Monday, January 14, 2013

Blog Tour: Normalish by Margaret Lesh

Hello Everyone!

Today I am participating in the blog tour for a wonderful book, Normalish by Margaret Lesh, hosted by Xpress Book Tours.

Normalish by Margaret Lesh
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Publication Date: October 5, 2012
Rating: 4/5 STARS!


Fifteen-year-old Stacy questions the strange world of high school, love, her role in a harsh universe, and life, in Normalish.

People tell you high school's so great and wonderful, but they're lying. It's mostly horrible and full of disappointment. It sucks. Your best friend abandons you. The jerk you're in love with pretends to be  into you, and then the big dump. The boy you've really clicked with as a friend decides to go all crushy over you, so you break his heart just like yours was -- smashed into little pieces. Your sister goes mental, and you get involved with a guy who’s even crazier than she is (who you know is a very bad idea, but you do it anyway). Math only adds another stink of failure to the whole thing.

High school blows. Just ask freshman Stacy. She’d want you to know.

My Review:

Wow! I am surprised about how much I enjoyed this book! I began it thinking it would be a normal story about a teenage girl dealing with her own personal problems. Yet, this book divulges deeper, moving away from the surface, into the true identity of Stacy and how she comprehends the people around her. From the first page, Stacy thought about everything, thrusting her blend vulnerability and courage on me.   

Stacy is a freshman in high school questioning the reality of being normal. A current of realism runs through a course, splashing through, Stacy dealing with a family member, a sister, with a mental illness, teen angst, losing a best friend, Summer, disappointing a guy, who was a close friend, who felt unrequited loved towards her and so much more.  

This angst-ridden book is was not consistently morose. Every page squirted its own blast of humor. There are many memorable scenes, like one on a beach with an adorable dog, which thrust sweetness into the story.

This book is full of brilliant title cards marking each day, sharing the individual story of each chapter.

For instance, “October 1 – Unemployed Wizards and Godzilla” (Lesh 54) 

Lastly- the characters!
Chad- sweet, strong, amazing friend
Summer- Stacy’s ex-best friend who grew throughout the story, a little anyway.
Bobby- sweet eccentric guy
Becca and Roman- best couple! It is amazing how loyalty Roman stands by Becca through EVERYTHING she goes through. Becca is also a caring sister who tenaciously works with the mental struggle she faces.

If you read- Confessions of An Angry Girl by Louise Rozett- and loved it too, I am sure you would enjoy this story two. They have different plot lines but leave with a similar wonderful state of connection with younger teenage narrators. 


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Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Top Books of 2012

Hi Everyone!

It was hard choosing my favorite books of last year. I read so many amazing ones. After much consideration of all the fabulous books I read this past year, I chose the following five (which is my lucky number). 
The words I can use to describe my love for these books: Wowsiee!!! Spectacular!!! Unforgettable!!!

All the following five contain characters who have real feelings and relatable flaws, exciting stories and superb prose. 

A book that is amazing written by one of my favorite authors I discovered in 2012...

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

A brilliant written book set in my home state of Maryland. This book provided me with my first animal favorite character- the warrior dog Casper! This book has a terrific group of characters and an action packed story. A book that I became completely enamored by! What more can I want? 

A suspenseful book that is leaving me anxious for the sequel...

Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard

This book may continue an unresolved main mystery, but I still love it. I can read it again and again and again and still feel thrilled with the story. Each time I re-read it, a new theory forms in my mind of who murdered Sutton. Even though it has been months since I read this book for the first time, I am still thinking about this amazing installment and eagerly anticipating the next one.

This book is definitely the best of the amazing Lying Game series so far. It has excitement, an amazing surprise that brings hope to Emma's future with the Mercers, suspenseful intrigue, unique writing style, shares the importance of family, friends and belonging, and an incredible main cast (Thayer! I love you!). Cross My Heart, Hope To Die by Sara Shepard- I am thinking about you and can't wait to read you. Just one more month!

A book that left me breathless and tearful... 

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Once I finished If I Lie, I immediately wrote my review gushing through my tears. I wanted everyone to know this book was unforgettable and a must read. The the courage Quinn embraced during the struggles she faced was astounding. The hilarious and delightful George. Oh my! How much I hope everyone reads If I Lie

Amazing quote- “Sometimes a moment defines you, defines how people see you the rest of your life.” (Jackson 249)

The best historical fiction book I read this year...

