Monday, January 31, 2011

January, lookin' back

I don't even remember if I made this a resolution, but anyways, I'll try to have 12 month-in-review posts this year. I'm 1 for 12 now.

This is January in review at holes In My brain.

Book Reviews (9) - wow, 9? Go me.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Gone by Lisa McMann

The Ancillary's Mark by Daniel A. Cohen

Victim Rights by Norah McClintock

After by Amy Efaw

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan


Thoughts

Despite the fact that I posted so many reviews, a lot of them were from the previous month. I didn't get that many books read in January (7, I believe) and I'm hoping to change that.

Book of the Month

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (9.3/10) It was so good, when I finished I knew it would be my featured book.

Honourable Mention

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian (9/10), it was excellent, I stayed up to read it yesterday, expect a review in Feb!

Also, this month I:
*
Posted my blogging New Year's Resolutions
*
I posted a giveaway for an ARC of WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman which I think you guys should enter. It ends on the fourth of Feb.
*
Movie Thoughts on The Town
*
Gave you guys a tour of my bookshelves!
*
Posted some really yummy, swoony boy quotes ;)
*
Entered two challenges, the Aussie YA Reading Challenge and the 'general' YA Reading Challenge
*
Discussed more quotes, this one for my yearbook
*

Parting Thoughts

I just hope I can read more books! Also, I want to revive Slam Sundays, I haven't spent enough time crawling around YouTube for some awesome ones to share. I

Looking Ahead

I'm getting a new banner so look out for that! :) That's my exciting news for now, but also, I do want to focus a lot more on schoolwork, I've been pretty neglectful since Christmas break.. Oh well.

I hope you guys had a good month! Feel free to click the links in the post, that's what they're here for ;)

And hellooooo February! Kicking off with the release of Delirium by Lauren Oliver, huh? Impressive! xD

Sunday, January 30, 2011

BR: Revolution

by Jennifer Donnelly

Book of the Month for January =)

I picked this one up because I felt drawn to it after reading the summary. I haven't read any of Donnelly's other novels... oh and I do love the cover.. such a sense of style.

Summary (goodreads):

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

**
My Expectations: I actually haven't read that many reviews of this before reading (mostly positive), I honestly did just have this positive vibe from it.

Delivery: My dear god, this book was delectable. So much better than I had wished.

Put-down-ability: 457 pages. I read 420 of them in one evening. Suffice to say, 1.5/10
**

My Thoughts

Oh boy, prepare for gushing. It's like Donnelly read my mind for exactly the type of book I needed at the moment. I got to read about a girl whose life is suckier than mine (hehe, jk... not really though) and while the angst could serve as a turn-off, I fed off it.. no joke. I just loved the deep and emotional Andi who effortlessly made me care about her.

I easily slipped into the novel as I would a pair of old shoes, I loved how the pre-Paris events were eventful, not just a set-up for the 'real story', it kills me when 'inciting incidents' are just dreary boring stuff that takes too long to set up the real story. And when the real story started rolling I was blown away. There's so much small and subtle details the paints a gloriously larger picture as we follow Andi trying to navigate her way through both her life and a foreign country.

As the summary indicated, the novel is a unique blend of dual storylines with Andi in Brooklyn/Paris and Alex's diary entries during the French Revolution. The two storylines meshed together well, but I'll admit Andi's story was the one that truly drew me in. All the characters were well developed, and I felt the characters in the diary entries all had their own little oomph to add to the story. Also, love interest, see: swoon. Definitely near the very top of my list of fictional boys.

And the music?? The guitar, Amade Malherbeau, Virgil's rhymes, Andi's broken lyrics... I love every single aspect of it and the gorgeous role it played in the novel and Andi's life. *sigh* I seriously can't get over how wonderful everything is.

Plus the writing, oh my dear god, the writing was just so lovely. Exquisite. It's not big-words, poetry-esque writing; it was subtlely beautiful which I absolutely adored. From the very beginning I could tell Revolution would be something special and despite the fact it isn't the fastest moving novel ever, I savoured all 457 pages of this novel.

