Monday, December 31, 2012

Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler

Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler
Sophia and Ava London #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin; September 4, 2012
Hardcover, 288 pages
Borrowed from the library

From internet stars Elle and Blair Fowler comes a scintillating new novel that takes readers Beneath the Glitter of the glitzy L.A. social scene.
Welcome to a place where dreams are made. And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.

After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite. Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor. But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.

Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal. Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other.

- Description from

Yes, I'm bringing celebrities and Hollywood back! I seriously wonder how I cannot be tired of these but I'm not. Is that weird? 

I mean, for one, they are all basically the same. You have the same drama, the same guys, the same EVERYTHING and the only difference really depends on what the author does. Like, Lauren Conrad who is a reality star, writes about a reality star and in this book, we see two YouTube stars resembling Elle and Blair.

No, this post isn't going to be a rant on why people can't be more original (though, yes, it's very true) because although this book reminded me SO MUCH of L.A. Candy, it was good and can certainly hold its own without being compared to LC's series. 

Yes, I'll admit, I was bored at some points but it was all right and I didn't feel disappointed. The redeeming aspect was the ending which was SUPERB. Like, legit. I have never read an ending that good in a long time. It literally FORCED me to read the second book - and I can't say I would be unhappy doing so. 

And by the way, Dalton. Ohmigod. And Liam. And Giovanni. And Hunter. Ohmigod.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy

Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy
Published by Avon Books; June 1, 1997
Paperback, 192 pages
Borrowed from library

Who is Ted L. Nancy? He is, in reality, a supremely off-kilter alter ego who sends patently ridiculous letters and queries to corporate honchos, entertainment conglomerates, national publications, politicians, celebrities and heads of state. Letters From a Nut is an insanely inspired, truly madcap collection of Nancy correspondence, a laugh-out-loud-in-public places aggregation of official - and officially certifiable - requests, complaints, fan mail and questions that could not possibly have been taken seriously...but, amazingly, were!

- Description from the book

If I could choose one book I have read to keep by me ALL THE TIME, this one would definitely be seriously considered. Yes, so maybe, I didn't LOL like was suggested in the synopsis but I definitely eye rolled at some of the responses, definitely acknowledged Ted's imaginativeness and creativeness, and definitely DEFINITELY asked myself, "Is this guy CRAY CRAY????". Yes, it was wacky, it was quirky and some simply left me CONFUSED but I loved every moment of it. Great one to read on a sunny Saturday afternoon (which was when I read it). Definitely thinking of picking up some of Mr. Nancy's other books. And did I mention Jerry Seinfeld writes the intro? Yes. He does.

Happy reading, Annie :)

PS. I just realized how many definitelys I used in today's post. Um...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

To Meme or Not to Meme

Memes are fun and a great change from the regular book review scene. Focusing mainly on bloggers and their relationship with memes, I draw from my own experience and talk a bit about some problems that can arise from obsessive-memeing.

In case you don't know or you need a refresher (but really just to give me a place to start), memes are little things bloggers create in which other bloggers can participate in. They're quite fun and are a great way to discover new blogs, connect with others, and if you're a newcomer like me, they make settling into the book blogging community so much more comfortable and may gain you one or two readers.

For non-bloggers, they are a great way to get to know your fave blogger better and to find new blogs to peruse. Some are really wacky and you'll get a good laugh out of reading your blogger's response.

So yes, generally, memes are awesome and fun but there are some cons to memes. Like I mentioned, memes are a great way for bloggers to gain a few readers and in any blogging community, that's one thing you want. Readers. Why blog if no one reads it? That's one way of looking at things, a way I do not particularly agree with, but I cannot deny it. Readers are awesome! They motivate you and they encourage you. With them, your blogging experience is all the more sweeter. You want more readers and to be known. In my opinion, the easiest way to do that is with memes.

If you care to take a look at my archives, you can see that almost as soon as I began blogging, I started participating in memes. That just shows how big a role memes play in the blogging community. There really are not many bloggers who don't participate in a meme of some kind. See? Memes are really influential - they're basically like a Wikipedia of book bloggers. You click on a link and then you just go around and around and around. You might click on a link and find a new favourite blog. Just like that. Easy, right?

