Harmony Book Reviews

Archive for July 2009

Dramarama

I had the library get this (and all of her other books) in from the inter-library system because after reading the Ruby Oliver series, I wanted to check out her other books. I like this one, I’m about half-way through, but there’s something bugging me. I’m thinking it may just be her writing style because it happened with The Boy Book too.

Love You Hate You Miss You

I started this last night for the 1 ARC Tour and so far, it’s so so good. I pretty much fell asleep reading it last night because I was so tired but didn’t want to put the book down. It’s Elizabeth Scott, which pretty much guarantees its awesomeness, but I seriously thinking it’s kicking all of her other books *sses. Will definitely finish it today.

Wish You Were Dead

I started this one earlier this week and haven’t picked it up since. The beginning is super-intriguing but then…blah. I’m not sure whether I’ll pick it up to give it another shot or not.

What are you reading?

Anyone going to the Laura Wiess signing in Muncy, PA next Saturday?!

The Miles Between

Title: The Miles Between

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Rating: 8/10

Good If… You’re looking for a one-day roadtrip book.

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

Destiny Faraday makes a point of keeping her distance from her classmates at Hedgebrook Academy. Her number-one rule: Don’t get attached. But one day, unexpectedly finding a car at their disposal, Destiny and three of her classmates embark on an unauthorized road trip.

 They’re searching for one fair day—a day where the good guy wins and everything adds up to something just and right. Their destination: Langdon, a town that Destiny’s unsuspecting companions hope will hold simply a day of fun. But, as Destiny says, “Things are not always what they seem.” Only she knows that Langdon holds far more than that—a deep secret she has never shared with anyone.

My Thoughts: This book is definitely a step away from the ordinary. It makes you believe one thing for most of the novel and then when you find out that it’s completely different, it’s shocking.
Destiny is an interesting character, as is her Aunt. You never really find out what game she’s playing until the very end and you’re led to believe something very different from the truth. Her friends were fun but I would have loved for them to have a little more depth. Even now I can remember very little about each of them. I must say that my favorite character in the whole book was the little lamb they pick up.
The adventures they go on throughout the day are really fun and kinda unexpected.
The ending was…incredible. I had no clue it was coming. Wow.
Overall, I definitely recommend this!
 

If you saw yesterday’s post, you know that I’m working on some ways to help my library out. With the help of those who commented (especially The Compulsive Reader) I came up with a bunch of great ideas and this morning, I went to the library to run them by my librarian. We’ve come up with a few things that will hopefully be a hit.

1.) Autographed books. TCR suggested this, saying that if I had books I wanted to get rid of, I could have the author sign them and use them for a Chinese Auction type thing. I loved the idea, as did my librarian, but the problem is that since I live in such a small town, author names don’t really mean anything. It would just be another book and we aren’t sure how much that would help. I do have a few already autographed books that I want to try it with and if it works, it’s something we can do next year on a bigger level.

2.) Book Groups. Instead of the autographed books, we decided that grouping books together and using them for the Chinese Auction may work best. From this point on, I’ll be saving most of my ARCs/review copies for this and I’m also looking to collect some if. So, reviewers/authors/whoever, if you have any books just lying around that are in good shape and you’d like to get rid of them for a good cause, email me. Anything will work – YA, MG, childrens, and adults – since it won’t be just teens entering for this stuff.

3.) Chinese Auction. Like I mentioned, we’ll be doing a Chinese Auction. It will include the books mentioned above and hopefully I’ll be able to get donations from local businesses. I also plan on buying things like giftcards, etc. that people would enjoy. My grandma plans on putting together some baskets of various things, I believe.

4.) Sponsor A Book. I actually just came up with this one, it has been run by my librarian yet, but hopefully it will work out. I plan on making a list of YA/MG books that the library needs to complete series or to fill an author’s collection and finding the current price on Amazon. Then, when people come to the bake/book sale, they will have the option of sponsoring a book by donating the price listed so we can order the book. I’m not sure how many people will be interested but I figure it’s atleast worth a shot.

