Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordlover Wednesday: Taradiddle

Hey everyone,
I thought I would try something a little different today to switch things up a bit. 
So I'm going to post a word and you guys can try and guess the definition. I think this will be a little more fun, I'm sure you guys will come up with some interesting and funny definitions. 
(P.S. no cheating and looking it up in the dictionary!) 

The word is...

Taradiddle (tar-uh-DID-I)

That's a fun one isn't it? Now get to guessing, I can't wait to read what you come up with! =) Be sure to
check back tomorrow night, I'll be posting the real definition then! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Review: Memoirs of A Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Title: Memoirs of A Teenage Amnesiac
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
# Of Pages: 288
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: August 21, 2007
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts



If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She’d know about her mom’s new family. She’d know about her dad’s fiancée. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.

My Verdict

I finally finished! Wahoo! This has been my backpack book, which means it never leaves my backpack so that I always have something to read when I’m early to class or class gets canceled, etc… Anyway, that also means that it takes me eons to finish. I’ve been reading this one for months! 

I liked this book, it was good, but I had thought I was going to love this book. I liked it right from the get go and thought it would only get better but instead it just went downhill from there.

The whole story is pretty anti-climatic. The most exciting part is the beginning and after that you just follow Naomi through her daily life as she struggles with her feelings and coming to terms with not being able to remember her past.

Honestly, Naomi drove me crazy. I understand she just lost her memory and all that, which must be extremely frustrating but she acted like such a baby afterwards. She used her memory loss as an excuse for everything. Another thing about Naomi that got on my nerves was how fast she jumped from guy to guy. She always had someone waiting in the wings for her, which was just really annoying and unrealistic.
The best character in this book was Will, Naomi’s best friend. Will is quirky, confident, dedicated and sweet. He’s editor of the school yearbook, which is pretty much his whole life. I don’t know if yearbooks are really this big of a deal in high school or not but it seemed pretty insane to me! He loves music and is always making Naomi mixed CDs for every occasion, which I thought was really cute.

Besides the few main characters, the rest of them fell flat. Ace, Alice, and Yvette, were all underdeveloped and stereotypical.

I’m still excited to read Zevin’s newest book All These Things I’ve Done. Hopefully it will have more developed and complex characters and be a bit more exciting! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First Ever Giveaway!!!

Hey Everyone!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be holding my first ever giveaway starting tonight at 12:01am. Why 12:01 you ask? (Not a clue, I couldn't figure out how to change it.) Since I haven't actually received any ARCs of my own yet, I haven't had anything to give away. BUT I recently stumbled upon some great bargain priced books and bought an armful so there will be more contests coming soon! =)

Most importantly this first contest is to win a prize pack containing two of author Holly Blacks newest books: White Cat and The Poison Eaters.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog Segment: Wordlover Wednesday (On Thursday)

Life was so hectic yesterday I couldn't find a single moment to post the word of the day. Instead of skipping it this week I figured why not post it today? So without further ado, here is this weeks wordlover word...

Yob (yab)
noun- A rude, rowdy youth. 
Ex. A couple of yobs damaged his car. 
yob.bish adjective adverb
yob.bish.ness noun adjective

Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Review: Possession by Elana Johnson & Surrender Cover Reveal

Title: Possession
Author: Elana Johnson
# Of Pages: 416
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Rating: 5 Hearts



Vi knows the Rule: Girl’s don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn… and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them… starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

My Verdict

I have never been more happily confused in my life. This book takes you on a journey of emotions, mostly negative ones (shock, confusion, anger) but all for the greater good. That is,  being so absorbed in a story and caring about the characters so much that you can feel all those emotions!

I read this book at the beginning of the summer so I can’t elaborate on the details since I don’t remember any. Hmmm, I wonder if I’ve been brainwashed… Anyway, what I do remember is getting sucked into this story and immersed in the tech filled, mind-controlling world that Johnson has created.

I remember the ending. How could I forget it! It’s one of those dreaded/wonderful cliffhangers that will have you begging for the next installment, Surrender, which comes out June 5, 2012. I for one, cannot wait! 


Elana recently revealed the cover to Surrender on her blog. Here it is, isn't it beautiful? I love it!  I won't include the synopsis cause I don't want to ruin it for those who have yet to read the first.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordlover Wednesday: Gardyloo

I will be shocked if anyone has heard this word before. I would never have thought there was an actual word for this. But hey, you learn something new everyday. Todays wordlover word is...

Gardyloo (gar-de-lu)
Interjection- A warning shouted before throwing water from above
Derived from- French gare de l'eau, meaning "beware of the water" referring to the water and slops that were once thrown by servants from higher stories of a building onto the street.

Now I'm curious... 
how many of you already new gardyloo? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
# Of Pages: 464
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating:  2 hearts



Mara Dyer doesn’t believe life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is. She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.

My Verdict

This book has had so much hype surrounding it since the beautiful cover image was revealed. People have had nothing but good things to say and great reviews to write. I almost hate reading books like this because they almost never live up to the expectations. I think I am the first and possibly only person to say this, but I did not think The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer lived up to all its hype. 

The beginning of the book (and the mystery) is good. It gets you wondering, trying to figure out what really happened. The mystery aspect of the story is always kind of there lurking in the background of everything as you try to put the pieces together but at the same time I felt like it wasn’t there at all.