But because it's so easy, it's very simple to get caught up in them and get more and more readers each time you do one. For example, if you got a reader for every time you did a meme and you did three memes a week, that's three readers. Think of how many you'd get in a year! It's a great number and it's something you want to achieve so badly. Something I want to achieve so badly that I'm almost tempted to do just that, even though there's no way of that happening in real life, it's a fact that you're more likely to get readers from memes than from your own reviews unless you're already very well known. (Actually, the two readers I have now were all acquired from memes. Interesting, eh?)

I'm currently on a meme hiatus, meaning no memes until I think I've gotten the hang of balancing reviews and memes. The reason I felt the need to do this was because I ended up doing so many memes that I had a 3:1 ratio of meme to posts a week. That's not good and it definitely takes away from my being a book blog. Yes, it's nice to get followers but if I keep up that ratio, my readers are going to want out. In the end, what we're all looking for are book reviews. That's what my readers want to see and that's what I planned my blog to be. Even if that means less readers than I have the potential of getting and breaking on the "fun" for a while.

I'll admit though, I do love memes and am really missing out on them lately! Hopefully, I'll be able to return soon and maintain a good balance of reviews and memes.

Annie :)

And as always, feel free to comment below!
Oh and the pictures are of memes I used to participate in!

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 End of Year Book Survey

Hi guys! It’s Annie and I am so excited to participate in Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner’s awesome End of Year Book Survey. (You can participate and check out her survey here). 

2012 was an awesome book year! I mean, wow! I got more reading done than 2010 and 2011 put together! OK, well, that was an exaggeration but seriously guys, I'm dying! I have never, ever read more than 100 books in a year before, let alone 107

Besides breaking the 100-book milestone, I also launched my wonderfully magnificent book blog, Random Reads (yep, you’re looking at it!). And in doing so, discovered a whole new passion…book blogging! And book blog surfing! 

AND on top of that, I also learned how to use the hold system at the library (Gosh, why did it take me so long??? And how did I manage to find so many books to read without holding them?). 

AND, I was introduced to many of the authors I love and know now…can you believe I didn’t know John Green or David Levithan ‘til this year??? 

See? I wasn't lying when I said 2012 was awesome! And in celebration of such an awesome year (mostly book-wise but everything else-wise too!), I have concocted a wonderfully charming End of Year Book Survey for you to peruse! Enjoy! 

PS. If you are interested in sharing your surveys, feel free to comment below! :) 
Best In Books 2012 

Best book you read in 2012?

This is such a hard question…I really am in awe that some people can answer this question without any hesitation. Thank goodness we can break it up into genres…Here are some of my fave books in these categories:

Adult Fiction: All the books I read by Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, and The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein, and A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

Contemporary YA: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares, Naomi and Ely’s No-Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, and too many others to name…

Dystopian YA: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Sci-fi/Supernatural/Paranormal: The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

Fantasy: Dust City by Robert Paul Weston, The Witches by Roald Dahl, The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, and The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't?

I definitely have to say The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. I know, I know, this is really cruel but I just didn't…love it. I've read so many reviews for this book and everyone said it was AMAZING and so then, of course I got my hopes up and thought for sure, I’d love it since, well, it’s so me!!! I'm sure you can guess what happened next: I didn't love it. I really wanted to and I actually wondered if I was mentally ill the day I finished since I was totally not expecting such a nonchalant attitude. Like, where’s the squealing and the frantic messaging to friends?????? But no, it wasn't me on an off day. It was me not loving the book. Sorry. :( 

Most surprising book of 2012? 

Haunting Violet, hands down. When I first started reading, I didn’t like it AT ALL. But then I read and read…and read and when I finished, I was like, ‘Colin, Colin, Colinnnnnn <3 <3 <3’. The rest of the book was also superb. *Squeal* Gosh, I get all twitchy even thinking about it!!! Sooooooo goooooooooood.

Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

See, the thing is, I don’t really recommend books since no one really likes the ones I read. *Le gasp* I know! But from the few recommendations I did give out (and remember), Sarah Mlynowski’s Magic in Manhattan series was definitely one of them!

