Review: Drink, Slay, Love

Drink, Slay, Love
Sarah Beth Durst

Product Details
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 400
Publishers: Margaret K. McElderry (September 13, 2011) 
ISBN: 1442423730
Source: ebook from S&S Galley Grab

Drink, Slay, Love  Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire . . . fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil . . . until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
  Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast—as the entrÉes.
  The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?
Okay, I loved it. Plain and simple. Pearl is witty and likeable (even if she doesn't want to be). Evan and Bethany are adorable. And the book as a whole is just funny. The dry, sarcastic humor from Pearl is fantastic! I loved her.

 Let's talk about the characters first... Pearl. What a funny name for a vampire, right? How ironic that she would have such a symbolic name. I mean, Pearl, like the jewel that is the epitome of innocence. And don't forget about the other famous Pearl in literature (Scarlet Letter). Coincidence? I think not. Her name suits her. It captures the change that she undergoes after the unicorn attack in such a clever way. Calling her something like Elvira would never work; it doesn't show that new conscience developing in the lovely little blood sucker.

Evan is dreamy. He doesn't initially show that he likes Pearl for anything other than a friend, which is hilarious. It drives Pearl crazy. Evan comes across as a really nice, knight in shining armor sort of guy. Of course, he has one heck of a secret to share. Then there is Bethany. Perky, bubbly, almost annoying Bethany. She befriends Pearl, and it becomes an odd, but endearing, friendship. I can't forget about the would-be vampire hunters (who stink at it) Zeke and Matt. They are a riot. I'm pretty sure there might be a collective IQ of about 80 with these two. The two of them offered great comic relief.

Pearl's family dynamic is interesting. She has one uncle that wants to kill her, one that isn't right in the head, and one that only speaks in quotes from Shakespeare. Add that to a mother that is cold and calculating, a cousin Antoinette that seems a lot like the awful historical figure, and another cousin, Charlaine, that hates her. As if it was Pearl's fault she walked into the sunlight and set herself on fire? Vampires can hold such grudges! I would be seeking refuge at high school too if I lived with this family!

This was a fun read that I enjoyed immensely. It was such an original story, and very refreshing. On a deeper level, though, it's more than just a fun read. There is actually a lot of stuff going on. I already mentioned the importance of Pearl's name. The effects of the transformation are huge as well: Pearl develops a conscience, makes friends, and actually enjoys being in the sun. Those are not normal vampire qualities. Pearl's transformation make it a story of self discovery and change. After all, at some point in the story Pearl is quoting Kafka's Metamorphosis. Again, not coincidence. I wouldn't be doing to book justice if I didn't mention the irony throughout this book! There were puns galore, and Pearl always pointed out the examples of irony in the various situations she found herself in. I personally LOVE a story that is full of irony. Drink, Slay, Love was perfect! The level of the puns and irony were brilliant, and very well executed. They weren't forced and puny. It was good stuff.

I feel like this one is a must read. Plain and simple. I'm not much of a blood and guts kind of reader, so this book didn't gross me out too much. There was minimal blood suckage. It was just funny and delightful. I will be buying this one when it comes out. I actually hope there will be another book featuring Pearl and Evan. I enjoyed them so much!


A round-up of YA books based on mythology (part 3)

Here is the final part of my YA mythology book list. Today, I found some books based on Egyptian mythology. Egyptian myths (like Norse myths) fascinate me because they tend to be more gruesome and less romantic. There's something about a giant hippopotamus half beast waiting to devour your soul in the afterlife that can strike certain fear into everyone's heart.

Without further ado, here is my Egyptian mythology list:

Another PanSixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact (here's where the mythology gets its big break) that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality

Sisters of Isis Volume 1Based in Egyptian mythology and set in modern-day Washington, D.C., Sisters of Isis follows the lives of Meri, Sudi, and Dalila, three fifteen-year-old girls who have just discovered they are descendants of very powerful ancestors—Egyptian pharaohs. From these ancestors they’ve inherited magical powers of transformation, the ability to cast spells from the Book of Thoth, and, as they will soon learn, the responsibility of protecting the world from the evil forces of Chaos. (This is a 4 book series) 

Sisters of Isis #2: Divine One Sisters of Isis #3: Enchantress The Sisters of Isis #4: Haunting

 I figured that I don't need to mention the Rick Riordan books, since we all know about those.

