1/30/12

Remembrance by Michelle Madow


Synopsis

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet. 

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind? 

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.


What I think:
First of all, I absolutely love the title and the cover of the book. It really suits the book and it's just nice to look at. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover and I don't. While I never decide not to read a book based on its cover, I definitely appreciate creating a cover that is beautiful to look at. 

I also applaud the author for creating such a riveting story from a simple music video. Granted, Taylor Swift's music videos are never truly simple and they always have a story to them, but still. When I finished the book I was like: "You got all that from some video footage?" Talk about inspiration. For those of you who don't know, the book Remembrance is based on Taylor Swift's Love Story. And trust me, the video will take on new meaning after you've read this book. 

Having said all of that, I had a problem with the characters. Actually multiple problems. Lizzie and I were NOT on the same page when it came to the guys. Why, might you ask? Because to me they were -wait a second while I look for a polite way to put this so children can read my review too. Right, found it. To me they were Jerk and Jerkerer (or Jerkier), but you get the point ( I hope).  They were Jerks, basically.

The point is that both guys treated Liz like dirt and I was baffled that she stuck around. The only difference between them was that one treated her bad without completely realizing that he was and that she took everything personally, while the other one deliberately pushed her away only to pull her back again. I felt like punching both guys at separate moments in the book and I honestly don't think I would have stuck around. The guys annoyed me too much and I didn't think either one deserved Lizzie. 

Of course, Michelle Madow turned out to be such a good writer that in the end, she made me forget that I was annoyed with both boys and helped me understand them better only to be severely happy for Elizabeth and the way things turned out. I feel like I betrayed myself. Ugh.

3,5 Smileys




Radiant Desire by Inara Scott






Synopsis
The object of every man’s fantasy just lost her wings…

Kaia Verde is one of the four Faerie Handmaids of
Zafira, Queen of the Fey. To redress an ancient wrong done to Zafira by a human king, the Handmaids make sport of mortal men, seducing and humiliating them. When Kaia sets out to seduce Garrett Jameson, but ends up being the one surrendering to pleasure, Zafira is furious. Kaia’s punishment is simple: make Garrett fall in love with her by the summer solstice, then break his heart, or face eternity without her wings—or her soul. To make the task harder, Zafira tells Kaia she 

cannot use her faerie magic or charm to lure Garrett into her bed.

…and now she’s losing her heart…

Kaia thinks her task will be relatively easy—as a faerie, she understands lust, and can love be much different? But once she is living among the humans, Kaia discovers the race she once disparaged is far more complex and beautiful than she imagined. She learns before she can break Garrett’s heart, she must find a way to heal it. And eventually, discovers that losing her wings may be a far easier price to pay than losing her heart.

What I think:
This book was amazing. It was so engrossing and sexy and just plain beautiful.

I’ve got to admit, I love fairies faeries. I’ve loved the idea of their existence ever since I saw a faerie movie when I was a kid. (And no, it wasn’t Peter Pan, although I do have a soft spot for Tinkerbell). But I’ve never really been attracted to faerie books. Maybe I was afraid of having my love for them ruined by a badly written book. Just as I normally shy away from reading angel and mermaid books. While I’m fascinated by these creatures, I rarely read books about them.

But whether my reluctance to read books about these types of creatures stems from my fear of being disappointed really doesn’t matter when it comes to this book. Because it was anything but badly written or disappointing.

The moment I read the blurb, I had a feeling I’d like it. And I was right. It was really sweet and gripping, kind of like a fairy tale for adults. Who knew those existed?

The story was told from the points of view of Kaia and Garrett and I loved it all the more for it. I loved Kaia (and I like her name). She was such a likeable, honorable character. And she really evolved throughout the book, from a sheltered, perceived-as-good-for-nothing-person to a strong, independent, loving character.
I also liked Garrett, he was stubborn and distrusting, but he had good reason to be and underneath that cool and composed, tough exterior he had a good heart.
The imp, Kaia’s watchdog basically, grew on me. He was funny and just made the book more interesting.

I also liked the Fey world the author created, although there wasn’t much of it. Maybe that’s also one of the reasons I liked this book. It combined reality seamlessly with fairy tale. They existed together and flowed into each other without feeling forced. And this book was such a page-turner. For a book without any actual action it was hard to put down. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I just had to know how the story ended. And once I did, I had this dreamy smile plastered on my face (I think).*Sigh

I loved it. That is all.


