Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard Review

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Date Published: March 13, 2012
Rating: 5 Stars
Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.-Goodreads

I know I haven't written a review in a while but I needed to write one for Wanderlove. This is one of those book. The type of book that just made me smile and when I finished it. I really don't know how to describe the book but I do know how to describe my feelings while reading this book and hopefully that will make you consider reading it. I was grinning like a maniac and turned on the Christmas lights that always hang on the wall. It made me want to travel even more than I wanted to before; it made me feel like it was possible. It's the type of book that made me so cheerful I ran outside in the rain with my sister and country danced barefoot in the grass while singing Celtic songs. It was the perfect book for me and was exactly what I have been looking for in a travel book.

Bria is different from most characters you find in this sort of novel, she's not whiny or the typical rich bitch, she's easy to relate to and is believable and likable. She's completely normal, it makes you believe that if she could survive traveling then you can. Starling and Rowan act as guides for Bria on this trip and the relationship between Bria and Rowan is a solid friendship and enjoyable to read. Rowan almost always had a book in his hand which made me like him even more and there were plenty of book references. I loved reading about what it's like to backpack around Central America, both the good things (Hostels have book exchanges?!) and the bad.  I love reading about the different places they traveled to, since I don't have the opportunity to travel I enjoy armchair travel. I really, truly loved this book. So go read it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Expected publication: September 18th 2012
Publisher:  Scholastic Press

 “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon

 Title: Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Rating: 3 Stars
Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning, as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father's greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom.

Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and the chance to win his heart... -Goodreads

This book feels very much like the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christan Andersen but it gives a more in depth look at the characters and fleshes out the story. Of course, the story does take on a life of it's own separate from the original but, like I said, it feels the same.

The relationship between Margrethe and Lenia was beautiful. They are both royalty, one a princess of land the other of sea. They are in the same situation yet they would trade places with each other in an instant. Unfortunately fate is not so kind, they must play the hand they are dealt. Lenia longs to be with the prince that she loves and will sacrifice everything to be with him. Margrethe is in awe of Lenia, meeting her was her chance to experience magic and she loves the the world the Mermaid princess comes from. Reality is never as sweet as fantasy, Lenia must go through much pain (physical and emotional) to reach her dream and even then a happily ever after is not guaranteed. Margrethe, unable to reach the sea, focuses making peace between two countries. I can't say I liked the prince but he served a purpose in the story, providing tension and many other high emotions for the main characters.

This was a good retelling of The Little Mermaid and I did enjoy it, although I cannot remember even one cheerful part in the book. The story pulled me into both the world, on land and also the one below the sea. Overall it was a good book.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page (no spoilers)
  • Include title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists.

     "Kat had often heard it said that asking a good thief to stop thinking would be like asking a shark to stop swimming, so she couldn't help herself as she walked away from the park that day, through the coming dusk of the city streets.
     But that didn't mean she didn't try." 
                ~ pg.90, "Uncommon Criminals" by Ally Carter                                                                                                                                          

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Rating: 3.5 Stars
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.-Goodreads

 The voices of the main characters in this book were strong and real and they pull you into their worlds. Andi especially felt real, despite being a jerk a lot of the time you can't help but hope that she'll make it out of the story alive. Her whole life fell apart when her brother died and when her father takes her to Paris she finds Alaxandrine's dairy and it becomes and her obsession. Even though they lived centuries apart their lives are connect and there's the feeling that if something happened to Alex, Andi would feel the effects just as deeply as the girl who lived through it.While Alex's story was interesting Andi's story was what I really cared about.

It was a well written book. I imagine it must be difficult to write characters that are from two different time periods but Jennifer Donnelly made it look easy. The way Alex's diary was written felt appropriate for the time period while Andi's first person was fitting for the 21st century. Each character had their own styles and distinct voice.

I really enjoyed this book but the last hundred pages were...odd. It was too big of a change too late in the story for me. It just felt odd and completely out of place. It was interesting, no doubt, but weird and shocking despite it being told that it would happen in the summery. Sadly, it's what made me decide to give it 3 stars instead of 4. Overall it was an interesting book with characters that make you invested in their outcome.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Raven Boys Book Trailer by Maggie Stiefvater

Here is the amazing trailer for the highly anticipated new series by Maggie Stiefvater called The Raven Boys:


Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Rating: 5 Stars
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.-GoodReads

I loved this book. I read the first two chapters at Walmart because I figured I would be getting it in at the library the next day, I was hook from the first page. Unfortunately, the book did not come in at the library the next day and I had to wait until after Memorial day for the library to open back up again... and it still didn't come in. I was going insane, I couldn't read anything else while I waited. I needed Insurgent. When I finally got it I opened it up and finished it that night. It's been a year since I read Divergent and my brain had tricked me into believing that it really wasn't as good as I had remembered, Insurgent helped me remember everything I loved about the series. There was action and drama and tragedy, people jumping on and off of trains, betrayal and friendship. Who wouldn't love a book like that.

