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Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: OPAL by JLA


Review:

I have literally been staring, dumbfounded, at my keyboard for what seems like forever. Why, you ask? Because I'm absolutely speechless at the hands of OPAL by Jennifer Armentrout. I still cannot even begin to process how any one book in a series as unbelievably fantastic as the LUX SERIES can surpass its unbelievably fantastic predecessors. When I first read OBSIDIAN, if someone had told me that it wouldn't be the peak of the series, I would have thought it a crazier notion than having my own personal pen-poking Daemon, or having a blizzard in Dallas. But OPAL exceeded my expectations beyond anything I could have imagined in my wildest dreams...which, by the way, after just finishing OPAL, are guaranteed to have some steamy Luxen sightings. As the story kicks off, we pick up at Kat's house, where she has just returned from her rather unpleasant visit with Mr. Michael's, her mom's sadistic, twisted boyfriend. Did I mention she was tortured...and held
captive in a cage? All seems well when OPAL begins, however, and with Dawson finally home and safe,if not a bit dour as a result of his imprisonment, the readers are given an almost false sense od security. The normal heated banter continues with Kat and Daemon's relationship, but in this installment of the LUX series, there is a bit more emphasis on the, ah, heated part. Though some relationships need healing after everything that caused so much pain in ONYX, theirs is one that only seems to progress. We are privy to a sweeter, more vulnerable Daemon, but one who still knows how to pull out the charm and the smoldering looks. When an unsuspected character returns--no way will you see this one coming--the romance steps up even higher. With Dawson back and with the grief over Adam's death hanging over them like a black curtain, there is not much time for Daemon and Kat to focus on their relationship...So, every second they do have alone makes op for time
lost....if you get what I'm saying. Amidst the drama that the unsuspected visitor brings with him, a plan forms to rescue those held captive that they love the most--namely, Beth. To prepare, we witness a stronger Kat and even get to meet some hysterical new characters, who hang out in some INTERESTING places. The new and improved Kitten develops her kick ass/ ninja / Jedi/ superhero/ Luxen hybrid powers. But is it enough? The ending of the book will leave you just as speechless as i was. But then you won't be able to stop blabbing about it, just like this! OPAL is literally the perfect blend of romance and action, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next installment!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: Reached, by Allie Condie


Summary: 

Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion.

With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.



Review:

Going into REACHED, by Allie Condie, I was expecting a lot. I'm sad to say my expectations were far from filled. In fact, this book took me over a week to read, which is really rare when I have time to sit down and read. I found myself rereading old books and watching movies instead of sitting down and getting through this one. I thought the story was very exciting, but the execution of telling the story was lacking in interest-peakers. It's sad, really, because REACHED has SO MUCH potential. Xander's character was wholly disappointing, and Cassia's even more so. Ky was stagnant and didn't change at all from the last book...which makes for boredom. The love triangle was spread so thin over different communities that there is hardly any romance or action between its members at all. Cassia actually made me really mad, because she didn't continue on her path of strong heroine and had a few too many weaknesses in there. Don't get me wrong--no character should be unstoppable. A character should have flaws, vulnerabilities, and strengths. Cassia seems to have lost her strength and disregards everyone and everything except for Ky. I know this all sounds really harsh, but it's just so frustrating when a story could be sooo amazing...but just, isn't. I'm still a big Allie Condie fan, but for me, REACHED was a hit and a miss. I give it 6 out of 10 stars.
~Anna

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

I'm usually not a huge short story kind of gal, but THE GODDESS LEGACY gives you so much insight into the lives of the characters you only get to glimpse in the other installments of this incredible series. You get to venture into the life of Hera, or Calliope, where we witness a soft, vulnerable, and maternal side to her. Though my opinion of her hasn't changed completely--I still categorize her as a selfish beyotch--I at least understand the motive behind her murdering madness now. I also saw the life of Persephone, who was forced into a life she didn't want by her parents. She was made to love all things bright and lively, as we see with her love for first humorous Hermes and then shining Adonis. Instead, Demeter and Zeus didn't even take this need for life and light into regard when they arranged a marriage with Hades, king of the Underworld. Though Hades is devoted, loyal, and admirable, he was a choice Persephone never had, and for that she resents him and his dark kingdom. I absolutely loved her story, because when we meet Persephone for the first time, we are shown a somewhat haughty girl who seemingly doesn't care about Hades' tormented heart. THE GODDESS LEGACY lets us see that her hear is tormented, too. Along with these stories, we are also privy to the lives of Hades, Hermes, and Aphrodite. THE GODDESS LEGACY is a MUST READ. Go forth, and buy it immediately!
Latah,
Anna

Friday, November 2, 2012

Top Ten of November

Hey Kiddos,
I am really excited for this month! Check out my top ten picks for November reads!


Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor: November 6th

Reached by Ally Condie: November 13th

Deity by JLA: November 6th

Renegade by J.A. Souders: November 13th

Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas: November 13th

Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine: November 6th

Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky: November 20th

Sacred by Elana K. Arnold: November 13th

Black City by Elizabeth Reichards: November 13th

Touched by Corrine Jackson: November 27th


Monday, October 22, 2012

The Elite

So sorry this is so late! My friend from Viva La Books showed me this and I completely forgot to blog about it! Although I really like this cover, it just doesn't compare to its predecessor. The red makes it border on cliché, unlike the blue cover of THE SELECTION, the first book in Kiera Cass' trilogy, which personifies elegance and absolutely stunning. I like how THE ELITE cover kept with the theme, but I'm just not digging it. I guess my standards were just really high...*sigh*...Any who, tell me hat y'all think of this beaut.

What I'm reading:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Commencement: review and mini-interview



Review:
I have always dreamed of the supernatural, of magic, and of other worldly powers. What Emma possesses may seem like a super awesome gift at first glance-I mean, being able to feel others' emotions? No anxiety over your boyfriend's feelings for you, or knowing if a parent is angry pre-yelling session? Sounds preee-tty cool...not. Emma feels her "weirdness of being able to feel other people’s emotions like they’re [her] own" is "awkward", and she doesn't view her ability much as a gift. Bottom line, the girl is not normal. Throughout the novella, which is a 99 cent prequel to the Hellsbane series by Paige Cuccaro, the readers are shown Emma Jane's yearning for the one thing she is not: normal. Though the writing and technique was superb, I felt the plot was lacking in originality. I have yet to have seen a freaky supernatural girl who hasn't sobbed over being different...However, the characters were amusing.One of my favorites, a character named Mihir, is an adorable 15 year old boy who crushes on Emma Jane and insults her boyfriend, Justin. Too cute. Even with the awkwardness of Emma feeling his feelings of, um, let's say excitement. This part in the novella was rather amusing. Both Emma and Mihir had skipped grades because of their outstanding academics, but poor little Mihir was a college junior in a fifteen-year old boy's body...What can a guy do? He's got hormones. None the less, he is still a sweet kid who helps Emma through her troubles with possible druggy/maybe possessed boyfriend Justin, who Emma is desperately worried about when she senses a dark hatred from his emotions. When a mysterious ring seemingly causes this change in Justin, and then later is connected to tales of jenni's, Emma has to fight a powerful darkness. At this point, I was reminded of that Disney movie, Now You See It? with all the magicians and the dark magic and the ring and all that jazz. When further events occur, and Justin is connected to a death, more questions arise, and Emma Jane must use her abilities for the good of everybody. Though the story was a bit cliche and predictable, I was interested enough to want to know where Emma Jane's path will take her. It is a short read, and to make it even better, it's less than a dollar! I mean, that is most certainly a plus. I hope you enjoy the mini interview that I have conducted with the author, Paige Cuccaro.
Bye bye, 
Anna

Mini-Interview:


What is the backstory to your writing career?
I didn't start out wanting to be a writer. I actually went to college to be an elementary teacher. But they want you to actually TEACH the kids stuff and I just liked taking care of them. I decided it was probably better than I have a few of my own and the change suited me. But I've always enjoyed writing and after reading a series of books by an author who is now my hero, Anne Rice, I knew that I wanted to do what she could do. I wanted to tell stories that would transport the reader, suspend reality and bring them into a world of my making. I started seriously writing when I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio 13 years ago. In Ohio I discovered a local writing group, Central Ohio Fiction Writers and through them I joined Romance Writers of America. They're both wonderful organizations filled with awesome people. I've learned so much and am still learning. I never would've gotten as far in my career if not for these groups and their members.

What books have inspired you throughout your life?
Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire is the book I point to as the inspiration to my writing addiction. This woman has such an amazing gift and I would count myself blessed to have half her talent.

What are you currently reading?
I'm reading Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris. I'm probably the only person on the planet that hasn't read them. But I love the HBO series and I just had to check out the books. So far, they ROCK!

What input did you have in the cover of COMMENCEMENT?
Not a lot. I told them what Emma looked like and what her personality was like. I filled them in on what Commencement was about, setting, genre. And then I shut my mouth and let the artist do her thing. I like to think the more artists are allowed to flex their creative muscles the better the end result will be. So far, I haven't been proven wrong.

If you had a paranormal ability, would you choose the ability to feel other people's emotions as well? If not, what would you choose?
No way would I choose Emma's ability. It's one thing to know what people are feeling, it's something totally different to actually FEEL what they're feeling. I mean, can you imagine having that ability as a teenager and your parents are...getting close in the room next door? Ewww... If I could pick an ability I think I'd go with mind reading or, telekinesis. Much more fun, with a lower ick factor.

Thanks again, Anna!!
Paige :)


Monday, October 8, 2012

Throne of Glass Playlist

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Playlist:

Drops of Jupiter by Train
I Miss the Misery by Halestorm
Headstrong by Trapt
How to Save a Life by The Fray
Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison
Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers
How Far We’ve Come by Matchbox Twenty
Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
Good Girl by Carrie Underwood
Sweet Dreams are Made of This by the Eurythmics
Wild Ones by Flo Rida
We Are Young by Fun.
What Do You Want From Me by Grant Scot
Battlefield by Jordan Sparks
I Am Not a Robot by Marina and the Diamonds
Can’t Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus
Bless the Broken Roads by Rascal Flatts
Girls Lie Too by Terri Clark
The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel
Enchanted by Taylor Swift



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas







  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Rating: 10/10 stars


I am literally in love with this book. Every possible concept and factor that I think make the perfect YA book are compiled skillfully and wonderfully into 416 pages. Every fairy tale notion of princes, every little girl's dream of balls and gowns, every independent young woman's inspiration in feisty heroines, all of these things are woven into the magical pages of THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas. It's a story that you can't put down, but it is also one that if you do put down, the moment you pick it back up it will feel as if all the time in between had been the story, and only when you entered Celaena's world were you in reality. THRONE OF GLASS transcends the bounds of reality and yet, when you are in its spell, it is the only thing that even exists. To say that I am obsessed is an understatement, and I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF READING THIS BOOK! Unlike many of its YA counterparts, the love triangle, if you can even call the intense and passionate relationships between Celaena and Dorian and Celaena and Captain Westfall such an idle name, does not dominate every page in the book. Celaena is plagued with deeper and more important struggles than such a thing as a love triangle. Even a dispute with her beautiful friend, Nehemia, does not phase her from the important matters at hand. The magic is not contained in this story, and as soon as you open the page, you will be transported into a world of magical symbols, conniving kings, glorious princesses and charming princes, and most of all, a heroine whose scars don't make her any less beautiful.

Giveaway: GONE GIRL


On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around. (Courtesy of GR)


Monday, October 1, 2012

October Releases

Hey y'all,
This month is freaking unbelievable in the YA universe! Check out some of the top October releases below!


October 1:
Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
October 2:
Forget Me Not by Carolee Dean
After Dark by Emi Gayle
Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones
Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate
Breathe by Sarah Crossen
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Ironskin by Tina Connolly
Live Through This by Mindi Scott
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter
The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
Feedback by Robison Wells
October 4:
Stealing Crystal by Joss Stirling
October 9:
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
October 16:
Beta by Rachel Cohn
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos
The Twelve By Justin Cronin
October 23:
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and MArgaret Stohl
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
October 25:
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
October 29:
Touched by Corrine Jackson
October 30:
Dust Lands by Moira Young
Gravity by Melissa West
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
Venom by Fiona Paul
Sapphire Blue by Kersten Gier


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blind Spot Blog Tour Oct24-Nov02

Tomorrow: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

She never thought a kiss could kill…
Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...and she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.
Was she really the only person in the entire school who didn’t know about his peanut allergy? Or that eating a peanut butter sandwich and then kissing him would be deadly? Overnight Sam turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she’ll have to find a way to forgive herself before anyone else will.  

(Courtesy of GR)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cover reveal: Just One Day

This read, by Gayle Forman, the amazing author of IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT, looks great! The cover is really pretty too!

Review: Hidden by Sophie Jordan

Hidden is so many things. At the end of trilogies that evoke such passion in me such as Sophie Jordan's FIRELIGHT trilogy, I usually am a bit sad for a while, forget about it, then revisit the characters later. While this series still falls under my all time favorites category, I felt a new sense of resolution in the conclusion of HIDDEN. Nobody had to die for the love triangle to cease between Cassian, Jacinda, and Will. Nobody disappeared mysteriously or got abducted by aliens. It was a clean, normal conclusion that left me feeling content with the series rather than distraught at its end. The plot of HIDDEN was fantastic, as expected, and Jacinda's character was as feisty as ever. While I wish there was more romance between Cassian and Jacinda, I understood their relationship and I wasn't, like, traumatized when they don't have little Draki babies together...
It's difficult to successfully introduce a new character in the third book in the trilogy, but the character of Deghan was assimilated into the story line flawlessly, and the depth he conveys in such a limited amount of "page time" is surreal. Every character flourishes into something greater or more interesting in HIDDEN, developing far past it's prequels. We see a sensitive Corbin, a genuine Cassian, a happy Tamra, a jealous Will, a amicable Miram, and an even fiercer and braver Jacinda. Sophie Jordan has written us a flawless finale to an incredible journey.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guest Blogger: Pauline Harris


Hey y'all,
I'm really excited for you all to read a bit about Pauline today. She is the perfect example of not waiting to follow your dreams. When some of you might say, "I want to be an author when I grow up," remember that Pauline is only 16 and has a book in the works already. It's never too early to follow your dreams, and Pauline is the perfect example of that. Make sure to check out Mechanical this spring! Also, make sure to take a look at The Secrets of Evelyn Taylor.
~Anna


Hi, I’m Pauline Harris, I’m a sixteen-year old author and I’ve been writing since I was eight years old.  I’m flattered and excited to be writing my first guest blog post here.
I’m an avid reader and always enjoy books with futuristic and fantasy themes.  Some of the books that were most inspirational for me were the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke and the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson.    
Recently, I wrote a trilogy and the first book, Mechanical, is scheduled to be published sometime next spring.  I’m thrilled that I’ve signed with a publisher.  I mean, since I was twelve years old my dream has been to somehow get published and now that its happening I’m almost in shock.  There are moments when I think that I need to keep searching literary agents and publishers online, and then I’ll suddenly remember…I don’t need to anymore.  It’s weird after basically years of querying, I’m done.  I have nothing to do with myself now, other than school... 
Write another book?
Anyway, I’m here to talk about Mechanical, and talk about Mechanical I will.  I’m very proud of it, but I’m the author so that goes without saying.  I love it and hate it at the same time; a strange mix of emotions that makes me want to either smile or scream every time I read it.
Here’s a short description:

Mechanical is a story about an android girl named Drew who suddenly finds herself caught between two worlds; humanity and perfection. 
Drew is told from the very beginning of her superiority and enormous responsibilities.  She was created for a mission, they tell her; a mission more important than anything she could ever have imagined. 
Drew is sent to a high school, being ordered to observe the humans and report back to her creators.  But when Drew forms friendships with these humans and starts feeling strange human emotions, she begins to doubt her creators’ ways of dealing with her and wonders whether her mission is as brilliant as it once seemed. 
As Drew falls deeper and deeper into the mystery surrounding her mission and her creation, she is suddenly left with a choice between what she’s known all her life and what she knows is right.

That’s basically Mechanical in a nutshell.  Throw in some romance, spirituality, backstabbing and moral issues, and there you have it.  It’s kind of a conglomeration of many things but if I had to name it by one or two genres, I’d have to go with dystopian and science fiction. 
I’ve always wanted to write a book about a robot – ever since I was little.  I love Star Trek, and anything that has to do with science fiction and futuristic madness, so I’ve always liked the idea of an intelligent computer posing as a human.  When I finally came up with the idea for the Mechanical Trilogy, I was super excited and started writing furiously, blissfully unaware of the hours of painful editing I would have to suffer through later.  But, it was all worth it.     
Mechanical doesn’t have a set release date yet, as it’s in the early stages of publishing, but I can tentatively say sometime next spring.  I seriously can’t wait. 
It’s planned to be a three book series, followed by ‘Perfect’ and ‘Flawed’.  You can check them out at paulinecharris.wix.com/author.  There you will find synopsizes of all three books in the series.  I hope you get a chance to check it out. 
Thank you so much for reading this post and let me conclude with one of my favorite inspirational quotes that helped me in my journey to becoming published: “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Brian Littrell.
Hope to see you among the stars!

All the best,
 Pauline


Other books you may enjoy: 




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Today: Hidden by SOPHIE JORDAN

I cannot stress to you enough; you absolutely must read this book. If you have not entered this series, you will have missed out on a fiery main character and an intense love triangle. Jacinda is a character that surpasses most, and her personality and strength will inspire you. In HIDDEN, we will see Jacinda attempt to rescue Caspian's sister, Miram, from the The evil draki hunters. Personally, I cannot wait to start this after school today and I advise you follow similar paths!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Only a little more than a week till THE RAVEN BOYS !!!!!!!

Chance to win Sever

Hey!
For all you people who have an instagram, go follow LAUREN DESTEFANO for a chance to win a copy of Sever! She will only give away this copy win she reaches 1000 followers, so be sure to tell your friends to follow too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph

Description: 
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books; Original edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Rating: 7/10

Summary:

Review:
Shrinking Violet proved to be a pleasant surprise. By the summary, I imagined a cheesy, overly-sentimental coming of age story. Shy Girl comes out of shell. Popular, edgy Boy shows sudden interest, though he has really been equally mesmerized with her forever. Mean girl gets showed up. And the story plays out. But there is a depth to Shrinking Violet that surpasses the usual girl meets boy story line. The secret that Teresa finds herself in is comedic and insightful, her voice strong and brave. What she talks about on her radio show is inspirational and only the tiniest bit corny, and when an interesting turn of events in her reality (her school and home life is her reality, and her life behind a microphone is her fantasy) strikes, Tere's new found courage is tested. She must stick to her gut, even in times when everything and everyone is telling her to turn and crawl back into her shell. I loved the romance because it wasn't outright and it wasn't even really a romance at all until the very end, but it was every bit as fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Everything about this book had sort of an indie vibe, a little edgy even. I felt super cool to even read it. I mean, I read it almost three years ago, and the way that Gavin described Sweet T's, Tere's, really, voice was absolutely exhilarating. "Husky". I would recommend this book primarily to 12-15 yo's, but I think any age group would enjoy it. But don't watch the Disney movie Radio Rebel, which is based off Shrinking Violet. Because, well, it sort of sucks and ruined the book a bit for me. So, just don't bother with that crazy and stick to page turning.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Square Fish
Release date: May 15, 2007
Number of Pages: 304 pages
Rating: 7/10
Summary:
What happens when you die? Where do you go? What do you do? Zevin provides answers to these questions in this intriguing novel, centering on the death of Liz Hall, almost 16 years old and looking forward to all that lies ahead: learning to drive, helping her best friend prepare for the prom, going to college, falling in love. Killed in a hit-and-run accident, Liz struggles to understand what has happened to her, grief-stricken at all she has lost, and incapable of seeing the benefits of the Elsewhere in which she finds herself. Refusing to participate in this new life, Liz spends her time looking longingly down at the family and friends back on Earth who go on without her. But the new environment pulls her into its own rhythms. Liz meets the grandmother she never knew, makes friends, takes a job, and falls in love as she and the other inhabitants of Elsewhere age backward one year for each year that they are there. Zevin's third-person narrative calmly, but surely guides readers through the bumpy landscape of strongly delineated characters dealing with the most difficult issue that faces all of us. A quiet book that provides much to think about and discuss.–Sharon Grover

Review:
Elsewhere is one of those books that make you say "ehh". Nothing spectacular, nothing great, really. Just ehh. For some reason I thought this was going to be Allison Noel esque, and so of course I expected the greatness that sides with Allison Noel books. It just didn't happen. The plot was ehh, the setting was ehh. And the thing is, Elsewhere had huge potential. The idea was there, but the execution wasn't surreal. Also, the setting and plot should have surpassed "ehh", because for God's sake, the setting was HEAVEN!!! The possibilities that side with thy name are endless, yet again, it was just ehh. I mean don't get me wrong- it wasn't terrible. It just wasn't all that great, either. The main character, Liz, annoyed me severely, and her romance with the dead police officer is bland and lacks excitement. I wouldn't recommend Elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interview with Lauren Oliver


LAUREN OLIVER


YA Books:

Interview:
1. Throughout Pandemonium, I was absolutely shocked at my attitude for Julian. I had thought my loyalty to Alex was solid, but I began to fall in love little by little with Julian as well! When and how did you decide to stray from the intense passion and dedication between Lena and Alex?
I don't think I strayed from it. Both Alex and Julian are very important to Lena. Alex is her first love, and that's very intense and very important, but Julian shows that there is love after loss, which is something I think is equally important to show.

2. Requiem is told from both Hana's and Lena's point of view. Will their paths intertwine throughout the book, or will it be more of a shocking revelation as with Alex in Pandemonium?
They're on separate paths for most of the book, but they do connect at some point.

3. Many times in YA books, I feel as if the best friend is just that-the best friend. They are the ones the bad guys can use for ransoms, or the wild ones the main character compares herself to longingly. But Hana has so much more depth. What was the inspiration behind the character?
I wanted to show someone who was very different then Lena, and has a very different kind of strength. I hoped to show the different reactions that young people had to the conditions they were living in. 

4. If you weren't an author and could be anything you wanted to, what would you be?
That's a hard question because I always wanted to be an author! Maybe a chef! Something creative definitely.

5. What was the craziest piece of fan mail you've ever received?
Someone once told me they'd figured out where I lived. That was kinda scary!

6. What academic path would you suggest for the aspiring and hopeful writer?
To work really hard, read as much as you can, and write every day.

7. Where were you when you had the idea for the series?
At the gym!

8. What were the very first inspirations for the raw idea for the series?
An essay by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a TV news piece about pandemics! 

9. When did you start writing?
As soon as I physically could! 

10. What were your favorite books as a kid?
Roald Dahl! I loved Matilda!

11. What was the last book that you read?
The Sense of An Ending, by Julian Barnes.

12. If you had to marry Alex or Julian, who would you marry?
Personally? Probably Julian

13. Lena has to learn to adapt to unusual situations, such as the Wilds. What is the most unusual situation you have ever found yourself in?
Oh, yikes...I can't tell you that! I've been in a bunch of weird situations. None of them involve the natural world, though. Humans are much crazier and harder to predict than animals, I find. 

14. Do you have any pets?
I just rescued a cat! He's very handsome.

15. If you had to sum Alex, Julian, and Lena's love triangle-for I assume there will be a love triangle- in Requiem in two words, what would they be?
Not exactly.... :)
You can find more information about Lauren Oliver at: http://www.laurenoliverbooks.com/faq.php


Other books you may enjoy:



Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Graceling by Kristen Cashore~10/10

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Graphia
Release date: September 7, 2009
Number of Pages: 480
Rating: 10/10

Summary:
Graceling takes readers inside the world of Katsa, a warrior-girl in her late teens with one blue eye and one green eye. This gives her haunting beauty, but also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—swimming, storytelling, dancing. Katsa's Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight (and kill, if she wanted to) is unequaled in the seven kingdoms. Forced to act as a henchman for a manipulative king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power.

Combining elements of fantasy and romance, Cashore skillfully portrays the confusion, discovery, and angst that smart, strong-willed girls experience as they creep toward adulthood. Katsa wrestles with questions of freedom, truth, and knowing when to rely on a friend for help. This is no small task for an angry girl who had eschewed friendships (with the exception of one cousin that she trusts) for her more ready skills of self-reliance, hunting, and fighting. Katsa also comes to know the real power of her Grace and the nature of Graces in general: they are not always what they appear to be.

Review:
I'd had GRACELING sitting on my bookshelf forever. It wasn't that I didn't want to read it, it's just that I hadn't been in the mood to read a book set in the past. Like with Jodie Piccoults, I have to be in the perfect mood to read them or else I cannot fully enjoy them. It's the same for historical fiction. I had just read OF MICE AND MEN and THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, so I felt like reading something magical. It went above and beyond perfection. GRACELING's characters are strong, be they the one-eyed graced King Leck, who personifies cruelty, or the fierce heroine, Katsa, both lovely and deadly. I adored the romance that played out between Katsa and charming Prince Po, especially their utter loyalty to one another. I'm getting sick of paranormal love triangles, in all their "said vamp is hot, but said wizard is vulnerable" glory, so the way that Po and Katsa gave themselves completely to the other was truly refreshing. But don't let the lack of a love triangle fool you into believing GRACELING doesn't host some steamy moments itself. Trust me, it does not lack in the steam department. Cashore has graced us with a true masterpiece, full of elegance and fire. It is a must read by any standards, and it will satisfy both boys and girls from ages 13 up.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: ONYX by JLA~10/10

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: August 14, 2012
Number of pages: 416
Rating: 10/10

Summary:
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Review
Besides the awesome sauce we have come to expect from Jennifer L. Armentrout, I wasn't letting my hopes get to high before reading ONYX. After all, it could be struck by the second in the series curse, right? Wrong. I was blown away by ONYX. It is not only deluged with awesome sauce, but it may have even surpassed OBSIDIAN in greatness. This book is an emotional roller-coaster ride, with highs of heated passion and amusing snark, and lows of despair and loss. I'm always surprised when a paranormal book makes me cry, because even though I love them, the sceptic in me says, "No way, chica. Vampires/weres/alien romances are just not deep." Obviously, this is not the case, not by a long shot. In the case of ONYX, I feel as if it has blasted open the door for a new generation of young adult books. If Twilight's Edward and Bella started the vampire trend, then Daemon and Katy, who have south more depth and charisma than those vamps of yesterday, will start an alien invasion. And well, I think I MAY be able to tolerate some more yummy Daemon-esque glow wormy hotness. Jennifer Armentrout has done it yet again. I didn't even know it was possible to beat OBSODIAN, but ONYX is truly amazing and one of a kind. Not to mention, we really get to explore Daemon's character in depth-does that spun dirty- in a way that will hook readers even more. We see a confident side to Katy, a sensitive side to Daemon, and a web of heated emotions flying every which way between them. I also appreciate the fact that Daemon and Katy aren't the sole focus of the book. We get a look into Dawson and Bethany, Dee and Adam- I won't spoil it but I cried over something involving them-, even Ash. And though new characters are introduced as well, and we do get to see other people's stories, it isn't one of those book moments when I'm trying to remember if Bobby or Jim killed Jane, or what the darn mother's name is. No, ONYX brings us a clarity that exceeded my expectations, but in the end, not so much clarity that we aren't left begging for more. Like literally, on my knees, sobbing ugly sobs, begging for more. And looky here, we do in fact, get some more. A bonus POV from Daemon will keep me satisfied for about a week before I go crazy. Trust me, you do NOT want to miss ONYX. It is must read by any standards, especially if you like yummy boys. Which, I'm guessing most of you do. So go buy it and read it pronto.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

10/10 






I devoured it, I admired it, I fell in love with it. However you want to put it, this book is worth reading by any standards. Unlike many of its genre, Beautiful Disaster strayed onto its own path, delving in to topics I hadn't seen displayed that way before. Whether displayed as glitz and glam or as an intense, gritty world, Las Vegas has never been portrayed like this. From the point of view of Pigeon-you'll get it once you read it-, we are allowed to see the side hidden in the undercurrent, flowing beneath the intense waves of the sequins and cards.And then there's Travis. He is exactly what Pigeon sought to avoid when she left that world-he was a mess, complete with the bad boy attitude and tats. So why is it that she feels so utterly, totally, and completely compelled to this boy? That is part of the books charm. We always root for the bad boy, and Travis is the epitome of devilish. And we absolutely love him. We fall for him with Abby, or Pigeon, and we feel for Travis as well when things don't go as he hoped. This book has been read by me again and again, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Winner of Endlessly: Denise

Congrats to Denise! You won a copy of Endlessly by Kiersten White! Please email me your shipping details at anna.wishingforwords@gmail.com.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher- 4/5 stars

Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher
4/5 stars

Not at all surprisingly, I really liked this book. Hannah Baker didn't just speak to her class mates. She also spoke to the readers of Jay Asher's novel. I loved Clay's character, and I experiences that huge range of emotions- rage, sadness, nostalgia, despair, love- right along with him, as I they were channelling through a set of headphones. Thirteen Reasons Why is the perfect balance of past and present, sadness and hope. It let us follow Hannah's story, all the way to the end, while by the end of the book, Clay's story had really just begun. And I loved every minute of it. At the very end of the book, there are quotes from people saying wow, you turned my life back around, or this book gave me hope. And while I thought Hannah's tapes, and every story in them that led to her suicide, helped us understand that we need to be the best people we can be, making sure to be respectful of others' feelings, in the end, Hannah Baker is still dead. I guess I just didnt get that resolution at the end of it. I'd still recommend Thirteen Reasons Why, but it's a bit like a Joudi Piccoult in the sense that you should have a happy book to pick you up right after. Or a marathon of Friends, either way.