Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: SS (Shortly Sumarized)

WoW is a weekly meme where we share some books we're excited for and that haven't been released. It is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Check out the list of blogs participating there.

Welcome back to another edition of WoW here at Books are Vital.
This time around I chose 2 books that have an extremely short synopsis yet I am sold! and you know it's a good sign when a book manages to grab your attention with only a few words.

Who I kissed by Janet Gurtler

Janet Gurtler's WHO I KISSED, in which a girl struggles with boy problems and serious regret after accidentally killing a boy she barely knows when she kisses him after consuming a peanut butter sandwich, not aware he has a deathly allergy to peanuts.

Trafficked by Kim Purcell

A 17-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United States to work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles.

Book #1:

Book #2:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Title: The Vincent Boys
Author: Abbi Glines
Published October 12th 2011 by Abbi Glines
goodreads | amazon
Hmm how do I start?...

Okay, this book starts off with a flash back to the time Ashton, Beau and Sawyer were kids and best friends, the three of them were inseparable and they loved each other. But when they hit puberty, both boys started noticing how Ashton had grown up to become a hottie. (Man! How come all these YA main characters seem to have 2 perfect boys falling for them? and I don’t even have one!).
Moving on, Ashton grows up and starts going out with Sawyer, perfect Swayer who everybody loves (including me) and stops talking to Beau, the town’s resident bad boy, because she always felt attracted to him and since she was now going out with Sawyer she didn’t want to mess her relationship with him. I already told you Sawyer is the nicest, most likeable boy in the world, and no one thinks Ashton is worthy of him so she’s pretends and doesn’t show her true colors so people (and Sawyer) would buy her “nice girl” image.
Needless to say, Ashton is not happy pretending all the time, so when Sawyer goes away on a family trip she sees it as a chance to reconnect with Beau. Only “reconnecting” turned something more the first two seconds she spent with Beau and soon they were all over each other.
People, this book is dirty, and explicit. Ashton and Beau went all the way and beyond, haha. I was not expecting that! Guess I was hoping Ashton would reconsider and go back to Sawyer but she really wasn’t worthy of him, I think. You can imagine there were lots of drama. I mean she cheated on the town’s sweetheart (even if she cheated on Darth Vader, that’s just wrong and mean) and everyone took Sawyer’s side (I would have too) so everyone starts bullying her and Sawyer doesn't do anything (it's kind of wrong but can you blame him? she cheated on him with his cousin!) and Beau is nowhere to be seen because he ran out of town after he discovered a truth about his real family (no spoilers), when Beau gets back he beats Sawyer into a pulp and Ashton and Beau get to be together now.
At the end I didn’t end up satisfied because there was so much wrongness in everyone’s decisions. The snow ball got bigger and bigger because most of them didn’t try to make anything better. So yeah, I was very bothered by the end and couldn’t care less about the book’s wrap up. But I did finished it and thought the storytelling was attention-grabbing, I see how some people like this book. But not me, the plot was weak and done before (and better).

Note: I had a hard time with the grammar too, was it only me who thought this book’s editor kind of fell sleep and forget to actually edit it? It was very distracting; I had to re-read a lot of sentences to understand what they meant.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: The Unquiet & All These Lives

WoW is a weekly meme where we share some books we're excited for and that haven't been released. It is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Check out the list of blogs participating there.

I absolutely LOVE the way these two books sound. I'm drawn to them, I want to read them right now, and I want to love them forever. And check these babies covers! incredibly beautiful! I adore underwater photographs, and these came out gorgeous.

The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications (again!) and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home and school. She refuses to be daunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom, or that her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?

Jeeeeeeeeez. How crazy does this book sound?! bipolarity, ghosts, suicidal girls, a murder, a hot farmer boy... this is too much for me, my head is going to explode from all the enthusiasm I'm trying to hold in. Just by the synopsis, I know I'm going to love this book, because how many times do you see something like this in the YA section? What a bold move from the author, it takes guts and I like it when people take chances. July 17th should come faster, before I lose my mind and my SSRIs run out.

