Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wrapping Up 2011 and New Beginnings for 2012

I can't believe a year has passed already.  It feels like I've done so little, when really, this year was full of firsts.  I started The Hollow Cupboards in May, 2011.  It's the first time I've actually kept up a blog, which must be because I love it so much.  I can't say it was a bad year, because it was actually better than most.

In one year of blogging, I've created 136 posts, posted 33 book reviews, read a total of 40 books, managed to acquire 235 more books on my shelves and gained 350 followers.  Some of you may think that these are all small numbers, but I'm quite proud of myself.  I'm determined to keep going.

Some of my favorite books I've read in 2011 were...

-Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
-Hereafter by Tara Hudson
-Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
-Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
-Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
-Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
-Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
-The Duff by Kody Keplinger
-The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
-Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The first book I read in the year was The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and the last I've finished was Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  I'm currently reading Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey but I'll be finishing that in early January.  

I hope that 2012 will be filled with many more firsts and this this blog continues to grow as well as it has so far.  There are so many things that I can think of doing to improve it.  I also want to wish everyone a safe and happy new year.  Thank you so much for being a part of the blog and encouraging me to stick with it.  I know a lot of you don't know that you're my inspiration, but you are.  :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Paranormal Romance
Release date: August 1st, 2009
Pages: 390 (Paperback)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: RAK

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

First, I wanted to say how much I love books that contain different perspectives.  I've reviewed a few of them on the blog already.  I just can't get enough!  It didn't switch between characters every other chapter, just when it needed to, which I enjoyed.

The story is about Grace, a teenage girl that doesn't give up on anything she believes in with all her heart.  Her backyard is surrounded by woods, and ever since she was a child, there was one wolf that protected her.  When she looked into his eyes, she felt safe and she felt the need to keep him safe, too.  When she comes face to face with a boy that has the same uncommon yellow eyes, she realizes that there's much more to the disappearances around town than people seem to think.

Sam is completely heartwarming.  The way he cares- and has cared for Grace for years- just makes you shiver with anticipation.  I found myself cheering them on, just because they seem like the perfect couple.  Learning about his life and the people that turned him caught my interest the most (besides the romance, of course).  I felt like it had been so long since I've read a book solely based around werewolves.

The way they changed into the wolves was interesting, especially when reading the book around this time of year.  I live in Wisconsin, so I know how cold it can get in the winter.  I could only imagine how easily someone would change when the temperature drops below 40 degrees.  Shiver also has its heartbreaking moments, such as when Grace would listen to the wolves howls outside of her bedroom late at night, wishing she could just be with them.  Since I'm in a long distance relationship, it also made me sad when Sam turned, because I could relate to Grace so much at that moment.

The ending couldn't have been anymore perfect.  I don't pick up paranormal romance books as often, but I know that this is a series I want to continue reading.

Follow Friday #9

Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

Oh, the things I could do to improve my blog...
I really need to read more, review more, and plan more.  I'd like to post more than the occasional review or meme, I just never know what to post that would be worthwhile.  

I usually read a book a week, which is horrible when you think of how long a week is.  I've never been much of a planner when it comes to blogging.  I just type up a post whenever I feel like it.  

Posting more often would also be a nice thing...and making more friends!  I feel like I only connect with a small amount of my followers and I'd love to change that!  Oh, two more things.  I'd like to start requesting more ARCs for review.  It's a bit terrifying to send those request emails but I have to do it to take my blog to the next level in the blogging community.  Lastly, I'd love to learn how to make my blog look better.  I wish I knew how to make my own templates!

I know I've barely posted in the past week, but that's because the holidays gave me an excuse to be lazy.  Thanks for stopping by, as always!  Feel free to leave a link below so I can check out your Follow Friday posts.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary romance
Release date: October 26th, 2010
Pages: 302 (ebook)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Borrowed

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

This is such a cute read, especially for the winter months.  Perfect for Christmastime!  Dash is witty and interesting, yet he can be a little complicated at times.  Lily's the same way, but they don't know each other.  They've actually never met at all.  It started in The Strand bookstore where he found her red moleskine on the shelves.  Inside were rules for him to follow and if he finished each task without losing, he was to give his information to the store's clerk and place the journal where he found it, but he decided to break a few rules and take the journal with him.