After the accident, Mara’s family moves to Florida to get away from everything. Her and her brother have to start at this fancy shmancy new school called Cryoden. Enter Noah Shaw. Everyone in the blogosphere is talking about how much they loved Noah and what a crush worthy character he was. I’ll admit it was hard not to like him but at the same time you were pretty much told to hate him from the very first moment he walked into the story. Everyone is telling Mara what a scumbag Noah is and how he’s just going to hurt her yet she ignores everyone and would follow Noah over a cliff. This really bothered me about Mara, because it’s not like she saw something in him that others didn’t. She really did believe he was going to use her and then break her heart but she didn’t care. Which is just messed up if you ask me. 

I didn't really like any of the characters in this book except for Mara's two brothers Daniel, and Joseph. Mara really annoyed me the whole time; I didn't like her personality at all and didn't agree with a single choice she made. I already mentioned how I felt about Noah. You hear about his bad reputation before you even meet him, and by the time he introduces himself to Mara I had already decided that I didn't like or trust him. 

After the accident, Mara suffers from nightmares and hallucinations, so one of the most confusing parts about reading this book was that you didn’t always know if what was happening to Mara was really happening or if it was one of her delusions. I think that’s how it was supposed to be to keep you a little dazed and confused. It added to the mysteriousness of the story for sure.

Probably the biggest reason I didn’t like this book was the crudeness. I felt like the characters were always making sexual references or jokes, which I guess according to Noah’s reputation around school would have been hard to avoid. There was also some violence that was a bit too descriptive for my taste, and it usually came out of nowhere.

The cliffhanger at the end of this book is jaw dropping! You’re left hanging from the top of Mt. Everest for goodness sakes! Michelle Hodkin did her job well, because I’ll definitely be picking up a copy of the next one after an ending like that. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
# Of Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts



“ You can’t touch me,” I whisper.
I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him.
He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him.
But things happen when people touch me.
Strange things. Bad things.
No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal,
but The Reestablishment has plans for her.
Plans to use her as a weapon.
But Juliette has plans of her own.

My Verdict

I’ve been dying to read this book since the first moment I heard about it. I was so excited when the owner of a local bookstore agreed to let me borrow ARCs to review on my blog. I went to the store to pick out a few and when I saw a copy of Shatter Me sitting there I practically started dancing right there in the middle of the store.

Shatter Me is a stunning debut by Tahereh Mafi that is sure to be the start of a very promising career as a YA author. Tahereh’s writing style is both unique and captivating. The story is written from the main character; Juliette’s perspective and her descriptions are beautiful, like a work of art. I frequently found myself going back and rereading parts because they were just so pretty.

“I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end."

Another thing that set apart Tahereh’s writing is her use of strikeouts. Everything Juliette wants to say, but doesn’t, appears with a line through it. I had never seen this before, but it worked perfectly for this story.

Juliette has been locked up in an asylum for 264 days, she hasn’t been touched in 6,336 hours and she hasn’t spoken since she got there. But all this changes when a boy named Adam walks into her cell.

All the characters in this book are so deep, complex, and full of emotion. I immediately connected with Juliette and cared about what happened to her. Despite the horrible life she has had, Juliette is caring, and hopeful. She has so much love in her heart and is just dying to have someone to share it with.

-       Adam is incredible. He is caring, strong, brave, protective, and full of hope for a better future. He may be my new favorite male protagonist.

-       Warner is s bad guy to the fullest extent of the words. Pure evil. He kills in an instant and doesn’t ever think twice about it. His only weakness is his love for Juliette and the fact that he would do anything for her.

-       I also have to mention Kenji and James, they don’t come into the story until later on but they both add so much to the story. Kenji is the funny guy, bringing a lighthearted feel to some tense situations. James is so energetic, and full of life, he’s been through a lot for a boy his age but he doesn’t let that drag him down.

The only downfall of this book was that there was some swears scattered throughout. There were also some pretty intense romance scenes, I wouldn’t recommend for younger audiences. (Amazon recommends ages 14+)

I read this book in one sitting (well technically two, since I took a break for dinner). The story sucked me in with the first sentence and never let me go. Something is always happening, always about to happen.

I didn’t know this book was the first in a set but I couldn’t be more excited to know that I will get to read more about this world, and these characters! Unfortunately, it’s going to be a long wait. 

Wordlover Wednesday: Halcyon

I haven't done a Wordlover Wednesday post for awhile now and I miss it. So I'm going to try and get back to doing this every week. Todays word I found in the book of 100 most beautiful words. 
It is...

Halcyon (hal-see-uh n)
adjective- Happy, sunny, care-free
ex. Once they're back at school, children usually miss the halcyon days of summer vacation.

This is exactly how I felt yesterday after giving my group presentation in art history class. I was on cloud nine as I walked to my chair and knew it was over, and that I had survived! Haaha. My fear of public speaking really isn't healthy =/

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Randomness: November Releases in YA

I can't believe it's already November! This month is gonna be a great month for books! Here are a few that I'm excited about.

Coming November 1st...
Crossed by Ally Condie

-SPOILER WARNING (If you haven't read the first book Matched this synopsis my contain spoilers.)

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky- taken by the Society to his certain death- only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. 

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainly about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit for Xander- who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart- change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

November 8th...
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

-SPOILER WARNING (If you have not read the first 3 books in this series this synopsis will contain spoilers.)

Not so very long ago, Eragon-Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider-was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia? And if so, at what cost?

November 15th...

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

“ You can’t touch me,” I whisper.
I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him.
He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him.
But things happen when people touch me.
Strange things. Bad things.
No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal,
but The Reestablishment has plans for her.
Plans to use her as a weapon.
But Juliette has plans of her own.

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place- looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she's been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she's never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom...

November 21st...

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long- at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right- and wrong- in the present.

November 29th...
Legend by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths- until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month??