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Waiting on Wednesday

The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale. Here's what Goodreads has to say: Evie's shattered ribs have been a secret for the last four years. Now she has found the strength to tell her adoptive parents, and the physical traces of her past are fixed - the only remaining signs a scar on her side and a fragment of bone taken home from the hospital, which her uncle Ben helps her to carve into a dragon as a sign of her strength.

Soon this ivory talisman begins to come to life at night, offering wisdom and encouragement in roaming dreams of smoke and moonlight that come to feel ever more real.

As Evie grows stronger there remains one problem her new parents can't fix for her: a revenge that must be taken. And it seems that the Dragon is the one to take it.

This subtly unsettling novel is told from the viewpoint of a fourteen-year-old girl damaged by a past she can't talk about, in a hypnotic narrative that, while giving increasing insight, also becomes increasingly unreliable.

A blend of psychological thriller and fairytale, The Bone Dragon explores the fragile boundaries between real life and fantasy, and the darkest corners of the human mind.

Waiting on Wednesday (on Thursday)

This week, I'm waiting on...

Los Angeles, 2012. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to the eradication of demons and being the best, fastest and deadliest Shadowhunter since Jace Lightwood. Raised in the Los Angeles Institute, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian. As Emma hunts those who caused the death of her parents, the trail they’re following leads back to those they’ve always been taught to trust. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with Julian — her closest friend and, because he is her parabatai, the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

Well, the reasons why are obvious!

Waiting on Wednesday (on Friday!)

This week, I'm waiting on...

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan. Here's what Goodreads has to say:

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they had before, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.
Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution.

In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants in the body she wants to be loved in without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

Adult Book Mini-Reviews (4)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book was the perfect kind of thriller, jam-packed with suspense but of a thoughtful nature. Some thrillers can take you on wild adventures but with resolutions you can see from a mile away, whereas this one was clearly crafted with care. I particularly loved what was arguably the largest plot twist of the entire book - if you've read it, you know what I mean! - and the heart-pounding hunt that followed. Another great aspect was the fact that both characters were, in some respect, equally flawed, which lent itself for an intriguing read, and put the dual perspective of the story to good use. My only complaint was that I felt the resolution was not as complete as it could have been, although this may have been done by the author's choice.

Recommended? Highly!

Speechless: Review

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Release Date: August 2012
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 288
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 stars

Review: Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse. But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

SPEECHLESS opens with an intriguing concept that brought an issue that perhaps can be considered old into a new light. Although topics like gossip and harmful secret sharing are nothing novel in young adult fiction, I've never read a book about a vow of silence, so this intrigued me. The plot is engaging right from the first page and doesn't let up until the book is over, without sacrificing any character development.

As with most young adult books, this novel definitely had a romantic angle to it, which I was not sure would be entirely fitting for the story. To my pleasant surprise, it wasn't jarring at all and fit in relatively smoothly with the events of the book. The romance itself was sweet, although not terribly original. I do sometimes wish that there would be a romance to really shake things up without the same old, predictable line.

What did bother me, though, was the author's treatment of minor characters. As there should have been, there was a large focus on Chelsea and the emotional consequences of her actions, but I wanted to know more about what happened to Noah, Kristen, and her boyfriend, and how the book ended for them too. They were important elements of the story as well and to merely gloss over it felt wrong.

All in all, SPEECHLESS was not quite a book that left me speechless (I just can't resist the puns) but it was a good read nonetheless. The plot concept was intriguing and executed well, although I did wish for a more original romance and a broader focus than just her inner turmoil. I would recommend this to any fans of contemporary, but this is perhaps not the right book for anyone who does not already enjoy the genre. 

Less Posting

Apologies for the lack of posting this week. I have had one of the busiest, craziest weeks of my life.

Waiting on Wednesday (77)

This week, I'm waiting on...

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Here's what Goodreads has to say: From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

I mean, do I even need an explanation for this? It's STEPHANIE PERKINS.

