Saturday, January 15, 2011

IMM 20

This has to be my longest IMM ever, sorry. A big thank you to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting this weekly meme. The idea is that everyone shares the books they bought or recieved in a week. As ever, the books that are seen on my IMM posts have been bought new, sent via the publishers or by the authors, bought secondhand in charity shops, won in giveaways, swapped via a book swapping website or borrowed from friends. Off we go...

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles - 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.

I didn't love Perfect Chemistry with every fibre of my being like some other readers did, but it was really enjoyable, and I have been looking forward to this, the next book in the series! I wasn't sure how that rain would translate on the cover of the book, but it's interesting.


A Note of Madness by Tabitha Suzuma - Life as a student is good for Flynn. As one of the top pianists at the Royal College of Music, he has been put forward for an important concert, the opportunity of a lifetime. But beneath the surface, things are changing. On a good day, he feels full of energy and life, but on a bad day being alive is worse than being dead. Sometimes he wants to compose and practise all night, at other times he can't get out of bed. His flatmate Harry tries to understand but is increasingly confused by Flynn's erratic mood swings. His friend Jennah tries to help, but Flynn finds it difficult to be around her as he struggles to control his feelings and behaviour. With the pressure of the forthcoming concert and the growing concern of his family and friends, emotions come to a head. Sometimes things can only get worse before they get better.

After reading and loving Forbidden last year, I promised myself that I would try to find and read some of Tabitha Suzuma's backlist. She seems to write very dark books. And I love dark books, so I'm hoping that I love this one. I love reading books involving music, but I enjoy books about mental health even more. This one is both.


Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler - "Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."

"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

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

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

This one has been on my wishlist for quite some time, but especially after the furore last year involving book banning/censoring, I knew that I wanted to read this one, and fairly quickly. Sarah Ockler has a new book out as well and I'm just as excited to read that one as well.


Going Bovine by Libba Bray
- Can Cameron find what he’s looking for?

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

This one sort of intimidates me. I've heard really wonderful things about it .. but I've also heard that it can be quite confusing as well. But it's got a cow holding a gnome on the front cover and apparently contains an epic road trip - who am I kidding? There's no way I could resist this book!


Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott - Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast.
Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.

And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them....

Ah, Elizabeth Scott, I heart you. My current favourite author, I really need to read all of her books. I've done an excellent job so far, but before I read one of her grittier sounding books, I thought I'd try this romantic YA first. I can't wait to read this one.


A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker - When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can't get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona's long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer.

Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

Have you ever bought a book because Amazon's recommendation thingy continuously bombards you with a specific book? No? Is that just me? This one kept popping up and this idea sounds cute. I'm in a contemporary YA romance phase at the moment, so I thought now might be a good time to pick this one up. Marriage classes in high school seem pretty far-fetched, but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for a little while :)


Identical by Ellen Hopkins - Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for US Congress. Everything on the surface seems fine, but underneath run very deep and damaging secrets. What really happened when the girls were 7 years old in that car accident that Daddy caused? And why is Mom never home, always running far away to pursue some new dream? Raeanne goes after painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to dull her pain and anger. Kaeleigh always tries so hard to be the good girl — her father's perfect little flower. But when the girls were 9, Daddy started to turn to his beloved Kaeleigh in ways a father never should and has been sexually abusing her for years. For Raeanne, she needs to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite; for Kaeleigh, she wants to do everything she can to feel something normal, even if it means cutting herself and vomiting after every binge.

How Kaeleigh and Raeanne figure out just what it means to be whole again when their entire world has been torn to shreads is the guts and heart of this powerful, disturbing, and utterly remarkable book.

I think I should make one of my reading goals in 2011 to be 'Read more books by Ellen Hopkins' - It seems like a very worthy goal. I've only read her Impulse, but it was fantastic. I'm sure to not leave this one on my shelf for very long unread. I love the cover of this one. Shiny like a mirror but scratched beyond belief. Seems to be telling a story even before I've gotten started.


Stray by Rachel Vincent - There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .
And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them . . .

In my recent review of Rachel Vincent's My Soul To Take, I said that I wanted to read Rachel's adult series, so here we are. I'm true to my word. I'm a little surprised that this book is so chunky, but hurrah. More for me to love, I hope!


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school—it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's—the very place where they're most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

I felt incredibly left out last year when everyone got all excited that Last Sacrifice had been published. I wanted to feel included in that, but hadn't read any of the books! Now I have the first two. I've been told they're really addictive reading and I need the entire series to hand...


Vampire Academy: Frostbite by Richelle Mead - Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

I'm going to be a rebel however, and just start the first two and see where we go from there! :) I bet all of the rest of you are right though and I'll be making a mad dash to the bookstore. Oh well. I look forward to it.


How Not To Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
- Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or so to move to a new city. When Maggie was younger, she thought it was fun and adventurous. Now that she’s a teenager, she hates it. When she moved after her freshman year, she left behind good friends, a great school, and a real feeling of belonging. When she moved her sophomore year, she left behind a boyfriend, too. Now that they’ve moved to Austin, she knows better. She’s not going to make friends. She’s not going to fit in. Anything to prevent her from liking this new place and them from liking her. Only . . . things don’t go exactly as planned.

This one sounds like a lot of fun. I really love the red in the cover. But really, a sense of belonging is something that I really strive for and I love reading books about it as well.


The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells - Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.

My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything.

This one looks like a very light, book to read on a sandy beach on holiday somewhere, but I'm wondering if it'll actually be something else entirely. I thought to myself the other day that I'll have a bing on YA contemporary romances so that by the time I read and review them all it will be around Valentine's Day. That's a good idea, right?


Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles - Caleb Becker left Paradise eight months ago, taking with him the secret he promised to take to his grave. If the truth got out, it would ruin everything. Maggie Armstrong tried to be strong after Caleb broke her heart and disappeared. Somehow, she managed to move on. She’s determined to make a new life for herself.

But then Caleb and Maggie are forced together on a summer trip. They try ignoring their passion for each other, but buried feelings resurface. Caleb must face the truth about the night of Maggie’s accident, or the secret that destroyed their relationship will forever stand between them.

Last year I read and really enjoyed Leaving Paradise, so I knew that at some point I would read this book. Despite its sort of tacky looking cover, I'm really excited to get back to Caleb and Maggie!


Take Me There by Carolee Dean - Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.

But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He’s on the run and in search of answers—answers to questions he wishes he’d never asked.

The cover alone makes me want to read this one. But then there's a bad boy and hopefully a road trip and young love and I'm sold! :)


In The Bag by Jim Carrington - Joe and Ash are best friends. Ash is the leader, Joe the one who follows. Then one night after a party, Joe and Ash come across a holdall, seemingly abandoned by the side of the road. They open it up ...and find GBP20,000 in cash. Of course they're going to hand it straight to the police. Aren't they? Or is all that money just too tempting? Whoever has lost it won't notice if a bit goes missing, will they? And that is precisely when the trouble starts ...Jim Carrington has already established himself as a fine writer for teens with his debut novel, Inside My Head. With In the Bag, he shows how horribly easy it is for two teenage boys to make a car crash of their lives, through an unlucky combination of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and making a handful of wrong decisions.

Really looking forward to this one!


Becoming Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty - To prove her likeability, Bindy decides to document her life in transcripts, essays, and e-mails. What this reveals is a girl who's funny, passionate, hilariously self-righteous...and in danger. Bindy Mackenzie believes herself to be the smartest, kindest girl at Ashbury High. Unfortunately, she is alone in that belief.

Someone wants to kill Bindy Mackenzie. The clues are in the documents. The detectives are the very students who hate her most. And time is running out.

I'm slightly worried that this is a sequel to some other book? Have been wanting to read something, anything by Jaclyn Moriarty for absolutely ages.


Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty
- Popular Aussie writer Jaclyn Moriarty, author of the smash debut, Feeling Sorry for Celia avoids the notorious sophomore slump with this bouncy epistolary follow-up that is brimming with self-confidence and charm. In The Year of Secret Assignments, a tenth grade English teacher attempts to unite feuding schools by launching a pen-pal project. Best friends Cassie, Emily and Lydia initiate the correspondence, and are answered by Matthew, Charlie and Seb. Emily and Lydia are more than pleased with their matches, but quiet Cassie has a frightening experience with Matthew. When Lydia and Emily discover that Matthew has threatened their fragile friend, the Ashbury girls close ranks, declaring an all-out war on the Brookfield boys. Soon, the couples are caught up in everything from car-jacking and lock-picking, to undercover spying and identity theft.

Is this a sequel as well? *cries* This is probably why I've never read any books by Jaclyn Moriarty :( :(


Mortlock by Jon Mayhew - The sister is a knife-thrower in a magician's stage act, the brother an undertaker's assistant. Neither orphan knows of the other's existence. Until, that is, three terrible aunts descend on the girl's house and imprison her guardian, the Great Cardamom. His dying act is to pass the girl a note with clues to the secret he carries to his grave.

What a fab cover. And it sounds like SUCH a fun read.


Siren by Tricia Rayburn - Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.

But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb. But will what Vanessa discovers mean the end of her summer romance, or even life as she knows it?

The cover is slightly creepy looking to me, but this one sounds really good.


And that is FINALLY it for me for this week. Which books did you recieve this week? Where do you think I should start with these books?


  1. Wow I think you borrowed my wishlist :D
    What a totally fantastic book week. ENJOY

  2. The Jaclyn Moriarty books aren't exactly sequels, but they're all set at the same school (Ashbury High) and the characters recur. You can read them in any order, though, honestly. The order they were written/published in is: 1) Feeling Sorry for Celia, 2) Finding Cassie Crazy, 3) Becoming Bindy McKenzie and 4) Dreaming of Amelia.
    They are fantastic! (My favourite is Finding Cassie Crazy, though - and I suspect you're going to love it judging by other things you've said here)

    What else was I going to say. Hmm... What an amazing lot of books! Perfect You is my favourite Elizabeth Scott book of the ones I've read so far, and I loved The Summer of Skinny Dipping.
    I am desperate to buy myself Twenty Boy Summer, and I'm also tempted by A Match Made in High School.

    I love your Valentine's Day idea.

    Sorry this is such a long comment, and happy happy reading!

  3. Wow! Can I come live with you? Pretty please? These all look fab! Hope you enjoy them.

  4. Wowzers, that is a lot of books!

    Don't be intimidated by GOING BOVINE... just jump in and embrace the crazy. One of my favourite reads of last year.

  5. You have some books I've loved, some I've not heard of, and some I desperately want this week!!! I love giant IMM's, others more than my own, cause I love seeing what other people are buying and it's a great way for me to find new titles I like the sound of as well. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on some of these!! Happy reading!

    Oh, and Stray is by far the longest Shifters book, the rest are around the 400 page mark, apart from the final one, Alpha, which is about 450. When I first read Stray I got to the end and thought 'that didn't seem like a 600 page book' cause it reads so fast. Hope you really enjoy them!!

  6. Amazing list! I can say that Twenty Boy Summer and Perfect You are two of my all time favourites.

    And yup, I've bought books due to Amazon's bombardment haha. That's how I discovered Jenny O'Connell's books. A Match Made in High School is really great and not very predictable which I liked.

    Hope you enjoy! :)

  7. oh loads of fab books - looks like we'll both me busy this week!!!

  8. Now should I get Identical to read when I have identical twins at home!

  9. Now should I get Identical to read when I have identical twins at home!

  10. I haven't read any of these except Going Bovine, so I'd recommend reading that one first. :) It IS an amazing book, though!

  11. Wow!! Most of them look like books I would read. I'd probably start with Siren though

  12. Wow! That's quite the haul of books! :) Looking forward to seeing what you think of the Suzama one, Forbidden was a brillant book last year.

    Take me There looks really good as well.

  13. Wow, great ton of books! Haha, I loved the cover for Going Bovine when I first saw it too, it's so unique! :D I hope you enjoy all of your books, they all look amazing!

  14. Awesome haul! I loved Twenty Boy Summer. Looking forward to checking out your reviews of these. Happy reading!

  15. Emma - We do seem to have a lot of overlap in our wishlists :)

    Luisa - THANK YOU SO MUCH for clearing up my confusion of the Jaclyn Moriarty books. Really. I was beginning to lose my excitement about reading them but now I think I'll just jump right in.

    That is high praise for Perfect You! And no worries, I adore long comments :)

    Jess - HA! :) I'm looking forward to them!

    Cat - OOH. I shall look forward even more to reading it then :)

    Cem - I really love looking at other people's long IMMs too. It doesn't happen very often for me :)

    Glad to hear that Stray doesn't feel like a struggle to read even though it's massive!!

    Michelle - I'm glad it's not just me. Actually, I think *I* bought a Jenny O'Connell book based on Amazon's recommendations as well! LOL! Really looking forward to Perfect You and Twenty Boy Summer!

    Kirsty - I KNOW! Happy reading to the both of us.

    Vivienne - you avoid or seek out identical twin books? What an interesting concept, one I'd never thought of before.

    Zara - Really great to hear, I shall look forward to it :)

    Lyndsey - Siren DOES look really good. Only the eyes creep me out just slightly.

    Darren - I loved Forbidden A LOT, so I'm hoping that both the other Suzuma books I have live up to my expectations.

    Anna - There are just some covers that I cannot resist, and Going Bovine's cover is one of them :)

    Jenny - Oh dear. I'm looking forward to reading all of these but possibly not so much the reviewing! :)

  16. You have got one fantastic book haul this week. Also ADORED Forbidden and am itching to read more of her books. A Note of Madness is also on my TBR list, so I'll be looking out for your review. I've also got the first 2 books and the final book in the Vampire Academy series, which I'm hoping to start after The Body Finder. Hope you have one awesome reading week! Looking forward to your reviews as always.

  17. OMG. I looove all these books. Some I don't recognise but the ones I do made me squeal! I hope you devour them. Rawr. :D

  18. Tammy - Thanks! I'm really looking forward to all of these. I think first I'll binge on YA contemp romances and then I'll hit the more gritty stuff like the Suzuma!

    I can't wait to get started with the Vampire Academy books but I'm holding off for a ltitle while. I want some time to read more of my own books before I get sucked into a series! :)

    Dwayne - I'm really hoping to devour lots of them this week! I'm super excited for so many of them :)

  19. I finished up Perfect You last night. I wasn't impressed, liked Bloom MUCH more. Actively disliked the narrator until about page 200. Hopefully you like it better!

  20. Lisa - I finished it last night - I can see how people would have problems with Kate. She's pretty self-absorbed and whingey. But I quite liked her, up until just before the end and then I couldn't stand her whiny-ness and thought that bit dragged. Still, on the whole really loved it.

  21. Hello-

    Great list! Haven't read any of them yet, so better get started! A good book to read is 'Raspberries on the Yangtzee', a really good teen read.



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