Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #1
Author Info: Website
Published: August 16, 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 332
Age Group: Young Adult
Format I Own: Kindle e-book
Purchase: Amazon

When I first heard of the book, I was constantly seeing it being compared to Twilight, and considering I did enjoy Twilight, I thought I should probably read this too, even though I'm not a huge vampire lover or anything.

I didn't really enjoy this book much at all, and usually when I'm not enjoying a book, I don't focus all my attention on it, and let it consume me, so I probably miss a lot of important factors, keep that in mind when reading what I'm about to write.

I found this book to be... a little too young for me. I'm only in my early 20's, but when reading this, I felt like I was in high school again with all the catty girls, gossip, and sex references galore. If this hadn't been a vampire-themed book and it just focused on a bunch of normal teenagers, I would have felt like I was just reading some 15 year-old girls diary.

I also felt like there was a lack on any real plot. Usually when I read a book I notice the main focus of the story pretty early on, but not with this. It wasn't until I got to the end that I got a better understanding for what the plot was, and perhaps found it a bit more interesting as well, but at that point I was more focused on finishing the book, rather than what was going on.

Rose just seemed like your stereo typical high-school girl to me. She was boy crazy, kind of slutty, wanting to drink even though she's underage, and had a foul temper. However the foul-tempered thing didn't bother me too much, because with that I also felt that she was quite badass, but that's about the only thing I liked about her.

The last thing I want to point out, is that I felt this book was ridiculously inappropriate for being YA, mostly because of the language, but also again, sex references and underage drinking. I'm pretty sure that if this was 8-10 years ago and I had asked my parents if I could read this book, they would surely say no if they knew what was in it. So I wouldn't have been allowed to read it as a teenager, and found it to be too juvenile as an adult.

Overall, I know these are very popular books and tons of people like them, but I had high expectations for this book, and they were not met at all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to read.

From Goodreads
Enter a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never head of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as "Prince Charming." But all of this is about to change...

Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Guztav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other associated terrors to becom the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

This title is the first in a series about the adventures of Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav. The second title is due out in 2013.

 What books are you eagerly anticipating the release of? Let me know!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review - Divergent by Veronica Roth

Series: Divergent #1
Author Info: Blogspot
Published: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katharine Tegen Books
Pages: 487
Age Group: Young Adult
Format I Own: Kindle e-book
Purchase: Amazon

I was very excited to read this book after reading what it was about and hearing so many people rave about it. And I was not disappointed at all.

At the start of the book I was constantly wondering which faction I would probably be in (Amity), as well as my parents, and what it must be like, etc etc. Overall I thought the idea of having factions was quite a unique thing for a book, granted I also started questioning how that could even work, having everyone segregated like that, and only allowing each faction to do/think/act a certain way.

I loved how Beatrice's character kept changing and progressing as the book went on, and I was so into this book that I actually noticed it. I can't recall a single moment in this book that I found dull, and the closer I got to the end, the more I found myself becoming completely sucked into it. Yes, this book is jam PACKED with action, with a little romance thrown in. However I must say I'm not totally madly in love with Four like everyone else seems to be. Do I think Beatrice and Four make a bad couple? Certainly not. And I'm not saying I dislike four either, I'm just saying that he doesn't have a quality for me that makes me really like him.

I did feel that the ending was slightly anti-climactic, but everything leading up to it certainly had my heart pounding.

Now I'm really looking forward to reading Insurgent as soon as it comes out.

Oh and the only thing I'm going to say in regards to comparing this with The Hunger Games (which a lot of people like to do, seeing as their both very popular in the dystopian genre) is that I actually enjoyed Divergent more.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Finds 3/23

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS! 
Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

 Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?

 Awakening by Karice Bolton
Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, Ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream.
On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she's just met in the Grizzly Pub... The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him.

Within 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana's world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights against the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she's been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all.
It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows in her same fate - one that is lost between two worlds.

 Heiress Without A Cause by Sara Ramsey
 A disgraced son with a dark reputation, William “Ferguson” Avenel is content to live in exile – until his father dies in the scandal of the Season. With rumors of insanity swirling around them, his sisters desperately need a chaperone. Ferguson thinks he’s found the most proper woman in England – and he won’t ruin her, even if he secretly desires the passionate woman trapped beneath a spinster’s cap.

