Review: The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Borrowed from Library
Published May 25, 2010
Amazon - Goodreads

Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.
Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?

The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the tagline on the cover, 'This Greenhouse...Grows Humans'. After reading that line the first thought that popped into my head was what in the world, which was immediately followed with me grabbing the book off the shelf to take it home and read. I really wasn't sure want to expect when I started The Gardener, I've never read a book by S.A. Bodeen before and I've never even heard of a book about plant people! This book is definitely like nothing I ever read before and made me think about the future of our planet.

The main character, Mason, was attacked by a dog when he was younger which left most of his face covered in scars. He lives with his single mother and keeps pretty much to himself at school. Because of his large size he is able to intimidate bullies so he likes to think of himself as kind of a super hero in his town. You would think that always wanting to help people is a good thing, but when Mason wakes up a supposedly brain dead girl that seems to have a secret troubled past he just can't walk away.

To me, this book wasn't really character driven, but more theme driven. I thought the main point that the author was trying to make was that a lot of the actions our governments are making today aren't thought about as how they would affect future generations. The decisions we all make are only made for our current time period, not even thinking about how it will affect our grandchildren or even ourselves down the road.

The Gardener brought a lot of new ideas to my mind about how we aren't doing our best to preserve the earth. I really enjoyed the almost controversial view that our government doesn't really have our best interest in mind. They're so focused on the now that they don't even think about fifty or even five years down the road.

Honestly, I wasn't a fan of the ending in the slightest. I'm not fond of endings that leave so many questions unanswered that the impact of the book is slightly ruined because I find myself going 'wait, what about...' I thought that after the climax of the story occurred that the falling action was so scarce that I almost felt it was forgotten.

Characters: 2/5
Creativity: 4/5
Voice: 2/5
Plot: 2/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 3/5

I never really considered myself very 'green' when it comes to saving our planet, but this book definitely got my mind working in that direction. The Gardener left me speechless when I was brought to the conclusion that we are all acting pretty selfish by not preserving the earth for future generations. This book made me realize that we all could be doing so much more. S.A. Bodeen's writing left me questioning my own actions and the governments. When I finished the book I was left with a growing appreciation of our ancestors and the planet we call home.

Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers Cover Reveal and Scavenger Hunt Stop

 I'm so happy that Lisa asked me to be a part of Last Rite's cover release! I have to say that this is definitely my favorite cover of the series! 

Totally awesome right!? I love the face off between Luc and Gabe with Frannie standing all kick-butt-like in the front! Not to mention, the guys look extra swoon worthy in this cover, yum! Ugh, I can't wait to read about our trio attempting to outrun the crazies that are after them!

Scavenger Hunt
Not only is today incredible because we get to see the Last Rite cover, but Lisa put together a scavenger hunt! All you have to do is find the code word(s) on each of the participating blogs (listed below) to figure out the mystery phrase and you could win an Ipod Shuffle with the trilogy's playlists on it! How freaking awesome is that!?! Be sure to go to Lisa's blog for all the info.

A Good Addiction
Bloggers [[Heart]] Books
Book Chic Club
Books Over Boys
Harmony's Radiant Reads
Mundie Moms
The Naughty Book Kitties
Call Me Crazy

Now that you've seen the cover you're dying to read it, right?! Well Lisa, being the awesome person that she is, is offering one ARC on each of the participating scavenger hunt sites! Be sure to enter below!

-U.S. residents only.
-13 years or older.
-Only one entry per person.
-48 hours to respond to email or new winner will be chosen.
-Ends October 5, 2011

To enter the giveaway fill out the form here or below!

Good Luck and Happy Last Rite Cover Reveal Day!

Review: When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot

Bought from Borders
Published January 9, 2007
Book 1 in 1-800-Where-Are-You 
Amazon - Goodreads

Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager—her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist-fights with the football team and month-long stints in detention. A part of Jess would like to be the prom queen her mother has always envisioned her being, but another part is secretly counting the days until she's saved up enough money to buy her own Harley.
Then something happens that guarantees Jess will be one of the least until her new found talent ends up getting her dead.

