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Category Archives: Star Book Tours

Where She Went – Gayle Forman

Where She Went
By Gayle Forman
If I Stay Book 2
Available April 2011

Description:
It’s been three years since the devastating accident … three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

This Blonde’s Review:
I loved the first book, If I Stay, so when I heard there was a sequel I was very eager to read it.

Adam has changed so much from the first book to the second. Mia left him without any explanation. He no longer has his friends for support. His band has been wildly successful, yet he is unhappy and alone in a crowd. He is wild and sleeps with women without bothering to know their names first.

Mia has been just as successful in her musical career as Adam has. When Adam is in New York he sees that she is giving a concert and can’t help but attend. There, they see each other for the first time in years. They decide to spend some time together, dancing around their past without discussing it.

I don’t want to give too much away since I Do recommend you read Both of these books if you haven’t. I do want to say is I still Love Gayle Forman’s beautiful writing.

When they start their night together Mia is friendly and distant. She doesn’t want to talk about what happened. Then there is an argument. A Break. And they start to talk. Adam starts to learn what went on with Mia, and why she left. And he has to decide whether he will finally let her go and learn to Live, or whether he’s going to fight for her.

I don’t really love the way the book ended. It felt a little rushed to me. I would have liked more of the beautiful writing that explains their feelings and thoughts. Instead it felt rather sudden to me.

Even not loving the way it ended I Still loved this book and really recommend you read Both books if you think they sound good. It was really hard trying not to give too much away with this one!  This is not a book where you can skip the first book, so go read that one first.

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Entangled – Cat Clarke

Entangled
By Cat Clarke
Available 6 January 2011

Description:
The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?
AM I GOING TO DIE?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper – and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she’s tried to forget. There’s falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there’s something missing. As hard as she’s trying to remember, is there something she just can’t see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

This Blonde’s Review:
The cover for this book is so beautiful isn’t it?! I confess I have a secret desire to go Red and would Love to be able to pull off a color like that! the little design keeps the simple cover from being Too simple. In short: I Love this cover and would love to just put the cover art on my wall.

I’m so glad I was part of this tour from Star Book Tours. We were supposed to underline our favorite parts and write notes in the margins. So as I read it I was able to see where each previous reader had their opinions on why she was there. It was neat to see how we differed in our ideas on what was happening to each other.

I loved Grace’s sense of humor, some of the things she says are things I see myself saying. At one point at the beginning of the story she talks about the guy who put her in the room. She talks about how he seems perfect, Except for the whole kidnapping thing. I’m paraphrasing so forgive me, but something to that effect. I hated that she put herself through the things she did, and that she gave others the power over her that she did. I didn’t understand why she did those things, but feeling like I would Like her made me want more for her than she gave herself.

She is locked in a room and made to Remember. She is supposed to remember the things that happened to her and why she wanted to die the night she found herself locked in the room. Her abductor is a boy named Ethan. He locks her in a white room and brings her everything she ever needs before she realizes she needs it. Ethan treats Grace very well, which makes Grace even more confused. He even allows her to attack him without repercussion.

The other main characters are Grace’s boyfriend Nat and her best friend Sal. Clearly Grace’s breaking point stems from something that happened with one or both of these characters considering how much she talked about them. I didn’t really like Sal. I didn’t Hate her, but I didn’t like her for much of the book. I didn’t like the way he treated Grace. Either a fragile thing, or ignoring her, or blowing up at her. I did not see Sal as a good idea of what a friend should be. Even in the end, when Nat is telling Grace how much Sal loves her… I just don’t agree.

It was such an interesting concept. I had my suspicions about where she was and why, but I didn’t write those in the margins and I won’t put them here. I don’t want to spoil it for you. But it started somewhat early when a few things didn’t add up for me, then continued with a comment here or there from Grace.

I loved this book. In some ways I was able to predict where it would go, but that didn’t diminish this book at all. I was So happy with who ended up holding her hand when she was finally free. I really enjoyed Cat Clarke’s first book and can’t wait for her next one! The little blurb of a description I saw on her website looks interesting already! I will be reading more of her work.

This is a book about an emotionally damaged girl who doesn’t know where she is or why she’s there. She is struggling to decide if she even Wants the answers to all of the questions left for her and what she will do once she finds them. If that sounds interesting to you then Definitely pick this book up in January!

