Monthly Archives: February 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt Review

going vintage

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
March 26, 2013
320 pgs

After discovering that her boyfriend is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory swears off both Jeremy and technology. Hurt and humiliated, Mallory longs for a simpler life. When she discovers a list written by her grandmother in 1962, she knows that she has found her inspiration. Using The List as a guide, Mallory sets out the reinvent herself and her life by going vintage. Of course, the fallout over her break up isn’t the only challenge Mallory has to face. Her parents fight all the time, her grandmother has become strangely distant, and her younger sister and best friend constantly outshines her. Oh, and the potential new guy? Her ex’s cousin! Can The List fix all of these problems? Living a simple life turns out to be a lot more complicated than just swearing off computers and cell phones, but she perseveres on her journey with a little help from her family and friends.

One of my favorite things about this book is the fact that Mallory turns her betrayal and hurt into positive action. Her reactions, doubts, insecurities and triumphs are so real and normal. It is refreshing to take a journey with an ordinary character dealing with everyday issues. I love a good escape book as much as the next person, but sometimes it is easy to forget that in the real world dramas of all sizes are unfolding on social network sites and in schools and homes. Mallory kind of stumbles through issues on all of these fronts and she has a great cast of supporting characters along for the ride. This is a sweet and funny addition to the contemporary fiction genre. I definitely enjoyed this one!

Be sure to check out Lindsey Leavitt’s other books which include the Princess for Hire series and Sean Griswold’s Head.

This book was provided by the publisher and for review.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: I’d Buy That, or My No Questions Asked Auto-Buy List


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Books, is all about the authors who write books that we will buy with no questions asked. What’s that one about? WHO CARES, XXX WROTE IT SO IT WILL BE A.MAZ.ING. End of story. I try really hard to take advantage of my awesome library collection (I am the one who orders it after all) but sometimes I just can’t help myself and I must own the books personally. My list contains both auto-buy and auto-read authors. As much as I wish I could, I just can’t own all the books.

1. Michael Grant. Genius. I have a copy of Light, the final book in the Gone series and I am afraid to start it. I don’t want the madness to be over. I guess I can catch up on Magnificent 12 while I wait to see what new insanity is unleashed upon us.

gone bzrk eve maginificent 12

2. Ally Carter. I have so much love for The Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series. Gallagher Girls is almost finished and I will anxiously wait to see what comes next.

i'd tell you heist society

3. Scott Westerfeld. All time favorite. With all due respect, I wish he would spend a little less time on his graphic novel adaptations and more time writing something shiny and new for me.

uglies leviathan

4. Marissa Meyer. She’s a new favorite! I actually need to go out and purchase her books. My shelves are lacking in cyborg awesomeness.

cinder scarlet

5. John Flanagan. I never expected to fall in love with a cranky old ranger and his young apprentice, but alas, I did. I can’t wait to start his new series.

ruins of gorlan brotherband

6. Libba Bray. I have read everything she has written and after meeting her in person I must confess that I have a little author crush on her. My home collection of her works is missing pieces, but I am working on that. Desperate for more Diviners.

great going bovine beauty queens diviners

7. L.A. Meyer. Keep the Jacky Faber stories coming, please!

bloody jack

8. Kiersten White. I loved Paranormalcy and can’t wait to get my hands on her new series. I really should just buy it!

paranormalcy mind games

9. Rick Riordan. Mythology has never been so much fun! I need to start collecting the complete works of Rick Riordan. Well, maybe just the middle grade ones. My nephews are almost old enough to start some Percy Jackson. Can’t wait.

percy red pyramid lost hero

10. Cassandra Clare. I actually only obsessively hoard her Infernal Devices series (they have prettier covers). Maybe some day I will go back and add The Mortal Instruments.

city of bones clockwork angel


Lish McBride, Moira Young, and Antony John.

hold me closer blood red road fiveflavorsof dumb

Non-YA authors

Lisa Lutz, Sarah Addison Allen, Bill Willingham, Christopher Farnsworth, and Alan Bradley

spellmans garden spells fables blood oath sweetness

Ok, I have to cut myself off. I could keep going…

Happy Reading!


Mondays with Megan-In Which I Have Nothing to Say About the Oscars Because I Didn’t Watch

That’s right. I did not watch the Oscars. I also didn’t see any of the movies nominated for awards. I am so bad about going to see movies! Apparently, I am also bad at concentrating on reading. All the brain cells for concentration have taken a vacation. The majority of last week’s reading was done while I was stuck on the elliptical machine or while driving (and by reading, in this case I mean listening. Obviously). This week isn’t shaping up to be much better. This is a bit distressing because I have some great stuff at home to read. How about I throw together a little Monday list and then go work on turning my attitude around? Sounds like a plan.

mondayreading Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts. Check them out!


also known as lean mean thirteen ready going vintage

Despite my previous grumbling, I did read some awesome books last week. Also Known As by Robin Benway was tons of fun, but Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is hands down my favorite read this year. I would like to thank Stephanie Plum for helping me out in my time of need. I can  always count on her to get me out of a funk. Check back later in the week for more on Going Vintage by Lindsay Leavitt. This one didn’t really start with a bang for me, but it picked up and had a great ending.

Currently Reading:

speaking from among the bones my ex from hellprodigy

I started to listen to Ender’s Game, but then the new Flavia de Luce book on cd came available from the library, so Ender is on pause. I am breezing through my e-galley of My Ex From Hell (totally cute) by Tallulah Darling and I am about a third of the way through Prodigy by Marie Lu. So far, so awesome.

On Deck:

enders game thedinner rules for disappearing

I don’t remember putting myself on hold for The Dinner by Herman Koch, but my coworker said she read it in a day and it was awesome. Since there are a bunch of people waiting for it, this will be next read. My next ARC is The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston. Of course, this could all change. Especially if an ARC of Light by Michael Grant just happens to come my way….Just thinking of that has already improved my mood. That and the coffee and piece of chocolate I just ate. Monday is looking better already!

Happy Reading!


Also Known As by Robin Benway Review

also known as

Also Known As by Robin Benway
Bloomsbury Juvenile
February 26, 2013
320 pgs

Sixteen-year-old Maggie Silver is a spy. Together with her parents she is a member of a top-secret organization called The Collective, charged with keeping the world safe. As a child Maggie learned to pick locks. Then she graduated to safe-cracking. Her family’s skills have led them on covert operations around the globe, but nothing has prepared her for her first solo mission: high school. The Silvers are back in their hometown of New York City and Maggie has been assigned her first mission. Her job is to befriend the son of a local magazine magnate in order to get her hands on an exposé article that will ruin The Collective. Safe-cracking requires a steady hand and nerves of steel. High school is a whole other story!

Fun, fun, fun! While it’s a little light on the spy details, Also Known As is overflowing with humor, romance, and high-school drama. I really loved the witty banter and endearing characters. Roux is the awesome and unexpected side-kick, The Boy is sweet and charming, and thank you Ms. Benway for strong parents and Angelo! I love when teen characters have positive adults in their lives. This one is the whole package and I highly recommend picking it up.

Want more? Try The Gallagher Girls and Heist Society by Ally Carter.

Need something a little darker? Try How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kiersten Miller.

This book was provided by the publisher and for review.

Happy Reading!



Top Ten Tuesday-Favorite Characters in Genre X (aka Let’s Hear it For the Boy(s))


This week The Broke and the Bookish have asked about our favorite characters in any genre of our choosing. That’s a great idea, but I am going to cheat a little. Today I feel like talking about boys. I feel like I am always making a fuss about some awesome leading lady (and they totally deserve all the love and fuss) and kind of neglect the boys or swoon over them in a romancey way. Well, here are some totally awesome guys who rock in their own right.

1. Will Treaty from The Ranger’s Apprentice John Flanagan. You know how much I love this series, right? And really, it’s not fair to just pick Will because Horace and Halt are equally amazing. I have all the love for all the boys.


2. Ed Kennedy from I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Ed’s a bit of a loser, but he ends up doing great things. I would totally hang out with him.

i am the messenger

3. Sam LaCroix from Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride. Under-achieving smart guy with a totally creepy power? Yup. Also, he’s hilarious.


4. Wade Watts from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I am almost finished with this book, and I love it. Wade caused a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. Everything from pity to admiration. What a great character!


5. Cassel Sharpe from The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. And here comes the bad boy…

white cat

6. Gansey from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I think maybe Blue is supposed to be the main character, but for me, this was all about Gansey and his quest.

raven boys

7.  Doug Swieteck from Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt. I think I may have mentioned before how I feel all the feelings for Doug.

okay for now

8. Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Tiny is just a giant bundle of great energy. You have to love him. I think it might be a rule.

will grayson

9. Ethan Wate from Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. When I first started reading this I was impressed by the fact that the main point of view in this paranormal romance was an average teenaged boy. Nothing unique or weird. It was refreshing. I really should finish this series…

beautiful creatures

10. Todd from The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. Oh Todd, through two books you have impressed me. I am afraid and hopeful about what is in store for you in book 3.

knife of neve

Also a great big shout out to Percy Jackson and you will want to check out Flick in How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller. He’s pretty cool.

