Sunday, February 28, 2010

GEMX by Nicky Singer - REVIEW

Holiday House – April 15, 2008

Maxo Strang is one of the most perfect people in the Polis, an exclusive district where only genetically enhanced people can live. He is the GenOff (offspring) of the most important scientist in the Polis. Igo Strang, Maxo’s father, is the lead scientist for the Polis. It is his job to continually improve the enhancements. He is always striving for perfections. With the model, GemX, he thinks he is as close to perfect as he can get. Maxo is a GemX.

Maxo enjoys a luxurious life in the Polis. He never gives much thought to the Dreggies that live outside the check points – until he sees Gala on the video screen. Maxo’s life is turned upside down when a flaw in the GemX model is discovered. It seems “cracks,” a.k.a. wrinkles, are appearing on many of their faces and it is up to Igo Strang to figure out what is causing the unexpected early aging in thousands of the most promising young people of the Polis. The problem is, the leaders don’t want to give him the time it will take. Their solution is much more drastic.

Maxo is thrown into an unknown world when he attempts to save himself and others from the secrecy and lies of the Polis.

GEMX didn’t live up to it’s description. The speed at which Maxo and Gala become obsessed with each other is unbelievable and the story didn’t move fast enough. I felt like I was forcing myself to get through it.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Daisy is being shipped to England to live with an aunt and four cousins she’s never met because her “wicked” step-mother convinced Daisy’s father it was the best thing for her. While she isn’t thrilled with the new arrangement, as soon as she arrives, Daisy feels an overwhelming since of belonging and connection. She feels more at home with these strangers than she ever has in New York City with her father.

Before Daisy has a chance to settle in, her aunt leaves for a conference out of town, leaving her and her four cousins alone. Shortly after, England is invaded by an unnamed force. Bombings and skirmishes scatter the countryside while Daisy and the cousins live in relative safety on their isolated farm – until the military locates their house and decides to commandeer it for their planning headquarters. The cousins are separated – girls to one location and the boys to another.

Daisy makes it her mission to get the family back together. The reader travels the dangerous roads through the England landscape with Daisy as she witnesses death and destruction. Your heart will go out to her and you’ll be emotionally invested with the family by the time you get to the end of the book. HOW I LIVE NOW is great choice if you are a fan of dystopian novels. Amidst the war, a beautiful, but unconventional love story unfolds. HOW I LIVE NOW will easily turn into a single-sitting read. Once you start you won’t want to stop.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Deanna Lambert made a mistake. She got involved with her brother’s best friend when she was 13-years-old. Tommy never took her on a date, never took her to get something to eat, never went anywhere with her in public. He would just pick her up after school or come over to her house when he knew Deanna’s brother wasn’t home so they could go park and fool around.

People found out about the relationship in the worst way possible. Deanna’s father caught her with Tommy in the back of his car. The next day, everyone knew what happened. Mostly because Tommy told everyone. Since that terrible night, Deanna’s father hasn’t really looked at her or talked to her and home doesn’t comfort her at all.

Sadly, school isn’t safe for her either. Daily, she hears taunts like slut and skank, suffers unwanted advances from guys, and endures dirty looks from the girls. Her only bright spot is her best friend, Jason.

THE STORY OF A GIRL isn’t a pick me up. I felt sorry for Deanna through the entire book – even in the end. Deanna definitely grew as a character from beginning to end and there is even a small glimmer of hope by the final page. It is a valuable addition to young adult literature in the sense that it shows a girl making it through an extremely tough time. Deanna doesn’t give up – even when she keeps making mistakes.

I would have liked to see the story extended a bit. I wasn’t satisfied with where Deanna’s story left off. Also, I listened to THE STORY OF A GIRL on audio book and the author, Sara Zarr, was the reader. It might have been a little better if a professional reader would have read it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Read-a-Likes - ROMANCE

In honor of Valentine's Day the theme of this Read-a-Like is Romance. The following books include a deep, loving relationships between the main characters.



SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

LAMENT and BALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater

WINGS by Aprilynne Pike

HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick

FALLEN by Lauren Kate

SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman


GRACELING and FIRE by Kristin Cashore


ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith

OLD MAGIC by Marianne Curley

As you can see, all of the books on my list are romance mixed with fantasy. So, does anyone out there have any suggestions for contemporary fiction romance books? If so, please leave a comment.


Delacorte Books for Young People – January 26, 2010

Ali/Alley/Gonk (short for Algonquin) is the touch music critic of the high school newspaper. There isn’t anything she loves more than a good song and there aren’t many people out there her age that appreciate the quality of singers like Cole Porter as she does.

Alley’s latest assignment takes her to one of Cornersville’s local music scenes. A band is set to play a gig that includes a band member from school – oh, he’s also a vampire. Yep, in this world people are aware of the existence of vampires and zombies – and the popular crowd wants to either become one themselves or at the very least date one. Alley doesn’t see the attraction. She is one of the few that has no interest in the supernatural side life.

Alley doesn’t intend to get stuck in her small town for the rest of her life so dating isn’t that important to her. She doesn’t want to get too attached to a guy that will keep her in town. She’s all for having fun and making out, but…that’s about it. Her attitude toward guys changes drastically when she sees Doug sing a few songs during the gig she’s reviewing for the newspaper.

