Thursday, December 12, 2013

The end.

It is with a heavy heart but lighter shoulders that I say good-bye to my blog today.  It's a decision I haven't come to lightly, but my responsibilities between work and home and grown to the point where I simply cannot keep up with my blog.  The thought of having to write a well-thought out review has been preventing me from reading recently.  Quite simply, I want to go back to reading for me and for fun.  This past year, my blog has unfortunately become more work than fun.

If you have been following my blog, I cannot thank you enough.  The response to Panda Reads was much greater than I ever anticipated and even though I never made it to superstar status I appreciate each and every one of you.  If you want to keep up with what I'm reading, please feel free to follow me on Goodreads.

Thank you and goodnight.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Lanie Bross
336 pages
Releases: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: NetGalley

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Corinthe has been exiled from her home in Pyralis and sent to the human world.  There, under the guidance of her mentor, Miranda, she must complete several tasks before she can return home and be with her sisters.  Her tasks involve making sure people's fate turns out as they are supposed to, including making sure they are in the right place at the right time for death.  But her final task is new... she must actually kill.  Problem is, she's feeling more and more human these days and she's starting to fall for her target, Lucas.

Not gonna lie, I was drawn in by the cover of this book.  I was searching through NetGalley for something new and the blues and greens of this cover really drew me in.  The description sounded like something I would like, so I requested it.  Good job, Delacorte, for this gorgeous cover that's sure to draw readers in.

Fates really made me think about the question of choice versus fate.  Do we have free will or is everything planned out for us?  Sure we have choices, we make them every day, but are we really choosing or is the outcome already predetermined?  These are fun things to ponder, especially if you're into Philosophy - it reminded me a lot of my PHL101 class in college.  Although I spent time reflecting on this while reading, it wasn't something the author spent a lot of time on.

Like I said, Fates has a gorgeous cover, but a cover alone does not a good book make unfortunately, and I found more problems with this book than I found things to love.  What stood out the most to me was the author's writing style - it seemed simplistic to me and I noticed it a lot more in the second half of the book.  Also, I don't know if this was a formatting problem with my eGalley, but there didn't seem to be much of a distinction between scenes.  That, combined with the fast paced nature of the book, made me feel like I was on a literary bullet train.  I love fast paced novels, but it seems like the book lacked some detail that would have enriched the text.

Three stars.  There were more downsides to this book for me, though ultimately I liked it enough to give it three stars.  Fates might not have done it for me, but I can see a readership out there.  I think fans of Aprilynne Pike's Wings series would adore Fates.  If you're a fantasy or mythology fan, this one's for you.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blog Tour: The Lair (The Farm, #2) by Emily McKay

The Lair
Emily McKay
424 pages
Released: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Source: the publisher

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

NOTE: This review will contain SPOILERS from The Farm.  Proceed with caution.

Just about a year ago I read and reviewed The Farm and really enjoyed it.  It was unique and I spent most of the time while reading it on the edge of my seat, so naturally when the opportunity arose to review The Lair, the sequel to The Farm, I was all over that.  (FTC: I received a copy from the publisher for free, but that did not affect my review.)

The Lair picks up where The Farm left off - Mel is now a vampire and must come to terms with not only her new existence, but also the fact that her autism is now gone.  The world is a completely different place for her as she navigates vampirism with Sebastian - the vamp that changed her.  Meanwhile, Lily and Carter arrive at Base Camp with a very pregnant McKenna.

I was on the edge of my seat while reading The Farm and I was for most of The Lair, as well.  This fast paced follow-up is full of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.  Lily and Carter are forever trying to come up with a plan when before you know, circumstances have changed and so must their plans.  I guess it just goes to show, if you're living in a post-apocalytpic world filled with vampires and Ticks - you've got to be flexible!

