Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: 09/29/2011
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 338
Source: Purchased

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
Note: I've removed the last paragraph of the goodreads synopsis as I feel that's something better discovered while reading.

Lola Nolan has grown up amidst the colorful and personable background of San Francisco. Each day brings a new outfit, and new possibility. She has everything a 17 year-old could possibly need: supportive parents, a sassy and smart best friend, and a handsome, older rocker boyfriend. Very little could upset the balance, until her childhood neighbors move back in next door. Lola is left to reconcile the past with her present, and well as a journey to find which of her outfits is truly herself.

I have absolutely no idea how Stephanie Perkins does it. Every single one of her books is perfect and effortless, evoking such depth of feeling that each page is practically bursting with honesty and hope. My heart is continually broken with such bittersweet poignancy, and then picked up with delicate fingers and pieced back together like puzzle pieces that shouldn't fit in that way but do, and better. I can relate to Anna and the French Kiss on a situational level much better, but there's just something niggling about this story that feels more relatable and closer as a reader. And that's where the magic really lies.

Not everyone has as plentiful a wardrobe as Lola, but I think most people can understand what it is to assemble an outfit that makes you feel like you can do anything or be anyone. A carpe diem outfit. Lola lives every day not like it could be her last, but like each day should be her best. I loved Lola. And I loved with Lola. I lived vicariously with her through each page, working through my beginning confusion as I pieced everything together, to hoping with Lola as she did the same in order to figure out what choices she should make.

The choices weren't easy. They should never by easy. But they were so well described that I ended this book with tears in my eyes because that's how it really is. Cricket is the sort of boy that every girl wishes they could have: smart, sweet, incredibly kind, and with just enough awkward geekiness that sets him on a level where you have to crack a smile when you see him. Except for the fact that Cricket thinks nothing of that about himself, and instead loves to help and please others more than anything else. The development and realisation of their friendship over the course of the story is more than worth the amount of bookstores I went to in order to find this book.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If you like to read, then you should read this. If you like a book that perfectly encapsulates that fluttery feeling of first love, then this book is for you. If you like boys named Cricket, well, you've hit the jackpot. Stephanie Perkins has outdone herself in the best manner possible.

waiting on wednesday (20)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine
that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

(goodreads 05/28/2012):

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 
I'm pretty sure that this is one that I've been patiently waiting for ever since I finished Divergent. I absolutely loved that book and so to figure out where things go from here as far as the factions are concerned, and getting to find out just what happened to create the situation is going to fabulous. To be fair, I was going to list this one as soon as the blurb for it came out on Goodreads, but the page count erroneously said something like 200 or so pages, which seemed rather unbelievable given the size of Divergent. I'm happy to note now that they quote about 500 pages again which makes me deliriously excited - another book I can sink my brain into. This one is going to be the end of the semester present to myself!

top ten tuesdays! (08)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you love lists
and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!

Top Ten Books That I Want To Reread:
(without explanation this week (and in no particular order) as I have an essay to write - apologies!)

Just a note: by 'wanting to reread' this week I'm really meaning 'books that I would love to experience again from the beginning so much that I want to reread them'. Whew. That's a mouthful.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
3. The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (I was going to say Brave New World, but I've mentioned that a few times here before, although I would like to reread that, too. Two of my favorite books.)
5. His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman
6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (you might guess why I love this one)
8. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (about a gazillion times better than the movie. and I love the movie.)
9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
10. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (I love love loved Rose and Dimitri.)

in my mailbox (22)

Just a few books this week, which is nice as it helps me to catch up. (I wrote a review for Crossed here.)
I've started to pre-compose some other reviews and mini-reviews so hopefully we'll be seeing those over the course of the week!

For review:

Crossed, Ally Condie
The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

review: crossed by ally condie

Author: Ally Condie
Publication Date: 11/01/2011
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 367
Source: ARC (thank you, kathy!)

