In My Mailbox (47)

Hosted by The Story Siren

-Pink by Lili Wilkinson
     I got this book last week from my library, read it and fell head over heels in love with it so I just had to by my very own copy! (My review)
-Graffiti Moon by Cath Crawley
     During my trip to my Indie bookstore this week, I saw this while I was getting Pink. I've heard so many amazing things about this book. I absolutely adored the characters and how art was a key piece in the story. 
-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
     I honestly think I'm one of the only people who hasn't read this book! I got it at Half Price for only $5 and it's seriously like new! 
-How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
     This one is another Half Price buy for less than $5! I seriously don't think anyone read it, it's like pristine! I saw this on a list my library has and am making it a goal to read at least ten book from their list.
-Nightshade (Nightshade 1) by Andrea Cremer (U.K. Edition)
     Okay, so I know I have the hardcover of this book, but for some reason my Half Price has a stack of new U.K. paperbacks, weird! The cover is so pretty and I seriously couldn't walk away from it! I still need to read the last two in the trilogy, but I loved this one!

-Everneath (Everneath 1) by Brodi Ashton
     I've heard so many great things about this one, can't wait to start it!
-There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
     In this book God is a 19-year old boy who is considered to be 'lazy and hopeless'. I'm in need of some soul searching and I've heard this book does just that. I hear it's funny too, which is a huge plus!
-Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn
     This book came out a few years ago and I heard about it on Riley's blog, Truthfully Fictional. I'm a huge fan of Titanic, not only the movie but the actual event in history. This is a story about sisters and their story while aboard the ship. 
-Prized (Birthmarked 2) by Caragh M. O'Brien
     Even though I didn't fall totally in love with the first book, I still am super excited to see what happens next. Book one ended in a cliffhanger and I keep hearing that the sequel totally surpasses the first book, so I'm looking forward to see what happens next.

RT Booklovers Convention 2012: Who's Going?

Are we serious right now!? I'm so beyond excited for this, I have been counting down the days! I didn't even know this existed until Shannon (Stalking the Bookshelves) asked if I was going on Twitter. I was so bummed out about not being able to go to BEA that I didn't even think that there were any book fairs that would come to Chicago. I'm literally squeeing while writing this post, I'm so stoked! Thank goodness for RT Booklovers! Woot!

-Book Fair
-Author Speed-Dating
-Interactive World and Character Building
-Author Speed-Reading
-Feeding the Fire: Workshop on Conflict and Action in YA Novels
-Tending the Inferno: Series, Stand-Alones, and Genres in YA Novels
-Teen Party!

There's going to be over FIFTY, yes flipping fifty young adult authors there! They'll be reading excerpts from their books, talking with readers in workshops and the whole speed-dating section sounds so awesome! Spending all Saturday being surrounded by books and book-lovers is going to be so incredible!

Honestly, I was shocked by how inexpensive the ticket to get in was, it's only $25! That price is if you're under twenty and it also includes one chaperon, a.k.a. my mom! We'll be staying just the night before, I mean we live close enough where we really could drive up and back in the same day, but staying in a gorgeous hotel  while also escaping all of the corn, was too go for us to pass up, haha!

For all the info on Teen Day and the RT Booklovers Conference just click here.

So who's going!? 
If you see me it'd be totally awesome if you'd say hello!

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Received as gift
Published January 3, 2012
Amazon - Goodreads

A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth's fate hinges on one girl...

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future

I received this book for a R.A.K. (Random Acts of Kindness) in February from Elodie and was seriously so beyond excited! I had been dying to read the book so I really couldn't wait to start it. My expectations were pretty high with this book because of all the positive buzz surrounding it, but they were totally surpassed!

So you've probably guessed by the cover and the title that Cinder is a futuristic retelling of Cinderella, but instead of the main character being a human servant, she's a cyborg. Which, for those of you who are like me and didn't know that a cyborg is both human and robot, cool huh?! Cinder lives with her evil step-mother and two step-sisters, in order to continue living with her family she works as a mechanic fixing droids for money. One day the utra-fine Prince Kai comes to get something fixed and that's really when the story takes off.

I loved how there was so many layers to this story, it just wasn't only a retelling of Cinderella with robots. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that there this creepy moon society called the Lunars. Their queen wants to make a peace treaty with Earth and is demanding some pretty crazy stuff. They also have these powers of mind control and glamours, it's just so epically crazy!

