03. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books

Divergent by Veronica Roth, 487 pages, read by Kristy, on 03/30/2015

Divergent (Divergent, #1)In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

(goodreads.com)

03. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Science Fiction, Teen Books

The Program by Suzanne Young, 405 pages, read by Kristy, on 03/03/2015

Envision a world where teen suicide is an inexplicable national epidemic. One in three teenagers is affected, and the explosive teen suicide rate sends the world into a panic. Adults will do anything to keep the remaining teenagers alive and well, even if it means sending them away to mental institutions to have their minds irrevocably altered. This is the world that 17-year-old Sloane lives in. She and her peers are under relentless surveillance in case they show signs of depression, despair, or any other negative emotion. Teenagers who display these undesirable emotions are submitted to The Program, where their negativity is completely expunged. Unfortunately, most of their memories of adolescence are erased as well.  Sloane and her boyfriend James are desperately afraid of losing their memories to The Program, and they vow to keep each other safe. However, the epidemic soon looms over them, and it is not long before they too fall prey to its fatal grip.

When their close friend commits suicide, James becomes inconsolable and is taken away by The Program. This spirals Sloane into her own depression. Sloane had already lost her brother to the epidemic, and her parents will do anything to keep her alive. Despite her adamant protests, Sloane is dragged from her home and forced into The Program, where she is slowly stripped of her memories. Will she be able to remember James and her past or will her mind be completely reset?

“The Program,” written by Suzanne Young, is both a New York Times bestselling novel and a Gateway Award Nominee. While there are several questions left unanswered in “The Program,” this provides ample opportunity for more plot twists and excitement in the next book in the series, “The Treatment.” There are some sections in the book that are rather slow, but the fascinating plot, strong characters, and resilient, sexy romance between Sloane and James more than make up for this. “The Program” is an intriguing novel that is ideal for readers who enjoy similar dystopian novels such as Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

03. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kristy · Tags:

Owly, Vol. 2: Just a Little Blue by Andy Runton, 120 pages, read by Kristy, on 03/11/2015

Owly, Vol. 2: Just a Little BlueThe second graphic novel in the breakout, all-ages series, Owly. Owly is a kind, yet lonely, little owl who’s always on the search for new friends and adventure. Relying on a mixture of symbols, icons, and expressions to tell his silent stories, Runton’s clean, animated, and heartwarming style makes it a perfect read. Owly learns that sometimes you have to make sacrifices and work at things that are important, especially friendship.

(Goodreads.com)

03. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Kristy, NonFiction, Self Help · Tags: ,

Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! by David Zinczenko, 336 pages, read by Kristy, on 03/13/2015

24180113NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Zero Belly Diet
is the revolutionary new plan to turn off your fat genes and help keep you lean for life! Nutrition expert David Zinczenko—the New York Times bestselling author of the Abs Diet series, Eat This, Not That! series, and Eat It to Beat It!—has spent his entire career learning about belly fat—where it comes from and what it does to us. And what he knows is this: There is no greater threat to you and your family—to your health, your happiness, even your financial future.

(goodreads.com)

03. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Inspirational, Kristy, NonFiction, Self Help · Tags:

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey, 223 pages, read by Kristy, on 03/17/2015

78427The success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.

Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (exposing the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, debt consolidation) and attacks the illusions and downright deceptions of the American dream, which encourages nothing but overspending and massive amounts of debt. “Don’t even consider keeping up with the Joneses,” Ramsey declares in his typically candid style. “They’re broke!”

The Total Money Makeover isn’t theory. It works every single time. It works because it is simple. It works because it gets to the heart of the money problems: you.

(Goodreads.com)

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Kristy, Romance, Teen Books

Perfected by Kate Birch, 304 pages, read by Kristy, on 02/28/2015

PerfectedAs soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow

 

-Goodreads

26. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kristy, Teen Books · Tags:

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven , 388 pages, read by Kristy, on 02/06/2015

18460392I decided to read “All the Bright Places” because I had heard from several people that it is just like “The Fault in our Stars.” And I love “The Fault in our Stars”! I can see how people relate the two: “The Fault in our Stars” is about the struggles of two teens with a physical illness, and “All the Bright Places” is about the struggles of two teens who have emotional issues.

“All the Bright Places” is well written and brings up important issues like bullying, suicide, and bi-polar disorder. Despite this, I just didn’t get into the book the way I had expected to. It was a slow read for me. But I can tell that the author had a lot of enthusiasm for this story and her characters, which I can admire. I liked the author’s note at the end, describing Niven’s personal experiences with mental illness and suicide.

04. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kristy, Paranormal, Romance, Teen Books

The Young Elites by Marie Lu, 355 pages, read by Kristy, on 01/29/2015

TheYoungElites.jpgAfter the blood fever, an often deadly sickness, spreads through the land, many infected died a painful death. The ones who don’t die are left with peculiar markings. Some of the survivors develop magical powers, including the protagonist of the novel, Adelina Amouteru.  When Adelina escapes from her cruel father, she finds herself in the midst of the Young Elites, a group of magical youth who seek to take the throne.

The Young Elites is a dark, sexy young adult novel that never has a dull moment. I loved watching Adelina develop her dark powers and her relationship with Enzo (the leader of the young elites).

04. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Kristy, NonFiction, Self Help · Tags:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō, 213 pages, read by Kristy, on 01/20/2015

22318578In an attempt to de-clutter my home for the new year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Though there were some tips that I found unnecessary (fold you socks like a sushi roll!), I did take to heart a handful of Marie Kondo’s tricks. She advises that people clean by category (first clothes, then paperwork, then miscellaneous, etc) which is actually easier than room by room. She also advises to only keeping items that spark joy in you. Her process has led to me getting rid of about 1/3 of my possessions, and my house feels much more peaceful. It’s definitely worth a read if you wish to organize your closets and your life in general.

03. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Kristy, NonFiction · Tags:

Haunted Air: Anonymous Halloween photographs from c. 1875–1955 by Ossian Brown, 216 pages, read by Kristy, on 01/14/2015

9462270Haunted Air is a book that displays a wide array of old Halloween photos from the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s. These photos are both creepy and entertaining! It’s fascinating to see how children (and impoverished adults) dressed up for Halloween all those years ago.

Down Size: 12 Truths for Turning Pants-Splitting Frustration into Pants-Fitting SuccessWritten by Ted Spiker, author of several health books, Down Size is a book about the “twelve truths about successful weight loss.” I did find some of these truths to be useful, but Ted’s constant self deprecating humor left me feeling uncomfortable. Down Size seemed geared more toward overweight men with a competitive streak. Since I am not a man and I’m not into competitive physical activities, I didn’t glean as much valuable information from this book as I had hoped.

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Kristy, NonFiction

I work at a public library: a collection of crazy stories from the stacks by Gina Sheridan, 157 pages, read by Kristy, on 12/31/2014

From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, Sheridan showcases the oddities that have come across her circulation desk: encounters with local eccentrics; bizarre reference requests; and heart-warming stories of patrons who roam the stacks every day.

(goodreads.com)

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kristy

El Deafo by Cece Bell, 233 pages, read by Kristy, on 12/23/2014

20701984Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

(goodreads.com)

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books

Legend by Marie Lu, 305 pages, read by Kristy, on 12/21/2014

9275658What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

(goodreads.com)

02. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Specials by Scott Westerfeld , 384 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/28/2014

24765I greatly enjoyed the last book in the Uglies Trilogy. I love how Tally transforms in each book, and seeing her as a fierce and beautiful Special was intriguing. The end of the book wrapped up the series quite nicely. I can’t believe I waited so long to read these books! They are definitely one of my favorite dystopian series to date.

26. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Kristy · Tags: ,

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen , 290 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/20/2014

ChompI had a blast reading Chomp. I picked it up on a whim without knowing anything about the book, and I’m glad I did! Wahoo Cray and his family are quite abnormal. Mickey Cray, Wahoo’s father, is a professional animal wrangler, and Wahoo is obviously an animal charmer just like his father. When Mickey is injured, they Cray family goes into serious debt. To alleviate this debt, Mickey and Wahoo accept a job working for Expedition Survival, a phoney survival show.  Derek Badger, the spoiled, doltish star of the show, keeps Mickey and Wahoo busy with his idiotic stunts and crazy antics.

I loved all of the personalities in this book. The characters, especially Mickey Cray, were well developed. Chomp had both deep and humorous moments, and it was a quick and delightful read.

13. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kristy

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 4 by Konami Kanata, 152 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/13/2014

In this volume of Chi’s adventures, Chi moves to a new home. At first she isn’t thrilled with the place, but she slowly warms up to the idea. Chi meets fellow animals in her apartment complex, and I can foresee that these animals will play a big role in some of her next adventures.

Like the last books, Chi’s Sweet Home Volume 4 was fun, simple, and delightful. These books always put me in a good mood!

08. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The One by Kiera Cass, 323 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/08/2014

18635016

I’m not sure why I went ahead and read The One since I thoroughly disliked The Elite. It was a bad choice. The One is basically a repeat of books one and two of this series. America is still unsure about her relationship with the prince, the castle is still constantly attacked by rebels, and character development is still awkward and stilted. This series was such a bore/snore/waste of my time!

06. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The Elite by Kiera Cass, 336 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/05/2014

16248068While the Selection was fun and fluffy and romantic, The Elite was just annoying. America is one of the few Selected left, and she is trying to figure out whether she would be a good princess. She goes back and forth about this and about her love for both Prince Maxon and Aspen roughly a billion times. If one doesn’t give her attention, she gets huffy and falls into the arms of the other. She is wishy washy about pretty much everything. The plot was slow and boring, and nothing really happened except a few of the Selected got booted. Her rotten attitude in this novel made me very much dislike America.

03. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Children's Books, Fiction, Kristy

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 3 by Kanata Konami, 152 pages, read by Kristy, on 10/25/2014

7639935Chi’s new friend, Kuro the bear-cat, teaches Chi how to act more like a cat and less like a human. They go on many adventures together, catching the landlord’s attention. They nearly get captured multiple times. Sadly, Kuro is eventually caught by the landlord and he and his owner are forced to move away. Chi’s family decides to move as well in order to keep Chi with them.