Monthly Archives: February 2013

Beach hut summer bookmarks

So, it’s the last day if summer here. However, autumn in Canberra is beautiful and marked with all kinds of festivals. And anyway I’m spending half of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, so I get summer again!

Anyway, here are some beachy summer bookmarks to celebrate the occasion! By cocodollz.

 

Beach hut summer bookmarks

 

 

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Giving up on Tumblr

Tumblr

This doesn’t have all that much to do with books (but my Tumblr did have some book stuff on there!), but here I am officially saying I have no plans to keep up with Tumblr anymore. I have a queue of nearly 300 posts, but as I’ve been locked out of the site because of technical issues three times now, I’m not even going to bother trying anymore.

 

I don’t know how many double-ups I have of Tumblr/(this) blog followers, but sorry if I don’t follow back or respond to messages over there anymore! I don’t know how that place keeps running with its endless technical problems! Grr!

 

Another thing I wasn’t too fond of about the site was how many uncredited images got shared around. I am a bit addicted to Pinterest, but there I try to find the sources of the images. On Tumblr, there’s a lot of copyrighted stuff being used without any kind of credit given to photographers. It was making me uneasy. Also, my update feed would have random sex images or antifeminist graphics in it, and I really hated seeing that stuff!

 

So goodbye Tumblr. You were very annoying while you lasted. Thanks for giving me back some free time!

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

It’s so wrong when your best friend catches your Mr. Right!

Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humour. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken.

Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?

The One That I Want won the Aspen Gold Reader’s Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and the Beacon!

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols is one of the better YA writers out there. Her Endless Summer stories are wonderful, charming, realistic reads.

The One That I Want is a slightly different kind of book, but still very well-written. However, this book is very, very American. By that, I mean that  it tosses around terms like Majorette and Varsity like we all know what they are, but for most of us, this is a foreign language!

So I definitely enjoyed getting a bit of an education of US high school culture (even if I had to take to YouTube to learn what some things meant!).

 

I LOVED that both these characters liked each other from the beginning. There is – of course – a misunderstanding that leads to a love triangle (quadrangle?), but you could see ? and ? falling in love right from the start.

 

I had to love the author a little for pointing out sexism dished out to high school girls. The double-standard of footballers allowed to have as many girls as they want, but one boyfriend and a girl can be labelled a slut. I wish more YA authors would address these things, but, sadly, it seems a lot of authors are as misogynistic as the characters and the situations.

 

Max is Japanese-American, and this is something of a big deal in the book, as he lives in a conservative Southern part of the US where people from Asian backgrounds are few and far between. I found this a little hard to picture, as Australia has a massive Asian population, and you are far more likely to study an Asian language and culture at school than something like Spanish.

 

This was another good book from Jennifer Echols. I will have to track down some more!

Book Craft Shop Discount

I recently featured a necklace from Etsy inspired by one of my favourite books: The Fault in our Stars.

The owner of the shop, Authored Adornments, left me a message offering a 10% discount for readers of this blog. If you’re interested in any of her things, enter the discount code BOOKSHOP at the checkout.

This shop will ship overseas, which is always good for people like me, stuck here in Australia!

Book Jewellery

This Week

We booked a trip to Queensland for later in the year. We had to be careful that it wasn’t during Schoolies – which is basically when everyone graduating from high school travels to the beach to have a big party – lots of people getting drunk and arrested! I didn’t go when I graduated, but then I also graduated at seventeen, which would have meant I couldn’t get into any bars!

Now, let’s hope it doesn’t rain nonstop while we’re there, like it often does!

 800px-Sunshine_coast_01

I read mostly Simone Elkeles books this week:

 Simone Elkeles Books

I also downloaded some samples that I haven’t got around to yet:

Tight Knit by Allie Brennan

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Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Beautiful Creatures Locket

I haven’t read this book, and only found out about the movie last night (yes, I’m strange). But this locket is cute.

Beautiful Creatures - a miniature book locket necklace

Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry Series

This is one of my favourite Young Adult series, and I finally finished it this week. Dealing with three Mexican brothers who had no choice but to get caught up in gangs and drug dealing, each book is a self-contained YA romance-romantic suspense, but I think the series is best read in order (the first is definitely my favourite!).

Well-written as well as smashing right on through most of the stereotypes many YA books these days are obsessed with, I’d recommend these even to reluctant YA readers.

The only things I’m not crazy about are the supremely cheesy epilogues (in fact, I’d recommend skipping them completely!), and the fact there’re far too many “dumb blonde” references. The second issue is often enough to make me DNF a book – it’s extremely sexist, incorrect and nasty. It says something about the quality of the author’s writing that I’m able to overlook it here!

Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

A modern tale of star-crossed lovers with a fresh urban twist.
At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago , everyone knows that south-siders mixing with north-siders can be explosive.  So when Brittany Ellis and Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, this human experiment leads to unexpected revelations – that Brittany ’s flawless reputation is a cover for her troubled home life, that Alex’s bad-boy persona  hides his desire to break free from gang ties, and that when they’re together, life somehow makes more sense.  Breaking through the stereotypes and expectations that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart, Perfect Chemistry takes readers to both sides of the tracks in a passionate love story about looking beneath the surface.

Rules of Attraction

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren’t easy to break and he soon finds himself in a dangerous situation.  When Carlos meets Kiara, wholesome and quiet “good girl,” he’s shocked by the feelings he develops for her.  Kiara is nothing like the girls Carlos usually falls for, but they both soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.

Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks — whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules — boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbours than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to take a chance on a south sider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?

Simone Elkeles’ Rules of Attraction – Book Trailer

The last book I read was Simone Elkeles’ Rules of Attraction. Now I’ve learnt there’s a great book trailer!

I’m sorry to say it, but most book trailers are complete rubbish. Elkeles’ are professional, with real actors and everything!

 

Hunger Games Decal

Hunger Games Decal – available in sixteen colours – from Lovesick Robot Studios.

Hunger Games Decal

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

9780142410974_JustListen_CV.indd

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

I don’t know what has triggered the backlash against author Sarah Dessen in some Young Adult Fiction circles, because I thought this was a wonderful and realistic book I couldn’t put down. Perhaps I made an excellent choice for my first Dessen book, but I found Just Listen to feature characters I could relate to and sympathise with, and it was certainly not your standard YA Twilight-inspired fare.

 

Dealing with serious issues including bullying, sexual assault and anorexia, Just Listen is the story of Annabel, the youngest of three sisters – all models – whose reality does not match her beautiful exterior. Enter Owen, who forms an acquaintance with her when she is ostracised by her ‘popular crowd’ friends after a terrible incident at the beginning of the summer.

 

There is a romance here, but there is a whole lot more going on in the story than the relationship between Annabel and Owen. I thought the issues were handled realistically, and I could definitely identify with the way the characters dealt with the problems life threw their way. I liked the way people weren’t who they initially seemed to be. I loved Owen, and the fact he was perfectly comfortable with who he was, even if other people thought he was strange.

 

Just Listen was a great introduction for me to an astoundingly successful author.