Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Worst Series Enders

10:00:00 AM
This week's Top 5 Wednesday is "Worst Series Enders" Normally I hate when a series ends. It means the story is over. Sometimes I don't even read the last book so I can pretend that it isn't over, i.e. Vampire Academy series.

5. Heather Wells Series by Meg Cabot
I loved this mystery series with all of my heart. I loved the plots, the characters, writing, Meg Cabot. Then the final book was released and I was so damn disappointed. It was nothing like the other books. It didn't have the same bang as the rest of them and I think it was because it was released a lot later than the rest of the series.
4. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
I didn't particularly like Divergent to begin with, but I enjoyed Insurgent a lot. So when it came to Allegiant, I was highly disappointed, especially with that ending. 
3. Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi
..... If you read my reviews for this series, you know how I feel. I loved the first two books with all of my heart. The writing style was gorgeous, the plot gripping, the world intriguing. Then the third book hit. I was so sad because the unique writing that made this series great disappeared. They weren't focused so much on the issues I thought they were going to focus on, and that ending was complete bullshit.
2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Braken
My thoughts on this series are also pretty clear. The first book was my baby. The second book was like a child I could love. The final book was a teenager I wanted to throw out onto the street. I skimmed quite a bit of the book because I just wasn't enjoying what was going on anymore.
1. Maximum Ride by James Patterson
First of all, I didn't like this series to begin with. But as the series continued and ghost writers took over, it became really bad The last book was utter shit and the ending was bull, though it turns out they are releasing another book that is the real ending, which I have zero plans to read.

Those were my Top 5 Worst Series Enders? What about you guys? 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Paper Towns" Review

1:22:00 PM

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Book: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Format: E-book

Page Count: 332 

Publisher: Speak

My Rating: ★★

Synopsis: When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

       I want to start this review off by saying the sole reason why I read this book was in preparation for the movie. I didn't want to judge the movie without reading the book. Same thing happened when "The Fault in Our Stars" came out, though this situation is a little different. That being said, I did not like "Paper Towns" and that's okay, because I came in knowing that I was more than likely not going to like it.
      The first John Green book I read was "The Fault in Our Stars". I really liked it, though I believe it was such literary gold as everyone makes it out to be. I then read "Looking for Alaska"... I hated Looking for Alaska. I hated the characters, the plot, basically everything about it, which really surprised me because everyone is always saying how great his books are. This is one of the first instances where I learned I need to start trusting my gut feeling on a book rather than the hype. Don't get me wrong, I like John Green, I just don't think I particularly like his writing. His style can be nice at times, but honestly it isn't that great. His writing style and plots are very formulaic. He tries to come across as elegantly funny, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. His characters are always the same too. The shy guy, the bold girl, funny sidekick.
      All of this can be applied to "Paper Towns". I didn't connect to the story and honestly I didn't care. I didn't care about finding Margo-- who in my opinion is one of the most annoying and self-centered female characters I have ever come across. The plot didn't seem to go anywhere. In the beginning it was about one thing then quickly switched to another; I never really became interested in what was happening. At about half way through the book, I just skimmed until the ending because I didn't care about what was happening.
      Overall this book was a bust for me, and that's okay. I had a feeling I wasn't going to like it, and I didn't. That being said, I don't think I will be reading anymore John Green books, even if they become movies. I'll watch the movies and try to be content.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

"The Book of Ivy" Review

5:29:00 PM

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Book: The Book of Ivy

Author: Amy Engel

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 282

Publisher: Entangled Teen

My Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. 

This year, it is my turn. 

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power. 

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

      This was a really enjoyable book for me. I've been reading to read this book for forever because the synopsis was so gripping and I love dystopian novels. The dystopian society in this world is interesting. A nuclear war has left the United States desolate, save for maybe this one city, which makes me wonder what happened to the rest of the world, which is one thing I hope to learn more about in the next book. I like this setting because it is a very realistic and possible future due to the nuclear resources in the world. Some dystopian novels seem unrealistic with powers and other strange things but this one seems like a world that we could possibly live in. That be said, I like it, but I was slightly disappointed. I thought there would be a little more character development on Ivy's behalf and more of a struggle for whether or not she would kill Bishop. I knew she wasn't going to kill him going into this book, but still I felt like their should have been more of a struggle. My favorite character from the book was definitely Bishop. Despite what he comes across as, he is definitely an open book. He is kind, caring, compassionate, thoughtful, and did I mention hot? The plot was intriguing but nothing particularly extraordinary. Bishop and Ivy come to know each other better and fall in love while Ivy comes to dislike her own family more and more. Her father and sister are absolutely terrible people with good intentions, however they go about trying to execute in a poor manner. I feel like that encompasses the idea of politics in general. There are people who promise to change the world, but when it comes down to business their own selfish woes get in the way of them properly taking care of society.
       One aspect of the book I really want to make note of is the idea of feminism. In this book, feminism is pretty much dying in this world. The women have no choice who they marry and almost no say in everything else. Ivy doesn't agree with that ideology and she makes it known constantly which I really appreciate. Amy Engel also pointed out that men can indeed be feminists. Bishop allows Ivy to do what she wants and to allow the relationship to progress at a pace she is comfortable with which is so important. He doesn't allow their neighbor to treat his wife like trash because he realizes that women are people too, not property.

FAVORITE QUOTE:
"Peace only lasts when the unhappy side has something left to lose."

      This book has an interesting concept and I can't wait to see where it goes. I want the story to progress and deal with more than a possible romance. I want to see how the society can be changed and how powers will change. I want their to be a world outside of this microcosm that will eventually influence change.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Bookish Habits

2:46:00 PM

I am really excited to do this meme because I love reading and when I reading I do different things depending on the book. Here we go!

1. Laying on my belly

So most of the time when I read, I read on my bed. I try to read sitting up against the pillow, but it just doesn't work and I usually ending up laying on my belly with my book propped up on a pillow and my reader's note journal next to me. Lately I've been trying to read in a lounge chair I have designated for reading, but I usually almost always wander back to my bed.

2. Drinking tea

I absolutely love. I drink and live off of tea ever since I was little. Every day with breakfast and after school I drink a cup of tea. Sometimes it's black, green, Earl Gray, or when I'm in the mood Blueberry or an Irish tea my friend got me in Ireland. Anyway, also when I'm reading I tend to make tea. I don't know why, maybe I feel more sophisticated or homey. 

3. Taking notes

Before starting this blog, I would just read and sometimes put my progress on Goodreads. I then started updating my statuses on Goodreads and I discovered I really like writing my thoughts down while reading. Eventually I started making book reviews and ended up getting a journal to write down my thoughts while I read to help with reviews. Even with books I don't write reviews for I still write down my thoughts because I enjoy doing it.

2. Listening to music

I know some people need complete silence to read but I am not one of those people. I can read a book anywhere, even on a bus full of people. Sometimes, not all of the time, I listen to music while I read because I like background noise. I hate silence. Even when I am doing my homework I will have the TV on or music playing simply because I cannot stand silence.

1. Weird shit

I don't know how else to title this. Basically when I read I do weird shit. Sometimes if I get to a really intense scene I'll just put down the book and lay on my bed for like an hour until I feel like reading that scene. Sometimes I will fangirl so hard at a romantic scene that I will start dancing and have a giggling spurt. Other times I'll just get to a part in the book and for no reason I'll start to wonder around the house aimlessly, thinking or in complete silence, and then return to the book. Oh I also daydream a lot. I'll read a romantic scene and then I'll stop and imagine them making out and doing other cutesy scenes in my head.

So those are my bookish habits. What are yours?




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Made Me Think

6:21:00 PM
This week's Top 5  topic is Books That Made Me Think. Most books make me think, but these ones stood out in my memory.
5. Tuesdays with Morrie
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I read this book for a summer assignment last year for AP Language and this book really got to me because it was during the time period where I was converting from religious to an agnostic to eventually a full blown atheist. This only pushed my religious skepticism. It also made me think about how I live my life and its affect.
4. The Stranger
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This book is really trippy and I enjoyed that. Camus makes you think about the absurd.
3. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
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This series has magic and different dimensions along with time travel. It portrays famous historical figures and gods such as Joan of Arc and Hecate. Just the complexity of this world made me think.
2. The Night Circus
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This world and the writing are so magical and mysterious that you just get lost in its amazingness.
1. The Last Lecture
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My friend gave me and our other friends when she was going through a rough time she wanted all of us to understand and it really just opened my eyes to the way people live their lives and how important relationships and friendships can be.

So what are some books that made you think? Comment below!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

"Red" Review

6:29:00 PM

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Book: Red

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Format: ARC

Page Count: 198 (ebook)

Publisher: Entangled Teen

My Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis: Bad girls burn hot…

Red is the color of Kia Alcott's hair.
It's her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble.
And it's the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.

When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It's an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.

Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.

But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn't stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family…

“Red” was a very entertaining paranormal read. Throughout the novel there is an air of mystery through the dual point of views because you want to know the background to these two interesting characters, Kia, who can start fires with her mind, and Ethan, whose family is a part of this mythological hunter society.
Kia is a girl with a mysterious past and a lot of sass, making her an intriguing character right from the beginning. She doesn’t conform to the norms of society and speaks what’s on her mind, two things I love in a character. Combined with her new friend, Sloane, and her dynamic really shines.
Ethan is a boy who lives a double life. On one hand he is a playboy, on the other hand he is a boy who lives in a world where dragons are real and he has to be the one to hunt them.
The paranormal world Alyxandra Harvey creates is one full of mystery and myths. You’ve got a secret cult that collects mythological creates and a girl who can fight stories with her mind. While it was a little unrealistic how the characters willingly accepted the paranormal qualities of each other, I can overlook it.
“Red” makes you feel attached to the characters and keeps you on your feet the whole time. I read this book in one sitting and I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to see where everything was leading to. At times I wasn’t sure the direction the book was trying to take and it was a tad bit predictable, but nevertheless it was extremely enjoyable. There were so many plot twists and turns that just powered me through the book. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to read a quick paced paranormal book with a touch of romance.

I would like to thank Entangled Publishing for sending me an ARC of this book. I highly appreciate it and enjoyed the book.




Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I'd Save in a Fire

4:42:00 PM
Ughhhh this was so hard. Thankfully some of my favorite books I am loaning at this very moment, so technically I would not have to save them from a fire because they aren't home. Most of the books on my list are hardbacks. There are other books that are my favorites that I have, however they are cheap to replace, so I'm not worried about them.

5. Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back
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This book was a Christmas present and I got it in hardback. The book itself with and without the dust jacket is really gorgeous.
4. The Darkest Part of the Forest
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Even though this book wasn't that good to me, I really like the cover and Holly Black is one of my favorite authors.
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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This is my favorite Harry Potter book that I have in hardback and I remember being a kid and having my dad read this book to me and my brothers as a bedtime story.
2. The DUFF
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I really really liked this book and I have it in hardback so of course I'm going to save it.
1. To All the Boys I've Loved Before
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This is one of my all time favorite books. I love the writing and I have it in hardback. It is so pretty with and without the dust jacket.
Honorable Mention: If I could I would save all the Jennifer L. Armentrout books I own, which is a lot so I would have to have a bag to carry them.

