Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 books read in 2009

I started late this year, only recording what I've read from the end of May up to today but here are my top 10 books out of the books I've read so far. Series count as 1 book. (My list is not in order). Lockdown Graceling
The Forest of Hands and Teeth Wake
The Hunger Games Series Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

Wicked Lovely Series Twilight SagaBlack Dagger Brotherhood series (I've only read the first 3 but they're awesome!

Mortal Instruments Series

Graceling Review

Synopisis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight -- she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace -- or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...

My Thoughts: I loved Graceling! I'd been itching to read it and even put down my current read to start it. For the next two 1/2 days I brought it with me everywhere I went, reading as many pages as I could before I was forced to put it down for reasons I had to convince myself where important enough to take a break. This book was longer then I imagined but I never felt weighed down. I figured when I got midway and thought Hey! the book could end here, or even 100 pages later and thought Hey! the book could end here too that eventually I would feel as if the author was stretching the story out, but that feeling never came and I was happy that it didn't. Katsa was a strong woman, which I loved. Of course because of her Grace she was strong physically, but I'm talking more of her mental strength. She had insecurities like everybody else, but she was still sure of herself. I loved (loved loved...) Po. He was good looking and smart, and his pride wasn't hurt if a woman (Katsa) was better then him at certain things (like fighting for instance). He treated her like an equal instead of someone who was beneath him. (he was also patient & kind) I also liked the plot because I couldn't figure out how the book was going to end which kept me excited and alert. I also liked that I loved the story so much that I never payed attention to the writing. Maybe that doesn't make sense but sometimes I can't enjoy a story because the writing sucks, so I'm more aware of what the author has written instead of the actual story. I'm hoping to get Fire as soon as possible to see what else Kristin Cashore is capable of!
Rating: A+

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Need Review

Zara White suspects a freaky guy is semi-stalking her. She memorizes phobias and chants them when she's nervous. And, okay, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But moving to a shivery Maine town to stay with her grandmother is supposed to be the perfect fix -- so her mom says.
Except, this new plan of getting away to help Zara stay sane? Yeah, not working. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's imagination. He's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right -- not human -- in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs are pointing to Zara.
My Thoughts:
I've read too many reviews already comparing Need to Twilight. Other than a mysterious tone that Twilight gives you in the beginning of the books, and Needs' mysterious tone that continues throughout the book, I really didn't see the comparison regarding the two stories.
I have to admit that there were a couple of chapters that were kind of rough for me. Until around pg. 26-30, there seemed to be pieces of information that were missing, as if all the characters knew something that I was supposed to know too but didn't. Also, there were at least two times in the book where something was revealed to the main characters that they didn't know, they would react realistically for a few minutes, then seemed to know too much about what was just revealed to them. Then there was another tiny annoyance for me around the end of the book, something was revealed about two characters. It made sense what was revealed about them but not the way it was revealed. it was an as-a-matter-of-fact type reveal, like it wasn't anything special. I was also annoyed a little bit by the way the characters would talk sometimes, like -

"You're my best friend"



"Oh My God, I think I'm going to cry"

"Don't cry" 'hug'

OK....those exact words aren't in there but some conversations sounded like that. It's probably annoying because I know people who speak like that ALL the time so when I saw this type of Convo, I was reminded of them.

Those 2-3 little problems weren't too bad overall because the story was still good and I loved the characters, especially Nick. He was sweet and...manly at the same time. Actually, I really liked all the males in the novel. I think the author did a good job at developing strong male characters.

And after about pg. 30 I was totally into the story. I had no idea where the book was going to end up which was exciting, because a lot of times when I read a novel, I have some idea on how the main characters are going to solve the major problem of the story or how the book is going to end. I was surprised at the ending of the book and am excited about Captivate. Overall it was a cool & semi-mysterious book.

Rating: B+

What are you reading on Mondays?

Yes, I know I'm a day late but I still wanted to post my "book schedule" (that is until I decide I want to read different books from what I said I was going to read).

