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June 30, 2011

Kings & Queens Review

imageTitle:  Kings & Queens
Author:  Courtney Vail
Publisher:  Little Prince Publishing
Release Date:  July 16, 2011
Received From:  Teen {Book} Scene


Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.
All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.
So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.


This book was kind of confusing. The beginning of the book jumps back and forth with seemingly no purpose, and information that is seemingly unconnected is thrown at the reader. After getting used to that, the story comes alive.

I liked Majesty, she was really interesting and has normal reactions to situations she is put in which I really appreciated. I also liked Alec and Derek, they were complex characters in of themselves and I liked what they added to the book.

This book will keep you reading, even though at times its hard to understand, because you want to know what is going to happen next and how the story is going to be resolved!

3 maps








June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #1

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Title: Glow (Sky Chasers #1)
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Pub Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised imageto since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?
Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...
Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.
But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.
Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

Why I can’t wait!: I love dystopian and this sounds like a fun and very different idea! And that cover? Amazing!



Sharks & Boys Review

imageTitle: Sharks & Boys
Author:  Kristen Tracy
Publisher:  Hyperon
Release Date:  June 28, 2011
Received From:  Publisher in exchange for a honest review via Teen {Book} Scene

When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.


If you are looking for a summer read where happiness abounds and everything is great minus a few little scuffles. This is not the book for you. But if you are looking for a book that will make you think about the fragility of life, and make you think back on all the shipwreck victims you hear about on the news. Then this is the book for you.

I’m going to warn you while this book has some semi-happy moments they are at the beginning of the book. The rest of the book is filled with pain, death, and sadness. Peppered with a story of survival and courage.

I am glad that this book wasn’t all rainbows and kittens because that would have lightened the story and devalued those who have lost their lives while being shipwrecked.

All the primary characters in the book are twins which annoyed me until the end where I got it. I liked seeing the differences between the groups of twins and how they related to their twin.

The imagery in this book is very good, I felt as if I was shipwrecked, with the sun beating down on me. At times the book was boring cause it mostly consisted on them sitting on a raft waiting to be rescued but it kept my attention for the most part.

I have to say the ending was kind of a let down, I wish it was been more extravagant or something, but it was satisfactory.

overall a good book!

3.5 maps









June 27, 2011

Don’t Stop Now

imageTitle:  Don’t Stop Now
Author:  Julie Halpern
Publisher:  Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Received From:  Publisher in exchange for a honest review via Teen {Book} Scene


On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.

Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?



Honestly, I think I could read road trip books all day long! They really make me want to grab some of my friends and drive across the country on a whim.

I liked the writing style, it was funny and light. But every once in a while we would be reminded about Penny through alternating chapters from the past where she is very creepy and scarily insecure, leaving me to wonder throughout the book if she was alive. It was also fast paced which is good for a road trip book.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Lil and Josh, I liked how they interacted and their banter. Which if you are a long time follower of this blog you know I’m a sucker for. Their awkwardness made them more relatable, and made me think about my crushes on guys who only think of me as a friend.

Part of this book that I really liked was the descriptions of all the places they traveled to. I was captivated and felt as if I had been there. Such as The House on the Rock, or Wall Drug. I kind of want to go visit now and see if they look like the pictures in my head. That is one of the best part of reading I think, being able to see places that may not exist, or you’ve never gone to, in detail and yearning to visit. This book definitely made me want to visit all these places.

One of the small things that I didn’t like was that I felt at times that their search for Penny was secondary, and while that was the case for the story, and I know that Lil and her weren't even really friends. I just wish Lil and Josh had focused on that a little more, instead of just flipping back to that whenever it was convenient to the plot.

Besides that I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for more from Julie!

4 maps



And don’t forget to check out my This or That interview with Julie!






June 26, 2011


imageTitle:  Possession
Author:  Elena Johnson
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Received From:  ATWT


Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.


This was a dystopian novel, now I know that many people are saying that they are getting tired of dystopian but I cannot understand how! They are all so different!
This book was no different! It was dystopian through the use of technology which I hadn’t experienced before in a book. Basically the population was being brainwashed through transmissions that they are forced to listen to while sleeping. After her father is taken and her sister disappears she stops listening and basically stops following some of the rules so she is considered a rebel and a “threat.”
I loved Vi’s personality! She was kick-ass and adventurous, as well as having a soft side. I also liked her drive and her want to help people, not control them.
There were also some things that I would have never expected! I like when I can’t see things coming. And these REALLY surprised me.
Lastly and most importantly Jag!!!!!! He’s not really the typical bad boy of fiction nowadays which I really, really appreciate. But he does have that edge that draws you in. Sooo sexy. I really liked their banter and story.
OMG that ending, are you kidding me Elena Johnson!!!! Really? I am dying for the sequel!
Overall an amazing debut and a great addition to the dystopian genre.
Also that cover…. Love it!
4.5 maps




June 22, 2011


imageTitle: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Received From: Publisher in exchange for an honest review


One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?
Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.