Pretty much everything in The Lair was interesting to read about - there are so many things I could talk about!  Relationships are key in this series and there are two major ones that come to mind - Lily and Carter, and Lily and Mel.  Lily and Carter's romance was in high gear in the first novel, and while they are still together in the second, I didn't feel that same chemistry between them.  Maybe times are just too stressful for them to have that kind of chemistry, since pretty much everything falls on the line in The Lair.  And course - Lily and Mel who have spent all their days together until point when they are separated for the first time ever.  I admired their courage and resilience in being apart, though they never forgot about one another.

In addition, I was immediately drawn more into McKenna's story this time around since the birth of her baby as imminent.  In a world with essentially no doctors, I knew teenage pregnancy could be dangerous, but imagine trying to handle being pregnant while also fearing for life.  I can't even.  McKenna is such a quietly courageous character and I rooted her, especially in her birth scenes.

Of course, probably the most interesting part of the novel was the ending - now, obviously I cannot give that away, but there were several moments of "What?! I did not see that coming!"  The whole ending set up the scene for what I can only assume is a forthcoming third book, although Goodreads is quiet on that matter.

Four stars!  I really liked The Farm and The Lair was an impressive followup.  The only complaint I have is I wish there had been more Mel in this book, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of her in the next novel.  If you haven't started this thrilling series yet, you might want to check it out soon!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gratitude Giveaway Hop!

Thank you thank you thank you!  I love the Gratitude Giveaway Hop because it's a way to thank my followers for just that - following me!  Enter via the Rafflecopter below to win a ten dollar Amazon e-gift card.  All you have to do is follow me one way or another: GFC, Bloglovin, Networked Blogs, Twitter (@daspanda)… however you want!  Thanks so much!

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Reunion Lie

The Reunion Lie
Lucy King
224 pages
Publisher: Harlequin KISS
Releases: November 19, 2013
Source: NetGalley

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

On a whim, Zoe decided to attend her high school reunion despite the fact that she was bullied by practically everyone in attendance.  She thought her successful professional career would finally impress them, but instead all they care about is her love life.  On the spot she makes up a boyfriend and convinces a stranger at the bar to play the pretend boyfriend… but little does she know that Dan Forrester is more than she bargained for and soon the two are embarking on something much more real.

Ah!  It's so strange for me to get all excited over a romance novel, but I really liked this book!  I was drawn in right away and read the whole thing on one sitting, turning the page as fast as I could so I could see what was going to happen next.  It is a romance novel, so we know how it's going to end, but watching Zoe and Dan get there was so much fun, they took so many twists and turns it was like a roller coaster.  And you know I'm a sucker for romances where the girl accidentally falls in love with a famous person (Decked with Holly by Marni Bates is another great read, especially this time of year!)

What I loved the most was the way the author tied Zoe's past as a high school student in with her current life.  As a fan of YA, I really enjoyed that realistic glimpse at Zoe's past and how she was still struggling to overcome it. As we all know, Bullying is a real epidemic right now and a book focusing on the outcomes for those who are bullied will always be relevant.  Zoe didn't need saving, but it was great to see Dan's primal instincts come out when he found out about the bullying.  That's when I knew they had to be together!

A quick note about the Harlequin KISS line of books - it's a relatively new line for the publisher and I've been wanting to try them out for awhile now because they seemed so refreshing.  This is the second books I've read from the line and I've really enjoyed both.  They seem to feature independent, driven women who know how to balance their careers with love.  They also feature some pretty steamy scenes, which is always a plus, eh?

Four stars!  The Reunion Lie and the rest of the Harlequin KISS line seems like a refreshing change for the romance publisher.  I'm looking forward to reading more KISS books soon and I recommend them for those readers who like traditional romance occasionally, but are sick of the formulated plot lines.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
April Genevieve Tucholke
360 pages
Released: August 15, 2013
Publisher: Dial
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Another YA book with shockingly absent parents, but Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was absolutely fantastic.  I spent most of the novel quite enthralled with the storyline.  Twins Violet and Luke live in a huge, old mansion in a small town.  Their parents are off painting who knows what in Europe. so they're left to their own devices for the summer.  Violet is reading outside one day when River West, a complete stranger, shows up to rent her guesthouse.  But soon things in town start getting strange; children claiming to have seen the devil, brandishing sticks in a cemetery; a man slits his throat and commits suicide right in the middle of town; a little girl goes missing... something's going very wrong and even though Violet thinks River has something to do with it, she's too in love to care.

