Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday

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

What I'm waiting for :

Forever ( The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater 

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Since I finished Linger a year ago, I've been waiting eagerly for this book to come out. I can't wait to finally find out how this series will end. I'll be sad, like I am when any series that I love ends, but I'm also going to be extremely happy to finally know how it all ends. Just two more weeks!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Forever

When you build up something in your mind — really imagine it, wish for it — sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn't live up to your expectations.

True love is nothing like that.

Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can't get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven't been together all that long, they know it's serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom.

But it's senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead. Michael and Katherine are destined for another big "first": a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love? - from Goodreads  

I'm going be completely honest, I hated this book. I usually don't hate books, but this one was just bad. Where to start...

The characters, I hated them! I couldn't stand Kath! She was such an idiot. And Micheal, he was a total horndog. I felt like he didn't give a damn about Kath and that all he wanted was sex from her. Kath and Micheal were together for a month and immediately they knew they were gonna be together forever. 

And the ending. What a horrible ending! I wanted to punch Kath in the face. I felt like I'd read the book for nothing. Like it was all a waste of my time.

The only thing positive I can say about this book is that it's probably the most accurate when it comes to how high school relationships are. Which is sad.
Rating: 2

Review: Low Red Moon

The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin. - from Goodreads

I am a huge fan of werewolf books and when I heard about this I knew I just had to read it. The only thing that kind of bugged me was that it had mixed reviews. It seemed to have the same equal amount of people who disliked it and people who liked it, so it confused me and almost made me decide to not read it. But in the end, I'm really glad that I went ahead and read it. I really enjoyed this book. It had a good amount of mystery, romance and angst. 

The only complaint I can give about this book was the unexplained connection Avery shares with Ben. It just seemed to come from nowhere and at a very wrong time considering her parents just died in such a horrible way. But beside that I very much enjoyed Low Red Moon. Devlin did a great job at making one feel the pain and depression Avery was feeling with the loss of her parents. She also made the mystery very suspenseful. I could not believe who the killer was at the end. It left me completely shocked. If you like mysteries, you should definitely read this book!

Rating: 8 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: The Twilgiht Series

I know that a lot of people hate the Twilight series, and I respect that. But I love it. Its one of my favorite series and I doubt it will ever stop being my favorite.

This series is what reminded me that I loved to read. I hadn't read any books in almost 2 years. Then I saw the movie Twilight and decided to read the series. I read all four books in about 2 weeks. when I was done, I realized that I didn't want to stop reading and so I started going to Barnes and Noble and started buying books to read. If it wasn't for this series I might have not gone back to reading and I wouldn't have been able to remind myself how much I love it.

Now, I do agree that the ending was a little unsatisfying and a little rushed. I also agree that Jacob imprinting with a baby is extremely weird and find that to be the thing I hated the most in the whole series. And I also agree that Bella Swan is one of the most boring and whiny characters I have ever read.

Besides all that negative stuff though, I still love this series and I don't care what anyone else thinks. I agree to disagree with anyone who doesn't like the series.  Everyone has their own opinions and that perfectly fine. But my opinion is that I think this series is amazing!


Review: Beautiful Creatures

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. 

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. 

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. 
- from Goodreads

Sadly, I'd like to say that I liked this book, but the truth is I didn't. I'd heard so much hype about it and had read many positive reviews on how incredible it was that my expectations became extremely high. I tried finding what everyone else saw in it but just couldn't see it. This book was just to long and to slow.

I also didn't feel like I connected with any of the characters. Ethan was alright, but he didn't sound like a 16 year old boy. I felt that he sounded way to mature to be 16. I also didn't get his connection with Lena. I didn't feel myself wanting them to be together, I really could have cared less if they stayed together or not.

To finish up, I just didn't connect with the book or its characters. I don't think I'll read the second ore third book in this series anytime soon, but perhaps one day in the distant future I'll give this series a second try.

Rating: 3

Review: The Outsiders

According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. This classic, written by S. E. Hinton when she was 16 years old, is as profound today as it was when it was first published in 1967- From Goodreads 

Even though I read it in the Seventh grade, it is still up till today one of my absolute favorites. This is the book that started it all for me. If it hadn't been for The Outsiders, I wouldn't have figured out how amazing it is to read. I wasn't much of a reader before but after this book, Its my favorite thing to do! 

Everything about this book captivated me. The Characters, the writing style, the plot. Everything. It made me excited to go to English class because I knew we'd be reading and talking about the The Outsiders. Like I said, this is my absolute favorite and will continue to be my favorite for many years to come!

Rating : 10

Review: Lucky

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit - as she struggles for understanding ("After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes"); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: "You save yourself or you remain unsaved."- from Goodreads 

As horrible as the topic of this book is, the book is good. Sebold doesn't lead you up to the Rape, as soon as you open the book you are thrown into the gruesomly detailed scene. She doesn't hold back anything. She tells you it exactly how it went down. 
I was completely engrossed until the end of the book. I wanted to find out wether her rapist would be condemned or wether he'd get away with it. I wanted to how Sebold would handle her rape, which she did very well. Her high spirits and funny sarcasm made the tension in her book lighten. Overall, this book isn't about a person being raped, its about a person coming out on top in a tragic situation.
Rating: 8 

Review: Marked

Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed.
One minute, sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird is a normal teenager dealing with everyday high school stress: her cute boyfriend Heath, the school’s star quarterback who suddenly seems more interested in partying than playing ball; her nosy frenemy Kayla, who’s way too concerned with how things are going with Heath; her uber-tough geometry test tomorrow. The next, she’s Marked as a fledgling vampyre, forcing her to leave her ordinary life behind and join the House of Night, a boarding school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. That is, if she makes it through the Change—and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint with Heath, who just doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: when she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends.- from goodreads

I didn't really like this book, but I did find it interesting. I usually don't like vampire books, but a friend let me borrow it and I gave it a chance. The way the authors built the world of the book was very interesting and it might be what held my attention for so long. What I didn't like was the way the authors wrote the dialogue. I can see that they were attempting to make the characters sound like today's teenagers but I couldn't help but think it sounded cheesy. Another thing that sort of bothered me was the worship toward Nyx. It felt like witchcraft to me and that didn't settle well with me. Also some of the stuff that went on in the book was a little weird, and I mean inappropriate weird.

Rating: 5

Review: Up High in the Trees

This is an exquisite debut novel about a family in turmoil, told in the startling, deeply affecting voice of a nine-year-old, autistic boy. Following the sudden death of Sebby’s mother, his father takes Sebby to live in the family’s summerhouse, hoping it will give them both time and space to recover. But Sebby’s father deteriorates in this new isolation, leaving Sebby struggling to understand his mother’s death alone, dreaming and even reliving moments of her life. He ultimately reaches out to a favorite teacher back home and to two nearby children who force him out of the void of the past and help him to exist in the present. In spare and gorgeous prose buoyed by the life force of its small, fearless narrator, Up High in the Trees introduces an astonishingly fresh and powerful literary voice.        - from goodread

Even though this book was slow and didn't really have a big plot, I liked. It was depressing yet it still had moments in which I would catch my self smiling. Sebby is a nine year old who loses his mother and has to deal with an isolated dad and detached older siblings. I found it hard to make a connection with Sebby because I never dealt with something so tragic when I was nine. I couldn't relate with the book but I was still interested in how the book would end up.

It didn't really end on a happy note and that's understanding, Sebby isn't going to be happy for a long time. Once he's a bit older I think he'll be able to understand everything much better and he'll be able to get on with his life.

Rating: 5

Review : Speak

When Melinda Sordino's friends discover she called the police to quiet a party, they ostracize her, turning her into an outcast -- even among kids she barely knows. But even worse than the harsh conformity of high-school cliques is a secret that you have to hide.
- from Goodreads
When I started this book, it made me flash back to my first day of high school and how much I hated it. But if I thought my first day was nerve recking, I can't imagine being in Melinda's shoes and facing her first day. High schools bad enough as it is already. Luckily I just finished and never have to go back again!
Anyways, I love how accurate this book is about high school. I agreed with so much of what Melinda was talking about. I felt  awful for Melinda and the secret she had to hide. She had no one to confide in. Her friends all abandoned her and hated her for something that, in comparison to what she went through, is so insignificant. 
I loved that Melinda would express her feelings through art. That's something that I have been doing for as long as I can remember and its extremely alleviating. And her art teacher reminded me of my art teacher and the way that he made you feel like your art was great and appreciated, even if it might have been the worst in the class.
This book should definitely be read by everyone. Its dark yet inspiring. It shows that if we decide, we can get over difficult times and go on with our lives.
Rating: 7

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review : Marley and Me

The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life. - Goodreads
With this book, I had watched the movie first and then decided to read the book. I loved the movie and I really enjoyed the book. Being completely honest, the book was a little slow in some parts but there were other parts that had me completely entertained. There were parts in which I would laugh out loud because they were so funny. Marley really tested his owners, John and Jenny, but they loved him no matter what.
If you own a dog, then you really need to read this book. It brought back so many memories of my dog and me. My dog is still fairly young, but I feel a little bit more prepared for when his time comes. I know a lot of people who don't want to read this book because it'll make them cry towards the end, but I loved it even if it did make me cry. This book isn't just about a dog and it dying later, its about life and starting a family and the journey that you go on as you start getting older.
A big message that I found in the book was that if you can look at the crap going on in your life and find all the comedy and irony in it and be able to laugh about it, then you'll be just fine. Another thing that the book made me realize was how dogs are probably the most sincerest love you will ever find in your life. A dog can't hide feelings from you, if they love you then they show it. They don't envy you or hold grudges against you. If you show them love then they'll show you love back. They're so simple, theirs nothing complicated about them. And its amazing how an animal can do that, and yet we humans, who are suppose to be so much smarter, can't.
Rating : 9

The Blog is Getting Started (finally)

These next reviews that I'm going to be posting are reviews that I've had written in a journal for a long time. The books are a little old but I'm going to post them on here anyways. What the reviews contain are my honest feelings toward the books. Others may feel different about them and that is perfectly fine. We all have different opinions.  

Review : Forget You

 There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.  - goodreads

My first review is going to be Forget you by Jennifer Echols because I just finished reading it the night before  and so all my thoughts about it are very clear in my mind at the moment. Whenever I read a book that I consider "Amazing", for some reason the book I read afterwards is always plain in comparison. But with Forget You that didn't happen, which means it was a good book.

When I read the first chapter, I didn't feel so captivated by it, but after that chapter I couldn't put the book down. The mystery of what had happened that night that Zoey, the main protagonist, didn't remember kept me reading until I'd realized hours had passed by.

The biggest complaint I have about the book is just the way Zoey behaved through out the book. I didn't really side with her choices and found myself wanting to give her a smack upside the head during certain moments. She wasn't very understanding of her mother and what she was going through. If my dad had done what her dad had done, I would have not been so calm about it. I also didn't understand why she wanted to be with Brandon so badly. Sure the guy was hot but he was also a pig. I would have token Doug over Brandon in a heartbeat. I really liked Doug, I thought he was great. He was definitely my favorite character in the book.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the book. It was fun figuring out everything with Zoey and placing together the pieces of what had occurred that night. And the romance with Doug also made the book even more enjoyable to read. Echols definitely knows how to make relationships develop without making them look to rushed or forced. I will without a doubt be checking out more of her books.

Rating :  8