One chance to break the rules...

Lady Madeleine Vaillant can’t face her blighted future without making one glorious memory for herself. In disguise, on a London stage, she finds all the adoration she never felt from the ton. But when she’s nearly recognized, she will do anything to hide her identity – even setting up her actress persona as Ferguson’s mistress. She’ll take the pleasure he offers, but Madeleine won’t lose her heart in the bargain.

One season to fall in love...

Every stolen kiss could lead to discovery, and Ferguson’s old enemies are determined to ruin them both. But as their dangerous passion ignites their hearts and threatens their futures, how can an heiress who dreams of freedom deny the duke who demands her love?

 Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel
 When Lily Wellstone heads to the Bitterward Estate to comfort her widowed friend Eugenia, she certainly does not have romance in mind. In fact, the playful but level-headed Lily is amused to no end when, en route, a Gypsy gifts her with a beautiful medallion, claiming it will ensnare the romantic desires of a stranger.

But fate has other plans in the form of Eugenia’s ruggedly handsome brother, the Duke of Mountjoy. One day at Bitterward and Lily can’t deny the sizzling attraction between her and the roguish duke. Nothing can come of it, of course. She’s not looking for entanglements and he’s practically engaged. But whether it’s her outgoing nature and the duke’s outlandish ways sparking off one another; or the mysterious gypsy medallion working “magic,”—hearts are stirring in the most unexpected and wicked ways. . .
Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts, or show me your review!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Masque of the Red Death

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to read.

From Goodreads
Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

What books are you eagerly anticipating the release of? Let me know!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy
Author Info: Website
Published: September 14, 2008
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 374
Age Group: Young Adult
Format I Own: Kindle e-book
Purchase: Amazon

This was the first dystopian novel I've ever read, and what a great novel I chose to break me into this new genre. The Hunger Games was an excellent read, although I wasn't thinking that for the first part of reading this.

This had an excellent story, fast-paced action, and even a hint of romance, but for the first third of the book, I was completely uninterested. Fortunately I wasn't bored because of how quick the story moved along, but it was until the actual Games begun that I finally started being consumed by the plot. So many twists were happening one after another, and it was extremely exciting to see what was going to happen next.

I also can't help but wonder a few things about this book. For example, as a previous reviewer said, I would have liked to know more about what had caused the fall of the United States, and more about what started The Hunger Games in the first place. And also, why throw children into an arena to fight to the death? If I were living in this world, I would be reluctant to have children so they wouldn't suffer being apart of the Games. It just seems like there could have been other, less cruel ways to show dominance rather than making innocent children kill each other.

Regardless of these questions, it still does not change how much I enjoyed reading this, and that I will read the next two books of the trilogy, and also read more books in the dystopian genre.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Finds 3/16

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS! 
Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Matthew has always lived in Safe, a community hidden far beneath the pipes and tunnels of the city Above. The residents fled to Safe years before to escape the Whitecoats and their cruel experiments, and now Matthew is responsible for both the keeping of Safe’s stories and for Ariel—a golden-haired shapeshifter, and the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen.

But one horrifying night, an old enemy murders Safe’s founder, Atticus, and the community is taken over by an army of shadows. Only Matthew, Ariel, and a handful of friends escape Above. Now they not only have to survive in a sunlit world they barely know, but they must unravel the mystery of the shadows’ fury and Atticus’s death. It’s up to Matthew to find a way to remake Safe—not just for himself and his family, but for Ariel, who’s again faced with the life she fled, and who needs him more than ever before.

An urban fantasy and a love story, Above is the breathtaking debut of an extraordinary new voice.