Alrighty, this is all I have for the moment. It's rather hard to find books on Egyptian myths. Check back later in the month. I will have a guest post on Basque mythology by the author Rebecca Lynn, which is the foundation of her new book The Descendants. You can see my review of that awesome (and creepy) book by following this link.

Blog Hop and Follow Friday (25)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee at Parajunkee's View. This week's feature is Bonnie from Hands and Home. The question of the week is a pretty good one: Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).

It's not a big secret that I adore Laurie Halse Anderson. I love her writing. A few years ago I read SPEAK for the first time and it moved me in ways that words can't describe. I have been hooked on her writing ever since. TWISTED , WINTERGIRLS, and CATALYST are equally beautiful and moving. The books don't relate to my personal experiences, per se, but I can see how they would be huge for other readers. She deals with tough topics in the most poetic of ways. I can't keep these books on my classroom bookshelves, and it seems that once a students reads one, they want to read all of the others. That's powerful writing. 

A round-up of YA books based on mythology (part 2)

This is the continuation of my list of YA books based on mythology that I have happened upon while stalking the virtual bookshelves of Amazon and Goodreads (among other places).

Bonnie over at A Backwards Story said I should make a list of the books (because she shares my obsession too). I know that I have moments of ADD, so I thought a list was a fabulous idea. Plus, it will help me keep up with all the books I want to add to my TBR pile.

Yesterday I mentioned a few books based on NORSE mythology (one of my faves), so today I decided to focus on Greek and Roman myth based books.

PegasusBecause of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

The Titan Prophecy - Rise Of The Dark One  THERE was a time, long before men walked this world, when the Titans ruled the universe. Then a Prophecy foretold that they would be overthrown by the Gods who followed them. A great war ensued — the Titanomachy — and the Earth burned for ten years. Defeated, the Titans were then imprisoned in the hell realm of Tartaros, where they have languished ever since. Yet mankind’s reckless abuse of the world has now so weakened the foundations of Tartaros that the Titans could soon escape.
  For there has been another prophecy — The Titan Prophecy — warning of an even greater and more catastrophic war to come. A war that will be fought on Earth: a war that could destroy the whole universe. And, says this new Prophecy, the only hope of salvation lies with a Destined One.
A Boy...
  Of course, Charlie and his best friend, Max have no idea about Prophecies, Gods or Titans. So when they find themselves taking a short cut through the forbidden grounds of a remote, gothic mansion, little do they know that they will soon be caught up in a frightening adventure neither of them could ever have any time or place.

Olympia Heights: The Pantheon (Volume 1)They say that lightning never strikes the same place twice, but for Zach Jacobs, that just isn’t true. It’s hard enough being seventeen-- juggling school, football, friends, and teenage romance-- but Zach’s about to find out just how complicated it can get when he begins to suspect that maybe he was the lightning. Teenage woes hardly seem significant when you’ve got lightning shooting from your fingertips and a couple of murderous Titans trying to settle an ancient score.

DestinedWhen Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell
Starcrossed   How do you defy destiny?
   Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
Goddess of YesterdayTaken from her home on an Aegean island as a six-year-old girl, Anaxandra calls on the protection of her goddess while she poses as two different princesses over the next six years, before ending up as a servant in the company of Helen and Paris as they make their way to Troy.

Obviously, there are so many more books out there based on Greek/Roman myths, and I could not possibly mention them all here. If you know of other books in this category, I would love to hear about them. I am such a huge fan. =) 

A round-up of YA books based on mythology

It's no big secret that I LOVE all things mythology. I wanted to name my dog Zeus, but the hubs vetoed it. (Considering the alpha-male issues they seem to have with one another, I think the name was rather fitting.) While I was playing around on the internet the other day, I came across some awesome mentionings of mythology related books. Some are older and probably already well known and read, but some were knew to me (and hit the shelves later this year).

Bonnie over at A Backwards Story said I should make a list of the books (because she shares my obsession too). I know that I have moments of ADD, so I thought a list was a fabulous idea. Plus, it will help me keep up with all the books I want to add to my TBR pile.

