Sunday, May 30, 2010

boys,bears, and a serious pair of hiking boots

boys,bears, and a serious pair of hiking boots
By Abby McDonald
293 Pages
From Inside Cover:
Seventeen year old Jenna may hail from the 'burbs of New Jersey, but environmental activism is her life. So when the opportunity arises to spend the summer in the wilds of Canada with her hippie godmother, Susie, this Green Teen jumps at the chance to explore this nature she's heard so much about-and the cute, plaid-wearing boys she's certain roam wild and free. But after a few unpleasant run-ins with local wildlife(from a larger-than-life moose to Susie's sullen Goth stepdaughter to a hot but hostile boy named Reeve), Jenna realizes that her long-held ideals, like vegetarianism and conservation, don't play so well with this population of real outdoorsmen. With the help of a dusty survival guide, Jenna begins to navigate the wilderness, and those who call it home-but can she learn to navigate the surprising turns of her heart?
My thoughts:
When I read the first chapter I was a little worried that Jenna would be an eco-terrorist and the whole book would be about Green Teen saving some back woods town from itself. Well I am happy to say that there was so much more to this book and Jenna then that.
Jenna and her best friend Olivia have their hearts set on spending the summer taking up environmental issues with Earth Now as interns. Then Jenna learns that her dad has accepted a job overseas and her mom wants them both to live with her grandmother in Florida for the summer.
In a desperate move Jenna decides at the last minute to take a trip to Canada to see her godmother Susie who is newly married and in the middle of opening a bed and breakfast.
She is not at all prepared for the wild outdoors, Susie's moody step daughter or the complicated lives of three cute boys she meets.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Jenna discovers a old survival guide in a box and uses the tips in it for the people situations that she encounters throughout the story. Such as the moody room mate Fiona and the mysterious boys that are cold one minute and hot the next.
I enjoyed Jenna's journey as she discovered being adventurous and trying new things can lead to finding out some pretty important things about yourself.
It was great to watch Jenna grow through the book And by the end we are sure that she is finally ready to deal with whatever her parents are going to be putting on her in an not so distant future.
I really liked this book. It wasn't at all what I was thinking it would be. It ended up having so many more dimensions then I thought were possible. The characters were real, I liked them sometimes and other times a few of them got on my nerves. But that's what good writing does!
I received this book from the awesome people at Candlewick Press. Thank you so much. I plan to give this book away at our Summer Reading Program next month.


By Sara Zarr
192 Pages
From Inside Cover:
I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy's Buick, parked next to the old Chart House down in Montara at eleven o' clock on a Tuesday night. Tommy was seventeen and the supposed friend of my brother, Darren.
I didn't love him.
I'm not sure I even liked him.
In a moment, Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," Deanna longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom, and striking emotion, Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany, and redemption.
My thoughts:
This is truly one of the most heart wrenching books I have read in a long time.
The story takes place almost three years after Deanna's "mistake." We are dropped into her very messy life. Her dad still doesn't look her in the eye, her big brother is trying to raise a baby with his girl friend in the basement of their house, and her mom seems to live in her own little world.
At school she has been branded a slut by her classmates and has endured three years of name calling, rumors and cruelty.
Her home life is miserable. Her parents don't communicate with each other let alone their children. Everyone sort of just drifts through their day and around each other.
Deanna lands a summer job intent on saving her money to help her brother and his family move into an apartment. Her plan is to go with them so they can all be the family she fantasizing about. Unfortunately on her first day she discovers that she will be working the entire summer with Tommy.
At times Deanna is a character that is hard to love. At times I felt so frustrated with her choices and that she just didn't seem to care where the consquences were going to take her. Other times I just wanted to hold her and protect her from a cold cruel world. Deanna is a complicated character that is written so beautifully. It's hard not to connect with her.
This was Sara Zarr's debut novel and I can't wait to get my hands on other books that she has written.
I would recommend this book for 14 and up. There are sexual situations and strong language.
I borrowed this book through Interlibrary Loan at my public library.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Here are some awesome giveawys going on right now. Just click on the link.