5 Smileys


1/24/12

Delirium by Lauren Oliver





Synopsis
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.






What I think:
This book was beautiful. It was so sad and sweet and sometimes everything seemed hopeless, but then there would be a small, but significant light at the end of a tunnel that was thought to have no end.

Can you imagine living in a world where everybody is numb, well almost everybody. And where being numb is considered the norm, something to long for, to embrace. A world where love is viewed as a disease and therefore forbidden, and cured. This community views love as the deadliest of all deadly things, something to be nipped in the bud before it consumes you and ultimately kills you. What got to me about the world created by Lauren Oliver is how completely crazy and absurd the idea of this world seems, but also how completely and terrifyingly possible.

While reading this book, I tried to picture what these “cured” people would be like and I finally settled on Leonard’s mom, Beverly Hofstadter, from The Big Bang Theory. I remember watching an episode where Howard told her that she must be proud of her children, because of their achievements. And she answered: “Why? They’re not my accomplishments.”



I really liked the characters of this book. Lena was a simple girl who didn’t think much of herself. She was afraid, afraid of everything, but I think most of all, of ending up like her mother. Until she met Alex.
Alex was a really sweet, caring character. He taught Lena to love and be loved, one step at a time. I loved the relationship between these two characters, it was so romantic*sigh I actually expected a *shirtless hug (See: Price Peterson).
I really loved this book. The truth is that I’ve had this book for a while, but I never felt like reading it. And then, a few days ago, I just did. It did not disappoint. It’s a good thing that Pandemonium comes out in a month, along with Hana, a short story.


“Mice? Fine. Flying mice? Not so fine.”

“Are you sure that being like everybody else will make you happy?" 
"I don't know any other way." 
 "Let me show you." 
 And then we're kissing. Or at least, I think we're kissing—I've only seen it done a couple of times, quick closed-mouth pecks at weddings or on formal occasions. But this isn't like anything I've ever seen, or imagined, or even dreamed: this is 
like music or dancing but better than both.”

“I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.”



5 Smileys



1/14/12

Divergent by Veronica Roth


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her. 

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

What I think:
I loved this book so much!
First of all, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. And the meaning behind the symbol is just beautiful. I’d actually like a necklace with that symbol as the pendant. I also like the title. It’s catchy.

OK, so on to the story. I can’t get over how original, unique, creative and downright awesome the story was. It blew my mind! It’s just such a breath of fresh air to read a book in which the author created a world that I haven’t encountered before.  A world where the people are divided into factions based on the virtues Candor, Abnegation, Amity, Erudite, Dauntless and let’s not forget…the factionless. I really loved this world-although I wouldn’t want to live in it- and how the author worked out the details, all the while making them make perfect sense. 

But I get why people compare this book to the Hunger Games. It has the same feel. This world is ruthless and the heroine is a survivor just like Katniss from the Hunger Games. I think she possesses the best qualities of two of my favorite characters, the first one being Katniss and the second one Rose from the Vampire Academy. Tris is strong, stubborn, determined, intelligent, selfless and resilient.  Veronica Roth has really created a winning protagonist. Tris is the definition of a true heroine.

Then there is Four. I love him! Can I take him home with me? Pretty Please? I never thought I’d say this about a dude, but there it is, he’s adorable! And I’m not even talking about his looks…yet, which by the way in my mind are absolutely stunning. Here’s just a quick peek into my mind.
So where was I? Right, his personality. He can be sweet and vulnerable one moment and then strong, confident and completely intimidating and dauntless the next. It’s so amazing to finally come across a guy again that is actually nice. One that doesn't feel the need to be a jerk at least 75% of the time.

In short I have no words to describe the awesomeness that is this book. I can say that I read this book in 2011 and the moment I’d read it, I knew it was the one, my favorite read of 2011 that is. What also sets it apart is the message it conveys. I haven’t read a book with such a clear message in a long time. It’s beautiful. It’s empowering.

I mean with quotes like this you just can’t go wrong:

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” 

“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different.” 

“Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.” 


5 Smileys



1/7/12

Never to Sleep by Rachel Vincent










Synopsis
Don't Close Your Eyes. 

