Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hush Hush, the much anticipated end?

Nora and her fallen angel boyfriend, Patch have survived. After killing the leader of the Nephilim army, her step father, Nora becomes their leader. Although many do not agree with this take over, it is what the Black Hand wished. In order to keep their alliance a secret, Nora and Patch stage a pretend fight to end their relationship. With the help of Dante, the Black Hand's second in command, Nora begins to slowly gain the allegiance of her people. As the anticipation of the battle between the Nephilim and the fallen angels begins, Nora needs to decide what is more important: having power, or Patch. The two are confronted with many differences between their kind, and it is up to them to determine if this defines their path.

I am going to be honest here. I did not completely read this novel. Before you call me a fraud, let me explain:
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick was a most anticipated end to the saga. After reading Hush Hush, readers are sucked into this world of fallen angels, love, and passion. Once you continue reading, you wonder if there was anything special about it to begin with. Then there's this book. I was most disappointed with the 3rd: Silence. It was meant to be the final book, but because the author clearly needed a whole other book to end her deeply developed story, it turned out to be a tease. Silence was nothing special at all. I found myself bored and disappointed, especially because the main character, Nora, seems to get more intolerable as the series continues.
I decided I would read the final book. When you come so far, you think to yourself: Self, let's just finish this off. This was, quite literally, the conversation I had with myself on this novel. Picking this book up and starting it was easy because I anticipated a shallow, easy to follow plot. However the more I read, the more I became quite aggravated. The way the author goes about describing characters, setting, plot was so trite. I felt as though she gave up halfway through writing this series.

Hush Hush was one of those books I fell in love with because it was great all around. The plot and theme were new, the ideas were interesting, and it really felt like I wouldn't be let down for the rest of the journey. I was wrong. Her writing was slapdash, her ideas were boring, and the main character could not pay me to get involved in the story. EVEN THE TITLE IS LAZY! It was a mess. So halfway through, I began to skim. I skimmed all the way through the end of the book.
I got to the resolution and, honestly, started laughing. Not only does everything end fairly quickly with no big finish, but the epilogue focuses on the marriage of Nora's best friend, Vee, who can only be described as horny, overweight, and occasionally a great friend to have. Maybe there's more depth to her, but I couldn't really see it. As for Patch, he turned from sexy and mysterious, to Edward. What does he even see in Nora?!
The only thing I really got out of this novel was the fact that Fitzpatrick tried to be the new Stephanie Meyer without bringing in vampires and werewolves. Instead it's fallen angels. Basically the same story. I haven't even read Twilight, but I can imagine it follows the same plot.

So no, I did not officially read this book cover to cover, but I read enough to know it was a disappointment. If you need a series to pick up, this is not the one. Unfortunately, this series ends with the first book. And it makes me sad because I really did like the first one. I just feel the author got lazy and hitched her writing on the coat tails of other ideas. In this case, it didn't work for me. When you start to feel sorry for the author because you think "THIS is the best you came up with?" it's officially time to close the book and move on. Trust me, I don't do that often. It's safe to say this one did not hit any type of mark in my book. We can only hope if Fitzpatrick decides to write another novel that it doesn't relate to this one. At all. Please.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

This Place is the Thing Behind Madness. There is Nothing Good Here

Cas is still heartbroken after losing Anna 6th months ago. She sacrificed herself and was dragged to hell by the Obeahman, the same monster who killed his father. Now, Anna is in his nightmares being tortured and begging Cas to free her. He is convinced that Anna is in a hell she does not deserve, and he needs to go after her.
His best friend, Thomas, understands, but he knows it will not be an easy task. Thomas's grandfather, Cas's' mother, and even their friend, Carmel, know this is a fight not easily won. Everyone says to leave the dead alone; she was a murderer, so she belongs in hell. But Cas won't let the girl he loves rot in a hell designed by the Obeahman. Determined to set things right, Cas and Thomas begin researching ways to get to Anna, and how to bring her back.
A packet from Gideon, his father and mother's close friend, may prove to serve up more secrets and bring about new enemies. Armed and ready to avenge Anna's noble death, Cas will stop at nothing to bring her out and into a world she belongs. Even if it means his death.
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake is an amazing read! I specifically kept it until October so it would be the perfect Halloween book, and it did not let me down. Just like Anna Dressed in Blood, the writing is so ridiculously good. A few times I had to look at the back cover just to be sure the author was a woman because she does such a great job with Cas's voice. All the characters are likeable and able to relate to in some way. The description is incredible. I absolutely fell in love with these two books! I don't know if there will be a third because of the ending, but I sure hope Blake writes more in the future.
I think at least somewhere down the line there should be a movie made. I could see a Zac Efron playing Cas...not just because of the age, but because I feel like he could do dark, mysterious, and oh so hot. Me thinking of Zac Efron is hot when he is practically my younger brother's age is disgusting, by the way. *Side note: technically he's only two years younger than I I can feel okay oogling him. :p*
But read this book and tell me you don't see a great male lead who is a loner and completely gorgeous?
Read these books. End of story. You want an intense spooky ride with great writing: read these!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

