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Through the Looking Glass: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten and a Teaser Tuesday: Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks and Fateful

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Here we share our Top Ten lists; anything bookish counts!
Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading where we share a passage from the book we are currently reading!

The Truth About ForeverForbiddenThe Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Truth About Forever by: Sarah Dessen: Honestly, most of Sarah Dessen's books could qualify as excellent book club picks. She writes with such a raw understanding of emotions and reactions and how beautiful being imperfect can be.
Forbidden by: Tabitha Suzuma: I think this is already a pick for the Forbidden Book Club over at Reading Teen and a bunch of other blogs. With a group, I know I could spend hours talking about the way Tabitha crafted such an amazing and beautifully tragic story.
The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins: My mom just started reading this and we talked for a while about it. All of the dystopian themes and things that Katniss and Peeta have to deal with would make for perfect conversation at a book club.
New GirlIncarceron (Incarceron, #1)Just Listen

New Girl by: Paige Harbison: I just finished reading this one. I know it would have helped to vent some of my wonderful frustration with a group of people feeling the same! There's also a lot of mystery that would make good discussion.
Incarceron by: Catherine Fisher: This is a confusing dystopian. At first I thought it was historical. There are a lot of things that can be confusing but great once you've figured it out.
Just Listen by: Sarah Dessen: Annabel is one of those characters who is living a seemingly perfect life with a modeling career and a stable family, yet she feels like she's been thrown away by her friends. Something happened to her and it changed her. And Owen would also be a wonderful discussion topic!
Delirium (Delirium, #1)Ruthless (Pretty Little Liars, #10)Project 17

Delirium by: Lauren Oliver: The great thing about an author who previously wrote contemporary deciding to write a dystopian is that you know that the emotions and thoughts of the narrator are going to be spot-on fantastic. Enough said.
The Pretty Little Liars Series by: Sara Shepard: (Disclaimer: for those of you who only watch the show, it has absolutely nothing to do with the books) This is like a socialite mystery series that would leave everyone on the edge of their seats, conspiring on who "A" is!
Project 17 by: Laurie Faria Stolarz: A few years ago I read this and I still remember how freaked out I was the entire time. Even though it would be extremely difficult not to read all the way through it, it would make a good club pick for its haunted essence and always wanting to know what happens next.
                                                   Don't Breathe a Word
Don't Breathe a Word by: Holly Cupala: This author must be made of pure genius. She crafted the setting and characters so intricately and developed tension and other emotions with nothing short of perfection.

Teaser Tuesday (3)

This weeks teaser is from: Fateful by: Claudia Gray 

 "It's the strangest sound-like a thousand marbles being spilled across a stone floor, though deeper and larger than that. The vibration of it ripples up through our feet, and there's another kind of motion too. A shudder. As though the ship herself were as afraid as I am. And it's so close..."


Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Don't Breathe a Word
Don't Breathe a Word by: Holly Cupala
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 299
Format: Paperback Original
Genre: Contemporary
Challenges: DAC 2012, YA Contemporary Challenge 2012, 2012 Standalone Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:

Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.
My Review:

In many ways, there are no words to express how this book changed the way I look at things. Or how it affected me emotionally and created a connection with the characters that I haven't experienced in a long time.

By a long run, this is the most intense contemporary novel I've ever read. It had a harsh reality to it. There was no sugar-coating the world that Joy finds herself in. People had to acclimate to the very scum of life in order to survive on the grimy streets of Seattle's homeless population. If you are looking for a no-nonsense book that is realistic and doesn't glamorize anything, this is the book for you. I loved this aspect. It always annoys me when books make a terrible situation seem delightfully tolerable by sugar-coating it.

Joy is a complex character, to say the least. She is weak with asthma that threatens to suffocate her all the time. On the inside, she is an amazingly strong girl who will go to incredible lengths to survive and free herself from the abusive shadow of Asher and obsessively protective parents. She discovers a new life and a new family with Creed, Santos, and even May.

Creed is the reason Joy sets out on her own, hanging on to a few words that he had said to her in the shadow of an alley, but meant so much more. He is the modern version of the knight in shining armor that girls dream about. He never questioned Joy about her past and knew that everyone around them had a past to make them resort to homelessness. With his guitar and poetic voice, I fell for Creed from the beginning.

More than anything, this book made me change the way I look at homeless people. I always used to think that most of them wasted all their money on drugs or gambling and reduced themselves to barely nothing. Now, I know that each one of them has a past and a reason for being where they are. Especially the youth.

 In Joy's case, her past would seem to anyone else like a perfect teenage girls suburban life; a great boyfriend, loving parents, a little brother, friends. Yet, she was suffocating under the incessant watch of her parents. They protected her like someone would "an injured baby bird". They were physically keeping her safe, but killing her soul in the process. And Asher. He had such a terrible hold on Joy, my eyes were brimming with tears in parts.

Set on the streets of Seattle, Don't Breathe a Word will bring you to startling realization and pull you in and not let you go until after the last page.