Sophie Cavanaugh is not going to let her freak of a cousin's strange psychiatric condition ruin high school for them both. Not after all the work she's put into cultivating the right look, and friends, and reputation. But then, Sophie sees something so frightening she lets out a blood-curdling scream—and finds herself stuck in a bizarre parallel world where nothing is safe and deadly creatures lurk just out of sight, waiting for her to close her eyes and sleep...forever. 

Could this world be real? Or does insanity run in the family...?



What I think:
I really liked this. Like all the books I’ve read by Rachel Vincent, this one was action-packed, breathtaking and shocking. My eyes were glued to the pages. I wouldn’t have been able to stop reading even if I’d wanted to.Rachel Vincent has the remarkable ability to make even a single sentence suspenseful or downright shocking.

So…Sophie, she was definitely a…different character. I’ll admit, while I was dying to read Sophie’s point of view of um…things, I was also worried that I wouldn’t like her as a narrator. And I still don’t like her. Actually I didn’t realize how much I loved Kaylee as a narrator until her “voice” and awesomeness weren't there.
But while I don’t like Sophie, at the same time I don’t hate her as much as I did or at least thought I did.

Sophie’s completely clueless and she isn’t the nicest of people. But while it puts me off a little, I also kind of like it. She’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind, to be who she is and I think that’s admirable. And every once in a while I think she channels a little bit of Kaylee’s awesomeness. Family resemblance maybe?

Oh, and Luca! Did I mention Luca? I definitely like him, no doubt about that. Is he or will he ever be as amazing as Tod? That’s yet to be seen. But there are other things of him that can be seen (or read) in this novella. Like him. Shirtless.  And that’s good enough for now. I wonder what brings him to Kaylee’s Sophie's part of town, though. Because I have a feeling he’s not just here for the scenery or the outstanding educational system.

What I can definitely say is that this novella gave me even more reason to pine for Before I Wake, as if I needed any. There are some very interesting revelations contained in this book that you won’t want to miss. Trust me.

4 Smileys


*Please note that Never to Sleep is a novella that is meant to be read after If I Die, the fifth full-length novel of the Soul Screamers series.



1/6/12

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams


Synopsis
After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again. 

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's him again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

What I think:
This book was something else. The concept was so unique, so original and well thought out. And I loved it. Let me tell you, I could not put this book down. I was completely enamored by the story.

I liked Seraphina. She was sweet and pretty smart. I was a little impressed.
Cyrus was a legitimate bad guy. It was evident in the way everyone treated him, as if they were only a second away from calling him master.( I think that actually happened at one point) . Anyway, it was also evident in what Sera-I love the short version of her name for some reason- thought about him. I honestly started thinking that the guy was a ticking time bomb.
I really liked Bryan. There was definitely some sarcasm there and I love a guy who can make me laugh.
Noah was really nice and sweet. I wish he had a little more depth, though. Or maybe it’s just that I didn’t get to know him as well as I would’ve liked. The same goes for the parents.

And the ending, people, ugh, I loved and hated this ending. I loved it, because in a way it was brilliant and the possibility of it briefly crossed my mind, but I brushed it off thinking: “Oh, no she wouldn't!. But if what I think happened actually happened, then she definitely did.

But like I said, I also hated the ending, because it was too abrupt, which I think is a typical part-of-a-series-book problem. I don’t mind the cliffhanger, that was brilliant, but it needed a little more of… something leading up to it.

Nevertheless, this book pleasantly surprised me. I started reading it, thinking I’d just read a few pages and then go to bed. Well, so much for going to bed early. But this book was definitely worth it.


4 Smileys




1/3/12

Top 10 Debut Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012


Top Ten Tuesday is a really creative weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012.

I decided to divide my books between this post and my Top 10 of 2011 post. The Top 10 of 2011 post has the 2012 non-debut books I'm excited about. This post has the Top 10 debut books I'm excited about.

1. The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

Anything that has to with eternal life and past lives is a must-read for me. I think they're fascinating subjects. Plus the synopsis of this book makes me think of that movie Skeleton Key and I liked that movie.