True Love's Kiss May Prove Deadly...

Mira's sixteenth birthday is approaching, but the only thing she wants is to find out what happened to her parents. Her god parents are so wonderful, but Mira has so many questions about her parents' passing, the old town they were from, and why she has this strange birth mark shaped like a spinning wheel on her back.
A few days before the big day, Mira leaves home in search for Beau Rivage, the town she was born in. She stumbles into a casino, called The Dream, where she first encounters Blue and Freddie. Freddie is stunningly handsome, but seems too chivalrous for a boy in today's age. Blue is just a jerk. He continues to insult her and tells her to stay far away from the casino and his brother, Felix. But when Mira meets Felix, she can't imagine why. He's the perfect gentleman, and he seems interested to help her with her quest.
The more Mira stays in Beau Rivage, the more strange things begin to happen. She meets Viv, who keeps talking about choking on apples and falling asleep for years, Layla, who is very beautiful and intelligent, but it appears she has a tie to Rafe who is beastly and rude, and the more Mira speaks to Freddie, the more she realizes he may be a modern day prince charming. These people have secrets, and they aren't always quick to share. It seems so familiar, yet Mira is completely baffled. It isn't until she discovers that these people all have marks on their backs similar to hers that she sees there is something different about this town. Everyone is cursed, like in the fairy tales. Some people are heroes, some are waiting to be rescued, and some have an evil inside to them no one can quite figure out. Mira needs to figure out her curse and her trigger before it is too late. And the more Blue says to stay away from Felix, the more Mira is pulled to him. But there is definitely something off about these two, and it isn't your typical fairy tale.

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross was a modern take on today's fairy tales. She doesn't only focus on Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, Cross goes in and uproots tales from the Grimm brothers and tales not typically seen in Disney movies. I really liked how the book was in 3rd person instead of 1st. It makes a difference because in certain instances she was able to get different characters involved as well. Plus, towards the beginning Mira is completely annoying and bratty, so it was nice to not feel completely connected to her the entire book.
What really intrigued me was the idea of new fairy tales. Half the ones mentioned I had no recollection of. It was really interesting how Cross managed to put in more gruesome fairy tales, while still keeping to the wholesome view of these stories.
The whole book was a typical high school summer vaca party. It was very trite at times, but the whole aspect of these fairy tales being such a huge part of these kids' lives was interesting. Plus it was really neat to see what characters were the damned, the white knights, and the distressed. She did a great job characterizing these three main roles per tale.
Some parts of the novel I felt were rushed, left unsaid, or very predictable, but the book was very good. Like I said, the best part was the fairy tales and how she managed to make them all fit together in this mixed up town. Really neat. Plus, her writing is quite good. So the characters didn't really pull me, but the story did. Worth a look if you enjoy retellings of old fairy tales.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cupcakes and Hockey...I'm game

Hudson is the cupcake queen of her small town. Her dreams of becoming a figure skater were short lived after her parents divorced, and since that day she hasn't made any mention of it. Hudson bakes cupcakes for the diner, and she hopes that one day she could get out of this small town in Buffalo.

One day she receives a letter about a figure skating invitational that could win her scholarship money for college. A college away from Watonka. Around the same time, the Watonka hockey team asks for her help with technique in exchange for ice time. How can she resist the hockey boys? Now she's determined to not let anything come between her and her dream again.

But between baking and waitressing at the diner, a possible love triangle, and training, Hudson discovers she may be stretching herself too thin. And maybe her future isn't so certain after all...