I adored Cinder's personality! She was independent, sarcastic and smart (okay I know she's a robot and has connection to all the information she needs, but she was street smart too.) It was awesome reading about a character who enjoyed working with fixing cars, er hovercrafts I should say. Cinder wasn't obsessed about her appearance and just wanted to escape the horrible environment that she's forced to live in. She's one of my most favorite MCs, the book was told in third person, but it felt like first because she had such a strong voice!

Cinder has a an android friend named Iko who was laugh out loud hilarious! She's super opinionated and really cared deeply about Cinder's safety. Another awesome character was Prince Kai. The more Cinder got to know him, the more they discovered that they weren't so different after all even if they grew up at opposite spectrums of the social ladder. Not only with just money and privileged, but in Cinder's society being a cyborg is considered 'disgusting' and 'less than human'. It was interesting to read about Cinder challenging her society's warped ideas of what is considered a person.

The parts leading up to the ending were full of surprises and moments that definitely made my heart race! I thought quite a few questions were answered, but definitely a whole lot more are left to be explored hopefully in book two, which I seriously can't wait for!

Awesome Quote:
“I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

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

Cinder is an incredible futuristic retelling of Cinderella with a badass main character that is the farthest thing from a damsel in distress. It's full of unexpected twists that had my jaw dropping to the floor and frantically turning pages to discover what happened next. Adventurous, funny and heart-warming Cinder is a book perfect for seriously any reader. This book, was by far my favorite fairy tale retelling I've ever read, I loved how it took place the future and had so many different spins added to the mix.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Play Hooky With

Topic: Top Ten Books I'd Play Hooky With
(I picked books I've been dying to read, but just having gotten the time to get around to them yet. I'd love a day where I could play hooky to catch up!)

     I literally read the first three books of this series in two weeks, (I was late jumping on the bandwagon) and fell in love with the characters. Clare's writing pulled me in and left me wanting oh so much more so I really, really need to read this one! (Especially since City of Lost Souls is coming out this Spring!)

2. Where She Went (If I Stay 2) by Gayle Forman 
     The only thing that has kept me from reading this book is that I know I'll ball my eyes out! I just need to find a time where I can lock myself in my room with this book and a box of tissues so I can read this book from start to end. I seriously can't wait to hear Adam's point of view and to see where the characters went in the future. 

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone 1) by Laini Taylor 
     I've heard this book is full of incredible writing and it sounds really unique! I got it from my library once, but got caught up in reading other books and by the time I knew it I had to return it, aw! So I'm hoping to possibly buy it sometime soon so I can see what all the amazing fuss is about! 

4. Angelfire (Angelfire 1) by Courtney Allison Moulton 
      I seriously have not talked to a single person that didn't absolutely love this book and it's kick ass main character. The author is totally nice too and an incredible artist so she posts drawings on her blog of the characters, and let me say the guys are hot!

     I loved, loved, love the first book in this series! The day after I finished the first one I went and bought book two. I had to read another book for review so I couldn't pick it up right away, but now I'm so nervous I won't love it, which is ridiculous because Beth Revis is awesome! 

     That ending in Wither had me begging for a sequel and I really want to learn more about Gabriel. I hear a circus is involved that is filled with some totally unique people. The thing having kept me from reading this one already is just not having enough time for all the books I want to read, just like every book lover! 

7. Everneath (Everneath 1) by Brodi Ashton
      A unique twist on the myth of Persephone, yes please! I'm definitely interested to see how the main character tries to escape her fate of living in the dark Everneath. I've heard amazing things about this one so I hope to read it soon. 

8. Angel Burn (Angel 1) by L.A. Weatherly 
     My friend recently read this one and absolutely loved it. There's a strong female character and some swoon worthy guys so what more could any girl ask for?! 

9. Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna 1) by Kendare Blake
     A story around teenage murderer, uh yes! I seriously want to get this read in time so I can fangirl with everyone else when the sequel comes out!

10. Wolfsbane and Bloodrose (Nightshade 2&3) by Andrea Cremer
     I honestly don't know what's taken me so long to read the last installments Nightshade Trilogy. I loved Calla, Ren and Shay in the first books and adored Cremer's writing style and I really can't wait to see where the characters end up. 