Insurgent also gives us a closer look at not only Amity (the peaceful) and Candor (the truthful) but also the Factionless. I love how detailed each group is. They're all beautiful in their own way, yet scarily flawed. I was hoping that the Factionless group would have a bit more depth but I imagine they will come up more in the currently untitled 3rd book so there is still time, I'm sure they have a role to play.

I love Tris's character, she's grown so much since the first book. She's a strong kick-ass character who would rather take the risks herself than let anyone else. She has to make many hard choices and then deal with the consequences of those choices. She is brave, she is smart, and she is selfless. SHE IS DIVERGENT... wow, that was dramatic.... moving on.

The book is fast paced with many twists, turns, and lots of drama. The ending will leave you shocked and wanting more. Let us hope that Veronica Roth writes quickly.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page (no spoilers)
  • Include title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists
"Yeh'll get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," Hagrid called over his shoulder, "jus' round this bend here."
Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, it's windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.
--Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling pg. 111

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Grimm Legacy

Title: The Grimm Legacy
Author: Polly Shulman
 Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication date: July 8, 2010
Rating: 3 Stars

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library— a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That's where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White's stepmother's sinister mirror that talks in riddles.

When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime—or captured by the thief.

This was a really cute book and I think middle grade children especially will enjoy it. I loved to magic of the repository. Imagine being able to borrow Abraham Lincoln's top hat or Jane Austen's quill or even Cinderella's Glass Slipper. The Grimm Legacy tells about the importance of objects and, for the Grimm objects, the magic they hold.

I loved every scene with the magic mirror. The rhyming was awesome and the mirror was so incredibly creepy, but in a good way. Elizabeth was not always the most interesting character but I liked the way she treated Anjal's sister. She never put her down and always treated her like an equal which was different than Anjal treated her. I found Marc to be boring and Anjali was not much better but Andrew on the other hand was more interesting, although he acted like kind of an idiot near the end.

So, at the beginning of this review I say that the book is cute and so far I have only criticized it but now I'll tell you why I enjoyed it. I loved the idea of the world of magic and fairy tales. I loved that the main character worked in a library of objects of history and magic. I loved being introduced to that world. Was this book fantastic? No, but it was fun, there are technicalities that I could point out but I won't. My mind has gotten too picky, that's why I recommend this for a younger audience. They will be able to look at this book and experience the magic that my mind wouldn't let me fully enjoy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Follow Friday

It's another Follow Friday. Sorry I haven't been reviewing as much as I should. I've been reading more than ever but school does get in the way of reviewing especially when the computer's at school mess up the formatting when I try to post something. But I'm back now and I'll be reviewing many books that I meant to months ago. On to the question.....

Question: Summer Break is upon us What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?

Here's the truth, I read to escape to somewhere else, to visit different countries and different worlds, heck, I read just to escape my state. If I went on a vacation it would mean I would actually be somewhere other than home and while I love my books I would be out exploring instead of reading. If I wanted to get reading done I would just stay at home. If I wanted to relax I would go to the lake.If I wanted to go on vacation it would be far away. My dream places are: England, Greece, Ireland, Germany, China, India, Brazil, Virginia, Washington D.C., California, and many many more places.

Cleopatra's Daughter

Title: Cleopatra's Daughter
Author: Michelle Moran
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s revengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome; only two– the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander–survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra’s Daughter. Recounted in Selene’s youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters: Octavia, the emperor Octavian’s kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra; Livia, Octavian's bitter and jealous wife; Marcellus, Octavian’s handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir apparent; Tiberius, Livia’s sardonic son and Marcellus’s great rival for power; and Juba, Octavian’s watchful aide, whose honored position at court has far-reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals. (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed reading this book, right from the first chapter I felt that it would be good and that does not happen to me often. There was so much historical detail and everything was described and explained, I felt like I had walked into Ancient Rome. Another great thing about this book is that the author did not shy away from the horrible and gruesome things that happened, that is one of the reasons this book felt so real. It also showed both the good and bad on each side. Even though the main character was Egyptian she did acknowledge that slaves were not treated any better in Egypt, she just had a different perspective now that she was in the power of an enemy in Rome. Likewise, Octavian was not always villainized, he did save some slaves from severe punishment for reason's only he knows.
The main storyline in Cleopatra's Daughter is supposed to be about The Red Eagle. That's where the mystery and excitement is supposed to come from but in my opinion it fell kind of flat. I'll be honest, the book is mainly just about day to day life for Selene and Alexander in Ancient Rome. Sometimes that did make it a little dull, I was hoping for more of a storyline but it was still an enjoyable and interesting read. The reason I read historical fiction is not only to be transported in time but also to learn. History is so exciting and interesting and there's so much of it that I don't know. Historical fictions are a way for me to learn without being bored to tears. I will definitely be checking out some of Michelle Moran's other books.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 My Answers:

What I'm currently reading? Much Ado About Nothing

What I recently finish? The Grimm Legacy

What I'll probably read next: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
Rating: 4 Stars

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.-Goodreads

If you like Robin Hood, broody thieves with hearts of gold, or guys who can shoot a bows and arrows you'll love this book. Krazy Elf described it as a 'fangirl' book, I didn't fully understand what she meant until I read the book. It's not the greatest book in the whole wide world but it is FUN. It really is a fun read.

I didn't always like the characters but the characters actions never once seemed out of place so I didn't really mind. Scarlet is the type of MC that I love reading, not only does she have a bad attitude but she can kick butt! I loved it when she punched that guy in the face! Little John was a fun character, he provided most of the humor in the book. Rob is how you would expect, brooding and has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Surprisingly, my favorite character was the one mostly unseen. I really liked Much, he may have seemed like the weak link in the group but he was a great friend to Scarlet and he's such a sweetie.

One thing this book sometimes lacked was believability. The fighting in this book seemed unreal, especially given some of the injuries, although since it can be compared to the unreal fighting in the BBC Robin Hood it is another thing that did not bother me much.

Overall this was a loveable book, I read it all in one day. You may not think it's the best book or whatever but it is very likely you will have a blast reading it. So give it a chance.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Rating: 4 Stars

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.-GoodReads

The best thing about Cinder is that even though it's a retelling of a well known fairytale it is so original. It's more of a Sci-fi book with bits of classic Cinderella details thrown in. I'm still blown away, Cinderella as a cyborg?! Hah! That's awesome!

Cinder was a great protagonist, she was strong, likeable, and you couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Kai was the same, I couldn't help but like him because of his willingness to do all that he could for his people. My favorite character by far was Iko, she brought a light heartedness to the book. I loved how a simple ribbon made her feel like she was dressing up and how she dreamed of going to the ball.

I really liked this book, it was well written, with good characters, and a strong plot. There were a few things that were predictable but I didn't really care, I'm not picky especially since this book threw enough curveballs at me that even though I guessed a few things there was always something else to throw me off. The ball was one of those scenes where you're going "what the heck!" The fact that they were still recovering from a war and that there was a plague added to the believability of the world. No matter how high advanced a world gets, the problems will change right along with it.

I wondered when I started Cinder if it was a series, when I reached the last page there was no doubt in my mind that it was. Even though the book is almost 400 pages it feels like it only scratched the surface. I am eager to see what Meyer does with the rest of the series.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Follow Friday

"Follow My Book Blog Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Allison at Allison Can Read where bloggers make new friends!

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

This is a really tough question. I read a lot of 3 Star books and they are okay, but I live for the 4 & 5 Star books. I love falling in love with the characters and tumbling through the pages into their adventures. From my experience 3 Star and below books don't have very well developed characters and that is a must for me. On the other hand, I would never want to get sick of one of my favorite books. Now if it was a choice of rereading my favorite books vs reading 100 mediocre books I would choose my favorites. They are my comfort, they have helped me when I'm stressed, sad, angry, tired, and sick of the world. I love my books and I wouldn't give them up.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Christmas Carol

Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Signet Classic
Publication Date: October 10, 1984 (first published winter 1843)
Rating: 4 Stars

This is the first Dickens book I've read and I think it was the perfect one to start off with. For starters, it's short, it's only a little over 100 pages (by my copy), and the first part is really funny! I can't even count how many times my sister has read me that first part, Dickens puts a lot of thought into the phrase "dead as a door nail", you'll have to read it to get it. I'm not explaining it well.

I love Scrooge's complete willingness to change the way he is, he sees the way he is and as soon as he gets the chance he has a complete change of heart. I started tearing up when he's begging the Ghost of Christmas Future to tell him that it's not too late for him to change. My favorite Ghost was the Ghost of Christmas Future. In my opinion that's the most powerful part of the book, filled with horror and sadness. It really drives the point home.

By the end of the book I was crying, I couldn't help myself, it was such a great ending. I walked away from that book with a warm feeling in my heart and I intend to read another Charles Dickens book when I get the chance.

Happy (late) Birthday Charles Dickens!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Little House in the Big Woods (Little House #1)

Title: Little House in the Big Woods (Little House #1)
Author: Laura Ingalls-Wilder
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Publication Date: Published 1960 (first published 1932)
Rating: 4 Stars

Meet Laura Ingalls, the little girl who would grow up to write the Little House books. Wolves and panthers and bears roam the deep Wisconsin woods in the late 1870's. In those same woods, Laura lives with Pa and Ma, and her sisters, Mary and Baby Carrie, in a snug little house built of logs. Pa hunts and traps. Ma makes her own cheese and butter. All night long, the wind howls lonesomely, but Pa plays the fiddle and sings, keeping the family safe and cozy.-GoodReads

I can't believe this is the first time I read this book. I loved it. If your looking for a book about everyday life in the late 1800's you won't find any better than this book. I loved reading about making maple sugar, and smoking meat, and..... just everything. It was absolutly fascinating. I was suprised to find myself laughing at some of the things also, and I don't laugh aloud when I'm reading. My dad asked me if I was laughing because is sounded like my sister tripped over something in the kitchen(CRASH!) or my book. It turned out to be my book.

Life back then was so different than life now. Everything could be used for something and nothing was ever wasted. It's amazing when looking at it from my perspective, someone who lives in a wasteful world. I think that was why she wrote the books. The Industrial Revolution was booming and the world had changed so much, I think she wanted people to remember the way things used to be and give people like us a taste of something we will never see.

Happy Birthday Laura Ingalls-Wilder!

Celebrating Dickens and Ingalls-Wilder

Today is Charles Dickens 200th birthday! Could you imagine a world that didn't have his books? So many of his books are titles you've probably heard of if even if you have not read them: A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Little Dorrit, Hard Times, and probably most well known of all A Christmas Carol. I am ashamed to say that I have never read a book by Charles Dickens, today that is going to change. In honor of his birthday I am going to read A Christmas Carol. It is one of my sister's favorite books and she has been bugging me about reading it. So, Happy Birthday Dickens! You will not be soon forgotten.

Another birthday today is Laura Ingalls-Wilder. She turns 145 today. She is another author, like Dickens, that you cannot imagine the world without. Her Little House books are always there to remind us what it was like in the days before the Industrial Revolution. You may be shock to hear that I had not read any of her books before today either. I used to watch the movie and the TV show and I started the first book a few times but never made it through. I just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods this morning and will later be posting my review. Happy Birthday Laura!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Firelight (Firelight #1)

Title: Firelight (Firelight #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September, 7th 2010
Rating: 3 Stars

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.-GoodReads

This story idea was original, I'll give it that. It's not everyday you read a book about a girl who can change back and forth between human and dragon(draki). I liked the story for the most part. I disliked the romance. I started getting sick of obsessive romances not long after I got out of Twilight. Actually, probably even before that. I have read way too many of them and I'm just not interested in the same old thing. Who knew "true love" could go out of style.

The story was good but now that I come to think about it, I didn't actually like any of the characters. I didn't dislike them, I just didn't with connect to them. I probably would have liked the book much better if I had. Jacinda's constant back-and-forth about staying or leaving gets really annoying. Will seemed to be the type male character that is in most YA Paranormals, flat and prone to violence.

And after all that because of the last 30 pages, and also my inability to give up on a book, I have already put the sequel on hold at the library. I can't help myself.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons #1)

Title: The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons #1)

Most people think The Zone is an amusement park, but Candy Thompson knows it's really a slave labor camp. What else would you call a summer job that requires a sixteen-year-old girl to set aside her whole social life for the privilege of standing out in the hot sun selling cotton candy? Still, there are perks---particularly the mysterious hunk in the Lone Ranger costume. Behind that mask are the most amazing eyes Candy has ever seen. Who is that masked man? But someone else is just as interested. And romantic competition isn't the only problem. Besides being hard work, The Zone is eating up major time. How is Candy supposed to stay involved in church? Worse yet, will she lose her best friend, Tamara, who resents how Candy's job limits their time together? This is NOT the summer Candy hoped for! But as she is about to discover, the summer of cotton candy will be the greatest summer of her life.-GoodReads

First of all,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Rating: 4 Stars

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.-GoodReads

There is something really simple and beautiful about this book. For the first time I liked a book just because of the romance. The relationship between Hadley and Oliver just felt right. There was no dramatic professions of love or stupid fights or feeling they were going to die without the other. It felt real.

The characters were likeable and they all reacted believably to situations. I liked that Hadley wasn't a complete brat, her actions were all completely understandable. Oliver was a complete sweetheart and had a great sense of humor, plus he's a brit, I don't know what teen girl wouldn't fall in love with him. Also, although it was only a small part of the book, I loved the story of her mom and Harrison. It was so cute!

