Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December Book Haul

Alright so I actually bought all of these books in November but never got the time to make a book haul for them... So here are all the other books I bought in November!

I am also no longer sick which means more videos and more energy and all around more awesomeness!

Hey guys! So I'm officially no longer sick (but this was filmed when I was still getting better so I'm still a little lack of energy :P) But expect some awesome videos! I have some really cool stuff planned!

Get any of these books with free shipping on The Book Depository!

Books Mentioned in this Video:
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
Champion by Marie Lu
Dune by Frank Herbert
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Graveyard Boy by Neil Gaiman
Glass by Ellen Hopkins
More Than This by Patrick Ness
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Under the Dome by Stephen King
The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe

Thursday, December 5, 2013

November Wrap Up and December TBR

I basically took a month off of reading and only read one book last month. But December is a huge reading month for me so I talk a little about that and what I'm planning on reading.

Buy any of these books on The Book Depository and get free shipping anywhere!

Books Mentioned in this Video:
Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull
William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Quidditch Through the Ages
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Life is Busy and I Am the Best at Blogging

Alright I've been gone for a while. Since my last post I've actually only read one other book, and half of another. With full time job, full time school and taking care of a sick family member my life has been crazy busy. On top of it, I just haven't really felt like reading a whole lot. I don't think I'd qualify it as a reading slump just yet, because I have been reading here and there. Just not a significant amount.

I have filmed 3 videos today though and I'm hoping to get those uploaded pretty soon. At least one tonight if not two or all three.

So I just kind of felt like I needed to make a post saying I haven't disappeared or anything. I've just been crazy busy. I'm still on all my other social media sites a lot more (mainly twitter) if you want to stay a little more updated!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Book Haul Part 1

Life has gotten insanely busy again hence the lack of posts for the supposed NaBloPoMo that I'm supposed to be participating in... I'm not sure how many other posts I'll be making but we will certainly find out!

This is just the first of 3 hauls that I have gone on in November, but I will probably put the second 2 all into one haul. So here is part 1 of 2 November hauls!

You can buy any of the books mentioned in this video on The Book Depository!

Books in This Video:
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Asylum by Madeleine Roux
The Circle by Sara Gelfgren and Mats Strandberg
In the After by Demetria Lunetta
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why I Don't Choose Favorites, Especially When it Comes to Characters | NaBloPoMo Day 4

Alright, so I haven't been planning on using the prompts from the NaBloPoMo list a whole lot this month, however today's prompt is "Who is your favorite character of all time?" And this brought up a lot of thoughts so I figured I'd take the prompt and roll with it.

I have two problems with this question: firstly, how am I supposed to choose a favorite character? There's so many to choose from. Maybe I haven't even met my favorite character yet. And secondly, I really don't like choosing favorites because I don't really think it's possible.

So let's start by pretending I believed in favorites and wanted to pick one for this question. What criteria am I going to use? Attractiveness, overall awesomeness, badassery, character arc? Can I choose a nonfictional character if it's from a memoir? There's so many options I really don't know who to choose. In reality, I'd probably choose Teddy Lupin. Who even is Teddy Lupin? Well he's mostly a character I've created in my head after years of Harry Potter withdrawals and fan fiction. He doesn't even exist canonically and my idea of him is probably entirely different than JK Rowling's. Out of canon characters, I'd have to say Draco Malfoy is pretty high up there. Percy Jackson for being awesome. (And many other characters from Rick Riordan's tales, because let's be honest, his characters have more development than pretty much anything.) Artemis Fowl, Ender Wiggin, and there's a billion more I know I'm missing. Not to mention some awesome character that I'm sure I haven't come across yet, but will love in the future. (*cough* Will Herondale I know you're out there. I just haven't read about you yet.)

Basically what I'm saying is it's near impossible to actually choose a favorite character and I'm sure most of you would agree with me.

That brings us to my second part of this post which is going to probably deviate from the original topic and morph into a rant of some sort. You have been warned.

Why do people constantly want others to choose favorites? Favorite movies, favorite books, favorite colors, favorite foods. They're go to "get to know you" questions. Favorites are really just a way to see what kind of person someone is. They give us an in to judge what we think of someone. If they're favorite movie is a lovey dovey rom com, they're obviously a hopeless romantic that is looking for their true love. If it's a fast paced action movie, they must be adventurous and exciting. Whatever your impression is from someone's favorite whatever, it's giving you an in to decide something about that person.

Now I'm not anti favorites by any means, I just think it's kind of an uncreative way to find stuff out about people. Also it's hard to choose favorites for anyone. Why subject people to that level of difficult decision making?

Maybe next time you have to ask someone a question to get to know them, think of something a little more creative to ask. Like what three things they would take with them to a deserted island or if you could be any animal what would you be or something even more creative.

Leave your creative questions in the comments!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Have a Very Serious Book Buying Problem, Seriously | NaBloPoMo Day 3

Alright, so for those of you who know me personally, you definitely know I have a problem with buying books. And if you've been paying attention to my videos, you'll also know I have a problem with buying books. Today's topic, if you haven't noticed, is about how I have a problem with buying books.

Every month, I buy at least 10 books if not more. I can't even technically afford buying that many books. I'm not actually sure how I do it. (Some of it has to do with my wonderful family that helps support my problem.) I also do not read at least 10 books a month. A good month would be 8 books. So obviously, my TBR pile is growing quickly and has gotten to an extreme point that I am not proud of.

Why do I do this? Maybe it's an addiction. Maybe it's just my excitement for reading. There are so many books I want to read and I want them all. I really enjoy having a physical copy of a book. I tell myself that it's going to be for when I am living on my own and poor so I have something to do. Or that it's for when I'm old and retired and need something to do. It also motivates me a little to read more, when I look at my bookshelf and see all the books I haven't read. It really comes down to a lack of self control. I tell myself that when I have a stack of 11 books and put one back and buy 10 instead I'm exhibiting great self control. (I know I'm not really.)

I am going to have a massive library when I am old. With the sliding ladder and everything. I could probably live in a studio apartment with my entire room being taken up by books and a bed. I might do that though. Because I have 2 full size bookshelves and a half size one, all are full and I'm going to need a third one pretty soon. So moving out is going to be me, my bed, and my books.

I have been going on a minimalist streak lately, though. And getting rid of a lot of my stuff. I don't think I'll be getting rid of many books, but at least I'll have less stuff in general.

When it comes down to it, I should probably stop buying so many books. So let me know how you keep yourself from buying so many books. Or if it's not even a problem for you. (Though I don't know how it's not even a temptation to buy all the books.)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I'm A Terrible Blogger | NaBloPoMo Day 2

Well, it is day 2 of NaBloPoMo and I've already managed to miss a day. Good job me. In my defense, I wasn't even home yesterday. So writing a blog post wasn't really possible unless I attempted to write it on my phone while at a party with lots of people. Wouldn't be the first time I've done it...

I'm really not sure what I'm going to be blogging about for the rest of the month, so give me some ideas in the comments of things you want me to talk about! I have a few ideas, but nothing much as of yet. Ideas so far are:

  • Top 5 Favorite Lesser Known Series (title pending)
  • Why I Love Audiobooks
  • Favorite Books of 2013
  • Favorite BookTubers
There's a ton of more things I could write about out there, but I'm really not sure what they are. I've also been thinking about starting up a series kind of thing that I do weekly, such as Favorite Fridays or Top 10 Tuesdays or something like that.

So until I can get my stuff together and actually figure out this whole blogging thing, I'd love to hear thoughts from you on what you want to hear from me!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Wrap Up and November TBR | 2013

Which features a very unstructured TBR for November! I had a great reading month in October and I'm still in a really crazy reading mood so hopefully that continues on!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Series: The Mara Dyer Trilogy, #1
Publication Date: 27 September 2011
Number of Pages: 452
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong. (Goodreads)

I was a little afraid to read this book for two reasons. One, I had been told it was creepy and I'm a baby and  get scared very easily. And two, it got a lot of hype. A lot. Books that get hyped up make me nervous because I get all these expectations and I don't want to be let down. And let me tell you, I was not let down. This book was great. It was a little creepy at times, but in a good way.

First of all, Michelle Hodkin's writing is fabulous. The way she writes from Mara's point of view makes the entire book suspenseful and intriguing. Half the time I was worried that what happened didn't actually happen. All of the characters are great, the family dynamic in the book is well developed and believable. So is the school dynamic and all the rest of the settings and character interactions. Basically the entire book is believable.

As I've said in previous reviews, I generally don't get into the romantic books, but I think reading from the point of view of a potentially crazy person made it way more interesting. Basically Mara is awesome. Also Noah is pretty awesome. He's got a good mix of mystery and crazy. I'm not saying I trust him or like him. But I'm saying I like him.

I gave The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer a full 5 out of 5 stars. I'm really looking forward to reading the next in the series and I'm pretty sure the final book comes out pretty soon here. Let me know in the comments if you've read it and what you thought or anything else!

NaBloPoMo 2013!

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Alright everyone, so November is coming and while most of you are gearing up for NaNoWriMo, I'm preparing for NaBloPoMo. What is it? National Blog Posting Month! I've thought a lot about doing NaNoWriMo and, sadly, this is the first year in 6 years that I will not be participating. I really don't think I'll have the time to do it. I don't have any new ideas and I've found that forcing one out usually ends in total disaster.

However, I do want to do something. And I like to do things to help me get my content out. This seems like fun. I've never done it before, but there's a first time for everything! A lot, if not all, of my posts will continue to be about books. But I'll be branching out from just reviews and video updates, which is something I've wanted and planned to do for a while. This will just get the ball rolling finally!

It'd be great if some of you wanted to do it along with me. (They're even giving away some iPad minis as a prize if you need some incentive.) Everything's more fun with friends! Okay, maybe not everything, but most things.

So you can click on the badge above to take you to the website, or click here to read more about what's going on.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Catching Fire Final Trailer Reaction

I am so excited for this movie I can't even explain it to you. The final trailer for Catching Fire came out today and it's a short one, but there's so much packed into it! This is my reaction. Enjoy!

Watch the Trailer:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 2013 Book Haul

I managed to stay on my book buying ban for a whole 3 weeks, but I finally broke on Thursday and got some books so here they all are! Let me know in the comments if you've read any of these and what you thought of them or if you want to read any of them!

Books Mentioned in This Video:
Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
The Dangerous Animals Club by Stephen Tobolowsky
House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Allegiant by Veronica Roth | Book Review

Veronica Roth

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance
Series: Divergent trilogy, #3
Publication Date: 22 October 2013
Number of Pages: 526
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

(There are a couple spoilers from the first 2 books in this review. You have been warned.)

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. (Goodreads)

Well Veronica Roth certainly knows how to go out with a bang. Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent trilogy, did not fail to disappoint. It was slower paced than the first two in the series, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t intense at all. At the end of Insurgent, we found out from a video of Tris’s ancestor that Chicago is an experimental city run by someone on the outside. Allegiant picks up right after that and takes everyone out of the city.

Out of anything, I really admire Veronica Roth’s character development. I know I’m fairly alone in this opinion, but in Divergent, I can’t stand Tris. I love the book and in a way I love Tris, but I was always really frustrated with her decisions. I was even more frustrated with her decisions in Insurgent, but in Allegiant, I actually found myself liking Tris. She grew a lot after events of Insurgent and started making a lot smarter decisions. Also Evelyn’s character development was probably the most impressive and coolest thing to read.

I also really enjoyed the mental obstacles and prejudices characters struggled to get over in this book, like the absence of factions. And other things that I will not mention to save you from spoilers. If you want tohear more about that, you should go watch my Book Talk about Allegiant which may or may not even be up yet.

This book also takes place from both Tris and Four’s point of view, which was probably the biggest obstacle for me to get around. Because both points of view were written in first person and Tris and Four’s voices sound fairly similar, it was sometimes hard to keep track of who was narrating at any given time. In the end I did like hearing from Four’s voice and gaining a lot of insight of things from his perspective.

All in all I gave Allegiant a shining 5 out of 5 stars. Let me know in the comments what you thought!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

House of Hades by Rick Riordan | Book Review

House of Hades
Rick Riordan

Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Adventure
Series: The Heroes of Olympus (#4)
Publication Date: 8 October 2013
Number of Pages: 597
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

Two words: Character development. I think one of the reasons Riordan's books are so great is the amazing character development in all of his characters. For a book with so many points of view, I was never once confused by who was talking. Every single character has a very unique voice and personality. Not only that, but the side characters also all have development. It's always wonderful to see a story that has so much thought put into it.

Another two words: Plot development. Let's be real, Rick Riordan is the master of his stories and very much knows what he is doing. The story doesn't get slow and by about three quarters of the way through I'm sure everyone was on the edge of their seats. There were numerous times where I had to stop reading the book because I couldn't read fast enough. Which is the only reason I didn't finish the book a week ago.

And a final word: Realistic. Yes, I know this is a story about demigods. But there are a lot of realistic problems and thoughts that characters go through that I feel are left out of a lot of stories. The physical pain and struggle that characters push through that gets ignored most times is pointed out. The emotional conflicts that everyone goes through with such tough decisions. The panic experienced in battles even if the character has fought before. It is all very satisfying to see the (not so) small things pointed out throughout that add just that much more depth to the story.

My favorite character is definitely Nico and although he was in the story, I wish that there was more from his perspective. He is by far one of the most intriguing characters to me in the entire Greek and Roman world that Riordan has created. I cannot wait to see what else happens with him and where his character goes in the next book.

Like everyone else I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series to see what happens. I gave House of Hades a shining 5 out of 5 stars and strongly think that there is something in this story for just about everyone to enjoy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Crank by Ellen Hopkins | Book Review

Ellen Hopkins

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Poetry
Publication Date: 1 October 2004
Number of Pages: 537
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the "monster," the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or "crank." Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne'er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: "there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree." Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won't, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank. (Goodreads)

I absolutely loved this book. It's really intense and it really got me up close in personal to a side of life that I've never even been close to before. And as someone who has seriously considered going into counseling before, this book was especially interesting to me. I don't pick up a whole lot of books that deal with such human, realistic problems but I usually find I'm happy with them when I do. And Crank is at the top of that list.

My first note is this book is not for everyone. It deals very closely with some very intense, triggering, and sensitive topics. I personally found it very enlightening. The way that the book is written in the free poetry style helped get the story across, especially with the emotions and feelings that come with addiction. Pages could be choppy or chunky or slow or fast depending on if Kristina was coming down or high as a kite. There were also places where extra sentences and ideas were put across by reading singled out words down the line instead of just reading the sentences.

However, the free poetry was also probably the biggest hump to get over while reading though. I found that every time I picked up the book it took me a couple pages to get into the flow of things. This wasn't a big problem. More like a tiny, minuscule footnote to include at the bottom of the page. I also found that once I got into it, the book was very hard to put down because there weren't really "chapters".

I've seen reviews where people talk about how little secondary character development there is, but whether on purpose or not, I feel like this only adds to the book and feeling of addiction. Because an addiction makes the rest of the world matter a whole lot less compared to if a much more stable narrator was telling the story. To Bree, the next hit is a lot more important than how people are doing.

I think this book is a great read for anyone who feels up to diving into a dark, realistic world. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars, but with a warning of sensitive topics.

Have you read Crank? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cover Reveal! Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. I loved Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and am anxiously awaiting the second in the series. This cover reveal from Entertainment Weekly is super exciting and I am loving the cover. It just gives me so many more questions about what the second book is going to be about. Who is the girl? What are the ruins in the background?

After finishing the first book, I feel like it was all set up for what the next book has in store. I don't really have a whole lot more to say about it right now other than the fact that I'm really excited.

Tell me what you think of it in the comments and who you think the girl is or what the ruins are!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke | Book Review

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
April Genevieve Tucholke

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: 15 August 2013
Number of Pages: 360
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

I'm going to be honest with you, I very rarely read contemporary novels and even more rare is when I read a romance. However I bought this book on a whim and heard some good things about it so I picked it up. And I'm fairly glad I did. If I was more prone to contemporary novels, this probably would have gotten an even better rating. It's just not entirely my cup of tea, genre-wise.

Before picking it up, I heard that this book was creepy and it was. A little. The first third to even half of the book seemed almost straight contemporary romance, which was disappointing. But then things in the little town of Echo started getting mysterious and weird. The creepy, paranormal side of the book is what really kept me reading. The plot was great and definitely had enough twists and turns to keep me interested enough to finish the book in basically two sittings.

The characters in the novel seemed very developed but at the same time flat. They all had little unique bits and pieces but at the same time some things were very common and almost cliché. I can't really say that I had a favorite character either. There were moments where I really liked Violet but others I couldn't stand her. The same goes for pretty much all of the characters. The dark part of me really appreciates the fact that none of the characters are really lovable and they all have flaws. It was refreshing to not have any perfect characters for once.

At first I gave the book 4 stars but after reflecting on it a little more it's more of a solid 3 out of 5 stars. I think this book would be really enjoyable to someone who enjoys the genre more than I do though.

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull | Book Review

Rise of the Evening Star
Brandon Mull

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Children's
Series: Fablehaven
Publication Date: 1 June 2007
Number of Pages: 441
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists--a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper--to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the end of the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble? Can they overcome paralyzing fear?

The Fablehaven series definitely gets better with the second book in so many ways. There's new characters and more character development. There's more world building. And the plot really starts rolling. This book starts out with Kendra and Seth outside of the preserve and they get caught up in the plots of the notorious Society of the Evening Star. Following these events, the two get out of school and head back to Fablehaven for the summer.

With the introduction of all the new characters, there is also a lot of mystery and guessing. Although this book is written for a younger age, I never felt like I knew what was going to happen next or who the mystery double agent was. I found this really refreshing because books written for younger readers seem to be rather predictable for older readers. This book really has a good aspect for everyone.

To me, one of the most interesting things in the books is Seth's character development. Brandon Mull really captures the struggle between wanting to help and do good and be brave and being cautious which is a huge struggle for Seth. I'm really looking forward to how he develops in the next few books.

I'm really curious as to where this series is going to go because past this book I only remember little bits and pieces of overall plot in the 3rd book which is as far as I read previously. I gave Rise of the Evening Star 4 out of 5 stars and I look forward to reading the rest of them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

September Wrap Up and October TBR

Alright here's what happened in the last month and what I'm hoping to get read in the coming month! I had a horrible time trying to decide what to read in October and my list is pretty long. Hopefully I'll get through all of them, but between school and everything else it'll be interesting to see what I can get through.

Books from September (and Reviews):
Scott Pilgrim Graphic Novels
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

October TBR:
Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Carrie by Stephen King
House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Book Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal
Publication Date: 27 September 2011
Number of Pages: 424
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

If I could only say one sentence about this book it would be: "Amazing idea with good writing."  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor has gotten reviews across the board from boring to brilliant. I fell very much in the middle of this group. By all means it was a good book, but it lacked that extra oomph that left me wanting more.

The idea and setting behind the book are absolutely wonderful and I found it very intriguing by all means. I'm most likely going to read the sequel because I want more of the world that Laini Taylor only gives the reader glimpses of towards the end of the book. Besides the otherworldly setting, I also loved that the book was set in Prague although I feel as if neither world was described very in depth.

With that said, I found the characters all a little flat and underdeveloped. I feel like nothing really made any of the side characters stand out at all. There were characters that I loved, first and foremost Brimstone and Co., but I found most of them left no lasting impression.

As I mentioned at the beginning though, the idea behind the book is very unique but the writing just wasn't all there. The biggest complaint I had overall was in the first few chapters I feel like the author couldn't decide if she wanted the reader to be in the know of Karou's secret life or as confused as Karou's friends. The writing also seemed a little chunky at times.  Overall, the plot flows well and I had no problem reading large chunks at a time, but I was never on the edge of my seat and unwilling to put the book down either. 

In the end, I gave Daughter of Smoke and Bone 3 stars. Maybe 3 1/2. It wasn't bad, in fact it was good. It just wasn't overwhelmingly remarkable. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Book Haul Part 2

Alright so I am officially putting my self on a very real actual book buying ban and I have announced it to people to help me because I somehow ended up buying 17 books over 3 days right after I put up my original September book haul. So here's a 2nd one. Because I have problems.

Let me know down in the comments any of your thoughts on these books and if you've read them or anything else!

Books Mentioned in this Video:
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
1984 by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Proxy by Alex London
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak || Book Review

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, World War II
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Number of Pages: 552
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

The Book Thief is an amazingly written, life changing book. Everyone should read this book. The research and accuracy and time and heart Zusak put into this book shows throughout the entire book. Zusak is one of the most creative authors I have had the pleasure to read. I was constantly astounded by the uniqueness of his writing style.

When I first read this book in 2008 I wasn't old enough to understand most of the book and it's themes. I also didn't spend a whole lot of time contemplating the deeper meanings of the book and how in depth the thoughts behind it went. I still loved the book back then but for very different reasons.

To start with, I didn't understand the narrator was Death the first time I read this book. With that knowledge, this book suddenly becomes not only the story of a little girl, but a commentary on life and death. Death is probably the best narrator I have had the enjoyment to read. The way Zusak utilizes Death's omniscience and experiences to tell Liesel's story is breathtaking.

Zusak also captures a side of World War II that most books don't. The story isn't of Jews or people desperately attempting to save Jews or soldiers. It is about a little girl who doesn't fully understand what is going on. A girl who loves words and reading and how it changes her life in a few short years. And it made me think about how much I take books for granted.

I wish that more people would read this book. I wish school's everywhere would use this book to accompany teaching about the Holocaust.

I happily and full-heartedly give this book a shining five gold stars and if I could I'd give it more. Now go read this book.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 2013 Book Haul

In which I am really excited to read all of the books that I bought. Since this video's uploading a day ago, I have already bought 7 more books. I don't have a problem at all. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them or if you want to read any of these books!

Books Mentioned in This Video:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Crossed by Ally Condie
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013 YouTube Survey

In which I discuss the questions Alex Day has posed to YouTube this year! Let me know your answers in the comments if you don't want to make a video and if you do make a video let me know!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull || Book Review

Brandon Mull

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Children's
Series: Fablehaven
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Number of Pages: 351
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite ... Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.

This was actually a reread for me. The first time I read this book was about 2008 and the differences of what I noticed this time through was really interesting.

Although Fablehaven is directed towards a younger audience I definitely still thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The plot is engaging and interesting and the characters are believable and even a little endearing now that I'm older. I love the way that Brandon Mull has integrated the modern world and the fantastical one. The idea that fantastic creatures are things that need protecting on preserves is one of the coolest ideas I've come across.

I don't really have any big problems with this book. It doesn't slow down, but it doesn't speed up a whole lot either. It's pretty even paced the whole way through. It's a great concept, but it never left me on the edge of my seat dying to know what happened next. It's also a tiny bit predictable and the side characters are a little underdeveloped. But this book is directed towards a younger audience, so I wasn't expecting it to be as intense as novels directed towards adults.

I also know what the next couple books have in store which makes me very excited to reread the next few and also finally finish the series. Overall I give Fablehaven 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cinder by Marissa Meyer || Book Review

Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #1
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Number of Pages: 387
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Cinder is by far the best take on Cinderella I have ever read. Even with the knowledge that the story was based off of the classic tale, I didn't find myself bored because it was the same old story. Because it wasn't the same old story, Marissa Meyer added in many other plot points such as the plague that kept me wondering what was going to happen anyways. The start of the book is the slowest part and every page gets more and more intense.

The futuristic world that Marissa Meyer sets up is one of the most interesting societies and worlds that I've seen set up with the history and different provinces and countries and so many other things. There are so many little details that are thrown in that make the world seem so believable and realistic. The characters are pretty well developed, especially considering that so much happened in the book.

The biggest problem I had with Cinder was that it was fairly predictable. I didn't ever find myself totally shocked with what happened next. But the world and the characters are so well developed that it didn't bother me that much.

Overall, I gave Cinder 4 out of 5 stars. It's a great new take on Cinderella and I definitely recommend it to anyone who thinks it sounds interesting.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August Wrap Up and September TBR

Apologies to my poor plant that I kept hitting in this video. Comment what books you're looking forward to reading in the next month or if you have read any of the books in my TBR list. If you have, what did you think of them? I'd love to hear from you!

Books I Read in August:
Just Don't Fall by Josh Sundquist
Matched by Ally Condie
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Legend by Marie Lu
Batman Vol. 2: City of Owls
Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench

Books I'm Planning on Reading in September:
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Carrie by Stephen King

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Book Thief Trailer Reaction

I am so excited for this movie! I remember loving it so much when I read the book. I don't want to give any spoilers away for the movie or else I would go into a lot more detail.

Are you excited for the movie? Are you worried that it's not going to live up to the book? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Legend by Marie Lu || Book Review

Marie Lu

Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Series: Legend, #1
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Number of Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

This book was astounding and awesome and almost everything it's been hyped up to. Almost. Marie Lu created a great dystopian world set in LA that was very easy to settle into without any questioning or confusion. The characters were intriguing and had distinct voices from one another and the plot moved along quick enough to keep me interested the whole way through without feeling slow or rushed. Also the way the book was designed physically was great, like with different colored print to differentiate June and Day's points of view. All in all it was a great book. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who loves this kind of book.

However it wasn't as amazing as it had been hyped up to be, at least to me. I had heard that it was a one sit read and all around rave reviews. There's no big problems with any of the book, but there's little things here and there. It had that cliche line that seems to be in almost every YA book, which is some form of "I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding." There were other little things here and there which just bugged me a little, but none of them were enough to stop the book from being awesome.

In the end though, this is a great read. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads but in reality it's probably more of a 4 1/2 stars.

Hi There!

Wow blogging, I haven't done this in a while...

Hello everyone!
Welcome to my new blog! This is mostly going to be partnered with my YouTube channel so if you haven't checked that out yet, go do that.

Later in this blog you'll find things like book reviews, movie reviews, updates with challenges like readathons, book news and pretty much anything else I feel like blogging about. But I promise it won't get weird. Really. I swear.

Until next time!