Monday, September 29, 2014

Moronic Monday: Christine Daaé from The Phantom of the Opera

Mondays, the worst day of the week. Despite the fact that it's the start of your school/work week, there is always something extra that just pushes it to the next level. That someone that just permanently keeps Monday at the top of most dreaded days of the week. That's what this meme is about. The one character that drives you mad with their stupidity. Their idiocy is the type that you can spot their impending train wreck from miles away, the type that makes you want to slam their heads into a desk repeatedly. Moronic Mondays are not for your lovable idiots, no, it's for the ones that you think they deserve every bad thing they get it.

I know this is coming really late, but I was out with the family today and forgot to set this to post last night. Sorry guys! (It's still technically Monday for me..)

The first Broadway I ever saw was The Phantom of the Opera, and after I was completely in love with the music, the story, the characters. I just couldn't bear it to end so I picked up the book to read. To my surprise, the Broadway left out the part where Christine is a two-faced liar. The Broadway plays it off (at least to me) that Christine and Erik have known each other since she was little, and she loves him platonically and while his feelings for her are possessive and romantic. Well, in the book Christine acts like she's in love with him, even has an engagement ring she wears from him, all the while doesn't love him at all. She's terrified of him even though she's the one that convinces him to remove his mask and be himself around her, and while she tells Erik she loves him more this way, when it's quite the opposite. And miraculously, paints herself as the victim in the whole story, not the two men whose emotions she's toying with.

The book was still great but I couldn't stand reading Christine hurting Erik with her stupid actions.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Bucket List: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

There are books in your life that you come across and you know you have to read them. They can be old, they can be new but before your time runs out you have to find time to read them. Welcome to my Book Bucket List everyone!


Synopsis of The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who's reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years.

This edition follows the original numbering scheme. Recent publishers have renumbered the volumes so they are ordered chronologically. This was reportedly the author's preference. Other editions number this book as 2.

Why it's on my Bucket List:

I have feel that I have missed out during my childhood in not reading these books. When Harry Potter was still new (I was in Elementary School) I was too obsessed to be really drawn into any other series. It felt like I was cheating on Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but I was little so cut me some slack. Anyway, I have heard over and over again about how amazing the world of Narnia is, and how great the stories are. It's because I have read Harry Potter and loved it that many people have told me that I will love Narnia. I have even avoided seeing the movies because I know that this series is a real literary treasure and I didn't want my thoughts or feelings towards it to be influenced in any way.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Books VS. Movies: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

It seems like nowadays that all of our favorite books are being turned into movies. This meme is about the failures and winners of the silver screen in comparison to their books.

I always try my best to read the book before seeing it's film adaptation but sometimes it just doesn't pan out that way. That being said, there are many books that I've read after the seeing the movie or TV show, and still enjoy the book more. In the case of Nicholas Sparks' book The Notebook, I would have to say that the movie was ten times better.

The book is written in a very boring and bland manner. There is no passion or feelings in the words and it focuses more on Noah and Allie as senior citizens and their love story is told in flashbacks. Not well written flashbacks, I might add. Even though the story was being told by Noah, just like in the movie, it felt like a third party was telling the story it was so detached. It's like how people are always saying for writing, it's important to show not tell. Well, the book was all telling, while the book showed the romance instead. Keeping in mind that it's easier in a movie to show a romance then it is to write one, doesn't change the fact that book failed to engage it's readers in the story.

Now the movie on the other hand I think was very heartfelt and moving. It starts out in the same way as its book, but focuses more on the couple when they first fall in love. As the movie goes on, you can watch as it develops and grows. The audience feels like they are apart of Noah and Allie's relationship, and their thoughts and feelings seem like they are your own.

What about you guys? Did you like the movie or the book better? Let me know =)


Friday, September 26, 2014

Forgotten Friday: Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville

This meme is about books that have been pushed aside while others have gone viral and made into movies. It can be old books, new books, any book that never got its (or enough) time  in the spot light.

This book I had actually forgotten about. It was read to me during story time in the 5th grade and even though I couldn't remember the name of it for a long time, the story made a huge impression of me. There's mystical creatures, family secrets, and best of all there are Unicorns. Who can beat that? Anyway, you guys should definitely check it out.

Synopsis:One unicorn dwells on Earth.
Hundreds fight in Luster.
Their legends are recorded in
THE UNICORN CHRONICLES

Into the Land of the Unicorns
As each chime sounds, Cara climbs faster up the steep bell tower. Eleven! She must be on the roof when the next bell tolls. Twelve! With a deep breath, and only half believing she will survive, Cara jumps off the church roof and into Luster, land of the unicorns.

