In My Mailbox #13

In My Mailbox explores the books I received during the week. If you would like to have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information at The Story Siren.

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
1st March 2010 | Penguin

Melina Marchetta's brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca - only this time it's five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving.

Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.

But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death.

And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

16th September 2009 | Penguin

You can't stop the future

You can't rewind the past

The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Hannah's voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening – and what he discovers changes his life . . . forever.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
4th January 2010 | Penguin

Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end? Beautiful Creatures, a beautiful new young adult book by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.

In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl.
Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head. Green eyes, black hair.
Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse.
On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised.
And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided.
Ethan never even saw it coming.

In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox explores the books I received during the week. If you would like to have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information at The Story Siren.

The Opposite of Me: A Novel by Sarah Pekkanen
1st Feb 2010 | Simon & Schuster Australia

Lindsey Rose has always lived in the shadow of her devastatingly beautiful twin sister, Alex. Determined to get noticed, Lindsey has put in years of 80-hour weeks and at twenty-nine is about to be named Creative Vice President of an elite New York advertising agency. Fate, however, has other plans and in one awful night, Lindsey's carefully constructed life implodes.

Humiliated and desperate, Lindsey flees the glitter of Manhattan and retreats to the time warp of her parents' Maryland home. Struggling to maintain her identity as the smart, responsible sister, she finds herself taking a job in a dating service - and having the time of her life. She is even beginning to have a real sisterly relationship with Alex ... until they both fall in love with the same guy. Then a long-held family secret is unleashed, flipping Lindsey into the one spot she never dreamed she'd land.

The Opposite of Me is a smart, funny and poignant novel about the desire to have it all, the relationships that define us and the complicated, irreplaceable bonds of sisterhood.

1st July 2008 | HarperTeen

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

Q: What book were you most excited about receiving this week?

Top Tips for an Overcrowded Reading Stack

I'm pretty sure anyone owning a YA book blog has a bit of an (awesome) addiction and with this comes the wanting of as many amazing books as possible. In the age of the internet and libraries offering many books for free or for a very small reservation fee, it is easy to get overrun with books. Of course it is amazing to receive a package of books you've bought online or received for review but the initial excitement often gets quashed by a feeling of regret when you try to fit the newly received books into your already jam-packed reading shelf.

I am here to help! I know the dilemma of wanting to obtain as many books as possible but when the thought of reading all of those thousands of pages can seem extremely daunting.

STOP! That's right - stop ordering/buying/requesting books for now, you have enough awesome books to get through for the minute and you'll most likely come across a few books you will be quietly surprised by. Set a goal for yourself such as buying one new book for every five books you read off of your shelf.

SORT! It might be a hassle to get all of your books near the computer, but do it. It has helped me a lot to see a clear list of everything I need to read. GoodReads is excellent for this and is an extremely easy website to use. Put all of the books onto one of your goodreads shelves such as Currently Reading or Reading Stack and sort the list by Average Rating and you're sure to get to the best first.

START! Devise a plan to help you get through your most recent read whether it be reading five chapters before you go to bed every night or reading an entire book every weekend.

SHARE! Take a good hard look at the stack, what are you never actually going to get around to reading? Luckily, there are plenty of options for trading or giving away books. Start up a BookMooch account (Warning, you may be tempted to request even more books!), the site is great for sharing books with other readers and you are given points for every book you send off which can be used to order more books.

In My Mailbox #11

In My Mailbox explores the books I received during the week. If you would like to have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information at The Story Siren.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan
6th April 2010 | Dutton

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

She's So Money by Cherry Cheva
1st February 2008 | HarperTeen

Question: What do you get when you take . . .

1 overachieving girl + 1 insanely cute guy + 1 massive fine + 1 scheme involving a little dishonesty and a whole lot of cash?

I've always been the good girl—working seriously long hours at my family's restaurant and getting straight As. And Camden King was always just that hot, popular guy I'd pass in the halls, whose ego was probably much bigger than his brain. I didn't think there'd ever be a reason for us to actually, like, interact.

Then again, I never thought I'd mess up so badly that my family might lose our entire restaurant if I didn't come up with a ton of money, and fast. So that's where Camden comes in—he and his evil/genius plan to do kids' homework for cash.

I know cheating's wrong, but it's better than being dead, right? Which is what I'd be if my parents knew about what happened. I never expected things to spin so far out of control. Or that I'd be such a sucker for Camden's lopsided grin. Or that falling apart could be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Answer: The time of my life.

Cathy's Ring by Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart, Cathy Brigg
4th May 2009 | Running Press

Cathy cannot manage to find more than a few days to relax in her hectic (and mortal) life - she barely has time to put the mystery surrounding her father to rest before she finds herself targeted by a group of Ancestor Lu's professional killers!

Recognizing she is a serious threat to everyone in her life, Cathy makes plans to leave town. But her friends, Emma, Pete, Victor, and, surprisingly, Jun, unite to convince Cathy that they must finish Lu once and for all to have any chance at peace - mortal or immortal. In order to defeat Lu, the friends must come together in a way they never have before.

Meanwhile - unbeknownst to Cathy - Victor has made the ultimate sacrifice hoping it will bring him closer to a normal relationship with Cathy. But when Victor is seriously wounded and Cathy finds herself attracted to another mortal with similar feelings for her, Cathy's world turns upside down and she is forced to make a decision about her future with Victor, while his life hangs by a thread. What will Cathy decide, and how will their epic battle with Lu play out? Find out in the newest adventure-packed installment of the Cathy story!

Also Received, This Week:

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead | Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

We Need to Talk About Kevin (P.S.) by Lionel Shriver | Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Hamlet: A Novel by John Marsden | Post Grad by Emily Cassel

The Good Daughter by Amra Pajalic | About a Girl by Joanne Horniman

Q: What helps you get through a big stack of books with varying awesomeness?

Review: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Puffin | 28 December 2006

Miles 'Pudge' Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave 'the Great Perhaps' even more (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet).

He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young.

She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

Review: I found Looking for Alaska to be a bit hit and miss, the plot rolls along with not much happening at all with all the force of a serious story line.

Miles is exploring life for the first time at a boarding school where he is taken under the wing by his roommate Chip, a dirt-poor genius on a scholarship who spends his spare time coming up with extravagant plans to bring down the uber-rich preppies of their school.

Chips best friend is Alaska, a girl almost as bad as him and is up for anything in the world. Miles falls for her and ultimately ends up with his heart broken but along the way they have as much fun as possible and end up having to unfold the mystery of Alaska.

In My Mailbox #10

In My Mailbox explores the books I received during the week. If you would like to have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information at The Story Siren.

The History of Me, Books & Blogging

When I was a kid I liked to read The Babysitters Club, The Series of Unfortunate Events, The Sleepover Club and The Sisterhood of the the Travelling Pants. The majority of what I read were series books and I think thats partially why I stay away from them now.

During my high school years, I was so caught up with my brand new music obsession that I ceased the hunt for awesome books to read simply because it was too difficult to find anything worth reading.

Then all of a sudden, when I completed school and had a bunch of spare time, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist caught my eye. All I needed to hear was "music", "fiction", "cool" and I was hooked, the fact that Michael Cera was set to star in the movie version didn't cast a bad shadow over it either. This was the book to turn it all around.
I realised Young Adult was the genre for me and went wild with titles like  Slam by Nick Hornby, Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin and Go Ask Alice. I also fell onto Sarah Dessen, whose books I absolutely love now.

My wish-list grew enormously from here but I was still limiting myself to what was available at the local library. Around mid-2009 I discovered my very first YA blog, Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf and instantly knew this style of blogging was for me!

I already had the name, Good Golly Miss Holly in the back of my mind from a previous attempt at starting my own clothing store and the rate at which my blog grew followers simply amazed me. I wanted to impress the fellow blog owners and show them I was worth their reading time so I went through a couple of layout changes and hunted down as many memes as I could find but figured out the most popular posts were written in spurts of creativity about seemingly random topics.

I hadn't yet hit the obsession stage of wanting to spend all my money on books but with review copies starting to arrive at my door, it wasn't long before I was knocking out a book a week.

