Saturday, October 8, 2011

So Near (Liza Gyllenhaal)

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Summary:


In the aftermath of a devastating loss, Cal and Jenny Horigan's marriage is unraveling. Both are plagued by guilt, unable to seek comfort from one another. Burdened by remorse, they begin to lose sight of the love that once anchored them-together with their sense of right and wrong.

As the Horigans try different ways to deal with their pain, a new acquaintance seems to offer the support they desperately need-though at times they are unsure whether his guidance is leading them back to each other or further apart...



My Thoughts:
This was a book for mothers and daughters alike. After I read it I just HAD to pass it on to my mom. The story was thoughtful and engaging. The only negative was the beginning. I was not drawn in right away but I became attached as soon as I was. The characters were all so much like people you meet in your everyday life. They could have easily been your next door neighbor. Due to this I felt an intense connection to this book, way more so than any book has done to me lately.

The writing style was easy to read and not distracting. I would recommend this book to all women.

Scores:
I give this a A and an adult rating.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Anti-Prom (Abby McDonald)

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Summary:


Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.

They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, ├╝ber-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.


Review:


This book was entertaining enough to be good, but too predictable to be great. Everyone has heard and experienced their fair share of high school drama, and this book really isn’t anything extraordinary. It was very well written, lots of excitement and “oh no” moments, and a heart-warming happy ending for the main characters. I would advise readers of 14/ 15+ to read this, but don’t get any bright ideas ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

18 Minutes (Peter Bregman)

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Summary:
Based upon his weekly Harvard Business Review columns (which is one of the most popular columns on HBR.com, receiving hundreds of thousands of unique page views a month), 18 MINUTES clearly shows how busy people can cut through all the daily clutter and distractions and find a way to focus on those key items which are truly the top priorities in our lives.

Bregman works from the premise that the best way to combat constant and distracting interruptions is to create productive distractions of one's own. Based upon a series of short bite-sized chapters, his approach allows us to safely navigate through the constant chatter of emails, text messages, phone calls, and endless meetings that prevent us from focusing our time on those things that are truly important to us.

Mixing first-person insights along with unique case studies, Bregman sprinkles his charming book with pathways which help guide us -- pathways that can get us on the right trail in 18 minutes or less.



My Thoughts:
I thought this was wonderful book and an asset to anyones nonfiction collection. We all have a hard time focusing and continue to procrastinate. I believe that this book can help you work through that. You will find yourself understanding why you have these issues and how to fix them upon completion of this book.

Scores:
I give this an A and an adult rating.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist

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What?

Lexi's feeling a little holidazed this winter....

Lexi's been going out with Cameron for way too long. Sure, he's a nice guy, but there's a spark missing between them. So she comes up with the perfect plan: get him to fall for another girl so she'll be free — and guilt-free, too.

But when Lexi sees Cameron looking awfully cozy with Jaylene, her heart melts, especially when her budding psychologist best friend tells her that once a new couple has gone out a dozen times, their relationship is pretty much set. Cameron's twelfth date with Jaylene — the Christmas Ball — is coming up. Can Lexi find a way to rekindle her relationship with Cameron in the (saint) nick of time?



Why?
It's getting to be that time! Let the holiday's begin!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Michelle Hodkin)

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Summary:


Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.


It can.


She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.


There is.


She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.


She's wrong.


Review:


YES! I enjoyed this book immensely! The way the author twisted this story and spun it up in just the right way to really make it unique, it was a stunning source of enjoyment. It’s absolutely topsy-turvy and demented and just incredible in every way. It gave me goose bumps and chills, and I have never read a book as excellently crafted as this one. I couldn’t put this book down, if I didn’t already own it I’d have it on pre-order! So followers, 14+ I hope you’ll enjoy this read as much as I did.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Must Monday

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What?
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend.

They power up and log on and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out



Why?
Two amazing authors. I loved meeting Jay, so any book he has a part in I will read!

When?
November 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Unforgettable

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I was luck enough to be a part of the blog tour for Loretta Ellsworth's newest book, Unforgettable. As my post I wanted to spotlight the many exciting things available to you involving this book.

First off, take a moment to see what this book is all about: http://www.lorettaellsworth.com/books/unforgettable1.html

You also have the oppurtunity to read some of the book online. You can do so here:

http://www.lorettaellsworth.com/pdf/Unforgettable_excerpt.pdf



Loretta has many visits planned. You can see those and the other blog tour stops:


http://www.lorettaellsworth.com/schedule/schedule1.html



Last but not least.... YOU have the chance to win a nook! That is a super fabulous prize! Look for the details in Loretta's journal:


http://www.lorettaellsworth.com/journal/


Look for a review of this book, this Friday.



