Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. WOW shines a light on upcoming releases that I just can't wait to get my hands on!

This weeks Waiting on Wednesday is...

Let the Sky Fall
by Shannon Messenger

Weston should have died in the category five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past—except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She's swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.

Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs. 

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, they start to realize the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them. 

Doesn't this book sound awesome?! There's never been a book about Sylph's before - at least none that I've heard of - so it's got points for originality. It's told from a dual perspective of Audra and Vane, which is more awesome! I mean, how many books are there out there with guy perspectives? 

It sounds really intense and super addicting and I have very, very, very high hopes for this book when it comes out in... March of 2013! Why does it have to be so far away?! 

... Let the countdown begin!

Revived by Cat Patrick

Rating: Starry Eyed - 5/5
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Publishers: Little, Brown
Pages: 336
Source: Bought
Series: Stand Alone

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.
A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency's true goals, she realizes she's at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined."
When I first read the summary for this book, I knew without a doubt that I absolutely HAD to get my hands on a copy of Revived. Well, I finally have, and let me tell you how much I absolutely loved this book!

The pacing was amazing, it never had a dull moment. The characters were lovable, I was emotionally invested in every single one of them. And it had short chapters! The one thing that I absolutely love about a book no matter the circumstances is short chapters!

Daisy was such a likable character. She had a good head on her shoulders, she had a love for Matt, Audrey and her dad that I felt right along with her. Patrick has a way of taking your emotions, tying them with strings and controlling them like puppets. All throughout Revived my emotions were at complete and utter mercy of Patrick from the first page to the last.

Something that I found somewhat creepy about the book is the nickname that the participants of the Revived program gave to their manager; "God." I don't know about you, but giving someone that nickname who can bring back the dead... It just gave me the shivers.

All in all, Revived is a spectacular sci-fi - that's right sci-fi (not a dystopian book by a long shot!) - that had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to finish that has me marking down Patrick as one of my favourite author's and I can't wait to check out her first book, Forgotten.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

Rating: Clear Eyed - 3/5
Release Date: November 29th, 2011
Publishers: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 305
Source: Bought
Series: Legend #1

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"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."
For me, Legend was a slow start that picked up surprisingly quick. The way that Lu makes the two main characters run into each other is rather creative and believable and, while it may seem convenient, is what I believe to be incredibly creative.

While two separate characters, I found June & Day to be gender copies of one another. Both were incredibly smart, resourceful, and had an enormous sense of pride. I don't know if it was because of this, but unfortunately, Legend wasn't really anything special to me. I definitely liked it - the ending was quite intense - but for the other parts of the book it was just... Likeable. If that makes any sense.

All in all, I don't really have much to say about Legend other than the gold colouring for Day's perspective was kinda neat and that I just... Liked this book.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Rating: Wide Eyed - 4/5
Release Date: April 5th, 2011
Publishers: Dutton Juvenile 
Pages: 264
Source: Bought
Series: Companion to If I Stay

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other."
Picking up three years after If I Stay, we follow Adam's character and how he has somehow managed to go from his dream life to a life where he can barely manage to make it through each day. Ever since him and Mia broke up, he's had a loss of self, but by either coincidence or fate, Adam gets to see Mia one last time so he can finally get some closure.

It was definitely interesting to see what happened to Adam and Mia after the final page of If I Stay. The book was really sweet and cute and short and I just loved the ending! Unfortunately, I picked this book up right after My Life Next Door and I just couldn't help but compare the two the whole time. As a result, I wasn't able to enjoy Where She Went as much as I could have since I was thinking about Fitzpatrick's debut novel the whole time I was reading this book.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Blondes by Emily Schultz

Rating: Dull Eyed - 2/5
Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 400
Source: Goodreads first read program (thank you!)
Series: Stand Alone

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes--whether CEOs, flight attendants, skateboarders or accountants--into rabid killers.  Hazel, vulnerable because of her pregnancy, decides to flee the city--but finds that the epidemic has spread and that the world outside New York is even stranger than she imagined. She sets out on a trip across a paralyzed America to find the one woman--perhaps blonde, perhaps not--who might be able to help her. Emily Schultz's beautifully realized novel is a mix of satire, thriller, and serious literary work. With echoes of Blindness and The Handmaid's Tale amplified by a biting satiric wit, The Blondes is at once an examination of the complex relationships between women, and a merciless but giddily enjoyable portrait of what happens in a world where beauty is--literally--deadly."
When I read the premise for The Blondes, I expected it to be a somewhat funny book. Instead, I got the complete opposite of that. The tone for the whole book was serious and all I could think of through the whole thing was, "Someone is actually taking this plot seriously? Okaaaay." Which, therefore set the tone for me and caused me to give this book to Dull Eyed review.

Because of the difference between what I was expecting from this book and what I got from it are two completely different polar opposites, it made it really hard for me to get into the book and took me forever to read. Now, I'm not saying that this book is bad in anyway, and it did somehow get more interesting towards the end of the book, but as I said, I just had a hard time getting into it.

