Friday, 24 April 2009

Review - Jessica Darling

Sloppy Firsts & Second Helpings - Megan McCafferty

Description - These two books are the first in series of five following the adventures of Jessica Darling.

In Sloppy Firsts Jesscia is 16, hyper smart and analytical and traumatized by her best friend Hope's departure to Tennessee. Through diary entries we see her battle her way through a year of confusion and angst.

Second Helpings continues Jessica's high school struggle and and takes us to the end of her senior year. With lots of introspection over boys, friends, sex, writing, college choices and who exactly she is and wants to be.

Review - I picked up Sloppy First because a lot of people have been getting very excited about the fifth and final book coming out and the title made me laugh.

I wanted to love them more then I did.

I liked Jessica, she's funny and sarcastic and full of angst despite having nothing, really, to be angsty about. She's the kind of character I normally adore. But although she made me laugh out loud, a lot, at other times I did want to shut the book on her.

My favourite parts were Jessica's encounters with Marcus Flutie (or MARCUS FLUTIE, as she would say). He's such a great character, I am a sucker for reformed bad boys though, and I loved the t-shirts and the poems. I'm hoping he has more page time in the next three books.

I also liked the secondary characters especially Bridget, Pepe and Jesscia's Mom and Grandma.

I much preferred Second Helpings to Sloppy First so I'm hoping the books keep getting better. I'll let you know.



Thursday, 23 April 2009

Review - Tap & Gown

Review - Tap & Gown Diana Peterfreund


If you haven't read the first three book in the series, go and buy them, read them and then come back. This review contains spoilers and you really don't want the first three books spoiled, trust me.



******Spoilers for Secret Society Girl, Under the Rose and Rites of(spring) break******





If you're still here, I'm sure you're dying to know what happened after Amy told Poe she was, "really sick of secrets".

Well...I'm not telling. What I will say is this-


The knights of Rose and Grave are graduating, so much of the book centres around their search for replacements and it's fun to see the Tap process from the inside.

The search for taps means that quite a few new characters are introduced and some of my favourites got less page time than I'd have liked.

Having said that, Diana does do a great job of tying up everyone's loose ends and making the new characters interesting and well rounded. If she gets tired of killer Unicorns there's definitely a place for the adventures of the new R&G knights.

Amy is still a utterly engaging and likable narrator. I love her asides and her lists and her general attitude.

The book is as fast paced as the previous three and the dialogue, especially between Amy and Jamie, sparkles.

Tap & Gown is a great conclusion to the series. It's a little darker than the pervious three books. I know that sounds strange as Amy got kidnapped in ROSB but to me it just was.

So to conclude, it made me laugh and cry (twice) and took me back to my own final days at University. The sadness, the excitement and the sheer overwhelmingness of deciding what to do next are really captured here.


Just one tiny spoiler. Poe drinks Gimlets, could I love him more?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Teaser Tuesdays - Audrey Wait!

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TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

* Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

I work at an ice cream shop - excuse me, shoppe - at the mall. That in itself is not so bad, except for three things: (1) I hate the mall; (2) I hate all the customers; (3) I'm forced to wear a bright pink hat and t-shirt that say . . . are you ready for this?
Scooper Dooper.


Audrey Wait! Robin Benway

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sunday Salon - Reading Roudup

It's been a good two weeks for reading not so great for reviewing.

If you look at the side bar you'll see it's 1 month until Tap & Gown by Diana Peterfreund hits the shelves. Which means if you haven't read the first three yet (and why haven't you? I keep telling you how good it is) you still have time to go and get hooked on Amy & Co's adventures.

I meant to post the review today, to coincidence, but it is proving tricky to write without spoilers. I SO want to talk about this book and no one I knows read it yet.

This week I read:

Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

It's actually better than Something, Maybe.

Sloppy First and Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

I'm not entirely in love with this series but there is definitely something about Jessica Darling (and Marcus Flutie) that makes me want to read the next three.

Audrey Wait! by Robin Benway

Loved it! It's so cute and funny and has lots of music references.

The Yummy Mummy's Survival Guide by Liz Fraser

The funniest take on pregnancy I've read so far.

I've just started Stealing Heaven (I'm having an Elizabeth Scott marathon) and I really want Twenty Boy Summer and Shadowed Summer. And I plan to write three reviews this week, so come back.

What have you been reading?







Thursday, 16 April 2009

BTT - Windfall

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Yesterday, April 15th, was Tax Day here in the U.S., which means lots of lucky people will get refunds of over-paid taxes.

Whether you’re one of them or not, what would you spend an unexpected windfall on? Say … $50? How about $500?

(And, this is a reading meme, so by rights the answer should be book-related, but hey, feel free to go wild and splurge on anything you like.)


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!



Well I would buy my TBR list, which grows by the day. Then if I had enough left (which is doubtful) I'd get this bookcase. I just love it!

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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Book Review Something, Maybe - Elizabeth Scott

Something, Maybe - Elizabeth Scott

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Description:
Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showing pretty girls--and his "party" lifestyle--all over the Internet, and her mom, who was once one of her dad's girlfriends, is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for far too long, Hannah has learned how to stay out of sight...and that's how she likes it.

Of course, being unknown isn't helping her get noticed by gorgeous, confident Josh, who Hannah knows is her soul mate. Between trying to figure out a way to get him to notice her, dealing with her parents, and wondering why she can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn, Hannah feels like she's going crazy. She's determined to make things work out the way she wants....only what she wants may not be what she needs.