Adult Book Mini-Reviews (3)

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. I enjoyed this book but didn't love it, something for which I partly blame my too-high expectations. I heard this book would be the historical thriller for those who don't like historical thrillers (more or less my category), and while it was quite good as far as books in that genre go, it still wasn't my cup of tea. My chief complaint was that the book just moved too slowly for me, both in terms of plot progression and character development, and it was only in the final quarter of the book that the pace picked up. It was this quarter that I enjoyed the most as finally I was flipping pages with the eagerness of someone who wants to know what happens next. Still, this had an inventive and unique plot based upon real events, and it was indeed quite interesting to read the perspective of someone as morbid as a hangman. Recommended? Yes, if you're a fan of historical fiction or want to try it out.

NW by Zadie Smith. I didn't know this before going on - and it didn't negatively impact my reading experience at all - but this is not so much a traditional novel as an experimental piece of fiction. I was a little thrown off at first but the raw, lyrical quality of the writing appealed to me almost immediately. It was like reading poetry encapsulated in story form, free from the rigidity of typical novels but still very much with a sense of coherency. This form lent itself very well to exploring the characters deeply and really giving insight into the inner workings of each of the four main perspectives, as well as showing how all their complicated lives and tensions connected into one main story. Note that this certainly is not a book for everyone. Recommended? Very highly so, but only to those who enjoy or think they may enjoy experimental fiction - it may fall flat otherwise.

Audrey, Wait!: Review

Title: Audrey, Wait!
Author: Robin Benway
Release Date: April 2008
Published By: Razorbill
Pages: 320
Goodreads Rating: 3.87 stars

Review: When Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, he writes, “Audrey, Wait!” - a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous! Now rabid fans are invading her school, the lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse, and the Internet is documenting her every move. Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. But soon she has to confront her ex on MTV - and show the world who she really is.

AUDREY, WAIT! is exactly what it sounds: an awesome, fun read that doesn't stop the momentum from start to finish. Although there were plenty of emotions to go along with the ride, the story was peppered with hilarious incidents and moments of laughter, and all this was helped considerably by the fact that the narrator had the perfect voice for a novel like this. Audrey is smart and funny, with just the right amount of dryness in her narration to keep the pace going.

However, this book wasn't all laughs and games, as there was some good old-fashioned drama to shake things up. It wasn't just pointless, for-the-entertainment drama, though; Audrey underwent real struggles in coming to terms with her relationship with Evan and what it meant. I found this aspect of the book to be sweet and emotional without straying too far from the lines of reality. Nothing here made me cringe, which is, of course, always a plus.

While I enjoyed the book overall and didn't have too many quibbles with it, one part that bugged me throughout the entire novel was that of the realism behind the plot concept. I just couldn't believe that merely being the subject of a pop sing hit would make her so overwhelmingly famous. I would expect that from the writer of the song, not the girl whose name is in it. 

All in all, AUDREY, WAIT! was just what you would want in a pick-me-up book. It's light but has a lot of heart, and is sure to bring a smile to your face no matter what kind of day you've had. There is one particular aspect that does not feel very realistic, but apart from that, the characters and romance are all believable, not to mention the very authentic and funny voice behind the story. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a light and fun read.

Genres: Likes and Dislikes

I know the idea of genres has always been somewhat controversial because of the difficulty in pinning a book into a pigeonhole of a classification, but I do think genres are necessary to at least give broad approximations of what a given book is about. Without them, it would be difficult to quickly describe a certain novel or even to organize books in something like a library or in an online catalogue.

Despite this obvious usefulness, I still feel that the existence of genres can sometimes be a bad thing, and this arises primarily from stereotyping. This happens at one point or another to most people, and for me it happened with science fiction. I found that I just, in general, do not like "traditional" science fiction, and so for the most part I have avoided such books, sticking mainly to sci-fi like Malinda Lo's "Adaptation" instead of, say, something by Asimov.

