Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #1

I almost forgot, but it's time for our first now weekly Waiting on Wednesday post! :)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking The Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3)
Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of lovable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want.

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark.

Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Link me up!! :)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Book Review: If I Stay


In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.
*Copied and pasted from GoodReads

Title of Book: If I Stay 
Author of Book: Gayle Forman
Number of Pages: 234
Publisher: Speak
Released on: 6 April 2010

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: NA
Who I'd Recommend it to: Almost everyone. (:

My Review:

Seventeen year old Mia is a high school senior with a passion for playing the cello, a good-looking application to Juilliard, and a boyfriend whom she truly loves. What could be better than her life? Well, everything changes one day when she and her family go out for a casual drive in midwinter.

I can't believe I didn't finish this book the first two times I picked it up. I'm seriously in awe. It was beautiful. Mia was so normal, and so was Adam. Oh, Adam. I loved Adam! He was amazing. Reading about failed relationship after failed relationship has gotten a little old to me, but Mia and Adam, they were just in love and that was what made everything perfect. At the end there, I was struggling to hold back tears. I couldn't believe it was over when I turned to the last page and all of a sudden "Acknowledgments" was flashing at me, and I realized it was over. I need the sequel ASAP, because I need to find out what happens!

One thing I was a little disappointed in concerning this book was how unemotional Mia seemed the first half of the book. When she opened her eyes and was in that ditch and she found her parents dead, she didn't seem fazed by it. She was just sort of like, "Oh no, they're dead." I know if I was in her position I would be freaking out! Especially if I saw myself while I was still myself. That sentence made no sense, sorry.

The first couple of times I started to read this book, I was always really put off by that scene and it sort of freaked me out. I'm now saying, "What was my problem?" because this time my curiosity got the better of me and I kept reading. Boy, am I glad I did, because this one has proved to be pretty amazing. This will definitely be on my recommended list, and I know the next time I go to the bookstore, "Where She Went" will be the first thing I pick up.

4.5 stars. (:

US vs UK #1

US vs UK is a meme hosted by Book Passion For Life. In it, I'll post a US and a UK edition of the same book. You choose which one you like better and leave your choice in the comments. I'll keep track of the score, and it will be a running competition!

This week's competition:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
I'm going to have to pick the UK version. It speaks more to what the book is about, and I like the colors in it. I like both of them, though. Which one do you like better? Drop a comment! :)

US version
UK version

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Book Review: Shatter Me


Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

*Copied and pasted from Goodreads. 

Title of Book: Shatter Me
Author of Book: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: 15 November 2011
Publisher: Harper

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: I was drawn in by the cover. 
Who I'd Recommend it To: People who like dystopia, romance, and a different kind of writing

My Review:

2.5 stars. I didn't feel like rounding up.

Shatter Me is not a book I'll be forgetting any time soon, for good or for bad it's hard to tell.

I'm all for metaphors and similes. I use them often in writing. They make the page burst with color and uniqueness. It makes the book fun and interesting to read. But this book? Well, let's just say that they were overdone, and most of them made no sense whatsoever. Can I give you a few examples? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Oh, yes! Let me quote you, Shatter Me !

"He's so wrong he's more wrong than an upside-down rainbow." (page 125)

Um, what? I mean, yeah, an upside down rainbow is pretty wrong, but please, can we just think about that for a second? When have I ever in my lifetime considered an upside down rainbow? It's not even a thing . Tahereh Mafi could have at least said something that made sense.

He's a hot bath, a short breath, 5 days of summer pressed into 5 fingers writing stories on my body...His scent is assaulting my senses." (page 208)

He's bath? Juliette is comparing Adam's fingers to days of summer? Did I read that wrong? I can't say anything else besides this.

Another thing. At the very end of the book, when Adam says Juliette looks like a sexy superhero (which was a very unfortunate ending) Juliette says she feels tingly. Being called a sexy superhero makes her feel tingly? What? Am I missing something? A freakin SUPERHERO? Why not "princess"? Why not plain old beautiful?

I actually didn't mind the strikethrough text. I actually thought it was pretty cool. Sometimes it would get frustrating because you'd wonder, "Does she really mean that or does she mean the thing that's crossed off?" All in all, though, it was pretty cool. But I didn't like how she would repeat words over and over again, and some of them would be crossed out but others wouldn't be. It caused unecessary confusion and the meaning would have been the same thing to me if there was just one word. And Juliette as a character annoyed me. She sounded like she was five when she was talking.

There were a lot of things I liked, despite these annoyances. Adam was sexy and I wish he was real. Too bad he was in love with Juliette, because I didn't like her at all. I also liked Kenji and Adam's little brother, James. James was cute and realistic and totally what you'd expect a 10-year-old boy to sound like. Also, the writing style was different and unique even if she did go over the top sometimes.

So I'd recommend Shatter Me if you're looking for something completely different from anything you've ever read, but still like the traditional dystopia read. I might try to write something with strikethrough text come to think of it, but use it in a slightly different way. All around, it was just an average read, but I think some people would enjoy it.

I'm Not Impressed #1

I'm Not Impressed is a meme posted randomly. In this meme, I'll feature something that I personally think Makayla Maroney would not be impressed with.

Makayla is DEFINITELY not impressed. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

*Copied and pasted from Goodreads. 

Title of Book: Hush, Hush
Author of book: Becca Fitzpatrick

Date of Publication: 13 October 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: Goodreads friends. 
Who I'd Recommend it to: everyone! 

My Review (may contain spoilers):

Despite its raving reviews I was bombarded with every day when I logged into Goodreads, I admit I almost didn't buy this book because of its extremely unflattering cover. I can now overlook the cover because I'm amazed with this book.  This one is definitely on my favorites list, if not pushing for the top three or four.  I started this book immediately after I got it and locked myself into my room for the rest of the evening.  When I woke up (may I add at 7:30 on break!) I read in my bed for a few hours until I finished it.  When I did finish it, I wanted to kill myself for reading it so fast.  I found myself biting my lip and murmuring to myself, "It can't be over. It can't be over." In other words: I need Crescendo NOW. 

I loved Nora. I loved Patch. I loved Vee. I obviously was not a fan of Chauncey. :P I loved Nora because she wasn't completely stupid and an airhead like all the other YA heroines, and she was very relatable in her thoughts and actions. I actually think I'm a little like Nora, tell me if I'm being completely ridiculous here. I loved Patch because he was mysterious, sexy, and very likable.  I loved Vee because she made me smile every time she said something.  Most of the time.  The characters weren't just thrown on the page, they were well thought out. 

Another thing I loved about this book was that it kept me guessing.  I never knew what was going to happen next. I knew something was off with Miss Greene but I never would have guessed she was as involved in the story. And originally I never would have guessed anything was off with Elliot or Jules. A lot of books have a really good ending but you can guess the ending all the way through the book because the author isn't stealthy enough when she gives clues. But this book--Well, I never could guess what was going to happen next.  And yeah, I'll be completely honest with you-- the book scared me. A lot.  I shivered through it.  To me, reading about break-ins and stalkers is waaay more creepy than reading about ghosts and blood (my most recent review was Anna Dressed in Blood). 

So thank you, Becca Fitzpatrick, for making this beauty of a book, and thank you to all of my Goodreads friends who persuaded me to read it. If I hadn't read this book I would be missing something important.  I'm so glad I read it, and I'm so glad I loved it! Now... how can I convince my parents to take me to the bookstore again, two days in a row, to buy Crescendo and the rest of the Hush, Hush series? 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Book Review: Anna Dressed In Blood (Anna #1)


Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

*Copied and pasted from Goodreads. 

Title of Book: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author of book: Kendare Blake

Date of publication: 30 August 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: My Goodreads friends
Who I Would Recommend it to: Those who love a good scare. :) 

My Review (may contain spoilers):

I don't usually go for books like these (and was very skeptical after reading "Just your average girl-meets-boy, girl-kills-people story..."), but after reading some pretty convincing reviews and talking to a few people about it, I was convinced.  I believe in ghosts, I really do.  Picking up this book, I wondered if the fact that I believed in ghosts would make this book more exciting or more terrifying.  It turns out, I wasn't actually that scared by it.  Sure, there were a few moments when I grabbed the edge of my seat and held my breath for a few extra seconds, but all in all, it wasn't that scary. 

First of all, I loved Cas.  He was very, very boy, if you know what I mean.  A lot of times, female authors try to narrate voices of boys and end up making them sound suspiciously feminine.  But Cas, he sounded like a boy! That shouldn't be such a shock, but it is, to me. I don't usually go for books with boys as the main character, but this one really impressed me.  I also loved Carmel and Thomas, especially together.  Carmel, the typical beach blond gorgeous popular girl, and Thomas, the weird gawky kid with glasses falling off his nose and a weird dude as his guardian.  I don't know about anyone else, but I think they'll be getting together in the next book.  :P 

At first I thought it was a little weird that Cas should fall in love with a murderous ghost (who turned out to be pretty normal despite all her madness the past 60 years), but after Anna became free, she was so real that a lot of times I forgot she was a ghost, it was funny because when we were first introduced to her, she reminded me a little of Bertha Mason (Jane Eyre reference, for those of you who haven't read it).  She was brilliantly developed throughout the entire book and I liked that.  Her development didn't seem rushed at all.