Lily's different than most teenage girls I knew in school.  She wears thick black framed glasses and tacky Christmas outfits with her great-aunt's old majorette boots that are two sizes too big.  She isn't allowed to have her own pets, so she's a dogwalker in her spare time.  Since her parents are on vacation in Fiji this Christmas, her brother and his boyfriend come up with an idea to get Lily her own boyfriend, since she's never actually had one.  When she found out that Dash didn't play by the rules, she follows his own clues that he left with the clerk.

This leads to an adventure around New York City, conversations in the journal with a stranger, and eventually finding each other with the help of a lost majorette boot.  Will real-life Dash and Lily be the same people they've known for the past few days or will they realize that no one is really who you expect them to be?

I've always loved the works of Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, especially together.  I have to say that Dash & Lily is my favorite of theirs.  I've got to admit that I haven't quite been in the Christmas spirit this year, but this helped quite a bit.  One thing I also enjoyed more was that although I loved Nick & Norah, this romance took more than one night to develop.  I hope to see more collaborations from these two in the future!

I just wanted to add that I hope everyone's having a great Christmas!  I hope you all get to spend valuable time with your families and that there's a smile on your face at least once this holiday.  Yes, even you Grinches. ;)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Follow Friday #8

Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Q: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

I'd have to say any Francesca Lia Block book I've read.  Probably the Weetzie Bat series.  Sure, many of her stories are just set in Los Angeles, (or as she calls it, Shangri-LA) but it's not the same LA I've always pictured in my mind.  Her writing creates this beautiful, magical place filled with dancing, glitter, faeries, mermaid women and surfer boys. 

Oh, yeah, and there's also Harry Potter...but that's obvious.  What crazy person wouldn't want to live there?!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Which books books would you live in if you were given the chance?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday- Books I Want Santa to Bring

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week we're listing the top ten books we wish Santa would sneak into our homes at night and place so delicately under our Christmas trees.

1. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Though I originally added this one to my wishlist because of the pretty cover, I soon came to realize it was much more than that.  I really, really love contemporary novels and I've heard all great things about this one.  It's emotional, too, which is always a bonus for me.

2. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

This book sounds AMAZING.  I really loved Thirteen Reasons Why, so that's part of why I want this book so badly.  That's not all, though.  I love everything about the 90's and I remember exactly the first time I heard that horrible "You've got mail" AOL voice.  I can only imagine how interesting this book is, since it's about two teens in the 90's sent into 2011 just by logging onto the internet for the first time.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Needless to say, I loved Anna and the French Kiss.  As soon as I finished that one, I needed to get my hands on this one as well.

4. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

I've been wanting this one foreverrr.  I just love Jackson and her vlogs are so entertaining.  I definitely enjoyed As You Wish, so I need to read this ASAP!

5. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

If I'm going to get Sisters Red, I might as well get the companion novel, Sweetly.  Right, Santa?

6. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Zombie love...What more can a girl ask for this Christmas?

7. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

This story hardly seems appropriate for bringing holiday cheer, but I know that if I unwrapped it on Christmas day, I'd sure be happy.

8. Fateful by Claudia Gray

So I've never read a Claudia Gray book before, but this one includes the Titanic and werewolves?  Count me in.

9. / 10. The Iron King and The Iron Daughter 
by Julie Kagawa

I've had The Iron Queen sitting on my shelf for a while now and I haven't been able to get to it because I don't have the first two!  I feel like it's been too long since I've read a good book about faeries. 

I know that I won't actually get any of these books from Santa since he can't afford Christmas at my house this year, so these wishes will remain wishes until next year.  

