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Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Published May 1st, 2010 (Originally Published June 1st, 2009)
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Paperback, 290 Pages
Source: Birthday Present

Summary from Goodreads:

"   "Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie—-she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

My Review: ***** = 5 Stars
(I'll say minor spoilers, but there really isn't anything you wouldn't figure out if you read the book summary...)

After finishing this book, it immediately became a favorite of mine. Prior to this book, a contemp would have been hard to come by on my shelf. Now it seems like I am looking for books similar to this. Seeking out novels that will make me feel the way I did when I devoured every word from this work. While no two books will leave you feeling the same way, reading this has led me to find more contemporary books that I love, and it is now quickly becoming my new favorite genre. Who needs magic when an author can weave a tale so beautiful, full of love and heartbreak, with the story of three best friends, one lost love and a secret? (Don't worry, it was just a question, I still love you magic, vampires, werewolves and shadowhunters). It's not that I don't love books about magic and paranormal creatures, but I think a book like this hits you harder when you know it is something that could happen to you, or someone you know.

The author managed to engage me into the relationships of Anna, Frankie and Matt. I became interested, and involved. I cared about them and I cryed when one was lost forever. The journey that Anna and Frankie take is full of a wide range of emotions. The story is so natural and flowing, and when I turned the last page I couldn't help but think... "Wow.. what an amazing book. I want to read it again right now."

I feel the best way to review a book that touchs your heart, like this one did, is to keep it short and simple. I love this book and I recommend it to all of my blogging friends and any other reader out there that manages to see this review. It is simply an amazing book, and the authors debut novel at that. I very much look forward to reading Sarah's next book, Fixing Delilah, which after reading the first chapter, left me with no doubts that it will be just as wonderful, if not better. 

To learn more about Sarah Ockler, or her books, check out her website.


IMM & Across the Universe Winners!!

Instead of bombarding everyone with two posts in a row, I'm going to combine my IMM for this week with the winners of the Across the Universe Haiku contest!!

This weeks IMM is more like this past months IMM. =P

^^^This is what I got in my birthday pacakge from my all time best friend Eleni!
(I've read both Twenty Boy Summer and Amy & Rogers and LOVED them both! The movie was hilarious, and right now Civil Twilight is my favorite CD! It was by far the best present ever!)

^^^For Review:

Minder by Kate Kaynak
Dark Book: A Wereling Novel by Steve Feasey
Warped by Marissa Guibord
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain (book & nailpolish for giveaway too!)

^^^From my book fairy:

Entwined by Heather Dixon
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
Teeth: Vampire Tales by Various authors
Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell

*Special thanks to Kate Kaynak, Macmillin, Egmont & my bff!!

^^^Purchased by me:

 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson

Alias Season 1 & 2
My Boys Season 1

Awesome Harry Potter Bookmark =P


Across the Universe Haiku Contest Winners!

The winner of the AtU ARC by Beth Revis, was randomly selected. In addition, Beth has selected her five favorites and will be sending them all swag packs!

And the winners of the 5 swag packs.....

-Savannah Smith
And the winner of the ARC is....
Rachel (email starting rachelharris1)
CONGRATS winners!
I will be emailing you all sometime tonight. If you see this before I send an email out, feel free to send one to me. 
Congrats again!
If you didn't win don't fret, I still have a giveaway for a pre-ordered copy of Matched going on until the 24th, and a giveaway for Branded ending the 29th!

Author Interview w/ Joelle Anthony (Blog Tour)

I'd like to welcome Joelle Anthony, author of Restoring Harmony, to Flipping Pages!

I got to ask Joelle a question about her work, so here it is!


Flipping Pages for All Ages: Restoring Harmony reads like a contemporary YA mixed with a Dystopia YA. Was it your intention to create the feel of both genres in the book? Also, what are some of your favorite Contemps and Dystopian novels?


Joelle Anthony: I had no intention of writing a dystopian novel. In fact, I didn’t even know what a dystopian novel was until after my publisher put that label on Restoring Harmony. I set out to write a contemporary novel. While the setting is a key factor in the plot of RH, I purposefully set the book ten years after the Collapse so that it would be a backdrop and not the “big event” in the book.

Dystopian is an interesting label for RH. I’m not sure it fits exactly. If you look up the definition, then in actually does fall into that category, but most people who love dystopian have commented that they don’t really find RH all that dystopian. If I had written the book five years ago, before all these exciting books in this category came out, I think probably all anyone would say about it is “it’s set thirty years in the future” and most people would consider it a contemporary novel. It just happened to catch a wave, I think.

Don’t get me wrong though. I’m very happy to have the label on it because I think it has brought me a lot of readers who might not have considered reading it. Also, for the squeamish readers (like moi!) who don’t do well with violence, it’s a nice, hopeful dystopian story!

I always hate to admit this, but since you asked…I haven’t read any dystopian. Not even The Hunger Games. I know, I know…but honestly, I’m really pretty wimpy when it comes to reading any sort of violence, gore, or even (maybe especially) psychological and implied violence. It burns itself into my memory and frankly, that’s just not something I want in my life. I joke about being wimpy, but honestly, it’s a choice I make to keep my life peaceful and happy. I love that there’s so much out there for everyone to choose from though. I would never say people (or kids) shouldn’t read anything. I believe strongly that each person needs to make their own choices and writers should write what they need to write!

Some of my more recently read favourite contemporary novels are:

Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci (which is set in 1982, so maybe it’s historical?)

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

The View From the Top by Hillary Frank

Bow Grip by Ivan Coyote (adult fiction)

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine (NBA finalist! Yay, Kathy!)
(^^^Kathryn is the YPL NBA Winner, Congrats!!)

Anything and everything by Paula Danzigger, Jerry Spinelli, and John Rowe Townsend


That's a great list of contemporary's you've got there and I will definitely by checking out the ones I haven't read.

I want to give Joelle a big thanks for stopping by, and Teen Book Scene for letting me be a part of this tour!!


Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony (Blog Tour)

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
Publication Date: May 13th, 2010
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Hardcover, 320 Pages
Source: ARC won from author

Teen Book Scene Blog Tour

Summary from Goodreads:

"The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour."

My Review: **** = 4 Stars

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony is a very unique read. It has a dystopian feel, but isn't overpowered by the fact that it takes place in the future and the society is extremely different than it is now. Anthony was able to create an interesting society that survived after the Collapse, but the base of the novel revolves around Molly and her travel from Canada to the States to find her Grandfather and bring him to her family's home. Music was an integral part of this story and I loved how the author combined that with the rest of the story so fluidly. It wasn't forced and made for an exciting side story, that also weaved it's way throughout the lives of other characters, such as Molly's mother and Grandfather.

The book combines adventure, with family, love and determination. I loved taking this journey with Molly and seeing just how things would work out. The author also included some mystery in the novel when she introduced the character of Spill, which we find more about later on in the story.

Molly was a great MC that not only found her way to her grandparents, but also found herself along the way. She went from being a sixteen year old girl to a woman. She's resourceful and like I mentioned above, very determined. I especially enjoyed the other characters of Brandy and Michael, as well as Randall, who really grew on me.

Whether you're a fan of dystopian or contemporary, I think most readers will find something in this novel that will interest them.

Make sure you stop back by tomorrow, when Joelle answers some questions for the blog tour!


Branded: Character Interview & Giveaway (Blog Tour)!

I am delighted to be a part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for Keary Taylor and her new novel Branded. Today as part of the tour, Alex, a character from Branded, will be answering some questions for us!

Let's get right to it!


Question 1: What is your favorite song to listen to? to play?

Alex: I’ve loved the Goo Goo Dolls for as long as I remember.  I’ll always love Theory of a Dead Man.  Black Eyed Peas are always great.  There’s not too much music that I really don’t like.  I’ll never get sick of playing Iris.  One of the best songs ever written.  Given recent events it has a whole new depth and meaning to me.  If there was a theme song to Jessica and I’s life it’d be that.

Q2: Thai is your specialty, but what food or meal is your favorite to eat?

Alex: Does an entire Thanksgiving dinner count?  Haha  There isn’t much that I don’t like to eat.  Oddly I’m a big potato fan, mashed potatoes, French fries, baked potatoes, potato chips…  And I’m always a sucker for just a good hamburger or hotdog (as long as I get to grill it myself…).

Q3: What was your first reaction of Jessica when you first saw her standing in your grandparent's house?

Alex: Haha, oh man.  First?  I was just really hoping she wasn’t going to hit me with that baseball bat.  Jessica’s a lot stronger than she looks…  And then there was just a lot of shock.  I didn’t realize she was going to be there.  I’d driven for a whole day straight from Southern California nearly to the Canadian border.  My grandparent’s death was a major shocker so my head was in kind of a weird place.  When I saw Jessica everything just kind of cleared up, the world suddenly seemed a little brighter.

Q4: Did you ever think angels existed before Jessica entered your world?

Alex: Honestly I’d never thought about it that much.  I’m not the most religious person, never really have been.  My dad died when I was little and I always liked to believe that he was still with me somehow but I’d never really given anything to the concept of angels.  Boy did Jessica open my eyes!

Q5: If your Dad was still around, what do you think would be his opinion of Jessica?

Alex: You know, my dad died before I even turned seven.  I don’t remember that much of him.  But I’m sure he would have loved her.  It’s hard to imagine that anyone could not love Jessica.  She’s an amazing girl.  She’s been through so much in her life but she’s managed to keep sane.  She’s by far the strongest person I know.  To Jessica’s ex, Jason, you’ll never realize what you’ve missed out on. 


Thanks so much for stopping by Alex. I look forward to learning more about you in Forsaken, Fall of Angels Book 2!

Giveaway time!!

 Keary is giving away a copy of Branded to one lucky winner! The book will be coming directly from her, so this contest is US ONLY.

It will run for two weeks, and will end on November 29th, at midnight.

No comment entries allowed, but comment love is of course accepted and appreciated! ;)

Good luck everyone!


Win a Pre-Ordered copy of my favorite book from this year!

