Waiting on Wednesday – Week 46

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight on upcoming reads which I'm DYING to get my hands on.

This week's WoW is:
A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…

Release Date: March 27, 2012

Love Jane Eyre and of course, the new movie, so obviously, I can't WAIT for this one :D Sounds fabulous and a little like Prada & Prejudice.

What are you waiting on?

Top Ten Tuesday – Week 30

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today's top ten is:

Top Ten Books I'd Give a Theme Song To

Music + Books? SO. IN.

1. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – 'Shiver' by Shawn Desman.

It's pretty obvious why I picked this song, but I found that the lyrics fit this pretty well:

And every time you're close I
Shiver, shiver, shiver
Every time we kiss I
Shiver, shiver, shiver
I gotta catch my breath (breath)
So caught up that I forget (forget)
Every time you're close I
Shiver, shiver, shiver

2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – 'Catch Me' by Demi Lovato

I had 'Catch Me' stuck in my head when reading this book because of the first line of the song:

Before I fall too fast
Kiss me quick
But make it last
So i can see how badly this will hurt me
When you say good bye

I only then saw that the lyrics actually kinda fit the book!

3. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard – 'Secret' by the Pierces

This is NOT cheating, because even though the TV show's theme song IS 'Secret', I thought of it before. SO THERE. HAHA!

Cause two can keep a secret
If one of them is dead…

4. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst – 'Bad Reputation' by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Pearl, the main character of DSL is a TOTAL bad***. So therefore, this song should be her theme song.

I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation

5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis – 'Cosmic Love' by Florence + The Machine

The song just sounds so dreamlike, and of course, the outer space references.

The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart

6. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly – 'Angels' by Within Temptation

Like the angels in Angel Burn, they aren't the good kind...

Sparkling angel I believed
You are my savior in my time of need
Blinded by faith, I couldn't hear
All the whispers, the warnings so clear

7. Fallen and Torment by Lauren Kate – 'Haunted' by Taylor Swift

The rest of the lyrics pretty much follows the story line for Fallen and Torment.

Come on, come on, don't leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Can't breathe whenever you're gone
Can't turn back now, I'm haunted

8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – 'Numb' by Linkin Park

The title speaks for itself, methinks.

I've become so numb, I can't feel you there
Become so tired, so much more aware
I'm becoming this, all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

9. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa – 'My Immortal' by Evanescence

I think this one fits The Iron Daughter more than the first book, but these lyrics have got something:

You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
Now I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts
My once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away
All the sanity in me

10. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare – 'Turning Tables' by Adele

I think this part of the lyrics kinda fits Will and Tess at the place I am in the book (I haven't finished it yet...still reading!):

So I won't let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won't ask you, you to just desert me
I can't give you, what you think you give me
It's time to say goodbye to turning tables
To turning tables

AND that concludes my list. You also probably see that my music taste is neither here nor there :P

What's your top ten?

Guest Post by Ashley Hope Pérez

Ashley Hope Pérez is the author of two young adult novels, WHAT CAN'T WAIT and THE KNIFE AND THE BUTTERFLY. She also is a passionate teacher and student working on her PhD in comparative literature. At the moment, she lives in Paris with her husband and son where they enjoy culture, croissants, and cramped living quarters.

The Knife and the Butterfly is set in Houston, Texas, but I’m launching it from Paris, where I’ve been living with my little family since September. Every time I mention that little fact, I get tons of questions about what it’s like to be a writer in Paris. So now I’m giving you the scoop. (I have to act fast because we’re only living here for a few more months.)

Are you ready for tales of glamour? Do you imagine me strolling every day by the Seine with my writer’s notebook, nursing tiny espressos in cafés while debating in French about literature, or soaking up brilliance in the famed halls of Paris’s universities?
Don’t be disappointed to learn that being a writer in Paris is mostly like being a writer in the U.S. It’s hard and a bit lonely. (And being in Paris doesn’t change any of my “Mommy” duties.) On a given day, the biggest difference between being a writer in the States and being a writer in Paris is that, here, my desk is a lot smaller. And I have to push the couch aside just to get to it.
Of course, there are aspects of daily life in Paris that are good for me as a writer. I have a long train commute to my teaching job, which is the perfect time to let my mind wander and circle around ideas. Unlike driving to work, riding on a train means I can safely explore ideas in my writer’s notebook. (I can actually tell what Metro train I was on by the sloppiness of my handwriting. A wild, childish scrawl? Yep, I was on bumpy Line 4 that day!)
One of the beauties of Paris is that reading itself is a fundamental part of daily life. Whereas your typical U.S. waiting room is filled with folks fiddling with their phones, plugged in to iPods, or maybe flipping through an old issue of Time, in Paris a moment’s wait means that everyone whips out their reading material. 
I’ve seen Harry Potter, La Roue du Temps (Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time), and lots of vampire-themed titles. But I’ve also seen titles by Gertrude Stein, Haruki Marukami, Jonathan Littel, Flaubert, Balzac, Proust, Virginia Woolf, and others. In other words, literary reading is a pastime for ordinary folk here in the City of Lights. So I get dozens of little writing-still-matters jolts every day here, which is very good for the writer’s soul. 
Speaking of waiting... life in Paris generally means a lot more time in lines—from red tape to get health coverage to the checkout at the local Monoprix grocery store. I spend this time subtly observing the people around me, storing up their features to be recycled in future fiction and imagining their stories of heartbreak and hope. (My husband says that “shameless” or “brazen” would be better words to describe my people watching. I maintain that I am most discreet.)
I also find that, living in a foreign country, I am far more aware of the interplay between environment and individual. Because the “obvious” routines and procedures of my U.S. life have been replaced by a world whose rules are plain to everyone else, but not always to me, I spend a good bit of time trying to “think French” or imagine what would make sense to a French person in my situation. (Read about how my confusion helps me learn about my characters here.)
I know, I know, none of this is very earth shattering, but the truth is that living in Paris is still, well, living. And to be a writer here, I have to do the same thing I do everywhere else: figure out how to feed the stuff of my daily life into the crazy creativity machine that lets me crank out some pages. But first, I have to push the couch out of the way and get to the desk...
While I’m away writing, here’s an excerpt from The Knife and the Butterfly to keep you busy. I chose this passage with the protag and his brother Eddie because it’s an example of the kinds of “backstories” I give to people when I’m gawking at them in line or on the metro.


isn't this the most adorable thing you've ever seen!?! :D


Me and Eddie sprawled out on Pelón’s bed, his cell phone between us. It must have been a weekend because Pelón said we could talk as long as we wanted, and he only did that when it was free.

We had the phone on speaker, and it was on maybe the fourth or fifth ring.
“Shit,” Eddie said, “they’re not answering.” He reached for the phone like he was going to hang up.
I pushed his hand away. “Just give it a second, man.”
We were calling Regina out in California because it was her birthday. A couple of rings later, our grandma answered. After I said hello and she called for Regina, I could hear her saying, “Go on, talk to him, that’s your hermano.” Finally Regina got on the phone.
“Hello?” Her voice was soft, and I could barely hear her over the shouting and laughing in the background. 
“Hey, chiquita! Feliz cumpleaños!” Eddie said.
“Yeah, how does it feel to be seven?” I asked.
“Abue and Tía Julia made me a cake. With ice cream inside.”
“We’re gonna send you a present real soon, okay? Just tell us what you want,” I said.
“I’ve already go lots of presents,” she said. There was even more noise, and she started laughing. Somebody was singing in the background. “Stop it, Tío!” Regina giggled.
Then Abue came back on the phone. “She’s just excited about her party, mijo,” she said. “Don’t take it wrong.” But she knew just as good as we did that Regina didn’t really want to talk to us anyway.
After we said good-bye, we just stayed there on the bed for a while, not talking. It was like we both knew that we weren’t really part of Regina’s life anymore, but we didn’t want to say it out loud. I sat there thinking back to how small she was when she came home from the hospital. I could still remember how it felt to hold her, how me and Eddie were scared we might hurt her just by looking at her.
There was this one time me and Eddie had to figure out how to cut her fingernails. At the beginning, Tía Julia did it, but when she went back to her family, it was up to us. We sat there for the longest time staring at the clippers and her perfect little claws that were scratching us up. But it turned out okay because Regina started laughing at the click sound the clippers made when they closed on her nails.
In the old days, we took care of Regina and taught her everything, even how to tie her shoes. And now she didn’t even want to talk to us. Maybe I should have been glad that she had a new life away from us so we couldn’t mess things up for her. It wasn’t like me and Eddie were Boy Scouts. But I couldn’t help wishing she missed us just a little.

Thank you so much to Ashley Hop Pérez for stopping by the blog today! I really wish I could visit Paris one day... *sighs and dreams* Well, anyway, hope you're having a fabulous time Mrs. Pérez with your family :)

The Knife and the Butterfly

Azael Arevalo wishes he could remember how the fight ended. He knows his MS13 boys faced off with some punks from Crazy Crew. He can picture the bats, the bricks, the chains. A knife. But he can’t remember anything between that moment and when he woke behind bars. Azael knows jails, and something isn’t right about this lockup. No phone call. No lawyer. No news about his brother or his homies. The only thing they make him do is watch some white girl in some cell. Watch her and try to remember.
Lexi Allen would love to forget the fight, would love for it to disappear back into the Xanax fog it came from. And her mother and her lawyer hope she chooses not to remember too much about the brawl—at least when it’s time to testify. Lexi knows that there’s more at stake in her trial than her life alone, though. Azael needs the truth. The knife cut, but somehow it also connected.
"An unflinching portrait with an ending that begs for another reading." --Kirkus Reviews

More interviews, excerpts, guest posts, and secrets (including two truths and a lie) shared and still to come in Ashley’s The Knife and the Butterfly blog tour. See the full tour schedule here

On Monday: Ashley posts a letter to her teen self at www.dearteenme.com.
Check out Ashley’s blog, follow her on twitter @ashleyhopeperez, or find her on facebook.

The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Pérez

The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Pérez

Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Sent from author for blog tour
Buy: Amazon ❘ The Book Depository
Goodreads ❘ Website

After a marijuana-addled brawl with a rival gang, 16-year-old Azael wakes up to find himself surrounded by a familiar set of concrete walls and a locked door. Juvie again, he thinks. But he can't really remember what happened or how he got picked up. He knows his MS13 boys faced off with some punks from Crazy Crew. There were bats, bricks, chains. A knife. But he can't remember anything between that moment and when he woke behind bars. 

Azael knows prison, and something isn't right about this lockup. No phone call. No lawyer. No news about his brother or his homies. The only thing they make him do is watch some white girl in some cell. Watch her and try to remember.

Lexi Allen would love to forget the brawl, would love for it to disappear back into the Xanax fog it came from. And her mother and her lawyer hope she chooses not to remember too much about the brawl—at least when it's time to testify.

Lexi knows there's more at stake in her trial than her life alone, though. She's connected to him, and he needs the truth. The knife cut, but somehow it also connected.

I loved Pérez's first novel, What Can't Wait but this one? SO INTENSE. Like, I couldn't stop flipping pages, frantically trying to find out what happened that one night. It was emotional, mysterious and all tied up with a mind-blowing conclusion.

Both characters were likeable, and I found that even though Azael was the main character telling the story through his point of view, Lexi's perspective was clearly mentioned through her writing. It was interesting to see how her story ties into his, even though he can't remember what happened that one night. The story included hand written notes and such, so it was a different blend :).

Azael was pretty great, although I was unsure if a 15 year old would do all the things he's done, but nonetheless, his personality is SPOT ON. Like, honestly from a girl's POV at least, it's pretty accurate. Lots (and I mean LOTS) of swearing coming from him.
Lexi is the more mysterious character and I enjoyed how we as readers find out things about that night and developments to the story the same time as Azael does. The emotions in this book are incredible and is quite the emotional roller coaster.

There's a switch in time/setting, with alternating "Then" and "Now" chapters, which looks at the present mystery and Azael's past. I found this extremely effective, and it really built up the suspense and tension in the story. Like I said– the ending is MIND BLOWING. I so did not see that coming.

Overall, The Knife and the Butterfly is a fast-paced and heart-thumping novel which looks at racial discrimination and street gangs in Houston. This was apparently based on a true crime, so it's interesting to see how that ties with fiction, especially the similarities in both cases. Ashley Hope Pérez has written an astounding second novel, and I SO can't wait for more.

If you like this, try...

**Thank you so much to Ashley Hope Pérez for making me apart of the blog tour and sending me the eGalley for review!**

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Release Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Rating: MG 12+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
Something's happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

May B. is the story of a girl left on her own, has to deal with a snow storm and other issues from the past, to try to survive the cold winter. This was my third novel in verse, and it was a fast paced read. I could not look away from my laptop screen until the very last word had been read. It was beautiful, touching and simply told. I love that little words can have a huge impact on a person.

I didn't really catch the heroine's age (around 11-12 I think), but this is a Middle Grade book which I immensely enjoyed. The heroine is realistic, and I like how that even though this took place in history, the same issues can come up even now. *SPOILER ALERT* May has disability (which I won't give away) and people think she's stupid because of it. Back then, I'm pretty sure they hadn't really diagnosed this, but I love the struggle and the flashbacks to days at school. *SPOILER OVER* 
I keep thinking what I would do in her situation, with being abandoned (and not to mention ravenous wolves) and honestly, I would have sat there and cried. This girl is so strong to go through this alone.

May B. is an original story that will capture the interest of readers of all ages. The story was told very well, and is a truly exception debut novel. Rose's words have brought alive the world of American history, as well as fond childhood memories of Laura Ingalls. Loved it!

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 45

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming books which I'm DYING to get my hands on.

This week's WoW:
Dark Eyes by William Richter

Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At 15, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets. Now the 16-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she's just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for teens, this debut thriller introduces a new heroine.

Release Date: March 15, 2012

I've heard amazing things about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I definitely need to read this one! Love the premise– sounds really original :)

What are you waiting on?

Buy now! Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal by Various YA Authors

Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains
of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to
life in this magical journey through paranormal stories.
Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the
moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and
don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the
shadows will snag you.
Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by
some of the newest names in young adult fiction.

50% of net profits in the month of February will go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital! What are you waiting for?! BUY NOW BELOW!
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Movie Reviews Has Moved... to a much larger home!

Hey everyone!

Movie Reviews is a meme I started on this blog, and because I love watching movies and TV almost as much as reading, I've moved it a much larger home.

YES, it has it's own blog now!

You can go check it out at rabiahmeetsthescreen.wordpress.com

Enjoy :)

NOTE: It's just started out, like an hour ago, so no reviews yet :P

The Crazy Things Girls Do For Love by Dyan Sheldon

The Crazy Things Girls Do For Love by Dyan Sheldon

Release Date: December 13, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rating: YA 13+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

In a new comedy from the best-selling author of CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN, two popular girls vie to out-green each other to snare a boy.

Fashion-crazy Sicilee is a poster child for over-consumption. Her archrival, Maya, wears arty vintage clothes but hasn't a clue what's in the food she eats. So when drop-dead gorgeous new student Cody Lightfoot sets out to spread his eco-ways--and spur the Environmental Club toward an all-out Earth Day bash--Sicilee and Maya have their work cut out to attract his attention. What if Sicilee trades her fur boots for walking shoes (even if she can't find the school when she's not inside a car)? What if Maya dresses in plastic bottles and bags to preach in front of the supermarket (until security is called)? Or could it be that Cody isn't all he' s cracked up to be, and that saving the planet really is more important than impressing a boy? With her trademark quick-fire wit, Dyan Sheldon shows just what girls will do for love--and what earth-changing realizations they might have along the way.

I remember reading Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (after watching the movie) in the fifth or sixth grade, and I absolutely loved it. I was so excited when my request on NetGalley was approved for this book, and then started reading it around a month ago. I loved it! It was quirky, cute, and one of my "fluffy" type books– the kind I can read any day, in any mood.

Sicilee, Maya and (even though she's not mentioned in the blurb, which I think is a little weird, since she is a KEY character) Waneeda all fall for the same guy, Cody, which isn't surprising because he's extremely good looking and all the girls in school are after him.
Sicilee is the popular one, Maya is the arty person, and Waneeda is the loner and hangs out with, to be frank, the less popular people (at times). They couldn't be more different. I liked this because we could see a range of perspectives DESPITE the stereotypes, because typing it out just now I could see that it's a very cliché high school. 

But Cody was another story.

Cody (at first) was AWESOME. I practically thought of adding him to my ongoing-and-never-ending literary crush list. He had the look, the personality. But then from the moment he spoke, that dream kinda shattered. Like the blurb says, Cody is not at all what he's cracked up to be. You're just going to have to find out what that would mean.

What I didn't like though, was the whole focus was mainly on the environment. A nice message or moral in a book is always great but when there's a whole book on how to save the environment? It kind of made me feel that loads of information was just heaped on and on during the duration of this book. Felt a little stuffy in that way. But other than this, I found the book interesting, especially the parts where the three girls try to get Cody's attention.

Overall, The Crazy Things Girls Do For Love is different and totally goes with the title. Some of the stunts in here are pretty crazy, and really makes us wonder: how far do we go for a guy's attention? Where is the limit to that? I can tell you they're definitely pushing boundaries.
Dyan Sheldon has written a book which teenage girls will find to portray, maybe, the story of their life. Hilarious and cringe-worthy, your attempts to get a guy will seem mild and petty compared to the lengths that these girls go to.

If you like this, try...

Other covers available:

The Firelight of Maalda by Melissa Douthit

The Firelight of Maalda by Melissa Douthit

Release Date: January 8, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: The Legend of the Raie'Chaelia, Book 2
Rating: MG/YA 12+
Format: eBook
Source: From Virtual Author Blog Tours for blog tour
AmazonGoodreads Website

The Firelight of Maalda: A story that unites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic …

Chalice and her group leave Barenthren to travel to Portalis. There she and her friends discover the beautiful city, its people, its history, and its secret that has been kept hidden for thousands of years. During their stay, they learn that Dar’Maalda has the Firestone and that he plans to use it.

What is the Firestone and what does Dar’Maalda plan to do with it? What are the Naezzi? What does the title, The Firelight of Maalda, really mean? And … what is the secret of Portalis, the secret that has been guarded so jealously for so long – so jealously, that many have given their lives to protect it?

In The Firelight of Maalda, the second novel of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, you find out. It is a tale of intrigue and wonder where two opposite worlds collide in an explosive journey that leads Chalice and her friends to the dark islands lurking just beyond the horizon of Ielieria, where the Firelight of Maalda sits … and waits.

I enjoyed the first book, The Raie'Chaelia, but since I'd read that a while ago, it's quite hard to place what happened before The Firelight of Maalda. I recognized most of the characters and sure enough, the story assumed its natural pace. I really liked this one. I liked the first book better, but this was a really great follow up!

What I really like about these books is the amount of fantasy. It reminds me of (and I know I said this in the review of the first book) childhood fantasy stories, like C.S. Lewis. Completely magical, and the Douthit has really created a fantastic world. You don't see that too much in YA these days.
The romance in this book has improved since the last one! Chalice and Jeremiah develop even more from the first book, and I found it really sweet and not-rushed-into at all. The action and thrill of what's to happen next is really amazing too. I had to keep reading to find out what happens next.

The character's still mainly have the same personalities as before (although they have, obviously, gained new knowledge etc.) and of course, I love the adorable BUNEJAB!! Love that little guy. He never ceases to make me 'awww'.
The only problem I had with this book was the consistency of the time period. From the sound of it, people don't have technology, so it's pretty 'medieval' almost, or at least quite old. Some of the things mentioned in the book were pretty modern, like the use of the word "dating". I'm pretty sure they wouldn't (a) go around dating people like they do now days and (b) call it dating. I don't know, obviously it's the author's world, so if it's a mix of modern and old, so be it.

Overall, I found that the story was great, except I would have liked it better if I could remember what had happened previously :P. Lovers of fantasy, with plenty of action, suspense and of course, the blooming romance, will definitely need to pick this one up. A great follow-up from the first book, this one will leave readers hanging on for more. Looking forward to reading book 3!

**Thank you so much to Melissa Douthit and Teddy Rose of Virtual Author Blog Tours for contacting me to be apart of this blog tour!**