Saturday, August 14, 2010

Penny Pinching

Money has been tight lately. Since we're saving up to buy a new house and we'll probably lose money when selling our current house, we've had to cut back a lot. Once I get my mind set on something, I become obsessed. I've scoured the interweb for tips, deals, and blogs to help save my money. Instead of being selfish, I've decided to share some of my favorites with you!

The blog that has become my go-to for the latest deals is Money Saving Mom. This chick knows her stuff! I've learned how to play the "drugstore game" and how to cut back on my grocery budget. I love that she posts freebies and deals ALL day so I'll know if something is on sale before the sale is over.

I've also signed up at SwagBucks.com to earn money while searching the net. You got it, I earn to search the Internet. Google doesn't pay me, so I found someone who would! Granted, I'm not getting paid tons, but every little bit counts, right? Swagbucks work best if you refer someone. The more people you get to sign up, the more bucks you get! This is the best time to sign up because they are giving away 70 SB for registering. All you have to do is enter the code: BackToSchool. There is a blog post by Amy on how to maximize your SB. Check it out!

Lastly, I've been doing online surveys. I know what you're thinking: WTF, why would you do that? But hey, every little bit counts! I've done online surveys before and never seemed to qualify for many of them. Well I've recently discovered surveyhead.com and I qualify for most of the surveys! You can't cash out until after earning $30 there so I can't tell you if they are speedy sending money yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Do you have any money saving tips that you'd like to share?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Sky Is Everywhere

There has been a lot of buzz going around the blogosphere about this book. I am a follower, so of course I got it from the library to check out what all the talk was about. Well, thank God I did!

Seventeen year old Lennie is trying to figure out how to get through life after her sister Bailey's death. No one seems to understand what she's going through. No one shares her grief except for Bailey's boyfriend, Toby. Toby gets it. He knows what it feels like to lose the one person in the world that you are the closest to. Their grief brings them closer together.

Toby isn't the only boy who is occupying Lennie's time. Joe, the cute new boy in school, is popping up all over the place. Lennie, the bookworm and band geek suddenly is interested in these boys and they are interested in her too! How can she juggle both boys without her world falling apart all over again?

WOW. Just WOW! This book was so beautifully written that I found myself laughing and crying all on the same page. It's amazing that this is Jandy Nelson's debut novel. Reading this book was like reading poetry (that I could actually understand.)

Writing can only get a book so far so it's a good thing that the plot was also wonderful. It was so original and inspiring. This book teaches life lessons without beating them over your head. This book speaks to everyone who has ever lost someone they love. This book is the best book I have read so far this year.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Linger

I have been impatiently waiting for this book to come out. After reading Shiver, the first book of the trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater, I fell in love. I fell in love with the writing, the characters, and the plot. I was a slave to this book. So the obvious thing to do was to preorder Linger and wait for it's release. Surprisingly, it released before it's original date and came to me early! I. Could. Not. Wait. To. Read. This. Book.

Grace and Sam are madly in love. Grace has loved him before she knew he was a boy. She loved him as a wolf in the woods behind her home. Sam and Grace have fought to keep him from changing back into a wolf. It's early spring, and Sam should be a wolf, but he's not. Their cure worked! Now Sam has to adjust as life as a teenage boy while all of his family is roaming the woods...as wolves. Meanwhile, Grace is sick. Could the wolf inside her finally be trying to escape?


Cole is a new werewolf searching for a way out of his human life. He desperately wants to escape his mind and live life as a wolf. He's selfish and conceited and he connects instantly with Isabel, a girl who has lost her brother while trying to kill the wolf inside of him.

These four teenagers are connected in a way that no one else can understand. Can this connection help them get through their individual struggles or will the wolves tear them apart.

I hate to say it, but I think my expectations were too high for this book. Not that it wasn't fabulous, but it did not own me like the previous book. It started off a little slow for me. Because of this, it took me a week to get through it. Once it picked up though, I was hooked...in there like swimwear. I also had a little trouble with the alternating POV. This may be because I was often too lazy to look at the name of the chapter before diving in. Having to read two POVs is awesome, four on the other hand can be confusing.

Although it seems like I'm complaining about the POVs, I'm totally not...really. I did LOVE "hearing" from Cole, the new wolf. I was happy that the whole book was not about the love between Sam and Grace and that the author introduced these new characters and we got to see them grow. So, the plot was great, but not AMAZEBALLS.

The writing however was AMAZEBALLS. Stiefvater's writing makes me feel like I'm floating on water. It is so poetic and beautiful and just...wow. If you are one of the very few people in the world who have not read any of her books, stop whatever you're doing, and do it NOW.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spirit Bound

Last year I fell in love with the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. The first four books were AWESOME! The fourth book was pretty good, but not as good as the others (in my opinion). Needless to say, I couldn't wait until the 5th book of the series, Spirit Bound, came out this year. I pre-ordered it on Amazon so that I wouldn't have to wait on my semi-slow library. As you can tell, I was super excited to read this book.

From Goodreads:

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.


I hate to say it, but the book did not live up to my expectations. I LOVED Rose and her kick ass personality in the previous books, but now she is really getting on my nerves. She is completely self-centered and puts her friends in horrible situations that could get them killed. She also leads on her boyfriend Adrian, making him believe that she's really into him, when she's constantly fantasizing about Dimitri. I did love the growth that all the other characters experienced in this book. Everyone is maturing nicely and growing up. Everyone, except for Rose.
When reading this book, I almost felt as though Mead is just pulling plots from her ass in order to finish the series. I know there will be one last book (book 6) in this series, but I hope it's not as over the top as this one. Many of the subplots were so dramatic and over the top that I wanted to literally throw the book across the room.

