June 29, 2012

Covers of the Week

Catherine by April Linder

 “A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. “Wuthering Heights” as you’ve never seen it before.”
Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?
Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a brief illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years — a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She “disappeared.” Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her — starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.
Told in two voices, twenty years apart, “Catherine “interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.

Jane by April Linder

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love? An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.

Pivot Point by Kasie West

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with–her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school–but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through…and who she can’t live without.

What do you think?

I am absolutely smitten! Catherine and Pivot Point coming in as number 1 and Jane as Number 2

Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below!

Designing Books is no laughing matter. OK It Is...

18 minutes, but I enjoyed it; hope you do too!

June 22, 2012

REVIEW: Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed "who me?" look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved—Liam Ward—can barely even look at her anymore.
When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression. Though she might end up dead, she has one last shot at redemption and the chance to right the wrongs she's inflicted on the people who mean the most to her. And Bridget's about to learn that, sometimes, saying you're sorry just isn't enough….

Reminiscent of aspects of Gossip Girl, The Ghost and the Goth and Mean Girls, Here Lies Bridget has a great premise, but fails to deliver.

Even though I was aware that Bridget was designed to be annoying so that she could reach redemption by the end of the novel, I thought that she crossed the line just that little bit far. She was just that tiny bit too annoying for me. Harbison was not able to make you interested enough in Bridget to see what was going to happen to her. 

 I was unable to connect with her, which made it harder to enjoy, and I just kept feeling really bad for the characters that she picked on. I wasn't enjoying it, so I stopped reading about half way through the novel. 

I didn't like it, but here are some other opinions.

I gave it to Katie from The Young Contemporaries, here's what she said:

"I could write a book on words to describe Bridget, horrible, loathsome, spoiled, self absorbed, cruel, to others in her life though she is commonly know to others as a b****. After reading some of the horrible things Bridget has done it made me realise that the girls in Mean Girls are little bunnies in comparison. Bridget is mean and cruel to her friends, teachers and step-mother.
Do I love this book, not particularly, did I dislike this book because of the protagonist? YES, because of the character Paige Harbison created I hated Bridget. Yes through the book I might of felt some sympathy towards her but that was quickly crushed after she turns around and does something cruel to someone else."
 Nicola from A Pocketful of Books (below)
"I really, really loved this book. I was a bit concerned that it would be hard to like given that the main character acts so badly for the first half but it seriously surprised me. In no time at all, I found myself empathising with Bridget and willing everything to work out for her. When Bridget crashes her car in a fit of madness, she's sent to a boardroom full of people she has terrorized during her life. From there, she literally steps into the shoes of the people she has wronged and sees herself from their perspective. I'll admit, it did get a bit tedious having to go through the same scenes again but that is the only fault I can find in this novel. The writing is great and the idea is interesting. It kept me on the edge until the very last page- which ended the book nicely, thankfully. It also made me laugh a few times. Overall, a delightful and witty book that certainly deserves five stars in my opinion. I can totally see why people wouldn't like this but I personally really did."
Nikki @ Wicked Awesome Books

Isamlq's review on Goodreads (below)

"Oh, to describe Bridget. Loathsome. No? How about hateful? Self-absorbed? Spoiled? Or just plain old mean. I guess one word isn’t enough to describe how much I loathed to see her wrap everyone around her finger. Reading of her exploits reminded me of Lohan in Mean Girls. The similarity ends there because while the movie entertained me… had me laughing and empathizing with where the meannies were coming from, Bridget was another matter altogether.

The It girl’s meanness was too much for me.In the first half of this 200 plus page book, we read what she does, what she thinks, and how she justifies herself/her acts. IMO, the redemption part came a bit late; her meanness had been drummed into my head too effectively. And while everyone deserves a second chance, I just couldn’t budge myself into giving Bridget hers! My dislike for her had become too well-entrenched.

The only part that truly "clicked" for me was Liam+ Bridget’s POV. The bigcomeuppance that I expected did not materialize. I thought the ending was too pat. And while the book isn't terrible (because there were parts that did work) I'd go for something else especially if you're after a bad girl learns to better her ways."

June 18, 2012

REVIEW: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This cute road-trip novel by Morgan Matson is a quick, cute read that is perfect for summer.

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

The characters are likeable, believable, with justified emotions, and have convincing motivations. Besides those logical reasons, there is just something about the characters in Amy and Roger's Epic Detour that make it so likeable; they're all so likeable and quirky in their own ways. While some do play up to clichés, it is not annoying or exhausting, but the exact opposite; cute.

The atmosphere of the novel is light-hearted and is pure escapism that easily takes your mind off the outside world for a while. This is added to by Matson's use of media scattered throughout the text. 
found here
The use of travel journals, postcards, photos, playlists, (and much more that starts with a p!) is what makes the story so easy to assimilate into. Pages like the one shown above feature all the way through the text and give it that third dimension; as if the events actually took place. 

Overall, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is a really cute read that won't make you cry, or throw the book across the room. It's the emotional middle ground that has just enough of each to make it engaging. It's plot is satisfying and closes it up while still leaving you in hope for another of Matson's instalments.

I think you will enjoy Amy & Roger's Epic Detour if you are female and between 12 and 16 or 17. If you enjoyed it you might like Meg Cabot, Kody Keplinger or Sarra Manning, and vice versa. 
If you have read it, tell me what you think!

June 06, 2012

Cover to Cover: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Ok, so you all might know that I am a stickler (what a weird word) for covers, and that a bad ( in my opinion) cover can put me off reading a book ( but not for long!).

I am often annoyed when I buy a book with an okay cover, only to find that a foreign cover is so much better. I might be a total book-cover-snob, but you have to agree with me; it's totes true.

I haven't yet read it, (just about to start) but I love the fact that The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith has such cute, fun, light covers ALL OVER THE WORLD.

It's so unfair on one hand, so lucky on the other and makes me happy on the other. (Wow! Apparently I have three hands. Who Knew?!)

My second favourite cover, I love everything about it: Holland

 Not really one of my favourites, but still cute: France

SOOO cute, reminds me of Boys, Bears, and a Serious pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald: don't know what country - obviously English as a first language!

MY FAVOURITE, you can see why!: Italy

So Cute: China

*raised eyebrow* Makes me think that it is an adult book. Minus the heart on the i in blik: Denmark

Love the colour palette: Germany

Really cool idea for a cover, love the eyes (hmhm - what else is there to like?!): Norway

Cute re-take of the English cover: Sweden

The Original, funnily enough, it doesn't make my top 3: US/UK

My Top 3:

1. Italy
2. Holland
3. Unknown (the third cover from the top)

Which ones are your favourites?

June 05, 2012

Quote of the Week

From Adorkable by Sarra Manning:

"I kept catching him giving me these odd, expectant looks, like he thought I might suddenly rip off my new clothes to reveal a fluorescent catsuit and shout, 'Psych!' as loud as I could."

For those of you have read the awesome book, I don't know about you, but I think  that this was probably the funniest part of the book for me - how about you?

For those people who haven't read Adorkable, and should be ashamed of themselves right now (kidding!), then if this quote isn't enough for you to want to read the book then the fact that it is AMAZING should be. So there. Also, it's one of my new favourite books. 

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