What books would you guys attempt to save in a fire?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"Red Queen" Review

2:41:00 PM

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Book: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Format: Hardback

Page Count: 383

Publisher: HarperTeen

My Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

     When I first saw this cover last year on "Epic Reads", I knew I had to have it. Without even reading the synopsis, I bought the book, excited to read it. Best decision of 2015 so far. This book was a fast-paced fantasy novel with a touch of romance. The world Victoria Aveyard built was absolutely stunning. In this world, there are two social classes divided by their blood, the Silvers who have powers, and the Reds who are treated like dirt. Mare Barrow is a Red but has powers, leading to the royals hiding the truth and portraying her as a long lost Silver.
      There isn't much I can say without spoiling this novel. I grew very attached to the characters. Sometimes I adored some characters, other times I wanted to kill them. Mare is a character that you just love from the start. She has an authoritative aura to her. She knows what she wants and she'll do anything to get it. She realizes the world she lives in is not at all fair and things need to change. She learns of her powers and uses her new position as a princess to help the Scarlet Guard, a group working for the advancement of Reds. With the help of her betrothed and others, Mare starts getting the power needed to finally start changing the world.
    THAT'S LITERALLY ALL I CAN SAY WITHOUT SPOILING ANYONE. IF YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK, CONTINUE, IF NOT, GO READ IT. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.
      So glad I can talk freely now, I can' contain my excitement. Now I will be the first to admit that this book was a tad predictable and  highly similar to some other novels , such as "The Hunger Games", especially when it came to the radiated district. However, does it really matter? As long as the book is enjoyable and the author made the book on their own, that is all that matters. Writing will be similar amongst authors, and that's because a lot of people of similar ideas that they want to write about. The execution of the ideas is what makes it different. I'm sure if we look long enough, we will find books similar to "The Hunger Games" before it was written.
      First things first I need to talk about Maven.... That little shit. I knew he was shady from the start but I wanted him to be good. However, I just new that he was going to be bad. Maven just seemed to perfect and the first description of him made him seem creepy. I was really disappointed in him. Maven grew on me and I thought there would be a tiny bit of remorse in him. Nope he is a bastard just like his mom Elara. Elara is a scheming bitch. Honestly, I knew she was evil from the start, but to force her own stepson, Cal, to kill his father, her husband and the father of her own son; low blow. I knew Maven and Elara were evil, I just didn't think they were going to work together. I guess it's not a surprise that Maven turned out so messed up growing up with a power hungry mother.
      Cal... I was right about him too from the beginning. He seemed nice in the very beginning, then shady, but I always figured he would see the light. While his hand is now forced on what side he is on, I'm glad nevertheless that he is on the right side because I shipped him and Mare so much. Maven never felt right for Mare to me. Cal and Mare though... that's some chemistry. When they first kissed I had to put the book down because I was so happy.
      As for the other characters, I always though Evangeline was a bitch from the start to end, I loved Julian, and Lucas was a great Silver to me. He didn't treat Mare like shit because of the color of her blood. I was so sad when he died. I figured something bad would happen to him, but I never thought he would actually die.
      I loved how Victoria Aveyard was able to make me feel all of these different emotions. One minute I am in love with a character, the next I want to see him die a terrible death. The world she created and the tone she employed just really added to the overall greatness of this book.
      One thing that was also pretty predictable was the fact that every single plan went to hell. Sometimes I was okay with that, other times it seemed like the plan messing up really shouldn't have. What surprised me was the blowing up of the bridge. I knew it was going to happen, but the execution of it really surprised me.
      Speaking of surprising, that ending. Holy shit I knew Maven was going to be cold-hearted but to that extent... damn. He laughed while his brother and a girl he supposedly loved fought for their lives. That entire scene had me on edge. When Cal started humming the song Mare and him danced to, I almost cried because it was so emotional because he had given up all hope. The action was just so riveting and I liked the way it was written. Seriously, the way Mare was able to control that lightning storm was badass. I also was also surprised to learn there are others like Mare. I knew Shade was never dead but I never thought him and others would have powers.
      I'm excited to see what direction the next book takes. Seriously, I need that book now. Who do I kill-- I mean contact for it? This book was so good that I'm going to go into withdrawal.

FAVORITE QUOTE:
"Revolution needs a spark and even sparks burn."

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?

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