Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 4, 2010

My Rating: 5 stars
Pages: 344

"Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself."- Goodreads

I know I'm extremely late reading this one. I read Morgan Matson's second novel a few months ago and loved it. So when I saw this book at the library I grabbed it. And I don't regret my decision, even a little bit.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is a cute story. It is about a road trip and a summer story to top that off. It has a few pictures, receipts and other tokens from the trip printed to the book. It also has a lot of music and the author told us what the songs were. I need to look into some new songs now! However, it's not just a cute story, it also deals with the death of a loved one and a broken teenager. It's a story of finding oneself amongst strangers, dealing with heartbreak, and forgiveness.

Amy, like I said before, is broken. Not only did her dad die recently but she has to move to a new country. She was there when her dad died, and it's apparent that she carried that guilt with her. When Roger is thrown into the mix as her chauffer, she was afraid. Afraid that he would see inside of her and find out exactly what she did/ what happened to her. She eventually opened up to Roger and we got to know Roger better too. Roger has his own issues and a detour was just what they both needed.

By reading about Amy's and Roger's travels, I almost felt like I was traveling with them. The descriptions of the places visited were described well. I always knew where the setting was but it wasn't described in too much detail. I liked that because Amy  and Roger visited so many places. Too much detail would just overwhelm the story.

I don't have much bad to say about this book. I would have liked to read more about Amy's family, but it's a road trip without them. That wouldn't make much sense. I honestly don't have anything else bad to add. This book is a keeper.

Although it doesn't sound like cute belongs with serious, Morgan Matson made it work in her debut novel. I think all fans of contemporaries should give it a try. It was just such a great book- I can't say that enough! I'll be on the lookout for Morgan Matson's next book.

Memorable Quotes
  • “Tomorrow will be better.”
    “But what if it’s not?” I asked.
    “Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”  
  • “It’s not about the destination. It’s getting there that’s the good part.
  • “There was no In-N-Out in Connecticut, because clearly that state wa"s an inhospitable wasteland.”  
Goodreads         Amazon

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House

Release Date: July 10, 2012
My Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 467

"Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page."
- Goodreads

Rachel Hartman is obviously an experienced author. The way she wrote Seraphina was simply splendid. It was very well written. The descriptions were fantastic and engaging . She took something used like shape shifting and turned it into something completely her own.

Seraphina is lonely. She grew up knowing not to get attached to people. Because if they ever found out the truth about her, they'd discover a beast in disguised as a human. For forty years now, there has been peace between dragons and humans. But that doesn't mean people have to like it. Most people despise dragons and want them gone. Permanently.

Chaos is simmering beneath the surface of long- standing peace. Someone is working hard to destroy the fragile bond between species that the Queen worked so hard to build. After a series of events, Serephina is dragged right in the midst of it along with Prince Lucian. It's up to them to discover just what's going on and stop it, while it's possible.

Seraphina didn't have an easy life and it's apparent in her actions. She shies away from anything that could expose her secret, which I understood. It was a bit annoying at first but throughout the story she began to grow as a person and stop hiding herself. Her uncle Orma was probably my favorite character. He was very complex, and although it often didn't seem like it, he loved Seraphina. He was always there for her even when no one else was. The princess was ok. Although she was pampered, she still managed to act courageous and even nice. Finally, I had mixed feelings about Prince Kiggs. He could be a jerk but it was only because he didn't want to be betrayed.

The world Seraphina lived in didn't need time to grow on me. I loved it from the start. It was a medieval setting but with a fantasy aspect to it. Seraphina traveled to several different places and met many people. The places all began to feel real to me and it was sad when the book ended.

However, there were a couple things that bugged me. The plot took a while to pick up and I found myself wondering when the story building would end. Also, I got quite sick of Seraphina despising herself. She refused to see anything good about herself even though (I don't want to spoil anything here so I'll be vague) she admired a dragon.

In conclusion, I did enjoy this book and will definitely stick around for the next one. It was a great read, especially for fantasy readers. Although the world was so defined that dystopian readers would also like it. Plus, there's shape shifting which means paranormal readers might want to check out this book.