In Luster, Cara meets many wonderful creatures, but the most magnificent of all is Lightfoot, a rebellious young unicorn. Cara's band of friends comes to include a hairy creature named the Dimblethum and the monekey-like Squijim. Together, they set out to reach the Unicorn Queen before the mysterious man who is following them does - to prevent the destruction of all unicorns forever.

"Coville weaves traditional unicorn myths into his accessible fantasy...[with] an ending that hints at the next adventure." Booklist

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ARC GIVEAWAY: Tether (The Many-Worlds Trilogy) by Anna Jarzab




This giveaway is now CLOSED. Our winner has been notified and has 48 hours to get back to me in order to receive the book. Thank you everyone for participating =)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Boyfriend: Edward Cullen

So I've seen this meme floating around many book blogs, but initially I got the idea from Reading Lark and they got this meme from The Unread Reader. I've enjoyed the meme so much that I will also be joining in on the fun on Wednesdays. Welcome to Book Boyfriends everyone!

Appearance: 
  • Lanky, not bulky but physically fit. 
  • Tossled bronze hair
  • Pale
  • The oldest 17 year old you'll ever meet.

Why He's My Book Boyfriend: 

This poor guy was ruined by the movies and a lot of haters that went on about him being creepy, a stalker (which I don't condone but I think since it's a supernatural book it's a little out of the regular moral compass), etc. Well, I don't care what you guys say, he was definitely my first ever Book Boyfriend. Did he make really stupid decisions (New Moon)? Yes. But is it uncommon that our significant others to make stupid decisions? No. At least, he did what he did because he thought it was best for Bella. 

Edward is loving, caring, extremely romantic. When I first read Twilight I swooned every time he appeared on the page. I was felt just as devastated as Bella when he left us in New Moon. That's right, I said us, please don't judge me haha..

Actor to be my Edward:

Actually, when I first read Twilight I thought of Robert Pattinson as Edward. I thought he was really cute as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and I thought his look was perfect for Edward. I think that the movie's really made him look..sickly and covered from head to two in terrible make-up. Plus, I didn't think his acting was up to par. I don't know if that was him or the directors..no idea but it was bad. 

So if the movies were to be redone I would like to cast Paul Wesley. He's great at the vampire thing, has the right look, and can act. 


Quotes about and from Edward:

1) “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…" he murmured. I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.

"What a stupid lamb," I sighed.

"What a sick, masochistic lion.” 

2) “Don't be self-conscious, if I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I'm not ashamed of it.” 

3)“He called you pretty...That's practically an insult, the way you look right now...You're much more than beautiful.” 

4) “Look after my heart - I've left it with you.” 

5) "And the sound of your heart," he continued. "It's the most significant sound in my world. I'm so attuned to it now, I swear I could pick it out from miles away. But neither of these things matter. This," he said, taking my face in his hands. "You. That's what I'm keeping. You'll always be my Bella, you'll just be a little more durable.” 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Moronic Monday: Princess Juliana of the Many-Worlds Trilogy

Mondays, the worst day of the week. Despite the fact that it's the start of your school/work week, there is always something extra that just pushes it to the next level. That someone that just permanently keeps Monday at the top of most dreaded days of the week. That's what this meme is about. The one character that drives you mad with their stupidity. Their idiocy is the type that you can spot their impending train wreck from miles away, the type that makes you want to slam their heads into a desk repeatedly. Moronic Mondays are not for your lovable idiots, no, it's for the ones that you think they deserve every bad thing they get it.

Oh Princess Juliana, the spoiled, entitled, extremely irritating Princess Juliana. The fact that her stupidity and and selfishness is what gives life to the main plot of Anna Jarzab's trilogy should have me want to be a bit more lenient towards Juliana, but it doesn't. She doesn't want to get married, so she runs away with these psychotic rebels and in doing so, she screws up her life, her family's life, Thomas' life, and Sasha's life. Sasha who had a generally normal and happy life, gets screwed up by a spoiled brat.

Currently, I'm reading Tether the second book of this trilogy, and so far Juliana hasn't changed. Still making the same stupid, selfish mistakes that just makes me want to bash her over the head. I haven't finished the book yet but based on the whole first book  and half of this one is enough for me to dub her this week's moron.

You guys can check out my full review to Tandem here. Also, coming soon I have some exciting news to share with you all, so stay tuned =).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Bucket List: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

There are books in your life that you come across and you know you have to read them. They can be old, they can be new but before your time runs out you have to find time to read them. Welcome to my Book Bucket List everyone!

Synopsis: Tolstoy's epic masterpiece intertwines the lives of private and public individuals during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the French invasion of Russia. The fortunes of the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys, of Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, are intimately connected with the national history that is played out in parallel with their lives. Balls and soirees alternate with councils of war and the machinations of statesmen and generals, scenes of violent battles with everyday human passions in a work whose extraordinary imaginative power has never been surpassed. 

