August 30, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #112

This week's question is:
Best Cover? What is the best cover of a book that you’ve read and didn’t like?

My answer: Easy!

What about you???

All American Girl: Ready or Not by Meg Cabot

Ready or Not (All-American Girl, #2) 

Goodreads synopsis:

Top ten things Samantha Madison isn't ready for:
10. Spending Thanksgiving at Camp David
9. With her boyfriend, the president's son
8. Who appears to want to take their relationship to the Next Level
7. Which Sam inadvertently and shockingly announces live on MTV
6. While appearing to support the president's dubious policies on families, morals, and yes, sex
5. Juggling her new after-school job at Potomac Video
4. Even though she already has a job as teen ambassador to the UN (that she doesn't get paid for)
3. Riding the Metro and getting accosted because she's "the redheaded girl who saved the president's life," in spite of her new, semipermanent Midnight Ebony tresses
2. Experiencing total role reversal with her popular sister Lucy, who for once can't get the guy she wants
And the number-one thing Sam isn't ready for?
1. Finding out the hard way that in art class, "life drawing" means "naked people."

Release Date: August 1, 2005
Pages: 238 (Paperback)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers


Ready or Not was a great novel. Thinking about it there is almost nothing I could criticize about it. The plot was very clear and kept me reading - I flew through the book like nothing. The characters continued to be as hilarious and realistic as they were in the first novel. At the same time, though, they were much more mature. All in all, I would even say I liked Ready or Not a lot more than All American Girl - which is pretty unusual for me with sequels. The only thing that bothered me a tiny little bit is that Cabot tends to repeat a character's thoughts about one certain topic a million times - that annoys me sometimes.


I bought this book together with All American Girl. After reading that one, though, I was kind of fed up with the story and let Ready or Not sit on my shelf until the Meg Cabot Readathon led me to finally reading it and I can honestly say I'm so happy about that.

What I loved most about Ready or Not was that it took place a year after All American Girl and that all the characters were so much more mature. Also, I felt like the plot was a lot more straight forward. Different from the first book the second one was a super fast read for me.

Meg's writing style is what I want to put emphasis on in this review, because I felt like it was more settled than in some of her other books. The protagonist's voice is still very funny and all the dialogues and descriptions kept me laughing - but it wasn't too much.

Lucy was amazing. Truly amazing. I loved how much she had grown from book one to book two but also the development we could see in her during book two. It's not only believable, it's also very inspiring and I felt like I was being taught a very important lesson - of course, in funny and snarky Meg Cabot style.

All in all the book was an plain enjoyable read. Quick, fun, heartwarming. What I missed was Rebecca. I loved her character in All American Girl and would have liked to see more of her.

RATING: Three out of three Smarties

August 29, 2012

Review: All American Girl by Meg Cabot

All-American Girl (All-American Girl, #1) 

Goodreads synopsis:

Samantha Madison is an average, cool Washington, D.C., teen: She loves Gwen Stefani (who doesn't?), can draw like nobody's business, and enjoys being opposite to her sister's annoying ultra-social personality. But when she ditches art class one day, she doesn't expect to be jumping on the back of a wannabe presidential assassin. Soon the young hero is receiving worldwide acclaim for her bravery, having dinner with her family at the White House, and is even being named teen ambassador to the UN. As if this weren't enough, she and David, the president's son, strike up a friendship that everyone wants the dirt on, which starts to give her romantic "frisson" feelings. Unfortunately, Sam thinks her sister's boyfriend, Jack, is the true love of her life, and she makes a few wrong turns that could screw up what she's developing with David. Will she ever stop following what she knows and start following what she sees?


In hilarious Meg Cabot - fashion All American Girl tells a funny, quite unrealistic story of your VERY stereotypical teenage girl. Meg's writing style is funny as always, although it did annoy me at times. The Princess Diaries and The Mediator Series were WAY better in my opinion, but still. This is a light novel for those moments when you just want to read to prevent boredom :)


Although I usually love Meg and her writing style and although I am the biggest fan of Mia's hysterical trains of thought in The Princess Diaries I found All American Girl a little bit too much exactly that: hysterical.

The beginning effected me as usual. I opened the book, read three sentences and went from grinning to laughing in a matter of seconds - despite being in a horrible mood. Then, though, things went downhill for me. I was waiting for something to actually happen! The real incident that this book should be about came around almost towards the middle of the novel and even though Sam's life and friends and everyday life were interesting and funny at first I got bored quite fast. Also, because she kept repeating the latest reasons to LIKE...TOTALLY FREAK...and after some time I was just like "Yeah, I know Sam. Your life sucks. But ... you know - you're a teenager, what exactly did you expect?"