Recently, however, I was persuaded to read Ender's Game, which had many of the elements of "traditional" science fiction - spaceships, aliens, a nearly all-male cast, a future society, and so forth. Yet despite this, I found myself enjoying the book a great deal. Because I had stereotyped the genre of science fiction to be something dull with little character development, I prevented myself from trying other works that I also might potentially enjoy.

So, what do you think about the existence of genres? Are there any genres you try to avoid?

Waiting on Wednesday (76)

This week, I'm waiting on...

Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard. Here's what Goodreads has to say: Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.

There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.

When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Every Day: Review

Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Release Date: August 2012
Published By: Knopf
Pages: 336
Goodreads Rating: 4.04 stars

Review: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I didn't expect any less from David Levithan, but EVERY DAY was an excellent book with an intriguing and inventive concept behind it. The idea of waking up every day in a different body is fascinating, and even more interesting are the questions that come with it, which Levithan explored to some extent. For instance, questions about identity and sexuality are raised, and what it means to be "you" when you're a different "you" every day.

I did, however, want more of an exploration of these topics, or at least more of an explanation. To be honest, I don't really buy the idea that A would be able to form as much of an approximation of a personality as he did (for sake of ease, I will refer to A as male even though his gender is much more fluid than that). I feel like someone who lives like that wouldn't be self-aware, or at least not as much as a normal person is, and because of that, I really wanted a more satisfying explanation for why he was able to be who he was.

This is not to say I didn't enjoy the book, because I very much did. And in fact, I particularly liked the ending, and felt that given the circumstances, it was a pretty satisfying conclusion. I know there are some people who definitely were not fans of it, but I think it's the only one that would've made sense. Any other ending would just be plain unrealistic, and would taste more off than this one.

All in all, EVERY DAY was an excellent novel - one that I would recommend every day (excuse the pun). From the intriguing exploration of difficult topics to unique and original concept, almost every part of this book was crafted with the kind of skill I've learned to expect from this author. I did wish for more of an explanation/discussion on certain aspects, but other than that, this was a near-flawless book that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Waiting on Wednesday (75)

This week, I'm waiting on...

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman. Here's what Goodreads has to say: They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Adaptation: Review

Title: Adaptation
Author: Malinda Lo
Release Date: September 2012
Published By: Little, Brown
Pages: 400
Goodreads Rating: 3.57 stars

Review: Reese and David are in Arizona when a bird flies into their headlights. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed. Things are even stranger when Reese returns home: police enforcing curfew and hazmat teams collecting dead birds. Soon, her search for the truth threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

This is the first novel I've read by Malinda Lo, and though I heard good things, nothing could have quite prepared me for the fast-paced ride that was ADAPTATION. From start to finish, this book had action that just kept rolling, and it introduced plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. Although this wasn't a particularly creepy book (as, I admit, I had hoped), there was enough suspense to satisfy me and keep me desperate to know what was going to happen next.

I also found that, as a whole, the book was very easy to read, and I do mean this in a good way. Reese was one of my favorite kind of young adult narrators, the sort that "speaks" (reads?) in a relatable, flowing manner, and she was entertaining to boot. It almost feels like you're talking to your best friend when you read this book.

Even though the action and suspense were pretty high up there, the author took the time to explore the softer, more emotional aspects of the characters, which I certainly appreciated. Most notably, Reese had a deeply personal struggle with her sexuality when she met Amber Gray, especially in light of her previous crush on David, and I was happy to see how well the author handled the page time. There was just enough devoted to these aspects to really flesh out the characters and make it an excellent read on a deeper level, without too much to detract from the overall plot.

All in all, ADAPTATION was an excellent and suspenseful read that didn't fail to keep me on my toes. The romance was also interesting and while not perfect, certainly better than most romantic sub-plots that occasionally get forced into action/suspense books. This wasn't by any means a flawless novel but it was a very enjoyable read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any fans of lighter science fiction.

Snow Storm

As a big Nor'easter approaches... I wish everyone the best of luck in the upcoming snow storm! I for one am hoping school is canceled tomorrow, but not at the cost of losing power. After Sandy and what happened last year, I don't think I can bear another week or so of power loss.