Memorable Quotes:
  • "Sometimes the truth has difficulty breaching the city walls of our beliefs. A lie, dressed in the correct livery, passes through more easily.”  
  • “I cannot perch among those who think that I am broken.”
  • “I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence, and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth.”  
  • That’s the secret to performance: conviction. The right note played tentatively still misses its mark, but play boldly and no one will question you. If one believes there is truth in art – and I do – then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying. Maybe lying is itself a kind of art. I think about that more than I should.”  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Anticipated books of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted on The Broke and Bookish about the top ten of almost anything book related. I thought it was a great idea and decided to join in on the fun!

Top Ten Anticipated Books of 2013

1) Splintered: I've been looking forward to this book for such a long time. It's kind of a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but in modern day. I love retellings but this book also sounds really unique because the main character can talk to bugs. I think that would be such a cool superpower!

2) The Tiger's Dream: This is the fifth book in a series I've been with since the beginning. The fourth book was supposed to be the final one, which made me really sad. Then the author decided that she might write another one. Even though it's not certain, I feel like putting it on the list will make it happen. Which makes no sense...

3) Requiem: This is the third book in one of the most amazing series I've ever read. It's a dystopian series about a girl learning to stand up for herself and what she believes in. If you haven't read any of these books yet, I highly suggest you read them.

4) The Indigo Spell: I know, I know. Another series. But I love my series. And this is one I'm completely addicted to. I've been with these books since Vampire Academy which was a series before this one. So if you combine all the books, this will be the ninth one.

5) The Elite: This book is the sequel to a book that honestly wasn't the best book. It had a lot of flaws. For some reason, I really enjoyed it. I think it was one of those books that you read soley for entertainment. It had prince and princesses, castles, drama, and more.

6) The Archived: This book had a chilling premise. It's about a girl that has such a hard life she knows firsthand how useful fear is to stay alive. The main character sounds intriguing and the plot unique. I don't think I've ever read anything nearly like this.

7) Shadowlands: I was drawn to this book by it's cover. It's so creepy but so captivating. Then I read the summary and I was like wow, I need this book! It deals with a girl who survived imminent death despite the odds. And she might have to do it again. For some reason, the plot just called out to me. It seems like a story I would want to write.

8) The Lives We Lost: This is the sequel to The Way We Fall. The way we fall was an apocalyptic story. It was also so much more than that. It was an emotion provoking novel that made me think hard about life in general and lives. It ended with unanswered questions and the next book has a quest in in, which could get interesting.

9) Dark Triumph: This is the sequel to His Fair Assassin. The first book had a strong heroine and although, this book has a different heroine, she sounds equally strong. Both characters are assassins trained by nuns. What more could you want in a book?

10) Soulbroken: This is the sequel to Soulbound, one of the greatest books I've ever read. I fell completely  in love with Soulbound. The main character was a tougher heroine than anyone I've ever met and most book characters. She stood up for herself despite the odds against her and threw away her happiness to protect her family. This book was packed with nonstop action, and I hope the next one will be just as good!

Before I wrote this list, I thought I'd have a hard time thinking of all ten books. That wasn't the case. I think I could easily make a list of fifty books I'm looking forward to. There's apparently no shortage of good books coming out next year!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Disscussion: Sequelitis

I've been seeing a lot of talk lately about people getting sick of sequels. I understand why people hate series, I really do.  Yet I'm not one of those people. I love series!

I'll admit it, one of the main reasons I love series is because when I put down a book for the last time I feel sad. I don't want it to be the last time I see that character or hear about said character's adventures. So knowing there's two, four, six more books left with the same people and the same world, I get excited. I become attached to the characters I read about and don't want to let them go. I don't like saying bye.

Getting my hands on a sequel is... I don't know how to explain it. It's like one of the best feelings in the world. Because if it's the sequel to a good book then I'm eager to read more.

Another plus of series is that often, after the first book, most of the world building's done. I mean sure there might be a little introduction in the next book but that's only for a couple pages. The reader already knows what's going on after the first book, so the focus is on the plot. There's less room for boredom this way and more room for action.

I don't think there's enough time for everything (at least what I want) in stand alones. Building up worlds and lives takes time. Reading a standalone, I often feel like something's missing. With one book, it's hard to get to know the characters as well. A lot of things might be skimmed over that can be brought to light with a sequel.

The year long wait for a sequel is what makes the book even more worth it. All year long, I'm left anticipating the book. To me, it builds up excitement. If there wasn't a wait and each book was just shelled out, one after another, people would get sick of it. Many people wouldn't be able to keep up with the series and reading about the same people day after day could get boring. I have the release date marked down in my calendar, so there's no way I can forget it. I can also discuss the book on goodreads or with a friend, to make the book even more unforgettable.