All this being said, I will not give up on the series. Not when there is only one book left. I will patiently wait for the final book to come out in hopes that it does not disappoint. If you are into YA paranormal fantasies, then you should definitely give this series a try. Like I said, the first 3 books were AWESOME!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ahhh...I'm in love...

with the most AMAZING house in our price range!!!!! The good news: it's damn near perfect. The bad news: we have to sell our house before we can start building.


Our house has been on the market for about a month now. How many showings? Two. Yep, you read that correctly, TWO. TWOOO! We have a pretty awesome starter home if I may say so myself. Unfortunately, the market is crap and it probably won't pick back up until the fall.

I know what you're thinking: oh, that doesn't sound so bad Leah. Just be patient. You know what I say to that? FUCK PATIENCE! I want the house NOW. Yes, I realize that I am being unreasonable and childish, but so what? I'm always unreasonable and childish.

So, because I know you're interested, here are some specs on the house:

  • Great neighborhood with a community pool, gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, and club house.

  • Friends live in the same 'hood.

  • 4 bedroom

  • 3.5 baths

  • HUGE master suite

  • screened in porch

  • covered patio

  • sunroom

  • amazing kitchen

  • other amazingness

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Reckoning

Don't you hate when you fall in love with a group of characters in a series, and then the series ends?!?!? Yeah, me too. I'd been waiting and waiting for The Reckoning, the last book in the Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong, to become available from my library. Thankfully, my friend Crystal was nice enough to send me her copy to read. Of course, the next day the library had my copy ready for pick up. Silly library.

So, the third and final book picks up right where the last left off. Thankfully, there was some recap in there, otherwise I wouldn't have remembered some essential parts. Chloe, Derek, Simon, and Tori have finally found safety from the Edison Group. These supernatural teens don't know if they can trust their rescuers or even each other.

Haha...and that's all I will say because I don't want to give the plot away.

So, if you read my blog (ahem, let's pretend you do, okay?) then you know that I love YA paranormal fantasies. That, however, does not mean that I like the dark, mysterious, edgy boyfriend that seems to appear in an abundance in this genre. That is probably part of the reason I loved this series so much. It doesn't remind me of any other book or series.

This is definitely a must read series. I seriously fell in love with the characters and I will miss them. I hope that Armstrong will give glimpses of them in her next YA series.

Have you read any of the books in this trilogy? What did you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

Miss me?

I have not posted on here, let alone read any other blogs in a loooong time! Sorry to keep you guys waiting. I've been working like a mad woman and that last few book I've read had to do with cervical fluid and baby-making. Thankfully, I did FINALLY finish reading Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I've had this book on my shelf at home for MONTHS. I was so excited to read it, but of course, I kept pushing it back. Once I finally finished all of my library books, I dug into it.

From Goodreads (because I'm being super lazy today):

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

So, obviously this description does not even begin to tell all this book encompasses. It was a longer read than most YA books, but it was written very well. One of the things that took me by surprise was how well these two women wrote in the voice of a teenage boy. Granted, he was more sensitive and down to earth than most teenage boys, but it wasn't overdone. I also LOVED the characters. I am from the South so I could appreciate the dialect and the way people behaved. It could have easily been set in a small town in Alabama, so I could really relate to the people and places.

It amazes me how these two authors put their idea together and created one pretty awesome book. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Monday, May 17, 2010

How To Say Goodbye In Robot

Okay, I'll admit it...I totally picked this book up because of the title. Yes, I checked it out from the library and read it all because of the title. So, note to all you authors: A good title can change your lives!

Bea and her parents are moving. Again. New town, new school, new friends. She's used to it by now. She'll become friends with the friendly, average girl as usual, right? Wrong. Bea's life changes when she meets the boy who sits next to her, Jonah. Jonah is quit and keeps to himself. He hasn't had a friend in years, but something in Bea strikes his interest. Their friendship grows and blossoms into something more than a friendship, but not a romance either. They know about each other's dysfunctional families, secrets from the past, and aspirations for the future. Their relationship means one thing: love. But is love enough?
This book wasn't what I expected at all. It was a little quirky, a little sweet, and a little dark. It didn't grab me and make me fall in love with the characters or the plot, but that doesn't mean it was a bad book. I'm glad I read it because it was so different from anything else I've read this year. No, I didn't love the book, but it would have been an awesome quick read for a rainy day. I'm interested to look into more of Natalie Standiford's work. She took an interesting approach into the lives of Bea and Jonah and I appreciate her for that.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Read? What's that?

Oh yeah, it's that thing I used to do ALL THE TIME!

I know I have been slacking in my blogging, but don't feel bad because I have also been slacking in my reading, cleaning, and grading. At least I'm consistent. Right?

Just so you know what I've been up to these past few weeks, I decided to post a little update. First, I got a new job. Well, it's not really a new job since I worked there 3 summers ago. I'm working as a teacher counselor for the Space and Rocket Center. I LOVE my job. We teach teachers who come to space camp. Of course, school isn't out yet for most, so camp hasn't started yet. My boss asked if I could start early to get so things done before all the action happens. I obliged since we are trying to save to build our dream home.