Right, so how can you not be drawn in by a plot like that?  River was admittedly swoon-worthy when he's first introduced in the novel and even though it was obvious something was up with River, like Violet I just didn't care.  Their romance is front and center at the beginning of the book, and while it was insta-love, it wasn't the kind so many readers roll their eyes at.  Instead, their insta-love was an integral part of the plot because it was River who made it happen.

But soon it's not just Violet that's affected by River, it's practically the whole town and that's when I snapped out of my dreamy "I love this book because of the love!" and realized something was seriously wrong with River.  The difficult part, however, was figuring out what was wrong with River.  River is liar and it's hard to know when he's telling the truth.  So it was a bit of a relief when one of this relatives showed up to clear things up.  Meanwhile, people were dying and children were acting crazy.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a definite page turner.  If it wasn't one thing then it was another that kept me turning the pages.  Mixed in is a mystery surrounding Vi's deceased grandmother and their family history.  And if you thought all I've mentioned so far sounds crazy, just you wait until the climax of the novel!  I can't even... I was so concerned when I finished the book, I had to rush and find out if there was a planned sequel, and thank goodness there is.

Four stars!  If you love creepy book, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a must read!  It ended in such a fashion, I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel... in summer 2014.  *gulp*  What a long wait.

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From Sourcebooks....

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Right before her senior year, Savannah’s father whisks the family off to Tennessee to work as head groom at fancy Cedar Hill Farms. Savannah finally sees it as the perfect opportunity to earn extra money as an exercise rider—no matter how many others don’t want a girl around the barn.  But she’s also caught the eye of Jack Goodwin, the owner’s son. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. With her dream of becoming a jockey, Savannah is not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack.

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A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally

We have a special offer for U.S. and Canada YA fans for the release of RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally in stores in a little over three weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive horseshoe key chain—perfect for any busy teen on the go! You have until December 2 or until quantities run out.

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4. Enjoy Racing Savannah when it comes out in December!

Optional: take a pic of you and your horseshoe key chain and share it with Miranda Kenneally or Sourcebooks Fire on Twitter! You can find Miranda @mirandakennealy and Sourcebooks Fire @sourcebooksfire.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Darkest Path

The Darkest Path
Jeff Hirsch 
336 pages
Released: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: NetGalley

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Oh, what a bummer.  I absolutely loved The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, and I thought Magisterium was pretty good, too, so when I saw The Darkest Path on NetGalley I was like, "Hell yeah I want to read that!"  I feel kind of deflated now and this review will probably be short because I hate writing bad reviews.

There's a civil war going on in the United States, or what's left of it anyway, and Callum and his younger brother are in the Glorious Path - a militant religious group slowly taking over the country.  But Cal wants out, so he and his brother set out with a dog named Bear.  His brother returns to the Glorious Path, but Cal continues on... battles, trouble, and convienient help ensue.

The Darkest Path is a boy book.  Now before you get all up in arms about gender-izing books, let me tell you I'm the last person to believe in "boy books" and "girl books."  Books are books if you like them, great, and if you don't, I don't think your gender has much to do with it.  But as I read The Darkest Path, all I could think was that it was a boy book and it's hard to say why specifically.  Perhaps it was the violence or the crummy romance story, but I've enjoyed plenty of other books filled with violence (Quarantine, for example) or crummy romances (hello, Twilight was my first book love).

Let me get off of that topic though and give you some real reasons The Darkest Path didn't do it for me.  The plot didn't hold my attention - that's number one.  I kept putting the book down and picking it up days later.  Number two - it was a bit confusing.  Every time I picked the book back up, I had to remind myself which side was which and who was winning.  And thirdly, the romance.  As I mentioned before, it was pretty crummy and didn't do much for me, which is fine I guess because the romance was the main point of the story.

On the positive side, I do think the book has a serious and important political message.  But I hate talking about politics in public places, so it's up to you to read and figure that one out for yourself.

Augh, I just don't know, but this one gets only two stars, unfortunately.  But if you're a dude, pick this up and give it a try.  Maybe I should make my husband read it and tell me what he thinks...

Reality Boy

Reality Boy
A.S. King
368 pages
Released: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: NetGalley

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I'll admit it up front, I've never read anything by A.S. King before, so I didn't really know what to except out of Reality Boy, except that its description on NetGalley really drew me in.  I didn't get anything close to what I excepted though - I thought I was going to get a fluffy comedy piece about a kid who used to be on television and is now struggling with the after effects.  I expected maybe a three star book filled with humor, instead I got a hard-hitting, honest book, filled with realistic, raw emotion... a five star read hands down and you should pick up a copy today.

Gerald was five when a camera crew came into his home to film some episodes for Network Nanny (think Super Nanny).  Soon Gerald was known across the country as "The Crapper," the kid who crapped on the kitchen table, his sister's bed, and his parents' shoes.  But now Gerald is seventeen and the world still knows him as "The Crapper."  Gerald has anger issues and he desperately wants to escape his public persona, but how?

I immediately realized Reality Boy wasn't going to be fluffy at all, but that turned out to be for the best because what I did get was a book I couldn't put down.  I was sucked into the story right away, which alternated between Gerald's present time and scenes from episodes.  The stories unravel simultaneously and it becomes apparent quickly that Gerald isn't crapping on tables for a simple "behavior" problem.  Instead, there are deeper family issues at work.  But evidently deeper family issues don't sell interesting television, because for the entire book "Nanny"did not pay attention to what young Gerald or his siblings were trying to tell her.  Instead, the shows were scripted and scenes were filmed repeatedly.  The story the public saw was fake, so is it any wonder they thought Gerald was just some dumb kid who crapped on his family's things.

But I really and truly felt bad for Gerald for the emotional abuse his sister and mother put him though.  As the novel continues both Gerald and the reader learn about what really happened and I was appalled at his mother.  I don't want to spoil it, but I don't understand how any mother can act in the way she did and then try to get pity for herself.  I certainly didn't give her any.

There's also a love connection in Reality Boy and while it was a significant part of the novel, it wasn't a love-y dove-y romance at all.  In fact, Gerald's anger coach and told him repeated to not get involved with girls because eventually they would just do things that angered him.  But when Gerald met Hannah and they started to fall for each other, I knew he had no choice but to give love a chance.  Their relationship added a real balance to the story line and helped keep Gerald grounded.  They had their cute romance moments, but it was clear that each of them needed the other for a little bit of saving.

And how incredibly poignant at this day in age, when "reality" television dominates the airwaves, the more dramatic the better for ratings, but who really thinks about what it does to people?  How about the young children on these shows, what will their lives be like when they're teenagers?  I was thinking about the Gosselin children the most as a I read this book - America was fascinated with their family and then there was all kinds of fallout regarding both of their parents.  How will they grow up?  Only time will tell, but maybe we should be using Reality Boy as a warning.

Five stars!  Read this book!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Series Review: Burn for Burn

Burn for Burn
Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
358 pages
Released: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Source: purchased

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Why, oh why, did I wait so long to read this book?  I had heard great things about it, purchased it, and yet there it sat on my shelf for nearly a year before I picked it up.  Well, I'm so glad I did because Burn for Burn was a fantastic book and the start of a really wonderful series.