 

Elixir – Hilary Duff

Elixir
By Hilary Duff
Available Now

Description:
Clea Raymond lives an extraordinary life. The daughter of renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC figure, she has been in the spotlight her entire life. Followed by the paparazzi, she resents the attention that is lavished on her for her looks alone because she has so much more to offer.

Clea Raymond has a unique gift. A proficient photographer, in all her pictures, there is little something extra, and it’s not just a result of her talented eye. There is always an extra photo that she didn’t take. And, as she discovered at a young age, those photos always lead to a place where some tragedy is about to occur that Clea can prevent.

Two years ago, her father disappeared while on a humanitarian mission and presumed dead, but that doesn’t stop Clea and her mother from continuing to do good throughout the world. On one such trip to Columbia, she meets Race, the guide for the trip. She feels a connection to him but cannot explain why. Was it something in their past or possibly in their past lives? Whatever has brought them together is threatening to tear them apart forever. As the mystery of her father’s disappearance unravels, Clea discover that she has powers that are bigger than anything she could have anticipated.

This Blonde’s Review:
Clea is still grieving over her father, even though it has been two years since his death. She doesn’t know what happened to him, so moving on is so much harder for her. She returns from a vacation with her best friend and goes through her pictures when she notices something odd. The same guy is in every picture. Even though they were touring different countries. Even though sometimes… it’s not possible. He’s floating in air.

Some of this doesn’t make sense to me. Sage is not a ghost, yet he is in every picture that Clea is in or has taken. He is always there and no one can see him except in these photos. In some of them he floats in midair. Yet when we meet him we discover he has no idea about the photos because he was never there. I Do understand the other part of the story and how he’s part of her life (I’m trying not to too many spoilers) but the ghost picture thing when he’s been Alive and Not there doesn’t really make sense to me. Especially to have him looking at her and not just doing something random since they’re basically getting a shot of him going about his life as if he’s with her since they’re soul mates or some other random explanation.

Ben is Clea’s boy best friend who has been there forever. He is tangled in Clea’s life in the same way as Sage, but no one knew it. There is a nice little love triangle with Ben, Clea, and Sage. I’m not sure I like how easy it was for her to choose which guy she wanted to be with, but that doesn’t mean that’s the end of it. Who knows what’ll happen in book two.

Besides those two things, I really liked this. It was a light read, and very easy to follow. I loved the idea of the Elixir and what it was. I look forward to the 2nd book and hope that they do more to find out about what happened to Clea’s dad, since they did get sidetracked from that rather often.

It’s a light read, and if you’re willing to go without an explanation that makes sense (even for a paranormal story) like with the ghostly not ghost thing… then you’ll probably enjoy this.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Book Review, Star Book Tours, Young Adult

 

Pegasus – Robin McKinley

Pegasus
By Robin McKinley
Available Now

Description:
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

This Blonde’s Review:
Can you imagine having a Pegasus of your own? For Princess Sylvi that is what will happen on her twelfth birthday.

Ok so the pegasus is not a pet. It’s a companion that is assigned to members of the royal family to help maintain peace between the humans and Pegasi. But imagine how awesome that would be.

It was slow to start for me, but I liked the book a lot better after we met Ebon, Slyvi’s pegasus. I love the way he’s this smart funny character who doesn’t always follow the rules.

I think the story is so interesting. The story is more than I expected it to be.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about the first half of the story. I loved the last half.

I just wish I had discovered the book late, that way I could have picked up book two immediately! I haven’t read anything by Robin McKinley before, but I have read that she does not write series books. That was an awful ending! Expected if we’re left with a cliffhanger before book two, but still awful! There is no way she’s not writing a sequel to this book.

While this review may sound like an iffy review, know that I don’t mean it that way. I think I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how I felt about parts of it. Overall, I loved it and would recommend it. I know I’ll be reading this one again.

 

Being Jamie Baker : Kelly Oram

Being Jamie Baker
By Kelly Oram
Available Now

Description:
An accident that should end in tragedy instead gives seventeen-year-old Jamie Baker a slew of uncontrollable superhuman abilities. To keep her secret safe Jamie socially exiles herself, earning the title of Rocklin High’s resident ice queen. But during a supercharged encounter with star quarterback Ryan Miller she literally kisses anonymity goodbye. Now the annoyingly irresistible Ryan will stop at nothing to melt the heart of the ice queen and find out what makes her so special. Unfortunately, Ryan is not the only person on to her secret. Will Jamie learn to contain her unstable powers before being discovered by the media or turned into a government lab rat? More importantly, can she throw Ryan Miller off her trail before falling in love with him?