I've also been dieting. I know, shocker right? A friend of mine lost 28lbs on the HCG diet, so I did some research and decided to give it a try. It's a little costly, but I'm loving the results so far. Plus, it's perfect timing for my Vegas trip next month! There is a lot of controversy about the diet, but I go to a doctor who has done it herself and I have a great support system. Anyway, I've been getting more sleep (and better sleep) and therefore I haven't been reading or blogging much.

So, that's what I've been up to. I'm working 3 jobs, trying to lose weight, and taking care of my Hubs and pets.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Secret Year


I've heard some buzz about The Secret Year on some of the book blogs that I follow. It is Jennifer Hubbards' debut novel and I love supporting new authors!

Colt and Julia secretly dated for a year. Colt is from the flats and Julia lives in a mansion on Black Mountain Road. They hid their romance for an entire year without anyone finding out their secret. Everything is fine until Julia dies in a car accident right before her senior year begins. Colt has to go on as if this tragedy doesn't effect his life. He mourns her privately until Julia's journal turns up. Julia documented their relationship in the journal. Colt now is obsessed with the journal to see how Julia really felt about him. He keeps looking for answers to his questions, but the one question that no one can answer is how will he ever get over someone who wasn't his to begin with.


The was a very short read, and that really worked. I didn't need to be any longer than what it was. It was so interesting that Hubbard write from the male's POV considering she is female. Even though during some scenes I questioned whether a boy would really handle the situation the same, she made it work. Pick up this book and support a debut author!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

And the winners are...

Sorry I didn't post this yesterday, but it was a busy busy day. Since my blog has exceeded 50 followers, I have TWO winners!!! The winners of the Hex Hall Giveaway are...

Alicia D.

and

Jessica C.

Congratulations Alicia and Jessica. I will email you both to get your addresses. If I don't hear from you in the next 48 hours then I will pick another winner in your place.

Thanks to all who entered!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BOTB

BABIES!! That's all I've been able to think about. Hubs and I aren't quite ready to start trying to conceive, but we are getting there. Unfortunately, I can't get babies off my mind. I've even been reading baby and motherhood blogs. What is wrong with me?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Before I Fall

Before I Fall is a book by debut author Lauren Oliver. I'd been hearing awesome things about the book, so when I won a free book on Temeka's blog, I asked her to send me my very own copy. I've been putting off reading it for several weeks because I had so many library books to get through. I finally caught up with my library books so I got a chance to read it.

Sam (Samantha) is a popular girl. She has a hot boyfriend, super popular friends, and dibs on any and everything at her high school. Cupid Day starts off like any other day. She rides to school with her best friends, eats lunch with her boyfriend and heads to a party. That night, everything changes. What started out as a normal day, turns out to be her last day. Now she must relive her last day over seven different times until she gets it right.

I had really high expectations for this book. I knew a little about the premise before reading it, and I figured it would be a little strange reading about the same day over and over. It really wasn't that strange at all. I grew to like Sam. She grows in the book and you can almost see the wheels turning as she figures things out. She wasn't a lovable character, but she definitely was a likable one. I also didn't love her friends, but the plot was so good that it almost didn't matter. It's usually the characters that make a book great for me, but that wasn't the case with this book. The plot really grabbed me and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. It also made you think. It wasn't a fluffy book solely for entertainment. This book made you think about the choices you make in life and how the effect others. Little things can make a big impact. I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read more from Lauren Oliver

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shakespeare's Landlord

Charlaine Harris hooked me on her Sookie Stackhouse (TrueBlood) series. I read those books so fast that I was mad at myself for not savoring them. Since then, I've been meaning to read Harris's other series to see if they are just as good. I began collecting books from both the Lily Bard series and the Harper Connelly series. Yesterday, I picked up Shakespeare's Landlord, the first book in the Lily Bard Mystery Series.

Lily Bard has a new life in Shakespeare, Arkansas. She is working as a cleaning lady in the small town. She lays low, hoping to escape her past.

One night, Lily discovers the dead body of her landlord. Soon, suspicions begin to fall on her. If she doesn't solve this murder mystery then her past may be discovered and her life will fall apart. Or end.

This was a short book. I read it while subbing at a high school, so it's a quick read. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as good as the Sookie Series. I figured out who the murderer was before Lily did, so there was no surprise. I am interested to see where Lily's love life takes her, so I will probably read the next book.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Awakening

After reading the first book in the Darkest Powers series, The Summoning, I couldn't wait to pick up the second book.

From Goodreads:

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.


This book was even better than the first. I have officially fallen in love with the characters. The boys are so fun and protective. Chloe is so kick ass and brave! I love seeing a teenage girl portrayed the way she is. She isn't angsty or boy crazed. She is smart, thoughtful, and just...awesome! I have to wait to get the third book from the library. I can not wait to get my hands on it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Summoning

A friend of mine recommended that I read the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong. Without asking any questions about the author or the series, I checked out the first book, The Summoning from my library. Usually if a friend recommends a book, I take her word for it and pick it up without hesitation. I love not knowing what I'm getting into and the surprise of it all.


The Summoning is about your "normal" teenage girl, Chloe, who just so happens to be able to see ghosts. She gets locked up into a halfway house for troubled teens. At the Lyle House, Chloe learns that these teens aren't just troubled and that there is more that meets the eye. With her eyes open the a world of supernaturals, Chloe is determined to discover the hidden truths about the Lyle House.


This book was SO good. I started it last night and was so sad to have to put it down to get sleep. After dreaming about the characters all night, I even skipped the gym today so that I could finish reading before work. I loved how unpredictable the plot and characters were. This book was not your average YA supernatural book. There weren't even any mysterious guys in Biology class! ::gasps::


As as I love YA books, sometime the teen angst really makes me want to hurl the book across the room. This was NOT the case with this book. I sympathized with the characters and I grew to love them! I love how this book doesn't revolve around selfish teens and their angsty love lives. Reading this was like drinking tall glass of water. It was satisfying, refreshing, and good for you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Love Is A Many Trousered Thing

Yes Georgia, love IS a many trousered thing. I have been fitting the Georgia Nicholson books in when I need to read something quick, light, and fluffy.This was the 8th book of the series and it didn't disappoint.
Georgia is a self-evolved, boy-crazed teenager who can't decide who she wanted to date. Masimo has just informed Georgia that he is single and ready to to be her one and only. Before Georgia can take this information in, the Sex God, Robbie shows up. Georgia experiences a world wind of emotions and can't decide who she like more.

I love these books so much! They are cute and laugh-out-loud funny. I love how Rennison has created her own language using words like "casualosity" and "glamorosity." I find myself using some of these words in my everyday life. If you ever want to laugh, pick up a Georgia Nicholson book!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Last Olympian

WOW! I still can't believe this was the last book. I fell in love with this series and now it's over. What will I do without Percy Jackson in my life?

The half-bloods have been preparing for the big battle between the Olympians and the Titans. Kronos's army is stronger than ever and the odds are not looking good for the future of the Olympians. The gods decided that fighting the monster Typhon should be at the top of their priority list. While the gods are fighting Typhon, Kronos and his army are advancing on New York to destroy Mount Olympus. Now, it's up to Percy and his friends to save Mount Olympus and protect New York City.


This. Book. Was. Awesome. I'm so sad that this series is over. I love how Riordan told us the stories of Greek Mythology without overwhelming or boring his readers. This was the perfect ending to the series. It was so fun watching Percy and his friends grow up and mature. I hope that Riordan gives us more from Camp Half-Blood.



My First GIVEAWAY!!!

If you actually read my blog then you know how much I love the book Hex Hall and the author, Rachel Hawkins. Well last week my friend Crystal from Crystal Clear Reading went to a book signing. Rachel Hawkins as well as Lindsey Leavitt, the author of Princess for Hire were there. Both authors are AMAZING people and were just so sweet. I just so happened to get one extra signed copy of Hex Hall to give away on my blog! What's better than a free book? A free autographed book! So, if you'd like to win this book, enter below! Good luck!!

To make it a little more fun, Crystal is also doing a giveaway on her blog! She is cooler than me, so she as three books to choose from. Go over and enter her giveaway to increase your chances!

Entry Rules

1. You must be a follower of this blog to win
2. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM on Friday, April 30th
3. You will have 48 hours to respond to my email if you've won, otherwise you will forfeit your prize and I will pick another winner
4. Winner will be picked by Random.Org by using the List Randomizer followed by the Number Generator


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Dark Divine

This book by Bree Dispain has gotten some recent buzz on the interwebs. I looked it up on Goodreads and the cover was so pretty that I decided to check it out. I rarely read the synopsis of the book until I'm already reading said book. I know, I'm backwards like that. Anyway, I had no idea what this book was about when I checked it out.

Grace Divine is the daughter of a pastor. She is a good student. sister, friend, and Christian. Three years ago, something horrible happened to her brother Jude. She knows that his ex-best friend, Daniel, has something to do with the secret that Jude is hiding, after all, Daniel's been missing for the pass three years. One day, the troubled Daniel shows up in their lives again. Jude makes Grace promise to stay away from Daniel, but she can no longer deny her attraction to him. Grace must learn what Daniel's dark secret is and once she does, it will change her life forever.


I finished this book at 2am, and I am still unsure about how I feel about it. I enjoyed the first half, but the ending was a little off. It wasn't rushed, but it didn't seem complete either. That probably makes no sense to you, but that's just it. It didn't really make sense. Usually I can tell by the ending of a book whether or not there will be a sequel, but with this one, I HAVE NO IDEA! So, I looked it up and there will be a sequel. It's a pretty good book despite the ending, so I plan on reading the next installment. Plus, I fell in love with Daniel, so I give it 3/5 stars.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Day of Vlogs - Part 1

So, my nestie friends and I decided to vlog this week. Here is part 1. Please excuse my frumpiness.


video

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Detox!

So, if you follow me on Twitter then you should know that I work out 5 days a week for multiple hours each day. I love working out, but I HATE eating right. I basically just work out so that I can eat whatever I want. Well, now it's time for a change. I have never weighed this much in my life, and my clothes just aren't fitting anymore. It's actually pretty depressing. A couple of weeks ago I started watching what I eat and trying to eat more smaller meals to boost my metabolism. Well, the scales just are not budging. I am getting really fed up. I've decided that it's time to make a change. I'm detoxing this week.

I've detoxed several times before. Robert and I always do the Fat Smash Detox. It is a 9 day detox that basically eliminates carbs, meats, and cheeses. Okay, it eliminates A LOT, so I guess I should tell you what I CAN eat.

I can eat the following:

All fruits (no avocados)
All veggies (no potatoes of course)
2 cups of brown rice/day
2 servings of low fat yogurt/day
All beans
Oatmeal (YUCK!)
Nonfat milk (double YUCK. I usually cheat on this part and use soy milk.)

I'm sure I'm leaving some things out, but this is basically what I eat when I do the detox. It's really good to cleanse your system and jump start your weight loss. Hopefully next week I'll be able to see and feel a change. I'll keep you updated and let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hush, Hush

So there has been a lot of hype about this book from the girls in my interwebz book club. I HATE spoilers, so I really did not know what this book was Becca Fitzpatrick wrote about in Hush, Hush. I was a little surprised by the subject matter and a little disappointed in the writing.
Nora Grey is an excellent high school student. She has a best friend Vee and makes good grades. Nora and Vee and anti-twins. They are complete opposites in every way. Vee is not interested in school and is boy crazy. Nora is focused on her grades and could care less about boys. That is until Patch replaces Vee as her lab partner in Biology. Patch is the definition of mysterious. Nora knows nothing about him or his past, but she is drawn to him against her better judgement. He draws her in with his sly smile and dark eyes.

After a series of frightening events, Nora doesn't know if she can trust Patch or not. Patch knows a lot about Nora without her having to tell him. He also seems to be everywhere she is. When she finally gets answers about Patch and his past, she discovers that the truth is unsettling. She doesn't know who to trust, and the wrong decision can cost her her life.

I must say, I was a little disappointed in this book. It had many similarities to Twilight and Evermore and that's not a good thing.

First of all, they main characters meet in Biology class. Does that sound familiar to anyone? I must say that I am a Biology teacher and nothing that exciting ever happened in my classes. Thank you Stephanie Meyer for creating the idea that Biology class is so appealing. If only my students were as excited about their lab partners. *Note my sarcastic font.*

Second, the whole "he's so dangerous but oh-so-hot, but he may kill me, but I'm so attracted to him" premise is getting really old. Books like this do not teach about healthy relationships. Why are you attracted to someone who could potentially kill you? Yeah he's hot, but RUN THE OTHER WAY!

The last thing that bothered me were the characters' names. I mean seriously, Patch,Vee, and Nora? What year is this? These were the worst names in a YA book that I've ever come across. UGH! I can't even express how much I hated the names. Some of you are probably thinking that their names shouldn't get me so worked up, but YOU"RE WRONG. It's something about characters' names that either draw you in or make you totally uninterested. Needless to say, I was pretty uninterested in the characters.

So, the book wasn't a total fail. The last 100 pages had me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I did like the ending of the book, and I look forward to reading the sequel when it comes out later this year.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Identical

The first book I read this year was Crank Ellen Hopkins. The subject matter was a little dark, but I loved her writing style. She writes her books in verse. At first, I thought that it would be difficult for me to read a book written like that, but it flowed so beautifully that I knew I would read more of her work. I picked up Identical from the library and dove right into it.

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical twins. Their parents are well known members in their small town. Their father is a district-court judge and their mother is a politician. On the outside, it looks like they have a picture-perfect family, but nothing can be farther from the truth. There family hides a horrible secret.

Kaeleigh is the focus of her daddy's love and affection, love that is meant for her absent mother. Raeanne is rebellious and uses drugs, alcohol and sex to help fight the demons at home. Both girls are struggling with addictions, eating disorders, and insecurities. They are both lacking a healthy relationship with their parent. Although they are facing the same struggles, the twins do not rely on each other for help or strength. Can they make it on their own, or will they help each other through this horrible time?

WOW, this book was just...WOW. At first, I didn't know if I would be able to finish reading it. The subject matter was a little darker than what I'm used to, and I just didn't know if I could handle it. I am so glad I stuck through it. Hopkins' writing was beautiful, as usual. She chose a subject that doesn't get talked about much in YA books and she took a different approach. She kept me engaged the whole time. I went through all the emotions: happy, sad, angry, shocked. At one point, I even through the book across the room. I highly recommend this book. Go check it out today!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Battle of the Labyrinth

By now, you all know that I am hooked on the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Here is Goodread's synopsis on the fourth installment:

Percy Jackson's fourth summer at Camp Half-Blood is much like his previous three—high-octane clashes with dark forces, laced with hip humor and drama. Opening with a line for the ages—The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school—this penultimate series installment finds Percy, Annabeth and the satyr Grover furiously working to prevent former camp counselor Luke from resurrecting the Titan lord Kronos, whose goal is to overthrow the gods. When the heroes learn that Luke can breach Camp Half-Blood's security through an exit from Daedalus's Labyrinth, they enter the maze in search of the inventor and a way to stop the invasion. Along the way they encounter a lifetime supply of nightmare-inducing, richly imagined monsters. Grover's own quest to find the lost god Pan, meanwhile, provides a subtle environmental message. Percy, nearly 15, has girl trouble, having become something of a chick magnet.
I love Riordan's writing. He keeps me hooked. Just when I think I can predict the ending, he switches it up! I never know how Percy and his friends are going to get out of those life threatening situations, but he totally makes it work. I love Annabeth, Tyson, and Grover just as much as I love Percy. I went to check which book was next in the series and I freaked when I realized that there is only ONE MORE! What will I do without Percy and his friends in my life?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hex Hall