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

I also added Catching Fire and Mockingjay, part of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, but I didn't list them because I haven't just discovered them, but I felt they deserved a mention because they are new to my wishlist. My review of The Hunger Games first book is coming soon!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts, or show me your review!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review - A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Author Info: Website
Published: August 6, 1996
Publisher: Bantam Spectra (US) | Voyager Books (UK)
Pages: 694 (US Hardback)
Age Group: Adult
Format I Own: Kindle e-book
Purchase: Amazon

When I first started getting more heavy into reading, this was one of the books that I was hearing the most about, and mostly good things, so naturally I looked it up to see what it was about and was immediately drawn to it based on that it was an adult novel (sometimes I like to step away from YA) and that it was in a medieval setting. Awesome, sword fights! I love books that take place in medieval times. Unfortunately, my excitement over this book stops there.

I never actually finished this book, so this review will be short. I also never posted this on GoodReads, but wanted to share on my blog, my reasoning for not finishing this book. In a nutshell, I just felt like there was way too much going on for me to keep track of everything that was happening. Once I'm finally starting to understand what one group of characters is doing, then a new chapter starts and we switch over to a new group and what they're off doing. I'm not sure if there were too many characters or not, but I also found that I wasn't able to distinguish them all individually while reading, none of them stood out to me.

I am disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book, I had EXTREMELY high hopes for it when I started it and was expecting to love it. Perhaps I just over hyped it and that's what made the book bland for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review - The Waves by Virginia Woolf

Author Info: Wikipedia
Published: October 8, 1931
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Pages: 324
Age Group: Anyone
Format I Own: Kindle e-book

 I don't have a huge collection of things that I've read at the time I'm writing this review, but I do know one of my favorite things (whether it's in reading or watching) is anything with a psychological aspect. Something that makes you think about life and your existence, or that just completely messes with your mind. Unfortunately, I'm finding books of this sort quite difficult to find thus far. I expect that when reading a book with lots of psychological aspects in it, that if it is good, it will certainly draw out some sort of emotion in me, be it good or bad. When I started reading The Waves, I fully expected that would happen (and was ecstatic to find something along the lines of what I had been looking for). Sadly, it didn't draw me in that much.

I'm not at all saying this was a bad book. I did love the concept of it, the fact that there wasn't really a plot, you're just exploring the minds of a group of people. I also loved the way the surroundings were described, it painted quite an amazing picture of the landscape in my head. But that's about all I can think of that really interested me about this book. The story itself just didn't draw me in as much as I'd hoped. So while I do not think this was a bad book, I also didn't think it was spectacular. It was only mediocre to me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Author Info: Website | Wikipedia
Published: November 30th, 1867
Publisher: Roberts Brothers | Signet Classics
Pages: 449
Age Group: Children/Young Adult
Format I Own: Kindle e-book

Before I start this review, I do want to mention that this is the first book review I've ever written. It may not be the most detailed, longest, or generally best review you've ever read, so I hope you'll give me a break.

Little Women is one of the classics that I've been interested in reading for a long time and unfortunately, I feel like I probably would have enjoyed this book much more had I read it at a younger age. Perhaps instead of attempting to read Gone With The Wind at age 13, I should have read this. I couldn't get into Gone With The Wind as a young teen, but found it far more appealing when I read it as an adult. And I feel Little Women is much better suited for women younger than me (I'm only 23).

At the start, I was grumbling thinking this was going to be just a book about a bunch of spoiled girls that whine about all the things they don't have. Yes, I have a bad habit of judging things early on, and probably could have realized that a book that is nothing but talk amongst spoiled girls probably wouldn't be likely to be a classic. I kept on reading and soon realized it was indeed more than that. It does seem to send the message to girls that your goal in life is to get married and be a housewife, so I feel the morals are pretty outdated. I'm indifferent on the religious aspects so I won't go into that.

If I could I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. Typically I think 3 stars is an ok book and 4 stars is a good book, this just sits somewhere in the middle. It never bored me and I never thought there were any dry points in the book, but I found myself not reading it because I wanted to know what happened next, but reading it because I just wanted to get done with it and move on to something else.

Even though it may not seem like it, I did enjoy the book, but I didn't have a strong connection to it. Which may be because of most of the morals ot having much meaning in this day and age, or because the major plot points of the book were all spoiled for me. Likewise, it also doesn't hold much of a reread value, but I am glad to finally have this read and I wasn't disappointed.