“Nerve” by Jeanne Ryan

This book was hard for me to put down…it builds with a heavy sense of foreboding but with an eagerness of seeing just how far will it go and if our girl has the “nerve” to go through with it.  I really really enjoyed this book!

Title: Nerve

Author: Jeanne Ryan

Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)

Summary (by Goodreads):

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from DAC ARC Tours!  Thank you for letting me read and review this ARC and thank you to Dial Books as well!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.  This book was published September 13th!

In the book, “Nerve” is a new reality game based on the idea of someone taking a dare and, when successfully completed, earning a prize.  Contestants may enter by completing a preliminary dare and making sure the video is streaming through their phone to “Nerve”s website as they are completing the dare.  With enough views, comments, and popularity, “Nerve” will dare the contestant to do something else.  The dares get bigger and so do the prizes, but once you start, do you have the nerve to actually go through with all of it…to the end?

We find Vee in the beginning of the book as a back stage makeup artist to her friends who are in a school play.  No recognition and no fame has put Vee in the backseat watching everyone else get all the glory.   She doesn’t mind it, but a little recognition wouldn’t kill would it?  To gain the attention of a certain boy in particular, Vee enters the Nerve game by completing a preliminary dare and with the growing number of fans…Vee finds herself texted by Nerve to do another dare, but this time for a prize.  And so it begins…

I tried to find a “Pringles – Once you pop, you can’t stop” gif, but couldn’t find one!!  If someone finds one, tell me where and I’ll put it up!

We have a couple of characters in this book, boys in particular.  Matthew: the boy who Vee has a crush on, but she can’t tell if he’s really that into her or just after her best friend.  Tommy: the good boy that has a crush on Vee (and who Vee should like back), but he doesn’t have the guts to tell her.  Ian: the very cute boy that Nerve pairs Vee with as a partner to go through competitions/dares with.  I picture Scarlet O’Hara out on the lawn in the beginning of Gone with the Wind…if you haven’t read or seen the movie, just…now.  Go see it now.  It’s a classic.

As the dares progress, feelings escalate and the feeling of invincibility sets in, but just how far is too far?  Pretty soon we see the true nature of each person.  Is Ian too perfect?  Will Tommy be there for her in the end?  Who is Matthew really crushing on?

The book really feels like an adrenaline rush and it starts with coasting, then goes to jogging….and then you feel like you’re sprinting to the end.  What I think drew me in the most was the fact that this seemed like a game that you would possibly see on TV.  With all the reality shows…why not have one where people are dared to do crazy stunts for prizes at home with friends watching?   Question is, would you be one of the people to do it and have the nerve to do everything they ask?

Read it!  Read it!  Loved it!!  🙂

Myst~

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Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie

With everything going on in the middle east and the loss of our ambassador and ex-navy seals, I found this book to be fitting.  Please keep your thoughts and prayers on the families who have lost loved ones or are seeing them being deployed to help protect the Americans still living in those countries.  This book totally caught me by surprise.  I knew what it was about and I knew it would probably deal with a few tough situations, but this book had so many moments where you didn’t know how things could ever be set right.

Title: Personal Effects

Author: E.M. Kokie

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Summary (by Goodreads):

Ever since his brother, T.J., was killed in Iraq, Matt feels like he’s been sleepwalking through life — failing classes, getting into fights, and avoiding his dad’s lectures about following in his brother’s footsteps. T.J.’s gone, but Matt can’t shake the feeling that if only he could get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. But as Matt searches for answers about T.J.’s death, he faces a shocking revelation about T.J.’s life that suggests he may not have known T.J. as well as he thought. What he learns challenges him to stand up to his father, honor his brother’s memory, and take charge of his own life.

First Sentences:

Of all the lame shit on Pinscher’s backpack, his “War is Not the Answer” sticker pisses me off the most — even more than his “Practice Nonviolence” button, which makes me want to practice some violence on his face.

It’s not enough that I have to listen to him run his mouth all the time.  But to have to see all his slogans and crap on his backpack, watch him strut around and show off, laughing like it’s all a big joke — it’s almost too much to take.  Espectially on Monday mornings.  Especially on a Monday morning after an even more shitastic than usual weekend.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from DAC ARC Tours!  Thank you for letting me read and review this ARC and thank you to Candlewick Press as well!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.  This book was published September 11th!

I want to preface that this book does contain profanity, a fair amount. As you probably saw from the first few sentences.  Our main character is also a boy and is dealing with the rush of hormones, so he does deal with the temptation that all boys deal with at that age.

The other thing our boy, Matt, is dealing with…is a whirlwind of anger.  Anger at his physically abusive father, who swears his punches are to help him “man up”.  Anger at his mother for leaving them when he was only 4 or 5 years old.  Anger at his brother for dying while serving in the Army overseas.  Anger at bullies at school who wear shirts/pins that try to undermine the war and make it seem like Matt’s brother, T.J., died for nothing.  Everything soon comes to a head and Matt finds himself “seeing red” with consequences.

The only saving grace to Matt is his best friend, Shauna, who has the courage to stick with him through everything he deals with and is there to listen, to provide a shoulder, or just a distraction from the life he’s learned to deal with.

Matt feels the only way to deal with the loss of his brother and abusive father is to find the personal effects of T.J. and go through them.  Everything that they got back before the funeral has been hidden by his father and Matt cannot seem to find them, no matter how hard he looks.  He strikes a break one day when 3 lockers of personal effects come in from the Army filled with everything Matt owned and had with him.

After his dad leaves for work one day, Matt goes through each locker looking through each item.  Uniforms, t-shirts, iPods, pictures, and letters.  Lots of letters.  People Matt has never heard of…along with one person in particular who has written Matt over and over.  Who were these people?  Who is this “C”?  Could T.J. have had a relationship and not told Matt?  Why would Matt show up for a week at home, tell him he was deploying to go back to the middle east, but actually spend months with these people before really going back?

I liked this book.  I read through the bulk of it one night and finished it the next morning.  It was such a “real” feeling book.  I could see this unfortunately happening to someone like Matt and it made me want to sit up with him to find out what was really going on and who his brother really was.

Myst~

“WoW” – Mila 2.0

“Waiting on” Wednesday is an event created and hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  That’s putting it nicely!  This is going to be a book I’m drooling over, waiting for it to be released.

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Title: Mila 2.0

Author: Debra Driza

Publication date: March 12, 2013

Summary (by Goodreads):

Pitched as a “Bourne Identity”-type sci-fi thriller about a teenage girl who discovers that she is a Mobile Intel Life-like Android, an experiment in artificial intelligence created by the U.S. government, and her scientist mother, who kidnapped her when she was found to have human emotions.

Why I can’t wait:

How awesome does this book sound??  “Bourne Identity”?  I LOVED those movies!  I hope we’ll get a better summary soon, but even this little teaser is enough to get me excited about it!!

What book are you counting down the days for?

“WoW” – Starling

“Waiting on” Wednesday is an event created and hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  That’s putting it nicely!  This is going to be a book I’m drooling over, waiting for it to be released.

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Title: Starling

Author: Lesley Livingston

Publication date: August 28th, 2012

Summary (by Goodreads):

“Love is just the beginning… of the end.”

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Why I can’t wait:

Since this book came out yesterday…technically speaking, I don’t have to wait!  Haha!  Norse gods…I was so excited to read those two little words!  I haven’t read any books that talk about Norse gods and I got myself excited about it!  🙂

What book are you counting down the days for?

“WoW” – Shades of Earth

“Waiting on” Wednesday is an event created and hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  That’s putting it nicely!  This is going to be a book I’m drooling over, waiting for it to be released.

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Title: Shades of Earth (Across The Universe #3)

Author: Beth Revis

Publication date: January 15, 2013

Summary (by Goodreads):

The final book in the trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis!

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh–to build a home–on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn’t the paradise that Amy had been hoping for. Amy and Elder must race to uncover who–or what–else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. But as each new discovery brings more danger, Amy and Elder will have to look inward to the very fabric of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been meaningless.

Why I can’t wait:

I cannot wait for this book to come out!!!  I’m DYING for this third book!!  I really do love this series.  The adventure, the imagination, the story…I can’t wait to see how the series concludes!  🙂

Top Ten Posts on My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Posts on Your Blog that Give the Best Picture of You”

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :) ) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

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Here are a few posts that I think best sum up some of the best of my blogging or at least gives you an idea on how I review books and write.  (I know this post is late…but better late than never!)

1)  My post about Twilight (to be…or not to be…sparkly)

2) My gushing over Intuition by Amy A. Bartol

3) My blog about Admitting What You’re Reading…Guilty Pleasure Books in Public

4) My review of The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

5) My breakdown of Insurgent by Veronica Roth

6) My confusion but love for Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

7) My surprise fascination with Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

8) My random post showing how much I love the Olympics

9) My disappointment in Tiger Lily by by Jodi Lynn Anderson

10) My Top Ten Tuesday post: Top Ten Characters I’d Like to See on a Reality Show

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

I can’t put my finger on why I’m intruiged by this book so much.  I loved the idea of the book from the beginning and although it ended how I figured it would, I enjoyed reading it unfold.  I even got surprised with a few things at the end!

title: Darkness Before Dawn

Author: J.A. London

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary (by Goodreads):

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what’s left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it’s up to me–as the newest delegate for humanity–to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it’s safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.

First Sentences:

Standing on my balcony, I watch the sun paint its descent across the sky.  Soon the monsters will come out to play.  They like the night.  They feed on it.

Sometimes they feed on us.

From here, I can see the twenty-foot-high concrete wall that surrounds Denver.  It was built shortly after the thirty-year war that pitted humans against vampires came to an end.  It keeps out most of the monsters.  Most of them.

My Take:

I read this all in one day.  I found myself fascinated with the idea behind the story and wanted to know how it would progress.  I totally saw some things coming and then there were a few things that made my jaw drop and point my finger at the book going “Wha….I… Wha…..How?  Why did the author think of that???”

Dawn lives in a world where vampires came out to everyone.  Instead of being afraid, we treated them like celebrities and wanted to know what they thought of us.  Before we know it, we’re in the middle of a war and end up with colonies situated through out the United States with walls built around them with a vampire overlord.  There is “peace treaty” that keeps the vampires out of the city with the exception that human citizens are willing to volunteer to give blood to ensure the vampires can sustain life.

Dawn’s family is not the norm.  Her parents were the delegates, the negotiators, on behalf of the city and one night they are murdered by rogue vampires.  Lord Valentine soon requests Dawn to be the new delegate and not everyone is excited about it.  She’s only 17 and the whole city of Denver would rely on her to keep the peace.

When Dawn and Tegran (Dawn’s best friend) come back from a party…they find themselves trapped on the trolley with 4 vampires.  The situation looks grim, but someone saves them.  Victor.  He’s kind, he’s handsome, he’s a gentleman, and soon she finds out that he’s not human.  A friendship blossoms even under the stress of her new job and the horrible things the kids at school have said or done.

When things get a little messy and confusing between Dawn and her boyfriend Michael, she goes to Victor for comfort and finds that the lines aren’t so black and white.  There are many many shades of grey.  Speaking of Shades of Grey…I might have a review for that next week!  🙂

As Dawn tries to keep Lord Valentine placated, her friends kept in the dark for their safety, and keep her the relationship going with Michael, Dawn realizes that what she’s known all her life may not be entirely true.  Dawn finds she needs courage to face obstacles head on and figure out who she really wants to be and who she wants to be with.

When vampires are found murdered in the city and Dawn finds that someone is following her, things seem to go from bad to worse.  The murder of the vampires brings up questions about what creature would do such a thing; the hooded figure following her makes her wonder why someone would spy on her.  The mystery, the relationships, and the negotiations is just a sample of what this 17 year old has to handle.

I really enjoyed the book.  It leaves you with a good sized cliff hanger though.  It’s not major enough to go “OMG!”, but it’s big enough to go … “ugh! When’s the next book?”  December…this year.  Don’t worry too much!

Myst~