As much as I loved this book there was one rather large aspect of it that I did not like. Hadley's dad was encouraged by his wife to accept the teaching job at Oxford because she knew it was his dream. The four months he's gone he had hooked up with some other chick. Both the dad and Charlotte(the woman he was marrying) were likeable characters for the most part but I hate them when I think of what they did. It was because of love, they said, like love makes leaving your wife and kid for another woman excusable. Love makes screwing around with a married man alright. I think that's a load of crap, people have a choice about who they love, if they're married they shouldn't go looking at other people, and if you know the man is married you can choose to stay away.

So, other than that part, the book was good. I was a little disappointed there wasn't more of London shown but I forgive it. I loved the cover and it was the perfect length, short and sweet. The ending was so adorable, the perfect conclusion to a truly sweet book.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time (Time #1)

Title: A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Publisher: Yearling
Publication Date:May 11th 1999 by Yearling
(first published 1962)
Rating: 3 Stars

Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time.

Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?-Amazon

A long time ago one of my favorite librarians recommended this book to me when I was bored. At the time I wasn't a big reader and the 200+ pages looked impossible so I'm ashamed to say I never read it. My sister read it for a children's lit class and said she really didn't care for it but since she hates to part with books it's still on her bookshelf. After all these years I finally read it today.

I liked they style of it, it just felt... right. At page 2 I knew it was going to be an interesting book when the main character Meg tackled a boy for insulting her younger brother. I really liked the unique relationship between Meg and Charles Wallace. For a five year old Charles Wallace is scarily mature, he acts like an adult. He seems to act like the older sibling, always taking care of Meg and his mother and knowing when they need someone to talk to. The Mrs. W's were hilarious and mysterious, I loved the names: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. I love Aunt Beast, as little as she was in the book she had this attitude that made her seem so sweet. If I was going to meet an alien she would be probably my second choice(first choice would be the Doctor, but that's a different matter). I also love her race, they way that they didn't see things but knew it by WHAT it was instead what it looked like.

I wish the book would have gotten more into what Calvin and Charles Wallace were and why they were special but it is a series so maybe it goes into that later. I loved the fact that with all the impossible things that happened such as traveling through time and space, meeting aliens and fighting the darkness Christianity and God was still acknowledged by all, even the aliens. For once Science and God were both counted as truth. It felt natural and was very refreshing.

I gave this book 3 Stars because while it was interesting and there was a lot I liked about it I wasn't in love with it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dear John

Title: Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Warner Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2006
Rating: 3 Stars

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.-GoodReads

I don't know why I decided to read another Nicholas Sparks book. I've read 3 before this one and I didn't care for them much. I'll even go so far to say that I hated the Notebook and only loyalty to the movie keeps me from saying the same about A Walk to Remember. So why do I keep coming back for more? I do not know.

I honestly don't have much to say about this book. It was good... I really don't have anything bad to say about it, just that it's not my type. The writing is fine, although, I would love to see Sparks try another pattern than the one he always follows but he is a talented author. I liked the story well enough, I actually can't say much about the pace of the book because I can't judge such a thing when I read a book in nearly one sitting.

The characters were likable but I didn't connect with them. I read in a couple of reviews that people were in love with John Tyree, I can't say I was. I liked Savannah but I didn't connect with her either. I didn't get close to the characters, I didn't get invested in their story so when the heart wrenching parts came (it's a Sparks book you know it can only end in tears) I didn't feel anything. I just felt like a casual observer. Unlike The Last Song I didn't even cry. I felt nothing.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Red Glove (The Curse Workers #2)

Title: Red Glove (Curse Workers #3)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publishing date: April 5th, 2011
Rating: 4 Stars

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

Red Glove is the sequel to White Cat. I loved this book, I haven't read anything like it. I love the world, the curses, the crime, the murder, the love, the friendship, the drama, the dysfunctional family. It is addicting.

I've also come to the conclusion that I love Cassel's character. He's sarcastic, well meaning, a conman, totally messed up and he is completely aware of it. I liked his relationship with Lila, as messed up as it was, they are each others equal and they make one heck of a team. They are absolutely vicious. I can't wait to see them meet up in the next book, it's sure to be destructive.

Black would be a great criminal if ever she decided to give up writing and turn to a life of crime. The cons were planned out so well, it's like a work of art. There are so many layers, so many people involved, so many small details and things that come it to play. It's insane.