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

How far would you go to follow your intuition? Cassia, having been relocated to the far reaching Tana Province, finds herself in a work colony where every day is a repetitive action, with each action bringing her closer to the end of her time on the outskirts. Determined to find Ky, an unlikely series of events give her the opportunity to embark on a path that a few months ago she might have never been able to imagine, finding answers to questions she hadn't known to ask.

There's been a lot of debate about this book due in part to two things: it being told from alternating viewpoints (those of Cassia and Ky); and the supposed relative lack of action to move the plot along enough. Neither of these things were issues for me. Alternate POVs, if done correctly, are something that an very much enhance the way a story unfolds. Also, one of the things I dislike most in dystopian novels is when there's not enough background given to explain why things the way there are, and why people act the way they do. I'm not going to say that Crossed offers all of the answers - and I'm glad that it doesn't - but the way the information is doled out is done in such a manner that truly aids the overall feeling of the book.

We get pieces of information from Cassia, others from Ky, and some still from new characters that are introduced. It is because everything isn't offered up right away that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I really loved being able to see something happen to Ky, with Cassia slowly being able to figure it out and having the opportunity to see Ky's internal reactions. Cassia, having grown up within the Society, would not have the raw responses to certain things that Ky does and it made all the difference.  I'm of the opinion that Book 3 would not make the impact that I think it will without the pacing of Crossed.

While Xander isn't that verbally or physically present in this book, his absence allows the story to take a certain path with things that I would never have guessed. One of the big reasons I enjoyed Matched was the writing, and it does not disappoint here. Ally has a way of making words and thoughts flow so nicely from transition to transition and that are unique to each character. The prose was a bit like moving water, and so every time I glanced at the blue on the cover I thought that it was wholly fitting.

Give this book a chance. I really think it may surprise you. If Matched was strong and steady, Crossed is quiet, but sure.

book trailer: the unbecoming of mara dyer

I'm not usually one for book trailers. At all. But this one absolutely knocked my socks off. If this were a television show, I would already have it scheduled to record on my DVR.

Amazing, amazing job.

If you haven't heard of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I've written a review here in wish I write how absolutely fabulous it is.

Guys, what do you think?

follow friday (20)

Q. Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it? 

While this is going to be a popular answer, I'm going to have to say Harry Potter. When the books and films were coming out I used to read them once a year and each time it was almost as if it were the first, as I got so swept up in into the story and surroundings. I love the characters (my favorite things!), the idea of magic - it's a place I continually want to revisit. When I was younger I used to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy once a year, too. Both series are some of my favorite books.

I'm not sure which books that I'm reading now will have lasting power for me in the same way. If I remember, I'll try and respond to this post a year from now and see how the series of 2010 and 2011 are shaping up.

waiting on wednesday (19)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine
that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

(goodreads 02/21/2012):

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

Wither is a book that the more I read, the more it grew on me. In fact, I've found myself wanting to re-read it lately, although perhaps I'll wait toward the end of the year as I wait for Fever. This is a story that, for me, could go in any number of directions, and that's the most exciting thing about it. I'm looking forward to meeting Rowan (possibly), seeing where Rhine ends up, and what happens when Linden figures everything out.

Secondly, I wasn't at all a fan of the cover when I first saw it but now I really like it. It's not stunning in the way that Wither's was, but it fits perfectly the title with it's ill-seeming tones of olive and yellow and a pose that seems lethargic and kept all at once. I also have a feeling that it's going to like 100 times better in person.

I'm...really excited for this one.

Since school started at the end of August I've been struggling to find time to properly catch up with my writing of reviews as on an average day I have to read anywhere from 20-80 pages a day, sometimes per class. I've toyed with the idea of writing shorter reviews for some (non-review) books but am slightly hesitant as I'm afraid that I'll be tinkering with the quality of the review.

When I'm not blowing through highlighters on the train with last-minute studying, I'm always reading, and so my reading to writing ratio is nowhere near even. However, there have been some books that I've read lately (Anna Dressed in BloodA Need So Beautiful, Shade, and White Cat for starters) and have had some thoughts that I'd like to muse about.

