Estelle: Shelve It (7/22/2012)

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

And it’s Sunday again! Funny how that happens! How has your weekend gone? Hopefully relaxing and productive! We’ve been hosting a garage sale for the past few days… and you know… some interesting people go to garage sales. Some good, some bad. Has anyone written a book about this? It could be a best seller! Anyway, here’s my vlog for this week, featuring me blabbing in my backyard!

Books borrowed from the library:

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott (Goodreads)

“Though it’s a fictional story, the truth about post-traumatic stress disorder is very real.  Seeing this issue brought forth in a young adult novel in such a quiet, yet alarming way earns so much respect from me.” – Ginger, GReadsBooks

“ I was yet again so emotionally invested in an E. Scott story that I felt physically spent after reading it – and that, my friends, is the mark of an amazing story.” Tara, Fiction Folio

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (Goodreads)
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (Goodreads)

“A beautifully written book with a twist of mystery.” Tara, Fiction Folio

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (Goodreads)

“Summers’ characterization and ability to make me connect with the stories she writes is unbelievable. The story was about zombies, yes, but ultimately, it was about fighting for your life.” Magan, RBR

Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy (Goodreads)

“This may sound weird or harsh, but I love reading a story where the MC is just utterly confused, frustrated, and spinning in circles. I remember what it was like to feel like every single thing was a major catastrophe, and I love reliving that pure emotion in YA.” Tara, Fiction Folio

“ I thought Terra Elan McVoy made Charlotte’s struggles feel real and authentic, because for some people their lives have more than one complication or twist.” April, Good Books & Good Wine

Other books mentioned:

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Goodreads)
Bloom by Elizabeth Scott (Goodreads)
Never Enough by Denise Jaden (Goodreads)

Around the blog:

+ Time for some adult fiction! A bonus vlog! Get excited!
+ Pizza, Love & Other Stuff by Kathryn Williams, a review.
+ The Summer of Firsts & Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy, a review.
+ Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso, a Magan-tastic review!
+ I share another story of teen angst set to music.
+ Kissing Shakespeare by Pam Mingle, a review.

Elsewhere:

 I dreamed up a wardrobe for Sam in Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door over at Sash & Em’s!
 So fabulous to meet Sasha in person & she is doing the ultimate Melina Marchetta giveaway over at S&E to celebrate meeting the author! 

Thanks for listening & reading! See ya around the blog!

In My Mailbox (10) + Our 100th Post!

A big Texas heya! I hope you’re having a fantastic Sunday! Estelle and I are actually spending today together. In New York. Holy cow is this exciting! I’ve got some fun books to share with you in this In My Mailbox post. In My Mailbox is a feature hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren. Go check out her blog and fabulous books here.

This post also happens to be our 100th post! To celebrate, Estelle and I each put together five songs in a spotify playlist to share with you guys. Check out the bottom of the post for the links, songs, and lists!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GQxD5yC_xI

Books from ALA:

  • Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig, Release date: March 13, 2012
    Goodreads | Amazon
  • The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
    Release date: April 24, 2012
    Goodreads | Amazon

Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour:

  • Cracked by K.M. Walton, Release date: January 3, 2012
    *(I was wrong about this in my vlog. The ARC said March, but it was January.)
    Goodreads | Amazon

Books From Bloggers:

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And now to celebrate our 100th post, here are our lists of Spotify playlists…

Estelle’s List (click to open in Spotify):

1. [Kissed You] Good Night: Gloriana

I may not have loved The Lifeguard very much. But the angst in this song was almost spot on for how I felt when I was reading it. I wanted them to get to the action. To get somewhere.

“I should have kissed you
I should have pushed you up against the wall
I should have kissed you
Just like I wasn’t scared at all”

2. Just a Memory: Rufio

I just finished reading Gayle Foreman’s If I Stay series and absolutely loved it. I won’t be writing reviews of the series on RBR but I couldn’t help but think of Adam and his feelings for Mia in the second book, Where She Went. They are so perfect… I posted a big chunk of them.

