Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cinema Saturday

The Cabin in the Woods
September 18, 2012
95 minutes; R for strong bloody horror violence and gore, language, drug use and some sexuality/nudity
with Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Amy Acker, Jesse Williams
info on IMDb/buy DVD or Blu-ray/Amazon Instant Video

Five college students go to a secluded cabin in the woods - not heading the warning of the creepy man they encounter along the way - for a weekend of relaxing and debauchery. Only, that's never how it goes, is it?

The Cabin in the Woods from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard takes whatever you're expecting from a normal horror movie and somehow gives it to you - while also, completely not.

And that's where this Cinema Saturday is going to be a bit different. I'm not giving you more of the plot, I'm not telling you what parts of the movie were great, how things developed, or anything.

If you don't know anything more about The Cabin in the Woods then please, don't try to find it out - just see it! I managed to remain unspoiled until I saw it and I'm thrilled that I did. (There should be a 'Fight Club' rule for this movie, you know, "The first rule about TCitW is you don't talk about TCitW (to people who haven't seen it).")

All that you do need to know is that this may now be one of my favorite movies.

Whedon is the creator, writer and all around mastermind behind the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show (and Angel, Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse) and Goddard was a writer and producer for Buffy - as well as Angel, Alias and Lost.*  While Cabin in the Woods is definitely it's own story, I think it's more likely that if you love their previous creations, you'll enjoy the movie. Likewise, if you hate Buffy, etc - a) I don't get you - there's a higher probability you won't like this movie.

(Okay, I wasn't going to say anything about the actors/the story because I didn't want to get too specific - though I did want to quote things - but Fran Kranz was great. I'd only seen him in Dollhouse before and he was a bit different here, I hope to see him more.)

If you're looking for a horror film that's likely not what you're expecting but is a great ninety-five minutes, check out The Cabin in the Woods.


*Whedon also wrote The Avengers movie and Goddard wrote the Robopocalypse [!!] screenplay.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Through to You ~ Emily Hainsworth (earc) review

Through to You
Balzer + Bray
October 2, 2012
272 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Do you remember the last book that you wished and hoped for? That you wanted, just wanted to be fantastic . . . and then when you finally read it actually was? It was maybe even better than you were expecting?

That's what Emily Hainsworth's Through to You was for me. I'd been dying to read this one and then it lived up to all of the (created by me) hype.

Camden "Can" Pike feels as if the only good thing in his life is gone now that his girlfriend Viv has died. Out of football after an injury, his parents divorced and his father gone, Viv was the one there to see him through his pain - to show him he didn't need football or the popularity it brought. They had each other.

But now she's gone.

Visiting the site of their car accident - deadly for her, not for him - one night, Cam sees a girl. Only she's not really there. The girl, an apparition, a ghost, isn't Viv, either.

She's Nina. Not a ghost, as she tells Cam, but from another world. A parallel world where Viv is alive.

How crazy it all sounds doesn't matter to Cam, all that matters is that there's somewhere where Viv is alive.

©BBC (I think) but found on Tumblr at some point

But as he goes to Nina's world, he finds that more than Viv's mortality is different there. The Cam and Viv there have made different choices, gone down different paths. The Viv he encounters doesn't seem to be the same girl he remembers from his world.

With Nina keeping secrets from Cam and the opening between their worlds likely temporary, will Cam find the what he's looking for? Will he find the Viv he lost months ago? Will he see the truth in things - in both worlds - even if it hurts?

Through to You makes excellent use of the parallel worlds. They're not exact replicas of each other nor are they so vastly different that you're left wondering what they have in common. They're two worlds, with the same town, same people who have gone down different paths in life. It's a great way to present things to the main characters - the different outcomes slightly different choices could or would have created.

Hainsworth has created exceptionally strong characters. From the main characters of Cam, Nina and Viv to the more secondary characters of Mike and Owen. They're well developed characters who all bring something great to the book and leave you feeling for them.

I love that this isn't a book that makes the end obvious. If you're like me, you'll be hoping certain things will - or won't - happen and some of them will - and won't - but Hainsworth does an excellent job of the story going up and down with Cam. It wouldn't make sense for him to have everything figured out right away - he's still grieving and then amazed at finding Viv. It's a lot for him to take in and then deal with. The progression going up and down with his emotions, etc flows well. Even if it leaves the readers hoping he'll see what they can, but he can't.

The ending wasn't quite what I was expecting but I think it fits perfectly for the story, I wouldn't change a thing.

In fact, the only thing I really would change about  Through to You  is the amount of smoking. I understand the initial smoking in the car, but Cam's mother is always smoking, and several other characters/mentions. It just seemed unnecessary.

This is one book where the plot is fantastic - parallel worlds, grieving, finding your lost love in said parallel world, possibly having to choose a world - and the characters are equally strong if not stronger. Whether you're a character girl (or guy) or a plot girl (or guy),  Through to You  has it.

Rating: 9/10

(egalley received from Harper through Edelweiss)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Free E-Book (Sweet Venom)

Last fall, I reviewed Tera Lynn Child's Sweet Venom the first in the Medusa Girls Trilogy - and I loved it
With a Big Bad storyline spanning the whole novel, Sweet Venom mirrors a Buffy season: Buffy always had to deal with interpersonal (and intrapersonal) things aside from whatever baddie she was dealing with and the sisters in Sweet Venom have to do the same. With kickbutt girls, boys I can see become crush-worthy, and monsters galore - it's like a Buffy fix in book form. I LOVE it!
Sweet Shadows the second book in the series just came out on September 4th and I can't wait to read it! Don't worry if you haven't read Sweet Venom yet, though, because - for a limited time - it's free on Kindle and as a NOOK book.

Sweet Venom #1

Sweet Shadows

Dark Companion ~ Marta Acosta review

Dark Companion
July 3, 2012
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Jane Williams has spent the last decade i foster care, the last four in a group hone. Now, at sixteen, she's found a way out, one born of a mixture of luck and hard work.

Not always the good girl, a combination of circumstances showed Jane the alternative - and gave her something to work towards. Her somewhere better? Birch Grove Academy for Girls, a full scholarship. Away from the violent, inner-city neighborhood Jane's used to and so different from the underfunded school, Birch Grove seems like a dream come true. Jane will even have her own living quarters, a cottage on the school grounds.

But is Birch Grove everything it's made out to be. Is there something nefarious afoot at the school or is Jane, so unaccustomed this sort of life seeing things where there's nothing to see?

It should be an ideal school for Jane - who loves science - it has all of the newest equipment, the best teachers and the students are welcoming. The headmistress is welcoming as well, ready to have Jane over for dinner - but it's her sons, the gorgeous Lucky and Jack who's on her bad side from moment one - who she can't seem to stay away from.

When Jane finds out more about Lucky's recreational activities, just why Birch Grove is so secluded and cut off from the outside world and learns the possible fate of the last scholarship student, will her idea of her new school change?

Dark Companion was touted as a paranormal read, but the paranormal element never really came to much fruition. There was a side aspect, with Jane -- hopefully this isn't spoilery -- that was the most paranormal element to the tale. The main story line, that seemed it would turn paranormal stayed just on the precipice of paranormal, but never quite tumbled off it.

That part did disappoint me a bit, possibly because I'm also reading Marta Acosta's Casa Dracula series (a vampire series) and expected something different here than what I got. If I hadn't been expecting a paranormal, things may have been different, but I was.

What Dark Companion does do really is establish Jane's life pre-Birch Grove. Her life in foster care isn't used to make her some 'other' to the Birch Grove students, or not solely for that. She has a real past there. It creates a great reason for her going to Birch Grove in the first place, but it also sets up really nice parts of her character an personality that come into play later in the story. Actions Jane, reactions or thoughts she has wouldn't work if she was a character coming from an average family or background.

I also really enjoyed Jack's character. There are smaller things about him that we learn through other characters, or that are brought in when Jane's not even paying attention or is too busy disliking him. He has a lot of depth and fits well into the story.

It may have been personal preference, but I disliked Lucky and I disliked Jane liking - or being so infatuated, actually, with Lucky. I understand her background, yes, but I just don't do well in books with girls who can't get enough of guys who are not nice to them. I didn't feel that we saw some inner struggle with Lucky to redeem his other actions enough for me to like him. Except for one scene he was a jerky character and I wanted to knock Jane on the head. (Sorry!)

Jane, otherwise was a great character. She had a lot of depth, she didn't immediately do anything (Lucky feelings excluded), she had uncertainty, she tried to stay true to herself even when she wasn't quite sure just who that was.

Rating: 6/10

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Shards and Ashes edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong 
Gripping original stories of dystopian worlds from nine New York Times bestselling authors, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong

The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few, and their courage is tested.

Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world.

Stories from:
Kelley Armstrong
Rachel Caine
Kami Garcia
Nancy Holder
Melissa Marr
Beth Revis
Veronica Roth
Carrie Ryan
Margaret Stohl
It's pretty rare that there's an anthology where I'm a) already familiar with all of the authors contributing and b) like or love them all as well but Shards and Ashes out in February managed both!

Released February 19, 2013 by Harper Collins and I can't wait - add it on Goodreads; pre-order on Amazon

Link me to your pick for the week!

A Fractured Light ~ Jocelyn Davies review

A Fractured Light (A Beautiful Dark #2)
September 25, 2012
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Skye wakes up in an unfamiliar bed, knowing something has happened - something bad - but without clear memories of what that was. In a secluded, snow covered cabin in the woods, Skye only has Asher - the dark, Rebellion angel she fell in love with in A Beautiful Dark and Ardith, another angel there with her.

Once awake, Skye remembers what happened. She remembers Devin's betrayal, his attempt to kill her.

Asher took her away to save her life, but Skye knows she can't just abandon her family and friends - even with the Guardians after her. She's going to have to learn how to control and master her powers, how to stay safe but without running away.

She's also going to have to figure out what to tell Aunt Jo, Cassie and the others about her mysterious disappearance because she can't tell them the truth.

Now that she knows the truth about the Order and the Rebellion, it's time for Skye to pick a side: fate or choice.

I had relatively high hopes for A Fractured Light - I liked A Beautiful Dark,thought it did well with the setup of things, but hoped that this second book would have more action. It didn't. Skye goes home, knowing that the Guardians are there and want to kill her. I never felt that, though. Yes, she was working to harness her powers, to know how to control the abilities that being born of exiled angel parents gave her, but I didn't feel the danger.

Having enemies who don't want to attack you or make a scene in public is one thing. Enemies who will speak to you cordially because they're trying to break down your defenses? It doesn't work quite as well in a book. Especially if last book, they stabbed you in the gut.

Also, this may have just been me, but Skye's absence-slash-return was odd to me. It wasn't long enough that she was a missing person or anyone seemed overly concerned, yet kids at the school had created rumors already. One side makes it seem like just the, "couple of days," as stated in the book - the other makes it seem much longer.

Going into A Fractured Light what I most remembered from A Beautiful Dark were the characters. I remembered liking their interactions - Cassie and Skye's friendship, their friendship with Dan, wondering what would happen with Cassie and Dan. The time with Ian at the coffee shop and the tension that arose when Asher and Devin came to town.

They helped me to remember the paranormal elements of the story that had been introduced thus far (there weren't as many in the first book). I remembered scenes with Skye and her eyes because of one with Ellie in this book.

All of that is to say that the characters were my favorite part of A Beautiful Dark and I really missed their interactions in A Fractured Light. 

It's a nice book. We learn a lot about the Rebellion and the Order as well as Skye and what she can do. We also find out how the two sides operate when they're 'at war' with each other. It just felt too long, if it had been condensed and was an introduction to something else, I might have liked it more. For me, it didn't work on its own.

(It does add to the series, so if you enjoyed A Beautiful Dark and/or plan to read the conclusion - give A Fractured Light a look.)

Rating: 5/10

thank you to HarperTeen for my copy of this title to review

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

It's time for Top Ten Tuesday - this week's Top Ten is:
Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It was time I started some new memes, Top Ten Tuesday is one of them and Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished, seemed like a great time to start. I start a lot of series - but don't finish a lot of then for a multitude of reasons ;-) Some I didn't read subsequent books because the first book just didn't work for me, some I've just been too busy reading other books and really want to read them but haven't yet. Others, well, it's my own brand of logic that doesn't even quite make sense to me . . .

  1. Matched by Ally Condie I checked Crossed out from the library but it was due back before I got into it (I always have a ton of things out) and I've just never tried again. Which is odd given how much I loved Matched. I do want to now, though, with Reached coming out.
  2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
    This one was not intentional and I just realized it looking at my 'series' shelf. I didn't buy or check Endlessly out because I'd maybe won it (I won something else) and now I haven't read it :\
  3. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
    I read Hush, Hush and it was okay but I wasn't really able to get into Crescendo. I haven't written off ever reading/finishing the series, but I think it may not be for me.
  4. Lucy Valentine series by Heather Webber Truly, Madly is the first book in this (not-very paranormal) series that I very much need to finish. It's a cute series and I need to pick up the third(?) book.
  5. Bad Day series by Sophie Littlefield
    The first book is A Bad Day for Sorry and there's really no reason other than, "But I keep meaning to," that I haven't read more of this one yet.
  6. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
    I can't figure out what, but something in this one didn't click for me when I read it. I do own Spells, so I might give it a try in the future.
  7. Triple Shot Bettys by Jody Gehrman
    I felt like such a grump for not liking Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty but I just didn't. I do want to read Babe in Boyland, though.
  8. Body Movers by Stephanie Bond
    Last I heard, what's happening with the series (if it's going to be on TV effects future books or some such) is still up in the air so this one's half procrastination, half not wanting to finish it and there be no more! Ne'er mind, I checked and it looks like I'm down an excuse!
  9. Georgina Kincaid or Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead I own at least the first three VA books and the first two or three Georgina Kincaid books and I've read Succubus Blues and Vampire Academy and liked them both very much. These have nothing at all to do with the content - except maybe saving good books? (I don't know.)
  10. Shifters series by Rachel Vincent
    This is another one where I've read Stray - pretty much when it came out - and I kind of love it . . . and I own much too much of this series (signed at that) to have read as little as I have. I tend to weirdly not always read the books I'm 99% sure I'll love . . . Apparently then if I run out of good books (?) I'll have those. 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 • Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
 • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser:

...In a fluid moment she rose from the chaise and dove into the pool, swimming a length before she surfaced and shook water out of her face, ""Laur, Mia, Ally! Get your asses in here."
Potential sunburn forgotten, Lauren obeyed instantly--the pull to be included stronger than her sense of self-preservation.
-pg 5 (arc)

Send Me a Sign
 by Tiffany Schmidt - out October 2nd, Walker Childrens (my review's up the 1st)

add to Goodreads

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feedburner is to Houdini as . . .

Update: I'm still not sure if the Book Sp(l)ot emails are going out (I'm not getting them or most of the ones from blogs I'm subscribed to), but Feedburner seems to technically be working (for now).

Thanks to some information from Giselle at Xpresso Reads, a post by Parajunkee, and some Googling, I'm going to investigate this Feedburner/not business some more.

'Til then, if you're subscribed by not getting anything, let me know!

As Feedburner is currently (possible permanently down slash not functioning at all, I've added a new 
way to subscribe to Book Sp(l)ot Reviews by email:

There's now a FeedCat button on my sidebar --> 

and I've updated my RSS button (at the top of the right sidebar) to link to my FeedCat feed.

This won't pull over old subscribers (Feedburner has currently lost everyone), but if you'd like to keep - or start - getting Book Sp(l)ot Reviews post in your inbox, there is a way :)

Now, to find out how to get all the posts I was getting in my inbox . . . And maybe that should be Feedburner is to subscriptions/subscribers as Houdini is to himself? Oh, well.

Save Me ~ Lisa Scottoline (audio) review

Save Me
St Martin's Griffin
February 14, 2012
416 pages
10:57:36 (WMA audio version)
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Rose is one of the volunteer lunch moms at her daughter Melinda's school on the day it happens. Lunch moms are there to help during lunch time, keep an eye on the kids, but Rose is there to keep an eye on Amanda, the girl who's been teasing Melly for the birthmark on her face. They've already moved once for the bullying Melly's endured and Rose wants to put a stop to it this time.

Rose has been talking to Amanda - after Melly's fled the lunch room following a particular incident - when the school kitchen explodes.

Now, she's faced with a gut wrenching decision, does she go to the bathroom where Melly's is and save her daughter or save the girls she's with right now, the ones bullying her daughter . . . and leave her daughter?

She only has a split-second to make her decision but Rose thinks she's managed to save all of the girls. That's why she's gobsmacked to find out one of the other girls does have injuries - life threatening ones. The girl's family and soon the whole town blame Rose, claiming she chose to save only her own daughter.

With the threat of legal action hanging over her head and now a pariah in her own town, it's up to Rose to find out the truth behind the fire and the explosion, and to clear her name.

Save Me is the third Lisa Scottoline book I've read - well, listened to - following Look Twice and Come Home. While all three have very different plots, they are each about mothers whose children are somehow threatened - at least to start - and they then see just how far they'll really go to save everything. To save their families.

With Save Me I knew, approximately what I was going to get, in terms of the plot - the strong emotion, a mother very devoted to her children, a father who would likely give a lot of push-back, an ending that would not drop a lot of hints that made sense until the ending was revealed (and possibly even then). That's what I wanted, though. There are times that I love to go into books knowing absolutely nothing about what I'm going to get and then, sometimes, I like books where I kind of already know what I'm getting.

I do enjoy that the though the broad strokes of Scottoline's Chick Lit books (vs her legal thriller, Rosato & Associates series which I have yet to read) are so similar, the characters and the story lines make them quite different. (I enjoyed Look Twice more than Come Home but may have enjoyed this one more than either of them.)

All of her Chick Lit books are hailed for their strong female characters and while I can't quite put my finger on why - they do fight hard for their children, they're not meek - I wouldn't think of them if asked for strong female characters. I don't know if they don't seem well developed enough or if it's my own bias and the more melodramatic books and thus characters lead me seeing them otherwise.

Save Me isn't an epic work of literature, no, but it's a good read with good characters. Rose is put in a tough situation - one where it's easy to see her side of things and the side of the other family (if not always the entire town). Scottoline does a great job of revealing enough information as the story goes, about either side so that while Rose stays the protagonist, it's never a one sided story.

The audio version of Save Me is recorded by Cynthia Nixon (from "Sex & the City") who does a graet job and its easy to 'see' her as Rose, the almost 11 hour audio book is very enjoyable. With 89 chapters, there are a lot of breaks, too, so it's easy to keep your place.

Rating: 7/10

Other Books You Might Enjoy: those by Jodi Picoult and those by Diane Chamberlain

Click one of the below images to be taken to
Save Me's Amazon page where you can
 purchase the Audible version - or go here to
search for it on Overdrive you library(ies)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Butter ~ Erin Jade Lange (earc) review

September 4, 2012
316 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

"I didn't fit in [...] The only thing that ever really fit was food . . . inside me. And the more food I fit in me, the less I fit anywhere else." -pg 132 Butter (advance edition; will verify quote as soon as possible)
At 423 pounds, Butter doesn't seem to fit in anywhere, literally or figuratively. It's nothing new, the weight or the lack of friends, but after several things happen in quick succession, Butter minds it. Playing saxophone in his room and talking to the girl online who can't see what he looks like are no longer enough, he has a plan.
With just a few clicks it's ready to go: in only a few weeks time, Butter's going to eat himself to death on the internet. And anyone who wants, specifically his classmates at school, can watch.

Their response to his site is unexpected. He knew they weren't his friends (he didn't christen himself 'Butter,' after all), but he never expected their reaction: they love it. Suddenly Butter's part of their select group, all while they exalt his plan, his coming demise.

Are they now his friends? Do they secretly want what's best for Butter or s he - and his death - some sort of twisted game to them? And what of Anna, his online love, who's now a very real acquaintance, can and should he keep the two relationships separate?

What happens when he reaches the deadline?

Butter is a fantastic read.

We know from the first page that Butter plans to kill himself, to eat himself to death. We also know that it's directed at someone, "You think I eat a lot now?" (pg 2) Granted, that could be a rhetorical question but it feels directed at someone and, being the first words of the first chapter, they're very evocative.

The secondary characters in Butter are confusing, as part of the story. Their actions leave you incredibly disgusted with them, wondering how someone could possibly, possibly be doing what they're doing (pretty much egging on someone's suicide). Yet, then you're left to wonder if maybe they're employing some sort of reverse psychology and actually are hoping for the best . . . only to then wonder if they're even capable of that.

They're all great characters, even when - or perhaps especially when - you hate them, who add so much to the story. Butter wouldn't be possible without the stellar secondary characters and the way they all intertwine.

Butter himself is brilliant. He's a complex character who's dealing with the different challenges presented by his weight, from the health risks to where to even park at school and sit in the cafeteria, but he's also a teenager who's having trouble fitting in.  Lange did a great job with Butter, he wasn't just an obese teen where the focus was on whether he lost weight or not and he didn't simply have social/popularity issues, both were very present, and combined.

His personality and voice stayed consistent, even when I wished it would change just for a little but to allow him to see some things. The progression in his character was very well done and paced well. He was just about perfect because he wasn't perfect

For the great description there was of Butter's personality, I do wish there had been a bit more of a physical description. I didn't have trouble picturing Anna, understandable as it's in the first person and told by Butter, but didn't get a good image of Butter.

Butter has a great teenage voice. The teenagers, from Butter to Anna to the others, sounded like high-schoolers with high school problems and reactions.

Rating: 8/10

You Might Enjoy this Book if You Like: the authors Courtney Summers and/or Hannah Moskowitz

egalley received from Bloomsbury through NetGalley

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fire in the Ashes ~ Jonathan Kozol review

Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America
August 28, 2012
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

While I usually write my own synopses for reviews I post, as this is a nonfiction book and one that tells not just one story - or just one person's story, I've decided to use the description from the publisher, Crown Publishing:

In this powerful and culminating work about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, Jonathan Kozol returns to the scene of his prize-winning books Rachel and Her Children and Amazing Grace, and to the children he has vividly portrayed, to share with us their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood.

For nearly fifty years Jonathan has pricked the conscience of his readers by laying bare the savage inequalities inflicted upon children for no reason but the accident of being born to poverty within a wealthy nation. A winner of the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and countless other honors, he has persistently crossed the lines of class and race, first as a teacher, then as the author of tender and heart-breaking books about the children he has called “the outcasts of our nation’s ingenuity.” But Jonathan is not a distant and detached reporter. His own life has been radically transformed by the children who have trusted and befriended him.

Never has this intimate acquaintance with his subjects been more apparent, or more stirring, than in Fire in the Ashes, as Jonathan tells the stories of young men and women who have come of age in one of the most destitute communities of the United States. Some of them never do recover from the battering they undergo in their early years, but many more battle back with fierce and, often, jubilant determination to overcome the formidable obstacles they face. As we watch these glorious children grow into the fullness of a healthy and contributive maturity, they ignite a flame of hope, not only for themselves, but for our society.

The urgent issues that confront our urban schools – a devastating race-gap, a pathological regime of obsessive testing and drilling students for exams instead of giving them the rich curriculum that excites a love of learning – are interwoven through these stories. Why certain children rise above it all, graduate from high school and do well in college, while others are defeated by the time they enter adolescence, lies at the essence of this work.

Jonathan Kozol is the author of Death at an Early Age, Savage Inequalities, and other books on children and their education. He has been called “today’s most eloquent spokesman for America’s disenfranchised.” But he believes young people speak most eloquently for themselves; and in this book, so full of the vitality and spontaneity of youth, we hear their testimony.

Familiar with the author from having heard him speak and having read Amazing Grace, I was immediately interested in Fire in the Ashes.  I wasn't naive enough to think that every child talked of in Amazing Grace - or any of Kozol's other books - would be doing well now if they'd been doing well then or better now if they weren't then.

Yet, I wanted to know.

While someone who's read all of Kozol's other work will likely get more from reading of Pineapple or those from St Anne's, it's not necessary for reading, understanding or enjoying this book.

Kozol writes of the children - and in some cases the families - in Fire in the Ashes, of their childhood, or lack of a childhood with such honesty and kindness. Though he's writing about children in Mott Haven that continues to be the poorest section, of the poorest borough (the Bronx) in New York, he doesn't fall into a trap that seems like it would be all too easy: he never seems to pity them, nor is he at all condescending.

That's not to say that Fire in the Ashes cherry picks only the success stories, or the children and/or families whose lives have turned out as well as could be expected. Some have turned out better, probably, than I could have expected. Others, not nearly as much.

The author is not forgiving - or perhaps not altogether forgiving - of their transgressions. They've made mistakes and he's ready to admit it - and show them. But he's also going to show that they weren't necessarily mistakes made out of foolishness, carelessness or youthful indiscretion. At least, not in the same way they would be of someone under different circumstances and/or of different financial means.

More, perhaps, than his previous book, Fire in the Ashes shoes that while the circumstances do not make the decisions (good or bad) for the children and teens, they certainly contribute.

These two quotes don't appear until the Epilogue, but I believe they do a brilliant job summarizing what this book - and really Jonathan Kozol's message - is about:
"[C]harity has never been a substitute, not in any amplitude, for systematic justice and systematic equity in public education." -pg 304
"Charity and chance and narrow selectivity are not  the way to educate children of a genuine democracy." -pg 304

This is really a great read. It has a great message, one that's important to hear and important to be able to put with human faces-slash-stories the way that Fire in the Ashes does.

Rating: 9/10

Thank you to the publisher for my copy of this book for review

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Twitter Chat

Join a Twitter chat tonight with the author of THE VICTORY LAB: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, Sasha Issenberg.

Called by Politico, “Moneyball for politics,” The Victory Lab was released last week (I’m currently reading it).

Sasha Issenberg (@victorylab) will be hosted in the chat by Christina Bellatoni (@cbellatoni) with the hashtag #victorylab.

The chat will last from 8-9pm EST tonight, Wednesday, September 19th.

If you’d like to join in, remember to use #victorylab.

The Victory Lab’s synopsis & links below . . .

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Breaking Glass 
by Lisa Amowitz

On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he's not sure whether they're real or if he's losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.
Why shouldn't I want to read this one? It's a mystery - which I love; it sounds like it'll be creepy (you see that cover, right?) - which I love.

It also sounds like it has a character who isn't ready, right away, to jump into the paranormal world - that keeps things pretty realistic and can be a fun change from how a lot of books are.

After The Body Finder series, Slide and now starting Ten I'm really loving the murder/mystery/thriller genre of YA novels.

Breaking Glass is out July 9th, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press - add it to your Goodreads

Speechless ~ Hannah Harrington (earc) review

August 28, 2012
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

***Warning-ish now that this is a long review because I apparently loved this book and have a lot of reasons - condensing didn't work***

Can you keep a secret?

Everyone at Grand Lake High knows not to ask Chelsea King that question. Chelsea King can't, and never has been able to, keep a secret. All of that's about to change, though.

The last secret that she told not only helped turn her into an outcast, it nearly got someone killed.

Chelsea needs to keep her mouth shut for once. She's taking a vow of silence because no one wants to hear what she has to say anyway and she needs to keep from hurting anyone else. Through it she  may learn who her real friends - even if they're someone new - are and maybe even a little about herself.

If staying silent when she knew a juicy secret seemed impossible, Chelsea will now have to see if she can keep her vow when she feels the need to speak up for much different reasons.

Speechless, from the author of Saving June, has an incredibly enticing premise, even better there is then a novel that not only fulfills the promise created by that premise but then goes above and beyond it.

Chelsea King is not, immediately, a very likable character, she isn't someone you can see being friends with, either. She admits right from the first page that she's been sharing everyone's secrets since kindergarten. When we meet Chelsea in the present,  she's friends with the her grade's Queen Bee Kristen (even if it's not an equal friendship) and getting very drunk at a party at her house.

Chelsea not being a clear-cut good character not only makes the story work, it makes it work incredibly well. Her growth from page one of Speechless all the way until the last word, makes this book one amazing page turner. it also makes it powerful, emotional and one you really can't miss.

The vow of silence that Chelsea takes, isn't immediately to understand how she's been acting better, to see how she's been making others feel. That's all too altruistic for how the beginning of her vow seems. Yes, she feels bad for what happened, but mixed in with the guilt is some selfishness - that no one cares anyway.

Hannah Harrington does an incredible job portraying Chelsea's feelings even without allowing her to speak. Yes, she does write some but that still allows her fewer words than speaking would. Her progression isn't immediate - she still isn't completely likable for a while - but it's better that way. It feels realistic. Chelsea's characterization is pretty near perfect. We see, through, little things how, in her friendship with Kristen, Chelsea had allowed herself to be subverted.
"[Kristen] got all pissed when I wrote about frosted lipstick being a fashion, "Don't," since she loves it, and then told me someone wears gold shimmery eye shadow isn't one to talk. I still don't understand what's wrong with gold eye shadow, but I threw it out anyway." pg 82
I may have been one of the few not to have a crush on Jake in Saving June (nothing wrong, I just didn't), but I'm a little bit in love with - and have a crush on - almost every non-jerky boy in Speechless.  So, it's obvious that Hannah Harrington knows how to write her male characters. And a wide range of them as well. They were well written, had distinct personalities, interacted well together as well as with the other characters and the more central male characters' progressed nicely over the book.

The other, main, female character was to the book just what her character was for Chelsea. She was bright and bubbly and felt like life and fresh air. The book wasn't troubled, but at times the characters and what they were experiencing was and she felt like she kept them . . . up.

Speechless is not at all a preachy book. It's not a PSA. It's not in your face and it doesn't beat you over the head with a message - but it absolutely has one. That it uses a main character, Chelsea, who starts off shallow, unlikable, drunk, unable to keep secrets and indifferent to how her actions effect others is why it works so well.

As Chelsea begins to see it - through her vow of silence, through her friends --old and new -- so do readers.

(The only thing I could take anything off for was that Chelsea felt older than a sophomore. She seemed more like a junior or senior to me in the beginning.)

Get ready to read this sometime when you can be speechless - both because of its greatness and because you'll connect so well with Chelsea that talking will feel strange.

Rating: 9.5/10

thank you to HarlequinTEEN and Edelweiss for my egalley of this title for review

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (with Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel) is out on Blu-Ray and DVD today – but before it was a film, it was a novel by Deborah Moggach.
Today, Deborah is participating in an author Q&A at Goodreads where you can ask her questions about the novel, her writing, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel being turned into a film – or the end result.

Or just check out what other people have asked and her responses!

Here’s the Goodreads group for the Q&A.

If you don’t know about The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel here’s the synopsis along with a clip:
British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

(thank you to ThinkJam for the clip)

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 • Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
 • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser:
Plus, someone had neglected to notice that he Crystal Palce wasn't exactly rainproof. The roof included several spans of mesh screens for air circulation.
-pg 42 

In the Bag: A Novel by Kate Klise
A European vacation. A luggage mix-up. A note from a secret admirer.

Meet two single parents who think they're too busy to date.
And two teenagers who can't stop writing flirty emails.
This is a tale of connections--missed and made--in a universe that seems to have its heart set on reuniting Ms. 6B and Mr. 13C.

I can't believe I picked up the wrong bag at the airport. My dad is never going to let me hear the end of it.

I don't understand why Mom told me to pack my worst underwear. And now I've lost my bag? Ack

I cannot stop thinking about that woman in seat 6B on the flight to Paris.

I don't have time to worry about the creep sitting in 13C who slipped a note in my purse. I have to find my daughter's missing bag before this ruins our vacation.

"In the Bag" is a smart and stylish story that explores the old-fashioned art of romance in a modern world, where falling in love can be as risky as checking a bag on an international flight. Buckle your seat belt--it's going to be a bumpy vacation

So far this is a fun, easy read but I'm reading it very slowly in - only reading it whenever I need a break between the books I'm reading for review. Chapters alternate which character's pov they're from - it looks to be fun.

It was a fun, random pick from the library, though. Glad I found it!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Adaptation ~ Malinda Lo (earc) review

Adaptation (Adaptation #1)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 18, 2012
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Reese, her debate partner David and their chaperone are in the Phoenix airport when the news comes on: a plane in New Jersey has crashed, killing all aboard and witnesses say it happened after the plane collided with a flock of Canada geese.

The news sends shock through the airport - but not as much as the subsequent news announced in the next few moments. It is not just one plane that has crashed. Multiple planes have been brought down, seemingly by groups of birds and the FAA has grounded all planes.

With no other way to get home - and sensing that the crashes are more than some flukes of nature, they begin the drive home.

David and Reese somewhere in Nevada when the crash happens. A bird flies into the headlights and the car flips over.

When Reese wakes up, they're in some kind of military hospital. She can't remember what's happened since the crash - despite being told it's been almost thirty days. The doctors won't tell them where they are, how they were treated or how they're suddenly, so surely feeling so much better. Nor are they allowed to tell anyone else they little they do know.

Upon returning home, things are even different than she expected: military enforced curfew, men in hazmat suits picking up the dead birds before speeding off, the feelings she has for Amber, the girl who literally crashed into her, someone who may be following her . . . and her own recovery.

Reese may be the most different thing of all.

Adaptation has one of my favorite opening sections of really any book I've read lately. It builds the tension, the fear and, also, the fear of what's to come incredibly well. While it does involve planes crashing and does, ever so briefly, mention September 11th, it still feels separate from that. The events of Adaptation's opening are so clearly encapsulated in Adaptation that you don't feel like it's a rehash of anything.

It introduces us well to not only the present characters but also to Reese's friend Julian and his love of conspiracy theories - which are a big part of Adaptation and also help push things along.

As much as I loved the beginning, I did feel as if there was a bit of a disconnect between the first group of chapters, the first five or six and the latter parts of the story. They built up the tension and this anxiety . . . and then it didn't quite play out.

San Francisco, a month after all of these events, didn't need to be massively effected, but it felt more like there was a curfew which influenced maybe one or two scenes. Then they picked up birds. Both things are in the synopsis. Maybe that was part of the point, that everything was made to see fine - but if so, then the curfew seems odd.