I'm not sure how to insert a poll, and am not quite sure that'd be entirely accurate regardless. Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts. It'd be most appreciated. Thanks again, everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you love lists
and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!

Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Me

1. Anything Sarah Dessen: It may just be a mental thing, but every time I look at one I get the feeling that they're not things that I would enjoy. The covers all seem to have girls in jeans not facing forward with no head, which is also a bit off-putting. Tell me, guys, is there something I'm missing? (I know Alissa loves them! One day I'll try, I promise.)

2. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak: I really have no excuse for this one other than that I'm playing perpetual catch up with my TBR list. I bought it a month or so ago and it's been taunting me, but I haven't gotten to it yet. This, though, is a book I want to devote some time to as it's going to be pretty emotional.

3. The Kingkiller Chronicles (Patrick Rothfuss): Again. No excuse. I own them both now, having bought the second one last week for $6 at Borders. I've heard such amazing things so I really need to get on this. Maybe over winter break? They seem like good hot chocolate and curling up books. 

3. Anything by Cassandra Claire: This one has been by choice. I know they're insanely popular, but I'm just not interested.

4. Crank, Ellen Hopkins: I really want to read this one, but I've just been thrown off by the layout. Poor excuse. I will read it.

5. Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins: This one hasn't even been released yet but I feel like everyone and their mum has read it. And I'm glad for this post, as I forgot that it comes out next week. I think I should just give a portion of my paycheck to Posman's so I can just go in and pick up books.

6. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: I'm incredibly embarrassed to name this one as this one was one I was gifted from some of my favorite ladies at WeHeartYa, and I haven't read it yet. I need a reading vacation. I'm really looking forward to it, though, and think once I catch up on review pile that this is one I'll be reading.

7. On the Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta: This is one of those authors where I haven't read anything by them yet, but some crazy literary instinct tells me that I should go out and get all of her books because they're going to be good.

8. If I Stay, Gayle Forman: Another book that I want to spend some time with. I'm pretty sure I own this one, but it's getting difficult to see all of the books on my shelf. (Found it!)

9. Hold Still, Nina LaCour: Pretty sure that this is a sneaky book that a lot of people seem to have read, but don't really talk about. I've got this one on my shelf, too. I need to check out books from the library of Kaye.

10. The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson: This book hits all of my interest points but I just haven't gotten to it yet. This is one I can't check out from the library of Kaye, though. I'm quite looking forward to it along with The Fox Inheritance. 

These posts are the ones that take me the longest to compose as I always feel guilty and as if I'm leaving something out that I should have thought of. 

in my mailbox (21)

This will have to be the semi-quickest IMM that I've ever done as I'm quite pressed for time. Yikes. I tried to take pictures from my phone, though it was done rather quickly.


In His Majesty's Service (Temeraire), Naomi Novik
The Wise Man's Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
Sapphique, Catherine Fisher (didn't much like Incarceron)
The Magnolia League, Katie Crouch
Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X. Stork (sooo excited for this one)
Nightshade, Andrea Cremer

Chasing Brooklyn, Lisa Schroeder
Last Sacrifice, Richelle Mead (last one that I needed!)
Specials, Scott Westerfeld (still need Extras)
The Exiled Queen, Cinda Williams Chima
Flying Blind, Deborah Cooke
Personal Demons, Lisa Desrochers

Circle of Fire, Michelle Zink (need book one!)
Guardian of the Gate, Michelle Zink
Already Dead, Charlie Huston (love him)
The Mockingbirds, Daisy Whitney
Torment, Lauren Kate

For Review:

Goliath, (Leviathan #3), Scott Westerfeld

Thank you so kindly to Simon & Schuster for this one!

cover time: insurgent!

You may or may not know how much I absolutely adore Veronica Roth's Divergent, and so when it came out that today would be big cover reveal for Insurgent I was...well, excited is putting it a tad mildly.

Guys. This is it. This cover is absolutely gorgeous for reasons I'm going to gush about. First of all, aside from the colors being two of my favorites (blue and silver) they do a great job of casting a sort of muted, melancholy overtone that pairs so well with the title. My favorite thing, however, is the tree. I'm reading the picture as the leaves of the tree being a mix of all of the factions, and given everything that happened in Divergent, the leaves are falling off and coming together, wilting, changing.

