Monday, April 25, 2011

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes loves to hear her name being chanted in the crowd. She is more alive on a basketball court than anywhere else. After a devastating accident causes a horrible injury she loses more than just her love of basketball, she loses her chances at a full scholarship to college.

Clint has his own set of problems. After a personal tragedy leaves him destroyed, he quits playing hockey and throws himself into the family business. He will do anything to keep his mind from the painful memories of a past he can’t forget.

When these two come together for a three week long “boot camp” at a lake resort they find the strength in each other to go on that they couldn’t find alone.

“Clint begins to run his fingertips down my arm, erasing the question marks that have been swirling through my mind, replacing them with bold-print exclamations. His touch is gentle, but I feel like he’s just lit my skin on fire.”

This is such a beautiful story of love and healing. Since I am partial to alternating points of view I loved reading this book from Clint and Chelsea's perspectives. It feels like you are getting a two-for-one bonus! Schindler has a vibrant voice full of optimism and hopefulness. Just like hearing your favorite band come on the radio at just the right time, it gives you a little hope that things are going to go your way. So, here’s to a great story and to hearing Pearl Jam on my next ride around town.

Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks

Thursday, April 21, 2011

before i fall by Lauren Oliver

"What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. "

Though I was a bit skeptical about the book's concept (hello, Groundhog Day!), I found myself falling into an easy pace--anticipating each day. I did occasionally have to double-check to see which version of Samantha's last day I was on. Each day was thought-provoking and revealed to Sam how her life could have been, should have been...but ultimately, it was the horrible truths that were the most eye opening.

Favorite Quotes:
"But before you start pointing fingers, let me ask you: is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like that? Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does? Is it really so much worse than what you do? Think about it." - pg. 50

"It's weird how much you can know about someone without knowing everything. You'd think someday you'd come to the end of it." - pg. 58

Reading Rating:
A fast
-paced read despite it's heavy subject matter. I held out hope until the end that Samantha would find a way to change her fate--to set things right. A book every teen girl who has been bullied or is a bully should read. This would make a great book selection for a book club, and would pair nicely with Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why.

Reviewed by:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum

After their parents’ death, Kate and her sister move to Paris to live with their grandparents. As she starts to heal and move past her loss, Kate meets Vincent. He is beautiful, dangerous, and the most perfectly delectable distraction!

Kate decides to take a risk and explore her attraction to him. At first it's like fire and ice between them, one minute he's warm and sincere and the next he is cold and distant. Then Kate learns the truth, Vincent is an immortal revenant. He has to sacrifice himself over and over to save those around him. In return he doesn’t age or die for good; he just keeps awakening after each sacrifice.

Sometimes you read a book and you don't even have to try to like it, you love it right away which is exactly what happened while I read Die For Me. It is complete bliss for paranormal romance junkies and there is even an awesome sword fight for the action fanatics.

To top it off, Plum paints a vivid picture of Paris's architecture and the eloquent blend of history with contemporary is mesmerizing. It’s like you are right there with the characters taking a stroll down a Parisian neighborhood.

Reviewed By: Lostnthestacks

This was an advance reader copy. Die For Me will be available on May 10, 2011. Put your copy on hold in May!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

"Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home." -Courtesy of

Everyone has been raving about this book, which meant I had been putting off reading it and put it off some more. I mean, I'm not one to give into hype after all (pffft--liar!). But finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and dove right in...

Oh my goodness, AatFK was WONDERFUL! I tore right thru this one falling in love with the characters--especially Etienne St. Clair. This is the part where I get all swoon-y and lusty over a fictional character. But debut author, Stephanie Perkins has made him so real and honest and lovable that you will forget that he exists only on the pages in front of you.

At first, Anna resists and AVOIDS exploring the Parisian scene. Only when St. Clair opens her eyes to the pastries and cinemas does she find the courage to wander the streets alone. You will fall in love with the city, Anna, & her new friends. Your heart will break and swell with Anna's. It's such a classic love story...which is exactly why I have already ordered my own copy to re-read over and over. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! I've already passed it along to several people who adored it just as much. All that hype? Buy into it. Etienne is worth it ;-)

Reading Rating:
Such a blissful, romantic story. You will fly thru this one and then demand more! It will make you want to drink chocolat chaud, find a St. Clair of your own, and wander the streets of Paris seeking out cinemas.

Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m

Book extras here - courtesy of 4YA! Learn to make your own Paris tote, whip up some chocolat chaud, & more amazing crafts & activities for the most crazed AatFK fan.


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