Official Rating:
Five Un-Birthday Cakes!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Releases This Week

Beastly Deluxe Edition The Dead of Winter  Destiny and Deception (13 to Life, #4)  The Edumacation of Jay Baker

Beastly: Deluxe Edition by: Alex Flinn - 1/31/12
The Dead of Winter by: Chris Priestley - 1/31/12
Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4) by: Shannon Delaney - 1/31/12
The Edumacation of Jay Baker by: Jay Clark - 1/31/12

Lenobia's Vow (House of Night Novellas, #2)  Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)  New Girl  Tangled (Torn Trilogy, #2)

Lenobia's Vow (House of Night Novellas #2) by: P.C Cast and Kristen Cast - 1/31/12
Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by: Jodi Meadows - 1/31/12
New Girl by: Paige Harbison - 1/31/12
Tangled (Torn Trilogy #2) by: Erica O'Rourke - 1/31/12

Angelina's Secret The Boy on Cinnamon Street The Girls of No Return Green Heart (Green Angel, #3)
Angelina's Secret by: Lisa Rogers - 2/1/12
The Boy on Cinnamon Street by: Phoebe Stone - 2/1/12
The Girls of No Return by: Erin Saldin - 2/1/12
Green Heart (Green Angel #3) by: Alice Hoffman - 2/1/12

The Lifeguard  Beneath a Meth Moon  Chopsticks Harbinger
The Lifeguard by: Deborah Blumenthal - 2/1/12
Beneath a Meth Moon by: Jacqueline Woodson - 2/2/12
Chopsticks by: Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral - 2/2/12
Harbinger by: Sarah Wilson Etienne - 2/2/12

This One Time with Julia 
This One Time with Julia by: David Lampson - 2/2/12


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving JuneSaving June by: Hannah Harrington
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Page Count: 322
Format: Paperback Original
Series: None
Genre: Contemporary
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:
When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.

My Review:

This year I have made a resolution to read more contemporary books and this is one of my first for 2012. I have a hard time imagining picking a better way to kick off the New Year! This book was full of gritty and harsh reality but also the beauty of being human and enjoying everything life has to offer, as cliche as that might sound.

Saving June began on a rather sad note, with June's death the main event. I knew however, with a character as snarky and brutally honest as Harper, that her journey was going to be gripping and fantastic.

The second that Jake, Harper, and Laney began formulating the plan to take a road trip to California, I was hooked. The way all of their personalities clash was just amazing and hilarious to read. Laney, with her obsession with Hollywood film stars and live-in-the-moment attitude. Harper, with her Polaroid and snarky comebacks. And lastly, Jake, with his fedora and never failing ability to both annoy and thrill Harper.

I love seeing relationships like Haper and Jake's. The whole love-hate thing is just absolutely fantastic! Its probably my one of my favorite dynamics in the story. The tension between them built up to a massive boiling point that kept me madly turning the pages! Jake seemed to know what Harper was thinking all the time and was always honest even when the truth wasn't something she wanted to hear. The same vice-versa.

The detours that the trio took on route to California was a great plot addition. From the protest to the punk rock mosh pit, they were all interesting and unique. Each stop contributed to a huge theme in the story, I think. That even with the pain of losing June, Harper would rather have that and be stunningly bursting with life than to take the road that June did.

Official Rating:
Four and a half Un-Birthday Cakes!

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"Waiting On" Wednesday (11)

“Waiting On”Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here, we shine the spotlight on books that are coming out soon that we are excited about reading!

The Book Of Blood And ShadowThe Book of Blood and Shadow by: Robin Wasserman

Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Summary from Goodreads:

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen DeiUnbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

My Thoughts: This cover could very well end up being one of my favorite book covers of 2012! I have Robin's Cold Awakening series on my shelf to read but I've heard from multiple resources that she is a great author.  It sounds like my type of read with conspiracies, secrets, scandals, and lots of mystery!

Robin Wasserman's other books:

For even more of Robin's books, visit her Goodreads Page!

Don't forget to link me to your WoW post for this week and tell me what you think of mine!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Releases This Week

Everneath (Everneath, #1)  Forbidden Getting Over Garrett Delaney  Havoc (Deviants #2)
Everneath (Everneath #1) by: Brodi Ashton- 1/23/12
Forbidden by: Syrie James and Ryan M. James - 1/24/12
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by: Abby McDonald - 1/24/12
Havoc (Deviants #2) by: Jeff Sampson - 1/24/12

Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful, #2)  Mesmerize  Pink Smog  The Taming

Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful #2) by: Yvonne Woon - 1/24/12
Mesmerize (Mystix #4) by: Artist Arthur - 1/24/12
Pink Smog by: Francesca Lia Block - 1/24/12
The Taming by: Eric Walters and Teresa Toten - 1/24/12 (Canadian)

There is No Dog The Way We Fall  Fallen in Love (Fallen, #3.5) 

There is No Dog by: Meg Rosoff - 1/24/12
The Way We Fall (The Way We Fall #1) by:  Megan Crewe - 1/24/12
Fallen in Love (Fallen # 3.5) by: Lauren Kate - 1/24/12