I'm so incredibly looking forward to this book. And while I'm not big on seeing the Times author bit on books, I'm so proud and happy for Veronica to have that here. Divergent more than deserved its place on that list. Is it 2012 yet?

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee (and Alison's!) Follow Friday is:
Q: It's that pesky magic book fairy again! She has another wish: What imaginary book world would you like to make a reality?
I'm going to go ahead and place the sugary caveat that there will not be any terribly unpleasant sides to the places I choose. For instance, I would love love love to visit Hogwarts and Gringotts, but I could really do without Voldemort and Bellatrix (although she is fierce, but in a way I wouldn't want to mess with). I absolutely love schools, so you could happily toss in a visit to St.Vladimir's to see all of the training that goes on there, too. And, erm, Dimitri. Rose would just probably kick my butt.
A visit to Le Cirque des RĂªves would probably be at the top of my list at the present. I could probably spend a year in there visiting the ice maze and hopping clouds and still not experience everything that I'd like to. The description inherent in that book (The Night Circus) is astounding and would make for an incredible reality.
I'd also like to check out the Dauntless compound as it was before the end of Divergent. I have a feeling that when things weren't insanely cut-throat there that it was probably quite fascinating. I might have a problem entering the building, though, as I'm afraid of heights.
And because I like this question and want to write more but am sleepy, here's a list:

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Although Prague is quite real, the way Karou experiences it is wholly unique. 
  • The Pledge: Still sugary caveating here, I'm really curious to see what it's like to be in a society where everything is limited by language. It's such a crazily fascinating idea.
  • White Cat/Red Glove: This incredibly constructed world is so interesting to me. I wouldn't like having to wear gloves all of the time, but I'd probably like to see how the world would work given the circumstances.

And I want to say that I apologise for not being around as much as I'd like. I have for each class 40-80 pages of reading to do each day, plus writing assignments (yay for upper level writing intensive courses!) that don't leave me with a lot of free time. I have a backlog of reviews that I'm going to try my hardest catch up with. I hope everyone is doing well and I miss you all!

preview crossed! (courtesy of penguin books &

I posted this for Divergent as soon as we were given the first chapter, and I thought I'd go ahead and post the same for Crossed for those who might have missed this little snippet. I haven't read it yet as I'm going to devour it all at once when my borrowed ARC (thank you, Kathy!) arrives in the mail later this week. I have a feeling this one's going to be fantastic!

CROSSED by Ally Condie (Chapters 1 & 2)

Thank you to Entertainment Weekly and Penguin Books for providing this glimpse, first seen here!

waiting on wednesday (18)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine
that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

(goodreads 01/02/2012):

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A. <br />
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
Although this one looks short - and I admit to most of the time preferring longer novels so I can really sink my brain into them - it looks like it's going to be fun and hopeful and very much worth the read. I really, really do love a good contemporary that's able to put me into the spot and wish and cross my fingers along with the characters!

in my mailbox (20)

This was an amazing week, IMM-wise.

The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Witchlanders, Lena Coakley

A signed, finished copy of The Night Circus courtesy of Doubleday. Thank you so much - I will sing the praises of this book for quite a while. The finished version of this book is stunning: the title design is holographic, and the circus design is slightly raised and textured. The inside jacket is black & white striped - so much detail and love went into it.

A signed, finished copy of Witchlanders courtesy of Lena Coakley! I was so, so pleasantly surprised that this one had a gorgeous, red bow on it. The cover of it is difficult to photograph, but the cover is so shimmery and lovely.
Torrent, Lisa T. Bergren

A signed, finished copy of Torrent courtesy of Lisa T. Bergren and some really pretty, glossy signed bookmarks. I hadn't expected this one to be signed when it arrived and so it was quite a happy shock for me. I read this one in a few hours and looooved it. 

This is a scheduled post, as I don't think I'll be online much today for obvious reasons. I look forward to seeing what's popped into your mailboxes.

congratulations, winners!

Congratulations to the winners of my first ever giveaway!

The domestic winner of Divergent is the very sweet Karen of morsie reads
The international winner of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is the lovely Sonia of The Story Queen!

¡Exclamation points all around!

Having a giveaway is a lot of fun. I get to share what I think about books with you guys on a daily basis, but with giveaways I get to share with you the actual books that I really enjoyed. There will be more in the future, I promise, because I really like you all. ♥

follow friday (18) & book blogger hop (3)

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's (& Alison's!) Follow Friday is:

Q: Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one?

All right,  I'm going to play devil's advocate and say at times that the notion of a villain is wholly subjective. While there are obviously clear-cut examples that most everyone would agree on (Voldemort) there are also ones that don't fall so easily into black and white definitions and so these are the ones that I think are allowed a little more leniency. For example, Severus Snape (one of my favorite literary characters), is considered bad and evil by a lot of people but there was never a moment in the books that I wasn't rooting for him. He was the character I cried the most over because I know there was so much about him in between the lines. Almost more than Harry winning (because that, to me, seemed inevitable) I so wanted to right about Snape. To split even more hairs, even while Dimitri (VA) was...not quite Dimitri, I wanted him not so much to win, but to win himself.

To be fair, I don't much like the characters that are annoyingly and falsely badass - those are hardly memorable - but the ones who have a journey, who are more than just a snarky mouth and a lean against the wall, and that's something we get to explore... those are the characters I love. 

Q: Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn't read that genre anymore? - Crazy For Books

The idea of me giving up reading is so completely painful and foreign that it's almost a non-concept. Purely impossible. I read a lot of different genres; I also read a lot of adult fiction and non-fiction but a lot of that I don't mention here unless I feel it can be related in some how or unless I absolutely loved it. So while you could say that dystopian fiction is my favorite genre, I think I'd be okay reading other things, too. Thankfully as the idea of dystopia is intrinsically related to the present day as new ideas are created and things happen in the world, I don't see it going away any time soon.

review: ultraviolet by r.j. anderson

Author: R.J. Anderson
Publication Date: 09/01/2011
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Pages: 416
Source: e-ARC

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. This is not her story. Unless you count the part where I killed her. Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori - the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?

Although I know it's not very usual, I'd like to start off my review with a bit of a personal confession. For as long as I can remember I've had a strange relationship with music. I'd like to say that I listen to music, but listening would be the wrong verb. I experience music. I never knew there could be a name for it until after I read this book - I always thought synesthesia had to do with colors and numbers/letters, but not sound. While I was looking into it, and saw that someone referred to it as music having a three-dimensional equality and feeling I almost had tears in my eyes: that just made so much sense. So, thank you, R.J. Anderson. Not only did you write a breathtaking book, I think it may have a name.

Alison Jeffries is almost just like any other sixteen year-old girl. She attends high school, she has friends, an occasionally annoying little brother and... she experiences her senses in a way that is difficult to put into words. Sounds are vivid and colorful, numbers and letters have associated emotions, and words can sound off. The almost isn't necessarily because she experiences these things, it's because one morning Alison woke up in the psychiatric ward of a hospital without any idea how she got there. Until it all starts coming back.

Ultraviolet is a book that I wish I had read long, long ago. It's a book that was riveting from the very first paragraph and held my captivation until the last sentence. And it's very much a book that I think people should read. I have to say that I loved Alison as a character in part because some of me related to her, but mainly because she was just a breath of fresh air. In order for this sort of storyline to be pulled off so much about it has to go right to evoke the feeling of believability for what she was experiencing. And it did, and it worked so incredibly well. Because the majority of the story took place with a young adult's psychiatric home the feeling of the story was pressing and urgent and served as the perfect backdrop. The cast of secondary characters were invigorating and vibrant from the unsure-of-how-to-feel-about-him Dr.Minta to  all of her fellow residents and even her mother.

And, seriously, just when you think you know what's going on - you have no idea. Not everyone could pull a twist like this off and integrate it so well into the story, but she did and I believed every part of it. I've seen that some people were iffy on the ending, but I'm not at all one of them. I loved every nook and cranny of this story and I'm hard-pressed on my book buying ban not to run out and order a copy for myself right now.

If you like a book that feels like a contemporary with a sense of urgency and something slightly more then this could be a book for you. If you like a mystery or a fast-paced book of amazingness, this book is also for you. If you're like me and you can see/feel music and need a name for it, this book is most definitely for you.

This ARC was received from Lerner Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Marianna Baer
Publication Date: 09/13/2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 402
Source: ARC

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?

A ball led astray was all it took for Leena Thomas to come across Frost House (a beautiful Victorian house tucked into the woods), and as soon as she set her eyes on it she knew she had to live there for her senior year. Having been sent to Barcroft Academy after her parents divorced right before freshman year, Leena sees Barcroft as her home, her friends as her family, and Frost House their private sanctuary. So when Celeste Lazar is assigned to room with Leena in her first floor room due to her injured leg there's bound to be a period of adjustment - until Leena discovers that's merely the beginning.

I know I scare easily, so it really wasn't any surprise that I had a hard time falling asleep after reading this one late at night. Take it from my experience and read it with a snuggable animal along or during the day. That said,  Frost was a crazy psychological journey that I had a difficult time putting down. I hadn't any clue where the story was going while I was reading it; I just knew that something had to come to a head or I might have had to fully hide under the covers. From the first time Leena steps into her new room at Frost House she was drawn to it. Airy and spacious surrounded on one end by windows and a sole closet that smelled slightly like her old attic.

While I really enjoyed the story part of the book, the characters sort of lost their vividness along the way for me. I want to preface that statement by saying that in part due to the storyline it makes a lot of sense for the characters to seem sort of faded. However, I had a hard time staying along with them at times and was more curious about the progression of what was going on in Frost House rather than the people everything was happening to. The relationship between Leena and David - Celeste's brother - didn't entirely win me over. They had a lot of cute moments near the beginning and in the middle, but there was one near the end that completely didn't work in any way for me, and after that I would have preferred that they not see each other.

The ending of the book was a real trip and it's very safe to say that I didn't at all expect how it ended and thought the big reveal to be quite clever and well-done. What progressed with Leena in the end, though, wasn't okay for me. I don't want to give anything away, but I felt that more needed to be done to address the problem at hand and that she needed more assistance than she was given. Yes, this is vague, but when you read it you'll know what I mean.

All in all I enjoyed Frost and think that if you're in need of a fast-paced thriller then you should give this book a try. The writing is lovely and matches the nervous feeling of the book. Just.. don't read it at night.

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine
that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

(goodreads 03/06/2012):

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.
The more I think about this one, the more I'm looking forward to it. That cover is absolutely gorgeous, and after reading the little snippet from the SE version of Delirium...well, suffice to say I'm rather looking forward to its release. I'm not too big on love triangles, though, so I hope that doesn't turn into a big thing. Regardless, the cover design is 1,000 steps in the right direction. I wonder if they'll find a cure not for the disease, but for society thinking that it is one.

top ten tuesdays! (06)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you love lists
and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!

Top Ten Sequels I'm Dying To Read: As always, in no particular order.

1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth: This is easy. You may or may not know that I'm ridiculous lover of Divergent (which is in part why it was the US giveaway choice) and so getting to know more about the whys behind the who and what is going to be rather interesting. More Tris and more Four? Yes. I also love Veronica's writing.

2. Unwholly by Neal Shusterman: This one is not so easy. (And I'm sure by even mentioning this author that I'm going to unleash another slew of kids looking for book report answers: there are none, read the books.) I considered Unwind to be a complete story, so I'm sort of hesitant about this choice but I know I'll end up purchasing and reading it anyhow.