Rating in HP Terms: Outstanding!
Recommended for: Especially to people interested in YA historical fiction, French Revolution, dual narrations, impeccable writing, characters with emotions, hot three-dimensional french boys. And everyone else.
Acknowledgements: 4/5

9.3/10 - because I love love loooved it. The writing left me breathless and Andi's emotional and tumultuous journey was equal parts compelling and hearfelt. Minus the 'twist' which I wasn't a huge fan of, the entire novel is just one huge pile of everything I could want in a book. So good, and while I understand it might not be the book for everyone, I would still say, "read it now!"







source: publisher
author website

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Movie Thoughts: The Town

I was originally going to post this as part of 'Movies in My Brain' which will happen in a couple months (!), but I think by then it'll be out of date :p And I will have watched more movies by then, hopefully.

Summary

Basically, there’s this group of friends/bank robbers in Charlestown, Massachusetts. On one of their gigs, they kidnap a bank manager and after some events unfurl, one of the criminals (Affleck) finds himself falling for this girl. He needs to make choices between his life of crime or leaving everything he once knew behind.


My Thoughts

I wasn’t expecting much from this movie despite quite the critical acclaim, I did expect it to predictable and basically like any other action-y movie. I was glad I was wrong, because I thought The Town was an extremely entertaining movie. What I enjoyed was how tightly controlled and reined in scenes were, there weren’t the unnecessary rambling bits or over dramatized romance. What was needed was there, and everything fit well together.

I don’t know the first thing about directing or whatever Ben Affleck is being praised for, but I can just say that this movie is downright enjoyable. I loved the heists taking place, the action scenes, the blossoming ‘romance’ and the acting in general. There wasn’t an actor that didn’t pull his or her weight, everyone’s Boston accents were just lovely :p Also, I especially liked Jeremy Renner’s (he was The Hurt Locker) performance, he can sure pull off the slightly crazy friend.

I liked the ending because it was realistic and well done. Some are going to go down shooting, others are going to jump at the chance to start anew…

Popcorn review: an entertaining and clever action-drama flick that isn’t run of the mill, would definitely recommend if you're in the mood.

9/10

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday's Finest (32)

Friday's Finest is a meme hosted by Steff & Justine at 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 picked this week's quote from a book I haven't finished yet, but when I read the line, I giggled. I just want to fist-bump the character (Elder) because it's such a boy thing to do.

Book: Across the Universe
by Beth Revis

Quote:
She starts crying. Not soft, sad tears, but the angry sort, like she hates the whole world, or at least the ship that's now her world. So, I do what any reasonable person would do when faced with a crying girl.

I get the frex out of there.
**

Hehe, how lovely. Anyways, I hope to finish this book sometime soon so look out for a review. How did you like the quote? And what would you do if you were in Elder's situation? xD

Happy Friday! (TGIF)







this book on Goodreads / website
author twitter

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BR: Gone

by Lisa McMann
Dream Catcher trilogy; book III

I was never really a fan of this series, but I read the first two and thought might as well find out what happens.

Summary (goodreads):

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . .

**
My Expectations: not high, I didn't really expect to love it.

Delivery: I'm kind of ambivalent, I'm glad I finished the series.

Put-down-ability: read in increments at the school library over... say... 4 months? 9/10
**

My Thoughts

So here ends our journey with Janie and Cabel, and over the span of the three books I never really well, fell for them. Janie in this book is at a Morton's Fork, or as she adequately says "two equally sucky choices". The author really drew out her dilemma and her decisions, focusing almost exclusively on her.

This leads to the fact that the novel lacks plot. In the sense that I can barely find one, there's the simmering on with the "stranger" which is average at best... I was ambivalent on this because the character development is extremely strong, despite my lack of connection with them. Okay, I'm not making much sense, but basically: lots of character development, very little plot, I found everything so-so.

The writing is something that I hated in the first book but it ended up growing on me.. yay. The style and tone is different and very upfront in a way I found myself liking. Oh, and I still don't get Cabel. Honestly, his unselfishness is pretty impressive, I mean, I don't understand his love for Janie, who is pretty much a bitch to him for 80% of the novel. And Janie's alcoholic mother, Dorothea, can go live in Fictionland Hellhole, I hate her.