Best series you discovered in 2012?

I discovered the Pretty Little Liars series to quench my thirst for chick-lits and mysteries and the Students Across the Seven Seas books to quench my thirst for chick-lits and travelling.

Favourite new author(s) you discovered in 2012?

Did I mention that I really did not know ANY young adult authors until this year? Yeah, it’s true…and embarrassing. Really, I could go on forever but I’ll make it short-ish and sweet! This list includes but is not limited to: John Green, David Levithan, Elizabeth Eulberg, Sara Shepard, Siobhan Vivian, Sarah Dessen, Susanne Colasanti, Jay Asher, Jennifer E. Smith, and Kody Keplinger.

Best book that was out of your comfort zone/was a new genre for you?

Does it count if it’s a book I had no interest in reading but did anyway??? OK, well, The Broken Blade is one example of a book I had no interest in reading AND was out of my comfort zone. It was about a kid whose dad was a voyageur. One day, his dad accidentally cut his finger off and could not go to work. Because the dad was the only person who earned money in the family, the family would go broke and starving if he didn't go to work so the kid somehow took the place of the dad as a voyageur and everyone was fine with that (?). And then other things happen…

As you can see, this book is definitely not one I would have read unless my teacher forced me to. And I definitely did not like it. This is a prime example of times when teachers have it wrong.

But it’s OK since this year, my teacher got it right, right, right! (BTW, I'm talking about a new teacher now!) We’re currently reading Brave New World which I would never have picked for me but just so happen to LOVE. It’s so creepy and creepy but amazing. 

Lesson #1: When in doubt, stick to the classics!

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

All the Pretty Little Liars books I read this year! (Pretty Little Liars – Wanted) I zoomed through these books super fast; I just couldn't put them down! Seriously!!!

Book that you read in 2012 that you are most likely to reread next year?

Like I said in my review, I definitely need to reread The Perks of Being a Wallflower. So that is for sure on my 2013 TBR list. I Hmm…I think that’s about it! Unless there’s one that I missed or one that I will finish soon and would like to reread in which case, I will be sure to update you guys!

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2012?

I adored the cover for The Fault in our Stars by John Green and Naomi and Ely’s No-Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.

Most memorable character in 2012? 

This is super hard!!! I really can’t think of one that really, really stands out – I've read so many books and all their names are just swarming around in my head. I think Anne from the Anne of Green Gables series takes the cake! She is funny and charming and never fails to make me smile! She is everything I aim to be and will forever be one of my most favourite characters EVER!

Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

This one goes to The Fault in Our Stars! Everything about it was so wonderful and so sweet and so sad…it truly is a masterpiece! The quotes were all super awesome too! *Sigh* Truly truly awesome and I'm so glad that I made this the first John Green book I read!

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It’s truly haunting to know that every single thing you do has an impact, whether huge or small. In high school especially, you deal with a lot of problems such as the ones Hannah went through and it’s tough for everyone. It really changed me a lot in so many indescribable ways. There never ever was a book that impacted me so much as this one. 

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to FINALLY read?

Moving onto lighter topics, this one HAS to be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! I had finished all of the previous six books in 2010 and 2011. Then I skimmed the last book and received a lot of criticism from my friends. And so finally, caving in from peer pressure, I legit finished the last book over this summer! Whew! Now I can proudly call myself a true Potterhead, having read all the books including most of the companion novels (except for Fantastic Beasts) and watched all of the movies!

Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2012?

Drum roll please…From The Fault in our Stars… [My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations]. *Sigh* Pure awesomeness!

Shortest & longest book you read in 2012?

Shortest: Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
Longest: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?

The Twilight series because, well... It’s really mean, I know, to bash on a book since the author spends so much time working on it but what if it’s a really bad book? Like very? After I had finished the series, I was dying to talk with one of my friends and we had a very long discussion about well, how bad the series was. So, it isn’t the WORST but let’s be honest, it’s pretty bad. And also I'm a Potterhead so I might be just a BIT biased. A bit.

Favourite relationship from a book you read in 2012?

Hands down, the Sisterhood from Sisterhood Everlasting. The connection between them is so strong. Their friendship is what friends aspire to be. I love it!

