Review: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta


Looking for Alibrandi
Melina Marchetta
Series: Standalone
Released: October 5th, 1992
Publisher: Knopf Books
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Hilaripain
Reviewed by: Ellis

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For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it's just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it's her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn't be any stricter—but that doesn't seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the no-nonsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family's past—and the year she sets herself free.

Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Rainbow Rowell
Series: None
Released: September 10th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: FANGIRLed my way through this
Reviewed by: Mel

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A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review: V is for Villain by Peter Moore


V is for Villain
Peter Moore
Series: None
Released: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: the cheesy goodness
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad's basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn't measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he's happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

But when they're pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he's on. And once he does, there's no turning back.

Perfect for fans of The Avengers, Ironman, and classic comic books, V is for Villain reveals that it's good to be bad.

Waiting on Wednesday - Falls the Shadow


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither.

Falls the Shadow
Stefanie Gaither
Series: None
Released: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Waited on by: Mel
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When Cate Benson was twelve, her sister died.

Two hours after the funeral, they picked up Violet’s replacement, and it was like nothing had ever happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to grant their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth. So this new Violet has the same smile. The same laugh. That same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

Or at least, that’s what the paparazzi and crazy anti-cloning protesters want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that, though. She’s used to standing up for her sister too, and she’s determined to prove her innocence now—at whatever the cost. But the deeper she digs for the truth, the further Cate's carefully-constructed life begins to unravel, unveiling a world filled with copies and lies, where nothing and no one—not even her sister— is completely what they seem.

In a pulse pounding debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?

Finding Bliss in Vlogs: The Disney Princess Tag

A face a face a moving face on Finding Bliss in Books. It's a miracle! The Disney Princess Tag is a Booktube thing, created by this person. Gillian - my fave Writer of Wrongs - tagged the entire universe internet in her video, and I am listening to my baking overlady. Also, it's her birthday today, so go wish her a happy birthday!



1. Anna and Elsa (NOT A PRINCESS, CREATOR PERSON): a book involving siblings

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

2. Rapunzel: a book that made you emotional

Rogue by Gina Damico
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

3. Merida: a book featuring a female warrior

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

4. Tiana: a book featuring realistic struggles

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (review here)

5. Belle: a literary book or a classic

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

6. Pocahontas: a nature book

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

7. Jasmine: a book about the desire to be free

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller (guest post here)

8. Mulan: a book featuring war/battle

9. Ariel: a book featuring curiosity or learning

10. Cinderella: a book featuring manual labour

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

11. Sleeping Beauty: a book featuring sleep

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (Yes. Melina is a goddess. The Disney Princess tag was created for her, okay?)

12. Snow White: a book featuring one of the deadly sins

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers (envy)

Bonus princesses

1. Megara: a book featuring Greek mythology

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (review here) (interview here)

2. Alice: a book featuring nonsense/unusual other worlds

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (the ultimate guide to all things Georgia here)

3. Maid Marian: a book with a canine

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

4. Nala: a book with a feline

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor 

Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy


Side Effects May Vary
Julie Murphy
Series: Standalone
Released: March 8th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Welcome to Conflicted City
Reviewed by: Ellis

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What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

Waiting on Wednesday - Since You've Been Gone


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.

Since You've Been Gone
Morgan Matson
Series: None
Released: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Waited on by: Mel
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The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough. Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um...