Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Publishing Date: September 20, 2011

Publisher: Greenwillow

Pages: 423 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads)

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

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

 Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her.

A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

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

Every book I read leaves an impact in some way or another on my life.  Some mediocre.  Some bad.  Some good.  Some thought-provoking.  Some light-hearted.  Some inspiring. 

Every once in a while, though, a book comes along that blows away all the others.  A book that makes you laugh, makes you scream, makes you cry, makes you vomit from heart-brokenness, makes you die a little bit on the inside, makes you happy, makes you sad, makes you scared, makes you angry, and makes you fall in love.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is one of those books.

Many books have made me cry, even if just a little, over the course of my life.  I've read exactly three books, however, that have evoked enough emotion to force me to curl up into the fetal position in my closet and bawl for 20 (or more) minutes, shaking from head to toe. 

The first- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The second- Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
The third- The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I could say so much about any of these books.  I could talk about how the characters are emotionally-attaching, or how they’re strong, or how heartbroken they leave you.  I could talk about how well-written they are, or how wonderful the plot is.  But, in all honesty, these books evoke so much emotion, that there’s no way to describe them other than for you to experience it yourself.

So, this review is going to be short and sweet, because I just don’t have much to say. Or rather, I have far too much to say, and I can't possibly fit it all into one post.

One of my favorite quotes from the book:
"The beauty of the night sky offers strange comfort. It is unchanging.  Immune to the wars of this world.  Something to count on."

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (#3)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held by The Broke and Bookish that asks readers to tell their top ten picks for the given list each week.

This week's topic: Top Ten 2013 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To

EEP.  I'm super excited about this one.  There are soooo many books that are coming out this year that I've been waiting ages for.

1. Requiem by Lauren Oliver- Oh gosh.  Emotions.  Feels.  Cannot contain.  Too much.

2. Prodigy by Marie Lu- OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG.  I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS ONE.  I'm so excited.

3. Detergent by Veronica Roth- JK, that's not the real title.  But that's what her fans jokingly call the third novel that is hopefully going to come out late this year.  But seriously, I'm stoked for this book.

4. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman- I normally don't read a ton of stuff like this, but this book actually looks really interesting to me.  It came out late last week (still technically a 2013 release), but I haven't had time to pick it up yet.  I can't wait!

5. Mind Games by Kiersten White- I've actually already posted this as a "Waiting-On-Wednesday", and for those of you who have been around long enough to see that post, you understand just how much I cannot wait for this book.  So.  Stinking. Pumped.

6. Taken by Erin Bowman- I think this one could be good or bad.  But I'm pulling for good.  Hopefully I'll like it a lot!

7. (Oh no! We're getting closer to the end of the list!) The Ward by Jordana Frankel- Gotta love some good old dystopian. ;) 

8. Poison by Bridget Zinn- Looks like it could be a pretty good story!

9. Options by Abbi Glines- I think the cover's pretty interesting on this one.  Not much of a blurb so far, but it sounds pretty cool.  I definitely can't wait until they come out with a little more info on it or I start seeing reviews!

10. Last, but definitely not least, Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier! I just finished reading Ruby Red, the first book in the trilogy, and plan to read Sapphire Blue, the next book as soon as possible! If all goes well with the second book, I'm sure I won't be able to wait for book three!  Plus... just look at the cover.

So, those are my top 10 cannot-wait-for releases of 2013! What about you guys?

Peace out Girl Scouts!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Publishing Date: January 3, 2012

Publisher: Feiwell & Friends

Pages: 390 (Paperback)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads) 

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Oh, Cinder.

My heart? Yeah.  That's not there anymore.  It's gone.  Torn to shreds.  Thanks to you.

So, seriously.  Growing up, Cinderella was always my favorite princess (except, I was always pretty jealous of Belle's library.  I mean come on.  Look at it.)

But, aside from the library in Beauty and the Beast, growing up, Cinderella was always my favorite.  I just loved the idea of a rags to riches story, and I loved how Cinderella was sweet and kind and it payed off for her in the end, no matter how unlikely it was.  I mean seriously, if the GRIMM BROTHERS will give Cinderella a happy ending, this girl clearly deserves a happy ending.  They weren't exactly known for kindness in their fairy tales.

But, this wasn't quite the case in Cinder.

Instead of befriending little forest creatures, Cinder in our story befriends androids.  She is New Beijing's best mechanic.  She is a cyborg, and many of the normal humans look down on her because of that.  She is treated as second rate.  It reminded me very much of racial prejudices that existed in America between whites and blacks a few decades ago.

