In My Mailbox (14)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren


My IMM is pretty short this week. I'm waiting on books to arrive; thus, a super short list. I've decided to spend the remainder of July reading as many MG books as I can to help prepare for next school year. Plus, reading these will make more room on my shelves. Good plan, right?

For Review:

  Back When You Were Easier to Love The Time-Traveling Fashionista Odd Girl In The Sisters Club: Cloudy with a Chance of Boys We Are Not Eaten by Yaks: An Accidental Adventure

Back When You Were Easier to Love (Dutton Books), The Time Traveling Fashionista (Little Brown), Odd Girl In (Simon & Schuster), Cloudy with a Chance of Boys (Candlewick Press), and An Accidental Adventure: We Are Not Eaten by Yaks (Penguin).


All of these books are available in stores now. although I've had these ARCs hanging around for a while. If you know of any good MG books, please let me know! The kids are always begging for new reads.  


Review: Vicious LIttle Darlings (Katherine Easer)

Vicious Little Darlings
Katherine Easer


Product Details


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (June 21, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1599906287
  • Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Vicious Little DarlingsSarah Weaver wasn't looking forward to starting at an all-girls school. But that was before she met Maddy. Maddy and her best friend, Agnes, are fun and rich and interesting-and for some reason, they seem to really like Sarah. Before long, Maddy and Agnes have moved Sarah into a big house off campus, where they cook together, buy each other presents, and share each other's secrets. So why does Sarah feel like something's bizarrely wrong? As more and more cracks start to show in Maddy's and Agnes's perfect veneers, Sarah notices some strange and disturbing things: Maddy's compulsive lying, Agnes's obsession with Maddy, and the deterioration of their friendship. And just when Sarah begins to question her own sanity, things turns deadly.

What happens when a R.L. Stine Fearstreet book grows up? Vicious Little Darlings is what happens. What a creepy book. It has all the classic elements (sabotage, misunderstandings, murder) mixed with grown up situations.

The characters were only so-so. Sarah, the main character was really lackluster. I felt like she was flat, honestly. Now Agnes and Maddy... hmm... I would have liked to known more about Agnes. You kept getting hints at what she's like and what her home life is like, but there was never a complete picture. The book would have been much better if she had more explanation. Maddy was okay, as far as weirdo characters go. Of the three characters, she's probably the one that had the most depth. Weird huh?

The plot isn't very hard to figure out in this book. Actually, it's very predictable. I was really bothered by Sarah's wishy-washy character. She couldn't make up her mind. I felt like she was constantly going back and forth between liking Agnes and Maddy and hating them. On top of that, she was way too dependent on Agnes's money. It really bothered me that she refused to take herself out of a bad situation just because she was (essentially) greedy and didn't have money to support herself. I mean, heaven forbid that she actually stay in a dorm and get a job! And don't get me started about how easily she let the love of her life walk away just because Maddy said to. Friggin' ridiculous.

On top of that, there was a very intense almost lesbian-ish nature to Agnes and Maddy. You really couldn't tell what was up with them. Normally I could care less, but Maddy's actions were just a little too strange for me. Jumping into the bed of another girl totally naked while she's asleep? AND that girl isn't cool with it?! Um, yeah... I don't think so. Agnes spent the majority of the novel trying to prove that she loved Maddy unconditionally in a purely asexual kind of way. But yet, she was super possessive of her and hated any guy that showed an interest in Maddy. I'm telling you, it was intense.

The ending isn't all that shocking, especially if you read the synopsis. Obviously someone dies. Sorry about the spoiler. By the time the great climatic final 5 pages emerged, I was pretty put out. I had made up my mind that Sarah was a spineless piece of crap, Agnes was probably the best out of all the girls (even if she was a whack job), and Maddy was an outright lunatic. I had invested so much time in reading the book, that I had to find out the ending. But when I read the ending, I was a little peeved that I missed out on a full 8 hours of sleep for this book. I would probably give this a 2.5 if I did half rating, but since I don't it gets a solid 2. 


Freedom Hop Winner!!!



