Review: Who I Kissed

Title: Who I Kissed
Author: Janet Gurtler
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 310
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary & Cover:
She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . .

Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.
My Thoughts:
My first thought upon reading the synopsis and even starting the book, was, "Holy crap! This COULD happen!!!!" I work in an elementary school and we have quite a few children with nut allergies. Epi-pens are abundant in our building, yet they don't travel to the cafeteria. I have a feeling I'm going to have a discussion with our nurse and principal. Soon!

Now, to the book. I love that Janet Gurtler used the first three chapters to set up the scene. She introduced the main characters, had us at the party, the kiss, and the death. Chapter 4 through the rest of the book was everyone dealing with what happened.

After the death of Alex, Samantha felt so awful. She didn't know him. She turned away from peanut butter and threw away the jar they had. She swore to never eat it again. I was worried that Samantha would be a whiny teenager and get on my nerves. Not the case at all! She felt horrible and guilty, yet at the same time, she punished herself by giving up swimming and trying to stay off the RADAR so people wouldn't have to talk or look at her. I do believe having her Aunt Allie show up and be a part of the story helped tremendously! This book could have gone a little south without her, I think.

Thankfully, Samantha did maintain a friendship with one of the girls on the swim team and she helped her in awkward hallway settings. And then there was Casper -- the smart kid in her English Lit class who grabbed her as a partner in writing an essay. He was friendly with her at school and they even had a little fling. Poor Samantha. Bad choices to make things go away and numb yourself... I understood though. Casper's a jerk. I'll tell y'all that now. Spoiled, rich kid, jerk.

An interesting part about this book, that you pick up from the different supporting characters, is that everyone feels guilty and that it's his or her fault that Alex died. Zee blamed himself because he had been drinking and abandoned Samantha. Chloe, Alex's sister, blames herself because she was mad at Alex and also busy with Casper at the party. Casper should have felt guilty, but he was in Casper World. Jerk! No one really blamed Samantha, except the rest of the school...and herself.

The twist at the end. Wow! WOW! I was so relieved for Samantha.

And Zee? I think I have a crush on you, too.

My Rating:
Relevant and interesting story. I definitely enjoyed Who I Kissed.

Who I Kissed satisfies part of the Standalone Challenge!

2013 Paranormal Challenge

It's that time of year! It's time to find and sign up for those fun challenges to get through the next year. I still haven't thought about my Goodreads goal for 2013. Especially since I still haven't finished, and will probably not make, my 2012 goal. Eeep! I will be doing the Standalone Reading Challenge again for 2013. It was a great challenge this year!

Anyway, one challenge that is new and I've discovered is a PARANORMAL Challenge! Hooray! I love reading paranormal and it seems I read more of that genre than anything. One thing that I'll have to plan though, is the schedule that our hosts have made! Dun dun duuuuun!

January - Vampires
February - Angels/Nephilim
March - Fey 
April - Demons
May - Aliens
June - Zombies
July - Witches and Wizards
August - Mermaids
September - Dragons
October - Ghosts
November - Werewolves/Shape-shifters
December - Other

So, to fill you in on the details on the challenge, I shall now copy and paste from Megan Likes Books blog! :)

Welcome to the 2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge hosted by Megan Likes Books and Auntie Spinelli Reads! There are so many awesome sub-genres of paranormal books, that it's easy to find one you like and stick with it. So that's why I decided to make a reading challenge with the goal of reading about all kinds of paranormal creatures.

The goal is to read one book featuring each of the following paranormal creatures:

Other (ie: sirens, unicorns, centaurs, timetravel etc.)