All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky. She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal. And Jena is wasting away.

To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives. Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one. Someone like Jena. But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization. Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all. Maybe she really only ever had one.

Sisterly love is one of my favorite topics to read about. But they can be also tricky. Most of the time I end up not buying the "love" part of the relationship, only the "she's prettier/ smarter/luckier/funnier" part. This one sounds different, though. A sister that is trying to pass on her "extra lives" to someone else? like her sister? how selfless and wonderful that is. I tell you, I have no problem seeing the love in this synopsis. I'm excited! Must-buy for sure!

SO friggin EXCITED!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Okler

Title: Bittersweet
Author: Sarah Okler
Published January 3rd 2012 by Simon Pulse
Goodreads | Amazon: Bittersweet


Doesn't this cover remind you of "Sweethearts" by the fabulous Sara Zarr?

I seriously think they were aiming for the kind of crowd that loves that book (me), but to be completely honest, this one fell flat.

But well, Sweethearts is a cute story, and it looked so promising from the first pages, this girl Hudson is a very talented ice skater. She was really good, as in go-to-the-olympics-be-rich-and-famous kind of good. But then she found a bra tucked in the side of her bed, it was obviously not hers, so she showed it to her mom. It wasn't her mom's either. So you can imagine all hell broke lose, her parents split and Hudson and her little brother ended up living with her mom and helping her with her diner at smalltown Watonka (am I the only one who giggles at this name?), New York.

Hudson stopped ice skating because that was her and her dad's thing. She moved on (or did she not?) to other things, like baking. And she is good at baking (full of talents, isn't she?), she's known as cupcake queen and has even been featured at the local newspaper. Everyone loves Hudson's cupcakes.

But Hudson keeps a secret, she still skates! (gasp), but of course where no one can see her, except for this guy Josh, who happens to be the co-captain of the hockey team at her school. Josh gets an idea, Hudson can help the team get better (they suck) and they would give her ice time in return. Hudson acepts and the story takes off.

See why I was excited? girl teaching immature yet hot guys how to play hockey? I'm in!
But the thing is, Hudson kind of annoyed me. She had potential to be an amazing character, but no she decided to be a whinning child that would rather lose all her friends than being honest to herself/others. You know guys, I might be too old/cynic/weird for this book. You might love it/think it's amazing/make it one of your favorites, and that's perfectly fine but there's no denying there was something off about it.

I'm certainly opposed to the very common action of sleeping with someone you don't love/like. Hudson definitely had a crush on X, but she was seeing Y, and even though she didn't quite get all the way with Y, I still think that was very dumb. I mean, if you're with someone yet all you can think about is this OTHER someone... not a good sign. I like it when girls are true to theirselves. And by the way, the excuse that she thought X had a girlfriend was super pathetic, I MEAAAAAAAAAAAAN! can't you just ask him?! or if you're too embarrased, then ask your best to do it! she's going out with one of his friends anyway!

Whatever. That bothered me, but it might not bother you. There's also the fact that I really loved the relationship Hudson had with her little brother. I have a little brother who is just my sunshine, so I can relate. Except! for that one time she left him alone in New Years eve. I spent this New Years eve babysitting my brother and I didn't left him alone to go a party because WHO DOES THAT?!.

Again. I advice you to read this book if you really want to/ already have it/ are a fan of Okler's books. Because it was interesting enough to make me finish it, and that gives it extra points in my book. But Hudson? that girl has no clue, be prepared to pull all your hair out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Daylight Saving

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.
It's a fun way to share books we're anticipating.

This week I chose a thriller. I love thrillers but for some reason I haven't seen/read many good YA thrillers. But this, this! you people, sounds amazing. Totally my kind of book.
And only one month of waiting left! :D

Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan

When Daniel Lever is dragged to Leisure World Holiday Complex for some "time away" with his depressed dad, his expectations are low. Daniel is overweight, he hates sport, and his father has brought along his beloved tomato plant. But soon Daniel spots a girl swimming in the fake lake. Lexi is elegant and smart, but very mysterious. Why are her bruises getting worse each time she and Daniel meet? And is her watch really ticking backwards? A dark figure stalks the pair, and as British summer time approaches, Daniel has to act quickly. Their souls depend on it.

Expected publication: February 2nd 2012 by Walker Books Ltd

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Title: On the Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Paperback, 300 pages
Published August 28th 2006 by Penguin Australia
Goodreads | Amazon: Jellicoe Road


On the Jellicoe Road is one of the most amazing books I have ever read in my life. The story is so touching and the writing so captivating that you cannot help but fall in love with it. And it's also a book you have to experience, even if you've read all the reviews this book has, you will never ever begin to imagine how amazing it is.

The book is actually composed of two stories, one about a group of kids that are brought together by the biggest tragedy that has ever happened on the Jellicoe Road. The other one is the story of Taylor, a broken, asmathic girl with a mysterious past life; mysterious even for her.

I particularly love Taylor. I think she's super amazeballs. She has more guts than anyone I have ever know and the best word to describe her is kick-ass. All through the book we see her trying to unravel the mistery that is her past. She seems to have no one, her father is dead, her mother abandoned her at a 7-eleven when she was 11 years old, and since then she's been living in the Jellicoe School, were she was just got chosen leader. For the war.

Because you see, there's this territory war that has been going on for ages, between the "townies" and the "cadets" and the kids at Jellicoe School. And this war is taken seriously, each "team" has a leader. The townies have Santangelo, the Jellicoe S. kids have Taylor and the cadets have Jonah Griggs. <3

Taylor is the first girl to have been chosen since, like, ever. And the most probable reason is because she is ballsy. But don't worry the war is very mature (well, sometimes), the leaders meet at times to talk about their options and to trade locations and you know, negotiate. And as that happens, a real friendship and some other relationships start to blossom.

Every character from this book is absolutely kick-ass. I wish I had a quarter of the coolness these kids have. All of them are incredible despite the sad sad stories some of them have in their backgrounds. But the real tragedy is the other story, the one about the kids that were involved in/with the car accident. That story is so so heartbreaking, like nothing I've read before.

Despite I'm making it sound like a sad read, it is not. I am not a person who wears her heart on her sleeve but when I read this book it's like I'm a tornado of emotions. I cry and laugh and shout and swoon and smile and sob, and I get so emotional, it's not even funny. And a book that can evoke that kind of passion in me is a real keeper. And a forever favorite.

I've already said that I love the characters from this book, but I haven't really stated that this book contains one of my favorite favorite characters ever. Jonah Griggs. If there's a male character more perfect than he is then please point him out to me, and even then, I won't believe it. Because it simply does not get better than that. My dear Jonah is the one everybody else gets measured with, even though no one ever gets close to the amazingness he is.

Imagine Channing Tatum at 17, that's Jonah for me :)

I might have made it sound complicated but it is not. You just have to give this book a chance because it's not for nothing it won all those awards. It has mistery, and tragedy and friendship and romances and amazing quotes, and amazing characters and it is just unbelievably intense. It's a book difficult to forget and one that can be re-read an infinite amount of times without getting tired of it. This book is perfect.

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.
I counted.
It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I'd ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-la.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Title: Don't Breathe a Word
Author: Holly Cupala
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
Goodreads | Amazon

It's been a while since I last have such an intense reading experience as the one I had while reading this book. I knew from the moment I read its synopsis that this was going to be good, but I never imagined it will touched my soul to this proportion.

I'm struggling with words right now, because no matter what I say, I won't be able to describe the strong feelings this novel evocates in me. I will just tell you, this is a story you don't want to miss.

Joy is been dealing with a very difficult sittuation for more than a year, her ashtma, her sometimes oppressive family and her abusing boyfriend have become too much to handle. So Joy decides to leave everything behind and she abandons her home to find help from an street musician who once offered her that.

But being homeless was nothing like me, you, or Joy could have ever imagined and she will need all of her strenght to survive out there. You know, I've always thought that women who let others abuse them were weak, I thought they were in that position because they let themselves get there; but Joy really opened my eyes. She was not a weak girl, she does stuff that I could never imagined I would be able to do, I mean I shudder at the thought of sharing old chewed gum.

I don't encourage women to not speak up, but I now realize it takes guts to handle all that mind-twisting games without falling apart. As it also takes courage to walk away too. I am so proud of Joy, she did was she thought was the only answer and she didn't back down. She's my new hero.

Then we get to the actual part of Joy living on the streets of Seattle. She becomes a whole new person, she cannot be Joy anymore there's nothing joyful in her, so she becomes Triste. The name makes me giggle but it's actually really fitting. My throat closes at the thought of her first days alone on the streets, it was painful to witness and I wish no one will ever have to live through something like that, yet if someone does, I don't think they would be able to handle it as well as Triste, she was such a champ.

But no girl can survive on the streets by herself. And she meets Creed, a knight in ratty clothes. I won't try to describe my love and gratefulness towards Creed. Much like Triste, I thought he was the highlight of my day life, he is a kind, protective soul that is so selfless and caring he makes you forget you're even living in the streets. He's also a fabulous musician, like set-your-heart-on-fire-and-makes-your-insides-dance kind of good. I could feel the intesity of his music through the pages, and I was left wishing for more. He's the kind of people that make me want to be a doctor, just knowing there's people like him and in his situation, makes me want to pack my med supplies and go find them.

I say them because Creed takes Triste to where his "family" is. May and Santos, the other teenage kids that hang out with Creed. At first they lived in this awful, ruined, abandoned house that had no electricy or even running water but then May and Santos (and Creed) had such a tender, sweet and loving relationship that is probably 10 times better than any family in the suburbs. I loved May and Santos, I love them so much my heart aches. They're so mature and loyal, and despite all the hell they've been through they hadn't give up. You know the world is not so screwed up when you realize people that have been through so much can still be as amazing as them.

So basically, I'm talking as if these people were real. Why?, because Holly Cupala did a marvelous job at transforming reality into art, it's difficult to take a serious problem like abusive relationships and homeless teens and convert them into a story that captures reality without going over the top drama. I also loved the job she did with her description  of the setting. And really, everything about her writing was powerful and captivating.

Broadway is a character itself and it really comes off the pages

I also almost died when I read the ending. I could not have imagined a most perfect end for such a sad story. But it's not only sad, it's full of hope and love. And power. And hopefully, when you finish this book, you'll be inspired to do something.

And a little inspirational video for Creed, whose dream is to become a respected singer/guitar player.
It can be done!

it's a 5 hearts and favorite read for me! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published January 2nd 2012 by Poppy
Goodreads || Amazon

Well I was very excited for this book, and maybe that was my mistake and it's totally my fault for setting my expectations high. I don't want to say I'm dissapointed because it wasn't terrible, it was just not as great as I hoped.

TSPoLaFS is a quick read. Hadley is going to London to her dad's wedding. He left her and her mom for another woman and Hadley hadn't forgiven him. So it's only obvious she's not happy to be going to witness her dad's especial day.

I don't really get why Hadley is so mad at her dad because my parents are not divorced and if they one day decide to do it I would support them because that's what they want. But Hadley's 17 years old and she didn't expect that at all, so I'm sympathetic. So anyway, pissed off Hadley misses her flight and thanks to that, she gets to meet this incredible boy at the airport. His name's Oliver and he's charming and British, that's recipe for love there I tell you.

I liked Oliver when I read the book, but now that I think back, he wasn't really that memorable and I've come to wonder if I'm just too easy. Give me a British boy that has nice manners and is sociable and I'm instantly babbling about him on my blog, but then I forget his name the next day. I hope that doesn't happen with Oliver but somehow I don't think he'd be the exception. Oh and btw, I don't like boys who drink. ):

So anyway, the story is cool and the author really convinced me that Hadley and Oliver could have something especial. But if by now I've learned something about my reading tastes is that I really like to know everything about the characters I read about, I wanna be part of their lives and I want to know what happens to them. So I was not happy with only a 24-hour glimpse at Hadley and Oliver's lives. Their story got my interest and I would like to know more about them.