Burn for Burn is told from the point of view of three different girls. Lillia and Kat used to be friends in middle school, but drifted apart in high school thanks to their "friend" Rennie.  The third point of view is from Mary, a girl who has switched schools for the school year.  What's fantastic about these alternating points of view is they're diverse - each girl has a different personality and is coming from a different place.  I think Mary's point of view was the most interesting to me because she's the outsider and has such a traumatizing past, but what I really loved was that despite their differences, Lillia and Kat both took Mary under their wings and befriended her.  The three girls are a motley crew, but they have each other's backs.  Love it!

I'm not going to lie, despite the great reviews I had read about this book, I was afraid that Burn for Burn would be a stereotypical novel about high school girls bullying other high school girls.  Far from it, there wasn't much about this book that was stereotypical at all, starting off with Lillia, who was Asian.  I can't remember the last time I read a YA novel with a prominent Asian character and it was refreshing.  Also, much to my relief, Burn for Burn went far beyond the reaches of high school bullying.  We learn a lot about Mary's backstory, for instance, which is centered around her being bullied in middle school, but when the three girls come together, they aren't out to bully back... they're out for revenge.  And so begins their quest to ruin the lives of those who have hurt them the most.

There was one strange part to Burn for Burn though... it read like a contemporary novel straight through the end, but hinted very slightly at the paranormal.  When the book ended I still wasn't sure whether or not it was 100% contemporary.  I really think it could go either way and while I really wouldn't classify Burn for Burn as a horror novel in the least, fans of Carrie will love it, as will contemporary fans who enjoy the occasional book about difficult topics or strong friendships.  Five stars!

Fire with Fire
Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
528 pages
Released: August 13, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Source: Little Shop of Stories (Thanks, Kim!)

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Well thank GOODNESS Kim at Little Shop of Stories had supplied me with the advanced reading cop of Fire with Fire, because as soon as I put Burn for Burn down, I picked up Fire with Fire and started reading.  Thankfully, the story picked up right where Burn for Burn left off and I was immediately plummeted back into the story.  I'm going to do my best here to not give away the dramatic ending from Burn for Burn, but be warned this review definitely contain spoilers from Burn for Burn.

So after said dramatic ending, the girls start to question their plans for revenge.  Have they gone too far?   Well, they must not have been too concerned with this since they continue on, focusing more on revenge for Mary, who was taunted by Reeve in middle school.  They come up with the perfect plan for Mary's revenge - since Reeve is in Lillia's group of friends, Lillia will reel him in and trap him in  a fake romance, then dump him in front of everyone so he can experience at least some of the heartbreak that he made Mary feel a few years ago.

Sounds foolproof, right?  Ha!  Things start going wrong all over the place and over the five hundred plus pages, Lillia struggles to capture Reeve's romantic attention and when she does have it they fight frequently.  Will Mary get the revenge she's been dreaming of?  That's all I'm going to say except you really should pick up this series.

Speaking of Mary, at the end of the first book I wasn't sure whether or not there was something paranormal going on with her, but there definitely is and I was surprised to see it happen, but at the same time the book still didn't feel paranormal to me.  It felt just as realistic as the first book.  Mary's powers grow stronger as the book goes on and she's trying to figure out exactly what they are, why she has them, all while dealing with family issues like her increasingly unhinged auth and completely absent parents.  The ending of the book brings a HUGE revelation about Mary.  I was completely and utterly shocked - did not see that one coming and that one moment at the end of book two makes the whole entire thing worth it (not that it wasn't worth it before, bur you know that I mean!)

Four stars!  The book would have gotten five, and it should with that ending, but the book was so long and dragged a little in the middle.  Nevertheless, I absolutely loved it and I cannot wait to read the next book, Ashes to Ashes, when it comes out next year.  Such a long wait...