Review: I adored this book. The title made me pick it up (it reminded me of the Oasis song) and the first line "Everyone's seen my Mother naked" hooked me.

Elizabeth Scott is one of those writers who makes it seem effortless. The story whips along, but the characters, their motivations and backstories are built up in a way that never seems forced or causes the story to lose momentum.


I liked Hannah, a lot. She's smart and sarcastic but vulnerable and a bit blind about the people around her too. Her family situation and her biting sarcasm make for some laugh out loud moments. But there's a depth too and her relationship with her Dad and some of the truths that she had to face were emotional to read about. I was really rooting for her by the end.


Being the romantic that I am, the love triangle between Hannah and her co-workers Josh and Finn, was my favourite element. It's obvious who Hannah, will, and should, end up with from early on in the book. But the way everything is played out is so adorable I didn't mind at all.

If you've read Something, Maybe leave me a comment and I'll link to you. Or better yet go and leave Elizabeth Scott a comment HERE and be entered to win some amazing books.


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Tuesday Teasers - Something, Maybe

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TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

* Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

"Oh. Well, you, um. . .you know what they say about big feet," he says, and then blushes. It's the one thing he does that's almost endearing. Almost.

"Yes. No brain," I say, and he blushes more.


Something, Maybe - Elizabeth Scott



For more teasers visit Should be Reading

Monday, 6 April 2009

Book Review Saving Francesca

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Description: Francesca battles her mother, Mia, constantly over what’s best for her. All Francesca wants is her old friends and her old school, but instead Mia sends her to St. Sebastian’s, an all-boys’ school that has just opened its doors to girls. Now Francesca’s surrounded by hundreds of boys, with only a few other girls for company. All of them weirdos—or worse.

Then one day, Mia is too depressed to get out of bed. One day turns into months, and as her family begins to fall apart, Francesca realizes that without her mother’s high spirits, she hardly knows who she is. But she doesn’t yet realize that she’s more like Mia than she thinks. With a little unlikely help from St. Sebastian’s, she just might be able to save her family, her friends, and—especially—herself. (From Goodreads)

Review: I completely fell in love with this book. As soon as I finished, I went on Amazon and bought it. I know I'll read it many more times and each time probably find something new to appreciate between it's covers.

I got it out the library because Ana of Young Adult Romance Reviews posted this quote in her Hot Moments series.

>em>Will Trombal sees me from the other side of the room and he grins and he makes a beeline for me and my mind is buzzing with the best opening.

Hi.
Hey.
How's it going?
Great party.
Love your shirt.
Great music.
Crap music.

And he's coming closer and closer and the way he's looking at me makes me think that I'm going to have the most romantic night in the history of my life. I open my mouth to say something and he sticks his tongue down my throat.

We're in a corner, pashing, and I don't even know what's got me to this point. A look in a corridor? A flirt outside my nonna's house? All I know is that no one exists around us. I don't know whether we're kissing for five minutes or five hours and my mouth feels bruised, but I can't let go. Because it feels so good to be held...Will's arms tremble as they hold me and his heart beats hard against me and I know that whatever I'm feeling is mutual. For a moment I taste the alcohol on his breath, and it brings me back to reality.

"Do that sober and I'll be impressed," I say before walking away.

Not only hot but intriguing too. The contrast between how he kisses her and the fact that he's trembling had me interested. I wanted to know what was going on between these two. I also loved Francesca's parting line. I thought she was a character I'd enjoy and I was right.

I'm hard pressed to say exactly why I love this book so much. I could make a list; the writing is brilliant, I liked Francesca's voice and her search for who she is, I liked her almost romance with Will, her friends and family are realistic and funny, the subject of depression is well handled, it was nice to see a family that actually cared about each other and liked each other, the reader is allowed to draw their own conclusions about things, it's both funny and sad and romantic.

All the above made me love the book but there is something else too, that certain magic that the best books have.

So I highly recommend you read it and if you have read it leave me a comment and I'll link to you.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sunday Salon - March Round Up and BEDA

I read twelve books in March and reviewed one properly and six very briefly. Which is pretty pathetic, even by my standards.

And it's not as if they were books I didn't like. I read some fabulous books. I really want to talk about them. I could use the excuse that I'm pregnant and trying to write a book but really I'm just lazy!

I did contemplate joining in BEDA (Blog Every Day April) organized by the very cool and very funny Maureen Johnson. Whose blog I found by accident but got hooked on when I read her description of Noel Edmonds,

The host of the UK version is a man named Noel Edmonds, an even-voiced bearded man with a gift for inducing low-level, unending tension. He’s sort of a cross between everyone’s favorite uncle, the nice one who knows how to tell the best stories, and a serial killer, one who’s extremely good at luring victims with his friendly demeanor and then chops them to bits while humming along with classical music on the radio.

That captures perfectly the man I grew up watching on Saturday night TV.

Anyway I considered jumping on the bandwagon of BEDA. I'm a bog fan of bandwagons and many of my favourite bloggers are doing it. But I knew I would fail. I'm pregnant and lazy remember?

So I set my own (more manageable) April challenge. Two reviews a week. So books you can look forward to seeing featured here in the coming month include;

Tap and Gown by Diana Peterfreund

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Fade by Lisa McMann

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

And whatever else I read this month, along with Tuesday Teasers and BTT.

And although I missed Weekly Geeks this month. If you have reviewed any of the same books as me leave a comment and I'll add a link (eventually).

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