Review: Pink by Lili Wilkinson

Bought from local indie.
Published February 8, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

The pink jumper was practically glowing in my grey bedroom. It was like a tiny bit of Dorothy’s Oz in boring old black-and-white Kansas. Pink was for girls.
Ava Simpson is trying on a whole new image. Stripping the black dye from her hair, she heads off to the Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence, leaving her uber-cool girlfriend, Chloe, behind.
Ava is quickly taken under the wing of perky, popular Alexis who insists that: a) she’s a perfect match for handsome Ethan; and b) she absolutely must audition for the school musical.
But while she’s busy trying to fit in — with Chloe, with Alexis and her Pastel friends, even with the misfits in the stage crew — Ava fails to notice that her shiny reinvented life is far more fragile than she imagined.

Debut author Wikinson takes a lighthearted but timely and resonant look at a teen's attempts to don a new personality and figure out who she really wants to be.

This was the first LGBT book that I had read since I did a banned book project my junior year in high school about Annie On My Mind. In complete honesty, I strongly disliked that book. I couldn't connect to the characters and some parts just felt really slow, so I was a little worried to read this book. Oh my goodness, I seriously worried for nothing, it was so stupid of me to compare books just because they both dealt with LGBT teens! Pink is incredible, it is definitely one of my new favorites.

The main character, Ava, was having difficulty deciding whether she liked boys or girls, but she was also just trying to figure out who she is as a person. I loved how Wilkinson made this book so much more than just a story about a girl who was questioning her sexuality. I adored Ava: she was intelligent, funny and so easy to connect to. I may not have gone through some of the issues she was dealing with, but what she was feeling and some scenarios hit very close to home for me. Like trying to gain acceptance from her new peers and figuring out where she fits in. She grew tremendously throughout the book and I loved going on this journey with her.

All of the supporting characters are so realistic and definitely had me thinking "I knew someone like that in high school" or "I wish I had a group of friends like that!" which I loved. There's two main social groupings discussed in this book at Ava's new, prestigious school, Billy Hughes: The Pastels, who are more of the popular, perfect looking and excel-at-everything-they-do people and the Screws, which stands for the Stage Crew who considered themselves total screw-ups.

I freaking loved the Screws! They were so extremely funny in such a sarcastically witty way and they were always looking out for one another. I was so happy when Ava finally started giving the group a chance and learning to have fun even it if meant looking silly. One of my favorite scenes in the book was when the group was discussing the history of the color pink and what it means to them, very funny and quite interesting too! I loved the dynamics of the different relationships that Ava had with the supporting characters. They each were so different from one another, even if it wasn't in the most comforting of ways, they each had something to offer Ava that eventually helped her learn more about herself.

Chloe, who is Ava's girlfriend from her old school and her "old life", was definitely someone completely different. At times I strongly disliked her because I felt like she was holding Ava back, but I loved when Ava would talk about the good times of before. Another character that Ava was romantically interested in was Ethan, who I just totally hated! I could really relate to some things that Ava would say and the whole 'oh he totally likes you, I know' thing that goes on in high school. Even if I didn't necessarily liked these characters, I like what they taught Ava and the relationships she had with them.

If your worried about not being able to connect to the characters because you haven't experienced some of the issues that Ava went through, seriously do not even worry about it. I mean Ava is just like every other teen girl going through struggles and the author did an amazing job at keeping her realistic and relatable.

Amazing Quotes:
"Didn't she understand? I wanted to fit into a box. I just didn't know which box was mine. Being boxless was confusing and lonely."

"Good. Life is supposed to be messy."

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

Pink is an incredible read that shows the struggles of a teenager in a society that feels the need to label everything. Wilkinson's writing is addictive, funny and heart-felt. She shows that you don't need to put a label on your feelings and you don't always have to know exactly who you are. That it's okay to be lost and not know what you want. I seriously recommend picking this one up, Wilkinson breaks down the barrier for stereotypes in this incredible story of a girl trying to discover where she belongs.

In My Mailbox (46)

Yesterday was my nineteenth birthday and earlier this week my mom took me to Barnes & Noble and let me pick out some books for an early birthday present! I also got a gift card to B&N so I can't wait to go shopping this week! 