Even better is that because of the wait, I have more time to save up money for the next book if need be. I don't have to buy six books at once.

Another thought I have is that there aren't very many standalone dystopias. It's too much world building for one book. Which is another case where sequels come in handy.

So... what if the next book isn't as good as the last one? I do hate getting disappointed by sequels. I especially hate filler books. If there's not a plot then I won't be happy. However, as long as the book isn't awful, I'll still enjoy it. I mean, there's no way to tell that your favorite author's standalone will be amazing. It's a chance I'm willing to take. Any book might not live up to expectations. Not just sequels.

Yes, I do think that if the book wasn't good then it shouldn't have a sequel. However, that shouldn't turn anyone off of  series. Just don't read the next book. It's as simple as that.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I absolutely love series. The more books in a series, the better. I don't know what I'd do without my series. They're like the love of my life... just kidding (kinda ;))

*Looking back on this discussion, it seems like I'm argueing with someone. I'm not. I guess you could say that I'm argueing with myself as weird as that seems. I just wanted to make sure I wrote a convincing discussion on the pros of series. To do that, I felt the need to counter the cons.

Do you guys agree with me? Are sequels the love of your life or the bane of your existence?

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme posted every Saturday on Tynga's Reviews. It's a blog post about the books you received the previous week. I will be doing my Stacking the Shelves Post every Saturday, too. 

It's probably obvious that my computer didn't get fixed but I can use a laptop now. Yay! So there should be an increase in the number of posts now. You also might have noticed that my blog name changed. The last name couldn't stay because another blog already had it but Devoured by Books is now here to stay.

This week I have four books to show you guys!

List of Books!!! 

  • Hearts at Stake: I picked this book up because it had a promising premise. It looks like a quick read and should be entertaining.
  • Harbinger: This is a paranormal read about a girl who has visions and is sent to a boarding school.  I love the paranormal and I love boarding schools, which means this book is perfect for me.
  • The Survival Kit: I chose this as my contemporary read this week because it looked good. Upon closer inspection I realized it's setting revolved around a tragedy.
  • Soulbound: The first book in The Legacy of Tril Series. This is a fantasy about a girl who isn't allowed to defend herself, so she takes matters into her own hands. I just finished this one and it was amazing! The heroine was such a sting character.
I think I did a good job checking out a variety of books this week. What do you guys think? I would love to hear what books everyone  managed to get their hands on this week in the comments! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Release Date: September 27, 2011
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Pages: 452 pages

"Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong."-

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was a debut novel by Michelle Hodkin. I was extremely excited to read this book because of all the hype other bloggers and reviewers posted about it. I'm so glad I did end up reading it because it was one of the strangest books I've ever read. In a good way of course. This book was just so unique- it was a fantastic break from all the other paranormals and dystopias I've read lately. Sadly enough, I can't rate this book as highly as I'd like to.

The writing was okay. It was descriptive enough that I could always follow the story but not overly so. There weren't too many adjectives but everything was described just enough. At some points in the story, I found that the setting changed suddenly, which was a bit disconcerting. It felt a bit disjointed.

The storyline was insane. I'd never read anything like it, and the plot kept me guessing throughout the entire book. Mara has no idea what happened to her the night before she ended up in the hospital.  As the reader, I was forced to keep guessing along with Mara, even though Mara had flashbacks occasionally. Unfortunately, at times the plot leapt past unique straight to confusing. There were certain situations in the story that made no sense, and I had to reread those passages only to find that I still didn't understand them. I eventually just had to move on and  keep reading. In the end, a lot of things were explained, yet even more questions were brought up with these explanations. The book ended with a cliffhanger, though, and I am eager to read the next book.

Mara Dyer was someone I felt an instant connection with. She stood up for her friends and was a reliable person to know. She didn't immediately jump into Noah's arms when he showed interest, even though he was the most popular/ cutest guy at school. Noah was a good guy: he had a bad reputation but it was for an understandable reason. Their relationship built up over time, so that a strong bond was built between them. It was clear they loved each other and were willing to sacrifice themselves for the other. Mara's parents were annoying. Her mom was manipulative and refused to take into account what Mara wanted. She always thought she knew best but often had no idea what was going on. Her dad was hardly ever home because he was a lawyer. Mara's brother was a loveable character who defended Mara against her parents to no end. I couldn't help but love him.

I did think that the end was a bit rushed. One thing I know for sure is that I will be reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer. I am eager for more and hope the loose ends will be tied. I'm also hopeful that with a published book under her belt, Mara Dyer will create a five star masterpiece in her second book. All in all, it was a book worth reading.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a break from the norm. If you're sick of dystopias/ paranormals/ contemporaries this is the book for you. This book is so unique that I didn't even know what sub genre it was until the end. The ending of this book will make YA fans eager to read the next one.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “There's nothing I want. There's nothing I can't do. I don't care about anything. No matter what, I am an imposter. An actor in my own life.”                                                                                    - Michelle Hodkin, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer   
  • “I was warned about you, you know."
    And with that half-smile that wrecked me, Noah said, "But you're here anyway.”
      -Michelle Hodkin, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer   
  • “Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.”      -Michelle Hodkin, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

 Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: March 13, 2012
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Pages: 338 pages 

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 to 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."- Goodreads

It is illustrated throughout  Wanderlove how well traveled and imaginative Kirsten Hubbard is. She's traveled in Guatemala before and it shows. Her description of the different places in the book are so well written and descriptive that I felt like I could just close my eyes and be exploring the Mayan villages of Guatemala. It was truly amazing. The writing in the story flowed very well and everything was described in such a manner that I always knew exactly what was happening. One of my favorite 
parts of the writing, besides the descriptions, was the dialogue. It was real and heartfelt and just fit the story perfectly.

Recently graduated Bria Sandoval is doing something she's only ever dreamed of: she's traveling in a foreign country. The only problem is that she's stuck with a tourist group filled with stuffy people that have no sense of adventure. So, when she meets Starling and her brother Rowan, she takes a chance and agrees to travel with them. She finds herself falling in love with Rowan while trying to get over her ex. Bria doesn't know it, but she's about to learn some very important things about herself and become a better person because of it. 

I had a hard time liking Bria at first because she lied quite a bit. She told her first lie on the 2nd page of the book. But I eventually got over it when I began to understand why she lied. Scarlet, however, 
was a completely different story. I liked her almost immediatly. She didn't take shit from anyone and wasn't afraid to be tough. I especially liked how she was always loyal to her brother no matter what he did. Rowan was a complex person. At first he appeared a little mean, but as I got to know him better I realized what a great guy he was.

Throughout the first part of this book, I had difficulties reading it. The story was a bit slow and I found Bria annoying. Once, I got over that, I enjoyed myself more. Another issue I had with the story was the ending. It felt a bit unbelievable to me. I felt that the story could've had an extra 100 pages to build up more of a relationship with the main characters. At the same time, the writing was superb and I loved the premise of the plot.

This book would be perfect for people who like ya contemporary books. Especially ones about journey's or books with the setting in a foreign country.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme posted every Saturday on Tynga's Reviews. It's a blog post about the books you received the previous week. I will be doing my Stacking the Shelves Post every Saturday, too.

I want to apologize to everyone for the  sparse reviews this week. My computer broke, and I could only get access to the internet for short amounts of time. But I did get some reading done this week and will be posting reviews very soon.

This week I got four books, all of which I am excited about.

List of Books:

  • Cresendo: This is the second book in a series about fallen angels. I finished the first book last week and found it to be enjoyable. I will post a short review on these books soon.
  • The Story Of Us: This is one of the many books by Deb Caletti but the first one I've gotten. It sounds good, though and I'm excited to read it.
  • The Forsaken: This book is a dystopian about a girl who's unjustly punished and sent to an island with criminals. I read the summary quite a while ago and fell in love with it, so hopefully it lives up to my expectations.
  • Pushing the Limits: How could I not read this book? I've heard so many good things about this book and it has such good reviews that I had to it.
That's it for this week. What do you think of my reading choices? What books did you get? Also, if you have any ideas for what I should read next week, I would really appreciate it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Books I'd Want on A Deserted Island

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted on The Broke and Bookish about the top ten of almost anything book related. I thought it was a great idea and decided to join in on the fun.

Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island

I'm assuming I'm on the deserted island not by choice, and that I want to escape. Because why would I want to be on a deserted island? It would be peaceful for a couple hours, then I'd get lonely and want home-cooked food.