3. Black Heart by Holly Black: Okay, so I haven't even finished White Cat but I can already tell that is a series I love and a world I want to spend more time in. I love Cassel as an MC - he's bright and blunt and hesitant but acts anyway. And the fact that Holly created this whole, completely original background for the workers and so seamlessly integrated it into our own history is pretty darn mind-blowing. Suffice to say that I'm really enjoying it.

4. The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin: Please, please let there not be six years in-between books. I don't think I could stand it. That said, I know I'd wait however long it took, but I would much rather it be sooner rather than later. The whole world of Westeros is on the cusp of so much to happen and Winter Is Coming, and well, things are going to get realllllll interesting.

5. Mara Dyer #2 by Michelle Hodkin: I was left pleasantly clueless and fulfilled all at once at the end of this one, and yet I want to know more about what is happening to Mara and Noah and what started what is happening and where it's all going to go.

6. Fever by Lauren DeStefano: I want to know more about this world and what makes it tick. I want to hope Rhine makes the correct decision for her, whatever that ends up being. To be honest, I'm just so curious. And I think I need to re-read Wither.

7. Dustlands #2 (Blood Red Road sequel) by Moira Young: No idea when this one is coming out, but Blood Red Road was a book that I truly enjoyed. It was refreshing and the writing and world-building completely engrossing. More Saba and Emi please.

8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: Sooo...I haven't read Lola yet, but I sped through Anna like there was no tomorrow (well, I did read it during a hurricane) and as Isla was a character in Anna and the French Kiss I wonder if we are back in Paris to wrap things up? So far away, this one!

9. The Drowned Cities by Paolo Baciagalupi: Not much is known about this one, other than that it purportedly comes out next year and is a sequel to The Ship Breaker. It's because it's a sequel to that that I want to read it quite badly.

10. Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2 by Laini Taylor: There's absolutely no information released about this one, but by the ending of the first book there's going to be a sequel and I'm 1000% okay with that. Here's for hoping for next year. This is a world I desperately want to get back to!

in my mailbox (19)

A nice, slow week this week, but I received some neat stuff.

Imaginary Girls, Nova Ren Suma
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Sampler), Lain Taylor

Nova Ren had posted on Twitter a while back that she had signed some stock at Posman's (in Grand Central) and since I'm in that bookshop most every day, I've been checking to see whether or not one would appear. And the other day, shockingly, I saw one!

The Daughter of Smoke & Bone sampler is courtesy of Oblong Books - thanks Suzanna! It had some fun swag that I've already shared with other people. I'd say what it is, but they're probably going to be reading this. Small surprises, you know. :)

And I know that I've been behind in commenting and posting, but school has just started and I'm trying to figure out a nice pattern to fall into. Once that happens, I'll be back more, I promise! Have a great extended weekend, everyone.

follow friday (17)

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q: If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would would you choose? Why and to what?

My brain is slightly mushy from studying, but I'm just going to randomly name a few things in list form. I love lists. And beware of spoilers, please, as we are discussing book endings.

- I would add about 20 pages onto Mockingjay and flesh the ending out more; the ending, not the epilogue. While I'm one of a handful that enjoyed the third book, it just needed something more to wrap up the series as I would have ideally liked. I might have also made Gale less flaky in the end, which came - for me - entirely out of left field. 
- The ending of Outside In was so completely bizarre and random that I would probably rewrite the entire 1/3 of that book to erase any mention of crazy aliens and have a less fanciful way of tying ends up, such as maybe something with more with Trella and her mom, and maybe more information about the scrubs and how they planned on keeping their little internal society running without too much conflict.
- For Across the Universe I would definitely not have had Amy and Elder make up at the end. For me it was a bit of a cop-out in some respects because if I were unplugged with no way of interacting with my parents again it would take a lot more than an "I'm sorry" to smooth things over; at least quite a bit more time would be necessary. As much as I liked that book, that bit just bugs me every time.

I'm sure there are more, but I'm at a loss and my brain is sleepy. I really like this question, and I'll try and catch up with your answers tomorrow night!


I am presently on hiatus into the foreseeable future. You can find me on twitter, tumblr, or my writing website,

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