Thursday, March 11, 2010

STILL SUCKS TO BE ME by Kimberly Pauley - REVIEW

Mirrorstone – May 10, 2010
Life as a vampire isn’t working out so great for Mina.  The Vampire Relocation Agency is forcing her and her parents to move to a podunk town in Louisiana.  Adding to the anxiety of moving, the family can’t take anything with them.  No clothes, photos, or keepsakes from their old lives are allowed.  The VRA can’t take a chance on someone recognizing them since the Hamilton’s have been pronounced dead.  They can’t even have access to their money until some time has passed.  Mina is miserable, but not having her best friend Serena to talk to is like pouring salt in the wound.
Even though Mina has been through some major life changes, her parents still insist she start school right away.  Being a Senior, Mina expects to be left out of everything since cliques and friendships have already been established, but in Cartville, LA, Mina is the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Mina immediately finds a nosy, talkative wanna-be friend, a boy that desperately wants to go out with her, and a girl who hates her guts simply because she exists.  Oh! There is a handsome, mysterious guy named Cameron, too.  This is definitely not a good time for Mina’s boyfriend, George, to run off to Brazil to bond with his parents.
Mina takes it all in stride – even takes some vampire continuing education classes with her mom and learns to do a little shape-shifting. Cameron also starts to teach her how to use mind control.  Mina is becoming a better vampire everyday.
Then, Serena shows up on her doorstep and crazy, Goth-Girl Raven arrives in town.  Even talk of the human-hating Black Talon group is rumored to be in Cartville.  Mina discovers that even though she decided to become a vampire – her life still sucks!
STILL SUCKS TO BE ME is a cute story. If  you liked the first book in the series you definitely need to pick up a copy.  There were only three things that knocked it down to 4 glasses.
1. The journal entries started to get a little redundant.
2. I would have liked more drama between Cameron and Mina.
3. The excitement needed to start sooner.  Mina’s crumbling, while warranted, took up too much of the beginning.
You’ll enjoy STILL SUCKS TO BE ME much more if you read SUCKS TO BE ME first.
This is a great vampire novel for the younger crowd. Mina and the boys in her life are well-behaved teenagers.  Mina even maintains a great relationship with her parents!  The Hamiltons oops, Smiths are a great vampire family.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Walker Books for Young Readers – February 2, 2010

Lucy lives in conditions many people can’t even imagine.  The kitchen is unusable, there isn’t any hot water in the house, and the furnace is broken.  There are piles and piles of papers, plastic bags, and boxes littering every corner of the house.  In order to maneuver, Lucy and her mother have to navigate through a maze of cleared paths just wide enough for a person.

Lucy feels her life is made up of lies and secrets. She lies to her friends about why they can’t come over.  She avoids any topic of conversation that will bring attention to her or her family.  Lucy is scared to death when she hears a knock at the door – knowing she could never allow someone to come inside to see what her house looks like.  This is the reason her mother can’t call a repairman to fix the heater.

After another one of their usual fights where her mother accuses Lucy of moving something, Lucy packs an overnight bag and leaves to go to the movies and spend the night with her best and only friend.  She doesn’t know it yet, but life is about to get a lot more complicated for her.  When Lucy comes home the next morning, she discovers something horrible.  Will she be able to deal with the tragedy and keep her secrets in tact?

DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS is a book that will suck you into the story.  Your heart will hurt for Lucy as she reveals memories from her past with the reader.  This book will certainly cause you to take a look at the clutter around your house and ask, “Do I really need those old magazines?”

I couldn’t give DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS 5 glasses simply because of the implausibility of the way Lucy handled the situation – it seemed more like denial than a plan.  However, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.

Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the book.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Feiwel & Friends – May 25, 2010

As the curtain rises on Act 2 of the Thèâtre Illuminata, we find Bertie at the beginning of her quest to rescue Nate from the clutches of the evil Sea Goddess from The Little Mermaid.  As the new Mistress of Revels, it is her job to put pen to paper and create the story of the journey.  With Ariel, the air spirit from The Tempest, and the delightfully mischievous fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bertie attempts to navigate her way through the world outside the Theater.

Complications and obstacles appear at every turn and Bertie’s emotions aren’t making matters any easier. Her feelings for Ariel have evolved into something harder to define, but her loyalties to Nate leave her feeling guilty about her closeness with Ariel.  In order to save Nate, she’ll have to explore her true feelings and decide which man she loves the most.

PERCHANCE TO DREAM is very different from EYES LIKE STARS.  Lisa Mantchev introduces many new characters and a completely new setting.  The reader gets to experience what life is like outside the theater.  Readers will be relieved to know the fairies provide the same comic relief as they did in the first book.  Lisa Mantchev leaves readers ready for the third installment in the series.

If you were a fan of EYES LIKE STARS, you’ll definitely want to read this wildly, creative book.  It isn’t completely necessary for a person to read the first book to enjoy PERCHANCE TO DREAM, but… it would probably be best.

Book rec’d as part of Traveling ARC Tours.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Read-a-Likes - SECRETS

Young Adult books are filled with turmoil and angst.  Secrets are a big part of teenage life.  I’ve read some great books that share a theme – the characters all have something to hide.  In some instances, the secret is something they wish they could scream from the top of the rooftops, but in others they just want everything to go away so they can lead a normal life.

THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard

WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson


LUNA by Julie Anne Peters

DULL BOY by Sarah Cross

CANDOR by Pam Bachorz

KEEPING YOU A SECRET by Julie Anne Peters

SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson

WAKE by Lisa McMann

AFTER by Amy Efaw

TEACH ME by R.A. Nelson

What else should I add?

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