Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Randomness: Bonus Content!

Just added some awesome new 
Bonus Content to the Tempest review page.
 Click Here to check it out =)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reading Challenge January Link Up


Wow! I can't believe January's almost over already. For those of you participating in the reading challenge it's time to link up the reviews you did this month =)

I read one book towards the challenge this month: May B by Caroline Starr Rose






Friday, January 27, 2012

Foreign Cover Friday: Delirium


Foreign Cover Friday is a weekly meme hosted by The Reading Fever, where foreign covers of the books we know and love are spotlighted and discussed. To join, either pick your favorite foreign cover or pick many foreign covers, and start discussing!

This week's featured cover is:
Delirium 
by Lauren Oliver


(US Regular & Special Edition Hardbacks)
Okay so, the one on the top is the cover to the US hardcover edition and the one below it is the cover of the US special edition. I like both of these covers. I think the top one is  more unique than the bottom one, but I think the bottom one is more eye catching and fits within the style right now.

(US ARC Cover)
I'm so glad they changed their minds on this one before it came out! 

(Spain Cover)
I think this one is interesting, it's a lot like the US version but with a different color scheme. The only problem I have with this one is I can't tell if those are supposed to be vines or barbed wire? 

(German Cover)
This one I just saw for the first time today and I think it is by far the worst of them all.

(UK Cover)
This one is also really bad. Not only is it completely boring and generic but that girl looks like she's 12! 


How about you? Which cover do you love? Which cover do you hate? 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda




Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
# Of Pages: 264
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts






Synopsis

(From Goodreads)

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine

—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?


My Verdict

Megan Miranda writes an eerie and thrilling debut! This book surprised me in a lot of different ways, all of which were good. It was a lot more on the suspense/thriller side of things than I expected. I haven’t read a book like this in a long time. The pacing was perfect, there was never a dull moment. Each heart-pounding minute was wonderful. I was able to guess the big shocker before it happened, which was too bad but I still felt Delaney’s shock along with her when she found out.

I loved Decker, hated Troy, and tolerated Delaney.

The book is from Delaney’s POV, the character who pretty much drove me crazy. She kept all of her feelings bottled up inside and never said what she wanted to. She also made a lot of stupid decisions. Like going home with Troy after she had only spoken to him twice ever. “Oh you want to take me home to your apartment?” “Okay why not.” I mean seriously?!

Troy was beyond creepy. He freaked me out from the first moment he entered the picture. He was basically stalking Delaney but she just ignored it and hung out with him anyway.

Decker was super sweet. You could tell how much he cared for Delaney from the get go. He risked his life to save her, waited by her bedside everyday, and then sobbed when she woke up.

The romance and relationships in this book were really frustrating. Decker & Delaney both have feelings for each other but neither one of them wants to admit it. In the meantime they both went around seeing other people. Agh! So annoying.

Every book you read now-a days is part of a trilogy or some other number of books. It was so refreshing to read a book where the story actually wrapped up with a satisfying ending. I look forward to seeing more books from this author!


"If you had one day left to live, what would YOU do?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordlover Wednesday: Omphalophobia

Its time for another wordlover wednesday phobia edition. 
Todays phobia is...

Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons


Monday, January 23, 2012

Breathtaking Bookcover: Fracture

Todays Breathtaking Book Cover is...
Fracture by Megan Miranda

Click Here To Learn More About This Book =)

This cover is absolutely stunning! I just got a copy of this book today and I can't wait to read it =)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand




Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
# Of Pages: 448
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts






Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?


My Verdict

I’ve been on a bit of a fallen angel kick lately with the Hush, Hush saga and now this. I just heard about this book not to long ago and I thought it sounded good, I added it to my TBR but there was no rush. Then I got a kindle. YAY! And this book was only 99 cents so of course I had to by it. Once I started reading it was love at first page. This book was absolutely perfect! There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like about it.

Lets talk about the amazing characters that make up this book:

 -Clara was a great main character! Usually the main character will grate on my nerves at one point or another throughout a story but not Clara. She didn’t make a single decision I didn’t agree with and love her for. There were a few instances where she had to make some huge and I mean HUGE decisions and this is normally where the character does something that makes you want to scream or slap them but Clara surprised me every time by making the decisions I was hoping she would.

