Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
Publisher: Flux
Some things to look out for: Some heavy romance scenes and some language.

Summary from Goodreads.com

Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college-and everyone's admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

As a graduation present, Chelsea's dad springs for a three-week summer "boot camp" program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she's immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who's haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain-or finally heal their heartbreak?

My thoughts

Holly Schindler brings back that refreshing and realistic writing that she strategically used in A Blue So Dark. She brings new characters to life the same way she brought them back in her previously debut book.

To be honest I was expecting a sweet and short summer romance when I read this book's summary. Playing Hurt is not your typical light summer romance read, and I am okay with that.

Clint and Chelsea are both broken, one physically and another emotionally, and uselessly trying to deny the attraction they feel towards one another.

One of the many things I liked about this particular story is that it takes a while for the romance between Chelsea and Clint to develop, and not everything is peachy all the time. From the beginning you could tell there was an attraction between each other, but it took some time for the flirting to develop into something more intense.

I am not a big sports person, I can't play outside without hurting myself or others, but I really was able to understand what both Clint and Chelsea were feeling. All of that passion that Chelsea had for basketball and how sudden all of it was taken away, or Clint's passion for hockey ripped away from him after some horrible incident. Holly's method of giving us both of their point of views really helped me visualize the story more.

The story is not only centered around Chelsea's relationship with Clint, but also the rocky relationship she has between her family, and how it improves as her love for the sport she loved returns.

But a certain relationship definitely worsened because of Clint's and Chelsea's connection. Chelsea leaves behind a boyfriend who is head over heals for her and cannot wait for her to get back so they can be together, really together*. I kinda felt bad for Gabe, he is what a perfect boyfriend ought to be, except not Chelsea's idea of a perfect boyfriend. So yeah, she cheats on him. While I wasn't okay with this, I cold see Chelsea's struggle and efforts to keep her distance. But I mean didn't she just break up with him?

Overall it was a very enjoyable quick read, I mean I read it it one day, I just couldn't stop! Perfect for taking it to the lake or the beach this summer and enjoying it in the outdoors, or indoors. I highly recommend both of Holly Schindler's books, if you pick up one of them or both you will not regret it.

*On that note, there is some romance scenes that probably should not be read by young readers, you can always wait and put it on your wishlist for later!

Those of you who are wanting to read it, but can't get your hands on a copy, watch out for a giveaway of a SINGED Playing Hurt on the blog soon!

About the author:

I dove headfirst into my writing pursuits after receiving my MA in English from Missouri (that’s pronounced Ma-zur-AH, for those of you not in the know) State University. After wearing out a mere half dozen keyboards (I’m completely serious) drafting enough manuscripts to form a pile that literally stretches from the floor to the ceiling of my office, I was ecstatic to release my debut novel, A Blue So Dark, with Flux. A Blue So Dark earned a starred review in Booklist, was named one of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels for Youth, received a silver medal from the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and won a gold medal in the IPPYs. Playing Hurt, my first romance, released March 8, 2011.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand
Published: January 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My thoughts * SPOILER FREE*

Unearthly offers a completely different new take on the typical angel love story. Not only that, but it was a very fresh and ne
w story plot with funny and likable characters.

Clara is a Quartarius, daughter of a half-blood angel and a human. Like every other angel, she has a purpose, a thing she must accomplish to fulfill her duty as an angel. To find out about their purpose, angels have vivid visions of what their purpose consist of. For Clara, those visions always include a boy in the burning forest, but she cannot seem to fully understand what she must do. When she and her family move to finally find out who this mysterious boy is, things get a little unexpected when the boy turns out to be very handsome and popular Christian Prescott.

I will leave you with that, because the rest you will have to read about, and trust me you really want to read Unearthly.

Clara was a super likable character, I really enjoyed reading from her point of view and seeing how she progresses throughout the book. Clara is the sort of girl (or angel) I would love to be friends with. The rest of the characters, weather they were good or bad came alive by Cynthia Hand's writing.

For example, Tucker being one of my favorite characters of Unearthly, was such an original and alluring character. He will be added to the "literary boyfriend" list and will stay there possibly forever.

The story plot also came alive with Cynthia's beautiful writing. Every scene was not overly descriptive but not vague either. The story seemed to have an easy flow, very easy to follow. Well, un
til the end comes, where you will have a temporary "What just happened?" moment and it will leave you wanting more.

If you think that angel books are not your thing and will not read any, please consider making Unearthly the exception. You will not regret it and I will showered with e-mails of gratitude.


5 Butterflies

What's Next?
***COVER REVEAL!*** I just posted up the review and the cover was revealed! What do you think?

