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January Books

Books Read:

1. HOW IT ENDS by Laura Wiess.
2. ANGELA'S ASHES by Frank McCourt.
3. VAMPIRE KNIGHT VOLUME 1 by Matsuri Hino.
4. VAMPIRE KNIGHT VOLUME 2 by Matsuri Hino.
5. SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK by Sydney Salter.
7. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins.
8. SECOND HELPINGS by Megan McCafferty.
9. TODD THE DREAMER by Bonnie Rozanski.
10. PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles.
11. LOCK AND KEY by Sarah Dessen.
12. FIXING DELILAH by Sarah Ockler.
13. THIS LULLABY by Sarah Dessen.
14. ZOMBIES VS. UNICORNS edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
15. JUST LISTEN by Sarah Deseen.
16. TWO WAY STREET by Lauren Barnholdt.
17. THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney.

Genres read: Contemporary (10), Fantasy (4), Chick lit (1), Memoir (1), Mystery (1)

Pages read: 5022 pages

Challenge Updates:

2011 Reading Challenge: 17/180
2011 Manga Challenge: 2/15
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 0/43
2011 YA Historical Fiction Challenge: 0/10


I read a good amount of books, with a lot of contemporary. I'm hoping that I vary up my reading selections a little more and try some genres I don't usually read, like some more mystery (which I really enjoyed). My manga challenge is also progressing at a decent rate, and while I didn't make any progress on the Debut Author or Historical one, that's because a lot of the books I chose don't come out until later this year.

How was your January?

In My Mailbox (16)

Okay, I've decided that every week I will alternate between Cover Love and IMM on Sundays. This way I don't neglect either!

I got a pretty good load this week, all from the library as usual. I always reserve around 5 books a week and then pick them up as they come, but yesterday was particularly interesting - when I went to get them, the person at the desk said, "Wait... you're Isabella [my last name]?"

"Yes, that's me."

"It's nice to finally meet you! You know, you read a lot!"

We proceeded to shake hands.

This may be a sign that I am dangerously obsessed with reading :P

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers. This will actually be the first book by Summers that I'll read, although I do plan to read her others! I've heard nothing but great things about this one, so let's hope it lives up to its hype. And isn't the cover so pretty? I love the colors and the way her hair shines as well as the strung up pictures in the back.

Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt. Seriously, I'll read anything by Barnholdt. Her books are just so sweet and hilarious - ever since I read One Night that Changes Everything, I just can't stop reading her books! She's one of my favorite authors, up there with John Green and Marcus Zusak.

So Much to Tell You by John Marsden. I don't usually like books written in diary form, but then again, Sloppy Firsts was amazing so I hope this one works well, too! The Goodreads reviews are fairly good, but I haven't heard much about this one on the blogosphere, possibly because it was published a long time ago :P

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin. I've never read a book by Nancy Werlin, but I hear she's an excellent author! The cover is awesome, too, so I'm pretty excited to start this one!

More Spotlight, Please! (5)

This week, we have...

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper! This is one I haven't heard a lot about, but the synopsis sounds awesome! It's fairly long, so I'll paraphrase it here. Seth Baumgartner's life seems to be falling apart, because not only does his girlfriend dump him at Applebee's, he sees his father on a date with someone who's not his mother (also at Applebee's), and he loses his fourth job of the year. Fed up with how all the relationships in his life are collapsing, Seth starts an anonymous podcast called "The Love Manifesto" to see if he can figure out "what love is, why love is, and what keeps us going back for more".

This sounds like such a cute and funny read, but it also seems like it tackles deeper issues as well, so I'm definitely excited to read this one. Books like this that have technology tied in (such as blog posts, tweets, or, in this case, podcasts) are always very interesting to me, and now that I think about it, I've never read one that used podcasts.

All the reviews I read were very positive, and yet I haven't seen this one featured on a lot of blogs (only one, I think). So, have you ever heard of it or read it? Do you plan to?

Book Blogger Hop (13) and Follow Friday (2)

This week's Book Blogger Hop question is... What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you looking forward to that book?

What a difficult question to answer! There are so many books I really want to read, but one, picked at random from my to-read list, is BAD TASTE IN BOYS by Carrie Harris. One big reason is just, seriously, that is such a gorgeous cover. I love the frosted lips and the neat font used for the title. Another is that even though I don't typically like zombie books that much, this one just sounds too good to pass up, and the reviews were all excellent.

This week's Follow Friday question is... What is your favorite subject in school?

This is kind of a tough one, too! I love my math class because we're doing very interesting things now and it's much more proof-y and abstract than regular high school courses, but my lit class is really great as well. I guess I'll just have to say it's a tie between math and lit!

If you're new to my blog, welcome! Please leave a comment with your blog link, and I'll be more than happy to visit your blog as well. If we have similar reading interests, I'll definitely follow you :)

Vampire Knight: Review

I don't really review manga, so instead of making this the same kind of slightly more formal review I use for regular books, I'm just going to talk about how I feel and such. I made a personal challenge to read 15 manga volumes by the end of the year since I watch a lot of anime, and the first series I decided to start was Vampire Knight.

I've heard a lot of mixed things about it, especially with one of my friends loving it and another hating it with such loathing that she ranted about it  for about, oh, I'd say six years. So with some trepidation, I started the first volume. And yeah, it's about vampires, but it's quite different from Twilight or any other vampire book I've ever read.

Basically, there's a school with two parts - the Day Class and Night Class. Yuki and Zero are guardians, which means they protect the Night Class (a class secretly composed of vampires) from the Day Class (normal people). Like Twilight, all vampires are beautiful, so every time the Night Class emerges, all the girls in the Day Class go nuts. Yuki thinks that vampires and humans can get along okay, but Zero feels differently, and she starts to find out disturbing things that make it seem like Zero's more right.