Doug catches Alley’s attention when he sings a Cole Porter song. His interpretation of the classic is unique and sexy. It doesn’t take long for Alley to fall head-over-heels in love with Doug. It doesn’t matter to her that he wears the same suit every time she sees him, can’t talk for very much at a time, or has a strange smell about him (Doug tells her he has a sickness). The way he makes her feel makes up for his strangeness.

When Alley finally puts the pieces together she is forced to make some BIG decisions. Is her love strong enough to overcome the obstacles of their love?

I KISSED A ZOMBIE, AND I LIKED IT is okay. The world Adam Selzer created for the novel is fun and interesting, but Alley is an unlikable character. If you can get over that, then you’ll be okay. In terms of quirky, light, romancy zombie books, here is where it would fall:

NEVER SLOW DANCE WITH A ZOMBIE by E. Van Lowe is worse at 1 glasses.

YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME by Stacey Jay is better at 4 glasses.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

BLUE MOON by Alyson Noel - REVIEW

St. Martin’s Griffin – July 7, 2009

Ever is learning how to use the powers that come along with her immortal status. She and Damen train every day in order to improve her control so she can successfully manifest objects. Their love is strong and seems to be able to stand the test of time. After all, Damen has found her again and again over the last 400 years no matter her incarnation. It seems now, with Damen’s rogue, ex-wife out of the picture, they can finally be together without danger.

Ever and Damen are about to take their relationship to the next level when everything begins to fall apart. When a strange new boy enrolls at school and begins shaking everything up, Damen begins to act strange. In addition to acting like a stranger, his health seems to be deteriorating at a startling rate. Ever does the only thing she can think to do – go to Summerland to find out what to do to save the love of her life.

Ever has many tough decisions to make during this second installment of the Immortals series. My heart broke for her. The only thing that knocked my rating down to 4 glasses instead of 5 is the ending. I listened to the audio book version of the story and wanted to hurl my iPhone across the room when I got to the end. Readers will definitely want to read the third book, SHADOWLAND. I will eventually, but after being so upset with the ending, I’m going to have to give it some time before I enter Ever’s world again.

P.S. I found out there is going a spin-0ff series. The first is called RADIANCE. It will follow Ever’s younger sister, Riley. Check it out here.

Radiance (The Immortals Spin-off #1)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winner of the INCARCERON Giveaway

Congratulations to
She is the winner of INCARCERON.
If you didn't win this giveaway, don't fret. The Book Jacket will have many more giveaways in the future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher - GIVEAWAY

In honor of our latest book giveaway winner, Steph Su, The Book Jacket is giving away a copy of INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher. Steph Su's most recent blog post is a review of INCARCERON. Be sure to go to her blog and read it. She gave it 4.5 out of 5. I haven't read it yet, but I plan to pick it up after I finish my current book.

Entries are due Sunday, February 7th by Midnight (CST).

THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard - WINNER

Congratulations to Steph Su. She is the winner of THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Simon and Schuster - January 5, 2010

This is a companion book to I LOVE YOU, YOU HAUNT ME. There is no need to read one before the other, but if you enjoy reading one, you'll like the other just as much.

There has been a lot of death at Brooklyn's high school. First, there was Jackson after a terrible diving accident. Then, a year ago, Brooklyn's boyfriend, Lucca, died in a terrible car accident, and most recently, Gabe, Lucca's best friend and driver of the car at the time of the accident, killed himself after he couldn't take the guilt of Lucca's death for another day.

Brooklyn is having trouble getting over Lucca's death and Gabe's suicide only makes it worse. Soon after Gabe's death, Brooklyn begins having terrible nightmares where Gabe chases and torments her. She soon realizes Gabe doesn't just visit when she is asleep, but makes his presence known during her waking hours as well. He moves things and writes messages to her in an attempt to tell her something. She just can't figure out what he wants and the dreams are becoming more horrific as the days go by.

Nico, Lucca's brother, is being visited by a ghostly spirit as well - Lucca's. Nico receives the same message over and over again - day after day. "Help Brooklyn." Nico doesn't know what to do and has no idea what Brooklyn needs. He decides to ask her to join him in his training for an upcoming triathlon, hoping to get closer to her and give her something to focus on besides Lucca's death.

CHASING BROOKLYN is a fast-paced novel-in-verse. It is a story of friendship, love, and healing. The book alternates points-of-view between Brooklyn and Nico which gives the reader a great look at all sides of the story. Lisa Schroeder continues to provide thought-provoking and heart-felt stories for her readers.

If you enjoy I HEART YOU, I HAUNT YOU and CHASING BROOKLYN, be sure to check out Lisa's other novel-in-verse, FAR FROM YOU.

28 Days of Winter Escapes - Don't Miss Out

Today is February 1st and the first day of HarperTeen's huge giveaway. 28 Days of Winter Escapes means free books everyday. Check out the website calendar to see what book is coming up. All you have to do to enter for the book-of-the-day is answer the poll of the day. How easy is that? On top of the books, HarperTeen is giving away an iPod Touch once a week.

I'll be featuring Book 7 on Karin's Book Nook, so be on the look out for an exclusive Q & A with one of my favorite authors.

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