August 30, 2010

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 344
Review Source: Library

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

My Thoughts:
I've heard a lot of good things from other book bloggers about "Amy & Roger's Epic Detour," so I was hyping it up in my mind for a long while now, but I was not disappointed with this book. I loved Morgan's writing style, and the whole design of the book with playlists and receipts and pictures added in was amazing. I thought Amy was a relatable and sympathetic character, and Roger was the perfect road trip companion for her. This is a book about love, loss, and adventure, and everything in the story is told in such an interesting way. If you like the idea of taking a road trip and throwing caution to the wind, no doubt you will enjoy this book. My only complaint is that the last part of the book went too quickly, and I wish there had been a bit more resolution between Amy, her mother, and Charlie. Of course, I was also sad to let Roger go, because I definitely developed a book crush on him. A great book that is light and funny at times, while still dealing with serious, real life issues.


Find Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson on Goodreads, Book Depository, &

August 28, 2010

The Alpha Bet by Stephanie Hale

Release Date: April 1, 2010
Publisher: Flux Books
Pages: 240
Review Source: Library

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
I was prepared to do just about anything to go from geek to Greek.

Some teenagers use drugs or sex to escape overbearing parents. I used books. All my life my mother has been hovering over me, afraid to let me experience ANYTHING. So I got really good grades, graduated from high school when I was sixteen, and escaped to a new life—my own life—at college.

To jump-start my social life, I decided to rush the Alphas, the most exclusive sorority on campus. And that's when things started to get complicated.
One of the Alphas invoked the Alpha Bet, a super-secret set of alphabetical tasks that have to be completed for a sister's bid to become active. Now, completing the tasks of the Alpha Bet has taken over my life. And one of the tasks involves deceiving my roommate and only real friend, Jentry.

Can you spell B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L?

My Thoughts:
An enjoyable, quick chick flick in a book. Grace Kelly (for some reason it really bugged me that her name was Grace Kelly) is a 16 year old spazzy nerd turned sorority pledge as she enters college early. GK, as she is called by her roommate, is equal parts endearing and annoying. Sometimes I really wanted her to succeed, and other times I just wanted to smack her. And GK's Mom? I'm glad she buys a clue by midway the book, but whose Mom calls campus security because they're not answering their phone? Really? I felt some of the other characters were a little over the top as well. Sloane and the Zetas, for instance, seemed too evil/mean girl. I guess there might be people out there who act so outwardly terrible, but it seemed a bit far fetched. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, easy read which I would recommend to those looking for a break from something heavier.


Find The Alpha Bet by Stephanie Hale on Goodreads, Book Depository, &

August 27, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (1)

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly feature hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy For Books designed to connect readers and book bloggers.

This week's question: Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

I do use a rating system, which is from 1 - 5 stars, 5 being the best. You can find a full explanation for my ratings here. I tried to keep my ratings on here closest to what I was already rating my books like on Goodreads. I do use some half stars on my ratings here, because often I wish Goodreads had that capability. I tend to focus on characters, writing style, and plot for my star rating, and then mention things like book design and cover in my review if they stand out for me.

August 26, 2010

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen

Release Date: August 10, 2010
Publisher: Tundra Books
Pages: 240
Review Source: Won copy from Goodreads

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Violet's TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet's mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet's younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.

When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet's mom can't pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney.

In Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, Susin Nielsen has created a truly original protagonist in Violet and a brilliant new novel that will delight readers into rooting for her, even when she's at her worst.

My Thoughts:
I'm so happy I won a copy of this from Goodreads because I normally wouldn't pick it up, simply because of the main character's young age. However, the concept of the book sounded cute and appealing, and after reading it, I can say that the book definitely ended up being these things. It's also set in Canada, which is awesome, although I haven't ever been to Vancouver, and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I was a West Coaster. I found some of Violet's behaviour a bit childish, but upon reflection, I think it was realistic, considering all the things she's been through with her family. I really related to the aspect of a family falling apart like that, and all the characters really rang true. Susin writes in a humourous and relatable tone, and I would definitely recommend this book to those who like realistic YA with younger teen characters. Also, the "pamplemousse" bit? Way too adorable. Read the book to see what I mean.


Find Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen on Goodreads, Book Depository, &

August 25, 2010

The Agency #1: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

Release Date: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 352
Review Source: Library

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this diverting mystery trails a feisty heroine as she takes on a precarious secret assignment.

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there? Packed with action and suspense, banter and romance, and evoking the gritty backstreets of Victorian London, this breezy mystery debuts a daring young detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past.

My Thoughts:
I found this book hard to get into originally, but once I was into the actual storyline it got better. I found Mary to be a very likable character, and I wanted her to succeed. I appreciated her tenacity and spark for life, despite the horrible upbringing she had. The actual mystery part of the story was almost a bit hard for me to follow, perhaps because it involved a lot of talk of records and stuff that I found a bit boring at times. Sometimes I found the narrative lacked a certain flow, but in other spots it was quite enjoyable. Nevertheless, the book was entertaining overall, and I liked the interactions between Mary and James Easton. I enjoyed his character quite a bit, so I hope that he'll be back in the other Agency titles. I appreciated that because Lee has a PhD in Victorian literature and culture that the details of the book are accurate. Overall, it was a good book, and I enjoyed reading a YA title by a Canadian (also an Ontarian) author.


Find A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee on Goodreads, Book Depository, &

August 24, 2010

The Daughters by Joanna Philbin

Release Date: May 1, 2010
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 288
Review Source: Library

Synopsis: (from
The only daughter of supermodel Katia Summers, witty and thoughtful Lizzie Summers likes to stick to the sidelines. The sole heir to Metronome Media and daughter of billionaire Karl Jurgensen, outspoken Carina Jurgensen would rather climb mountains than social ladders. Daughter of chart-topping pop icon Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own music breakthrough.

By the time freshman year begins, unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers has come to expect fawning photographers and adoring fans to surround her gorgeous supermodel mother. But when Lizzie is approached by a fashion photographer that believes she's "the new face of beauty," Lizzie surprises herself and her family by becoming the newest Summers woman to capture the media's spotlight.

My Thoughts:
Joanna Philbin is quite the talented writer, and probably because of being the daughter of Regis Philbin, she writes the character of Lizzie (and her friends Carina and Hudson) with an honesty that is full of emotion and heart. This isn't just another Clique or Gossip Girl series. It may involve the daughters of the rich and famous, but the book is really a coming of age experience for Lizzie, becoming comfortable with who she is. The whole concept of "ugly modeling" which was brought up in the book sticks out for me. I think it's actually quite an interesting and positive thing, when it's looked at from the perspective of those like the character of Andrea. She sees everyone as unique and beautiful, and wants to challenge the fashion industry, changing the true definition of beauty. Overall, The Daughters was a very fun, quick read that also contained emotional honesty. It is a promising start to a trilogy about these daughters of famous people who, underneath their privilege, are just normal kids.


Find The Daughters by Joanna Philbin on Goodreads, Book Depository, &


Hi, and welcome to Book Labyrinth. I'm so happy to finally be posting on this blog, as it's something I've been dreaming up for a while. I've been working on content for the past few days, so I hope everything is working properly. Contact me if you see any errors or if links aren't working properly.

I decided to launch this blog on August 24th in order to celebrate the release of Mockingjay. If you're lucky enough to not be working today then perhaps you'll be spending your day like I will be, devouring Suzanne Collins' latest release to discover what happens to Katniss and the others in their fight against the Capitol.

I'll be posting some reviews shortly, and I also hope to connect to blog writers and readers through some features. Again, welcome to Book Labyrinth, and thanks for visiting!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...