Looks by Madeleine George

Looks by Madeleine George

Release Date: June 2, 2009
Publisher: Puffin USA
Rated: YA 12+
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Despite her massive size, Meghan Ball is the most invisible person at Valley Regional High. People say things in front of her as if she doesn't exist. And most of the time, she feels like she doesn't - until Meghan sees Aimee Zorn. Aimee is as skinny as Meghan is large, and as outwardly angry as Meghan is inwardly sad. Meghan instantly recognizes a kindred spirit in Aimee, another person using her body to say what she cannot. Alone, they are powerless, but together, Meghan and Aimee join forces to get sweet revenge against the one girl in school who hurt them both.

Looks by Madeleine George has been in my review pile for AGES now, and I'm glad I can finally post a review on it.
This book was AMAZING. Seriously, like one of those deep-thoughtful novels, but of course, with revenge and some delicious humor. This book has won some awards and it's not hard to see why. It looks at some issues, like bullying and eating disorders, which show the lives of two very different girls, and how they're affected by the same person.

Meghan is HUGE. Like, huge HUGE. But despite the fact, she remains invisible. Which apparently, is a pretty good thing, because she can go unnoticed and hear things without anyone knowing she was there at all. It's sad hearing the account of what happened to Meghan in the past, and how she became like this. No one ever saw her from then on...except for one girl: Aimee.
I have to say, I loved Aimee's story much more than Meghan's. I loved hearing about her "food" allergies, the visits to her dad, and her poetry is AWESOME. I like her headstrong ways and her "I don't give a crap" attitude. If I had to have anyone as a friend, it would probably be her.

I just felt that somewhat, the link between Meghan and Aimee was missing. I thought there would be more of a deeper friendship, other than the plans for revenge, and of course eventually hanging out with each other. I think that this book just missed out on this. Other than this, the book was so beautifully crafted and described. George's descriptions made me imagine this book so clearly, and really made me feel like I was there along with Aimee and Meghan plotting against the inevitable.

Overall, Looks is for anyone– anyone who feels like they need motivation, anyone who's going through eating disorders, anyone who's being bullied, or anyone who wants a really good book which can make them want to read it over and over again. Madeleine George has written a fabulous novel which will make the reader fall in love with it's characters and story.


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Waiting on Wednesday - Week 36

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming reads which I'm dying to get my hands on! (and sorry for the blurry image...this was the largest I could find!)

This week's WoW is:
Underworld (Abandon #2) by Meg Cabot

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. 

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

Release Date: May 28, 2012

EH. MA. GAWDS. Totally can't wait for this one, I just finished Abandon (review coming soon)! WHY oh WHY did I have to finish it so fast?!? *sigh* 2012 better come fast...

What are you waiting on?

Dust Collectors (3)

Dust Collectors is a meme hosted by Alex at Electrifying Reviews. It's to highlight the books which have been on my shelf, and well, collecting dust for quite a while. It's to ask YOU all which one I should definitely pick up and read!

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare ◆ Goodreads
Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynne Pike Goodreads

Which one should I read?

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Release Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
AmazonGoodreads Website

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

Have you ever been in a situation where you're not sure who to tell what, and even if you should tell anyone?
Well, Jaz has A LOT going through her mind. Janet Gurtler's novel has touched on racism, results of teen pregnancy, secrets and finding yourself. I haven't been fortunate enough to find myself a copy of I'm Not Her, the first Janet Gurtler book I'd ever heard of, but I've heard some amazing things about it. All I know is that if it's anything like this book, it's bound to be as good.

I feel really sorry for Jaz. Her life's kinda a mess, she can't really make any friends her age all because of the color of her skin: the result of a black football player and a white cheerleader having a one-night stand. Being the only bi-racial in the school, she's kinda been "shunned", mainly after an incident from when she was younger. But sometimes, she's so annoying, I found. She yells entirely too much and assumes things– she just jumps to conclusions too quickly without hearing an explanation. She also yells at her mom a lot, which I find kinda sad, even though her mom kinda does "try" her best. Other than this, she's quite an interesting main character and how we see her emotions through her words and song lyrics throughout the book is quite amazing.
Jackson!! I don't understand why Jaz keeps pushing him away. I'd much rather bring him closer...he's really sweet, misunderstood like Jaz, but actually thinks more positively than she does, which makes him SO much more the better character. Love his part in the story, and love how it all ties up in the end.