First of all let me just say that if you are anti-paranormal you should still read this book, its more sci-fi than anything else. She sees ghosts but that's not the whole story.

Ok, this book was amazing!!!! It was the best of all worlds. Not too much romance to bore/annoy, but enough to keep you invested in their relationship, Not too science fictiony so if you are scared of that aspect there is no need! (Though the science geek in me wishes there was a little more…) Anyway the plot was beautifully thought through (if a teeny bit slow at times) and finally the characters were absolutely AMAZING!

My favorite part of this book, was all of the twists and turns. Nothing is sure, so much so that I found myself wondering with Emerson exactly what was going on and who to trust. I love when books can draw me in like that!!

I liked Emerson’s spunk! She was totally my type of protagonist. She didn’t just take things sitting down. And hated being pushed around for various reasons. I loved her!

The one thing I was different was the ending. It was kind of annoying and I wish it had been more drawn out. We spent the whole book waiting for this part, and then it was over.

But overall a really good debut and a good change from many books today!
(Also that cover? Genius!)

4 maps




June 21, 2011

Don’t Stop Now This or That

imageToday I have with me Julie Halpern, author of Don’t Stop Now, (available today.) Picking some of her preferences.

E-books, or paper
Paper.  My eyes burn if I look at a screen too long.
Fiction or nonfiction
Fiction.  And almost always YA.
Libraries or bookstores
Libraries.  I’m a librarian, and my house is already full of books.  I like being able to return them.
Summer or winter
I used to think winter, but now that I have a child, summer is a lot easier.
Rain or snow
Snow, unless I have to drive in it.
Pie or cake
Hand-written or typed
Hand-written.  I’m a terrible typist.  All my books are handwritten first.
Hard candy or chocolate
Can I choose soft candy?  I’m a gummy candy fiend.  Although, not gummy bears or worms.
Road trips or airplane rides
Road trips, of course!  Although, I love to travel so however I have to get there.
Mountains or beaches
Neither.  I prefer the desert.

Thanks Julie! and be sure to check out her now book Don’t Stop Now! Available now.



June 20, 2011

Teenage Garage Sale with Kristen Tracy!

imageToday I have with me Kristen Tracy; author of Sharks and Boys talking about what she would have at a garage sale from her childhood! 

If you were to have a garage sale of my teenage years you would find a bunch of VHS tapes from TV shows that I didn’t want to miss. Or that I wanted to watch over and over. I suspect that ALF would appear frequently and consistently. Also, lots of Johnny Carson monologues. Moving on. My parakeet died when I was a teenager. So I would probably sell off all my parakeet paraphernalia. (My grandmother accidentally killed my parakeet by burning something in a Teflon pan. My mother told me that I was not allowed to tell my grandma that she killed my parakeet. So I never did.) What else? Ooh. I’d sell glass candy as a food item at my garage sale. I ran a glass candy business in 6th grade and made a ton of money until my principal pulled me aside and told me that I had to stop selling glass candy to my classmates. What else? I should have sold off some of my dollhouse items. But I really liked my dollhouse. It was seven feet tall and had multiple levels and electricity. So maybe I would have kept all that. I never outgrew my dollhouse. Ooh. Also, at the last minute, I would add all my belts that I never wore to this garage sale.

Thanks Kristen! The glass candy idea is really cool!

Be sure to check out Sharks and Boys when it comes out June 28! as well as my review of it coming soon!



June 17, 2011

Luminous Ten’s List

imageToday I have with me V from Luminous by Dawn Metcalf, with ten things about him…

1) If there are five ways to solve a problem using logic, I'll find a sixth on instinct.
2) I need at least ten minutes to wake up properly. Fifteen if you don't want me to be cranky.
3) I never really was into books before I came to the Flow.
4) I'd rather read than talk to people, sometimes.
5) I love the sound of opening up a fresh can of soda.
6) I believe that there are a million great ways to say good-bye but no great way to say hello.
7) I have learned the hard way not to take anything for granted, and yet I still do it daily. Why?
8) I am the only male in my family. This means that at least once a month, I'd leave chocolate on the kitchen table and go out with my buddies all night.
9) I carry a lighter in my front pocket and a compact in my back pocket. Don't ask.
10) I have an unhealthy obsession with beautiful, terrible things.

Thanks V! I’m totally with you on the rather read then talk to people, sometimes thing.

He sounds hot right?






June 15, 2011

Kings & Queens Ten’s List




Today I have with me Courtney Vail, the author of Kings and Queens, to talk about her top ten favorite Kings and Queens

More about Courtney:

Courtney Vail writes totally twisted YA and adult suspense. She enjoys braiding mystery, suspense & romance with some kind of weirdness. Her addictions to crazy coffee concoctions, Funny Bones, Ben & Jerry', and bacon keep her running and writing. She currently lives in New England with a comedian stud and a wild gang of kidlets.