1. Smitten with Books is giving away three of Jennifer Echols' novels, including Going Too Far, Endless Summer and The Ex Games. These sound like the perfect summer reads! Ends 6/10

2.The Hiding Spot is giving away The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride. Ends 6/17.

3. Bookish in a Box is having a Pay it Foward Giveaway where she is giving some very cool ARCs to several lucky people.


Up for grabs......
I'd Tell You I Love You But I'd Have To Kill You
By Ally Carter
The first book in a series. I read and reviewed this book that month and thought it was great.
Entering is simple-
1.Leave a comment with your email address
2. You must be 13 or older to enter
3. Sorry no international entries please
That's it! Good luck!
Winner will be drawn June 22, 2010


It's Friday!
Hop on over and join the fun!! Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books . The Hop is designed to discover other great book bloggers and be discovered yourself. Not only do we discover new blogs but also great books to add to the ever GROWING wish-list.
Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway!
Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Hey there! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Here it is Monday and it's time to ask everyone out there-What are you reading?
This meme is hosted by the fabulous Shelia at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books where we all catch up on what we have all been reading over the past week and what's up on upcoming reading agendas. Join the fun!
I finally had the chance to catch up on a few reviews and do some housekeeping on my blog.
I posted the following reviews for:
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Swim the Fly by Don Calame
The books I plan to read this week are:
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Every Little Thing in the World by Nina De Gramont
I'm also giving away a copy of the book-I'd Tell You I Love You But I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter. Scroll down for more information on that. Have a great week!!


by Don Calame
345 Pages

From Back Cover:
Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Sean and Coop, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time. As far as Matt is concerned, they'd have better luck finding the lost city of Atlantis. But seeing a girl in the buff starts to seem like child's play compared to the other summertime goal Matt sets for himself: to swim the 100-yard butterfly(the hardest stroke known to God or man) in order to impress Kelly West, the hot new girl. So what if he can't manage a single lap, let alone four? He's got the whole summer to perfect his technique. What could possibly go wrong?
My thoughts:
This story is laugh out loud funny! I don't remember laughing this much since I read Spud by John van de Ruit. This is the tale of three teenage boy's quest-to see a real-live naked girl. But Matt has a bigger problem than just the summer time challenge. In a moment of blind love he volunteers to swim the butterfly for his swim team to impress his crush. Although he's been on the swim team for a few years he's a mediocre swimmer at best. To say that he's in over his head is a huge understatement.
Luckily his friends have his back on both counts. These three best friends dream up schemes galore in an attempt to reach their summer goal. Of course things will go wrong at every turn because they are awkward, dumb boys that do before they think. We are just lucky enough to be along for the ride.
I loved the relationship between the three friends. And found myself not wanting the story to end. I wanted to hang out with these guys just a little longer and laugh a little more.
Yahoo!! The adventure continues with Coop. Don Calame has another book coming out in the Fall of 2010 called Beat the Band. I can't wait to pick it up where we left off and find out what trouble Coop will undoubtedly be getting himself in to.
I recommend this book for readers ages 14 and up.
Thanks to the nice folks at Candlewick Press who gave me the opportunity to read and review this book. I will be saving it to give away as a prize to one lucky winner at my summer reading program at the Salmon Public Library.


The Sea of Monsters
by Rick Riordan
279 pages

From Back Cover:
Percy Jackson's seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodge ball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get....well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy's friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed. Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family-one that makes him wonder whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor, or simply a cruel joke.
My thoughts:
This is the second book in the series Percy Jackson & The Olympians and it doesn't disappoint.
Percy's adventures continue as he embarks on a quest to rescue his best friend, Grover who is about to be married against his will. It's also left up to him and Annabeth to find a cure for a poison that is killing the life force of Camp Half-Blood. This time he's forced into an unwilling partnership with his nemesis, Clarisse who's pride could very well get them killed this time.
Along the way he will deal with the Gray Sisters, Cyclopes, Hermes, Circe and Sirens. This is mythology at it's best.
I loved this second installment of the series and look forward to reading the third book called The Titan's Curse. I haven't seen the movie- The Lightening Thief yet. I'll admit that I'm a little scared after the way that Eragon and Inkheart was butchered.
I recommend this book for ages 10 and up. It would be a perfect summer series for middle schoolers, high schoolers or adults to dive into for the summer.
This book is available for check out at the Salmon Public Library.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The Forest of Hands and Teeth
by Carrie Ryan
310 Pages

