Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Glow Review

by Amy Kathleen Ryan

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?
Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...
Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.
But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

In Amy Kathleen Ryan's Glow, you are enveloped in the small world of a ship that seems to extend beyond its walls and out into deep space. The opening chapter hooks you and doesn't spit you out until the very end while you're exhausted but yearning for more.

In the beginning of Glow we are introduced to Waverly and Kieran, two teenage lovers destined to be together on a spaceship bound for a "New Earth." They, along with everyone else on the Empyrean, see that there is another ship coming into view which doesn't seem possible. They realize that it is the New Horizon, a sister ship to their own but they shouldn't see for years. Both ships are headed to a new planet to restart human civilization. When the two ships meet, crew members from the New Horizon attack the Empyrean, killing multiple people, and kidnap all the young girls. As the story unfolds, more secrets emerge about the relationship between the two captains and why they needed the girls. A lot of religious and moral issues arise in this book that leave you questioning every character by the end.

The characters are well developed throughout. Ryan does a fantastic job of creating those characters that you just want to hug and tell them that everything is going to be okay, and others that make you grip the book in a rage wishing you could slap them. Those feelings are what make good character development so important in my eyes. Also if you can take characters that you trust from the get go and twist your image of them back and forth until you are left wondering if some of the protagonists should really be considered that. Without going into specific characters so to not spoil anything, most of them change drastically throughout. I am so anxious to see what is to come of each one of them in the next book.

The writing is well done. It was obviously well researched and well thought out. There is a lot of factual science about space travel and the human psyche that come in to play. This book is gripping in a way that I can't describe. I am not usually one for sci-fi but this book had me. Glow is said to be the "next Hunger Games" and the only way I can see a relation is that it is fast-paced and intense. Other than that, very different in every way. Ryan created this world on a spaceship that may be so small but deals with drastically larger issues. Religion plays a big role in this book, as to be expected when starting a new civilization. I didn't like how it became so focused on it by the end though. Human survival is also a huge ongoing theme. How far can one person be pushed and how much can they depend on their own thoughts and feelings to get them through a life and death situation. Okay yeah enough rambling about the writing.

3 out of 5 stars for this one, mid-low shelf.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cover Crazy (3)

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays.  Its a brand new meme where the idea is to showcase a  beautiful book cover each week.  This week I'm crazy about.....

by Teri Hall

Why I love it:

  • I love the contrasting colors of the broken glass and the outside world it showcases the different perspectives really well. 
  • I like all the rubble outside the glass and that the hole is focused on the bare tree.
  • The font of the title is simple and I like how the Y goes out to the edge, like it is part of the spiderweb of broken glass
  • I also like that follows the same style as it's predecessor, The Line, simple, ominous and questionable.
What cover are you crazy about this week?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by awesome Kristi at The Story Siren which allows bloggers to share what books they bought/received each week.
Hey guys! Check out what I got this week! (and well I guess last week too, this is collective)

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Covenant by Dean Crawford
The Elfin Child by Philip G. Bell

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Hourglass by Mara McEntire
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Across the Universe by Beth Revis

And of course I bought a nook simple touch! Yay!
That's all for me this week guys, what did you get?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On My Wishlist (2)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

Circle 9
by Anne Heltzel
Release Date: September 13, 2011

She knows only Sam, a mysterious teenage boy. He is her sole companion; her whole life. She was born, already a teenager, lying outside a burning building in soot-stained clothes, remembering nothing, not even her name. He showed her the necklace she had on, the one that named her: Abby. Sam brought her to live in his cave-palace, where he gives her everything she needs. He loves her. He protects her from the world outside, from everyone who wants to hurt them, like the denizens of Circle Nine, Dante’s deepest circle of hell. But even in a charmed, brand-new life like Abby’s, change will come. Sam falls ill. A new girl comes to stay, and Abby begins to question Sam’s devotion. With doubt comes emotional turmoil, changes in perception, and glimpses of her past identity. In this courageous psychological thriller, Abby tells the story of living her new life and discovering her old one, while grappling with an ever-changing reality.

by Ellen Hopkins
Release Date: September 13, 2011 

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.
Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.
Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?
A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gil Marsh Review

Gil Marsh
by A.C.E. Bauer

Good looking, athletic, and smart, Gil Marsh is the most popular kid at Uruk High School, even though he is only a junior. When Enko, a new kid from Montreal, shows up, Gil is wary. Yet Enko is easy going and matches Gil's athletic prowess without being a threat. Soon, the two become inseparable friends, practicing, studying, and double-dating. Then suddenly, to everyone's shock, Enko succombs to an aggressive cancer. When Enko's parents take his body and return to Canada, Gil is unable to even say good bye. He is inconsolable. Determined to find Enko's grave, Gil sneaks away and heads north.Closely based on the ancient story of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian King from 3000 BC, A. C. E. Bauer has carefully woven the classic elements of myth to follow Gil's quest and explore the grief and growth of a young man.