The part that scared me the most about the book was finding out how she was murdered.  Good thing I didn't read that one at night, because I would have had bad dreams if I went to sleep right after I read that.  Knock on wood, I'll probably have bad dreams tonight having said that.  The idea that a mother would hate her daughter enough to cut her throat was revolting to me, and I almost closed the book right then.  But of course, curiosity got the better of me and helped me through the rest of the book.  I realize now that even if I had closed the book then, I would have picked it up again because that's just kind of the way I am. 

I'd recommend this book, but only to people who like the feeling of being scared, and yeah, for people who like ghost stories.  This book really fascinated me and had me dying to read more of this series.  I know that I'll be getting the second book in this series whenever I have the chance to.  :) 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

New Memes!

My new memes are going to be Waiting on Wednesday (posted Wednesdays), I'm Not Impressed (posted randomly),  and US vs UK (posted Monday.)
Hi guys! Happy thanksgiving :)

I did a few memes early on in my blogging career, but being a novice, my memes kind of faded away sadly. But after searching for good meme ideas, I'm super excited to say that I'm going to be introducing 3 new memes that will be posted pretty regularly on my blog: Waiting on Wednesday (posted Wednesdays), I'm Not Impressed (posted randomly), and US vs UK (posted Mondays).

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking The Spine. It
spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  Posted every Wednesday (or, in my case, posted Wednesdays when I CAN.)

I'm Not Impressed is a meme that's not hosted by anywhere I know of, but it's become a pretty popular meme and I wanted to participate in it because it's fun.  I know we've all heard of the Makayla Maroney  "not impressed" face, right? Well, I'll feature things that I'm not impressed with, and post Makayla Maroney's not impressed face afterwards. :p I'll post it whenever I feel like it. :)

US vs UK
 is a meme hosted by Book Passion for Life.  In this meme, I will post a US and UK cover from the same book, and my followers will vote on whichever one they like the best! I'll keep track of the score. Posted Mondays, or most Mondays.

I can't fully commit to posting my memes every week since I'm a busy girl, but I'll do as best as I possibly can. Mondays should be easy enough, it's the Wednesday meme that might be tricky.  And I will usually post the I'm Not Impressed meme over weekends, usually Sundays since I have the Saturday Scoop on Saturday. thanks, guys! 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Upcoming Releases of 2013

I know a lot of you YA crazy fans are anticipating an exciting year for YA books coming up, and it's called 2-0-1-3!  So many exciting debuts, sequels, prequels, and other fun stuff is coming out next year! So I've decided to feature just a few of the books that avid young adult readers are most excited about these days. :)

Boundless (Unearthly, #3)
The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
Who's forgetting the finale to this epic series? I certainly am not!

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
I know personally that I was one of those few people that fell head over heels in love with the first book in this series. 

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

The Elite (The Selection, #2)
I know I'm very much anticipating the sequel to The Selection. 

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestsellerThe Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Which 2013 release are YOU most looking forward to! Drop me a comment, it'll brighten my day. :)

 that's all for today, but throughout the rest of 2012, I'll be featuring a few more upcoming releases of 2013, so keep looking for the posts! 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

SS #3: Taylor Swift

Introducing the Saturday Scoop: The Saturday Scoop is a weekly post posted here on Leopard Kitty Girl Books. Each week, I pick a new topic to write about and just rant and rave about that particular topic. 

This Week's Topic: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift.  What comes to mind when you think of the curly-haired country pop singer?  No doubt you think of some of her songs: ranging from full-out country ("Mean") to full-out pop ("I Knew You Were Trouble").

Well, if you know me well enough, you would know that she is one of my role models and that I look up to her.  She's brilliant, fearless, an amazing songwriter, and has awesome fashion sense.  It's hard not to like her, wouldn't you agree? She's America's sweetheart, in simple words.

When she was 16 years old, her first album was released.  The songs were all completely country, and she sang with a southern accent.  Most of them were about break-ups she had with guys, or general experiences she'd had.  Her next album, Fearless,  was released when she was 18, and the songs were still country, and many of her hits still are popular today-- "Fearless" and "Fifteen" and "White Horse"...  Her next album, Speak Now, was released when she was 20, and the songs had taken a slightly different direction.  Some of them were still country ("Mean" for example) but the majority of them sounded more pop ("Sparks Fly", "Enchanted").  So when her newest album, Red, was released a couple weeks ago (She's 22 now), people weren't really sure what to expect.  It turns out that almost all of them are pop, and some even seem to be Indie.

For some people, they either like the new songs or they don't.  A lot of people are saying that she can't call herself a country singer anymore and refuse to listen to her new songs.  But some are open to both. Since I admire Taylor Swift, I like both kinds of her songs.  Some of her new pop songs are brilliant.  I'm a huge fan of "I Knew You Were Trouble"(reportedly about One Direction's Harry Styles...drama!!) but then, it's the songs like "Mean" that always make me feel really happy for some reason.

Even her style has slightly changed.  Most people imagine her in flowing, floral skirts and dresses, but now she's wearing tight black body cons and aggressive red lipstick, and her flowing blond locks have been cut in blunt bangs and has been straightened completely.

So that's the latest on her. But what about her music?  Now that I've obsessively listened to the album in the past weeks, I know every song by heart and could tell you the order of the songs in the album.  So I'm going to do what I'm going to call an "album review". :p I'll do a short review of each song. (Most of the reviews will be positive. :D)

State of Grace: The lyrics are beautiful, but hard to comprehend.  I've looked at the lyrics several times and gotten nothing out of them.  The message hidden in the lyrics is "I Love you doesn't count after goodbye", which I'm not really sure what to think of.  It has a very cool song and sounds a little Indie.

Red: At first, I couldn't seem to like this song, but now that I've listened to it many times, I like it.  I like the similes in it, and I think Taylor Swift would make a good writer because she has a really awesome way of expressing her emotions through her music.  The hidden message is "SAG" or at least I think that's what it is, it's a little confusing. Haha

Treacherous: This is one of my favorite songs on the album, because it has a great tune throughout the entire song.  A lot of songs have great choruses but tuneless otherwise, but every line in this song has a great tune and it's really relaxing to listen to.  Hidden message: "Won't Stop till it's over". (??) I don't really understand any of the hidden messages...

I Knew You Were Trouble: My second-favorite song on the album (I'll tell you what the first one is later).  It's definitely her most pop song so far, but the tune is so catchy that I can't help but be pretty obsessed with it.  The lyrics aren't beautiful like some of her other songs, but it's amazing and I Love it. Hidden message: "When You saw me dancing".  This song is supposedly about Harry Styles, who were apparently found making out backstage at some music awards thing. (DRAMA!)

All Too Well: Wow.  I have no words.  This song is beautiful.  That's the only word I can think of for it. The lyrics are sensational and phenomenal. I don't know how many adjectives for beautiful there are, but I would list all of them if I had the space.  Also, this song is a little more country than her other songs on this album.  Country sound, country storyline.  Hidden message: "MAPLE LATES". Don't really understand that one.

22: What I love so much about this song is it's Taylor Swift having fun.  And it's not about a guy like a lot of her other songs.  She's just having fun with her friends, and even though it's not a typical T-Swift or the least bit country, it just always makes me smile because it's so.... HAPPY. :) Hidden message: Ashley Danna Claire Selena, who I am guessing are her girlfriends.  (Selena Gomez probably...)

I Almost Do: Pretty sad song, makes me feel sad.  I guess that's good though? But it has great lyrics and a great tune.  Hidden message: I wrote this instead of calling.  Awww. Cute.  Well I think that whichever guy this one's about feels pretty good right now. Or sad. Or depressed. I don't know which.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: This song's the #1 hit.  I love it.  Although, I feel like it's one of those songs that if you listen to so many times, you get an extreme headache and start to get a little sick of it.  I still love it, but I wince every time it comes on because I know it'll get stuck in my head and drive me crazy.  It was released a while ago.  Maybe if it had been released like her other songs, I would still head over heels love it.  Hidden Message: When I Stopped Caring what you thought.  Rumors say this song's about Jake Gyllenhaal. (If that's how you spell his name? )

Stay Stay Stay: Well. This is my favorite song on the album.  It's so cheerful and makes me laugh and want to cry at the same time.  Why? At first it made me laugh and go crazy with my friends whenever it came on, but when I decoded the hidden message, I want to cry now.  The message: "Daydreaming about real love".  Wha....???? I thought it was about a real guy and that she finally loved someone! And now she's just daydreaming about this adorable guy she's singing about? Now that made me really sad. But it's still an AMAZING, PHENOMENAL, AWESOME song and my favorite song of hers ever written! That will never, ever change.  My new obsession.  My forever obsession. :)

The Last Time: At first I was wary of this song because it has a guy singing half of it, and what i love about Taylor is that she's very independent.  And I didn't even like the song at first.  But now it's pretty good, I have to say.  The lyrics are kinda confusing except for the chorus.  I'm not overly enthusiastic about this song, but it's pretty good and i like it. HIdden message: LAON YOU BREAK. What the? I don't know what it means, unless I decoded it wrong.

Holy Ground: Love this song! From the beginning it was one of those sings I skipped to get to.  I've noticed that i love Taylor's songs that are cheerful and happy.  Some of the lyrics aren't totally rejoiceful, but the sound and feel of it is happy and makes me feel happy too.  Hidden message: "When you came to the show nsd" don't know what that means except for the first part?

Sad Beautiful Tragic: Every time this song comes on, I just can't do it.  It's a depressing ballad that I can't listen to without feeling utterly depressed myself.  So I usually end up skipping this song or else I'm sad for the rest of the day.  I have to say the lyrics are pretty, though.  Hidden message: "While you were on a train". That line is depressing in itself.

The Lucky One: Awesome! It has a cool, different tune than the other songs, and it's one of those songs that you want to tap your foot to sing along uncontrollably to.  I like the name of the song, though.  The lyrics, again, are confuzzling! I just don't get it.  I don't know if it's happy or sad, sarcastic maybe? I don't know!! Hidden message: "Wouldn't you like to know?" Sounds sarcastic to me... Also she has the word "Hell" in this song which is not typical for her. :p

Everything Has Changed: Ed Sheeran.  Well I fell in love with Ed Sheeran after listened to this song and listened to all his other songs.  Too bad I can't go on tour because the tickets are waaay too expensive.  I love this song :D and I haven't met anyone who didn't like this song.  Hidden message: HYANNS. I don't get it!!!!

Starlight: Like "The Lucky One", this song is cool and different.  The name also totally fits the tune.  I love the word starlight and the tone of the song is definitely starlight-y. If that even makes sense.  Hidden message: FOR ETHEL. Who's Ethel?

Begin Again: For a while I didn't realize why this song was so popular.  It's not my favorite song on the album, but now I really like it after listening to it a few more times. I like how the album ends with Begin Again, and it's about falling in love again, and that amazing feeling you get when you start to really like someone. :) Hidden message: I wear heels now.  I guess that ties in with the lyric "you didn't like it when i wore high heels"? Also, a lot of people criticize taylor Swift when she wears heels because she's already almost six feet tall, so that makes her even taller, but I think it's awesome she embraces her height.

All in all, AWESOME impressive album!!! I love it and can't stop listening to it!  Five of five stars!

Quick Note about my posts and blogging:  I have been thinking that my blog will get pretty boring if I Just do SS posts and the occasional book review.  Anyone know of some cool weekend memes I could participate in? I would love some suggestions.  

Have a nice weekend! 

Friday, 9 November 2012

SS #2: Insta-Love and Cliché Love

Introducing the Saturday Scoop: The Saturday Scoop is a weekly post posted here on Leopard Kitty Girl Books. Each week, I pick a new topic to write about and just rant and rave about that particular topic. Note: this week I'm doing my SS post Friday night because I have to go away this weekend. 

This Week's topic: Insta-Love and Cliché Love. 

Hello everyone! :) I hope you had a good week and that work/school didn't get you all stressed out. Anyway, let's look on the bright side-- It's the weekend and you're ready to read your weekly SS post!

This week I'm going to be talking about two different things that have been on my mind a lot lately: Insta-Love and Cliché Love. These days, you can't pick up a young adult book and not see fake, shallow insta-love and a lot of sexy British boys. I was talking to Erika on Goodreads (her blog is the awesome Living For The Books) about this today. It can be so frustrating sometimes when you pick up a book, expecting something fresh, new, and exciting, and it turns out to be just another nameless face in a library of YA books.  Yet another jaded young adult book among thousands.  Cliché love makes me sad, to tell you the truth, and here's why.

All the good ideas seemed to have been "used up". Everything that teenagers enjoy and appreciate has been snatched up by other authors, sort of like them sucking the color out of everything, or, let's make a vampire reference here, sucking the blood out of something.  And then the original product was left colorless, bloodless, bland, and flat. Where has our authors' creativity gone? Has all of it vanished, been thrown into a choppy ocean where sharp-toothed sharks (indulgent teenagers, I'm trying to be metaphoric here) will feast on them and chew them all up until they're finally all gone, and they keep getting regurgitated, and each time the ideas are regurgitated, they become weaker.

Am I confusing you yet? Please, try to bear with me here, because I feel like this idea is confusing yet it could be really interesting if I explained it well. I just feel like writers these days need serious inspiration. Onto the next topic, though, since I'll leave that one for you to think about: Insta-Love.

Insta-love is cliché, too.  It's used too much. I know the whole "love at first sight" thing is classic, but now it's starting to get out of hand. I don't think I can handle one more stupid guy and one more stupid girl looking at each other and realizing how totally in love they were, THE FIRST. FREAKING. TIME. THEY. EVER. SAW. EACH. OTHER.  I mean, I think it takes a little more than one swift glance for people to realize they're in love. I think they have to have a true conversation, get to know each other,and not just look at each other stupidly to know that they're head over heels.  Troubling, troubling, troubling. >.<

Anyway, I hope you understand what I'm trying to get across, and my mom's telling me to get off the computer, so bye! Have a fantabulous weekend.

love, love, love
Annie :)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Edit Your Html: Customising Your Font on Blogger :)

She's my new best friend. :p
Hi everyone! Hope you're having a nice week :)

Today I've decided to feature a quick tutorial on customizing your font on Blogger. I have just figured it out and am almost too proud of myself ^-^

Well, first I have to give credit to Spring Flowers Blog Design because it showed me exactly what I was looking for.  It helped me soo much!

So HTML is kind of like a separate language. Like English, French, or whatever language you might speak or learn, it seems confusing to one who is not familiar with it. I know that if I looked at a page of German I would be entirely clueless. For me, HTML was an unknown thing to me a few months ago. Now, I feel like me and HTML are becoming better friends every day :p now that I've figured out the mystery of her. :)

Don't let yourself be intimidated by her-- She's friendly, I promise! (xD) And she won't bite! And she'll give you what you want if you're careful with her and you follow directions. Promise.  So, let's say you want to customize your font for free on Blogger. I'll tell you, and I hope it works for you and hope I'm not the only freak who figured this out. ;)

So, first. Log into your Blogger account (obviously :p).

 Click on Design. It's in the top right corner of your screen, which you already know if you're not a real newbie to blogging. :D

Click on "Edit HTML" . That button is next to the big orange button that says "Customise". It took me longer than it should have for me to find this one simple button.

There'll be a warning when you click on it, that says you should only Edit HTML if you're an advanced user. Yeah, yeah. You can do it, girl! I have faith in you. (Or, if you're a boy, you can do it, boy!) Click on Proceed. 

Scroll down (it will be fairly early in your scrolling process) until you see this:

<Group description="Page Text" selector="body">
     <Variable name="body.font" description="Font" type="Font"
         default="normal normal 12px Font, Font, Font, Font, Font" value="normal normal 12px Font"/>

NOTE: The text I've highlighted here will not be highlighted there. Also, in the place of "Font, Font, Font, Font, Font" will be the fonts you have already. 

Enter the name of the font you want your page text to be in in place of the highlighted places. You can also adjust the size where it says "12px" or whatever size font you currently have. 
When you're finished editing the HTML, it should look something like this (I'm using the font Century Gothic as an example, since that's what i have on my blog):

<Group description="Page Text" selector="body">
     <Variable name="body.font" description="Font" type="Font"
         default="normal normal 12px Century Gothic, Century Gothic, Century Gothic, Century Gothic, Century Gothic" value="normal normal 12px Century Gothic"/>

Then, of course, click on 'save'. View your blog. If it doesn't work, please tell in comments so I can investigate the issue! 

I really hope I helped you! :D

Monday, 5 November 2012

Review Edit: The Selection by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: No one. I was drawn to it by its cover (as usual).
Who I'd Recommend it To: A girl, probably age 12-15, who wants a YA princess book :)

So I've decided to edit this review. Why? Because after rereading it, I have some different opinions than I had the first time I read it. Not too much different; The rating still stays a good 4 stars. But some things, I see differently.


I loved it. The second time around, my opinions changed. So why did my opinions change? Well, I don't know. Now I know what you're thinking: That's a pretty crappy answer when you're about to write a review: that you don't know why. For some reason, everything just came together at the end, I got the point of the book, everything was sort of... Connected. The ends met: it was like a three-year-old struggling to tie her own shoes until finally, something just clicks and she can do it for the rest of her life. Or a third grader learning her multiplication facts. It was weird.

America and Maxon are cute in a weird way. They're not the kind of couple that I'll swoon over: "they're Oh-so-adorable" "Oh em jee I just want them to make out already". They're more like...cute in a real way. A princess like, proper way. Maxon is a little clueless about girls and that's what makes him pretty cute, in my opinion. Aspen was ok but if I had to choose one I'd pick Team Maxon. Yeah, I know a book is not about which boy she chooses, but it was a vital part of the book so I feel that I have to mention it.

So why did I love it? Well, the princess thing was relaxing to read about. Like having hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold day, or taking a hot bath, the scent of warm water and soap blended together to make a soothing mix of scents, or the smell of your hair after you wash it with your favorite shampoo. It was fluffy in a nice way and while yes, I can say that the writing wasn't Jane Austen-esque, it was nicely written and written in a way that was believable and cute. I can be a real girly-girl sometimes and have to admit that the princess thing was what originally drew me in. I know I'll definitely be reading the next book (Yes, for its cover :p but also for how much I enjoyed this book the second time around I read it.)

America, I still am not a fan of. She's still a little annoying and her name is still a little annoying. But I can say that she did grow on me through the book. She went through her ups and downs and sometimes I wanted to punch her in the face and other times I wanted to hug her, but all in all she ended up being fairly decent. Not my favorite female heroine of all time, but definitely not as bad as I thought originally.

Well, dear Selection , I've given you a second chance and I'm glad. Because I don't like not liking books. And now, may you and I live happily ever after. ;)

The Infamous Captcha :p

So, I know that all of you have probably come across this huge problem in blogs these days, and it's called Captcha.

Today, my friend Lottie over at La Lovely Stories   pointed the captcha on my blog out to me. I had no idea that it was there, and had gone through trying to decode the words on other people's blogs and found it frustrating. I thought, "well, It's good that my blog doesn't have one of these," but then I found out that it did, to my alarm.  I didn't know that it was automatic. I thought you had to adjust a setting.

It turns out, you do. The automatic is set as "yes" for "Set Word Verification". I didn't realize this. I scrolled through many websites talking about how to fix this, but none of them were helpful as there was no 'Old Blogger Interface' on my settings. So, I decided to find out how to do this MYSELF. I'm s smart girl right?

First, I went to "Settings".
Underneath "Settings", I clicked on "Posts and Comments".
Where it says "Show Word Verification", there's a drop-down menu.
To remove captcha, click on, "No."
It worked :)

Hope I helped some of you who might be confused, distressed... Etc. :)

love, love love
Annie :)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Book Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Number of Pages: 383
Publishing Date: April 6th 2006
Publishing Company: Viking Juvenile

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: A bookstore employee
Who I'd Recommend it To: Every teenage girl in the entire world, simply put. 

My Review:

When my dad brought this book back from London after a business trip, I was excited.  Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors and I had yet to read every book by her.  Apparently, an employee at my favorite bookstore in London had recommended this for a 13-year-old girl, and my dad had bought it for me and brought it back.  I anticipated the experience of reading it, as Sarah Dessen's books always hit me incredibly hard.  This time, though, I had no idea what I was about to read. 

Seventeen-year-old Annabel Greene is the girl who has it all.  She's tall, blond, beautiful, and popular.  She's a model who people recognize.  But the reader finds out that she's so much more than a pretty face.  Annabel struggles with the ever-present fact that her sister is getting treatment for serious anorexia, but most of all the fact that everyone has turned on her now.  She's not popular anymore.  Instead, every day she sits alone on the wall by the school, eating her lunch as her used-to-be best friend, Sophie, throws vicious insults at her.  "Slut." "Bitch." "Whore."  The remarks don't seem to ever stop.  But Annabel is living with a secret that's suffocating her--the fact that at a party at the end of the previous year, she was sexually assaulted by Sophie's boyfriend.  

For many weeks, Annabel is alone.  No one knows about the terrible thing she went through, and while she sits sombrely Sophie is surrounded by a gaggle of talking, laughing girls.  But there's this one person who changes everything.  It's Owen Armstrong, the definition of a "bad boy" at first glance.  But like Annabel might seem just a pretty face at first glance but runs deeper, Owen is the same way.  He's music-obsessed, a ponderer of life and music and honesty.  He is led to believe Annabel is honest but really has no idea of her problems.  Slowly, Annabel and Owen begin to fall in love, but Owen still has no clue what her problems are.  He knows a bit about her sister's anorexia and her social struggle, but he doesn't find out why until the end of the book. 