Favourite book you read in 2012 from an author you read previously?

I’ve Got Your Number and The Undomestic Goddess by Sophia Kinsella. I loved her Shopaholic series which I devoured in 2011 and was excited to read more of her books!

Best book you read that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?

The History of Love is one I read based solely on a recommendation. I had never heard of it before and my friend – one whose recommendations I trust wholly – suggested it. It turned out to be amazing! Read it!

The Castle Corona was also really good. Suggested by a different friend, it was a good change from my typical contemporary scene.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 

New favourite book blog you discovered in 2012?

All of them!!!! Like seriously, did I not say this already? I had no idea book blogs were a thing until this year!!! I know, did I seriously NOT live under a rock??? I have so many faves and so many I am now subscribed to…picking ONE favourite is hard. Really hard. So since I can’t pick my TOP fave, I’ll just sub my first fave for my top fave.

The first book blog I discovered was Frenetic Reader (I think) but I didn’t really love it at first sight. It took some time and same goes with the second book blog I discovered, The Story Siren. However, the third book blog I discovered, Anna Reads, was an instant fave!

But this is totally not legit. Like I said, that was my FIRST fave and if you want a list of all my current faves, just check out my blog roll!

Favourite review that you wrote in 2012?

These are technically six separate reviews but I combined them into one long, master review of the series Secrets of My Hollywood Life. It was a lot of hard work but I really enjoyed writing it. Not because I really liked the series, but because I liked the simplicity and quickness of it. I didn’t have to put in much detail, it was based solely on my thoughts and feelings.

Best discussion you had on your blog?

I tried to hold discussions during NaNo but seeing as I have absolutely NO readers, it didn’t get very far. So, yeah, no good discussions…hopefully, I’ll get some up soon!

Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I’ve read many good discussions. Like MANY. I really like ones on Steph Su Reads but my absolute fave? The Plight of the Eclectic Blogger by Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner. I totally understand! Being a teen blogger, it makes sense if I read teen books but I can’t help reading adult books or classics or middle grade books or picture books!

Best event that you participated in?

All the memes! I’m not doing as many…or any at the moment since I’m trying to catch up on my reviews but they were so much fun!!! Hopefully, I’ll find a good way to balance out the two!

Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

When I got my first comment, when I gained two followers in a day (!!!), and when I wrote to one book blogger I absolutely adore (ADORE) to ask about a song she used in a video and she replied (!!!!!).

Most popular post this year on your blog?

My Top Ten Books I’d Want with Me on a Deserted Island. Yay! I loved that one, it was so much fun to do!

Post you wished got a little more love?

Every single one! Well, except for the stupid, random posts that really have nothing to do with books. Being a book blogger is tough and I totally know that but it would be soooo nice if I had some comments on my reviews and some more followers…But I do know that it takes time, as is with anything you do…Still, is it wrong to ask for some more l-o-v-e????

Best bookish discovery?

AH! There are too many to list!!! OK, I’ll go with the most important discoveries…

1. Book blogs, otherwise I totally wouldn’t be doing this right now!
And under the book blog category, memes for getting me some readers! :)

2. Goodreads, to help me organize my ever growing TBR list!

3. Holds at the library, for supplying me with new material to read ALL. THE. TIME.

4. Ereaders, after I got one for my birthday, I’m obsessed with taking it with me during travelling. Really lightens up your load a lot!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I finished my 100-book goal this year!!! I actually read 105 so I am very proud…I’m going to aim for 150 next year…Think I can do it?

Looking Ahead… 

One book you didn’t get to in 2012 but will be your number 1 priority in 2013?

One book? ONE BOOK??? Are you trying to kill me? Oh, gosh! This is hard! So many books I want to read… Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I need a non-chick-lit book sometimes…

Book you are most anticipating for 2013?

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt. It sounds so me!

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2013?

1. Read 150 books
2. Find a way to balance reviews, memes, and fun stuff in my blogging


So that's my survey! I know it was super long...thanks for bearing with me! Comment me your lists and remember to visit The Perpetual Page Turner to participate!