I bought the bind ups of the 1-800-Where-Are-You series a while back but never got around to starting them until this past week. Boy, let me tell you I totally regret not starting them early! Once again Meg Cabot amazes me with her great understanding of the teenage mind. If I remember correctly, I picked up Safe House (book three) years ago, but was really young when I read it. Not only did I read it out of order, but I never finished it. I'm so glad I picked up book one because this series will definitely be added to my favorites' list.

So I've only read the first book in this series so far but I can already tell that Jess is my hero! I love that she is a total bad ass and isn't afraid to stick up for her friends despite her small size. She's witty, determined and protective of the ones she loves which are definite qualities I look up to. Jess also has 'street smarts' which I think a lot of characters in books lack. I feel like they are all super geniuses or just not smart in the slightest, so it was nice to see a pleasant change in what I've been reading.

The supporting characters are just totally golden! Jess's best friend, Ruth, is really unique in the way that she contributes to the story line and how she always has her friend's best interest in mind. The leading male character, Rob, in When Lightning Strikes is a total studmuffin! Leather jacket, motorcycle and just dripping with confidence *drool*. Another guy in the book is Sean, who is definitely one of a kind! I don't want to give too much away, but I loved his snarky yet somehow caring personality and the relationship he had with Jess is really sweet.

My favorite part of this book was definitely the idea of a teenage girl getting struck by lightening which leaves her with crazy powers. I mean how cool is it that Jess gets these crazy dreams that tell her where kidnapped children are being hidden?! Another kick butt part was that it took place in the Midwest, which is where I'm from. It's always so cool when you can relate to what the characters are seeing or experiencing!

I was so worried that I would find myself continually comparing this series to The Mediator which is also by Meg Cabot. It's one of my favorite reads so I was afraid that this book wouldn't live up to my high 'Suz and Jesse' standard, as usual I was wrong though!

At first, I wasn't that big a fan of the ending. I thought that it came almost too quickly and that not enough plot was given for the story. After I thought about it for a little bit though, this book offers a great introduction to the characters and setting for a new series. So if there wasn't all those explanations I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much in the end. Maybe not the best ending, but necessary in order to get a great start to the series.

Characters: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Plot: 4/5
Impact: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

No matter how much the paranormal section in the young adult genre grows, Meg Cabot always brings a fresh and adventurous story to the table. I've read a lot of young adult books, but When Lightening Strikes is such an original story line that I felt like I was being introduced to an awesome new genre. This book is filled with intense action scenes, first love and learning to accept yourself as who you are, even if that self is a little on the strange side!

College Blogging

Hey Guys!
I miss all of you bunches!
I'm finally getting the hang of this college thing so I'll be back soon! I know I said I'd be back no later than September, but I didn't have anytime to read which obviously affects the content of the blog. Luckily I seem to be getting a pretty consistent schedule that is filled with quite a bit of reading and soon to be blogging so prepared to get Crazy again!
Thank you guys so much for sticking around, it means the world to me :)

Rambling Update

I haven't been around the blog a lot for the past month or so and I'm very sorry for that. Thank you guys so much for sticking around during all of my absences. This craziness is (hopefully) coming to an end soon, but it will get worse before it gets better. Since this is a book blog and not a personal blog I'd like to leave my reason for being gone private, at least for now.

I'll still be around, checking my twitter and email throughout the week so feel free to contact me if needed.

Twitter: @CallMeCrazy04
Email: callmecrazyreviews(at)hotmail(dot)com

I may be back in a couple days or two weeks, I'm honestly just not sure. My goal is to get back on my blogging feet no later than September.

Thank you guys so much and I hope you decide to stick around. I'll miss you all and can't wait until I'm back!

In My Mailbox Vlog (34)

Hosted by The Story Siren

(Sorry it's a day late! YouTube was giving me issues with taking it off the private viewing settings.)

-Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2) by Andrea Cremer
-Clean by Amy Reed
-Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Original Sin Playlist

Last Winter I did a post of my 'Two Loves' Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers and the band, The Maine. Their last album reminded me a lot of the expierences and feelings that a lot of the characters' in Lisa's book were going through so I made a playlist, ultimately combing my all time favorite things!

For book two I decided to make another playlist, but not just stick to one CD (mostly because The Maine's newest album doesn't come out until Fall... well hopefully!) So here are some songs that remind me of Lisa Desrochers' Original Sin!