I did like the way things wrapped up, although it took 200 pages to get there it was an interesting road anyhow. McMann keeps readers guessing until the very end to find out the ultimate choice made my Janie.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: most YA fans looking for an interesting prose + dream catching heroines :)
Acknowledgements: 3.5/5

7.8/10 (see rating system)- because this finale is a nice end to the series that I'm surprised I finished. The lack of plot made things slow-moving but it was interesting to delve far into Janie's mind. I admired the writing style, and while I do wish there was more stuff happening, I thought the author managed to keep a reader wanting to know what finally happens to Janie and Cabe. I understand that this series just really wasn't for me but it has huge appeal to others.










source: library
author twitter / facebook / website

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine =]
**

I couldn't thik of this week's pick so I was wandering through Twitter and saw a tweet about winning ARCs (LOL don't judge). Of course, I clicked the link and it led me to a book that just looks positively spiffing.

Steel
by Carrie Vaughn

Summary:

When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?

Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.
**

So, two words: pirates and time-travel. Count me in :)

Steel is released from HarperTeen on March 15, 2011







this book on Goodreads
author website

PS- the cover totally reminds me of Malinda Lo's Huntress for some reason.. even though they are way different xD

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Contest" for an ARC of The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

I have an extra ARC of The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong to give away! It's the first in a companion series to the Darkest Powers trilogy, but with a new cast of characters that's still set in the same world. It is the first book in the "Darkness Rising" series!!

Summary

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.

The Gathering is released April 12, 2011

Rules:
-Open to US/Canada
-FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW
-no extra entries, but tweeting is appreciated :)
-Winner chosen by me based on the answers, they will be contacted by email


EDIT Jan 26 - alright, I thought choosing a winner would be a lot easier than it was, so I ended up with a list of people whose answers I liked, then randomized the list. Then used random.org to choose a number, and the "winner" turned out to be..
Allison from The Allure of Books. Congrats, I will email you shortly :) And thanks to everyone who entered! =)

xx







this book on goodreads
author website
my reviews of Darkest Powers book I / II / III

Sunday, January 23, 2011

BR: The Ancillary's Mark

by Daniel A. Cohen

I got this book for review a while ago but life has been crazy hectic! I'm so glad when I finally found some time to sit down and read this one..

Summary:
The legend of the Ancillary flower has existed for centuries. Foretold to bring out the limitless potential of its bearer, the flower and the legend have been forgotten by many. Recently, strange events in a shrouded Tibetan town have sparked rumors among those who still believe.

Jacob Deer is a quirky young man, bound for college, with an eccentric old librarian for a best friend, an obsession with sitting down in elevators, and a strange birthmark on his hand that's shaped mysteriously like the markings of the Ancillary's petals. When Jacob's mentor Mr. Maddock reveals to him his connection with the legendary Ancillary, it sets in motion a series of events that sends Jacob and friends across the world. Alongside an alluring young woman, a marine-reject, and a Tibetan kid obsessed with comic books, Jacob must face off against a vengeful maniac for the fate of the flower, the legend, and all mankind.

**
My Expectations: I wasn't really sure what to expect, the summary sounded pretty ambitious but I looked forward to good things.

Delivery: highs and lows, but I was surprised by how enjoyable it was!

Put-down-ability: 7/10
**

My Thoughts

As soon as we are introduced to Jacob, every vibe he gives off is positive. I mean colour coded bookmarks and sitting down in elevators pondering life? I knew I was gonna like this boy right away, and throughout the book I just liked him more. A few aspects of his character could probably have been more polished, for example, his quirks are thrown out there in a really deliberate manner rather than 'unveiled'.. also he kind of lacked faults. But I can probably brush that aside because he was admirable 90% of the time.

An aspect I couldn't for the life of me become a fan of was the romance, it was so freaking predictable! The moment the (one-dimensional) girl walks in I knew how things would unfold between them. My very last, and mostly minor problem was that I did find myself wary of the dialogue at times, especially during the beginning.

But let's put all that aside and focus on the part I absolutely loved: the plot! Wow, it was impressive to say the least, a great adventure from beginning to end that included everything I could ask for: crazy villains, awesome side-kicks and a quest-worthy prize. I can't compliment it enough, the twists and turns in the story is what kept me hooked and wanting to read more. I adored the Tibetan setting and the quirky characters there (Clark, you rock), but what I loved the most was the mystery of the Ancillary flower/mark. Loved the whole concept of it.

It kind of reminded me of The Da Vinci Code, with a riddle with so many hidden meanings that gradually become clear to both Jacob and the reader. I might also mention that from probably a quarter into the book, the plot never slows down, and hang on tight because the race to the finish line was exhilarating in the best sense.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: boys, YA adventure lovers, quests without the fantasy, people looking for a switch-up of genres
Acknowledgements: 3/5

7.8/10 - because I found I had both positive and negative reactions to this book. There were a few kinks that I found cliched, but there was also a great, fast-paced plot that made up for it. I found character development could have been better but overall, it was a well-written, enjoyable read.







source: author
publisher website

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book of the Month (2011)

In my resolutions post, I said I wanted to feature/show you my favourite book of the month. This post is just an "archive"-ish post where I can link people from my Tabs/etc...

Anyways, without further ado...

January: REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly


-I devoured 7/8ths of this in a day. And January isn't even over yet and I already know this will be my favourite, it is just exquisite.
- read my review.

February: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins


-such a lovely contemporary, it was serious and fun at the same time, and so perfectly executed.
-read my review.

March: RAW BLUE by Kirsty Eagar


-I can't even. This book is just so beautiful and haunting, it's an amazing character-driven upper-YA that resonates.
-read my review.

April: WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman



-This breathtaking sequel rivals the incredible first novel, If I Stay. Full of life and beautiful prose, this novel made me ache.
-read my review.

May: DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth



-Heart-pounding, action-packed thriller adventure that I could not put down. Wow.
-read my review.

June: SPLIT by Swati Avasthi


-Heartwrenching story about family, redemption, love, and brothers. Just perfect.
-read my review

July: A LITTLE WANTING SONG by Cath Crowley


-It's like the perfect book for me, quietly beautiful, heartwarming, and full of soul. I'm completely and utterly in love.
-read my review

August: FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John

-such a vibrant, engaging and unique story with excellent characters and upbeat personality.
-read my review


September/October: FROI OF THE EXILES by Melina Marchetta





November: THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater



December: SAVING JUNE by Hannah Harrington



BOOK OF THE YEAR:

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley 

&&

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday's Finest (31)

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
**

If you can remember, a while back I featured a quote for Friday's Finest for this same novel, it was a beautiful one on friendship that I adored. This time, this quote from the same book carries strength and edge, it also jumped out at me when I read it.

This novel is probably one of the most highly anticipated of 2011, and I hope you get a chance to read it? Here's a snippet about the cure...

Book: Delirium
by Lauren Oliver

Quote:
Hardly anything matters. They say the cure is about happiness, but I understand now that it isn't, and it never was. It's about fear: Fear of pain, fear of hurt, fear, fear, fear -- a blind animal existence, bumping between walls, shuffling between ever-narrowing hallways, terrified and dull and stupid.
Awesome? Heck yes. I love the tone and the delivery of this, it paints a picture with attitude and feeling.

Have you read Delirium? Will you?
It's released Feb. 1, 2011!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BR: Victim Rights

by Norah McClintock
Ryan Dooley Mystery series; book III

Okay, as a preface, I just loove this series. It's definitely different from most YA books I read, I mean it's a crime/mystery one! The first book is called "Dooley Takes the Fall", the second, "Homicide Related". Uhm... both ROCK. You should definitely read them.

Summary:

For the past six months, Dooley's girlfriend Beth has been a loving presence in his life-- a constant reminder for him to keep on the straight and narrow, away from the unsavoury life and shady characters that have peopled Dooley's past.

But when he is confronted with rumors about Beth's involvement with another guy, Dooley's world is pushed to the brink-- and it's up to him to unravel the increasingly complex truth, or be overwhelmed by the lies and injustice swirling around him.

**
My Expectations: I was a bit apprehensive that this wouldn't hold up to my high expectations after the first two awesome books!

Delivery: Very well done, loved almost every aspect :)

Put-down-ability: 3/10
**

My Thoughts

Victim Rights lets me back into the awesomely familiar world of Ryan Dooley, I just love reading about every aspect of this boy's life, seriously. The conflict is immediately introduced without much dilly-dallying and Dooley's reactions are something that I found was true to his character (despite some angsty groans from me).

As usual, McClintock takes readers for a ride, having events gradually build and build before she throws yet another curveball at you. There were some jaw-dropping moments that kept the intensity going, never lulling back into a sluggish pace. What I liked about this third installment is that she focuses a lot more on characters, on Dooley and Beth in particular, than she did in the previous novel where the crime overruled.