I know I was horrible at posting this week, I'm sorry! I was having another quarter-life crisis, you know the whole 'What have I been doing with my life?!' and 'I have one year of being a teenager left!' sort of thing. Now it's all better because believe it or not, just like when I turned 18, turning 19 wasn't all that life changingly bad. Thank goodness! So next week I already have some (hopefully) awesome posts and reviews planned! I hope you all are having an awesome weekend!

-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
-Fever (The Chemical Garden 2) by Lauren DeStefano
-Looking for Alaska by John Green
Thank you Mom! 

Review: Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

Bought from B&N
Published March 30, 2010

IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother's footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

As soon as I read the summary for Birthmarked I knew I totally wanted to read this book! I mean how interesting is it that a teenage girl works as a midwife and is required to take the first three babies delivered every month to the Enclave, a.k.a. this messed up controlling government/ "perfect" society enclosed in this huge wall. I honestly can't remember reading a dystopian that I didn't fully love so when I finished this book and was left a little disappointed I was fairly surprised.

The story starts off with Gaia delivering her first ever baby on her own and having to advance the newborn to the Enclave (the 'perfect' people inside the wall). Once she returns home she discovers that her parents had been taken inside the wall for questioning. Gaia's mother left her a package that was wrapped in a ribbon with a code stitched on it, throughout the book Gaia must decipher what the code is to save her parents.

The main character, Gaia, was badly burned when she was a young child that left her with a very noticeable scar on the side of her face. She talked about her scar very frequently throughout the story, to the point where I was getting a tad tired of hearing about it. I wish I could have watched Gaia overcome her scarred face and learn to accept the person she is on the inside, but maybe that will happen in book two. I also had some issues with how Gaia reacted to some of the major events that were happening in her life, like after her parents were taken away she continued to deliver babies and live normally.

My favorite character wasn't really even technically present in the book. I really enjoyed hearing Gaia tell stories about her father and times she spent with him while she was growing up. I adored that her father loved Gaia's mother with everything that he was and he would risk anything to keep his family safe.

Throughout the story I thought there was quite a lot of filler and found myself wishing that it would just get to the point in places. One of my favorite parts of a book is that it takes me to a completely different world and with Birthmarked I didn't feel that. I was also left fairly confused when the mysterious code was figured out, I thought it was pretty crazy. I mean you had to do a lot in order to discover what was there and even after I was told how to see it, I still had trouble.

I had some issues with the love interest in this book, well not so much him, but just Gaia and his relationship. I didn't feel a connection between the two and thought it was more of a convenient pairing than both of them actually liking each other. I'll be curious to see where the relationship goes in the sequel.

I really wasn't fond of the ending. It reminded me a heck of a lot of another book that I read and absolutely adored so I was fairly unimpressed with it. However, it did leave me wanting to find out what happened to the characters in the next installment.

Awesome Quote:
Even the worst feeling, with time and familiarity, became tolerable. 

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

Even though Birthmarked wasn't everything that I was hoping for, it was still a great story that left me turning pages and curious to see what happens in the next book. The idea of a society split by a wall is intriguing and entertaining to read about. The people on the outside lived in less than ideal living conditions and were required to give up some of their children while the Enclave thrived in most areas. Another thing that kept me reading was the mystery of the code her mother left Gaia with and also another part in the story that was definitely a twist that will get me to read the next book. Birthmarked was a good start to a new series and I'll most likely be checking out the sequel sometime soon.

In My Mailbox (45)

-The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry with awesome stickers!
-Famous for Thirty Seconds (Commercial Breaks 1) by P.G. Kain with cute bookmarks! My first Middle Grade book to review! So excited! 

-Pink by Lili Wilkinson
-The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
-The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff 

-Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard 

-The Hunger Games shirt
-Mockingjay pin
-Free THG poster
-Adorable Zombie key chain

I took a trip to Hot Topic yesterday and picked up some Hunger Games goodies for the premiere next week! I also found this adorable key chain, isn't he cute!?

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Borrowed from my library.
Published August 2, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen.
The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

As soon as I started The Near Witch I was hooked. The story immediately pulled me into Lexi's world and did such an amazing job of  introducing me to the people of Near. This quaint village reminded me of the old Grimm's fairy tales, but it still felt completely unique. I loved how Lexi's environment played a major role in the legend and that the time period isn't really explored that much in young adult literature. It definitely gave yet another refreshing part to the book.

Schwab's legend of the Near Witch was eerily gorgeous. At night, the wind holds the voice of a witch that lures children out of their beds to come and play as punishment to the village for her being accused of a boys murder many years before. Lexi tells this story perfectly and had me at the edge of my seat wanting to know what else was happening with this legend.

This book falls into a category of its own. It's paranormal, but there's this underlying aspect to the story that's completely organic. The legend of the Near Witch could be passed down for generations. I feel like this story could be told when a child would be tucked in at night. I've yet to read a book that has been focused around a legend and The Near Witch did it so perfectly.

Lexi, the main character, is one of my favorite leading ladies I've ever read about. I loved her persistance to find out where the children were going, her fierce love for her younger sister and how she didn't let others affect her thinking. Even though her father wasn't in the book, I loved how she recalled times they spend together and how fondly she thought of him.

The ending was so incredible. Once the climax of the story started I literally couldn't put the book down. Schwab's descriptions were spectacular and all of the actions mixed with the unexpected twists were amazing. I wouldn't say this book is scary, but there are definitely parts that sent chills up my spine!

Amazing Quote:
It's written in my blood and bones and memory instead of on pieces of paper. 

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

The Near Witch is an incredible debut from author Victoria Schwab. The story had an eerie old-town feel partnered with a strong and extremely likable female lead that left me frantically turning pages to see what happened. Filled with unexpected twists and turns this unique legend will leave any reader absolutely breathless.

Spring Break Reading List

I'm on Spring Break! YAY! So I figured I'd do what most book worms do during their time off: read! I have a whole stack of books I'd like to get through so during the week I'll be updating either this post or putting up new posts with fun stuff about the book I'm reading.

If you'd like, you are all more than welcome to join me! Just leave a comment with either your list of books or a link to your blog post with you list. I didn't really prepare for this (actually I just thought of it about ten minutes ago) I don't have any cool buttons or pre-planned events, but if you guys like how this sounds I'd be more than happy to do one next year or even over the summer!

-Birthmarked (Birthmarked 1) by Caragh M. O'Brien (Currently Reading)
-The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry (for Review)
-Famous for Thirty Seconds (Commercial Breaks 1) by PG Kain (MG for Review)
-When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

Write Review:
-Pandemonium (Delirium 2) by Lauren Oliver
-The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
-Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles 1) by Marissa Meyer

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Bought from local Indie.
Published May 24, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Beauty Queens was the first book I ever read by Libba Bray, so I wasn't too sure what to expect. The main reason why I picked this book up was because it's loosely based off of Lord of the Flies, which I really enjoyed in high school. I honestly didn't think I'd love this one, but oh my goodness it was incredible!

Everything about this book was perfect. I loved the progression of the plot and how I was introduced to each one of the girls a little bit at a time. Each character is totally unique, not only from one another, but from any character I've ever read about. All of the girls are overcoming their own internal battles and it's awesome to see each of the beauty queens come into their own.

The scenery is just amazing thanks to Bray's incredible descriptions, I literally felt like I was stranded on the beach with the girls building huts and hunting for food. It was incredible to see these girls defy society's expectations and succeed, not only with surviving, but discovering who they want to be as people and not what society wants them to be.

This book is definitely full of memorable quotes, most of which made me laugh my butt off! I loved how the characters poked fun at each other and well, pretty much everything! Their sense of humor was sometimes sarcastic and just oh so perfect! I've never laughed so much while reading a book before, it was great! There were also these commercials from the The Corporation that poked fun at society's views on beauty and it was just too funny!

I loved the message of this book. I know I'm not going to give it justice because it handled so many hard hitting topics. Everything from sexuality, body image, feminism and so much more. It does such an incredible job of getting the point across: do what you love and don't let anyone stop you. Accept people for who they are and love someone for their differences. Discovering this things slowly with the girls was one of the best parts of the book. I didn't feel like it was being shoved down my throat, it was a slow realization, just as it was to the girls.

Amazing Quote:
"I love myself. They make it so hard for us to love ourselves."

One of the Many Hilarious Scenes:
   (They're torturing someone for information)
Jennifer ripped off his maxi-pad gag...
"You want to know what pain is? Try running out of Advil when you've got a Category Five period. I've had cramps that would make grown men beg for a bullet between the eyes." [...]
"If you keep threatening us and telling us lies, I will personally give you a Brazilian." 
"She won't warm the wax first either" Petra said. 
Tiara shuddered. "I've had so many bikini waxes, I cry every time I see a Popsicle stick."