This list ended up being a little longer than I thought it would (I had to take two books OFF), but that's ok. I've decided to feature my Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and "other" myth books on future posts. =)

Books based on NORSE mythology:

Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins have been at the cellar again. Not that anyone would admit it was goblins. In Maddy Smith’s world, order rules. Chaos, old gods, faeries, magic—all of these were supposedly vanquished centuries ago. But Maddy knows that a small bit of magic has survived. The “ruinmark” she was born with on her palm proves it—and makes the other villagers fearful and suspicious that she is a witch.

But the mysterious traveler One-Eye sees Maddy’s mark not as a defect, but a destiny. And Maddy will need every scrap that One-Eye can teach her about runes, cantrips, and glamours—every ounce of magic she can command—if she is to survive that destiny.
(Runemarks by Joanne Harris)

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari. (Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner)
CaptivateThis is the third book in Carrie Jone's Need series. While I wasn't a huge fan of the previous books in this series, the third book was a much better read. The story is a little complicated, so you would probably need to read the other books (at least the second one) to know what's going on. I'm throwing this book into my myth list because it does have a huge Norse mythology background. After all, the main character has to try to rescue her boyfriend from Asgard. 

Norse CodeIs this Ragnarok, or just California?

The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill those who refuse to fight.

But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans.
Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes to find her way to Helheim, the land of the dead, to rescue her murdered sister from death’s clutches. To do so, she’ll need the help of Hermod, a Norse god bumming around Los Angeles with troubles of his own. Together they find themselves drafted into a higher cause, trying to do what fate long ago deemed could not be done: save the world of man. For even if myths aren’t made to be broken, it can’t hurt to go down fighting … can it?
(NorseCODE by Greg Van Eekhout)

American Gods: A NovelAfter three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the days, then the hours, then the minutes, then the seconds until his release tick away, he can feel a storm building. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But they are being pursued by someone with whom Shadow must make his peace. (American Gods by Neil Gaiman.)

Review: The Keepers (Monique James)

The Keepers
Monique James

The KeepersJess denies God. In his infinite wisdom, he's taken everyone she's ever loved. Moving to the French Quarter was a ploy to erase the guilt she felt for rebuking her faith. Perhaps, if she hadn't met Justin, an angel preoccupied with getting back into God's good graces, and drowning in his hatred for humanity, her plan would have worked.

Justin's general disdain for the human race makes him difficult to like, but some higher power has appointed him her keeper. Justin's convinced he can mend her broken relationship with her maker, but in the process he learns a thing or two about his own humanity.

Never mind falling in love, that's not supposed to happen. In fact, it may even be forbidden. Jess just wants Justin to understand her plight, and he wants to protect her from a world she doesn't know.

If neither are equipped to save the other, then whose soul will live and whose will perish?

I had the opportunity to read this book as part of a blog tour. The synopsis made the book sound very interesting. I found that overall, this was a pretty good book. The characters were likable, and I liked the idea behind the plot. Plus, I'm a sucker for a New Orleans setting.

There were a few things that bothered me while reading. For starters, the main characters were lacking "something." I flip-flopped between believing their romance to doubting the actual pull. I guess I didn't fully buy into the angle-human love affair. I liked Justin and Jess well enough as characters, but something didn't click. Honestly, I think the romantic aspect of their relationship happened too suddenly for me. A little more cat and mouse would have made it more believable. Then there was Dawson. He's the horrific demon figure in the book, but he didn't come off that way during the most critical part of the story. He seemed mean enough, but not demonic. I had a hard time believing his role as well. In the beginning he was present often, which made sense; but then he went missing for a good chunk of the book. When he did reappear, it felt random and out of place. All of the characters had a lot of potential, but they fell a little flat.

The majority of the plot was well paced, but there were parts that lagged a bit much for my liking. A great deal of detail went in to building Jess's background, which I liked. It gave her a nice angle. Unfortunately, I don't know if as much detail went into the other characters or aspects of the plot. Jess had a brother. He played a huge role in her life, but he had a tiny role in the book. That didn't seem right. When Dawson and his minions attack Jordan (the brother), it was completely out of left field. There was little warning or justification for that action. I get how it relates to the overall plot of the book, but Jordan should have had a more prominent role in the story if his character was going to be so important. He seemed like an afterthought. Then there is Vi, the gorgeous redhead that befriends Jess. She drops a pretty big secret on Jess, but there is no resolution. Vi has a serious choice to make-- and I really thought something would come of it-- but nothing ever happened. Very disappointing.