Happy New Year's eve eve eve!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tanen

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tanen
Published by Sourcebooks Fire; May 1, 2011
Paperback, 354 pages
Borrowed from library

Being marooned on an island somewhere off the coast of Madagascar with five celebrities sounds romantic and glamorous, right?

You couldn't find people with fewer survival skills if you tried. Seriously. Cisco may have centerfold abs, but he can't even spell SOS. At least super-sexy Jonah seems to have a clue (too bad about the purity ring). If I'm stuck here much longer, these self-involved head cases might drive me crazy-assuming they don't insult each other to death first. It's like a group therapy edition of Survivor.

At this point, I'm pretty convinced that all celebrities should be caged in Hollywood and confined to the pages of US magazine. And, btw, if you're there, God, it's me, Francesca, and I really want to go home.


- Description from

Well, first thing you should know, I didn't REALLY like this book. No. Not really.

At the beginning, it wasn't very interesting, to me, at least. It wasn't a slow beginning but it just did not intrigue me and I had some serious thoughts of dropping it. I am glad I didn't because it did turn out to be interesting-ish but not incredibly enjoyable. The premise is pretty cool: who wouldn't want to be stranded on an island with a couple of the hottest celebs around? It's very "riches to rags" and that's one I never get tired of. 

The characters were all very obnoxious. I got really annoyed with everyone and that's not quite a good thing to have in a book. The main character, Francesca, was very "I'm-so-much-better-than-everyone". By the way the media has portrayed celebrities in the past, that's not shocking or scandalous. They're DUMB. They are seen as dumb but in this book, WOW! They are hugely dumb and yes, although there are celebrities who are quite daft, there are also many that are not. You can say that I didn't appreciate that image of the celebrities, even if it was for comedic effect. It seemed very stereotypical and naive, which to be frank, was how all the characters seemed.

I don't mean to be rude or harsh but there were things that I did like about the book. And note how I said I was glad that I finished it! Maybe I took it too seriously but hey, now you know! Don't take this book too seriously.

Annie :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Published by Lothian Books; October 12, 2007
Hardcover, 128 pages
Borrowed from library

In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life- he's leaving home to build a better future for his family.

Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can't communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character's isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy.

- Description from

Wow. I am completely blown away by this book. I've heard so many positive reviews and this book definitely did not disappoint. It actually EXCEEDED my expectations!

It's tough already to create a great story with words so imagine how hard it must be to create one using ONLY pictures! Yet, Mr. Tan seems to do it so effortlessly. The illustrations (which look more like photos) are breathtaking and tell a gorgeous story of the struggles of a new immigrant. 

While reading, I found the imaginary world Mr. Tan thought up to be spectacular. Yes, it's foreign and unfamiliar but there's something that SEEMS so familiar, even if you have never experienced this. 

There are really, truly no words to describe how awesome this book is. Everything flows so wonderfully! I suggest everyone go out right THIS SECOND and get themselves The Arrival. Yes, it's a picture book but anyone can read. And if you're not interested in the story, simply marvel at the illustrations.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Poppy/Little Brown; January 2, 2012
Paperback, 236 pages
Borrowed from a friend - thanks!

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

- Description from

I might as well get this out of the way...I didn't love this book. I know, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? But it's the honest truth. I've heard so many people rave about this one and when I finished it, I was like...
No emotion. No OMG, SO GOOD. No WOWEE. I really wanted to love this one and I was planning to, but it just didn't work out... Now, don't get me wrong. Just because I didn't love it doesn't, in any way, mean I did not like it.

Things I liked:

1. It was set over 24 hours
2. Oliver <3 p="">
3. I love the way the whole story meshed together
4. It was MAGICAL
5. Airport stories are the best
6. Oliver <3 p="">
7. The cuteness

So there you go! The things I liked...still a bit put off by the fact that I didn't love it..such a ME book...maybe a reread is needed to LUUUURVE it???

Happy Holidays and...Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Published by GRAPHIX; September 1, 2012
Paperback, 233 pages
Borrowed from my dear friend, R --thanks!


Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

- Description from

*Sigh* Finally, another book by Raina...and this one as good as the first one! Perhaps EVEN better! I really related to this book. I've read some reviews of this book on Goodreads and some people said it seemed a bit unrealistic for the characters to only be in seventh grade but I totally disagree. I remember exactly what happened during my middle school years and everything that occurred in this book happened to me in real life. Stage crew? Check. Love? Check. Heartbreaks? Check. Friendship? Check.

This is the major reason I love Raina so much. The characters are so real and relatable! And her drawings are so cute! I loved it and it is definitely one I highly recommend! Great read! 


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spotlight: What Should I Read Next?

A feature where I shine a figurative Spotlight on anything I can possibly talk about. Books, authors, shows, movies, you name it and I will offer my opinion on it.

Today, the spotlight will be on the totally frustrating What should I read next? I mean, don't you absolutely HATE it when you have no idea what to read next? You go back to your tiny bookshelf and try to reread a book but no, it doesn't cut it. Your fingers are itching to turn a page and your brain wanders around mindlessly to find a book to read. GAH!!! It's just not coming to you! 

Well, no worries, my friend! I introduce to you Yes, a website to help you get over your reader's block. (Seriously, who ever came up with this is a genius. And the logo is so pretty!). With just one click , all your "no book to read" days will be over. Yay!!!

It really does work and I'm so happy that I discovered it!!! Really. This makes my life a whole lot easier! :)



Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers; October 26, 2010
Paperback, 260 pages
Borrowed from library

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

- Description from

What an amazing book! You have to read it NOW! Especially since it's winter and the holidays. What better time than now to read a winter/holiday book? It makes it all the more magical. You get swept up with the story that Dash and Lily tell in alternating views.

It's awesome. I liked it much more than Naomi and Ely which was a bit all-over-the-place for me (but still quite good). This was clean and nice and so sweet. I just wanted to go back and read it while cuddling with a giant, comfy throw and some hot chocolate. All the characters were so well-thought out and none of them were obnoxious...even Edgar. This is sometimes a bit annoying because it makes the characters seem perfect which I really don't like but in Dash and Lily, everyone is so eccentric and quirky and REAL. It completely baffles me as to how Rachel and David were able to do that. Go Super Duo!!!

Everything was so well thought-out, it's hard to believe they wrote this with no prior planning. I know!!! The story was woven seamlessly and it makes for a great read.

I am definitely going to pick up Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist next and hopefully, David and Rachel will team up again to write a book!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published by Dutton; December 2, 2010
Hardcover, 372 pages
Borrowed from library

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

- Description from

Wow. This book. Was so good. Despite the title, (which doesn't really make much sense to me) it is not about a French kiss. Maybe a French boy but not a kiss. E.G. why it doesn't make sense. I told one of my friends about this book and they were like, and I quote: "Ew! I will not read that book!". I got really mad at her, even though we were chatting and she didn't know, because that is not what the book is about!!! No!!! They actually don't even kiss in the book...or at least, not until the end!

One thing I liked a lot about this book was that they made Etienne short and totally, realistically, HUMAN. In contemporaries, one problem that bugs me is that the guys are always so, so, so PERFECT. Like, hello? Real guys do not have picture-ready faces and six packs and are not always tall. I mean, yeah, Etienne is still gorgeous (when is there going to be a contemp where the guy isn't hot?) but he's apparently waay shorter than Anna. Ding ding ding, we've found a "flaw"!

The France setting was also really, really awesome and it made me really want to be there with them. 


I don't know what else to was a really good book and one you should read. If not for the romance, then for FRANCE! Huzzah!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Published by Poppy; June 5, 2012
Hardcover, 304 pages
Borrowed from library

Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

- Description from

So if you read my review of The DUFF, you'd know that I actually read this book first. And yes, there is an itty bitty Wesley/Bianca spoiler which everyone would probably have guessed anyway, but still, it's nice to be SURE. 

This was thing I liked about the book. All the characters from The DUFF came back and it was really awesome to catch up with them and see how they're doing - kind of like when you haven't seen in a friend in a LONG time! I loved the spotlight on Harrison, he really is such a fun character!!! 

Now, the premise is REALLY weird. So weird that I really didn't think that Kody was going to be able to make it realistic (Remember, this was the first book I had read by Kody!) so I was really surprised when I finished this and I had nothing bad to say about the premise!

