Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (64) - This is Not a Test

This Is Not a Test
Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
To be released: June 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. 

As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, everyone’s motivations to survive begin to change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life–and death–inside. 

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

This sounds like a really awesome zombie/apocalypse novel. I am also in love with this cover! There is something simple, but gorgeous about it. I’ll definitely be checking this book out next year!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

I just wanted to let you all know that I was effected by Hurricane Irene and it is going to have a slight impact on my blogging this week. I am currently without power and Internet and do not know how long that will last. I had stuff that I was going to post this week but did not get the chance to put online so posts will be few. I have one schedule post this week so that might be all there is depending on how quickly I get power and Internet back. Sorry! Hope everyone else who was effected by Irene is okay!

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Shut Out
Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: September 5, 2011           
Series or Standalone:  Standalone
ISBN: 9780316175562
Format: ARC
Pages: 288
Source: BEA
Websites:

Rating: 4.5 Stars



Shut Out was a cute, enjoyable read. I picked it up late last night and finished it in hours. It’s a book that’s great for teenager girls and made me just feel very happy.

This is Kody Keplinger’s second book, and I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot more than her first one. Kody Keplinger has a real talent for capturing the spirit and voice of teens. Her characters feel like real teenagers and face real problems that many people confront in high school. One thing I really liked about Shut Out and that I liked about the DUFF was that Kody Keplinger does not shy away from the topic of sex. Sex is not a taboo in her books. Instead, especially in this book which is about a sex strike, she in some ways offers a forum for the girls in the book to discuss the topic of sex which seems to be an out of bound subject for girls to discuss. I really loved how she handled the topic of sex and the conversations the girls had about it and each of the girls different feelings, fears and concerns with sex and the gender roles assigned to it.

I really loved the characters in this book. Lissa was a great character. I really liked that she had flaws, including OCD tendencies such as counting. She wasn’t perfect, but she was very strong. Lissa wanted to do the right thing, she wanted to end a stupid feud and came up with a very clever way to do it. I loved that she was someone who actually went out and did something and stuck to it until the end, no matter what was thrown in her way. Chloe, Lissa’s best friend, was also another great character. While Chloe is known as a slut or whore at school, she was a good friend to Lissa, always there supporting her no matter what. And then there is Cash. Cash the soccer player. Cash was like the perfect boy. He was devoted to his family and friends, and was a sweet guy. I loved his character and the interactions between Lissa and Cash. I do have to say I HATED Lissa’s boyfriend Randy, which is the point, but still, he is a huge tool and I could tell that from the beginning.

The romance in this book was so perfect. I loved the relationship between Cash and Lissa. It felt natural and I loved seeing how it would play out, especially since Lissa has her boyfriend Randy. I felt that Kody Keplinger handled the romance perfectly. There were obstacles, banter, heartache and some great kissing scenes. I loved seeing Lissa’s relationship arcs and her heartache, pain and joy.

Shut Out was a clever and very enjoyable read. This book just really clicked with me. I felt it dealt with a serious such as sex, in a not super serious way and it had a great story that kept me wanting to read more. And then there was some great romance and romantic tension which I am always a fan of.  I cannot wait to see what Kody Keplinger writes next because she has a huge talent for writing great novels about teens and I’m sure her next book will be even better.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (63) - Dreaming Awake

Dreaming Awake
Gwen Hayes
Publisher: NAL Trade
To be released: January 3, 2011

Summary (from Goodreads):

She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love… 

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions. 

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own. 

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…

I LOVED LOVED LOVED Falling Under and I cannot wait to read it’s sequel. I cannot wait to see what happens to Theia and Haden in this book. And I love how the cover fits with the first book so well. I CANNOT WAIT!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles + Giveaway

Fury
Elizabeth Miles
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Series or Standalone: Fury #1
ISBN: 1442422246
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
Source: BEA
Websites:

Rating: 3 Stars


I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. The premise sounded awesome, I mean a modern retelling of the Furies myth, count me in! Unfortunately, this book was not what I expected.

Fury for me was a kind of meh of for me, I did not love it but I did not hate it. There were certain parts of this book I liked and others that I did not like.

For me, I really liked that this book focused on a different aspect of mythology. I did not know a lot about the Furies besides the basics before reading this book. I really like how Miles used the Furies in this book. And I really liked that the Furies were targeting the teens for their actions. For one of the main characters in this book, Chase, we are not really sure what he did to warrant the Furies to target him and I really liked slowly learning the thing that the Furies deemed bad.

