Thursday, February 21, 2013

Die For Me (Revenants 1) by Amy Plum Review

2.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis: In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Kate Mercier has just moved to Paris permanently with her sister Georgia, to move in with their grandparents after both of their parents are killed in a car accident. Leaving her old life back in Brooklyn, Kate struggles to assimilate back into a normal life while her sister enjoys the City of Light. She meets Vincent, an immortal being, a revenant, that after she falls for him, she realizes that she can never have a normal life again.

If you like the Twilight saga, you will like this book. The plot is very similar to Twilight in the sense that Vincent is gorgeous, rich, immortal, and lives with a make-shift family of other immortal beings. This is one of the reasons that this book lost points for me, because I value creativity and I felt that it was too similar to Twilight. Maybe it's because I have read a lot of these types of books lately but I found that there was nothing special about this book. Kate is the typical Mary Sue character, everyone thinks she's beautiful but she has low self esteem, she is into literature, her sister outshines her in looks and social life.

I wouldn't say that I didn't enjoy this book, but it definitely wasn't anything to squeal over. What makes this book special to me is its setting, and that's only because I have seen some of the locations mentioned in this book in person so I can really put myself in the main character's shoes.

Strengths/Likes:

1) The descriptions of Paris are beautiful and I feel like that Amy Plum accurately describes Parisians and Paris itself.

2) I liked the action scene at the end of the book, although I had a hard time not laughing hysterically about who was actually fighting and in what body. I'm trying not to give too much away, I'm sorry if I spoiled this for anyone.

3) Jules character is hysterical but I hope that this does not turn into a love triangle.

4) The idea behind being a revenant is very interesting. Even though I think they are very similar to the Cullen family, it's still an interesting and new idea. I'd like to know more about the process of becoming a revenant and how each of the characters came to be that way.

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) This book was too short for the plot line. There is a lot of detail that goes into being a revenant and I felt like that information was rushed. Also, I felt that the relationships, dramatic, and action moments suffered from how short the book was because they ended up feeling rushed and melodramatic.

2) Vincent and Kate's relationship doesn't make any sense to me. I'm not sure when, where, or how they became so attached together. I know the point was instant attraction but I feel like that doesn't make a strong relationship. I would have liked that the author developed that relationship more instead of Vincent taking Kate on a couple of dates and then suddenly they are head-over-heels for each other.

Relationship development in general in this book was a problem. I knew that I was supposed to be attached or feel bad for certain characters but because I knew so little about them I wasn't so involved and found myself not caring if certain people lived or died.

3) There are a lot of similarities between this trilogy and the Twilight Saga. Vincent's family was very similar to the Cullen family. To me, Charlotte was very similar to Alice. Ambrose personality wise was just like Emmett. Also in the way that they all came together as a family in a similar way that the Cullen came together.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 


1) "We stood there, looking out at the City of Light together for a few euphoric moments before he leaned his head down and whispered, 'The answer to your question of where I was taking you would be… to the most beautiful place in Paris. With the most beautiful girl I have been lucky enough to set eyes on, and who I desperately hope will agree to meet again. As soon as possible'" (145).

2) "I thought of how, after all that loss, I had found someone who loved me. He hadn't said it, but I had seen it in his eyes, and read it in the words he had written. My normal world was gone, in more ways than one. But I had a chance for happiness in a completely new one. A world better suited to science fiction and horror films, perhaps, but also one where I could find tenderness, friendship, and love" (276).

3) "I cried for the loss of a former life. For the days when I would wake up in my old room, walk down the stairs, and see my mother and father sitting at the breakfast table waiting for me. I cried because I would never see them again, and my life would never be the same" (276).

4) "The first time I had seen the statue in the fountain, I had no idea what Vincent was. Now, when I looked at the ethereal beauty of the two connected figures--the handsome angel, with his hard, darkened features focused on the woman cradled in his outstretched arms, who was all softness and light--desperate. Obsessed, even. But also tender. As if he was looking to her to save him, and not vice versa. And all of a sudden, Vincent's name for me popped into my mind: mon ange. My angel. I shivered, but not from the cold" (1). 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Review


3.5/5 Stars
Details of the book
Hardcover, 546 pages
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published on October 23, 2012
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

The past has come back to do more than just haunt Mara Dyer these days, in fact they have risen from the dead to make her look medically insane to all of her loved ones. Mara follows a trail that leads her and Noah to find out more about that night that her best friend Rachel, her ex boyfriend Jude and his sister Claire died, and discovers that it was much more complicated than she originally thought.

Complicated is the perfect word to describe this book. I found that I enjoyed it much more than the first book, because of all of it's plot twists and developing relationships. Mara and Noah are extremely cute, and it's nice to see that even though their world is falling apart that they don't let it effect their feelings for each other. In some ways this book reminded me of Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy in it's villains  and I found Mara is very similar to Juliette from Shatter Me, except less annoying. So if you like either of those trilogy's, you should give this one a read.

Strengths/Likes:

1) I continue to like the writing style, more specifically each characters' individual voices. Mara's voice comes through very well, in the way that I can hear in my head the exact tempo of how she is saying certain things and her tone of voice.

2) Noah may continue to be a cliche but I do love him dearly haha. The way he is always saving Mara, and being there for her, it's impossible for me not to love him.

3) I love the brother-sister bond that Daniel and Mara share, it's rare where this kind of relationship in books is described often. It's truly touching, and makes me envious at the same time. I especially love Daniel's speech when he goes with Mara to group. I won't ruin it for everyone, but I will say it made me cry.

4) The honesty in Noah and Mara's relationship, it's nice to see that they have actual problems, as opposed to one lying to another to move the plot along and their relationship.

Weaknesses/Dislikes: 

1) Plot twists: I'm torn on this one. Although I felt that the twists and turns of this book made it more exciting, I felt that it was predictable. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I didn't find myself at all surprised at each turn, but you guys be the judge. Don't just take my word on it.

2) Clarity, or lack there of really. Part of the book is written from a different point of view, I'm want to say that it's from Mara's grandma's point of view, but at times I got stuck thinking that maybe it was a past life of Mara's. Either way, I found it pointless, and I wasn't quite sure what the point of adding that in. At the end of the book, there is a parallel scene from this past and Mara's present but other than that I wasn't sure what the point of it all was.

There are a few other unclear points, like the pendants, or Lukumi, and there are some other things but I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't read it.

Favorite Quotes or Moments:

1) 
"Noah followed my steps and unfurled on the mattress, drawing me down with him, My spine was pressed up against his chest; the silver pendant he always wore was cold against my skin, exposed in my tank top. The beat of his heart was steadied mine.

Noah traced the length of my arm and held my hand. 'We don't have to do anything, Mara.' he said softly as my eyes began to close. I wanted to curl up in his voice and live there. 'This is truly enough.' I had one final thought before I slipped into sleep. Not for me."

2) "I ran my fingers though his perfect hair and wrapped my arms around his neck. Locked them there. Locked him in. But then he unbound them. Pulled away and kneeled back until he was at the foot of the bed. 'I'm still here.'"

3) "Noah smoothed the hair from my face. Made me look at him before he spoke. 'There will come a moment when there's nothing you want more than us. Together. When you're free of every fear and there is nothing in our way.' Noah's voice was sincere, his expression serious. I wanted to believe him. 'And then I'll make you scream my name.' I broke into a smile. 'Maybe I'll make you scream mine.'

"If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one."

4) "I knew Noah worshipped Charlie Parker and that his toothbrush was green. That he wouldn't bother to button his shirts correctly but always made his bed. That when he slept he curled into himself and that his eyes were the color of the clouds before it rained, and I knew he had no problem eating meat but would subtly leave the room if animals started to kill one another on the Discovery Channel. I knew one hundred little things about Noah Shaw but when he kissed me I couldn't remember my own name."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Review

I know that I said that I would be reviewing the Die For Me (The Revenants Series) but the day that I wanted to start reading those books, I took the second book of the trilogy with me to class, and instead of starting in the middle, I had The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer on my kindle so I started with that. So, slight change of plans but I'll get to those novels after I finish reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer.