This book reminded me of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson in the sense that there is a girl hiding away from something that has haunted her for months.  When I finished the book, I cried. I actually did, and I don't often cry during books.  I felt sad, lonely, but ridiculously happy at the same time.  Annabel and Owen.  There's so much insta-love and stupid relationships in young adult literature these days, but Annabel and Owen's relationship was so real.  Like nothing I'd ever read about before.  If I had been any younger when I read this book I don't think it would have hit me as hard.  It was amazing.  Unreal, to tell you the truth. 

The plot is crystal clear, the writing pure and smooth, like creamy chocolate icing.  It was easy to read, not entirely challenging, but the story had so many layers it made me think.  The part of the book that had the wheels in my brain turning was when Whitney was reading her story in front of her two sisters, and when Kirsten showed her family the video of the two girls on the bikes, and when Annabel confessed everything that had happened in the past year to her family, and when Annabel and Owen shared that kiss after their nails-on-a-chalkboard fight.  

To me, the main theme in this story is family.  How completely messed up families can be but then turn out even more beautiful and valuable when everything is solved.  It was amazing, seeing that family as a precarious glass vase, then falling down and shattering, and cutting people's feet as they tried to step over the pieces, until finally someone comes in rubber gloves and picks up the pieces and tosses them in the trash, so that the broken pieces are gone, and then someone buys a new vase and secures it on the window so it'll never fall apart again.  That probably sounded confusing, but it makes sense to me if it doesn't to you. :p

Sarah Dessen amazes me.  She's one of my role models as a writer.  I want to touch my readers and make them think as much as I did when I read this book.  At the same time, my mind hurt after I stopped thinking about the book.  My mind hurts right now, typing this, thinking about this family and what they went through, and this girl and what SHE went through.  Sarah Dessen, you're amazing.  Sarah Dessen, you're my life.  I'll never, ever forget you, Sarah Dessen.  Thank you for providing this amazing, life-changing book that I will think about every day from now on.  

Saturday, 3 November 2012

SS #1: Writer's Block and Inspiration

My New, Improved Logo :))
Hello everyone! :)

 So if you recall I published a post a while ago, back in Late September (the days have passed unbelievably quickly!!) about something called "The Saturday Scoop".  I Have to unfortunately say that I have not followed up with my Promise that I included in that post and I'm SO sorry!! In case you forgot what The Saturday Scoop was, and want to know more about it, please click here

I Said that my first SS topic would be fangirling, but I have decided to file that subject away for later and focus on a different subject that Has been bugging me a lot lately: which is Writer's Block and Inspiration.  Definition of Writer's Block: "an inability to write".

An Inability to write... Curious, curious.  Now, let me say something that is particularly wrong with this statement: everyone can write.  For some people, it comes more naturally to them, and others struggle with writing. But everyone can DO it.  If they're passionate about writing, then they can write whatever the heck they want.  They just have to... write.

I Myself have descovered that writing comes at the strangest times.  When you want to write, you never can. You sit at the computer, looking at the screen blankly, not one single idea coming to mind, and the ones that do come to your mind seem bland, uninteresting, and cliche.  For Me, writing comes when it's a rainy day and there's a strange color in the sky, or when you're on an airplane looking down at the tiny world below you, or when you're reading a book and you suddenly realize that the two ends meet, or when you're on a rollercoaster feeling as if you might get sick.

So Now that we've established that Writer's Block is nonexistent, let me move into something that is quite related to writer's block: Inspiration.  If you have what is supposedly writer's Block, then you need inspiration ASAP.  How do you get inspiration? You Read.  You Watch.  You Listen.  There might be that girl you admire because she's not afraid to be out there, or there might be that author who manages to make words sound perfect and invincible and beautiful, or there might be that Math teacher who explains everything in a clear, calm voice and makes you feel relaxed when you were feeling panicked just moments ago.  Like writing can come to you at the strangest times, Inspiration can come to you at the strangest times.  It's an odd world, isn't it? But that's what makes writing beautiful. Inspiration.

I'm inspired every day.  I look at my mom, and my sister, and my brothers, and my dad, and even my dogs!  I look at my favorite authors and think, "I could be just like them someday".  And you CAN.  If you just sit down and write your heart out, or do whatever your heart out, you COULD be just like them someday.


love, love, love,
Annie :)