Contest Sticky

Monday, May 31, 2010

Review : Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Title : Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author : Morgan Matson

Publisher : Simon & Schuster
Genre : Young Adult
Series : Stand Alone
Release Date : May 4, 2010
Rating : 4.5/5 Stars - Really Liked It

Synopsis from Amazon :

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.  


Amy Curry has been going through some rough times.  Her father recently died in a car accident, and her family is pretty much falling apart now.  Both her twin brother, and her mother are already out and on their way to starting their new lives.  Now it's just up to Amy to pull in the rear, and leave her old life behind.

Amy is about to do her first cross country trip, but it's clearly not welcome.  She would much rather continue to live in the house she has always known in California, than to move to Connecticut.  She's not sure how she can even cope with getting into the car, let alone make it across the country.  Along for the ride is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend.  Amy doesn't recognize him at first, because the last time she seen him he was a young boy.

She is really nervous about traveling across the country with someone she doesn't even know.  She has a hard time talk to people she's known her whole life since the accident, so she doesn't think this ride is going to be the most thrilling part of her summer.  She soon realizes that Roger isn't the gawky looking child he used to be, and now he is in fact quite handsome.  Her nervousness only increases because of this new development, and now all she can think of is how she doesn't want him to dislike her...and how she's really starting to like him.

When I first started reading this novel I couldn't decide if I was going to really like Amy or not.  She was far too timid, but given her circumstances, it was understandable.  All I wanted her to do was climb out of her shell and give the world another chance. I felt bad every time she mentioned how she would much rather blend into the background than be front and center.  I think she needed a jolt to wake her up again, and remember that life really is worth living for, even if you make some mistakes in your life.

I liked Roger throughout the whole book, even though his obsessiveness towards a certain ex girlfriend made me want to strangle him.  The more he talked about her, and the way she acted, the less I liked her.  She sounded far too stuck up, and not like the kind of girl that Roger would be seen walking hand in hand with.  I wanted to take his head in my hands and just make him look closer at Amy, and realize that she needed him far more, and that he might just need her just as much.  He was an all around caring guy, and I can honestly say that if I were Amy, I wouldn't have had a hard time falling for him.

I loved Amy and Roger's detour in this book.  While they didn't visit that many great places, their adventure was something to remember.  I've never been given the opportunity to do a cross country trip, and after reading this book, it's something I've really been thinking about.  Morgan Matson did a great job describing all of the places that they traveled, and made them feel more alive.  Little rinky-dink towns in who knows where sounded more beautiful than some of the places that I've gotten to visit.

The more Amy traveled with Roger by her side, the more she opened up to both him and the people she met along the way.  I think that their traveling was the perfect medicine, and it helped her develop more as a character.  The strangers she met along the way were a big help as well, because not knowing her story, made it easier for them to just accept her for who she was and not what she has done.  

In all honesty, I loved this book.  If I am given the chance to have my own cross country trip, I'll more than likely be visiting some of the spots Amy and Roger landed in.  I can't wait to read more books by Morgan Matson in the future, and can only hope that they are as good as this one.

Where did I get this book? :

I received my ARC for participating in a traveling blog tour with Around the World Tours. (I no longer participate on this traveling blog tour).

Amazon Affiliates

Clicking on title links in this post will redirect you to If you happen to make a purchase after clicking these links I will receive a small percentage of the profits.

Contest Winners : The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker (audiobook)

Thanks again to Anna Balasi of Hatchette Books for allowing me to give away 3 copies of Ted Dekker's, The Bride Collector (audiobook)!

I'd like to say that I've been a little slow with posting this past week...and I'm sorry for that.  I've received a lot of traveling tour books and have wanted to make sure they all get read and out the door on time.  I've also been going through some personal issues, and I have NOT forgotten about you guys.
On to the giveaway, yeah, that's why your really here..right?!

There was a total of 27 people who entered with 124 Entries...

Our 3 Winners are...

Jamie Payne
Melissa (Books R Us)

I already have your mailing addresses, so I will forward them to Anna so she can get your books shipped out!  I'm also emailing you just in case you don't see this post! 

In My Mailbox - May 31, 2010

In My Mailbox was started by Krist @ The Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

14 by J.T. Ellison (Paperback)
February 1, 2010 - Received from Bookmooch

Ten victims, each with pale skin and long dark hair. All have been slashed across the throat, the same red lipstick smeared across their lips.

In the mid-1980s the Snow White Killer terrorized the streets of Nashville, Tennessee. Then suddenly the murders stopped. A letter from the killer to the police stated that his work was done.

Now four more bodies are found, marked with his fatal signature. The residents of Nashville fear a madman has returned, decades later, to finish his sick fairy tale. Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson believes the killings are the work of a copycat killer who's even more terrifying. For this monster is meticulously honing his craft as he mimics famous serial murders…proving that the past is not to be forgotten.

May 25, 2010 - Received unsolicited for review from Pocket Books

Married young to a charming but improvident army officer, Eve Hawthorne was widowed with little left except for a few extravagant trifles. Desperate to avoid her domineering stepmother, she accepts employment as chaperone to the Earl of Stewkesbury’s American cousins. Who better than a levelheaded widow to remind these young girls that they no longer live on a frontier? But when she flirts with a handsome stranger who turns out to be the earl’s brother Fitz, Eve worries she’s given the wrong impression. Trying to prove herself responsible—with Fitz challenging her at every turn—is hard enough, but a blackmailer with an interest in Eve’s prior marriage proves far more troubling. With the earl away, Eve can turn only to Fitz for help. But dare she confide in him, when getting too close to this confirmed bachelor might risk her heart to his alluring ways?
Embers by Laura Bickle (Paperback)
March 30, 2010 - Won from The Book Smugglers (Thanks!) 

Truth burns.Unemployment, despair, anger—visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya—who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern—suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil’s Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya—with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team—can stop it.Anya’s accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she’s risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she’s ever faced.


A sizzling debut from a red-hot new author . . .

November 2, 2009 - Received for review from Yorkshire Publishing

On a perfect autumn night in the coastal village of Wicker Bay, a young couple was attacked and a life was forever changed. When teenager Nickel Warren awoke she learned her boyfriend, Eric, had mysteriously vanished. Seemingly the only person on Bishop's Island eager to find him, Nickel devoted her life to learning what happened to her first love on that tragic night. Though the years provided no clues or comfort, she never allowed herself to stop believing Eric was alive. Now, after an eighteen year absence Eric Kade has resurfaced on Bishop's Island under circumstances as unsettling as his disappearance. Though reunited, Nickel's search for answers is sidelined by another horrific event more deeply connected to her childhood sweetheart than she can imagine. Living as a preacher, Eric has traveled the world for nearly two decades hunting demons in a sect named The Progeny. But a chilling prophecy has named him as a threat and turned his fellow hunters against him. With a sense of urgency, Eric has come back to the island not to rekindle the past but to protect the home he loves from an oncoming war. Relying on the help of a rare group of locals, he builds a network of his own to defend the unknowing against a world he has come to know too well. As he works to prepare a haven, Eric will strengthen his bond with Nickel and introduce her to a world of miraculous events and unholy terror.
May 4, 2010 - Received from

When it comes to love, one woman is scaling back her expectations...

Tully Sullivan is just like any other suburban mom-except she's just woken up in a strange place surrounded by strange people who keep insisting that they're dragons-and that she's one too.
May 25, 2010 - Received for review from Around the World Tours 

From the critically acclaimed author of Eyes Like Stars
We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

Act Two, Scene One

Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world. 


But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between—

 Nate: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.
 Ariel: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.

When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

 Once again, LISA MANTCHEV has spun a tale like no other—full of romance, magic, adventure, and fairies, too—that readers won’t want to put down, even after the curtain has closed.

Presidential Risk by Michael Bronte (Trade)
January 20, 2010 - Received for review from Yorkshire Publishing

When dead presidents in a supernatural world play the board game of world conquest, their moves are carried out in the human world.

Leaders are born and dictators rise to power as presidents past, such as Teddy Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and others, plot their moves. One of them makes a move, and invasion takes place on Earth.

In the supernatural world, it's about strategy, wits, and the will to win. But on Earth, it's an action and adventure story featuring a psychopathic dictator threatening the United States, and the boy who will grow up to stop him from taking over the world. It might seem impossible, but history is being determined before it actually happens.

In the end, it's all about leadership, and little Pauli Campo emerges from his meager existence to lead his country in the fight to avert a world war that could lead to the deaths of millions of people. This is the unGame, and the struggle for world domination continues with each roll of the dice in Presidential Risk.

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison (ARC)
June 29, 2010 - Received for review from Dorchester Publishing


Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.


Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.


Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.


This is the place between life and what comes after - a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door. 

The Clearing by Heather Davis (Trade)
April 12, 2010 - Received for review from Around the World Tours 

In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever. 

Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae's place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school. Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist--Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she's starting to fall for him. 

But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it's still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy's crossing over to Henry's side brings him more happiness than he's ever known--but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence.   

That's all for me this past week, how bout you?!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - May 26, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Release Date : June 22, 2010
Synopsis from

Signal from Afar is told from the sensitive artist eye of Hal. Hal was completely entranced by Amanda from the moment she set foot in Endeavor, and she shook his world view to its core, re-coloring the way he looked at everything. The guides continue to make surprising discoveries as they sleuth into recent alarming developments at school, Amanda's true identity, and her reasons for coming to Orion. They come to realize that Amanda may have disappeared physically, but she is definitely still sending beacons and clues so that they can uncover the larger mystery of which she is a part . . . does an intricate, carved box belonging to Amanda hold the key to everything?
The first book in this series, Invisible I, was a great read.  I actually reviewed it here, last year, and now I can't wait to read more clues as to the disappearance of Amanda..and learn more about her friends!  

There's also a third book set to be released in this series called, Do You See?, which will be co-authored by Stella Lennon and Laurie Faria Stolarz.  There is no release date for this one, but it will most likely be released in 2011.  As soon as I find out more info, I'll let you all know!

Blog Tour : Ni'il The Awakening by James Boyle

Ni'il : The Awakening by James Boyle
Dark Fantasy

Read my Review.

When several people are brutally killed in the town of Placerton, on the isolated Oregon coast, most locals think a rogue bear or cougar is roaming the forested hills near town. Police Chief Dan Connor is not so sure. He has witnessed some very strange things lately, such as disembodied voices, muttering a strange foreign language and an old Indian man who seems to be near every crime scene, but disappears before he can be questioned.Dan's investigation takes him to the local Sihketunnai Indians and their legend of the Ni'il, magical shamans charged with maintaining the balance between humans and the natural world. According to the elders, one of the Ni'il is responsible for the murders and intends to kill everyone in the community. It is Dan's job to stop it.It sounded unbelievable, but was the only explanation that fit the facts.As a violent Pacific storm crashes ashore, cutting off power and washing out roads-cutting the town off from the outside world--Dan finds himself entering a strange world of myth and magic that was not covered in his police training. He must use all his wits and new-found powers to save himself and his community from the Ni'il.
About the Author
James Boyle

Like all of us, James is a product of his environment.
He was raised in a religious/spiritual family and that spirituality pervades most of his work. He even attended a Catholic Seminary for a year before deciding the priesthood was not for him.
James’ father worked for the phone company as he was growing up, which was much like growing up in a military family. The company transferred his family from town to town every couple of years. By the time he’d graduated high school, they’d moved twenty times. He attended nine different schools in five cities and three states.

He lived mainly in North Dakota until he was eight, since then he lived in Washington and Oregon, moving to Gold Beach when he was sixteen. He finds that the landscape of the Pacific Northwest has done more to influence him than nearly everything else. Its vast forests, rugged mountains, seascapes and sparse population inspire recollections of what the pioneers first fell in love with a century and a half ago. From his house, he can still hike fifteen minutes and spend the entire day without seeing another human being. And the possibility exists that he could see sasquatch.

One of his goals is to build a dark fiction landscape of the Pacific Northwest, much like Stephen King has done with Maine. A landscape of dark possibilities.

When he was a child living in Bismark, North Dakota, his parents took James to Fort Abraham Lincoln, the fort Gen. Custer left on his last, fateful campaign and the Knife River Village, the restored ruins of a Mandan village. Now forty years later, the memories have faded, but not the memory of the impression the visits made on a small boy. Years later, he read Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. After that he devoured everything he could find about Native American history and culture. He came to have a deep sympathy for the Native peoples’ doomed resistance to the white culture and admiration for their cultural connection to the natural world around them. The dominant culture seeks to change and subjugate a nature it sees as an enemy; the Natives sought to live within the natural world as one part of a dynamic whole.

When he was eighteen, James was diagnosed with a severe case of scoliosis. After graduating early from Gold Beach High School in 1978, he underwent surgery that fused most of his lumber spine. Six months in a body cast later, he continued on to college at the University of Oregon, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Now, forty years after the surgery, his body is beginning to break down a bit. So if you see him and notice he seems to be bent and twisted, you know why.

When he’s not writing, James has worked in the restaurant industry as a cook and as a manager, mostly in the Eugene/Springfield area, but most lately at Gold Beach’s Port Hole Cafe. Looking back, he seems to have a lot of scenes set in restaurants. He enjoy reading, playing an occasional video game, taking his dog for exploratory hikes along the beach or river. He is happily single. (it’s so much less complicated.)

Thank you Tracee from Pump Up Your Books for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

DNF Review : Ni'il - The Awakening by James Boyle

Title : Ni'il : The Awakening
Author : James Boyle
Publisher : IUniverse
Genre : Dark Fantasy
ISBN : 978-1440108679
Series : #1 in Ni'il Series
Release Date : December 2, 2008
Rating : 1/5 Stars - Couldn't Get Into It

Description from Amazon

When several people are brutally killed in the town of Placerton, on the isolated Oregon coast, most locals think a rogue bear or cougar is roaming the forested hills near town. Police Chief Dan Connor is not so sure. He has witnessed some very strange things lately, such as disembodied voices, muttering a strange foreign language and an old Indian man who seems to be near every crime scene, but disappears before he can be questioned.Dan's investigation takes him to the local Sihketunnai Indians and their legend of the Ni'il, magical shamans charged with maintaining the balance between humans and the natural world. According to the elders, one of the Ni'il is responsible for the murders and intends to kill everyone in the community. It is Dan's job to stop it.It sounded unbelievable, but was the only explanation that fit the facts.As a violent Pacific storm crashes ashore, cutting off power and washing out roads-cutting the town off from the outside world--Dan finds himself entering a strange world of myth and magic that was not covered in his police training. He must use all his wits and new-found powers to save himself and his community from the Ni'il. 


At first I was really interested in what was going to happen in this book, especially when there was a mystery of missing dogs all over the town.  I'm an animal lover, and I certainly wanted to make sure those dogs were still alive, and well.  Despite by interest in what was going to happen, I became bored with this book.  I couldn't relate to any of the characters, and didn't really like the main character, Dan, either.

I may decide to give this one another try, just to see what is really going on in the town of Placerton.  I'm still sort of curious as to where all of the dogs are disappearing to.

I don't want you to turn this book away merely because I had no interest in it, in fact, I want you to give it a try.  I encourage you to try this book, and link back your reviews so that we can compare our opinions.

Where did I get this book? :

I received my copy for review from the author for a blog tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotions.

Amazon Affiliates

Clicking on title links in this post will redirect you to If you happen to make a purchase after clicking these links I will receive a small percentage of the profits.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do You Take Notes? - Time to Review it!

As you may have noticed, there hasn't been a lot of reviews posted here at Falling Off The Shelf.  I'm not too happy about this, but I haven't had the time with trying to read all the books that have been barreling through my mailbox!

I've finally (should have started a long time ago!) started to take notes when reading a book, so when it comes time to doing my reviews, I remember more about the book.
This was a really hectic week, with 4 traveling tour books arriving, with just a week to send them each away, so taking notes was a super idea!

Do you take notes, or just write your reviews right after you finish the book?

Teaser Tuesday - May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Hosted by Should Be Reading

Anyone can play along!
Just do the following :

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on that page.
5. Share the book title and author so others can wishlist the book.

My Teaser :

He caught himself after two steps.

What the hell was he doing?

He was here to do a job, not get laid.  Still, as he watched the slow roll of her hips and the way tendrils of thick crimson-colored hair slipped from her topknot to tease the back of her neck, he imagined coming up behind her, slipping his hands around her hips to her belly and losing himself in her heat.

pg. 95

 While I'm not currently reading this one, I will be in a few short days.  I'm currently reading an ARC, and since they never really match up in pages, and sometimes, they get changed, I chose to stick with a finished copy instead.

What's your tease this week?

Monday, May 24, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 24, 2010

In My Mailbox was started by Krist @ The Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

May 4, 2010 - Received for review from Around the World Tours 

A descendant of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, fourteen-year-old Alex is stuck at boarding school near Lake Geneva, Switzerland, when he finds himself drawn into a web of paranormal intrigue. It turns out that Lake Geneva is also home to a secret school for vampires called the Scholomance—and now to a dangerous vampire clan lord known only as Icemaker, who’s using the Scholomance for his own dangerous endgame. With the help of his friends and of special agent Sangster, it’s up to Alex to fulfill his family destiny and stop Icemaker’s frightening plans once and for all.

Alex Van Helsing is a showstopping hero set to leap off the page—stake, naturally, in hand. Drawing from centuries of actual vampire lore and literature (and with a nod to zombies, too!), Jason Henderson delivers a breathlessly paced thriller that will captivate vampire fans as well as readers who loved Alex Rider. 
Desire Me by Robyn DeHart (Paperback)
June 1, 2010 - Received for upcoming blog tour with Hatchette Books 

The Legend Hunters . . .

The Men of Solomon's meet in secret, their very existence only a rumor among the best of Victorian society. They are treasure hunters, men of wealth and title, seekers of myths and legends. And no legend is as mystifying as the lost city of Atlantis . . .


Years ago, Maxwell Barrett found a map to Atlantis and dedicated his life to the search for the mystical lost continent. But when an alluring woman makes a wager for the priceless artifact, he may have discovered an even greater treasure.

A descendant of Atlantis, Sabine Tobias needs the map to decipher an ancient prophecy. What she doesn't need are the sparks flying between her and Max. He's too devilishly charming to be trusted: The fate of her people is at stake as well as her heart. Yet a ruthless killer also covets the map. Now Max and Sabine must race to decode the prophecy's riddle before this criminal fulfills his deadly mission.
Extras by Scott Westerfeld (Hardcover)
October 2, 2010 - From Bookmooch


It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules. 

As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself.

Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.

September 29, 2009 - From Paperbackswap

When word comes of a series of humans apparently killed by wolves near Anchorage, Elena and Clay are sent to check things out. But they find more than they bargained for among the snow and trees of the savage Alaskan wilderness.
May 13, 2010 - Received for review from Around the World Tours 

Jump. That is what P.K. has done. A totally wild, crazy jump from a restrictive life with her family into a life of total adventure—rock-climbing out west with a guy she barely knows. At first, everything’s amazing. Not only are they climbing in awesomely beautiful national parks like Yosemite but they seem awesomely made for one another. P.K. is in heaven. And then the cops show up . . . with an arrest warrant. And P.K. has to decide who to believe: this amazing guy whom she trusts with her life—or the cops, who want her to believe that he may take her life.
May 25, 2010 - Received for review unsolicited from Pocket Books
New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is used to investigating grisly killings and going after the mob. She's not used to falling for a mob boss's sexy, shadowy second-in-command. The dark something oddly familiar. When Cee-Cee is attacked in a dark alley and Max rescues her, she realizes he once saved her life years ago. Max is hiding a dangerous secret, and an unknown link to her past...and worse, she's falling in love with him.
Mexican High by Liza Monroy (Hardcover)
June 10, 2008 - From Bookmooch

The daughter of an American diplomat, Mila has spent her childhood moving from country to country. When her mother is reassigned to Mexico City for Mila’s senior year of high school, Mila has no idea what to expect. Mexico seems to be a country with the ultimate freedoms: the wealthy students at her private international school—the sons and daughters of Mexico’s ruling class—party hard at exclusive clubs, dress in expensive clothing, and see more of their housekeepers than they do their globe-trotting parents. But Mila has more in common with them than they know: her father, whose identity has been kept from her, is a high-ranking politician with whom Mila’s mother had a one-night stand in her hippie days. Now Mila is determined to discover who he is, whatever the cost may be.

A novel that covers the same adolescent terrain as Prep, though in an entirely different landscape, Mexican High is an eye-opening, page-turning coming-of-age story about identity, belonging, and first love. In a setting rife with sex, drugs, and political corruption, it is also a revealing look at elite Mexican society, and its freedoms, dangers, and excesses. Monroy’s flawless evocation of the brink of adulthood, in many ways mirrored by the turmoil of Mexico City itself, makes this a truly memorable debut.
September 7, 2006 - From Bookmooch

Cal Thompson is a carrier of a parasite that causes vampirism, and must hunt down all of the girlfriends he has unknowingly infected.  

June 22, 2010 - Received for review from Other Shelf Tours 

It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . . 

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own. 

When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, Miranda is stripped of her former life. She must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister's demons and her own. 

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker (Audiobook)
April 12, 2010 - For review from Hatchette Books

FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellbeing and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted.

It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body.

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside.

As the Bride Collector picks up the pace-and volume-of his gruesome crucifixions, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector's next target.

The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it's too late?

The Science of Vampires by Katherine Ramsland (Trade)
October 1, 2002 - From Bookmooch

Forensic psychologist and horror-cultural journalist Katherine Ramsland's latest book considers the scientific possibilities and psychological implications of vampirism, from its literary genesis in Bram Stoker's Dracula to the present day. Ramsland's Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today chronicled the modern cultural impact of the vampire. Now she broadens her inquiry to examine vampire mythology and practice in scientific terms, taking the reader into discussions of psychoneuroimmunology, endorphins and psychedelics, psychopathology, and other areas of science and metaphysics.

Ramsland isn't advocating the existence of creatures of the night. Rather, she applies scientific methods and concepts to the aspects of the vampire that are most attractive--immortality, abilities of mental and sexual control, the maintenance of life through the blood or energy of others. The particular applications of theory aren't always convincing, but they will be entertaining and interesting to fans of vampire stories and culture who want to go beyond story into the realm of science. --Roz Genessee.

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis (ARC)
April 27, 2010 - Received for review from Around the World Tours
I'd love a cup of coffee. . . . I wish she didn't hide how pretty she is. . . . I hope she didn't find out what Ben said about her. . . . I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin. . . .
Joy is used to Hearing Whispers. She's used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people's deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good—to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people's lives—especially Joy's—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica Whisper I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that's what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car, and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.
Whisper is an exhilarating debut novel from talented newcomer Phoebe Kitanidis.

I also received some autographed swag for Ghost and The Goth by Stacey Kade from Jessica Rabbit's Corner (Thanks Jess!)

Then this weekend I received a $10 Amazon Gift Card from Candace's Book Blog (Thank Candace!)  - I'm saving up my gift cards and some extra cash and putting them all together for a Kindle!

Post links to your IMM post, or just tell me what you got!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Review : Friend is Not a Verb by Daniel Ehrenhaft

Title : Friend is Not a Verb
Author : Daniel Ehrenhaft
Publisher : HarperTeen
Genre : Young Adult,  Mystery
ISBN : 978-0061131066
Series : Stand Alone
Release Date : May 4, 2010
Rating : 4/5 Stars - Really Liked It

Synopsis from Publisher

Henry "Hen" Birnbaum's sister, Sarah, missing for over a year, has come home unexpectedly, with no explanation at all. But he can't leave well enough alone; Hen needs to figure out why she disappeared, even if she won't tell him. It's not like he has anything better to do. His girlfriend just dumped him and kicked him out of their band. He can't play the bass worth crap anyway. His social life consists of night after night of VH1 marathons with his best friend and next-door neighbor, the neurotic Emma Wood.

Hen's sure the answers to Sarah's lost year lie with Gabriel Stern—Sarah's friend from college who also happens to be a twenty-two-year-old fugitive from the law and Hen's bass teacher . . . too bad he can't play bass worth crap either. A month into his quest, Hen has had countless consultations with Emma, watched approximately fifty-three reruns of Behind the Music, and made one new Facebook friend. Unfortunately, he's no closer to any revelations about his sister. The thing is, he's too distracted to notice it, but while Hen's been looking for all the answers, something mind-blowing happened: He got a life.


Henry "Hen" Birnbaum has been going through a lot this year, and it hasn't all affected him for the better.  When his sister Sarah first ran away a year ago, it really tore him up.  All he knew was that she did something she wasn't supposed to do, and was now a fugitive of the law.  His own parents won't even give him the run-down on what his sister has done, although they know perfectly well what it was.  Needless to say, Hen is tired of being considered a child, he's 16-years old now, and has the right to know some things.

The night his sister decides to return to the family, Hen's life gets worse.  His girlfriend, and the leader of their band PETRA, breaks up with him in the middle of the rain, and then continues to boot him from his position as the band's bass player.  It's okay though, because he never really could play the bass very well anyway.  When he arrives home and finds a note from his parents claiming they've gone to pick up his sister Sarah, Hen can't believe it.  He can't decide whether he's truly happy to see his sister, or still infuriated with her for leaving without even saying good-bye.

Things between him and Sarah are weird now, especially since she still won't tell him what's going on.  When her friend and fellow fugitive, Gabriel Stern, offers to give him bass lessons, Hen decides to take them in hopes that Gabe will slip up and tell him what is going on.  Instead it seems Gabe is more worried about Hen admitting to feelings towards his best friend, Emily Wood, that he's not even sure are really there.  Emily has always been next door, and she knows just about everything about him, but can there be more to their relationship than Hen thinks?

I really liked Hen's character from the very first page.  He may have been a little depressing at times, but he was extremely quick-witted and had the tendency to make me giggle.  I could understand why Hen was angry at his sister Sarah for leaving, and then returning without giving him an inkling toward her reasons.  On the other hand, I think he could have been a little more happy to see her, especially if he missed her as much as he claimed.  

There was a lot of characters in this book, and believe it or not, despite how short it is you learn a lot about each and everyone of them.  My favorite character was probably Emily, even though there were a few times that I wanted to wring her neck because of the things she was doing.  She was all around good-hearted, and despite some of the things she did, they were always for the benefit of others.  

My least favorite character was Petra, the ex-girlfriend.  She wasn't really that bad actually, but it seemed that if you weren't cool, she wanted nothing from you.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree though, if you ask me, because her father wasn't really any better.  Both characters are nice to those around them, but in the limelight of things you feel like your just not up to their standards the more you read about them.

The mystery of Hen's missing sister hovered over this entire plot, while it wasn't always front and center.  Hen almost always had it on his mind, despite the fact that he tried his hardest to just leave it alone.  The funny thing is, the answer to the mystery was in front of both Hen's, and the readers face the whole time, you just didn't know it.  I was completely surprised when I found out Sarah's story at the end of this book, and actually slapped my knee because I was too silly to figure it out earlier on.  

All around this was a great book.  You learn a lot about Hen, and his friends.  Despite the lack of appearance from his sister, Sarah, she is one of the main focus points of this novel.  Even though you get to watch Hen grow as a teenager, and learn more about himself and those around him, you still find yourself wondering what his sister could have done to get herself into so much trouble.  I'll more than likely be reading more books by Daniel Ehrenhaft in the future, because I loved his writing.  I even liked that it was narrated from Hen's point of view.  I'm usually not into books narrated by male characters, but his one was written perfectly, and it made me feel like I really knew Hen, sometimes better than he knew himself.

Where did I get this book?

I received my ARC for participating in a traveling tour with Around the World Tours.

Amazon Affiliates

Clicking on title links in this post will redirect you to If you happen to make a purchase after clicking these links I will receive a small percentage of the profits.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's New This Week? : The Good & The Bad (3)

In a Nut Shell :

Whats New This Week : The Good & The Bad is an exclusive Falling Off The Shelf Feature.  It is intended to introduce readers to new titles, and give them an all around opinion of those books.  It is also a great way to find new blogs throughout the blogosphere that you may not have known about in the past.  Each week I will introduce a few new titles, whether they be Children's Chapter Books, Young Adult, or even Adult titles (maybe even a mix!).  Each title will be linked to a Good Review, and a Bad Review, so that you can understand what your getting yourself into before obtaining a copy.


*Good Review* - Recommended by the Reader
*Bad Review* - Not Recommended by the Reader (not to be confused with a badly written review)

-*- Feel free to suggest an upcoming title and/or a review you would like to be showcased by emailing me at
May 2010 Release
Reading Level : Young Adult
Release Date : May 4, 2010 
Best friends Lani and Erin couldn’t be more different. Lani’s reserved and thoughtful; Erin’s bubbly and outgoing. Lani likes to do her own thing; Erin prefers an entourage. There’s no possible way they could be interested in the same guy.
So when Erin starts dating Jason, Lani can’t believe she feels such a deep connection with him—and it may be mutual. The more Lani fights it, the more certain she feels that it’s her fate to be with Jason. But what do you do when the love of your life is the one person you can’t have? 

The Good - Book Crazy

This one wasn't actually released this week, but there was such conflicting reviews here that I had to showcase it.  I have yet to read this book, but I'll be thrilled when I get the chance.