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsThe Harry Potter series are the only books that I can reread a million times with out boring myself. Thet feel like home to me. I just can't praise them enough. Anyway, because I love all of the HarryPotter books equally (... I sound like a mom), I chose the longest one. After all, I'll be on an island with nothing better to do (I hope).

2) Grave Mercy- The main character of this story is tough as nails. I'll need to read about someone like her to survive.

3) Hatchet- This book is about a boy who survives on a deserted island, despite the odds, after his plane crashes. It explains how he survived but in an interesting way, which I'd find useful.

4) The Way We Fall- This is about an apocalypse. So not only will it remind me that there are worse situations than mine, but  also the main character never gives up. No matter what. This would remind me to keep persevering until I got home.

5) The Truth About Forever- This book is just a happy story. After I read it I felt so cheerful because it made me feel like happy endings are possible.

6) Reached- I'm desperate to read this book and finally finish the trilogy.

7) Splintered- It hasn't come out yet, but its on the top of my tbr list. After all, why should I have to read books I already read.

8) If  You Give A Mouse a Cookie- This book is for two year olds but it would be of comfort to me. It would remind me of home and make me feel safe before I went to bed.

9) The Cupcake Queen- I imagine I'd be hungry and the cupcakes in this book sound scrumptious.

10) Let it Snow- Once again, I haven't read this but it sounds good. The winter weather should keep my find of of the (assumingly) hot climate on the mountain.

Thanks for reading this! What books would you absolutely need to read on a deserted island?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: June 12, 2012
My Rating: 5 stars

Pages: 418

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to 
prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.
When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.
Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?" - Goodreads

Warning: May contain some spoilers to Bloodlines.

Before I review this book, I need to be completely honest- I was prepared to give The Golden Lily 3 stars. I've been reading Richelle Mead since her Vampire Academy series, and I have to say, that each book started to bore me more and more. Eventually, I read Bloodlines and felt forced to give it three stars just because of the boredom. But I stuck with the series, out of loyalty to Richelle Mead, 
and I'm glad I did.

Sydney Sage finally has a normal life. Or as normal as it could be because Sydney is an Alchemist. A member of a group of people who stand united to protect the peace between vampires and humans. To do this, Sydney has to keep Jill, the sister of the vampire princess, safe. No matter what the cost. Despite this, Sydney likes her life. For the first time, she's making friends, going to school, and even getting a boyfriend. As Sydney gets closer to her vampire coworkers, she begins to question the very foundation that the Alchemists stand on. Because are all vampires truly bad? These philosophical thoughts have to be pushed aside, however, when a mysterious group of people emerge in Palm Springs. Unfortunately, whether she likes it or not, Sydney is right in the thick of everything.

One of the main reasons, I enjoyed The Golden Lily, was how much the characters grew. Sydney actually calmed down a bit. She began to have fun, mostly because of Adrian's influence. The opposite happened to Adrian. He became more responsible and started to take more initiative. Jill started to realize her responsibilities as the vampire princess's sister and didn't act as troublesome. Also, a new character, Brayden, was introduced. Although I could see Brayden's value to the story, he just wasn't a good boyfriend to Sydney. Finally, the dhampir (part vampire and human)characters, Eddies and Dimitri were as kick- ass as ever.

The writing, when coupled with the plot was stunning. Richelle Mead outdid herself this time. The Golden Lily started with a bang and ended with a boom. Although there were a couple small hiccups in the plot pace, it didn't change my opinion on the book at all. Everything was written in such a manner that I was sucked into the story from the very beginning.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoyed the previous works of Richelle Mead. If you haven't read her ya books yet then go back and read them. You don't want to miss out on her series. If you like vampires, then definitely look into this book. Even if you don't like vampires, there are vampire haters in this book too. So get your hands on this book!

Memorable Quotes:

“Adrian, I'm on a date. Why are you here? On my car?”
―    Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

“You made your own jean shorts...with a butter knife?”
―     Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

“Nice blouse, Sage,” Adrian told me, deadpan. “It realy brings out the khaki in your pants.”
―   Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme posted every Saturday on Tynga's Reviews. It's a blog post about the books you received the previous week. I will be doing my Stacking the Shelves Post every Saturday, too.