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-Fighting the February Funk With Books!

Hey everyone! Are you having a long weekend? I’m at work, but still managed a long weekend by taking Friday off. I was supposed to road trip to Michigan to see Ally Carter, but honestly, the February Funk crept in and told my brain that nearly 8 hours in the car was a bad idea. Instead, I parked it at the coffee shop and had a relaxing day off. In fact, I pretty much indulged my Funk all weekend and spent lots of time lounging, moping, and reading. I am still off pace (thank you very much, Kevin the High Maintenance Dog), but I did pretty good this week.

mondayreading Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Thank you Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for hosting my favorite Monday meme:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


twelve and she was warm bodies fairest

I am enjoying my Stephanie Plum kick and will probably move on to Lean Mean Thirteen soon. I picked up the Alison Gaylin book for our genre discussion meeting. This month we are talking thriller/suspense. And She Was was not an edge-of-your-seat suspense, but it was an interesting and entertaining read. I read Warm Bodies in one sitting and now I am ready to see the movie. Wide Awake is the first volume of a new Fables spin-off series called Fairest and it stars the leading ladies of fairy tales. The main story featured Briar Rose, but for me, the real treat was the short at the end about Beauty. Things are definitely about to get interesting…

Still Working On:

ready going vintage lost stories

Oh, the love. I don’t want Ready Player One to end. I set Going Vintage aside temporarily in favor of another e-galley (see currently reading). I’ll get back to it this week.

Currently Reading:

also known as

I am totally loving Also Known As by Robin Benway! It’s the perfect fix while I impatiently wait for Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter. It’s so much fun that it’s the only book I am reading right now!

On Deck:

speaking from among the bones  enders game cadet

It is almost my turn with the new Flavia de Luce book! While I wait for the audio I am going to start Ender’s Game. I am also going to get started on The Cadet of Tildor. I’ve heard great things, so I am excited to read this debut fantasy. Of course, this can all change. You never know what book is going to change all my plans! What are you reading this week?

Happy Reading!


The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar Review

art of wishing

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
Dial Books for Young Readers
March 21, 2013
314 pgs

Margo McKenna is a planner and her plan for  senior year is to land the lead in the school musical. When the coveted part goes to an unknown sophomore, Margo is stunned. Little does she know, that is just the first of many surprises heading her way. The biggest shock of all is the discovery that the ring she found in the girl’s bathroom comes with a genie. You know, the magical, wish-granting kind. Despite her natural skepticism, the evidence seems to support the crazy story coming from the totally normal looking teenaged guy. The guy who wants to grant her three wishes. As if picking three wishes wasn’t hard enough, her genie informs her that she has to make her choices quickly because he is on the run (from a psycho murderer) and needs to split as soon as his work is done. Talk about stressful! Wishing is a huge responsibility and should be planned thoughtfully, but the longer she delays, the greater the danger for her and her magical wish grantor.

Margo McKenna and her genie are a refreshing departure from the insta-love paranormal romances that seem to be standard fare these days. I loved that Margo is a well-developed and strong character who has the sense to be skeptical about the whole genie thing. She has totally normal reactions of fear and mistrust and it takes time and effort to build the relationship. Dreamy or not, that boy’s story sounds crazy and Margo doesn’t buy it the first time he pitches it. I loved that. I also enjoyed the author’s take on genie lore and her willingness to add a touch of darkness. There is still plenty of humor and sweet romance, but this story isn’t a fluff piece. The story is well-paced and suspenseful and while the ending is obviously not the end of Margo’s story, it is not a rage-inducing cliffhanger. I totally appreciate that. Thank you, Ms. Ribar. I will certainly be watching for more!

You may also enjoy As You Wish by Jackson Pearce and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Love is in the Air!


In honor of Valentine’s Day, The Broke and the Bookish want to know which books top our favorite romance lists. I have decided to leave all of the vampires, demon hunters, and witches off my list. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a kick-butt paranormal romance. A lot. But today I thought I would focus on some of my favorite sweet and swoony romances starring ordinary people.

1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I read this charming debut in one sitting.

my life

2. Along for the Ride Sarah Dessen. I have not read much of Sarah Dessen, but I really enjoyed the audio of this one and I will certainly pick up more of her books.

along for the ride

3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I have a love-annoyed relationship with this series.