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

There's so much more that I loved about this book, but I could probably go on forever and spoil it! Every girl needs to read Beauty Queens. It is not only laugh out loud hilarious, but it has an important message about loving yourself and not letting society dictate your thoughts. Watching all of the girls pull together was so awesome and left me with a lot of pride about being a female! Beauty Queens is a definite must read full of  surprises around ever corner that will leave you with tons of smiles and an incredible message.

Winners of CMC's 2nd Blogoversary Giveaway

The winners are...
1. Melissa (Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf)
2. Jenelle (Midnight Book Thief)
3. Katie (YA Book Love)
4. Tatiana_G
5. Bella (Cheezyfeet Books)

All of the winners will be notified by email. After you receive the email you will have 
48 hours to respond. Just a quick reminder: You all probably won't get an email today since I have to hear back from the winners above you. For example: I have to hear from #1 in order to know what books/swag are left over to have #2 and so on to choose from. Make sense?

Congratulations guys!

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who entered the contest and to my incredible followers! Keep an eye out for a giveaway coming again soon!

Middle Grade Monday- My Favorite MG Books While Growing Up

Until The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan I hadn't read a Middle Grade book in years! If it wasn't for my awesome eight year old cousin I wouldn't have thought of picking up this genre again. How cool is this: she asked me to read it so we could have a book talk! I'm so lucky, how awesome is that!?

Anyways, now I'm on a Middle Grade kick so I figured through the month of March why not review some MG books on the blog and have some MG books featured occasionally all year?! So now I introduce to you Middle Grade Monday! There are tons of other awesome Middle Grade Memes like Tween Tuesday and Marvelous Middle Grade which inspired Middle Grade Monday here at Call Me Crazy.

Since we're already talking about Middle Grade, this month at The O.W.L. is March of the Middle Grade Madness! Jill is having tons of giveaways, reviews and fun interviews of everything MG! Novel Novice is also hosting a MG event this month, Middle Grade March including guest blogs from MG authos, interviews and reviews!

This Monday I thought I'd share some of my favorite Middle Grade books that I really loved when I was younger! 

-Nate the Great Series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Marc Simont
     These were the first books I remember reading on my own. The main character was a kid detective, which was just so fun to go on adventures with Nate. I read these books so much that my friend's mom would call me 'Kate the Great'!

-If Wishes Were Horses by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
     I read this book in either either fourth or fifth grade I believe and it has stuck with me over all these years. This is the first book I remember getting emotional with, I loved the main character and the story itself was incredible.

-Tales of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
     I'm pretty sure everyone around my age has read and loved this book! I read Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, but I remember not liking it. I loved this story of a courageous little mouse and how all these characters' stories are intertwined.

-Magic Tree House Series by  Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca
     I absolutely loved these books growing up. I remember my favorite being Christmas in Camelot! I loved how it incroporated history, which I've always loved, into fun stories that I could never get enough of.

-The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
     The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first book in this collection that I read and to be totally honest I hated it! I was eight years old and thought they talked funny (I was too young to understand the swoon-worthiness of British accents) and I didn't get all the symbolism. I decided to give the books another try in Jr. High and loved them! I late read them again in high school, I love how it is an amazing story that can be for kids, but there's also all of these fantastic underlying meanings for older kids/ adults too!

-The Borrowers Series by Mary Norton
     When we had those twenty minute reading periods in class, I always had trouble actually reading because I would always get distracted and all the people surrounding me didn't help either. This was one of the very first books I remember not wanting to put down after our class's reading time was over and actually escaping under the floorboards with the characters and away from the classroom, it was great!

-City of Ember (The Books of Ember) by Jeanne DuPrau
     The imagery in this book is incredible! I haven't read the other books in this series, but the first one is enough to want me to totally read the rest! A book about an entire town underground and two teens trying to get to the surface is still totally up my ally! (I recently saw that there was more than two books in this series, how awesome!)

In My Mailbox (44)

-Birthmarked (Birthmarked #1) by Caragh M. O'Brien
-When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen 
-642 Things to Draw (A random buy from B&N, but it looks so fun!)


My mom went to a local quilt show with her friend and she brought me back this amazing hand-stitched Guatemalan bracelet/ bookmark! Thank you Mom!