5.) Bake Sale. This is the most defiinite thing I plan on doing. I did it a few weeks ago for their early summer bake sale but unfortunately, I did most of the baking. We did raise $50 though. This time, I plan on getting more people to bake stuff, possibly by posting a sign-up sheet in the library. We also won’t price stuff and let it be donations only which may raise more money.

So that’s what we’ve come up with so far. Does anyone have any comments on what I’ve listed or suggestions for new things?

Tangled

First off, I absolutely ADORE this cover. I love the covers and the hearts are just so cool. Second of all, I loved the one Mackler book that I read so I’d love to try more of her stuff, even though I have no clue what this one is about.

As many of you know, I live in a small town. Living in a small town equals having a small library. A small library means a small book selection. Now, don’t get my wrong, I LOVE my library. I go there three or four times a week to hang out and help. BUT, their teen section pretty much sucks. In the last year it’s gotten better because I donate my books and a few of my friends complained about not having enough teen books but the truth is, they get in very few books due to their small budget.

So a few friends and I have made it out mission to help out the YA section of our their. A few weeks ago when they had their book sale we ran a booksale. It only raised about $50 (like I said, small town. And I pretty much baked everything) but that paid for a few books.

They have a fall booksale that usually attracts more people because they do it during a town festival. We are going to try to do more fundraising around that time. We’re thinking another bakesale but I’d like to try some other things too. My grandma suggested a basket raffle or Chinese Auction but I’m not sure how to get items for those.

I know many of you volunteer at libraries, are librarians, or just come up with good ideas and I’d LOVE it if you could provide any suggestions. I’ll be running everything by my librarian, of course, but I need stuff to run by her. 🙂

Presenting Lenore did this interesting post about the books she reviews, which you should really check out here. She linked some other posts you should definitely check out. I decided to do it because I expect the result to be interesting.

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott – requested from publisher.

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender – offered by publisher.

Confidence is Queen by Susie Castillo – offered by publisher.

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis – requested from publisher, also sent randomly after.

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley – sent randomly by publisher.

Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott – from a trade with fellow reviewer.

Destroy all Cars by Blake Nelson – sent randomly from publisher.

Cathy’s Ring/Cathy’s Key – offered by publisher.

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith – won in author contest

Hold Still by Nina LaCour – sent by publisher randomly

Also Known As Harper by Anna Haywood Leal – requested from publisher

After by Amy Efaw – requested from publisher

Shiver by Maggie Stievfater – requested from publisher.

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian – requested from publisher.

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter – offered by publisher.

The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan – requested from author.

After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr – requested from author.

Cathy’s Book by Sean Stewart – offered by publisher.

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle – requested from publisher.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti – requested from publisher

As you can see, I get most of my books directly from the publisher and occasionally from authors. Unfortunately, as you can see, I’m not able to buy many books. I do buy them or ask that my family members buy them but they’re often books that I’ve already read from an ARC and want to support the author or books I won’t review (like 20th in some random series). If I cut out my ARCs, they would be less reviews but I’d still have a lot to review because I do get books from my library too.

**If I had done this in the first couple of months I started, it would look nothing like this. Only recently have I started getting this many books from publishers and I’ve been at this a year and half.

Something, Maybe

Title: Something, Maybe

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Rating: 8.5/10

Good If…You’re looking for a cute and fast summer romance.

Summary: (Taken from BN.com)

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she’s got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad’s girlfriends and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar . . . and that’s just how she likes it.
Of course, that doesn’t help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah’s sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can’t stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she’s going crazy. Yet she’s determined to make things work out the way she wants – only what she wants may not be what she needs. . . .
Once again, Elizabeth Scott has created a world so painfully funny and a cast of characters so heartbreakingly real that you’ll love being a part of it from unexpected start to triumphant finish.

My Thoughts:

Let me start off by saying that this is my least-favorite Elizabeth Scott book so far. Which means it still ranks higher than most books I read/review and I loved it.

Once again Scott has brought another realistic teen romance to the table. Hannah is your typical teen – in love with the gorgeous guy she can’t have and having major issues with her parents. Except her parents are your normal parents. Her father is pretty much an unemotional millionaire who lives his life as the TV show dictates and her mother video-tapes herself showing more skin than Hannah would like. I don’t think I’ve ever seen parents quite as unique as that before.

I did find this a little bit predictable but with the summary like the one on the back, tell me who can’t figure the ending out. What I did enjoy was how the ending was reached – things definitely did not happen as I was expecting.

Very few books make me laugh or cry. This one did both. Highly recommended.
Side note – for those wondering my fave Scott novels go like this – 1. Perfect You 2. Bloom 3. Something, Maybe

Bad Girls Don't Die

Title: Bad Girls Don’t Die

Author: Katie Alender

Rating: 8/10

Good If… You’re looking for a haunt but not totally creepy ghost story.

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.

When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?

My Thoughts: I held off on reading this for quite a while because I’m easily scared and this involved ghosts. Ghost stories+chicken me = nightmares. So I waited until a nice, rainy day that I was running a bakesale at the library to get very far in it. But once I got into my reading groove, I could not put this down.

Bad Girls Don’t Die was pretty much everything I wasn’t expecting. It’s quirky, it’s haunting, and it’s mysterious. For the most part, it’s unpredictable too. There was one thing that I figured out but other than that, I was on the edge of my seat.

What I loved most was how subtle the spookiness was. At first, it was just little things and it kept building up until the end. The struggle within Kasey also added so much to the story, from what you got to read about it.

All in all, I definitely recommend this one for those who don’t like scary books but are looking for a little paranormal spookiness.

Confidence is Queen: The Four Keys to Ultimate Beauty Through Positive Thinking

Title: Confidence is Queen

Author: Susie Castillo

Rating: 9/10

Good If… You’re looking for a self-help book that actually helps.

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

Former Miss USA and MTV VJ Susie Castillo shares her ultimate beauty secret.
MTV personality, Neutrogena spokesperson, and former Miss USA Susie Castillo knows firsthand what it takes to get the most out of life: confidence. She learned this through her greatest victories, as well as through her greatest challenges. After her father left the family when she was only six years old, Susie could have succumbed to feeling discouraged and insecure. But her resilient mother taught her the power of positive thinking, which gave Susie confidence, earning her a crown and a dream come true.
Today, that positive thinking has become a way of life for Susie. In this inspirational book, she reveals the four keys to building self confidence and how to apply them to one’s life. By developing spirituality, embracing relationships, taking control of health and body image, and making dreams a reality, readers will be unleashing their own ultimate beauty in no time.

My Thoughts: I had pretty neutral expectations going into this one. Self-help books can go either way with me and I wasn’t too sure what a model would have to say that would be useful to me. But by the end, I was extremely impressed with this novel.

I should probably note that this isn’t a straight-up self-help book. There are many of Susie’s personal stories included and quite about her life but I felt that added to the book and made it easier to relate to.

I really liked how the book was split into four parts and they each built on each other. I found at least certain bits of each part to be helpful, especially the Relationships section, and applied some of it to my own life. The one topic I didn’t get much out of was the diet/weight/food topic. The recipes she included were so foreign and disgusting that I can’t believe anyone would eat them. However, that’s probably just from the lifestyle I’m used to and just because I got nothing out of it doesn’t mean you won’t.

Overall, this is one of the few non-fiction books I will recommend.



    • Megan: Just read LAST CHRISTMAS. I would SOOO reccomend it to people who havent even read the private series. It is soo good.The suspense was kiling me all t
    • Lola: Oh my gosh! i just finished it....i googled the song for i had never herd it before......may have been a mistake because it is in my head for taciturn
    • mais: heeeyyyy.... can anyonePLEASE give me the link or even send me the copy of the eighth book(revelation on my email because i cant find it anywhere for

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