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler was a very cutesy, girly, read. Each chapter begins with cupcake recipes, which was yummy and great because I love baking and am constantly looking for new ideas. Did it have anymore depth than a simple teen drama, no. The main character was a typical girl with a dilemma and a desperate desire to leave her small town for better things. It was really simple, had nothing to it, but was very cute and sweet at the same time.
It was predictable, but a nice fluff read. I mean who doesn't like cupcakes and hockey boys?
Don't expect too much out of it, but it's worth a chance if you're looking for a quick read.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Wasn't A Project. I Wasn't An Experiment. I Wasn't A Blasted Butterfly

Imagine being born into a world where everyone knows you, and you're constantly reminded of how unwelcome you are. Ana is a "no soul", someone who was not reincarnated. In her world everyone has lived thousands of lives because once they die, they are reincarnated. Different body, same soul. The day Ana was born, Ciana died for good. Devastated, the community wasn't sure how to react, but from what she's heard, Ana knows she's disliked.
After living with her mother for eighteen years, Ana journeys out on her own to the city of Heart in order to find some answers. On the way, she encounters spyths(ghost like creatures that can burn and kill), and many near death experiences, but she also finds Sam. There is as softness about him, and the more the two travel together the more she discovers about him. Although Sam defends her, there are still people inside and outside of Heart that do not welcome Ana's presence. As the weeks go on, she desperately searches for answers of her past and future. When an old friend comes back into the picture, it threatens to take away all she's worked for, and the new love she's found.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows was a very interesting read. I had it on my shelfari shelf for a few months, and finally managed to get to reading it. What struck me was the subject because it was very different. As I was reading the first chapter, I found myself being bored and confused, but with these books I tend to stick it out. I am glad I did.
It is difficult to understand Ana's dilemma because it is so unnatural. She is truly alone; the only person in her world that is a new soul. The terrible abuse her mother put her through leaves Ana with not choice but to trust no one. Readers can tell immediately that her spirit is fragile. Even when Sam shows her nothing but kindness, Ana's first instinct is to run.
This book has a great deal of self-discovery moments, and the tension between Ana and Sam is incredible. I fell in love with the concept, plus the idea of music being part of a person's soul is very easy to relate to. You as a reader are always skeptical of the surroundings because Ana is, but Sam is always the sure thing. Everyone needs a friend like Sam :)
Such a cool story. Definitely a change from the recent subjects, but worth a look.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Her Return From The Underworld Marks the Beginning of Spring...

Nikki Beckett's life took a rough turn. Then she vanished; sucked into the world of Everneath; a place filled with immortals who feed on human despair and pain. But now she's returned to her old life, only to be reminded her time on earth is a short one.
She has six month before the Everneath claims her once again, this time forever. She uses this time to reconnect and say her formal goodbyes to her family, friends, and old boyfriend. Her love for Jack was what brought her back, and now she must come to terms with the fact that this time she will lose him, forever. Cole, the immortal who brought her to the Everneath, is desperately trying to convince Nikki to return with him to rule the underworld. Nikki's strong will continues to fend him off, but once time gets closer for her return, will it be her only option?

Everneath by Brodi Ashton is a bittersweet retelling of the Persephone myth. I really enjoyed how Ashton managed to weave mythology into the novel. It is, of course, modern, so it is a little flaky and lame at times, but the fact that Ashton incorporated a really neat myth into a teen read is awesome.
Nikki really does come of age because of her return. Her reasoning for entering Everneath was very impulsive, and there were points in the novel where I didn't feel sorry for her because of it. However, Jack still cares for her. His feeling, his emotions, and his genuine love for her is so apparent. I felt sorry for Nikki simply because of him. Don't get me wrong, Nikki is a good main character and readers do feel her pain and her longing, but there are times when you will question your feelings simply because she is a seventeen year old girl who acts impulsively.
Cole is a great character. I liked how conniving he was, yet, you could tell his "heart"  belongs to Nikki. He and her had great banter, and he always tended to show up unexpectedly and unannounced. He feeds on despair and pain, but he also can make people feel his emotions. Anger, sadness, love. It was really incredible. Plus, who doesn't love a good bad guy; especially one who is a rock star?