-       Christian is perfect. He’s sweet, funny, extremely handsome, the guy every girl at Jackson Hole High is in love with. Usually the good-looking popular guy turns out to be a jerk in the end, but not Christian he truly is a great guy.

-       But then there’s Tucker… Tucker stole the show and my heart the minute he walked into the school cafeteria and called Clara “Carrots.” Tucker is a true Wyoming cowboy and outdoorsman. Skiing, hiking, fishing, white water rafting, horseback riding. There’s nothing he can’t do.

-       Angela is one of Clara’s best friends. At first I was skeptical of Angela. I wasn’t sure if I trusted her or not but she’s always there when Clara needs her and proves herself to be a really great friend.

I knew there was a second book when I went into this and was expecting a cliffhanger ending but don’t worry there are none of those here. The ending is satisfying in itself but also leaves enough open that I’m itching to start the next book, Hallowed.

When I was researching the book, sequel, and author after I had finished, I stumbled across a blog post where the author announced that the CW is working on writing a script in hopes of making Unearthly into a TV series. Ahhhh! I got so excited when I read this. I can’t wait to see who they cast! =)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer





Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
# Of Pages: 390
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts






Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Verdict

I love fairy tales and I was excited about a fairy tale re-telling. I’ve only read one other retelling and I wasn’t to impressed, but I had heard so much about this one I thought for sure I would love it. Cinder was nothing like I expected and unfortunately I found it to be quite a let down. 

This book was more sci- fi than dystopian, in my opinion. Cyborgs, robots, net screens, hover crafts, ID chips implanted in everyones wrists. It wasn’t like a plausible future world, it was a completely out there world.

The author stayed true to the most basic aspects of the fairytale, evil stepmother, two step sisters, they all treat her like dirt and make her do all the work, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

About ninety pages into this I still wasn’t into it and I never really got into it until the last 50 pages or so. The only thing that kept me reading was Prince Kai. He was definitely my favorite character. As soon as he meets Cinder for the first time he is drawn to her. I loved the interactions between the two of them. Unlike all the other girls, Cinder doesn’t drool all over him but rather treats him like any other person. She is completely blunt with him and the banter between the two of them always made me smile.

This is book one of the Lunar Chronicles, which I knew, but I was under the impression that each book was a re-telling of a different tale and each could stand on its own.  I fully expected Cinder’s story to wrap up by the end, so when I read the last page and nothing had been resolved I was so mad.  But I guess that was my own fault.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Randomness: For the Love of Verse


As most of you know by now, I am in LOVE with novels in verse and I want to share that love with all of you!

I recently decided to host my own Novels In Verse Reading Challenge for 2012 and was beyond disappointed to see that only one person has signed up so far (not to mention that one person is my mom).

I thought there were a lot more people out there who shared this love of mine. I also know a lot of people are nervous about trying them out, but let me assure you once you read one I’ll be shocked if you’re not itching to get your hands on another. They are extremely addicting.

Contrary to what one might think of novels in verse, they are nothing like poems in the traditional sense and no-every line does not rhyme.

Let me be completely honest with you in saying that I hated poetry throughout high school and college; I never enjoyed having to read and write about poems. I could never decipher the true meaning hiding beneath the lyrical and beautiful words, which frustrated me. Novels in verse are nothing like reading a traditional poem. So if you’re afraid you’re not going to be able to understand them, fear not! 

Novels in verse are like the heart and soul of the writing body. They cut straight to the heart and to your emotions. There are no wasted words with this type of writing. Each word has a point and a purpose. They are in one word BEAUTIFUL!

The first book I ever read in verse was I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder and my love just grew from there. I highly recommend Lisa’s books to anyone considering reading a novel in verse. All four of her books are personal favorites and I have yet to find any other books that are even on the same level as these.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this post titled “To Verse, or Not To Verse, That Is The Question!” written by the lovely Cristina, ruler of The Princess of Storyland.

And if you’re feeling really brave, come join my mom and I in the 2012 Novels In Verse Reading Challenge! The first level is only 1-4 books. One to four: that’s a piece of cake! Plus there are going to be awesome author interviews and giveaways for challenge participants only. So don’t miss out on the fun! Join here. 

Book Review: May B by Caroline Starr Rose





Title: May B
Author: Caroline Starr Rose
# Of Pages: 240
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 5 Hearts






Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
Something's happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.


My Verdict

This is a lovely debut novel told in free verse by Catherine Starr Rose and hopefully just the beginning of what is to come.

The story is about a young girl named May who is shipped off to a neighbor’s house to take care of the homestead and earn her family some extra money. After some unexpected events, May is left all alone in the house fighting to survive on her own.

We learn at the beginning about May’s dreams to become a schoolteacher, we also learn about the difficulties she has in reading. This struggle is something that haunts May and makes her feel like less than she is. While she is left alone for months on end, May spends a lot of that time dwelling on the past, on her mean old teacher who humiliated her in front of her classmates and told her she wasn’t smart enough, and the taunting voices of her schoolmates making fun of her after she messed up her reading. You can see how much these things have hurt and discouraged her.  Until one day she decides to leave the past in the past.

This is not only a journey of survival but also a journey of self-discovery as May learns the very important lesson that other people don’t define her. The only one that can define her is she herself. 

A beautiful story of a young girl who finds herself, her voice, and her dreams in the most unlikely of circumstances. A definite must read of 2012! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: Welcome, Caller This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell





Title: Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe
Author: Shelley Coriell
# Of Pages: 320
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts







Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.


My Verdict

It took me a long time to get into this book (over 100 pages). But once I did I really did start to enjoy myself. This is definitely a unique and fun book.

I can’t say I really cared for the writing style of this book. I felt like a lot of things were unnecessarily repeated and some of the language used was just plain annoying. If I ever have to read “Oh my gawwwwwwwd!” written out like that again I might hurt someone. Other parts made no sense at all, as if a line or two were missing, which left me reading the same paragraph over and over.

As for the main character, Chloe, I felt that she was way too over the top. Her obsession with old shoes, the way she thinks she can make anything fun, her need to be happy and smiling all the time. She thought of herself as all that and a bag of chips. I did, however, like having a main character that had such a positive outlook on life. Even when her former best friends start circulating horrible rumors about her around school, Chloe doesn’t sink to their level and start plotting her revenge. No, instead she brushes if off and throws all of her efforts full force into her JISP project.

Another downfall was the fact that I couldn’t connect with her on any level. She is more than outgoing to the point of obnoxiousness and I am the complete opposite: shy to the fullest extent of the word. If I could never leave my house and just read books for the rest of my life, I would.  I understand everyone is different, and this might not bother you about Chloe at all. Maybe you’re just as outgoing as she is and will be able to connect with her in a way I couldn’t.

I did really like Duncan’s character. Duncan works at the radio station working the control board and also fixing anything and everything that breaks. He is quiet, and can never find the right words to say, which is something that drives Chloe crazy since she can never stop talking.

My favorite aspect of this book was Chloe’s radio show. I just thought the whole idea was fun and old fashioned. Chloe’s big personality and people skills make her perfect for a talk show host.

Another one of my favorite aspects of this book was the quiet romance. It was cute and heartfelt, not at all forced or rushed.

In conclusion, I was about 50/50 on this one. Part of me liked it part of me disliked it. There were things I loved and things I hated. If it sounds like one you’ll like it, I definitely encourage you to give it a try. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Review: Tempest by Julie Cross




Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
# Of Pages: 352
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts






Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun. 


That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities. 


But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him. Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world. 

My Verdict

 Okay, so I did really enjoy the storyline of this book. I’ve come to realize lately how much I enjoy books about time travel. It’s also interesting to see all the different approaches authors come up with in dealing with the same basic idea.

In this book the main character, nineteen-year-old Jackson can jump through time. He can only jump to the past and only for short amounts of time. That is until he jumps two years into the past and can’t get back. He has no other choice but to pretend this is his rightful time and just try and learn everything he can about what’s happening.

There are three main characters in this book: Jackson, Holly, and Adam.

-Jackson was a pretty good main character; he’s smart, caring, and charming. What’s not to like, right?  For some reason I just didn’t fall in love with him the way other readers have.  

-Holly is Jackson’s girlfriend, and honestly, I felt bad for her most of the time. She has no clue who Jackson really is or what he can do. He’s always hiding things from her and lying to her and for what? I never really understood why he didn’t just tell her. It wasn’t because he was trying to keep her safe or anything because at the beginning he doesn’t even know there is any danger. Holly soon becomes a target to his enemies because of their relationship even though she’s clueless as to what’s happening. I just felt like she was an innocent bystander who kept getting caught up in all of Jackson’s crap.

- Adam was my favorite character. Holly’s friend and Jacksons’ right hand man. Adam knows all about Jackson and what he can do and the two of them are working together to try and figure things out. Adam is a super smart, computer geek, with a big heart and lovable personality.

I was just talking to a friend about the lack of books out there that have college-age main characters. Being in college myself, I would like to see more books centered on this age group. So when I heard this book was about college-aged characters I was excited.

Unfortunately, in this instance this basically just meant that there was more swearing and sexual content than in most young adult books. I would say this book was meant
for an older audience (18+) than what it’s being marketed for. 

Tempest is the first book in a new trilogy, one that I will definitely continue to read.



BONUS CONTENT:
Thanks to the lovely folks over at Macmillion Audio I am happy to share with you a clip from the Tempest audiobook! Check it out!

video


Randomness: Debut Author Challenge

You guys are probably sick of seeing all my challenge sign up posts but here's another one. This is the last one I promise!


The debut author challenge is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.
The whole point of this challenge is to read at least twelve books by debut authors. 
I'm not going to list all the books I hope to read but you can check out my 2012 reading challenges page where I will post them as I go. 

Wordlover Wednesday: Arachibutyrophobia


Everyone has phobias. I have a phobia of spiders, sharks, heights, drowning, etc, etc...
We all have them. No matter how big or small. What we probably don't know are the specific names for each phobia. Here is my list again: Arachnophobia, Selachophobia, Batophobia, and Aquaphobia. I love looking up all the different names for phobias and what they are, some can be quite amusing. So for the next few weeks, I figured wordlover wednesday would be dedicated to the definition of phobias. 

Todays phobia is...

Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.



How about you? What's your phobia?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick









Title: Silence
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
# Of Pages: 448
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts






Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever

My Verdict

So the whole premise of this book is that Nora wakes up with absolutely no recollection of the last five months of her life. No angels, no nephilim, no Patch. So for the whole book she is trying to figure out what happened to her and to remember the last five months of her life. This was frustrating enough on its own but what really bothered me was when she would ask her mom or Vee specific question about her past and they both flat out lied to her face! Aghh. This made me so mad at them. I know they were doing it because they were trying to protect Nora, but who are they to decide what is or is not good for her?

But not to worry, Nora is not a quitter and she will not give up without discovering the truth. While reading this installment, I noticed what a brave character Nora really is. She faces some insane things sometimes and she always faces them with such a calm sense of strength.

As always, the ending is chock full of adventure and surprises. This has become one of my favorite things about Becca Fitzpatrick’s writing. I can always count on a killer ending. I’m happy I waited until now to start reading this series because I didn’t have to wait a year in-between each one. I was able to get absorbed in them and blow through all three in just a few days. The only problem is now I’ve come to a screeching halt and must wait anxiously alongside all her other fans for the release of the fourth and final installment. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Randomness: Giveaway Winners!!

Time to announce the two lucky winners of my New Years Contest!!


Congratulations... Samantha Dean! You won Incarnate!!! 
&
Congratulations... Sarah Kalaitzidis! You won Num8ers!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Randomness: Novels In-Verse Reading Challenge Sign-Ups

As you can see I've been on a spree of joining reading challenges.  I've been looking all over the place trying to find a novels-in-verse  challenge but haven't been able to find one. So I decided why not start my own?



RULES:
This challenge runs from January 13th - December 31st, 2012.

All books must be started on/after January 1st. Once you choose your level you can't change it.

You can read any in verse YA or MG novels it doesn’t matter when they were published but YOU MUST READ THEM IN 2012. Also, feel free to re-read ones you’ve already read AS LONG AS YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY REVIEWED IT.

You must post all your reviews on your blog or Goodreads.


LEVELS:
Haiku- 1-4 books
Limerick- 5-8 books
Sonnet- 9-12 books (This is the level I've chosen.)

BOOK IDEAS:
Spreadsheet
Goodreads MG List
Goodreads YA List

HOW TO SIGN UP (Sign Ups will be open until December 1st)
To join the reading fun just create a sign-up post that includes a link to this post, the level you've signed up for, and the button above. If you want you can even create a list of the books your hoping to read as part of the challenge. You can create a list of books beforehand or start a blank list and fill them in as you read. It's that easy. Then come back here and link up! Please link to the post directly and not just your blog. 

At the end of each month I will have a wrap up post where everyone can link up the reviews they wrote that month. I'm going to try and do some giveaways in which case each of your reviews will count as an entry. Due to lack of cash, I won't be able to do a giveaway each month but I'll try my best to do as many as possible!

SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONS:
I'm also going to try and do an author interview each month so that we can get to know some of these awesome authors. Just leave your questions in the comments and I'll pick a few questions for each author. (There are no guarantees that your question will be answered! Or that the authors will even agree to an interview.)

These are the authors I'm planning on contacting first:

  • Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Identical, Impulse, Tricks, Glass, Fallout, & Burned)
  • Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Under the Mesquite)
  • Holly Thompson (Orchards)
  • Kelly Bingham (Shark Girl)
  • Stasia Ward Kehoe (Audition)
  • Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (Reaching for Sun & 42 Miles)
  • Lisa Ann Sandell (Song of the Sparrow & The Weight of the Sky)
  • Lorie Ann Grover (Loose Threads & Hold Me Tight)
  • Samantha Schultz (You Are Not Here & I Don't Want To Be Crazy)
  • Sonya Sones (What My Mother Doesn't Know, What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know, One of      Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big   Sister Went Crazy)








Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher





Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
# Of Pages: 256
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Level: Ages 12 and up
Rating: 3 Hearts







Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

Welcome to a future where water is more precious than oil or gold...

Hundreds of millions of people have already died, and millions more will soon fall-victims of disease, hunger, and dehydration. It is a time of drought and war. The rivers have dried up, the polar caps have melted, and drinkable water is now in the hands of the powerful few. There are fines for wasting it and prison sentences for exceeding the quotas.

But Kai didn't seem to care about any of this. He stood in the open road drinking water from a plastic cup, and then spilled the remaining drops into the dirt. He didn't go to school, and he traveled with armed guards. Kai claimed he knew a secret-something the government is keeping from us...

And then he was gone. Vanished in the middle of the night. Was he kidnapped? Did he flee? Is he alive or dead? There are no clues, only questions. And no one can guess the lengths to which they will go to keep him silent. We have to find him-and the truth-before it is too late for all of us.


My Verdict

 First I have to mention how gorgeous this cover is!! It’s what caught my eye and made me want to learn more about this book. When I saw that it was a dystopian, I was even more excited. I really liked the idea of this book: a future where water is more precious than gold. I think it’s a very original idea. I’ve read a lot of dystopian fiction and many of them have elements that you start to notice repeated in each book. This was an idea that I hadn’t heard before.

The two main characters are siblings Vera and Will, though the book is told solely from Vera’s point of view. Vera and Will live with their mother, who is ill, and their father, in a district struggling for water just like everywhere else.  One day while waiting for the school bus, Vera sees a boy standing in the middle of the road drinking a cup of water and dumping what’s left on the ground. Vera can’t believe what she’s seeing. You don’t just waste water like that; in fact it’s illegal. When she calls him out on it, Kia looks at her blankly and says that there is plenty of water. Kia and his defiance instantly intrigue Vera. After this chance encounter, Kia becomes an everyday part of Vera’s life, waiting for her at the bus stop, going to her house for dinner. Then one day he’s gone. Vera and Will are determined to rescue him. They set off early in the morning and hope to be home for dinner (how niave). Their search ends up leading them far from home and into the hands of some very dangerous people.

I felt like the author was trying to cram in too much action and too many points of interest. Disappointingly, this left him with no climax. Each problem arises quickly and is resolved so fast that it just became unrealistic and boring. By the end, I was like oh geez, they’re two seconds away from death - again. I’m not going to sweat it though because I know everything is going to be hunky dory by the next page. 