From Inside Cover:
In Mary's World, there are simple truths.
The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?
My thoughts:
Two words..Dark and Scary...okay that's three, but you get the point.
This post apocalyptic tale blew me out of the water.
Mary has been orphaned and abandoned by her older brother to be taken in by the Sisterhood. The women of her village that make the rules and keep the order.
Mary is sure of two things- First she knows that she doesn't want to devote the rest of her life living in a convent abiding by the strict rules of the Sisterhood. Second, she knows deep in her heart that something lies beyond the fences of her village. Something other than the flesh eating zombies that the fences were built to keep out. She dreams of another place, of an ocean that she has never seen, of other people and villages that must exist like her own.
When the fences are breached by the Unconsecrated Mary escapes and barely survives the attack. Now she is forced into the Forest of Hands and Teeth to discover truths that have been long hidden and find answers she has been searching for her whole life.
This story grabs you with both hands and doesn't let go. Although I didn't particularly care for Mary I couldn't stop turning the pages. It's a story that stays with you long after you put it down. It's Creepy with a capital C. I'm super excited that there is now a sequel-Dead Tossed Waves. Which is at the top of my current Wish List. I also noticed in the summary that Mary is not the main character in this next book-interesting!
I bought this book used on Amazon and I will be donating it to my local library.
I recommend this book for ages 14 and up. There is violence-it's zombies. And if zombies are your thing I would also recommend World War Z by Max Brooks and The Road by Cormac McCarthy.



What a great week!

Look what came in my mailbox.

*Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire
won from Shelia at One Person's Journey Through the World of Books

*This One Is Mine by Maria Semple
won from All About {n}

*Every Little Thing In the World by Nina De Gramont
(Used from Amazon)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted at The Story Siren. (It was inspired by from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.) Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the IMM meme, here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Hopping around always gives me a chance to meet new bloggers and find new fabulous sites. It's a gret way to see what other pople are reading or aything else they are writing about.
Here's a few new places I hopped by today:
Have fun fellow bloggers!!! Have fun! Explore!


Up for grabs......
I'd Tell You I Love You But I'd Have To Kill You
By Ally Carter
The first book in a series. I read and reviewed this book that month and thought it was great.
Entering is simple-
1.Leave a comment with your email address
2. You must be 13 or older to enter
That's it! Good luck!
Winner will be drawn June 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Blogging Good Times!

This super fun Friday meme is hosted by Jennifer over at It's a great way to meet fellow book bloggers out there that are the new kids on the block(like me!) or have been around for a while. It's so much fun to see what everyone is up to, what they are reading and reviewing and check to see if there are any hot giveaways out there.
So come join the fun and make some new book-blogging-buddies!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I hit my one year Blogoversary last month. And wanted to celebrate by giving two great hardback books away:
by A.M. Jenkins
What Happened the Cass McBride
by Gail Giles
There wasn't a huge amount of participates so I threw all the names into a bowl and let my daughter draw one out.
The winner is.......
Gwen @ Chew & Digest Books
I will contact you by email to get you snail mail address to me and I can get your books in the mail.
Thanks to all who participated!
I'm looking forward to another fabulous year!