Thanks to Loretta for the chance to participate in this blog tour!

The Lost Wife (Alyson Richman)

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Summary:


In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit- and the strength of memory.



My thoughts:
This was a beautiful book. Everything from the cover to the romance was fantastic. The cover was what drew me in originally and made me have to read it. The romance is what kept me going. The blossom of love in such a hateful time was alluring.

I have always had an interest in the Nazi's. The way they treated people has always boggled my mind. This was a very unique venture into the war. It wasn't a documentation of the hatred, it was a representation of love and life beyond.

My only problem with this book was how slow it felt to me. It was not a quick paced book by any means. I would still recommend anyone with an interest in romances read it!

Scores:
I give this book a B and adult rating.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

School Started

I just wanted to let y'all know I am back! I have a full course load this this term so I will be busy but I am back to reviewing. I just needed a week to get into the swing of things for school. So here come the reviews....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Circle Nine

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Summary:


She knows only Sam, a mysterious teenage boy. He is her sole companion; her whole life. She was born, already a teenager, lying outside a burning building in soot-stained clothes, remembering nothing, not even her name. He showed her the necklace she had on, the one that named her: Abby. Sam brought her to live in his cave-palace, where he gives her everything she needs. He loves her. He protects her from the world outside, from everyone who wants to hurt them, like the denizens of Circle Nine, Dante’s deepest circle of hell. But even in a charmed, brand-new life like Abby’s, change will come. Sam falls ill. A new girl comes to stay, and Abby begins to question Sam’s devotion. With doubt comes emotional turmoil, changes in perception, and glimpses of her past identity. In this courageous psychological thriller, Abby tells the story of living her new life and discovering her old one, while grappling with an ever-changing reality.


Review:


My, oh my, where to begin? I was not very impressed with the format of this book, it was very hard to follow considering no quotation marks were ever used. The story was even more confusing, but I suppose that was fitting in regard to how jumbled up the main character was. I liked it, but it was really disappointing because of the misfortunate lack of quotation, that right there took so much away from the story that it kept this book from being quite good. That being said, I’ll cut to the chase: 14+ and either a paperback or a library book.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Never Have I Ever (Sara Shepard)


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Summary:

My perfect life was a lie.

Now I’d do anything to uncover the truth.

Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for: amazing friends, an adorable boyfriend, a loving family. But none of them know that I’m gone—that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad.

And my killer is watching her every move.

I remember little from my life, just flashes and flickers, so all I can do is follow along as Emma tries to solve the mystery of my disappearance. But the deeper she digs, the more suspects she uncovers. It turns out my friends and I played a lot of games—games that ruined people’s lives. Anyone could want revenge . . . anyone could want me—and now Emma—dead.




My Thoughts:

I will admit that The Lying Game is a very addicting series, as is Pretty Little Liars. They are just starting to bug me. The books are so similar (which I will discuss in paragraph two, so spoilers ahead). They also take half a book to get entertaining and then leave you where you want more. Then you buy the next book and don't get the same pace the last book ended at.

SPOILERS HERE: I do not like that both of Sara's "big" series have twins as a main plot point. That was bad enough. Then we are given plot point that revolves around a cliff in both of her most recent books. I feel like ideas are being recycled.

Maybe I have no room to judge. I am one of the crazy fan girls who will continue to buy her books and continue to be annoyed. They are just too addicting to stop.

I recommend you read one sereis or the other. Not both. I give this a letter C and a 14+ rating.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Lady of the Butterflies



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Summary:


They say I'm mad and perhaps it's true.
It is well known that lust brings madness and desperation and ruin. But upon my oath, I never meant any harm. All I wanted was to be happy, to love and to be loved in return, and for my life to count for something.
That is not madness, is it?


So begins the story of Eleanor Glanville, the beautiful daughter of a seventeenth-century Puritan nobleman whose unconventional passions scandalized society. When butterflies were believed to be the souls of the dead, Eleanor's scientific study of them made her little better than a witch. But her life-set against a backdrop of war, betrayal, and sexual obsession-was that of a woman far ahead of her time.