The prodigious cast of characters, seem to act and move as if connected by threads of destiny as the novel relentlessly questions ideas of free will, fate, and providence. Yet Tolstoy's portrayal of marital relations and scenes of domesticity is as truthful and poignant as the grand themes that underlie them. 

In this revised and updated version of the definitive and highly acclaimed Maude translation, Tolstoy's genius and the power of his prose are made newly available to the contemporary reader.



I actually started reading this book and got about half way through it but the end was spoiled for me and I walked away from it. Once I walk away from a book, it's really hard for me to get back into it. Especially such a massive book like this one. What drew me to this book originally was the fact that not many people want to read it because of its size. Also, someone very dear to me told me that it was one of his favorite books. Plus every good Russian has to read this. Anna Karenina too but I don't want to touch that one.

Once I started reading, I was drawn into the story. The romance, the battles, society of the book, all of it was very interesting. My favorite character is Andrei and it was because I learned of what happened to him that it was so upsetting that I didn't want to keep reading. Eventually I hope that I will find my way to wander my way back to it. 



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Boyfriend: Daniel Butler

So I've seen this meme floating around many book blogs, but initially I got the idea from Reading Lark and they got this meme from The Unread Reader. I've enjoyed the meme so much that I will also be joining in on the fun on Wednesdays. Welcome to Book Boyfriends everyone!


I'm sorry about this one being late, I had a really busy week! I hope you guys enjoy it all the same =)

Appearance: 


  • At little over 6 feet tall
  • Brown hair with natural gold highlights in the sunlight
  • Light green eyes
  • Angled cheekbones and defined jaw line. 
  • A Sailor


Why He's My Book Boyfriend:

Who could resist the charms of a 18th century gentlemen that has the spunk that comes with being a sailor as well? To me, Daniel is like combining Jack Sparrow and Will Turner into one person. He's adventurous, well-mannered, brave, and extremely dashing. The way he speaks and acts just makes me want to swoon. I never wanted to live in the past, but I wish the manners of Daniel Butler still lived on today in our time.

Actor to play Daniel: Hugh Jackman; he's got the look and the accent. He's great in period-films. He's perfect. Plus, he's so dreamy!




Quotes from and about Daniel: 

1) "Well, if a pig came up to me one day upon the road, full dressed and wearing boots, and asked the way to Plymouth, I can promise you it would not be the color of his buttons that would interest me."

2) "To Danny, knowing that the battle will not end the way he wishes does not make it any less worthwhile to fight."

3) "This one garment cost me a full case of brandy," he said, "and a dance with the seamstress's daughter.'

The lightness of his tone relaxed me slightly. " I hope she was pretty."

"She danced like an ox, but I reasoned a gown that was bought for the price of a dance could not help but have happiness in it."

4) "Tis you I want." He trailed his fingers warmly down my cheek and brushed away the single tear that had escaped my lashes. "I care not on what terms."

5) "Whatever time we have," he said, "it will be time enough." 

You guys can check out my full review of The Rose Garden home to Daniel Butler by clicking the link below.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Forgotten Friday: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

This meme is about books that have been pushed aside while others have gone viral and made into movies. It can be old books, new books, any book that never got its (or enough) time  in the spot light.

This book came to me in college. I was dreading reading it because I knew that it was going to be sad (obviously, it's a holocaust book).  It was really sad and a bit horrifying, but not just because of the horrible things that happened to Jews but how much this book illustrates the ignorance of people today that still don't know the gravity of the entire situation. The book actually follows the points-of-view of Sarah (holocaust victim) and Julia who spends her time researching Sarah's life. Julia's point-of-view tells the story of family, love, and history. It's a great read, and maybe you'll learn something. If I haven't sold you on this novel, maybe the synopsis below will.

Synopsis: Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Moronic Monday: Catherine Earnshaw

Mondays, the worst day of the week. Despite the fact that it's the start of your school/work week, there is always something extra that just pushes it to the next level. That someone that just permanently keeps Monday at the top of most dreaded days of the week. That's what this meme is about. The one character that drives you mad with their stupidity. Their idiocy is the type that you can spot their impending train wreck from miles away, the type that makes you want to slam their heads into a desk repeatedly. Moronic Mondays are not for your lovable idiots, no, it's for the ones that you think they deserve every bad thing they get it.


I should state before getting into why Catherine is my moron for this week, that I hate this book. One hundred percent, absolutely loathe this book. It's considered one of the most romantic books and I'm often hearing how in movies (mostly chick flicks) where it's mentioned how it's the heroine's favorite book. My question is, why? Do people like abusive relationships? Is that's what considered to be romantic? If it is, I'll pass. I'd like to call everyone who says this book is a great love story is an idiot but this meme is strictly for characters so moving on..

