Saturday, July 19, 2014

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It
by Sarah Mlynowski
Pages: 336
Published: March 11th 2014 by Delacorte Press

Description: Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.


One fall morning a group of high school students are set to get their flu shots for the fall. However, there is a problem. The flu shots ended up giving them the ability of ESP. They can read each others minds. The story is centric around students of homeroom 10b. There are 23 students and 21 received the shot. This is a story of Tess who is in love with her best friend Teddy (no Espie), Olivia who is extremely shy, Pi who is the second smartest in the class, Mackenzie and Cooper who have been dating forever, and a few others. 

Now this book isn't going to be for everyone. If you look at the logic of the book, yes it doesn't make sense. How can someone write a novel when everyone can read each others minds. I though this book was a cute read. If you go into not expecting much from it, then you will enjoy it. If you're looking for a book that isn't going to be complicated, but enjoyable this will be it. 

The book is told from a point of view of an Epsie and we don't know who it is. At parts it can get a tad confusing, but getting past it, it works. Every character I enjoyed reading about. I did have a favorite and that was Olivia. 

Don't Even Think About It is a great guilty pleasure book. I was a little excited to see that this was book one because how it ended you wanted to know more of what was going to happen. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Matieu

The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Matieu
Pages: 208
Published: June 3rd, 2014 by Roaring Books Press

Summary: Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.


The Truth About Alice is a story about Alice Franklin. She goes from being one of the popular kids to one of the most talked about and gossiped about. Somethings happen at Elaine's party that get branded on Alice. Rumors start to fly, and when the death of Brandon happens even more lies about Alice get spread. Each chapter is a different point of view and how gossip originates. The chapters are told from the point of views of Kelsie, Alice's former best friend, Kurt who is a nerd and befriends Alice when no one else would, Josh who was Brandon's best friend and apart of the accident, and Elaine who is the most popular girl in Healy High. 

I LOVE this book. Sometimes when I read books there are one or two characters that I find myself disliking but that wasn't the case with this book. I loved every single character and loved how each chapter told their point of view and how they started or dealt with the rumors surrounding Alice. 

I finished this book quickly because I kept wanting to find out what happened. Would Alice ever find out who started the rumors about her. Sometimes when you leave the ending of the book hanging the way this book did you get frustrated a little bit because it's an awkward place to end, and you as a reader, want more. However, I found the ending of this book perfect. I am glad it ended the way it did. 

This is a great contemporary novel for YA and goes with the category of Hate List and 13 Reasons Why. Those I also enjoyed. The Truth About Alice will go into my own book collection. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard

That Time I Joined the Circus 
Author: J. J. Howard
Pages: 259
Published: April 1st, 2013 by Point

Summary: Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake--and facing a terrible tragedy--Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi's mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn't there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus's fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi's ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it's Lexi's own future that's thrown into question.

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.


That Time I Joined the Circus is a story of Lexi who gets a call one evening that would change her life. She is resorted to finding her long lost mother. Last address she had was a circus down in Florida.  To her disappointment and lack of surprise, her mother isn't there.  Lexi joins the circus that her mother left. she makes friends, learns to cop with a tragedy as well as cope with a bad decision she made before leaving NYC. 

There is a lot I could say about this book and how much it disappointed me. It had such a great promise, but it did not deliver.  If you want full details, you can always contact me and ask. I do not wish to bash the writer, but I will say the cover is gorgeous. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box 
By Josh Malerman
Pages: 262
Published: May 13th, 2014 by Ecco

Summary: Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street. Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing. And we couldn't look outside anymore. Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors. The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows. They are out there. She might let them in. The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall. Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them. Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.


Bird Box is a story about Malorie who witnesses the world go to pieces. It all starts with someone seeing something and then going completely mad. Not thinking much of it at first, she doesn't fall into the hype. She doesn't start to panic until the hysteria falls on US soil and she witnesses it with her sister Shannon. Responding to an ad in the paper, Malorie; who recently found out she was pregnant, adventures to a house where she will live for four years. The housemates: Tom, Don, Cheryl and Jules all accept Malorie into their home. While she lives there, they have curtains on windows and always wearing blind folds. After an event at the household, Malorie finally adventures out into the new world and finds a new safe place to raise her children. 

I had two main reasons for picking up this book. One it was compared to The Road which is one of my favorite books and also I was looking for a good quick horror book to read. I wanted something different. I got one of those reasons. I do see the comparisons to The Road, but it's not quite like Cormac's. This is a book in it's own right. 

The story jumps from Malorie leaving the house and to why she left. It was organized enough so you didn't get lost with the jumping back and forth. It ran smoothly. I had a difficult time enjoying any of the characters. Malorie annoyed me especially when she was calling her child 'boy' and 'girl' the whole time. It felt she had no sympathy for them. I saw the point of this at the very end of the book, but I couldn't get past that. 