This is the last weekend to enter Call Me Crazy's 2nd Blogoversary Bash's Giveaway to win singed books and swag from the Breathless Reads Tour 2012!
Click here for all the info and to enter. 

Book Blogger Tag

Yay! I got tagged! These always looked so fun to me so I'm super excited!
Thanks to Readinista for tagging me, I had a blast answering all the awesome questions!

The Rules
1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them

My Answers
1. Why did you start blogging?
      I was reading so many books and it was hard to keep track of all my thoughts. I had been reading YA Book Blogs for quite some time, but it never occurred to me until about two years ago to actually have one of my own. So I figured it would be perfect to not only remember my opinions of certain books, but also meet some awesome bookish people!

2. On average, how many books do you read in a month?
     Ooo this one is hard! It really differs because it depends on how much school work I get. Lately, I've read around six books a month.

3. When do you read? (At night, during the day, commuting to work, etc)
      I almost always read at night. I'll start around 6ish and then stop right around when Craig Ferguson comes on T.V. :)

4. Do you have a favorite spot to read at home or do you read anywhere and everywhere?
     I usually just read out in the living room on this big comfy chair we have by the window. It's great because during the daytime it gets enough sunshine for me to read and then at night there's a light right by it.

5. How frequently do you check your blog statistics? Do you check them everyday or do you not care about the number of hits on your site?
     Okay, so this isn't the greatest answer, but I check them quite a bit! Especially since I have my giveaway going on, I check to see where most of my traffic is coming from and what pages they're going to. Lately, I've been checking them every few days.

6. Do you ever get tired of being a book blogger?
     Now, not at all! I love it! Back in the late Summer and Fall I had this crazy thought that I had to blog a certain way and I just wasn't blogging for me anymore. It felt like a job, but now it is 100% fun and I'm totally head over heels in love with it!

7. If you could live in a fictional world, what book world would you choose?
     Ahh it's so hard to pick just one! Probably Harry Potter so I could go to Hogwarts, be a wizard and have an awesome group of friends! I just finished Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and I love Lena's world, so that would be awesome to be a part of the revolt against the government.

8. What fictional book characters do you most relate to or would like to be friends with?
      I would love to be friends with Hazel, Augustus and Issac from The Fault in Our Stars. They're such an amazing group of people who help each other through the hard times and have a wicked sense of humor! From the books I've read recently I really can relate to Juliette from Shatter Me because I love how she's this outcast who slowly discovers who she truly is.  

9. Other than reading and blogging what do you do for fun?
      Warning you, I'm pretty lame. I like to nap, hang out with my dog and do some artsy stuff like painting and polymer clay.

10. Do your family and friends understand your reading and blogging hobbies or are they planning an intervention?
      My parents don't really mind it too much, mostly because I've been reading forever so they're used to it. Also because they're the ones who got me into reading and my mom's a bookworm too. Friend wise, one of them is always giving me a hard time that I "buy too many books", but I just ignore it, haha!

11. Freebie question – You choose what question you would like to answer (Yes I know this a cop out).
       Hmmm.... What book am I dying to get from Barnes and Noble today?
       I really want to go and get When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen! It's sounds like such an amazingly spooky story!

My Questions:
1. What is your favorite thing that you do on your blog? Reviews, Memes or a special Feature?
2. What is your go-to book for recommending?
3. Who to you is the most swoon worthy character?
4. How often to you go to the bookstore?
5. What's your favorite book-to-movie adaption?
6. What are a few of your favorite YA Book Blogs?
7. Do you like stand alone books or books in a series more?
8. What was your favorite book when you were growing up?
9. Paperback or Hardcover?
10. How do you keep your place in books? Dog ear, book mark, etc.
11. If you could dress up as any literary character for Halloween, who would it be?

Tag, you're it!
Bree's Books, The Reader Room, Once Upon a Quote, Epic Book Nerd, Book Love, In Between the Lines, That Hapa Chick, DforDarla's Definite Reads, iRandom Blogger, YA Yeah Yeah and anyone else who would like to join in on the fun!

Time is Running Out

For all of the information and to enter all you have to do is click here.

Cover Reveal: Taste by Kate Evangelista

"At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud."

It's so hauntingly beautiful! I'm also totally in love with her dress, so gorgeous! I definitely cannot wait to read this one!

Be sure to check out Kate Evangelista on...