Review: The Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Released: April 27th 2010
Source: Library
Tags: YA, Chick-Lit, Romance, Girly

Review: The Carrie Diaries is aimed at two types of people - those who loved the hit TV show and want to find out about Carrie's past and those who are major fans of YA. I happen to be the latter and luckily Candace Bushnell caters to both quite well.

Carrie Bradshaw is faced with her senior year of high school, a time when she really starts to take dating and her writing seriously. She worries about college admissions, writes under an assumed name on the school paper, dates two guys at once and even graffiti's a school wall with her graduating year.

While I did enjoy this novel, what bothered me most was Carrie's weakness to guys. She continually fell at their feet even though she demonstrated capability at standing up for herself at crucial points and I understand this is because the book is set in a different time period but I'd much rather read about a modern girl any day.

From the bits and bobs I have seen of the television show, I found it really interesting learning how Carrie turned out the way she is. It is all explained in this book, from the death of her mother to the love of writing and even New York. It's also really nice how the author drops in a few characters from the program ever so delicately and leaves it up to us to figure out who they actually are.

Overall, The Carrie Diaries is pure pop indulgence and delves into Carrie's life before she hit the big-time. A fun and easy read that any fan of the television show will instantly love, this book is hard to avoid when looking for something to lighten your day. Even though I sledged this book a tiny bit, it's worth mentioning I did enjoy it and will be picking up the sequel which is currently untitled and to be released August 2011.


Waiting on Wednesday #20

Summary: A high school senior, who wants to be a poet and is caught up in a romantic triangle, meets Christa McAuliffe before the space shuttle Challenger accident.
This book pretty much caught my attention with it's amazing cover art but the idea of reading about romance revolving around spacecraft sounds like something I'd enjoy!
Taking Off by Jenny Moss will be released January 2011 by Walker Books.

(ARC) Tour: The Iron Witch

The Iron Witch (Ironbridge Chronicles, #1) by Karen Mahoney | Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma. 

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect. 

  1. Brittany | MN *Awaiting book in January
  2. Amanda | MI
  3. JL | PA
  4. Lillie | PA
  5. Lauren | TX
  6. Eliza | TX
  7. Allison | OK
  8. Kristina | CA
  9. Kathy | UT
  10. Elena | ID
Reading time is limited to 7 days and reviews need to be written within a month.

In My Mailbox #45

Check out The Story Siren for more information on the blogospheres obsession with In My Mailbox.

This Week I Received:
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
Before Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation?

The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie's senior year of high school. She and her best friends -- Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse -- are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend's betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it's finally time to go after everything she ever wanted.

Rabid fans of Sex and the City will love seeing Carrie Bradshaw evolve from a regular girl into a sharp, insightful writer. They'll learn about her family background -- how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. We'll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where the next Carrie Diaries book will take place.
I'm not a fan of Sex & the City but I decided to pick this up from the library anyway because it promises to be a purely YA look at Carrie's life before she made it in the big city. Looks really good :)
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly 
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. 

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. 

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. 

Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.
I love the idea of finding a diary from many years past so I think this'll make for a really great first attempt at Historical YA. Really pretty cover, also!

Q: What's your most anticipated read for the next couple months?

(ARC) Tour: My Soul to Steal

My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers #4) by Rachel Vincent | YOU WANT MY SOUL AND MY BOYFRIEND? 

Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can’t just pretend nothing happened. But “complicated” doesn’t even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back. 

See, Sabine isn’t just an ordinary girl. She’s a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people’s fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives. 

And Sabine isn’t above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants. 


If you're interested in participating in this blog tour, please first sign-up here and then comment on this post with your name and location.
  1. Alison | NJ *Rec'd 28th Nov, Sent 8th Dec.
  2. Amanda |MI *Rec'd 15th, Sent 21st Dec.
  3. Cade | CA *Rec'd 30th Dec.
  4. Ginny | GA *Awaiting Book
  5. Jenny | Cumbria, UK
  6. Paula | NZ
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. 4 SPOTS OPEN
Reading time is limited to 7 days and reviews need to be written within a month.

Review: Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

TitleJersey Tomatoes are the Best
Author: Maria Padian
Release Date: 8th March 2011
Publisher: Knopf Books
Themes: YA, Sports Camps, Anoerexia, Best Friends

Review: Besides the best efforts of the cover to deter me from this book, I actually really enjoyed Jersey Tomatoes, it may have not been hilarious as described in the official summary but it definitely has me more than interested in the world of tennis and those who devote their lives to the sport.

Maria Padian's second stab at YA takes us into the lives of Henry and Eva who have been best friends for years and are both attending intensive sports camps for the summer, in tennis and ballet respectively. One happens to come home with a top athlete for a boyfriend and the other, unfortunately with anoerexia.

The book opens up with two in-depth chapters on either girls preferred sport which I actually found rather boring as it is full of a whole lot of technical jargon and didn't really paint a picture in my mind of what was actually going on, I even assumed one of the main characters, Henry was male for a short while. I'm sure most people would dump the book at this point but I pushed through and the book grew a whole lot from then onwards.

It's almost like the book is split exactly in two, the first half being the good days and then the second half documenting what it's like with anoerexia and while I did find the light take on the disorder rather interesting to read about, it did take over the ending of the book when I was hoping it would go down another path entirely.

I think my rating has more to do with the expectations I held for this book and the fact that my opinion changed throughout the process of deciding to actually read this book and then completing it so thats where the four stars comes from if you're wondering as it no where near comes close to some of my recent faves such as Girl Saves Boy which also received a four star review.