I also have to confess that the part when Hadley is not with Oliver, all that of her at the wedding and how she was mad at her dad and remembering all those stories... I kind of skipped most of that parts. Yeah I know shame on me, but the only thing I cared was the romance, and I swear I'm not like that all the time, it was just different with this book, that part of the story just didn't clicked with me, but I'm sure there's someone out there who might call it her favorite part.

To sum up, the story is quick, the main characters are interesting and the romance is cute. There's lots of family drama and there's growing up too. And major kudos for the last couple of pages, those were REALLY CUTE. I think I sighed out loud.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: [Dystopian Edition] Monument 5, The Hunt and Partials.

WoW is a weekly meme created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

I'm in the mood for distopyans so here you have...
Waiting on Wednesday Dystopian Edition.

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Seventeen-year-old Gene struggles to survive in a society where humans have been eaten to near extinction by the general population. When Gene is chosen to participate in the government-sponsored hunt for the remaining humans, he must learn the art of the hunt but also elude his fellow hunters whose suspicions about his true human nature are growing.

Monument 4 by Emmy Laybourne

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

A huge store isn’t the worst place to be stranded. There’s food and water, bedding and books. But what if it’s not safe to leave? Emmy Laybourne had us from the get-go with her utterly fresh and fast-paced debut.

Six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids are trapped together in a chain superstore. Together they build a refuge for themselves inside, while outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapon spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Partials by Dan Wells

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.
add on goodreads

Book 1. It has a unique concept, with a lovely cover and it's just dystopian at its best.

Book 2. I've always wanted to live in Walmart and a YA Dystopian book that tackles this, is the next best thing!

Book 3. Dystopian is all about survival and this girl sounds a bit like me. I mean, teenage medic in training? I cannot miss!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Love Shy

WoW is a weekly meme created by Jill @ Breaking The Spine.
It spotlights future reads we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I chose a book by Lili Wilkinson. I haven't got the chance to read something by her but her books sound exactly like my kind of book. And I've had amazing experiences with Aussie authors so I don't care if I have to pay a lot for shipping, I.will.have.this.book!
I need it. Love Shy, come faster!

Love Shy by Lili Wilkinson.

Penny is a schoolgirl investigative journalist in search of a story. And she finds one: a boy at her school who is painfully love-shy. Surely he's the perfect subject for a feature article. What could possibly go wrong?

Penny Drummond aspires to be a journalist. A good one. A Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. In the meantime, she's honing her journalistic skills on the East Glendale Secondary College Gazette. When she discovers a boy at her school is posting anonymous messages on loveshy.com, Penny believes she has found just the story that will help make her name. Her mission: find him, fix him, feature-article him. Next stop: Pulitzer Prize.

But what will become of her 'journey of the soul' article if the love-shy boy is not who she expects? And what happens when Penny finds that her soul might be in need of a little attention as well?

Love-Shy is a lively, entertaining and warm-hearted romantic comedy filled with serious secrets, ambitious plans, awkward moments and unexpected friendships - funny and engaging to the very last page.

Don't you think it sounds extremely awesome? I love the idea of this book. And Penny is totally the kind of girl I like reading about, sassy, funny, witty, independent and with aspirations. We need more of those girls in YA literature.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012

TTT is a weekly meme created by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish.
They love lists as much as me so they invented this cool way to share our book-related fun lists.

It's kind of difficult this week, I mean I have 100+ books on my most-anticipated shelf on goodreads, but I guess I'll try.
Please books, forgive me if I forget/left out some of you, it was not intentionally I want you all equally!

This list is not influenced by anyone or anything else beside the books' synopsis and covers.
The books named here are listed in no particular order.
I only included books that will be published in 2012 that I have not read yet.

Dude, I left a lot of good ones out ):
But anyways, here's a random facts list:
  • There's 3 authors named Jennifer
  • 7 of those books are contemporary reads ;)
  • Author of book 5's name is Lara, which is also my last name.
  • Book 2 came out today.
  • You can go to the goodreads page of each book by clicking on it's name.