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[Review] Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Book: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Publication: December 1, 2001 by Sourcebooks Fire

Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary (Amazon): What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though–she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Greeen moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

This book sounded so promising and I was so sure that I would absolutely love it. I mean, it’s a football book where the female main character is the school’s quarterback. And look at that cover! What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the story overall, I didn’t love the it as much as I had wanted/expected to. Here are my thoughts in list form (sorry I’m running low on creative juices so, you get what you get today!):

What I Liked

  • Jordan. I really did like the main character a lot. She was smart, funny, and one tough cookie. I have mad respect for any girl who can hold her own on a team full of guys.
  • The friendship between the teammates. I liked seeing Jordan interact with both JJ and Carter, they had such a great bond and it proves guys and girls can be friends. They were protective of her, but also let her fight her own battles. It seemed like a perfect
  • Marie and Carrie. I loved how they threw Jordan’s mental image of cheerleaders completely upside down. They both seemed like the sort of girls I’d have been friends with.
  • The relationship between Jordan and her mom. Her mom was so supportive and at every single game and every single practice. I always enjoy seeing active parenting in a YA book.
  • Also, the relationship between Jordan and her brother Mike. I loved that he supported her both in football and when she was having personal issues. It’s good to see siblings get along so well!
  • Football. Have I mentioned how much I love Football? I’m counting down the days until college ball starts back up!

What I Didn’t Like

  • Ty. I didn’t see him as being a believable crush. I guess this is where I need to suspend my jaded adult view of things, but it seemed too sudden and it was all based on the fact that he was hot. I just had a hard time buying it. And I didn’t like the drastic personality changes he seemed to undergo, it was a bit confusing. And worrisome.
  • How the Henry/Jordan thing went down. I just didn’t find it all that realistic for teenagers, aside from the “i’m not speaking to you for weeks” thing.
  • The constant cursing. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I curse enough to make a sailor blush, so it’s not that I’m anti cursing. I just felt it was a bit overused in the book, regardless of how often teenagers actually curse, and it definitely could have been toned down.

All in all the positive outweighed the negative and I enjoyed the read. It’s definitely worth picking up if you love YA contemp with strong female characters. Also, the companion book, Stealing Parker, will be out in October.

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TGIF: Comfort Reads

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Every Friday she posts a new question and it’s a really fun way to discover new blogs.

This weeks question is: Comfort Reads. Which books do you go to for comfort & familiarity? Is there a type of book you seek out when you’re needing that extra bit of comfort in your life?

There are a few books that I find myself revisiting time and time again when I am in need of book-shaped comfort. These are the books that get me excited about reading and manage to pull me out of whatever slump or pit of despair I have found myself in.

The best part is that the books that I turn to for comfort range across all genres. Sometimes the comfort I need comes from being able to have a good cry and sometimes I take comfort in reading about others experiencing epic love and happiness.

These are the top three books I find myself returning to time and time again when I am in need of comfort.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

There’s nothing quite like turning to a book when you are in need of comfort. What are some of your comfort reads? And why?

 
15 Comments

Posted by on 6 July, 2012 in TGIF

 

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Throwback Thursday July 5th: Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books! It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. Through Throwback Thursdays THCW and NTFB hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

This week’s Throwback Thursday book is Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede.

Summary from AmazonSnow White and Rose Red live on the edge of the forest that conceals the elusive border of Faerie. They know enough about Faerie lands and mortal magic to be concerned when they find two human sorcerers setting spells near the border. And when the kindly, intelligent black bear wanders into their cottage some months later, they realize the connection between his plight and the sorcery they saw in the forest. 

Why You Should Read This Book:  Have I mentioned before how much I love fairy tale retellings? Oh, I have? Well then it should come as no surprise that I adored Patricia Wrede’s retelling of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale by the same name!

Wrede weaves the original tale into her retelling, sharing an excerpt at the beginning of each chapter. But, her story is far richer and more involved than the original tale was. The juxtaposition of Elizabethan England and the world of the fairy was fascinating and had me turning page after page.

However, fair warning, this book is set in Elizabethan England and so the language is a bit old-fashioned at times. It did take me a bit of time to get into the flow of the language but after that it was easy enough!

If you’re a fan of fairy tales and their (many) retellings, this book is worth a look!

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: July 4th Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly me hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine (gotta love the name!). The idea is that it spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. So, here is my pick for the week:

Throne of Glass
by Sarah Maas
Publication Date: August 9, 2012

From Amazon: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

 Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
 
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
 
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


Why I’m Waiting: Sarah Maas’ debut YA novel has popped up on a lot of Waiting on Wednesday posts and it only takes one look t that summary to see why! I mean, what’s not to love about a girl assassin, destiny and a race against her own death? I’m always excited to see another strong, kick butt, take no prisioners female grace the pages of YA literature and I’m sure Celaena won’t let me down!

I’m a bit iffy on the love triangle but hopefully it will simply provide a side of romance to complement the main show, where we watch Celaena fight!

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments! As always, I love to find something to add to my TBR pile 😉

 

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[Review] For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Publication: June 12th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary (Amazon): It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

My Review: I was simultaneously excited and worried before starting this book. While i adore Diana Peterfreund, her killer unicorns books are absolutely fabulous, I was never a huge fan of Persuasion by Jane Austen which this book is based on (I think my life of Pride and Prejudice made it difficult to love her other novels.)

I shouldn’t have been worried. At all. Diana came through and delivered with a book that immediately found its way to the very top of my favorite books from 2012. A little dystopian, a little sci-fi, a little classic, a little steampunk and a lot of awesome. This may be on my list of all time favorite YA Reads as well.

Elliot is a phenominal character (and I love this name for a girl!), she’s strong, driven and fiercely loyal, but at the same time she is incredibly vulnerable and fragile.  As i got further into the story I was completely unable to put the book down and I frantically flipped pages to find out what was going to happen to Elliot. I was fully invested in the story and Elliot’s well-being and I had to keep reading to make sure that everything would be okay.

The story is beautifully executed, flipping seamlessly between long ago letters exchanged between Kai and Elliot and the events that were occurring in real time. The letters were a fantastic insight into the two when they were children, and it was great being able to see the history they had without being subjected to multiple flashbacks. They also served to make Kai a more sympathetic character, because for a lot of the book he was pretty much a jerk.

The world building was fascinating and complex without being overly complicated. The class structure that was developed added an interesting layer to the plot. The world felt both familiar and strange at the same time, which constantly kept me on my toes and trying to figure out how things would work.

All in all, Diana’s blend of dystopian and science fiction was the perfect complement to Jane Austen’s novel of manners. Austen’s influence gave an entirely new spin on the dystopian genre and in my opinion it was something that I loved to see happen. This is a must read for everyone. I promise you, you’ll enjoy it.

 
 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books For People Who Like Kirstin Cashore

It’s Tuesday again and over at The Broke and the Bookish that means it’s time for another Tuesday Top Ten! This week’s topic is the Top Ten Books For People Who Like Kristin Cashore,

Kristin Cashore is the author of three novels: Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue. All of  Cashore’s novels are set in an interweaving fantasy world and all three feature an incredibly strong female protagonist. If you know me at all, or you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that’s one of my main criteria for selecting a book. I know that there are plenty of people out there who love the Bella’s of the literary world, but that’s just not me.

So, here are ten books for people who love Kristin Cashore’s strong, sassy females!

1. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKInley. I talk about this book ALL THE TIME and that’s because, really, it’s amazing. Aerin is one of my all time favorite fantasy characters and she is one hell of a girl, but at the same time she is human and has her flaws. She fights for her crown, she fights against the expectation placed on her and she fights for love. Oh and did I mention that there are dragons? Cause there totally are.

2. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. The this expertly executed retelling of Little Red Riding Hood  gives you two completely different, yet equally strong women. In alternating chapters you’re given a look at sisters Scarlett and Rosie March. Scarlett’s strength lays in the gift she’s been given while Rosie’s strengthallows her to forge a different path for herself.

3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. A work of epic fantasy Pullman’s Lyra is stubborn, headstrong, independent, often reckless, spoiled, bratty and yet still completely lovable. If you loved Graceling and Katsa, the often difficult to love heroine, then Lyra is sure to charm your heart.

4. Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley. Another one of McKinley’s fairy tale retellings, this one gives a unique look at the Sleeping Beauty story. This story gives us two strong women who fall on each end of the social conventions spectrum, Rosie is more likely to wear pants and work on whittling spindle ends while Peony is shown wearing dresses and practicing embroidery. There’s no right or wrong way to be an independent female in YA and McKinley shows that here.

5. Vampire Academy and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. Another series of books where you see two equally strong and independent woman, who are very different personality wise. Rose is the punch first, ask questions never type of female protagonist, while Sydney is more analytical, methodical and has to always have a plan for everything. I love both of these characters and I think it’s important to how teens that there is no right or wrong way to be a strong woman.

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. A bit of a departure from Kristin Cashore’s world of fantasy, Anna is set solidly in the “real” world but she is every bit as fierce and determines as the heroines you encounter in the fantasy worlds. The spunky protagonist of this story will easily steal your heart and leave you with an Anna shaped hole when the book ends.

7. Goose Girl  by Shannon Hale. At first glance Ani does not fit the mold of strong and sassy female, she’s a princess who is soft-spoken and socially awkward, not exactly traits that help someone run a kingdom. But when things spiral out of control and ANi is forced to take a different path than the one that was laid out for her she shows jsuthow strong she truly is.

8. Belles by Jen Calonita. Another contemporary book, but one that I feel absolutely needs to be mentioned. Isabelle lives with her grandmother and has been her main caretaker ever since she started rapidly decking health wise. While doing this she manages to hold a job and swim for the local swim team. It takes a strong person to be able to patiently care for someone in her grandmother’s state and it’s easy to see that Izzie is made of seriously strong stuff.

9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Not your typical strong heroine, Liesel is a foster child living with a family near Munich in the middle of World War 2. She’s strong willed and that helps keep her alive through the war and she has a thirst for knowledge that drives her to read everything she can find or steal. There are a lot of things thrown at Liesel over the course of the novel and it is only her inner strength that gets her through.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I know, I know, everyone has read this already. But on the tiniest of off-chances that you’re one of the select few that hasn’t, I suggest you take some time and get acquainted with Katniss. She’s feisty, loyal, strong willed and determined. She’s willing to sacrifice everything just to save her family.  Katniss is a prime example of kick butt women in YA fiction.

What other books would you add to this list? I’m sure there are some strong females that I left off, so let me know in the comments!

 

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TGIF June 29th! Best Reads of the Year (well, so far)


TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Every Friday she posts a new question and it’s a really fun way to discover new blogs.

This weeks question is: Best I’ve Read So Far: We’re half way through the year (crazy how time flies!), which top 3 books are the best you’ve read so far this year?

Y’all I have ALL THE THINGS to say about this topic. Because I’ve read some pretty amazing books  so far this year. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while none of these will come as a shock to you 🙂


The Fault in Our Stars
 by John Green. I CANNOT stress enough how much I loved this book. I’ve read it twice since January and it only got better on my second read through. I had ALL THE FEELINGS when I read this book. I even did that thing where you’re laughing, but at the same time you have tears streaming down your face.

I honestly wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, but I just can’t seem to let go of the story. If you haven’t read it then I highly recommend that yu do so. preferably as soon as possible. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

If you don’t believe me just ask Twitter.


Two Kisses for Maddy
 by Matt Logelin. This is another book that had me feel just about every emotion I could possibly feel. I reviewed this book back in April and I could barely piece together the words needed for the review. This book broke my heart into a million little pieces and then ever so gently put it back together again. It’s a true story and a touching memoir of one man’s journey through life and love and single fatherhood.

Ever since I read the book I’ve been following Matt’s blog and I am so amazed by his ability both as a father and a person. I know going through what he did couldn’t have been easy and it takes a strong person to handle it the way he did. This is a must read, but definitely keep tissues handy. Pretty much at all times.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. I just read this book last week and I haven’t gotten a chance to review it yet. But this is a 5 star book all the way. Even though I knew the basic plot going into it (it’s a retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen) I was captivated by the story and the characters Diana created.

I adored the heroine, Eliot, and I spent the book feeling every emotion she felt, wanting to protect her and to defend her against others. I’m not sure why but something about her brought out my overprotective sisterly instincts.

I’ll save the rest for my full review (which should be up soon), but if you haven’t read it yet then you absolutely should, Because it’s incredible. And because Elliot is quickly rising on my list of favorite headstrong female characters.

Honorable Mentions:
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Between Shades of Gray by Rupta Septys
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What are you top three favorites so far? And also, can you believe June is almost over? I have NO idea where this year is going, but I don’t like it one bit.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on 29 June, 2012 in TGIF

 

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