho, they're blindly gorgeous, like fresh fallen snow, and super soft and shimmery and he’ll cuddle you right up into them. Daniel also likes to take Luce on breath-taking dates. So he flys. In the sky. At night. When there are romantical stars shining and twinkling! How amazing is that!? I do believe the only date a certain someone (*cough, Cam, cough*) has taken her on was to a bar. Or restaurant or some other totally mundane place! Lame.  

Daniel is also mysterious & alluring, he keeps Luce on her toes. He doesn't come onto her like you-know-you, he doesn't pester her, threaten her, corner her, or try to intimidate her in anyway. He's kinda just...there; always waiting for Luce to need him. He'd really do anything for her. And that includes being tatted up and beaten down. If that doesn't score him some points....then go look at that gif again. :P

Daniel, while looking rather good shirtless, also knows how to “dress to impress”.  I think that’s what makes this boy truly sexy, his style. He knows how to rock a pair of sunglasses, he looks damn good in a scarf & the he can pull off a pair of flip-flops! One day he’s in a sweater and the next a leather jacket, and he looks mind-blowingly hot in both! Oh, and don't forget about his black boots- yum! 

In all seriousness, Daniel has been around for centuries and he’s only ever been in love with Luce. They both madly and desperately love each other; so strongly that even hell can’t break their bond. If their not meant-to-be and if that’s not true love, then I don’t know what is! 

"I do all of these things," Daniel said, leaning into her so that their foreheads touched, "because you're my love, Lucinda. For me, you're all there is."