Thursday, September 30, 2010

CONTEST! The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Surprise! I got a chance to read this book about a week ago, and let me tell you, I LOVED it! You can expect a very positive review in a bit, but for now you should know I thought it was just as good, if not even better than the first book, The Maze Runner (which I very much enjoyed).

I know I'm not the only one who was dying to read this, so to add to the anticipation of its October 12th release date, I am hosting a contest for this book!!

One winner will get a copy of The Scorch Trials by James Dashner.

Rules:
-Open Internationally
-Ends October 15th
-One entry per person
-Fill out the form below



BR: Story of a Girl

by Sara Zarr

I bought this one because it was only $10 and it was kind of an impulse buy because I have access to it via libraries.. Damn those book stores! Just kiddin’ ;)

Summary (goodreads)
When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend - Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.

**
My Expectations: I really disliked Zarr's other novel Sweethearts, so I was worried this one would let me down as well. But, I remembered it being on one of those "Top 10 or something" lists which sparked my interest.

Delivery: YES. It totally surprised me with how great it is, I’m totally digging the voice and the story, the premise, and the intense character development!

Put-down-ability: Read a chapter one night, finished it the next morning. 3/10
**

My Thoughts

Story of a Girl is… contemporary fiction at its best. My experience with Sweethearts caused me to approach this novel with hesitation and scepticism. National Book Award Finalists have let me down before… but it met me full on with a great dose of writing, voice, and realism that honestly blew me away.

Deanna Lambert is estranged somewhat from her parents after a traumatic event, she has emotional issues, an unfair reputation, she’s insecure and scared, and well, she is a teenager. Similar to Twenty Boy Summer, this novel worked because of the honesty behind the story.

I always complain about how sub-plots become messy and bring down novels, but I can seriously say that this one does neither. Zarr manipulated this potential minefield with precision and finesse, Deanna’s struggles are portrayed realistically with a sense of purpose. I’m extremely glad that it never got preachy, it only felt like a girl telling me a story of mistakes, love, friendship and family.

All the characters were developed and three-dimensional Darren, her parents, Stacey, Lee, Jason, Tommy, and even Michael each had their own connection to the main character; all of them served a purpose, whether it was to help her emotional journey, or to add to the story in their own ways. My only complaint was that there were times where Darren/Stacey/April overshadowed the main character.

The most admirable aspect of the whole novel would undoubtedly be Deanna’s personal growth. She is reminiscent of Courtney Summers’ protagonists minus the edginess because every word out of her mouth felt authentic and raw. Her mistakes follow her but she learns to love, forgive, change and hope with support from the people she would have never expected. Story of a Girl is a story of a girl.

Parting Thoughts: Wow, I loved this novel! Another contemp you can’t miss.
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations

8.9/10 – because it was wonderful. The protagonist is real and flawed with a chip on her shoulder, what more can I ask for? Sub-plots and supporting characters were handled extremely well, and the voice rings true. Deanna’s engaging story of her summer is one that stands out amongst the crowd. Zarr has written a novel (to be turned into a movie!) that resonates truth and integrity that will stay with readers long after the last page. A

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Hmm, my first time participating in this! It was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week's pick. It doesn't even have a cover yet. Or an actual summary. But I don't want to be the millionth person waiting on Desires of the Dead (trust me, I am) so...

The Bridge of Clay
by Markus Zusak

Released: February 3rd, 2011

Summary:

It's about a boy.
His name is Clay.
He's building a bridge.
And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous.

**

*fangirls*squees*flails*
So. Can't. Wait.

I feel like Zusak is an author in which it's not appropriate to fangirl/squee/flail around. But I still do (metaphorically, of course). xD







source:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BR: White Cat

by Holly Black
The Curse Workers series; book I

Is it a crime that this is my very first Holly Black book? Anyways, this was everywhere in the blogosphere a while ago so I was so happy when I found the library had this (with a 20 person waiting line, of course).

Summary (goodreads):
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

**
My Expectations: I thought it would be a good book. Not many gushing or hating reviews, but most were generally positive.

Delivery: Very enjoyable! Very unique and likeable book.

Put-down-ability: in the middle, 5/10
**

My Thoughts

White Cat is stunningly original; I loved the premise of everything included, I was pulled in faster than you could say the word ‘con’ (which on a side note, is one capable of sparking interest with its single syllable). The idea of curse-workers, and having them be criminals in society was such a wonderful idea, and you know me: I love wonderful ideas.

Cassel is a solid character, he has depth and emotion to him that makes him charming for the female audience (well, for me anyways). I loved his view of cons and the finesse behind them, it was really fascinating to read about. The guilt he felt over Lila and the family dynamics surrounding him were all excellently portrayed. Maybe it’s just me, but I love crime families (Heist Society shoutout!).

I found the elaborate-ness of the plot very admirable, dark tales of cons, marks and trickery were gobbled up. I absolutely adore the idea of curse-workers, it’s such a unique idea that came together well. I enjoyed the mystery behind everything, from the strange behaviour to dreams of the White Cat.

The writing in the novel is strong, I felt some world-building aspects did confuse me a bit, but overall the narration is engaging and refreshing. I never felt anything dragged on or was over-written– everything flowed very smoothly with energy and action.

The very end was (to me) awesome! It came as a huge surprise but I couldn’t help but to me it seemed oddly fitting in a weird cliff-hanger way… Oh those cliffhangers…

Parting Thoughts: Can’t wait to see what happens in book 2!
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable

8.2/10 – because the premise and the writing were excellent, the idea of curse-workers was great. I liked being in Cassel’s mind, it was a refreshing narration and the world behind it all was very unique. I like how the working was kind of in the background, not too glaringly in-your-face but always influenced Cassel in different ways. Totally recommended to those looking for a clever novel with great twists, mobsters, mysteries and family. B+







author website / twitter / livejournal

Monday, September 27, 2010

procrastination tips from a professional

Dear Lovelies,

Today, I will be giving you the oh-so-coveted list of ways to procrastinate! Study them. Follow them. Love them. Share them. End up hating yourself. And smile.

All these theories have been tested time and time again, with positive results (plus a bit of guilt). They're easy and fun!!

1. Read. Yes, you go pick up that newly released YA book and stick your nose into the pages. It's alluring, it's addicting, it is not what you should be doing right now but you don't care!


2. Blog. Click on that beautiful blue button saying 'New Post'... think of something randomsauce, and start typing! Oh, do you feel that tiny parasitical idea forming in your cerebrum? Flesh it out! Explore every nook and cranny until the idea is fully formed and on the screen. Aren't you feeling accomplished yet?


3. Read Blogs. Huzzah for logic! Combining #1 and #2... genius. Right? Right. GENIUS. The product is greater than the sum of its parts, because there are endless blogs so you can keep reading them... endlessly. Don't forget to comment ;)


4. Twitter. Need I say more? Read Voldemort's tweets. Follow the trending topics. Tweet your favourite authors. Tweet other bloggers. Tweet about tweeting. Tweet about procrastination by tweeting.


5. Make Plans. And yes, by Make Plans, I mean set up your schedule for tomorrow. What are you going to accomplish? Finish which assignments? Oh, and how much time will you spend on each? What will you wear? Checklists, perhaps? All this is a great distraction from following the plan you made yesterday about things you should be doing today.


6. Read Twilight Parodies. Spend 15 minutes on the floor. Repeat.


7. Find Food. Just for the heck of it, walk to your kitchen and open the fridge. You don't even need to get anything, just open it and *stare*. For a while. Then consider whether or not you're actually hungry.. or you're just bored. Contemplate. Then come back to the computer to finish the list. (Ha! You're not actually that hungry, right?)


8. Sa-woon. This one's the most rewarding, uh-huh. Pull up a Google Images tab.. and start typing. Attractive (non-fictional) boys, might I suggest: Alex Pettyfer, Josh Duhamel, Gaspard Ulliel, Gerard Butler, Ryan Reynolds, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler (hehe, Reid!)... and many many more.
**

I hope you learned something today, and if you didn't congratulations for wasting a few minutes, I hope you enjoyed your stay at my blog, don't forget to leave a pleasant note telling me YOUR favourite procrastination past-times!!!

Yours Truly,

A very very bored and in-the-process-of-procrastinating reader/blogger/blog-reader/tweeter/planner/hungry-person,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday's Finest (24) [on a Sunday!]

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.
**

I haven't this meme for two weeks straight! And I'm a quote-lover! So I felt, of course, insanely guilty so I went and dug up some quotes from a novel I read about a week ago. Yeah, you probably know it. Or you've read it.

Book: White Cat
by Holly Black

Quote 1
Clever as the Devil, and twice as pretty.
Okay, I can't understand why this line 'speaks' to me, it just has this curiously awesome blend of sexy, smart and edgy feel to it. Plus come on, describing a boy like that is.. hot. xD


Quote 2
He's the kind of liar who totally forgets what he told you the last time, but he believes every single lie with such conviction that sometimes he can convince you of it.
This one relates more to the book, I just think it's cool. I'm a big fan of con-related things (Oceans 11 movies, Heist Society-esque etc.) and lies are interesting, especially the way they are portrayed in this book and Cassel's relationship with them.

Well anyways, this is my FF on a Sunday, I thought White Cat was a great novel (my review is coming soon) and... have you read the book before? Do you like heists? And what are your favourite quotes this week?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BR: The Eternal Ones

by Kirsten Miller

This book has been everywhere! Part of the “Penguin Five” so I was so excited to have a chance to read this.

Summary (goodreads)
Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.


**
My Expectations: I will say, I thought some stuff would have me eye-rolling because of the summary (lots of romance!)

Delivery: I was eye-rolling because of different reason *cough*Haven*cough*, it was… annoying.

Put-down-ability: I’m serious, I read this one sooo slow. In fact, I read 3 books in between when I tried to finish this one. It’s not even that it’s a bad book, I was just so.. weird. 9/10
**

My Thoughts
The Eternal Ones has an odd premise, the inclusion of reincarnation and the concept that ‘Constance’ and ‘Ethan’ always find each other in different lives is a tad too romantic, but acceptable and unique. The idea of a romance that 'spreads across melennia' is actually really original (well, for me) and caught my interest. Oh, and first up, I liked the enigmatic Beau, despite his clichéd roots of a gay best friend, I’ll admit he was really cool and I want one (Iron Man 2 anyone?).

However, Haven was not quite the same. While Yan might have a rant about her (I agreed), I just have complaints. My problem was that she had no, like, brain. Like honestly. Every single time someone tells her something, she believes him/her, then goes off to confront the person who had ‘wronged’ her, and then when that person tells her something, she totally believes them! Then it goes back and forth with ‘lies’ and ‘truths’ in which she believes every word. Girl, make up your bloody mind! Stop being so easily swayed.

Another aspect that I haven’t really touched on on my blog yet was, this book was (I really hate to be the one say this) a tad boring. I never really got into it, I felt the plot in NYC was repetitive and I never really ended up caring about Iain and Haven. Their romance was sudden and passionate, sure, but I did get a bit annoyed when one second Haven hated his guts, the next second declaring she cannot live without him.

