Monday, December 28, 2009

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Description:

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

****
Expectation/s: Ally Carter, one of my favorite YA authors, said that this is her favorite book of the decade so you can just imagine how excited I was to read this.

Then...: The plot was definitely original. I liked it but I wasn't as crazy about it as I'd expected to be.

This is the first E. Lockhart book I've read and I was very impressed with her writing style. Frankie's snappy and witty lines were reminiscent of Ally Carter's books, nevertheless, it retains a unique tone (which may be due to the fact that it's not as girly as the Gallagher Girls series). I had a hard time guessing what was gonna happen next in the book - which is a good thing - though I had an inkling on how it was gonna end based from Frankie's personality alone. Though the book did keep me hooked and itching to know more, I found the part of Frankie's pranks a bit dragging. I felt like it could have been better - with more action, rather than Frankie narrating what they did and how they did it.

The story mainly revolves around Frankie; all the other characters felt like they were just there to help with Frankie's development. Frankie is probably the main character with the strongest feminist views I've encountered. In her every thought, her girls-can-do-what-boys-can attitude is always present that you just gotta admire her for it. Well, ideally, that is very applaudable, but realistically, she's just so intense about it that it's bordering on paranoia.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks combines laughter, mysterious secret societies, and weird (but fun) girl scheming. If you like your books fun and quirky, you might want to read this. :)

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Book Love: 3/5

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Rating System

Usually, my ratings are based on how much I enjoyed a particular book. However, I realized that this may be a bit unfair (and misleading?) for some since we all have different tastes in books, right? So from this point on, my ratings will be divided into three parts:

  • Plot
  • Writing
  • Book Love/Personal Enjoyment - this criterion describes how I normally rate the books I read (this will also be the rating I'll use on Goodreads)
and I'll be changing the ratings scale from a possible highest grade of 10/10 to 5/5 too. Hope this'll help my readers more. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two Contests at The Neverending Shelf!

The Neverending Shelf is having a Thank You contest where 5 winners will get 17 books! Woohoo!

Here are some of the books that you can win:

Tall, Dark and Fangsome by Michelle Rowan
(The book came with the spine being a little warped at the bottom)

How to Catch and Keep a Vampire by Diana Laurence

Let Slip the Dogs of Love by Eugene Kachmarsky

Ruined by Paula Morris

Secrets of a Christmas Box by Steven Hornby

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese

Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (ARC)

Black is for Beginnings by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough (ARC)

Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance by Glenn Dakin (ARC)

Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley (ARC)

Spellbinder by Helen Stringer (ARC)

Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me by Lisa Fineberg Cook

The Man who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett (ARC)

Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson (ARC)

*****

The Neverending Shelf is also hosting The 12 Blogs of Christmas Contest there will be 9 winners!

The Goodies:
Taken by Storm Taken by Storm

The Real Real The Real Real

Lone Wolf Lone Wolf (ARC)

Raiders' Ransom Raiders' Ransom (ARC)

A $10 iTunes Gift Card and a bunch of swag!


8 other winners a swag bag filled with:

2
Shadow Hills bookmarks (one signed!)
2
Shadow Hills magnets /pins
1
The Iron King bookmark
2 Jennifer Estep bookmarks
And some other surprise goodies.


Both contests ends on Dec 31. :)

Giveaway at Princess Bookie!

Ohmygosh, AWESOME, AWESOME giveaway from the Princess Bookie!!!!

Here's what you can win:

or

It ends on Dec 31!!!!

P.S. If you're not a follower of her blog, please say I referred you. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In My Mailbox (11)

Finally, a new IMM post! :)

*In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren*

I didn't get any YA books this week, instead, I bought:


Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by J. R. Ward

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

Everyone seems to have read this series so I got curious and decided to start on it. I've read it and I'm looking forward to the 2nd book. :)









The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Truly Plaice, an overly large and ungainly girl, is the polar opposite of her sister, Serena Jane, the epitome of feminine perfection. With their parents dead, Truly and Serena Jane are separated: Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation. There, while Serena Jane’s beauty proves to be her biggest curse, Truly finds her calling—the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques—and, in reckoning with her demons, the possibility of love in unexpected places.

I've only seen positive reviews for this book... plus, the plot sounds interesting so I hope this'll be good. :)




What did you gals get this week? :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Description from Goodreads:

The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fianc√©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction



****

I was expecting. . .
Well, A LOT. Vampires, romance, fun... the list goes on. I was so excited to read this book. [Our local bookstores didn't have it here so I even had to a special book order and wait for it for almost two months!] So yeah, I really had high expectations. :)

. . .then
It's unconventional. Some might say it's even a bit weird. But, ZOMG. I. Love. It.

Royalty + Vampires? Can you say awesome? And Lucius Vladescu? Can I just say awesome again?! Seriously, I am so in love with this book, I'm not sure I can make an objective review. :p

Just a few pages into it and I knew that this book was not at all what I expected. Readers looking for fun will definitely get it here, though it might not be your usual laugh-out-loud fun. For me, the fun part was a bit subtle - more like being taken aback at something Lucius said, slowly starting to find the humor, and then bam! I'd just find myself grinning and giggling like a fool. [I did say I love it, right?] Vampire politics also played a major role in this book, which was a unique and enjoyable treat.

The growth of the romance between Jessica and Lucius is - I can't find any other word for it - delicious. This was no love at first sight, which is totally believable. Instead, you get this slow building yet INTENSE feelings from both of them. Anyway, how can you be anything but intense with someone like Lucius Vladescu, who is the epitome of all things dark, handsome, gentlemanly, adorably-sarcastic, heroic... and a whole lot more. Btw, kudos to Beth Fantaskey for managing to keep Lucius' archaic language all throughout the book!

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is a book I would really love everyone who is a lover of all things mysterious and romantic to read. It may not wow you with unexpected twists and turns, but it's a book that will you leave with a charming feeling that will have you wanting to re-read (parts of) it long after you're through with the book.

Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Book Love: 5/5

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Giveaway at Extreme Reader Book Reviews!

Extreme Reader Book Reviews is having a Big Holiday Giveaway! There will be two winners of two prize packs.

1st prize: first 4 books of Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
2nd prize: first 3 Blood Coven books by Mari Mancusi

And there will be a third prize once she hits 150 followers! To join, visit her blog. :) And oh, it ends on Dec 19.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some of my (a bit) recent favorite reads!

I'm kind of in a reviewing funk right now (I don't know why) so let me just share some of the recent YA books that I've read and loved. And if you haven't read them, I suggest you pick them up then maybe you'd get to fall in love with them too! ^-^


  • Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
  • Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls #3) by Ally Carter
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Georgia Nicolson #1) by Louise Rennison
  • On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God (Georgia Nicolson #2) by Louise Rennison
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Hopefully, you'll be seeing my reviews of some of these books soon! :)
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