Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Raven Boys review

Goodreads: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

My thoughts: The kind of authors I enjoy are ones that either stick to similar themes but have a creative way of telling them or have drastically different stories with some familiar thread running through them. Maggie represents the latter, and after reading and loving Scorpio Races, I couldn’t wait to see what new adventure she would design. And this one a very different, filled with lay lines, sacrifices, and nature settings that have a fondness for Latin.

            Raven Boys almost seems to start with an ending (a good way to start if you do it right, according to my cinema teacher). Blue knows that if she kisses her true love, that person will die. But she and we don’t know who and when. And you think it will go one way as characters are introduced (mainly Gansey), but it doesn’t. As things continue to be revealed, there are some secrets that have been "hidden," out in the open the whole time.  And there are some things that you wouldn’t expect until it actually happens.

       Raven Boys initially seems like a romance. But once you get to know all the characters and see the complexity of their fate, it is shown that there is more to this story. Not just with Blue and “the boys,” but also with her mother and her psychic friends.

     The one thing I didn’ t like was how things got wrapped up. I know this book has to help setup the series, but after building and developing the story, it seemed to end too soon.  Not in the sense that I needed more pages, just that something seemed missing. Other than that, it was a good story that has set me on my own quest to learn more about a certain welsh king. At least until the next book comes out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Adaptation review

Description: Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

My thoughts: It wasn’t until I started reading this that I realized this was my first book I’ve reviewed that dealt with area 51 related controversies/we are not alone related topics. Which excited me.

In Adaptation we have a big problem that has to do with birds. Then we have a seemingly small problem (but it’s actually pretty big too) involving Reese and David. As you continue to read, assumptions and theories of what happened to them are proven (or disproved). 

And although there were parts of this story where I needed to really suspend disbelief, there were various aspects of it that seemed hauntingly real. Like the birds. The birds freaked me out because it reminded me of how it felt when that was actually happening in real life. And I was almost as freaked out during the occurrences in the book as when it was really happening.

It’s not that Adaptation is scary, like Halloween movie scary (actually some of those are just funny). But some passages did make me feel uneasy.  For instance, I could relate to a lot of Reese's inner dialogue right after she starts discovering things (she's not supposed to) because I know what it feels like to be watched but not know who is actually watching me. It’s freaky! But these are the kind of books I like to read in October. Plus I was sick (still am) while reading this; so it reminded me of when I’d be in bed with a box of tissues, chicken noddle soup, and goldfish watching the X-files. Good times (except for the sick part).

As for the rest of the story, it was an easy read with an interesting plot. I just feel like I really didn’t get to know the characters that well. In fact, even though a lot happens in the story, it felt like it was just touching the surface as far as what was in this peculiar world. Which is why I’m hoping we’ll get to know everyone/thing better in the sequel.

My only real issue that kept bugging me was that Adaptation ended in a way that had me wondering where book two would start.  I think it’s a pacing issue. It felt like I was being led to expect more, then dropped at a not quit random but not quite expected place. Other than that one issue, the book was very entertaining. And I’ll definitely read the next book when it comes out… Now all I need to do is find some episodes of X-files online.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What are you reading on Mondays?

Book(s) read last week:
Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Currently reading:
 I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Upcoming read(s)
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

In My Mailbox 84

I've heard good things about both books. Hopefully I'll get to them both this week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read Since I Started Blogging

 This list isn't in any particular order:

1.     Wicked lovely
This is still my favorite series I've read since I started blogging. It's dark and twisted. And I love how intricate the story is between each book.
2.     John Green books
Paper Towns is my favorite book ever! And The Fault In Our Stars and Looking for Alaska made me cry. I just love all things John Green.
3.     The Summer I Turned Pretty series
This feels like a simple story. But as I'm learning in my screenwriting class, have a simple plot and complex characters.
4.     The Ghosts of Ashbury High
This is one of the first books that stood out as different to me. I'm astounded, because I still haven't read anything like it. 
5.     The Hundred Thousands
I don't really read adult books, so I was very unsure about this book. But then I basically inhaled the book, it definitely helped me be open to reading other genres.
6.     Allison Hewitt Is Trapped
People say this book confused them but I LOVE it. So much happens! And whether good or bad things were happening in a particular scene, it was all wrapped in mixture of comedy and action.
7.     Daughter of Smoke and Bone
The writing is sooooo beautiful, and the story is mysterious and entrancing.
8.     Under the Never Sky
This book basically had all the plot devices that I love in this genre. And the writer used them all very well.
9.     The Scorpio Races
THIS is the book I'd been waiting for from Maggie Stiefvater! It was harsh and real. I just couldn't put the book down.
10.  The Song of Achilles
Read my review!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Song of Achilles review

Description: Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

My thoughts: I’m still struggling to explain how I feel about this book. I really haven’t read a story this stunning since The Fault in Our Stars came out. It reminds me that there are two ways I read a book. One way or one type of book causes me to feel my head with questions. What’s going to happen? Why would he/she do that? How did they pull that off? In this case I’m trying to be a part of the world. And these types of questions come from anticipation or frustration. I’m either excited about what’s going to happen, or annoyed about what’s already happened (or not happened) and confused about what’s going to happen.

The Song of Achilles isn’t in this category. It’s one of those books that I just let immerse me. I have no questions (or at least no questions I really need answered), and nothing specifically stands out because none of the aspects of the book are lacking. The writing is exquisite yet harsh, the story vivid. And the characters are multifaceted (except for Agamemnon, he’s just a straight up jerk). And this book also made me look at a lot of characters (especially Achilles) differently. Except for the first time I saw the trailer for Troy (with Brad Pitt), I’d really never given him too much thought. Not to mention Patroclus.

In fact, this book has made me want to give other characters from Greek mythology another look, because everyone has a story to tell. We might not get to hear it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important or that the person wasn’t (once) important to someone at some point. The world is filled with people like Achilles and Patroclus, and only time will tell who will be remembered and uplifted, and who will be unappreciated and misunderstood.

Also, JUST GO READ IT!... Thanks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Top Ten Series I Have Yet To Finish

1. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward


2. The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano


3. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare


4. The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han


5. Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan


6. The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin


7. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead


8. Divergent series by Veronica Roth


9. The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan


10. Gone series by Michael Grant


 Some of these series (1, 3, 4, and 7)  include books I haven't started (or finished) because I was tired of reading the newest book in one or two days, then having to wait another year for the next one to come out. But I finally decided that I'd rather devour a book than never read it.

The other ones are just books I haven't gotten to because I've been trying to catch up on review books. But I'm DETERMINED to catch up on every series on this list before the end of this (school) year.

What are you reading on Mondays?

I've been away a long time, so the books I've read are just the more recent ones:

Book(s) read lately:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
War Dances by Sherman Alexie
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Currently reading:
 Adaptation by Malinda Lo
 We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Upcoming read(s)
 I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Sunday, September 23, 2012

In My Mailbox 83

I'm pretty excited about all of these books. I loved (loved!) Scorpio Races, so I can't wait to read The Raven Boys. And I've already finished The Song of Achilles which was AMAZING!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Storyteller review

Goodreads: Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?

Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.

My thoughts: It’s been pretty hard to understand all the feelings I have for this book. The writing is fantastic, which seems to happen often when the author is not from the United States. And there was a story within a story, which should have made things difficult, but it actually made everything more appealing and exciting. Plus, I’m impressed that not only can this author write one story well, but two. The confusion as far as my feelings comes from all that happens in between all that wonderful writing. So many unthinkable things happen. Things I would have never imagined that left me with my jaw dropping to the ground. 

I actually feel like a passage from the YA book Anna and the French Kiss expresses how I had to look at this book. There’s a part in the book when a teacher is discussing the meaning of words in a book, and specifically talks about foreign books. The teacher says that “foreign novels are less action-oriented. They have a different pace; they’re more reflective. They challenge us to look for the story, find the story within the story.” This is exactly what I had to do, except I had to look for the story within the story within the story (within the story). And all those stories meshed together almost impeccably, but sometimes that meant heartbreaking moments were more… um… heartbreaking because something similar happened in both stories. It was gritty, and sometimes the characters did things I couldn’t believe happened. They did some things I didn’t agree with on a personal level that bothered me to the point that it once again made me reassess my feelings regarding the story. With that said, it’s unique, deep, and thought provoking (obviously since I’m still trying to figure some things out). And I’d actually be interested in seeing what others thought about this novel.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten Characters I would switch places with for 24 hours

Heist Society: I feel bad, but I’ve always wanted to pull off a heist like they do in the movies (and this book). Of course I wouldn’t do it in real life, unless I was Katarina Bishop for 24 hours. Plus, when she steals it’s for something important.

Fragile Eternity: I can be a little dark sometimes, so I’d really want to be Niall for 24 hours to see what it’d be like to be ruler of the dark kingdom. I guess I’d be the emo queen.

Hunger: I’d want to be Lisabeth, but after she’s gotten the hang of things as Famine. Because I’d never want to deal with the demons she had to deal with in this book. But I’d love to be famine one night and ride across the earth on my black steed.

Spray: This book was so fun! I’d just like to be any character involved in the game. But I’m very competitive, so I’d compete to win.

Vampire Academy: I just want to be Rose for a day so I can kick some butt.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone: The writing is so beautiful that I’d want to be Karou for a day just to experience the world that the author described.

Divergent: I want to be a Dauntless because I want to do something daring. I think I’d like to be Christina for a day.

Au Revoir Crazy European Chick: I love those books that take place in one day but a million things happen despite the lack of time. I’d want to be Gobi after she stops pretending to be the “mousy teenager” and becomes the fierce assassin.

The Scorpio Races: I’d definitely want to be Sean Kendrick since he knows how to handle the horses. I want to be close enough that I can see the horses. And even ride Corr, who is magnificent.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight: I guess I’d only have 24 hours to be Hadley Sullivan.
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