Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

I'm gonna start doing this more often. But for now I'm gonna post books I got in the last couple of weeks. I hope to post every time I get new books, but if for whatever reason I'm not able to, I will post in probably a monthly basis. 

So I got the following books from Jen (friend from GR)


I have to thank her because these books have been on my to-buy/to-read shelf forever and it was so considerate of her to send me those.

Girl In The Arena by Lise Haines: Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through.  Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family.  Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator.  Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine.

Possessions by Nancy Holder: The It Girl meets The Exorcist in this chilling, haunted boarding school tale New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn-t help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago. What Lindsay doesn-t yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead... And that someone is Lindsay

The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn: The bar code tattoo. Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity. But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run...for her life

Perfect Chemistry: When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.  In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Rules of Attraction: When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

Die For Me: When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent. Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bitter End By Jennifer Brown

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.

I didn't know what to expect of this book. I read the Hate List and it was a pretty intense book. What I really like about Jennifer Brown's books is that it's always pretty original topics. When someone thinks 'teen' they usually think of these words: sex, rape, love. But suicide? Bullying? Abuse? This book really got my attention. I have read books about sexual assault before, such as Speak, but never physical abuse. You know what I loved about this book? The way it gets to you. When I read what it was about I thought "I will never like the son-of-a-bitch that hits her" but those first few pages when Cole is actually nice and loving, I actually did fall in love with the guy! I mean seriously, he was so sweet and the guy we all dream about. I was actually feeling what the main character, Alex, was feeling. Even those first times when he started with small threats I felt bad for her....and then fell in love with him again. The book is also very realistic, no abused girl goes for help the first time. And you can see that the Alex is truly in love and has confused feelings. She doesn't want to turn her back on her friends but she doesn't want to leave Cole even after everything he's done to her because he's in love. The reader is a little confused as well, at least I was. One would think when dealing with an abuser one would say "Hell, I'm done with him!" But no, because when someone's in love the think they're gonna change. But they don't, and it takes for someone to hit rock bottom to realize it. That's what happened to Alex, she hit rock bottom. All I can say is that I loved this book's realism the way the writer reaches to the reader just by the way the main character narrates the way she feels about a guy. 
I give this book 5 stars!

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Sunday, August 7, 2011


RAK stands for Random Acts Of Kindness. It is an amazing program it is hosted by Book Soulmates ( Such a good idea, for everyone who loves books, especially for people like me, who have a really hard time finding them. This is my first month participating. 

Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.

  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
  • *NEW* Please, once you receive a RAK, email or tweet me {Vanessa} so that I can update the Google doc. There are a lot of requests for this! 
  • *NEW* E-book participation is limited to files being gifted directly to a person from the e-book store. Amazon's Kindle Store is set up to allow this, as well as the Kobo store and we believe Barnes & Noble as well.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K! Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)
My RAK Wishlist
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My RAK Wishlist

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Throat by R.A. Nelson
A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Anathema by Megg Jensen
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Book of Love by Abra Ebner
Unknown Magic by Evelyn M. Byrne
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
Die For Me by Amy Plum
Kept by Zoe Winters
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Lee Dugard

In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen. 
For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. 

For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation. 

On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived. 

A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.

This book is something I wouldn't normally pick up. But I wanted to know her story. I wanted to know Jaycee Dugard's story in her own words. The first thought that came to my mind since page one was "What a strong woman." I remember reading in a magazine about her spending 18 years in captivity. And when you read or hear that, it takes a while for your mind to process it, 18 years is a long time. And she endured it, had two kids in the process and she survived. When reading this book, I constantly had to remind myself that this wasn't fiction, that this was real. That all of the things in the book, especially in the first chapters, actually happened to a little girl. Some part of me wanted to believe it was all fiction, because then my stomach wouldn't turn whenever this man abused her. It seemed unreal to me that a person, especially at her young age, could survive all of that torture. But you see the way she writes and you have to believe it. I believed it. This girl had so much strength. Thinking about her story makes my stomach turn. Thinking about her being taken at such an innocent age, losing all those years, about her mother. It's all a swirl of emotions, even tears, I felt angry at Garrido, scared for Jaycee and her family, and generally angered at the world. I asked questions to myself like: why her? Why are people like Phillip Garrido allowed to live in this world. Why didn't anyone ever notice, 18 years and nobody did. And that was just a reader's reaction, I couldn't even begin to imagine how Jaycee Dugard felt. That's another thing, the whole book there's one thought that crossed my mind and everyone else's I'm sure. "If I were in that situation I would...." But that's the thing, it didn't happen to me, or you, just to her. And she found a way to survive it, in her own way, but she did. And in the end that's what counts. Jaycee Dugard found a way to survive and never lost hope. This book really makes you think, if Jaycee survived 18 years of captivity with a psycho, then why is it so hard for people who have normal lives to deal with every day things. From now on one phrase will always cross my mind. Jaycee Dugard survived those horrors, I can survive whatever's going on in my life. 
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