Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Once Upon a Read-A-Thon Completion

So now the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon hosted by Pure Imagination, Reading Angel and Candace's Book Blog is finished. What a great 3 days it was.  Since I work 40 hours a week and have to do things for my family my time was limited.  But I did read as much as I could and I enjoyed following the twitter feed and visiting some blogs (I will do more of that as the week continues).

I didn't manage to post daily updates, but I did update on twitter and I am posting my final update.  My goal was to read 3 boks and I did that by lunchtime on Wednesday and that was 3 books from start to finish.  I continued to read this evening but did not have time to finish another book, but did get quite a bit read on Past Tense by Samantha Hunter (who I will be hosting a guest blog for tomorrow).  It was a book I forgot about when listing my books to read for the read-a-thon.

I'm not sure of the total time spent, but I spent 3 hours at the gym reading and then 3 hours of lunches, plus whatever I could get in in the evening.  It helped that DH was gone last night so I got uninterrupted time then (or as uninterrupted time as you can get with a 5-year-old at home).  Tonight the time was more limited as our older son was home (he spends a lot of the week during the summer staying with my parents) and we of course had to watch a few episodes of Lost.

No matter the time spent - I had a blast reading and finished some really good books.  Here is what I finished, I did deviate slightly from my plan, but that is what I am good at.  I realized I needed some easy-going YA in there and so I pulled out This is Me From Now On and it was perfect.

Books Finished:
  • Running from the Devil by Jamie Freveletti
  • This is Me From Now On by Barbara Dees
  • The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
Running from the DevilThis Is Me From Now On  The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, Book 4)

Books started but not finished:

  • Running Dark by Jamie Freveletti
  • Past Tense by Samantha Hunter

  Running Dark: A Novel  Past Tense

Thank you so much ladies for hosting this wonderful read-a-thon!

Book Review: The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publish Date: May 25, 2010
Hardcover, 288 pages

My Review:
I have really lucked out with my YA reading lately.  Adding to my already huge number of glowing reviews this month is this one for The Tension of Opposites.

First I loved Tessa, I could relate with Tessa.  No, I never had my best friend kidnapped, but know what it's like to be that girl, the one who doesn't make friends as easy, the one who is more introverted and one who keeps just a few good friends around.  When Noelle is kidnapped, Tessa retreats into herself and into her photography, with only Darcy as a friend.  Darcy is the one who wills Tessa to take chances, like with the Senior photography class and also with her dating life with the new guy at school, Max.  Tessa is a great character because she feels real - when Noelle returns she wants to make everything normal again and she puts her whole self into Noelle and doing what she can for her, to the point that she loses herself.  What teenage girl hasn't done this whether with a friend or with a boyfriend.  Tessa is a pleaser, she doesn't think of herself, but she is not spineless, she has a backbone and through the book she learns more about herself than she ever thought possible.

The secondary characters of Noelle, Max and Darcy are very important to Tessa's development and I enjoyed getting to know all of them and their interactions with Tessa.  The character development in this book was pivotal and Ms. McBride does an astounding job developing them and using them to move the story forward.

Next is the plot, which is primarily character driven and just amazing.  I found myself turning page after page wondering what would happen next.  What would Tessa feel, what would she do, could she save Noelle from herself.  Seeing the kidnapping from the best friend's point of view was a wonderful way to write this book.  I think The Tension of Opposites will resonate with me for some time to come.

So if you are looking for a non-paranormal young adult novel that will appeal to the young and old alike, I can highly recommend The Tension of Opposites.  It has been getting raves from the blogging community and after reading it I can see why.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book and wish I could come to know Tessa, Max and Noelle even more.

My Rating:  4.75/5.0

About the Book:
It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.

About the Author:
Kristina McBride has dreamed of being a published author since she was a child and lived across the street from a library. After graduating with a bachelor’s in English Education, Kristina taught high school English for eight years. After having her first child and completing her Master’s in Education, Kristina decided to quit teaching and take a crack at her dream. Kristina lives in Ohio with her husband and two young children, stealing as many moments as she can to write, write, write.

Author website
Her Blog

I won this book from Reclusive Bibliophile and I'm currently giving this one away, see sidebar, giveaway ends 7/16

FTC Information: This book was won from another blog and came off of my shelf to be read.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


Waiting on Wednesday - July 14

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm currently reading The Van Alen Legacy which is the 4th book  in the series and I'm sure as soon as I finish I will be eagerly awaiting:

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz (Book 5 in Blue Bloods Series)
Release: October 26, 2010
After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence--with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the seven gates that guard earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silverbloods.
As the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler closer to a terrifying crossroads--and a choice that will determine the destiny of all vampires.
So what are you waiting on this week?