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Expected Publication: 2012
Publisher: HarperTEEN

Book Trailer:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Follow Friday!

  1. To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
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  4. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. LINKY TOOLS IS BACK! I paid for the subscription - finally so now you can add the links to your own post!!! To add the code to your own post click on GET THE CODE here under the list of names.
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  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
Contest Rules & Restrictions
  1. You have to participate in the Feature Friday today, I'm picking from the below list
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  3. Because you are participating in the Feature & Follow you must follow all the rules of the #FF above {1 - 4} required. If it is found that you did not participate in the #FF your entry will be disqualified.
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  9. Blogger chosen will also be the Feature at the next available spot
  10. Winner will be chosen on Sunday, the 19th.
Question of the Week:

Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Recently I have been crazy about YA Dystopan. Ever since I read the Hunger Games, I fell in love with the genre. I have many other favorites such as Divergent and Delirium. Dystopian books just give you a glimpse to an alternative universe, and I love that about it.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DIVERGENT sequel title reveal!

So if you didn't know already, the title of Veronica Roth's sequel to DIVERGENT is.....

*drum roll*

So what do you guys think? You can read the entire post HERE.
I am going to have some problems saying it for a while, but I love it. Very DIVERGENT!

INSURGENT is scheduled to be released in 2012, which is pretty painful! But re-reading DIVERGENT will totally make up for it, and I am sure it will be worth the wait!

Here's part of the blog post:

1755–65; < Latin insurgent- (stem of insurgÄ“ns ) present participle of insurgere: to get up, ascend, rebel.

1. a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority, especially a person who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws; rebel.
2. a member of a section of a political party that revolts against the methods or policies of the party.
3. one that acts contrary to the established leadership (as of a political party, union, or corporation) or its decisions and policies
4. (international law) a person or group that rises in revolt against an established government or authority but whose conduct does not amount to belligerency

Not all of those definitions are equally applicable to the book-- some are more spot-on than others. But I won't tell you which ones yet.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In Stores TODAY: Hourglass

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Watch out for: Some kissing and bad words but nothing R rated. Pretty clean.
Publisher: Egmont USASource: from Publisher
Summary (from Goodreads.com):
One hour to rewrite the past . . .
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

My thoughts on Hourglass:
Based on the cover and the summary provided, you will never know what the book REALLY is about. They did such a good job on making this book as mysterious sounding as they could. As for the cover, there was not a single day in school (where I read it) that somebody didn't make a comment about the wicked cool cover on this book.

I honestly thought that this book was going to be about your typical teenager who starts seeing ghosts and gets thrown into a loony-bin called "Hourglass". But, no it wasn't. It was much more than that. Now, I am not going into full blown detail about it, so you can be as surprised as I was.

Emerson is a quirky teen girl who behind all that sarcasm hides a big secret: she can see things that are not there. Michael is the only one that can help her, he also sees the thing she sees, which might now make her as crazy as she thinks she is.

Emerson's mysteriously alluring story had me reading like a madwoman. Such an alluring and mysterious story plot with characters with such a good chemistry between each other. Well except for the bad guys, and lemme tell you, there is a fair amount of bad guys here. I mean, who doesn't love a little antagonism now and then? There is no good story plot without a bad guy.

Emerson and Michael are such a highly comedic couple, every word that Emerson said was sarcastically hilarious and Michael just had such an amusing reaction to everything Emerson had to say. Kaleb (possible love triangle alert!) was another character that was charming (at times) and he captivated my heat as soon as I read about him being drunk and naked on the couch (nothing to worry about, pretty hilarious scene).

The impossible romance that develops through the story, will have all the suckers for romance sighing and crying at times. I know I did plenty of both.

I see so much potential to learn about the other characters as the series develops and to read about all the craziness that Emerson get herself into. So that is why I am giving this story a little bit of leverage on the lack of explanation when it comes to some things, there are two more books coming so the story will probably develop much further then.

There is so much to cover about this book that I would probably make this post longer than it already is, so if you want to read a refreshing new plot story with some entertaining characters, then Hourglass is for you.

Hope you go check it out, Hourglass hits bookstores TODAY!

My rating:

4 Butterflies
Should be a 4.5 but don't have a butterfly for that! =(

What's Next?
Hourglass #2 is the title at the moment.
Set to be published 2012.

About the Author
Myra McEntire (Debut Author)

Myra McEntire knows the words to every R&B hit of the last decade, but since she lives in Nashville, the country music capital of America, her lyrical talents go sadly unappreciated. She’s chosen, instead, to channel her “mad word skills” into creating stories infused with her love of music. Her young adult book, Hourglass, will debut on June 14, 2011.

Book Trailer:

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