Gurtler does touch on some sensitive topics, like bullying and racism, self-identity, friendships and betrayal. This book has got some amazing emotion in it– it's quite the roller-coaster. Definitely would recommend to fans of Elizabeth Scott and Sarah Dessen.

Overall, If I Tell is not a fluffy-cutesy teen book. This is the real world people. Janet Gurtler shows us the life of someone who pretty much suffers everyday...just for looking the way she is! I loved this book a LOT, and will be looking forward to grabbing a copy of I'm Not Her, because if it's ANYTHING like this one, it's bound to be amazing :).

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In My Mailbox - Week 27

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's to show you all what amazing books I got this week!
I know I haven't done one in a while, but I did tell you that due to exams coming up I wouldn't be able to post too many IMMs. This week, I don't have a video, 'cause I didn't get too many physical books!

This week I got...

I borrowed:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Abandon by Meg Cabot (AMAZING! Review coming soon :D)
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

I bought:

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Swag I received and won:

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally bookmark, "collectable card" and sticker
Elemental by Emily White SIGNED bookmark
Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett SIGNED bookmark (won from My Life With Books)

**Thank you so much to Miranda Kenneally, Emily White, Angela Corbett and Jennifer from My Life With Books for the incredible swag!**

eBooks for review...

via Author/Publisher:

The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Pérez
Nightingale by David Farland

**Thank you to Ashley Hope Pérez and Jim Wolverton of East India Press for contacting me for reviews!**

via NetGalley (a whole LOTTA eGalleys!): 

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
On A Dark Wing by Jordan Dane
The Crazy Things Girls Do For Love by Dyan Sheldon
Confessions of April Grace: Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks by K.D. McCrite
The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
New Girl by Paige Harbison
Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers
Life Is But a Dream by Brian James
The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
Various Positions by Martha Schabas

And that concludes the magnificent haul that I have ahead of me. I seriously need to chomp through this pile soon, or else :S. Anyway, hope you all had an amazing book week as well!

What did you get in your mailbox?

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Pledge, Book 1
Rating: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

I absolutely ADORE Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder series and cannot speak any less of her fabulous new book, The Pledge!
The Pledge was such an original idea for a dystopian novel. Using something which already kind of segregates us today: language. The future world which Derting creates shows a more dramatic portrayal of our world today, about how speaking what language affects class. But, of course, what if there were one person who knew all the languages? Of course, in the tradation of dystopian and other YA novels, we have a society rebel.

Charlie, I found, was a much stronger character than Violet from The Body Finder. Although they both have their similarities, like the non-mingling, the headstrong and stubbornness, Charlie I felt had more will. More will to move, to protect all she loves, and to sacrifice her needs and wants for others. A totally rockin' rebel, I would say.
Max. Love the way he protects Charlie, love EVERYTHING about him. *Sigh*. And likewise with Charlie, he's also quite similar to Jay from TBF. He'd risk his life for Charlie, and never let any harm come to her. I think we have probably THE best boyfriend ever here people.

I also love the supporting characters in this novel: Aron, Brook, Xander, Angelina predominantly. Love how much each of them would risk their lived protecting Charlie, endangering their own lives. Angelina is seriously the cutest little sister I've ever read about!
And then of course...we have our baddie. The Queen of Ludania is seriously one you do not want to mess with. She really reminds me of The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, with the whole, "off with his head!" thing going on. But seriously, one evil queen? even though she's ancient, still gives me the chills.

The Pledge was an exciting new dystopian, in a beautifully created (future) world, with deadly fates for just a glimpse. Kimberly Derting has certainly set the bar high for dystopians now with her latest novel, and will be one tough to top. Although the ending I felt was complete where it ended in this book, I'm excited to see what happens in the sequel.
If you have not read this book or The Body Finder, you seriously have not read the definition of "awesome" yet.

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Waiting on Wednesday - Week 35

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming reads which I'm DYING to get my hands on! Some of these are also featured in another meme series I participate in, Books to Pine For.

This Week's WoW is:
Life Is But a Dream by Brian James

Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy. 

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? Her decision may have fatal consequences.

Release Date: March 27, 2012

This one looks absolutely FAN. TAS. TIC. The cover is very creepy but extremely gorgeous! The whole premise of the book sounds amazing and so, I can't WAIT for this one!

What are you waiting on?

Recommend Me a Book (1)

I just wanted to say THANK YOU! to a couple of amazing people for giving the most amazing recommends. You guys rock! Here are the book recommendations, and unfortunately I don't know any of the names of people who recommended, but you know who you are, so thanks!: 

1. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
3. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
4. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
5. Touch by Jus Accardo
6. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
7. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

read = bold

So, I've actually read two of those recommendations, so tell me, which one should I review next? and for the unread ones, which one should I get my hands on immediately?

Recommend Me a Book HERE

2012 Debutante Event at Badass Bookie!

Hey Guys!

Lisa over at Badass Bookie is having a MASSIVE 2012 Debutante Event!

Things you need to know:

It takes place during 1st to 25th December

Authors featured during this fabulous event consist of:

Veronica Rossi ( Under the Never Sky)
Jill Hathaway ( Slide)

Leah Bobet ( Above) 
Elisa Ludwig ( Pretty Crooked) 
Megan Bostic ( Never Eighteen)
Robin Bridges ( The Gathering Storm)
Kristen Simmons ( Article 5)
Brodi Aston ( Everneath)
Jodi Meadows ( Incarnate)
Jessica Spotwood ( Born Wicked)
Robin Mellom ( Ditched: A Love Story)
Miranda Kenneally ( Catching Jordan)

WOWIE. Totally can't wait for like, ANY of these books (all are on my tbr pile!! :D)

This month will be FULL of guest posts, the inside world to these books, giveaways which you can win copies of these AMAZING books and more!

I totally can't wait for it, I know that :) and there's more! There's a bunch of giveaways to kick off the event going on now. So of course, what are you waiting for? GO GET 'EM!

Click HERE to read the original post

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: Anna, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Ghosts? Check.
A hot ghost hunter? Double Check.
A not-so normal boy-meets-girl story? You got that right.

Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood made me fall in love with the world of ghosts once more. The last ghost story I read (which I absolutely loved!) would probably be either Hereafter by Tara Hudson. I hate how there's not too many books in the paranormal YA genre of ghosts, but Kendare Blake creates something which probably can't be topped.

I loved the characters. Every character was unique, yet in it's clichés, it still made the story SO much better. Cas, the hottest ghost hunter I've ever read about. Sigh. Almost makes me wish he kills me in the afterlife! Anna, loved her story, and as her character progressed through the story, you can't help but feel sympathy for her.
Of course, we have the amazing supporting cast of Thomas and Carmel. I loved how they did go against the stereotypes: Carmel was actually a nice popular girl. You don't see it too often in YA books.

What I loved most about this book, was the fact that it was from a guy's point of view. You don't have too many books like that. I've only read a couple, such as Beautiful Creatures and The Replacement and I'm glad to see that this one is as amazing as the others.

Anna Dressed in Blood is a haunting mystery that will make you gasp and grip into every moment, wanting more. Kendare Blake's amazing debut brings back ghosts into the paranormal genre, bloodier and creepier than ever. She leaves you holding onto every word and clinging onto the plot in ways you can't imagine. I just know that I can't wait for Girl of Nightmares. The ending left me heartbroken, and when I found out that there was sequel, my sadness went away. More Anna! and definitely more Cas :D.

**Thank you so much to Tor Teen and Kendare Blake for sending me a copy for review!**

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2012 Debut Author Challenge

Kristi at The Story Siren is back with the 2012 Debut Author Challenge!

I know I didn't sign up this year...and I totally regret it, because there were so many fabulous debuts this year, and I happened to read LOADS of them!

The debuts of 2011 I read:

1. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
2. XVI by Julia Karr
3. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
4. Die for Me by Amy Plum
5. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
6. Possession by Elana Johnson
7. Haven by Kristi Cook
8. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
9. Hereafter by Tara Hudson
10. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
11. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
12. Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
13. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
14. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
15. Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
16. The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
17. Populazzi by Elise Allen
18. What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez
19. Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
20. Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman
21. And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky

I passed the minimum of 12 books! I seriously have no doubts that I will be able to complete the challenge this year then. and I still have a couple more I need to read this year.

Here are some debuts for 2012 which I've got for review:

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
3. Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss
4. May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
5. The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

And of course, there's a whole TON of amazing books waiting for hungry readers and book bloggers such as my self to devour them.

Can't wait for this– sounds great!

Click HERE to read the DAC sign-up post!

Waiting on Wednesday - Week 34

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming reads which I'm DYING to get my hands on. I know, some may be repeated in Books to Pine For posts, but this is more of a "close-up" view on this books :).

This week's WoW is:
Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

1 Concert
2,000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van know as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

Release Date: June 12, 2012

Road trip! This one sounds like a really cool contemporary with music, friendship and a fresh idea. Totally can't wait to read it!

What are you waiting on?

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley

Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the "No Good." One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .

The riveting stories of Emmy and Sophie
—alternating narratives of loss, imprisonment, and freedom regained—escalate with breathless suspense toward an unforgettable climax.

Beth Kephart's You Are My Only is a short read– but packed with emotion from start to finish. As we delve into the two worlds of Emmy and Sophie, set 14 years apart, we see heartbreak and loss, and newfound happiness and friendship. It's quite easy to see what's happening in this book, but the way it presents itself is indescribably amazing, and the truth unfolds and secrets are revealed.

I have to say, out of the two perspectives, I liked Sophie's best. The beginning of Emmy's was good, but as things went on, I couldn't quite grasp what exactly was going on, and had to kinda skim through it, because I didn't figure out what was happening. Another reason I guess I was more attracted to Sophie's was probably because I could understand her more, being closer to her age, although the difference between the ages of Emmy and Sophie, surprisingly in the two narratives is not that far apart. Six years. That's it.

Emmy's character totally made me want to curl up and cry. Her life is so sad! I felt like screaming at her to leave and go somewhere else, that it wasn't her fault. I'm glad she finds comfort, but then only to break down once again. Now, Sophie's character was more inquisitive, and I could see this would only be natural, as she's always been closed in by her mother...until they move to this neighborhood. As she gets to know her neighbors she finds happiness, a sense of family (instead of always writing essays on really random topics), and even some love.
I love how as the story progresses, the characters find more of themselves, and grow into someone different. 

Overall, this book is definitely not the book you'd want to read for cheering up– it'll definitely bring some sort of heartbreak. For a short novel, it's very profound and beautiful. Beth Kephart's book completely amazes me, it's only rarely when a book can make me feel sad. Definitely need to look through some of her other books– if they're anything like this, they're bound to be as fantastic.

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Movie Reviews (6)

I sometimes do Movie Reviews, on some movies which I've seen recently. Just to take a little break from books and talk about something else I enjoy :)

17 Again (2009)

Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew Perry
Rated: PG-13
My Rating: 3.5 stars

This was absolutely hilarious! Love the whole thing about someone old turning young again, and experiencing the pain of teen years once again.
Both Perry and Efron have done amazingly in this movie (but I still don't see so much of a resemblance) but it's still a good comedy, with romance and a tiny hint of magic.
Teens will love this movie for Efron, fans of the TV show Friends will enjoy Perry, and everyone will love the hilarity of the whole situation. Trust me, this one is DEFINITELY not one teen movie to miss!

Easy A (2010)

Starring: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes
Rated: PG-13
My Rating: 4.5 stars

Honestly, first time watching Emma Stone, and I'm in love with her. This movie, although it has some mature themes, it's extremely lovable and will make you laugh non-stop. Not kidding! Love Amanda Bynes and Alyson Michalka's role in it (although this is probably the first time I've seen Aly go...badish. I haven't watched Hellcats so I don't know :S) but yes, this is a movie not to pass up, I promise you!

Now YOU tell me,
What's one movie that I should DEFINITELY watch if I've watched the two above??

Wanna win a Dreamless Arc?

Hey there book lovers!

Josephine Angelini is having an Ah-Meh-zing giveaway on her blog. Wanna know what you can win?? How about an ARC...of the sequel to Starcrossed?? (and yes, it's International!)


and if you're entering for liking Josephine Angelini's Facebook page as well, please say "Rabiah referred me!" or something among those lines (but mention my name!) on the page's wall :) Thanks so much, you all are amazing!