Review:


This book absolutely and completely broke my heart. It starts off innocently enough, luring the reader just like a whimsical butterfly. A story so beautiful and happy, I could not resist falling in love with it. I felt, intimately, all the happiness and pain and unfathomable sorrow that Eleanor felt so that by the end of the book I was overwhelmed in tears at the heart wrenching truth that underlies and undermines the truest of loves and ultimately enough to destroy the heart of one’s soul. I love this book as passionately as I hate it because it is so base and raw that destroys the reader with the clarity that we all search for in life and that not many of us find. I will forever keep this book close to my heart as a reminder that you may never know the truth until it is upon you to drive you to madness.


I would rate this with my highest praises and an A+13/ A+14. I regard this book as my second favorite EVER.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Must Monday

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What?

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.



Why?
Don't tell me you don't think this sounds adorable?

When?
This book will be released September 29, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back from Texas

I am back from Texas today! Thanks to all who followed, emailed, or commented while I was away. I promise I will be getting back to you all as soon as possible!





Love you all! Thanks for all your support!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher)

So happy Hannah got the chance to read one of my favorite books! Here is what she had to say:




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Summary:



Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.



On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.



Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.



Review



Well Jay Asher, you’ve certainly made my list. My top 10 list that is, for the best reads of summer and here are a few of the reasons why:



1. Your style is the most unique I’ve ever seen. It makes everything so crisply significant when the entire book is dialogue. And the way you slid between Hannah and Clay was brilliant.



2. The way you incorporated the character of Hannah right from the beginning of the first tape, introducing her spunk and sarcasm. It pulled me in that she was such a loud presence but was silent most of the time as the story went on.



3. Your wording, the way you made her speak, I felt all of the passion, the sorrow, the deep pain that is instilled in all of us at some point. You made her relatable, and in doing so you made her utterly unforgettable.



4. The hardest part of this book for me was Clay. His pain tore through me as he pleaded and talked to Hannah as he listened to the tapes. Not many of the authors I’ve read have come anywhere near this kind of reality, there’s always that one little un-namable obstruction keeping them from jumping into the next dimension and somehow in this book, there was nothing. You transcended the realm of “I just went there” and you owned it.



Readers, I could go on and on so let me put it to you this way: Why are you still on the computer? If you are 14+ you should be on your way to the book store. NOW.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Near Witch (Victoria Schwab)


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Summary:


The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.


These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.


But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.


The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.


As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.


Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.


Review:


This book was fantastic! It was a really easy, very smooth read from beginning to finish. There really isn’t much I can criticize, just a lot of praise for this book. The characters were wonderfully created and the back stories were just long enough to give the reader what we needed. So all in all a great book and one I will be keeping on my shelf to read again and again. And to those who read my reviews I’d say go and get this book right now. There is some brief swearing but nothing more than kisses so 12/ 13+

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (Danielle Evans)

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Summary:

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self offers a bold new perspective on the experience of being young and African-American or mixed-race in modern-day America.



My Thoughts:
I had such high hopes for this book. I heard great things about it was excited to explore this new voice. It was not the book for me. I had a hard time connecting to it because of the language. It was not the way I speak, nor is it the way anyone around me speaks. This threw me off enough that the rest of the book became less enjoyable.

It was not a bad book and I do not wish for people to think that is what I am saying. The stories were very real and honest. I just had a hard time connecting with them. For that I would give it a letter B. I would also like to mention that this is an adult title, aimed at adults.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist

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What?

Sara would be looking forward to her sixteenth birthday, but thanks to her mom's party planning business, she's way too wrapped up in someone else's: spoiled socialite Dakota London's. Sara would much rather spend her summer hanging out with Ian, an up-and-coming guitar player and her new crush. But Sara is so busy catering to Dakota's every wacky whim, she's got no time to spend with him.

And then, the icing on the cake: Dakota wants Ian to be her date for the big bash, and she wants Sara to play matchmaker! Sara's not sure she's game for this task, especially because she thinks she's falling for Ian. Will this birthday end up more bitter than sweet?




Why?
I love these romance books! They are funny and adorable!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

unSweetined

Today I leave for a week in Austin, Texas! I will reply to all emails when I return!