This meme is hosted by J. Kaye

Read this past week: Need by Carrie Jones

Currently Reading: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Upcoming Reads: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In My Mailbox 10

This meme is hosted by TheStorySiren

The Bought

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster ( I already have a copy but I'm donating this one along with some other books because this is my favorite book of all time and I wanted to share it with others)
The Once and Future King by T. H. White

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catching Fire Review

Synopsis: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
My Thoughts: Wow. After reading Catching Fire I was a little annoyed at myself for waiting so long to read it, it was so addictive. I read this during exam week at school which in general probably isn't a good idea since I would take "breaks" during study time to read. This book throws you further into this dystopic nation. It was more intense then the Hunger Games especially since Katniss & Peeta are out of the games and in the real world again. As they go from district to district while still pretending to be in love (well.. Peeta isn't pretending and Katniss doesn't know what she's doing) it is obvious that the two winners, more so Katniss than Peeta has created a spark which turned into a fire that she cannot put out. Bad (and or sad) things happen in the 2nd book which all but internal problems are coming from the capitol. But there is also hope, hope that came from Katniss (as a symbol) and ld to a lot of the districs deciding they were tired of putting up with a horrid government. I also liked that Gale was finally in the picture because it made things more interesting. The love triangle intensified when you got to see how Gale felt about Katniss and how he's been dealing with his feelings while she was gone. The book ended with a cliff hanger that made me drop my jaw, then close it along with the book and drop the book onto to ground only to stare at it for a minute or two. Now all I can do is wait for the third book to drop.
Rating: A+

Monday, December 14, 2009

What are you reading on Mondays?

This meme is host by J. Kaye.
Read this past week:
Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
Currently Reading:
Need by Carrie Jones
Upcoming Read:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In My Mailbox 9

This meme is brought to you by TheStorySiren.
The Bought:
Killing yourself to live by Chuck Klosterman
Eating the dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman (I'm really excited about his essays)
The Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (I heard about this after I read The Hunger Games)
Paper Towns by John Green (I have heard nothing but good things about this.... plus I want to know what Paper towns has to do with a black santa)

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Review

Synopsis: In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future -- between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much dead?

My Thoughts: I was sucked into this book from the first page. I've read other reviews in the blog world saying that though this was a good book, it didn't live up to the hype. Though I'm sad that I didn't know about this book sooner, I'm happy that I wasn't involved in the hype because most people set the bar too high for books they think will be good. So since I hadn't heard a lot about the book, I started reading with know negative or positive expectations. This was so beautifully written from the first page to the last. I loved the characters, I even started feeling bad for one of the unconsecrated near mid-way of the story. Although I loved this book and ate it up, I can tell how some people wouldn't like it as much. There were points in the book where some people would say the story was slow but I saw it as points in where the author was merely preparing for the main action which made me even more excited when something changed with the characters and the village as a whole. I also liked that even though I knew some of where the characters would ultimately head in this book, I didn't know how they would get there. And isn't that what we like about most fictional books? There is always a problem, normally a problem all the characters must face and then internal problems, every fictional book has that, the difference is in the journey. I heard that there will be three books in this series and I can't wait for the 2nd book. Especially because I felt that the author could have left it as one book if she wanted to due to the way the book ended, so I want to see what the second book will be about. Can't wait!
Rating: A+

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Freshmen Year: Khaled Hosseini!

Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (which was our school's common reading) was the speaker at our Fall Convocation. It was amazingly cool to meet an author, (a successful one at that) especially since I'm writing a book and want to eventually have it published. There was even a Q&A session at the end of the Convocation!

The Freshmen Year: Captain Abu Raed

I had the privilege of watching a screening of Captain Abu Raed because the editor and producer, Laith al-Majali is an alumni of my school. The film was REALLY good and is the winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Audience Award. The film was also the first one to come out of Majali's native Jordan in 50 years.

The Freshmen Year: Cultural Events

I've had the privilage to see two plays that my school has put on. I didn't realize how talented the people here are. Kiss Me Kate was 3 hrs and it's not my favorite play but they did a really good job on it. Psycho Beach Party was something I'd never heard of but it was still entertaining.

The Freshmen Year

So... I got an assignment in my Comm. class where I have to write at least 3 blog entries about being a new student in college. I'm going to do three entries back to back so I won't forget to do it.