2 .Undeadly by Michele Vail

Reapers? Where? Rachel Vincent got me hooked on the concept of reapers. I just have to read this book. It'll definitely be interesting to read about the reaper world from a girl's point of view. The fact that I'm now hooked on reapers aside, the synopsis sounds awesome.



3. Slide by Jill Hathaway

Can you imagine being able to slide into other people's minds and seeing the world through their eyes? It sounds creepy. It reminds me of what Rose was going through in the Vampire Academy series. I'm very curious as to how the author will execute this idea. I can't wait until it comes out.

4. Fracture by Megan Miranda

Coming back to life after having been dead for eleven minutes. Who doesn't want to read about that?

5. Above by Leah Bobet

I've always liked the idea of fairies and other winged creatures. You'd think I'd be all over books about these creatures, but for some reason none of the YA books on the subject have pulled me. This is the first one that I'm even remotely interested in. Actually I'm anxiously awaiting its release.


6. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

*shudders This book features a world that I really wouldn't want to experience. At least not in reality. I would not want my mind to be controlled by a computer. It sounds horrible and therefore awesome.

7. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Like I said, anything that has to do with past lives, reincarnation, you name it, is a must-read for me. I expect nothing but awesomeness from this book.

8. When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

First of all, I like the title and the cover of this book. And the synopsis is interesting. I'm not exactly sure what to expect but I just have to read it.


9. Velveteen by Daniel Marks

The first thing I thought about when I saw this title was The Velveteen Rabbit. Based on the synopsis I'd say that it doesn't have anything to do with that, but it still sounds like my kind of read. A girl stuck between life and death and her killer still on the loose? Yep, I think this is my kind of read.


10. Sweet Evil

OK, so I've heard a lot of bad things about angels. They don't exactly have a good reputation when it comes to YA books. But they're another kind of creature I love. I used to watch Touched by an Angel all the time when I was a kid. And the one YA Angel book I have read, Unearthly, was a really good read. Plus I can't ignore a synopsis like the one for this book. Sweet Evil, come out, come out (as soon as you can)!



Top 10 Non-Debut Books I'm Drooling Over in 2012


This is the fifth and last topic of the meme hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Rachel from Fiktshun and Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books.

For this post I decided to do the " Top 10 Non-Debut Books I'm Drooling Over" in 2012.



1. Falling In Between by Devon Ashley

The moment I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I wanted to read it. It sounds romantic and hilarious. (What more can you ask for?) I can't wait for it to come out!

2. Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

I'm excited for anything that has to do with the Soul Screamers series. I mean these books keep getting better and better. It should be illegal to have to wait for this book to come out.

3. The Savage Grace by Bree Despain

I loved the first two books in this trilogy. The release date of this one really can't come fast enough.

4. Revived by Cat Patrick

I loved Forgotten by Cat Patrick. The concept was unique and the book was beautiful. And this one sounds even more awesome, if that's possible.


5. Arcanus by Tyra Lynn

I loved Tempus, but there are still so many questions that were left unanswered so I need this book!

6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I loved Divergent. I love Tris and Four and the incredible world Veronica Roth created. I can't wait to read more. And isn't the cover just stunning?

7. The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

I got this book for review from Netgalley and I just can't wait to read it. It sounds mysterious and suspenseful which to me equals awesome!

8. The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

The synopsis of this sounds interesting. I predict suspense and shock in my future when reading this book. Sadly, it's not the near future since it comes out in April.
9. Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout

More Daemon and Kat? Yes, please!

10. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith



This sounds like a really sweet and romantic read. Plus I love the cover.




Stats
  • Started blogging on: December 27 2011 (But my blog has been around since September)
  • Books read in 2011(between May and December): 77
  • Books Reviewed in 2011 (on Goodreads between July and December): About 40
  • Books reviewed on the blog(between December 27 and December 31): 2


Top 10 Characters in 2011: The Good, The Bad and The In-Betweens

Ok, so we'll just pretend that a day has more than 24 hours (and that Blogger isn't aware of this), since I said in my first Top 10 of 2011 post that I'd make all five posts happen in one day. Anyway this is the fourth topic of the Top 10 of 2011, the meme hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Rachel from Fiktshun and Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books.

For this post I decided to do a combination of heroines , villains and characters that can’t really be classified as either, simply because I couldn’t come up with 10 characters of just one category.

