Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
# Of Pages: 496
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating:  4 Hearts


(From Barnes&

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.

My Verdict

I really didn’t care for the way this story started. I found the beginning to be confusing and very slow. The beginning just dives into the characters daily lives, which was really confusing. Also, Tris describes the different people and their lifestyles in the different factions right off the bat. Which I can understand wanting people to get to know what this new world is like but it didn’t mean anything to me because I didn’t have any experiences with those people yet. Once I got farther into the story I found myself constantly flipping trying to figure out who stood for what. It took me quite a while before I got into the story and got all the different factions down.

On a positive note, the author did such a great job in developing the characters! They all had very strong personalities whether good or bad. I fell in love with the good and absolutely despised the bad. I got so emotionally attached to them, which doesn’t always happen. Tris has a strong head on her shoulder and is an incredibly strong, brave, and courageous, heroine. She wasn’t always that way, which was another thing I liked about her. You get to watch her evolve from the self-conscious, nervous girl she is at the beginning to the independent, self assured young lady she is by the end.

There is also a nice touch of romance here. I don’t want to say too much and spoil anything so I will just say that there is a nice romantic aspect to the story but it is not one that overpowers everything else. It is just a small piece of the puzzle in this case. 

There was a good amount of violence in this book, some pretty gruesome. I’m usually pretty squeamish when it comes to violence (The Hunger Games being my biggest exception). There is at least one incident that horrified me so much that I had to stop reading for the rest of the day as I debated whether or not I should finish at all, because at that point I was scared of what else might happen next. I think everyone should have a fair warning of this beforehand since I know I will not be forgetting that incident anytime soon, no matter how hard I try. 

Overall I did enjoy this book despite the fact that it may or may not have scarred me for life. Sigh... I did, however, knock the rating down from five hearts to four because of this fact. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Author Interview: Katie Kacvinsky

Okay I think its time to post my second author interview. I was super excited when I checked my email and saw this interview sitting in my inbox! 

Please welcome....

Katie Kacvinsky

Katie is the author of YA dystopian novel Awaken, one of my favorite books of the year, and one of my favorite dystopians of ALL time! I can't wait for the release of the second book Middle Ground, which should be coming out around Fall 2012. If you haven't read Awaken yet, well then your missing out! If you want to check out my review for it just click here. 

And now for the interview...

Born Bookish: Awaken is your first book, what does it feel like when you see it on store shelves?

I'm still ridiculously giddy when I see my book in stores. I usually do air kicks and give random strangers high-fives. I also just stare at the cover and think, WOW, that is so gorgeous! I absolutely love the cover. It's something you could frame.

Born Bookish: If you could be one of your characters, who would you be?

That's a great question. Well, I love Maddie and I'm madly in love with Justin, but I don't know that I'd want to be in either of their shoes at this point. I would have to say Clare. I really like her, she's genuine and refreshing. I would love to be in her position to watch how things in the story unfold.

Born Bookish: A lot of authors use music to help them get into the mindset of their characters. Is this something that helps you? If so what was the main song that inspired each of your books?

Music is a huge inspiration. I have the Awaken playlist up on my site: As for the main songs, here you go:

  • Awaken: Blessed, by Brett Dennen
  • Middle Ground: Fake Empires, by The Nationals

Born Bookish: Which character was it easiest for you to write? Why?

It wasn't always easy, but I had the most fun writing Maddie. I loved looking at the world through her eyes because everything was so new and overwhelming. It was like rediscovering so many things I take for granted.

Born Bookish: Do you find it hard to throw obstacles in your characters way or make life difficult for them?

No, I actually like testing them. I don't think people are strong or wise or complex until they struggle. Sometimes it bugs me when I start reading a book and characters instantly start out strong and brave when there's nothing to back it up. In order for Maddie to gain confidence and strength, I need to test her limits. This will definitely be the case in Middle Ground.

Born Bookish: If you could have any superpower what would it be? Why?

Oh, this one is so tough. I would have to say teleport. I'm hoping that teleporting will soon be an app for iphones. Why would  I want to teleport? So I can instantly go to Germany, London, Los Angeles, Paris, The Amazon, and, so I'll never be stuck in traffic again.