Monday, May 17, 2010


It's Monday What Are You Reading? This a fun little meme hosted by Shelia at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Join us by following the link-It's free and nonfattening!
The weekend went way to fast and here we are on Monday-ready or not. My week will be filled watching baseball games(daughter), driver's education classes(son), book talks to promote summer reading program at the library, and all the end of the year school activites(2 weeks left!). Hopefully there will be time to read because it is my therapy!!
Last week I read:
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
This week I'm working on:
Swim the Fly by Don Calame
Being Nikki by Meg Calbot


This is the first time I have participated in this meme which is called-In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie and created by Kristi at The Story Siren.
My mail box was packed with goodness this week and I just needed to share!
I won the following in contests:(We all want to be winners!)
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Bitten by Kelly Armstrong
Lone Star Legend by Gwendolyn Zepeda
Thank you ladies for great giveaways!!!!
I bought the following books used on Amazon:
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
There is nothing better that getting a package in the mail!
Okay-Well maybe having a unopened carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in your freezer.
Hmmmm it's a tie.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


By Jennifer Brown
405 Pages

From Inside Cover:
What if you wished someone would die and then it happened? What if the killer was someone you loved?
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot while trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to the school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.
My Thoughts:
If you plan to pick up this book make sure you have a box of Kleenex handy. The story is just tragic. In light of Columbine and so many other stories of high school shootings Hate List is an important story that needs to be read by kids and adults alike.
As Val recounts the days leading up to the shooting and the horrible days after I felt myself torn between anger and sadness. The big question is-Why do things like this happen?
Val survives but the questions of her involvement remains. Is she also a victim or someone who helped plan the attack?
Emotions run high as the reader is taken on a journey that will haunt you long after the book is finished.
Overall rating:
Two thumbs way up! A MUST read.
This book was borrowed through Inter Library Loan-but I'll be pushing our library to buy a copy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


By James Dashner
374 Pages

From the Inside Cover:
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is blank.
But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark.
The Gladers were expecting Thomas's arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first girl ever to arrive to the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home...wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable.
And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers-if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within is own mind.
My Thoughts:
This action packed story is loaded with questions, mystery and intrigue. From the moment Thomas is dropped in the middle of the Glade, the big question is why? What is the Maze for? Where are the boys from? Where does the Maze lead? What does it all mean?
Throughout the book Thomas strives to answer the questions he knows he must answer before it's too late.
The inter action with the other boys in the Maze is also a big part of the story as Thomas tries to figure out where is place is among the group. Is he a follower or a leader? Why does the need to be a runner( a person who runs the Maze daily to look for a way out) feel so strong to him?
I loved the plot and storyline-it felt fresh and original. I zipped right through it, intent on finding answers.
The only bad thing about this story is that it just ends.....of course leaving the story wide open for a sequel. Which I'll be waiting anxiously for.
James Dashner has also written a series called The 13th Reality, that I'll be checking out with hopes that it's as good as this book.
Overall Rating:
Two thumbs way up!
I bought this book used on and I'll be donating it to my local library.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

My vacation to Mexico was wonderful! No cell phone and no watch. Just me and a good book on the beach. Honestly life couldn't get any sweeter. :)
Well it's back to, work, and a million other time consuming activities.
It's time to jump back into life and get back to blogging.
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by the amazing Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Go to her very cool blog to join the fun. Take a peek at what everyone is reading this week, read some great reviews and get some good book recommendations.
Last week I was able to read:
*Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
*Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
*The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
*Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy
This week I plan to read:
*The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Well not fishing really- but vacationing in Mexico for a week. A much needed rest and break with my husband... minus the children. I'm taking a stack of books which I'll be reading and then reviewing later in May.
*Swim the Fly
*Hex Hall
*Forest of Hands and Teeth
They are in my suitcase and beach ready.
On another note-I will also be drawing a winner for my giveaway when I get back next week for:
*What Happened to Cass McBride?
Last chance to enter on that one. Scroll down for details.
Also I've decided to have another giveaway Mid May. The book-I'd Tell You that I Love You But I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter. A way fun paperback that I aquired, read, and loved and really want to give away. More details when I return from the fun and sun.
Peace out!