Anyway, I liked Sam and her family. Lucy was a bit flat - as a person, yes, but also as a character, but Rebecca was amazing! Sam's little sister always appeared in the exact right moments only to say hilarious things - loved her!

Then, the incident happened. And I was a bit disappointed with that, too. Because everything that happened afterwards was not much better than everything that happened before. School, endless discussions with sisters and best friends and - of course - Sam's hysterical self.

After all, don't get me wrong here. I did enjoy All American Girl. The lists between the chapters were cool and some really funny things happened. It's just that overall Sam seemed a bit too dramatic and although the book is rather short it took me quite some time to finish it, because I had no real desire to find out what happened next.

However, To get your mind off things or to read while you're waiting at the doctor's office All American Girl would be really great!

RATING: 2 out of 3 Smarties

August 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish Confessions

1. I've never read The Lord of The Rings Series - and even worse - I don't think I ever will. I've heard pretty intimidating things about it (like difficult language and songs and stuff...)

2. I hated the Harry Potter books in the beginning because I couldn't pronounce the names (I'm German and I was in third grade when I tried - no experience with the English language) and I didn't get the story :)

3. I was afraid of the United States when I was younger. I'd never read a book set there and this might not seem to be book related but today I read almost exclusively American books - and I even prefer American covers!

4. My mom had to read books to me until I was thirteen. Seriously. And she stopped doing it not because I wanted her to but because she said it was "about time" .... :)

5. I constantly count the number of pages until a book is finished and then calculate how much time I will need to get to the end.

6. In seventh grade my teacher talked to my mom and together they forbid me to read Harry Potter. That teacher looked at me with a serious expression on her face and said:
"There are different types of addictions, Laura."

7. I once spilled hot chocolate on my jeans and the book I was reading, Thirteen Reasons Why - and I did nothing to save it because I needed to know how the book ended :)

8.When I was younger I'd receive a letter from our local library every month because I never returned the books on time!

9. In seventh grade I brought all the Harry Potter books I owned to tests at school - they were my "lucky charms"

10. As a child I used to pretend I was my favorite book character. The confession? I still do it sometimes.

Week of August 27

All New Stories:
Foretold by Carrie Ryan: Book CoverEvery Day by David Levithan: Book CoverIf I Lie by Corrine Jackson: Book CoverThe Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton: Book Cover


Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh: Book CoverUnWholly (Unwind Trilogy #2) by Neal Shusterman: Book Cover
The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa: Book CoverSpark (Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental Series #2) by Brigid Kemmerer: Book CoverAshes by Ilsa J. Bick: Book CoverEmbrace by Jessica Shirvington: Book Cover

Sooo. I would LIKE to get Ashes - I actually already was about to buy it when I realized that I've had more than enough books this months :) However, I've heard GREAT things about Ilsa J. Bick's Ashes and the sequel Shadows (I believe...) Same goes for Embrace. Same goes for Nevermore and Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh. Same goes for Spark but somehow I'm not exactly interested in that one.

And as for the rest? I have no idea what to think of them, so - what do you think of them???

August 26, 2012

Words of the Week

Book Haul - no better word for it. I went totally crazy on (thank god!) that bargain books section on Amazon!

8 hours - is the amount of sleep I'm trying to get since school started. I'm doing good so far - it's just that my reading pace suffers a LOT!

Belles - by Jen Calonita is THE book for everyone who starts school right now. Seriously, it's a must at the beginning of the school year!!!

Jennifer L. Armentrout - what is it with that author? It seems like there are a gazillon books coming out right now and everyone talks about how awesome she is and I still don't own a book of hers! That has GOT to change - any recommendations?

HELP - Seriously guys - I'm dying here! I just don't know if I should read Partials or Under the Never Sky first - which one would you read first?

And now...on to all the books I purchased this week (they were all very inexpensive because they're bargain books, so it's okay...)

Gone (Gone, #1)The Daughters (The Daughters, #1)Need (Need, #1)
Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)Eve (Eve, #1)
Leviathan (Leviathan #1)Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #1)My Name is Memory

August 23, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #111

Today's Question is:
Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you’ve read and loved?

Probably the British version of Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I thought I'd be smart and save a few cents (CENTS!!) and bought the British instead of the US covers...I've regretted it ever since.

I mean, under normal circumstances these would be okay, but I like the US covers so much better!

