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 ;)

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! :)