The Ouroboros Society was slightly redeeming, it was mafia-ish and interesting, but a tad clichéd. An all-powerful group with all the powerful men in the world as members, doing dirty work. Been there, done that. But.. I did really enjoy the mystery behind everything. I never really had a hunch, so I had fun being surprised as bad guys turned out bad, and good guys turned out bad. In fact, this book is a lot more mystery than advertised, and a bit less romance too. Oh, and the flashbacks worked, I liked their timely-ness and their addition to the plot.

Lastly, I really wish I could say something positive about the writing, but alas, the third person POV (unsurprisingly) didn’t work that well for me. I never felt engaged or addicted, just burdened. I’m happy to say, though, that this case is not really a ‘show, don’t tell’ complaint, but more just ‘not enticing enough’.

Parting Thoughts: Nothing much, really, I just wish I got more 'into it' though.
Rating in HP Terms: Poor

6.8/10 – because it just didn’t really work for me. While I found the mystery enjoyable and the romance tolerable, I never really got into any aspect of the story. I found Haven a unlikable and sometimes just obtuse character, the romance depended too much on the history, not the present, and the Ouroboros society was only just meh. I didn’t dislike it, it just wasn’t my thing. I would, however, recommend this to YA romance-lovers who like a twist of mystery, I think there are a lot of people out there who will take to this a lot better than me! C

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Movie Thoughts: Toy Story 3

I know I promised a book-related post, but this one was part of my drafts from when I watched the movie over the summer, so why just post it? :)
**

Toy Story 3… how do I begin? It really is one of those movies that as soon as it starts, you’re transported back to your childhood as you watch the characters come to life. As Andy leaves for college, the toys end up in a daycare run by an evil teddy bear, Lotsa Love. The gang needs to find a way to get home before the toddlers tear them apart (well, of course there’s more to it than that).

I really liked it. I don’t actively seek out animated movies; however, I thought TS3 was a charming, original and heart-warming movie that fits in nicely with the series. Andy’s toys, all likable, funny and oh-so-familiar did not let me down, and the story never felt strung-out or overused. Animation was spot on, the story and script were fantastic, and the overall enjoyment level was high. Scenes had me sighing, or gasping, it was odd because I didn't think it would manage to get a reaction out of me.

The themes carried throughout the movie: growing up, loss and friendship are all perfectly portrayed... I still can't decide my favourite toy, probably Rex.. or the Potatoheads xD Recommended to everybody, especially Pixar fans :)

Popcorn Review: an excellent movie that has everything you need: wonderful characters, great moments, and a story worth loving.

8.5/10






PS- being away from North America over the summer, I missed all the hype. Apparently it's the highest grossing Pixar film to date :o very impressive!

it's my birthday!

hehe, like the title said. I'm 17!

Gotta say though, 16 was a pretty awesome year, for one, I discovered book blogging and it's made my life very bookishly great! Thank you guys for helping that happen! Here's to another great year :D

~and a regular book post will be coming soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BR: The Thief

by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen's Thief series; book I

Well, let’s just say I’ve stalked The Book Smugglers too long and was finally convinced to pick up this series xD

Summary:
"I can steal anything."
After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task -- to steal a hidden treasure from another land.
To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.

**
My Expectations: Newberry Honour and a ton of people’s favourite series, I quite honestly thought I would be the odd one out and hate it. I’ve tried (and failed) to read it a couple times before.

Delivery: Good parts and bad parts, but the ending won me over. Above my expectations.

Put-down-ability: I actually found this difficult to stay engaged, it felt like I was slogging and putting in effort to turn the pages. 8/10
**

My Thoughts

With all the clever quest-like fantasy books (this isn’t exactly a fantasy genre novel though) out there, this one falls amidst the crowd, perhaps standing half a head taller. It failed to keep me gripped to Gen’s adventures, the characters never really fully developed, and the novel lacked the level of depth I’ve come to expect for highly praised books.

To me, it felt like an broken record almost, there is the basic plotline with an admirable objective- find the Gift. There’s the twists (some I figured out as soon as they happened, but only some), and there’s the surprise ending.

It was a good book. I’ll say that, it had all the necessary requirements strung together into a fantastic first book in a series. For me, in some parts the plot felt tedious through the middle of the book; Gen and the troupe travel, Gen wants more food, Gen hates horses, they rest, Gen complains, maybe a bit of storytime. Repeat. The repetitions of their journey to find the Gift bored me to no end.

Second, I wish Gen could have been a more interesting character. I wanted to see some secret plotting, show some of his wits or his plans of escape. Some stories of why “he can steal anything” or just some personality in general. But no, I’m just stuck with him going on about how he bounces in his saddle; I had a frustrating relationship with him.

I did like the fact that I never really got a full scope on magus, whether he was a good guy or a bad guy, and overall character depth was lacking (hopefully to be explored through the rest of the series though).

Thing I enjoyed most? The ending, for sure. I loved reading about how the pieces had fell together, the sneaky way things that happened earlier in the novel were fitting and falling into place. It was very explanation-y (HP7-esque) but I didn’t mind. I figured out the twist, but not the ending, so it was great fun.
Parting Thoughts: The ending redeemed an overall meh novel for me, so I will probably be picking up book 2, The Queen of Attolia.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable

8/10 – because the ending was one excellent twist that redeemed a 7.5-ish/10 novel. The middle travelling section dragged but there were some parts of the book that had wonderful pacing and action. I wasn’t fond of any of the characters, and found it hard to find Gen likable, but I guess you can’t have everything. Recommended to people who enjoy quest novels, books with mythical undertones (Gods/Goddesses), and adventurous plots! B

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BR: Beastly

by Alex Flynn

Is it completely shallow to say I picked up this novel because I found Alex Pettyfer in the movie trailer attractive? Yes? Okay. Sue me. Oh, and I read a great review at Voracious YAppetite a while ago which made me want to read it more.