August 22, 2012

Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

Goodreads synopsis:

A novel set mostly in Afghanistan. The introverted and insecure afghan narrator, Amir, grows up in Afghanistan in the closing years of the monarchy and the first years of the short-lived republic. His best and most faithful friend, Hassan, is the son of a servant. Amir feels he betrays Hassan by not coming to his aid when Hassan is set on by bullies and furthermore forces Hassan and his father Ali to leave his father´s service. Amir´s relatively privileged life in Kabul comes to an end when the communist regime comes to power and his extrovert father, Baba emigrates with him to the U.S. There Amir meets his future afghan wife and marries her. Amir´s father dies in the U.S. and Amir receives a letter from his father´s most trusted business partner and, for a time, Amir´s surrogate father, which makes Amir return, alone, to a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan in search of the truth about himself and his family, and finally, a sort of redemption.

Pages: 371 (Paperback)
Release Date: April 27, 2004
Series? No
Publisher: Riverhead Books


This was a truly outstanding novel. The writing style was pure, true, honest. The plot felt real, as sad and as happy and lucky as real life. The characters were well-rounded and most of the time likeable. Even the really evil ones had a history that explained why they acted the way they did. You can't really break it up like that, though. The Kite Runner is simply amazing.

I got this book for my birthday from my aunt who is truly obsessed with it - and now I am, too. I pretty much expected to develop that weird forced-to-read-and-like it feeling I always get whenever I'm supposed to read an adult book or a classic or any kind of school reading assignment.

I can't even say what I loved most about this book. The round-up characters or the plot that was just so realistic. I could never guess how things turned out because - like in real life - things always went their own way and the characters just had to deal with it. Whenever I was sure the author would lead them a certain way, the story took a totally different turn, because of something that happened in politics or because of someone's personality - it was so unpredictable! I felt like I was told a true story.

I said it before, but the characters were very real, as well. Like the plot, it seemed like they were real people living their life as I was reading about them. Although I liked how the characters - especially the main character - weren't flawless sometimes I found that fact was pointed out by him a bit much, but that's really not relevant in comparison to the awesomeness that was this book.

All in all, I'd recommend this book to everyone. There's just one thing I'd like to mention: Usually I only review YA books and this is not YA. I am seventeen and I found this book quite heavy sometimes. There is violence in it and if you're younger you should definitely talk about this book with your parents or librarian or someone else who can decide if this book is for you.

Summer Reading Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer

Goodreads Summary:

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Pages: 290
Series? No
Release Date: June 1, 2009


Twenty Boy Summer had me in on the first page! Characters who could not only be the boy or girl next door, but whom I'd also love to have as my best friends had to deal with the death of a very important person - but even more - with growing up and saving a friendship from the effects of that process - wonderful story, the perfect feel - good novel!


I'm sorry, Sarah Dessen. I was convinced there would never be something or someone to rob you the number one spot in my reading heart. I'm sorry, I was wrong...
Well, not quite. I still love Sarah Dessen's writing, but I would say Sarah Ockler is the first contemporary writer that I adore just as much. Their ways of telling a story are rather different, I guess, but both amazing.

I was very worried to start Twenty Boy Summer because I luckily have never lost someone close to me and my problem with grief books is that I usually don't get them, I can't identify with them.
I didn't have to worry, though. Twenty Boy Summer brought a smile on my face on the very first page and that smile revisited throughout the whole book.
Anna, the main character, had a great personality but also found herself in the middle of growing into her own person and making her own decisions.
As was Frankie, Anna's best friend. She just tried to find herself in a totally different way. That growing-of age part of the novel especially appealed to me because both characters were described so realistically. I think most teens could identify with either the rather quiet, thoughtful Anna or the rebellious and wild Frankie.

Realistic is also what I'd call the conflict the two girls had to work out. I mean, not all of us have to deal with overcoming the death of a brother and best friend, but the tension between the childhood friends, Anna's worries about keeping something from her best friend for the first time in her life and how her secret will affect the rest of their lives and their friendship - I think most girls go through that phase sooner or later.

The boys in this book...came rather random, I think. They were more of an accessory, necessary for the story, but they kept appearing and disappearing whenever they were needed without really playing an important role.
Much more important were the parents - especially Frankie's and that's also where I have to criticize a bit. I really would have liked to see if and how Frankie can solve the problems with her parents.

All in all, though, Twenty Boy Summer is a really great coming-of age story with excellent funny, emotional writing written by an author who - I would assume - definitely knows how teens feel :)

RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties

August 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (21)

Top Ten Books You've Read During the Lifespan of Your Blog

...I started my blog towards the end of March 2012 :)

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Divergent (Divergent, #1)City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1)Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)The Kite RunnerPushing the LimitsIf I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1)Rosebush

They are in no particular order because I love all of these so much!!!

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