What I'm hoping for is a nice long weekend curled up at home where it's warm and cozy with a pile of good books. So, what are your favorite books to read during storms?

Waiting on Wednesday (74)

This week, I'm waiting on...

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu. Here's what Goodreads has to say:

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic… and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a ton about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control, but this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down… and she might end up breaking her own heart.

What are you waiting on?

All You Never Wanted: Review

Title: All You Never Wanted
Author: Adele Griffin
Release Date: October 2012
Published By: Knopf Readers
Pages: 240
Goodreads Rating: 3.25 stars

Review: Alex has it all—brains, beauty, popularity, and a dangerously hot boyfriend. Her little sister Thea wants it all too, and she's stepped up her game to get it. But she'll stop at nothing to get what she wants, no matter the cost. Even if it means spinning the truth to win the attention she deserves. Even if it means uncovering a shocking secret her older sister never wanted to share. Even if it means crying wolf.

ALL YOU NEVER WANTED is a dark contemporary novel that unfolds some very gritty issues. Each of the characters struggle with their own obstacles, and I liked seeing their individual lives mesh together into a painfully honest story. It can be hard to write an "issues book" well without coming across as too sappy or exaggerated, but Adele Griffin pulled this off with the same skill I've seen in her previous novels.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of this book is the fact that it's told through alternating perspectives, which can be a tricky thing to write. Sometimes authors use it when it's not really necessary, but luckily, this was not the case here. The alternating chapters lent insight into both characters, providing deeper looks into what made them tick and how they were grappling with the issues at hand.

However, not every part of this story was perfect, and one part that rather bothered me was the ending. The book was building and building up, and then I felt like the ending didn't truly resolve everything. It wasn't as summative as it could have been and didn't address all that it could have - or as I felt, should have. If the ending had instead covered more (not necessarily everything), I would have finished with a better feeling about it.

All in all, ALL YOU NEVER WANTED is nearly all you've ever wanted (the pun was impossible to resist). From its sensitive but bold handling of difficult issues to the well-written alternating viewpoints, the beginning and middle of this book will keep you thoroughly absorbed in the story. I did wish for a better ending, which was the main part that disappointed me, but other than that, I would recommend this to any fans of contemporary.

Waiting on Wednesday (73)

This week, I'm waiting on...

Rush by Eve Silver. Here's what Goodreads has to say: When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Adult Book Mini-Reviews (2)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but no matter what I was thinking, this novel was even better than I could have imagined. Told in a unique format, the storyline circled around rather than progressing in a strictly linear fashion, which would not work for all books but was phenomenal here. From the background given on Oscar's family to the perspectives of those around him and finally to Oscar himself, every part of this book was emotional and moving. The story is both brutally realistic with its ties into the reign of Trujillo and somehow almost dream-like with its treatment in other areas, but all in all, I loved every moment of this.

Recommended? Absolutely!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. You know those books that are chock full of those passages where you have to stop and read them over and over again because the words are so beautiful and so unsettling and so true that you need to ingrain them in your memory? That's this book, and that's why you have to read it. I won't say that the plot was absolutely perfect or all the characters absolutely wonderful (although I did love Shadow), but this is a profound book. Not a perfect story, no, but inventive, creepy, and beautiful. This is the kind of book you want to read with post-its in hand to mark down the best passages for posterity.

Recommended? No, if you're looking for a great story. Yes, if you're looking for spectacular writing.

Nobody: Review

Title: Nobody
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: January 2013
Published By: EgmontUSA
Pages: 393
Goodreads Rating: 3.69 stars

Review: No one sees the Nobodies: they're forgotten as soon as you turn away. The Institute finds them and takes them away for training, but an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization - and threats must be eliminated. Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring, but now they’ve sent Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit - and suddenly, they're both threats to the Institute.