I think the ending is my biggest complaint. It was rushed. Two-thirds of the book built up a cataclysmic fight scene that only took two pages to describe. I couldn't believe it. The bad guys were overthrown without much of a fight. When I was reading those pages I couldn't help but wonder if the author felt like the book was getting too long, so she just quickly ended it. I hope that's not the case, but it did feel that way. There was an unexpected twist with Jess at the end, but I don't think it fits into the story. It's a nice happy ending of sorts, but again, it felt out of place. The ending as a whole leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I like my books to end in a nice little well wrapped package. Maybe the questions are left unanswered because there is another book coming? I could buy that. I would probably read the next book (if there is one) to see how the story carries on.

Overall, it's a nice story. The idea behind it is a good one, and I did enjoy the read. The plot wasn't the tightest, but it was sufficient. I would probably list this one under "beach reading" because it's a quick read. It's not a light and fluffy read, however, so don't get confused. The main character-Jess- has to deal with a lot of pain and death. Her suffering was probably one of the best written details of the book. (I hate that the author knows personally about the loss of a mother to be able to capture that emotion.) My eyes did get a little misty at times from Jess's memories. They felt very real. As I said, it's a good book worth giving a try. Anyone that is brave enough to write a  book and put it out there for review deserves the chance to have their story shared. I would share this story with someone.

I think it should be noted that this book is getting high marks on Amazon and Goodreads. While I'm only giving it a 3, it's getting 4s and 5s on the other sites. Not  sure that says about my state of mind...


Review: Queen Elizabeth, Vampire Slayer (Lucy Weston)

The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer
Lucy Weston
Sovereign Power. Eternal Pleasure.
  Revealed at last in this new vampire saga for the ages: the true, untold story of the “Virgin Queen” and her secret war against the Vampire King of England. . . .
  On the eve of her coronation, Elizabeth Tudor is summoned to the tomb of her mother, Anne Boleyn, to learn the truth about her bloodline—and her destiny as a Slayer. Born to battle the bloodsucking fiends who ravage the night, and sworn to defend her beloved realm against all enemies, Elizabeth soon finds herself stalked by the most dangerous and seductive vampire of all.
  He is Mordred, bastard son of King Arthur, who sold his soul to destroy his father. After centuries in hiding, he has arisen determined to claim the young Elizabeth as his Queen. Luring her into his world of eternal night, Mordred tempts Elizabeth with the promise of everlasting youth and beauty, and vows to protect her from all enemies. Together, they will rule over a golden age for vampires in which humans will exist only to be fed upon. Horrified by his intentions, Elizabeth embraces her powers as a Slayer even as she realizes that the greatest danger comes from her own secret desire to yield to Mordred . . . to bare her throat in ecstasy and allow the vampire king to drink deeply of her royal blood.

 It is a well documented fact that England, during the 1500s, faced many foes. The Pope and the Spanish empire were both displeased with the newly appointed Queen Elizabeth. But who would have thought that Queen Elizabeth’s greatest foe would be Mordred, the treacherous son responsible for killing his father—King Arthur—nearly one thousand years before her birth? The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer manages to entwine a well-loved myth, a small amount of history, and vampires in to a very interesting story.

The story begins shortly after Elizabeth’s coronation ceremony. She has had little time to adjust to the new role she would play, before her two most trusted advisors—Dee and Cecil—insist she visit her mother’s tomb late one evening. With great hesitation, Elizabeth agrees to go with the two men. Once she nears her mother’s tomb, however, she finds herself surrounding by a strange mist and possessing great powers. Little does she know that she has been thrust into the role of vampire slayer. Apparently, she is the direct descendant of Morgaine, the first great Slayer.
Shortly after her transformation, Elizabeth is met my Mordred, the vampire King. Mordred was King Arthur’s son and ultimately his greatest enemy. Before King Arthur died in his last battle, Mordred sold his soul to gain enough power to defeat his father; thus, becoming a vampire. Or so the story was told… Now Elizabeth is faced with the responsibility of eliminating the vampire threat to her country.