The novel is definitely worth a read. I wouldn't go in expecting a classic, but a modern take on an old myth is quite refreshing. It will be the first of a trilogy, so this forces readers to wonder what else Ashton has in store for this Everneath world.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

And Mercy Was Something The Darkling Would Never Understand

Alina has spent her life not expecting any sort of good to come. She grew up with her long time friend, Mal, in an Orphanage, so she is used to the bottom of the barrel life. Once her and Mal are drafted into the army of their homeland, all Alina can think about is the deadly mission ahead. Their unit is being sent into the Fold, a place full of darkness with horrible monsters who feed on humans. Once their convoy is attacked all seems hopeless, until she discovers she has powers that are unimaginable.
In a flash, Alina's life is turned upside down. She is torn away from Mal and everything she knows and sent head first into this new Grisha palace life. She meets the mysterious Darkling, who informs her she is the Sun Summoner and the only one who can help him destroy the Fold and bring peace. Each day brings despair and confusion, but slowly Alina begins to unravel secrets of the Grisha. She must take her stance, and determine if perhaps her heart can let go of her past.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was a great dark fantasy. Bardugo created this world in such depth, and at times I had to remind myself this was created and not a reality. The world is a dark place, but hope is restored when the Darkling finds the Sun Summoner, Alina. It is a great way of showing how people will put their faith into whatever and whoever as long as someone in power is behind this idea.
The Grisha life is rich and beautiful, yet there are many things Alina does not know. She begins to slowly release her grip on her past as the months go by, and the Darkling continues to take an interest in her in all aspects. But I felt for Alina's pull toward her past and Mal. The fact that we as readers discover Alina is by no means the prettiest girl at the ball is another way for people to really see her character as strong willed and not simply a bratty teenager who is homesick.
I loved the idea of this book. The fantasy element worked perfectly and it weaved a fantastic story filled with despair, courage, resistance, and hope. I was skeptical when I began the book, but I forced myself to read the first chapter. I was hooked afterward. I figured out why she titled the novel Shadow and Bone after I was a little more than halfway through; such a cool concept. Definitely pick this one up if dark fantasy is your forte. Even if it's not, the novel is worth a read.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You're Going To Kill Us? That's So Mean!

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought their only worries would be evening gowns and getting through their speech without stammering. When their plane crash lands on a deserted island, the remaining girls are left with little food, no water, and worse, no mascara! The group decides they must combine their resources to provide shelter, and hope they are rescued reasonably soon.
Days turn into weeks, and although they are losing hope, the girls begin to discover a few things about each other, and themselves. Sometimes it's not about how smart or pretty you are, sometimes it's just about being yourself and breaking the stereotype. You may not be able to be what everyone wants, but maybe it's better to just be you.
But, there is more to this island than meets the eye. Turns out, it's not so deserted and there are a few conspiracies no one could have imagined. Add in some sexy ship wrecked pirates, and you have yourself a big ball of crazy; complete with sequence and high heels.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray was absolutely hilarious! It takes the stereotype of the typical pageant girls and creates an amazing story of survival, both in a literal and a figurative sense. Some of these girls have been so programed to do these pageants that they haven't had an opportunity to really live. Others joined the pageant to make a statement, or to help a loved one believe in them. Each girl has a story, and eventually they all embrace each other as friends, and allies. When the girls fight back against the "bad guys" it is completely like an Austin Powers movie, but there's a slight sense of empowerment. They may be pretty, but that doesn't mean they can't kick butt.
The writing is very clever. Bray is a great author, so this is by no means a "trashy fluff" book. She uses her wit to create a book describing the valley girl trash that is our society. Bray creates t.v. shows, books, clothing, etc. that are so similar to our society and makes fun of it. You can see the connections, and it makes it even funnier to know there are people who actually partake in this garbage.
There were times when I felt as if I was watching a VH1 trash show and should be slightly embarrassed for myself. But this book is far from trash. It is funny and the perfect beach read. It's quick, it will get your interest, and you will find yourself laughing out loud. Just be careful where you read it, or people may believe you're insane.  Like, totally.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Best of Times

You can say Auden is socially unaware. Because she doesn't have a social life, she buries herself in school, reading, and any kind of activity that does not involve being around others. Plus, she's an insomniac ever since her parents' divorce. It seems all she's ever known are the countless cocktail hours her mom holds for her graduate students, which involve mindless chatter about the world, literature, and things of that nature.
After graduation, Auden sees an opportunity to spend the summer with her father and his new family at the beach. Although life by the beach seems carefree, this is far from Auden's mindset. Coming into a community where the girls discuss gossip, crushes, and their evening plans, Auden feels out of place and much happier in her room studying for the upcoming college semester.
Lost in paradise, she comes across Eli, also an insomniac, who has trouble in his own world as well. Together the two set forth on a quest to help rebuild the social life and childhood she seemed to miss out on. And it's at this unfamiliar location that Auden begins to come to terms with the decisions she's made, and she discovers that it doesn't matter how many times you fall, just that you get back up.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen is a very sweet, quick summer read. As I said in past reviews, I love Sarah Dessen books. They are the perfect cushy read for anyone. They are absolutely predictable, but isn't that sometimes the fun part?  Everyone is in search for something to read while tanning at the beach, and I feel Dessen has quite a knack for writing those types of books.

I felt the whole aspect of her parents' divorce and how she never quite dealt with it is a very real topic. Many teenagers go through it, however many teenagers don't have Auden's parents. Her parents are very demanding, pretentious, judgmental, or easy to quit while the going is tough. Plus her brother can do no wrong, and she is doomed to hear about it by her mother all the time. I can definitely relate to that, being the oldest with two younger brothers. So mix these realistic topics with the fact that there is a romance brewing, and you have yourself a great filler book to get through quickly. Everyone could use one of those...duh.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Third Cover in the Series

Again, I am a huge dork when it comes to covers. So, being a follower of the author, I got to see what the third cover in the series looks like.

This is the final book in Lauren DeStefano's  The Chemical Garden Trilogy.
Yes, the cover is now on shelfari, but I felt I wanted to bring the good news. And it is taking a little longer to read the two books I'm reading now, so a post wouldn't hurt.

I absolutely love these covers. When you see them up close, they are a tad shimmery and all the pieces of the novel are involved. In this one, the wedding band is off her finger, which implies something is going to happen in the mansion, maybe with Gabriel.

I like how much thought goes into this because it works. The names for the novels are very to the point, but they also explain a bit about the plot.
I'm super excited for the third. Too bad I have to wait until February. :(

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous.

Araby sees death and disease everywhere. The plague has infected hundreds and whipped out much of the town. Her father, the scientist who created the masks to protect them, is so wrapped up in his work he barely notices her existence. Her mother is still deeply broken from the death of her twin brother, Finn. Being from a higher social class, Araby and her friend, April, spend much of their nights at the Debauchery Club. Filled with beautiful clothes, glittery make-up, and many different substances that can help them forget the horrors of the outside world.
Through Araby's numbness and sorrow, she will discover pieces of a different world. She finds Will, a club worker who has a secret or two he keeps behind his mask. And she will discover Elliot, April's older brother, who despite his dark and mysterious outside has a few tricks he has kept hidden.
Her journey provides her with reasons to look beyond the hopelessness, and maybe have something to live and fight for again.

Being a fan of Poe, I read the summary of Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin on shelfari and found it interesting. Once a few authors I am familiar with gave their five star reviews, I knew I had to immediately check it out. I was not at all disappointed.
Poe's Red Death was horrifyingly real. Griffin makes this story the same. In a world of disease and sadness, how is it possible to be happy and stable? Araby is a great character because she's given up. With a failed suicide attempt, she feels stuck, and as if her parents would rather have her brother and her switch places. She feels hopeless and alone. The Club her and April attend is a picture perfect way out. The scene is very posh, only for the elite crowd, and it is a great escape from the outside. Will and Elliot prove to be important pieces in Araby's life. Each boy is the complete opposite of each other, yet they are so similar it is striking. The love aspect is nice, yet, not the main focus of the novel.
The writing was truly "hauntingly beautiful". It painted a picture of a city in termoil and no form of science has been able to break through. It is amazing to see the inventions and science that goes into this world, yet nothing seems able to compete with the disease proving to take out mass amounts of people.
 I also liked how the author included James Joyce into the novel by using "Araby" as the main character's name. His short short story, "Araby", had the main theme of loss of innocence, and this is exactly the way to describe Araby in Griffin's Masque of the Red Death. Clearly, the author put a lot of thought into her characters and her theme, and this is very reassuring to readers. 
 I loved this book! Really great and a different take on Poe's classic. I absolutely recommend it. It will not disappoint. :) Look forward to a sequel to follow.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