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

An assassin who actually assassinates. A girl I initially disliked but grew to admire. Ismae! A brave man I love, who is entirely loyal to his family and does not keep secrets from his best friends. Duval!!!!!!!!!!!! Grave Mercy is an amazing book that properly represented medieval Europe! And the amazing writing! So many wonderful and brilliantly worded sentences! I cannot wait to read its sequel Dark Triumph! After all, Sybella (the narrator of DT) was my favorite character in the enticing Grave Mercy. 

An amazing description of Duval's eyes: "The man's eyes, as dark and shifting as storm clouds" (LaFevers 79)

My favorite line of the book that perfectly suits the title Grave Mercy. "For while I am Death's daughter and walk in His dark shadow, surely the darkness can give way to light sometimes." (LaFevers 549) 
That line remained in my head for days after I completed Grave Mercy. It is an amazing statement of hope to someone living in a dangerous path. 

The perfect book to tie in with my senior year of high school and love of music... A book I urge everyone to read... A book I read many times and still love...

Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulsberg!

My adoration goes towards this amazing story. This book captures the anxieties and spirit of senior year. I love every moment of this book and the happiness I feel whenever I re-read this story. This is a story about friendship, reaching for your dreams, the joy of performing and the story's continuous changing in the lives of Take A Bow's brilliant cast of characters that mirrors reality. The perfect book for a senior in high school like me!  

Thanks for reading! What were your favorite reads of 2012?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome Hilda!

Happy New Years Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Today I am happy to have one of my favorite bloggers I met this year, Hilda from Catch the Lune, present her top books of 2012 on my blog! Hilda is a friendly blogger and I always enjoy visiting her blog. I want to first compliment Hilda's amazing graphics that she designed for this post! They are all gorgeous! 

Thanks for reading!
Hello everyone! My name is Hilda and you can always find me on my blog, Catch the Lune. First of all, I have to tell you how excited I am to have a chance to do guest post in Rachel’s blog! Rachel’s blog has always been one of my favorites, so it’s so great to be here! :) *look around in awe in Rachel’s wonderblog*

Today,  I will share about my top seven books read in 2012! Without further ado, here is the (much shortened) list:

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collinsread in January 2012

I know! It’s terrible that it took me two years to read this book. I know that some people don’t like the ending, but I personally think it’s beautiful and perfectly flawed. Team Peeta forever! ;)

2. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbardread in February 2012

I really like the main character of this story, Bria. She reminds me of myself with her wanderlust and spontaneous side LOL! ;) Plus, the illustrations inside are really lovely! This book makes me want to be backpacker and travel around the world. :)

3. Divergent by Veronica Rothread in May 2012 My feelings, aaaah. Tris and Four. Oh –em-gee, I think I could even write thousands reviews on this book. ;) Anyway, I’m an Abnegation! Who else is in the selfless faction? ;)

That's amazing that you can choose one faction Hilda! Go being an Abnegation (self-less)! I am impressed. It takes so much strength to be selfless and loyal. I am a combination of Amity (kindness), Candor (honest) and Dauntless (bravery). The quiz on the end of my copy of Divergent said so and I agree. Love Divergent too! Such an amazing story!

4. Arranged by Catherine McKenzieread in May 2012

Such a lovely story! I weirdly like the idea of arranged marriage (No, seriously. Strange I know), and I’m in love with references to Anne of Green Gables in this book. Must read for fans of fluffy romance. :)

5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgensternread in October 2012

Enchanting, magical, and beautiful – I run out of adjectives to describe this book. This book is practically dripping with awesomeness. Recommended to everyone who has ability to read. ;)

Charlie! It’s impossible to hate this guy. He’s just lovable. I also love the writing, it’s very easy to follow. Charlie felt like a dear friend of mine when I finished it. The way he makes mixtape for Christmas gift is such a lovely idea as well! :’)

7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Greenread in December 2012

*sheds tears* John Green is a GENIUS. It’s very romantic, and I couldn’t function well for few days after reading it. I’m still having heartache every time I think about it. It’s strange that love seems like the easiest and the hardest thing that comes to our lives. :’)

The books above are highly recommended. I also have a very long list of books published in 2013 I can’t wait to read. (Thankfully 21st of December is not the end of the world :P)

2013 wish: I hope that J.K. Rowling would magically publish a children book in 2013, that heroines in YA would be more like Katniss and Tris and Hermione, that Gayle Forman’s new book would pluck my heartstrings and make me cry all over again. Oh, and finger crossed that Finnick Odair in the movie would be as breathtakingly-amazing-omg-someone-hold-me as the book. ;)

Thank you for reading this, everyone! What is your favorite book read in 2012? :)