3/5 Stars
Details of the Book
ebook, 456 pages
Published by Simon & Schuster
Published on September 27, 2011
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

After a terrible accident, Mara Dyer loses her best friend and boyfriend in the same night. The only trouble is she can't remember why exactly she and her friends were in that old building or the building collapsing on top of them. To escape being put into a facility and all her memories of the past, Mara's family moves from their hometown in Rhode Island to Miami, Florida. Besides the change of pace, Mara enrolls into Croyden and private school full of snobs. Although she has changed her scenery and made new friends, death continues to follow her, and throws her into the arms of Croyden's famous bad boy Noah Shaw who helps her on this journey to discover what happened the night her friends died and the strength of her terrifying powers.

This book came to me highly recommended, and I wasn't disappointed. It was well written, the characters were interesting. Although this novel falls under the new cliche of the unpopular new girl in school who draws the attention of the most notorious bad boy, it's a very cute story and a must read. If you read this book or this series rather, it won't be the most original story lines you have ever read but it's still entertaining.

Strengths/Likes:

1) As I already said, this book is very well written. The dialogue is funny and witty. Michelle Hodkin provides Mara with a very sarcastic, intelligent, voice of the average teenager. Hodkin also uses a wide variety of vocabulary which I found refreshing, because it shows that the writing can still be entertaining without degrading the English language to the normal vernacular of you'd see on the TV show The Jersey Shore. 

2) The story if filled with a lot of suspense. I wanted to know more about how these people were dying and what exactly Mara's powers were and why does she have them.

3) Noah Shaw is dreamy ^_^

4) There are a lot of references to other popular literature in this novel that just made me feel special for understanding them. For example, there are a few references to J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter as well as The Lord of the Rings. Maybe this is not a major plus but I definitely enjoyed these small moments.

5) The bromance between Noah and Daniel is just precious. You would think that they are siblings.

Weakness/Dislikes: 

1) I felt that most of the characters were pretty flat and that we were told more about them then actually seeing that. For example, Noah's backstory in school and at home is more heard instead of seen. I love several other characters but mostly through their dialogue, and if I think about it I don't know very much about them besides that they say some very interesting and comical things.

2) I found it unusual that all of the deaths that Mara is present for that she is not considered to be a suspect in any of them. She is always at the scene of the crime and yet the police have not once implicated her as the murderer, which I find extremely unrealistic. Maybe this is something that will be made up for in the second novel.

3) I wanted more of a build to Noah and Mara's relationship. Their storyline as I have said is not an original one: She's the new girl, he's the popular badboy, she's the first to resist his charms out right, he's rich, I think you guys get the picture. That being said, I have no problem with this cliche, but I felt that it needed something extra, a wow factor, something that made it stand out from the rest.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

"You could write a comic book about the many adventures of her vagina. It could wear a cape" (41).

"I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierachy of asses" (60).

"I find it hilarious that whenever I light up, Americans look at me like I'm going to urinate on their children" (92).

"I've already learned Parseltongue. What else is there?" "Elivish" (124).

"The juxtaposition of him sitting in a room full of people while staring at no one but me was overwhelming. Something shifted inside of me at the intimacy of us, eyes locked amid the scraping of twenty graphite pencils on paper" (263).

*I can't write out these scenes because it will ruin parts of the book for people but I love Noah's versions of the The Velveteen Rabbit and Dr. Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Congratulations Samira aka sameesamee!

Hi everyone! Just so all of you know I have heard from our winner and I will be sending out her ARC soon. Thank you everyone for entering in the giveaway!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Winner of the Requiem ARC Giveaway

Hello everyone! Thank you all for entering my giveaway, I have had a couple of people who have asked me if I have picked my winner, so I decided to create this post to let all of you know what is going on with that. I have picked my winner, but I haven't heard back from this person yet, which has made me hesitant to announce who she or he is just yet.

I have contacted my winner on both Tumblr.com and here. Hopefully by making this post, it will catch his or her attention and she or he will check their accounts. So all of you, double check your accounts to make sure if you're the winner or not.

Hopefully I'll have an update on this giveaway soon, and for all of you did not win, don't worry, I'll have more giveaways in the future.