30 September 2011

Giveaway? Giveaway!

Guess what? Yesterday, my blog reached 1,000 hits!! Thanks to everyone who's been supporting me, I think I'm in love with you!

Obviously, I have to celebrate in some way, so I've decided to do a giveaway. Yes, a giveaway. Aren't you so excited?? You should be. I mean it. Be excited. I'll wait, I have time...

What is my giveaway you ask? Well, sexy reader, I'm giving away one brand new copy of The Name of the Star by the uber-talented Maureen Johnson!

It looks like this!
Please be patient with me, as I'm new to this whole giveaway "thing" and how it normally works. My next one will be more exciting, I'm sure.  ;)

All YOU have to do is fill out the form below and tell me your favorite YA book just because I'm curious. No, judging will NOT be based on your book choice, I'll be picking a winner at random. Now I, myself, may judge you but it has no effect on the outcome. Just kidding. I won't judge you, for I am a kindly, gentle lady.

This wonderful opportunity will end on October 5th at 6pm PST because I want it to. My will be done.

Oh! And I forgot to say this. I'll ship internationally, so this is not open to ONLY the US.

EDIT: A brilliant commenter came up with the idea of people posting their faves in the comments section. Why didn't I come up with that? I'm going to punish myself by staying off of Twitter for a whole minute...or maybe 30 seconds. So, if you are not shy and would like to do that, by all means, please do!


22 September 2011

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Meh. I don't normally finish books I'm not enjoying because, well...I'm not enjoying them, but I read through The Knife of Never Letting Go due to recommendations from a couple of co-workers. I listened to their opinions, I read the back of the book, I was intrigued.

The Knife of Never Letting Go follows Todd and his dog Manchee. Todd lives in Prentisstown, a place where all the women were killed by a virus and all the men who are left can hear each other's thoughts, even the thoughts of animals. ALL THE TIME. While out walking, Todd stumbles across an area of silence. It all goes crazy from there. He discovers his town has secrets, really bad secrets and Todd must run for his life. So he does.

I got bored with it and I think that was my main problem. No secrets begin to be revealed until your little more than halfway through the book. Are they shocking secrets? Yes. Are they disturbing secrets? Yes! But by that point I didn't care anymore. There is a big reveal that I was not expecting within the last thirty or so pages and I highly enjoyed it, but it didn't make up for the lack of excitement I felt. I can see the appeal, but I guess the book just wasn't for me, though I do love me some dystopia genre. It bothers me because I feel like I should have liked it! Honestly, who knows, maybe in a week or so my opinion will change and I'll love it. It's happened in the past (and I still can never explain why!). I'll let you know if it does.

I didn't hate it, it just, sometimes felt like a chore to read. I think I'm alone with this opinion (just like my indifference to Matched), so you can probably ignore me, at least until my next review where you have to listen to me again because I'm always right. Give it a try for yourself and see how you like it, I'm curious.

Reviews are so subjective, aren't they? 

17 September 2011

Review: Every Other Day

You know what I love? Well-written supernatural books. You know what Every Other Day is? A well-written supernatural book.

Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl every other day. On the days she's not human, Kali is...well she's not sure what she is, but it involves an intense urge to hunt and kill evil supernatural creatures. Kali, one day at school, notices a mark on a girl and knows that this mark will mean death within twenty-four hours. Too bad for the girl that it's Kali's wrong twenty-four hours.

I hate comparing Every Other Day to Buffy the Vampire Slayer because I feel like every story/movie/show involving a kick-butt heroine is compared to Buffy and most aren't even worthy of it. Well, Kali is worthy of the title. Did any of you ever read the Buffy novels? I did and it was like reading them over again, but so so so much better (unless they were a tie-in written by Nancy Holder or Christopher Golden, then they are up there too)! 

This book is packed full of action. Extremely detailed bloody, gory action. It was awesome! I even cringed a few times while reading and said "ew." I'm really jealous of authors who can write action (I'm looking at you Barnes!). My scenes would have looked like this:

"...and it attacked her and Kali stabbed it. It died."

Oh wait! And did I mention the snark? I love love love (good things come in threes) smart, sarcastic teen heroines. There are so many sides to Kali and it pained me that someone who is so physically strong, is incredibly vulnerable on the inside.  :(  <---this is a sad face

A thoroughly entertaining read with a great balance of humor and tragedy. A definite recommendation for fans of the supernatural genre. There is even a little romance for those who can't read any book without some. 

RELEASE DATE: December 27, 2011

12 September 2011

Review: The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)

This is going to be my shortest review ever...in the history of my life...I just know it...I can see the future:

What a fabulous conclusion to a fantastic heart-pounding and very intense series. I am sated and pleased.


And just for fun, here's the Maze Runner book trailer from where it all started.

10 September 2011

Review: The Shattering

The Shattering by Karen Healey is a murder mystery with magic. Awesome.

Keri's brother commits suicide and her old friend Janna tells her he didn't kill himself, but was murdered. Keri joins forces with Janna and Sione (whose older brothers were also victims to apparent suicides) and together they try to find answers. As they continue to search, these three teens soon find themselves mixed up in a dark plot that could make them the next victims.

I had the book figured out before reaching the halfway mark and I was tempted to put it down for being predictable, but the characters kept me going. I'm glad I kept on. There came a twist that I wasn't expecting and a revelation that left me, at first, like "oh" and then I realized what it meant and was like "ooooh." And then I felt an emotion of the sad kind. I'm pretty sure my heart broke at the same time as the unnamed character's (unnamed so as not to give spoilers). Otherwise, until that moment, I found the story to have lost its pace. The beginning was awesome, the middle was so-so, and the end was great.

Though I had issues with the story, Healey writes fantastic three-dimensional characters who have faults and redeeming qualities. They're real people; I didn't like them sometimes and I loved them most of the time. I really had fun getting to know Keri, Janna, and Sione.

I don't know how else to describe The Shattering except as "smart." I, myself, don't even know what that means, so translate it as you will. It's not a book for everyone, but maybe for someone who is looking to read something different and doesn't need an action-packed story. I didn't hate the book, but I didn't love it either, so I would ultimately recommend it as a paperback read.

08 September 2011

Future Release: The Catastrophic History of You & Me

I'm going to be honest with you, the reason I picked up The Catastrophic History of You & Me was because of its shimmery cover.

Dear Penguin, please keep the shiny cover for the final version because shiny things are cool. Or maybe I just like shiny things, kind of like a raccoon. Love, Me.

Okay, I'll be honest again, I didn't pick it up just for the mesmerizing cover (*collective gasp*), I read it because the story sounded interesting and I was curious to see how Jess Rothenberg could make a, recently too common, story her own.

And Jess wins!

At sixteen, Brie dies of a broken heart. This is literal. Literally her heart breaks in half. While in heaven, Brie watches her family fall apart and she discovers that her best friend and the boy who broke her heart share a secret. With her guide, "sexy" Patrick (thus he shall be named), Brie must go through the five stages of grief before she is able to move on.

I laughed, I cried, I came, I saw, I conquered. Or at least I did the first two. Rothenberg knows humor and her dialogue is full of the kind of wit and retorts that I love. On the opposite side, she also is able to bring on the sadness and I found myself unable to read a few times because of blurry vision. They weren't tears, because I don't cry. I don't. I probably just need new glasses. Anyway...I felt the pain that Brie felt and the feelings that overcame her as she made discoveries. Oh, and did I mention the romance? This is a romance for the ages. It's what most high school girls want. I've grown-up and become a bit jaded since then, but I could feel my fourteen-year-old self smiling and very pleased as I finished the book.

The Catastrophic History of You & Me (I love this title, by the way. Has more meaning after you read the book) will wrench your heart, then it will make you laugh, then you'll find yourself sobbing in the bathroom behind the toilet so your roommates don't hear you. I didn't do that either, I'm just theorizing.

I would describe this book as Elsewhere meets Sarah Dessen with some Stephanie Perkins thrown in. Very enjoyable read!

RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2012

05 September 2011

Review: You Against Me

You Against Me by Jenny Downham is a young adult novel that was previously printed in the UK and is being released (finally!) in the US next week.

The story goes like this: When Mikey's sister claims a boy assulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the offence, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.

No credit can go to me, that amazing synopsis is straight from the back of the book and is what made me pick it up. Hopefully, it makes you do the same.

You Against Me is an emotional and very raw novel. I had to put it down and stop reading it at one point because it was becoming too much for me (I re-read Howl's Moving Castle before picking it up again). If you're looking for a happy romantic story (like Howl's Moving Castle!), then this isn't for you. If you're looking for a book that deals with tragedy, family, and love in a real-life way, then pick this up.

Mikey and Ellie are a part of two families who are experiencing different sides of one crime and I love that Downham chose to tell the story from the point of view of the siblings. She wrote a book about family loyalties and how they can change in stressful situations, e.g. when Mikey and Ellie begin to feel an attraction for each other. I loved the two main characters and found their reactions to the environment around them to be true. Ultimately, this is a book about love, but not just romantic love. It is also about the love that one feels for, and receives from, family and friends. You Against Me is in-depth, real storytelling at its best.

It can be a difficult novel to get through, if you're overly sensitive like me, but it's worth it and I'm so glad I was able to finish it. If, while reading, you begin to become too emotional, just remember that the wizard Howl and Sophie can be there to help you get through it.

P.S. A spanner is English for a wrench. You're welcome.

P.P.S. Now you have to read the book to understand the P.S.

02 September 2011

Review: Chime

I read Chime by Franny Billingsley about a month before it came out in March of this year. It's not a recent read, obviously, but I am in love with the book so much that I want to share it with you. Besides, I can review something I read a while ago because it's my blog and the only thing I seem to have control over in my life. This is where you go "oh, that's so sad" and this is where I say "don't feel sorry for me, feel sorry for the people who hate to read."

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads. I actually have trouble summing up this book because I'm worried about what might be considered spoilers and I worry that my own summary wouldn't do the story justice. I want you to be interested, even in a minor way.

I was instantly addicted to Chime within the first couple of pages. I connected with the main character, Briony, which can been considered strange because how can one love a character that hates herself so much? I wanted her to love herself, I wanted Briony to succeed, I wanted her to see herself as I see her. I'm talking about the character like she's a real person...anyway, I seem to have wanted everything that Eldric wants for her in the story. Speaking of Eldric, I found him to be an incredibly likable character and one of the high points in the book for me. I really enjoyed the dialogue between Briony and Eldric which is fun and quick. There was always something to make me smile or become giddy about.

The story can be predictable, but the characters and overall awesomeness of the book make up for it. I wasn't once disappointed when I came across an answer to something I had previously solved. Chime is full of wit and gorgeousness. There is mystery, romance, and a certain amount of darkness in the book. If you've been reading my past reviews you have figured out by now how much I love the dark and twisted. You'll find that in Chime.

Chime along with Blood Red Road are two of my favorite books this year, so far. I know I really love a book when I buy it in hardcover. P.S. My next hardcover purchases will be Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Scorpio Races. Just sayin'.