I named my blog Books & Lemonade because I think one of the most relaxing things is sitting outside reading a good book and drinking some ice-cold lemonade ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

How to...

So, some of you may know that I also love love love to write. I am currently working on a book that is 180 pages at 12-point Times New Roman font. But that's besides the point at the moment. I haven't done a post in awhile because I have been busy with school and other things, but it's Friday so I took the time to post this How To on...

How to Start A Story!

Now, there is a slight catch. Once you start a story... Try your darnedest to finish it! I know, we've all started stories that we never finished. But, if you finish one, that means you've accomplished something AND then you can go back and edit it and see how much better it can be. So anyway, I'll give you some tips on how to start a story... You just have to try and finish it!

TIP #1: Start your story in the middle. Yeah, that sounds crazy. But it captures the reader's attention. I mean, if the first sentence of a book is "No, he can't be dead!" than you definitely wanna know who he is and if and when he died and so on. One of my absolute favorite things about starting books in the middle is that you can have "flashback scenes" as I like to call them. Remember in Just Listen where you go through about half the book wondering what "Shhh, Annabel, it's just me" means? That drove me nuts! But it also captured my attention and I wanted to know what happened. Also, by starting in the middle you have more opportunities to explain things as you go. Books are boring if they explain everything at the beginning, leaving you with no questions. Good books make you ask questions!
TIP #2: Start your story with a good character name. Okay, so the very first sentence doesn't have to say the protagonist's name. But do introduce your character(s) within the first chapter. Now, when I say a "good character name" I mean a character name that describes your character. It's sometimes ironically funny to give a big, burly character the name Tiny or whatever, but I like to have character names that really fit my character's personality. First, you can either search for names that mean a certain trait you are looking for, OR you can go onto Baby Names and if you have a name in mind, find out what it means. Keep in mind that it's best to have unique character names. Yeah, Mary or Bill are fine names, but don't you want your reader raving about what an interesting name the main character has? Baby Names has tons of unusual names so find one that suits your character and your taste. Characters with good, unique names will be memorable! 
TIP #3: Start your story on an experience. How can you write about something if you have no idea what it's about? I find that it helps to incorporate things that have really happened to you into your writing. It gives the story a really authentic feel and you might even have a cool twist to add to it. For example, everyone knows the story about a backstabbing best friend. And that's probably happened to most of us. So write about that exactly how it happened to you, because I guarantee it will be different from the person sitting next to you. Every little detail counts, down to where it happened. Now, I'm not saying everything has to be something based off of your life. All I'm saying is it might be good to start with something you know. That will make it much less difficult to ease into the rest of the story, making up things as you go and adding bits of personal experiences here and there. Stories based on real events can be the starting point for a great realistic fiction novel! 

ATTENTION: These are all just suggestions. You can feel free to try them if you like or you don't have to. I just know that when I have a good idea but not quite a good start, I just remember these and my story starts to come together a lot faster. And, these may not work for everyone. But it couldn't hurt to try if you're stuck. Because being stuck is not the best feeling in the world to an aspiring author. 

Hope these encourage you to do some writing, I know I will be! Happy reading, and writing! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Hey guys!

I'm am so so sorry that I have been lacking in the area of Book Reviews and Contests. I have been busy with school this year (some would say it's the hardest year of high school, uck!) AND I have at least ten books on my bookshelf crying out to be read... Because I have a problem with buying books I want or that are on clearance, even when I don't have time to read them at that moment. So all of those are adding up and I really need to get to reading them ASAP. I will still try to post random blogs, but the book reviews and contests are limited at this point. I promise it will not be forever, just for now.

I hope you all understand!! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cast One of Your Favorite Books: She's So Dead to Us

Well, I know I said I would probably post a book review this weekend... But I wanted to do something different! So, here's the first edition of what the post title suggests! I'm going to tell you guys who I think would make a great casting for the characters if She's So Dead to Us (by Kieran Scott) was ever made into a movie. Tell me if you agree/disagree/or have someone better in the comments below!

Ally Ryan: Jenna Stone

Jake Graydon: Max Ehrich

Chloe Appleby: Emma Roberts

Shannen Moore: Lily Collins

Annie Johnston: Ariana Grande (okay I''m pretty sure Annie doesn't have red hair in the books but Ariana is so quirky in Victorious, it just totally reminded me of Annie)

Hammond Ross: Sterling Knight

The Idiot Twins: Dylan and Cole Sprouse

Faith Kirkpatrick: Dakota Fanning

David Drake: Logan Miller


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guess the Title Contest #3 Winner!!!

After a little "Eenie-Meenie-Minie-Moe", I have come to a winner...


Congrats girl, you have won the awesome award of this homemade Guess the Title picture award! (Sorry I have nothing else to award you but pride). Yes, this quote came from The A-List"You've got a five-thousand-dollar Nikon around your neck!" Sam yelled back. "Get out of the line, bozo!" 

Thanks to the three people who entered the contest, check back soon for a new contest and probably a book review this weekend! Happy reading! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finally.... Guess the Title Contest #3!

I know it has been too long. So now here it is. Your third chance at a Guess the Title contest. If you have not played before, the rules are simple:

I will post a quote/line from a random book on my bookshelf. Your job is to guess the title of the book from which the quote/line came from. I will post ten book titles and one of them will be correct. If you know the answer, great, post it in the comments below! If not, take a guess! If more than one person answers correctly, I will pick randomly. And if no one answers correctly... Well, I guess I epic failed.

The prize will be a homemade-on-Gimp picture award to post on your blog if you so choose to do so. Again, I am sorry I have no other prizes except for your pride :)

*Hint: the correct book title for this quote/line below DID NOT come from a book mentioned in my last Guess the Title contest. That will eliminate four titles. But, you will have to find the last contest in the archives and see which ones they are.*

Here we go!

"You've got a five-thousand-dollar Nikon around your neck!" [She] yelled back. "Get out of the line, bozo!" 

And here are your titles to choose from (All of which are recommended reads!):
-Geek Magnet by Kieran Scott
-Don't Judge A Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
-Avalon High by Meg Cabot
-The A-List by Zoey Dean
-Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
-Leap Day by Wendy Mass
-Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
-Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
-My Little Phony by Lisi Harrison
-The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Guess away and good luck! The contest ends a week from today, September 1. Until then, happy reading! (I'm back to reading Shiver, which got interrupted by My Little Phony haha)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My First WoW!

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

So, for my very first WoW, I am going crazy wanting this book. It does not come out until August 31, and it is the next in a series I am absolutely addicted to. Its...

Private # 12, Vanished by Kate Brian (aka Kieran Scott)! The cliffhanger at the end of the last Private book was CRAZY so I have been going insane wanting to read the next one in this amazingly juicy series. So, thankfully, I was able to read an excerpt from the official Private site right here. Head on over and read yourself if you're as excited as me for the latest addition to the series! If you love suspense, drama, romance, and some comedy, you won't be able to put this series down. There's not really a synopsis for it yet but this is what B&N's site had:

The latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, Private.

I can't wait! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Give Me A Thumbs Up!

Yes, I have entered another Chick Lit Shorties contest. And yes, my computer is still acting up, plus I have to read The Crucible and do research on it for summer homework. So anyway, this will be short. Please vote me a thumbs up for my 500 characters short story right here. Your vote is much appreciated! By the way, I am the sixteenth comment under my username here, LuxeCouture. Thank you guys and let me know if you enter so I can be sure to vote for you too! :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

TELL ME A SECRET by Holly Cupala

Okay, if you have not already clicked PLAY above, do it. RIGHT NOW. This book trailer is amazing!! I have yet to read the book, but you can bet I that I want to read it even more after watching this!!

Click here to enter the Tell Me A Secret contest that could win you some awesome book swag from the author Holly Cupala herself! :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Technical Difficulties!

Hey there!

I know, I realize I have not posted in over a week. However, I do have a good reason. Well, a good enough reason I hope. My Internet connection has been totally wigging out lately. No, my computer is perfectly fine. It's the connection. We don't know if it's the splitter or the motem... But anyway, that is why I have been gone. That, and I started school softball practice this past week and my brother sometimes  *cough cough* HOGS *cough cough* the computer. I hope my 9 followers understand!

So, a new contest will most likely be posted... Wednesday? Maybe. Let's say around there. And I will try to post my review of Bad Girls Don't Die ASAP, too. But it's kinda hard to write a review on that when I'm so wrapped up in the amazingly awesome Shiver :) Well, until my next post, happy reading!

P.S. I just have to say something. Well, maybe it's more like force-you-to-go-buy-off-of-iTunes thing. Okay, so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND buying (or at least listening to) these awesome songs that I can't seem to get out of my head:
-Misery by Maroon 5
-Fuel to the Fire by The Maine
-I Don't Wanna Dance by Hey Monday
-Goin' Down by The Pretty Reckless
-Jack and Jill by Katie Herzig
-Help I'm Alive by Metric
-Worry About You by 2AM Club
-Nolita Fairytale by Vanessa Carlton
-Caught by the River by Doves
-Where I Stood by Missy Higgins
-Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
-Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
-Stuttering by The Friday Night Boys

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Guess the Title #2 Winner!

So for the second trial of the Guess the Title contest, ALL THREE of the entries knew the correct answer! Yes, this quote is from Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen: "--and if you asked," he continued, "I'd tell you. I wouldn't just offer it up though. I'm not a hateful person. But if you asked for my opinion, I'd give it." You guys were all right. Of course sweet Owen was the one who said it. And this is probably my favorite Sarah Dessen book, along with The Truth About Forever. Anyway, the winner, chosen at random, is...


Congrats! You have won the homemade-on-Gimp award below. I'm sorry I have nothing else to award you, but I hope you will enjoy the award-pic to post on your blog if you would like to. I need to seriously try to get some better awards, I hope you understand! Thanks to everyone who entered and remember to enter the next contest, which will posted sometime this week. Maybe I will get more entries...? I hope so, so invite your friends! Thank you!

By the way, I'm reading Bad Girls Don't Die and it's getting pretty creepy. Expect a review soon because I'm really liking this interesting twist on a thrilling ghost-type story. Happy reading, I know I've been! :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Don't forget, the second edition of the Guess the Title contest is going on right now and it's just a click away! Go here to enter and get the deets, it ends this Saturday! You have as much chance as anyone so post in the comments of that post! Good luck and happy reading as always! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pick Me!

Won't you please pick me?

So, I entered the 500-characters-or-less contest on Chick Lit Shorties site and it would be amazing if you guys voted for me! I am comment #20 under the name I have here, LuxeCouture. I love love love to write and it would be sooo cool if I won the contest! So head on over to the site and vote for me (if you like mine, if not, vote for comment #3Amber who's a fellow Book Blogger) by clicking here. Thanks a billion!

P.S. If you enter, I'll be sure to vote for you so leave a comment below! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging Widget

Check it out! This is from one of my favorite movies: Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging! I discovered it on YouTube and have since then ordered the DVD off line so I can have it all to myself come this Wednesday or Thursday. Anyway, check out the main character, Georgia's blog diaries, about the movie, and more! It's pretty awesome (especially because it's British and I love British accents haha). You know what's even more awesome? It's based on a YA British book series called Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison. I hope to get at least the first book in the series (Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging) soon. So if you haven't already, go onto B&N's site and look up the series and/or click on the link to the official site and/or go onto YouTube and find the movie to watch. You won't be disappointed, it's hilarious and very cute :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Guess the Title Contest #2

It is now time for Round Two of Guess the Title! For those of you who did not participate in the first contest, here's how it works:

I will post a line/quote from a random book on my bookshelf, I will give you ten book titles to choose from, and you have to guess which book the line/quote came from. Of course, if you know the answer and don't have to guess, that's even better. Post your answer in the comments. The winner will be chosen from a hat (if there is more than one person who answers with the correct title). You will have one week to figure it out. The winner will receive a "Guess the Title" picture award to post on their blog if they wish, and possibly another prize if I can get my hands on something cool. By the way, I know this is hard, so I will give you a hint: the book this line/quote is from was not in the titles to choose from last week. That should kick out a few of your choices...

So, here's the line/quote below:

"--and if you asked," he continued, "I'd tell you. I wouldn't just offer it up though. I'm not a hateful person. But if you asked for my opinion, I'd give it."

And the here's the ten titles you can choose from (all of which are recommended reads!):
-The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
-Teen Idol by Meg Cabot
-You Know You Love Me by Cecily von Ziegesar
-Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
-Leap Day by Wendy Mass
-Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian
-Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
-Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
-Avalon High by Meg Cabot
-The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

There you have it, guess away in the comments below! Good luck, the contest ends next Saturday and I will post the winner that Sunday! Remember, if you like this blog, invite your friends and don't forget to follow! Until my next blog post (which will probably be Tuesday or Wednesday), happy reading!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Guess the Title Winner Is...

Cafe Fashionista!!!!

Your guess was actually RIGHT! And, you were the only one who guessed it. The book this quote was from:  "I was, like, relieved when he cheated on me. I wanted a good reason to break up with him, and he gave me one."  was Poseur: The Good, The Fab, and The Ugly. Charlotte was talking about Jake. Anyway, you have an ah-mazing fashion blog and I really wish I could give you something cooler and more tangible than this... But here it is anyway:

Yeah, I know, I look totally poor compared to the awesome giveaways and contests other blogs have, but hey, this blog is new and I am still trying to score stuff for you guys. Sorry Cafe Fashionista for my lack of awesomeness, but I hope you will enjoy this "award" to post on your blog (ONLY if you want to. You seriously don't have to. It will not offend me, I promise). Yes, I did make this myself on Gimp, and yes, I did try my best with what I have, haha. So, in conclusion, if you like my blog and want it to have more contests with real, cool prizes, invite your friends, follow this blog, and then maybe I can see what I can do about some better awards :)

Check back in this Saturday for a new contest and as always, happy reading!

Monday, July 5, 2010

More Of An Applause Than A Review

Yeah, I realize I said I was going to post a review of the final two books in The It Girl series, but you know what? That would just be confusing, considering I would have to go through everything in each book and for those of you who haven't read the whole series or any of the series, well, you'd probably end up scratching your head at the end because I would have probably made no sense. What with my babbling and drooling over the cute characters and screaming over some of the subplots. So anyway, this is more of an applause to creator Cecily von Ziegesar. First, she created Gossip Girl. And for those of you who do not know me, I am just a little obsessed with Gossip Girl (the show). I mean, I really love the books because obviously, the show is based off of them, but I feel like the show has more juicy drama. And let's not forget Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick :) So one of the main Gossip Girl characters is Jenny Humphrey. She's the younger, naive sister of Dan. She's cute and would do anything to be in with the likes of Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen. I really liked her character from the beginning of the show (and the books, which I started reading after the first season of the show). So naturally, I was ecstatic when I learned of a whole series spin-off dedicated to Little J. I zipped through the bulk of the Gossip Girl series so I could get to the part where Jenny leaves. After all, I didn't want to start reading The It Girl until I knew everything that had happened to Jenny previous to the new series. 

I loved each and every It Girl book. I liked how each chapter was titled with "A Waverly Owl..." because that really made you understand that they were at some exclusive boarding school where they basically broke all the rules. The new characters too, were amazing. Tinsley, Brett, Callie, Easy (one of the most conflicted characters, which I liked), Brandon, Julian (I had a little crush on him haha), and even the more minor characters like Alan (hysterical stoner guy), Sage, Benny, and all the others. Truthfully, I liked The It Girl series better than Gossip Girl. Don't get me wrong, GG is awesome, but I liked following Jenny and her messed-up friends wind deeper and deeper into scandals and parties and plain stupidity. It was fun and I really enjoyed reading all ten of The It Girl books. 

I finished Classic, the final book in the series, last week and it was so hard reading the last pages because I didn't want it to end. Although the ending was near perfect, close to just the way I wanted it, I was miniscule-y disappointed. I loved how it all came together, but I wished it would have showed maybe what happened in later years, like when Jenny was a senior at Waverly or something. Nonetheless, I was very satisfied with this series. If you love gossip, scandal, drama, comedy, craziness, and lovable characters, you will love this series too. So I applaud you, Ms. von Ziegesar. Excellent job on this series (and on Gossip Girl, where it all started). Go pick up the first book in the series and get hooked like me! Now, if they'd only make The It Girl into a TV show, too, only with someone else who actually looks like the Jenny described in the books (no offense to The Pretty Reckless singer Taylor Momsen or anything)... 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Okay... Let's Do A New, BETTER Contest

So, Fabricated Friday (FF) was fun for the moment I guess but I just wasn't feeling it. So, I came up with a NEW contest. This one I think will be more fun and also more a challenge! Plus, you have more of a chance of winning since in FF, after two people wrote "fabrication" or "truth" it was basically over. But anyway, here's the new contest:

This contest will be called Guess the Title. I will post a line or two from a random book on my bookshelf (so keep in mind it will be a Young Adult novel) and you guys have to guess which book it comes from. So, you will be guessing the title from which the line(s) comes from. Now, I know that will be impossibly hard considering I have about a bajillion books and you have no idea exactly which ones I have. So, I will post ten book titles that you can choose from. Meaning, the line(s) I post will be from one of those books. All you have to do is guess, or if you are like me and a big bookworm and know lines from your favorite books or whatever, you may just know. Or, if you really want to win, I guess, you may have all of these books and go search through all of them until you find the answer. If you're, you know, that dedicated to the contest :)

Now, the catch is that once you have posted your answer in the comments, you have entered. BUT, even if you are the first one to guess the right title, you haven't necessarily won. If there is only one person that says the right title, well, then they automatically win. But if more than one post the correct title, than I will draw a name out of a hat or something. So you can see that it's not an automatically determined winner (usually). You guys have until next Wednesday to post your answer. On Wednesday I will post the winner and their award (it may just be a picture to put on your blog, sorry guys. I don't exactly have anything cool to give away yet...) So, are you ready? Here's the line below!

"I was, like, relieved when he cheated on me. I wanted a good reason to break up with him, and he gave me one."

Which book was the line above from? Here are your titles to guess from (by the way, all the books below are definitely recommended reads!):
-Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall
-Last Christmas by Kate Brian
-Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
-Poseur: The Good, the Fab, and the Ugly by Rachel Maude
-Avalon High by Meg Cabot
-Bratfest at Tiffany's by Lisi Harrison
-Classic by Cecily von Ziegesar
-The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
-Wicked by Sara Shepard
-Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad

Remember, you have until Wednesday! Happy reading (and guessing!) you guys and I will post a review of the final two books in The It Girl series probably on Monday :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And the Fabricated Book Award Goes To...

Monica!!!! :D 

Congrats girl, you were the very first to guess right (I had, in fact, read Mandy. I read it in fifth grade, haha)  , not to mention you were the very first to guess, period. Well, anyway, here's your wonderful award:

Obviously you can tell I made this myself as it is not perfect. But hey, Gimp is hard. Maybe some of you have tried using it? Yeah, way harder than good ol' Paint. Now Monica, if you do not have a blog and have absolutely no use for this picture award, I have an alternative award that you can receive if you email me at: numberonealphamassieblock@gmail.com . But email me ASAP because it expires on Thursday (yes, it's a coupon. To Books-A-Million)! Oh, and please tell me you live in the US... if not, well I guess I will come up with another alternative award haha! 

Yes, everyone. There will be a FF every Friday and every winner will receive one of these guys above and possibly something else if I can get my hands on something cool. Happy reading guys, new book review coming soon!

And another thing. Ignore the name on my email. It's an old email I use for giving advice as "Massie Block", one of my favorite book characters from The Clique. Well, she's been one of my favorites for awhile (I've been reading that series for like 5 years, so I have to keep reading to see what happens even though now I'm older than the characters). But anyway, it's still me is all I'm trying to say ;)

P.S. I am going to go see Eclipse tomorrow!! Anyone else? Can't wait! And Monica, I will be at work (my summer job whoo hoo) and then going straight to Eclipse so if you do email me, I will not be able to email you back until late tomorrow (Wednesday) night or possibly Thursday morning so even though the coupon I can give you is only good until Thursday you will have like a day to use if you want. Sorry, I don't have the best awards yet since this is my first one! Hope you understand!

Friday, June 25, 2010

FF: Fabricated Friday

Yes, I wish I had a Twitter, then I could do a "Follow Friday", but no. I check all my favorite people's Twitters everyday, even though I don't have one. I really want one, but everyone in my family is against it, saying it will be addicting and I'll never want to get off the computer.

Which is probably true.

But anyway, I'm going to do a Fabricated Friday instead. What is a Fabricated Friday (FF), you ask? Well, I shall tell you. An FF is a day where I will post a random book and you guys will tell me if you think I have read it or not. Just leave a comment below, saying if you think it's a fabrication or a truth. The first person to guess right (in the comments) will receive a very special award... A Fabricated Book Award! Now, this is an award I, obviously, made up, but it is an award, nonetheless. And I have yet to create it or... well, give it to anyone, so whoever guesses right first will be the VERY FIRST to receive one. What an honor right? So, let's get to it then. Is the book below a fabrication or truth (have I read it or not)?

Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards (it wouldn't let me post the cover, something is messed up with my Blogspot I guess)

P.S. I will post the winner, and their award, in my next blog post!
P.P.S The font on this post is being really weird... My apologies. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Book Review: Sweet Deceit

TITLE Sweet Deceit (Privilege series #4)
AUTHOR Kate Brian (a.k.a. Kieran Scott)
SYNOPSIS Well, I am going to leave this section void of my personal synopsis because I have a feeling if I tried to explain the summary of this book it would get really confusing and I would probably not do it justice. Especially because I'd have to go over what happened in the previous books and it would get really long... So I'll just post the synopsis that is on the back cover of the book:

Ariana Osgood has been tapped for Stone and Grave, Atherton-Pryce Hall's most exclusive secret society. But so has her arch-nemesis, Kaitlynn. They go head-to-head during Hell Week, but Ariana has worked too hard for her luxe life at APH to give it up without a fight. When the competition turns deadly, only one girl will walk away from it alive... 

MY COMMENTS If you want to be on the edge of your seat, suspense gripping your heart, blood pumping in your head, than you will be in love with this book. As always "Kate Brian" pulls through with another amazing mystery story with a total cliffhanger. I loved every part of this book. It jumped right into explaining what happened in the previous book (one of my favorite characters getting murdered by crazy Kaitlynn!!). I just loved the whole Stone and Grave thing. It was a cool school society thing that really tied everything in and made it interesting to read.

Do you like really amazing, developed characters? Than you're in luck. Sweet Deceit's characters are so lovable you'll wish you were there. Of course, not in the murderous parts, and probably not when you're being dragged somewhere in the dead of night for a mysterious hazing process. But, what I meant was, I love the characters. Ariana is awesome but totally crazy, Kaitlynn is wacko but seemingly sweet, Lexa has an attitude but is very caring and protective, Soomie and Maria are interesting inner circle friends, and Palmer... Oh, Palmer. He sounds delicious. Well, maybe the right word is hot. He's the type of character that makes you smile and giggle like a little girl when reading his parts. Not to mention his description sounds insanely cute... And of course, all the other characters have a purpose in the story and will definitely not bore you. Really, nothing will bore you in these books.

If you're a fan of suspense and murder mystery and awesomeness, go buy this book. Even if you're aren't, I highly doubt you won't like this book. It's like one of those things: even if you don't like Zac Efron, how could you not like 17 Again? Okay, so maybe that wasn't the best comparison, but hopefully you get my point. Anyway, I don't have much else to say except that this book was amazing and left me wanting the next book in the series to be out like right now. I mean, the ending? TOTAL SHOCKER! I love Ariana, but man is she a psycho! Go buy this book, or buy the first one (Privilege) because you will become obsessed (like yours truly) with this fabulous, juicy Private spin-off series!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty

TITLE The Summer I Turned Pretty 
AUTHOR Jenny Han
(MY) SYNOPSIS Cousins Beach. It's Belly's favorite place in the whole world and she goes there every summer. Cousins Beach is where Susannah is. Cousins Beach is where Jeremiah is. But most importantly, Cousins Beach is where Conrad is.

Since practically ever, Belly has had a major crush on Conrad, Susannah's eldest (and most handsome) son. But he's always thought of Belly as a little sister, not someone he'd kiss. Even though Belly knows this and Conrad all but spells it out for her, she can't help but lust after him.

Then there's Jeremiah. The goofy, caring, cute Jeremiah who's always been Belly's best friend. He's the type of guy who loves football (unlike his brother who only plays it because of their dad) and is always looking for fun. Belly loves Jeremiah too, but just like a brother. Not like she loves Conrad.

But this summer, everything changes. This summer, Jeremiah sees Belly as not a friend, but... someone more than that. Everyone notices Belly's change, even careless Conrad. Belly doesn't think she's any different, but they know she is. She's older and pretty.

Jeremiah keeps giving Belly subtle hints, even when he lopes off with Conrad and Belly's older brother Steven, leaving Belly behind. But all oblivious Belly can see is Conrad and how Conrad has changed, too. She still sees Jeremiah as just her friend.

In a summer where some things are pretty and some things are not, Belly finds herself on edge. She doesn't know what to do, especially with new guy Cam and his kind and romantic gestures. And when Susannah starts acting weird, Belly doesn't know who to turn to. Because this summer, everything changes.

MY COMMENTS I absolutely loved this book!! One reason I loved it was because the majority of the chapters were short. And I don't know about you, but I love short chapters because I hate stopping in the middle of a chapter when I'm reading. It's just an OCD thing I have, I guess.

One thing especially amazing about The Summer I Turned Pretty was that it had flashback chapters. Like, it would have the chapter open telling what age Belly was during a particular summer. The flashback chapters always had a significance pertaining to the previous or next chapter in the present. It was really interesting and it really connected the story by having what happened in summers prior to the book's beginning.

It had lovable characters. The characters were relatable and realistic, especially Belly because I could really relate to all the changes she was going through. And all the boy problems she had. She was a fun and interesting character, perfectly executed in first person POV. I also couldn't help falling for Jeremiah and Conrad. Jenny Han did a great job describing them and their very different personalities. It reminded me of The Vampire Diaries a little bit, because I was caught between two brothers (just like Belly and Elena). Jeremiah was sweet and fun, while Conrad was mostly serious but engaging. But anyway, I also loved Susannah. She gave Belly that second caring mother figure, the person who loved her as much as her actual mother. The person who was always there for her.

The sense of summer was always there. Sometimes when I was reading, I felt as if I was really there at Cousins Beach because it was so descriptive and Belly was always making funny comments about what was going on. It all seemed so very tangible. The Summer I Turned Pretty would be the perfect book to be made into a movie. Not to mention it's a trilogy. I cannot wait to buy the sequel It's Not Summer Without You once it comes out it paperback.

Another thing, don't you just love the cover? I have a thing with covers: books always pull me in if the cover is intriguing. And that's exactly what this cover is. I noticed it in the store, loved the cover, heard it was amazing, so, naturally, I bought it. Well, my grandma bought it for me, but you get the point.

All in all, you will not be disappointed with this YA read. It was pretty awesomely amazing and the story line was fun, realistic, and full of surprises from summers past. I suggest reading it when you have a lot of free time because it was very hard to put it down (after all, I had to go to bed sometime). So go to B&N, order it online, find it at your local library, or borrow it from a friend. It's too good to let it go unread :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oh. My. Gosh...!

Here's what's going on:

My local bookstore had put Wanted by Sara Shepard (the much anticipated FINAL book in the Pretty Little Liars series) out on the shelves early. Because technically, the book doesn't come out until Tuesday, June 8th. Which is also when the premiere of the PLL TV show airs. But, I just had this feeling that my bookstore would put it out early, just like they have done in the past with other books. So I went out, spotted it, almost fainted, and bought it almost immediately (first I had to grab the new issue of NYLON). I got home, started reading (putting The Summer I Turned Pretty on hold), and just finished it.

It took me around four hours to read. The entire thing. I am so stunned I cannot even write a real review on it, yet. I don't want to give anything away, but here's what I thought of it:

Wanted was...... freaking amazing!!!!!!!! Every chapter left me with a new question until I got to the very end when it finally tied up all those loose ends. It revealed the killer, who A was... and many other things. I was speechless. There was a new character... that wasn't exactly new. This book really challenged my PLL knowledge. Wow. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to the series. Sure, it was left slightly open-ended, but I think it did a pretty awesome job at tying up everything that needed to be tied. Although now, I REALLY want Sara Shepard to write some kind of Ali's diary thing... Because I want more PLL! But, I guess, I'll have the new TV show, which will help some.

Anyway, you will not be disappointed when you read Wanted. It was filled with new twists and turns, horrifying new revelations, and creepily candy-coated reunions. Let's not forget the most important thing of all to those of you who haven't read it yet... "Never trust a pretty girl with an ugly secret."