Yuki's different from some of the girls that get featured in animes *cough* Nagisa in Clannad *cough* because she can totally kick butt. I was looking forward to this since I love strong female protagonists, but for such a strong girl, she sure needed rescuing a lot. However, I still liked her even if her love triangle with Zero and Kaname ticked me off at times.

And I know what you're thinking: girl on the weak side? Love triangles? Vampires? It sounds like it's shaping up to be the stereotypical paranormal romance. While, yeah, the plot isn't the most original, the way Vampire Knight is executed makes it different.

Because this manga? Majorly disturbing, although I still can't tell if that's in a good way or a bad way. Some scenes definitely made me cringe while others had me at the edge of my seat. I don't know a lot about illustrations, but the drawings were generally quite dark, which added to the atmosphere.

By the end of Volume 1, I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep reading or not, but I decided to give Volume 2 a try. However, I found myself getting a little bored and more than a little disturbed (and not so much in a good way), and I wasn't connecting to the characters anymore. Hence, I dropped this.

Still, other, less squeamish people might enjoy this if they're fans of creepy thrillers!

The Space Between the Trees: Review

Title: The Space Between the Trees
Author: Katie Williams
Release Date: June 16th, 2010
Published By: Chronicle Books
Goodreads Rating: 3.14 stars

Synopsis: This story was supposed to be about Evie how she hasn't made a friend in years, how she tends to stretch the truth (especially about her so-called relationship with college drop-out Jonah Luks), and how she finally comes into her own once she learns to just be herself but it isn't. Because when her classmate Elizabeth "Zabet" McCabe's murdered body is found in the woods, everything changes and Evie's life is never the same again.

Review: People often ask me what kinds of books I like to read, and I usually give the same answer - that I read pretty much everything although I tend not to like high fantasy and chick lit. But if I had to narrow everything down to just one kind of book, one type of tone and genre and story that would be the only thing I could read for the rest of my life... it would be a book like The Space Between the Trees.

I can't come up with adequate words for how much this book affected me. It was deep and dark and confusing, yes, but confusing in a good way, a way that really makes you think and feel. This wasn't really the sort of book I found myself tearing through the pages to get to the end, but rather something I read slowly over the course of a couple days, something I savored.

Evie is a strange girl - not in a bad way, but just very different from any other character I've read about. She's introverted and quiet and doesn't know herself very well, but her thoughts and emotions are complex. Hadley, too, was a very complicated character who seemed so different on the outside from Evie, and even though her actions were different as well (particularly towards the end, which I won't give away), I wonder how similar they are.

Not too many reviews I read were particularly impressed with this one, and the ones who did liked the suspense and the mystery. Those were important components of this story, but I feel like there was more to this story. The Space Between the Trees reminded me quite a bit of The Replacement, not so much in storyline - they were very different that way - but in tone and how I felt afterwards. If you liked The Replacement, then you'll probably love this one.

Grade: A+

Leila Sales: Interview

Recently, I raved over Mostly Good Girls (which, by the way, if you haven't read yet, you must). Well, today, the author of that book, Leila Sales, is here for an interview! She's just as awesome as her book, and you can find her website here.

1. Are any of the characters in Mostly Good Girls based on people you know in real life? Is there a particular character you personally connect with most?
The characters in MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS take some of their qualities from people I've known, but none of the characters is simply a real person slapped down on the page.
For example, Emily Ishikawa's ability to sleep on command is based on my own friend Emily, who used to sleep all the time in high school... but otherwise the Emily in the book is nothing like real-life Emily. I borrowed my friend Reed's dog for Katie's dog, and my friend Emily's bedroom for Katie's bedroom, and my friend Leslie's family room for Katie's family room. And then I changed them around, to make them the way I wanted them!
Katie and Violet's friendship in the book is based on my relationship with my own best friend, so their conversation is the most true-to-life part of the book.
2. Do you have any quirky writing habits? 
I only use my index fingers when I type. I'm really fast about it, but it looks stupid. Oh, and I eat MASSIVE quantities of chocolate chips when I write. Last night I wrote 4,000 words between the hours of 8:30pm and 12:30am, and I probably ate half a bag of chocolate chips in the process.

3. What were your favorite and least favorite parts of writing Mostly Good Girls?
I loved writing the straight-up funny scenes ("Getting comfortable with our... never mind, I can't say it," for example, or, "I am so low maintenance"). And I loved doing the big all-cast scenes, like any of the class meeting chapters, or the lit mag chapters, when all the girls are together and acting ridiculous. Figuring out where to go with the plot was the harder part.

4. Rapid fire questions!

Pie or cake?

Candy or chips? Candy! (Specifically, chocolate chips!)

Chocolate or vanilla? If you don't know my answer to this by now, go back and re-read the rest of this interview.

Favorite song at the moment? That changes pretty much every day. Today I'd say "Moneygrabber," by Fitz and the Tantrums.

Favorite book at the moment? That's too hard! I'm reading a collection of Ernest Hemingway's short stories that my agent gave me for Hanukkah, and I'm loving that right now.

Favorite TV show at the moment? A bar near my house is showing reruns of Arrested Development, so probably that. Arrested Development is one of the only shows where I would go stand in a bar and watch it for three consecutive hours... even though I've seen it all before and, um, own the DVDs.

Swoon at Your Own Risk: Review

Title: Swoon at Your Own Risk
Author: Sydney Salter
Release Date: April 5th, 2010
Published By: Graphia
Goodreads Rating: 3.64 stars

Synopsis: You’d think Polly Martin would have all the answers when it comes to love—after all, her grandmother is the famous syndicated advice columnist Miss Swoon. But after a junior year full of dating disasters, Polly has sworn off boys. This summer, she’s going to focus on herself for once. So Polly is happy when she finds out Grandma is moving in—think of all the great advice she’ll get.

But Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy sexagenarian! How can Polly stop herself from falling for Xander Cooper, the suddenly-hot skateboarder who keeps showing up while she’s working at Wild Waves water park, when Grandma is picking up guys at the bookstore and flirting with the dishwasher repairman?           

No advice column can prepare Polly for what happens when she goes on a group camping trip with three too many ex-boyfriends and the tempting Xander. Polly is forced to face her feelings and figure out if she can be in love—and still be herself.

Review: To be honest, I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would, but I think it's more something about me rather than about the book. This was a cute read with a swoon-worthy guy, as the title promises, but I just didn't find myself getting too much into it. I've read some very positive, glowing reviews for this, so I think it's just me. I tend not to like chick lit very much unless it's "different" (e.g. I loved Anna and the French Kiss).

Polly was hard for me to connect to. There wasn't anything inherently wrong with her character, I just didn't find myself relating to her, which made the book a bit of a struggle to read. I want to emphasize, though, that this wasn't a bad book, and it wasn't torturous to read, but it really just wasn't for me.

This book would appeal to fans of chick lit and rom-coms, but if you don't read those genres, this one might not be for you. It was cute, with some good lessons about relationships (e.g. don't change yourself for a boy, communication is important, etc.) that some readers may find helpful. Overall, Swoon at Your Own Risk was a fluffy and forgettable read that didn't make it for me.

Grade: C-

Commenting Problems

Hi everyone!

Someone kindly alerted me to the fact that for a few days, it's been impossible to comment on the posts because the word verification gets cut off. I reported the issue, and meanwhile, I disabled the word verification, so it should work now. If you guys continue to have issues, please email me at silverfalcon42[at]gmail[dot]com!


Cover Love (3)

This week's selection is a little different from the past two, but I love it all the same. Everyone, get ready for...

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford!

 Seriously, I could rave about this cover forever. Let's go through each element, starting the biggest part: the waste basket. I love simple covers that focus on one thing, and it was genius to pick something like the waste basket and plop it right in the center. I also like the contents the designer chose to have it filled with. You can tell there are other things (like the pink, orange, and blue things), but it's mostly crumpled pieces of paper.

This mostly-light-hearted cover gets a slightly darker feel when the title is taken into consideration, and it looks like those balls of paper are supposed to be suicide notes, as if someone went through many revisions of it. And speaking of light-heartedness, the background is perfect! According to the synopsis, this is supposed to be a humorous book, and so despite the title and the significance of the papers, the background is light and almost cheery.

The penciled-in font for the title is great as well, and I like the scrawled "A Novel" beneath it. Even the font for the author is small, unobtrusive, and elegant. This deceptively simple cover tells a lot about the book and does a good job making me excited for it!

What do you think about it?

More Spotlight, Please! (4)

This week, I chose a book I've heard almost nothing about, so it's perfect for this feature! Everyone, get ready for...

Say the Word by Jeannine Garsee. According to Goodreads, this one is about a seventeen-year-old girl, Shawna Gallagher, who everyone believes to be perfect. She gets perfect grades, dates perfect boys, and follows each of her dad's rules perfectly. But suddenly, the one imperfect thing about her life comes out again when her estranged lesbian mother passes away. Shawna's anger over being abandoned so many years again rekindles, along with her embarrassment over her other family.

When I first read the synopsis, I thought this would be another book about the "perfect" popular girl who's really not perfect. I don't have anything against books with this sort of theme, it's just that they're often very similar and sometimes seem to try to excuse the protagonist's cruelty. However, this seems to be a lot different. I haven't read many books that deal with homosexuality, and definitely not like this, so this has a lot of potential to be different and original!

I'm quite excited to get my hands on it, and I hope after reading this, at least some of you readers are as well! :) So, let me know what you think of this book! Does it appeal to you or not? Have you ever read it? Do you plan to?

Follow Friday (1)

I've actually never done this before, and there's no Book Blogger Hop this week, so why not?

This week's question is... Who do you cheer for?

Unfortunately, I don't follow sports. Like, at all. I've only recently discovered the differences between football and baseball, so I don't actually cheer for any sports team. However, I will say that I definitely cheer for vanilla lattes, YA fiction, inky pens, and Pixar movies. That counts, right? :P

If you're stopping by, please leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can return the favor!

Matched: Review

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Published By: Dutton Juvenile
Goodreads Rating: 3.94 stars

Synopsis: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Review: You're probably tired of reading all those raving reviews of Matched, and I went into this fully expecting it not to live up to its hype. However, this will be another review with so many exclamation points that you can only imagine me frothing at the mouth, eyes rolling in their sockets, as I tell you how amazing this book is.

If you're only going to read one dystopian novel of 2010, it has to be this one. This is like The Giver but with more love, more romance, more passion. Cassia has an easy voice to get into, and once you start reading, you'll be completely sucked into the story. Each character was fresh and unique, and I loved how strong and brave Cassia was. Xander and Ky both had distinct personalities as well, and I only wish Em (Cassia's best girl friend) had more of a developed personality. However, she was just a minor character so it's not a big deal.

And the romance! It was very well-written, and I found myself practically swooning over Ky, which is fairly rare for me. Ally Condie is so good at making what seem to be relatively ordinary scenes jam-packed with sexual tension without actually having sex or anything graphic. For example, the scenes where Ky was teaching Cassia how to write (in their age, people only type things and largely don't know how to write by hand) were definitely among my favorite.

All in all, I love-love-loved this book! If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for? You've got to get your hands on this as soon as possible. There's a reason why I haven't seen a single negative review for this book yet. From the characters to the romance to the world-building, this is something that will stay in my mind for a long time.