In a style quite like White Cat the ending was heart breaking and left you wanting more. I can't believe I have to wait a couple of months for Black Heart to come out. I can't wait! I want to find out the conclusion to Cassel and Lila's story. It's sure to be unforgettable.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Inkheart (Inkworld #1)

Title: Inkheart (Inkworld #1)
Author: Cornelia Funke
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publish date: October 1, 2003
Rating: 5 Stars

Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret-- he possesses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father's past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father's life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?-GoodReads

I discovered this book when the film came out in theaters, oddly enough, it took a few months to discover it was actually based off of a book. The movie was really good but, as always, the book was ten times better. This is one of those unforgettable books, the ones that touch your heart and never leave. This is a book lovers book.

The writing style is great, it makes you feel like your reading a fairytale, like one of the many ones they mention. For a children's book I found Inkheart to be very mature, there's nothing too terrible in it, just a few cuss words, but this maturity leaves room for older audiences to love it. These characters are so painfully human and every single one of them has their flaws and weaknesses. You may not always like the characters but they always act realistically even if their actions are not what you wish they would be. I really respect that.

I love the relationship between Mo and Meggie, he's all she knows and all she needs but he knows of a different time when her mother was there and he misses it and is sad that Meggie doesn't remember and that she doesn't care to. Mo would do anything to protect Meggie and she would do the same.

Elinor rocks! She's a pain but you can relate to her obsession with books. They are her children and her only love. I love how through the books she changes and becomes more caring. I also love how she's always ready to dish out some insults to idiots with weapons.

Dustfinger... I am in love with Dustfinger. He is not a particularly heroic characters, actually, he's not heroic at all. But what he is, is smart and cunning. He misses his world so much he would do anything to get back, no matter the consequences. He's a coward and often runs but when he stays to fight you love him twice as much for it because know how much it took not to run away. He's human. Plus, the fact that he can speak to fire is awesome, and he has a pet Marten.

The idea of fall into the pages of a book that your reading has most likely been a fantasy that many readers have had. To be able to visit our most beloved worlds and meet our favorite characters, to change whats going to happen and make a happy ending. In Inkheart these fantasies come true, once again, within the pages of a book.

I love this book, it's been a favorite of mine for a while now. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Whether you decide to check out the book or the movie I don't care, just experience this story for yourself.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves #1)

Title: Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves #1)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: June 8th, 2010
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped?

I can't say that I loved this book. I had a real problem with the romance. Romances where the characters really don't know each other but feel an uncontrollable need to be with each other annoy me. It's just unrealistic and obsessive. Of course when paranormal books are involved you have to give the book a little bit of wiggle room because of outside supernatural influences. I also didn't like how Bryn bossed Chase around. It seemed like she was doing to him what she hated being done to her.

I loved the werewolf world, it feels so realistic. It reminded me a lot of the Mercy Thompson world. As for the characters, Lake ROCKED!!! Who wouldn't love a 15 year old shotgun toting werewolf?! I also loved Devon. Bryn was pretty cool, Chase had a nonexistent personality, and Callum is kinda badass. I loved how his character was portrayed in the last part of the book. I kind of loved him. Speaking of the last part of the book, the ending is epic. It's really cool. If you want to find out what I'm talking about just read it. And another note about the ending,there is no cliff hanger, it feels like a complete book. Everything that the characters set out to do got done. I really appreciated that.

I think this book could have been a bit shorter. As much as I love books, unless their one of my favorites, 400 pages is just too much for me. Overall, besides the puppy dog, brainless romance it was a good book. If you're looking for a werewolf book to read, this isn't a bad one to pick. I enjoyed it despite my grumbling.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Follow Friday

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by: Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This week's question:

Q: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?

I try to keep an open mind about things. A good story is a good story whether it's a western, romance, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, or contemporary. Of course there are genres that I don't normally seek out such as western, romance, and non-fiction. I try to tell myself that my Grandma's books that have pictures of half naked people on them have just as good of a story contained in their pages as any other book but I can't bring myself to ever pick one up and read it. I would probably blush.

What about you guys? Is there any genre you purposefully avoid?

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2)

Title: A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2)
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: January 10th, 2012
Rating: 5 STARS!

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.-GoodReads

First of all can I just say I love the cover of both Across the Universe and A Million Suns! They are absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to see the cover of book 3, I'm sure it will be just as lovely.

The thing I loved about A Million Suns is that it was just as good as Across the Universe. I literally spent half of the day reading this book, it was so good. I love Beth Revis's writing style, the imagery that is put forth is as clear as a picture. It's so beautiful. Another thing that I love is that the 1st person POV is so real that when the character's mind is in chaos you can feel it. This whole book just feels like a work of art.