The two main characters for me were a hit and a miss. I really liked Chase as a character. He had depth and felt I could understand him more than Em. Chase is one of the poor students at Ascension High but the star quarterback. He is obsessed acting the right way and appearing the right way so as to be accept and for me that struck a cord because that’s what most people try to do in high school. Em on the other hand, I did not like. Just something about her did not click with me. She seemed at times incredibly na├»ve and sometimes just downright stupid. I wanted to slap her in the face once or twice when she was convinced that her best friends boyfriend truly loved her. I feel if I liked Em more I would have enjoyed this book a lot more because a majority of the book is told from her point of view and focuses on her.

I really liked the first three-fourths of the book. Elizabeth Miles did a great job building up the characters and the plot to the turning point when the Furies begin to strike back. There was this part right at the end of the part two in the book that literally shocked me. Everything was slowly building up to that and I loved it. However, for the last quarter of the book, I started to just want the book to finish already. I think this came partly from my dislike of Em, but I really did just want the book to hurry up and finish around the last 20 pages. However, I really did like the ending and am interested to see what will happen next in the series. Em made a decision that is likely going to have some unforeseen consequences later.

Fury really made think about the tagline of this book, “Sometimes sorry isn’t enough.” The Furies enact retribution for the teens in Ascension for the actions they committed that they deem wrong. It made me really think about justice and what deserves punishment. Towards the end of the book, I was not sure if I viewed the Furies as good or evil. They do something things that can be viewed as evil and cruel, but so do the people they are punishing. It provides an interesting dilemma.

I really hope in the sequel that we see more of the Furies and get to know a bit more about them, because their characters truly fascinate me. I just hope in the sequel Em is a bit less annoying to me, or I do not if I will be able to finish it. Overall, Fury had it’s ups and downs but was still an okay read. I am definitely intrigued enough by the mythology of it to pick up the sequel and find out what happens next.


You guys can check out the Fury playlist below. I really like the songs on this playlist!



And now we have some Quickfire Questions answered by Em and Chase from Fury

If the world were to end tomorrow, I would…
Em: Call Zach and tell him how I feel—and Gabby wouldn't care.
Chase: Rob a bank—just to see what it feels like to have money.

Would you rather be able to hear any conversation or take back anything you say? 
Em: Take things back.
Chase: I'd like to hear what chicks say about me behind my back… so, the first option.

Would you rather go to jail for the rest of your life or get hit by a truck and die on impact?
Em: Die on impact—I wouldn't want to be alone with my thoughts for the rest of my life.
Chase: Die on impact—I'm too restless to sit around in a cell.

And now it's GIVEAWAY TIME. Rules are below. Enter to win a SIGNED copy of Fury thanks to the lovely people and Simon and Schuster.

Giveaway Rules:
-Fill out the form below completely
-Open to US residents only
-Must be 13 years or old to enter. If under 13, parental consent is required.
-One entry per person. Multiple entries will be deleted
-Ends September 1, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (62) - Spell Bound

Spell Bound
Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
To be released: March 13, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted. 

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. 

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

I cannot wait for this book. I loved Hex Hall and Demonglass and I cannot wait to see how this series ends, especially with how Demonglass ended. I cannot wait to see the final twists and turns that Rachel Hawkins has in store for us.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dark Souls by Paula Morris + Giveaway

Dark Souls
Paula Morris
Publisher: Point
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 9780545251327
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 292
Source: Big Honcho Media
Websites:

Rating: 3 Stars


I have to admit, Dark Souls is one of those really hard books to review because I did not love it and I did not hate it. My thoughts are somewhere in the middle and that is always the hardest to describe.

Dark Souls was an interesting read. And I know, interesting is the best word, but really, I cannot think of another word. I really liked how Paula Morris set up the story and introduced us to the world of ghosts. While this book involves seeing ghosts, it did feel like a paranormal novel. The ghosts were just part of Miranda’s life, something she sees after witnessing the death of her best friend in a car accident. I really liked how Paula Morris explained the reason for why Miranda can see ghosts, and why any other person who sees ghosts actually sees them. There was no paranormal explanation, more of an emotional one which I really liked.