1. This challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.
2. You must have a blog to able to participate, since reviews must be added to the linky.
3. When you sign up with the linky, please put the link to your post about joining the Paranormal Reading Challenge.
4. You're welcome to list your books beforehand or just add as you go.
5. Sign-ups are open until December 1, 2013
6. At the beginning of each month, I will post a kick-start post, each month featuring a different category of paranormal creature. This post will also include a linky to include your reviews from that month.
7. Each review you link will qualify you for an entry into the monthy giveaway and if your review includes the feature paranormal creature of that month, you get a bonus entry.
8. Each book can only count for one category, even if it contains more than one paranormal creature. For example, Twilight contains both vampires and werewolves, but you can't use it for both the vampires and werewolves/shifters categories.
9. Everyone who completes the challenge will be entered into a grand prize giveaway at the end of the year.
10. If you read multiple books from one category, feel free to add them to the linkies. Don't stop at just one! 
11. Book can count for other challenges.

If you're having trouble finding books for one of the categories, you can try these lists:
Vampires - Adult or YA
Other (ie: unicorns, centaurs, timetravelers, seers etc.)

You should seriously sign up and join us on this challenge. It is going to be a FUN one! Sign ups are located here. Thanks to Megan and Geo for hosting this challenge. It's just what I was looking for!

Review: In Honor

Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary and Cover:
Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her. 

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

My Thoughts:
Sooo, this book. This book... Well...

In Honor...such a roller coaster! If you've read the synopsis, you know our main character is Honor. Honor lost her brother while he was serving in the Marines. The book opened with his funeral. Sobfest!

After she got home from his funeral, she saw a letter that was delivered a couple of days prior and she opened it to read it. It's a letter and concert tickets. Finn, her brother, wanted her to go to this concert before she started college. He was that kind of big brother! He wanted her to go to the singer's last concert and joked with her to pass on the message about how good looking he was.

As Honor was getting in the car the next morning, Finn's ex-best-friend, Rusty, shows up...drunk. He passed out in the car and Honor had to take him along. Plus, he did mention about possibly needing help while on the road. That's enough to get any girl to agree to let someone tag along!

As they were driving, we found out more stories about Honor, Finn, and Rusty. Honor can't help but notice how hot Rusty is, but she's always kind of thought that he was cute. However, Rusty can't seem to keep his eyes off of Honor and realizes she's grown up. The prom dress story? Hilarious, yet possibly the sweetest thing EVER! Why Finn didn't take his full scholarship and enlisted in the military? Gut crushing!

They did end up having a little trouble with the car, but after a little accident...with a cactus. Hah! They made it to Rusty's mom's house and spent a couple of days until it could be fixed. Then, back on the road to California for the concert!

They made it to California and got to stick their feet in the water; one of her brother's wishes for Honor. However, with some police trouble and frustrations, the concert...well, I'll stop here. You need to read the ending for yourself! It's a GREAT ending!!!

I saw on Goodreads that Shanyn (ChickLovesLit) called Rusty "Tim Riggins." If you have ever seen Friday Night Lights, he is the epitome of Tim Riggins! YUM! :)

I really loved this book! Jessi Kirby created very interesting and lovable characters...even the characters who are around just a short time. The faith, trust, and guts that Honor had to take the trip were amazing! I adored the bond that she had with her brother. He was always looking after her.

My Rating:
Such a sad, yet hopeful, book. Amazing story! Rusty and Honor? I approve!

In Honor satisfies part of the Standalone Reading Challenge!

Opal Trailer Reveal

Oh my gosh! OH. MY. GOSH!!!!
(The third book in the Lux Series)

Available in both print and digital version on December 18, 2012 (Due to Superstorm Sandy, the date was pushed back from Dec. 11th to the 18th.)
Barnes and Noble

Official Opal Book Trailer 
Watch. Now! Enjoy!

Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout on the following sites:

The Epic Giving Thanks Scavenger Hunt

Hello friends! Welcome to my stop for...
We give thanks for many things. Here in America we have a single day (come the third Thursday in November) when we celebrate all that we are thankful for; in which we watch a parade on television, and we eat until our bellies are full and all our bodies can do is sit on the couch and watch football for the rest of the day. As book lovers, Thanksgiving is also a time for us to get in some extra reading! And what better way to start off your holiday reading than with a plethora of prizes we would like to GIVE to YOU!