When I was looking for a horror book, I definitely got it with Bird Box. I found myself only reading it during day light because some parts where terrifying and graphically detailed. I don't get scared easily when it comes to novels, but this was one that did it for me. It was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be scared and questioning my familiar black shadows. 

This book is DEFINITELY not for everyone. I would say if you can handle The Road or some of King's horror books then you will be fine reading Bird Box. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Roomies by by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Pages: 297
Published December 24th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Summary: It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.


Roomies is a story about life in between high school and the start of college. It documents those last few moments that you have with family, friends and who truly matters in your life. Roomies follows the story of Elizabeth or Eb and Lauren as they email each other back and forth to get to know each other before college. Before they realize they are relying on each other through their summers ups and downs and what they thought was completely weird turns into a surprised friendship. 

I enjoyed this book. I never went to college, but some how I still found myself attached to Elizabeth and Lauren and their experience. Maybe it's because I feel I missed out on this portion of my life, or the characters were that relateable. Either or, this was one of the few books where I enjoyed every single character. There wasn't a character I didn't like. 

I like how they started out just emailing each other and then found themselves building this friendship over time. They go about their lives and rely on each other in their times of need. 

The only thing I did have to complain about the book was I wanted more at the end. It cuts off at a cliffhanger, and it's like ugh. I wanted a little more from that, but after the initial let down of the end, I felt it was a good place to stop. It could have dragged on. It also leaves room for a sequel if they so desire. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

Alice I Have Been
By Melanie Benjamin
Paperback, 345 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Bantam

Summary: Part love story, part literary mystery, Melanie Benjamin’s spellbinding historical novel leads readers on an unforgettable journey down the rabbit hole, to tell the story of a woman whose own life became the stuff of legend. Her name is Alice Liddell Hargreaves, but to the world she’ll always be known simply as “Alice,” the girl who followed the White Rabbit into a wonderland of Mad Hatters, Queens of Hearts, and Cheshire Cats. Now, nearing her eighty-first birthday, she looks back on a life of intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. First as a young woman, then as a wife, mother, and widow, she’ll experience adventures the likes of which not even her fictional counterpart could have imagined. Yet from glittering balls and royal romances to a world plunged into war, she’ll always be the same determined, undaunted Alice who, at ten years old, urged a shy, stuttering Oxford professor to write down one of his fanciful stories, thus changing her life forever.


Alice I Have Been tells the story of Alice Liddell and her relationship with Mr. Dodgson who later is known for Lewis Carroll. It starts off with 7 year old Alice being taken by Mr. Dodgson to in her 80s where she prefers to believe Dodgson is part of her past that she wishes to remain in her past. The story also goes into detail about her love affair with a soon to be king. We watch Alice grow up and how difficult it is for her to shake the image of Alice. It's a part of her past that she wishes to ignore, but the world does not let her forget.

I LOVED this story. I have always loved Alice In Wonderland spin offs, but this is a much different spin off. It has a little bit of truth to it and isn't about wonderland itself, but how wonderland became and how wonderland was soon forgotten. While this book may not fit everyone. The relationship between Alice and Dodgson could be turned off because of their huge age difference but also remember that during that time it was normal. If you put that behind, then this book is a fantastic read.

You find yourself feeling sorry for Alice as she goes through so much in her life, and how she never changes as a person. She suffers love loss and death multiple times. It raises a question on what exactly happened that made Alice hate Carroll so much that she completely washed him out of her history every chance she had.

It was beautifully written, and highly recommend if you're a Alice in Wonderland fan.

Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Liv, Forever
by Amy Talkington
Pages: 280
Published March 11th 2014 by Soho Teen
Author Website

NOTES: I was given this novel for a honest review by NetGalley

Summary: When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.


Liv, Forever is a story about Liv Bloom who makes it into an elite boarding school on the east coast. The boarding school is rich with history and legends. Liv meets Malcom and on their first day they that they met they shared a special connection. However, Liv also starts a friendship with Gabe. One night Liv and Malcom are hanging out and that night something terrible happens. Liv dies. During the book you find out what exactly happened to Liv and how she connects with the past of Wickham Hall.

I have a lot of feelings for Liv Forever. I originally was going to toss this book aside because I couldn't get into it like I had hoped. HOWEVER, I found myself sticking to it and I was glad that I did. I didn't want to put it down. I don't remember the exact point where the book grabbed me and sucked me in. I normally don't read paranormal romances, but I loved Liv, Forever and want to purchase it for my own book collection. I did like all the characters especially Gabe. I liked the friendship that he and Malcom had at the end of the book.

I did have some minor issues with it. Liv is originally from Vegas and it gets hot and humid. During the novel the author constantly said how she wasn't used to humidity. The other issue I had was that it was "instant love". It's a popular trend in these books, but it was something that will always bug me. I did like Liv and Malcom, but the instant part was a little difficult to get past at first. Once I stopped caring so much about that it was enjoyable. This would be a book I would recommend to other people.