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Summary:


Jodie Sweetin melted our hearts and made us laugh for eight years as cherub-faced, goody-two-shoes middle child Stephanie Tanner. Her ups and downs seemed not so different from our own, but more than a decade after the popular television show ended, the star publicly revealed her shocking recovery from methamphetamine addiction. Even then, she kept a painful secret—one that could not be solved in thirty minutes with a hug, a stern talking-to, or a bowl of ice cream around the family table. The harrowing battle she swore she had won was really just beginning. In this deeply personal, utterly raw, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Jodie comes clean about the double life she led—the crippling identity crisis, the hidden anguish of juggling a regular childhood with her Hollywood life, and the vicious cycle of abuse and recovery that led to a relapse even as she wrote this book. Finally, becoming a mother gave her the determination and the courage to get sober. With resilience, charm, and humor, she writes candidly about taking each day at a time. Hers is not a story of success or defeat, but of facing your demons, finding yourself, and telling the whole truth



My Thoughts:


I have recently enjoyed more biographies and autobiographies than ever before. This was by far the best one I have read. I grew up on Full House. I would come home from kindergarten and a rerun was on. I watched it every day! Now I’m not that little five year old (just like young Stephanie) so I can comprehend she was a real person outside of the Stephanie character. I enjoyed how open and real she was with her book.


This is a wonderful book for every 16+ to read. There is a lot of drug use, sex, and underage drinking. You will get a wonderful reminder that the actors we see on TV are people too. We have to give them space and let them grow. We tend to verbally bash them for every choice they make and it becomes unhealthy.


I give this an A+!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Must Monday


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What?

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge.
If your brother's accused of a terrible crime but says he didn't do it, you defend him.

When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the offense, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.



Why?
This sounds like a really good book about siblings and the bonds they share.

When?
BUY IT TOMORROW!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Need So Beautiful (Suzanne Young)


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Summary:

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.

Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?



My Thoughts:


I absolutely adore Suzanne, so I was super excited to read this book. It is not my typical book choice but I am so glad I read it. It was one of the best books I have read in a very long time (and I’m not saying that just because I dined with her after she signed my copy). The characters each had their own distinct personalities that they maintained through the whole book. The story was always throwing curveballs and kept me interested throughout.



I recommend starting this book when you have time to finish. You will not want to put it down! I give it a 14+ due to language and some implied sexual content. I also give this a big A+! Go buy a copy now!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Texas

Hello lovely readers!

I just wanted to drop you a note saying I will be in Texas until the 18th of this month. The posts are set and will continue. Please feel free to comment and email me. I will respond to all emails as soon as possible. I get anywhere from 40-100 emails a day so please be patient with me.

Also, to the people who emailed saying they can't follow my blog. I don't know what is up but I am looking into it. I asked a couple friends and they said they can. I did recieve three emails about it though so it must be a problem sometimes. If this is happening to you, please let me know!


See you all when I return from getting my tan on and going to an A&M football game!

~Ashley~

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sharks and Boys (Kristen Tracy)


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Summary:


When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.


Review:


This book made me sick, I was completely distraught by the goings- on in the story and completely disgusted with her boyfriend and the very last bit of the ending. However, over all it was a pretty alright read, but I will never read this book ever again. I’d say probably a paperback copy and not for the faint of heart so probably a mature 12 or 13.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dancing With Mrs. Dalloway (Celia Blue Johnson)

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Summary:

In Dancing with Mrs. Dalloway, you'll discover who Edgar Allan Poe's raven really belonged to, whether Jane Austen's heartthrob Mr. Darcy actually existed, who got into mischief with a young Mark Twain, and what the real Sherlock Holmes did for a living. These delightful stories reveal the often unknown reasons our literary heroes put quill to parchment, pen to paper, or finger to keyboard to write some of the world's best-loved books.



My Thoughts:
I am an over thinker, so this was the book for me! I have spent lots of time wondering where a book came from. This book helped me answer that question over and over. I loved the C.S. Lewis story and Winnie the Pooh! Those two books are dear to my heart.

I give this book a big A, and a 13+. Everyone needs a copy of this in their personal library!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist


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What?

Lori lives for summertime on the lake. She spends all season wakeboarding, swimming, and hanging with her friends -- including the two hotties in the house next door. With the Vader brothers, Lori's always been one of the guys.


But while Lori and the "baby" brother, Adam, are inseparable friends, she can't deny a secret crush on Sean, the older Vader boy. This year Sean's been paying Lori a lot of attention, and not in a brotherly way.


But just as Lori decides to prove to Sean she's girlfriend material, she realizes that her role as girl friend to Adam may be even more important. And by trying so hard for the perfect summer romance, she could be going way overboard....