I'm so excited for this week's Stacking the Shelves for a couple reasons. First of all, I'm actually posting it on Saturday like I said I would. Also, I got The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, a book I've wanted for a while but my library didn't have. I was in the grocery store today and saw it there for 25% off, so I got it.

Anyway, besides The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I got three books from the library that I just felt like I had to read. Because they were all paranormal I checked out a contemporary novel too.

List of Books:

  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: I'm so excited to read this one!
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick: A fallen angels book that seems like everyone's read but me.
  • Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: A contemporary novel about a trip across Guatemala.
  • Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer: This is the 3rd book in the Nightshade trilogy- I need to get the 2nd first.
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer: The first book in a trilogy about werewolves. The best part? All the books are already published, so I don't have to wait.
That's it for this week. Feel free to comment on the books you got this week. Also, thank you to the two people that are subscribed to my blog. It mean's a lot.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Splintered by A. G. Howard

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights the book you're looking forward to most.

Today I Choose:

Title: Splintered
Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books

Release Date: January 1, 2013
My Rating: to be determined
Pages: 384

"This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own."-

I can't wait until this book comes out! I love fairy- tale retellings and this one just sounds fantasic. Although it's not exactly a fairy- tale retelling, because the main character isn't Alice but her descendent, I think it sounds even better than the real thing. Especially because the main character, Alyssa, can talk to bugs. That's just amazing!!!! The series of tests also sound a bit like a quest, which is a great idea.

I've been looking for a unique story for a while now and I think Splintered might be just what I need. What are you guys waiting to read? Do you think Splintered sounds good?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fun Day (2)

Fun day is a feature posted here on Ya Book News every Monday.  It can be anything from giveaways to random things like pictures, videos, or contests.

 Today on Fun Day I'm going to basically be posted a bunch of random things that I thought was cool.

Colleen Houck, author of the Tigers Curse series, is doing a trailer contest for the fourth book Tigers Destiny. There are six trailer finalists that people can vote for. The following video is my favorite. Isn't it just captivating? Vote for your favorite here.

 Speaking of voting, it's the Goodreads Choice Awards. Vote for your favorite books here.

Here's some quotes from different books. Test your knowledge: guess which book they're from and then scroll down to the end of my post to view the answers. If you didn't read the books featured, read them because they're all fantastic.

“I love you. Remember. They cannot take it” (I know this one's hard. Sorry)

“For me, it was almost like winter didn’t count. Summer was what mattered. My whole life was measured in summers.” 

“Nobody's ever asked me to a party before, as a friend. Is that why you dyed your eyebrow, for the party? Should I do mine too?” 

Finally, I have some ebook deals. Because what's better than curling up with a cheap book? Keep in mind, though that these ebooks are recent releases.

Answers to the book quotes:
― Lauren Oliver, Delirium
― Jenny Han, The Summer I turned Pretty
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Title: The Way We Fall
Author: Megan Crewe
Publisher: Hyperion

Release Date: January 24th 2012
My Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 309

"It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you're dead.

When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for the island’s dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

Poignant and dizzying, The Way We Fall is the heart-wrenching story of one girl's bravery and unbeatable spirit as she challenges not just her fears, but her sense of what makes life worth living."
- Goodreads

Sophomore author Megan Crewe wrote such an emotion evoking book that I don't think I'll ever forget it. The Wat We Fall is the first book in the Fallen series.She wrote The Way We Fall in the form of diary entries. Normally, I would be annoyed by reading diary entries because they often feel like summaries. The Way We Fall was written so beautifully that I soon forgot everything but the story before me.

Kaelyn is a normal teenager: she wants what most teenage girls do. Friends. A boyfriend. A good relationship with her family. All that changes, though, when a deadly virus sweeps the island she lives on, killing everyone it touches. Horrified, the world puts the island in quarantine. And everything changes.

Kaelyn was a girl I couldn't help liking. Smart and resourceful, even in the face of almost certain failure, she never gave up. The other major characters of the story were all three- dimensional and well- rounded that I fell completely in love with each of them. There was Kaelyn’s loyal family who would do anything for each other. Then there was the best friend who repeatedly endangered herself for Kaelyn. Kaelyn’s adorable younger cousin was someone I couldn’t help but feel for. There was the sweet boyfriend with a hero complex. I even felt for the resident villain, which is saying something. Although I despised one of the characters at first, by the end of the story I didn't know what I'd do without them.

