Saturday, March 31, 2012

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural DisastersGenre: Young Adult-Contemporary
Source: ARC from Publisher
No, Standalone
Buy It
The Dolphin Bookshop (Shop Indie!),  The Book Depository
Challenge: Free Reads, Debut Author Challenge 2012, 2012 Contemporary Challenge

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. 

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it. 

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…
     Freshman Year and Other Unnatural disasters was a cute, quirky, and fun read!  I’ll admit, at first I was a little hesitant to give it a try because cliche high school books usually get on my nerves but, I’m glad I read this one!  Of course it had all those usual cliches like the typical mean girl and the best friend but, Meredith Zeitlin still made the storyline unique.
     I really enjoyed all the twists and turns in the book, too.  Some were predictable but, still added interest to the story.  Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters was definitely more about the storyline than the writing but, I didn’t mind.  I thought the ending was a little too quick but, it was definitely exciting and very unexpected.
     The writing in Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters wasn't all that great.  Fortunately, the storyline was what really mattered in this book.  Kelsey went through so much in such a small amount of time but, her growth as a character was great.  One thing that I didn't quite like was the ending.  I wasn't really too keen on where it left off.  I felt that there could have been a little bit more at the end.  The ending was semi-abrubt and awkward.
     Kelsey Finkelstein was a great character.  She was kind of a drama queen but, her take on all of her experiences made me laugh.  She represented all of the problems in high school and just exaggerated them even more!  She was great :)  At times she was a little whiney but, I liked her.  Cassidy and JoJo were great supporting characters and were very dynamic.  Emily was a good character, too but, wasn’t all that special.
     Overall, I enjoyed Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin.  At times, the characters could be a little too whiney but, the storyline was definitely fun!  If you're looking for something a little lighter, check it out!

Final Grade:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Vicious Deep

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
The Vicious Deep

When an unnatural riptide sweeps lifeguard Tristan Hart out to sea for three days and then dumps him back on the shore of Coney Island, it’s the start of the Sea Court claiming its own. Suddenly, Tristan’s girlfriend dramas and swimming championship seem like distant worries as he discovers the truth: he’s a Merman. Now Tristan must fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity (if he still wants it), while competing in a race for a throne as ancient as the gods. 

Seductive, duplicitous, and with an agenda of their own, these are not the mermaids you know.
I love mermaid books and this sounds like a fun twist on the usual!  I'm also part of the blog tour for this book so I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out!  Plus, the author, Zoraida, is super nice!  What are you waiting on?

PS- The first chapter is available for free online!  Go check it out here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Hunger Games Book vs. Movie (Mrs. M)

