Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cover Talk: The One by Kiera Cass


Okay, guys, let's talk! First off, that's a wedding dress, don't lie to yourself. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, EVERYONE. This is happening! The book is the third book in The Selection series by Kiera Cass (they are phenomenal books- go check them out). Eep!

My main complaint: Do I look like an idiot to you, photographers? That is clearly not the same girl.


Anyway, I still think it's a very pretty cover! I soo cannot wait until this book comes out! Since The Elite was on Netgalley, I'm hoping that the final book will too. I will scream if that happens.

Over and out,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I LOVE THIS BOOK. I'm re-reading the series right now because the sixth and final book, United We Spy, was just released. I can't wait to refresh my memory so I can be pumped for the finale! I also have a giveaway on this book right now (until 9/30) if you haven't had a chance to read it!

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies.
Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?
Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

For some reason, this book has mixed reviews, but I will set you straight: this book is not worth missing. The characters, the atmosphere, the dialogue... all of it is just what I need to pick me up on a bad day.
Even though, I have read the entire series (minus United We Spy) this review is just going to be centered around the first book. 
One of the things that I love about the main character is that she seems to realize that she isn't going anywhere with this boy. She doesn't let him take over her life, they don't have a dramatic romance, she isn't plunging off a cliff every time they are separated. It seems to make the romance lighter and cute, almost. (Lemme just tell ya, the next few books are far from "cute". Those books are INTENSE. Just sayin'.)
The characters are all built so slowly and nicely. It's like there are Legos, each one being slowly connected and built to make a sturdy structure (however, that doesn't mean that the Lego-human can't break at any moment with a simple dissemblance).
These books are also really quick reads that don't pretend to be anything more than they are. As for the humor, I like it. Cammie will often through in a quick, witty line that talks about a fact of the school or her spy training, and there are a lot of facts. Without her wit, it would have just been an info-overload. She built a bridge between the humor and the serious.
I liked how Cammie realized that she was a "Chameleon" as well and didn't see anything bad by it. Many times, we as humans see solidity as a bad thing, but she doesn't base her entire being around a central fact. It's more like she can easily blend in and not be seen. She's not antisocial or weird she's just a Chameleon.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Over and out,

Book Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Let me just start by saying that I am NOT a fan of Twilight, nor do I plan on becoming one. So, naturally, my thoughts were skeptical when I first picked it up. However, Meyer shocked me by creating a decent plotline. One where the main character had a mind that didn't revolve around her creepily omniscent boyfriend. 

From the start, I had been turned away from reading this because of not only Meyer's reputation, but the cover. That cover, I'm sorry, is atrocious. Not that it isn't bad (I'm sure that if I was a published author, I wouldn't care what my cover looked like, as long as the story was out there), it just was one of the things that kept me from reading it. I'm pretty sure I could have made a replica on any basic Microsoft software. I know, I know "don't judge a book by its cover". But I can't resist. All in all, if you are able to get past that, it's a good read.

Not that I'm saying I wouldn't change some aspects of the book. Apparently, Meyer tends to right at night. That's a fact I can tell when she decided the age range of this book. No one who wasn't utterly sleep deprived and stuck in a secluded part of their mind would have created a book that was clearly YA with characters in their twenties. Twilight certainly had more adult aspects to it. There is no reason for this to be considered an adult book, as it has little to no bad language or a complicated plot that a teenager couldn't grasp. As a teenager myself, I did not consider this to be an adult book, besides the ages. It is as if they are adults with teenager's minds.

Meyer did, however, create a complicated plot that is worthy of my five-star rating. I really enjoyed it, and I will be recommending it to many of my friends, book lovers or not. I think that many audiences will enjoy this. Even if you are skeptical like I was about this book, I think you should at least give it a shot.
Fun fact: this review was the first review I ever wrote. I wrote it back in April/March and posted it to my Goodreads account, but I decided to pull it from there and post it to here. Whenever I pull text from Goodreads, it always appears in white, so sorry about that. 
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars
Over and out,

Book Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl

Your heart beats only with their permission.
Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.
Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.
She's different. She survived. Why?
When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.
Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.
Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.

Normally I don't do as-I-read reviews, but for this book, I will! Warning: this may have light to heavy spoilers. I haven't read the book yet. I don't even know. Update: Please do not read beyond this point if you do not want to be spoiled.

That first chapter made me think of Supernatural, if you know what I'm sayin'. First five minutes, season 1 made its way into this book, I swear. Except it didn't. Because that would be plagarism. But seriously, the juxtaposition of the child's ignorance and the slowing of her mother's heart made it seem so creepy. Loved that! Great opening to a book. Once I set the book down to write this, the writing on the cover makes me wonder if Dol was pre-selected to live. Somehow, the government is slimming mankind?

Now, years later, we see Dol again with Ro. I like Ro (I'm kind of seeing this Robert Sheehan kind of guy in my head) so far, but it doesn't take much for me not to like a character.

50 pages in and I've already created a hundred conspiracy theories. Is the government actually the Icons/ alien things (because how would such a disorganized society have such detailed, confidential records about everyone)? How are they controlling everyone's heart beats? HOW IS THIS HAPPENING?

I still like Ro. I think that means that he's staying on my 'characters I don't want to brutally murder' list. I also like how Dol is in love with him, her best friend, and not the other way around. I hate how the boys in books follow the girls around like puppies, but its inevitable.

So after that, I may or may not have read without making notes or blogging about it, so this section of the review may be a bit scattered.

After reading to the end, I can say that I loved how intricate this book was. There were so many twists and sub-plots that you thought would have no meaning but then BAM. Everything came together in just this one big, massive story. It was a great book.

I'm beginning to see that I'm  getting attached to these alien books. Each and every one of them are unique with the way that the aliens are placed in the world. With Icons, I felt like it was very nicely done.

The characters and the plot were developed slowly and efficiently. The romance/love triangle took many pages to develop, which I was glad for. Only in certain cases have I liked insta-love.

However, even though I enjoyed this book, people had mixed reviews over the book. I saw some that said it was their favorite book of 2013 and some that rated it with one star. I feel like if someone had enjoyed Beautiful Creatures, then this will be a great read for them.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Over and out,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Something weird about me is that I don't like reading books back-to-back. I usually like to savor the story. However, the first book in this trilogy, Shadow and Bone, was phenomenal so I had to pick this up.

Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

These covers for this series are so beautiful. They're perfect for the setting, the scene of the story, without being cheesy. They're simply, yet intricate. This cover could have gone horrible wrong, but I think they're a job well-done.
Just to jump right into, I hated Mal a lot in this book. Not only does he have a girl's name, but he also acts like a girl. He's whiny, over-protective, and weird, typical of any "swoon-worthy teen romance". 
Ugh. I, sigh, think that, sigh, there's no hope for Darkling fans at this point. THINK OF THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT THAT COULD'VE HAPPENED! AHH! It didn't. As usual.
For a sequel, I felt like this was just average. Compared to how enrapturing the first book was, this book was normal in comparison, which made me sad. I had much higher hopes. The originality of the plot was wonderful, but I wished things had gone differently. I felt like the plot was kind of absent. They just ran around and yelled.
I did like how some scenes were laid out, though. Whenever she wasn't mackin' with Mal, there was a scene were Sankta Alina was said over and over. The image that I got in my mind was something like the stag scene from book 1- very beautiful and flowing. Like I was completely just there with her. 
I feel like this was a really good read, I just wasn't there to read it or something. I think I will have to read it again to get the full idea. I can't wait for the third book to come out, though! The ending of this book was really strong and action-packed. I highly enjoyed the climax.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars (good but something was missing)
Over and out,

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Update: I felt like (my original url) was really wordy and a mouthful. Also, it didn't have any connection to books, so this new url seems to be nice :) In case you are confused, I changed my blog website address today from to

Fun, right? Anyway, I hope you like it! In order to link up Bloglovin' profile to here I have to add this as well: Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Anyway here's my review over this (amazing) book! I can now say that this book is apart of the list: Books Everyone Told Me to Read but I Never Did. IT WAS SO GOOD!

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Confession time: I actually haven't read many fantasy books lately, mainly because I felt that many of them were just . . . drab. Thankfully, I finally picked up this book and it inspired simply all the feels. ALL THE FEELS.

Whenever I read a good book, I always seem to want to talk about the characters, because characters seem to make or break a book for me. They're hard to perfect, shape, and mold, but when they are done right, they create masterpieces.

The main character, Alina, really kicked some butt. She wasn't afraid to realize when she was being used, or when the situation needed to be turned around. However, I feel like the problem with stubborn characters is that they can adapt to the surroundings, sure, but can they adapt to the characters? I felt like one thing many YA heroines could work on is gettin' a little more philosophical thought into their minds. What makes a villian? Why do I see him as a villian? And vice versa.

Mal, her soppy love interest, wasn't even present for most of the book, and yet, he still made our heroine go downhill. He turned her into some love-struck fool, blundering around like a 'Bella Swan'. (Yes, that was in purposefully set apart from the rest of the sentence to create a separation between items- it's as if Bella isn't an actual character. Which she shouldn't be.) In conclusion, I'm not a fan of Mal. (I thought he was a girl for at least twenty pages, for cryin' out loud!)

The Darkling, though, I DID LIKE, lemme tell ya. He wasn't swayed by anything or anyone. (I'm on Team Darkling, if that exists.) His character was really dark and stubborn. He wasn't willing to see any way but his own, but all of the characters were that way.
I don't want to drag this on too long, so I'll cut it off here! Thanks for checking out!

Over and out,
(I'll keep that part just for kicks)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Review: Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

This was a marvelous, fun book. The balance between how the author dealt with Rachel's impending death was so different from say, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. However, if you are looking for another book that is like TFiOS, this is definitely it.

Greg, the protagonist, had such a dynamic but subtle character arc. I loved how the author covered it up with teenage humor so it wasn't just like "Aww! That sad YA heroine is crying in the rain" to "Oh snap! That same YA heroine is not punching someone!" This book was a nice breather from that style of writing. It was as if Andrews knew that all books were heading in that direction of development, and he didn't want that for his book.

I loved the way he could easily transition between how characters would impact Greg. The way Andrews would do it is he would take a character like Earl, who probably doesn't care too much for grammar, and contrast it against someone like Mr. McCarthy, who would show his love for facts. (Seriously, though, I loved Mr. McCarthy. He may have had some of the stupidest lines, but the way he was crafted made him very likable. I could easily imagine him being my teacher.)

I liked the way Greg thought. His first-person narrative was very potent and strong, but not flawed or unimaginable. The way he was written was very carefully put together to seem like a mesh of thoughts and ideals. The way he dealt with the situations handed to him was very nicely done. You see, with TFiOS and every other cancer book out there, the main character is very up-close with the cancer and everything is easily traceable to them about how it is bad. With Greg, he didn't know how to act. Greg isn't exactly a "people person" which I liked. He was mean to his only friends, which is more realistic than you might think. People aren't perfect- we get snappy and mad frequently. Often times, the characters are made so that they are warm and loveable, but Greg wasn't. I liked that. I also liked how much of a perfectionist he was with his works. It reminded me of myself, but with my writings (See? Notice how I'm still in school and writing on a blog instead of having my name on books?).

The book was very funny (although some of the humor was kind of dumb and overrated). Andrews had a unique way of writing parts of the story: through a script, as Greg is an aspiring filmmaker. It was a very quick read, because some of the pages would literally have 10 words. Others, though, would have 300, so don't get your hopes too up.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Over and out,