Born Bookish: You say on your website that you knew it would take more than one book to complete the story started in Awaken. Is the sequel Middle Ground going to wrap up that story or will there be more books in the future?

In my ideal world there will be a third book.


Born Bookish: Here at Born Bookish I have a segment called Breathtaking Book Covers where I post the cover image of a book that I think is stunning. Is there a book cover that has ever taken your breath away? If so, what book?

I remember the first time I saw Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater. I stopped and just traced the leaves with my fingers. I was entranced. I wasn't entranced with the story though, I never finished it, but the cover is amazing.

I'd like to give a great big THANK YOU to Katie for the awesome interview! Thanks Katie =)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Breathtaking Book Cover: Impossible

Todays Breathtaking Book Cover is...

 Nancy Werlin

Click Here to Learn More About This Book =)
I feel like the breeze blows right off the cover and across my face.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Blog Segment: Author News

I was poking around on some author websites today and I saw that the cover to Veronica Roths' next book in the Divergent trilogy was revealed a few days ago! Sorry I was a little late jumping onto the bandwagon,  a lot of you have probably already seen it, but for those of you that haven't...

If you haven't read Veronicas' first book yet I'll be posting my review soon =)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: On Pointe by Lorie Ann Grover

Title: On Pointe
Author: Lorie Ann Grover
# Of Pages: 320
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: May 1, 2008
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 3 Hearts


(From Barnes&

Our feet slip into satin shoes with stiff shanks,
hard boxing,
tight elastic,
and slippery ribbons that wrap and end in hard knots.
The frayed edges are crammed out of sight.
We stand.
A row of bound feet rises to its toes.
For as long as she can remember, Clare and her family have had a dream: Someday Clare will be a dancer in City Ballet Company. For ten long years Clare has been taking ballet lessons, watching what she eats, giving up friends and a social life, and practicing until her feet bleed—all for the sake of that dream. And now, with the audition for City Ballet Company right around the corner, the dream feels so close.
But what if the dream doesn’t come true? The competition for the sixteen spots in the company is fierce, and many don’t make it. Talent, dedication, body shape, size—everything will influence the outcome. Clare’s grandfather says she is already a great dancer, but does she really have what it takes to make it into the company? And if not,, then what?

My Verdict

The main thing that bothered me about this book was that there were no chapters, no form of breaks whatsoever at all. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that went straight from beginning to end with nowhere to stop and rest along the way.
Another thing that really bothered me was the dialog. The conversations went a little something like this:

“Hi Clare”
“Hi Mom”
“How are you, Clare?”
“Fine, Mom. How are you?”
“I’m good, Clare”

Who talks like that? Cause I know I sure don’t. These are conversations with immediate family members. Do you really need to keep addressing them by name? It made all the conversations seem formal and just plain weird. This was something that really grated on my nerves throughout the whole book.
Despite all this, I did really enjoy the storyline. I liked learning a little bit about ballet, how hard they work themselves, and their mind-set. I liked Clare, her grandfather, and the relationship they shared. 
This book also sends a really great message about the fact that a title doesn’t define who you are. Why you do something and how you feel in your heart when you’re doing them, that’s what defines you.

For most of the book, Clare refuses to see herself as a real dancer because she isn’t dancing for a ballet company. Her grandfather keeps trying to tell her that she already is a real dancer but she refuses to listen to him. It takes a time, a tragic accident, and a new friend to show Clare that dancing just because she loves it and because she’s doing it from her heart: that is what makes her a real dancer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordlover Wednesday: Collywobbles

Public speaking is my arch nemesis!
 I despise public speaking. Like really, REALLY despise it. 
 I usually start shaking and mess up while saying really easy words. 
So yesterday at school, I had to give  a ten minute 
presentation in-front of my graphic design class. Of course
that is my last class of the day, giving me ample amounts
of time to be a worrywort. And so it goes...
This is the event that led to todays wordlover word.

Collywobbles (kale-wabelz)
Plural noun- butterflies in the stomach
-intense anxiety or nervousness
Ex. Such organizations give him the collywobbles.