Top 10 Characters in 2011

The heroines

1.Rosemarie Hathaway and Mia Rinaldi from the Vampire Academy series

 Rose
I think Rose is the ultimate inspiring protagonist. She’s smart, strong and she never gives up. I also love her sense of humor. She has a way of making even the roughest times bearable. And I even love her lesser qualities, because those qualities-her stubbornness and her hotheadedness- are what make her real, what make her Rose.

Mia
I think Mia is amazing. She started out in such a bad place. But she grew and evolved into one of the strongest characters possible throughout the Vampire Academy books. She became down to earth and wise beyond her years. I’m so proud of her.


2.Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior and her mother

Tris
I was blown away by Tris. Here I’m thinking that I’ll probably never come across another protagonist (besides Katniss) who even gets close to being in the same league as Rose and then Tris comes along. I did not expect her. I think she possesses the best traits of both Katniss and Rose. She’s really smart, brave, and selfless (even if she doesn’t always agree). She may not be very pretty on the outside but she more than makes up for it on the inside.

Tris’ mom
I love Tris’ mom, because she loves unconditionally and because just like Tris she is brave and selfless. You can definitely see where Tris got her awesomeness.

3.Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games series

I think Katniss is the definition of a true heroine. I mean taking your sister’s place in a game that will most likely end in your death, just to keep your sister safe, is heroism at its best. And then you turn around and manage not to give up, but instead fight for your survival. You’re strength, drive and perseverance are admirable. I applaud you, Katniss. It is the least I can do.


4.Kaylee Cavanaugh from the Soul Screamers series

Kaylee=Selfless. The girl helps everyone, everywhere with no regard whatsoever to her own well-being. She constantly watches out for everyone, forgetting to watch out for herself in the process. She’s brave, smart and all-round amazing. She’s always trying to make the world the world a better place. Therefore she is a true heroine.


...even though it nearly got you killed—I nearly got you killed—and I started to understand how special you are. 

“You think I need to be rescued?" 
"I think it doesn't hurt to let someone else do the rescuing every now and then, when your own armor starts to get banged up.” 


Look, even Tod agrees with me.

The In-Betweens

5.Daemon Black from Obsidian

I wanted Daemon on this list because I love to hate (and sometimes love) his character. I decided to put him in the In-Betweens because he’s not quite bad, since he has these uncharacteristically sweet and sexy moments. But he’s also not quite good, since he’s a jerk about 85% of the time. And I’m OK with that. With a name like Daemon I think I’d be disappointed if he had an angelic personality.

6.Eden Winslow from The Warriors of Ankh series

I put Eden here because she wasn't quite good at the beginning of this series, due to her nature. But at the same she wasn't quite bad, fighting the evil she was expected to become every step of the way. Plus when it comes to her personality she isn't exactly an angel.

But Eden possesses qualities any heroine would kill to have. She’s strong. She’s a fighter and a survivor. She can be outright mean sometimes, but she has a kind heart, standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

7.Anna Korlov From Anna Dressed in Blood


Ok, so I think Anna actually is bad in the traditional sense of the word, but I just couldn’t put her with the villains, because while she is evil and murderous she can’t really help it. Underneath all that she’s a sweet girl. I wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley, though.



The Villains

8.His Evilness, Avari from the Soul Screamers series


Avari is a hellion of avarice (greed). He tortures the souls of people who sold them in exchange for fame and fortune. He makes for a very good villain. He reminds me of a businessman. Granted, a very cunning and conniving businessman, but still a businessman. He’s heartless, but not too unreasonable, unless he owns your soul or you piss him off. Then you've got a problem. Just ask Addy and Kaylee.

9.Teagan Winslow from The Warriors of Ankh series


Teagan is a creep, plain and simple. And he’s the slimy kind that can only be found under a rock. *shudders. But he owns the creepiness. He also believed that he owned Eden and he would do anything to get her back. You do not want to deal with this guy or get in his way. Better yet, make sure you’re never in the same continent as him.


10.Marcus from The Significance series

I think that Marcus is the ultimate villain. I don’t think he has a conscience. Actually I doubt that he’s ever heard of the word. If there was ever a school for villains he’d be the headmaster. Marcus wants power and everything that comes with it and I’m pretty sure he’d kill to get it.


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