What to say about Catherine? Well, she falls in love with Heathcliff, he's the love of her life. They make a wonderful couple together (they're both terrible) but for someone unknown reason Catherine decides that she is going to marry someone else. The very person Heathcliff hates the most. Here is her reasoning:

"It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire."

Basically, he was poor and below her social stature. So why not marry the guy Heathcliff hates most, right? Because I mean, he's rich and he likes her. How incredibly stupid of her. I couldn't believe it when I read it. After this she goes psycho because she acts as if nothing should change between her and Heathcliff, that he will remain solely hers. Wrong-o. He then marries Catherine's sister-in-law, which basically makes Catherine lose her mind and she dies during child birth. Now I can't blame her for all of the flawed (that's putting it mildly) Heathcliff's decisions after her betrayal, but she was the catalyst. They were perfectly in love with one another, and she decided to throw it all away. If we forget the idea that the two of them being together would have probably brought hell on Earth, Catherine made the wrong choice out of pure stupidity. Which in the end ruined both her's and her "loved one's" life. She's brilliant, isn't she?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book Bucket List: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

There are books in your life that you come across and you know you have to read them. They can be old, they can be new but before your time runs out you have to find time to read them. Welcome to my Book Bucket List everyone!


Synopsis: In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the 'war to end all wars'. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.




There are so many books out there that I want to read, but life gets in the way and there are other things we have to do. In my case actually it's because I have a huge list of ARCs I need to read and get out reviews to all of you before their release date. 

I'm a great lover of books, and maybe it's impossible to tell by the books I have reviewed here, I love books that are considered literary classics. Such as Shakespeare sonnets and plays (with a few exceptions), Jane Austen novels, Phantom of the Opera, you get the point. So a lot of my Book Bucket List are books that fall under this category of literary classics. I believe that among the books I mentioned falls A Farewell to Arms. 

I didn't just choose this book because it's a classic but because I have read many quotes from it, and judging by the snippets it sounds amazing. There was one quote in particular that made me decide that I just had to read it. Here it is:

“Maybe...you'll fall in love with me all over again."

"Hell," I said, "I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?"

"Yes. I want to ruin you."

"Good," I said. "That's what I want too.” 

I have read some Hemingway but not enough to be a real judge on his work. Actually, I'm quite ashamed to admit that, because I know that any bibliophile worth his/her salt should know more about Hemingway. Well, I hope that I find the time to read more of his work but A Farewell to Arms I will definitely find some time to read. Unfortunately, I don't know when. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Books VS. Movies: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

It seems like nowadays that all of our favorite books are being turned into movies. This meme is about the failures and winners of the silver screen in comparison to their books.

I'm not going to write about all of the movies but there are a few of these that stuck out as absolutely amazing, and others that I found great disappointment in. To begin, I have to talk about The Sorcerer's Stone. I read this book when I was in the fourth grade, and it was magical. It wasn't my first book love, but it was the first book that brought me out of reality into the Harry Potter world. It spoke to me and resonated with me for multiple reasons, which I'm sure it did all of you.



Anyway, the movie was absolutely stunning. When I went to go see it, I couldn't believe how well the whole world came alive on the screen. It was as if I literally opened the book and the very imagery from the pages were being projected onto the screen. For lack of a better word, it was magic. Of course they left out a few details, but come one people, there's no way they couldn't include everything (as much as we all wanted them too). One of the things I really missed though was Lee Jordan's commentary during Harry's first Qudditch match. I'm sure there are many more things like that were looked over, but to this day it's still the best movie adaptation I have ever seen. The casting was amazing, the outfits, the world, everything. It was magnificient.

With the future editions of this meme, I'll break down more thoroughly the strengths and pit falls of the movie adaptations, but maybe I couldn't think of any in this case. Everything that movie missed was not enough to fault it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Forgotten Friday: Ereth's Birthday by Avi

This meme is about books that have been pushed aside while others have gone viral and made into movies. It can be old books, new books, any book that never got its (or enough) time  in the spot light.


So this week's choice is a book from my childhood. It's part of the Dimwood Forest series written by Avi. It's about a grumpy porcupine, who's best friend is a mouse named Poppy, who protects and raises three foxes who's mother has been killed. Now, I know this sounds like an ordinary children's book but the dialogue--more specifically the way Ereth speaks is just gold. How can one not love this:

"Boiled bat butter! Just when you get used to one way, everything changes. Why can't things ever stay the way they are? Phooey and fried salamander spit with a side order of rat ribbon? I hate change!"