First of all, don't forget to enter the giveaway for this book that's going to close soon! And now, onto the review - NOBODY had a very cool concept behind it, which I loved. The idea of people who are metaphysically altered so that no one notices or remembers them and then using them as assassins is intriguing, and I especially enjoyed the exploration of what kind of emotional effects this has on a person. However, I did feel that at times, the emotional aspect was emphasized too much as to almost feel like the characters were excessively complaining.

That's not to say that the emotions took away from the pacing of the book, though, which was excellent. The narration of the book made reading it smooth and easy, and the suspense ratcheted higher and higher as I feel deeper through the pages. In general, the pacing was fast when it needed to be while able to fall into a slower tempo to explore the feels.

But let's talk about the feels now. I have to say, this was the one part of the book that I was, shall we say, not such a big fan of. One of the biggest pet peeves I have in young adult books is insta-love romance, and this novel certainly had that early on in the story. Just a few hours after Nix and Claire met, it was like they had this magical connection and fell deeply in love. While I understand that it makes sense for them to be compelled to each other, the romance was just not believable for me and detracted from the book.

All in all, NOBODY featured a fascinating concept that's sure to pull in readers and keeps your interest up through an engaging and fast-paced plot. I did wish for a better romance because that was the big aspect that stopped the book from being as good as it could have been, but if you're willing to overlook that, there is a great story waiting between the pages. 

Waiting on Wednesday (72)

This week, I'm waiting on...

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider. Here's what Goodreads has to say: Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Giveaway: Nobody and Every Other Day

This is your opportunity to win one copy of Nobody and one copy of Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes!

Here's what Goodreads has to say about Nobody: There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

And here's what it says about Every Other Day: Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She argues with her father. She’s human.

And then every day in between . . . she’s something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her, and unfortunately she’ll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive . . . and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

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Minimalist Movie Adaptions

Matteo Civaschi has created two minimalist movie posters summarizing the plots of book-to-movie adaptations that I thought were very clever! It's amazing how he summarized them with so few images. See if you can guess what movies they are before you see the titles...



Waiting on Wednesday (71)

This week, I'm waiting on...

45 Pounds (More or Less) by K. A. Barson.
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.

And a size 17.

Her perfect mother is a size 6.

Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.

So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

What are you waiting on?

Wish You Were Dead: Review

Title: Wish You Were Dead
Author: Todd Strasser
Release Date: September 2009
Published By: EgmontUSA
Pages: 236
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 stars

Review: The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes, tearing apart the world of Madison, Lucy's friend and the last person to see her alive. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-d’s blog, the residents of Soundview panic. Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances... before her name appears in Str-S-d’s blog.

WISH YOU WERE DEAD was just the kind of psychological suspense I love to read. The plot was immediately compelling, grabbing the reader from the first page and refusing to let go through the end. The further you go into the book, the faster the pace picks up, until you reach the point where you're basically flipping pages as quickly as you can to find out who the killer is and why they're on this mission. And let me just say - the big reveal does not disappoint. Of all the characters in the book, it truly was the last one I expected, just as should be in a good mystery.

One aspect that I especially liked was the narration. Although Madison wasn't really a go-getter kind of character, it didn't bother me for two reasons: the first is that I was content to see the plot unfold through her eyes and the second is that her narration somehow perfectly complemented the book. Usually you would expect a certain tone from such a dark book, and while the serious parts were serious and the creepy parts were creepy, Madison's narration took a more light-hearted approach than you might anticipate - and it worked.

The only part of the novel that truly bothered me was the romance. I always seem to have quibbles with this in books so this really could just be me, but the romance seemed like something that was just sort of hastily shoved into the plot for the sake of having a romance. I found Tyler more tiresome than enchanting, and frankly, I couldn't understand why Madison didn't feel the same way. 

All in all, WISH YOU WERE DEAD was an excellent young adult suspense novel that I would rank high for its intriguing plot concept and shocking mystery reveal. I only wish that the romance was better, but the narration and cool plot more than make up for this flaw. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult thrillers but doesn't want something that would make them scared to go to sleep.