Why?
I adore these witty romances! They are a great reading refresher.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cut


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Summary:


When she arrives at Sea Pines, Callie is self-destructive, unresponsive, and withdrawn. Her parents and doctor have placed her in the "residential treatment facility" after discovering that she cuts herself. Callie refuses to talk to anyone, including her psychiatrist. But slowly, through compelling first-person narrative, the event that traumatized her comes to light. Callie reveals that her brother Ben nearly died from liver failure while in her care. Her mother was unavailable and her father was at a bar. Although their absence is evidence of a deep family dysfunction, Callie blames herself for the crisis. When the threat of expulsion from Sea Pines precipitates a cutting incident that frightens her, Callie finally begins her healing process. She opens up to the girls around her and surrenders to her therapist the compass she's been using to cut herself. Through Callie's frank and realistic voice, first-time novelist Patty McCormick illuminates a subject that is rarely discussed. Her story of Callie's recovery will speak to the more than 1 million people - mainly girls and young women - who engage in acts of self-inflicted violence every year.



My Thoughts:


Right off the bat this book was not what I expected it to be. The main character was mute the first half of the book. That made it very different. I liked that we were able to dig deeper into who she was that way, but we missed out on who she was with other people. Around a third of the way through the story miraculously became better. I won’t say why and spoil it.


It was a short, quick, read. I would rate it 14+. The subject of cutting is a difficult subject. I would also give it a B. It was good but something kept it from being GREAT!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Must Monday

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What?
Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can’t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess’s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.

Why?
This sounds so different from any book I have read! I want to give it a chance!

When?
October 11, 2011 Pre-order your copy on amazon now.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes

When Hannah asked to borrow this book I was ecstatic. This was my very first review, the review that made Book Diva's want to review for them, back in the day! See what Hannah has to say about this wonderful book!


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Summary:

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

Review:

One of my personal favorites that shot right to the top of my “best of summer” reading list, this book was fun, challenging, a little sad, a little crazy (and a little riskay if you know what I mean). I love the way the characters are portrayed and how everything falls together in the end after everything has fallen apart. I’d give this an A+13 and if you’re still reading this review you aren’t getting how good this book is :)


Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Local News


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Summary:


When fifteen-year-old Lydia Pasternak’s popular older brother Danny disappears late one summer night, she unwillingly becomes a celebrity in her community and an afterthought to her bereaved parents. In Danny’s absence, Lydia blossoms from a bookish outcast to the center of attention, all while grappling with her grudging grief for a brother she never particularly liked. When an intriguing private investigator enters the picture, Lydia finds herself drawn into the search for clues to Danny’s whereabouts. The shocking end to that trail of clues—an end that Lydia never prepares for—will haunt her for the rest of her life.



My Thoughts:


This was a required book for my first college English class. I was ecstatic when I saw it, because it was already on my amazon wishlist. I found it to be enjoyable from the start. It got you right in to the story and you instantly developed relationships with characters. It continued at a wonderful pace until about halfway through. At the halfway mark the book became dry. I no longer felt the desire to dig into it, as I once had. This continued on until the very last section of the book. It skips quite a few years ahead and becomes a “where are they now” story. I actually enjoyed that part.



I would give this book a B, because of the dry center. I would also rate the 14+ because of language and underage drinking. The book revolves around a kidnapping so it is intense subject matter.


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills

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Summary:


For anyone who's ever survived a rite of passage or performed a mating dance at Prom . . .


The Japanese hold a Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC ... has to compete in the Miss Livermush pageant.


Janice loves anthropology--the study of human cultures--and her observations help her identify useful rules in the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective mating ritual--but only if you're good at it; Hot Theatre Guys will never speak to Unremarkable Smart Girls like Janice and her best friend, Margo; and a Beautiful Rich Girl will always win Melva's annual Miss Livermush pageant.


But when a Hot Theatre Guy named Jimmy Denton takes an interest in Janice, all her scientific certainties explode. For the first time, she has to be part of the culture that she's always observed; and all the charts in the world can't prove how tough--and how sweet--real participation and a real romance can be.


Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch.


Review:


This book was an alright read, fairly quick, but not the most attention grabbing. In my opinion is was rather dry in places but others were very true in the style of American teenage habits. The format was strange, I felt that the graphs were thrown in somewhat randomly and that their placement could have been better chosen so as not to distract from the story. All in all I liked it, but I’m not sure I would read it again and again. That being said I would give this an A 12+/13+ and probably advise a library visit.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist



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What?