So I've been reading a lot of Internet buzz about this book from some of the girls in my online book club. I read the synopsis online and decided to buy it and give it a try. Now, this is strange because I rarely buy new books. I totally believe in the library and I use it to my advantage. Boy am I glad I bought the book instead of waiting forever to check it out! Plus, the author, Rachel Hawkins, lives in Alabama; therefore, I'm supporting a local author! Yay me!
Sophie Mercer is a 16 year old witch who has lived in 19 different states and attended just as many schools. She always seems to cause problems (spells gone wrong) at her school and must relocate. After a love spell gone horribly wrong, Sophie's mother-a human, and her father-an out-of-the-picture warlock decide to send her to Hectate Hall until she turns 18. Hectate is a school for witches, faeries, and shapeshifters. Once at Hectate, Sophie befriends her roommate, the only vampire student, Jenna. Sophie and Jenna are constantly having to defend themselves against 3 dark witches/bitches, and Sophie begins to fall in love with a gorgeous warlock, Archer. When Jenna is accused of murder, Sophie is the only one on her side.

Okay, first things first- these were the best character names I've read in a LONG time! I mean Sophie, Archer, Chaston, and Elodie? I love them! Those names are way better than normal boring names like say, Bella, Jacob, or Edward. I'm just saying...

This book was so good! I zipped right through it and then was upset that there wasn't more. I can't believe I have to wait for the second book to come out in March 2011!! I loved Sophie! I really felt like I knew and understood her by the end of the book. This book was funny and exciting. There were some unexpected twists and a cliffhanger at the end. If those ingredients don't make a good book then I don't know what does. Go get your copy today!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Titan's Curse

I have been engulfed in the Percy Jackson series. I can not put the books down! It's a good thing they aren't lengthy because I wouldn't get anything else done.

The Titan's Curse begins with Percy, Annabeth, and Thalia going to help Grover with some new half bloods. While trying to rescue the demigods, dangerous monsters intervene and kidnap Annabeth. In this book, Percy befriends a few Hunters and goes on a quest with his friends to rescue Annabeth and save the world...again.

I guess I can relate these books to the Harry Potter books. They are similar in some ways. They are both about teenagers fighting to save the world, they are both fantasy type books, and they are both highly addictive. If you haven't started reading either series, get off the computer, go to the library, and READ THEM NOW!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Going Bovine

I have been reading such wonderful things about Libba Bray's books and so I picked a few of them up from the library. I decided to read a stand alone first and Going Bovine just sounded so interesting that I gave it a try.

Cameron is a 16 year old boy who is coasting his way through high school with a minimum of effort. He has a twin sister who is popular and makes great grades, a mom is teaches English 101 at a local college, and a father who is a physics professor. His life seems pretty normal if not boring until one fateful day when he discovers that he is sick with a fatal disease. Cameron's life changes instantly. He's not ready to die; he's only 16 and is still a virgin! He begins to prepare himself for the worst until one day a punk rock angel appears and tells Cameron that there is a cure and that he must go on a road trip with his friend Gonzo, a paranoid dwarf who is obsessed with video games. Cameron's journey through America is filled with chaos, adventure, love, and lost.

This book started out to be hilarious and fun. After the first 100 pages or so, it started to get a little trippy like I was taking a ride on psychedelics. It actually took me weeks to finish this book. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the book, but there was something about it that I just couldn't get into. I must say, the writing was wonderful, but the plot was sub par. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cancer is a BITCH!

A year ago I lost my father to cancer. We didn't find the cancer until it was already in stage four. I didn't have much time to spend with him before it was too late. This was my first experience in losing someone I love to that cancer bitch.

I have a maternal aunt who has battled breast cancer and been in remission for a few years. We just recently learned that her cancer has returned and spread to her lungs, liver, and brain. It is now in stage four. Just when you get over one tragedy, life hits you with another. My family is pooling together to provide strength and support to each other.

If you have ever lost someone you love to cancer, then you know how devastating it is on them as well as the family. I just ask my followers (all 15 of you :-) to make sure you get yearly check-up and encourage your family members and friends to do the same. My aunt had been complaining of migraines, but waited until it was too late to go to the doctor. My dad had been having problems breathing and also waited before visiting a doctor. If you are experiencing unusual pain or are having symptoms that are new to you, go to the doctor. You can never be to cautious when it comes to your health and the health of those you love.

Stay well and love hard!

Until next time,

Leah

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Remember Me?

No, I know you remember me. I'm talking about the book by Sophie Kinsella's book, Remember Me? I've read a few of Kinsella's books, and they are hilarious. I heard great things about this one, so I finally picked it up off my shelf.

Lexi is 25 years old and working an entry level position at a company where he best friend works. She has a loser boyfriend, her dad just died, and she didn't get the bonus she deserved at work. It seems as though her life is falling apart until she wakes up in a hospital. While in the hospital, Lexi learns that she was in a car accident and hurt her head badly. She soon discovers that three years have passed and she's not 25, she's 28. She's married to a gorgeous and wealthy man, they live in an amazing loft, and she is now a director in her company. Lexi has amnesia and doesn't remember the last three years of her life. Lexi has to try to adjust to her new life while her mind is still set in the past.

I really liked this book. It was a little predictable in parts, but it was still good. I really enjoyed the storyline. It's interesting having your main character have amnesia. I was learning about the MC the same time she was. This book was cute and funny and just a fun read. I'll definitely be reading more Kinsella in the future.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Sea of Monsters

Okay, so I figured I would go ahead and read the second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series since it was already overdue at the library. I seriously read it in one sitting. This books are so entertaining!

Percy and his friend Annabeth return to Half-blood camp for the summer. When they get there, the camp is in shambles. Monsters are attacking the campers and Percy's favorite teacher, Chiron has been fired. The magic protecting the camp has be compromised. The tree holding one of Zues's daughter, Thalia is dying. This tree is the main protection for camp. If it dies, the demigod will no longer be safe. Percy and his friends are set off to find the one magic thing that can save the future for all demigods.

This book was awesome! It had lots of twists and turns that kept me interested. I have fallen in love with the characters. I love how new characters were introduced and we got to visit with old characters. Riordan does and amazing job with introducing monsters and gods from mythology. I learn so much more about mythology than I ever knew. I can't wait to pick up the next book from the library!

The Lightning Thief

Yes, I am one of those old women who reads books about 12 year olds. What's your point? This is another book that I had to read before seeing the movie. I was so excited to read it because 1.) I've been in love with Greek Mythology since the 9th grade. 2.) I thought it would be sort of Harry Potter-esque, you know: young boys discovers something strange about himself and his parents, meets friends like him, saves the world type story. And 3.) The guy who plays Percy in the movie is HOTT!! So, I checked the book out from the library and dug in.

Perseus (Percy) Jackson is a 12 year old boy who is dyslexic and has ADD. He had been thrown out of six schools in six years. At his current school, things start to get really strange. Soon, he discovers that he is a demigod, half god half human. Percy is sent to Half-blood Camp for the summer to stay away from the mythological monsters that are after him. At camp, Percy discovers that Posidon, the god of the sea is his father. He also learns that he has been accused for stealing Zues's master lightning bolt. He must set off on a quest with his two new friends to set the gods straight and to clear his name.

This book was SO GOOD! I loved how the story had so many mythological refernces. It really makes me want to brush up on my knowledge of mythology. Percy and his friends were so brave and daring. The story was fun and mysterious. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, The Sea of Monsters.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tangled


I've read a couple of Carolyn Mackler books in the past, so I thought I'd give this one a try too. After reading Shutter Island, I thought I'd dig into something light and fluffy.


Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at the Paradise resort in the Caribbean. During this vacation, their lives will become tangled like none of the can ever predict. Jena is a bubbly, insecure girl who is looking for love. Dakota is a bad boy whose past will affect his future. Skye is a beautiful actress with a dark secret. Owen is a shy boy who only opens up on his blog. Four months after it begins, none of them will ever be the same.


This book was written from four points of view. I liked being able to learn about each character separately, and I liked each storyline, but I felt like there was something missing. I was really excited once I realized that I would get to read every one's POV and I couldn't wait until the end when it all came together. The problem is, it never really came together like I think it could have. This wasn't Mackler's best work, but it wasn't her worst either. I gave this book 3.5 stars.

Feeling out of sorts

I woke up this morning with a bad attitude. My head and body felt like I'd been wrestling with a grizzly bear all night. I had every intention in the world to get up and go to the gym for spin class. Of course, that didn't happen. I just could not get it together this morning.

Last month I started taking prescribed medicine for PMDD, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. The dosage is really small, but it does seem to be helping. Today though, I'm feeling the symptoms big time. I have no motivation to do...anything. I've been moody and emo and just out of sorts. I've only been taking the meds the week before and during my period. I may need to start taking them everyday so that they can stay in my system.

The funny thing is that the natural treatment for PMDD is eating right and exercising. This makes so much sense, but when your symptoms have you craving all sorts of food and not wanting to get out of the bed to exercise, it's kind of hard. I think I need to start setting goals for myself to help get this under control. This week (what's left of it) I plan to work out the next 2 days and to eat better. I also plan to start back working out at least 5 days a week. I decided to give up sodas and desserts for Lent. ::insert gasp here:: I'll keep you updated on my journey. Hopefully I can get a handle on this and not be dependent on my meds.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shutter Island

I was a little apprehensive to read this book. I don't do scary AT ALL and I thought this would be scary. However, I'm one of those people who must read the book before seeing the movie. I was intrigued by the movie trailers and thought I'd give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. This book really wasn't that scary. It was suspenseful, but not scary.

Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane, is about Teddy, a U.S. Marshal who is sent to investigate a missing person from a mental hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island. Teddy is left clues and works with his partner Chuck to try and find the missing woman. Nothing at the hospital is was it seems, and neither is Teddy. Eventually, Teddy and Chuck begin to fear that they may never get off that island.

You can usually rate most books by it's ending. If a book starts off slow but has a wonderfully unexpected ending, then it can be considered a great book. This is how I felt about Shutter Island. It took a few chapters for me to get into the book, but once I did, I was hooked. Like I said, the book was suspenseful and at moments had my heart racing. You never knew what to expect on the next page! If you plan on seeing the movie, check out the book first. If you don't plan on seeing the movie, read the book anyway.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Linger

Linger Cover LargeIn Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.


Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.

Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

BLOG AWARD!!



I can NOT believe I got a blog award! Thank you Angel over at The Simple Things... for the Beautiful Blogger Award!! You are so awesome and so is your blog!


Here are the rules:


1. Thank and link the person that gave you the award.

2. Pass this award on to 15 blogggers that you have recently discovered and think are fantastic!


Here is my list of Beautiful Blogger Award winners:


Amanda's Life Commentary- She cooks AND reads...enough said.

Great Books and Fresh Coffee- This girl is awesome! Some of the things she reads are books that I normally wouldn't pick up. Her blog motivates me to step outside of my box.

HollywoodWannaB- I cam across the blog while researching going to Costa Rica. This chick is cute and funny! I love her video blog entries.

Tastes, Tales, and Tours- Um, doesn't the title say it all?

Joelen's Culinary Adventures- No, I'm not in Chicago, but this blog helped me out BIG time when planning the menu for my Christmas party. I have used it a couple of times since then too! You need a new recipe? Check this blog out!

Steph Su Reads- This blogger has great giveaways and reads a ton of books!

Screw the Turtle, Isn't it time I win the race?- This is another funny blogger who keeps it real and makes me laugh.

Forever Young: A YA Lit Blog- This is one of my FAVORITE blogs. I read so many books that she recommends. Check this blog out. NOW.

Whimsical, Whamsical, Whumsical- This blogger and I have similar tastes in books. She is practically my reading twin.

Lovely Little Shelf- A great girl reads great books and blogs about them.

My Odd, Quirky (and Sometimes Brilliant) Ramblings- This blogger and I have something in common...trying to lose weight. Her struggles are my struggles.

Metamorphosis- This blogger is a fantastic PERSON and blogger! She has a great eye when it comes to snapping photos, and she is a reader after my own heart.

Because Perfection is Boring...- This blogger is like a role model to me. She is so witty and real. She's like a big sister on the interwebz.

Book Hooked- This girl is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She reads a lot of books that I've never heard of, but it motivates me to try new things.

What The Blog?- The blogger is just so full of awesomeness. She takes fabulous photos and is just a hilariously fun person!

I want to thank all of the winners for motivating me, making me laugh, and/or helping me the way that you do. You are all wonderful! Keep up the fantastically beautiful blogging!





Friday, February 12, 2010

Some Girls Are

So one of the girls in my online book club, Jessica, highly recommend this book to us. I've read Courtney Summers other book, Cracked Up to Be and I really liked it. So, I gave this one a try.
Regina is apart of the Fearsome Fivesome, the most popular girls in school. She's best friends with the ring leader until horrible rumors begin to spread about Regina. She is then "frozen out" of the group and bullyed by her ex-friends and classmates. Regina begins to depend a loner emo boy named Michael. She and Michael have past issues that cause a lot of tension between them. Can they get over their past and become friends? Will she work things out with the other members of the Fearsome Fivesome?

This novel was very different from any of the YA that I've read. The issues seemed to be things that happen in real schools to real students. Issues that are talked about enough.

I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed me from the beginning and I read it in one sitting. I recommend reading both of Summers' books. Her writing shows teenagers in a different, more realistic light. She does not sugar-coat what goes on behind the walls of a high school. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. If you like YA or even if you don't, pick it up and give it a try. You won't regret it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Startled by His Furry Shorts


Oh Georgia, how you make me laugh.

I've been reading the Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison for a while now. It's very cute and fluffy and just fun to read. Georgia is a self-centered teen who's life is dominated by her friends and boys. If I am ever feeling down and need a laugh, I can depend on Georgia to make me full of laughosity. I laugh like a laughing thing in laughland when reading one of her books.

I totally recommend this series to anyone with a sense of humor. They are great to read in between serious and/or long books. The books are very quick reads and will brighten any one's day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Tour


I was so lucky to be apart of the amazing idea that Jessica had over at Reading is Sexy. You can read about the details there.

Initially, I had no idea what Will Grayson, Will Grayson was about. All I knew was that it was written by John Green (one of my favorite authors) and David Levithan (someone I've heard great things about.) I try to keep an open mind when picking books to read; thank goodness for that!

This book is full of awesomeness! I laughed so much while reading it that my husband thought I was going insane. The characters are so real and loveable. I read a lot of YA books and sometimes the storylines can get repetitive and predictable. This was NOT the case with Will Grayson, Will Grayson. The storyline is completely orignal and inspiring. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. This book isn't just for young adults, it's for everyone. The message is incredible and the delivery is amazing. I can't wait to own my own copy!










Friday, January 29, 2010

An awesome book giveaway!

My friend Crystal from Crystal Clear Reading is having a book giveaway on her blog! You get to actually choose which book you get if you win! How awesome is that? Also, if she gets 50 new followers, there will be another winner! Check out the giveaway!

Okay, so I lied.


I haven't been posting more often. This is mainly because I suck! I will make no excuses for my lack of blogging.

On to better things, I've been reading some pretty awesome books lately. I have fallen in love with the author John Green. I've read two of his books (Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines) and I'm on my third, Paper Towns. I read a lot of YA fiction, and it is really refreshing to read a book from the male's POV.
In other news, I got a new job!!!!!!!!! I know, right? FINALLY! My hubs is so happy that I'm working another job. I now teach part time at a community college! I love it so far. It's much better than teaching high school kids. I only teach two nights a week which is great!
I know I've said this before, but I really do want to become a better blogger. I hope I don't disappoint you (all seven of you) and myself. Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow.