Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Hi all! Tune in Tuesday is a GReads meme currently being hosted over at Kate's Tales of Books and Bands.  I really love this band called Daughter.  The lead singer has such an airy, ethereal quality about her voice.  Discovered them a while back, but their song "Youth" was why I decided to feature :-).  Enjoy!!

1) Youth

2) Landfill
3) Candles
We are the reckless.  We are the wild youth...  Love that lyric!  Have a great one!
Ninja Girl

Monday, January 28, 2013


Things to ask yourself when looking for POW: Does the book draw me in from the first page? Does it have that certain something that makes it unputdownable? Does it make me pay attention?

I'm going to post a few lines from the first page of a book (current or past read), and say whether or not I think it has Page One Wow. As always, feel free to chime in!
"I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers.  Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.
Some of my victims line the walls in shadow boxes, while others get sorted into mason jars and placed on a bookshelf for later use.  Crickets, beetles, spiders...bees and butterflies.  I'm not picky.  Once they get chatty, they're fair game."--page 1, Splintered
So, does it have POW?  It did for me.  Alyssa's voice was immediately there, and even though I hate bugs, the idea of them whispering/"getting chatty" drew me in.  Great start imo, sets this creepy, edgy tone for the Alice in Wonderland retelling perfectly.  Review to come soon!
Any thoughts?  As always, I'd love to hear them :-).
Hope you have a great week everyone,
Ninja Girl

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PAPER VALENTINE by Brenna Yovanoff

The book had such a creepy, dangerous atmosphere to it.  The tone and writing kept me enthralled throughout.  There was a menace running around Ludlow killing innocent girls, and I couldn't wait for Hannah to solve the mystery.  Paper Valentine was addictive, and I sped through the pages.

What really got me, though, were the well-drawn characters: Hannah, Finny Boone, Lillian, Ariel and Pinky, Angelie, Hannah's protective mother.  By the end of the book, I knew them all.

I could see each of them in my head.  I saw Hannah in her beautiful, crafty dresses that hid a complex girl with complex problems--not the least of which is a dead best friend/ghost who follows her around, offering snarky remarks.  Lillian, the ghost BFF, was one of my favorite parts.  She was Hannah's friend and yet…she was also a manipulative mean girl.  It was interesting how likable and unlikable she could be.  Another complex character--which made her all the more real. 

And if you want a hero with real problems and hang-ups and real heart, let me introduce you to Finny Boone J.

I can't believe I've never read anything by Yovanoff before.  She introduced me to a new type of love interest.  Before I go on about how much I loved Finny, let me say that I know there've been delinquents in YA books.  I know there have been bad boys with hearts of gold.  But Yovanoff broke the mold with this one.

Here's why: Finny Boone--besides having an AWESOME name--was the exact opposite of what we girls are supposed to want.

His looks are big and thuggish, kinda scary.  He almost always wears a threadbare white tank and has do-it-yourself peroxide blond hair.  He's missing a pinky finger on one hand.  He steals lighters from the gas station.  He's in the "slow classes."  By all appearances, he's big, mean, and stupid.

But here's the thing: Finny Boone is a contradiction.  When Hannah's bracelet is stolen by one of his friends, Finny gets it back for her.  When Hannah's having a bad day, he grabs the guy teasing her by the neck and tells him to back off.  When Hannah scrapes her knee, Finny picks out the glass and cleans the wound himself.    He's thoughtful, kind, and protective.  Finny Boone is actually everything a girl could want.

Several times in the book, other characters call him names like "retard," one even openly accuses him of being the serial killer.  Lillian is constantly warning Hannah off, but, thankfully, she doesn't listen.  You've got to love a main character who can think for herself.

I'd recommend this book for sure and not just b/c of Hannah or Finny.  (But seriously, you should read it just for him)  I've included the summary below.  If you want a heart-pounding mystery with creepy clues, a heroine with a spine of steel, and a hero who's as unique as his name, read Paper Valentine.

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Jacket summary: The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

Hanna's best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can it when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders linked only by a paper valentine? Hannah can hardly begin to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Hi all! Tune in Tuesday is a GReads meme currently being hosted over at Kate's Tales of Books and Bands.  So there's this new show on TV called Nashville, and it features some pretty great music.  In truth, I only watch it to see if Scarlett and Bartender will end up together :D  Hope you enjoy the tunes as much as I do!!

1) Fade Into You

2) Call Your Girlfriend
(A cover of Robyn's song.  This isn't really from the show, but these girls are part of the cast.  Just watch the awesome :D)
Can't wait to check out everyone else's picks!  Have a great week!!

Ninja Girl

Monday, January 14, 2013

AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson

I put this book on my Christmas list b/c of a comment someone made.  Can't remember the exact words or who it was--but they basically said: if you want a great YA romance, you NEED to read this book.

I wish I did remember so I could thank them.

Road trip books are pretty big in YA.  Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was my first, but it won't be my last.  There is a certain draw to that plot device (the road trip) that I never really considered before: The main characters are stuck together.  There's no escape.  Romance--or some kind of emotional connection (but hopefully romance J)--is almost sure to bloom.