I loved reading this continuation of Elder and Amy's story. I can truthfully say that I was shocked by the turn of events in the book more than once. I was on the edge of my seat and couldn't stop reading. Luckily I finished the book with 45 minutes to spare before my first class. I got a bit annoyed by Amy near the end but I could understand where she was coming from even if I didn't completely agree with her. I love the fact that this book makes you question what you would do in the same situation and since most of the characters hold different opinions you can't just follow them blindly, you have to decide for yourself. It was nice to see Elder stepping up and became the leader he was born to be, I'm sure that he'll have plenty more difficulties to come in the next book. I'm looking forward to it *evil laugh*. I cannot wait for the next book to come out, it's sure to be epic.

Interesting Fact
The murderer in A Million Suns changed with each of Beth Revis's rewrites. The killer changed identities a grand total of three times.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

White Cat (The Curse Workers #1)

Title: White Cat (The Curse Workers #1)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date: May 4th, 2010
Rating: 3 Stars

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.-GoodReads

The best thing about this book by far was the world that Holly Black built. It was so detailed and it felt real. I love the fact that everything came with a price, especially the magic they worked. If a worker took away a memory, memories were taken from them in the blow back. If a death worker killed something or someone a small part of them died also in the blow back. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the world but once I did it was great.

The characters were interesting enough. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Cassel for the way his family was. Everyone stabbed each other in the back and the ending showed just how someones best intentions could go wrongly. Cassel himself was the type of person who played a character. He was afraid of who he was so when he was at school he pretended to be a person who blended in with the crowd. By the end of the story I think he was finally able to be himself with his friends.

The writing style was great and I enjoyed the story, but for me it wasn't the greatest. I will probably read the sequel and if the summery interests you I suggest that you read it. It was a good book but for me personally it just didn't have a spark.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Anna Dressed In Blood

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Date: August 30, 2011
Rating: 3 Stars

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.-GoodReads

I usually don't read ghost stories but I read Graveminder and I've been rewatching seasons 1 and 2 of Supernatural so I felt in the mood to read Anna Dressed in Blood. I was actually really looking forward to reading this book, but I was kind of disappointed. I was hoping to read a book that was kind of like Supernatural. You know, with a guy traveling around killing ghosts, but the romance kind of killed it for me. It just seemed out of place, I think it could have waited for a later book when the author develops their relationship more. On the plus side there was quite a few gross descriptions thrown in there, so that made it feel more like a horror book.

The characters were ok, not boring or annoying but I didn't feel a connection to Cas or any of the other side characters. There just wasn't any spark. Nevertheless, I will say that Anna was pretty darn cool. She kicked butt. I loved the last battle scene, it was awesome!

I felt like the main villain was rushed. You find out about him half way through the book and then the conclusion just seemed rushed. And can I say I hate Voodoo. Even The Princess and the Frog creeps me out. I just don't like it.

The writing style was good and the story was fine, but at times I think it lacked believability. Overall, it was okay read, I'll probably read the sequel eventually but the book wasn't as good as I had hoped.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Last Little Blue Envelope

Title: The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope #2)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date: April 26th 2011
Rating: 3 Stars

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.-GoodReads

The Last Little Blue Envelope is the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. It wasn't much better than the first one, in my opinion, but I feel the writing was a tad better, not that the writing was bad in the first one it just got better. Ginny's, once again, character was flat but I think she got a lot more out of this trip than the first. I was disappointed that Johnson didn't get into Oliver's character anymore than she did. His character had a lot of potential for major drama but not much was done. There was a lot of hinting about his character, come to think about it there was more hinting than actual character development, but I kind of liked him in the end. Keith was funny but most of the time he just seemed to be an ass, at first he just seemed to be doing it for Ginny's sake but after a while he just seemed cruel for the sake of being cruel. Ginny really didn't stick up for Oliver much, she didn't like how Keith was acting towards him but for a long time she didn't voice any complaints for a long time and when she did it wasn't strong. This book had a much more satisfactory ending than the first and you begin to think that Ginny really is starting to get it. The traveling was once again a joy to read, I love reading about Europe. I still say this is a 3 star rating but it's closer to a 3 1/2

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Title: Graveminder
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HaperCollins
Date: May 17th 2011
Rating: 3 Stars

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.-Amazon

There were so many great things about Graveminder but I feel that it didn't reach it's full potential. The world was fantastic, both the world of the living and the dead. I love the idea of the Graveminder, someone connected to the dead and watching after them, protecting them, and also making sure they don't ever come back. Also, the Undertaker who's responsible for dealing with the bodies left behind and a partner to the Graveminder.

Marr loves writing from many character points of views and that isn't bad, but it can also connect you with side characters that aren't supposed to be important and in the case of Elizabeth, Alice(I think that's her name), and Amity I feel like she didn't give them satisfactory endings.