In A.C.E. Bauer's stunning retelling of The Epic of Gilgamesh, you are thrown into a modernized version of the continual search for the answers of life. Reanimating the oldest recorded story seems to be a very daunting task, but Bauer does it with ease. 

We follow Gil Marsh through his reign over Uruk High school (nice play on name of Gilgamesh's kingdom) and his meeting of Enko at the beginning of this book. The two boys seem to butt heads at first because they rival each other so closely. But in the end they become inseparable. After Enko suddenly dies, Gil needs closure with his friend's death and with accepting life. He runs away to Quebec in hopes of finally being able to say goodbye properly and trying to learn more about the legend behind the ring that Enko left him. Through Gil's search for answers he learns a lot about life and mortality as a whole. This is a tale of acceptance, grief, life and growing up. 

The characters are not intimately written but you grow to love them. Gil grows from being the popular kid in high school to truly learning to love another person and love life. Enko is the most kind-hearted soul and only wants what's best for everyone. His death is heart wrenching to read about from both boys' places. The characters that Gil meets on his journey emulate the characters from The Epic of Gilgamesh. They teach Gil the good and the bad in life. 

 This book definitely still reads as if it were still an epic classic story. I honestly did not know what would come of it. I expected it to either read as a cheesy version of a classic set in a high school and be let down at the lost quality of literature. Or I expected it to rival the original too much and it just wouldn't work as a young adult book. Somehow Bauer managed to find the balance between the two perfectly. The writing isn't dumbed down in the least. It still holds all the qualities of a classic and yet is easy to read and relate to. I'm anxious to see how others take this book when it comes out. I'm worried for the automatic assumption of a gay relationship between the two boys instead of just true friendship. The writing does not explain most events or relationships, they just happen and are accepted, which is how I feel classics are written. There should be no need for an explanation or too much lead in to an occurrence. Very well done.

5 out of 5 stars, this book deserves a slot on your bookshelf amongst your classics.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Theme Song Thursday!

This week I am reading The Elfin Child by Philip J. Bell. It is about a boy in London who goes to stay with his aunt in the country for a bit. While there he discovers an elfin boy and is needed to help save the elfin race. He is thrown into this fantasy realm and feels like he is in way over his head. It is so far a great middle grade read about growing up and discovering fantasy.

Dessa-Children's Work

Dessa is a very talented member of Doomtree. This song is from her solo album called A Badly Broken Code. This song is about how we think of children as so innocent and naive when children really know more about the world than we do. They are forced to grow up too fast some times and see things that others don't. I feel like song is very fitting for this book because the boy is thrown in to help this world he was never a part of. He may grow up and discover himself through the process but a lot of pressure is put on him in the mean time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Graffiti Moon Review

Graffiti Moon
by Cath Crowley

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.

Graffiti Moon is what I always want a contemporary YA romance to be. After all the sappy, love at first sight, "our love helped me through all my emotional problems" books out there, this book is finally REAL.

Cath Crowley develops a world that is so centered around art and the artistic mind that you can't help but be drawn into the creative mindset of the characters. Lucy, a glassblower, is searching for Shadow, the amazing graffiti artist who is so perfect in her mind that no guy can even compare to the conflicted soul she has drawn in her mind. Ed, who is secretly Shadow, helps take her on the journey to find Shadow and realizes he can never live up to the portrait Lucy has painted of him. As the night progresses and they learn more and more about the artistic lifestyles they both live they realize they are perfect for each other. Side stories of their friends grow simultaneously and equally as artistically, though through poetry.

The characters of this book are so well developed that you can't help but fall in love with them. Lucy has a different home life of odd parents and a surrogate father figure who is her glassblowing teacher. All she wants in life is to find someone to share the beauty of art with. Ed comes from a rough upbringing of a single mom barely making end's meet. He has trouble reading and writing and escapes through his walls. The paintings he does on walls parallel his mental state. He is struggling through the recent death of his only father figure, his manager and the first person to really believe in his talent.

The writing is exquisite and exactly what it needs to be to really pull off the feeling of this book. I can't express enough how artistic and beautifully done this book is. The thoughts, comparisons, descriptions and metaphors are all written as if you are looking at a painting. Not only does Crowley paint the scene that is occurring in the story, but the paintings the characters see in their minds. Flawless writing.

5 out of 5 stars, top of the bookshelf, definitely buying this as soon as it comes out.

Gamer Girl Review

After Maddy's parents divorce, she's stuck starting over at a new high school. Friendless and nicknamed Freak Girl, Manga-loving artist Maddy finds refuge in the interactive online game Fields of Fantasy. In that virtual world, she reinvents herself as Allora, a gorgeous elfin alter ego, and meets a true friend in Sir Leo. Maddy can't hide behind Allora forever, especially as a real-life crush begins edging in on her budding virtual romance. But would anyone pick the real Maddy, gamer girl and Manga freak, over the fantasy?
This fresh, geeky/cool novel includes online chats and exciting gaming, and features Maddy's Manga style artwork.

Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi turned out to be a little better than anticipated. Given the content I was not as let down as I expected to be. I am very protective of the gaming environment because I have been a part of it for so long now, I didn't want this book to give teenage girls the wrong impression. Luckily for me though, this book only covered the role-playing aspect of gaming which is something I am not well-versed in so it went over smoothly.

Maddy is the typical angsty punk nerd girl who is living in high school hell. Her school is full of preppy mean kids who are ruled by a group of "Haters." Chad is a part of this group and Maddy for some odd reason is attracted to him. After her grandmother accidentally establishes her as the Freak Girl in her preppy high school, she takes solace in a video game her dad gives her. After being ditched by all her friends and even her dad in game, Maddy meets Sir Leo in Fields of Fantasy and he becomes her only friend and confidant. Over the course of the book she starts to have feelings for Sir Leo and wishes she could meet him in real life. This book obviously has some fantasy aspects as well, nothing like the relationship formed in game would ever happen in real life. From the moment you meet Chad you know he is going to be Sir Leo (sorry if that spoils it, but it is extremely obvious). From there the story becomes more of a game-based romantic fantasy.

The characters are simple and easy to read. Maddy of course has the emo girl thoughts that every has in high school and acts upon them. Sir Leo is the perfect boy that you would never meet in real life, let alone in game. Her old friends ditch in typical high school girl fashion, and her new friends that she makes by the end in her manga club turn out to be the usual high school nerds.

As you can tell I think the writing is simple, quick, at times funny and a bit (okay, a lot) predictable. From the back cover summary alone you can tell how the story is going to play out. This book reads like an old Mario or Zelda game. It's fun, predictable, and you know the princess will get saved at the end. So the writing does lend to the gaming atmosphere of the story, even if the gaming lingo is outdated and comical to read.

Gamer Girl turned out to be more enjoyable than I thought. I was worried my reputation as a gamer girl would be tainted by over exaggerated gaming stereotypes, but never fear, it only brushed on the gaming world. I would recommend this book to younger readers, maybe around age 14. Anyone who is new to the world of nerd would welcome this book. Well-seasoned nerds like myself, may find it offensive at times or just take it like me and have a good laugh. 3 out of 5 stars, back to the library shelves it goes. Game over.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cover Crazy (2)

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays.  Its a brand new meme where the idea is to showcase a  beautiful book cover each week.  This week I'm crazy about.....

by Kate Kae Myers

Why I love it:
  • I like the creepy darkness of it. You can't quite see the house and it leaves you wondering why.
  • The contrast of the reflection of the house underneath and the dark scary nighttime version above it. Why is there a couple in the window with the light on? Who is waving from the same window in the reflection?
  •  I like the old photograph feel to it, almost sepia toned. I love that instead of the brown hues, they altered it to a green tint.
  • The lettering of the title is awesome, no capital letters, just simple and mysterious.

I'm Alive! ...and I'm back!