There is no before. There is only now and what comes next

In a dystopian society where love is a disease, Lena soon discovers the secrets the government is hiding. She manages to escape her life in "prison" over into the "wild". But, the boy she fell deeply in love with, Alex, did not make it over the fence with her. Despite this difficult situation, Lena finds herself becoming part of the Invalid community, where the talks of a rebellion are quickly spreading. She is swept into the fight forward in order to create a world where love is not a crime. Lena is thrust into a situation where she must use her senses in order to survive. Will her ability and strength keep her alive, and is she beginning to fall in love again?
Pandemonieum by Lauren Oliver was a great sequel to her first, Delirium. I really enjoyed the fact that the entire book was not focused on Lena's love interest. It, like The Hunger Games, focuses on the government and the people who are defending "the cure". In a world where it is wrong to have strong emotions and love towards another human, Lena and her group are trying to take a stand against this. Love is never wrong, and this book shows two distinct sides: those for the norm and getting people cured for the better of society, and those for the revolution and being open to love and the pain and joy it may cause. Of course we are introduced to the extremists, the Scavengers. These are people who are extreme in their ways, violent, and not really for or against anything.
I found it extremely interesting when they spoke of the riots and the government's hold on the society. It hits home in quite a few ways: conservatives vs liberals and of course you have your extreme outliers. Certain government issues that are constantly rioted about, and those people who would give everything for change.
I felt that is the part I liked the most about this book. Of course, Lena's love for Alex and the constant guilt she carries with her about him is so romantic and tragic. Her feelings of giddy adolescent love are very sweet, so it's hard not to love that part of the novel. But in my opinion, the government issue is the main idea here. Love is the delirium that needs to be cured, but in a society where love is wrong, what can possibly be right? The fight gets more exciting with each turn of the page, and it is very interesting to see how Lena transforms from a naive teenager in book one to a strong young woman in book two.
I look forward to seeing her progress in the third, especially because it appears the dilemma I TOTALLY CALLED FROM THE BEGINNING will be very much a part of her life.
I recommend this series. Even though the love and romance is a heavy part of the series, it stands for a different cause. It's not fluff, but it is a quick read because you're not going to want to leave it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Loving someone means knowing your life would be worse without them in it

Eve by Anna Carey begins in the year 2023. After a deadly virus has wiped out most of the earth's population, girls are sent to secluded schools in order to learn about boys and their evil intentions. The night before her graduation, Eve discovers what really happens to the girls who graduate.
She escapes from school unaware of what she might encounter. She comes across Caleb, a young boy who has been living in the wild. Being naive to the outside world, Eve has no choice but to trust him. Slowly, Eve realizes that what she's been taught may only be one sided, and Caleb begins to steal her heart. But, can Caleb's promise to keep her safe hold true when the king's guards are hunting for her?

Post apocalyptic young adult novels are my calling. I am always interested to see how different stories and catastrophes will unfold. This one was nice. The main character, Eve, is very naive and continues to show her insecurities throughout the novel. I feel the author did a great job with this. No one likes a wishy washy heroine, but who says that's the point? After being practically brainwashed by the schooling, discovering it's all a lie, what choice does she have? She is dropped into the unknown with only what she has learned in the past to keep her sane. Meeting Caleb, who by the way sounds extremely sexy, was not part of the plan. In fact, Eve is completely reluctant to even touch him because she was always taught men are evil. Readers cannot expect to be taking a journey with a strong, Katniss Everdeen type of girl.
This novel was a great read, and it was a different take on a new world. Women are held as slaves in order to rebirth the world, men are sent to different "schools" in order to learn their trades all due to the disease. It's nice to have different takes on the "end of the world." This one was really interesting. I recommend it. The main character is supposed to be weak, but throughout the novel we see her grow and gain more knowledge of what is true and the lies she's been fed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm More Than Just A Piece of Their Games

So yes, I did read The Hunger Games a few years ago, but because I never posted, I am currently rereading all three books in the series, AND this huge movie craze came through, I figured I would throw my hat in the ring.