There are some parts mentioned in the explanations I give that are sort of spoiler-y. No major plot points or anything like that, but things are definitely hinted at. The song titles are in bold so check those out, but go read Original Sin before you read the explanations, I promise you won't regret it!

NOTE: All the Song Titles link to YouTube so you can check out each song's full version if you'd like.
Lyrics are italicized and in grey. 
My explanations are in black.


Timebomb by All Time Low
It was like a time bomb set into motion,
We knew that we were destined to explode

From the start Frannie and Luc knew their relationship was going to have it major troubles. So when things started to get complicated it was the 'time bomb' exploding!

Believe by All American Rejects
Your innocence is not forgotten,
I hope you know that where you are I wish you well
I hope you sleep in a perfect memory
You know it's hard, I tried, I could never say goodbye

This song has Gabe's name all over it! When he's with Frannie, she sleeps soundly and even though Gabe tried incredibly hard, he can't stay away from her.

Money Honey by This Century
Let love push through the door and find us
Keep your heart wide open, so I can fix what's broken
Stay around, maybe I can be a better me

Before Frannie, Luc wasn't the greatest guy out there and before Frannie had Luc she was deeply hurting about her brother's death. This song talks about love helping bring out the best in a person, which is what Luc and Frannie's relationship is all about.

 Say You Like Me by We The Kings
I wish my heart was always on her mind
'Cause she's on mine like all day, all the time
Forget me not, forget me now
I've come too far to turn around
I'm here tonight

Lili is on Matt's mind all the time. When he actually knocked on her door and didn't chicken out like he did numerous times before, he finally 'came too far to turn around'.

It's time to fall into my arms
'Cause I've been waiting for too long
You're an angel
Grab your halo and let's fly tonight

This is so perfect for Lili and Matt. It captures the almost innocent-like vibe of what Matt feels for Lili. I thought the 'you're an angel' line is way perfect too, kind of ironic for the ending in a way. I could picture this playing when Matt is trying to talk to or impress Lili.

Counting Stars by Augustana
Find that I'm missing every beat of your heart
Until you're back in my arms,
I'll be waiting up, counting the stars

This can apply to almost all the characters in the book: Frannie, Luc, Gabe and even Matt. When they're away, all they can think about is wanting to be with the one they love.

Swing by Brighten
The way I make it even colder
And send shivers down your spine,
The truth is never easy here

Whenever Marchosias is around it always means bad news and he is definitely frightening enough to send shivers down anyone's spine!
Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls
I feel like a hero and you are my heroine
Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

This could go for both Luc's and Gabe's relationships with Frannie. Whenever their around each other they feel unstoppable, even though their love is forbidden.

All That I Am by Parachute
But the nights can't hide the days
That the tears roll down her face

Despite Taylor's tough and independent exterior, I think she was really struggling with who she was on the inside and just hiding it from everyone.

Lullaby by The Spill Canvas
If you need anything, just the say the word.
I mean anything.
Rest assured, if you start to doze, 
then I'll tuck you in, 
plant my lips where your necklaces close.

I totally can picture Gabe singing this to Frannie as he is trying to get her to fall asleep in his arms. He'd do anything to make her happy and this song is sincere and heartfelt just like Gabe.

While you were sleeping I figured out everything,
I was constructed for you, and you were molded for me.

Gabe thinks that Frannie is perfect for him, despite the unfortunate circumstances, so it's like in his mind they were literally made for each other.

She is Love by Parachute
They call her love, love, love, love, love
She is love, and she is all I need

This song is just so sweet and endearing, kind of like Matt and Lili's relationship before it turned sour. When they were intimate in Lili's apartment I thought it did a great job describing Matt's new found feelings. Also for what Lili is and the whole 'She is love' part!

Into Your Arms by The Maine
When we were in love,
Oh things were better than they are
Let me back into, into your arms

I can picture Luc and Frannie thinking this when Luc came through Frannie's window.

Stop by Austin Gibbs
I don't think that I could ever feel
the burning in my soul
like I felt with you

Luc loves Frannie with everything that he is and won't find that same special love with anyone else. He's really down by the end of the book and this song fits his personality well.

Practice Makes Perfect by Cute is What We Aim For
I've become what a mother wouldn't want in a son
And I have done a few things I regret

This song talks about being completely wrapped up in someone and only thinking about your err... 'hormone raging emotions'. I think of this song when Matt reached his lowest point, his mother definitely wouldn't be the happiest when he made his decision to follow Lili.

Title Reveal: Final Book in Personal Demons Trilogy by Lisa Desrochers!

As many of you already know I'm totally obsessed with Personal Demons and Original Sin, so when Lisa Desrochers emailed me about helping post the title to the final book in the trilogy I was stoked! This book was originally going to be called Hellbent, but then had to be changed to this wickedly awesome title that Lisa's critique partner, Andrea Cremer, thought of.

"What happens when you can't outrun Hell...or trust the ones you love?"

Isn't it perfect!? I am in love with this title! It fits perfectly along with the other titles and feel of all the books. I absolutely cannot wait until Last Rite is released! I mean seriously, that tagline makes me all jittery and smiley with anticipation of it's publication! Although I'm super excited to find out the ending to our characters' stories, I'm totally bummed that it'll be the last one! (No more Luc sobs). But I know Lisa has some more incredible books in store for us in the future. Yay!

Don't forget to head over to Lisa Desrochers' blog to tell her how much you love the title!

In My Mailbox Vlog (33)

Hosted by The Story Siren

-Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

-Delirium (ARC) by Lauren Oliver
-Dreamland Social Club (ARC) by Tara Altebrando
-Paper Covers Rock (ARC) by Jenny Hubbard

-Broetry by Brain McGackin 
Thank you Quirk Books!

Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Bought from B&N
Published January 9, 2007
Amazon - Goodreads

Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.
Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.
And then came the fall.

I read Anatomy of a Boyfriend for the first time a little over a year ago and didn't really enjoy it much. Recently a friend of mine had picked it up and thought it was the funniest thing she ever read and told me I absolutely had to re-read it. So I tried my best to go in with an open mind, but unfortunately I still didn't like it as much as I hoped I would.

The sassy main character, Dom, is in her junior year of high school and has just finished filling out her college applications when the book begins. We get a little glimpse into her love for anatomy through her hobbies of reading Gray's Anatomy and playing the board game Operation with her parents. As she begins a relationship with Wesley, her interests seem to take a backseat along with her parents and friends.

I had trouble liking Dom because I didn't get to know her throughout the story. The only thing I really found out about her while reading was that she really liked Wes. The more time she was in this relationship the more she lost touch with her old life, everything became Wes related. I think I would have enjoyed the book much more if the main character and story talked more about other things than just Dom and Wes' relationship.

Wes is a representation of a realistic boyfriend, he's not perfect by any means and makes plenty of mistakes. However, I couldn't find anything appealing enough about him for Dom to want to date him, other than feeling pressured to by her boy obsessed best friend, Amy.

I liked how Snadowsky kept the love scenes far from ideal and highlighted the negatives of being involved with a boy too young. Dom and Wes got involved very quickly, which made it hard to like their romantic relationship because it felt so new and awkward still. I would have liked it if there was at least something I liked about these two being together so I wouldn't have been rooting for their relationship to end since the beginning.

I enjoyed the ending, but it had a completely different tone for the rest of the book. I liked where Dom was headed, but I felt like as soon as we got to see that part of her character the book ended abruptly.

Awesome Quote:
"Meanwhile, every corner of this city is laced with memories of us together."

Characters: 2/5
Creativity: 3/5
Voice: 3/5
Plot: 2/5
Impact: 2/5
Overall: 2.5/5
Anatomy of a Boyfriend is a brutally honest and realistic book about teenage relationships that move too quickly. Daria Snadowsky tells it like it is in this funny story of a girl trying to understand what to do with her raging pheromones. Unfortunately, I had trouble connecting with the main character and situations she was in, unlike my friend who read it and fell absolutely in love with Dom. The amazing thing about books is how everyone can take something completely different away from the story, I'll probably read it next year and see what I'll take away when I'm older.

Fun in the Summer Sun (2)

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, your feeds have probably been blowing up with me obsessing over the concerts I've gone to this Summer. You are all so incredibly sweet and ask for pictures, videos and just overall how it went. So I figured, hey, why not make a Summer feature on the blog? Which is where Fun in the Summer Sun came from!

