Thursday, December 8, 2011

Friday Memes #6

 Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View.

This week's question:


Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?


Well, my first answer would obviously be the Harry Potter series. I'm always going to recommend these books to everyone because they're purely magical and simply amazing (no pun intended? haha). I grew up with these books, and I still continue to re-read them every year.

Another book that I would recommend to everyone is Looking for Alaska by John Green. This book is amazing. John Green's writing has such great meaning, and he captures the teenage voice perfectly. His books are always hard-hitting and astounding. Every time I read Looking for Alaska, I love it more and more. And I know I'm gushing about this book, but it's just so good!

What books would you share with everyone you know?

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins


Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Published: September 29, 2011
Pages: 338
My Rating: 4.5/5
Misc.: Contemporary, companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. 

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Summary taken from goodreads.
My Review:
Stephanie Perkins is pure genius. Seriously. She is the sole reason I even read contemporary romance-y type books.  This was the perfect companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss.


Let's start with the plot. This book's main character, Lola Nolan, loves to create crazy costumes and just be herself, which some people have a hard time grasping. In the summer, her old next door neighbors, with whom she's had problems with in the past, move back to San Francisco. Their return brings back a stir of mixed feelings for Lola, and the book takes off from there. Stephanie Perkins' writing was amazing, as usual. Everything flowed together so well, and the pacing of the book was pretty fast. Everything worked together well.


I think my favorite part of the book would have to be the characters. Aside from the amazing love interest (and oh my, he was amazing. The chemistry between him and Lola was written beautifully), I loved the family dynamic in this book. When we first started reading, Lola and her dads seemed like a perfectly happy family. But like most families, nothing is perfect. There were twists, and I love how Stephanie Perkins was able to weave together the romance and the more serious issues. Aside from family, the Bells were my other favorite characters. Their entire family was so interesting and so well developed that I couldn't help loving their characters. And then I absolutely loved how Anna and St. Clair were more than just side characters. They played a crucial role in the story. The way all of the characters interacted with each other was just so well done that I can't get over it.


This was an amazing companion novel to Anna, but I can't really compare the two. Each were their own separate story, though they both shared Stephanie Perkins' writing style. I can't wait to see what Perkins has in store for us with the final companion novel!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review + Blog Tour: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Title: Farsighted
Author: Emlyn Chand
Publisher: Blue Crown Press
Published: October 24, 2011
Pages: 206
My Rating: 3.8/5
Misc.: First in series
Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all. 

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.
My Review:
Emlyn Chand's Farsighted was a refreshing read. The author does an amazing job using descriptions to show us everything that's happening. Since the main character, Alex, is blind, she gives us detailed descriptions of smell, sound, and touch. And even though there are virtually no descriptions of sight, I was still able to picture everything clearly in my mind. Her writing had a certain flow to it, and everything was very nicely paced. The bits of prophecies before each chapter also added something to the story.

Let's talk about the plot. I've read books that contain psychic people or small psychic elements, but never an entire book about the topic. After reading this book with all the different types of abilities  it contains, I'm excited to find some more. The story centered around Alex and the development of his new powers. Along with that came new friends and journeys. There were parts where I actually gasped due to some small twist that was thrown in. The plot plays out nicely and in my opinion, very well paced.

However the one thing that I didn't really like was the dynamics between the characters. Separately, I loved all of them. But for me, the dialogue between them didn't always seem plausible, and the relationships developed really quickly. I understand that the relationships had to develop for the pacing to go as evenly as it did, but it just seemed off to me. But other than that, the characters were all great! All of the "good" characters were like-able and for the most part relate-able (except for the being blind part, I can't really relate to that. Though, as I said before, the author did a great job with that) while all of the "bad" guys were infuriating and frustrating.

If you're looking for a different, even paced read, Emlyn Chand's Farsighted is the book for you!




About the Author:
Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!


More about the book:
Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).

Cash Prizes:
Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.

Giveaways:
Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.

Extras:
There's more fun below. Watch the live action Farsighted book trailer and take the quiz to find out which character is most like you!





**Quiz had to be removed due to malfunctions.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: August 31, 2010
Pages: 335
My Rating: 3/5
Misc.: First in Paranormalcy Trilogy, Paranormal

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.


Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.
My Review:
Can I just start this review out by applauding Kiersten White for portraying some scary creatures of the night as actually scary? It's not very often that we see vampires or werewolves as threatening paranormal creatures anymore, but this book did a good job showing the dangerous side of paranormals.

Let's start with Evie. She's our main character, and not only is she kick-ass, but she is girly too! I don't see that very often. Or at all, actually. Kiersten White created a really good balance between the two, so Evie didn't come off as annoying. I also love how most of the characters weren't human, but they weren't "typical" paranormals either. There are faeries, goblins, werewolves, vampires, mermaids, and entirely new species that most of us haven't heard of before. And I absolutely loved the relationship Evie had with her best friend and Lend, the shape-shifter.

The plot was also pretty good. From the beginning, I was captured by the thought, "Why is this human girl working for a paranormal agency?" And then the plot builds on that question. It was beautifully done. By the end, I was really rooting for Evie to succeed.

The one thing I didn't really like about this book was the pacing. It's not that it wasn't fast paced, it was just that whenever I put the book down, I didn't feel the need to pick it back up again. I ended up going on a two week vacation in the middle of reading the book, and it wasn't until I left that I realized I left the book at home. The author's writing is also just okay. Nothing stood out for me too much.

But overall, I did enjoy this book. It was an okay, funny read. I'm definitely going to check out the second book in the series when I have time. I'd recommend this book for anyone looking for a light read or something to do to pass the time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday Memes #5


Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View.

This week's question:

If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, which would you choose and why?


I think it would be awesome if characters from Hourglass by Myra McEntire met with the whole Doctor Who cast. Woo, time travel! Seriously, how awesome would that be? Em and Michael don't need a TARDIS, but they can still travel with the Doctor throughout space :)


(Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books)

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question is:
What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer! I just finished this book like two days ago, and I can't read anything else because I'm afraid that I'm going to think that book is terrible compared to Mara Dyer. It was that good. Anyways, my favorite parts were trying to figure out what actually happened at the asylum the night her friends died. And the creepy hallucinations added to the spooky effect. It was just a great read!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox #3

IMM is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Sorry I haven't done and IMM for a while, I just haven't really got a lot of books until recently. So now I can do one :D

Here's what I got this week:

Bought:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (review here)
I borrowed this book from the library and absolutely loved it, so I just needed to buy a copy. So I did. I'm probably gonna re-read it soon, even though I just recently read it.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (review coming soon)
I read this book as soon as I got it, and I loved it! I can't wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After!
I've heard so many good things about this book. At first I was like ehh, i'll get it if I have time to read it,  but when I saw it in the store, I kinda went crazy and needed to buy it.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This book has been hyped up to the max, and I've been wanting to buy it ever since I first heard about it. I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Richelle Mead! Ahh! Companion series to Vampire Academy! Need I say more?
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
This is another one that caught my eye as soon as I saw it. So I thought since it's close to Halloween, why not?

Borrowed from Library:

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta 
I've heard so many amazing things about this book. I need to read it soon though, cause these books are almost due.
Between by Jessica Warman
I kind of got this book on impulse when I saw it, but I'm excited to see how it turns out.
I'm actually reading this one now, and I have to say, it's pretty good. Can't wait to finish it!

For Review:

The Poppet and the Lune by Madeline Claire Franklin
This one is a self published book, so thank you Madeline Claire Franklin for sending it to me! I'm also reading this, and it's amazing so far.
Far From the War by Jeffery David Payne
Thank you Roche Harbor Books for sending this my way! It's a dystopian, so I can't wait to start reading it!

E-books:
 

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowly
I've heard a lot of good things about this one. Can't wait to read it!
Ashes by Isla J. Bick
I haven't heard much about this one, so does anyone know if it's good or not?
Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
Thank you Emily for sending this to me! Can't wait to start it!


Thank you Ann for sending this my way! I've already started it, so I should be done soon.
The Future Perfect by Kirk Mustard (not pictured)
Thank you again to the author for sending this to me. I'll try to get to it as soon as possible! :)


So what did you guys get this week?  :D

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Published: December 2, 2010
Pages: 372
My Rating: 4.8/5
Misc.: Contemporary, two companion novels coming soon
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

Synopsis taken from goodreads.
My Review: 
I don't really have that much experience reading contemporary romance novels, but omg this was absolutely amazing! I think Stephanie Perkins may have opened me up to a new genre in YA. Yay.

At first, looking at the cover and the title, I was like "no way". It seemed way too cheesy and predictable. And parts of it were. But there were parts that were so unexpected and serious and beautifully written that they made me fall in love with this book. Stephanie Perkins knows how to blend funny with serious to create the perfect balance between the two. Her writing is fast paced and flows wonderfully.

Aside from the writing, the characters were another reason that made me fall in love with this book. The main character, Anna, was not the only character developed so well. In fact, I think some characters like St. Clair were even more developed than her. And the side characters each had their own back-story which really made me care about them too. I wasn't just rooting for Anna. I was rooting for Anna, St. Clair, Rashmi, Josh, and Meredith. Another thing I loved was that all of the characters had their flaws. Nobody was perfect, not even the love interest. They had fears, they had breakdowns, they were real. That was another thing Stephanie Perkins did a great job on.

Lastly, the plot. It took me a little while to figure out what the plot was, but when I did, the book really fell together for me. Throughout the book, she's just trying to survive life in Paris when all she really wants to do is go back home to Atlanta. And the readers are right there along with her. The descriptions are so clear, you really feel like you're in Paris with Anna.

So basically, this book was amazing and I urge you guys to read it if you haven't already (I think I was one of the last people to read this book, actually lol). I can't wait to get Lola, which I already ordered. It should be here in a week, yay! I think after reading this, I'm going to try to read some more contemporary novels. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm Horrible D:

SORRYYYYYY! I disappeared on you guys. Sorry sorry sorry sorry. School's been really bleh, and I procrastinated on finishing all of my summer reading assignments so I was pulling all nighters, not getting any sleep, and overall damaging my health lol. BUT I'M DONE! And I just read a book in a day yesterday (Anna and the French Kiss, it was awesome!) and I have three reviews coming up. Now that I don't have any more books where I need to annotate every single page, I'll be reading a lot faster again. Which means more reviews. Yay.

Okay, so that's it for my apologies/excuses. I'll be more active again, I promise! Okay, now I'm gonna go and read so I'll have more to post on here. :D

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friday Memes (4)




This week's question:

Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one?


Hmm. No, I don't think I've ever wanted the villain to win. At least, I don't remember wanting the villain to win. But there have been times when the protagonist was just so whiny and annoying and just under-developed that I may not have wanted him/her to succeed. But no, I generally want the people who try to destroy the world to lose.  



Book Blogger Hop(Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books)
This week's question is:
“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

I primarily read YA books. It would completely devastate me if authors stopped writing YA. It's just such a diverse genre. However, if there really was no more YA, I guess I would go into reading other fiction. And if that isn't enough, I'll pick up some classics and start reading those. I've always wished that I read more classics.



(hosted by Ginger at GReads)
This week's question:
Books to Television: Which books would you love 
to see made in to a TV series? or movie?

Hmm. This is a hard one since it seems like every books is being made into either a TV series or a movie these days. I kind of wish it wasn't like that. I miss being able to imagine characters and settings in your head without having a movie mess up how you see everything. For example, I liked Twilight before I saw the movies. To me, the movies pointed out small imperfections about the books that kept building up and building up until it got to the point where I couldn't read the books anymore. I don't want that to happen again. And honestly, I can't think of any book I would want to be made into a TV show or a movie that isn't already in production. But I will say that I am ridiculously excited for the Mortal Instruments movie and the Hunger Games movie. 

And I have to say that when a movie is done well, it really enhances my experience with the book. But sadly, that's not as common as the opposite D:

But yeah, Mortal Instruments and Hunger Games, wooo! 



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Published: June 7, 2011
Pages: 352
My Rating: 4.7/5
Misc.: --
A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.
My Review:
First off, let me just say that the creepy vintage pictures throughout the book were amazing. I thought they really added to the story. When I bought the book, I was really excited for it and seriously considered only reading it when it was still light outside (I mean really. Just look at the cover. Creepy.). The book did live up to my expectations, and I'm happy to say only parts of it were creepy-ish.

So let's start with the characters. I liked the main character Jacob. He was down to earth, and generally a nice guy. But there wasn't really anything too special about him at first. He just seemed kinda uhh, plain. So it was nice to see his character develop into something more. And I also loved his relationship with his grandfather. I loved how his grandfather trusted him the most out of everyone in his family. His grandfather was definitely the most in-depth and mysterious character in the book. I was always waiting to learn about his past and what happened that lead to his present. And I loved his stories about the Peculiar Children.

That being said, the plot was also really well done. It starts off as a mystery with Jacob travelling to the island where his grandfather grew up to get more information about what had happened while he lived there. From there, it escalates to a much, much bigger adventure. I cant really say much without giving away the mystery, but it was very well planned out. The writing was very clear and funny, and Ransom Riggs did an amazing job tying in the pictures to the story. The book was pretty fast paced, with the exception of the beginning, which was kinda slow in my opinion. But overall, it flowed nicely.

The one thing that stopped me from giving the book a 5/5 rating was the ending. When I read it, I thought it was a standalone novel, but now I've heard rumors of a second book which I'm still not entirely certain about. Anyways, if there is a second book, the ending would make much more sense. It's not that it ends on a cliffhanger (it doesn't), it's just that as I was reading it, I felt like it just stopped in the middle of a chapter. There were a few loose ends, but other than that the ending just felt abrupt. I still think the book would've made a fine standalone, but the ending just left me a little bit confused.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery and adventure. Or even anyone willing to try something new. This book isn't likely to be one I'll forget anytime soon. In fact, I may even re-read it when I get the chance. Overall, it was a great read.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Back!

I actually got back from vacation on Friday, but with the whole getting used to the time-zone thing again, and then the whole Hurricane Irene situation, and then with the losing power incident this was the earliest I could get back to the blog. Sorry guys :( But I'm finally back and I will be posting again!

I know I said I'd try to post while I was on vacation, but it turns out it was a lot harder than I expected to find internet. So that didn't really get to happen. But now that I'm back I have a couple of posts lined up, so get ready for those. I'm excited to be back :D

Oh, and one more thing. School is starting in a week, so I'm probably going to be a little less active seeing as how it's my junior year. But I promise I will still post as often as I can. Which will hopefully be often. That being said, I'm off to read the three summer reading books I've been procrastinating on. Wish me luck...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vacation!

Hey guys! Just wanted to say that my plane finally arrived and that as of now, I'm on vacation. But this also means that I don't get internet a lot over here, so I wont be able to post as much. I'll be away until August 26th. When I get back, I'll get back to posting as regular. So sorry in advance if I'm not responding to comments or following people back right now. I promise I'll get back to doing that as soon as I get home!

See you guys in a few weeks :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire & Update









I'll start out with the update because it's fairly short. So here it is:
I'm going on vacation tomorrow (err, today? It's 1 a.m. lol). I'm going to Europe to visit some family members for  two weeks. We're only bringing one computer and we might not have internet all the time, so I'm going to be MIA for a bit. I'm bringing a lot of books with me, so when I can get on I'll post up reviews for them. But yeah, from the 11th to the 26th (or 25th, not sure yet) I'm not going to be able to post that much. But I'll have a lot of reviews up when I get back.

Okay, now on to the review of Hourglass:


Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Published: June 14, 2011
Pages: 397
My Rating: 4/5
Misc.: First in Hourglass trilogy
One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.
My Review:
I really liked this book. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on this book, so I wasn't sure on how I would feel about it, but I really liked it. There was a bit of instalove (just a bit), but for once, I honestly didn't mind it. And that is saying something. I loved the characters, and I thought the plot was very well planned out.

I read this book in under a day. And seeing how it is basically 400 pages, this never happens. So yes, this book was fast paced. It follows the main character, Emerson, as she slowly learns why she is able to see people from the past and what this means for her. She meets Michael, who helps her learn to accept the visions and somehow is able to answer her questions about who she is.

This brings me to the characters. I loved the characters. I loved how there was no back stabbing best friend and her brother/guardian was very realistic. Emerson and her brother have that sibling love/hate relationship, but as her brother is also her legal guardian, he did have parental qualities to him as well. He was probably my favorite character aside from the main characters. And then there was the romance in this book. This book left me smiling like an idiot when I read all the romantic parts (this rarely ever happens, I swear). And then the villains. They were a tad bit classic villain, but still. You love to hate them.

The plot was well thought out, too. When I first started reading the book, there was no way I could have guessed what would have happened. But the mystery and the pacing pulled me forward. I can't really say much more about the plot than what the Goodreads summary says because then I might spoil something. But it was really well planned. However, the reason I gave this book a 4/5 instead of a 5/5 was because of the end. I just felt it could have been done better. There was just some... unnecessary complications in my opinion. Again, I can't really say what they are because that would be spoilery.

Overall, I would recommend this book. I didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I did, so I'm glad I picked it up. It might not be for everyone, but I'd say give it a try. Now I just can't wait for the second installment.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Mailbox #2

IMM is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Here's what I got this week:


Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Just finished it, review's gonna be up soon!)
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

What did you guys get?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano




Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: March 22, 2011
Pages: 358
My Rating: 3/5
Misc.: First in Chemical Garden trilogy

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.
My Review:
Wither is Lauren DeStefano's debut novel, and I must say, for a first novel it is impressive. It takes place in a dystopian world where a "virus" has spread, causing females to live to the age of 20 and males to the age of 25. The story revolves around Rhine, who is kidnapped by Gatherers and sold into a marriage, and is struggling to find a way to escape and go back home. 


I love that even though dystopian is a huge trend right now, DeStefano manages to find a way to stay original. I love the premise of the world, and I was kept wondering if anyone was ever going to find a cure to the virus. I just didn't find some aspects of the world and how people reacted to certain things believable. That being said, in this world, girls are kidnapped very often. But I noticed that nobody really tried to stop this. Huh? So when Rhine gets kidnapped (this happens before the first chapter, not spoilery, I promise) I was hoping for more of an explanation of how it happened. It is explained later on, but not really in much detail.


Another thing, this book took me about a week to read, which is not usual for me. It's not that the book was slow paced, it just wasn't fast paced. When I put it down, I didn't feel the need to immediately pick it up again. Though, what kept me going was the characters. I loved how developed each character was. Even the side characters that only show up a couple of times in the book had a distinct personality. And I love how the main characters were flawed. Rhine sometimes lost her way. But then again, nobody's perfect. My favorite character, however, was Jenna. She is one of Rhine's sister wives, and I was amazed at her strength, loyalty, and determination.


The plot was okay. It was laid out pretty much from the beginning of the book. I just wish we get to see more happening in the rest of the series. Though, I love Lauren DeStefano's writing style. She creates beautiful sentences, and the book flowed nicely. Aside from the characters, the writing style is definitely my favorite part of the book.


So yes, the world is unique, but at certain points, not very believable. It wasn't very fast paced either. But I think the characters and writing style saved this book. I wouldn't recommend this book if you're looking for something with a lot of action in it, but if you're looking for some sci-fi  or a little romance, give this book a try. The sequel, Fever, comes out in February 2012.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Friday Memes (3)




This week's question:

Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).


First of all, one that I'm sure many are going to mention, is the Harry Potter series. They brought a magical world with them, and I allowed myself to get lost in it. JK Rowling gave me something to look forward to every time she released a new book. Harry Potter has been, and still is, my childhood. Ever since then, I've been looking for more books that allow me to get lost in the world the author has created.

Another book would be Looking for Alaska by John Green. While Harry Potter got me into reading, Looking for Alaska introduced me to YA. This book is truly amazing. I don't know how else to describe it. Whenever I felt sad, I would pick up this book just to re read Pudge's story and experience the raw emotion in this book. The writing is beautiful. The story is beautiful. I think this will forever be one of my favorite books.


Lastly, there's A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I devoured all thirteen books and was sad to see it's end. As a kid, I just loved how the author was able to weave himself into the stories. I followed Violet, Klaus, and Sunny's story until the very end, and I hated Count Olaf with a passion. I think this is the only series that has ever come close to meaning this much to me as Harry Potter did. Harry Potter and the Series of Unfortunate Events marked my childhood.



Book Blogger Hop(Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books)
This week's question is:
“What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?”

I can't decide between Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi or The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I've been wanting to read those books ever since I first heard about them.



(hosted by Ginger at GReads)
This week's question:
Taking it Personal: Which books have effected you on a personal level and lingered in your mind long after you closed the pages?


Pretty much same as the Follow Friday answer. Looking for Alaska by John Green and Harry Potter by JK Rowling. They're the reason I started reading

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

What I'm waiting on:
Name: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.
Why I want to read it:
I've heard so many good reviews on this book. The story sounds so unique and refreshing. Plus, look at that cover! Is it not gorgeous?! I've been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain



Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Publisher: Egmont USA
Published: December 22, 2009
Pages: 372
My Rating: 3.8/5
Misc.: First in The Dark Divine trilogy

A Prodigal Son 

A Dangerous Love

A Deadly Secret
 

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood. 

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother. 

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

Taken from goodreads.

My Review:
Honestly, I thought this book was going to be much worse than it was. I bought it a year ago, but I only picked it up recently, and when I did, I wasn't as excited for it. So when I actually read it, it exceeded my expectations. I was expecting a book filled with stereotypes, insta-love, and completely predictable. I'm happy to say I was wrong, though there was a bit of insta-love.

Grace, the main character, gets thrown back into her past when she finds out that a boy from her childhood is back in town. Daniel's return sparks all kind of interest around town, but the worst is her family's, who warn her to stay away from him. I think my favorite part of the book was waiting and trying to figure out what happened in the past between Daniel and Grace's brother, Jude, that caused him to leave. And when I found out what it was, I was shocked and left needing more.

The characters were okay. I was happy to see that Grace was more strong-willed than most female main characters these days, but I didn't always agree with her decisions. But still, I found her a likeable main character, and I loved that I could connect with her through her love of art. It was also fun to watch the side characters grow. I loved Grace's best friend. You could see her character developing throughout the book. And watching Daniel's character open up was fun too. And I loved a lot of the Grace & Daniel scenes. ;)

The writing style was also okay. Nothing really stood out too much for me, but it definitely was not bad. The book flowed nicely and was not slow paced. I even had the story on my mind for a bit after finishing it. That said, no, the book was not completely mind blowingly amazing, but it exceeded my expectations and is definitely worth picking up. I can't wait to continue the story with The Lost Saint.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Follow Friday (2)




This week's question:

Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?


Hmm. Well I have a T-shirt that says "You're just jealous that the voices talk to me." I think that's pretty fitting. Or any band tees. I wear those a lot. You can usually find me wearing a T-shirt with one of my favorite band logos on it.


Here's the one I have:

What about you?


And...


(hosted by Ginger at GReads)
This week's question:
Character Envy: If you could be one character from a book, 
who would you choose & why?


I would definitely choose Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth. Not only is this one of my favorite books, but Tris is just so kick-ass and strong. I would love to be as courageous and awesome as her for even a day. Plus there's the added bonus of knowing a certain someone. ;)

Who would you pick?

And...


Book Blogger Hop
(Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books)
This week's question is:
“Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!”


I got Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. I can't wait to read this book, I've heard so many good things about it. Plus, I love a good retelling of old stories. :)





Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

Taken from goodreads