Santa, if you'd rather give me some lovely ARCs or wait until the new year, I'd REALLY love to receive these four books as well.

-The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
-The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

-Tempest by Julie Cross

-Everneath by Brodi Ashton

I apologize for the super long post!  Thanks for stopping by!  Which 10 (or more ;P) books do you wish Santa would bring you this holiday?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cover Reveal: Sleepers by Megg Jensen

An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.

Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?

Sleepers by Megg Jensen is being re-launched in January 2012 with lovely new artwork from PhatPuppy.

If you want to read it, it's available for purchase from these places for $.99

Find Megg on the web!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Title: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Publisher: SimonPulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary romance
Release date: October 18th, 2011
Pages: 292 (ebook)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?

Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

A few months back, I saw this book all over the blogs I followed.  There were blog tours and reviews galore.  Honestly, I didn't pay any attention.  No matter how beautiful the cover is, I didn't even think to look twice.  After noticing a recommendation, I realized that I really wanted to read it.  Boy, was I glad I did.

Virtuosity follows the life of a child prodigy named Carmen.  So far, everything she's done in her musical career had been a success and nothing would stand in her way of winning.  That is, until Jeremy comes into the picture.  He's the only contestant that is actual competition, so when they begin to get close, Carmen realizes that everything could blow up in her face.  Despite the fact that Jeremy is arrogant and pompous on stage, you learn that it's an act and he's really not as different from Carmen as he may seem.

Before indulging in this book, the most I knew about the violin is that it was an instrument.  Embarrassing, right?  The only love for music I've ever had is dancing along to it alone in my bedroom.  Needless to say, I feel much more informed after reading this.  I felt like I could actually understand Carmen's anxiety, especially when she chose not to take her pills before a big performance.  The only difference is that she feels anxiety in front of hundreds and I could barely handle a group of ten.  This is the number one reason I could never be a performer.  I admire Carmen for that.

In the beginning of the story, I enjoyed learning about Carmen's mother, Diana.  She sounded like a strong, confident woman.  Unfortunately, that admiration faded the more I learned about her.  At least Carmen's stepfather, Clark, was genuinely supportive of Carmen's talent- though he was often left in the dark when it came to Diana's plans for Carmen.

When it draws nearer to the date of the competition, everything that could go wrong seems to.  Carmen starts to stand up for herself against Jeremy and her mother, who keeps her on an incredibly short leash.  She learns how to make her own decisions and in the end, they prove to be the right ones.

Virtuosity is sweet and fulfilling, like the first bite of your favorite desert.  Once you begin, you feel the need to devour it.  The end leaves you with a sense of elation.  This is definitely a book I need to purchase sometime in the future.  I just need it on my shelf!

In My Mailbox #21

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Last week I asked you guys whether or not I should wait until Christmas to open the books I get within the next couple weeks.  Many of you thought it would be a good idea, so I went for it.  And yes, it's been very difficult considering I know what's inside the packages and I'm incredibly excited for all three of them.

I've decided not to tell you all what I've received, but I will give you a hint about one.
Many who love Delirium by Lauren Oliver will be jealous.

Teehee.  Come back next week to see how many more packages I may or may not accumulate over the next week (and to see which books I got, since Christmas is next Sunday!  Yay!)

P.S. My cat, Crookshanks, is adorable.  ^_^

Thanks for stopping by! Leave the link to your IMM below so I can leave you some love, too!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Follow Friday #7

Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Q: When you’ve read a book, what do you do with it? (Keep it, give it away, donate it, sell it, swap it..?)

I like to keep my books.  I really love having them on my shelves.  In an odd sense, they make me proud.  That's why I've never really enjoyed borrowing from a library.  It also turns out that I'm more likely to read one of my own books, for some reason.  In the future I will give some away, though, because I can already think of a few unwanted ones that take up some much-needed space on my shelves.  Perhaps I'll try trading as well.  :)

Today is the last day to enter my INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY!  Please enter if you haven't already.  I'd love to make you happy by sending you a book of your choice just in time for the holidays!  :D

Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary romance
Release date: September 5th, 2011
Pages: 273 (ebook)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Borrowed

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling...