“The sadness comes when it’s least expected
It shot out of the dark, and slammed in our face
The hurt it brings can’t be stopped
The hurt it brings can’t be cured, oh

Just when I thought things were alright
You came in and broke my heart
My stomach’s full of butterflies
The thought of you gone, it tears me apart

I remember you and me when we used to
Laugh all night until we fell asleep, oh
And i know we’re through
But i’ve still got thoughts of you left inside my head”

3. Want You in My World: Amanda Duncan

My review for John Green’s Paper Towns will be up on Monday but while not TOTALLY perfect, I was reminded of Quentin’s affections for Margo and how she was unattainable.

“Hey baby, I’ve seen you walkin’ around this town
And I can’t seem to get your face out of my mind
Whoa, can’t you see that I want you in my world

Lately there’s been a certain someone
Who’s constantly catching my eye
I’m trying to gather up the courage
Simply to say hi”

4. All Night Long: Demi Lovato

I just finished Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman (to be released 5/8/12). My review is coming soon, but I couldn’t help but think of the main character Angel and her sexual escapades, as well as her affection for a certain Jersey boy. The beat has a lot to do with it too. It’s a fun, summery song. And confident, a lot like Angel.

“I love the way you’re talking
I’m loving what you’re doing boy
I don’t fall easy often
I’ve never had a love like you before”

5. I Feel So: Boxcar Racer

This song is so unbelievably fitting for Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom. It’s been one of my favorite tunes for a long time and so many of the lyrics fit how both Tessa and Luke feel throughout the book. Their situation is uncomfortable, frustrating, infuriating and at times, hopeful. It goes back and forth.

“Sometimes I wish I was smart
I wish I made cures for
How people are
I wish I had power
I wish I could give
I wish I could change the world
For you and me”

– – – – – –

Magan’s List (click to open in Spotify):

 

1. Shake it Out: Florence + the Machine

It reminds me of Love Story by Jennifer Echols. A few of the lyrics specifically make me reminisce about that book.

“It’s a fine romance but its left me so undone”
“I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t”
“Our love is pastured such a mournful song”

2. End of Summer: Theory of a Deadman

Hmm. Summer + boys + moving on = The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han. Of course.

“It’s the end of the summer
It’s the end of it all
Those days are gone its over now were moving on
It’s the end of the summer
But we’ll see it all again
So hold on to this moment till then
It’s the end of the summer”

3. And Run: He Is We

I imagine the music Lena (in Delirium, by Lauren Oliver) was allowed to listen to was pretty boring. I think she needs something fun and upbeat that encourages her to flee from the society and chase her dreams.

“I’m going to open my mind to all these
new found exciting possibilities”
“Gonna grow up, be someone.
Draw a map, find a path.
Take a breath and run.”

4. Cough Syrup: Young the Giant

There’s a line that reminds me of This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers every single time I hear it.

“These zombies in the park
they’re looking for my heart”

5. Drive By: Train

Oh, gosh. Practically every line of this song reminds me of In Honor by Jessi Kirby. Mostly.

“On the upside of a downward spiral
My love for you went viral
And I loved you every mile you drove away
But now here you are again
So let’s skip the “how you been”
And get down to the “more than friends” at last”

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And finally, our week in review:

See you guys next week! Thanks for checking out our In My Mailbox post and our playlists!

What We’ve Been Up To: A Week in Review

Well, this week I’ve been a little bit under the weather but reading a lot while Magan has been shooting more lovely pics (have you seen this gorgeous shoot?!) while reading a lot. 🙂 Do you sense a theme?

Just in case you missed any of our updates, here’s all we posted this week:
Magan: In My Mailbox
Estelle: A Book Lover’s Shopping List
Magan: Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Estelle: Top 10 Book to Keep Me Warm this Winter
Estelle: Stealing Heaven By Elizabeth Scott
Book Report: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Magan: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Hope you are enjoying the final day of your weekend & doing some holidaying around the house 🙂 See you this week for some more fun reviews! – Estelle

 

Estelle: Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Release Date: May 27, 2008
Pages: 320
Target Audience: Young Adult
How I found out about it: Not sure. Most likely a blog but I’m not sure which one.
Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library:
Summary: Danielle has never been to high school. Never been on a date. All of her life she has been helping her mother steal silver from the wealthy. When the two “settle” in the beachy town of Heaven for the summer, Danielle is already starting to realize she wants something more stable in her life instead of moving around and changing her name all the time. Her mom has other ideas.