Note: as of this post going live, the ebook for Burn for Burn is only $1.99.  It's definitely worth it, I think you should download it now and give it a go.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Ah!  My favorite time of year... the air is getting cooler and things are getting considerably more... spooky!  I'm happy to be participating in the fourth annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop.  Enter via the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a Spooktacular book of your choice up to fifteen dollars.  Here are some spooky suggestions...

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Belle Epoque

Belle Epoque
Elizabeth Ross
326 pages
Released: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Why oh why did I wait so long to read this book?  I got it out of the library as soon as the had it available then renewed it twice, ran out of time and returned it.  I immediately checked the book out again then renewed it twice and decided it was now or never - I read this book two days before it was due and as soon as I'm done typing up this review, I'm driving to the library to return it.  Guys, GUYS - don't make the same mistake I made, I absolutely loved and adored this book and I'm mad at myself for renewing it for twelve weeks, preventing anyone else from checking it out and loving it, too.

Maude, a spunky young girl in France during the mid-ninteenth century, runs away from home when she discovers her father has betrothed her to the butcher.  Knowing there's more for her in this life than to be a wife to a small town butcher, she flees to Paris with a vague job ad in her hand.  But when she applies for the job in person and is accepted she learns what the job is really about - she's now a repoussoir.  The agency hires unattractive young women who are then rented by wealthy families to stand near their debutante daughters at society events to make their daughters look more attractive.

This concept was a little stunning to me.  Sure in real life people sometimes make friends with the less attractive to feel better about themselves - hello, it's called middle school - but I had no idea this was an actual business is nineteenth century France, and the authors note at the end of the book confirmed it.  I immediately felt for Maude.  It must be humiliating and horribly bad for one's self esteem to be reminded of one's flaws every single day.  However, the pay was excellent and Maude took it in such stride most of the time that I was much more interested in her interactions with her client and her client's family.

Maude is immediately hired out by a countess for her daughter, whose first season is about to start.  But the catch here is that Maude has been hired for the entire season and the daughter is never to find out.  Maude is to befriend Isabelle and then report back to her mother about potential suitors.  Plots like this never end well, in books or real life, so I knew some high class drama was on the way and was it ever.  But aside from that, we learned a lot about Isabelle, who wasn't your standard young debutante.  In fact, I absolutely adored Isabelle!  She had her own dreams and she wasn't going to let her mother's dream of her marrying rich get in the way - until Maude stepped in and suddenly had the moral dilemma of doing her job, or helping a new friend.  I won't spoil it - but you'll be surprised and you must read this book!

Five stars!  I love you, Belle Epoque, and I'm sorry I neglected you for so long.  It's back to the library now where hopefully someone else will pick you up and love you just as much.

Friday, October 4, 2013

One Day Kindle Deal - Truly, Madly, Deadly!

You know I love a good deal, especially when it comes to ebooks, so I'm thrilled to be sharing a great deal with you today - Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne (Sourcebooks, 2013) is only $1.99 today for Kindle!  But it's just for today, so go check it out... I already got my copy and I can't wait to read it.  Here's the summary from the publisher:

Truly Madly Deadly is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about love, obsession and murder. Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin.
When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."

And in celebration of this one day deal, I have the play list from the author along with some descriptions of why she choose those songs for her book!  I love a good book playlist, so here goes...

There is so much emotion in TRULY, MADLY, DEADLY that the playlist had to reflect the same. Love, danger, terror – the book is packed with it and the playlist is, too!
1.     Aftermath Lifehouse
2.     My Song Knows What You Did in the Dark Fallout Boy
3.     Time-Bomb All Time Low
4.     Fighter The Fray
5.     Ready Set Go Outasight
6.     Nobody Listen Lifehouse
7.     Flagpole Sitta Harvey Danger
8.     Run Don’t Walk Hey Monday
9.     If I Lose Myself Tonight One Republic
10.  Hey Beautiful Seven Foot Wave
11.  Stuck In The Middle Boys Like Girls
12.  Brave  Sara Bareilles

Aftermath is slow and a little dark; it reminds me of Kevin’s funeral. The lyrics, “If we can make it through the storm/become who we were before/promise me we’ll never look back,” haunt Sawyer as she walks up the Anderson’s stairs.