Summary (me):
Beautiful, perfect and popular Kyle Kingsbury is a cruel and shallow person.. until one night he takes it too far and messes with a witch. Turned into a human beast, all his outer beauty is gone and he has 2 years to find a person to fall in love with, and vice versa. Beastly is a modern day re-telling of the beloved classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.

**
My Expectations: I hoped it would be good, the trailer actually looks really awesome and it’s a fairy tale re-make-ish thing.

Delivery: eh, it was engaging but not mind-blowing.

Put-down-ability: I read the teaser chapters online then went out and borrowed the book, must mean good things. 4/10
**
My Thoughts

Beastly is satisfactory on all levels, which sounds like a cold and meaningless comment but I’m not sure how else to put it. I never found myself annoyed with the characters, yet I never fell in love with them. Kyle’s personality at the beginning is loathsome but I thought Flynn handled his development after the spell/curse surprisingly well. There was the predictable moping and vanity, and after the ‘acceptance’, I’m glad he didn’t immediately become a saint. It took two years for him to gradually change into a person worth respecting, with the help of Lindy.

Lindy was Belle, probably my favourite Disney Princess xD She was smart, hard-working and sweet, and she just has that likeability to her that makes her awesome. Since both characters toed the edge of stereotypical, I fully expected the romance to be cheesy, overdone, and groan-worthy but it was (to my surprise and pleasure) totally not. While it might not have been completely un-creepy (part were reminicent of The Collector by John Fowles...), it was still convincing and nice.

What can I say about the story? It was charming; it didn’t feel like a whimsical Disney movie, but more like a gutsy, real version told from the Beast’s point of view. I liked how the plot progressed and was especially fond of the rose garden aspect. Writing was smooth; it was engaging and refreshing to have a male narrator and imperfect characters. I liked how the story immediately sucked me in and left me wanting more.

Parting Thoughts: Time for the movie? I think so ;) I wish I were less shallow…
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable

7.8/10 – because while it was an enjoyable, quick read, I never really loved it. It had a strong overall package but the tidbits that make me love a novel weren’t there. I couldn’t quite commit to the characters, and the fairy tale re-telling only moderately worked for me. I would recommend this novel to most people, especially if you are interested in fairy tales, different types of plots, and male narrators. B

Sunday, September 19, 2010

speak up, Speak Out, SPEAK LOUD

This is my small contribution to the phenomena that's overtaken the blogosphere. Simply put, a person by the name of Wesley Scroggins has been, in my opinion, deluded into thinking that the YA gem Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson should be considered soft porn.

Oh. Oh boy.

Initial Reaction: Are you effing kidding me?
Post-initial Reaction: Did he even read the book?
Then: *pissed off*

Speak is one of my all-time favourite books, and for him to demean it in such an ignorant manner just really ticks me off. I hate censorship. I really, really do. I hate how people believe they have the right to restrict Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Thought and I also hate the way people use religion as an excuse for their sad ideals. But I don't think I should be sitting here thinking about the negative. No, I want to write this for something I believe in. And I believe in Speak.

It takes quite a bit for a novel to make it on to my all-time favourites list, but that just goes to show you how special this novel is. It is about a rape survivor who chooses to stay silent as opposed to reporting the crime, the inner turmoil, angst and self-doubt speaking to teens across the world. I truly think this is a novel that can change lives. It deals with a tricky topic with finesse and truth, that's right people: truth. It happens. And I can tell you that anybody who had to go through such a troubling experience will not call it *ahem* "soft porn". Teenage rape is anything but pornography.

And we should speak up about something like this. Traumatized teens should not have to let these things eat them up inside, and it really can only take a single novel to convince us to share something so horrible with someone who can help. Ms Anderson does this; she attacked the topic of rape with pen and paper, turning it into a story that is gritty, honest and capable of changing lives.

Is this wrong?

No. I have nothing but respect for Anderson's bravery for tackling such a prevalent issue, so of couse it leaves me completely confuddled how someone can have such an polar opinion. I fail to see what Scroggins interpreted as "filthy" and "soft porn". Like holy effing shit, did you even read your own summary of the novel?
This is a book about a very dysfunctional family. Schoolteachers are losers, adults are losers and the cheerleading squad scores more than the football team. They have sex on Saturday night and then are goddesses at church on Sunday morning. The cheer squad also gets their group-rate abortions at prom time. As the main character in the book is alone with a boy who is touching her female parts, she makes the statement that this is what high school is supposed to feel like. The boy then rapes her on the next page.
I think you're like.. fail.
And yes, I'm not afraid about speaking out about it. I may not be a 'doctor' or an adult, or be featured as the "voice of the day". I'm just a teen among the masses who feels something is so very wrong about this whole ordeal and is speaking out about it. It is wrong to try and censor a novel that only speaks out about truths, albeit truths that might hurt your ears, but ones we should not be forbidding students from reading about. By doing so, you are only hurting the very people you are trying to help, over-sheltering kids is probably not the smartest idea.

Lastly, I want to say to everyone who has been involved in the Speak Loudly 'campaign': Thank you. Thank you for speaking up, thank you for believing in books, and thank you for believing in education. I'm unbelievably proud to be part of a community that is capable of respectably defending itself against irrational attacks, one made up of people who are never afraid of a little confrontation if it means speaking their beliefs.

People: SPEAK LOUD. Every one of our voices will affect someone.. anyone. We can all make a difference with a little effort. If you're hesitating about speaking out, don't. Sit down, write your honest opinions, and speak.

-hashtag #SpeakLoudly on twitter
-write about the novel, or the issue on your blog
-comment on Scroggins' work directly
-support all the other bloggers and authors speaking out, there have been some really outstanding, powerful posts.







LHA's original post about the topic

Poetry Slam Sunday (1)

Slam Sunday is a new bi-weekly feature I'm having on my blog, basically every Sunday I'll share a YouTube clip of awesome spoken poetry that you just can't miss.

Poetry Slam is a competition in which poets recite original work. I love it. Plain and simple, I love the way it combines words, rhythms and performance, the sounds blending together to bring attention to anything and everything. When done well, it has the power to accomplish great things.
**

I'm starting off everything with a bang. Well, with what I hope is a bang. This is one of my absolute favourite pieces ever, it is beautiful, touching, hopeful, and funny. Can you believe this girl (Sarah Kay, love her poems!) was like 16 at the time? If you're feeling hesitant about spending another 3 minutes on my blog... please don't. Just press "play", you won't regret it.

Title: B
Poet: Sarah Kay




She's gonna learn that this life will hit you,
hard, in the face,
wait for you to get back up
so it can kick you in the stomach,
but getting the wind knocked out of you
is the only way
to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.

Next Week: Daniel Beatty

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BR: Twenty Boy Summer

by Sarah Ockler

I really needed a good book. I don't think this summer I've read anything that was absolutely exceptional (minus Mockingjay) but I had hopes for this one...

Summary (goodreads):
"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Okay."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.


Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

**
My Expectations: I’ve wanted to read this novel for forever, and I've heard tons of great things so I expected it to be awesome (but I was wary that it would focus too much on romance).

Delivery: Completely met my high expectations, it was wonderful!

Put-down-ability: Could not put it down! It was my reward for doing homework for 2 hours on Sunday.. read it until I went to bed, then finished it. 2/10, writing is superbly engaging.
**

My Thoughts

There’s something infinitely special with a book like this, one that can portray a myriad of emotions while still sustaining the honesty behind it that is crucial for its success. And I think that was the special ingredient: honesty.

Twenty Boy Summer was everything people said it would be, it was heartbreaking, tender, hopeful and heartfelt; I had my doubts going into this but everything washed away with the California waves. I thought the plot behind Matt would be forced and phony, and boy was I glad to be wrong. As Anna shared the little memories of him, however insignificant, I could feel their bond and her grief, the turmoil and guilt she was experiencing… it was touching and flawless.

As Anna’s summer passes, her original plan of twenty boys turns into just one, Sam. He is my only nitpick in this novel, but only because of the fact that he’s perfect. Good-looking, nice to a fault, interested, sweet, caring… the character depth was lacking but I’ll admit the surface was all sorts of wonderful.

Frankie on the other hand was the opposite, and I honestly think she’s what makes this novel a gem. On the surface, she was shallow and artificial, her vanity was loathsome and I couldn’t see how she and Anna were bffs. However, like I said, it was all on the surface, it the fragile wall she had put up to deal with her own grief and insecurities. Ockler did a great job slowly peeling back the layers of her character, with a bit of Anna’s help. Both girls’ journeys of moving on after the tragedy of Matt’s death were honest, unique, and emotional.

Lastly, I can’t help but comment on how much I adore Ockler’s writing style. It was the absolute perfect blend of voice, character, passion and truth, without a single clichéd metaphor in site. The effortless style was exquisite incredibly engaging; I cannot believe this is her debut novel!
Once Frankie's asleep, my best-friend superstrength disappears. My breathing shatters, tears blur the stars in the overhead skylight, and all the old ghosts I tried to leave home float like dandelion seed wishes into our room.
Parting Thoughts: Fixing Delilah, I have my eye on you. December 2010!
Rating in HP Terms: Outstanding! (wow, first one in a long time…)

9.2/10 – because I loved it. Twenty Boy Summer is a fantastic novel that deals with grief and heartbreak, friendships and family, and above all: love. The characters are well rounded and the writing is exceptional, I absolutely loved the way the ocean and the beaches were described throughout the novel. There were so many things I didn't manage to mention, so I'll just recommend this to you. Because we are all in need of a great book and maybe a little tear-fest. A







author twitter/website/blog

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday's 3 Couples (13)

Wednesday's 3 Couples is a meme I created that let’s me share my love of YA lit couples with others.

Guidelines:
-pick a theme (can be anything! A genre, an author, a series, etc) a
-pick three couples within this theme you have strong feelings about (love them? hate them?)
-expand a tiny bit on why you chose these three couples, or what makes them awesome!
**

Wow, last time I did this was in July! Well, I won't lie, I'm kind of out of ideas... so for now on this meme will be on hold. I'll probably do something random on Tuesdays, like share YouTube videos or what not.

This week's theme: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy


I know right? I don't think I've done one like this before, becuase I don't read that much of this genre. These aren't my absolute favourites because honestly, I can't really think of out-of-the-world-awesome ones right now. Just some I really like!


1. Nick and Mae - The Demon's Lexicon series by Sarah Rees Brennan
-swords are sexy
-I think they would be weirdly good together, but probably not very.. ehm, compatible
-Both rocked in the Demon's Covenant (but I won't tell you who Mae chooses!)



2. Chloe and Derek- The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong
-Yay for unattractive, broody love interests that are much more than what they seem on the surface!
-Chloe can stand her own against him, and refuses to let him control her
-Both kick ass, figuratively and literally



3. Jessica and Lucius - Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
-Uhm, what can I say? These two are great in different ways
-I love Jessica's spirit and style
-Lucius is funny :) and very attractive :p

**
Sorry that this week's 3 couples aren't the greatest choices, I'm running low on character-love these days :( Any recommendations of books to kick me out of a slump?

What are your favourite paranormal couples? Bring it on! I know I probably missed some super obvious ones (I skipped Vamp. Academy on purpose btw)!






picture source: here/ I'm not reader/looker of art like this (anime-ish, I would guess) but I thought it was really cute xD

Monday, September 13, 2010

BR: The Iron Daughter

by Julie Kagawa
Iron Fey series; book II

Here is a marketing scheme to sell sequels: have book readers read book #1 in a bookstore, within hands reach of book #2. Then when he or she finishes book #1, close the store, giving 15 minutes of warning. 15 minutes will guarantee that this reader will purchase book #2. Sales go through the roof. You’re welcome.

Summary (goodreads):
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.
**
My Expectations: I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel, so I thought this one would be even better. I read the first bit in the book store and was hooked.

Delivery: fell short about halfway through, but still good.

Put-down-ability: Very engaging writing, 3/10
**

My Thoughts

I feel that I'm a negative person. I really do, and I'm going to try and cut back on negativity because honestly, the only thing it accomplishes is... nothing (apart from making me look like a mean girl).

The Iron Daughter is a very worthy sequel to The Iron King, and one that I completely devoured in less than a day. I thought the expansion on the world-building was impressive with the addition of The Between and the Briars, both are exciting and unique, adding intrigue to the plot. I do find it a bit difficult to imagine some of the creatures/settings at times but that's because my imagination is on hold.

The non-stop action was fantastic, and I loved how there was fighting involved, swords and daggers and other creatures. Way cool. The concept of technology and Iron Faeries was also superb (probably my favourite part), and I like how it relates to the world today and its dependance on computers and stuff. I think the 'existence' of the fey based on imagination was a nice touch. Kagawa's writing is impressive for her sophomore novel, Meghan's voice is extremely engaging and flows well, very much like a teenager.

I found the storyline a bit shaky, it felt as if it lost a bit of focus halfway through, as if the author was trying to juggle too many things at once: the romance, the Scepter quest, the backstory, feys, and things just felt a tad messy. Very much disliked the ending.

Now to characters: Both Puck and Ash fell flat for me. Despite the fact I am Team Puck, I just don't see any character depth apart from his devotion to Meghan. Ash is predictable as ever, not many of his actions really surprised me, and I still don't see what Meghan sees in him. Go Grimalkin!

Meghan isn't my favourite protagonist, I felt her obsession/love for the boy(s) was annoying and tedious, along with some moments where her helplessness got on my nerves.

Parting Thoughts: I hope book 3 will be better, I will be reading it :)
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable

7.8/10 - because it disappointed me a bit, I wasn't a huge fan of the characters, but the plot and action was great. I love the Faery world created by Kagawa, and the creatures as well. I wish I felt a bit more connection and understanding of the motivation behind the characters though, especially Meghan. The third book, The Iron Queen, is released Feb 2011! Team Puck! B





source: bought
author blog/twitter/website
series website

Sunday, September 12, 2010

blog email address changed

Hey everyone! Just to let you know, I've finally gotten around to making an email addy dedicated specifically to this blog. If you want to contact me in any way, my email address is now:

holesinmybrain(at)hotmail(dot)com


Just like my blog title because I'm uber imaginative like that. Have a great day!

what do Books Do?

Okay, please know that I was in no way contacted or asked to talk about these books. I just think it's interesting when I stopped by the site to look around.

In case you haven't heard, Penguin POV (point of view) is basically "a program for Young Adult novels. These novels fill the silence that surrounds difficult topics. They are perhaps the rarest and most special sort of books*". Novels include many well known, "edgy" ones such as:
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • ...plus a lot more.
I'm not here to talk much about the books however, this post is more specifically about video of a book signing for John Green that I found on the site (link). I watched the entire thing (about 45 minutes) and just thought it was really great and got me thinking.

Basically, Green speaks about the most important thing books can do.

Now it's your turn, what do you think books do? Escapism? Entertainment? I know that's what came to my mind.

His very valid point is this: books help us think about what to think about.

Not how to think. Not whether or not to think. It's because we choose what we want to think about, so what he means by this is that books can help direct us into thinking about something more.. meaningful. He brings up some simple but very common examples.

I don't want to keep elaborating because I know I will just get everything confused and twisted. All I want to do is recommend you to go to this link and watch the video (mostly the first 20 or so minutes), then if you want, come back here and leave a comment telling me what you got out of it. There are a lot of other videos from various authors as well (I liked the Jay Asher one too) if you're interested.

My Thoughts:
I don't think the video necessarily changed the way I feel about reading, but more like it brought out another aspect of reading into focus. Now being aware of something like this, I think it might change the way I interpret books after finishing, maybe now instead of thinking love triangles, I will be thinking character journeys and underlying themes.

What do you think is the most important thing books do?





*source: POV website

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday's Finest (23)

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.
**

I don't really have one prepared this week so I'm just gonna pick something from a book I've read recently. I'm pretty fascinated with the effect of technology and science on people and culture, plus the line fit in well with the story.

Book: The Iron King
by Julie Kagawa

Quote:
They no longer believe in monsters or magic. As cities grow and technology takes over the world, belief and imagination fade away, and so do we*.

*we refers to the Fey or Nevernever

Anyways, the imagination is the foundation of faeries (plus the technology is the base for Iron Fey, the awesome antagonists), and (don't judge) but it reminds me of Elf the movie, where Christmas only exists because people believe. "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite colour?"... okay...

Read the book? Liked it? Favorite quotes of your own? let me know in the comments!






Read my review of The Iron King.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Trailer: Fall For Anything

Does this need any explanation? Fall For Anything is Courtney Summers' (author of Cracked Up To Be and Some Girls Are.. both are excellent) latest novel to be released December 2010... and it looks AWESOME.

First.. here is the breathtaking, stunning cover.


And she just posted the book trailer on her blog, so I'm spreading the word. Well, three: I LOVE IT (and another tw: WATCH IT). It has a simplicity and power to it behind the soft-spoken narration that sticks with you. Beautiful.



Isn't it just like.. awesomesauce? 3 months to go!
And if you haven't read her other two novels, I would strongly recommend that you do, you won't regret it!

Summary (goodreads):

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered.








Source: her original blog post :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BR: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson
Millennium series; book I

Since this book is pretty out of my genre, I finally found a way to keep it short!!

Summary

Industrialist 82 year old Henrik Vanger is tormented by the disappearance of a child, Harriet, over 30 years ago. Suspecting someone in his dysfunctional family is involved, he hires recently humiliated journalist, Mikael Blomkvist to do some digging and try his best to solve the mystery. Along the way, talented and dangerous haker, Lisbeth Salander finds herself assisting the investigation that might just be connected to the work of a gruesome serial killer.


My Thoughts

I think “Men Who Hate Women” might have been a more suitable title. I like to think myself as an emotional reader, I find myself part of the story and this time, might not have been the best idea. I’ll admit, I was pretty damn freaked out at times as I blanched at the horrors being described and the disgusting acts being committed… this is definitely not a book for younger audiences.

The story itself is pretty intricate, the disappearance and the whole mystery is well laid out. The Vanger family gives a whole new definition to dysfunctional, and the sub-plots (Millennium, etc) were well presented. I thought Lisbeth as a fascinating, enigmatic character that really stands out amongst books I’ve read lately, I don’t want to spoil too much but I just found her really bizarre-ly interesting. Blomkvist is more of a typical male lead—less unique, more clichéd but still likable.

It does feel a bit “out-of-times” just because of how technology is handled nowadays, and there could be some confusing Swedish terms. Lastly, I suggest finding out the kroner-to-USD conversion rate, they talk a lot about money.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable

8.5/10 – because the story was gripping, addicting, but is it okay to say “messed up” at times? It could be twisted and merciless to a younger reader, and it really is a clever and fast-paced thriller novel with intriguing characters and a mystery worth the 500 or so pages. Recommended for adults who like, well, mystery thrillers. B





Source: bought
PS- I've had this post for a while, but I was planning on 'releasing' all 3 review for this series at once. However, as I am temporarily desperately sludging through book 3 (blame the yummy tbr pile!) I just thought whatever... Anyways, you can expect a review of books 2 + 3 sometime.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BR: The Iron King

by Julie Kagawa
Iron Fey series; book I

Blechh, school starts today. Kill me now. Senior year...
Well, remember a while ago I held a contest for this novel? After getting back from vacation, I finally got around to reading it (with a bit of hesitation) but I'm glad I did!

Summary:

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart.

**
My Expectations: To be honest, I was a bit wary about reading this. The only other fey novel I’ve read I’ve pretty much detested, plus there was a lot of hype. I dunno, I was just a reluctant reader… I thought it would be so-so

Delivery: Hurray! Above my expectations, it wasn’t really what I was expecting at all. Wonderful, enjoyable read.

Put-down-ability: hmm last bit was awesome, first bit was okay. 5/10
**

My Thoughts

I don’t really know what to say apart from the fact that I really really liked it. But I wouldn’t be who I am if I wasn’t nitpicky… does me being nitpicky bother you? I hope not, I don’t think I’ll be changing soon.

So there were two lines in the novel that annoyed me (please know that this is completely my irrational opinion). They are not quoted word for word, but they go along the lines of…
“My heart broke with every step I took.”

“I was a depressed, cold person… Until I met you.”
Ech, those sentences don’t leave good tastes in my mouth. It feels amateurish and predictable and corny, no matter whose mouth they come out of. Sorry!

That aside… another nitpick of mine was that I didn’t connect that well with Meghan. Sure, her voice was delightful and kept me engaged from page one (yes! I love lovable narrators) but I never really felt her motivation, the desperation she had to save Ethan, her romantic feelings, etc. A bit more show, a bit less tell might’ve changed my mind but who knows.

Lastly, I didn’t believe her feelings toward either boy, Ash or Puck. Can’t see what non-physical part is attractive about Ash, and Puck was a bit too “just there” for me. Choosing a team? Uhm... Push. Ashuck. I'm divided (after book #2, no longer divided. Stay tuned for review)!

However, on to the good stuff! Nevernever was very well laid out, it had the potential to get messy and confusing but I think Kagawa handled it with finesse. The concept behind everything, the Summer and Winter courts, the Iron Fey, everything I was very satisfied with; it kept the adventure going without over-explanations and lag.

The whole storyline was great, and Meghan I think is a generally likable character minus some minor moments of inconsistency. Puck and Ash are both appealing for different reasons, but I think I have a good idea who she’ll end up with. I am curious though, are feys as tall as humans? I think I missed that part because the glamour and whatever screwed me up xD

Please don't think that just because I had issues (I always have issues) doesn't mean I didn't like it. And the fact that I focused on issues also doesn't mean I didn't like it. I really really did, there were more than enough good parts to settle the bad. =]

Parting Thoughts: Well, I finished this book at the book store, and then I snatched up Iron Daughter as I left… I was gonna read the e-galley but I guess I want the collection. You’ve won me over, Ms. Kagawa!
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations

8.3/10 – because it was thoroughly enjoyable and I loved the concept and premise of faeries. Maybe had some minor issues with writing and characters, but overall I think a lot of people will like the bit-cliched-but-with-a-great-twist plot. Recommended to YA readers in general :) B+







source: Big Honcho Media
author blog/twitter/website
series website

Monday, September 6, 2010

BAD logic that makes me HAPPY

Time for a random tangent of thought...

Okay, I honestly have to say before this spark of logic driveled into my brain, the book I am most highly anticipating in the year 2011 is Where She Went by Gayle Forman (apr 19). Yes, probably because of the awesome teaser tour that's been going around seeing that If I Stay was highly enjoyable for me but not really a to-die-for novel (pardon the pun)...

However, here is my logic.

By the time Where She Went is released... guess what other book will be out?

Guess!


*drumroll + happy dance*


THE BRIDGE OF CLAY by Markus Zusak!!! (feb 3)

"It's about a boy.
His name is Clay.
He's building a bridge.
And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous."

**
This is GOOD NEWS. Be Happy! I need a countdown widget!!

I just wish there could be a bit more information released. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go read The Book Thief by Mr. Zusak right nao. Seriously.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Movie Thoughts: Inception

I know it may not show it, but personally, it feels like all I've done this week was mention Mockingjay and do everything but review it (there I go again). *pushes button for a topic switch*

Summary:
Inception is about dreams. Cobb (dear ol' Leo) is a professional who enters people's dreams and does bad stuff like steal secrets, except this time around he and his team are given the job of implanting an idea, which proves far more difficult and precise than anything ever attempted.

My Thoughts:

Loved it! It was an intelligent and unique premise that was perfectly executed. Fast-paced, action-packed, but never losing a sense of style or structure, I'm glad it lived up to the hype. This is a movie where you might have to pay a bit more attention to make sure you don't get left behind; the complexity of the plot makes things both confusing and genius.

I had no issues with the acting (I think I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt...) and I also love the themes and the intense character journey experienced by Cobb. One of my favourites of 2010. Recommended to everyone!

Popcorn Review: A highly enjoyable movie with a refreshingly elaborate and original plot, some jaw-dropping action sequences, a dash of humour, and awesomesauce characters.

9.3/10

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday's Finest (22)

Quote from Mockingjay (barely-a-spoiler alert)


Friday's Finest is a meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose
**

It's funny how this line really just jumped off the page for me for no other reason than the fact that I felt the honesty of it. It's bizarre, but it was as if this was the one line that truly rung with clarity, broken innocence and truth. It shows the growth of Katniss, and the change she and others have been forced to experience through the revolution.

It occurs nearer the end of the novel, so it is a very very minor spoiler.

Book: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games book 3)
by Suzanne Collins

Quote:
Gale comes up behind me and we examine each other's reflection. I'm searching for something to hang on to, some sign of the girl and boy who met by chance in the woods five years ago and became inseparable.
Call me weird, but I really really love those lines, particuarly the second one. I love the whole paragraph. I should stop reading it over and over again, I'm afraid they will lose their magic.

You got any favourite quotes from this book? (of course, the very last line before the epilogue is a shoo-in...)






PS- I'd actually like to say a weird 'sorry' for having so much Mockingjay related stuff this week, it seems like I've done everything but review it... Promise I'll be moving on to other things soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

BR: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

by Ally Carter
Gallagher Girls series; book I

This was one of the YA novels I found in a Taiwan airport book shop, I think I was overwhelmed with the idea of an English novel I knew about in Taiwan so I snatched it up. Read it in 2 sittings... stupid 4 hour flight delay! haha

Summary:
Cammie is a Gallagher Girl, which means she attends spy school and can kill people with her bare hands. She is exceptional, yet can easily blend in with the back-drop, until one day, she meets Josh, an ordinary boy who thinks she is just an ordinary girl.

**
My Expectations: I adored the writing and style of Heist Society, and I’m a sucker for espionage-schools xD Had high hopes. Plus the cover is cute and I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series!

Delivery: Fell short in most categories :( But it was a fun read… I guess. More of an “easy read” or “light read” really.

Put-down-ability: easy read, hard to put down.. plus I read it during another flight delay. Yay for books! 4/10
**

My Thoughts

This one just didn’t work very well for me because I had a few issues with characterization. Jumping right to the point, I just wanted to say how much I disliked the entire romance plot of the novel, Josh has no personality whatsoever and Cammie and her actions cued some headscratching. Cammie’s voice is vibrant and engaging, however her character wasn’t particularly relatable nor worthy-of-my-full-hearted-support. Particularly the scene at the pharmacy…

The spy school premise had such promise as well, but instead of a smart, unique idea it turned cheesy and awkward. The classes and gadget-mentioning felt forced and inserted to "make it cooler". I’m not really sure why it felt this way, however, so maybe it’s just me. For example, in Heist Society, the art thievery was kind of ‘out there’, however it was presented in a manner that made it sneakily charming. This tried but failed on the same count.

I never really got a feel for the supporting cast too, I’m sure they will be better developed in the future novels. The plot was weak because of the way it is centered around Cammie’s fascination with Josh, an aspect that I personally found disinteresting.

Parting Thoughts: Don’t think I’ll be continuing with this series, but I’m glad I tried.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable

7/10 – because I didn’t particularly love a lot about the novel apart from the fact that it is a quick, light read that is easy on the mind. Cammie’s voice in strong, but her character just wasn’t for me, nor was her love interest. I feel character development is undoubtedly going to occur more as the series progresses, along with a more concrete plot. Give this one a try if you want fun boarding-school-with-a-twist YA novels, recommended to teen girls! C+

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
**
This Week's Topic:
What's the best book you read this month?

Okay, I'm kind of cheating doing this 'meme' today because honestly, I needed a filler post. And this question is kind of redundant seeing I only read 2 (I know, 2!!) books in August.


Answer: Mockingjay.


But, however, I might just want to be a tiny bit more fair and include books read in both July and August. I definitely had a more diverse taste (see: Little Women and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and read some pretty darned looong books.

So what was the best book I read over the entire summer?


Answer: Mockingjay.


Haha, see what I did there? I'm sorry. I know, I'm boring like that. I'll probably post something a bit more meaningful tomorrow...