Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blogger Me vs. Real Me

This is not my normal type of post; it's not entirely bookish-related, but it does pertain to the book-blogging community.

The other day, I had an epiphany of sorts. I was musing on how ah-mazing it would be to attend BEA and meet tons of book bloggers in the flesh and blood. (No, that choice of phrase is not odd). And based on what other bloggers have said, it seems like a pretty cool experience to finally meet someone you've been interacting with online in person.  

In my highly improbable BEA daydream, I wondered how I would react to meeting other book bloggers. Would I be completely speechless, or would I be as talkative as I normally am?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: Cruel Beauty, by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

Title: Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe)
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: Fairytale retelling
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love. -Goodreads

3-3.5 Stars
As a child, Belle was always one of my favorite Disney characters. (I related to her so much. Probably because we both love reading and have brown hair xD). And as such, Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite fairy tales. So, I was expecting to love this.

Did I?

It varies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

7 Reasons to Read Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly


Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Genre: Historical fiction/Contemporary
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
From the privileged streets of modern Brooklyn to the heart of the French Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

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. -Goodreads

5 Stars

"I am not afraid of beatings or blood anymore. I’m not afraid of guards or guillotines.
There is only one thing I fear now - love.
For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us."

What the heck did I just read?

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly goes right up there with novels like I Am the Messenger, A Northern Light (also written by her), and Jellicoe Road. And trust me, I do not honor any book with as prestigious a rank as this.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mini-Reviews: Trouble and Delirium

Author: Non Pratt
Genre: Contemporary
Publication Date: March 6, 2014
In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love. -Goodreads

Meh. That's what I thought of this book. It wasn't amazing and it wasn't terrible, just meh.

3.5 Stars

The first half of Trouble I loved! The storyline was interesting, the characters were realistic and so were their problems and then suddenly all of that seemed to change. The storyline got sort of boring, the characters started to really annoy me and the whole book seemed to be exactly like the sort of gossip you read on bathroom walls.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How to Tame Your TBR Pile

Some days I find myself scrolling through my recommended books Goodreads and adding an endless amount of books to my To Be Read pile. Today happened to be one of those days and I was left with a TBR list of 104 books. As a rule I try to stay below 100 so I think it's time that I clear it all up a bit and at the same time teach you all my three easy steps so that you can also tame your TBR list!

The Official Guide to Taming Your TBR List (as told by Tierra)

Step One. Move books that you have already read or are currently reading. This one may sound simple, but there's always a chance that you accidentally put a book on the wrong place. I always find at least one book that shouldn't be where it is and today was no exception.

Was: 104 | Now: 103

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mini-Reviews: If You Find Me, and The Diamond Thief

If You Find Me

Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Genre: Contemporary
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down. -Goodreads
3 Stars

I hadn't anticipated the depth and power of If You Find Me when I first acquired it. I didn't expect it to be such a dark, deep novel. It tells the story of a girl who has lived in the woods her entire life, along with her sister and drug-addicted mother. She is completely disconnected from society, and has trouble adjusting into the life of a normal teenager.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Review: Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity

Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publication Date: February 6, 2012
Genre: YA Historical fiction

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. But only one of the girls has a chance at survival.

Arrested by the Gestapo, "Verity" is given a choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. They'll get the truth out of her. Only, it won't be what they expect.

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.
3.5 Stars
"Must be lovely flying in peacetime." 
Five tries. It took me five tries, over the course of a year, to actually finish this novel. Not to say it was bad - on the contrary, actually - but  the confusing plot combined with my relatively short attention span made it difficult to actually finish Code Name Verity.
*pages of details on airplanes*
Me: Oh, look, a fly!