My discovery of The Book Depository and hundreds of book blogs, set my shelves alight. When I saw The Story Siren's 1000 followers, I knew this is where I wanted to be someday. I worked on my reviewing skills and even took a stab at the author path with a miserable attempt at NanoWrimo in November 2010.

I could go into much more detail about my reading history but for however long this blogging world lives on and I'm sure it won't be long as the review copies are likely to dry up pretty soon with so many bloggers misusing their trust. I hope to still be reading in five, ten and even fifteen years from now even if it isn't in the same vast quantity it is now.

Q: If you're curious about anything in my life or reading/blogging history, feel free to ask in the comments below!

Music Monday // Automatic Loveletter

Location: Tampa, Florida
Style: Female Vocalist, Pop Rock
Links: Twitter | Myspace |

If you like: Paramore, Avril Lavigne or Hey Monday

I've been listening to them all morning. Juliet Simm's voice is so amazing. I suggest you check this band out now if you haven't already, pretty sure they are going to blow up once their full-length album is released (they currently have a couple EP's out). I'm extremely jealous of anyone who has had the chance to see them live!
This is Automatic Lovetter:

Q: What did you think of Automatic Loveletter after a quick listen?

In My Mailbox #9

In My Mailbox explores the books I received during the week. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information at The Story Siren.

From the Library:

by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred?

Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on. Alex, the hot new guy at Knead, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. Alex is easy-going, and seems to really care about her.

But when Camelia and Alex start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Alex's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out whom-before it's too late.

Also Received:
What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook

Q: Which book were you most excited about receiving this week?

2009: A Year in Review


01. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Quite a few of Sarah Dessen's novels have made it onto my favourites list, a perfect twist of romance and realistic teen situations. Every teenage girl should check out her books. My favourite is definitely Just Listen for the music themes and Owen<3

02. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

03. Purge by Sarah Littman
Purge is all about a girl in a mental hospital for an eating disorder.

04. If I Stay by Gayle Forman


01. Paramore - Brand New Eyes
It's not a secret that I'm a big fan of Paramore so it's pretty obvious why this is #1 on my list. Some pretty great songs on here, my current favourite being Where The Lines Overlap.

For fans of: Fall Out Boy, The Academy is...

02. Manchester Orchestra - Means Everything To Nothing
For Fans of: Brand New, Lydia

03. This Providence - Who Are You Now?

04. The Dangerous Summer - Reach For The Sun
This one kind've came out of nowhere and blew my socks off at how amazing the songs were at first, second, third... listen. I still don't really feel like I know about this band, but the songs are quite brilliant and fun to listen to.

BEST SONGS of 2009

01. Manchester Orchestra - I Can Feel A Hot One

02. Hayley Williams - Teenagers

03. The Rocket Summer - You Gotta Believe

04. This Providence - Letdown

TOP MOVIES of 2009

01. (500) Days of Summer

02. Sherlock Holmes

03. Adventureland

04. Ghost Town


01. How I Met Your Mother
After I watch this show, I feel like I've had an "awesome" time hanging out with my friends. The themes in this show are not what I'd normally look for in a tv show but I enjoy it way too much to be put off by it.

For fans of: Friends, Seinfeld

02. iCarly
Okay so this show is aimed at kids, but it is just too good to ignore. It's all about Carly a pre-teen living with her crazy-cool artist brother, Spencer in a pretty amazing apartment where she hosts a web show with her two best friends - Freddie (techguy for the webshow, has a crush on Carly) and Sam (sarcastic, enjoys picking on Freddie).

For fans of: Hannah Montana

03. One Tree Hill
I only really got into this show because of its apparent similarities to Gilmore Girls (which I absolutely love), it's not nearly as brilliant as my favourite show but it is still an enjoyable teen show.

For Fans of: Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls.

04. The Secret Life of an American Teenager
This show is a little bit cringe worthy, but every week I'm back to watch it. It is definately not a realistic take on what an American teenager or any teenager for that matter is like in real life. I cannot really tell you why I like this show, I guess I keep coming back to find out what happens to each of the characters, my favourite being Ashley; the sister.

For Fans of: Degrassi, Underage & Pregnant.

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