Besides being the best song title ever, My Song Knows What You Did in the Dark fits Sawyer and Kevin’s dangerous relationship. Sawyer walks down the hill the night of Kevin’s death. His words are drowned out by the pulse of this song – “So light ‘em up, up, up/Light ‘em up, up, up/I’m on fire.”

 Time Bomb – “it was like a time bomb set into motion” – is Maggie’s and Sawyer’s first run-in, that Monday after the funeral.

I imagine Lucas looking so forlorn as he walks down the hall – I hear Fighter playing behind him: “Maybe we were meant to be lonely, lonely/maybe we were meant to be on our own.”

Ready Set Go is upbeat and fun, the perfect getting ready for the game song.

Sawyer’s run in with Mr. Hanson is intense – Nobody Listen – intense. “Everybody talk/Nobody listen/Nobody listen…”

Sawyer runs to the beat of Flagpole Sitta. Can’t you just hear her sneakers pounding out, “paranoia, paranoia/everyone is coming to get me/just say you never met me”?

Sawyer reads the second note with trembling breath, and the song Run Don’t Walk pulses through the hallway.

If I Lose Myself Tonight and Hey Beautiful filter out of a house party – calm, sweet lyrics before the storm.

Sawyer’s father drags her home and she’s terrified, looking over the destruction of her new baby sister’s nursery. She hears Stuck In The Middle, the words, “I know things’ll get better/Hold it together/Take your time.”

Finally, during the last few paragraphs, we hear Brave: “I wonder what would happen/if you say what you want to say/and let the words fall out/Honestly/I want to see you brave.” 

The baby’s nursery
Stuck In the Middle Boys Like Girls
I know things’ll get better
Hold it together
Take your time
Stuck in the middle

The end
Brave Sara Bareilles
I wonder what would happen
If you say what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I want to see you be brave
The second note
Nobody Listen Lifehouse

Wipe Your Eyes Maroon Five
Better With You Kris Allen
Shouldn’t Come Back Demi Lovato
I Choose U Timeflies
Ready Set Go Outasight (the football game)
Time-Bomb All Time Low
Run, Don’t Walk Hey Monday

So there you have it!  Be sure to check out this great deal on Kindle today.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Find Me

Find Me
Romily Bernard
307 pages
Released: September 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Goodreads win!

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

It's been such a long time since I won a Goodreads Giveaway and I was so excited to win something from one of my favorite publishers, I was so sure this book was going to be a hit.  Alas.  It was not.  But, let's start with the positive!  I loved Wick and her sister.  Both characters, despite their inherent differences and outlooks at life, seemed extremely realistic given their circumstances.  On top of that I loved Wick's computer skills.  Was she breaking the law?  Yes.  Was it for a good reason though?  Yes.  But beyond that, I love a YA novel that shows off that a girl can do anything they want.  Wick had mad computer skills and if we could get more young girls interested in computers, math, and science in the U.S. we would be in a much better place.  *steps off soapbox*

So why wasn't this book my cup of tea overall?  This first thing that struck me right away was the lack of character development and plot set up.  I wasn't looking for an info dump - please, we all hate those - but a little more information up front would have been helpful.  I read the first two pages two or three times before deciding to plow ahead and eventually it all fell into place.

A couple other things about the book threw me off, as well.  The overall plot sounded interesting me, but as I read it felt disjointed.  I get that it was supposed to be a mystery, but that plot mixed with Wick's subplot about hacking was too much, I felt like both storylines were fighting each other for dominance.  Interesting concept, but meh execution with this book.

Two stars.  Find Me was okay, but the lack of character development and what felt like a choppy plot at times detracted from the promise of a good story.  Still, if you're intrigued, it might be worth a look.