Hello Remarkable Readers,
     Just to refresh your memory, I am Jessie’s Mom (Mrs. M) and I promised to write a review comparing the long awaited Hunger Games movie to the Book. I may have mentioned on this blog before that I am a big fan of Nonfiction books.  So when Jessica told me to read The Hunger Games, I was a little apprehensive. Needless to say I was completely hooked on the book after 3 pages, just like everyone else. I quickly became a big fan of the series and am now reading Catching Fire.  After finishing the first book, I waited with anticipation for the movie over the last month and must say it was worth the wait. I can honestly say that I think they did a really good job adapting the book to the big screen. After telling Jessie’s Dad about the book, he was actually interested in seeing the movie as well so we dragged him along for the big event. I am so glad we did. I wanted to get someone’s perspective who had not read the book. 
     I felt that they did leave out some key elements from the story (which did bug me a bit) because I did not think Mr. M would get  the entire premise of the story.  In the end, he did, so I guess I over analyzed it.  I felt they left out too many details about Katniss’ dad, detail about her relationship with Gale, and how she became such a good hunter.  They also changed how Katniss received the Mockingjay pin and didn't talk about Katniss' Mother at all.  According to Mr. M, he was able to figure a lot of the details out from certain hints in the movie.  They also completely left out the details of how the Mocking jay birds came to be and there significance to Katniss. While I know they had to cut the movie down to a certain amount of time, I think if I were Suzanne Collins that would have bothered me, heck I am not her and it bothering me. ;)
     On another note, I did think the scenery was very well done.  The one scene that appeared exactly as I had imagined in the movie, was the reaping. Then again, I was a little disappointed by the “girl on fire” scene during the tribute parade. I know several other people were disappointed with this scene as well. I just expected more from such an important scene.  Most of the other scenes were very well done. The cornucopia scene at the end of the story was also a bit disappointing; I just envisioned something so much more from a scene that was so important to the storyline.
      I thought the movie was well casted, my only disappointment was Effie Trinket, I just expected so much more from such an interesting character.   They also failed to mention Effie's name in the entire movie!  I also felt they should have let us get to know the tributes that Katniss and Peeta  were up against, a bit more personally. I felt like we really did not get to know these characters very well through the movie.  The book definitely offered much more detail about each of them. My favorite character portrayal was by far Haymitch. I thought he was so well casted. Woody Harrelson played a terrific part. Katniss, Peeta and Gale were all well casted, I can see why Katniss is so torn between those two guys! I can’t even decide if I am “ Team Gale” or “ Team Peeta."  Too much pressure for sure!
      I must say overall I really did like the Movie, and judging by the reaction of the crowd at the theatre Saturday night, so did everyone else. If I had to choose The Movie or the Book, I could have guessed that I would have chosen the book from day one. I think the story is so original and well done.  Tt lost a litte bit in the translation.  The Movie was enjoyable none the less.  I am really looking forward to reading Catching Fire and Mocking Jay. I am equally as hopeful that we will see two movies to follow this one. Overall, I give the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games a 9 out of 10. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Hey Remarkable Readers,
I just realized that the only thing I've posted this week is an IMM.  I'm so sorry!  This week was insane for me!  I had two exams every single day along with a 12 page term paper due.  I will definitely be posting something tomorrow, though!  I went to see the Hunger Games tonight so I didn't have time to write a review tonight (that was a long movie!) but, look for some fun stuff this week!  Sorry, again.  Let me know if you have any fun post suggestions.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Hey Remarkable Readers,

Only one book in my mailbox this week:

Slide by Jill Hathaway (Finished Copy)
Thanks to Harper Collins!

Although, I did get something non-bookish!  I bought Up All Night by One Direction this weekend.I was so excited and was jumping around Walmart.  I've loved One Direction for a long time (way before they were popular in the US) and I've been waiting for their CD to release here for what feels like forever!
What did you get in your mailbox?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

US vs. UK Showdown: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Hey Remarkable Readers!
     I thought it might be fun to do a UK vs. US cover post once in a while!  The contrast between the covers of Slide by Jill Hathaway always stands out to me!  I really like the US cover because of the dark colors.  I like the blend of colors in the background and they almost look like police lights to me, which fits into the storyline!  I like the UK cover too because it's illustrated and colorful.  I think I like the US better, though.  
US cover
UK cover

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered. 

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body. 

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane. 

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.
So, which do you like better?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pie by Sarah Weeks

Hey Remarkable Readers,
Today is the first review from my younger sister, Lindsey!  She is in the middle grade age group and will be guest reviewing every once in a while!  You voted for her in the side poll, so here she is!  For her first review, she wanted to do something fun, so she wrote a poem about the book and a little paragraph telling what she thought of it!  Hope you enjoy!  If you want you can leave a comment with a suggestion for what she should read next!
Happy Reading,  Jessie. 

PiePie by Sarah Weeks 

Genre: Middle Grade
Source: Purchased from Book Fair
Series: No, Standalone

Other Books by This Author: So. B. It, Oggie Cooder, Oggie Cooder: Party Animal, As Simple as It Seems

From the award-winning author of SO B. IT, a story about family, friendship, and...pie!When Alice's Aunt Polly passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily surly cat Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice.Suddenly Alice is thrust into the center of a piestorm, with everyone in town trying to be the next pie-contest winner ... including Alice's mother and some of Alice's friends. The whole community is going pie-crazy . . . and it's up to Alice to discover the ingredients that really matter. Like family. And friendship. And enjoying what you do.
Polly was the best in town, 
People coming from all around,
to eat at her pies, 
but when she had died,
she left her niece alice to cry.

They used to hang out all the time,
Making and eating their pies, 
but that had all ended,
it couldn't be mended,
Now Alice had said goodbye.

Polly left the recipe to a cat, (or did she?)
and this cat was really fat.
This cat Lardo came,
Was left to Alice to tame,
And now someone stole him at night.

Alice and Charlie tried their best shot,
To catch the culprit with all the've got
They had one plan, 
but it was a scam,
so now they must fine who to blame.

Mysteries are left to find out,
like who was the crazy lout,
who has stolen the cat, this crazy crook,
to figure this out, you must read the book!

     PIE was a pretty short book that I enjoyed, even though I read it for school. The characters, Alice and Charlie seemed like real life people. I felt like I was right along side them, solving the mystery of who has stolen Lardo and who made the cling on the window. The book is set in a solemn little town called Ipswitch, so it was pretty realistic that almost everyone knew Alice and Charlie. When I first bought the book and starting reading it, I felt like the plot was very stupid. How could you blame me? Who wants to read a book about a world- famous pie recipe left to a cat? But as I got closer to the middle to the book, it really got interesting. So if you start reading the book, and don't like the plot, I dare you to keep reading! I assure you that this book will get better towards the middle. This is a great book to read during the summer, or when you have some extra time to make a pie, because you'll really want to sink your teeth into this book ;) and maybe, even try one of the recipes that are given before each chapter, so you can make your favorite pie just like Polly would.

Final Grade: 

Friday, March 16, 2012

We've Got It Covered (1)

Hey Remarkable Readers,

     I've been noticing several different cover trends lately and I've been wanting to post about them, too.  Thus, We've Got it Covered was born!  Every once and a while I'll be posting a We've Got it Covered where I'll spotlight a recent YA cover trend and give you my two cents!  Then, its up to you to comment and tell me what you think!  Please leave some suggestions for future posts, too!   

~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ -
This Week's Topic:

Water Covers

     I'm never sure why but, I've always been in love with water covers.  I guess they add some mystery to the storyline.  Whenever I see a water cover, I always want to buy the book.  Imaginary Girls and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer are two of my favorites!  I love how the covers for these books look as if the characters are frozen in time, or stuck in their problems, or drowning.  I guess that's just it; water covers leave so much room for interpretation!  I love that!  The Cover is in the eye of the beholder.  I feel like the cover for All These Lives is also mysterious.

What do you think of water covers?  Which one is your favorite shown above?  What are some other water covers that you like?  What should the next cover feature be?  How often should I do this feature?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Meant to Be

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.
I can't wait for this!  How amazing does this sound?  And the cover rocks!  What are you waiting on?!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Hey Remarkable Readers!  Here's what I received in the last two weeks (it's actually all from last week).

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Never Have I Ever by Sarah Shepard
M A C M I L L A N   I M P R I N T S
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
All These Lives by Sarah Wylie
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Just Flirt
H A R L E Q U I N 
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Thanks to Macmillan Imprints and Harlequin Teen Panel!
What did you get in your mailbox?


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scary School by Derek the Ghost

Scary SchoolGenre: Middle Grade
Source: PDF from Author
Series: Yes, First of TBD

Buy It: The Dolphin Bookshop (Shop Indie!),  The Book Depository
Challenge: Free Reads

You think your school's scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
"Ms. Fang," an 850-year-old vampire
"Dr. Dragonbreath," who just might eat you before recess
"Mr. Snakeskin"--science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
"Mrs. T"--break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry "Tyrannosaurus rex"
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost
Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends--including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf--and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky
     I received a review request for this book one day when I was home sick.  I accepted only because the book was a short middle grade and started reading it immediately while laying on the couch.  I kept reading because the story was pretty cute!
     Scary School wasn't anything all that special but, the story was cute.  It was written in a whimsical style and I liked the pictures.  The story and many different characters kept me interested.  I really enjoyed the pictures.  Unfortunately, I felt like the book built up to a huge ending but, was really more of a let down.  I thought that the ghoul games were going to last a lot longer than they actually did.  I was hoping for big "fireworks" but, the ending wasn't anything special.  Another thing that I didn't really enjoy about the book was how the narrator would say "We'll get to that later," or "More on that in the next book."  This was extremely annoying.  Sometimes, the subjects weren't even explained again in the book.  I felt like the story was underdeveloped and had holes because of this.  I mean, I wanted to here about those things right then and there, not wait for them.  All in all, a middle grade reader probably wouldn't mind these unfinished parts of the story when reading but, they still bothered me.
     The book consisted of several short stories that told you about some of the students and teachers at Scary School.  I thought it was a cute and unique way to tell a story and really enjoyed learning about each of the characters.  My favorite character was probably Mrs. Fang but, I'm not sure why.  Each character had a story and then they would be brought up again later in the book.  I liked how they were explained and not just abandoned.
     Overall, Scary School was cute and whimsical but, had quite a few annoying flaws.  I'm sure a middle grade reader would enjoy this little book, though, and they'll probably look forward to the next book in the series!

Final Grade:


February Wrap Up

I know I'm a bit late but, here's what I read in Feburary:

Scary School by Derek the Ghost
Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Scary SchoolNever EighteenLove and Leftovers

I wish I would've gotten to read more but, I did start a lot of the books you all voted for! :)  I hope to finish them soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Interview with Jodi Meadows

The lovely Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate, is stopping by the blog today for an interview!  I hope you enjoy!  My review of Incarnate is here.  Now, onto the questions!

1) How do you think you'd react to being a newsoul if you were Ana?

Probably a lot like Ana! If I grew up the same way she did, I can't imagine I'd have a much better outlook on the world. I can only hope I'd be as tough as her, though!

2) How long did it take to write the first draft of Incarnate?

Actual writing time? Two months. But before that, three years of letting the story stew in the back of my head while I worked on other thing, and then a month of intense planning, worldbuilding, and character developing.

3) How do you stay focused when writing?

I wish I could tell you there's a trick to it, but there's really not. I'm just a very goal-oriented person. I like completing tasks. And I like writing. When I have a story to tell, there's not much else I want to do, so it's easy to stay focused and write.

4) What's one thing you've learned from being published?

There are always new things to worry about. 

I actually knew this before I got published, because I had friends with book deals and books on the shelves, but it's really different knowing that even when you hit a goal (like getting a book published), there will be something else to worry about on the other side.

5) Quick!  You can have one author, alive or not, and one character for dinner!  Who?  What do you eat?  What 3 questions do you ask?!

Robin McKinley.

We eat cinnamon rolls as big as your head. (Of course.)

"How's the knitting?" "I think I ate too much cinnamon roll. What about you?" "Do you want to go to a yarn store?"

6) What scene do you think turned out best in Incarnate?  Which was most fun to write?  Which was hardest to write?

Oh goodness! I hope all the scenes turned out to be the best. Heh. But the one readers respond to the most? The masquerade. That definitely seems to be the favorite, and it was one of the most fun to write, too. 

The hardest scenes for me are action scenes. Making sure everything is clear, keeping up the pace, and making sure it's exciting . . . that's quite a challenge.

Thanks for stopping by Jodi!  What did you guys think of the interview?!  Would you like to see more interviews in the future?


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

This sounds great!  What are you waiting on?!

When Micah disappears from home, his sister Rachel decides to secretly take matters into her own hands. Armed with Micah’s best friend Tyler, she travels from the hazy, lazy suburbs of Southern California to the seedy side of San Diego’s beach communities following the clues that Micah left behind. As each lead arrives at a dead end, she is left to piece together the puzzle that is her brother’s life. And the sketchy characters Rachel and Tyler encounter make Rachel wonder if she can reach Micah before it’s too late.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Breathless Reads Tour Event Recap 2/17/12

What the poster looks like
Hey Remarkable Readers,
     A little less than a month ago (yes, this post is long overdue) I attended the Breathless Reads tour at Books of Wonder in New York City.  The authors there were Marie Lu, Beth Review, Jessica Spotswood, and Andrea Cremer.  I was really excited for this signing!  It was my first time at Books of
 Wonder and the authors attending knock my socks off!
     Due to a little traffic in the city, I got there about ten minutes late but, luckily I didn't miss too much!  The event started off with a Q&A from the store employees, then questioning was opened up to the audience, and then the signing started.  It was really interesting to see what the authors all had to say during the Q&A!  I loved getting my books signed, too!  I even met a few new bloggers there!  I was introduced to Zoraida who has a book coming out later this year, Courtney who was really nice to talk to, and Nicole from the book bandit!  You can click the links to see their blogs! :)

     With my purchase, I received a poster and a lanyard with a contest code on it!  I entered the contest and have my fingers crossed!  Any who, the event was great! :)  Check out some pictures below.

Breathless Reads 2012
PS- I couldn't find Legend by Marie Lu at the moment but, it says "Jessica, Walk in the Light."