Something about this book made me keep reading it. I was indifferent to the plot of the book, but I did want to keep reading to find out what will happen and what was up with the mysterious Nick and the ghosts in York. I was not on the edge of my seat or anything while I was reading, I was merely reading just to move the plot along.

One thing that I really did like about this book was the writing. Paula Morris gives really amazing descriptions. Her descriptions of York were beautiful and really helped to establish the setting of the novel. While I was reading, I was tempted by her descriptions to actually look up the places were the novel takes place and was amazed at how accurate her descriptions were.

Another thing I really liked was the relationship between Miranda and her brother Rob. Rob was in the driver in the car accident which killed Miranda’s friend and he is carrying around some emotional baggage like Miranda. I really liked that you could tell Miranda and Rob really cared for each other and I loved their conversations with each other because they really felt like actual brother and sister and you can tell they cared for each other.

While I liked the relationship between Miranda and Rob, the relationship between Miranda and Nick just did not work for me. Something about it just did not work for me. I’m not sure what it really is, if it was the character of Nick himself or just there interactions, but something fell flat. Nick was an intriguing character on his own, but Miranda and him together just did not work.

I felt that Dark Souls was missing that special something that makes me really like a book. I don’t know what that special something really is, it’s different for each book, but this one just was missing it. It did not click for me. Don’t get me wrong the book was good, nothing I really did not like but it just did not blow me away. And sometimes that happens with books.


Thanks to Big Honcho Media I have TWO copies of Dark Souls to giveaway. Here's a bit more about the book:

Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible, tragic secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint shops, hoping she won’t run into the many ghosts who supposedly roam the cobblestone streets. Then she meets Nick, an intense, dark-eyed boy who knows all of York’s hidden places and histories. Miranda wonders if Nick is falling for her, but she is distracted by another boy -- one even more handsome and mysterious than Nick. He lives in the house across from Miranda and seems desperate to send her some sort of message. Could this boy be one of York’s haunted souls?
Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous -- and deadly -- is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery -- and find redemption.

Photo Credit: Robert Trathan
About the Author:
Paula Morris is the author of Ruined, and has published several novels for adults in her native New Zealand. She has lived in a number of cities around the world, including York, England. She now lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and teaches creative writing at the University of Stirling. Visit her online at www.paula-morris.com.

Paula Morris will also be featured on the This Is Teen Facebook page for Dark Souls so make sure to check it out!

Giveaway Rules:
 -Fill out the form below completely
-Open to US residents only
-Must be 13 years or old to enter. If under 13, parental consent is required.
-One entry per person. Multiple entries will be deleted
-Ends September 1, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (61) - A Beautiful Evil

A Beautiful Evil
Kelly Keaton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
To be released: February 21, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):
A power she can’t deny. A destiny she’s determined to fight. 

When Ari first arrived in the dilapidated city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she discovered was beyond her worst nightmare. Ari can already sense the evil growing inside her—a power the goddess Athena will stop at nothing to possess. 

Desperate to hold on to her humanity and protect her loved ones, Ari must fight back. But Athena’s playing mind games, not just with Ari but with those she cares about most. And Athena has a very special plan for the brooding and sexy Sebastian. 

Ari is determined to defeat Athena, but time is running out. With no other options, Ari must unleash the very thing she’s afraid of: herself.

I really liked Darkness Becomes Her and cannot wait to see where the next book in the series takes us. This is definitely a great series that reimagines mythology!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany

Bargains and Betrayals
Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: August 16, 2011
Series or Standalone:  13 to Life #3
ISBN:  9780312609160
Format: ARC
Pages: 307
Websites:

Rating: 5 Stars


I just want to start out by warning you this is a long review but I do not care because I have a lot to say about this wonderful little book. It’s also completely free of spoilers from previous books and this book. And it’s a long review filled with lots of love.

I did not think it was possible for me to love the 13 to Life series anymore than I already did, but Bargains and Betrayals proves I can love it even more. And boy, do I love it. I have previously reviewed both 13 to Life and Secrets and Shadows here on the blog and have confessed my love for them, but Bargains and Betrayals blew me away. Everything about Bargains and Betrayals was spot on: the writing, the characters, the story. Everything.