I will admit, I first entered the contest on Goodreads because of the cover of this book. I mean, I've never seen anything like it with all of those hair sample colours and it just looked so... cool. Let me tell you, that will probably be the first and last time I ever pick up a book based on it's cover.

I found the pacing of this book to be really slow and almost unbearable at points. Nothing really intrigued me or had me dying to turn the next page.... And the chapters were just so long! I don't know about you guys, but I hate long chapters (Anything over 10 pages I consider long chapters). I find that short chapters in a book make me feel like I accomplish more and also help me to continue reading a book late at night.

The story is told in first person by Hazel to her un-born child, re-accounting memories from just before the Blonde Plague took over up to when she finally has the child. The book almost seemed like an auto-biography of her life (which I guess it was), with stories that kind of jumped from one time frame to another. I believe at one point their were three or so different time-line stories occurring.

All in all, I didn't really enjoy this book because my expectations were so botched that it just kind of ruined the book for me. If I had different expectations, I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book much more than I had.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Rating: Starry Eyed - 5/5
Release Date: June 14th, 2012
Publishers: Young Readers
Pages: 395
Source: Bought
Series: Stand Alone

First, a quick summary from Goodreads: 
“'One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.'
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?"
Let me start by absolutely gushing about how phenomenal this book is. Sam is an awesome girl and completely relate-able. Joel is just the most perfect, understandable, honest and cutest person anyone could ever dream of having. And George. Ohmygoodness, George. George is a marvelous character. I cannot express my fondness of him within this review. He is so cute and so innocent and so awesome that he alone nearly makes the book. And Patsy! Cute little Patsy! I loved her one-liners, she was so adorable for a little baby and I couldn't help but laugh with her whenever she got a big grin on her face.

Now, when I dove into this book, I expected it to be a cute, fun, light kind of read. But holy crap, it was SO much more than that! My Life Next Door is just full of really tough choices and family and friendship and absolutely everything that relates to the life of a teen trying to figure herself out. This book is truly, truly a beautiful thing.

I could keep going, but I'm just going to end up spouting out more gushy reasons why I am absolutely in love with this book. If you haven't read it yet, I would definitely do so right this second. It's worth the twenty dollars it costs in hardcover edition.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tygna over at Tynga's Reviews. Through this meme, bloggers alike are able to share with each other all of the awesome books that got over the past week!

Here's how you can go about making your own STS:

  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun! 
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit! 
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!
  • Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!
This week I got...

The Blondes by Emily Schults: Won off of Goodreads
Seraphina by Rachel Hart: Bought
Revived by Cat Patrick: Bought
I didn't actually get these three in the past week, but before/during my family vacation. Just before we left, I took a quick trip to Chapters and picked up Revived and Seraphina. I've already read Revived and it was AWESOME! So you guys can look forward to a review of that in the next week or so. :)
And then I won an advanced copy of The Blondes from Random House of Canada on Goodreads, so thanks for that one, guys! :)

While on vacation I got...

Sailor Moon 6 by Naoko Takeuchi: Bought
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: Bought
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Bought
In this pile I've read Sailor Moon 6 and My Life Next Door which was EXTREMELY CUTE! I love that book to death! So I will put up a review for the soon as well!

In the past week I got...
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris: Bought
Hunger by Micheal Grant: Bought
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer: Bought
I'm super excited to read Unraveling as well as Hunger & Storm! I also was lucky enough to win an advanced copy of Kemmerer's Spark off of Goodreads from Kensington publishing company, so thanks! :)

What did you guys get this week?! 

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Rating: Clear Eyed - 3/5
Release Date: Auguest 4th, 1997
Publishers: Bantam
Pages: 864
Source: Bought
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men. All will play the Game of Thrones
Summers span decades.Winter can last a lifetime.And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.It will stretch from the south where heat breeds plot,lusts and intrigues to the vast frozen north,where a 700-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. The Game of Thrones. You win,or you die."
Martin's A Game of Thrones is more than just a story, it's an EPIC TALE. I can't really say too much about the book without spoiling one plot line or another, that's how intensely tangled the plots were within the story.

I really liked how you got all of the different characters points of views and that they were all actually different. Each character was always their own person, and every single one of them seemed so real and alive! My two favorite characters are easily Arya and Brandon. Tyrion, Ed and John were also amazing characters that I couldn't help to get attached to.

It's also great how Martin isn't afraid to kill off some of the main characters. I find when that happens, it always makes for an awesome and intense story.

The reason why I only gave it a three out of five is because while it was good, it was just so LONG. I took me just over a week to read this book and it kind of felt more like a chore to me than anything, unfortunately. Also, I never really understood why they didn't want the Lannisters to rule. I mean, they seem evil... But, did they say they were going to enslave all of the citizens or something? I wasn't too sure about that part...