"Barbecued bear beards," Ereth swore to himself. Heaving himself up, he waddled over to where the foxes lay. "Move over, you piebald pooper snoopers."

"Being good! It's all broccoli bunk and tick toffee. Oh pull the chain and barf three buckets."

Maybe it's just me after all..

The book is filled with cute little pictures, it's not a picture book though. It's good for readers that are weaning off having pictures on every page. It's a great book, and a great series for kids and kids at heart. Hell, I still love it. I hope you guys will check this out, and enjoy it!

Coming Soon: I'm currently reading Tether by Anna Jarzab, the second book of the Many-Worlds Series. I hope to have a review up for it before Monday but we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Boyfriend: Nikolai Lantsov

So I've seen this meme floating around many book blogs, but initially I got the idea from Reading Lark and they got this meme from The Unread Reader. I've enjoyed the meme so much that I will also be joining in on the fun on Wednesdays. Welcome to Book Boyfriends everyone!


Appearance: 
  • Tall
  • Golden Blond Hair and military length 
  • Bright Hazel Eyes
  • Soldier/Pirate/Prince

Why He's My Book Boyfriend:

The guy is pretty much Prince Charming combined with Captain Jack Sparrow. What's not to love? Nikolai Lantsov stole my heart from the very page he appeared in Siege and Storm and I have been in love with him ever since. He's witty, charming, crafty, charismatic, and just plain hilarious. How can anyone not love him?

Actor to be Nikolai:

How I would love to pick Johnny Depp because I know he could execute this role perfectly, but appearance wise I'd have to go with Ed Speelers.

Physically, Nikolai isn't my type but I fell for his personality so as long as the actor looks like him and can act, it's good enough for me.

Quotes from and about Nikolai: 

1)"Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea." (Siege and Storm pg. 101).

2) "So you don't trust me to resist his charms?"

"I don't even trust myself. I've never seen anyone work a crowd the way he does. I'm pretty sure the rocks and trees are getting ready to swear fealty to him." (Siege and Storm pg. 176)

3)“The Darkling will hunt you for the rest of your days."

"Then you and I will have something in common, won't we? Besides, I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important."

Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. "I can't decide if you're crazy or stupid."

"I have so many good qualities," Sturmhond said. "It can be hard to choose.” (Siege and Storm pg. 81)

4) "I saw the prince when I was in Os Alta," said Ekaterina. "He's not bad looking."

"Not bad looking?" said another voice. "He's damnably handsome."

Luchenko scowled. "Since when--"

"Brave in battle, smart as a whip." Now the voice seemed to be coming from above us. Luchenko craned his neck, peering into the trees. "An excellent dancer," said the voice. "Oh, an even better shot." (Ruin and Rising pg. 119)

5) "Saints, Alina. I hope you weren't looking to me to be the voice of reason. I keep to a strict diet of ill-advised enthusiasm and heartfelt regret." (Ruin and Rising pg.132)

6) He clapped a hand on Mal's shoulder. "It's good to see you, Oretsev."

The smile Mal returned was genuine. "You too. Thanks for the rescue."

"Everyone needs a hobby."

"I thought yours was preening."

"Two hobbies."

They clasped hands briefly, then Mal bowed and moved off with the group.

"Should I be offended that he doesn't want to dine with us?" Nikolai asked. "I set an excellent table, and I rarely drool." (Ruin and Rising pg. 140).

7) "A privateer learns to press any advantage."

"And a prince?"

"Princes get used to the word yes." (Ruin and Rising pg. 190)

You guys can check out my full reviews to all three of books of the Grisha Trilogy by clicking the links below, but my beloved Nikolai only appears in the second book. But either way, the books are amazing so be sure to read them!

Shadow and Bone

Siege and Storm

Ruin and Rising

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond ARC Review

3/5 Stars
Details of the Book:
ebook, approx. 288 pages (according to Goodreads)
Published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. 
Expected Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Thank you Netgalley and Scholastic Press for my eARC copy of this book

Synopsis: In a stunning reimagining of history, debut author Caroline Tung Richmond weaves an incredible story of secrets and honor in a world where Hitler won World War II.

It's been nearly 80 years since the Allies lost WWII in a crushing defeat against Hitler's genetically engineered super soldiers. America has been carved up by the victors, and 16-year-old Zara lives a life of oppression in the Eastern America Territories. Under the iron rule of the Nazis, the government strives to maintain a master race, controlling everything from jobs to genetics. Despite her mixed heritage and hopeless social standing, Zara dreams of the free America she's only read about in banned books. A revolution is growing, and a rogue rebel group is plotting a deadly coup. Zara might hold the key to taking down the Führer for good, but it also might be the very thing that destroys her. Because what she has to offer the rebels is something she's spent her entire life hiding, under threat of immediate execution by the Nazis. 