In a post apocalyptic world, there are 12 districts and one Capitol. In order to keep everyone in line, the Capitol puts together a yearly reaping where two young men and women are randomly selected from each district in order to participate in the Hunger Games. This game is a televised fight to the death where the winner receives fame and fortune, but needs to survive the twenty four tributes in an arena that is unpredictable.
After her sister, Prim, was selected, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. So, the two tributes find themselves on a fast paced train ride to the Capitol. Being from District 12, Katniss and Peeta don't seem to stand much chance against the wealthier districts of 1, 2, 3, and 4. However, with a little help from their survival instincts, clever plans of showing the world they won't go quietly, and their will to beat the odds, the Capitol may have a few surprises coming to them in this year's gauntlet.

I cannot express how amazing this series was! From start to finish I was breathless. After reading the third one, I needed to walk away from the series for a while because it was that emotionally exhausting. You become attached to the characters, and it becomes impossible to put the books down. Every adult I have talked with about these books says the same thing. I have yet to find someone who does not fall in love with these books.
The movie, surprisingly, was also amazing! Of course everyone has a different opinion, but I feel they were pretty spot on with the plot. They didn't leave huge holes out, although, of course, they left out many things. But the many things weren't as big as people would think. It was a well done movie and I cannot cannot CANNOT wait until the 2nd one comes out. I will be buying all of those movies on dvd on their release date, by the way.
The movie sparked my obsession with the series, so now I am rereading in order to suppress my annoyance that the second movie has yet to have a release date on it. Of course, the first one just came out, but still.
These books are a favorite of mine. Absolutely so well done. Read these books. Don't know of another way to say it.

<3 Team Peeta <3 Always forever, Peeta is my future husband. Deal with it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

one hundred days but still no sign...

Wither by Lauren DeStefano was an exceptional book. I have a past post about it, so I will not proceed to bore you with it's details. The sequel, Fever, has proven to be just as amazing as the first.  Trust me you're going to want to read Wither. It was one of the best books I read last year because it touched on subjects more mature than the typical teen read. Not to brag, but everyone I recommended the book to loved it. It's great if you're looking for something besides the typical "I'm a sixteen year old girl and my only worry is not having a boyfriend", or the upcoming end of the world craze.
If you have yet to read the first and you don't want me to ruin the end, then ignore this post and come back. Even a short summary can give away the ending to the first. Sorry in advance.
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion in hopes of finding Rhine's twin brother, Rowen, in Manhattan, but their troubles have not ended here. Upon arriving to shore, the two are whisked away into a world of fantasy. They are trapped in this carnival/brothel, and Rhine and Gabriel fear they need to find a way to escape before they become one of the side show acts. The carnival may bring it's own piece of horror, but Rhine's father in law, Vaughn, has not given up looking for his lost son's bride, and he will stop at nothing to bring her back.

Amazing read! This book is a great set up for the finale, which I cannot keep it together for! You can really see Rhine's love for Gabriel and her twin brother, Rowen. She is risking everything to be back with him, even after almost a year's time as passed since her capture, and this is the journey she and Gabriel take together. There are feelings of remorse, hatred, fear, and confusion, but the two are strong and balance each other, which I found really nice to see while reading this. It is always nice to have a balance in the two lead characters; even though Gabriel doesn't have a voice, I felt like I could tell what he was thinking because of how DeStefano made the character likeness.
Wither was a little better, in my opinion, because it was the essence of longing for freedom, captivity, secret romance, and the bond between sister wives. I feel like the 2nd to any trilogy isn't ever as good as the other two because there has to be that build up for the final one. Fever was a great read. It is leading up to a much anticipated 3rd book, so this is extremely exciting. :) It's been a while since a book has left me breathless, and I feel like this series has and by the end will leave me as exhausted as The Hunger Games did.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Truth Will Become Legend

The year: 2130 A.D. Two nations at war: The Republic and The Colonies. The Republic are those who are elite, wealthy, and obedient to the rules and regulation set forth by their leader. The Colonies fight for freedom, equality, and they fight against the Republic's censoring ways.

June was born into the elite group. She earned a perfect score on her Trial test, and she became known as the Republic's prodigy. When her brother is murdered by the most hunted criminal in the nation, June will stop at nothing to catch him and see to it he is executed.
Day survives on the streets unable to go back home. He is the modern day Robin Hood; stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. After his family's house has been marked by the dreaded red x implying there is evidence of the plague, Day attempts to steal vaccinations to save his brother.
When these two cross paths they realize that although they are from different worlds, they are both the same. The truths they discover will change their lives forever.