The story was a bit slow to start off, considering the length of the story I feel that there should have been more accomplished in the first 150 pages. Rebekkah and Byron were only just their getting into their jobs as Griveminder and Undertaker by the end of the book and it just felt too short, like their should have been more.

Overall, it was an interesting book. It had a great world and storyline and I did enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Emily the Stange: The Lost Days

Title: Emily the Strange: The Lost Days(Emily the Strange Novels, #1)
Author: Rob Reger
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2009
Rating: 3 Stars

I can't find a good summery of this book to post so I'll describe it in one sentence. Strange goth girl genius gets amnesia and finds herself in a town called Blackrock that has no black rocks.

In the style of Emily herself I thought I'd write my review in lists of 13 things.

13 Things I Liked About Emily the Strange
1. Emily
2. Amnesia 2
3. The strangeness
4. Pockets with Gallifreyan technology :D
5. Her lists of 13 things
6. Conversations with Raven
7. Her refrigerator box
8. Her inability to not write in her notebook
9. The matchstick Delorean
10.Molly's lines for Raven
11. How she found out she was a cat person not a dog person
12. Refreshing nightmares
13. Her tickets

13 Things I Disliked About Emily the Strange
1. The fact that I can't decide if I liked it or not
2. Calamity Poker
3. Attikol
4. Some of the Stupidness
5. Blackrock
6. I had to read it in short segments
7. More Stupidness
8. I have not become immune to stupidness
9. I still can't decide if I liked it or not
10. um
11. I'm having a really hard time coming up with 13 things
12. Beige
13. Let's just call that 13 things and be done with it

Sunday, January 8, 2012

13 Little Blue Envelopes

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes (#1)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year: 2006

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.-Summery from GoodReads

13 Little Blue Envelopes is a fairly easy read, I finished it in one day. This should have been a book I loved. A teen girl traveling around Europe, it's the type of story I should love reading. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped. With every letter Ginny traveled to a different place and with each challenge the trip seemed more pointless. Ginny didn't seem to get anything that her Aunt was trying to tell her, she didn't really enjoy anything, instead she went through Europe like a zombie. I know she just lost her aunt, but really, she should have some reaction to whats going on around her. The side character, Keith, was fun and quirky but Ginny was just flat, she really didn't seem like she had any life in her at all and that did not change by the end of the book. Her travels were interesting, the places she went, the problems she ran into but it would have been more interesting if she had some personality. The ending of the book is somewhat unsatisfactory but I guess that's life, and that's what the author was going for. So, after everything I'm giving this 3 stars mostly just because it's about traveling through Europe.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Hunter's Moon

Title: The Hunter's Moon (The Chronicles of Faerie, book 1)
Author: O.R. Melling
Publisher: Amulet Books
Year: 2000

Gwen travels to Ireland to visit her cousin Findabhair, expecting a summer of backpacking, late nights, and the usual road trip adventures. But when Findabhair is kidnapped by the King of Faerie, Gwen must race to save her cousin before the rise of the Hunter's Moon, when the fairies need a human sacrifice.-Summery from Goodreads

I've had this book on my shelf for a couple of years now, I've just never got around to reading it until now. It was a fun read, there are a lot of problems I had with the book, but still it was fun. It took me a while to realize that it was written like a fairy tale(yes, I do realize that I am reading a tale about fairies but I'm talking about Fairy Tales, you know, the Grimm kind). There were tests that Gwen had to pass, random friends along the way who helped, people filled with courage and bravery willing to die for something they loved. Nevertheless the down sides to fairy tales were also apparent such as lack of believability, cookie cutter and underdeveloped characters, boring dialogue, and sudden professions of love.
One of my favorite things in the book was the constant adventure Gwen was on traveling around to a lot of Ireland's best Faerie places. And the best part had to be when the Leprechaun was giving Gwen his tour of Dublin, I couldn't help but laugh at his renaming of the statues, like Tart-with-the-Cart.
The thing that makes people like this book, I think, is that it's steeped in legends and folktales. Miller sure did put her B.A. in Celtic Studies to use, every place Gwen went there seemed to be a story to go along with it, everything in the book seemed connected to Faerie in some way. There were so many legends woven into this one story. Like I said, It was a fun read.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by: Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This week's question:

Q: Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf. How many?

I have 52 unread books in my bookshelf(and on the floor and on top of the dresser). I'm kind of shocked. It's not as many as a lot of people on book blogs have, but considering I only buy books twice a year and I usually stick to the books I know, it is a fairly large number. I need to start reading them. Does anyone else have trouble reading books on their shelf vs books from the library? Or is that just me? I can always make time for a library book but it takes me months to decide to read a book that I own.