Friday, April 27, 2012

Suite Scarlett

Author: Maureen Johnson

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City. When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite. For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet and world traveler.

And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.

Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery and romantic missteps. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

Review: Suite Scarlett has a cute storyline that will make you laugh and also reflect. The characters were all very true to their nature, but Scarlett does end up maturing from her experiences. It was a whirlwind of action and adventure throughout, making this an entertainingly quick read.

The settings were as varied as the characters themselves. Scarlett is passionate and eventually finds the way to make amends and fix the relationships she has with those around her, especially her older and younger sisters. Not only does this story gain atmosphere through the hotel, but theater and drama also abound. Scarlett takes it upon herself to support her favorite brother's quest to make it big in comedy acting, a role that gets her involved in some pretty sticky situations.

This novel may sound like crazy fun, but it wonderfully down-to-earth. Her entanglements leave her heartbroken, ashamed and between a rock and a hard place, but Scarlett's wit certainly wins at the end of the day.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Glimpse

YAY! Another lovely Wednesday brings is another "WoW" post. This weekly meme is meant to let the books we are eagerly anticipating be in the spotlight. It is brought to you by Jill from BreakingTheSpine! Here is what I am waiting for today:

Title: The Glimpse

Author: Claire Merie

Release Day: June 7th, 2012

Summary: (from goodreadsOnce you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell. 

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

My Thoughts: The simple cover is very attractive because of the clean color scheme, but this also has an interesting premise. I like books like Matched by Ally Condie or Uglies by Scott Westerfeld where a powerful someone is trying to control the feelings of the people. Ana's world will be shattered since she lived as a Pure and now awaits the illness. I think I can really get into such a story where the protagonist solves a mystery of such huge proportions. I just think I will really like this :) And I really am in love with that cover. Not going to lie.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Something Strange and Deadly

"Waiting on Wednesday" is brought to you by Jill from BreakingTheSpine. This weekly meme is meant to spotlight the books we are most looking forward to being released. Here is my pick for this week:

Title: Something Strange and Deadly

Author: Susan Dennard

Release Day: July 24th, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

My Thoughts: This has a hint of Steampunk in the summary what with Daniel the Inventor! Something I am definitely into, and the cover only adds to the idea that it will be set in history, but also is paranormal because of the zombies. Mystery around the disappearance of Eleanor' brother is another element I am looking forward to.

There seems to be lots going on and I imagine it will be a fabulous read. I can't believe I hadn't done a "WoW" for it earlier, because I've been wanting to read it since...forever really. The premise is simply excellent.

What are you guys waiting for this week?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Song: Ain't No Fun

Artist: BigBang

Song Title: Ain't No Fun

Language: Korean

About: You may know how big of a K-pop fan I am and if you didn't before, you do now! BIGBANG is absolutely my favorite South Korean boy band ever in all the world. Alive is the name of their newest album and I love all the songs. This one especially has been on replay in my head.

BIGBANG has 5 members which are (left to right in the picture above) Taeyang, Daesung, G-Dragon, Top, and Seungri. My personal favorite is Top. The rapper! Enjoy a listen.

Video: It is a lyric video with English subtitles

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pretty Little Liars: Heartless

Author: Sara Shepard

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) The newest installment in Sara Shepard’s bestselling Pretty Little Liarsseries is packed with juicy drama and delicious surprises that will keep readers guessing to the very end.
Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer have been telling some outrageous tales; only, the proof always seems to go missing. The friends insist they’re telling the truth, but all of Rosewood thinks they’re just out for attention—and nobody likes a girl who cries wolf. So when the big bad killer comes after them, will anyone believe the girls. . . or will they be the next to disappear?

Review: Another amazing book in the Pretty Little Liars series. I am so anxious to get my hands on the next one because some answers should begin to be revealed to this whole mess. The suspense of these books just grows and grows and grows and so does my addiction to them.

In Heartless, there is a slight change in atmosphere. Things are getting darker and there is more attention to the emotional side of the Pretty Little Liars. The jabs from A are getting more serious while the reader is left wondering just how much A is really controlling and not whether A simply was a catalyst for the actions of the Pretty Little Liars. The psycho factor is definitely amped up in this book. And I feel I am going crazy too from all the theories I've tried to form.