Most of Kody's books are about or centred around sex, just like this one was. There is nothing wrong with that - unless you don't like that in a book - but sometimes, too much sex is just bad. Like in The DUFF (which I can't stop comparing to A Midsummer's Nightmare), there was a lot of sex. And not just like the characters had a lot of sex, which they did, but sooo many scenes were of them having sex. It just felt a bit much even if it was about this sexual relationship between Wesley and Bianca. Because of this overload of sex scenes, the development of the characters were kind of rushed, especially towards the end. 

Of course, I had read this book first so I wouldn't have had these thoughts while I was reading but when I went back and compared the two books, I found myself liking this one way more. The characters were stronger, there weren't as many sex scenes - in fact, there were practically none - and everything else was just BETTER.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Published by Little Brown/Poppy; September 7, 2010
Hardcover, 280 pages
Borrowed from library

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff", she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

- Description from

Warning: This book is not for younger audiences!!! Like, really. It's not graphic but there is a lot of sex. Actually, I was telling my friend the other day how much sex there was in here and she told me that she went and read the blurb and it made sound a lot cleaner. Which it is not. Just to let you know...

I actually read A Midsummer's Nightmare, also by Kody, but since this is the first book she wrote and there's some itty bitty spoiler in A Midsummer's, I'm going to review The DUFF first!

Yes, it is about a girl who has sex with her so-called enemy and even though, the two main characters sounded terrible, I really loved and cared for them both. Kody is REALLY good at doing this and this is probably one of the reasons I liked this book. The book was pretty realistic and portrayed the troubles of being a teen well, which makes sense since Kody was only 17 when she started writing this book! (Awesome!!!)

One thing, and I might be nit picking, how DID Bianca and Wesley fall in love??? I mean, I love them together but they spent all their time having sex (three to four times a week, to be exact), how did they manage to even get to talk, let alone get to know each other and FALL IN LOVE??

And also, how did she NOT get pregnant? Doesn't Wesley sleep around with other girls??? How did he not get an STD and later transferred it to her???

And how did Wesley change THAT fast? It really was like zoom zoom zoom. 

I think these questions are really important ones that need to be answered ASAP. They kind of confused me while reading but other than that, great book!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sugar and Spice by Lauren Conrad

Sugar and Spice by Lauren Conrad
L.A. Candy #3
Published by HarperCollins; April 5, 2011
Paperback, 288 pages
Borrowed from library

In the final book of the hit series L.A. Candy, Jane Roberts is a bona fide celebrity - she's got the VIP treatment, couture clothes, and starlet looks. She also has the tabloid scandals, fake friends, and relentless paparazzi. Having learned a few things from her first season on the air, Jane is trying to surround herself with the people who  she knows love her for her...and take a break from boys - since they've been nothing but trouble. But when her high school sweetheart Caleb and her unrequited L.A. crush Braden show up, both looking cuter and acting sweeter than ever, Jane has a hard time remembering her no-boys rule...

Just when everything feels out of control, Jane makes a shocking discovery. And what she finds changes everyone's definition of "reality" forever.

In her deliciously entertaining novel, television star Lauren Conrad pulls the curtain back on young Hollywood and shows that sometimes the real drama is behind the scenes.

- Description from

This was the last instalment of the L.A. Candy series and I am very proud of myself for finishing it! Really, I'd never thought I would! 

Sugar and Spice was just as fun and quick to read as the other books but one thing that set it apart and really made it SHINE was the reality of reality shows told smartly with a whole entire sub-plot dedicated to Trevor! I mean, the whole story focuses on a reality show so it's only fair that we get to know some of the dirty, little secrets we probably already assumed were true but now get to make sure were correct. This part was very interesting and I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it the most!

I also liked the fact that Caleb, Jane's ex came back and the evil Sophia/Sophie who I can't tell you is who since that would ruin the whole story, was also introduced. It provided much more drama and though at times, the book felt very, very busy due to the new characters and the new drama they stirred up, it kept me hooked. 

One thing, though, I hated the bad Jesse!!!! No no no no no no!!!! That's not the way its supposed to work. Grrrrrrrrrr...

