Thursday, June 30, 2011

Faves of 2011: The Characters

1. best female POV
Hannah from Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  Her story was heartbreaking and something I feel every person needs to hear. 


2. best male POV 
Cole from Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.  His story was raw and filled with emotion. 

3. Best couple <3  
Lenny and Joe from The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.  How cute is this couple.  I just love them.

4. who i so want to be best friends with
Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby from Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares.  Ever since the original Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series I wanted to be friends with these characters.  

5. who i fell completely in love with (new literary crush)
Ren from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Dimitri from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Adrian from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
St. Claire from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

How can you not fall in love with these hotties!

6. worst (best) villian
Housemaster Vaughn from Wither by Lauren DeStefano.  This man scares me...literally I had nightmares after listening to this audiobook. 

7. best character twist (who you loved then hated or vice versa)
Linden from Wither by Lauren DeStefano.  I don't know if I can explain this one....sorry.  

8. best kick-arse female
Rose from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.  This is one of the fiercest female characters I know. 

9 best kick-arse male
Dimitri from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Jace from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Again I don't think this needs any explanation. 

10. broke your heart the most
Jack from the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz.  I've only read the first two but so far he needs to stand up for himself more instead of following Mimi. 
11. best/worst character names
Calla from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Penny Lane from The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
Schuyler from the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz
Linden from Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Jace from The City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Mclean from What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

BONUS: 5 fave covers (from books i have read)


Thank you to Nomes for hosting...if you want to join the fun visit inkcrush

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cover vs Cover

So I was at my local independent bookstore cruising through the Young Adult section and I saw the paperback of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and I screamed...literally in the middle of the bookstore.  I have to admit it was not one of my finer moments.  I was horrified by what they did to the cover.  I'll let it speak for itself.

What do you think?  I just love the hardcover version so much that it surprised me to see the paperback version.  Here are some other hardcover to paperback cover changes.

So which do you like better?  Which do you prefer and why?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Bookish Websites/Organizations/Apps, etc. (aside from book blogs -- things like Goodreads, Project Night Night, Paperbackswap, etc.)

1.  I love this website.  I can see what other people are reading and how they rate the books they've read.  I can keep track of what I read and what I would like to read.  Plus it's a great place to get pictures of the books for my blog.

2.  Another great website.  They give away a couple copies each week of a teen book, a fiction book, and indie book, and a romance book every Friday and most of them are signed. 

3.  Everytime you comment, post a review, ask a question, etc. you are awarded points in which you can buy books or book related items. 

4.  Shelf Awareness.  This is a website/newsletter about everything book related from openings of bookstores to new releases to book-to-movie news.  If you haven't signed up for the daily email do so now.

5.  NetGalley.  This a website where you can get digital ARCs to review.  It's great for bloggers who are on a tighter budget or don't get review copies from publishers yet.

6.  For a fraction of the cost you can sign up to get an audiobook a month for around $10.  This definitely beats buying them new.

7.  Overdrive.  This is a digital lending program sponsered by my library system.  It lets you download ebooks and audiobooks.  Depending on the licensing some even let you burn a copy to discs while others you can transfer to your ereader or play on your ipod/mp3 player.

8.  Bookperk.  This is a website that offers exclusive deals for books and book related items.

9.  Your Library.  I love my library.  I think it's great that I can request any book and they'll find it and ship it to my library when it's available.  It is awesome to be able to check out books, movies, and audiobooks for free.  I love to own my own copies of books, but we all know what it feels like after spending $24.99 on a book that you didn't really like.  This way I can read them first, see if I like them and then buy it if I do.  (I admit that I'm still a compulsive book buyer...what can I say I'm a sucker for a pretty cover and a couple of blogger recomendations.)

10.  Unlimited ebooks for a one time low price.  Are these places for real?  I'm serious...I want to know if it is as easy as paying $49.99 once and getting unlimited ebooks for the rest of my life.  Has anyone ever tried a program like this?  Does it work or is it a scam?  Did they have all of the books you were looking for?  If so, what program/website did you go through? 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review of The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 293
Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

From GoodreadsIt's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

I love Greek Mythology so I was very excited when I heard about this novel.  I've never been a big fan of Hades so when Aimee Carter recreated a Greek Myth surrounding the story of Hades kidnapping Persephone and forcing her to be his wife I was intrigued. 

I really liked the character of Kate from the beginning.  She was protective and loyal and it broke my heart that she had to deal with all the emotions of her sick and dying mother by herself.  I kept wondering where her other family members and friends were.  I thought she was all around a great person and someone I'd love to have in my life.  Henry was a character that I grew to like.  At first, I didn't really feel any connection to him, but by the end he earned my friendship and compassion.  I only wish that we would have got to dive into his feelings and personality a little sooner than we did.  Maybe in the next novel we'll learn more about him. 

The story itself was confusing at times and I found myself having to go back and reread parts, especially at the end.  I wasn't sure if it was something I just missed or if it was the way it was written.  I did, however, love the mystery surrounding the tests.  I was trying to figure out what all the tests were during the story, but they were so well placed that it was hard to pinpoint them.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel and I think it's a great novel for anyone who likes Greek Mythology (in it's happy form and not it's hardcore 'facts' form) and I'm looking forward to reading the second novel in the series.    

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Movie Review: I Am Number Four

So I am definitely a 'read the book before I see the movie' girl.  When I saw previews for the movie I Am Number Four I knew I wanted to see it and I happened to remember that it was based on a YA novel.  I ran to my local independent bookstore and bought a copy.  You can read my review here.  Well, just the other day I received the movie via netflix and was super excited to see it.

I really enjoyed this movie.  It actually made me appreciate the novel more and realize that I liked it more than I originally thought I did.  I rated the novel a 3.5 and I'm starting to think it's more of a 4 or even 4.5.  With the opening scene all of the events of the novel rushed back to me with warm feelings like spending time with a good friend.

Alex Pettyfer did a wonderful job as Number 4/John Smith.  He was a little more cocky than I expected, but overall was pretty convincing.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Dianna Agron (Quinn from Glee) play Sarah.  I think she was perfect for the role.  I loved her edgier attitude and artistic side.

The movie stayed somewhat true to the book.  There were many things left out that the audience may not have needed but I thought would have been really interesting and visually exciting to include (such as John training).  I also think a little more background about why John and his people were on Earth and about the Mogadorians would have helped the audience connect more to the story.

My favorite thing about the movie was Number 6.  She had some serious skills and was a fierce, kick-butt warrior.  I'm pretty sure if the Mogadorians showed up I'd want her protecting me instead of John Smith...well actually I'd want both.  I want to live!

Overall I think is was a good movie and definitely worth seeing.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.

           My answer to this week's Follow Friday question:

In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

My favorite fairy tale would probablly be Sleeping Beauty.  As for my favorite story involving fairies would either be Peter Pan or The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa.  I am reading the Iron Witch right now by Karen Mahoney and I really like it so it could be a close contender. 

What about you?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title:  Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 358
Source: Audiobook borrowed from the library
Rating: 5/5

From GoodreadsWhat if you knew exactly when you would die? Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb — males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape — to find her twin brother and go home.

The reader of this audiobook, Angela Lin, did the most amazing job.  I was captivated by her voice before the first chapter was over.  She really made the characters come to life and I felt like they were my passengers as I rode back and forth to work everyday. 

Along with the cadence of the audiobook, the story itself blew me away.  Imagine only living until you were twenty or twenty-five years old.  I can't even fathom that...I'd be dead already.  Now not only imagine that, but also that you are captured and forced to be someone's bride to procreate and further the human race.  YIKES!!!

Rhine was an amazing women at the old age of sixteen.  She was graceful and elegant, but determined with a fierceness to rival any warrior.  She was everything a first wife should be, except she was by no means excepting of her new position.

The sister-wives and their relationship was one of the best things about the novel.  They were all very different but bonded together in their situation.  Each with a different manor and position, they made wonderful companions and gave the story it's voice.

Another character that I grew to love was Linden.  This was a total surprise for me, but I actually started to fall for him.  His love, compassion and generosity towards his wives touched me.      

The writing was lyrical.  It was beautiful and heartfelt.  DeStefano tackled difficult issues such as polygamy, child pregnancy, and ignorance.  She did this with a style and grace that would rival the Queen's (if she ever talked about such issues).  This is one debut author to keep your eye on. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review of Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Chains
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Published by: Atheneum
Pages: 316
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

From GoodreadsAs the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

I've read a couple of Laurie Halse Anderson's "contemporary fiction" (for lack of a better genre) novels.  They were amazing novels that all dealt with tough issues that teenagers face in today's society.  They are wonderfully written and very powerful. 

Chains is my first historical fiction novel by Anderson.  Like her previous novels I've read, this one also dealt with a tough issue--slavery.  The story is told in the voice of Isabel, a thirteen year old slave.  Once her master dies Isabel and her sister Ruth were supposed to be freed but things took a turn for the worse and they ended up with mean and hateful owners. 

This novel follows Isabel's fight for her own freedom among America's fight for freedom during the Revolutionary war.  Isabel, while she is young, is such a strong person.  She has a bit of a sharp tough and is a bit defiant but that makes me love her even more.  She is a good person at heart and only wants what's right for her and her sister. 

I really enjoyed this novel in more ways than I can explain.  The characters were richly developed and heart touching.  You really routed for Isabel and her sister throughout the entire novel.  The writing was beautiful and so descriptive.  I had no problem imagining I was in New York during the American Revolution with soldiers for both sides all around me.  I was entranced from the first page to the last page.   