As most of you know, there was an AWESOME book related giveaway hop this week. With nearly 300 entries (wow!) I have finally been able to name a winner. This lucky person has won a SIGNED hardback copy of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (one of my absolute favorite YA books). In addition to this amazing book, the winner will also get an ARC of David by Mary Hoffman and Trapped by Marc Aronson. I did promise extra surprises to the winner as well. The extra book is in the bag, along with some signed book SWAG and a super cute bookmark I found. Afterall, you need a bookmark for all of these books!


Congratulations Brenna from Esther's Ever After! I hope you enjoy the books!

PS-- She's a new book blogger. How great is it that a NEW blogger won? I didn't even know until I checked out her blog. That makes me so excited. Anyone that reads this post should go check out her blog and give her some support.


Review: Ada: Legend of a Healer (R.A. McDonald)

This review is part of the weekly meme Review Appreciation Day hosted by Cait at The Cait Files. This week's theme is all about magic.

 Ada: Legend of a Healer
R.A. McDonald

Ada Legend of a HealerPages: 260 pages
Publisher: House of Lore (2011)
ISBN-10: 0615412580
ISBN-13: 978-0615412580
Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review



If you had the power to heal, what would you do? Ada is faced with the dilemma in Ada: Legend of a Healer by R.A. McDonald. Growing up in multiple foster homes with people who didn’t understand her or took advantage of her has made Ada somewhat rough around the edges. She has never met her mother or any other living relative. When she exhausts her welcome with her current foster family, Ada’s aunt Jessie comes to the rescue. It’s an odd match, but Ada is thankful for the escape from the foster system.


She quickly learns, however, that Jessie’s life is nothing like what she expected. Living with Jessie means no permanent address, no phone, and no chance of a normal life. Instead, she finds that they are constantly followed and hunted by the deranged Senator Grimes. When she asks Jessie why people are constantly trying to capture them, she learns that Jessie has a unique power. Jessie can heal any sickness with a simple touch. As shocking as this is, it is even more surprising for Ada to learn that she has the power too.

After several narrow escapes and suspenseful chase scenes, Ada arrives in Paris, France looking for her mother, Simone. While in Paris, Ada befriends Madame Jardin. Suddenly, Ada realizes that she wants to heal Madame Jardin’s illness—not because someone is making her, but because she truly wants to do it. With that act, Ada realizes that she does have the power to change someone’s life. Although her time with Madame Jardin is important, meeting Daniel and Uncle Henri end up being the most important events in Ada’s life. With Daniel and his Parkour running group Ada finds true friendship and a sense of belonging. Together, Ada and Daniel set out to find Ada’s mother. Unfortunately, when they find her she is nothing that Ada thought she would be.

If you enjoy fast paced plots, this book certainly has one. There are plenty of chase scenes and narrow escapes to appease the adventure lover. Throughout the book there seems to be an element of subterfuge that never goes away. While the plot is fast paced, it does tend to leave you hanging at the end. Of course, this is because Ada’s story is just beginning. There is an open door for the second installment in this series.

Part of the plot’s lure is the unexpected characters. I wasn’t exactly sure what I expected to find in Ada’s mother—after all the woman abandoned her daughter from birth—but I was certainly surprised. Simone is not at all the loving, warm mother-figure you might expect. I’m not even sure if she was thankful for being rescued. I got the feeling that she has an extreme sense of entitlement, which really makes me dislike her. Adding in her character makes the plot all that more juicy. After all, life is not full of happy endings, so it seems fitting that finding her mother was not Ada’s happy ending.


Not all of the characters are worthy of loathing. In fact, the majority are very enjoyable. Ada is a sardonic teenager. She does not hesitate to lash out with her bitter tongue if the mood strikes her to do so. I personally found her witty and a lot like the teenagers I work with, at least with her attitude towards others. Ada grows as a person during the course of the novel. In the beginning she is untrusting and cold towards most people, but by the end she is defending others and has a sense of connection to Uncle Henri and Daniel and his friends. I enjoyed that she didn’t stay stagnant. Additionally, there is an element of romance between Ada and Daniel (nothing more than a kiss occurs, however). You can feel the tension building between the two, but I don’t feel like it ever went anywhere. It seems that from the beginning Daniel is drawn to Ada—and vice versa—but I never fully understood why. Overall, though, it was a believable match and what seemed like a lack of foundation didn’t bother me.




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