Public speaking definitely gives me a bad case of the collywobbles!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breathtaking Book Cover: Pieces of Us

Todays Breathtaking Book Cover is...

Pieces of Us 
 Margie Gelbwasser

Click Here to Learn More About This Book =)
I saw this cover for the first time the other day
and I can't get over how BEAUTIFUL it is!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Randomness: The Liebster Award

This past week my blog was awarded the Liebster Award! Thanks to Coleen Patrick over at

The Liebster Blog Award is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers.

Now it’s my turn to pass the award onto five other blogs. Here are my choices:

So the rules of the award are:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award and link back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

5. And best of all- have fun! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review: Reaching for Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Title: Reaching for Sun
Author: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
# Of Pages: 144
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Publication Date: March 6, 2007
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 5 Hearts


(From inside flap)

Josie Wyatt knows what it means to be different. Her family’s small farmhouse seems to shrink each time another new mansion goes up behind it. Her mom is demanding, her gran is opinionated, and her father- well, she’s never known him. Then there’s her cerebral palsy: even if Josie wants to forget that she was born with a disability, her mom can’t seem to let it go. Yet when a strange new boy- Jordan- moves into one of the houses nearby, he seems oblivious to all the things that make Josie different. And before long, Josie finds her herself reaching for something she’s never really known: a friend… and possibly more.

Interlinked free-verse poems tell the beautiful, heartfelt story of a girl, a proud family farm reduced to a garden, and a year of unforgettable growth.

My Verdict

Reaching for Sun was a great lazy-day read that took me only about an hour from start to finish. It is written in a series of free-verse poems, which I love.

I’ve come to find out that formatting is a big deal when it comes to novels in verse. All of my favorite books in verse share a common thread, the format, which is short and sweet. The lines are all short and to the point, each poem containing its own heading, kind off like a chapter title, that ties in with what is being said. This book was also broken into seasons, which I really liked. I thought it worked really well with the book because the story has so much to do with gardens and plants, which all change due to the season.

The author made it easy to get into Josie’s head. Her thoughts were so true, so pure, so real. This was an uplifting, heartfelt story of a young girl finding her place and her voice in life. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordlover Wednesday: Abibliophobia

I am constantly adding books to my to be read list 
every day. My list currently has over 70 books on it. 
I feel like there is never enough time in the day 
to get everything done. So when I saw this word
 I found it to be both funny and ironic

Abibliophobia (uh-bib-li-uh-fo-bee-yuh)
Noun- the fear of running out of
reading material.

I definitely don't have abibliophobia! My fear is the total opposite, that I have too much reading and not enough time. Hmmm... 
I wonder if there is a word for that?

Book Review: A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

Title: A Need So Beautiful
Author: Suzanne Young
# Of Pages: 272
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Rating: 2 Hearts



We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be forgotten.

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need- a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose. Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

My Verdict

I have to say that I went into this book with high hopes, hopes that did not live up to their expectation. I thought the plotline for the book was unique and very interesting, but it stopped there.
I felt like all of the characters were shallow and stereotypical: Harlin the bad boy who’s really soft at heart, Sarah the flirty best friend, Seth the popular guy/jerk at school. I just didn’t really care for or connect with any of them, not even Charlotte.
I also found it really tiresome to keep reading the same thing over and over every time Charlotte was struck with the Need. She’s compelled to move against her will, there is an intense burning in her shoulder, and so on and so forth, every single time. I think the author was just trying to get us to understand the pain Charlotte was going through, but instead it just caused me pain to keep reading it over and over. I think she could have abbreviated the process a little bit once we understood what it was like whenever the Need hit.
Overall this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Book Review: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Title: Chasing Brooklyn
Author: Lisa Schroeder
# Of Pages: 432
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Rating: 5 Hearts



High school junior Brooklyn and senior Nico are trying to move past the death of Lucca, a pivotal figure in both of their lives. Lucca was Brooklyn’s boyfriend and Nico’s brother. Although it has been one year since Lucca’s death, the recent overdose death of Gabe, Lucca’s long-time best friend, shakes Nico and Brooklyn by reopening the wound of Lucca’s sudden passing. Soon after dying, Gabe begins haunting Brooklyn’s dreams. Gabe’s intent is not clear, but the dreams have a malicious overtone that unsettles Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Nico has his own supernatural communications with his dead brother, and the clear message from Luca to Nico is that Brooklyn needs help. Nico reaches out to Brooklyn, and their grief and love for Lucca bring them together. But soon Brooklyn and Nico’s newfound friendship leads to deeper feelings.