It all seems like a huge conspiracy involving everyone in Rosewood and it leaves me anxious for an explanation. How can so many things go so right for A while they go so wrong for our main characters. I pity them really. Heartless had an awesome-but-more-questions-than-answers ending to it that left me breathless. If you haven't read these books yet, please do so. Murder, mind-games, lies, and four pitiful Rosewood girls trying to get through the grief and guilt of losing a friend will make your world spin.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

This is number 7 in the Pretty Little Liars Series.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

Wednesday is here once again! For those of you interested to know, "Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme meant to promote to others the books we are awaiting the publication of. This meme is brought to you by Jill from BreakingTheSpine! Here is what I am waiting for this week:

Title: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

Author: Shelley Coriell

Release Day: May 1st, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home

My Thoughts: Although the summary makes it seem like a slightly serious read, the title and book cover give this a cute-read vibe that I am quite excited to get my hands on. I've also been missing the music scene type of books, so that adds to its particular appeal.

Evil best friends? Romance with the least likely candidate? I think I am going to like Chloe as a narrator :) What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Supergirl Mixtapes

Hello there! Here we are once again blogging about the books we are most awaiting the release of. "Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme brought to you by the fabulous Jill over at BreakingTheSpine.

And this is what I am waiting for this week:

Title: Supergirl Mixtapes

Author: Meagan Brothers

Release Day: April 24th, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) After years of boredom in her rural South Carolina town, Maria is thrilled when her father finally allows her to visit her estranged artist mother in New York City. She’s ready for adventure, and she soon finds herself immersed in a world of rock music and busy streets, where new people and ideas lie around every concrete corner. This is the freedom she’s always longed for—and she pushes for as much as she can get, skipping school to roam the streets, visit fancy museums, and flirt with the cute clerk at a downtown record store.

But just like her beloved New York City, Maria’s life has a darker side. Behind her mother’s carefree existence are shadowy secrets, and Maria must decide just where—and with whom—her loyalty lies.

My Thoughts: This one is being released quite soon actually! I just discovered this one also from a list somewhere. I think it works for the Contemporary challenge if any of you are participating in that. Anyway, I want to see how Maria interacts with her town and then the difference when she gets to New York. I do hope both settings are developed since it would be very interesting!

The music side is also why this one caught my eye...and that kooky cover. I've lately developed a liking for contemporaries in the music scene although I am by no means a music fanatic. Only a K-pop fanatic. I listen to all genres, but yeah I get my music scene fix from books. And that is why I am looking forward to this novel.

That cover really is something. Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

Author: Michelle Moran

Source: Publisher (paperback)

Summary: (goodreads) Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, and even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, yet her greatest dream is to attract the attention of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; their stamp of approval on her work could catapult her and her museum to the fame and riches she desires. After months of anticipation, Marie learns that the royal family is willing to come and see their likenesses. When they finally arrive, the king’s sister is so impressed that she requests Marie’s presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax sculpting. It is a request Marie knows she cannot refuse—even if it means time away from her beloved Salon and her increasingly dear friend, Henri Charles.

As Marie gets to know her pupil, Princesse √Člisabeth, she also becomes acquainted with the king and queen, who introduce her to the glamorous life at court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than she’s ever seen to rooms filled with candles lit only once before being discarded, Marie steps into a world entirely different from her home on the Boulevard du Temple, where people are selling their teeth in order to put food on the table.

Meanwhile, many resent the vast separation between rich and poor. In salons and caf√©s across Paris, people like Camille Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are lashing out against the monarchy. Soon, there’s whispered talk of revolution. . . . Will Marie be able to hold on to both the love of her life and her friendship with the royal family as France approaches civil war? And more important, will she be able to fulfill the demands of powerful revolutionaries who ask that she make the death masks of beheaded aristocrats, some of whom she knows?

Spanning five years, from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror,Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.

Review: Michelle Moran is a skilled writer. This is the first of her books that I have read, but I am blown away from the author's ability to evoke such emotion from me as a reader while reading Marie's story.

So much is happening during this time period, but the story manages to delve into Marie's personal life while immersing the reader in history. It is well-researched and included was a brief historically accurate account of Marie's life which is something that added to the actual novel itself. The vividness of the writing is absolutely marvelous with rich descriptions of the pieces Marie carved, and of the garments used.

The characterization was stellar. Marie's conflicting opinions on money versus the monarchy were made through her actions and thoughts and adding what the people around her thought and did. She was in the middle of so much because people of all kinds, revolutionaries specifically, visited the Parlour while Marie visited the Royals. This whirlwind of action leading up to the Reign of Terror escalated in such a way as to give a clear before and after picture.

The viewpoints of people from the poorest to the King and Queen of France were known to Marie who in turn struggled between keeping the safety of her family or loyalty to the Princess who treated her kindly. This historical novel is one that will be hard to forget. Highly recommended.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5