While many can’t relate to being an accomplice to robberies since she was five years old, there is a level of truth in Stealing Heaven. The pressure of parents as well as the hardship of having someone in your life who always does things impeccably. The difficulty in standing up to your parents and feeling free to discover life on your own. Danielle struggles with all of these issues one way or another throughout this novel.

Her desire to feel settled and have a place to call home are so strong when her and her mother reach Heaven. She starts to make a friend, Allison, who actually wants to know about her and her feelings. She even meets a guy named Greg who wants nothing more than to spend time with her. But of course, he is a cop.

While normal to most teenagers, Danielle doesn’t know what to do with these newfound experiences because even though she is enjoying them, she is betraying her mother, who has planted them there to steal silver from Allison’s family. Her own morals and future are constantly being tested as she slowly begins to break away from the life her mother built for her.

While the book was riveting, I did think that it wrapped up too soon and I wasn’t too satisfied with the developments in Danielle’s mom’s life. Or the lack of development in her situation with Greg. But you are rooting for Danielle to make the right decision and realize just how much unhealthy power her mother has had over every aspect of her life.

A quick and entertaining read, I couldn’t put it down. (I also think this would make a great movie with a few changes, of course.) I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of Elizabeth’s work.

Estelle: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Released: March 8, 2004
Pages: 345
Target Audience: Young adult
Why I read it: Continuing my pursuit to read everything by Sarah Dessen.
Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library.
Summary: It’s no surprise Remy has relationship issues after watching her mother’s four failed marriages and the start of a fifth. When Dexter won’t stop trying to win her adoration, Remy can’t believe she is giving into him when he is the opposite of everything she stands for. With plans to go far, far away to college after the summer is over, the last thing she wants to do is fall in love. But is she even capable?

 

My third official Dessen read. Another one I could not put down (yes, I was sneaking it under my desk at work!) but I was surprised to find myself a little bit disappointed by this one. I’m seeing by now that Dessen likes to write about girls who are battling with their own definitions of love and accepting it into their lives. No, that that’s a poor storyline. It never is, but I wanted more exploration into the secondary characters. In particular, Dexter. While I adored him, he remained very one-dimensional to me and I wished we could have learned more about what made him tick.

Don’t get me wrong, The Lullaby is still worth reading but I enjoyed Playing with the Moon and Lock & Key more. There are some telling moments with Remy’s mom in the book that are intriguing and touching, and actually become a huge part of Remy’s growth throughout the pages. What I like about her is that Dessen doesn’t make a boy the answer to all of Remy’s problems. Each of these young leading ladies need to figure out their own issues, and because that takes times, all the answers are not found out by the time you reach the end.

I applaud Dessen for never taking the easy way out and tying a pretty bow on the plotline.

Estelle: What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci

Pages: 336
Target Audience: Young Adult
How I found out about it: Recommended to me by Magan.
Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library.
Summary: Lani’s arrival to small town Hackett Island makes a big splash when no one can figure him (or is it her?) out. Judgment and harassment seems to be their initial reactions but then there is Claire, who has somehow made her way into the popular crowd but decides to befriend Lani anyway. She never thought this would be a life-altering decision.

 

All I can say is my god, high school is rough and I’m glad to be out of there. Magan warned me in advance that this book was disturbing and I think that’s why it took me a little longer than normal to finish it. But I am so glad that I did.

Lani isn’t into being defined. And Claire may show off a positive outlook on life, but it’s as fake as the smiles in her pictures. They are an unlikely pair, and even though their friendship is short-lived, it’s like they have known each other for years.

Claire is dealing with an alcoholic mother, the possibility of having a cancer relapse, starving herself, and a somewhat absent father. Her “friends” are just not the kind you confide it. Instead they are the ones who play “chicken” and get her into dangerous pickles. Her friendship with Lani puts her reputation on the line, and Lani can’t stand clear of multiple forms of harassment.

While this book is difficult to read, Claire’s character development is worth it. Lani teaches her that life gets worse before it gets better, and the strength that Claire finds is truly remarkable. Lani teaches her volumes about herself, actually.

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon