Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oldsoul by Dan Haring

Jason Gouvas doesn’t want to believe he has special abilities or that he's an Oldsoul-- a vessel for the souls of people who have passed away, but the dead girl in his mind can be very persuasive.
Her name is Erin, and through her Jason is able to access the knowledge and skills of the souls within him. And with a group of power-hungry immortals bent on destroying the Oldsouls and overthrowing humanity, he's going to need them all.

I was lucky enough to host the blog tour for this book to celebrate it's release. You can see my interview with the author here in which he talks a little about graphic novels, cartoons and weapons.
Oldsoul was one of those books that when I first heard about it I was thinking it was going to be like most of the other books I've read recently in which the main character can communicate mentally with other people, like telepathy, except he could communicate with dead souls as well. I was completely wrong. For me it was more like reading mission impossible or bourne identity with the addition of the main character getting feedback and advice from relatives, other oldsouls etc through his mind, with the help of Erin.
I couldn't help but picture the story as an action movie as I read, huge all out fight scenes including missions and explosions and flying cars. I also think it would make a great graphic novel and through the author discovered that is what he originally hoped for this story.
As the main character is a young policeman at 18 years old, this appeals to a younger audience and with a less focus on romance and more on battle, a book great book recommendation for boys.
I was also a little surprised to find a focus on family ties as well. There is a story connecting Jason with his father and his grandfather that really appealed to me. I liked the struggle that he is put through, he has some hard decisions to make and only with the help of the other oldsouls is he able to fight back. After all you can't really be considered for the title of superhero without a sidekick or two.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Author Interview: Dan Haring author of OLDSOUL

I noticed as I read that I couldn't help but imagine some of the fight scenes playing out like a movie. Large missile explosions and people falling in all directions from getting hit with the bullets and cars flying everywhere from the impact. Did you write these scenes with the intention of sucking in the reader with intense visuals and explosions?

I kind of approached the book as if it were an action movie, so it needed to have lots of explosions and bodies falling. Coming from a film and art background, and loving comics, whenever I'm writing I tend to picture what's happening as if it's in a movie or comic book, and try to incorporate that into the writing. Hopefully the descriptions (and explosions) are enough to get people interested in what's going on.

Are there any movies that inspired this particular scene
(the New York fight scene in the beginning part of the story)

No specific movies, though I've seen plenty of them and I'm sure some slipped in subconsciously. Like I said, I visualized the fight scenes, especially the New York one, as if they were going to be shot for a a movie, so hopefully the action came across as such.

I know that you work as an artist and with animations. Is there a piece of artwork that your story inspired that you want to share with my readers? If not, have you considered trying to get your story converted to a Graphic Novel and trying your hand at the artwork? Is that something you'd like to see happen with your story some day?

I really like the story of Oldsoul, so I wanted to get it out there any way I could. During the query process I started adapting it to both a screenplay and a graphic novel. I concentrated more on the graphic novel though, and I made it through a couple pages before the book contract came about. Once that happened, I let the graphic novel idea go, but I'd still love to finish it someday. Here's the first page that I did.

Did you design/help design the cover?

I did. Initially I was going to try to get a friend to paint it, but there just wasn't enough of a budget. So I did a couple mock-ups of ideas I had. The publisher liked one and gave me the green light to do it. I photographed a friend and did the rest in Photoshop.

Have any of your characters demanded more page space than you had
originally planned? Have you considered doing a short story that goes
more into detail about that character?

She didn't necessarily take up more page space than I'd planned, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing Erin. She's the soul within Jason that he communicates with, and I had a great time evolving their relationship. I hadn't considered doing a short story, but as OLDSOUL is the first of a planned trilogy, we'll definitely be learning more about the characters.

There is also a lot of specific details when it comes to the weapons
that are used. The shape, model, type etc that I personally did not
know one weapon from another besides key words like "missile" or "gun"
do you have a interest in weapons or did you have to do some research
on the models and specifics to help portray the intensity of the

Yes and yes. My dad was in the Air Force in Vietnam and worked at an Army depot for most of my life growing up. That, combined with being in Boy Scouts, gave me a pretty keen interest in weapons. (Plus I'm a guy, so yeah, guns!) I grew up in a rural community in Utah, and my dad had guns and we would go shooting all the time. With Jason being a policeman, he would have to know about certain types of weaponry, even if he's not obsessed with it. One of the souls inside him is a General whose hobby is to keep up on the weapons and vehicles the military uses, and he provides a lot of the information to Jason. I talked to my dad and did some research of my own to find out what types of weapons would most likely be used. At the risk of boring people who don't care about weapons, I wanted it to feel authentic and rooted in the real world.

On a more fun note:

You reference tv and movies in this book, do you find yourself turning
on Spongebob or other cartoons over other shows? I personally find
cartoons relaxing and tend to put them on late at night to help me
sleep...what is your go-to tv preference when you need to clear your
mind?...maybe a guilty pleasure show..

I love Spongebob! I love the sheer absurdity of it. I have kids, and I work in animation, so a lot of cartoon watching goes on at home. Phineas and Ferb is pretty much the family favorite. I really like a lot of the USA shows. Monk, Psych, White Collar, Royal Pains. Castle is a great show too. My wife and I got hooked on Downton Abbey a few months back. Maybe that counts as a guilty pleasure, but it's so good!

If there was one Classic Disney movie you would have been proud to
have worked on ..which one would it be and why?

Working on Tangled has been the highlight of my animation career, and though I don't know if it qualifies as a classic yet, I'm very proud of that movie. I love the classic Disney films, but I don't know that any one stands out above the others. My all-time favorite movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas, and although it may not fall under the same "classic" category as Cinderella and others, it's probably the one I would have most wanted to work on.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Angel Evolution by David Estes

When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice.

Something about him scares her.

Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution

Yay! an Angels and Demons story that was not too preachy and overrun with religious overtones. Right up my ally. There is something that irks me about getting preached to when your trying to read a good story. Not that it is always a bad thing, but very hard for an author to do without clearly portraying which religion they are and bending the story in that direction.
So, for the author to approach it taking a step back from that aspect and putting a more human touch on the two, appealed to me. As somebody who has read their fair share of angel and demon books over the last year in recent teen trend, it was a very nice change.
I enjoyed the characters in this story. I was a big fan of all of them and couldn't really pick a favorite (although I am leaning towards Sam the best friend)
It is really easy for us to understand that when you are presented with something out of this world, you are in awe. But as new things are brought into the story, Taylor becomes unsure and a little indecisive. I can understand that, if I try to put myself in the situation, I'm sure I'd be the same way. But you have to admire a person who can stick to a decision once they finally make it. As far as any of the characters go the MC Taylor could use a little bit more punch and depth, but overall I still enjoyed her. I read through this story so fast that I just disappeared into it for several hours, a book that I will read again. Another story in which I like the way the love interest/romance was handled and for $1 on kindle, well worth it.
The thing that will keep me picking up an authors book is how unpredictable the plot twists are, not a cliffhanger. This book was one that you think you see what's coming, but your wrong. And that is what will keep me reading other works by the author, and take the time to tell you as well that I enjoyed it, and I think you will to. 4 stars

Monday, March 19, 2012

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

The first book in the series, The Goddess Test , there were a lot of things I took into consideration. Firstly that it was the first book in the series, so we needed to get introduced to the world and the characters. I find that a lot of the time I find the first books in a series is just ok. After reading the goddess test I decided to read other books that take on the Hades and Persephone myth, such as Abandon by Meg Cabot and Everneath by Brodi Ashton. With the comparisons I then decided that The Goddess Test was actually my favorite of them with Everneath a close second.
I decided this story was one that I wanted to continue with, although I had a huge issue in the first book about how Henry seems to just take a back seat on issue's and does not in any way, shape or form present to me how I think Hades should be. Strong, determined and yes powerful. He came off as really weak and silly, I wanted him to really stand out, but instead it's Kate that acts more like a leader than any other character, and by her strength she really makes Henry look depressing.
I was hoping that Henry's behavior in book one was just part of the tests they were putting Kate through, that he had to pretend to be weak so that she could prove herself, but yet again here in book two, he just comes off as really weak to me. But in contrast Kate really stands out. She becomes a bad ass and admirable person for standing up and fighting back. I love this about her.
The beginning of the story really starts out strong and for the first 40% I couldn't stop reading. It drops a little bit in the middle and focuses more on family and the romance. But then, the ending! OMG that ending. I just want to stomp my foot like a kid and yell "it's not fair" And with that the author has me hooked yet again to see what happens next!
I really wanted to give it 4 stars but I felt that there was just a little bit to much down time in the middle of the book after so much action happened, and the lack of development of Henry's character. So yet again I think I'm going to give it 3 stars in my book, although closer to 4 so 3.5

Maybe somebody who is more familiar with the original Hades and Persephone story can help me out here, is Hades supposed to be the weaker one in the relationship, or do you think the author is taking some creative interpretation for a teen YA novel to produce a strong female lead character? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Intangible by J. Meyers

Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret—she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.

Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right. And he can’t do anything about it
Goodreads Amazon

I loved Sera as the main focus of the story. She has the power to be able to heal with her touch, but in this setting we have vampires and other paranormal creatures as well. She has the ability to be able to "heal" a vampire to make them human again. The fact that she continues to offer this service to vampires has upset the more powerful vampire leaders, who then send their beefy vampire thugs after her.
There is so much more to this story, but this is what I loved the most about it. I have always been team vampire and I love a good twist to a vampire story. I was thoroughly sucked into the story and enjoyed following Sera and Luke (her twin brother) as they discover more about themselves and their family. As well as their powers of course and what they have the capabilities of.
There is some talk of goblins and faeries but the vampires and the twins' abilities really play the major role in the story, or at least that is what kept my interest the most as I found this intriguing and a unique twist that was fun and different to read.
There wasn't much to the story that I did not enjoy. The villain, the romance the magic and the supernatural creatures were fantastically blended together. Great dialogue and twists, I would love to see what happens next.
4 stars

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.
Hardcover, 240 pages publication: March 13th 2012 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers ISBN 0805092625 (ISBN13: 9780805092622)

This book went by way to fast. I enjoyed the way that it's story played out. It's not told from one or two peoples perspectives but really unravels as a movie would. We see the different views of each person that becomes involved somehow in the kidnapping case.
Drew-(the last one to see Kayla)
Gabie- (the one that was supposed to have been kidnapped)
Kayla- (the kidnapped)
the kidnapper- (spoilery statement stricken)
The police officers (investigation and questioning of people involved or suspect)
The Parents of the Kids above (psychics, media interviews and family)

It's a suspenseful thriller, you don't know exactly what is going to happen to Kayla, the kidnapper is creepy and dangerous. But it was a gripping and intense read from the first page. There was a little bit of break from the direct kidnapping story when Gabie and Drew form a closeness and are confused emotionally about whether their feelings are real or if it's the situation and need to feel and talk to each other about what has happened.
I was impressed by the ending and think that the format of the book was very well put together. I am a huge horror fan, and it was nice to see a little bit of creep factor and suspense, it's been over a year since reading a book similar to the thrill I got when I picked up this one and was sad that it was so short, but I intend on searching for more similar to this because I had a great time reading it.
4 stars

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .

I thought the idea behind this story is fantastic. It's more of a plot driven story than a character driven one. There are several characters in the book but we don't get to learn too much background or history about each. The reader gets just enough detail that is required to move the story forward.
The pacing of the novel is pretty intense, there is always something happening and moving along with very few if any breaks from one action scene to the next.
There is a huge mystery happening here, and at first it seems that the story is for us to get to know the world and more about Callie's renter. But no, there is so much more going on here and the whole business behind Prime Destinations is complex and makes for an entertaining read that took twists that I was surprised and happy about.
There were some sections that I wanted to just yell at Callie and ask her what she's doing! Like in a horror movie yelling, "don't go up the stairs" for example Callie's renter tells her not to return to Prime Destinations because if they find out there's a glich in the chip Callie may loose out on the money because she did not fulfill the contract, and what's the first thing Callie does? Jump in the car to return to the company and all I could think is.."Don't go back to the company Callie!"
It was a highly fast paced and fun read, had me on the edge of my seat for the last half of the book. A thriller and a mystery set in a dystopian world. 4 Stars

Monday, March 12, 2012

Armchair Audies

I listen to a lot of audiobooks. When I saw a tweet from the Literate Housewife today and saw she was hosting the Armchair Audies this year I decided this sounded like something I would love to participate in. The category that I will be participating in is Multi-Voiced Performance because I already own some of these and very interested to listen to them all!

Here is part of the blogpost from Literate Housewife that explains more what the Armchair Audies are
The inspiration for this challenge was the simple volume of categories and audiobooks nominated. There are 5 audiobooks nominated in each of the 28 categories. As audiobook lovers, we’re deeply interested in the awards. As I’ve yet to run into anyone who has listened to much more than a handful of of the nominees. There simply isn’t enough time to listen to each of the nominees to adequately judge and predict each category. In banding together, bloggers can cover much more territory. Thus the Armchair Audies were born. It is my hope that this becomes an annual event.
These are the audiobooks I will be listening to and featuring here the week of May 28th.

The Audies® 2010
Awards recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA).

The 2012 Finalists
Multi-Voiced Performance
To Category List


Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel [Trans.]

Read by Alison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett

(Audible, Inc./ Brilliance Audio)


Lorraine Hansberry

Read by Judyann Elder, James Gleason, Noah Gray-Cabey, Corey Hawkins, Deidrie Henry, Terrell Tilford, Rutina Wesley, Mirron E. Willis

(L.A. Theatre Works)


Neal Shusterman

Read by Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Luke Daniels, Laura Hamilton

(Brilliance Audio)

THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT: Voices from the Titanic

Allan Wolf

Read by Michael Page, Phil Gigante, Christopher Lane, Laural Merlington, Angela Dawe

(Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick)


Charles Webb, Terry Johnson

Read by Kathleen Turner, Matthew Rhys, and a Full Cast

(L.A. Theatre Works)

If this sounds interesting to you as well, if your a blogger I do know that as of today there are some categories still open to participate in, so jump over and say Hi!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rita's Giveaway

Earlier this year I had a giveaway and a review of one of the books that included a short story by Rita Webb. She is currently hosting a giveaway and hop on her own website and I thought I would give a quick shoutout here on the blog to her and her fantastic giveaway!

From her blog:
So much for me to celebrate, and I want to share the joy with all of you!

I am giving away 5 $10 Amazon gift cards.

If we sell at least 500 copies, I'll also give away 2 $50 Amazon gift cards.

If we sell at least 1000 copies, I'll also give away a Kindle Fire!

So please go stop by say Hello and enter to win!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Agency: The Traitor in the Tunnel by Y.S. Lee

Get steeped in suspense, romance, and high Victorian intrigue as Mary goes undercover at Buckingham Palace - and learns a startling secret at the Tower of London.

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there's a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary's onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary's most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn't be higher - and she has everything to lose. Hardcover, 373 pages Published February 28th 2012 by Candlewick Press ISBN 0763653160 (ISBN13: 9780763653163) The Agency 3: The Traitor in the Tunnel

As this is the 3rd book in the series, if you have not read any of the previous two, there may be some spoilers in this post, so read with caution.

So far this is my favorite book in the series. Of course this is the natural thing for most series because the characters and the world setting is mostly done in the first book. So we already have the established characters and just get to focus more on the plot of the story, which is a new mystery for Mary to solve.
This time the characters involved may be closer to Mary than she would have ever thought. It not only develops a story within the Royal court at Buckingham Palace, but one that leads to her own past and could possible answer questions about her life.
The suspense is knocked up a bit with a little more speed and urgency to keep the pacing as well as the combination of different questions she is trying to get answered leads to more than just one mystery to be solved. There is just a short introduction to set the setting of this mystery and some of the clues to what Mary will be looking for, with a twist.
Mary is a strong lead character, very intelligent and brave. She is forced to accept some things in her personal life and grows up a lot emotionally. She is a lot more admirable person that I would have been in her place.
There is also the romance factor, very cute and light. I give this one 4 stars

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Casey Barnes Eponymous by E. A. Rigg

It's three weeks into the school year when music junkie Casey Barnes gets a second chance with her mysterious, heartbreaking ex-boyfriend. She comes up with a plan to win him back, but it soon spins out of control as rivalries, revelations about him, and music itself all start to collide. For Casey the newfound attention means learning the difference between wanting center stage and actually being on it

I thought this was a great read. I loved the main character Casey, she's got spunk.
She's in high school. Wants to play in a band and having some boy troubles. She likes to cheat on tests and always speaks her mind. Getting in trouble with the school is the least of her problems and she dresses with a rock star style.
Trying to get over a little heart ache that Alex has caused her, she finds out that he's broken up with his girlfriend, but she still tries to feign interest. There is a new boy in school, Ben who she tries to cheat off of one day and notices that he carries around drummer sticks in his pocket.
Ben and Casey eventually end up forming a group to play at the school talent show and for the try-outs writes a song about the school bitch and calls her out on it in front of the whole audience. There is always a constant pull towards Alex for her, even though she knows deep down inside that he's not right for her, but he's hot and shows interest.
What caught my attention most about this story is that the main character. There is not a lot of scenes that are overly angsty and actually handled pretty well in my opinion. Most of the conflicts are actually settled through honesty and talking to each other. The story flowed with kind of a laid back mellow feel to it, great contemporary teen read that rocks.
There is a little bit of swearing, some make out scenes and pot.
5 stars
Author's website

Monday, March 5, 2012

Supervillain:The Concise Guide by Ras Ashcroft

Are you tired of living a humdrum life? Is there little to look forward to except a dead-end job and more news headlines that remind you of your insignificance in the world? Do you think the future of humanity depends on your potent leadership skills? Well forget about the nonsense of running for political office and become a supervillain instead.