I am Day SEVEN for this Scavenger Hunt. The list of all of the participating blogs is just right below. Make sure to stop by each day for your word clue to fill in on the Rafflecopter.
Nov 12 - Book Brats
Nov 13 – Making The Grade
Nov 14 – Writing My Own Fairytale
Nov 15 – Book Addicts Guide
Nov 16 – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
Nov 17 – Beauty and the Bookshelf AND JC Emery
Nov 18 – Dizneeee’s World of Books 
Nov 19 – Book Babes AND Gypsy Book Reviews
Nov 20 – Starting the Next Chapter
Nov 21 – I Love Books Club
Nov 22 – WRAP UP!
Nov 25 – Contest Ends, Twitter Party
I bet you want to know how you are going to find the code words in all this, the proverbial needle in a haystack. Well, we crazy bloggers are going to be crafty about hiding our word (or words) in assorted fun ways.

You will do this each day until the 25th. In the final few days, you will have the chance to combine all the words together to make a secret phrase worth 25 entries! And as a special thank you to our readers, we’re giving you other ways to enter by following our awesome bloggers. On the 25th, we’ll be having an epic Twitter Party where we’ll be giving away swag, books, and other goodies. And of course we’ll be having a grand ole time just hanging out and chatting about books! So be sure you stick around for that. I hope you enjoy the Hunt!
Now, for my part and my thanks:
I want to say thank you to those authors, bloggers, Twitter friends, and books that make my reading experiences and conversations so much fun! This has been a fantastic community to have found and been a part of for almost a year now.
I am also so thankful, and grateful, for those of you who follow my blog and/or on Twitter. It's lovely knowing you! 
Yeah, my clue was in the part just above. It's kind of...umm..underlined!!! :) Go ahead and fill that in on the Rafflecopter and be ready for tomorrow's post from Book Babes! 

If you missed the previous stops for the daily word clues and entries, you may still enter those!
Day 1: Book Brats (Look for big and bold.)
Day 2: Making the Grade (Look for the red text.)
Day 3: Writing My Own Fairytale (Look for bold, red text.)
Day 4: Book Addicts Guide (Look for the GREEN text.)
Day 5: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales (Look for the pink text.)
Day 6: Beauty and the Bookshelf (look for the phrase written backwards) AND JC Emery (look for the red,  underlined text)
Day 7: This is where you are now! (Look for the underlined the pink box!)

Hey, I'm an elementary school teacher. I'm used to giving out helpful clues! Hahaha! <3

Remember to catch the next 3 days worth of clues at Book Babes, Gypsy Book Reviews, Starting the Next Chapter, and I Love Books Club so you can piece together the whole phrase! (That's an extra 25 entries!!!!)

Review: Deity

Title: Deity
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary & Cover:

"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden. 

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome. 

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed. 

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...

My Thoughts:
The only bad thing about this book is the wait until the 4th novel, APOLLYON!

DEITY is the third book in the Covenant Series. This book continues right where the last, PURE, left us. It's amazing how much has happened now in just three books! While reading this one, Jennifer reminds us that it's only been 10 months since Alex has returned to Deity Island, the Covenant in North Carolina.

Alex and Seth have had to spend a lot of time together since they will "be one" after she Awakens. Alex flip-flops back and forth each time she gets a new apollyon mark. She thinks Seth keeps forcing them to appear before time, but he assures her he's not.

In comes Lucian, gross stepfather of the century. He takes Seth with him to New York for council business, so Alex is left alone. Kind of. Due to the incidents that happened in New York and concern for her overall safety, she has been assigned guards. Guess who one of the lucky guards iiiiis! Aiden! Swoony "I don't love you" Aiden.

While Seth is away, we get to spend time with Aiden. Yay, Aiden!!! We find out more about Leon. (Holy crap! I did NOT see THAT coming!) We also find out about a traitor and secret group.

Page 213, my heart stopped. Or flopped. I'm not sure. many feelings!

Near the end of this book, we meet some of the gods. Just so you know, they are paying attention! If you read PURE, you knew this anyway when the Furies showing up in New York.

At the end of the book is Alex's birthday. Apollyon Awakening time! And dang, no more pages!

I typically do not hurry time, but I am in desperate need of April to get here. Now. Or better yet, 5 minutes ago!

PS...I KNEW it about Aiden's necklace he started wearing in the last book. My gut just told me it just HAD to be! Super awwww!

My Rating:
5 "oh my gods" Mickeys!
The Covenant Series is definitely my version of Aether. I can't get enough!

Review: Cursed

Title: Cursed
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary and Cover:
Dying sucks-- and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. 
However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

My Thoughts: 
Oh. boy. To be honest, I haven't been able to really collect my thoughts about this book completely. Please note that I love Jennifer and will continue to read anything she publishes.

I have loved Jennifer's two series so far and I was dying to get my hands on this one. I anticipated it to be an amazing read. I was really kind of let down.

Ember, our main character, never seemed to amount to much. She was not a kick-butt heroine, a sympathetic character, nothing, nada, zilch. She just came off as a whiny teenager.

Hayden sounded like a Hottie McHotstuff, but also a creeper. He was "fascinated" by Ember and her strong qualities, but the way that they finally connected...argh! She decided to trust him because he was hot.

I was also very disappointed in the way that Ember just pretty much ignored her sister once they were at the house. Her sister was happy, so Ember was miserable? Whiny teenager...

The twist was a woohoo moment for me, though! The ick stuff in her locker. Finding out who it was and why. Then finding out the true villain and why. Yes!!! I think if the book was less of Ember killing plants and constantly moaning and groaning, I could have enjoyed this book a bit more.

Sooo, with that said...

My Rating:
Just 3 Mickeys. CURSED was just an OK read for me. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.

CURSED also satisfies part of the StandAlone Reading Challenge

YALLFest Schedule

So, a few days ago, I posted about Y'ALLFest! (here, in case you missed)

Yesterday, the schedule was posted. (*thud*) I gave it a look over once and had to step away. STEP. AWAY! How...HOW am I supposed to choose what to do? Last year was not this complicated. There are 3 panels each hour this year.

Help me! I know what I'm doing the 10 and 6 o'clock hours, but after that, I just do not know where to go. This is a good problem to have, but too much for my brain to comprehend right now!

Oh, and I'm sure if I tried to follow John Corey Whaley around all day, the Charleston police may get involved. 

So, there's that...

So, dear friends, tell me! What would you choose for each hour?

YALLFEST 2012 PANEL SCHEDULE — Subject to change
CMH = Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St. ( Mainstage)
BALLROOM = American Theater Ballroom, 446 King St. (Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Stage). 
CINEMA = American Theater Cinema, 446 King St. (Authro Stage)
All venues are within a one block radius of Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., site of book sales, book signings, literary bazaar, and more (i.e. pie sales!).

Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 
Special event: Charleston County Public Library, Main Branch, 68 Calhoun Street, upstairs in the YA Lounge. Featuring: Pseudonymous Bosch, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Gitty Daneshvari, Carrie Ryan, and Michelle Hodkin. Space is limited, to reserve a spot call 805-6903.
Note: Michelle Hodkin’s books will be sold and she will personalize them. This is her only signing of the weekend. 
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012
Presented by Justine Magazine
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones) and Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles)
Keynote tickets are $5 and are available online until Friday, Nov. 9, at Blue Bicycle Books, and at the door.