In this action-packed, heart-stopping novel of a terrifying reality that could have been, Zara must decide just how far she'll go for freedom.

I was really expecting not to like this book. I've never read an alternate history before and when I read that this was about if Hitler won WWII, I was very apprehensive. To my surprise, I did find myself involved and enjoying it. There was drama, action, magic, and a tiny bit of romance. I assume because it's geared to ages 12 & Up that there wasn't many gruesome details but I think it really could have benefited from more of those types of details. Quick read, if you guys like alternative history and magic check it out.

Strengths/Likes:

1) I was really intrigued by the world in this book, I've often heard the phrase that if Hitler won half the world would be speaking German. In general, I've often wondered how different our world today would have been if that happened, and this book really thought a lot of it out. It scared me and intrigued me at the same time. The plot itself and the details that were there about the world is what made me really push this book to 3 stars instead of two.

2) I'm glad that the romance was not a huge part in this book. Normally I'm a sucker for the mushy stuff but it was clear that this book was about much more than the couple, and I think it really worked. Also, how it started happening gradually and there are no "I love you's" exchanged.

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) My main reason for not fully liking this book is really in the lack of details. For this kind of plot, I think this book needed to be longer. There were so many details that needed to be covered and I felt like the end happened at an odd place. I'm pretty sure that this book is supposed to be a stand alone book which is why I think it really would benefited from being longer so more of the details and descriptions could have been better developed.

Same with all of the characters, they had interesting lives and backstories and I wanted to know more about them but there just wasn't enough time. I wanted more information about Zara's father and why he and her mother separated. If he was still alive and more about his powers. I understand that not all of the characters can have a full background but since Zara is our protagonist I think it would make sense if we knew more about her lineage and about her powers.

Without more of a backstory, descriptions, training time, the book lost it's complexity and mystery. Everything is fixed to quickly and easily. It's all wrapped up nicely into a nice pretty bow and I have no doubt that the author could have done better than that.

2) I felt that the magical aspect in this book was really out of place. I was more interested in the world and the people and the powers I think is what made everything too simple and clean. I wanted more grit and drama. Having magic in a plot can do one of two things in a story, either make it really cool and more dramatic or make it really cheesy and simple. Unfortunately this book did the latter.

3) This has a lot to do with my first point, I felt that ending kind of dropped off. I know that this was intentional but with the rate of the events in the book it just seemed like a cop out.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "Mr. and Mrs. Talley had been married for thirty years when Mr. Talley was killed the same night as Zara's mom. Zara had only a few blurry memories of him, but she remembered how he would give her piggyback rides and tell her great tales of the American Revolution that his grandfather had passed on to him. Sometimes Uncle Red would join in on the storytelling, too, and his voice would hit a crescendo when he spoke of Paul Revere's midnight ride; Zara would fall asleep dreaming of rebels and revolutionaries.

2) "I better go," she said, about to turn away, but Bastian caught her by the shoulders.

"Wait a second."

Zara waited, even though she had to go. She felt Bastian's fingers dig into her shoulder, ever so gently.

"Be careful tonight. Please, Zara," he said.

"I will."

"If anything happened to you..."

Zara stared up at him. He had never looked at her like this before, like he was memorizing the planes of her face. Did he...did he really care so much?

"I'll be careful. I promise," she said.

"I'll hold you to it."

3) "What would I do without you?"

"Win," she replied simply.

Bastian smiled, his dimples deepening. "Win. I plan on it." His head head tilted to one side. "Then I'll come back.

Despite the hurt, Zara returned his smile. "I'll hold you to it, Eckhart."

"You promise?"

A spark of hope entered her eyes. "Promise."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Moronic Monday: Tris Prior

Mondays, the worst day of the week. Despite the fact that it's the start of your school/work week, there is always something extra that just pushes it to the next level. That someone that just permanently keeps Monday at the top of most dreaded days of the week. That's what this meme is about. The one character that drives you mad with their stupidity. Their idiocy is the type that you can spot their impending train wreck from miles away, the type that makes you want to slam their heads into a desk repeatedly. Moronic Mondays are not for your lovable idiots, no, it's for the ones that you think they deserve every bad thing they get it.


I have a feeling that I'm going to get a lot of hate for the choice this week but oh well. I have elected Tris Prior for the Divergent Trilogy.

In Veronica Roth's Insurgent (the second installment of the trilogy), I felt that the main thing that was moving the plot along was Tris' stupidity. Maybe it comes off a bit harsh because she was dealing with the deaths of her parents and of Will and Al but that doesn't excuse what her actions (or lack of) that endangered the others that she cared about.