It's official.  I can't hide it anymore.  I'm in love with Kody Keplinger.  When I first read The DUFF, it was everything I hoped it would be.  I think Shut Out may have been even better.  The story follows a senior in high school who's sick of competing for the attention of her boyfriend.  I would be too, if you knew that most of his thoughts and actions were based around what he'd do next to get the soccer team back for whatever prank they pulled last.  At her school, there's been a 10 year long rivalry between the soccer and football teams and as it turns out, Lissa isn't the only one sick of being ignored.

Lissa has a plan that includes e-mailing and meeting each of the girlfriends of the team members.  She creates a no-sex pact. Until the war comes to an end, each of the girls plan to hold out, believing that the plan will become successful since the boys are much more weak when it comes to sex (or lack thereof).  The funny thing is that it becomes quite a challenge for the girls as well.

I've seen some people rag on Kody because her books involve sex, but to me, it's very realistic.  I can relate, especially since- I'm not going to lie about it- sex was on my mind most of the time while I was a senior in high school.  She's a younger author around my age and she writes about what she knows.  I can understand why some people wouldn't enjoy it, but to me, it's what makes me want to dive into the stories she tells.

Cash was one of my favorite characters from the beginning.  I guess I just had these hopes that he would be a good guy in the end.  While struggling with the sex strike and Randy's slight loss of interest (after finding out why she was being a little distant), Cash seems to be the one she can't get off her mind.

All of the girls become closer the longer this strike lasts and they find out that they're not as alone as they'd think.  They might all have different struggles but they all do, in fact, have something they're struggling with.  Some even worry that they're weird or different and there's just something so comforting knowing that you're not alone.  Overall, I enjoyed that everyone was so realistic and understandable.  I also love that Kody's stories have easily reeled me in and kept me interested.  Sometimes we all need those light, fun reads.

P.S. This book has the most amazing scene ever.  Just saying.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #6

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on!

Title: Arise (Hereafter #2)
Author: Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

It feels like such a long time ago since I read Hereafter, though it was only earlier this summer!  I loved it though, and I can't wait to find out what happens with Amelia in this book.  Just look at that cover.  I bet it's going to be a beauty in person as well.

Thanks for stopping by.  Care to share what you're waiting for this week?

Guys, there are only two more days to enter to win a book of your choice!  You can order anything from The Book Depository as long as it's $10 or under.  If you haven't entered, I suggest you do so quickly!  I'd also appreciate if you helped spread the word on twitter or facebook.
Click HERE to check out the giveaway!

Top Ten Tuesday- Books I Want to Give as Gifts

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week we're listing the top ten books we'd like to give as a gift this Christmas.  If I had the money, you know I'd be buying everyone I know a book I think they'd like.  I just think they're the perfect gift, even to those who aren't avid readers such as we all are.

1. Dangerous Angels
by Francesca Lia Block
For the odd girl that likes to think of life as a fairytale.  The one with the imagination and the sense of adventure.  

2. The Duff 
by Kody Keplinger
For the beautiful girl that has a tough time seeing her unique qualities.

3. Perfect Chemistry
by Simone Elkeles
For the hopeless romantic.

4. Warm Bodies
by Isaac Marion
For the ones that make fun of me for reading YA.

5. Pretty Little Liars
by Sara Shepard
For the ones who love to be kept guessing.  (Obviously I'd have to buy them the whole series, or at least the first 4.  I flew through those in a week)

6. Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi
For the ones who love a satisfying book with no cliffhangers.

7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
by Michelle Hodkin
For anyone, just because it was that awesome.

8. Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
For the one that appreciates beautiful writing.

9. Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins
For the paranormal junkie.