Guess whose back...back again...
Hey everyone! Just wanted to make a quick update post. I have now officially missed an entire week of posts.
I have been a vampire or an owl or a bat or a cricket or a hippopotamus (really? those are nocturnal?). Moral of the story is I have been sleeping all day long for the past 2-3 weeks because I have temporarily been working from about 10pm to 6am. Talk about weird work hours. I have been trying to keep up with reading at least. But I wake up around 7pm and have some breakfast and then realize instead of reading the book in front of me, I've just been staring at my cocoa krispies for about ten minutes.

So now that I am working my way back to having a normal sleep schedule, I am reading like crazy and catching up on posts. So look forward to awesome reviews and updates! Thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cover Crazy

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays.  Its a brand new meme where the idea is to showcase a  beautiful book cover each week.  This week I'm crazy about.....  

by Leah Bobet

Why I Love It:

  • I love that it is finally branching away from the stereotypical solid black covers that teen books have been using to death lately. Dreary earthen tones lend to the mystical creatures' interpretation of urban life.
  • The girl's wings are the typical angel or butterfly wings we see on most paranormal YA covers, leaves you wondering what exactly she is. 
  • The sewer piping and the bleak, yet at the same time, blinding sun lead you to wonder why she is going "above".
  • The font of the title is misty and shadowed, the lettering is simple.
 Above comes out in April, 2012. Can't wait to see the finish product! What covers are you crazy about this week?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Graveyard Book Review

"After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . .

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages."

Neil Gaiman weaves the most hauntingly beautiful tale of growing up in his children's book, The Graveyard Book. Gaiman's words are sewn together with Dave McKean's artwork to create the stunning quilt of horror that you just want to wrap yourself in.

Immediately after finishing this, I did more research into the analysis of this story than any book I was ever assigned to read for school. There was so much I wanted to know about the ideas and theories I had floating around in my mind. Sure enough, I had some solidity to my own interpretation of the themes and symbolism. But there were also so many more concepts that I had yet to even construct. So I owe some credit to this site for answering a lot of my questions and putting more ideas in my head.

The Graveyard Book is written in 8 chapters, each chapter reads as a linear part of the book but in itself was a mini story. The graveyard itself was given the role of a library for Bod. He delved into his own adventures within each gravestone which personifies each character and each type of story. Books play a huge role in this as well, the name of the book is attributed to Roydhard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe makes an appearance to lend to the fact that Bod is almost marooned in the graveyard and is coming to realize it.

The graveyard is not the only thing that holds a massive amount of symbolism in this book. Color plays a large part throughout the course of this book. Most colors used are shades of grey. The lady in gray, her gray horse, Bod's sheet clothing, the gravestones. All very somber and contribute to the melancholy feel that is a graveyard. Black and white contribute to the grey scale of life and death. The darkness that Bod can see through represents death and the white flowers represent life. Red appears during the more lifelike portions. Scarlett, a human girl who is Bod's first friend, is representing it in her name. Bloodlust is a big part of this book as well, blood is red which is a human's life. Scarlett is present when Bod discovers the Indigo Man, another color that is too vibrant for Bod to take at that part of the story.

The characters hold a lot of weight in this book as well. Bod is the typical protagonist of a children's book, yearns to learn as much as he can, is a hero without noticing it, grows up throughout. Silas is the silent protector, who we learn through subtle hints is kind of a vampire. All the ghosts are like family to Bod and offer humor through the sayings on their headstones. The Jack of All Trades create such a creepy and disturbing atmosphere by just existing.

Gaiman's writing is so complex and yet so simple at the same time. This book makes books written for teens and adults seem petty and frivolous. His syntax makes it so that every sentence can become a stand alone quote. The third person narration makes setting switches seamless and easy to interpret. Overall, flawless.

Overall this is the cutest, sweetest story that is surrounded with murder and death. Never did I think a children's book would capture me so much. The Graveyard Book left me hopeful and acquisitive. 5 out of 5 stars, top shelf, this should be shelved next to your classics.

On My Wishlist (1)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

by Maggie Stiefvater

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen

by Mark Z. Danielewski

Can a book be a labyrinth? Or, to follow the premise of Mark Z. Danielewski's genre-bending debut, can a book about a book about a film be anything else? House of Leaves is both vast and claustrophobic, crammed with minutiae (footnotes, appendices, poems and letters, and layout trickery) yet cored by a deep, absorbing emptiness, a deliberate void that accommodates, even incorporates, each character's—perhaps even each reader's—expectations, quirks, and fears.