*No, this isn't book related, but it is only for the summertime. The booky-goodness will still be on Call Me Crazy for almost all the other posts, so don't fret!*

This week's video is of the concert I went to see at Six Flags Great America on June 26th. A Rocket to the Moon had come to my state earlier this Spring, but the tickets sold out before I was able to get one which left me totally bummed. So when they announced that they were doing a show at Six Flags I flipped out!

My friend and I ended up getting V.I.P thanks to the totally amazing Brianna from Bree's Books who helped me find the candy store where the wristbands were at. I was so happy we were fourth row, right in front of Justin Richards, who is such an incredible song writer. The Downtown Fiction was the opening act and I haven't been able to stop listening to their music since.

The concert was just such an amazing experience, the crowd was totally awesome! The people in the bleachers created a whole dance pit, it was so crazy! The band said it had to be one of the best shows they had ever played, which totally made my day, haha! During one point, the lead singer came into the crowd and was right in front of us! I totally can't wait until I have the opportunity to see them in concert again!

Hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing Summer!

Review: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

ARC from Publisher
Published June 11, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment. Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.
But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!
Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.
But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

As soon as I read the synopsis for My Life Undecided on goodreads I immediately new that I needed to read this book as soon as I could! Luckily I was contacted by the publishing company to do a review, which I totally flipped out about! This was the first book I read by Jessica Brody and after reading My Life Undecided  I definitely plan on picking up more by her.

The main character, Brooklyn, is pretty much known for her horrible decision making skills. Her latest bad choice resulted in her mother's model home being burned to the ground. After that fiasco Brooklyn recruits the people of the world wide web to make all her decisions. Since 'what they say goes', even if Brooklyn wants the opposite, things get a little complicated for our rebellious main character.

I loved how her blog followers had Brooklyn trying things she would have never experienced if the decisions had been left up to her. Even if some of the new things she tried didn't click, she still learned a lot about herself through each experience. Without her blog followers telling her to try out for the school's speech team, she would have never gotten as close to the sweet Brian as she did.

In the beginning of the book I found Brooklyn extremely annoying, selfish and way too focused on the acceptance of the 'popular crowd' at her school. As the book went on I really had the chance to see her develop into a mature and caring person. I loved Brooklyn's relationship with Mrs. Moody, the elderly woman she was ordered to read to for community service. Not only did I never know how Mrs. Moody was going to react that day, but I never knew what Brooklyn would learn from her. Brooklyn gained so much patience and selflessness by caring for her.

Jessica Brody definitely covered the cute guy spectrum. There was the smoldering hot bad boy, Hunter and the somewhat geeky, yet completely adorable Brian. I loved how as the story continued on the more there was revealed about each of the guys. Having more information about them definitely had me changing my opinions on who I thought was best for Brooklyn.

One of the parts that the author nailed perfectly about high school was the 'friend one second, enemy the next' role, in this case Shayne. She is the queen bee of the school and always has to look absolutely perfect, but the part that was spot on was Shayne's and Brooklyn's relationship. After they had their fallout Shayne acted completely normal and sweet to Brooklyn in front of everyone, yet knew she was hurting Brooklyn because of her actions. It was conniving, hurtful and well... everything that high school is.

I really enjoyed the ending. It was sweet and didn't come too quickly. I was happy with how Brooklyn handled everything and it definitely left me with a silly grin on my face.

Awesome Quote:
"It's like I'm caught between two versions of myself. The person I used to be and the person I'm too scared to become." 

Characters: 3/5
Creativity: 4/5
Voice: 5/5
Plot: 4/5
Impact: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

My Life Undecided has a dynamic main character who learns a lot about the importance of decision making and what can happen when you leave life choices in others' hands. It is a fun, quick read about a girl who just wants to do something right for a change.

In My Mailbox Vlog (32)

Hosted by The Story Siren 

-Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mylnowski
-Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
-Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

-Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey (Review)
-Original Sin (Personal Demons #2) by Lisa Desrochers (Review)
-Past Midnight (Past Midnight #1) by Mara Purnhagen x2

-Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
-Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Review: Original Sin (Personal Demons 2) by Lisa Desrochers

If you haven't read Personal Demons this review will contain spoilers. 

ARC from Author
Published July 5, 2011
Goodreads - Amazon

"Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.
Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.
Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.
And not everyone will get out of it alive." 

As many of you probably already know from my constant swooning, I fell head over heels in love with Personal Demons (and Luc) and had been dying to get my hands on the sequel since the second I finished book one. I'm so grateful to Lisa for sending me a copy so I could start my fangirling early. I knew that Original Sin was going to be absolutely amazing, but oh my goodness, this book surpassed all of my expectations.

I can't say enough how much I love Lisa's writing. She flawlessly captures a believable teen voice and manages to do this for more than just one character. We're able to see through Frannie, Luc and now Matt's eyes and it's such an amazing experience. They see things completely different from one another so it's like having an all access pass into their world. I was able to understand why Frannie loves Luc so much, how Luc will do anything for her and Matt's not approving thought's on his sister, Frannie's, life.

Frannie is just such a kick butt main character. Just like the first book, she grows tremendously as a person in Original Sin. I love how she doesn't take crap from anyone and is secure enough in herself to know what she wants. Even though she does have her strong characteristics, Frannie also has things she struggles with too just like every teenager, which makes me love her even more. She is definitely a fantastic role model for any teen.

Okay, now onto Luc who is the definition of everything any girl could ask for. One of the main reasons I love him as a chracter so much is because even though he's a hot-demon-now-turned-human I can still relate to his feelings and situations. Luc was more conflicted in book two about his relationship with Frannie and he also transformed into this tremendously selfless person. Don't get me wrong, he still has his bad boy moments, but his gentleman side shows even more in this book. He treats Frannie so sweetly and he wants nothing more than to keep her safe. Their relationship is just absolutely amazing.

In Personal Demons I couldn't see how there was any competition between Luc and Gabe, but in Original Sin there were so many moments where I found myself thinking Go for Gabe! I got to see the more human side of Gabe, which made me really like him and see how Frannie is sometimes conflicted in her decision. I loved how Lisa really put me into Frannie's shoes and had me loving both of the guys.

It's so hard to say this because all the characters are amazing, but by a teeny, tiny, bit I think Matt was my favorite character in this book. He was such a unique and dynamic character. I loved where his actions took the plot and then of course the jaw dropping factor he brought. One of my favorite times that I spent inside Matt's head is when he was with Lili, Luc's new next door neighbor. It was really awesome being inside of a guy's head while he fell for someone.

The plot in this book was insane. I mean there were tons of twists and turns but there was never a moment where I felt I was being rushed. Lisa gave me enough time to pick my jaw up off the floor, then just have it drop right back down there again. I loved it!! Almost every surprise that came out of this book I had NO idea that it was coming. I mean I am still in shock and I read it for the first time months ago!

The only problem I had with the book was the ending. Why, oh why did it have to end!? Seriously, can we just have a never ending book that follows Frannie and Luc's life that will last our lifetime? The ending was full of suspense and left me flipping out!

Awesome Quote:
"There's this guy, Alexander Graham Bell. He invented this thing called the telephone. you really should get one. They're all the rage."

Characters: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Original Sin is an incredibly written book that takes you into the lives of three teens in very uncommon circumstances. Lisa Desrochers' writing is authentic and mind blowing, which is just one of the reasons this book is one of my favorites. The plot is full of surprises and the ending will surely shock you. Absolutely everyone must read this book, it doesn't matter your age or gender, I guarantee anyone who breathes will love this book!

Review: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

ARC from Walker
Published June 21, 2011
Goodreads - Amazon

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

I first came across Haunting Violet on goodreads and the beautiful cover immediately grabbed my attention. Since the cover is so breathtaking I immediately hoped that the writing would be too.  Thankfully, Harvey's writing is just as stunning as the cover. Once I started this book I literally couldn't put it down until the very end.

The main character, Violet, is trying to blend into her sophisticated and rich surroundings to help her mother convince everyone that she is a wealthy medium. But in fact, Violet's mother can't see ghosts and they are close to getting kicked out of their home. When they are called to Lord Jasper's estate, her mother believes this will make or break their family name. Violet must be on her most ladylike behavior in order to impress Lord Jasper's guests, but that's awfully hard to do when a ghost is having you solve her murder.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was that it took place in the 1800's. Harvey's descriptions were so excellent that I felt like I was walking the halls and gardens at Rosefield with Violet, trying to help her solve Rowena's murder. I honestly can say I had no idea who the murderer was until the very end. I loved that my suspicions would jump from character to character as the story continued. It definitely kept me frantically turning pages until the mystery was unveiled.