There have been a lot of books from this year that I absolutely love and adore, but the one that gets the top spot is Matched by Ally Condie. I attempted to do a mini-review of it a few months ago but it mostly consisted of me going over and over about just how much I loved it. Before I get into the giveaway, let's learn five fun things about Ally!

~Five Fun Facts~

I have one brother and two sisters and I am crazy about all of them.

My husband and I have trained for and finished two marathons together.

I've lived in three different states/countries: Utah, New York, and London.

I've been to four Neil Diamond concerts.

Before writing Matched, I published five other books with a smaller publisher.
Ok.. so I'm jealous! I've always wanted to go to London!!
You've learned some new things about Ally, and now you can win her upcoming release Matched!
As long as The Book Depository delivers to your country, you can enter. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me about what upcoming book you can't wait to get your hands on!
Since Matched releases on November 30th, this giveaway will end on November 24th, therefore you have 2 weeks to enter!
And to get you excited for it's release, take a look at the trailer for Matched. It's one of my all time favorite book trailers!

Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Publication Date: May 4th, 2010
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, 344 Pages
Source: Present from my bestest Eleni :)

Summary 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 Review: ***** = 5 Stars

I was conflicted with this book prior to reading it. I had heard so many great things that I, of course, wanted it to be great. But I was also worried that maybe it wouldn't be that great and I'd be disappointed since I was expecting so much. But that turned out not to be the case! This was an exceptionally well written book, with not a single thing that I disliked. From the characters, to the format (playlists and such), to the plot. I was thrilled that it turned out to be such a wonderful read.

Amy and Roger meet up when Amy has to travel from California to Connecticut, where the family will now live. Since Amy doesn't drive, Roger, the son of one of Amy's mothers old friends, takes up the task. They travel across the continent, stopping to see the sites, friends, exes, and siblings. Along the way they have fun, find trouble and eventually find themselves. It's full of adventure, romance, love and loss. It's a story with heart that lifts you right up.

I think this is going to be one review that is better left short and sweet then long and obnoxious, because I really just want to ramble on and on about how much I love it. It's books like this one that have probably turned me from a YA Paranormal fanatic to a YA Contemp fanatic (not that I don't love paranrormal.. I do.)

As soon as I finished this I wanted to force it upon anyone that would take it. And I still am. =P It really is a wonderful book and is definitely something I will be reading again.

Have you read A&R before? Opinions?



Sorry for the delay! I've got lots of winners to announce!

All winners were randomly selected and have 48 hours to reply to my email with a mailing address.

The winner of
Beautiful Dead: Arizona is-

Dahlia (The Book Shopaholic)

The winner of a preordered copy of
Tyger, Tyger is-


The winner of
Harry Potter (Movie 1) is-


Congrats winners!

If you didn't win, dont fret, I have a contest still going on for an ARC of Across the Universe until Nov.17th, and will also be having a contest for a preordered copy of Matched later this week!


Review: Branded by Keary Taylor(Blog Tour)

Branded by Keary Taylor
Published March 4th, 2010
Published by CreateSpace
Paperback, 374 Pages
Source: Keary Taylor, Teen Book Scene

Summary from Goodreads:

"Jessica’s had the nightmares for as long as she can remember. Nightmares of being judged for people who have died, of being branded by the angels. Her friends and family think she’s a crazy because of it all. Yet she carries the mark of the condemned, seared into the back of her neck, and hides it and herself away from the world.
But when two men she can’t ignore enter her life everything changes, including the nightmares. The two of them couldn’t be more different. She will do anything to be with one of them. Even tell him the truth about angels, why she never sleeps, and the scar on the back of her neck. But one of the two has set events into motion what will puller her toward her own judgment and turn her into the object of her greatest fear."

Review: **** = 4 Stars

The summary alone got me very interested in this novel. The idea of having to undergo a trial for someone elses sins or mistakes, and to be found guilty or not guilty, over and over again EVERY time you fell asleep, is such a unique spin on the whole Angel genre.

Jessica has nightmares every time she falls asleep and the process is always the same. Her hands are tied together and she is escorted down a hall to stand trial for people unknown to her. Ten angels vote against "her" crimes, 5 good and 5 bad. Being found guilty brings about a brand and wings, and falling into darkness with the bad angels, while being found guilty still isn't all that great, no brand but wings and she still falls into the darkness when other angels grab at her. Things start to get stirred up when Alex, the grandson of the couple who owns the house she watches, shows up unexpectedly.

There are many great things about this book. First, the descriptions are very well written. The author allows us to actually see what it is that Jessica experiences, and that is something that doesn't come with ease. Another thing I really loved about this book, was that the romance wasn't rushed. It came together perfectly and after the twist ending that Keary left us with, I can't wait to see how it progresses throughout Forsaken, the next installment in the Fall of Angels series.

I also don't want to exclude how much I enjoyed the other characters in this novel. Jessica's neighbor turned true friend, Sally, her hot new neighbor, and the acquaintance she gains from Yoga, all play pivotal roles in this story. Without any of them, the story would feel like its missing a big chunk out of it.

Overall, this is a great novel and story that I look forward to continuing. The next book Forsaken comes out January 11, 2011!!

Make sure you check back on November 15th for an exclusive interview with the character Alex from Branded, and a giveaway!