Monthly Archives:: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Keep Holding On

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Keep Holding On
Susane Colasanti
Release date: May 31st, 2012
by Viking Juvenile

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A romantic and empowering book about bullying

Noelle’s life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn’t know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle’s kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she’s terrified. Surely it’s safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it’s time to stand up for herself–and for the love that keeps her holding on.

*A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review purposes*
School was the most difficult time in my life. I didn’t have it as bad as Noelle. I have a great family who gave me everything I needed, but my school life was terrible. I was picked on and laughed at for being little. I had a hard time approaching people to make friends. I was even bullied by a teacher who made it a point to humiliate me. I was too young to realize this back then, but I will never forgive her. This all made me lash out and act in ways that made myself unapproachable. Being from a very small town like Noelle, this story hit incredibly close to home. It may not be a perfect book, but it still deserves every single star I can give for the simple fact that this sends a strong message that could help people live through what may be the hardest years of their lives.

Noelle had my sympathy from the very first page. She’s an immensely strong willed person to have kept herself together the way she did. She is intelligent and caring. She has a huge heart that has been trampled on, but she never gives up. I admire her will and I think a lot of people could learn from her. Her emotions are vivid. She made my heart break and gave my goosebumps by seeing her finally stand up for herself. Yes she makes some stupid decisions, yes it’s obvious to us how Matt is using her, yes her reaction to others being bullied is ironic. It may be hard to understand, but when you can avoid making your life even worse, you do so. We have to realize that this girl is stifled in a life of depression and shame, her irrational decisions are due to an unconscious defense mechanism. We’d like to think someone who gets bullied would help others in the same boat, but I call that wishful thinking.

The side characters, though some more than others, have a big a role in the story as well. From her best friend to the bullies, these were plucked out from real life with real problems of their own. I also found her mother very convincing. She’s a horrible parent figure, but unlike some other books I’ve read it didn’t feel exaggerated for the sake of the story. It felt like a realistic situation where the parent is just as lost as the child. It’s sad, but more often than we realize there are kids who raise themselves, do their own laundry, don’t get enough to eat, etc. It’s horrible. It really is.

Being a very short book it packs quite the punch; the story is packed full of emotional highs and lows. Like I said it’s not perfect, some things could been fleshed out – like her friendship with Sherae, her relationship with Julian, and the ending which I felt was a bit implausible or too good to be true. In real life things don’t usually turn around so quickly. Nonetheless, the story is touching. It could definitely help give some kids hope and I think this is what matters in the end.

Yes it’s true, things get better. What happens in school doesn’t matter when you’re older. If only this was easy to believe when you’re a teenager. I commend Susane for taking her experience and writing such an encouraging story. It takes courage, I know just by writing this that it IS embarrassing to admit you were bullied, but you know what? Don’t ever be ashamed! This is what defines who we become, and I would not change a thing about my life today! 

5 Hot Espressos

Review The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Posted by on 05/31/2012 • 0 Comments

The GlimpseClaire MerleRelease date: June 7th, 2012by  Faber & Faber

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In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell. Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will…

Summer Lovin’ Giveaway

Posted by on 05/30/2012 • 102 Comments

That’s right! It’s that time again! To celebrate 1) my wonderful followers, 2) summer, 3) the fabulous peeps who support these giveaways via the link on the sidebar for The Book Depository, I’m throwing this appreciation giveaway to say how much you all rock my face!!

Let’s see what’s up for grabs There will be one (1) winner, it’s open internationally, but the ARC can only be picked from winners in the US/Canada (sorry, it’s very expensive to ship from Canada- if international followers want to pay the difference in shipping for the ARC, though, I’m fine with that). So the deal is this: International winner can pick their book of choice from the list below. US/Can winner can pick either the ARC, or their book of choice from the…

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

Posted by on 05/30/2012 • 65 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  My pick this week:

Dualed Elsie Chapman Release date: February 26th, 2013 by Random House Add it to your Goodreads

Would you live through the ultimate test of survival?

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic…

Review: Blood & Love and Other Vampire Tales

Posted by on 05/29/2012 • 33 Comments

Blood & Love and Other Vampire TalesRhiannon FraterRelease date: March 7th, 2012

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Award-winning author Rhiannon Frater delves deep into the vampire mythos in her new short story collection featuring the beautiful, but deadly undead. Spanning a hundred years and a diverse cast of characters, Rhiannon explores the themes of loneliness, revenge, blood and love in seven tales. How far will the bloodthirsty vampires go to find love, revenge, and family? Discover the truth in Love & Blood and Other Vampire Tales. *A copy was provided by Rhiannon Frater for review purposes*

Eeeeh, vampires à la Rhiannon Frater? Yes please!

This vampire anthology gives us vampiric tales from the vengeful to the romantic. Divided in 3 parts, we’ve got a good bunch of unique short stories that sticks…

Angel Eyes Tour Stop: Review + Giveaway

Posted by on 05/28/2012 • 31 Comments

Angel EyesShannon DittemoreSeries: Angel Eyes Trilogy, #1Release date: May 29th, 2012by Thomas Nelson Fiction

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Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .


Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels…

Xpresso Weekly: Stacking the Shelves (5)

Posted by on 05/27/2012 • 86 Comments

Xpresso Weekly is my edition of Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books I got this week, and I also mention blog news/happenings of the past week.

Good Sunday, lovelies! I hope you all had a great week! Mine was awesome the great weather does wonders on my mood and productivity! 🙂 Have you missed anything on Xpresso Reads this week? There was the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century Exclusive that featured a cover reveal, trailer, excerpt and giveaway! I also had Sarah Alderson drop by for a fun interview as part of my Hunting Lila tour stop. I posted a couple cover reveals on my Facebook page that you should not miss! There’s Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel, The Dead and the Buried by Kim Harrington,…

Fresh Batch (May 27th – June 2nd)

Posted by on 05/26/2012 • 28 Comments

Exclusively titled for Xpresso Reads, Fresh Batch features the hottest releases of this upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Darkness Before DawnJ.A. LondonRelease date: May 29th, 2012by HarperCollins Publishers

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This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters….

Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and…