Violet is a strong, stubborn and intellegent girl who I found very easy to like. I loved how she interacted with her friend, Elizabeth. Some of the comments they'd make would remind me of my friend and myself. I also really enjoyed that she wasn't the swooning type, even with two attractive guys vying for her affection. She still remained intelligent and heroic making her ignore the damsel in distress label, which I found great.

Colin is definitely one of my favorite male characters. He didn't treat Violet like she was incapable of taking care of herself and he always had a witty comeback when she was acting crazy. I loved that their childhood was full of pranks and that they literally grew to love each other. I really like how Harvey also made Xavier (the son of a rich tradesman) likable and a gentleman. Even though Xavier wasn't the guy I was rooting for, he wasn't a jerk which made me appreciate Violet's feelings for Colin even more.

The ending was incredible. The phrase "it had me on the edge of my seat", can be defined by the last couple chapters of Harvey's book. It was so intense, I didn't know who was going to make it out alive. I loved how involved Rowena got towards the end, it definitely made it the perfect ghost story.

Awesome Quote:
"They would prefer we all dress and talk and think (or not think) alike, like paper dolls.
I do not wish to be a paper doll."

Characters: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Voice: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Haunting Violet was a suspenseful, heart-pounding read that had me frantically turning pages until the very end. The mystery, romance and action left me craving a sequel.

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Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Published May 3, 2011
Goodreads - Amazon

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Briana from Bree's Books recommended Divergent to me and in the past she's recommended some of my now favorite books to me, so I immediately went out and bought Divergent after her recommendation. Briana has still yet to steer me wrong! I absolutely adored this book, it is now one of my absolute favorites! So since I loved it so much, this review is a little longer than my others because I can't help but gush over how epic Roth's writing is.

If you looked up 'the most kick-butt female characters ever created' in an encyclopedia you would see the name Tris. She is the most amazing, yet realistic character I've ever read about. She is incredibly brave, likable and driven. I loved how all of her decisions throughout the book stayed true to her character. Sometimes I feel like an author will take a cop-out by having a character react a certain admirable way, but Veronica always had Tris's thoughts first in mind. 

Just about as soon as I met the character Four I was swooning all over the place! He is, by far, the most original love-interest in the young adult genre. At first I was like, 'why the heck is this kid named after a number', but when we found the reasons behind his odd name, I loved it! I kind of figured out who exactly the mysterious Four was a little early on, but I still enjoyed unraveling his past along with Tris.

I adored how Roth incorporated Four and Tris's romance into Divergent. It wasn't a first priority, but it would reappear throughout the book. I loved how Four wasn't trying to be Tris's knight in shining armor, he acknowledged that Tris was strong on her own. He supported Tris and viewed her as an equal instead of a damsel in distress, which there needs to be way more of in books.

All of the supporting characters were extremely well done. I felt like I got to know just enough about each one of them without getting bombarded with too much detail. Each character had their own unique personality and brought in all kinds of different relationships (friends, boys, bullies, brothers, parents). Tris's mother definitely took my breath away, I don't want to say too much, but she definitely surprised me. 

I absolutely loved that the story took place in a dystopian Chicago. I've only been there a couple times when I was little and once to Navy Pier with school, so I only remember some parts. It was so cool picturing the city in ruins and imaging the group in Navy Pier. I also adored each of the fractions' headquarter's, especially Dauntless! It was hardcore and fit the fraction's personality so well. Roth made it so easy to picture myself walking the halls among the rest of the initiates because of her flawless descriptions.

I kind of felt like the ending came a little quickly, but that's probably because I wish this book could have gone on forever. The events leading up to the climax of the story had my heart pounding and furiously turning pages to find out what happened next. 

Amazing Quote:
"But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders."

Characters: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Divergent took my breath away. It's been about a week since I finished it and I still can't get it off my mind. Roth's descriptions are so magnificent that I felt like I was walking the Dauntless headquarters with Tris and her crew. I loved how bravery was talked about, just because you're fearless doesn't make you courageous. It's how you over come those fears that makes you brave. Veronica Roth's writing is genius. I can't believe she wrote this book in college! I seriously can't wait to get my hands on her book two! This review didn't even begin to cover all of the things I love about this book, but I don't think the internet has enough space available for my rant of love for Divergent.