So, in case you haven't realized it after reading all of that, the conclusion to this addicting series was shocking, but it was seriously awesome. You will not be able to put it down. Or keep your mouth from hanging down in astonishment.

-A (just kidding!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Book Review: She's So Dead to Us!

TITLE She's So Dead to Us
AUTHOR Kieran Scott
MY RATING 11/10 (That's right. This book deserves an improper fraction!)
(MY) SYNOPSIS Orchard Hill. The perfect town divided into the Norms (normal, average people) and the Cresties (popular, rich people). The Cresties have their towering mansions, their basketball courts and pools, their country club, and they live on the top of the crest, therefore they are called Cresties. Two years ago, Ally Ryan was one of them. Ally had the picture-perfect Crestie life: best friends like Shannen Moore and Chloe Appleby, the best parents who actually loved her and were actually around, the best basketball skills Orchard Hill High had seen. But that all changed when her dad's investment plan backfired, losing all their money and her friends' money, too. Then it was goodbye Crestie friends, goodbye Crestie mansion, goodbye fabulous life. And goodbye Mr. Ryan.

Now, two years later, Ally is back in Orchard Hill. Her dad has disappeared and her mom has landed a job in Ally's old hometown. But now Ally is no longer a Crestie, she's a Norm. And Norms don't blend well with Cresties. So when Ally tries to get back her old life and her old friends, it doesn't exactly work out. Her old friends are blaming Ally for everything her dad did and Shannen Moore is holding an old secret over Ally's head. Life couldn't seem to go back to normal.

But then there's that new guy living in Ally's old room. The new Crestie who doesn't know who Ally is, doesn't know barely anything of what her father did. And his name is Jake Graydon. Ah, Jake Graydon, the perfect, athletic, hottie. He meets Ally, instantly falling for her. She falls for him. Too bad his new friends are her old ones, making Jake just out of Ally's reach.

MY COMMENTS You need to seriously go buy this book. It is my new favorite and I am not even kidding. I couldn't put it down, it was so good!

First off, the characters are relatable and realistic. Ally is your all-around nice girl, but she sure knows how to put her foot down! She's determined and sarcastic, comical and fun. She reminds me of myself in some aspects, especially because she immediately fell for the cute rich guy living in her old house :) Okay, on to him. Jake Graydon. When you want a fictional character to be real, you know a book is good. And man, every girl would swoon after Jake if he suddenly came to life. At first, he seemed like a cocky jerk, but his character's development was really interesting. He turned out to be really sweet, yet a total teenage boy. Now Shannen Moore. Wow. This girl is mean! She's one of those characters though that you just can't help but love because you hate her so much. At times, I genuinely thought she was coming around... and then she'd strike again with something super nasty! Her character definitely kept the drama coming. And Annie. She's a spunky little girl that I really liked because she gave Ally a Norm friend that actually was her friend. I liked seeing her always beat Ally at crossword puzzles when they were working at CVS. All the other characters really made the story too and I loved all of them, even the Idiot Twins because their comments were hilarious. Hammond and Chloe, the seemingly perfect It Couple, also drew me in because you knew something was going on. Some kind of drama. They couldn't be that perfect.

The plot. Wow, such a great plot. It was different than anything I have ever read, yet it wasn't so over-the-top unrealistic that I didn't like it. In fact, it was very realistic and dramatic. Of course, the mean girls were really mean, but that's what made it interesting and made the story keep going! And it's not like another one of those clique-y mean girl story lines, either. It has substance. And depth, because the mean girls didn't used to be like that. And the main character isn't mean. She's just awesome.

You will love the way the Point of View is written. It alternates between Ally and Jake's POV, letting you see what the other thinks of each other without the other knowing. I guess it's kinda like that irony Shakespeare used in Romeo & Juliet. I think it's called dramatic irony, when you know something the characters don't. Anyway, I really liked how that was written, especially because it gave you some insight on not only the main girl character, but the main guy character, too.

All in all, this book made me laugh out loud, it made me yell at it, and it made me smile. My brother looked at me weird sometimes but he knows I get really into my books. Especially good books. The teenage banter was totally believable (I definitely would say a lot of those things!) and Kieran Scott nailed the cute guy effect. But she always does. I fall in love with practically every guy she writes about in the Private series and Privilege series (she writes under Kate Brian for those)! :D But, getting back to SSDTU. This book is a MUST read. It is the perfect YA read for the summer (well, for any time. I read it in two days. I could've finished in one but I tried to make it last a little longer... to no avail). The only thing I didn't like was the MAJOR cliffhanger ending! Of course, I knew that was coming. It is going to be a trilogy. And Kieran Scott likes cliffhangers, just pick up any book in the Private series. Man, Scandal's cliffhanger is torture! Haha, but anyway, AMAZING BOOK. Go buy it right now and you will never be able to put it down until you finish it! I just fell in love with it!

Now off to reading The Summer I Turned Pretty! I have to finish it quick before Wanted (Pretty Little Liars #8) and Sweet Deceit (Privilege #4) come out on Tuesday! Happy reading! :)

Forgot to mention the SSDTU cover. The cover is gorgeous! And it ties into the story really well. Just another thing to make you want to go get it. Right now. Like, go.

And one more thing. A shout out to Kieran Scott . I won a contest on her blog and received a signed copy of SSDTU in the mail on Tuesday. Thank you SOOO much (again) Kieran! As you can see, I very much enjoyed it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Review: The Vampire Diaries

TITLE The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle 
SYNOPSIS Elena Gilbert is the classic popular girl; she's blonde, outgoing, gorgeous, fun. She's the one every girl wishes to be and every guy wishes to have. Elena's living her normal popular life amongst her friends Meredith, Bonnie, Caroline (well, her sort-of friend. More like her frenemy) and her ex-BF Matt. There's the jerky jock Tyler and that random girl Vicki. Elena lives with her aunt and soon-to-be uncle with her younger sister because... her parents died. Everyone knows Elena's story and Elena knows theirs. In Fell's Church, a small town in Virginia, not many people keep secrets. At least, that's what everyone thought. When new-comer Stefan Salvatore invades Robert E. Lee High School wearing sunglasses, every girl can't help but drool over him. Elena, able to get whatever she wants, instantly latches onto Stefan and his mysterious stupor. However, Stefan almost seems to give Elena the cold shoulder. This drives Elena to only want him more, determined to make him hers.
When Stefan miraculously saves Elena, the two practically fall in love. But what Elena doesn't realize is that Stefan has a secret bigger than anyone: he's a vampire. Not to mention, Elena's best friend Bonnie is a witch. Elena still feels attracted to Stefan even though he warns her of the perils. She ignores him (for the most part), naturally. Stefan's careful and thoughtful, he wouldn't hurt her. But when Stefan's polar opposite brother and fellow vampire, Damon, arrives and people start going missing... things don't turn out too well. Elena must fight for Stefan's life along with her own while trying to keep the Salvatore brothers' secret. Especially when Damon's good looks and dark sarcasm start to reel her in and away from Stefan. It's a battle between brothers for the heart of a common interest: Elena.

MY COMMENTS By now, most everyone has heard of The Vampire Diaries. Sure, it may not be as crazy (and scarily) popular as Twilight, but in my opinion, it's better. I know, I really did just say that. You see, The Vampire Diaries may have a slightly similar plot line of human falling for vampire, but that's where the similarities end. For one thing, Vampire Diaries was written in the '90s. The Vampire Diaries (to me) isn't as cheesy as Twilight (even though I do like Twilight) and its characters seemed more developed. The one thing Vampire Diaries lacked was that of a serious page-turner effect. Yeah, I liked it, but sometimes it got a little boring. That's what made me give it a 8 out of 10. At times, it held too much description and not enough action. It was very good read though and I do recommend it, especially to those who are fans of vampire horror. And for those who love a good YA (young adult) read.

One thing I have to make clear: I like the TV show better. I know, that's crazy. Almost always the book is better than the show/movie (for instance, Harry Potter and Twilight) but I would only say this if it were true. To me, the show has more action and more Damon banter (which I totally love!). The show has cuter guys than the Twilight movies (Rob Patz has nothing on Ian Somerhalder) and the show just has more to look forward to. I don't know why, but in my opinion, the show is better. Now the show does stray from the books sometimes, but the basics stay the same (although Elena has a brother in the show instead of a sister). And another thing: the show has a horror factor. Yes, that's right. The book was "scary" at parts, but the show has actually made me jump on more than one occasion. So I suggest watching the show, but watch it after you read the books. Because I watched the show first and maybe that's why I didn't enjoy the books as much. But either way, you won't regret reading The Vampire Diaries.

Now on to reading She's So Dead to Us! Yay! :D

Monday, May 31, 2010

Book Haul & Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!
If you're not already out of school like I am, then you're probably excited to have a day off from work and tests and homework. But more importantly to take some time to thank all of those that have fought for us (if you live in the US, specifically). After you've taken the time to do that... You can certainly go outside and read a book! It's a beautiful day where I live so I'm going to take that opportunity while I can. Especially since I recently received/bought some new books, which I'm practically salivating to read. These wonderful books are:

-The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

-Classic (It Girl Series #10) by Cecily von Ziegesar

-Being Nikki (Airhead Series #2) by Meg Cabot

-Paparazzi Princess (Secrets of My Hollywood Life Series #4) by Jen Calonita 

-Sweet Little Lies (L.A. Candy series #2) by Lauren Conrad 

Obviously, since I just got these books recently, I have not read them yet but I plan to as soon as I finish The Vampire Diaries and after I finish She's So Dead to Us (which I should be getting in the mail soon). Just click on any of these amazing book titles and it will take you straight the Barnes & Noble page if you wish to buy it, see what it's about, or to maybe read an excerpt. Have an awesome day (off) and read, read, read! :)