Overall, though, not bad! The series may not be the most well-written or the most anything else but I highly recommend it if you want to learn a bit about the reality of reality shows. After all, it is written by Lauren Conrad whom I assume would be an expert on such things.


Check out my reviews for the other books:

L.A. Candy 
Sweet Little Lies

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Published by MTV Books and Pocket Books; February 1, 1999
Paperback, 213 pages
Borrowed from library

Narrated as 1991 diary/letters by depressed first-year high schooler Charlie, counselled for fighting bully and for lost trauma memory  seven when "best friend" Aunt Helen died. Sister has secret abortion, he drives. Girl Sam drives pickup truck through tunnel for restorative screaming, standing like in film Titanic, gently awakens his virginal romantic dreams and body, shares drugs and Rocky Horror Picture Show. After pal Michael suicides, awake but non-responsive Charlie hospitalized, and horrifying memory surfaces for his restoration to health.

- Description from

I am so glad I finally read this book! And of all places to get it, I got it in a library! Like, WHAT??? The line for this book is like 1000000 people long! 

I really liked this book. I didn't love it but that doesn't mean it's not good because it so was! I think it might have something to do with my age and who I am. I don't usually read deep books like these and so it's a bit of a weird situation when I do. I know there are so many things I missed that were BEYOND the plot and I know that it would take a reread to get everything. 

I found it really interesting that I didn't know who Charlie was at all. I mean, his sister was known to me as Sister and his brother, Brother. At first, I found that kind of weird and thought it would be really annoying to read but it totally wasn't! There was just so much other stuff that was going on that had me really focused on that. 

Charlie is so adorable! I really related to him while I read the book. Of course, I didn't go through all the stuff that he did but everyone can understand what it feels like to be sad and feel alone. I'm really glad for Sam and Patrick, though. They were so amazing to Charlie and I think they made it OK for me to not know exactly what happens to Charlie. In most books, the ending ending is fairly obvious to guess but in this book, it was left open which I hate but frankly, didn't mind MUCH in this book.

My review is solely based on my first impression. Since I read this quite long ago, I don't exactly remember everything. I know the book is so much more than what I wrote but to be honest, it would take me a couple of rereads to get everything that the book is about. If you're not sure still, I say read it! So many people have read it and loved it so it can't be that bad, right? And it's only 200ish pages long!!!

Definitely a book to's like a modern classic! You just have to!

Love, Annie

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Heroes of Olympus #1
Published by Hyperion Books for Children; October 12, 2010
Hardcover, 557 pages
Borrowed from library

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.

- Description from

I actually read this a looong time ago but I slacked on my reviews. Yikes. Another thing I noticed, this is the first fantasy book I have reviewed so far...and probably have read in about a year. Double yikes.

Now, onto my review. Like I said, I've read this book a long time ago so I may be fuzzy about some details. However, I do remember that my overall reaction to this book was not Yay, this was such a good book! Dance, dance, dance! or Argh! This was so bad! Yuck, I just wasted my entire life!. It was more like meh. It wasn't terrible which I suppose isn't a bad thing but it wasn't great either. It was in between, lacklustre.

Don't get me wrong, I love Rick Riordan and his writing style is funny as ever! The humor and the descriptions were awesome and they really made me want to be with Piper, Leo, and Jason as they went along on their adventure. I loved the way Rick tied in Greek and Roman mythology (like, seriously, I have been waiting on that, for, like, ever!) and the extra exposure to all the other monsters and minor gods was awesome! This book even made me want to make a Prezi on Greek Mythology. Can you say W-o-w???

But I found that 300 plus pages was kind of long and it was super hard to remember that the story was set in three days. Like, what? Did I just miss something? And I found myself tres bored toward the end which is never, ever a good thing. 

I might be a bit unfair, though. Because, really, it wasn't bad. Maybe a bit boring but do I have anything else to say besides that? Not really. And anyway, if you are a Percy fan, you'd totally want to stick in for this series! I mean, you can't really let it hang there...'cuz well, Percy!!!!!!!

So definitely, if you love Percy, read this book! It's similar yet different and you'll love the new badass trio!!!