New Contest @ The Bookshelf Sophisticate

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The Bookshelf Sophisticate has reached 200+ followers!! CONGRATS! In celebration they are hosting a Contest!! There will be 3 lucky winners, 1 winner for each of the following books:

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
What if all your wishes really came true?
Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.
Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend. 

Forget You by Jennifer Echols  
There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. With her life about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.
But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people—suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug. 

 Other by Karen Kincy
Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.
When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate-into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and-most importantly-stay alive. 

~ GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! ~

Review: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

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The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Publisher:  Warner Books
Published:  December 1st 1999 (first published 1996)

“Somewhere,” muses Noah Calhoun, while sitting on his porch in the moonight, “there were people making love.” Anyway, head elsewhere for Great Literature, but if you’re in the market to get your heartstrings plucked, look no further. The Notebook, a Southern-fried story of love-lost-and-found-again, revolves around a single time-honored romantic dilemma: will beautiful Allison Nelson stay with Mr. Respectability (to whom she happens to be engaged), or will she hook up with Noah, the romantic rascal she left so many years ago? We’re not telling, but you have two guesses and the first one doesn’t count. Decades later, after Allison develops Alzheimer’s, her beau uses “the notebook” to read her the story of the great love she’s plumb forgot.  

Noah Calhoun and Alli (Allison) Nelson come from two completely different worlds.  Noah is the small-town heart throb just getting by day by day; Alli is the rich and innocent girl with big dreams who is only in town for the summers.  The Notebook is set in the present: Noah reads to a patient in the same boarding house everyday.  The story he reads is about a young couple who fell in love but were separated by social and economic forces.  However, despite this separation they find themselves coming back to each other. The woman Noah reads to everyday is Alli herself, she just doesn’t know it for Alli has Alzheimer. 
While most of the book is set in the present, we are given glimpses into this past, into Noah’s and Alli’s past.  However, there is not much given beyond these glimpses into their past.  Despite this, the book is still pretty good.  Like many, I did see the movie but I waited until after I read at least half of the book.  While the movie is different from the book in a lot of ways, the book still is able to stand on its own.  Frankly, this book is about love, and how love can surpass time and hardships.  A recommended read for those looking for a very quick read.

My Rating
A few of my favorite scenes that are in both the movie and the book:

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

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“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  This gives you a chance to post all the upcoming books that you are waiting to be released.

While there are too many books to list that I am waiting to come out, and books that have just come out but haven’t gotten my hands on, here are my top 3.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Coming Out:

In 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 Isabel, 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. (GoodReads)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Coming Out: August 31st 2010

 
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all. (GoodReads)

((This next book has already been published but I am still haven’t had the chance to read it so I’ve listed it))

Sing me to Sleep by Angela Morrison

THE TRANSFORMATION: Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR: When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE: When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK: The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions for more books to add to my ever growing TBR list leave a comment a let me know 🙂
~ Happy Wednesday ~ 

Summer Break Reading Challenge – Activity #4

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Activity #4
~ Scavenger Hunt ~
In continuation with the Summer Break Reading Challenge, this is Activity #4 
1. A blog that is new to you that focuses on the same type of literature you do (ex: I read YA so the blog would need to focus on YA):    
Well, I’m pretty new to Book Blogging so there are a lot of Blogs out there that could fit this bill….  I choose the YA Blogsphere
2. A book that is new to you that another blogger reviewed:   
“My Invisible Boyfriend” by Susie Day, reviewed by the Undercover Book Lover

3. A book set in Africa (in your preferred age category, if possible):  
“The Hand of Kane” by Robert E. Howard
4. A book about a human/animal bond (in your preferred age category, if possible): 
“Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls
5. A book trailer for a book you want to read: 
6. A book with a color in the title (in your preferred age category, if possible):  
 “The Red Queen’s Daughter” by Jacqueline Kolosov, reviewed by the Story Siren
7. A blog that is new to you that is dedicated to a certain genre (ex: only books about vampires, only historical fiction, only urban fantasy, etc.):   
8. A book blog maintained by a librarian:  
Karin Librarian (lol) over at the Summer Reading Challenge 🙂
9. A book blog maintained by a teacher:  
10. The title of an upcoming book by an author you like (provide details – title, release date, synopsis):   
“Losing Faith” by Denise Jaden, comes out September 7th 2010 – synopsis: A terrible secret. A terrible fate.
When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.
As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night…a secret that puts her own life in danger.
(GoodReads)

 

Pretty Little Liars Exposed (Secret #1 & #2)

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I’m coming into this a week late, but as I’ve been watching the show and just re-starting to read the first book I figured I would try this…

This is a weekly Tuesday meme hosted by Oodles of Books.  Basically, every Tuesday you reveal a little secret about yourself.  At the show’s finale, a winner will be chosen to receive a TV Show-tie in book of Pretty Little Liars and a gift card to Amazon.com. 

So here goes…

My Exposed Secret #1

When I was in Elementary School my father use to put all his extra change into large jars.  He would leave for work before I had to start walking to school in the mornings. A few times I took money from these jars before I left so I could buy soda and snacks at school – I felt at the time my father did not give me enough money for lunch and he wouldn’t give me anymore.  (Of course later on in life I found out he knew just didn’t say anything lol – a parent’s prerogative lol)

My Exposed Secret #2

Last year when the Twilight: New Moon movie was coming out in theatres, I asked my boss for the day off; I told her that I had major homework to do (which in essence wasn’t really a lie, cause I did, I just didn’t do it).  Instead, I drove two hours to see the midnight showing with my sister.  I asked for the day off because I knew I wasn’t going to make it to work on time and wanted to sleep in a bit after getting home at 3 am from the movie. 

Review: After by Amy Efaw [audiobook]

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After by Amy Efaw   [audiobook]
Publisher:  Penguin Group
Published:  August 11th 2009

An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .

Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible— she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon’s unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption. 

Devon is a star soccer player, with hopes and even a chance to make it to the Olympics. Devon has over a 4.0 GPA.  She follows the rules and never breaks them.  She is known to be the perfect student and teenager.  That is until one morning her world is shattered and turned upside down when two cops knock on her door.  They have found a newborn baby dieing in a trash can behind her apartment complex.  She has no idea why they are knocking on her door… Why would she have any knowledge about a dieing baby??

Devon is arrested when the cops notice that she has just given birth.  But Devon doesn’t remember this and does not know what is going on, let alone why she is arrested.  After spending some time in the hospital, almost close to death from the loos of blood, she is sent to a Juvenile Detention Center where she is to remain until the courts can decide whether to charge her as an adult or a child for Attempted Murder, Child Abandonment, and Assault.  

While this story is clearly about the social issue of mothers dumping their babies in the trash, Amy Efaw’s book is more about a girl’s journey to finding out the truth of what she really did, and thus who she really is.  There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Devon committed this crime.  The question is, did she know what she was doing while doing it…

Most of the story takes place in the Juvenile Detention Center, where Devon meets many different teenage girls, there for many different reasons.  By learning a bit more about these girls, Devon finds a little bit more about herself.  During her time, you [as the reader] are also given glimpses into Devon’s past to find the events of what really happened: the father of the baby, when she started to feel the symptoms of pregnancy, how she alienated her friends, how she was in denial of everything, and most importantly the morning she gave birth.  Amy Efaw bluntly pushes the question of whether Devon is a good character or a bad character, and what will happen to her, in your face. This book is raw in detail and by focusing on a real issue that occurs today, you are left affected in many different ways. 

I personally enjoyed this book – it had all the right qualities and aspects of a Teen-Social-Issue book (as I call them).  I felt for Devon throughout the entire book, while at the same time, knowing she was in the wrong.  I also felt uncomfortable as Amy Efaw describes details of gruesome but real events.  I loved how Amy Efaw pushed this issue into my face and never backed down.  A must read!!

My Rating
 

Teaser Tuesday (1)

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Tuesday Teaser is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  Basically you open up to a random page in the current book (or one of your current books) that you are reading right now and share 2 sentences – make sure though that they don’t include any spoilers!!!

One of the books that I am currently reading (out of 4) is the Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith, in particular the last book of the series: The Return, Vol. 2: Shadow Souls.

Teaser:
“She was scared, but a noise like that – and now scrabbling sounds on the roof…
She had to get out of the car as fast as possible.” 
(p.16)

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