Elizabeth spends the majority of the novel contemplating God, her faith, and the true definition of evil. She is faced with the daunting task of holding a fragile England together after the reign of her sister Mary ends. To further complicate things, Mordred comes offering eternal life and power, but most importantly peace and protection for the country she loves. If only she could trust him! The story is filled with lies, deceit, and plenty of double-crossing from both parties involved. 
With an incredible eye for detail, Lucy Weston stages her novel in the form of Queen Elizabeth’s private diary. The descriptions and dialogue are vivid and accurate for the time period. Although, at times the details seem dense and overwhelming, which tend to take away from the effect of the novel. The story does, however, offer some thought provoking insight into what might have actually occurred in Queen Elizabeth’s private affairs. Additionally, the constant references to humanity (and lack of) and a person’s faith seem to center around several theological discussions of our time. The characters’ insights and actions could certainly bring questions to the reader’s mind.

Overall, the novel was a “fun”—if not laborious at times—read. If you like love stories with vampires, sabotage, and somewhat graphic love scenes, you should enjoy Elizabeth’s “secret history.”


Mythological Mondays (11)

Mythological Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Bonnie at A Backwards Story to bring attention to all things myth related.

I was cleaning up my son's bookshelf last night when I noticed a book that I bought for him a few months ago. We had recently seen the movie Thor in theaters, and he had expressed his interest in Norse mythology. Being the awesome mom that I am, I quickly ran over to Books-a-Million to find books that he might want to read. I got lucky and found an awesome book based on Norse myths on the bargain table! To top it up off, it was written by Neil Gaiman, the author of The Graveyard Book.

Odd and the Frost Giants (Hardcover)In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing weather is making villagers dangerously grumpy.  Out in the forest Odd encounters a bear, a fox, and a eagle-- three creatures with a strange story to tell. Now Odd is forced on a stranger journey than he had imagined--a journey to save Asgard, city of the gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it. It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter. Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever.... Someone just like Odd...

I will be reading this one shortly! It looks so cute! So far, my son seems to really enjoy it, which is a good thing. He doesn't tend to like anything other than Goosebumps books and Marvel comics. 

In My Mailbox (17)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. IMM is a great opportunity for us to share the books we bought, downloaded, borrowed, or received during the week.

For Review: 

The KeepersJess denies God. In his infinite wisdom, he’s taken everyone she’s ever loved. Moving to the French Quarter was a ploy to erase the guilt she felt for rebuking her faith. Perhaps, if she hadn’t met Justin, an angel preoccupied with getting back into God’s good graces, and drowning in his hatred for humanity, her plan would have worked. Justin’s general disdain for the human race makes him difficult to like, but some higher power has appointed him her keeper. Justin’s convinced he can mend her broken relationship with her maker, but in the process he learns a thing or two about his own humanity. Never mind falling in love, that’s not supposed to happen. In fact, it may even be forbidden. Jess just wants Justin to understand her plight, and he wants to protect her from a world she doesn’t know. If neither are equipped to save the other, then whose soul will live and whose will perish?

BetweenElizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she'd been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go.
 Thanks BloomsburyTeens!

From NetGalley:

Bumped   When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.
    Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
    When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Monthly Wrap-Up: July

Another month has zoomed by. It's with a heavy heart that I have to come to terms with how much closer I am to starting another school year. I love my students and all, but who doesn't enjoy staying up late reading and lounging on the couch during lazy summer days? I will miss that.

This month I read and reviewed: 

Nerd Girls by Alan Sitomer
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer
Going Underground by Susan Vaught
Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes
Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
Cloudy With a Chance of Boys by Megan McDonald
Gamers by Thomas Carpenter
The Scar (Michael Weiner)
The Descendants (Rebecca Lynn)
The Probability of Miracles (Wendy Wunder)
Bumped by Megan McCafferty

I hosted 3 contests:

The Freedom Hop
My 300 Follower Giveaway
Splash Into Summer Giveaway

Special Events:
Guest post at A Backwards Story during the Splash Into Summer event.

The awesome Amelia from Imagination in Focus swapped me a copy of Sirenz and Skyship Academy for my ARC of Don't Expect Magic. Isn't that great?

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