All in all, A Game of Thrones is an epic tale with an extremely intense and bad ass ending that I absolutely loved. I can't wait to get started on the next one, A Clash of Kings!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wrecked by Anna Davies

Rating: Dull Eyed - 2/5
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Publishers: Simon & Schuster 
Pages: 336
Source: Bought
Series: Stand Alone!

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this. 
Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.     
But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm."
First, let me start off this review by saying that the jacket of the book is lying when it names Wrecked as "sexy." In fact, Wrecked isn't really anything. I don't mean this in a rude or mean way, more like nothing really special happens in this book. The plots there, the characters are there, the development was... Kind of there. It's just that nothing really jumped out at me and demanded my attention. There was nothing about Wrecked that made me go, "That did not just happen!" or "I absolutely love this!" and stuff like that.

Half way through the book I still felt as if nothing had happened to really further the plot and the love interest between the two main characters continued to boggle me. I didn't know why Christian liked Miranda so much, and while it's not really much more clear as to why Miranda likes Christian either.

I also felt like this book was just one big advertisement for... Whatever fit into the moment. I can't really remember what they were, but I do believe they mention Coke and Diet Coke among lots of other products and boats and cars and... It was just a mess of ads. It felt like one of those music videos where they keep flashing to whatever product was placed into the shot - which, I don't know about you, but really annoys me.

All in all, Wrecked was an alright read with nothing really special to report about. I mean, I didn't hate it... It's more of a book that I would kind of just shrug my shoulders to.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Rating:  Clear Eyed - 3/5
Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Publishers: Simon Pulse
Pages: 358
Source: Bought
Series: Another Stand-Alone!

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:

"Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.
Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale."
Between the Lines is about a girl named Delilah who is absolutely obsessed with a middle-grade fairy tail called Between the Lines. Within this book is the main character Oliver, who Delilah just can't get enough of. He is her one and only fictional crush.


Delilah finds out one day that maybe Oliver isn't as fictional as she thought he was.

And from there, the story takes off. Delilah and Oliver work vigorously on the quest of getting Oliver out of the book and into the real world. While reading this book, I found myself kind of watching the characters get through their problems rather than being right there with them and rooting for them. I think this was mainly because of the way the chapters of the book were put together. First you would get a snip of the story within the story, Between the Lines, and then a view point from Oliver followed by a view point from Delilah before it started all over again. With two different stories going on at once, it was very hard for me to stay on track with them. That is to say, I would just be getting into Delilah and Oliver's story only to be taken from it and thrown into the story within the story, shaking me of my anticipation from their story. This was because by the time I had come back to their story, I would be want to continue reading Between the Lines instead. It derailed me a lot in this way.

Although, I have to say that I really enjoyed the little silhouette images that popped up along the margarine of the book. As well as the full-paged art. Truthfully, this is what sold me on the book. Yes, even though I am practically an adult, pictures in a book will make me want to read it more!

While reading Between the Lines, I felt as if Delilah liked Oliver for the way the book made him out to be, not the way that he actually is himself. I believe at one point he even says that all he's doing is acting, that he's not very similar to his character at all. But I guess this isn't really something that can be explored unless Picoult and her daughter decide to write an epilogue type of thing about Delilah and Oliver.

The ending, while confusing in reasoning (hopefully you understand what I mean if you've read that book), was very cute and definitely a fairy tale type of book. The ending made me want to coo at it as if it were a little kitten.

All in all, Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer's Between the Lines was a read that I definitely liked, but probably won't end up picking it up again to read or be at the top of my recommendations list.

Monday, 16 July 2012

And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle

Rating: Clear Eyed - 3/5
Release Date: April 27th, 2010 (Originally published in 1949)
Publishers: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 256
Source: Bought
Series: Stand-alone!

First, a quick summary from Goodreads: 
"Flip doesn't think she'll ever fit in at the Swiss boarding school chosen by her father's girl friend.  Besides being homesick for her father and Connecticut, she isn't sophisticated like the other girls, and discussions about boys leave her tongue-tied.  Her happiest times are spent apart from the others, sketching or wandering in the mountains.
But the day she's out walking alone and meets a French boy, Paul, things change for Flip.  As their relationship grows, so does her self-confidence.  Yet despite her newfound happiness, there are times when Paul seems a stranger to her.  And since dating is forbidden except for seniors, their friendship must remain a secret.  With so many new feelings and obstacles to overcome in her present, can Flip help Paul to confront his troubled past and find a future?"
Originally published in the 1940s, And Both Were Young is a very cute, fun read. The writing style is very to-the-point while still being a tad bit shy about some things. Hinting and implying instead of just saying what happened. The writing style was also very artistic and the book ended up being a lot more suspenceful than I thought it would be. There were a lot of moments were I was like, "OHMYGOD, WHAT?!"

Paul and Flip were really awesome, but I couldn't stand the girl that Flip's father was seeing.

All in all, when reading And Both Were Young, you must keep in mind that it was written in the 1940s, a time when kissing a boy seemed scandalous. :)

Ps; I apologize for the brief review, I'll do better next time!