Although this book isn't going to be taking over residence as my new dystopian favorite it wasn't all bad, and overall I'm still glad I gave it a try. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Randomness: More Reading Challenges!

I've decided to join a couple more reading challenges for the year.




First Up: The YA Contemporary Challenge hosted by Katie's Book Blog & Reading Angel. Click on the button above to learn more or join the challenge! 

There are three different levels:
Level 1)  5+ books
Level 2) 10+ books
Level 3) 15+ books

I've decided to go for Level 2) 10+ books
Here are the books I'm hoping to read as part of this challenge:
  1. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
  2. The Fine Art of Truth of Dare by Melissa Jensen
  3. Fracture by Megan Miranda
  4. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  5. First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
  6. Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala
  7. Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
  8. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
  9. The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry
  10. The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
  11. Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
Next Up:

This challenge is hosted by Evie from Bookish, Nicole from All I Ever Read, Bonnie from Hands and Home, Donna from Book Passion For Life, Caitlin from WatchYA Reading, Rie from Mission To Read, Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea, Christa from Hooked On Books, Jenna from Fans of Fiction, and Angel from Mermaids Vision. Click on the button above to learn more or join the challenge!

For this challenge you can any genre, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some and was released in 2011 or earlier.

The Levels for this one are:
1-10- A Firm Handshake
11-20- A Friendly Hug
21-30- A Sweet Kiss
31-40- Love At First Sight
41-50- Married With Children

For this one I've decided to go with level 1) A Firm Handshake 1-10 books

Here are the books I want to read: 
  1. Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
  2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  3. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  4. More to be determined...

Randomness: Dystopian Reading Challenge

I just signed up for my first ever official reading challenge and I'm really excited!!
I choose a 2012 dystopian challenge because we all know how much I LOVE my dystopian =D


This challenge is being hosted by Benji over at The Non Reluctant Reader.
Check it out for yourself here and maybe even join the challenge!

There are four levels:
  • Easy: 5-8 books
  • Medium: 8-14 books
  • Hard: 15-20 books
  • So Hard it Would Have it's Own Apocalypse!: 21+

I've chosen to do the medium level: 8-14 books. I have a huge To Be Read List and I know it includes plenty of dystopian. So here are some of the books I'm hoping to read as a part of this challenge.

  • The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
  • Legend by Mary Lu
  • Crossed by Ally Condie
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • After the Snow by S.D Crockett
  • Desire by Kailin Gow
  • Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Comes Out Feb. 28th)
  • Insurgent (Comes Out May 1st)
  • Surrender by Elana Johnson (Comes Out June 5th)
  • Once by Anna Carey (Comes Out July 3rd)




Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Review: Eve by Anna Carey





Title: Eve
Author: Anna Carey
# Of Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts







Synopsis

(From Amazon.com)

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?
Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.
Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.


My Verdict

FINALLY! I’ve been dying to read this book for months, and thanks to school vacation I finally had the time to do so =D This book is an action-packed dystopian that will keep you reading late into the night.

Unlike quite a few books where they start off slow and take time to draw you in, this book dives right into the excitement within the first few pages. I felt like it hit a rut in the middle and started slowing down considerably but then it came back with a bang for an exciting last quarter. Anna Carey creates a detailed world that I could see clearly in my mind as I read.

I liked all of the main characters in this story: Eve, Arden, Caleb, Benny & Silas. Surprisingly, I found Arden to be my favorite character. At the beginning of the story she’s made out to be the mean girl who thinks she’s better than everyone else but that was really just a façade she put up to hide her true feelings of loneliness.  Overall I did like Eve but there were times when her way of thinking and naivety really got on my nerves. I know this was all due to the way that she was brought up and what she was taught in school, but it still bugged me.

The one thing that really bothered my about this book was the hunting violence. There was more detail than necessary whenever an animal was killed. It wasn’t needed and could definitely have been toned down a little. You always knew when it was coming however, so it was easy to just skip down a paragraph or two and ignore it.  

The ending was not what I had hoped for, but I’m excited to see how things are going to play out in the next installment.