Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Of Flirting, Italian Boys, and Ancestry

Flirting in Italian 

by Lauren Henderson

Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!

So I'm on a YA travel/adventure-abroad kick. And I'm loving it! It's made me want to take Italian, hop on a plane to Europe, and meet some gorgeous guy who will whisk me off my feet. My kick has also infected my music choices; I think I listened to "An Evening in Roma" a hundred times just while reading Flirting in Italian.

I must say that at first I was a little skeptical about the family-history plot line. I wasn't sure how it would be woven into the story besides being the motivation for Violet's stay in Italy. But Lauren Henderson knew what she was doing and it worked out just as it should, by not being the sole focus and yet not disappearing completely. Once I became attached to the characters, this part of the book became much more important to me and I'm anxious to see how it comes together (I can't figure out an inkling of how it's going to work out).  The rest of the plot focus is exactly what you'd want out of a summer in Italy; fun, excitement, and filled with romance.

Violet has an absolutely gorgeous name in Italian: Violetta. It fits her too. She's pretty, independently minded, and she has a good heart. She isn't afraid to go dance alone on at a party, stand up to mean girls, or slap a boy when he deserves it. And while I was glad Violet had a very smart voice in her head, I'm both frustrated and amused that she didn't always follow its advice.

So, Violet wants to find herself and it's obvious that Tuscany is the perfect place to do so! Thus she enrolls in a summer program at a little villa and begins her adventure. I really liked the dynamics of the four girls in the program. Kelly, Kendra, and Paige (the other girls) were distinct characters that really balanced Violet. (P.S. I thought Paige was a hoot! ) Anyway I enjoyed when the girls bonded and even when they didn't get along because it added some reality.

Okay I'll stop stalling and tell you about the boys. One, they're Italian and gorgeous. Two, when they're around the scenes are just great. Three, they are both romantic and frustrating. And finally, you just have to read the book to find out more. Don't be mad. The scenes with Luca and Violet will make up for my unwillingness to tell you more.

Oh and did I mention there's a second book? No? Well that's cause I didn't know until the end of the book. When I had ten pages left I started to panic, wondering how this was going to resolve itself so quickly and still leave me satisfied... but well you know what always happens to me (the curse of the cliffhanger). I'm happy though because now I get a whole nother book with Luca and Violet (and everyone else too). So don't panic when you approach the end, because we've got another book to look forward to!



*Book provided by publisher on Netgalley

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Of London, Boys, and a Little Rule-Breaking

Meant To Be 

By Lauren Morrill

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Completely lovely and whimsical in every way.  I honestly just adore this book. I couldn't get that goofy happy smile off my face after reading it. So of course now I'm going to just gush about it- which of course will make you want to read it and love it just like me!

So a quick word about the plot; it's so fun! If you liked Anna and the French Kiss, you should pick this up, but then again anyone with a heart should read it so you're covered either way. I also think fans of the Lizzie McGuire Movie should acquire a copy of this book as soon as possible. I mean it's about a school trip to London! It's got the buddy system, parties, romantic-ness, cool London stuff, British people, and I mean there's a redhead! What more do you need? Umm nothing. The plot may be a little predictable at times, but I warn you not to get ahead of yourself because there are surprises in this little book. Ms. Morrill got me a couple times with her sneakiness. The characters, though, are what I truly adored.

Oh Julia. How do I adore thee? Let me count some ways. Number 1: You are quirky in a smart, athletic, geeky way. No. 2 pencils (I crack myself up).  Number 3: You are hilarious. I found it quite nice that Julia was so intelligent and even fit (she's amazing at swimming), yet she wasn't popular. Her love life is quite a mess once Hurricane Jason tears her carefully very planned world apart- a Meant To Be boy, mysterious British bachelor, and maybe someone else too. Now Julia is so caught up adhering to the rules and trying to find a way to be with Mark (her MTB), that it takes a hurricane of trouble to get her to go a little outside the box...and to make this book such fun.

That hurricane is Jason. The one boy who's going to get our pal Jules to have fun- even if it means by force. This boy is a blast, although at times he can annoy me to bits and make me question what's really going on. And of course he's nice to look at too- did I mention he's a redhead? I happen to have a weak spot for redheads, so Jason's almost automatically amazing. He's more than just the class clown- he's got layers. So not only is he a funny charming redhead, but he may also be a sensitive and romantic one too. I wish he were real and could marry me....Anyway, I'm not going to spoil anything but I will tell you that when these two are together (which is basically the entire book) you will laugh, smile, be frustrated, and be witness to shenanigans.

So go retrieve this book from your nearest store of books and realize you and this book were meant to be!



*Provided by Publisher NetGalley

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Of In My Mailbox (11)


Another day, another package!! Today when I came home from walking my precious doggy, Brooke, there was another package from my friends over at Penguin. Some of you might be familiar with Rachel Caine author of The Morganville Vampires novels; well I received a copy of Black Dawn, her next book in the series! 

Mini Synopsis:

The hotly-anticipated twelfth installment in the Morganville Vampires series

In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires... their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.
Lovers of Morganville, rejoice: Black Dawn takes the intrigue, romance and nail-biting suspense of the series to its highest level yet!

Can't wait to dive into it! Thanks Penguin! :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Of In My Mailbox (10)


So, when I came home from my family event there was a package waiting for me. In the package was a book, Silence by Michelle Sagara.

It began in the graveyard. Ever since her boyfriend Nathan died in a tragic accident Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that’s all it was. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there—Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death….

Emma was not quite like other teenagers. It was true that other girls had experienced grief. Other girls had also lost their fathers or had their boyfriends die in a senseless accident. But though she hadn't known it till that night in the graveyard, unlike other girls, she could see, touch, and speak with the dead. In fact, Emma could draw upon the essence of the dead to work magic. That was what Necromancers did. But Emma had no desire to be a Necromancer. She just wanted to help the ghost who walked the streets of Toronto, unable to escape from the land of the living. And that was just as well, because had she chosen the path of the Necromancer, Eric would have had to kill her. 

Instead, Eric and his fellow Necromancer hunter Chase found themselves violating every rule they were sworn to follow, becoming part of Emma's group, helping her to stand against those who preyed upon the dead. But whether Emma and her friend could survive such a battle was anyone's guess. And whether Emma could learn to use the magic of the dead against her enemies without herself falling victim to the lure of such power remained to be seen. Eric seemed to think she could, and her living friends would never abandon her. Bout only time would tell what Emma's true destiny was...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Of Erosians, True-Love, & a Fated Kiss

Any Love But Mine by Debbie

Look but don't touch has never been more true... 

The gods forbade her to love, but love is a powerful force. Acacia has been created purely for Eros' pleasure but discovers within moments of being summoned into his presence that he has no interest in her whatsoever. Rejected, she is banished to Earth to serve as Eros' minion with the task of promoting the blissful state of love among all those around her, a state she must never indulge in with a human being herself on pain of immediate destruction. And then comes Josh, someone whose power of attraction over Acacia is so intense she will find it utterly impossible to resist him. But is he human? Is he a god? Or is he a trick of the gods? And what would happen should they kiss?

Man I love Greek mythology. There is always a way to turn the stories into something new and interesting, and that's what Debbie did. Any Love but Mine was amazing! I loved everything about it, and the story is so interesting that you get wrapped up in it. I don't even know how to but into words how excited I am for the rest of these books. All the characters were interesting in their own ways, even if they were only there briefly. And the way she wrote it makes you feel apart of the book. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Of Perfection, Imperfection, & Life Choices

Kiss Crush CollideKiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith

What Leah did—only she really shouldn’t have—one hot night at a country club party. 
What Leah has—only she really shouldn’t have—on the guy with the green eyes, the guy who is not her perfect boyfriend, the guy who does not fit in her picture-perfect life, the guy her sisters will only mock and her mother will never approve of. Not in a million years. 
What happens when everything you always thought you wanted—having cool friends, being class valedictorian and homecoming queen—runs smack into everything it turns out you really do want. 
Kiss. Crush. Collide. 
For Leah and Porter, summer is only the beginning.

This story was so much like Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. The only thing is that PC was more PG-13/R rated-ish and KCC is more PG, with innuendos. LOL. The innuendos were hilarious to me, but still tasteful enough for the 13 and up crowd. But, truth be told, I kind of feel like it was a kiddie, "safe" version of Simone's book; no offense to Christina and all, but that's just how I feel. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there....crickets, crickets, crickets....or maybe I am. LOL

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Of Mermaids, Sea Witches, and Being Yourself

Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Okay, I may have a problem. Like a serious problem. Why can I never pick the romantic interest that gets the girl?! Why?!...I may be speaking a little prematurely, because there's another book in this trilogy, but still.  Anyway now I'll get to the stuff you really want to read.

Tempest Unleashed is a good time all around...well maybe not fun for the characters but the reader will be swept up in it (get it? swept up? oh I crack myself up).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Of Winning on Goodreads

Man Hayley & I have won twice on GoodReads this past week. We LOVE that because sometimes.....well most of the time we lose, so it's always refreshing when we win! Soooo that means, when we get the books (one for win for me and one win for Hayley) that there will be new book reviews coming your way!!

So this is what you all have to look forward too:

A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters, #2)

Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari. 

Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine.... 

Tin Soldier

If you love something, let it go? 

Rykken Camacho wants to find the seven archangel stones and save his girlfriend--well, ex-girlfriend, officially. But can he really dig up a secret that’s been buried for a hundred years? 
His best friend Pilot is mad at him, President Vega is suspicious of him, and Thessa’s visions are slowly killing him... 
Worst of all, Brie is getting darker and darker... and if he can’t solve the mystery, he’ll lose the girl he loves forever. 
What they want and what they need are at odds in Tin Soldier, the thrilling sequel to Silver Smoke.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Of In My Mailbox (9)


Vampire's Kiss (The Watchers, #2)


By her wits, blood, and sacrifice, so far Drew has survived the intensive training on the Isle of Night. As a second-year Acari, her ultimate goal is to become a Watcher, and now she has a shot at her first mission. Except nothing is as it seems. The vampire Alcántara is as sinister as he is sexy, Ronan is more distant than ever, and it turns out there are other vampires out there. Bad ones. 

Ancient, bloodthirsty, and powerful, these undead are really old school. They’ve captured one of the Watcher vamps and are torturing him for information. The only chance to save him is to infiltrate a major summit the baddies are holding on their own island. There will be mortals there, serving as butlers, maids, and various hired help. Drew had better brush up on her skills as a serving girl, because she’s about to go undercover… 

But, when their vampire prisoner turns out to be a gorgeous bad boy, Drew’s first mission quickly turns into more than she bargained for…


Crossed (Matched, #2)


Tin Soldier
If you love something, let it go? 

Rykken Camacho wants to find the seven archangel stones and save his girlfriend--well, ex-girlfriend, officially. But can he really dig up a secret that’s been buried for a hundred years? 

His best friend Pilot is mad at him, President Vega is suspicious of him, and Thessa’s visions are slowly killing him... 

Worst of all, Brie is getting darker and darker... and if he can’t solve the mystery, he’ll lose the girl he loves forever. 

What they want and what they need are at odds in Tin Soldier, the thrilling sequel to Silver Smoke.

- Gilbert & Gomez

Friday, February 3, 2012

Of The Cinnamon Challenge

So, I don't know if you guys know what THE CINNAMON CHALLENGE is, but I attempted it, twice, and succeeded, once. LOL. 
The Cinnamon Challenge is when a brave, or crazy, person tries to swallow a table spoon full of cinnamon. It's not as easy as you think, because you lose if you either spit it out or throw up. YES, that actually happens. Cinnamon is a spice and it's extremely dry so this isn't that pleasant. 
Anyway, my friend Brittany and I attempted to do this. The first time we both spit it out and were choking. The second time she got it down but then she threw up. I got it down but thought it was choking so I swallowed some milk after I swallowed the cinnamon. 
Overall, it wasn't the best idea we've ever had, but it was highly entertaining. :)
I challenge everyone to at least try the Cinnamon Challenge, just to see if you can do it. LOL. 

- Gilbert 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Of Gilbert's Birthday

Yesterday was Gilbert's birthday...YAY! She turned 19, even though 19 isn't such an eventful time in your life. Actually it's kind of like 18 plus 1 LOL. But anyway, let's all wish he a HAPPY , HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! 

Eh, 19 isn't that different. I feel the same, smell the same. Only difference is that I'm older by a year. I'm just hoping that I live a long, long life. But only the higher power will know. 


Of Determination, Time Travel, & the Hero Complex

Tempest (Tempest #1)Tempest by Julie Cross

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Finally there's a book with a guys perspective! It seems like if it's a series the book is always from the girl's view and almost never from the guy's. That's what initially drew me to this book; the fact that it was from a guy's perspective, though that didn't keep me interested in the book. I don't know what it was about the book, but I just couldn't keep reading it. It was like instead of a magical force pulling me in the force was pushing me away. I have this theory, that the reason so many authors do girl perspectives is because it's easier to relate to. Once the plot or storyline is set from the girl's perspective it's easier to build a view on what the guy is thinking. An example would be Julie Kagawa and the Iron Fey Series. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Of Titans, the Underworld, & Surprises

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Kate Winters has won immortality. 

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it. 

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. 

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future. 

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

All I can say is OH MY GOSH! Aimee filled this book to the top with surprises and unexpected turn of events! I thought I was having a heart attack the entire time. If it wasn't Calliope causing problems, it was Persephone and Kate trying to figure out their new, rocky relationship as sisters. And don't even get me started on HENRY! Gosh, I wanted to hit him one minute, and love him seconds later. So many conflicting emotions; I totally understand why Kate was confused about their relationship the ENTIRE BOOK...Henry makes you want to strangle him.  -___-

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Of 'Waiting for Its Release' Book Dates

So, everyone wants to know when their favorite book comes out! Well, we have decided to make a list of all the 2012 book release dates. These are all the books we all can't wait for and their release months. Sometimes the days aren't exact, so we just listed the title and author under the month of its release. Some of the books are new books that we think are going to be great. ENJOY! 
* If there are books that you don't see on the list let us know so we can update the list. There will be a tab for this.*

Release dates:
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
New Girl by Paige Harbinson
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Allegiance by Cayla Kluver 
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter 
Perception by Kim Harrington
Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz
Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandler
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
Underworld by Meg Cabot
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore 
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Arise by Tara Hudson
Timepiece by Myra McEntire
A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young
Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs
Rapture by Lauren Kate
Once by Anna Carey
Just For Fins by Tara Lynn Childs
Endlessly by Kiersten White
Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto
The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
Hidden by Sophie Jordan
Angel Fever by L.A. Weatherly
Timekeeper by Alexandra Monir 
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

- Gilbert & Gomez

You can also find this list and any added updates among the pages for easier access. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Of 'Waiting for Its Release' Book Covers

We read so many books this past year, but it's the 2012 books that have us waiting on the edge of our seats! Constantly waiting to hear about these books, we search high and look for ARCs of all of these books because we just can't wait. It's the covers that draw us in, as well as the stories and the characters. 
These are our Waiting for Its Release books' covers. :)
*not all of the books have covers yet*

Until I Die (Revenants, #2) Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2) Arise (Hereafter #2) Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2) Timepiece (Hourglass, #2) Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2) A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful, #2) Perception (Clarity, #2) Once (Eve, #2) Spellcaster (Spellbound #2) Just for Fins (Fins, #3) Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3) Tempest Unleashed (Tempest #2) A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2) Insurgent (Divergent, #2) Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, #2) Allegiance (Legacy, #2) Rapture (Fallen, #4) Bitterblue (The Seven Kingdoms, #3) Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1) Everlasting (Kissed by an Angel, #5) New Girl The Treachery of Beautiful Things City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

Now you all know what we can't wait to see in 2012!!

- Gilbert &  Gomez

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Of the Arts, Wealth, and Love

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson

Being an heiress in 1920s Austria with nothing but a broken-down castle to your name and nary a penny in your purse could be frustrating for anyone but the Princess Theresa-Maria of Pfaffenstein. “Tessa,” however, is thrilled with her situation, as it allows her to concentrate on her love of the arts—and no one in the Viennese opera company need know that their delightful and charming under-wardrobe mistress is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera in search of suitable entertainment for his high society guests, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life—and love—than just music. But while the attraction between them in undeniable, Guy’s insufferable snob of a fiancée only solidifies Tessa’s determination to keep her true identity a secret. Yet, after a chance meeting with the handsome Englishman, Tessa’s reserve begins to melt, and she starts to wonder if it’s not too late for a fairytale ending…

Immediately after reading this book I just sat back and thought "well that was nice, not spectacular and sometimes I lost interest, but nice". Then a little while later something dawned on me (I can guarantee it was not the Breaking Dawn trailer). I realized that while there were some parts that didn't demand my attention, there was something hidden in the pages of Ms. Ibbotson's book.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Of In My Mailbox (8)



Hopefully its better than Crescendo. 

- Gilbert 

Of New Year's Resolutions 2012

Hello everyone and welcome to the new year! It's finally 2012, the year that the world is "supposedly" suppose to end, LOL. But, it is also a new beginning for everyone. 

We both have decided that with this new beginning Gilbert & Gomez could use some resolutions! Hayley and I have thought had over this past year and what things we could improve on the blog so that you guys' experience is as wonderful as us! :) So, here they are! We hope that if anything should be added or changed ya'll would let us know. You are the audience and we want your opinion. 

2012 New Year Resolutions
1. Broaden our range of YA novels. We want to start reading all kinds of YA not just romance and paranormal. 
2. Try to post a new blog entry at least 4 times a week. 
3. Have at least one new book review each week.
4. Increase audience involvement. We want you guys to be actively involved in what we do, that includes leaving comments on post. :)
5. Have more giveaways! Everyone likes free books, and we want to be able to do this for you guys. 
6. Interview authors. We think since now that we have the hang of the whole blogging thing that we will be able to have interviews with our and your favorite authors. 

These are our resolutions for 2012. Like we said, if you have anything to add or change please leave a comment below to voice your opinion. If we are not fulfilling any of our resolutions, please let us know. :)

Thank you and WELCOME TO 2012!!

- Enjoli & Hayley 


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