While it didn't feature the writing style I typically go for (snappy one-liners, fast pace), the book sucked me in.  Morgan Matson is such a terrific writer I didn't even realize it.  I loved how Amy and Roger had their own motivations for going on this trip.  And I also loved how they threw out all of Amy's mom's careful planning.  They mapped their own route and encountered so many wonderful things along the way.  What teenager doesn't want to do that?

I thought the format of the book would annoy me, but it so didn't.  There are these pages littered throughout the book: actual receipts from diners, hotel receipts, brochures, pictures, playlists (which were awesome!).  Those little extras were so integral to the story.  They really made me feel like I was involved. 

Like I was on this trip with Amy and Roger.

It took me about a week to read.  And I didn't even mind that I had a ton of books in my TBR.  I was able to lose myself, to go on this epic road trip with the main characters.  And it was totally worth it.

I loved seeing Amy discover herself and make peace with the loss of her father.  I loved how Roger couldn't get over Hadley--and then did at exactly the right time J.  I loved watching the two of them fall hesitantly, slowly for each other.

The side characters were terrific.  I wish I could meet a friend like Bronwyn, who'd accept me immediately and do away with all my crappy clothes without me knowing it.  Leonard, the gamer, was hilarious.  I loved Drew and Derek, and how the most mundane things could remind Amy of her dad.  I really adored Lucien and his grass animals.

There are so many reasons I enjoyed this book.  The playlists were like an unexpected gift, little musical gems hidden in the pages.  Great story, great characters, The Lucksmiths.  If you could hear me now, I'd be saying Morgan Matson's name like it contains only the good letters J.  Go ahead and read it.  You won't be disappointed.

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Hi everyone! This week I got some great books and thought I'd share :-). Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
List of Books: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
                        Splintered by A. G. Howard
                        If We Kiss by Rachel Vail
                        Kiss Me Again by Rachel Vail
                        Tempest by Julie Cross
                        Slammed by Colleen Hoover
                        Break My Heart 1,000 Times by Daniel Waters

I read through all the summaries, and I've got to say, the one that sticks out to me the most is:

The story/plot really intrigued me.  Though, I did also love the name Finny Boone :)  I'm thinking I will really love this one.  Slammed has been everywhere, so I kinda gave into the peer pressure on that one lol.  Hope it lives up to the hype.  Splintered is going to be my first read for the DAC challenge!

Did you guys get any great books this week?

Happy reading!

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Hi there! Tune in Tuesday is a GReads meme currently being hosted over at Kate's Tales of Books and Bands.  I just finished this amazing book called Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (review to come :D).  Like Amy, I can't believe I went so long without knowing this band.  Their sound soothes my soul lol.  But really, it does :-)  I give you: The Lucksmiths.

Hope you have a great week!

Ninja Girl

Thursday, January 3, 2013

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone went above and beyond my expectations.  I'd seen it all over the blog-o-sphere.  Sparkling reviews, beautiful cover, nice title.  But for some reason, I didn't pick it up.  I'm thinking it might've had something to do with the book summary

Both the jacket and Goodreads summaries talk about: a land at war, a nasty piece of shadowy evil called the Fold, an orphan with a dormant power, and a magical race called Grisha.  Sounds great, right?  But I felt like I'd heard it before.  The thing that finally got me was the brief mention of Mal and Alina's relationship.

And man am I glad I gave it a shot J.

Bardugo's debut may be a YA fantasy with adventure and magic.  But at its heart, the book is a story about one girl, one boy, and the love they share for each other.
The two became best friends as children, forming a deep, unshakable bond.  Bardugo does a great job of putting that friendship in jeopardy from the start. First orphans together, now army refugees, Alina and Mal have never been separated and are about to embark on a mission into the Fold--a place of complete darkness filled with flying monsters.  I loved the scene where their ship was attacked.  The descriptions of the volcra were on point and scary as hell.  The writing really shined here.

And I was amazed at the connection I already felt to Alina and Mal.  Her thoughts of him were honest and endearing--and sometimes humorous.  When Alina is taken from camp to learn the ways of the Grisha, we get a nice dose of Alina's voice.

 "It's probably for the best, I told myself.  How would I have said goodbye to Mal anyway?  Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable.  Oh, and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there.  Make sure to write!"--pg. 76

I loved that J.  Later, we find out why Alina's been hiding her power all this time.  The Grisha test everyone as children to see if they are capable of magic.  Alina's test came up negative, and her reasons for this were so incredibly sweet I literally teared up.

Of course, the Darkling turns out to have ulterior motives for wanting Alina and her power.  When she finds out about his plans, Alina makes a run for it--and as always, even after a long absence (too long imo), Mal is there for her.

"'Mal,' I whispered into the night.


'Thanks for finding me.'

I wasn't sure if I was dreaming, but somewhere in the dark, I thought I heard him whisper, 'Always.'"--pg. 263

There's one more line that I'm kinda desperate to include, but I won't.  It comes near the end of the book (page 299) and is semi-spoiler-ish, yet completely swoonworthy J.  Shadow and Bone was mind-blowing.  The adventure and danger, betrayals and romance all well done.  But I'd recommend it for the unique relationship it explores.  Best friends in love who find a way to be together.  Always <3.

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl