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?


(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?


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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: February1, 2011
Pages: 441
My Rating: 3.5/5
Misc.: First in Delirium trilogy

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.

My Review:
There was a lot of hype surrounding this book, which made me kind of hesitant to read it. But I'm glad I did. I'll admit though, the beginning was a bit slow and the world intimidated me. But I stuck with with it, and I'm glad.

Lauren Oliver created a terrifying world; a world without love. Not only does this mean that boys and girls under 18 who have not been "cured" of love are not allowed to have any contact with each other, but this also means that parents are not allowed to love their children, siblings are not allowed to feel anything but indifference to each other. A world like that would just be scary. So I kept reading because I wanted to see how things were going to play out in the world.

Though I liked the main characters of the book, I didn't really connect with Lena. I liked her, and I wanted things to work out for her, but that was it. However, I thought her best friend, Hana, was an amazing character. She actually has a distinct personality. Maybe even more than Lena. Hmm. So anyways, I thought the characters were okay. But I loved Lauren Oliver's writing. It was just beautiful. I think that's really what kept me reading until the end.

And the ending. Oh my, the ending. I can't say anything here because that would obviously be spoilery, but WOW. I need Pandemonium to come out sooner. I was awed and in shock for at least an hour. If not more.  The ending just made me love the book more and hate it at the same time, you know what I mean? Ahh. I can't wait for the sequel.

Also, have you guys seen the new cover? :

 Personally, I like this one better, and I'm glad the series is continuing with this style. What do you think?

Waiting on Wednesday

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

What I'm waiting on:
Name: The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
Publication Date: January 10, 2012

Author of the New York Times bestseller Looking for Alaska, John Green delivers his next page-turner -- The Fault in Our Stars. Pre-order his book today!

Why I want to read it:
It's John Green! As some of you may know, he's one of my favorite authors. I can't even find a synopsis anywhere, but I'm still excited for it. I've loved all his books so far. I got so excited when he announced that the release date was moved up five months.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
From Wither by Lauren DeStefano:

"'Poor Kid,' Jenna says, and rolls her eyes towards me for a moment. Then she returns to her book. 'She doesn't even understand what kind of place this is.'" -pg. 70

This book is so great so far! Can't wait to finish it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

In My Mailbox

Sorry this is a little bit late, but my camera wasn't working yesterday. Also, I just want to say that I probably won't be doing these every week. That being because I don't usually buy books every week. I'm in high school, and I don't have a job. I can't buy books every week (sad face). But I promise I will post an IMM whenever I buy books. :)

So, here's what I got in my mailbox this week:


The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

So I re-bought the second and third Harry Potter books so I can have a full set again. Yay! And now I'm re-reading the series for what must be the hundredth time. Then I bought The Road because I have to read it for my AP English class. And lastly I got Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce because I've heard so many good things about it and I can't want to read it.


Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison (NetGalley)
The New World by Patrick Ness

I've seen Tris & Izzie a couple of times before and when I saw it at NetGalley, I thought, why not? Egmont Publishers were kind enough to send a copy to my Kindle. Then I saw that The New World by Patrick Ness was free on Amazon, and I had to get it. I've been wanting to read his Chaos Walking series for a long time now. Should I start with The New World or wait until after I've read the series to read the prequel?

So, what did you guys get in your mailbox?

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: August 31, 2010
Pages: 476
My Rating: 4.5/5
Misc.: First in Infernal Devices trilogy

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still. 

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. 

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. 

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.

My Review:
Cassandra Clare has done it again! Though I must say, I think I like the Infernal Devices series better than the Mortal Instruments. I adore the historical London setting. Seeing how different Shadowhunters were in the past was a real treat. I'm used to Clare's Mortal Instrument series where Shadowhunters are battling demons in New York City , so the change in setting was welcomed.

As always, Clare creates these horrible villains and in depth protagonists. However, I was a bit disappointed to see some characters acted very (and I mean very) similarly to some of her Mortal Instruments characters. But other than that, I liked how Clockwork Angel was generally different from the Mortal Instruments. The main character, Tessa, goes to London to search for her brother, but instead discovers a hidden world. She learns pretty quickly, though, and is willing to do just about anything to find her brother.

The book is pretty fast paced. I liked how all the action scenes weren't squished together in the last fifty pages of the book and actually spread out throughout the book. Also, the writing style was pretty good. Cassandra Clare can really get inside the head of a teenager, so she's able to give her characters a strong voice. Another thing I loved was the historical aspect. Clare was able to tell a story about this world that she created and weave in bits of historical events that actually happened. That really created a good balance in the book.

In general, I'd recommend this to fans of Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and people new to her work. I think that the Infernal Devices series is a great companion series to the Mortal Instruments, and I may even like it better. I can't wait until Clockwork Prince's release.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Published: June 7, 2011
Pages: 459
My Rating: 3.5/5
Misc.: First in trilogy

 Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.

My Review:
I am going to start off by saying that I did not like the beginning of this book.  There's just something about books where the main character is alone and on a long journey that my brain just does not like. I guess it's the lack of contact with other people. Hmm. Maybe. Anyways, I was tempted to just stop reading at one point. But I'm glad I didn't.

The writing style is... different... in this book. While that may bother some people, I actually had no problem with it. I thought it added more to the story. The narrator, Saba, is telling the story as if she were speaking regularly. This means that throughout the book, words are spelled how Saba would pronounce them and sentences are often grammatically incorrect. However, this gave Saba a powerful voice.

Okay, that aside, Saba was a strong character. Which I loved. What I did not love, however, was how she treated other people, like her sister. I kept hoping that at some point in the story, she would actually be nice to someone. I was happy to see her character progress throughout the story. As I said before, I didn't like the beginning of the book. That was partially because of Saba's attitude. But again, I'm glad I kept reading because then I wouldn't have met all the other awesome characters in this book. In all, pretty much every character was kick-ass and tough and just awesome.

What saved the book for me was the action in the second half of the book. This again, was partially due to the kick-ass characters Saba meets. Which includes the dangerous Free Hawks and Jack, who is sarcastic, witty, tough, and just brilliant. I like how the book played out. It didn't end on a cliffhanger, but it definitely left room for a sequel. I'd be willing to check out the sequel and get more of Saba, Jack, and whatever they get themselves into.

Follow Friday

I decided to do this meme. Why not, right?

Question: Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from.

Hmm. Okay.

1) John Green. The man is a literary genius. Looking for Alaska is easily one of my favorite books and the book that got me into reading in the first place. After reading that, I immediately wanted to read more of his work. So I did. Plus, his youtube channel with his brother is amazing. DFTBA. 

2) JK Rowling. She is the creater of Harry Potter. What else do I need to say? That's my entire childhood right there. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home. <3

3) Richelle Mead. I had to think about this, but in the end, I would love to meet her. Vampire Academy is one of the few series I actually finished and enjoyed every bit of it. Plus, I'd just love to talk to her about the amazing world she created and how she's gonna continue with it in Bloodlines. Ahh I can't wait to read that.

So that's pretty much it for me. What about you? What authors would you like to meet?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: July 26, 2011
Pages: 400
My Rating: 3.9/5
Misc.: First in trilogy

 Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.

My Review:
This book was a pleasant surprise. I'll admit the last book based on mythology I've read was the first Percy Jackson book when I was in seventh grade, so I don't really have that much to compare this book too. However Wildefire had most of the elements I'm looking for in a good book; a strong kick-ass main character, action, and an intense back story.

After reading the first two pages, it was clear that Ash was not someone you wanted to cross. She has a temper, and she's independent. Yes, she is violent at times. Yes, she swears and drinks, as do other characters. Will that bother some people? Probably. But in my opinion, these things are not that uncommon in teenage lives as people would like to believe. Karsten Knight didn't go overboard with the violence/swearing/drinking in Wildefire. I think he created pretty realistic teenagers--uhh, aside from the whole gods/goddesses aspect. Anyways, it was nice to have a strong minded female main character instead of a whiny girl. Besides Ash's kick-ass-ness, I was also happy to see that the 'side' characters, if you can call them that, were crucial to the story. Ash's friends were not only diverse in ethnicity, which is not something I find in books a lot nowadays, but they each had their own unique personalities. And where I loved the main characters, I loved to hate the villians. Eve and Ash's backstory made for some twisted family dynamics. Where Ash was violent at times, but she had morals. Eve was just... well, not so much. 

Though I loved all of that, I just had two problems with this book. First, the beginning of the book was kinda slow for me. It wasn't until about 100 pages in that things really started to pick up. Second, the romance. I just couldn't find it believable. It felt a little too much like instalove, and honestly, a bit creepy in the beginning. I felt like I missed the spark that ignited their relationship.

But those things aside, I really did enjoy this book. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in a good mythology read, or anyone who just loves a little action in their book. I'll definitely pick up my own copy of this book and the sequel when it comes out.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: January 11, 2011
Pages: 398
My Rating: 4.5/5
Misc.: Hardcover

 Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Synopsis taken from GoodReads.

My Review:
From all of the hype going around about this book, my expectations were high. I'm happy to say that the book did not disappoint. Beth Revis created  a wonderful novel about the future and what is in store for us humans. In her book, important people are being frozen and loaded onto a spaceship that is set to land 300 years in the future on a new planet. That being said, something goes wrong when our main character Amy gets unplugged 50 years early. The book is set on Godspeed, the spaceship.

What I loved about this book is just how carefully the plot was planned out. There were twists, turns, secrets, and shocking revelations, but by the end of the book, everything fit together perfectly. The world that Beth Revis created was so unique, down to its inhabitants. The people living on the ship at first shocked me because they're so different from people today, but then I realized, we're completely different from people 250 years ago too. Learning about the culture and the Elder/Eldest system was one of the things that kept me hooked.

However, I felt that the characters kept me from giving this book a 5/5 rating. I didn't really see the connection between Amy and Elder. Also, it didn't seem like being frozen for 250 years affected Amy that much. I thought there should have been at least a little bit to show for that. Although, it was nice to see Elder grow as a character throughout the book. Also, it was nice to see that this book was one of those books where the side characters were more than just side characters. Harley, Elder's best friend, played a big role. Though I liked the characters, I would have liked to see a little more sparks between them, you know?

Overall, I thought this book was great read. It was unique and definitely unlike anything I've read before. I would recommend it to readers who love dystopian or sci-fy, or even romance. I can't believe we have to wait all the way until January 2012 for A Million Suns though D:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: May 3, 2011
Pages: 487
My Rating: 5/5
Misc.: Hardcover, first in trilogy

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. 

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Synopsis taken from GoodReads.  
My Review:
First off, I would like to say that this was probably one of my favorite reads of 2011, if not my favorite. That being said, lets get into the review.

Divergent has everything I look for in a book: strong characters, well developed setting, a good plot, and nice pacing. There was plenty of action, mystery, and even some romance. The first thing the grabbed my attention about this book was the world, and how it was divided into five different factions. I thought that there was no way a government like that would work, and for that reason I decided to continue reading to see how Veronica Roth would play this out. And I am so glad I did. Once the world is introduced to the readers, the story is propelled forward and we are thrust into Beatrice's thoughts, worries, and life. 

Which leads me to the characters. Each character in the book was so well developed that they all had their own distinct personalities. I felt that each character mentioned was important to the story, even if they are only briefly mentioned. Now, if I love the minor characters this much, let me express how much I love the main characters. I thought that Tris and her love interest (not gonna mention who because that would be kind of spoilery) were PERFECT. Nothing was rushed and everything developed naturally between them. One thing I loved the most was that her love interest had flaws, just as a normal person would. He was not a fairy-tale prince. He had his own problems to deal with and a past that came along with them. He was real. Not something I come across very often in books lately. And Tris, the main character, was such a strong female lead. I felt as if her problems were my own, and I wanted her to succeed. I found myself caring about what happened to these fictional characters. I love it when an author can make the reader connect with the characters like that.

Along with the characters, the plot was also very well-developed. I felt as if the book were a puzzle, and with every new twist, a piece fell into place as something new was discovered. The mystery of why Tris was in danger pushed the curious part of me to read on while the action pushed the anxious-to-know-what-will-happen part of me to do the same. I felt as if there was a balance between the mystery, action, and romance in this book that allowed it to fall together so nicely. It allowed for an amazing read, and I cannot wait until the sequel comes out.

I also wanted to mention how this book has been compared to The Hunger Games a lot. However, I don't think that the two really can be compared. They're completely different stories. The one similarity between them, in my opinion, is that they are both set in a dystopian world. Other than that, the stories are two completely different works. Both books were amazing, but I don't see how they can be compared.