My Verdict
This book was amazing! Chasing Brooklyn is a book written in free verse, by one of my all time favorite authors!  Lisa Schroeder is such a powerful writer, she know just what to say to pull on those heartstrings. This is Lisa’s third YA book written in verse, and can I just say that they keep getting better and better!
Books written in multiple perspectives are a toss up. Most of the time I really like books written this way, but sometimes I really hate it. I guess it all depends on the execution by the author. In this book I loved it. The chapters alternate back and forth between Brooklyn and Nico throughout the whole book, diving into the heart and soul of two different characters, experiencing the same heartbreak, both of whom you will fall in love with as you read this book.
As you can imagine this book was very emotional. Brooklyn has lost her boyfriend Lucca, who was also Nico’s brother. Then they both loose a friend, Gabe, who was Lucca’s best friend. But through all this loss and heartbreak they find each other. So it was an emotional journey to say the least. One that brought me to tears more than just once, but I loved every minute of it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blog Segment: Saturday Snippets


"The second doctor said that she had to ask me a couple 
of questions, general ones, not about the accident.
"Your full name?"
"Naomi Paige Porter."
"Where do you live?"
"Tarrytown, New York."
"Good Naomi, good. What year is it?"
"Two thousand and...2000. maybe?"
Even as I said it, I knew it wasn't right. Because if it was 2000,
I would have been twelve, and I knew for sure I wasn't twelve."

"Maybe because I couldn't seem to remember anything else, I felt like I needed to memorize every single thing about him. His fraying white dress shirt was open, so I could see that he was wearing a really old concert T-shirt-it was faded to the point that I couldn't even tell what the band was. His boxers were sticking out over his jeans, and I could make out they were a dark green plaid. His fingers were long and thin like the rest of him, and a few of them were smudged with black ink. His hair was damp with sweat, which made it even darker than usual. Around his neck was a single leather rope with a silver ring on it, and I wondered if the ring was mine."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Author Interview: Lisa Graff

Today I’m really excited to be posting my first author interview! With the amazingly talented… 


Lisa Graff!

Lisa is the author of four middle grade novels: The Thing About Georgie, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, Sophie Simon Solves Them All, and of course Umbrella Summer (Click here to read my review). Lisa was kind enough to answer all eight of my questions and let me say she gave some great answers. So THANK YOU Lisa =)  Enough of my talking, here is the interview. Enjoy!

Born Bookish: If you could be one of your characters, who would you be?

I would probably choose to be Sophie in SOPHIE SIMON SOLVES THEM ALL, because she is so smart (and so good at solving difficult problems!), and even though she still has a lot to learn about life, she is very comfortable with who she is, which I think can be a hard quality to come by.

Born Bookish: Do you find it hard to throw obstacles in your characters way or make life difficult for them?

I actually love making my characters' lives a little difficult! Books aren't really very fun to read if there's no conflict, and I think what makes a character interesting is the way in which he or she deals with tough situations. So I like to throw whatever I can think of at my characters and see how they respond.

Born Bookish: If you could have any superpower what would it be? Why?

I would definitely want to have a super sense of direction. I am constantly getting lost!

Born Bookish: A lot of authors use music to help them get into the mindset of their characters. Is this something that helps you? If so what was the main song that inspired each of your books?

I don't write with music very often because I tend to get distracted. I actually prefer to write at a coffee shop or library with just a little bit of chatter behind me. Somehow I concentrate best with a tiny bit of (but not too much!) background noise.

Born Bookish: Which character was it easiest for you to write? Why?