Anyhow, Cinder has a lot against her.  She's "down-and-out".  I love underdogs.  Because, typically, there's so much more to them than there is to someone who seems to have everything or to be winning.

One day, Prince Kai, son of the emperor, stops by Cinder's kiosk in the market asking for some help with his android.  This proves to be merely the beginning of her adventures.  You see, there's something very unique about Cinder, which I won't give away for spoilers' sake.  But she becomes a rather high point of interest over at the castle for more than a couple of reasons.

Don't even let me start on Kai.  Oh, I could gush on him for hours.  He is sweet, kind, handsome, responsible, and he cares for his country.  Let's just go ahead and add him to my list of book boyfriends.  Pretty high up there, at that.

Cinder is sweet, obedient, and kind.  She thinks of others before herself, and does what's best for the people she cares about.  She deserves the world, just like the classic Cinderella.

As the story moves on, things seem to be getting better for Cinder.  And then boom, Marissa Meyer decides to tear my heart to shreds.  Oh my gosh.  The emotions.  I can't even put into words.  That ending.  I'm still crying on the inside.

When I picked up this book, I wasn't expecting much at all.  I was expecting a four-star-at-best, happy, fun, Cinderella story.  But no. WARNING:  THIS BOOK WILL KILL YOU INSIDE. But you'll love it anyway.  It was so amazing, so emotionally-attaching and heartfelt, and I know that it's going to be on my mind for quite some time.  I am ever-so-eagerly awaiting the sequel, Scarlet, that comes out in (EEP) less than a month.

So, is this novel real? Not at all.  The emotional damage? VERY. VERY. REAL.

Favorite quote from the book:
"Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time."

Peace out Girl Scouts!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Publishing date: May 22, 2012 (first published January 6, 2009)

Publisher: Square Fish

Pages: 352 (Paperback)

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon—the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.



I don't really have much to say about this book.  There's just nothing that stellar about it.  Is it bad? No, not at all.  But is it great? Definitely not.

I'd say that this entire book was setting up for the rest of the series.  Because of that, however, it felt like over the course of first 330 pages (out of 352), absolutely nothing happened.  Nothing.

Because Gwen, the main character, has never been prepared at all for time travel, the first few scenes where her time travel is uncontrolled were pretty interesting.  But other than that, I'd say that the whole book was leading up to the end.  Nothing really got exciting.  

Actually, until the last two chapters, I was dead set on giving this book 3 stars, mainly because it was so cliche, average, and predictable.  The end however, in my opinion, should have been the climax of the first book.  She shouldn't have ended it there, as it was the first time that I really started to become emotionally invested in the book.  Gier spent way, way too much time on exposition and introduction to the story.  So, when I finally hit the last chapter/epilogue, interesting things began to happen.  This was the only thing that...
             a) gave me hope for the rest of the series
             b) bumped it up another half star.

As far as characters go, Gwen was pretty annoying.  I know that she's new to time travel and all, but she acts like a child 99% of the time.  It was very frustrating for me to have to sit there and watch her figure things out, because often, she was pretty whiny and incredibly slow about it.  Hopefully, in the next book, she'll be less of an amateur to time travel, so she'll have things sorted out a bit more.

Gideon, however, I liked a good bit.  He was pretty annoying at the beginning of the book, as he was extremely arrogant, but as the book progressed, he softened up a little bit and stole my heart.  Even when Gwen was freezing him out (annoying child that she is), he was patient with her, even though it may not have shown on the outside.  Gwen's biggest problem with getting to know him was that she couldn't pick up on his mannerisms very well, so she was always at odds with him.  I'm pretty sure that will get better later though, because towards the end of Ruby Red, they definitely were less angry with each other and more tolerant of one another.  Who knows? We'll see what the rest of the series holds.

So, Ruby Red was a good book, but I wouldn't say that it's much more interesting than your average time travel book.  I do think, however, that the plot could pick up in the next two books, which makes me anxious to read the rest of the series.

Favorite quote from the book: 
“If we were in a film, the villain would turn out to be the least-expected person. But as we aren't in a film, I'd go for the character who tried to strangle you.” (I went for humor this time.  Nothing too deep I picked up on.)

Peace out Girl Scouts!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Publishing Date: July 10, 2012

Publisher: MTV Books

Pages: 336

My Rating: Abandoned (0 of 5 stars)

Summary (from Goodreads):
Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.

Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her worst secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.


Welp.  I'm done.  I've hit my stupid limit for the year.

And it's the first week of January. 

No.  Just no.  Let me put that in Spanish for you:


My philosophy is that a book should always, always, always equal or exceed its cover in awesomeness.  This book did not even come close.