When Ava gets dumped by her boyfriend, she's pretty upset. He wasn't the love of her life or anything, but with her sister's wedding - a.k.a. the social event of the season - just two weeks away, Ava's got to save face by finding someone cute and fun to bring as her date.

With the clock ticking and no dates in sight, Ava asks her best friend if she can "borrow" her boyfriend, Jason, for the night. Ava's never been a big Jason fan, but he'll look great in a tux, and at least she'll have someone to dance with. But it doesn't take long for Ava to realize she's got him all wrong...

What do you do when Mr. Right is wrapped up in a package that belongs to your best friend?

Why?
Wanting someones boyfriend is not original, but it still makes for a fantastic read!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit


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Summary:

The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.

Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller.

The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s.

The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.

Review:

This book was incredible, a story too good to be true, too fantastic to be real, and too twisted to put down. I’m not one for real stories, but this book certainly changed my mind on that point. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good puzzle and I would certainly say “go get it right now”. Heck I’d lend them my own copy because it’s too good to wait for. An absolute A+ if I ever saw one, but that A+ comes with a 12 attached so don’t be expecting any openly raunchy behavior ;)


Monday, August 29, 2011

Must Monday

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What?
Jamie Edwards has loved everything about growing up on a pumpkin patch, but ever since her cousin Milan Woods arrived, things have really stunk. Jamie can’t imagine it was easy for Milan to leave her life back in Los Angeles and move to Average, Illinois, population one thousand. But it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for her since (a) Milan’s drop-dead gorgeous; (b) she’s the daughter of two of Hollywood’s hottest film stars; (c) she’s captured the attention of everyone in town, including Danny, Jamie’s crush since forever; and (d) she’s about to steal the title of Pumpkin Princess right out from underneath Jamie!

Why?
The pumpkin princess plot sounds too adorable to miss!

When?
October 11th, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Twisted


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Summary:

It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The pretty little liars have more secrets than ever—twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild.

Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little too cozy with her soon-to-be-stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do anything to get a swim scholarship.

Worst of all: Last spring break in Jamaica, they did something unforgivable. The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore . . . eventually.



My Thoughts:
I use to love this series. Friends and I would anxiously await the arrival of the next book. I remember finding the 4th book a week before it was supposed to come out and I was super excited. Now I find the series to be blah. It should of ended after four books, I was satisfied, as were all my friends. It became eight books. It really should have ended there. it all want downhill after book 5. Now There are to be 12 books and I am not excited! The series has become ruined for me. Yes, I will read them all but I won't be pounding down the bookstore for them. I don't like how repetitive and strange they have become. I also don't like all the game playing about the series being over.

That being said, this was an okay book. I still recommend the series to people. Many of my reading hating friends love this series. As long as people read, then wonderful. I would give this book a B, which might be too generous. I also rate it 15+, for extreme violence, and some implied sexual content.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alice Bliss

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Summary:

"Outside the back window Alice can see the outlines of the garden, some of the furrows visible under the snow, stretching away in long thin rows. She can't imagine doing the garden without her dad. It's his thing; she's always thought of herself as his assistant at best. She can't imagine doing anything without her dad and she starts to feel like she can't breathe. And then she looks at him. Just looks at him as he watches the fire with muffin crumbs on his lap.
'I'll write to you.'
'I know, sweetheart.'
'Every day.'"
--From Alice Bliss

When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.

Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough.

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.

Review:

To be honest, there is not much I can say about this novel other than it was profoundly painful for me to read this because it bears too close a resemblance of my own trials. My advice for the readers, if you’ve lost someone to the war in Iraq and you are finally able to sleep at night please don’t read this. If you’ve lost someone and you are still searching for understanding or to know that you aren’t the only one or even if you are trying to understand how or why you feel then you might find comfort in these pages. I personally have not slept for the past week since reading this story. So my advice for my readers is to read with caution at your own risk, and to never pick it up again if you need to put it down.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist


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What?

Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.

My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything.


Why?
The summary gives me chills, in a very good way!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Must Monday

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What?
Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.


Why?
A) ELIZABETH SCOTT!!!! B) Did you even read the summary? This sounds fabulous!

When?
September 15th, 2011

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

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Summary:

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Should I Share My Ice Cream? Gerald has a big decision to make. But will he make it in time?


