In My Mailbox (10/19 to 10/24)

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. If you want more details, click here. In My Mailbox explores all the books that I get in a week, whether it's in the mail, borrowed from a friend, borrowed from the library, or bought from a bookstore.


Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman (Paperback/ Putnam Juvenile/ January 2010)

Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama.

Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex–best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn’t understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.

Torn between doing what’s right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.

Rosalind Wiseman’s first novel for young adults is a fresh, funny, and juicy read about friendship, betrayal, and how far some will go to be accepted.

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (Paperback/ Scholastic Press/ February 2010)

Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and "find himself." Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he's cute.

Dawn by Kevin Brooks (Paperback/ The Chicken House/ December 2009)

Dawn's dad is a recovering substance abuser, a one-time child molester, and...a born-again Christian. Religion: That's his latest addiction.

But as far as Dawn is concerned, the Man Upstairs has robbed her of the father she once loved--drugs, drinks, and all.

Which is why Dawn's gone shopping for Bibles. For research. To know her enemy. Because, to get her old dad back, she's going to have to do away with this God guy.

She'd just better pray that the fallout from her father's past life of crime doesn't catch up to her first.

Candle Man by Glenn Dakin (Hardback/ EgmontUSA /September 2009)

Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . .

But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift.

A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves must be worn and daily medical treatments are the norm. When Theo discovers a suspicious package on his birthday, one person from the past will unlock the secret behind Theo’s “illness” and change his life forever.

Molded into an exhilarating steampunk adventure that gives birth to the next great fantasy hero, Theo Wickland, Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book in a trilogy by debut author Glenn Dakin.

Invisible Lines by Mary Amato (Paperback/ EgmontUSA /November 2009)

An upbeat teen with a talent for drawing and soccer who hails from the wrong side of the tracks learns to bloom where he's planted. When seventh grader Trevor moves to the trashy Hedley Gardens project with his single-parent mom and younger siblings, he decides "it's going to be my year." Entering a new school in a rich neighborhood, Trevor is accidently placed in an advanced science class. Encouraged by the eccentric teacher to discover the world of mushrooms, Trevor applies humor and evasive tactics to fit in. He draws original designs on his classmates' shoes, and he tries out for an elite soccer team knowing he can't pay the fees. However, Trevor's plans for success derail after the star soccer player sabotages him. Narrating in the present tense, Trevor instantly engages readers with a resilient and infectious can-do attitude that eventually enables him to turn the tables on his rival. Amato's mushroom metaphor aptly fits her young hero, who emerges from unpromising surroundings by following his mom's advice "to rise above it."


Tricks by Ellen Hopkins (Hardcover/ Margaret K. McElderry/ August 2009)

"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."

Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story -- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"

A brilliant achievement from New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins -- who has been called "the bestselling living poet in the country" by -- Tricks is a book that turns you on and repels you at the same time. Just like so much of life.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Hardcover/ Scholastic Press/ September 2008)

If there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd that boy meets girl is always mentioned, and society goes bad and attacks the good guy never is. Yet we have Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The House of the Scorpion—and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds, The Hunger Games. Collins hasn't tied her future to a specific date, or weighted it down with too much finger wagging. Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers is a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death.Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is entirely focused on survival at any cost. It is her teammate, Peeta, who recognizes the importance of holding on to one's humanity in such inhuman circumstances. It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable. She has the attributes to be a winner, where Peeta has the grace to be a good loser.It's no accident that these games are presented as pop culture. Every generation projects its fear: runaway science, communism, overpopulation, nuclear wars and, now, reality TV. The State of Panem—which needs to keep its tributaries subdued and its citizens complacent—may have created the Games, but mindless television is the real danger, the means by which society pacifies its citizens and punishes those who fail to conform. Will its connection to reality TV, ubiquitous today, date the book? It might, but for now, it makes this the right book at the right time. What happens if we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be obsessed with grooming, we'll talk funny, and all our sentences will end with the same rise as questions. When Katniss is sent to stylists to be made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked in front of them, strangely unembarrassed. They're so unlike people that I'm no more self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet, she thinks. In order not to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It isn't just the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is all who watch.Katniss struggles to win not only the Games but the inherent contest for audience approval. Because this is the first book in a series, not everything is resolved, and what is left unanswered is the central question. Has she sacrificed too much? We know what she has given up to survive, but not whether the price was too high. Readers will wait eagerly to learn more.

Hunted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (Hardback/ St. Martin's Press/ March 2009)

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil and all he wanted was you?

At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey's friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren't Neferet's secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn't want to hear and truths she can't face?

On the run and holed up in Tulsa's Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well--they've even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home--but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Eric, but she can't stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet's sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult (Paperback/ Washington Square Press/ August 2008)

It is August in Comtosook, Vt., yet suddenly the temperature fluctuates wildly, rose petals mysteriously fall like snow, patches of land are completely frozen and roiling garter snakes cover the ground. Suspense and the supernatural are artfully interwoven in this 10th novel by Picoult (Perfect Match, etc.), in which a man desperately seeks to join his fiancee in death, and a 1930s eugenics project comes back to haunt a small town in Vermont. Ever since his beloved Aimee was killed in a car accident, Ross Wakeman has deliberately put himself at risk, hoping to die. When nothing works, and a job with a paranormal investigator brings him no closer to Aimee, he moves in with his sister, Shelby, in Comtosook. As chance would have it, strange phenomena are plaguing the town, and Ross is drawn into an investigation of a piece of land that local Abenaki Indians claim is an old burial ground. In the process, he meets lovely Lia Beaumont, who has some mysterious connection to sinister goings-on 70 years before in Comtosook. Many more characters are essential to the elaborate, engrossing plot, including Spencer Pike, once a eugenics expert and now a tormented old man in a nursing home; Meredith Oliver, a genetic diagnostician with an uncanny resemblance to Lia Beaumont; and Ross's eight-year-old nephew, Ethan, who suffers from a condition that makes him allergic to sunlight. Picoult's ability to bring them all vividly to life is remarkable. Firmly rooting her otherworldly tale in everyday reality, she produces a spellbinding suspense novel offering insight into the human spirit and the depths of true love.

-Lexi (:

FTC: All links and excerpts* are from I am NOT getting paid to link to them.
*Excerpt for Invisible Lines was taken from Barnes and Noble, I am also not getting paid to link to them.

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

Pub Date: May 2009

Summary: Love and friendship is all about the ups and downs.


Devastated when her boyfriend breaks up with her, all she wants is to have him back.


Loves seems to come easy for her. Even with her ex still in the picture, pinning for her, she’s developing a new crush.


He just happens to be in love with Rhiannon, but she also happens to be his best friend.

Rhiannon just can’t seem to see that her friendship with James could be so much more.

Now throw in the school’s mean girl.

She seems to be out to ruin everyone’s lives and reputation.

But James, Nicole, and Rhiannon have taken this for too long.

They won’t let her slide by this time.

While trying to defeat the mean girl, can these three friends really get everything they want?

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I really enjoyed reading Take Me There. It was the first book I’ve read by Susane Colasanti and she’s actually a really good author. I really like her writing style. All of the characters were really well written and she also did a really good job switching between the three point of views. In the past, I’ve noticed that some authors don’t really keep the same flow, but I liked how Take Me There flowed. You were pulled in from the very beginning and you never really lost interest in the plot or the characters. The events that occurred were real high school events too, even though some of them were not as common as others. A few times I felt a tad uncomfortable when reading from Nicole’s point of view when she’s talking about some of her feelings but I really think that made Nicole who she is. I could have given this book 5 Stars but lately I’ve been very lenient on my reviews so I’m trying to crack down. But, this book is still a VERY good read. I think a lot of people would love this book like I did if they read it. So, go read it if you haven’t already!

-Lexi (:

FTC: I purchased this novel from Borders. I did not receive it from any publishing company and/or author.

Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Pub Date: June 2007

Summary: Every breakup has two sides, two stories to tell.

Jordan and Courtney are so in love.

Even though they’re the most unlikely couple out there.

But for them, everything just slid right into place.

They clicked instantly.

Jordan and Courtney even planned to go to the same college and drive cross-country together for orientation.

Then Courtney gets dumped for some girl Jordan on the internet.

They trip still has to happen.

Courtney is heartbroken but she thinks she can make it through a few days.

She just pretends not to care the whole time.

But Jordan? He cares, a lot.

He has his own secrets he’s not telling Courtney.

It has everything to do with why they broke up and why they can’t get back together.

But, it’s also the reason Jordan and Courtney are destined to be with each other.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Review: I really enjoyed Two-Way Street. I thought the plot that Lauren came up with was really cute. It’s probably been done before but she definitely added her own spin to it. Two-Way Street is told from both the point of view of Courtney and Jordan. For me, that’s a very key part to why this book is as good as it is. I loved being able to get inside Jordan’s head and know what he’s thinking. Even though you find out early on the real reason Jordan breaks up with Courtney, it doesn’t seem to ruin any of the story line. It makes one want to find out what’s going to happen in the end even more. The beginning of Two-Way Street can be kind of hard to get into, but once it gets going it really is hard to put down. I’m really glad I decided to pick up a copy of this book, it was really good. It added a new spin on the normal young adult romance.

-Lexi (:

FTC: I purchased this novel at Borders. I did not receive it through any publishing company and/or author.

In My Mailbox (10/12 to 10/17)

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. If you want more details, click here. In My Mailbox explores all the books that I get in a week, whether it's in the mail, borrowed from a friend, borrowed from the library, or bought from a bookstore.

Not a very exciting week, but oh well. (:


The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech (Hardcover/ HarperCollins/ September 2009)

Peoples are strange!

The things they are doing and saying—sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads? And why so much saying, so much talking all the time day and night, all those words spilling out of those mouths? Why so much? Why don't they be quiet?

In the ancient stone tower of the Casa Rosa, in a tiny village high in the Swiss Alps, life for one angel has been the same, well, for as long as she (or he?) can remember. Until Zola arrives, a determined American girl who wears three skirts all at once. For neighbors who have been longtime enemies, children who have been lost, and villagers who have been sleepily living their lives: hold on. Zola and the angel are about to collide. Figs start flying, dogs start arfing, and the whole village begins to wake up. Zola is a girl with a mission. And our angel has been without one—till now.

This hilarious and endearing novel by Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech reminds us that magic is found in the most ordinary acts of kindness.

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard (Paperback/ Viking Juvenile/ January 2010)

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia’s journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he’s desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?


The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz (Hardback/ Hyperion Book/ October 2009)

With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.

Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz's vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series.


FTC: All links and excerpts are from I am NOT getting paid to link to them.

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Pub Date: October 2009

Summary: What happens when you believe in miracles then everything changes?

Samara Taylor used to believe in a lot of things, miracles being one of them.

A pastor’s family is always supposed to be perfect and love God.

Sam knows all too well though, that her family isn’t close to that.

Her father’s a pastor but that doesn’t make her family perfect or God loving in any way.

Sam’s mother is currently in rehab after there’s an incident with a DUI.

Her father on the other hand, is interested in everything but his family.

His congregation knows nothing about Sam’s family.

But when there’s a local tragedy, it seems to overlap with the personal one going in within Sam.

A young girl is kidnapped and no one knows how to save her.

Someone has to stop the community from falling apart during a time where everyone needs each other.

Sam’s been worn down, she doesn’t know how to keep believe in miracles and God.

Her last thread of faith is being to unravel right in front of her eyes.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Sara Zarr is really an amazing author. I fall in love with her all over again once I read another book written by her. As soon as I found out she was writing Once Was Lost, I couldn't wait to read it. Story of a Girl was the first book I ever read by Sara and it really made me believe that an author gets how teenagers can be. Once Was Lost was such a powerful book that dealt with a lot of different issues. I personally believe that some authors don't tackle some hard issues going on in our society, but I think that Sara Zarr does. In everyone of her books she reminds us not to forget to believe and Once Was Lost definitely made that a bigger point that other books. It was so hard for me to up down this books because I wanted to know what was going to happen to Sam and her family so bad. All you wanted to do was help Sam through everything, she was a very well written characters. As was all of the other characters that played a part in this novel, but Sam was probably my favorite. I'm really happy that I had the chance to read this book. Everyone should really read this book, it's really amazing. I can't wait for Sara Zarr's next book!

-Lexi (:

FTC: I received this book from Little, Brown and Company.

Cirque du Freak/ The Vampire Assistant Movie Giveaway

It's been awhile since I've had a giveaway, huh?
This one should be a fun one. (:

Do you love to be scared? Then don't miss the terrifying adventure that begins when Darren and his best friend, Steve, get tickets to the CIRQUE DU FREAK, a wonderfully bizarre and creepy freak show. Brace yourself for thrills and chills as the boys witness a parade of grotesque creatures and face their deepest fears by entering the darkest world of the vampire. In the blood-curdling tradition of Anne Rice and Stephen King, CIRQUE DU FREAK will have you shrieking for the next horror show!

The Vampire's Assistant movie, will be released October 23, 2009. It's based on the Cirque du Freak novels by Darren Shan. I haven't ever read the books, but after watching the movie trailer, I think I just might.

Here's the Movie Synopsis:

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.

There will to Two (2) very luck winners for this contest.
They will receive:

Cirque du Freak book Set
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant Locker Mirror

Visit the Official Website:

Join the Vampire's Assistant Facebook Fan Page:

CIRQUE DU FREAK has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language.

This Giveaway will end on October 21st, so it's running for 2 weeks.

You must leave a comment below with your email address to be entered.
If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email address in a comment, you can email it to me.

Shipping Guidelines:
The Vampire’s Assistant giveaway is open to legal US residents who are at least 13 years of age as of October 1st. Prizing is only available to United States mailing address only. (International readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)

+4 Being a follower/subscriber of my blog
+2 Becoming one
+2 For each time you link to this contest from sidebar, facebook, myspace, twitter. ( Though with twitter please add @alexislovesyouu to your link, so I can track them easier, thanks!)
+5 For making a post on your blog about this contest
+5 For voting for your favorite Cirque du Freak t-shirt

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen

Pub Date: October 2009

Summary: Sara Black is losing a balancing act at the most elite school in Boston.

Anton High isn’t your usual high school.

Most students can’t get in after freshman year.

But if you’re like Sara and your father is the janitor, you have no problem getting in.

No one knows her past; she can be whoever she wants.

Sara Black can reinvent herself like never before.

Everything Sara has been running from almost disappears.

She can pretend that her mother didn’t run off with her science teacher.

That maybe her father’s OCD will soon be under control.

When Sara has a slip of the tongue, students think she’s from London.

London, England that is.

But really, she's just a normal girl from Lundon, Massachusetts.

Sara Black has to learn the hard way that some little lies can come back to haunt

Especially when one of the most popular girls at school is out to get you.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Review: I really enjoyed reading Little Black Lies. I loved the story line and the plot, they were so unique. It had romance, father-daughter relationship, friendship, adventure, finding yourself, divorce, and even illnesses. I think everyone could relate to something in this book. Sara was a very interesting character, very complex but yet oh so likable. You really wanted to be her friend and you understood, somewhat, of where she was coming from. Sara was definitely the character that really pulled you in from the very beginning. All of the characters were actually very well written, as was the way they all interacted. A reader could tell from almost the beginning of the book that Sara's relationship with her father was very stressed. She really wanted her father's battle with OCD to be over with, she wanted him to get the help that she knew he needed. A part of Sara though, did blame her mother for causing her father's illness to come back. But the end of this novel you can really see the journey Sara Black took to try to find herself and make sense of everything in her life. I really enjoyed reading Little Black Lies, and with a tittle like that how could you not?

-Lexi (:

In My Mailbox (9/28 to 10/3)

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. If you want more details, click here. In My Mailbox explores all the books that I get in a week, whether it's in the mail, borrowed from a friend, borrowed from the library, or bought from a bookstore.


How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity by Various Authors (Hardback/ October 2009/ HarperTeen)

A girl thought to be a boy steals her sister's skirt, while a boy thought to be a girl refuses to wear a cornflower blue dress. One boy's love of a soldier leads to the death of a stranger. The present takes a bittersweet journey into the past when a man revisits the summer school where he had "an accidental romance." And a forgotten mother writes a poignant letter to the teenage daughter she hasn't seen for fourteen years.

Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification. Together, they reflect the vibrant possibilities available for young people learning to love others—and themselves—in today's multifaceted and quickly changing world.

Never Bite a Boy on the First Date by Tamara Summers (Paperback/ September 2009/ HarperTeen)

I've got a few issues:
I'm a vampire now.
One of my classmates was found dead, with telltale fang marks.
I didn't do it! (really!)
Nobody believes me, so . . .
I'm going to have to find the real killer. I've already got three suspects. (three very cute suspects.)
One more problem: I am seriously falling for one of them . . . but what if he's the killer?


The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (Paperback/ September 2008/ Bay Back Books)

A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this brilliant, powerful, and unforgettable new novel by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.

For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined. Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page.

-Lexi (:
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