Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fade (Fade #1)

Fade (Fade, #1)Title: Fade (Fade #1)
Author: Kailin Gow
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary: "My name is Celestra Caine. I am seventeen years old, which makes me a senior at Richmond High. I never thought this would happen to me, but it has... I'm one of those people you see every day, go to school with, remember seeing at the supermarket or the mall, and then one day you don't hear about them any longer. They're gone, and eventually, you forget them."
My Thoughts: I have to admit not reading anything like Fade before. It is thrilling, intriguing and original. It reads like a high concept film with characters who take you through a range of emotions and depth. The heroine is a senior in high school and she finds everything changes when she gets a call that says, "Celestra Caine, you are about to fade." Celestra learns she is special and wanted by two organizations. There is the Underground and then there are the Others. One of them will keep her alive, and the other wants her dead. Jack and Gray provide the hotness and romance of the book. The romance is executed well, and like many fans attest, Gow is a master at creating love triangles that leaves you wanting more.

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1)

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)Title: All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Rating: 4/5
Summary:In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.
Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.
My Thoughts:I was impressed with this. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I picked this up. While the author says this is not a dystopian, it still feels that way. Everything has changed. From things on rations to being illegal because of scarcity (like paper. It's illegal to have it without a permit. Crazy, huh?). And for a lot of girls out there, chocolate being illegal would be a total devastation. 

What I loved about this book was the society was a key component, but it wasn't the main focus. The focus was on Anya (aka Annie) and her mobster family legacy. While other books like this one, the people are fighting to get things back to how they should be, this is more focused on the 'Family'. Just like the Prohibition, Anya's family has a way of getting their hands on certain illegal items. Such as chocolate. I was fascinated by this new world and just what it was that Anya was trying to protect her sister and brother from.

I'm going to have to admit, Leo tugged on my heart strings. I latched onto this character and couldn't let go. I am not sure why, but after all that has happened, this one the one character that my mind kept coming back to after the book was finished. This sounds like there will be another, although I've tried to find out from the author web page, I couldn't find anything to confirm it. But the ending left it open to another book. I hope there is another. This was an awesome read.

Shatter Me

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Title: Shatter Me
Author:  Tahereh Mafi 
Rating: 4.5/5
Summary:Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting asThe Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.
 My Thoughts: GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH this book was (excuse squeels of excitment) awesome!

I wont go into the whole story that would take forever but a lot of people are crushing the beginning for having a poetry feel but I liked that, for me it made the book unique. The whole book is Juliette's POV (point of view) if this is how she wants to express her feelings than she can write as much poetry as she wants. the poetry type writing wasnt horrible, in fact I liked it. It had rhythm and a lot of deep feeling. 

For a girl who hasnt been touched in 264 days she is strong and not broken. 

OK lets start with ADAM *HEART THROB* Oh God I'm not sure how to go about Juliette's love life she has weird X-man type powers that make her almost suck the life energy out of people she touches  (SPOILER) and Adam is immune *cue AWESOME love story* Kenji was a good addition to the cast of characters (also in my opinion hot, but I do not want him in a love triangle situation with Juliette). I liked the humorous element he added he sort of lightened the mood a bit in the more depressing moments.

All in all a must read! 
IM BEGGING you to read this 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)
Author: Rae Carson
Rating: 4/5
Summary:Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. 

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. 

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. 

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. 

Most of the chosen do.
My Thoughts: Blessed with a Godstone in her belly, Elisa is constantly living under the scrutiny of those around her. Everyone expects great things from her--waiting for her to fulfill her Service. However, so far, she feels like a disappointment. She is not a beauty or well-spoken like her older sister. She finds solace in food and the company of her studies. She is insecure and self-conscious--in other words flawed and human. As a reader, you sympathize with Elisa, but never pity her. You learn early on that she has a sharp wit and an eye for knowledge. Trusting the intuition of the Godstone and praying for guidance, she has the foresight to see how to handle situations and understand people. In sharp contrast to Elisa is her betrothed, King Alejandro. Married as part of an arrangement between their two kingdoms, theirs is not a marriage of love. As much as Alejandro is supposed to be a handsome (and desirable) king, there was always something a bit off about him. I found myself regarding him with distaste and suspicion. Even though his is Elisa's husband, I started rooting for her to find someone more worthy, so I was very pleased to meet Humberto. Even though the book isn't perfect, its really enjoyable. For me it was a one day, non-stop read. Elisa is an unlikely heroine, not a strong warrior, but a doubtful child of Faith who second guesses herself all the time. She's realistic. A pampered princess, a little whiney, who's afraid of her great destiny, yet doesn't want to go down in the history books as a failure. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Rating: 4/5
Summary:It all begins with a stupid question: 

Are you a Global Vagabond? 

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path. 

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward. 

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. 

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry into this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

My ThoughtsWanderlove starts the story off with Bria, who has been told by her best friends that it's really not a good time for her to travel while her ex-boyfriend told her that she's just not the type to go out and do it. 
So, naturally Bria does what anyone would do. 
Prove them wrong. 
Only when she gets to Guatemala she realizes that she's on the wrong tour and doesn't want to be so restricted. So when she meets a bunch of backpackers that invite her along she figures out that this may be the only chance she'll get to really live. Bria is a really great character. When her boyfriend Toby breaks up with her she's left broken, confused and lost. 
She stopped doing her art, her one true passion and even changed her whole life perspective. It took some serious guts for her to go out there and do it on her own. It's such a different world out there and while I would never be brave enough, it was really cool to see a character try to define herself, find a better version and come out stronger. Kudos. 
As for Rowan? What's not to like? Here's a guy who's totally free spirited, lives his life by backpacking it place to place. He lives by his own guidelines which are wise and insightful. He makes you think about life and not just yours but how he sees it. The things he says really has a way of effecting you. This was a fun filled adventure, light and entertaining that I definitely recommend. 
It makes me want to run away from home and become a backpacker. 
Well. Maybe. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

The Sweetest ThingTitle: The Sweetest Thing
Author: Christina Mandelski 
Rating: 3.8/5
In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she’s decorating a cake. Unfortunately, everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable. 
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems—only her dad’s about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed. 

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys,The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

My Thoughts: I'm the kind of girl who enjoys dessert, so a book about a girl who decorates cakes is right up my alley. Throw in a bunch of intriguing family issues and the slightest hint of a love story and you've pretty much got yourself a book synopsis that will draw me in. 

I enjoyed reading about Sheridan's cake decorating skills and trying to imagine her creations in the back of her grandmother's bakery, Sweetie's. It was also quite a treat to meet all these interesting secondary characters - her father Donovan Wells, her grandmother Nanny, her best friends Lori & Jack, her grandmother's assistant Mr. Roz. 

Though the romantic aspect of the book was predictable (as in, I guessed right away what might happen), I still thought how and when it happened was rather sweet. I'm definitely rooting for the couple in question because to me, it seemed like the perfect fit. 

Sad to say however, I honestly really did not like Sheridan all that much as a character. I thought she was very immature and very selfish at times, so I got annoyed with her most of the time. I got so annoyed in fact, that I'd occasionally have to put down the book and calm myself down before reading it again. 

All in all, it's an average read for me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crossed (Matched #2)

Crossed (Matched, #2)Title: Crossed (Matched #2)
Author: Ally Condie
Rating: 4/5
SummaryIn search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
My Thoughts: Crossed, by Ally Condie, is the highly anticipated sequel to Matched. So, I was beyond excited when I got my hands on the book last weekend!
Anyways, my intial reaction upon finishing the book was:
And now for the book:
Crossed, which is told through both Cassia and Ky's POV's, is such a powerful followup to the first book. I say powerful because we not only find out what's going on in the outer provinces, but we really dive into Ky's backstory, which is incredibly moving and heartbreaking. I also didn't realize how invested I would become in these characters. I really felt for them and was on the edge of my seat the entire time!

Readers should know that we also get some free-flowin' romance between Cassia and Ky! 

I know right?!...FINALLY!!

Like any good dystopian novel, this book poses some interesting questions and really makes you think. There are lots of secrets and stories left to unfold and I can't wait to see how it all plays out in the final book. 

The Pledge (The Pledge #1)

The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)Title: The Pledge (The Pledge #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Rating: 4/5
SummaryIn the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed. 

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
My Thoughts:  Wow! I couldn’t put this book down, it was absolutely wonderful and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to read it prior to the release date.  Caution: SPOILERS ahead! I loved the concept of an evil queen who can’t be killed. Well, she can die of old age but her soul passes on to the next woman of lineage; therefore passing her dictatorship and witchcraft powers to whoever sits in the throne. I also loved the idea of a lost heir who has abilities that were both magical and simple (Charlie’s skills lie in her ability to understand a multitude of language, while her sister Angeline has healing powers). 

I loved that Charlie wasn’t so quick to exchange flirtatious exploits with Max. The attraction was there and given the length of the book, I thought the romance was paced quite well. I’m glad there were no instantaneous combustion between these two when they first met. I was a bit worried there when Xander came into the picture. I would’ve been thoroughly disappointed if there was a love triangle. Mind you, there was a bit of competition between Max and Aron (Charlie’s best friend) but it was not explored. 

The Pledge is a chockfull of surprises – in such a way that Kimberly Derting flexed her writing muscle. There wasn’t a shortage of action and lulls that will render you in a bored stupor. The world building was quite unique in such a way that Ms. Derting combined primitiveness and modern antiquity. I’m a fan of fantasy and most of the books I’ve read in that genre were usually hefty. I wish this book had a couple of hundred more pages. I know I could probably gobble them up easy.