My Thoughts:
My goodness, this was THE CUTEST children's book of all times. I read it over and over because I fell in love with it. I now plan to purchase all of these pig and elephant books. I believe they are a wonderful addition to any mothers library.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Passive Agressive Notes


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Summary:

Part voyeuristic entertainment, part group therapy, Passive Aggressive Notes offers a fascinating look at the all-too-familiar frustrations of embattled office drones, apartment dwellers, parents, and pet owners everywhere.

This curated collection combines dozens of outrageous, never-before-seen notes as well as favorites from Passiveaggressivenotes.coma 2008 Webby Award Winner and the official "Best Blog" of the South by Southwest Interactive festival.


My Thoughts:
This isn't a book you can review. I can't rate the plot or judge the writing. It was however a book I wanted to bring everyone's attention to. It was hilarious, I laughed out loud multiple times. I found myself reading parts to my mom and fiance over and over again.

I recommend everyone 14+ pick up a copy of this book. It's a keeper for sure.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Losing Faith


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Summary:

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.


My thoughts:
This book was good but not great. I went into it super excited and left feeling a bit disappointed. It felt slow. The flow just didn't move quick enough for me. It took me way longer to read than it should, I read two books while slowly reading this during the same time.

I felt it was a good book for younger teens. It had a feeling like it was aimed more at that audience. I would give it a 12+ rating.

Since it was so slow moving I will have to knock my grade down to a B. This is a book I look forward to giving to my little sister.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eleventh Plague


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Summary:

The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.

Review:

An excellent representation of a world we will no doubt know intimately one day in the future of our society. Honestly an excellent read smattered with life, death, and moving on to build a better tomorrow. I’d rate this as an A+12 and put it on my “best of summer” reading list.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wiener Wolf


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Summary:
Weiner Dog's life of leisure has lost its bite. So when he hears the call of the wild one day, he answers! Thus Weiner Dog becomes...Weiner Wolf.

My Thoughts:
I recently decided I would accept picture books for review and have so far loved it. This was a very cute book. I nanny for two little boys so it is important to keep their attention during story time. They both adored this! It is one they want read over and over.

I recommend all the mom's of little boys go purchase this wonderfully written children's book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist


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What?
Gen's family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen's mom signs them up for Camp Frontier—a vacation that promises the "thrill" of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at "Little Hell on the Prairie," as she's renamed the camp. It turns out frontier life isn't without its good points—like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation—and perhaps ruining the best vacation Gen has ever had.


Why?
I'm interested in how this family survives with this vacation! Sounds like a quirky book.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Does a Bear Sh*t in the Woods?


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Summary:
Serious answers to rhetorical questions--what's not to like?

For those of us who have long wondered where bears go to take care of their business, if the Pope is actually Catholic, or whether anyone is really made of money, Caroline Taggart provides the answers to these and a host of previously unanswerable questions.

From the most profound questions of philosophy to queries of geography and science, this deadpan book is full of hilarious information you never knew you needed including:

What's love got to do with it?
How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
Where does the time go?
Can a leopard change his spots?



My Thoughts:
This was a fantastic book! I read it all in one sitting because I really got into it. The answers were very educational. I have found that since reading this book I laugh when I hear any of these common sayings.

I can say this book wasn't for everyone though. It was pretty dry at some points. The answers were the kind you look for when you are super bored and can't stop thinking.

I would recommend this book for drives and other time fillers. It was an easy read.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Out of commision

I disappeared off the face of the earth. Sorry guys! I was busy moving and cramming for my finals. I'm back though and I didn't stop reading so I have lots of reviews headed your way! Stay tuned.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Run For Cover- Eva Gray

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Summary:

In a terrifying future world, four girls must depend on each other if they want to survive.
Now that best friends Louisa, Rosie, Evelyn, and Maddie know the truth -- or at least the danger they're in -- the girls have run away from their "safe" country retreat. But life is riskier than ever, and Rosie still doesn't know who she can trust.

Rosie's survival skills are top-notch. But how well can she keep her own secrets?