What are you reading on Mondays?

J. Kaye host this meme

Read this past week:
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Currently Reading
Need by Carrie Jones

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In My Mailbox 8

This cool meme is hosted by TheStorySiren
The Bought:
Need by Carrie Jones
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Borders had reduced prices on YA books yesterday. I only had 5 minutes in Borders so I picked these two books and ran to the register to pay for them before my ride left me. (That was one slow sales clerk).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fallen Contest Announcement

The 48 hrs are up for Kapri & Nickles, but I've decided to give them extra time. If they can't contact me before 10:00 a. m. tomorrow, I'll be forced to randomly select two different winners.

Lament Review
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan, a gifted harpist who regularly plays for weddings and other events, has the kind of stage fright that makes her physically ill before a performance, which is an inauspicious way to start a romance; but while vomiting before a competition she meets a gorgeous boy who comes into the restroom to hold her hair. He is Luke Dillon, a flautist who proceeds to accompany her in a truly stellar performance. As four-leaf clovers start appearing everywhere, Deirdre develops telekinetic powers and encounters strange, unworldly people who seem to bear her ill will. Her best friend, James, also a talented musician; her beloved grandmother; and her mother all are in danger, as Deirdre is targeted by the queen of Faerie. Deirdre eventually discovers that she is a cloverhand, a person who can see the denizens of faerie, and Luke, not the only immortal who has her in his sights, is a gallowglass, an assassin assigned by the queen of Faerie to kill Deirdre but who falls in love with her instead. This beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary debut novel, with its authentic depiction of Celtic Faerie lore and dangerous forbidden love in a contemporary American setting, will appeal to readers of Nancy Werlin’s Impossible (2008) and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

My Thoughts:
When I first decided to finally take Lament from my TBR list and move it to be my Current Read, I'd hope that I could start my review saying something along the lines of -- I couldn't put this book down, or I was mesmerized by Lament. That's not exactly what happened, at least in the beginning. It's true that this was hell week at school filled with 5 pg. papers, exams, and projects as well as me being sick, but the way some of the characters were portrayed in the beginning wasn't what I expected.Don't get me wrong, I still really liked Lament and Ballad is on it's way (hopefully) but some things in the beginning weren't making since to me. I felt like the beginning was moving too fast. I felt like Deirdre's relationship with Luke developed too fast, or at least in the way it was told and that her relationship with her best friend could have been more defined. Also, Deirdre seemed to take the major things too well. When the mysterious Luke walks into her life, she barely even contemplates how odd it is, even too herself. And when she finds out she's a clover-hand, I think she takes it too well. As a matter of fact everybody that finds out that faeries exist seem to act like it's very normal (like oh they're faeries... that's interesting cause I didn't know they existed... do you think they know Tinkerbell.)
I am happy to say that after a few chapters in I could finally say that I didn't want to put the book down. I liked the book more and more as it was coming to an end which is sad because Ballad isn't here yet.I especially liked that the author added a new take on faeries (or at least more dangerous sounding) because I've never heard that much of Celtic Faeries.
Rating: B+

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fallen Contest Winners

Like me fireworks? It's supposed to stand for celebration... Anyway, the winners of the Fallen contest are Kapri, Nickles, & Jo. I'll email the winners as soon as I post this. Congrats!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What are you reading on Mondays?

J. Kaye host this meme

Read this past week:
I didn't finish the book I was reading last week which is Lament. I wanted to finish my book today but I'm sick so I might have to settle for finishing it on Tuesday.

Currently Reading
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts: A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales by Ying Chang Compestine

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Saturday, November 28, 2009

DystopYA Reading Challenge!

I ran across this challenge today and figured why not accept the challenge. Especially since Dystopia type books are actually some of my favorite (or at least dystopia related books). So who else is up to the challenge?

Here are the rules for Books on the Nightstand DystopYA challenge:

There are always rules in dystopic societies. We will be benevolent despots in the running of this challenge. Your participation is voluntary and we will be deactivating the Reading Challenge Police, so you are on the honor system.

1. You must do as you are told. You are hereby commanded to read 3 works of dystopic fiction that were written or published primarily for young adults. A partial list of titles is above; you may choose other books that are not on this list. Books must be read between October 5, 2009 and December 31, 2009 in order to count for the challenge.

2. Secret activities are forbidden in dystopic societies. You must post your reading list and/or your review(s) of the books that you've read. Reviews can be formal or informal, as you like. You may post them one at a time or all at once, it's up to you. If you have a blog, please post there. If you do not have a blog, there are two options:
  • A. (Preferred) - use one of the special discussion threads we've set up on Facebook or Goodreads.Note: Facebook membership is required to post there, but anyone can read the messages. Goodreads requires you to be a member to post or read on the discussion board. Membership to both Facebook and Goodreads is free.

  • B. Post your reading list and/or reviews in the comments on this post.

3. A dystopic society controls the spread of information among its citizens. If you have teens or tweens in your life, tell them about this reading challenge, and consider doing it together.

4. Dystopic governments control your behavior with a system of rewards. So, there will be prizes!We'll do a random drawing from all participants at the end of the challenge.

5. Dystopic governments can track the identities of community members. Post the URL of your list/review in the Simply Linked box below. If you posted at Goodreads or Facebook, include the URL of the discussion post.

Update : I also found out that there is another YA Dystopian Reading Challenge at Bart's Bookshelf. You pick from 1-4 books to read for this reading challenge.

I plan to read :

12/31 Update: I choose to read The Book Thief over The Maze Runner but I only have a couple of hours to finish and I have to leave my house in about an hour (I won't be back until tommorrow, which means I won't complete DystopYA because I have about 250 more pages to go for my 3rd book, but I've already completed Bart's Challenge.
Catching Fire Review:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Review:

In My Mailbox 7

This cool meme is hosted by TheStorySiren
This week I got two books.

The Received
A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts: A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales by Ying Chang Compestine

The Bought
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

I have three copies of Fallen to give away courtesy of Random House. Enter down below if you haven't yet... unless you don't want too. Lol

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In My Mailbox 6

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.
This week I decided to buy two books from B&N even though I probably shouldn't have (but it was my birthday so i couldn't resist buying books).
The Bought
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Last week I bought a book that I didn't mention because I couldn't remember the name and I didn't have it with me at the time.
Across The Nightingale Floor (Journey To Inuyama) by Lian Hearn

Oh yeah. For those of you that don't know. I have three copies of Fallen to give away courtesy of Random House. It's the post right below this one if anyone wants to enter. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fallen Contest!!

Thanks to the people at Random House, I will be offering 3 winners a copy of Fallen by Lauren Kate. Exciting right? Oh, and it's open Internationally! Here are the rules:

You HAVE to be a follower - +2 for old followers & +1 for new
You MUST leave a comment along with your email address (under this post)

Extra Entries:

+ 2 for every time you tweet about the contest
+2 for each time you link to this post

Contest ends on my Christian birthday (aka the day I got baptized) which is December 1st!
I will announce the winners on December 2nd and will email the 3 winners. Winners have 48 hrs to get back in touch with me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday.... To Me!

It is November 18 and I've finally turned.... 18! Yay! Anyway this isn't just about my birthday because I found out this morning that I will be able to host a contest (thanks to the cool people from Random House) with 3 winners in it, cool right? All three winners will get 'drum roll please' FALLEN by Lauren Kate! Fantastic right? I'm going out tonight so I'm going to wait until tomorrow to post the rules of the competition. But just to let you know, you HAVE to be a follower to enter this contest and the contest will end on my Christian birthday (aka the day I got baptized) which is on December 1. So check back in tomorrow so you can enter the Birthday/Fallen contest.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What are you reading on Mondays?

J. Kaye host this cool meme.
Read this week:
Nada. I left my book at my house and won't be back until Thanksgiving break.
Currently Reading:
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
The Devouring by Simon Holt

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My mailbox 5

The Bought:
Gladiatrix by Russell Whitfield
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
I bought another book but I left them all back at my house and I can't remember what the 3rd book was called. :( I guess I'll have to wait until next time.
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