At the novel's heart is "The Navidson Record," a documentary collage made by Will Navidson, prizewinning photographer, of his attempts to explore the impossible. A bizarre hallway—dark, cold, and haunted by a menacing growl—has suddenly appeared in his new home, and within its darkness lies an ominous architecture that mutates, viruslike, with every trip inside, offering a deadly threat to Navidson's wife, Karen, and their young children; to his brother Tom, whose loyalty Navidson abuses; to his friends who become involved in the quest; and finally and most directly, to himself. For Navidson cannot stop his explorations; he can't stop wanting to see.

House of Leaves is also the "book," painstakingly compiled by a strange old man named Zampan, acquired after his death by Johnny Truant, an apathetic slacker mired in drugs and sad sex. Johnny's obsessive immersion in the manuscript echoes the black-hole threat of the hallway to Navidson; both are caught then consumed by the need to go deeper than safety, or sanity, can support; both will risk their lives in pursuit of the secret of the hallway, and both will be damaged by the experience in ways they cannot anticipate or escape

Friday, August 12, 2011

Look What I Got!

Oh my goodness you guys! I am so far beyond excited for receiving this ARC from work. I got a lovely amazing awesometastic copy of Triangles by Ellen Hopkins. And here is proof:

Ellen Hopkins is by far one of my favorite authors of all time. I have read and reread all of her books numerous times and love them just as much each time. I was so excited to hear that she was writing an adult novel. Triangles is her debut adult novel published through Atria Books. It deals with 3 middle aged women going through marital meltdowns. It sounds just as emotional and heartwrenching as her teen books but from a more mature narrator.

Triangles is also told in verse which I was so excited to see because that is Ellen Hopkins' signature writing style. To quote the letter from her that was sent with the book: "With extraneous language removed, emotion becomes the driving force, and this book is all about emotions." I feel like that sums up why I love her writing so much. It isn't flowery or overly descriptive so it is just real.

So I may cheat this month and read this in the middle of all my "G" books. Simply because I can't wait. So review soon to come. :D

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Theme Song Thursday!

This week I am reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. The story is about Bod, or Nobody, who is a little boy growing up in a graveyard. His caretakers are the ghosts of the graveyard and he goes on adventures through his own explorations. He feels somewhat trapped but at the same time never knew a life outside of the graveyard. Through the book he explores more and more of life but ultimately still wants to come back to his family of ghosts.

Jack Conte-Lonely Ghost

Jack Conte is qutie possibly my favorite musician. He is extremely talented and a majority of his songs have a eerie feeling to them. The lyrics are always amazing and this song in particular discusses a dreamlike consciousness involving a little ghost. I felt like it was fitting to the book because it not only deals with a lost ghost boy like Nobody, but the creepy dreamlike state you are in when reading this book.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Destined Cover Revealed!

Look at it! LOOK!
How long have we been waiting for this cover? Too long!
I am guessing that is Heath, or Heath's new form shown on the cover. I like the shadow of the bull in the background as well. Just seeing the new cover makes me want to stop what I'm doing for the next month and reread all of the House of Night series again. But of course I wouldn't do that...that would be crazy...psssht...*scurries off to my bookself*

Monday, August 8, 2011

August Books: G

Here are a bunch of the books that I have or borrowed or plan on getting to review for the month of August. I obviously will not get to all of them so help me decide which ones to do!

The Graveyard Book by Neal Gaiman
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (to be followed by Messenger of course)
Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
The Garden by Elsie V. Aidinoff
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Sunday, August 7, 2011

July Recap "F"

My thoughts and ratings for the books I read in the month of July.

by Sophie Jordan

Jacinda is a draki (dragon shape-shifter) who is trying to cope with being forced into a normal teenage life. Romance arises when she meets Will, a draki hunter.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars, middle shelf
Review: Firelight Review

 Flying Blind
by Deborah Cooke

Zoe is the Wyvern, the only female Pyr in her family of dragon shape-shifters. She is struggling with controlling her abilities and responsibilities of being a Pyr.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars, closet
Review: Flying Blind Review

by Cat Patrick

Every night when London goes to sleep her memories are forgotten. She remembers forward and forgets backward.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars, middle shelf
Review: Forgotten Review

Forbidden  *Favorite book of the month!*
by Tabitha Suzuma

Lochan and Maya are brother and sister who act as the parents to their younger siblings. They soon realize that they love each other as more than just family.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars, top shelf
Review: Forbidden Review