10. King’s Dominion ~ I’m a huge fan of amusement parks and Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia is one of my faves because it’s packed with awesome roller coasters. The only coaster I’m not crazy about is the indoor one --Flight ofzsmall Fear--that I call The Head Trauma Ride, and unless they’ve redone it since I last rode it, you should probably skip it, unless you’ve got a helmet on hand or a prescription for Vicoden. It has these supposed buffers for your head but there’s not enough padding so your head gets bashed the entire ride. It has this coolness factor, in that you can’t see where you’re going, but, oooww, yeah, skip it.

9. The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie Dubois ~ My favorite recent read. I love books that feature a protagonist with a passion, and Sonya Garrison is all about dance. She’s a shy, black ballerina, who lives in the ghetto but attends a ritzy private school on a dance scholarship, and when she attracts the attention of the star, white basketball player, the queens in her school make her life a living hell. This book made me literally laugh out loud in several places and it also made me cry. Any book that can move me to such a degree gets high props…definitely 5 STARS.

8. King Cobra ~ I love Mustangs, especially older ones, and the ’78 King Cobra is no exception. It has a bit more swagger and muscle than it’s predecessors. It’s gorgeous. I’m not sure how it drives, so I can’t attest to that, but it’s a beauty to look at, especially with its sweet cobra hood art. Absolutely love it!

7. Breaking Benjamin’s cover “Who Wants to Live Forever” off Killer Queen ~ Let’s be real, it’s impossible to top Queen, but they provided a perfect tribute. Breaking Ben is all about the metaphor and I love how they were able to pull that off in a song they didn’t even write. They didn’t try to recreate the song but instead infused that style into it and made it their own. It starts off with a quiet urgency that builds and builds to highlight the song’s existential question. Simply gorgeous.

6. Lady Jane Gray, the Nine Days Queen ~ She’s omitted from Britain’s royalty charts, but this unlikely girl held the crown for nine days until Mary I had her arrested and executed on trumped up charges so she could seat herself. It’s a story that could’ve been yanked out of a classic tragedy, except that it’s totally true. I read her biography back in the tenth grade and itK&Q cover image small still haunts me.

5. Sam Cooke, King of Soul ~ Mmmm. His voice is like smooth caramel, porch swings, lemonade and warm breezes. One of my favorite things to do when I get stressed out or overloaded with too much auto-tuned garbage is to sit back and listen to some real music, especially Same Cooke or Nat King Cole. Oh. Another KING. Two-for-one. Definite mood stabilizers here.

4. Queen Esther ~ This young bride risked death to go before her husband, King Ahasuerus to plead for the lives of her people. I don’t think I could ever be that brave…but it inspires me to try. And Esther is one of my favorite books from the Bible too, as it’s great from a storytelling perspective. It features a hesitant heroine who needs to find inner strength, an evil villain hell-bent on destruction and murder, conflict, danger, suspense, romance and a climax with the villain getting his due justice in the end. And the very best lemon twist of all: irony.

3. Kings of Leon ~ I’m so impressed that guys this young have cranked out as much music as they have, music that encompasses a full spectrum of styles and emotions. Take the song, “Charmer”. Now, I’ve heard songs that evoke lust, but never one that perfectly conveys it: that pent-up, out-of-control feeling that’s driving you crazy, and it seems to catch you everywhere you look. Just brilliant. I enjoy their full body of work from their grittier early stuff to their more polished, mainstream tunes of today. They get criticized by die-hard fans for their newer stuff, but I love it all! I prefer bands that are constantly experimenting with their sound and evolving, and I haven’t heard a song I hated yet.

2. The Lion King ~ The sheer beauty of this film, especially in the first five minutes, with the mist and the kicked up dust and all the animals rushing across the savanna to meet the new king, is so stunning, it chokes me up. I had the privilege of seeing this in the theater, and it set the bar for animated cinema. It remains King of all and has yet to be usurped.

1. Queen ~ Queen is one of my all-time favorite bands and Freddie Mercury’s voice is one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard, not just in range and scope but emotional conveyance. Their rock opera sound is still so greatly loved and appreciated today. It refuses to be forgotten or ignored. Queen has truly and rightly earned the carelessly tossed around title: epic.

Thanks Courtney!

More about Kings & Queens:

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right bef ore slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.
All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.
So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.

Sounds good right"?!

To find out more visit the Kings & Queens website as well as Courtney’s website. And be sure to check out my review of Kings & Queens coming soon!


June 3, 2011


imageTitle: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 31,2011
Received From: NetGalley
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.


If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know I love Greek mythology! And while this is not directly mythology, there are currents of it throughout the entire plot.

The first thing I loved about this book was the love story. It was not your typical paranormal YA love story and I really appreciated that. It like REAL relationships took some time to develop (i.e. it wasn’t instantaneous or a love triangle) so I really liked that.

Another thing I really liked were all the characters. Not just the main ones but almost EVERY character introduced was important in some way. They didn’t just disappear or exist just to move one small part of the plot along. I especially liked all of the Delos family. Each one had an important role and very different personalities.

This book was filled with twists and turns, red herrings, and “wow I never would have guessed” moments! All these things kept me interested and hooked for the entire book! A good read and an amazing debut!

5 maps