Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 18th, 2012
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

This is going to be an ultra-short review. 

I can figure out if I don't like a book within the first 30 pages most of the time, and this, sadly, didn't float my boat.

I was excited about giving the story a go because of the positive reviews covering her previous books like GOING BOVINE or BEAUTY QUEENS. This, tacked onto the fact that I absolutely adore the 1920's. Also, throw some magic, and you've got me hooked. 

I did like the classic story of a main character having to go and stay with their eccentric uncle, and believed that, having heard of the fun and strange ways Ms. Bray writes, she would be able to spin the story into literary gold. And maybe she did, but I didn't stay in long enough to find out. The reason I set the book down was the dialogue and characters. I was so annoyed by how purely cliche they all acted and spoke. I could hear their annoying and oh-so-typical Roaring Twenties accents in my head. I couldn't stand it, in fact. So that's why I sat it down. 

I'm an insanely harsh reviewer, I know, and so for that I can still recommend this, because I know a lot of people really liked it, and, even from what little I read, I could tell the story would be a lot of fun. It's just that this is another one of those books where, if turned into a movie, I'd see it in a heartbeat, but the way it's presented on the page now isn't for me.

Another instance where this "I'd-see-it-if-it-was-a-movie" thing happened is with BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (you can read my review here), two trailers of which have just come out, and both look fantastic, yet still filled with enough cheesiness to win the swoony romance fans over!

And the other one, which shows more footage:

GAHHHHHH! They look fantastic and so much fun! And may I just gush for a moment about their using Florence + the Machine's "Seven Devils"! :DDDD

See ya!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


January 10th, 2012 - Dutton Juvenile
Synopsis: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

OMG, I finally read it. This book has been sitting on my shelf for months, and everyone's been like...

'AMAZON.COM GIVES IT 5 FULL STARS!' Yeah, all that jazz. I mean, to not like this book would be a readerly sin, so, you know, going in I kind of knew I was going to adore it with all my heart and soul, and I was going to fawn over Augustus Waters like an obese man over funnel cake..... Right?


I didn't like this, and that is a very large surprise, if you can't guess. You're probably thinking I didn't like it because I used all the hype and praise as framework for my mindset going in, and, only because it didn't meet the standards punched in by every other blogger's gloriously gushful post. But I actually don't care much about praise when reading a book, though hearing a recommendation may get me to read it. 

But I just didn't like this book, alone, by itself, all praise pushed to the side. 

Things I didn't like:
One of the biggest things for me was that the main characters, Hazel and Augustus, both just kind of wander through most of the book, without a goal. This is a HUGE thing, that characters always have a goal, and the fact that they mostly kind of went along through life annoyed me. 

I didn't like how overly-philosophical they got at times. I mean, there were times I could suspend my disbelief and go with the flow if the scene was cute, or the dialogue witty, but many times I found myself thinking, God, he didn't just push the envelope here-he kicked the freaking thing. This is over the top, sky-high, through the heavens ridiculous.

Some scenes between their romance was also just...completely over the top. I don't want to spoil anything, but the dinner scene (though I enjoyed the "stars in the bottle") was purely too self-indulgent.

I felt that all of the "revealing secrets" scenes kind of fell flat. I mean, while reading them, I got the sense that Mr. Green wanted the reader to be like, "Oh! So that's why that was that, and that was this, and it all makes sense because the character has said this now!" but most of the time, I just kind of stared at the page thinking either, Well that was kind of stupid, or, How in the world did you not see that coming? That was, like, super obvious.

I didn't like the ending lines, because people only repeat their words when your companions first reply is, "Wait, sorry, the music's too loud-can you say that again?"

This is a really very tiny small thing, but it really annoyed me, because I was so weirded out by it: How much did Hazel's father cry? I mean, she even made a point of mentioning it once or twice, but even then, it was very strange. I honestly don't know any teenage girls that cry that much, and especially not any grown men. 

Things I liked:
The gas-station scene was a very sweet and short moment, and it was probably the only part I can't criticize in some manner, but I love it to pieces. If I could poke a hole in that scene and blow it up like a balloon so it filled up an empty book jacket, it'd be a wonderful book, and I'd read it.

I don't know what to think. I talked to my best friend, who loved it, about my thoughts, and he even told me it was weird I didn't like it, and I kind of agree. Maybe I was in a funk while reading, although I didn't feel like it. Like I said, I don't know. I'll probably re-read it in a few weeks, and I'll post if my thoughts are changed. But for now, buh-bye, fine human specimens.


Friday, September 28, 2012


June 1st, 2010 - Doubleday
Synopsis: On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair. Soon, she’s  privy to the secret knowledge that most families keep hidden: her father’s detachment, her mother’s transgression, her brother’s increasing retreat from the world. But there are some family secrets that even her cursed taste buds can’t discern.

So, basically this book has kind of pretty prose, but that's where the prettiness stops. 

I start the book, and I'm thinking, "Okay. This is cool! I love the idea of her tasting the emotions of whoever cooked the food she's eating! So cool! Oh! What clever and witty banter! Hardee-har-har!"

You know, it starts out good, actually. I thought I was going to really like this for a while, because the first quarter is actually very good. I liked her mother at first: You're made to feel pitiful towards her, as she slips into a rut in life, and desperately searches for something to cling to. But by halfway through the book, I was like...


She obviously loved Rose's older stupid hoe brother, Joseph, more than her, and Rose even admits it!!! DESPITE HIS BEING A TOTAL D-BAG! God! He's such a freaking brat! He gets what he wants, and he doesn't thank anyone. Later in the book (and this really isn't a spoiler, because it doesn't really affect the plot) when it skips to five years later, he's moved out into an apartment, and the. Mother. Is. Freaking. Paying. His. Rent. And. For. His. College. Classes. He doesn't thank her, and yet she's all googly-eyes over him. I mean, seriously-she doesn't spend a squick of time with her husband, and yet she's fawning over her son.

You know what...? Now that I think of it, they were probably committing incest behind the scenes. It wouldn't surprise me either: If the Jackson Five, Honey Boo-Boo, and the Kardashians were to donate genes, and scientists used them to grow a family, the Edelstein's would be the dysfunctional, messed-up thing that came out.

So let me get back to the characters. Like I said, the mom's an idiot. But now let me rant about Joseph more. So this little brat, who's labelled a total genius in school, comes home every day and holes himself in his room. Rose keeps mentioning stories, which kind of just build up his reputation as a brat. For instance, in one, she laments of how her brother comes to the dining room table, and doesn't talk at all. He doesn't make conversation, but is just quiet. He just reads crap. He reads the boxes of whatever his mom made to cook the meal they're eating, and once, when Rose took the box in front of him away, he just stared into space for a minute and then closed his eyes. Rose's mom, being the beyond stupid person she is, believes he, though only about eight years-old at the time of this, is closing his eyes so he can focus on the taste of the food better, and so she closes her eyes for the rest of the meal and "mmmm"s. When asked later why she followed Joseph's lead, her mother tells Rose that when she gave birth to him at the hospital, and she saw his bright eyes for the first time, she knew he would guide her through life (whatever hippy crap that means), and she goes on to explain she basically saw nothing in her daughter's eyes.

Her brother was so arrogant when left alone with her as well. He would brag about how smart he is, and I was just like...

Then, when "certain" things were revealed later in the story (the last forty pages of which I skimmed so I wouldn't have to endure them, but still wanted to see if the little twerp got what was coming to him) I was honestly like...


Then her dad was just a really annoying guy, because you could tell he knew his family was falling apart, but he was like, "Haha! Nope! I won't do anything!"

None of these characters were realistic, and also, their dialogue was so annoying, because none of them ever really confronted each other about something, but they instead just danced around the subject and used euphemisms and really awful metaphors. 

I was sympathetic for Rose at first, and then I read the whole book... Nope. She's so calm, even when faced with an annoyingly stupid mother who loves her annoyingly bratty brother who avoids their annoyingly evasive father. Another instance of stupidity (again, this really doesn't affect the plot at all): Rose says she hates this guy as a kid, and then, later as a college-age girl, she makes out with him, "... occasionally," she says, nonchalantly, as if she's saying she likes to venture from 2% milk and get whole every now and then! Then, because her slutty skanky friend brags about losing her virginity, Rose has sex with the guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT.

Sadly, this is one of the worst books I've ever read in the history of the universe, ever, in a billion trillion years. Ever. Which kind of sucks, because I had high hopes for this one, it being a wonderful premise. But by the end I was like...

Let us say a prayer before I leave: "Lord, I pray that books which fit into the same level of awfulness as this one never receive the gift of publication, and if they do...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm back!: LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green

December 26th, 2006 - Speak
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

I'm back, my children! Hehe. 

Sorry for the hiatus, but for a while I wasn't reading anything, and I kind of lost my drive for blogging, but I'm starting up again! Oh, happy day!

So I'm reviewing John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA today.

This was my first John Green novel, and so I knew I was in for a ride, having heard all of the wonderful praise of fans and critics, etc. It began smoothly, although I didn't actually like the opening scene-I found how Pudge spoke so openly to his parents kind of strange. But I brushed it aside, thinking that he's probably closer to them because he's an only child. 

I continued. 

He arrives at Culver Creek, and as Mr. Green introduces more characters, and eventually the *swoon* wonderful Alaska, I knew I was in the hands of a writing angel. How did this man, I wondered, who's an adult, write this book about teenagers so well!?

My mind was full of questions like that-ecstatic ones which ended in three interrobangs. I sent all of these questions about how he captured teenage anxiety so well, and the feeling of a crush so well out into the cosmic void without a reply, sadly. GOD. HE'S SO FREAKING GOOD WITH THOSE CHARACTERS AND THEIR EMOTIONS!!! GAHHH!

But not only that, but these characters weren't just stressed out all the time and moping. No, that wouldn't be realistic. These characters were funny.

O. M. G.

I laughed so freaking hard while reading this.

Like seriously.

Then, on top of that, John Green has an amazing plot. The way these characters react, and do things, and the ways in which other characters react to these reactions builds a totally believable plot together of love, loss, and terrible happiness.

I felt as if I were watching Before Sunrise (which if you haven't seen, it is a freaking amazing movie, and you should go buy it and watch it before even finishing this post!), which is about two people falling in love in one day as they walk around and talk, despite knowing that they could maybe let it work out for a few months, but would eventually smother each other. That's how Alaska and Pudge's relationship was: they'd flirt, and you cheered them on, because you wanted her to liberate him from his small spirit, and him to calm down her insanely wild one, but you just knew they wouldn't work out if they got together, and so the story goes on, with all of this emotional conflict.

And, although he grew as he went along, Pudge was so mean to himself, telling himself he could never be worth a great girl like her, that he wasn't hot enough or anything, and I wanted to be like...

*Sigh*. So freaking good.

My favorite part of it all was just how accurately teens were portrayed in this. They were good people, who occasionally did naughty things, and who, when speaking amongst each other, cussed freely. It was filthy, but it was redemptive at the same time, which I really liked, because I hate when people in books do something crazy and ridiculous and reckless, but they're just like, "Whatever. Haha. Lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz." And I'm all, "No. That's stupid, you stupid person."

It's actually funny, because I read all of the "naughty" scenes while in the worst situations. For instance, they would say the most 'F' words while I sat reading two feet from my mom, or I'd be reading a scene where they drink and smoke, and my brother would be playing Christian music in the other room, or (and this is my favorite one) I read "The Scene"-yes, that one-while sitting in church. It was before church had started, mind you.

But seriously, I had all of these moments where I was like...




To sum it all up, I only have one last thing to say: Mr. John Green...

See ya,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MARKED (HOUSE OF NIGHT SERIES #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

September 9th, 2009 - St. Martin's Press
Synopsis: Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed.

One minute, sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird is a normal teenager dealing with everyday high school stress: her cute boyfriend Heath, the school’s star quarterback who suddenly seems more interested in partying than playing ball; her nosy frenemy Kayla, who’s way too concerned with how things are going with Heath; her uber-tough geometry test tomorrow. The next, she’s Marked as a fledgling vampyre, forcing her to leave her ordinary life behind and join the House of Night, a boarding school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. That is, if she makes it through the Change—and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint with Heath, who just doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: when she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

One thing I liked about this book was that vampires have always existed in Zoey's world. This was really cool, because it's exactly like ours', except for the whole vampire thing (or "vampyre thing". Whatever.)

Anyway, that sad, that was really the only thing I liked about this book. I mean, it was interesting at times, but I just couldn't get over how annoying Zoey is!!!!!!!!!!!!!


First of all, she's so mean to so many people in the book. She throws slanderous remarks towards religious people, celebrities, goths, emos, and many others. I was also annoyed by how ultra-teenager-y she was. She would go off on tirades about peoples' looks, as well as react numbly to things that most people would go, "HOLYCRAPWHATJUSTHAPPENED!?!?!?!" She was just... ugh.

She would also be faced with an action that was very easy to figure out what it meant, and she would just say, "Huh. Whatever. I'm going to go fix my hair, and ignore this amazingly simple occurrence that means huge things to the plot of my life." Things would happen at the vampire school, the House of Night-things that were magical and unique and that never happened to anyone else-and she blew them off as ordinary everyday things.

After closing the book and stopping to think about her actions, I realized that many people would react the way she did if in her shoes. But at the same time, isn't that just bad writing? I mean, isn't the author (or in this case, author*s) supposed to combine realistic reactions, with reactions that advance the story? The characters in stories should make only make realistic choices when they advance the story, and make unrealistic ones when they advance the story. I believe this is how it should go because the reader won't care whether the moves are realistic or unrealistic because the story is moving along at such a good pace.

While there were many cool and interesting scenes, side-characters, and sub-stories, none of them were integral into the main plot arc, which made a story that could have been summed up in 100 pages, stretch past the end of this 300 page book. This book does not get my stamp of approval.

See ya on Friday,
Aaron :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Figment + Pinterest + Movie News


The wonderful writing website,, where you can post your writing for feedback (I adore this site and have been using it since it was a beta. *sigh* Baby Figment...) is taking over HarperCollins' InkPop writing community! InkPop is another site where you could post your writing for feedback, but with it came the possibility that your work could be grabbed by HarperCollins editors! Eeeeeeeps!

The cover for the fourth book in the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series has been revealed:

And although I didn't like BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, I love the covers for this series, and the titles as well. :)

Another cover reveal. The final book in Ally Condie's MATCHED trilogy has a title and cover now! It's called "REACHED", and here's the cover:


Yet ANOTHER cover reveal, this time for the second book in Kim Derting's THE PLEDGE series. She's also the author of the popular THE BODY FINDER series. Here it be:
Out of the three covers, this is my favorite. Also, love the title: THE ESSENCE. I would have put it in caps even if I didn't already do that. :D

See ya Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkis

August 4th, 2011 - Speak
Synopsis: Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris-until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

First, I'd like to apologize that there were no posts last week. That was because i didn't want to NOW MOVING ON.

So, like all of my book reviews, this is going to pretty short and sweet.

First off, I love romance. I love love. I love sweet things.

But I seriously thought I wasn't going to be able to get into this book. I thought it was going to be so sappy. And for the first few pages-just judging by the writing-I was convinced that I was right. I kept reading though, because the characters and PARIS!!!!!!!!!! were made so interesting.

Then I couldn't stop reading.

The up's! The down's! The wonderful ending that made me smile so hard that I couldn't stop!

This book was as delicious as a Parisian crescent filled with cream and as entertaining as watching a boy with an English accent trying to say "Fo shiz" in an American way. It was hilarious and it was beautifully written. My favorite character was Etienne. Everything he did was just so inviting. But best of all: BRITISH ACCENT!

It definitely wouldn't be as wonderful if it weren't set in such a wonderful city as Paris though. The backdrop for the romance was just wonderful. It made me want to tour the streets. The food was described in such great detail that I had to keep from drooling on the pages, and the cinemas that Anna liked to visit for her movie reviews were very enchanting, and the School of America was just so fantastic in itself.

But above all, it was the love story that won me over. It was like riding a roller coaster getting there, but it just made it more realistic, and the ending more sweet.

I definitely recommend this book, especially to anyone who likes British boys, Paris, or any type of romance.

See ya on Friday!
-Aaron :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


A ton of links!
Hope you get some eggrolls, hippy love, and good books this weekend,
See ya next Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


October 18th, 2007 - Razorbill
Synopsis: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic.

Instead of going on some mondo-tirade about why you should read it, with paragraphs and gushing, I'll list thirteen reasons why.

1. You will laugh.

2. You might cry. (I almost did.)

3. The writing is so beautiful, and so real.

4. The turns.

5. You're overcome with billions of different emotions as you read.

6. Even though you already know she's already gone through with suicide, you have hope in the end.

7. The characters: Love them. Hate them. Adore them. Want to bludgeon them.

8. That ENDING!

9. How it doesn't jump between scenes, but is one continual story being told, save for the first and last chapter.

10. You love Clay. He's such a sweetheart, and you feel his pain.

11. Although it's heartbreaking, it's such an amazing look into the mind of a spiraling teen.

12. You had to guess how the next story was going to get possibly worse.

13. Hannah.

See ya on Friday,

p.s. Tickets can now be pre-ordered for THE HUNGER GAMES movie. I love going to midnight showings, so I think I'm going to buy mine soon. Also, to piggyback onto the ticket sales opening, the music video for the Taylor Swift (feat. The Civil Wars) song, "Safe & Sound", which I adore and have listened to a ton of times. I think it's probably going to play in one of the cave scenes... The album has been released, and it's entitled "The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond".

Here's the line-up for the soundtrack, which has been taken from (which is a fantastic review site!):

1. Arcade Fire “Abraham’s Daughter”

2. The Secret Sisters “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”

3. Neko Case “Nothing To Remember”

4. Taylor Swift “Safe & Sound ft. The Civil Wars”

5. Kid Cudi “The Ruler and The Killer”

6. Punch Brothers “Dark Days”

7. The Decemberists “One Engine”

8. The Carolina Chocolate Drops “Daughter’s Lament”

9. The Civil Wars “Kingdom Come”

10. Glen Hansard “Take The Heartland”

11. Maroon 5 ft. Rozzi Crane “Come Away To The Water”

12. Miranda Lambert “Run Daddy Run ft. Pistol Annies”

13. Jayme Dee “Rules”

14. Taylor Swift “Eyes Open”

15. The Low Anthem “Lover Is Childlike”

16. Birdy “Just A Game”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LEGEND by Marie Lu

November 29th, 2011 - Putnam
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths--until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I had a B&N gift card from Christmas, and with much decision, I finally purchased this a little while back. It got pushed beneath other books in my TBR pile, and didn't come up until recently, but it finally did.

I've heard so much hype about this, and I was really excited, especially since the author is rep'd by the literary agent Kristin Nelson, whose blog I stalk obsessively, and you should too. So basically, I was happy. I sat down, took the jacket off (I do that because I'm OCD when it comes to books, and so I don't let "le precious" covers get dirty/scratched/pooped on by birds/burned by dragons/etc.), and prepared to read. At first I was like:

It was an off world, where America was a republic, and was severed between east and west. In the east, the good ol' Republic, and in the west, a rebel movement called "the Colonies". Immediately, I was caught by the author's political side to the story (a war torn America where rations of food, water, and electricity are at the bare minimum). But I also thought it was a little ridiculous that this was (yet again) another dystopian where there's a virus ravaging the nation. Now, I'm all for zombie-viruses. I mean, look at Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series. That's cool and all. But this isn't a zombie novel. It's supposed to be a realistic dystopian. So I was a little ticked with that. But I moved on, because I thought it was going to get better. Just one cliche, right?

Then the perspective moved from Day, the criminal, to this girl, June. I really liked her voice, but I felt that her situation was so cliche, as well. Her parents happened to be killed in a car crash years earlier, and she was getting in trouble at her school, and her uptight, who's super protective, comes to get her. What ensues is his taking her back home, during what seemed like a very forced conversation. It was also, again, cliche. It went something like this:

Older brother: "I was worried sick about you."
June: "It's fine. Come on."
Older brother: "I was at my job that I'm now going to give too much of a detailed name to, so the reader knows where I work and what I do, when I suddenly got a phone call from the school. Why do you keep on getting in trouble."
June: "I'm sorry. I love you. Don't be mad."

It was really annoying.

To give some backstory on how I read, I'll explain.... I swear I was born to be a tough literary agent or editor or something like that, because I'm a tough reader that don't take no crap. If a story/story's writing grabs me in 10 pages, I keep reading. If it doesn't, I put it down. I go until page 30, and if it lets go then, I put it down. I go until page 100, and if it lets go then, I put it down. After that, I don't stop until it's finished, unless it becomes like a STAB-MYSELF-THIS-BOOK-IS-SO-HORRENDOUS book. This book was an exception to my rule because I'd just heard so many good things. I was excited.

But I had to keep forcing myself to read. I read many books at a time, and the story just wasn't grabbing me, nor the writing, and so I went on to other books. I kept reading in short stunts, until I just stopped at around page 100, and realized.....

I really don't like saying bad things about books, especially when the book is a debut, but I really am kind of angry that this book has gotten so much praise. I don't understand it. Liked I said, it was full of cliches, the dialogue felt forced, but there were other things too. There was barely any description of the Republic. There was light grazing of the cityscape, and then there was some description of a school, but there was never any real gripping information about the world they lived in. One tiny tiny tiny thing that also annoyed me, was how June's brother Metias is killed. I think in the book, it says that a knife was thrown at his shoulder... Wait a second. He's supposed to be a BA lieutenant kind of guy for this war-monger society, and he dies from a shoulder wound?

Alright, well, my negative rant is over. Again, I don't like saying mean things about debut books, but I seriously do wonder how in the world it got so much acclaim.

See ya on Friday!


Friday, February 10, 2012

New Capitol Pictures + Beautiful Creatures + Old Publishing News

Hey y'all! So, I saw this picture of the Capitol from THE HUNGER GAMES movie:

In other news, the book BEAUTIFUL CREATURES is being adapted into a film (you can read my review of it here). Well, the character Amma has been casted. Viola Davis, who played Aibileen in the movie adaption of THE HELP (my book review, here), was chosen. This kind of works because she's a maid in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and she's a maid in THE HELP. Weird.

Alright, so some news I saw on, old and new...

October, 2011 - Holly Black signs deal for a "single, fat stand-alone book" about vampires. Synop: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is set in the not-so-distant future, where the vampire population has surged, resulting in the establishment of Coldtowns, quarantined cities of vampires and humans where predator and prey coexist in a never-ending blood party of revelry. These isolated meccas of debauchery are the pillars of pop culture, with vlogs, live feeds, and YouTube videos constantly streaming from the endless parties at vampire mansions. Drawn into this bizarre and dangerous world is Tana, who willingly enters Coldtown with an infected ex-boyfriend on the brink of turning and a mysterious vampire with a tortured past intent on seeking revenge.

February, 2012 - (In case you hadn't already heard) Maggie Stiefvater has revealed the cover
and synop of her the first book in her new four books series called "THE RAVEN CYCLE". Synop: Filled with mystery, romance, and the supernatural, The Raven Boys introduces readers to Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III and Blue Sargent. Gansey has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on the hunt to find Glendower, a vanished Welsh king. Legend has it that the first person to find him will be granted a wish—either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart.

Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there—known as Raven Boys—can only mean trouble. When Gansey and his Raven Boy friends come into her life, Blue realizes how true this is. She never thought her fortune would be a problem. But she was wrong.

Maggie finished up her NYT bestselling series THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS series last year, and her standalone book, THE SCORPIO RACES, came out not long after. Also LOVE the cover.

February, 2012 - Lemony Snicket is returning to the book world with a new 4-book series chronicling his odd childhood. Synop: Drawing on events that took place during a period of his youth spent in a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, Snicket chronicles his experiences as an apprentice in an organization nobody knows about. While there, he began to ask a series of questions—wrong questions that should not have been on his mind. Who Could That Be at This Hour? is Snicket’s account of the first wrong question.

Alright, see ya on Friday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick

September 13th, 2011 - Scholastic
Synopsis: From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

I really, really, really enjoyed THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET (you can read my review here), because it was enthralling and it had twists and turns, and I just felt so wonderful being in a 1930's Paris train station. The magic of silent films, the clockwork in the walls, the automaton. *Sigh...* The movie was also fantastic, and so if you haven't seen it, I also suggest you do.

But the weird is.... I liked this more. It seemed to have so much, as we jumped from 1927, to 1977. Not only was it so cool that the 1977 part of the story was told in only words, and the 1927 part of the story was told in only pictures, but there was actually a big reason for it. There's something about these characters (I can't say what, lest it ruin a big chunk of the book) that makes it so that the medians that are used for each of their stories, the only kind that could be used. It'd make sense if you read it.

I loved seeing the 1920's story because it was so interesting, and the pictures were just so GORGEOUS!!!! But the 1970's story was so detailed because it was writing, so I loved that.

I can't say much, but I will say that the story is about 1920's talkie films, museums, city dioramas, and finding your place in the world. It was a really sweet and wonderful story. It's really good, and I definitely recommend it, even if you're not into middle grade, or even picture books, or 'finding your purpose books'. But I'm not really, either, but I still loved it.

Alright, see ya on Friday,

Friday, February 3, 2012

THE HUNGER GAMES Trailer Number Dos

Oh, wow. This new trailer really just affirms my thoughts that this is probably going to be the most accurate book-to-movie adaption everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. LOOK AT EVERYTHING! WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT IT!? Everything is exactly like the book! Number dos:

I love how you see more of the Reaping, more of Caesar, and more of the Capitol!

Happy Hunger Games,
See ya on Wednesday,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins

August 24th, 2010 - Scholastic
I would include the synop, but it has such big spoilers!

Wow.... The series is over for me. There are no more books to read in the world of Panem.... This is an extremely odd feeling.

Because I can't say much about the book without dropping spoilers, I'm going to state some very vague opinions, and then I'm going to write my real, spoiler-filled opinions at the bottom, so if you want to read them, scroll, scroll, scroll!

Well. This book. Was. Different from the rest of the series. Of course, the book was amazing, and, of course, I loved the characters, but I kind of felt that Katniss was a little whiny throughout it all. Towards the end, her whininess felt justified and I actually liked it, because instead of just whining, she was actually in a situation where her cynicism counted, and she had to doubt all possibilities in order to fight.

It was sad. Duh.

Now, anyway, here are my spoiler-filled comments:


OMG. First of all, the book wouldn't have been as good if Prim hadn't died. Or if Finnick lived, or if anybody that died lived. I never actually cried, but got very close when the kids right before her died. I already knew that she was going to die, because friend's had been little bratty spoilers. I also love how fast the ending is. I loved the way that when the second bomb, which kills Prim, goes off in the Capital Circle around President Snow's mansion, it knocks out Katniss, and she basically misses the crescendo of the war. I don't know why, I just really thought that was a great and interesting take on it.

But here are my problems with this book- IT'S SLOW!!!! Sure, stuff happened before they got to the Capitol, but it all happened under the same circumstances and either in District 13, or in some gray ashy battlefield. Nothing interesting really happened until they got to the Capitol, and only then, when they finally set off the first few pods. That's when it got exciting! Travelling between colorful apartment buildings as crazy pods are set off. Running through sewers with a man who can't speak as your only guide. Genetically mutated lizard-things that smell of roses trying to decapitate you! And then the second bomb went off. It was going, going, going. The story was going a 1,000 MPH, and I loved it! And although President Coin needed to die, I thought that the way they just threw Katniss into her old room at the Training Center was boring. And then it gets even more boring as she goes off again as she's sent to live in District 12. Sadness, grief, annoying gray stuff. It's not until the epilogue that it's even interesting again.

I will give this to Suzanne Collins though: That epilogue was so amazing. The last line was the absolutely perfect finale for THE HUNGER GAMES Trilogy. I love the last line:

"But there are much worse games to play."

See ya tomorrow,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

INKHEART + RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke

September 23rd, 2003 - Scholastic
Synopsis: One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART-- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.
This is INKHEART--a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

I'd be pretty surprised if you liked middle grade or YA books, and you didn't know who Cornelia Funke (pronounced "foon-ka"). She's a German children's books writer who always writes this big fantasy stories filled with magic.

