Thursday, August 30, 2012


Hi everyone!

There've been a lot of books that I've read that I just haven't had the time to review--BUT these are some of the best hidden gems I've found in YA.  Hopefully you guys will like them, too!!

Geek Magnet was hilarious!!  Literally laugh-out-loud funny :)  I can't belive I didn't know who Kieran Scott was before I found this!

 One of my absolute favorites by Meg Cabot!  This is still one of my favorite books!
Romance, creepy ghost story, everything.  Wake Unto Me was in a word: amazing :)
Have a great Labor Day weekend everybody!!
Ninja Girl

Thursday, August 23, 2012

CROAK by Gina Damico

A sixteen-year-old Grim Reaper-in-training learns the ropes of the "family business" one summer in a town called Croak.  With a gripping hook like that, how could I resist? J

But I'll be honest it didn't really and truly HOOK me until I read the first few lines.  Want a tiny preview?


Lex wondered, for a fleeting moment, what her principal's head might look like if it were stabbed atop a giant wooden spear.

"I can't imagine why you're smiling young lady."--page 1 of Croak

Seriously???  I cracked up, right there in the bookstore!  If there's a better, more hilarious beginning for a reaper book, I don't know it.  So, anyway, that's what made me actually buy the book.  What kept me reading was the interesting, tongue-and-cheek tone.

Let's look at the facts: Lexington "Lex" Bartleby and her twin sister Concord "Cordy" Bartleby were named after the first battles of the Revolutionary war.  Lex has punched more people's light out then Rocky.  After one too many schoolyard fights, her parents ship her off to her Uncle Mort in a town called Croak--kind of a last attempt at curing her wily ways.  But there Lex learns that her attitude problem is just a sign that she's coming into her own as a Grim Reaper.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the scene where she meets Driggs--the oddball-kind-of-cute teenage guy living in her Uncle Mort's spare bedroom who (whom?) she walks in on in the bathroom.  Trust me, it was so unexpectedly funny.  And I also really liked Ferbus, Driggs's geeky gamer sidekick.  Ferbus was the funniest character in the whole book imo, even though he was only a side character.

I also loved how the book handled the Afterlife, an actual place where souls go once they've been collected by the Grims.  The scenes featured George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and a very morose, very funny version of Edgar Allen Poe, who had an ongoing tiff with Teddy Roosevelt.  Gina Damico's take on them--and the funny she was able to infuse into those stiff personalities--was nicely done.

I will say there were a few times--especially toward the beginning--where I felt like Lex sounded younger than 16.  The first half read more middle grade to me, despite the cursing.  And one more thing that I didn't love was the ending.  Kinda took a serious turn in the end and there was a death that I didn't think needed to be there, but again, that's just my opinion.

Loved all the funny parts, and I really thought Damico took this concept of Croak and turned it into a real town with real people.  It was a very cool read!

Hope everyone's enjoying their week,

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TUNE IN TUESDAY: S. Carey and Ida

Hi there!  Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Greads--and even though it's technically Wednesday, the linky is list is still open so... :-)  First is "In the Dirt" by S. Carey.  Long intro, and I really love the lyrics.

This second vid is the live (and best imo) version of "I Can Be" by Ida, the X-Factor winner from Denmark.  Just discovered it last week and have absolutely NO WAY to get the song since I live in the U.S. :(  Guess sometimes it pays to be Dannish.  Enjoy!!

Hope everyone's having an awesome week!

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill

Oh how I loved this novel, let me count the ways J

Right when I saw the cover for Meant to Be, my eyes smiled.  Then I read the book summary, and my brain and heart were both in agreement: I needed this book.  Pronto.  It even inspired a Waiting on Wednesday post--which I only do when I'm really, REALLY salivating over a book.

NetGalley was kind enough to provide the goods, and I have to say, Lauren Morrill did not disappoint.  Meant to Be delivers on every level.  The romance, the laughs, the great London adventure, and two memorable characters who are so different yet so right for each other.

Love it when a book can hook you and then actually fulfill what the jacket promises!

Julia isn't your typical teenage heroine.  For one, she doesn't just believe in love.  She believes in "meant to be"--true love, fated love that finds you when it's ready.  And Julia believes she's already found her MTB.  Even if they haven't spoken in years.  Even if he doesn't know it yet, the charming, handsome Mark Bixford is her fate.

Everything should be gravy, but when Julia goes to London and inexplicably starts to fall for Jason Lippincott, class clown and bane of her existence, it makes her question everything she's ever thought about MTB.

Jason annoys the heck out her with his crude jokes and wildly inappropriate behavior.  He makes Julia want to break the rules just to prove to him--and to herself-- that she's not just a boring "book licker."  But Jason's also charming and sweet when he wants to be.  Singing to her in the park, pulling her into an impromptu dance, kissing her on a rainy day.

Julia thought she had it all figured out.  But,is it Mark or Jason?  Who's really her MTB?  And when all is said and done, will he feel the same?

My favorite parts of the book were the romantic scenes between Jason and Julia.  *Sigh*  That one was a no brainer.  I absolutely loved the scene on the London Eye.  It was exactly what it should be--him catching her fall, both of them not wanting to pull away--so totally romantic.  And their first kiss!  A rainy day in London, in a deserted field far away from everyone, a moment purely theirs?  Miss Morrill certainly has a way with writing heart-melting scenes.  Loved it!

And I also loved that Julia was exactly the opposite of the teenage cynic.  There were times when she and Jason deliberately hurt each--which I didn't like.  But Julia's take on love and "MTB" was so fresh and endearing.  I liked her very much with her lists and her non-rule-breaking persona.  A young girl who actually believes in true love.  Imagine that J

I really liked this one.  I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, romantic YA contemporary!

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Holy crap, is it August already?!? 0_0

And for the conclusion of Cupcake Crusade 2012, here are the best of the rest!

Most Photogenic goes to Jilly's Cupcakery in Alpharetta, GA.  That pic is a feast for the eyes, no?

Best Box is a two-way tie between Hello Cupcake in D.C. and Gigi's Cupcakes.

Biggest Disaster also goes to Hello Cupcake (which was totally my fault not theirs.)  Note to self: Do NOT ride circulator bus or crowded Metro with sweet treats.  Those poor, poor cupcakes...

Best Service goes to the staff (or owner rather) of CakeDreams in Maryland and to Gigi's in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The girl who served us at Gigi's actually reminded me of the main character of one of my books :D

Most Thoughtful goes to Ninja Aunt C who brought us Curbside Cupcakes and even joined me and Ninja Aunt P at a few stops on our Crusade.  She rocks!!

That completes Cupcake Crusade 2012!  Hope everyone has a great week with great eats and good company.  And when in need of a little pick-me-up: Keep calm and have a cupcake :-)

Ninja Girl