Grade: A

Right Behind You: Review

Title: Right Behind You
Author: Gail Giles
Release Date: 9/1/07
Published By: Little, Brown Young Readers
Goodreads Rating: 4.14 stars

Synopsis: When he was nine, Kip set another child on fire. Now, after years in a juvenile ward, he is ready for a fresh start. But the ghosts of his past soon demand justice, and he must reveal his painful secret. How can Kip tell anyone that he really is—or was—a murderer?

Review: Part of this book is devoted to explaining how he came to set the child on fire and his years in the juvenile ward, but most of it is about life after he left the ward, about adjusting to "normal high school life", and learning to live with himself. This was definitely a pretty heavy read that made my stomach clench with sympathy for Kip.

The author did an excellent job of portraying Kip. She didn't shy away from the murder he committed, but still managed to get the reader to sympathize with him and understand. I was a bit horrified as I was reading about the actual murder, but it was easy to get from the start that he wasn't really a malicious psychopath or anything, and he was scarred from what he had done and seen.

I'm not entirely sure what genre this would go in. I guess I would say it's a psychological suspense, which I haven't read a whole lot of. However, this makes me want to read more books like it, which is a success on the author's part! I loved this dark but page-turning read. I only wish that there was more to the ending, but otherwise, I would recommend this to everyone!

Grade: B+

Finding Time to Read

A lot of people ask me how I find the time to read. Or blog, for that matter, but that's a story for a different post. While I definitely have more free time than some of my blog readers, I don't actually have the boundless amount of time my reading habits can suggest.

Here are some different suggestions for squeezing in time to read:

  • At the doctor office. You can end waiting for ages there, and the magazines are always either People or Highlights. So why not bring your own book? You can get through quite a lot of pages like that. 
  • At the hair salon. My penny-pinching mom insists that I get haircuts at (1) really horrible cheap places or (2) beauty schools. (Not that I blame her, considering the prices of some of the places around here...) I usually go with the second, because at least you have a chance of getting a decent cut. The downside to this is the waiting time, which tops out at three hours. But hey, I once started and finished an entire book there!
  • On the bus. I take a twenty minute bus ride to and from school every morning, and that gives me forty minutes total of reading time. I do actually get bus sick and nauseated, as well as a roaring headache, but if the book is good enough to be worth it...
  • While eating lunch. Or any other meal that you can get away with reading during it. This doesn't always apply to me because I eat lunch with my friends (in elementary school, starting around second grade, they would hide my book before lunch time and give it back later), but if you find yourself eating alone, you can whip that book out!
  • While you should be doing something else. Yay for procrastinating!
And that's how I find time to read. How do you do it? Any other suggestions?

In My Mailbox (16)

IMM? I haven't done this for a while and I want to, and boy, do I have a lot of books... Instead of writing a paragraph for each like usual, I'll just do a line or two.

Perfect Chemistry by Simon Elkeles. I didn't like Leaving for Paradise, but I heard so many good things about this that I had to give it a try! I'm currently reading it, and let me tell you, it isn't half bad.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. I've only read one Dessen book before, and I loved it, so I basically got a huge heap of Dessen books this time around.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. I like the cover for this one. It's simple and neat, and the synopsis sounds pretty good too.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. I know, I told you, I got a lot of Dessen books. A lot.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Let's hope I don't get sick of her books!

Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman. I did a "More Spotlight, Please!" post on this one, so you can tell I'm excited to read it! I hope it's as good as it sounds, or I'll be really disappointed!

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler. I've heard nothing but good things about this one, so I'm definitely excited to read it. And isn't the cover so pretty? I love that lone broken paper girl.

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney. This one seems so interesting, and I loved the book trailer! Some reviews I read weren't too positive, but a lot of them were, so I'm willing to give this a try.

Emma Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori. I'm actually having trouble trying to find good manga, but I hope I like this one.

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. Oh, heck yes! I'm so excited for this! It's an anthology of short stories about zombies and unicorns, and there are so many stories written by favorite authors of mine.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I know, I know, how could I have not read this yet? I heard awesome things about this, plus it has a pretty medal on the front, so I've got high expectations!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Coming up this week: "Finding Time to Read", and reviews of "Right Behind You" and "Matched"! 

Cover Love (2)

Let's have some cover love for...

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin!
There are so many elements of this cover to discuss, but I'll start with the background. The black and white tiles seem to be very simple, but they actually add a lot to the cover. Those kinds of tiles can mean anything, but to me, they seem rather ominous and creepy, emphasized by how they fade into black at the edges.

The model, of course, is fantastic as well. Her shirt makes her look a lot like she's wearing a school uniform, but then you see her awesome light blue hair and that makes you realize that she's probably not the stereotypical preppy girl. I love the bright green latex gloves she's pulling on, because this is such a perfect way to show that the girl's up to something. It was smart of the designers to make them such a bright color too, because that makes them really stand out!

The title was very clever, too. It's clearly modeled after the Facebook logo, and I love love love that it covers her eyes and thus her identity. It says so much about the book, which is excellent in a cover. The author's name placement is good as well, in a prime location to be seen without taking up half the cover. The only I don't like is the red "Play or get played" at the very top - it's kind of distracting and I don't really like the use of the color red in a cover that otherwise doesn't use warm colors.

So, there you have it! What do you think of this cover?

More Spotlight, Please! (3)

This week, I chose something that did get some attention when it released back in October, but I haven't heard of since. I actually had a hard time deciding on a book, because there were so many I could have done, but finally I settled on this one!

Trash by Andy Mulligan.