When I began writing UMBRELLA SUMMER, I heard Annie's voice right away, so in that aspect her character was one of the easiest for me to write. But in other ways she was a really difficult nut to crack, because I wasn't sure how I wanted her to react to all the things that were going on in her life, so I had a lot to learn about her, too. It took me several drafts before I felt like I'd gotten that part of it right. 

Born Bookish: In your book Umbrella Summer, Annie is afraid of so many different things. What are some of your biggest fears?

I have long had a ridiculous fear that I will wake up one morning and find a python in my toilet (which actually happened to my parents!). And I worry about more mundane things, of course, like catching a cold right before I go on vacation or slipping on ice and breaking my leg. All in all, though, I'm much less of a worrier than Annie is (except for that python thing--that one's serious!). 

Born Bookish:
Do you have any new books in the works that you can tell us a little bit about? 

My next book is called DOUBLE DOG DARE, and it comes out in April 2012. It's about two fourth-graders who are mortal enemies, and who start a dare war to decide who will be the next news anchor of the school's Media Club. It has all sorts of fun stuff in it like tighty-whities up a flag pole and trained guinea pigs.

Born Bookish: Here at Born Bookish I have a weekly segment called, Breathtaking Book Covers, where I post the cover image of a book that I think is just stunning. Is there a book cover that has ever taken your breath away? If so, what book?

I love this segment, because I'm always judging books by their covers! :) Three books I haven't read yet, but can't wait to, simply because of their covers are BLINDSIDED, OUT OF MY MIND, AND SMALL TOWN SINNERS. I think they all look fantastic! 

 Are these great covers or what?! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordlover Wednesday: Lollygag

So the other day a bunch of my family got together to celebrate 
my Grandma's 75th birthday. At one point during the festivities
my six year old cousin called my other cousin a lollygagger. HA! 
This made me smile, as well as wonder where he learned that word from? Anywho, that is the story behind todays wordlover word.

lollygag (lah-li-gaeg)
verb- spend time aimlessly; idle: 
ex. he sends her to Arizona
every January to lollygag in the sun.

Book Review: Num8ers (Book 1) by Rachel Ward

Title: Num8ers: Book 1
Author: Rachel Ward
# Of Pages: 336
Publisher: The Chicken House
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 2 Hearts



Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode.

My Verdict

 I was torn with whether I even wanted to finish reading this book or not. One minute I had decided that I wasn’t going to read it anymore and then I would decide that I wanted to see how things played out. I went back and forth, back and forth the whole book.
I was really intrigued by the whole plot of this book. A girl who sees the date someone is going to die whenever she looks into his or her eyes. Why can she see this? What does she do about it? How does she deal with it? I was interested to see what direction the author was going to take with it.
The language was my biggest issue here. The amount of F words coming out of these characters mouths made me stop and put the book down on several occasions. There were also a lot of slang words, which I just find hard to follow sometimes.
Jem is a very confused character; she is burdened with this unwanted knowledge and doesn’t really know what to do with it. She keeps everyone at a distance, and tries her hardest to avoid eye contact with anybody. I really wasn’t able to connect with Jem at all, I hardly ever agreed with any of the choices that she made, and kept getting mad at her the whole time.
As for romance, Jem and Spiders friendship does develop into more of a relationship but it’s a weird one. When Jem decided she liked Spider as more than a friend is beyond me. I felt like she spent most of her time criticizing him and then all of a sudden she decides she’s in love with him. I don’t know it just seemed kind of strained.
I wasn’t aware that this book was the first in a series until I had finished. I think my jaw actually hit the floor when I read the last few pages. The ending was so good and so shocking that I did consider reading the next book for about half a second, but then my better judgment kicked in and I decided against it. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Book Review: Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Title: Just One Wish
Author: Janette Rallison
# Of Pages: 272
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: March 5, 2009
Rating: 5 Hearts



Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it’s all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth ( or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.

But Annika’s plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wished that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?