Fancy degrees and qualifications are not required. With this concise guide, you will learn all the basic tricks of the trade. Ease into your first seedy business, create a large organisation with interests in finance, media and politics, and build a powerful military force. Eventually you will launch your crusade to rule the entire planet.

Take your shot at world domination – and hit the bull’s-eye

Overall this is a short entertaining read. I thought that some sections were more entertaining than others and the more you get into the book the funnier it gets. The first section more about finances and gaining allies and partners than anything, was not as upbeat to me as the rest of it, but I thought after that section it became more and more outrageous concepts until at last, the super villain gains a spot viewing all of Earth as a whole in outer-space to have more control on all aspects of the world.
It's a cheap purchase on ebook and had a lot of humor and some interesting ideas.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Eden's Root by Rachel Fisher

It is 2033, and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional

The first thing that I noticed about the story was that it's a pretty big read. I read this on my kindle and there were no page numbers but there were 7191 locations that is above the normal teen reads I get that average between 3000-5300 locations.
It starts out describing the world and explaining the main plot of what the story is going to be, the reader gets to see right away that Fi, the main character who is 13 in the beginning of the novel is going to have to grow up fast. She is smart and takes everything her father tells her to heart. She begins preparations for the time when she is going to have to leave town with her little sister when the time comes. There is a lot of stealing and lying and storage of necessities by her over the next couple of months. As well as learning how to fight, hunt, and some plant knowledge for food reasons. She eventually decides that she cannot leave her family and friends and decides that she just cannot leave them without some idea of what's going on. Plus the neighbor boy Sean has noticed she is missing school and that something is going on.
There were some parts of the book where they cannot travel because of the weather and settle down. The story slows and there is not a lot of things happening in those sections. We get to learn more about the individual characters and scout for more food and supplies in the abandoned towns.
This story contains a lot of characters. We start off with around 14 people traveling in the group (the plan was just supposed to be three) so we have a lot of people to get to know and as they travel more people are brought into the story. Not all of them play the major role in the story, but there were a couple places I found the amount of characters hard to remember and especially their ages and which ones were sick or not and what skills they had to provide for the group.
The story eventually starts to involve a little bit of a romance and a lot of complications that the family must get through to find their way to safety.
I was offered a copy of this for review, but when I checked online to see that it was selling for $2 for the ebook I was surprised, especially because of the length of the book. I think it is 100% worth that and more. That is a very good deal for this story.
My favorite character is Sean. I admired him, his actions and how supportive he was of Fi. Fi is a very strong leader and it really shows in this story that she had to grow up very fast in a short amount of time. I was torn at times that some of the adults in the group did not insist that she did not go out to scavenge herself because she knew where they were going and could not risk her getting hurt. But she always held her own and kicked ass when she needed to.
I think the main story behind the story is how the world treats our food supply.
With all the cross breeding of plants and use of chemicals in our foods, if not watched carefully could cause global damage, and in this story to the extent of global famine.
4 Stars

Books that you may also enjoy:
Ashfall by Mike Mullen
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…

Kelsey is an average teen that experiences some very fun, unfortunate and humorous things in her freshman year. We get an insight into her home life, arguing with siblings as well as her friends and classmates and interactions between them. It's a big event in everybody's life, that introduction into high school. Sometimes friendships get stronger, and others just don't work out. But when you throw boys and all those pent up emotions thrown into the mix, it can lead to disastrous events.

When you factor in boys, a new setting and new people feelings are bound to get hurt. And everybody seems to have a bully that always has to make your life harder. Sometimes things will get out of control, and some photos mysteriously turn up that cause an epic roller coaster of events. Kelsey is a strong lead character, the writing is funny and entertaining. Kelsey handles it well and is able to overcome and grow from these events.

Kelsey's life becomes a roller coaster ride. Lots of ups and downs and new experiences that are so true that it was like going back to my own early teen years. There are good times, there are bad times, but she eventually makes it through.
I loved the humor in this story, not only the situations that Kelsey experiences but her ability in the end to laugh them off. The beginning of the story I was a little nervous about how emotional everything she was dealing with was to her, but it didn't take long to remember similar events in my own life and I actually was able to really see where she was coming from. There were several similar situations in my own life that I have felt similar and reacted the same way. There is something so true about her story that I think every girl can connect with.
I recommend this one, it was very fun, cute and enjoyable.
4 Stars Goodreads