Why It Needs More Spotlight: Here's the Goodreads synopsis: "Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping next to it. Then one unlucky-lucky day, Raphael's world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It's a bag of clues. It's a bag of hope. It's a bag that will change everything. Soon Raphael and his friends Gardo and Rat are running for their lives. Wanted by the police, it takes all their quick-thinking, fast-talking to stay ahead. As the net tightens, they uncover a dead man's mission to put right a terrible wrong. And now it's three street-boys against the world..."

Doesn't that sound absolutely amazing? I've never read a book about a dumpsite boy, and it sounds so fascinating because you have to wonder why he lives like that. The leather bag he gets is mysterious, and the "dead man's mission to put right a terrible wrong", even more so! Reading the reviews, it looks like this takes place in the Philippines, which I think is excellent because I so rarely read books not set in the US. 

I feel like this book has an amazing amount of potential to be an eye-opening, intriguing read about the uglier sides of reality. I'm excited to get my hands on it, and I hope at least a few of you now are, as well! 

Book Blogger Hop (12)

This week, the question is... Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?

I actually read almost every genre there is (within young adult fiction). The only genres I don't read as much is paranormal. If I'm convinced that it's very good paranormal, I will read it and I have enjoyed paranormals in the past (such as Infinite Days and Shiver, and I look forward to reading Paranormalcy soon!), but it just doesn't tend to be a favorite genre of mine.

However, pretty much everything else appeals to me one way or another. I like contemporaries and urban fantasies and mysteries and thrillers and historicals and anything else you can think of. Honestly, to me, books aren't so much about genre but rather if they can give me entertainment, whether it be by making me think or feel or even just laugh.

Thanks for hopping by! Please leave a comment with a link to your own blogger hop post, and I'll be happy to return the favor :) If we seem to have similar reading interests, I'll definitely follow you!

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June: Review

Title: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June
Author: Robin Benway
Release Date: July 29th, 2010
Published By: Razorbill
Goodreads Rating: 3.73 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.50 stars

Synopsis: Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents' divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood--powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds--everyone's but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they'll always have each other.

Because there's one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

Review: This was a fun read that was definitely serious, too. I wasn't actually sure how much I would enjoy it, because the main reason I picked this up was the interesting cover and title, and the synopsis didn't sound that great to me. However, I'm really glad I decided to read it after all, because I had a hard time putting it down!

One big aspect that I really loved was the humor. There were all these one-liners that provided the perfect comic relief, be it May's sarcasm or just the funny situations that arise. It worked perfectly, without making the book seem any less serious while still providing a break from the tension.

Something I was worried about when I started the book was that the sisters would all be these walking, talking stereotypes. After all, April was described as the worrying big sister, May the sarcastic delinquent, and June the shallow social climber. But really, they each had their own developed personality, and there was a lot more to them than initially described. Each sister was flawed and imperfect, and each grew throughout the book.

I wouldn't say this is something I would remember much of several months from now, but I did like reading it and I would definitely recommend it. I wish the superpower aspect was developed a little more - all the explanation we got was that they had the powers when they were little and they suddenly came back, which isn't an explanation at all - but then again, this book isn't really about powers. It's about sisterhood and friendship and family, and made me badly want a sister.

Grade: B

The Princess of Las Pulgas: Review

Title: The Princess of Las Pulgas
Author: B. A. Binns, C. Lee McKenzie
Release Date: November 28th, 2010
Published By: Westside Books
Goodreads Rating: 3.86 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.00 stars

Synopsis: After her father's slow death from cancer, Carlie thought things couldn't get worse. But now, she is forced to confront the fact that her family in dire financial straits. To stay afloat, her mom has had to sell their cherished oceanfront home and move Carlie and her younger brother Keith to the other side of the tracks to dreaded Las Pulgas, or "the fleas" in Spanish. They must now attend a tough urban high school instead of their former elite school, and on Carlie's first day of school, she runs afoul of edgy K.T., the Latina tattoo girl who's always ready for a fight, even on crutches. Carlie fends off the attention of Latino and African American teen boys, and one, a handsome seventeen-year-old named Juan, nicknames her Princess when he detects her aloof attitude towards her new classmates. 

What they don't know is that Carlie isn't really aloof; she's just in mourning for her father and almost everything else that mattered to her. Mr. Smith, the revered English teacher who engages all his students, suggests she'll like her new classmates if she just gives them a chance; he cajoles her into taking over the role of Desdemona in the junior class production of Othello, opposite Juan, after K.T. gets sidelined. Keith, who becomes angrier and more sullen by the day, spray paints insults all over the gym as he acts out his anger over the family's situation and reduced circumstances. Even their cat Quicken goes missing, sending Carlie and Keith on a search into the orchard next to their seedy garden apartment complex. They're met by a cowboy toting a rifle who ejects them at gunpoint from his property. 

But when Carlie finds him amiably having coffee with their mom the next day -- when he's returned her cat -- she begins to realize that nothing is what it seems in Las Pulgas.

Review: I was excited to get this book in the mail because it sounded so good, but I found myself disappointed as I read it. I felt like my biggest problem with this book was that I had such a hard time connecting with the characters, especially Carlie. This was a book that I really wanted to enjoy, but I just couldn't. I didn't even like the minor characters too much - Keith just seemed kind of bratty to me, Juan was a little irritating, and K.T., as a character, just felt too contrived.

I still like the book's premise. It had a lot of potential, with the well-off, upper middle class girl having to go live in tiny, run-down apartment and go to a bad school. Another thing that did bother me, though, about this was that I had trouble believing that Carlie's family was so broke they had to go live in a place like that after her dad died. What happened to his life insurance? This wasn't mentioned, unless I missed it.

All in all, this isn't a book I would recommend, and I nearly put it down a few times. The characters just didn't do it for me, and there were unbelievable plot points. Still, please remember to take my review with a grain of salt because I know on Goodreads, there were a lot of positive reviews.