Another aspect about this novel I enjoyed is that the third person narrative didn't disconnect the reader in me, it sucked me back into the story pretty quickly, as if there wasn't even a year in between reading books 2 and 3. A slight disappointment I had with the novel is that I didn't feel the desperation and urgency as much as I did in the previous two. True, they deal with vastly different topics, but especially with the second twist I didn't find everything as... atmospheric.

There is an underlying mystery in this book that's mentioned briefly throughout several scenes that is the basis of Dooley's alibi which I just couldn't get myself to love. It didn't play a big enough factor for being such a big plot point, if you get what I mean. In the first two books the 'underlying mystery' blew me away, this time I was underwhelmed. But alas, it is underlying for a reason, because the overlying stuff was fantastic.

**MINOR SPOILERS**

A sensitive topic of rape is included in this novel, and it was handled very well. It wasn't really the same style as The Mockingbirds, and I also felt while it is a heavy theme, it doesn't dominate the novel. It adds to characterization in a positive way without being melodramatic.

**end spoiler**

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: Readers looking for some fantastic crime and mystery YA that is becoming rare in this genre!
Acknowledgements: none

8.6/10 - because I'm just in love with the characters and the plot is, as usual, both thrilling and interesting. It's fun being sucked back into the world of Dooley and his troubles to be honest, and it was satisfying to know that this series definitely isn't taking a dip as it continues. Although it is a little on the mature-YA spectrum, if this sounds like your cup of tea, I would for sure tell you to go for it! You definitely won't regret it :)






source: publisher
my review of book II

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine =]
**

This week's pick is one I've seen floating around, mostly on Twitter. I have yet to read the first book by this author (desperately want to though!!) but anyways, her sophomore novel seems just as awesome.

C-Side Tales
by Tara Kelly

Summary:

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their industrial rock band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright, and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it

**

I like the clever use of C-side... hehehe. It just sounds all-around cool. What are you waiting on this week?







this book on Goodreads
author website / twitter

Monday, January 17, 2011

Giveaway hop Winner + yearbook quote Decision

Thank you to everyone who entered! I'm happy to announce the winner of the $10 Gift Card to The Book Depository (or a book order under $10) is...

CARLY!

Congrats! I have emailed you, please respond within 48 hours!

Also, if you remember, a couple weeks ago I had this post asking you guys for some input on what to put as my grad write-up/yearbook quote. You guys had som AWESOME suggestions, so to everyone who commented/emailed me, thank you!!!! I appreciate every one of them, and I was actually really close to choosing a few.

However, I did end up going with something that's a... bit more... predictable, shall I say? Well, for me. Yep, I chose a Harry Potter quote xD


Well, Dumbledore one, more specifically. Here is what I wrote, the first sentence is paraphrased since I don't remember it word for word:
Thank you to all the amazing people who made these past five years incredible. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." -Dumbledore

I liked the idea of not planning and dreaming all the time and remember what is here and now, because in the wise words of Sarah Dessen, forever is now... =) Maybe I'll think differently 10 years from now.. What do you think of the quote?

And I seriously debated using this one too, but it kind of had too many letters...


And again, many many thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

my bookshelf Tour!

Firstly, in nooo way whatsoever am I trying to 'brag'. I mean, when you see the pictures, I really don't have much to brag about compared to most book bloggers.

Secondly, this post is inspired by Madeleine Rex's post. And Kristi's post.

Thirdly, some parts whited out for paranoid reasons :p

Fourthly, I just wanted to post this because quite honestly, I love reading posts about other people's bookshelves, etc... I might be the only one, but oh well :p If you have a tour of your own, feel free to leave a link in comments so I can stop by!

Fifthly, clicking will make the picture really big. If you want to stalk my shelves...
**

So this is basically my bookshelf. It is not big. I know that :( And it's the only one I have so it's kind of overflowing because of that big fat printer. I have books lying around on the floor and my bedside table too...



These are the top two rows. First row is the majority of TBR (some of them are spread around my room too). Second row is... my favourite hardbacks/paperbacks :) So authors who never visit, if your book is there, congrats! The two far left are there because they're big and don't fit elsewhere...



Bottom two rows are my paperbacks and not-so-favourite hardbacks. Both are organized by author name. The very very bottom shelf is mostly trade/mass market/smaller-sized/adult genre books (again, focusing on tiny shelves!)