I liked Reese's struggle with how she was feeling about Amber and what those feelings meant about who she, Reese, was all while she was trying to figure out just what they'd done to her at the hospital. It's nice when characters aren't completely taken over by one side of the story (either their intrapersonal conflicts or figuring out the 'other' aspect).

The story as a whole did lack a bit of tension or drama or anxiety for me. Whether that was due to the stellar opening that seemed to promise a different type of day to day life (not necessarily drastically so) or because the outcome or 'what' for several characters was really quite clear from about midway through, I'm not sure.

The way the ending itself actually played out, was not obvious so I'm looking forward to the second book in this series for where things go.

Rating: 7.5/10

thank you to LBYR and NetGalley for my review copy of this

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cinema Saturday

The Weinstein Company
May 1, 2012
119 minutes; R 'for some domestic violence, nudity and language'
info at IMDb/buy on Amazon

W.E. the film directed and co-written by Madonna, tells the story of Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII along side that of modern-day Wally Winthrop, her fascination with Wallis and her own romance.

With an auction of the Edward and Wallis' estate about to take place at Sotheby's, Wally - named for Wallis Simpson - becomes fascinated with the items. Coming day after day to view the collection, she imagines the couple's life (and film viewers are transported into the life shared by Wallis and Edward) and thinks of the story not told.

Wally, her own marriage struggling, thinks of how things must have been for the married Wallis as she fell in love with the future King of England.

The way that W.E. tells the story of the two women - Wally and Wallis - their loves, and their lives, is interesting. In the beginning it's quite confusing. The film alternates between the two characters, not always clearly and at times, it's not completely clear who is who.

It seems that W.E. starts out supposing you know at least a bit about Wallis Simpson (and more than 'she was the married woman who Edward fell in love with'). If you know some of the facts about her life prior to their relationship, the beginning of the movie is a lot clearer. Otherwise, it's hard to be quite sure of just who everyone is (some characters are introduced/explained quite a bit later in the movie as small asides, leading to my theory that prior knowledge is expected).

Once everything is settled, the main characters are introduced, the relationships established it's quite an interesting film. It's not what I was expecting but it is unique and good. From everything I heard prior to it's release, W.E. was meant to look at things from Wallis Simpson's perspective and on that front, it succeeds.

It doesn't delve very deeply into her character, doesn't quite make her sympathetic  or terribly likable, but it does make her less 'the evil other woman' than most things have seemed. to.

The most emotion seen from her came towards the end of the film and wasn't exactly from her - at least not directly, at least not her character. That happening earlier or being expanded would have been interesting.

It's an enjoyable movie, but didn't quite leave either of the characters - Wally or Wallis as a standout. If you're interested in the subject, though, you might like seeing this one.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Raven Boys ~ Maggie Stiefvater (earc) review

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
Scholastic Press
September 18, 2012
416 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

Living with a family of psychics, Blue doesn't have her own powers, but she does have energy that helps the power of those around her. Every year she accompanies her sits by her mother, in the ruins of the old church as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue doesn't see them, her presence only helping the other's vision.

At least until this year.

The boy she sees will only tell her his name is Gansey.

Blue soon finds out that Gansey is a student at Aglionby, the local private school. Told by every clairvoyant she's ever encountered - those in her home and not - that if she kisses her true love, he'll die, Blue's decided boys are trouble. Aglionby boys,the Raven Boys, more that that are bastards.

Staying away from the ultra-rich Gansey should be no problem. Yet, Blue finds herself drawn to him - and his friends: Adam, the one Aglionby boy who doesn't seem to have money or be pretentious; Ronan, the angry one who can't let go of his pain; Noah who's quiet but always noticing things.

When Blue finds out Gansey's on his own quest - one very unexpected, she finds herself drawn into their lives and their search. Whether it's safe for any of them or not.

Some books grab me from page one, I'll admit that The Raven Boys didn't have quite grab me until the end of the first chapter. The prologue and the first chapter were okay, but I didn't love them. The end of the first chapter and after that, that's when things picked up. The Raven Boys is a book that got better and better as it went on.

The Raven Boys isn't a book that reveals everything right away. Sometimes the result will be told before the action that caused it, leaving things either a bit confusing, or with some wondering going on. In particular, I was curious as to a character's motivation for so long that I almost quit caring. Yet, when it was revealed, it became clear that it couldn't have been told in any other (or any earlier) part of the story. It was exactly where it needed to be. That's also true with the rest of the novel, it's told in exactly the order it needs to be.

That's a bit how The Raven Boys is, even the times when the story was a bit confusing  (as to how things worked together or why someone was doing, or not doing, something, etc.) the writing and the novel in general are so enjoyable, you don't care.

The characters were well developed and each time something new was revealed about them, it made sense. When it was something that had been hinted at earlier, the clues that may have gone unnoticed, suddenly made sense. When it was something meant to be surprising, it was.

Blue's family - the whole dynamic of her house, really - was great fun and worked incredibly well. It wasn't a kitsch, cliche portrayal of a house of psychics. They were different, yet with something linking them together and had their own bit of mystery.

A book that gets better with each turn of the page, one that leaves you wondering a bit (sometimes more), and one with some different magical elements, The Raven Boys is a great read.

Rating: 9/10

Other books you might also enjoy: The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

thank you Scholastic and NetGalley for my e-galley of this title

Snow White and the Huntsman

I'm a bit of a sucker for fairy tales, probably even more so when they're reimagined and twisted a bit.

So, I'm excited for this week's DVD/Blu-Ray release of Snow White and the Huntsman. It came out on Tuesday and, while I haven't had a chance to see it yet (in theaters or the video release), the trailers have definitely piqued my interest.

Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman (IMDb) were two Snow White movies, released around the same time (they bumped them apart a bit) that, while quite different, both featured a Snow White who wasn't simply laying around, waiting for her prince to come save her. She wasn't the Disney version of Snow White. She wasn't a damsel in distress who couldn't do anything for herself.

As much as I loved 'Mirror Mirror' with as different as Snow White and the Huntman looks - with Kristen Stewart's Snow White in armor and Charlize Theron's evil Queen Ravenna looking deadly but also pretty amazing in the clips - I can't wait to see it. It looks like a great, darker twist on the tale.

Movie synopsis from IMDb:
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.

ThinkJam, helping promote the film's release sent along some things I could post, here's one I think is fun:

(click to view a larger version)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doppelganger ~ Milda Harris Tour Stop

As part of Reading Addition Blog Tours, today's post is a stop on Milda Harris' Doppelganger Virtual Tour:

About Doppelganger:
Citrus Leahy is having a really bad day. First she's late to school. Then she runs into the girl who drives her nuts because she always calls her Orange instead of her name. To cap it all off, when Citrus finally makes it to class, she sees herself already inside. Wait. What? Citrus Leahy has a doppelganger! It's probably aliens taking over the world and her life has just turned totally upside down. Goodbye, normal. Hello, paranormal. Luckily, her crush Aedan has the exact same problem!
buy it: Amazon / B&N / Smashwords

About the Author:
Author Milda Harris is a Chicago girl who ran off to Hollywood to pursue a screenwriting dream! She has a dog named after a piece of candy (Licorice), was once hit by a tree (seriously), and wears hot pink sunglasses (why not?). Between working in production on television shows like Austin & Ally, Hannah Montana, and That's So Raven and playing with her super cute dog Licorice, she writes young adult murder mystery, horror, paranormal romance, and chick lit novels.
Her books Doppelganger, Adventures in Funeral Crashing, Adventures of a Graveyard Girl, The New Girl Who Found A Dead Body, and Connected (A Paranormal Romance) are for sale now!
find her online:  website / blog@mildharris / Facebook


July 30, 2012

The doppelganger idea is a great one for a YA novel - it's one I've loved in movies (like The Faculty which is actually mentioned in Doppelganger) but haven't seen in books as much.

Harris' Doppelganger is an easy and light read. The characters aren't very well developed or complex but for the short length of the story, it's okay and doesn't detract much from the story. Some of the little tidbits added in about the characters were interesting and helped give them, well, character. I think with a bit more polish, they could work into the story a bit better and really help flush out the characters and the novel as a whole.

There wasn't quite as much tension as I would have liked - or perhaps I would have been freaking out a bit more if doppelgangers were possibly taking over. I did like, though, how Citrus seemed able to think of things quickly and wasn't a weak, damsel in distress girl

Rating: 6/10


“Citrus Leahy?” The Receptionist said as if on cue.
I jumped up and made sure not to turn and look at Melissa. I could feel Melissa staring at my back, regardless. Why did she want to talk to me anyway? I focused my gaze on the Receptionist, who was watching me approach.
“You weren’t here first period?” The Receptionist asked.
“No,” I said, “That’s why I’m in the office. For a late pass, so I can go to second period. I have a test.”
The Receptionist frowned and I noticed that she was looking at an attendance sheet. She grabbed a pencil and made an erasure. I felt overly anxious. What was this woman doing? There wasn’t time. I was going to miss my test and it was going to majorly affect my grade. The day was definitely not going well. I needed to get to class.
“Okay, here’s your tardy slip. This one’s a warning. One more and you have detention,” The Receptionist said in monotone, as she handed me the slip. She obviously made this speech all the time.
It was a relief about the detention, but now I was worried about missing the test. I grabbed the slip and immediately turned to leave. I was only going to be about ten minutes late. I could finish the test in forty minutes. I may not have studied adequately, but I was a great test taker.
“Bye Orange!” Melissa yelled after me.
I cringed, but outwardly ignored Melissa and sprinted for my World History class. I didn’t even have time to go to my locker. I’d have to swing back and get my Spanish book before third period, but I’d be okay for history.
As soon as I rounded the corner away from the office, I broke into a sprint. My class was at the other end of the school. The quicker I ran, the more time I had to take the test.
I was breathing hard by the time I made it to the right hallway. I was definitely not a runner. Sweat drops were forming on my face. It was going to be one of those days where I just couldn’t wait to get home and take a shower. I couldn't believe I felt gross and it was only second period. I couldn't help thinking that I was probably going to get a pimple from the sweat on my nose or something too. I bet that it would be one of those ones under the skin, that wouldn't pop and totally hurt. The lengths I went through to get decent grades and be the good kid. 
I walked the rest of the way to my classroom, totally forgetting to obsess over World History facts and instead wondering if I had any face wash in my gym locker to try and head off that pimple. I couldn't remember if I had taken it home or not. I crossed my fingers that the face wash would still be there, in my locker, when I had gym in a few hours. I tried to even out my breathing and dabbed the sweat off my face with the bottom of my shirt. I wasn’t going to give the other students anything to talk about by running in, out of breath, and sweaty. I was just going to walk in and hand Mr. Meadows the tardy slip, ask for the test, sit down, take it, and get a decent grade, and hopefully not a pimple. Then I could get back to reading my fun book and not worry about my grades for the rest of the day.
My mind was already planning how it was all going to turn out, as I caught a glimpse of the classroom through the window in the door. That’s when everything froze for me. The Receptionist in the Main Office had been correct in thinking that the attendance reports were strange because they were. How else could I be standing outside of my World History class waiting to go in and take my test and also be inside, already busy with the business of test taking? I swear. I'm not kidding. I was dressed in different clothes, but it was definitely me - same body type, a little longer than shoulder length dirty blonde hair and side swept bangs, oval face, and green eyes. Well, I'm guessing her eyes were green because the girl I was looking at was focused on her test and not looking directly at me. Still, it was me in there. I just knew it. 
The thing is - I didn’t have a twin. What I was seeing was totally impossible. I couldn’t be in two places at once. What in the world was happening? And, really, could my day get any worse?

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*
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