Review:
The second in the series and the fire is just heating up. I would definitely advise clearing 3 or 4 hours to take this beauty down because the fantastic writing really knocks this one out of the park. Both books in the series so far have put me in a trance where I honestly wish I had just the entire series on hand so I could read them one right after the other. I kid you not, these books are as easy to read as popcorn is easy to eat. They have the perfect blend of salty, savory, sassy crunch that I would implore my followers to sink their ocular teeth into. I ate them up and I loved them; I honestly can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Again an easy 12+ A

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coffeehouse Angel- Suzanne Selfors

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Summary:
When a random act of kindness involves Katrina with Malcolm, a handsome teenage guardian angel intent on fulfilling her greatest wish, fame and fortune seem like the most obvious requests. But after two botched wishes, Malcolm knows Katrina is hiding something from him. How can she tell him the truth, when her heart's desire has become Malcolm himself?

Review:
Sweeter than the perfect rhubarb pie (my personal favorite) this book literally brought me to tears. This book hits home in a lot of ways and I’m sure that others who have read this would agree. I am astounded by how many emotions and opportunities to gain wisdom are presented in this book. I’ve been left honestly speechless, all I can muster at this moment in regards to this book is that I am completely blown away and this has taken this number one spot on my list of “Best Reads”.

I would absolutely say 12+A. This is definitely a book I would recommend a copy to sit on every shelf of every home, and with that being said this book has taken my heart with its characters and its lovely story. My compliments to the author Suzanne Selfors, I can’t wait to read what you bring us next.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pretty Little Liars interview

I was recently invited to an interview of Ian Harding (Ezra on the ABC Family show, Pretty Little Liars). I wanted to share some of what he had to say.


Moderator Why do you think people love Ezra and Aria’s relationship so much?

I. Harding I think because it’s so right, and like there’s a connection that is undeniable and kind of once in a lifetime. But I think the problem is the circumstances; it’s that kind of element of forbidden love that it needs to happen, but oh it can’t happen, and so it’s them trying to work it out and trying so hard to just make this love happen. I think people can really relate to that and really love that.

Moderator How do you view the current status of Ezra and Aria’s relationship?

I. Harding It’s always a fluctuating status. The moment that it starts to kind of hit a plateau of ease and of happiness somebody gets shaken up A, because it’s a TV show, but B, because their lives are very strenuous; just the student/teacher relationship, even though it’s changed a little bit. It can be difficult, on top of just Aria has stuff that she’s keeping from Ezra because it’s so crazy I think in some ways she doesn’t think he’ll believe it. So it’s always it’s a very material relationship, to say the least.


Moderator Could you speak a little bit about how things are different for you to shoot when you’re filming a scene with just you and Lucy versus you and the whole cast?

I. Harding Lucy and I have a comfort zone that’s otherworldly in the sense of like we had to take a photograph, I won’t say specifically for what, but there is something where we just had to be affectionate. And it’s gotten to the point where I remember when we first starting shooting if we were going to do a make out scene we were literally brushing our teeth beforehand and flossing and chewing all kinds of gum, and now we’re lucky if the other person has brushed their teeth at all prior to a make out scene. So there’s definitely a comfort level there that is pretty unique. When it’s the whole cast it’s just very professional when we’re actually shooting, but in between takes it’s pretty goofy.


Moderator What has been your favorite scene or episode to shoot and why?

I. Harding There was one episode recently that I can’t really talk about, because it does give it away just simply by explaining it, that’s probably my favorite just because it was so much fun to shoot. It was really loose on set and everybody was having a good time.

The last episode where I left Rosewood High School was a lot of fun to shoot because it was with all the girls and they would try and distract me. I would try and distract them, and it was just quite funny—because it was so like heartfelt and everything we made light of it in between takes by ridiculing each other.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Behind the Gates

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Summary:
In a terrifying future world, four girls must depend on each other if they want to survive.
Louisa is nervous about being sent away to a boarding school -- but she’s excited, too. And she has her best friend, Maddie, to keep her company. The girls have to pretend to be twin sisters, which Louisa thinks just adds to the adventure!

Country Manor School isn’t all excitement, though. Louisa isn’t sure how she feels about her new roommates: athletic but snobby Rosie and everything’s-a-conspiracy Evelyn. Even Maddie seems different away from home, quiet and worried all the time.

Still, Louisa loves CMS -- the survival skills classes, the fresh air. She doesn’t even miss not having a TV, or the internet, or any contact with home. It’s for their own safety, after all.
Or is it?

Review:
The first book in the series is the most important. This is the book that will either sell the rest, or flat line a brilliant idea. Hands down: AMAZING! I was fortunate enough to have the second in the series (Run For Cover) waiting on the sidelines just begging to be read. Behind the gates was a really quick, easy, exciting book to read, and the definition of characters was flawless.

Easily a 10+A