I actually have another row of books behind the ones shown, here is a peek. There are others behind the Millennium series, etc too. Books are 'hidden' mostly for space-saving.


Here are the books I have on the floor right now. They're basically there because I have no room for them on shelves! The top 5 books I haven't read yet either, but they don't fit on the first TBR row.



And lastly, my bedside table books! These are there for various reasons, whether to read and savour slowly (Revolution), a TBR (The Ancillary Mark), awesome bed-time re-reads (Heist Society, Let it Snow, Gayle Forman books), books I'm trying to read but isn't getting much love (Ash, Ghostgirl).... yeah. Usually I have a few more favourites but for now I'm keeping it neater.


**
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the post, and if you had time to read through my commentary, awesome :)







PS- if you have good eyes you might have noticed I actually have two ARCs of The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. I'll be having a quick contest for it soon, stay tuned :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

BR: After

by Amy Efaw

It's part of the Penguin's POV 'series', and see this picture, so I picked it up when I saw it. Dear pubs: I love cheap paperbacks, thanks ;)

Summary:

An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .

Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible— she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon’s unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption.

**
My Expectations: High, its with some pretty amazing company! I thought everything would be really interesting.

Delivery: Not that good...

Put-down-ability: 7/10
**

My Thoughts

I was disappointed by this novel, After tries to delve into the psychological aspect of Devon's mind but it comes up short on several fronts. Immediately from the beginning, I couldn't connect with Devon, and I think this was due to the third person POV. I think this novel would have had so much more potential had I been in Devon's head, especially since a lot of this novel is focused on her state of mind. It would have been fascinating to read about her denial from her own POV.

The characters were okay for me, I was interested and, yes, I actually sympathized with Devon, but none of the other characters caught my attention. I didn't care about, and probably won't be remember any of the other girls in the detention facility, Devon's mom, lawyer or friends...

The plot is where I felt the novel really took a dip, I did really enjoy the beginning with the discovery of the dumpster baby and Devon's arrest. I felt the immediacy and urgent-ness of the various actions, the vulnerability of the characters and the Devon's spinning emotions. The plot lulled in the middle, and when everything kind of settled down and approached the trial... well it just turned into a John Grisham novel. If I want to read a John Grisham novel, I will read one.

I have read a lot of those lawyer books, and this one felt no different, it felt as if Efaw tried to hard to make the trial interesting and CSI-like that she lost sight of what it really should have been about: Devon. Character development took a hit in the last 100 or so pages, we have about 90 pages trial, 10 pages character development. I'm not saying there was no Devon-news, but I felt there definitely could have been more. My disconnect from the novel is reflected in the fact that I went ahead and read the last couple pages, which is something I haven't done in a ridiculously long time. Hmm.

Rating HP Terms: Poor/Acceptable
Recommended for: Hmm... contemp fans, book clubs because it will definitely bring discussion...
Acknowledgments: Ooh, I really liked this one, 4/5

7/10 - (see rating system) because it wasn't my favourite book. Characters didn't grab my interest, I was never emotionally invested in the plot and while the trial stuff in the last third was entertaining, I felt much of it was unnecessary. I feel a story like this has so much potential but this one didn't impress me as much as I would have hoped.







source: bought
author website

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday's Finest (30)

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.
**

This week's pick is, quite simply put, fiiine. Like it's a luxury to be reading such fine-ness.

Book: Revolution
by Jennifer Donnelly

Quotes:
I play until my fingers are blue and stiff from the cold, and then I keep on playing. Until I'm lost in the music. Until I am the music-- the notes and chords, the melody and harmony. It hurts, but it's okay because when I'm the music, I'm not me. Not sad. Not afraid. Not desperate. Not guilty.

This is it. The big reconciliation scene. Where I run to him and he holds me and we cry bright silver tears and everything is better. I wait for the music to start. I wait for someone to cue the violins. For the cheap Hollywood score to kick in. But it doesn't. And it won't. I know that. I've been waiting for two years.

**
Aahh, trust me, of what I've read so far, the prose is just gorgeous. It's exquisite, this book is to be savoured.

I haven't finished this (not even close) but it's great so far. Which quote did you like more? (haha, you don't need to answer that)






this book on Goodreads