Honesty. That was her main vice through Insurgent, maybe if she was honest with Christina, it wouldn't have been such a harsh blow to their friendship. If she would have told Four what was going on with her, he probably wouldn't have trusted her with a gun, and knew that she needed extra caring for because she wasn't right in the mind. These mistakes almost cost her the lives of the other people she loved and her relationship with Tobias.

During the main climax towards the end of the book is the only place I semi-understand why she lied to Four. He wasn't listening to her, for obvious reasons he didn't trust his father, I get it. But it was still very stupid. If she had died, then all he would have as an explanation is the horrible things that the other Dauntless members were saying about her. I just don't think that having a strong character lie her way through a whole book is a way to move a plot, I think in a way it destroyed her character a little. Maybe to some of you it can be seen as development and growth but I felt like she was regressing.  Which is why she is my moron this week.

You guys can check out my full reviews to Divergent and Insurgent below. I have read Allegiant but I prefer to pretend that that book didn't happen for multiple reasons. All the same, I hope you enjoyed this Moronic Monday and my reviews of the first two books of this trilogy.

Divergent

Insurgent

Coming soon: I'm currently reading The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond. I'll be posting that relatively soon, so look out for that but if I don't get it out tomorrow, I'll write to you all for Wednesday's Book Boyfriends.



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Every Breath (Every #1) by Ellie Marney ARC Review


Every Breath by Ellie Marney
eARC, approx. 352 pages (according to Goodreads)
Published by Tundra Books, 
a division of Random House Canada Limited
Expected Publication Date: October, 14, 2014
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars


Synopsis: Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally.

A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...

Thank you Netgalley and Tundra Books for my eARC copy of this book. 

If you like Sherlock Homes, as in the books, movies, TV adaptations, you'll like this book. The story is generally the same idea with the exceptions that it's set in Australia, Sherlock is a teenage boy and his name is Mycroft (because he's the "smarter older brother to Sherlock") and Watson is a teenage girl named Rachel Watts. I hard time getting into this book because the prologue really lost me, and then after that it was harder to pull all the details together. Right away the reader is thrown into Rachel and Mycroft's relationship without a lot of background. She's a new girl in town, and he's her neighbor and basically they spend all their time together. I couldn't get into their dynamic because somehow they know every little thing about each other and yet she's only been around a few months. Eventually I did get sucked into this book around the middle and couldn't put it down afterwards. All in all, it was a decent read.

Strengths/Likes:

1) The details of all the forensics and the bloody details were very well written. At one point I had to put the book down because I felt nauseous reading them.

2) The plot itself is interesting and has a surprise twist at the end. I was never big on murder/crime novels but this book surprised me how much the details of the case pulled me into the story.

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) Too many similarities to Sherlock. Although I've never read this books, I've read enough snippets, seen the TV shows, movies, etc to know that Marney's characters were too similar. Watts ends up going for a medical career, if that doesn't and a lot of her other personality doesn't sound like Watson I don't know what. Mycroft is so much like Sherlock, he's a consulting detective even though he's a teenager, and has the same lack of discipline or care of what society and rules expect of him.

2) As I've already mentioned, the Prologue is confusing and throws off the reader. I had to reread it a couple times and I'm still not quite sure I fully understood it.

3) The first half of the novel was written very slow, I was pushing myself through it until I hit about the middle of the book.

4) There were not enough details about the other characters in the book. They were just there to fill in space. At one point there is a huge fight between Rachel and her family and the conversation is not written out, the reader is told, "I don't want to remember all the words that were screamed and spat out. I'm not brave enough." I wanted to know what words were said, and why it affected everyone so much. Maybe in the sequel there will be more details, I guess we'll see.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "Right." I roll my eyes. "You need me to be your Watson.'

"That's right."

"Because your genius doesn't work unless it's being lavished with my attention.'

2) "I almost said she was being ridiculous, but I thought better of it."

Mai grins. "So what word did you use?"

"Unreasonable." 

"Ouch." Mai pats my arm. "Family. God."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Forgotten Friday: The Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix

This meme is about books that have been pushed aside while others have gone viral and made into movies. It can be old books, new books, any book that never got its (or enough) time  in the spot light.

I just found out that Garth Nix will soon be releasing a prequel named Clariel to his Abhorsen Trilogy, I just had to make it my Forgotten Friday choice.

I stumbled upon these books while I was in high school. I was walking around the library one day and the cover of Sabriel seemed to call me. It's probably the only book that I have ever read without it being recommended to me or having done a lot of research on it before deciding to read it. From the beginning I was pulled in, I had never read a book about necromancers before. Hell, when I first read the book I had no idea what a necromancer even was.