Laurie Halse Anderson did it again...she has me hooked.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

BROKE AND BOOKISH 1 YEAR BLOGOVERSARY -- Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Book Blogger/A Bookish Person

1.  I love getting to see how many people share my love of reading.  Even though my family and friends are avid readers sometimes I still feel as if people are losing the love of reading (i.e. when my co-worker asked me who actually reads books for pleasure...they're lucky all they received was a mouthful...j/k).

2.  I love hearing about new books that are coming out before they hit the market.  Before I started blogging, I'd only hear about a couple of "big name" books before they were actually released.  Now not only do I have the pleasing to hear about books early, but I actually get to read some of them before they are released. 

3.  I love hearing about authors or books that normally wouldn't have come on my radar.  Sometimes the best book is not the most popular book, but one you've never heard of before and had no expectations for.

4.  I love meeting new people and hearing how passionate they are about reading.  While I don't know my blogging friends in person they still can make my day with a comment or when I read about how ecstatic they are about a certain book they've just read.  

5.  I love being able to get my opinions down in some kind of format.  Sometimes after I read a book all these thoughts are just building in my head and I have no way to sort them out.  By blogging about them I not only sort them out I get to hear what other people think about those thoughts and the book they are about.  

6.  I love seeing someone reading, no matter if it's at the park, school, on the bus, or even in their yard.  I feel like I have a connection to these people because we both know how wonderful reading is.

7.  I love approaching someone I don't know who I see reading and ask them about the book they are reading.  If it's something I've read I'll ask them what they think about it.  I'm sure people think I'm nuts at times, but I just can't help it (especially if I really loved the book).

8.  I love that when I'm writing out a list I get to start every sentence with 'I love' and it doesn't seem completely crazy.  

What about you?   

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review of Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

Title: Take a Chance on Me
Author: Jill Mansell
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pages: 432
Source: ARC won in a contest
Rating: 3.5/5
Disclaimer: This is an adult fiction novel. 

From GoodreadsLiving in a small town like Channings Hill, there are some people you just can't avoid, no matter how much you really, really want to. When Cleo's job throws her into constant contact with her childhood nemesis, Johnny LaVenture, she can't leave the past behind. But for someone she'd rather have nothing to do with, Johnny is impossible to ignore... Then shocking discoveries of past scandals, unrequited loves, old grudges, and not-so-ex-wives throw Cleo's family and friends into chaos. Life in sleepy Channings Hill may be about to get very complicated, but it's definitely never been more exciting.

If you're looking for a fun, light romantic comedy this is your book.  With witty, English humor, and an awkward but lovable heroine this novel reminds me a bit of Bridget Jones's Diary and I could definitely see it making a transition to the big screen.

Cleo is the perfect heroine.  She is young, has a terrible love life, is awkward at times, but yet she's feisty and sharp tongued.  Just when things start to look up for her, her childhood nemesis comes back into town and things start to drastically go downhill not only for her but also for her friends.   

Between Cleo and Johnny, Cleo sister's martial problems, and Cleo's best friend Ash's crush on the new girl in town a lot is happening in this novel. Even though a lot was going on it wasn't confusing and it kept up the pace of the novel.  Sometimes I would find myself rushing through one story line just to get back to the other, but get caught up by someone else's dilemma. 

The only thing I would have liked to see was a little more romance.  I feel like most of it was left for the end of the novel, while the first part gave us more background and conflict.   

Overall it was a great vacation read and I'll be checking out more of Jill Mansell's writing. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review of Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 243
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: 5/5

From GoodreadsFrancesca is stuck at St. Sebastian's, a boys' school that pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom.  Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player.  The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about. Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is.  Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

Melina Marchetta does it again...her novels just blow me away.  This book was so amazing I'm not sure I have the words to describen just how good it was.  Let's just say I stayed up until 2:45am to finish this novel even though I had to be up 6am.  That is how good it was.

Marchetta tends to write about characters who are flawed.  They are not perfect, and thing don't always go right for them, but they are real.  So real in fact, that you're pulled right into their lives and start to develop feelings for them.  Francesca was that way for me.  I often found myself in tears as I read what she was going through.  I felt her anger and helplessness at her mother's disease and I wanted to be there for her, but I didn't have to be because she has the greatest group of friends in the world.  

While the novel starts out with Francesca not having any real friends, by the end she has this amazing group of such ecelctic people who really care about her.  They are so unique and wonderful that you'll definitely be a little jealous by the end.  Like Francesca, each one of her friends is a little "flawed" but together they make this brilliant group of people. 

The characters are really what make this story.  They are so well written that you'd never know they didn't truely exist.  I keep expecting to get on a bus and see these friends in the back all chatting away. 

This novel was heart-breaking on one page, and laugh-out-loud hilarious on the next.  Seriously give this book and try and you won't be sorry. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.

           My answer to this week's Follow Friday question:


Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Wow this is a hard question this week.  I like all genres so instead of going with a favorite genre per say, I'm going to pick my favorite book and then they will be my favorite genre for the day.  My favorite Young Adult book would have to Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta so therefore I guess my favorite genre would be contemporary fiction.