This Blonde’s Review:
We meet Jamie, a new girl who is doing her best to push everyone away. We learn one reason she pushes them away pretty quickly. Then we slowly learn more about her, such as the other more personal reason why should would want to push Ryan away. She expects to hate Ryan, but he manages to get under her guard by being honest with her. I liked Ryan and hoped that Jamie would give him a chance and stop pushing him away. And I was in luck, since she can’t seem to stay away from him either. Soon he knows more than she wants him to know, and she has to decide what she’ll do next. Then she finds herself being harassed by someone from her past, someone who does Not have her best interests at heart. She has to figure out how to deal with everything and What she will or won’t tell her parents in the meantime!

I Really enjoyed Being Jamie Baker. I love that Jamie is prickly and unhappy with her ‘good luck’ instead of immediately thinking it’s the coolest thing ever as you may expect. I loved Ryan and the way he pursued Jamie and stood up to his friends for her. I really hope that there is a sequel to this book since I’d love to read more about Jamie and Ryan. I am so glad I read this book. I love the cover too, even though the New Jamie Baker is definitely Not a pink girl, it still fits. I love the white on pink. It stands out and is still simple.

If you think the idea of a teenager with superpowers she Doesn’t want sounds like a good start to a book you should check this one out. You’ll probably find yourself wishing for a sequel along with me.

 

Return to Paradise – Simone Elkeles

Return to Paradise
By Simone Elkeles
Available Now

Description:
Maggie and Caleb just went through the worst year of their lives. Hit by a car and starting life over with a limp, Maggie never thought she would forgive Caleb. But she did-and fell in love. What they shared was real. But Caleb wanted to be free from the past-and a terrible secret: he wasn’t the one who hit Maggie. So he left Paradise-and Maggie-forever.

When Maggie and Caleb run into each other in a different town, they can’t deny their true feelings. Will Maggie let Caleb get away again? Or will Caleb face the truth and return to Paradise?

This Blonde’s Review:
This book is the sequel to Leaving Paradise, which I loved. I enjoyed seeing what happens when Caleb returns to Maggie’s life. What he doesn’t know is that Maggie knows he wasn’t the one who hit her. She has trouble forgiving the way he abandoned her, while he believes it is over being hit. They wind up in the same group of teens traveling to talk of the perils of drunk driving. They clash over everything and cause so much tension within the group, and they give a better view of both sides of the story than anyone expected when they booked the group.

In some ways I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first one. I suppose I expected more of it. I did still enjoy this and was glad to read more of Maggie and Caleb’s story. I was glad to see the way the characters broke down and the way they grew. The way the author brought them together was a wonderful idea in my opinion. It forced the characters to face the past and the future in ways that just having Caleb show back up in Paradise couldn’t ave.

If you read Leaving Paradise and enjoyed getting to know Maggie and Caleb you won’t want to miss this sequel. If you haven’t read the first book be sure to pick it up first. It’s a great story about what happens when lives change in an instant and how it affects everyone around them, plus the second story is much better if you already love the characters.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2010 in Book Review, Star Book Tours

 

Low Red Moon – Ivy Devlin

Low Red Moon
By Ivy Devlin
Available 14 September 2010

Description:
Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents–and the fact that she can’t remember what happened to them even though she was there. She’s struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn’t like any guy she’s ever met before. It turns out there’s a reason why, and Ben’s secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents… But what if that secret changes everything she knows about–and feels for–Ben?

This Blonde’s Review:
In Low Red Moon we have Avery who probably witnessed her parents’ murder. She’s trying to adjust to living without them, living with her grandmother, and dealing with a cute new boy. Most importantly Avery is figuring out what happened to her parents and why she can’t remember. I assumed that this book would have many emotional wrenching scenes set to make the reader Feel what Avery must feel about losing her parents. Instead, it’s like it didn’t happen emotionally. She puts more emotion into dealing with Ben and her feeling and uncertainties for him than anything else. There is an interesting twist between Avery and Ben, which leads to the uncertainties Avery feels. I thought the twist was an good addition to the story.

I was drawn in to this story and really enjoyed it. I would Love to hear more about Avery and Ben. I enjoyed their story. I think you would too, but don’t expect this to be a story that will make you cry for all that Avery has lost. If you’re looking for a tear jerker, this isn’t it. But it’s still very good. I will be reading more from Ivy Devlin in the future.