Overall, I enjoyed Jersey Tomatoes are the Best, it took an in-depth look at the lives of professional sports players at a young age and really shows us how hard it is to work for such a high status. I would recommend this book to girls who actively give up their weekends and afternoons to sport on a regular basis.


Waiting on Wednesday #19

While I think I'll always be obsessed with YA, along the way a few chick-lit novels have caught my attention, this one especially for it's super-cute cover! It seems to revolve around a bridal shower party where each participant steals a charm from the cake hoping for better luck in love only the cake starts playing tricks on them...

After listening to her closest friends' latest travails in love, parenting and careers, superstitious bride-to-be Nicole (Nic) believes she has the perfect recipe for everyone's happiness: a bridal shower 'cake pull' in which each beribboned silver charm planted in her cake will bring its recipient the magical assistance she needs to change her destiny. 

Melissa still ringless after dating the same man for six years, deserves the engagement ring charm. The red hot chili pepper would be perfect for Seema, who is in love with her best male friend Scott, but can't seem to make their relationship more than platonic. And recently laid off journalist Nic wants the shovel, which symbolises hard work and fulfillment, to help her get her career back on track. 

Nic does everything she can to control who gets which silver keepsake - as well as the future it represents. But when the charmed cake is mysteriously shifted from the place settings Nic arranged around it, no one gets the charm she chose for them. And when the other party guests' fortunes begin coming true, Mel, Seema, and Nic can't help but wonder.... Is the cake trying to tell them something?

There's Cake in My Future will be released December 2010 by St. Martins Press

(ARC) Tour: Other Words for Love

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal  | Ari Mitchell feels invisible at her Brooklyn high school. Her hair is too flat, her style too preppy, and her personality too quiet. And outside school, Ari feels outshined by her beautiful, confident best friend, Summer. Their friendship is as complex and confusing as Ari’s relationship with her troubled older sister, Evelyn, a former teenage mom whose handsome firefighter husband fills Ari’s head with guilty fantasies. 

When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari’s family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future. Meanwhile, Summer warns her that what she feels for Blake is just an infatuation. Not real love. But Ari’s world is awash with new colors, filled with a freshness and an excitement she hasn’t felt in years. 

When misfortune befalls Blake’s family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?

  1. Gabrielle | NC *Awaiting Book
  2. Laura | AL
  3. Tara | FL
  4. Nely | FL
  5. Lisa | CO
  6. Kathy | UT
  7. Jessica | WA
  8. Keris | UK
  9. Cass | NSW, Australia
  10. Holly | VIC, Australia
Reading time is limited to 7 days and reviews need to be handed in within a month.

In My Mailbox #44

I'm sure you probably didn't even notice I was gone, but I haven't turned on my computer in a whole week. This is a big deal for me and a really eye-opening experience, I recommend everyone take some lengthy time away from the internet. Of course, I cheated a little and read through some emails at work but for the most part it was a well-deserved break. I'm back and ready to attack those awesome arc tours! Check out Kristi's blog, The Story Siren for more information on the blogospheres obsession with In My Mailbox.

Glitz by Philana Marie Boles
"So we can really go with them to the studio?" I asked. "When?" "Now!" Raq said. "Tonight. After we eat. Detroit is just fifty minutes away. Well, with dude driving, make that like twenty minutes away." She laughed. "Tonight?" "You know how we read about it, how they stay up in the studio all night? How Piper's always posting updates online saying, "Yo, Piper just got in. Been putting genius to track,' at like six, seven o'clock in the morning?" What she was saying was true. We had read about how Piper and a lot of people in the music industry stay up all night recording. She said, "So what up, chica? You wit' it?" "What time is it?" I asked. She whipped out her phone. "One twenty-two--" I had made my peace with being a few hours late for curfew, but coming home the next morning? That was another thing altogether. There was no way I could go all the way to Detroit in the middle of the night with a bunch of rappers and not have my grandmother lock me away for the rest of my natural-born life. But how could I get out of it now? It wasn't like I could ask Piper's driver to drop me off at home on the way to the studio. Maybe that was something Ann Michelle would have done, but not Glitz.

I'm really excited about this one especially being a major music fan, I just wish the story focused less on rappers and more on rockers. It seems like it's a little too moral based showing us that the music world isn't so awesome but I'm hoping it runs a little deeper.

Sisters Red, #1 by Jackson Pearce
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. 

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for. 

Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless. 

This happens to be the second copy of this book I've received so it must be good, I don't mind, it just forces me to push it a little higher on my reading stack which is huge may I add. I love the brilliant, reflective cover also!

Genesis (The Rosie Black Chronicles, #1) by Lara Morgan
Five hundred years into the future, the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”. 

Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and will kill to get it. 

Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss? 

From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box – before it’s too late.

This is the first time I've ever heard of this book but I'm really liking the simple, striking cover! The mystery of the unusual box sounds good too although I've hardly got into any dystopian novels.

by Jack's Mannequin 
This is one of my favourite cd's ever and I was totally shocked when I realised I didn't have a physical copy, so I had to go and order one simply just to go on my wall mural of awesome music.

Q: How do you decide between a juicy, fun read and a serious book you know you'll love?

(ARC) Tours: Mad Love

Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors | Writing her own love story could drive a girl insane! When you’re the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can’t write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast. That’s when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol’s voice in her head and see things she can’t explain, she must face the truth—that she’s either inherited her mother’s madness, or Errol is for real. 

  1. Regina | PA *Awaiting Book
  2. Amanda | MI
  3. Gabrielle | NC
  4. Nely | FL
  5. Kathy | UT
  6. Rowena | CA
  7. Tasha | UK
  8. Anne | Malaysia
  9. Monique | NSW, Australia
  10. Holly | VIC, Australia
Reading time is limited to 7 days and reviews need to be written within a month.

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