My Verdict

As soon as I started reading this book I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down until I was finished. I picked it up with only a few hours before one of my favorite T.V. show (So You Think You Can Dance.) When the show started I put the book down (pointless). I watched all of about 5 minutes before I picked it back up and read straight through the show and into the night.
This book was very emotional. I laughed my head off, I had tears build up in my eyes, and then I full fledge bawled my eyes out. However, if I had to describe this book to you I would still consider it as a very light, funny, heartwarming book. The author dealt with some very heavy subjects like: childhood cancer, death, and faith, in such a light but touching way.
I loved the family relationships in this book. Annika loves her little brother, Jeremy, more than anything in the world and would do anything for him: like waking up at the crack of dawn, waiting in crazy lines, and outrunning a very large, very angry man all to get her brother the new Robin Hood action figure, and then driving to Hollywood to find the real Robin Hood (well the actor that plays him on T.V.) She might break some rules along the way but hey, its for a good cause right?
The only thing I didn’t love about this book was the romance aspect between Annika and Steve (a.k.a. Robin Hood) I pretty much rolled my eyes during these parts, which I found to be cheesy and totally unrealistic. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Randomness: Couldn't Even Finish Reading

     If books had a rating this one would be rated R. The language in this book was unbelievable. The two main characters Eddie and Milo had the filthiest mouths. I don’t think they had a single conversation without using the F word. There is nothing that ruins a book for me, more than foul language.
     After 62 pages I couldn’t bear it anymore and called it quits, which is too bad because I was interested in the storyline. I did, however, flip to the end so that I could at least see how things turned out.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Book Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Title: Awaken
Author: Katie Kacvisnky
# Of Pages: 320
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publication Date: May 23, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts



Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life- until she meets Justin, Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of  face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her- a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

My Verdict

This book was AMAZING! Definitely one of my favorite dystopian novels ever! The author did such a great job at creating a futuristic world that is completely driven by technology and completely believable. She painted this world so vividly across the pages that I really felt like I was there, living the story alongside the characters.
All the characters in this book, from the main ones to the ones who only played minor roles, were all such strong characters.
Maddie is such an incredible leading lady. She is strong, confident, brave, and beautiful, the best part is that she doesn’t even realize it. She possesses all these qualities but isn’t all cocky about it, she doesn’t even see these qualities in herself until others point them out. Of course there is also Justin, the totally incredible leading male. Justin is strong, brave, sweet, protective, the list could go on and on, or I could just sum it up by saying that he is one of my all time favorite YA leading male characters ever.
I have to admit that as much as a loved this book, it wasn't love at first sight. It took me a little while to get sucked into the story, but once I was, you would have had to pry that book from my fingers with the jaws of life to make me stop reading. 
Needless to say I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting for the sequel (a.k.a. Middle Ground) to come out in late 2012. My only wish is that it would come out sooner! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Book Review: Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

Title: Umbrella Summer
Author: Lisa Graff
# Of Pages: 240
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 4 Hearts



Annie Richards knows there are a million things to look out for- bicycle accidents, chicken pox, and runaway zoo animals. That’s why being careful is so important, even if it does mean giving up some of her favorite things, like bike races with her best friend and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone keeps telling Annie not to worry so much, that she’s just fine. But they thought her brother, Jared, was just fine too, and Jared died.

It takes a new neighbor to make Annie realize that her plans for being careful aren’t working out as well as she’d hoped. And with a lot of help from those around her, Annie just may find a way to close her umbrella of sadness and step back into the sunshine.

My Verdict

 I have to start out by saying how much I love this cover! My favorite color is pink and I have a whole polka dotted wall in my bedroom, so when I saw this cover I just had to read it.
I love reading middle grade books because the characters are always so quirky and lovable.  In this book the main character Annie is afraid of everything ever since her brother Jared dies unexpectedly. Annie’s parents haven’t been the same since her brother’s death, but they refuse to talk about it, leaving Annie to deal with things in her own way.  She wears a helmet when walking down the street, goes through more boxes of band-aids than a family of 12, and knows more about diseases than any 10 year old should (thanks to Mrs. Harper’s giant green copy of The Everyday Guide to Preventing Illness.) Friends and family all tell her that she needs to stop worrying so much. Like it’s that easy.
It takes a new neighbor who can relate to Annie to show her that you can’t spend your life afraid of everything that could happen because if you do you’ll loose out on all the good things life has to offer.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this book. I liked the characters, I liked the storyline, and I liked the message it sent.