In INKHEART, you immediately feel for the characters. You feel for Meggie and her love for books and her father. You completely understand the mom-shaped hole in her heart, despite how wonderful Mo is at being a father. He shares the love of reading-even more intensely. In fact, it's his profession: Travelling places and taking the old books that were once leatherbound beauties and giving them new spines and covers and hinges and heads and tails, and makes them new again.

The story is wonderful, as well. It's filled with so much magic, and every page seems to have some underlying theme enchantments and spells. The guns, the fairies, the writers, the German hideout, the castle, the words, etc. All of it is just fantastic. But I can't help but focusing on Cornelia Funke's writing. In fact, all of her books have this really descriptive (but not overly descriptive) flowy writing that could be read at a poetry club meeting, but this series specifically is re-enforced with extra prose-beauty. I think it's because these books are about the power of words and stories, and so she decided to hone in on that. Also, if you're not one for flowy writing, at least take a look at the beginning of each chapter, where she starts it off with a great quote from classics like THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Really, this is a classic. You should definitely read it if you haven't already.


September 14th, 2010 - Little Brown
Synopsis: Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father's abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He's also made many enemies and allies--most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.

But life in this other world is about to change. Tragedy strikes when Jacob's younger brother, Will, follows him through the portal. Brutally attacked, Will is infected with a curse that is quickly transforming him into a Goyl--a ruthless killing machine, with skin made of stone.

Jacob is prepared to fight to save his brother, but in a land built on trickery and lies, Jacob will need all the wit, courage, and reckless spirit he can summon to reverse the dark spell--before it's too late.

This book is very different from every book I've ever ever ever ever read. It's just so different. It's really amazing though. I felt like I was reading an insanely beautifully written screenplay for a Tim Burton film. It was exactly like a Tim Burton film: An enchanting fairy tale with mind-bendingly dark twists. One thing I typically don't like in books is when it says, "This person has this happen to them" in the jacket flap, and then you already know what's going to happen, so you have to wait for, like, 50 pages for it to happen, and when it finally does happen, it's really drawn out.

Well, Mrs. Funke doesn't do that.

She literally goes like this:
Prologue-Young, sad Jacob discovering mirror-world for first time. He decides to keep it a secret and start exploring.

Chapter One-For about a paragraph it's explained that Jacob's a treasure hunter (btw, he ain't no average Indian Jones-he goes for enchanted roses, magic handkerchiefs, and witchs' secrets), and then it goes into what's happening now, which is that Jacob's younger brother Will has already been attacked and is agonizing pain. Four sentences later, Jacob's like, "Let's go on a crazy adventure to find a cure for this dark fairy curse!"

The novel breaks all bounds that you could've thought a story like this has. There are a bagillion villians, thousands of deaths, crazy dark fairy tales, and alluring magic. Also, one of the things that I adored is that in most high fantasy novels, the magic world is all medieval-y, well, in this world, it's like America in the middle-to-late 1800's. Like muskets, and steam engine trains, and political shifting. This brings up another thing: I ADORED HOW MUCH IT HAD TO WITH GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS. Oh, it was so cool. It gave so much depth to a world that could've been like all other fantasy novels. 'Eh, we don't have to have a realistic ruling system. Let's just call ourselves queens and kings, and then we'll rule without any rebellions except for that ultra evil person living right around the corner who's probably going to declare a big battle on us. Magic can solve anything.'

.....And this is coming from a guy who loves THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. This world is realistically like a Civil War-American Era, but with magic. We've got an empress, a dying human population, a growing Goyl population, a crumbling economy, treaties, battles lost, political marriages, assassination plots. Like seriously. This junk be cray-cray.

The ONLY thing I had a problem with.... Is the ending. This would be in one of my top five favorite books ever if it weren't for that ending. Sure, it made me wonder about a few things, and I loved the characters and the world, so I'll buy the sequel whenever it comes out. But it was just kind of annoying. It was so awesome. And then the ending hit. Ugh. But you should still read it, because, ending aside, it was such an amazing book!!!!!!!!

See ya on Friday,
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