Grade: D+

My Horrific Printing Adventure

In my astronomy class, we recently had a lab that was due last Tuesday. My group and I completed it ages ago, but then it turned out that we all have to submit an individual copy. Which I didn't know, or else I wouldn't have chucked my copy in the recycle bin.

Thus, I found myself peeking around the door to my teacher's office at 7:50 am. "Um, hi, I need another copy of the lab? Because I misplaced mine? So I need to recopy it?"

I remain amazed at my ability to turn every sentence fragment into a question. It takes talent.

Oh, and one thing you should know. At my school, being late to homeroom is pretty much a sin. If you need a comparison, murdering the president is nearly as bad as being late. And homeroom starts at 8:00.

My teacher took off his coat and hung it on a fancy little coat rack. "Sure. Let me just boot up my computer and I'll print you one."

I sidled into the room, careful not to touch anything. We all know that I'm skilled at breaking things.

He sat at his computer and drummed his fingers on the table while I glanced nervously at my watch. He noticed this and laughed apologetically. "It takes a while to boot up. You know, funny story there - once it took twenty minutes! Hahahaha! Isn't that funny!"

I swallowed and looked at my watch again. 7:51. I had less than nine minutes, because I was literally as far from my homeroom as you can be in the school.

After ages and ages, the log-in finally came up. He attempted to type in his password several times, but each one was met with an angry beep. "Oh, look at that!" he chortled. "I had caps lock on!"

I resisted the urge to sink to my knees, grab my face, and wail, "I'M GOING TO BE LATE!" But at long last, his desktop came.

"Now I just need to click on Word, pull up the document, click print, and we're done!" he said cheerily. He clicked something, and then his eyes widened before he burst into a laugh. "Oh! Now isn't that just hilarious! I clicked on the wrong thing! And would you believe it? I selected the physics software, which you can't x-out of until it fully loads, which takes ten minutes!"

Seven years later, my teacher happily informed me that the physics software had JUST finished loading, and he x'd out. He finally got the right document pulled up and announced, "Time to print!"
The printer made a few tentative humming noises.

Then it exploded.

I looked at my watch and fainted.

Sloppy Firsts: Review

Title: Sloppy Firsts
Author: Megan McCafferty
Release Date: August 28th, 2001
Published By: Three Rivers Press
Goodreads Rating: 4.03 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.57 stars

Synopsis: When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment--from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

Review: Wow. Wow, wow, wow. That was pretty much all I could think after reading this. I never actually read the synopsis for this and only heard somewhere that it was good and about boys and girls and in a diary format, so I thought this was a chick-litty type book, the kind of thing you relax with. I was definitely wrong! This isn't depressing or super-dark or anything, but it's a serious book with funny moments rather than a funny book with serious moments.

Honestly, I really didn't expect to like this all that much. The cover's only okay and the synopsis didn't make it sound super-special or anything, but wow, this was an awesome book. Jessica was a great character, because she was snarky and sarcastic without being too arrogant or snotty (she could be just a little mean at times), and I could relate to her so much. A lot of the time when I was reading about her thoughts, I found myself thinking, "Me too! I feel like that too! I'm not the only one!", and that made the book so much better.

This story sounds like something that has been written a thousand times, and it probably has, but the narrator makes it all different. It was so refreshing to read a typical story turned original. The only thing I didn't like as much is ironically the same thing that made me like this book. Jessica was sometimes a little too mean and depressing, but I still enjoyed this book enough to want to read the sequel.

Grade: B

Cover Love

Let's have some cover love for...

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender!

The first thing I'd have to say is that I love what they did with the model. The way she's sitting can mean a lot of different things, but to me, it makes her seem a little more child-like. Her legs are drawn up to her chest and her hands are sitting in her lap, and it seems like the kind of position you might want to take when trying to protect yourself. Plus, you can't really see anything except her legs, so there's really no telling if she's a child or not.

I like the flowy pink skirt she's wearing as well. It's gauzy and light, and the way it kind of flows out to the left is neat. The best part about her is the way the curtain drapes over most of her, casting her face into shadow and hiding anything above her knees. This again brings to mind something you would do if you were hiding, which gives this cover a lot of creepy undertones.

The bright light emanating from the window is very interesting. That could mean a lot of things, but I think it might be a reference to the title. Lights are often associated with death and/or heaven, so that could be why. Regardless, that light makes intriguing patterns along the walls and floors, and pretty much casts the entire girl in shadow.

The placement of the title and author name are nice, and I like that the author's name isn't absolutely humongous. The attention-grabbing title deserves more space! I also have to say that the border is cute and adds a nice touch. The only thing I don't like that much is that there seems to be some sort of object in the lower right, except I can't really tell what it is.

So, there you have it! What do you think of this cover?

More Spotlight, Please! (2)

This week, I chose a middle grade book, and most of the blogs I follow are YA-focused, so it's actually quite possible that this book is hyped or relatively hyped and I just don't know it. However, I'm sure at least some of my followers are mainly into YA as well, in which case I hope you guys would be willing to give this a try too!

Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch.

Why It Needs More Spotlight: There isn't much of a synopsis on Goodreads, but here's what there is: "Matt Myklusch's JACK BLANK AND THE IMAGINE NATION combines action, humor, adventure, heroes, villains, and superpowers for a knockout epic story." Come on, how can you resist an epic story? I love the idea of superpowers, villains, and heroes, because it definitely has the potential to be original. Plus, humor? I love funny books! Action's not usually my thing, but I'm okay with it if it's well-written and well-balanced, so I'm willing to try it out.

Although I don't read a lot of it, the thing I love about some middle grade books is that they can be so quirky and interesting, even for an older reader like me. The Mysterious Benedict Society, for example, is definitely not just for younger kids - even adults can enjoy the puzzles, the adventure, the humor, and appreciate the quirkiness of the characters. This book sounds like it might be like that as well.

From what I've gathered from reviews, this seems to be about Jack Blank, an orphan named so because he doesn't know his last name or anything else about his identity. He hates his orphanage and finds refuge in his comic books, but one day a robot comes to life from it and tries to kill him. He then gets swept up in a country called Imagine Nation, which is full of crazy places like Cognito, where people go to disappear and even the streets are nameless. 

It got excellent reviews, it sounds intriguing and exciting and adventurous and quirky... why wouldn't you pick it up? :)

Book Blogger Hop (11)

I haven't done this for a while because I've been busy, but now I think I can start again. :)

This week's question is...

What book changed or influenced your life? How did it influence/change your life?

I can't think of any specific book that made a big impact on my life, but I do like to think that all the books I've ever read together affect me one way or another. Some of my opinions on things have been influenced by what I've read, especially when I was elementary school age. I used to read a lot of middle grade fiction with adventurous female protagonists who were always going around slaying things and protecting boys instead of the other way around, so I always wanted to be like that.

If you're hopping by, please leave me a comment with a link to your blog and I'll go look at yours! :) 

Grace: Review

Title: Grace
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: September 16th, 2010
Published By: Dutton
Goodreads Rating: 3.60 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.00 stars

Synopsis: Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose by acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.

Review: I had pretty high expectations for this book because of Living Dead Girl, and I wasn't disappointed. Grace was powerful and haunting, and made for a frightening but original dystopian world. It takes place largely as Grace is escaping on a train, and she flashes back numerous times to past events and memories.

Though this is a short book at only a little bit over 200 pages, it manages to discuss quite a bit. While reading this, I felt like I was really there with her in the train, watching horror after horror unfold. Elizabeth Scott does an excellent job painting a miserable future, and I have to say, I really envy her writing ability.

Kerr was one of my favorite characters because of his complexity. There are secrets about him that I don't want to reveal here, but they add so much to him, and the reader will feel just as conflicted about him as Grace does. I kept wishing I could just break through the pages and hug him, although that probably wouldn't work out on so many levels.

This book was a little depressing - or, rather, a lot depressing, but it did have some notes of hope within it. I highly recommend this to those who loved Living Dead Girl even if you're not usually a fan of dystopias or science fiction. This was, after all, more of an introspective, character-driven book than anything else. The one thing I will say is that this book didn't suck me in as much as I thought it would, but it was still an excellent read.

Grade: B

Mostly Good Girls: Review

Title: Mostly Good Girls
Author: Leila Sales
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Published By: Simon Pulse
Goodreads Rating: 3.88 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.46 stars

Synopsis: The higher you aim, the farther you fall….

It’s Violet’s junior year at the Westfield School. She thought she’d be focusing on getting straight As, editing the lit mag, and figuring out how to talk to boys without choking on her own saliva. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, her crush’s new girlfriend, and the sense that things are going irreversibly wrong with her best friend, Katie.

When Katie starts making choices that Violet can’t even begin to fathom, Violet has no idea how to set things right between them. Westfield girls are trained for success—but how can Violet keep her junior year from being one huge, epic failure?

Review: I was so excited to read this for a couple reasons. One, it has an adorable cover - I love covers that have simple images on plain backgrounds yet still provide a tone for the book. Two, I won it, and everything's much better when it comes in the mail, all nice and shiny. I wasn't really sure what to expect because I only read two reviews of it beforehand, but it seemed like it would be a great read.

At the end of the first page, I knew I was going to love this book.

Serious books can make awesome reads that really make you think, but sometimes you really just want to sit back and relax with a hilarious read. And trust me, Mostly Good Girls wasn't short of hilarity. Violet was such a funny narrator, from her discussion of the only male teacher's strange smiley face tattoo to the literary magazine's not-so-discriminating selection process. It was fun to read about her crazy antics with her best friend, Katie, and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times throughout this.

But I think what I loved just as much was that this book wasn't all humor. There were actual complex issues that many teens would struggle with, things like friendship and parental pressure, that were dealt with in a natural way. Just as I laughed out loud in places, I felt worried and sympathetic for Violet as she tried to measure up with Katie.

There are a lot of books where the main character's best friend is a shallow or slutty or bossy and/or one-dimensional. This was absolutely not the case with Mostly Good Girls. Katie was just as well-developed as Violet, and her decisions were complex. I didn't always understand why she did what she did at first (like suddenly getting a high school drop out for a boyfriend), but everything makes sense when you learn more about her.

Overall, the only thing I'd say about this book that could possibly be negative was that Kate and Violet often felt younger than seventeen. They seemed a lot more like fourteen or fifteen, but that's not really a big deal. I would highly, highly recommend this book to anyone for a hilarious but still relatively serious read. I normally don't buy books for people as gifts because there's really no telling for people's tastes (I always feel guilty if I get someone a book and they didn't like it), but this was so good, I had to get my friend a copy for Christmas!

Grade: A+

The World of Video Games

I'm not the most coordinated person around.

This may be an understatement. My friends like to helpfully remind me of that time I set that girl's hair on fire in biology lab (which was an ACCIDENT), and that time I sort of chopped my cooking partner's finger with a knife in home economics (also an accident, I assure you), and maybe also that time when I kinda shot my gym teacher (but come on, that could have happened to ANYONE).

Whatever the case, you can imagine that my hand-eye coordination isn't the best, either. I use this as the reason for why I royally suck at video games.