Unfortunately, there's a reason why I gave the book four stars. For the first part of the book, I found what was happening stressful had trouble enjoying it. However, I was soon drawn into the book and forgot my fears. Also, I felt that some of the deaths were unnecessary. Basically, there were just a couple of things that bothered me.

In the end, the good outnumbered the bad. I'd recommend The Way We Fall to fans of apocalyptic stories/ sad stories. Keep in mind that The Way We Fall isn't for the faint of heart. Although the deaths aren't graphic, it is an apocalyptic story and many people die. But  most of all I recommend this book to people who love characters that never give up.

Memorable Quotes:

“You learn a lot when you know no one else is going to do things for you.”

  “Most people think the scariest thing is knowing that you’re going to die. It’s not. It’s knowing you might have to watch every single person you’ve ever loved – or even liked – waste away while you just stand there.” 


Stacking the Shelves (2)


Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme posted by  Tynga's Reviews every Saturday. It is basically showcasing the books you got over the past week.  I am very excited to participate in this. 
I know I said I woul post it on Saturday. I'm sorry. I'll post it next Saturday. I'm a terrible person. Unfortunately my haul this week was pretty pitiful because I've been sick. But next week will be a bigger haul. I also might have a vlog to go with it.
Here's the Books I Got:
The Golden Lily- By Richelle Mead
The Way We Fall- By Megan Crewe
So I only got two books this week but they're good ones. At the same time, this gives me the chance to finish last week's books. What books did you get this week?


From Bad To Cursed by Katie Alender

Title: From Bad to Cursed
Author: Katie Alender

Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: June 14th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Pages: 442

"Alexis is the last girl you'd expect to sell her soul. She already has everything she needs--an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a little sister who's finally recovering after being possessed by an evil spirit, then institutionalized.
Alexis is thrilled when her sister joins a club; new friends are just what Kasey needs. It's strange, though, to see how fast the girls in The Sunshine Club go from dorky and antisocial to gorgeous and popular. Soon Alexis learns that the girls have pledged an oath to a seemingly benevolent spirit named Aralt. Worried that Kasey's in over her head again, Alexis and her best friend Megan decide to investigate by joining the club themselves. At first, their connection with Aralt seems harmless. Alexis trades in her pink hair and punky clothes for a mainstream look, and quickly finds herself reveling in her newfound elegance and success.
Instead of fighting off the supernatural, Alexis can hardly remember why she joined in the first place. Surely it wasn't to destroy Aralt...why would she hurt someone who has given her so much, and asked for so little in return?"
- Goodreads

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! This book was book was amazing! It was unlike anything I've ever read befor (besides the first book in the series of course). Seriously though, it was a nice break from the usual paranormal books I read. Or any books I read.

After nearly a year at a mental institution, Alexis's sister Kasey is back home. Things should be perfect. Alexis has a best friend, a boyfriend, a loving family, and might get a $5000 scholarship for photagraphy. However, Alexis's sister is in trouble again. And once again, its up to Alexis to save her. This time though, things are different. This time not only is a lot more at stake, but the two sisters may have unwittingly dug their own graves.

For the first 150 pages of the book, Alexis honestly annoyed me. I mean, it may just be me, but I thought she was acting like a spoiled teenager. She took everything for granted and it was just really annoying. Plus, she kept telling lies. And I hate it when people lie. However, Alexis soon, even with everything going on, started to grow as a person. She began to recognize everything she had in her life, and it really showed. At the end of the story, Carter taught her a valuable lesson, and I hope she'll become an even better person because of it.

The other main characters; Carter, Kasey, and Megan were superbly done. Carter was the perfect boyfriend (until stuff happened). He was sweet and seemed to care a lot for Alexis. Then there was Kasey. Kasey was a little spiteful at the beginning of the book, but not for no reason. But like Alexis, she really grew as a person and the sisters ended up with an undeniable bond. Finally, Megan was a good addition to the story. She was there when Alexis needed her most, but near the end of the story... Things happened.

Katie Alender's writing was fantastic. Her descriptions of things made me happy, sad, and most importantly scared in all the right places. I was hooked throughout the entire story. There were also no mistakes (that I noticed), which is important to me.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation for the rest of the story. This book is great for both teens and adults.  And one of the best thing about it? There were no insufferable love triangles!

 Add on Goodreads
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