Wow.  This is my first abandoned book.  Ever.  Which is saying a lot.  No matter how much I loathe a book, I usually try to manage through until the end of the novel.

So... now that we have a picture of just how much I did not like this book, let's get to why.

First- Sex references.  They were everywhere.  Not just here and there, not just occasionally, but everywhere.  This is pretty much the main reason that I abandoned the book.  I won't tolerate that.  I kept thinking Okay, this is going to get better in a second. She'll get off of it.  But no.  She'll take breaks sometimes, but the references are the norm, not vice versa.  Seriously, what happened to marriage, or morality for that matter?

Second- Drugs/Cigarettes/Cursing.  Too much of it for my tastes.  There wasn't a ton of cursing, but there was a lot of underage drinking, which I highly disapprove of, as well as some references to drugs other than alcoholic beverages.

Third- Pure Stupidity.  If I wasn't completely disgusted at this book for reasons 1 or 2, then I was either really bored with lack of plot or the sheer stupidity of the story line that did somewhat exist.  The sentence, "Heeeeeeey." was actually in a single conversation 3 times. THREE. TIMES. Just... no.

Fourth- Severe lack of adrenaline/adventure.  When I picked this up, I was thinking, Yay! A story about flying and adrenaline!  But no.  When I did finally make it to a scene where she flies the plane, which took forever to get to, it was entirely boring.  Whatever "danger" she felt she was in, she definitely didn't show it. She may have felt a bit apprehensive, but there was an extreme lack of strong emotion to me.  This book was not even remotely centered on the adrenaline of flying, but rather her whining the entire. time.

So, I sincerely apologize if I just insulted one of your favorite books, but this novel insulted both my morals and my intellect.  I was not going to leave that unsaid.

So, first book of 2013.  Way to kick off the year.  I can safely say that Jennifer Echols and I will not be meeting again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (#5)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that asks bloggers to feature books that they are ever-so-eagerly waiting for.

Top of my to-read list for this week:

Publication Date: January 29, 2013

Snippet from Goodreads:
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. 

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

EEEEP.  Guys.  I'm so excited.  There is LESS THAN A MONTH left until Prodigy comes out.  Ah, I thought I'd never see the day.  I'm so excited.  Legend was amazing, and I've been waiting (rather impatiently) since the day I finished it to read Prodigy.  I can't wait to see where Lu is going with this one.

So, what are you guys waiting on this Wednesday?

Peace out Girl Scouts!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (#2)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held by The Broke and Bookish that asks readers to tell their top ten picks for the given list each week.

This week's topic: Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

Happy New Years everyone!  I know that sometimes I definitely have books that I really want to read, but never end up getting to.  These are the top ten books that I seriously don't want to forget this year.

1. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson-  I've been wanting to read this book for ages.  My best friend recommended it to me forever ago (I think it was around March-ish 2012) and I just never really got around to reading it.

2. Wither by Lauren DeStefano- another one I've been meaning to read for quite a while.

3. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brian- I've heard this series is great and can't wait to read it.

4. Enclave by Ann Aguirre- Well, for those of you who do not know, I write a pretty good bit.  But rarely do I ever stick to a single story line.  I usually abandon most of my novels by Chapter 5, merely because I get tired of writing them, the idea is similar to another book, or I think up something better.  Well, this story kind of piques my interest because my best friend told me that it was very similar to a story that I was writing before.  It made me definitely want to check this book out, and I just haven't yet.

5. Reckless by Cornelia Funke- I loved the Inkheart series and I can't wait to try out some more of her writing.

6. The Two TowersThe Return of the King, and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien- Well, I think it goes somewhat unsaid that any self respecting reader should read the LOTR series and the Hobbit.  I started and finished The Fellowship of the Ring this year, but set it aside after that to take a breather.  I want to finish these books this year.

7. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- Yet another one I planned to read ages ago but never got around to.

8. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons- I've heard this book is phenomenal, and I definitely can't wait to see what all they hype is about.

9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- Growing up, Cinderella was always my favorite princess.  Now, there's a Cinderella story with a YA twist? I'm in.  I've heard it's great and I cannot wait to read this one.

10. Last, but not least of course, is Speechless by Hannah Harrington- I had this book on my TBR list long before it came out, patiently waiting for it, but sadly, it came out after I started this crazy school year and took a small break from reading. Now that I'm back, I definitely can't wait to read it!

So, these are the top 10 for me, but believe me, there are many, many more.  Do you have a top book that you are going to read in 2013?

Peace out Girl Scouts!