Legend by Marie Lu is a book describing a dystopic future. Two warring nations, that were once united, creating a world completely different than what we know. I really liked this book. It was so realistic that it became a scary reality. The characters represent the two extremes; the prodigy and the criminal. I felt it was a great representation of both worlds, but I have to say I really fell in love with the society she created. Certain events transpire which lead the reader to believe that this could happen in the distant future. Lu did such a great job with her representations of the nations because it is 100% believable.
It will be a trilogy, so it will be interesting to see how the war will play out, especially after the ending to this book. I highly recommend it. It is a perfect dystopic society book with a believable future.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

An End to a Much Anticipated Trilogy

The Nightshade Trilogy has come to an end, to my dismay.
BloodRose by Andrea Cremer begins where the battle left off. Calla and Adne traveled back to Vail, where the rest of the Banes and Nightshades reside, in order to convince Ren, the former Bane Alpha (also the one Calla was originally promised to) to join their team.

In this story Calla is the reigning Alpha leading her pack and the rest of the Searcher troops into battle. Their goal is to help Shay achieve his destiny as the Scion (the holder of the sword and power to destroy the Keeper leader) and to bring peace back among all. Her love for Shay and Ren leaves her with a decision: should she remain loyal to what her pack had originally intended, or should she follow what lead her astray? How can the Scion and a Guardian ever be together?

A great ending to this story! I absolutely fell in love all over again with these books. I immediately added them all to my favorites on Shelfari because I could not stop reading them. The writing is wonderful, the story line's amazing, and the romance makes you wish guys like Shay and Ren actually existed.
The ending was unexpected, but it ended in a way that left the readers content. The expected twists and turns happen, but with a quarter of the book to spare, so I had to hold on anxiously awaiting the true ending and not my fairy tale.
Great series. I am sad to see it end, but it was done perfectly. Not too over the top, not too mushy, I think just the right mix to make everyone enjoy it. I feel like these books are great for adults, although young adults will fall in love too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Don't think or judge; just listen

Happy New Year, all! I hope everyone's new year is turning out amazing. It's always nice to start over. Whether or not you keep the resolutions, the important thing is moving forward and looking towards the future, not the past.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen was my last read of 2011. I had a rough 2011, beginning to end, but I was glad to have a Sarah Dessen book conclude the ridiculousness.
All of Dessen's books have a female lead. Depending on the book, the lead may be involved in a broken home, has a secret to hide, involved with the wrong crowd, but all her heroines are desperately trying to find themselves and find happiness within their world.

Annabel is a model. Well, that's what her mom wants. She and her older sisters, Kristen and Whitney, modeled at young ages. Kristen gave it up for college, and Whitney was consumed by it. She developed an eating disorder, and although she's recovering, the family still walks on eggshells around her. Annabel continues to model because she doesn't want her mother to fall apart again. Over the summer, she shot a commercial which portrays her as a role model for young women. The rest of the summer, she spent secluded, hollow, unable to face any of the past. All she knows is that Sophie, her once best friend, hates her because of an incident at a party before school ended. She can't face the past and is so caught up in being alone, she feels silence is her only friend. So she takes her usual seat at lunch by the wall; her only company is Owen, a guy who recently just got out of anger management classes for punching someone in the face. And he is always listening to his music.
After weeks of silence, Owen unplugged the headphones and started talking. Owen unravels a world of music and honesty, which she never expected. While spending lunch debating good, bad, and ugly music tastes, she develops a bond with him and herself. After years of holding things in and resisting, Annabel discovers that perhaps the voice she's been resisting was her own.

I always have a soft spot for Dessen books. They're great books for mature young ladies, and they are legitimate feel good books. They have happy endings, even if it's sort of expected, the young women are relatable, and the text flies by. The writing is very good, so an adult can enjoy it. I am glad I ended with this book because it is about finding yourself. I had a lot of self discovery moments over the past few months, and it was refreshing to know that no matter how deep or shallow the problem, you always get up, move on, and push forward.
Great book! I recommend any Dessen book to those thirteen year old girls who are in the beginning of their discovery phase, high school girls who have over nine thousand problems and feel they have no way out, and adults who are looking for a nice book to feel good about once they finish.