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Because I try to recommend this to everyone. are the books I'd actually love to give to the people closest to me...

For Mom:

-The Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano
I imagine we'd make some cute things together.

-Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack
We've been baking a lot lately.  It would be nice to get some more ideas!

For Santi (the boyfriend):
by Scott Westerfeld
While he was here he read the first two in the series and I know how badly he wants to read this one.

-The Maze Runner
by James Dashner
I just really think he'd enjoy this series.

-For Danielle (the best friend)

by Jillian Larkin
She's obsessed with flappers and the 1920's.

-White Cat
by Holly Black
You should see her copy of Tithe.  It's falling apart because she's read it so much.  I imagine she'd enjoy reading another Holly Black series.

That's it!  Thanks for stopping by to check out my picks.
Don't forget, only 3 more days to enter my giveaway for your choice of book from the Book Depository!  Please enter if you haven't already and I'd love if you helped spread the word!
Click HERE to enter!  :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Title: Still Waters
Author: Emma Carlson Berne
Publisher: SimonPulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Thriller/ Mystery
Release date: December 20th, 2011
Pages: 215 (ebook)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget.

But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety.

Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

After a year of being together, Colin expects Hannah to be ready to say the "L" word.  Love.  He's said it to her time and time again, hoping that she would soon return the feeling.  It's not often that you read about a female character that's not willing to let these three little words rush out her her mouth the first chance she gets.  Instead, Hannah plans a surprise vacation to the cabin that Colin's family owned.  Colin doesn't seem too eager, especially when she spills where they're going while they're more than half way to the Pine House.  Something doesn't seem quite right when they can't even locate the cabin on Google Maps.

Deep inside the woods, the cabin sits aside a large lake and to their surprise, the door is unlocked when they reach to open it.  Though you can tell the no one's been here for years, it does look as though Colin's family had left in a hurry.  Colin's mood transformed into something actually enjoyable once they set foot in the musty old place.

I have to say that I enjoyed the relationship between the two.  Though he was leaving for college at the end of the summer, they seemed like the type of couple that would last.  Soon, the trip that Hannah wanted to make their last hurrah turned into a disaster.  The closest town was about 25 miles away and everything was eerily deserted other than an old diner where the locals stared at Colin as if they knew something Hannah didn't.  Perhaps the cabin had something to do with the death of Colin's older brother after all...

The weird thing is that Colin isn't quite acting right.  He'd have episodes, as if he were sleepwalking during the day.  Hannah knew something was off, but she's known him for a year.  He's just going through something.  Not sleeping well, perhaps.  After the huge storm is when everything changes completely.  Colin turns into her worst nightmare and she's trapped at the cabin without a phone and a way to get out.

Seriously, I shouldn't have read the last half of this book at 5:30 in the morning in the darkness.  Emma Carlson Berne really knows how to get your imagination working with the descriptions she uses to explain what's going on with Colin.  I don't think I've ever been so creeped out reading a book, but I loved those creepy parts the most.  The book was enjoyable because no matter how much I tried to guess what was going to happen at the end, I was never able to.  This is definitely a book you want to dig into.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Mailbox #20

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Technically I didn't get any books in the mail this week, but here are the books I got that I didn't get a chance to share last week!

-Frost by Marianna Baer (Signed)
(Won from Ashley @ Book Obsession)

-Eve by Anna Carey (Signed)
(Won from Becky @ Stories & Sweeties)

Thanks, ladies!  I can't wait to read either of these books and I've been especially excited to read Eve, so I'll make sure to get to these soon!

If you want a chance to win a book, there's less than a week to enter my giveaway, so be sure to check that out if you haven't already!  (Click here!)

But wait!  Before you guys go, I wanted to ask a question.  This Christmas, it'll be pretty bare underneath the tree in my house.  Do you think I should save all the books I happen to get in the mail over the next couple weeks and open them on Christmas day?  I was thinking that it would be a good idea to pretend they were little gifts delivered by Santa, but it's just too hard to contain my excitement when I get a package in the mail, so I don't know if I'm patient enough for that!  Tell me your thoughts.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Leave the link to your IMM in the bottom so I can leave you some love, too!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Paranormal Romance/ Dystopian
Release date: November 15th, 2011
Pages: 338 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Gifted

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Shatter Me was a great read.
Shatter Me was incredible.  It completely lived up to expectations.  When I first dove into this book, I had no idea where it was going to go, but I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.  I even spent more time reading it than I would have with most other books.  I wanted to take my time and completely emerge myself in it, think it over a bit more, and wonder how it must have felt like to be Juliette.

Juliette had no way to control her curse.
Juliette had no way to control her powers.  She thought she was cursed.  Ever since she was a child she was treated as a freak living among normal people.  The poor girl thought she could never be loved because all she did was hurt the people she came in contact with.  This was until the accident, in which she was locked up for.

The reader feels quite a bit of sympathy for Juliette, especially when you think of how long 264 days would be without the company of someone else.  264 days of solitude, with no one to talk to.  Suddenly, in a matter of seconds, her world is turned upside down.  She was given a roommate for unexplained reasons.  This boy's name is Adam.

Adam is different.
As it turns out, Adam is not so different from Juliette as you may think.  And damn, I love the chemistry between them.  All I have to say is keep the romance coming!  Adam just makes me melt.

Do I even have to say it?  Juliette. is. bad. ass.  Seriously, she's so tiny and barely eats anything, but when she gets the random bursts of energy, she can break through concrete walls.  CONCRETE!  When I fall on concrete, I have to go to the hospital.  Oh yes, that just happened to me a month ago.  I envy Juliette, though I am glad that I don't have to worry about the power of her touch.

I completely loved how the book ended and the fact that it didn't leave me wondering what would happen next.  Sometimes we just need those books without cliffhangers!  As long as you love beautiful writing, interesting plots and a kickass heroine, I suggest you read this book as soon as you're able to.  I don't want you to regret leaving this one on your TBR list.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Follow Friday #6

Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Q: Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?

This question is a pretty difficult one to answer, because all of my friends and family are different.  I don't even think that some of them enjoy reading!  *gasp!*  But I'll try my best to find the top books I'd give according to what I think their taste is.

Hmm, after some long and hard thought about what books almost everyone might be able to enjoy, I've decided on Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.  I loved this book and I think it would be a great one for both genders, young and old.

If I feel that they genuinely wouldn't enjoy this one, I'd choose from a list of my favorite books, because they're just too good not to share.  The list of alternatives include:

-The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
-Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
-Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
-Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Thanks for stopping by!  Don't forget, there's only one more week left to enter my INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY!  :) 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on!

Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Much like last week's Waiting on Wednesday post, this book also sounds perfect for me, especially since the summary makes the plot seem like something I might have gone through in my life already.  I love the concept that the main character's broken heart literally kills her.  Thankfully that doesn't happen in reality, or someone like me would have been D&G for a while now. 

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

P.S. Now there are only 9 days to enter my giveaway, so I encourage you to do so if you haven't yet!  The link is in the sidebar, just under the "About Me" section.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday- Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week we're listing the top ten favorite books from our childhood.  

For some reason, most of the books on my list are the ones I remember from kindergarten, but I still get excited when I see them in the stores.

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

3. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. 
                                                    and John Archambault

5. Corduroy by Don Freeman

6. Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi
(Pretty sure someone bought it for my mom and I ended up taking it to share the humor with my best friend.)

7. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

8. The Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

10. Holes by Louis Sachar
My 5th grade teacher read this book to us every day and even gave each of us our own copies.  It's one of my fondest memories of that year.

Thanks for stopping by!  What books do you have on your top ten?

P.S. Only 10 more days to enter my giveaway for your book of choice from The Book Depository!  The link is in the sidebar, if you're interested!  :)