Presented by the Charleston City Paper
Pseudonymous Bosch (The Name of This Book Is Secret) & Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society)
Moderator: Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm)

Presented by Omnific Publishing
Alyson Noel (Immortals series), Elizabeth Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club), Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss), Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry), Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty), Kathryn Williams (The Lost Summer).
Moderator: Andria Amaral

David Levithan (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Eliot Schrefer (Glamorous Disasters), David Macinnis Gill (Soul Enchilada), Kwame Alexander (Crush), Brendan Reichs (Virals)
Moderator: John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)


12 pm  PUBLISH OR PERISH (Industry Panel) – CMH
Presented by Authro
Sarah Burnes (The Gernert Agency), Sally Willcox (CAA), Emily Meehan (Hyperion), Julie Scheina (Little, Brown), Richard Abate (3Arts), David Levithan (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist)
Moderator: Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods)

Gayle Forman (If I Stay), Tonya Hurley (Ghostgirl), Robin Wasserman (Seven Deadly Sins series), Michele Jaffe (Rosebush), Natalie Standiford (How to Say Goodbye in Robot), Adele Griffin (Picture the Dead).
Moderator: Eliot Schrefer (Geek Fantasy Novel)


Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles), Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm), Gitty Daneshvari (School of Fear)

Moderator: Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth)


Presented by Tumblr
Ellen Hopkins (Crank), Gayle Forman (If I Stay), Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry), Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss), Cate Tiernan (Sweep), Kiera Cass (The Selection)

Moderator: Kami Garcia

Deb Harkness (A Discovery of Witches), Robin Wasserman (Seven Deadly Sins), Sarah Rees Brennan (Demon’s Lexicon), Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures), John Corey Whaley (When Things Come Back), Diana Peterfreund (Rampant).
Moderator: Andrea Cremer (Nightshade)

Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods), Cinda Chima (Seven Realms), Caitlin Kittredge (The Iron Thorn), Kim Derting (The Body Finder), Siobhan Vivian andJenny Han (Burn for Burn)
Moderator: Beth Revis (Across the Universe)

Presented by CreateSpace
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches), Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods), Kathy & Brendan Reichs(Virals),  David Levithan (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Ellen Hopkins (Crank)
Moderator: Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures)

Sarah Rees Brennan (Demon’s Lexicon), Michele Jaffe (Rosebush), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer), Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles), Caitlin Kittredge (The Iron Thorn)
Moderator: Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Presented by the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me), Kiera Cass (The Selection), Grady Hendrix (The Magnolia League), Kami Kinard (The Boy Project), John Thompson (The Girl From Felony Bay)
Moderator: Shelli Johannes


Presented by Pressque Publishing
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade), Tonya Hurley (Ghostgirl), Alyson Noel (Immortals series), Cinda Chima (Seven Realms series), Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Cate Tiernan (The Iron Thorn)
Moderator: Caitlin Kittredge (The Iron Thorn)

Beth Revis (Across the Universe), Kathy Reichs (Virals), Dave Macinnis Gill (Soul Enchilada), Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised by Wolves), Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder), Diana Peterfreund (Rampant)
Moderator: Rose Brock

Wendy Mass (A Mango-Shaped Space), Pseudonymous Bosch (The Name of This Book Is Secret), Natalie Standiford (How to Say Goodbye in Robot)
Moderator: Trenton Lee Stewart (Mysterious Benedict Society)


4 pm  IN PRODUCTION: 2013 – CMH
Presented by
Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Cassandra Clare (City of Bones)
Moderator: Robin Wasserman (Seven Deadly Sins series)

Kathryn Williams (The Lost Summer), Gayle Forman (If I Stay), Adele Griffin (Picture the Dead), Siobhan Vivian (Not That Kind of Girl), Alex Morel (Survive)
Moderator: Marjory Wentworth

Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Gitty Daneshvari (School of Fear), Trenton Lee Stewart (Mysterious Benedict Society)
Moderator: Pseudonymous Bosch

5 PM BREAK — Last book signings

Presented by Charleston County Public Library YA Services
Judge: Sarah Rees Brennan  MC: Rose Brock
Smackdown tickets are $6 and are available online until Friday, Nov. 9, at Blue Bicycle Books, and at the door.