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
by Carrie Ryan

Mary has only known life within the fence surrounding her village which protects her from the Unconsecrated. Post-apocalyptic romance and zombies.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars, mid-low shelf
Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth Review

by Lauren Kate

Luce ends up at a reform school where quirky and mysterious characters leave her questioning what is real or if she really is crazy. Dark romance.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars, bottom shelf
Review: Fallen Review

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fallen Review

Overly so.
I am just going to say it: I wasn't wowed by this book. *raises white flag* I think this book has passed its prime of paranormal romance days. Which is what I will use as reasoning as to why I was not blown away by this book. Back when Lauren Kate's first book of the Fallen trilogy came out I can definitely see how this would have followed the Twilight phenomenon quite nicely. But now that so many books have come out since then, I don't find it to be as special. That is not to say I didn't enjoy it, I will agree that it was enjoyable and quick to read.

Fallen is about a 17 year old girl named Luce (short for Lucinda) who is sent to a reform school after a mysterious fire kills her boyfriend and left her practically unharmed. Much of that back-story seems to be missing pieces or was summed up too simply for my taste. While she is learning her way around Sword & Cross, she meets a bunch of characters who are very odd individuals. Something is off about the whole situation and you spend much of the book trying to figure out just what is going to be revealed. Like why does she see random shadowy things occasionally? Still not too sure. She gets involved with one guy named Cam, who is full of wooing abilities, but something doesn't sit well with Luce about him. She is also naturally drawn to another guy named Daniel but he wants nothing to do with her. And so the plot thickens...

The characters are just that: characters. They didn't jump out of the pages to me, I enjoyed reading about them and the random quirky characteristics but they never seemed lifelike in my eyes. Arianne made me chuckle with her bad girl attitude. Penn was adorable in the geeky best friend way. Cam and Daniel fit the typical dark and brooding bad boy images. Luce ping pongs back and forth between being a strong female lead trying to take care of herself and just falling headfirst for a guy who is a jerk to her.

Lauren Kate's writing is simple and fun. Some overly cliched moments happen but with quirky twists. The comic relief of some of Luce's friends keep the book from taking itself too seriously. The pacing was slightly off for me. In my opinion the book started slow which I thought would help build some nice character development but I still feel like I don't really know any characters too well. The last 100 pages or so the story takes off and you get a sense of relief. I was waiting the whole book to reveal what I had all ready figured out. I go back to what I said earlier about Fallen being past its prime. When this came out I can see how you possibly have gotten to the end and not figured out we were dealing with angels. But the title lends hints to it, the few dreams Luce has that involves wings also help. So I was relieved for the pacing to speed up and the story to unravel, which it sure did. But it went really fast and ended abruptly. I was finally settling into learning more about the mythology when it was cut short with some drawn out make out scenes.The epilogue does intrigue me to read more so I will most likely pick up Torment, the sequel just to find out more of Lauren Kate's plans for these characters.

The cover design is beautiful and overdone at the same time. Come on...it looks like an Evanescence CD cover right? But I am still a sucker for the dark mysterious covers. Even though the girls in dresses thing is so common now, I still enjoy it. I appreciate that you can't see her face, I don't like when I have an image of the protagonist before I even open the book up. But come on..cheer up girl in poofy black dress! You're only standing in a dark forest with creepy crows flying around you! Also if you have the paperback of this like I do, who else pet their book? The paperback has that velvety finish to it that just feels cool in your hands.

As a whole this book has potential for readers just getting into the paranormal romance subgenre. Definitely check it out if you are interested in the quick and cheesy romantic scenes, because admit it, who doesn't love those? I'm going to have to give this a 2 out of 5 stars and lower bookshelf rating just because it will fit in nicely with all my other dark romance books.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Theme Song Thursday!

This week I am reading Fallen by Lauren Kate. I am a little more than halfway through and so far the main character Luce is still unsure of why she is feeling so drawn the Daniel. She is experiencing intense love and lust for this character and can't figure out why.

The Pretty Reckless-Make Me Wanna Die

This song deals with the overwhelming attraction to a guy much like the way Luce feels toward Daniel. This book is also a very stereotypical paranormal romance book, I mean come on the cover looks like an Evanescence album cover. So I picked a song that relates to that type of audience for both books and music.