Sometimes, however, video games are a bit unavoidable, like at the family friend New Year's party I went to. Some people were at wild, crazy dance clubs, running about in tiny, sparkly tops and nonexistent miniskirts, waving their arms and chugging beer. (...that IS what people do at dance clubs... right?) I, on the other hand, was in a large house sitting next to a bunch of Asian boys playing video games.

There weren't that many of us kids, so someone handed me a controller and started spouting off a long list of complicated motions. ("The 'A' button - no, that's the 'B' button, the 'A' one is the green one - makes you hit people, and the 'B' button makes you hit people in cooler ways, and the 'X' button makes you jump, and the 'Y' button also makes you jump, and that little thing you spin around with your thumb makes you move, and that red button makes the world blow up.")

I nodded like I actually knew what he was talking about, settling in uber-gaming position, and got ready to play "Bowl" or "Shawl" or "Brawl" or whatever the game was. Apparently before you could actually play you have to select a character. The other guys chimed in on what were "good" characters and what were "bad" ones, but I didn't really listen and just chose the cutest one I could find.

Come on, isn't that the cutest thing?

Once your character was chosen, the fighting began!

Yeah, that kind of stumped me too. So much thought went into the selection process, and everyone had nice characters (sort of? I mean, maybe if grizzly, evil, sort-of-human things with gray skin is what rocks your boat...), and then you just try to blow everyone up?

"So why are we fighting?" I asked, hitting random buttons.

After a pause, the boy who had explained the controls to me, eyes glued to the screen, said, "Uh, what do you mean?"

"Like, what's the backstory? The conflict, or whatever? Why are they all trying to defeat each other?"

He tore his eyes away from the screen long enough to give me The Look. You know the one I'm talking about.

Yeah, that's the one.

"Uh... there isn't any. Just fight people. Make them explode. Try to win."

I blinked. "Oh. Well. Okay... I guess..."

Apparently at first I was doing really well. I actually won quite a few rounds, mostly with the gameplay strategy of hitting random stuff and making the Gamer Face.
That seems to be the Gamer Pose, too.
But then, after five hours, I started to actually figure out what was going on. I realized what all the buttons do, exactly how to win, how to do a "Knock Out"...

And I promptly began to lose.

Forget You: Review

Title: Forget You
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 20, 2010
Published By: MTV
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 stars
Amazon Rating: 3.95 stars

Synopsis: WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER? There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Review: I picked this up a little while after reading Going Too Far because I absolutely loved that book. However, while I really enjoyed this, I kept finding myself comparing it to the first Echols book I read, and it didn't measure up. This book was able to keep me turning pages and I wanted Zoey to end up with Doug, but it was by no means perfect.

What bothered me most was Zoey's erratic behavior. It was so frustrating for her to be so blind about what was going on between her and Brandon. She knew he was after a different girl every week, she knew he always cheated, and yet she still wanted a romance with him. And even once she had that, she kept worrying that she was cheating on him with Doug even though it was so obvious that Brandon was cheating on her.

Other than that, though, I loved the romance. Jennifer Echols is a master at making the perfect sexy, hot, and yet sweet and touching love story, and Doug's interactions with Zoey were what saved the book. Throughout the entire book, even as I wanted Zoey to stop being so stupid, I was rooting for her to end up with Doug.

Like her other book, this is more than some shallow romance. Doug and Zoey both struggle with real life issues and secrets, and this makes for a deeper read. All in all, I liked this book. I probably wouldn't recommend it, though, especially if you haven't read anything by this author before. If you want to foray in Jennifer Echols' writing, I would highly suggest Going Too Far.

Grade: B-

2011 Goals

Hey, all the cool kids are doing it, right? :) And yeah, I realize it's the second day of 2011, but that's just how I roll.

2011 Debut Author Challenge.

I've selected 44 books, and I plan to read each one!

2011 Historical Fiction Challenge.

This is a genre I don't often venture in, so I decided to set a realistic goal of 10 books. Hopefully I'll enjoy this little foray!

2011 Manga Challenge.

I didn't actually find a challenge by this name (though I didn't look very hard), but this is something I'm setting for myself. I love anime and manga, but I never find the time to actually read manga. So, I've decided to try and read a total of 15 volumes of manga. It doesn't matter if they're all part of one series or stand-alone volumes or different series... I just want to try and read some more!

2011 180-Book Challenge.

Another one I'm setting for myself. You know, I've never actually counted the number of books I've read, but I want to try this. Maybe I'll make it, maybe I'll epic-fail, but it's worth a try, right? Well, anyway, this means 15 books a month.


More Spotlight, Please!

There are tons of upcoming and past releases that have found their way onto my to-be-read list but haven't had that much attention (from what I've seen). So I've decided to show some books that aren't as hyped and sound good enough to deserve more spotlight. Keep in mind that I haven't actually read this yet!

Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman.

Why It Needs More Spotlight: The summary sounds intriguing. Basically, this is about three severely obese teens who are part of a group of ten patients that all undergo a special weight-loss surgery to go to normal weights. Except losing so much weight - that doesn't solve all their problems as much as they think. The Goodreads synopsis closes by saying, "Teenage Waistland is a story of betrayal, intervention, a life-altering operation, and how a long-buried truth can prove far more devastating than the layers of fat that protect it." 

Doesn't that sound awesome? Plus, take a look at that cover. It seems pretty clever, with the thin girl's body juxtaposed with the huge waistline of the jeans she's wearing. The only thing I'd say is that the cover seems to be less serious, what with the fun title fonts and light pink background, than the synopsis makes it out to be. 

I've already reserved this from the library, so I guess I'll be reading it soon! Also, I've found next to none reviews, with only a handful on Goodreads, Amazon, and other sites, and I haven't found a single one on a book blog. Oh, and just so you know, there's another book with the same title but they're different.

Have you read this book? Do you plan to? Know any other books that deserve a spotlight?