4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Ah, the beloved Anna and Etienne…

anna and the french kiss

5.  Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I truly LOVED this one. Road trip, awesome guy, totally not sappy. Win!

amy and roger's epic detour

6. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. The perfect Christmas book! It’s smart and funny and totally not teeth-rotting sweet. Apparently I like my romances with a side of grit!

dash and lily

7. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Um, sizzle. This whole series about the Fuentes brothers smolders.

perfect chemistry

8. Just One Day by Gayle Forman. This one is on a bunch of lists too. It really is a wonderful read. I can’t wait to hear Willem’s side of the story.

just one day

9. Past Perfect by Leila Sales. Super cute and sweet. This one is just plain fun.

past perfect

10. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (for all you fans of a John Green style sob-fest romance).


Honorable Mentions:

pushing the limits wanderlove megan meade's guide meant to be

Happy Reading!



Mondays With Megan-I Have a Series Problem. Seriously.

Good Morning Blogosphere! It’s Monday and I am here to report on my reading week. One of my goals for the year is to wrap up some series. To get myself organized for this challenge I made a list, because you know, I love a good list. Well, one thing is clear. I have a lot of work ahead of me. Actually, work is the wrong word, because none of the books on my list will be a chore. In my goals post I mentioned Stephanie Plum, The Rangers Apprentice, Chaos Walking and The Caster Chronicles as the series top on my reading radar. That, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. It appears that I am an abandoner, always watching for the next big thing and as soon as it appears in my hand, I dump the tried and true. I want to change my ways and last week’s reading totally reflect that. I think I have a good system going right now. I get my shiny new fix from NetGalley and the library takes care of my series reading. Win-win. Though, am not really sure what I did last week. It wasn’t reading, that’s pretty obvious. Check it:

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

mondayreading Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Thanks to Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for the is awesome meme.


ask and answer art of wishing cubs

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy and it is page after page of heart-pounding suspense. My attempt to move straight into book three was foiled! Someone else has it checked out (which is totally awesome for them, but sad for me!). I will wait my turn and plug away at other things in the meantime. I also finished an ARC of The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar. It is cute and fun and Margo is a really great protag, so go ahead and add this to your TBR list. I’ll have a full review later this week. Finally, I devoured the most recent helping of Fables, Cubs in Toyland, by Bill Willingham. Followers of the series may recall a prophecy about a certain couple’s babies (trying to avoid spoilers)? Well, it’s starting. This volume was so dark and creepy and at first I couldn’t get into it, but then I remembered the prophecy and that helped me process what I was reading.

Currently Reading:

ready twelve going vintage lost stories

I am about half way through the audio of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, read by Wil “Beloved King of the Nerds” Wheaton. This is quickly becoming my favorite book of 2013. I am also about half way through Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich…and then I will only have seven more Stephanie Plum books left! My new and shiny read this week is Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt. I will also continue to plug away at The Lost Stories by John Flanagan. I loved the story about Will’s parents.

On Deck: I have SO many choice! Take a look and feel free to recommend my next book.

elemental bad to cursed prodigy prized

What do think I should read next? Of course, you never know what irresistible book will cross my path. The best laid plans, my friends…

Happy Reading!


Dualed by Elsie Chapman Review


Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Random House Books for Young Readers
February 26, 2013
304 pgs

In the future a cold vaccine lead to infertility. As the human condition deteriorated a small gated city emerged as the last war-free zone in North America. Though considered a safe haven, life in Kersh is anything but safe for active Alts. Everyone in the city has a genetically altered twin who is raised by a different family. Each citizen must prove that they are worthy to partake in limited resource by killing their Alt some time before they reach the age of twenty. No one knows when they will receive their assignment, or go active, but when they do they have thirty days to eliminate their twin. This is the world in which West Grayer lives. At the age of fifteen, she has lost almost everyone she cares about and her confidence in her ability to survive is shaken. If she is going to be the version of herself to win, she will have to stop hiding from the past and running from the one person who can help her.

I really struggled with this debut novel. On the one hand, I appreciate the simple and straight forward explanation regarding the events that led to the collapse of the modern world. Throw in the genetically manipulated twins thing with mandatory battles to the death and you have a wide-scale Hunger Games situation on your hands. So far, this all sounds awesome and I am on board! On the other hand, I found West, to be a confusing and contradictory main character who I never quite understood. The author raises some interesting issues regarding humanity and how people define worth. The plot is fast-paced and suspenseful and despite the fact that I never fully connected with the story I am confident that Dualed will appeal to many readers.

This book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher for review.

Happy Reading!