So initially I was a bit worried about this book because Shannon Delany decided to do something a little different in the third book in this series which was to tell the story from both Jessie’s and Alexi’s point of view. Up until this book, the story had been told only from Jessie’s point of view so this switched worried me a bit. However, as I was reading, I realized this decision worked perfectly. It was really interesting to learn more about Alexi and see a different perspective on the story. There was a lot about Alexi that I did not know about before this book but I learned through his point of view. One thing that Shannon Delany was really good at was deciding when to switch between the point of views of the two characters. Every time the story jumped from Jessie to Alexi or vice versa, it made perfect sense and the story continued to flow as one. I really hope that Shannon Delany continues utilizing multiple point of view in future books in this series because it really adds to the writing and the story. And I would really like a book that has Max’s perspective, but that’s just cause I love Max.

Shannon Delany’s writing in this book was her best yet. I feel like the writing in this book was the strongest it has been in the series. Shannon Delany was able to balance the really serious scenes with some hilarity which I always love. But seriously, this book had so many beautifully written in lines and phrases that I was in love. I actually have a list of them because they were just perfect. One of my favorite quotes in the entire book was “Sometimes are hearts should rule our heads.” It just really describes the feeling of the book for me and was such a great line in the scene. I definitely feel like that as this series has gone on the writing has gotten stronger in each book and truly, the writing was the best in this book so far. It flowed perfectly and had some really heart breaking scenes and lines.

Bargains and Betrayals was one of those books that I was very emotionally invested in. So much, that at points I was yelling at the book because I did not want characters to do something that I knew they were going to do anyways. I was very into this book, so into that I found myself talking to (in a good, not crazy way). Which leads me to the story. The stakes were definitely the highest they have been for Jess and Pietr and the Rusakovas. I’m going to keep this spoiler free for previous books, but if you know what happened in Secrets and Shadows I bet you can figure out why. A lot of what happened in Bargains and Betrayals I seriously did not see coming. I should have know from the title that there would be huge bargains and huge betrayals, but seriously, I did not think some of those bargains would ever occur, nor some of those betrayals. This book changes everything for the characters. A lot of things happen that will have a huge impact on their lives in the following books. I really want to talk about some huge spoilery things in the book, but will hold back because you need to experience them on your own. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat and even have you yelling at some of the character’s choices.

One of my favorite things in this book was the character development. Jessie, Pietr, Alexi, Max, Kat, Amy, Derek, Sarah, Wanda, and Leon have come so far since 13 to Life and there growth is really apparent in this book. Pietr and Jessie have come so far. They are drastically different people because of what occurs in Bargains and Betrayals. I really like the people Jess and Pietr have become. I love how both of them are willing to put those they love first. New depth has been added to the characters in this book. I just want to say, I still love the same characters, like Jessie, Pietr, Max, Kat and Alexi but my hatred for some characters * cough * Derek * cough * grew even more. I felt like some of the decisions the characters made in this book really will define them in coming books and change who they are.

Also, I really need to talk about Pietr and Jess’s relationship in this book. It was perfect. Seriously, this is what their relationship should have been from the beginning. Jess and Pietr truly care for each other and I felt their relationship really shows that. When you see what each of them risks for the other, what they give up for each other, it tugs at your heartstrings. Also, there was a certain scene in this book that was done perfectly and made me extremely happy and you will definitely know what it is when you read it.

Now, I have to sit back and wait until Destiny and Deception comes out. And once again, the wait is going to be torturous because of the ending. Shannon Delany really knows how to write an ending that leaves you wanting more. When I got to the ending of this book, I did not realize there was no more pages left and then burst out “What?” because it just another killer ending. I want Destiny and Deception now to find out what happens next!

Bargains and Betrayals is by far the best book in the 13 to Life series. If you haven’t read this series I HIGHLY recommend you pick it up and read it. Each book gets better and better and I cannot wait to see where Shannon Delany takes the story next in Destiny and Deception.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

A Long, Long Sleep
Anna Sheehan
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Series or Standalone:  Standalone
ISBN: 9780763652609
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
Source: BEA
Websites:
Anna Sheehan – Website 
Anna Sheehan – Facebook
A Long, Long Sleep – Candlewick Page 

Rating: 4 Stars


I was really surprised by A Long, Long Sleep. I don’t know what I was expecting from this book when I started reading it, but I was very happy with what this book turned out to be.  A Long, Long Sleep was a lot more than just a new retelling of Sleeping Beauty, it felt like it’s own new story.

Initially, this book started out a bit slow. I had to set it down and come back to it, but once I picked up again, the story really began to come into it’s own. Around a hundred pages in, I became engrossed by the book. I really wanted to know more about Rose’s past. Rose wakes up 62 years after she was put into stasis by her parents. Everyone she knows has passed away, the world she new has changed. One thing that kept me constantly engaged in reading was the mystery of why she was constantly stass as a child. That was a mystery that I really wanted to learn more about. And I was shocked and sadden when I found the answer.

I felt really bad for Rose, the life she knew has disappeared while she was in stasis. The world has changed, with half the world’s population getting wiped out by disease in the Dark Times and then being rebuilt. Rose awoke to a world were she was an outsider, and a famous outsider at that has inherited basically everything. Initially, I was really annoyed by Rose because she was weak, and self-deprecating. But then I began to see why she was that way and sympathized with her. Over the course of the book, Rose really comes into her own too. Her world has changed, and she too has to change. With the help of Brendan, the boy who awoke her with a kiss, and Otto, a very sweet alien friend, Rose starts to gain self-confidence and self-respect and strength.

When I started this book, I was worried it was going to be a heavy sci-fiction book. However, the sci-fi element was just a platform for the rest of the story. Sure, the book does take place in the future and there are stasis tubes and such, but the sci-fi element of the story isn’t overbearing and provides the basis for a story that is very driven by characters.

The story and the characters really grew on me as I continued reading. I wanted to learn about Rose’s past, about her parents and what happened between her and her boyfriend Xavier. When Rose’s past is finally revealed I was deeply sadden and shocked. I really wanted to give a Rose a hug because her life SUCKED. And if you thought your parents are bad, wait until you learn about Rose’s parents.

I loved how the different plot lines were woven together to reveal the bigger story arc. I loved how the thing that was chasing Rose tied into Rose’s mysterious past and helped reveal answers to bigger questions. And I must say, this book did have a twist that left me shocked and deeply saddened for poor Rose. It was a bittersweet twist I would say.

A Long, Long Sleep is an emotional, unique, new read. The book and the characters grow on you as you continue reading. I really liked the ending, not everything was wrapped up in a neat bow, but enough was wrapped up to leave you satisfied. I really enjoyed this fresh take on a classic fairy tale. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (60) - Dragonswood

Dragonswood
Janet Lee Carey
Publisher: Dial
To be released: January 5, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends. 

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood. 

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

I found this book yesterday randomly on Goodreads and was drawen in by the beautiful cover. It has a gorgeous cover. And then I read the synopsis and boy, did that make me want to read it even more.  This book seems right up my alley with it’s fantasy and adventure. I’m really excited for this book now that I have discovered it!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Sean Griswold’s Head
Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Series or Standalone:  Standalone
ISBN: 9781599904986
Format: eBook
Pages: 288
Source: Bought
Websites:
Lindsey Leavitt – Website
Lindsey Leavitt – Twitter
Lindsey Leavitt – Blog

Rating: 5 Stars

Sean Griswold’s Head is a cute, quick read that is extremely enjoyable. I sat down and read this in one sitting and had a huge smile on my face the whole time.

I loved the characters in this book. Payton, the main character, had such a distinct voice that I loved. Payton was a hysterical, I loved how she narrated the book, I was constantly in giggles. In the beginning of the book, Payton starts out as a control freak, everything must be in order. Through out the book though, Payton grows and changes because of what happens to her family. Yet, Payton’s voice still stays the same, but she has a matured and it comes across by her actions and words.

One of the things that I loved about this book was the whole premise. I loved that to deal with her father’s MS, Payton’s told to get a focus object, and that the object is the back of Sean Griswold’s head. I love how Payton’s feelings slowly begin to form and grow. I loved Sean and Payton’s relationship. It didn’t exactly go perfectly, which I loved. It was filled with things that got in the way and made for heart-wretchy moments. And Sean was such a cutey. I really liked him. He is a genuinely nice a guy who cares about Payton.

I really liked how Lindsey Leavitt dealt with the issue of Payton’s father’s illness. Multiple sclerosis is not a disease commonly featured in literature and I really liked that it. I loved how once Payton came to terms with her father being sick that she began to learn more about MS and even took to joining a bike race to raise money to help find MS.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had that special something that just touches your emotions. This book is a fun, enjoyable, quick read that will put a smile on your face. I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s a great contemporary novel.