Until I read these books I hadn't read any YA novels that had a female protagonist that wasn't a Mary-Sue. So this in a way, these books were groundbreaking for me. There is magic, adventure, action, intrigue, comedy with a tiny bit of romance. If you like Harry Potter (if you don't, you're wrong), or the Everneath trilogy (or both) check these books out. You can read the synopsis of each of these books below.



Sabriel Synopsis: Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

Lirael Synopsis: Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr's birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil. In this sequel to "Sabriel," winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger 

Abhorsen Synopsis: The Ninth was strong and fought with might, But lone Orannis was put out of the light, Broken in two and buried under hill, Forever to lie there, wishing us ill. So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers.

Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions -- Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget -- have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.

To make matters worse, Sam's best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone.

Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.

Before it is too late. . . .

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Boyfriend: Peregrine

So I've seen this meme floating around many book blogs, but initially I got the idea from Reading Lark and they got this meme from The Unread Reader. I've enjoyed the meme so much that I will also be joining in on the fun on Wednesdays. Welcome to Book Boyfriends everyone!


Appearance: 


  • Blond hair of varying shades, described as "Medusa's snarl"
  • Athletically built, he can swim well and is a Hunter.
  • Large falcon tattoo on his back that stretches from shoulder to shoulder, and two patterned bands tattooed on each bicep. 
  • Green eyes, often compared to the reflective eyes of an animal. 


Why He's My Book Boyfriend:

Perry is a bit of an ass when he first meets someone, he's not well-versed, and he's bit of a hothead but after once he cares about a person it's fully and passionately. There is no middle speed for Perry, it's either all or nothing. He's not one for long romantic monologues but he's still incredibly romantic. Not to mention that he's a skilled fighter, hunter, provider, and a bit snarky too.

Actor to be my Peregrine: 

Well as soon as I read the description of his hair I pictured Heath Ledger.

Can you guys tell how much I loved this man, yet? Haha. 

But if I had to pick another actor to play Perry, I would choose Sam Claflin from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 

In general, his entire look from The Hunger Games reminds me a lot of how Perry is supposed to look, with the exception that Perry is not supposed to be "gorgeous" and Perry's hair is unkempt. 

Quotes from Perry: 

1) "Perry remembered what she'd said in her room.

We could miss them together.

She'd been right. It had been easier with her. Perry placed his hand on hers.

"Are you alright?" he whispered. It wasn't what he wanted to know. Of course she wasn't all right. What he wanted to know was if the together part still mattered to her. Because even though he was confused and sorry and angry, it still mattered to him." (Under the Never Sky pg. 266). 

2) "I've been watching you and Roar. Wanting it to be me training with you." His shoulders came up. "I don't want to do it now."

"Why?" Aria's voice was high and thin.

He smiled, a flash of shyness, before he leaned close. "There are other things I'd rather do when I'm alone with you." (Under the Never Sky pg. 296-297)

3) Aria laughed. That was attractive. She smelled like horse. "Do you ever miss anything?"

Perry smiled. "You, all the time." (Through the Ever Night pg. 99)

4) "We're together now," he whispered against her forehead. "The way it should be."

She closed her eyes and relaxed her breathing, seeking calm. He was rendered to her. Maybe he'd feel it too. "Sleep, Perry."

"I will," he said. "With you right here, I will." (Through the Ever Night pg. 121)

5) "Yes. Of course...I'll always...like you, Aria." He grinned because he sounded like a fool. He loved her--down to his soul--and he was going to tell her sometime. But not with Talon's knee digging into his kidney.

Aria smiled. "I'll always like you too."

The way she said it, the way her temper opened up, he knew'd read his mind and felt the same way. Her lips were close. He pressed a kiss to them, though he wanted more, everything she'd give him.

That sent Talon over the edge. He lost it, his torrential giggles infectious, pulling them all in.

A full hour passed before the ten fell quiet again. Perry was covered in legs and arms and blankets, so hot that sweat dampened his shirt, the shoulder he'd dislocated a month ago ached beneath the weight of Aria's head, and Talon was snoring right into his ear, but he couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so good." (Into the Still Blue pg. 52).

If I add anymore quotes I'd spoil the entire trilogy for all of you. Check out the full review to all three books in the trilogy by clicking on the links below.





Monday, September 1, 2014

Moronic Monday: Lydia Bennet

Mondays, the worst day of the week. Despite the fact that it's the start of your school/work week, there is always something extra that just pushes it to the next level. That someone that just permanently keeps Monday at the top of most dreaded days of the week. That's what this meme is about. The one character that drives you mad with their stupidity. Their idiocy is the type that you can spot their impending train wreck from miles away, the type that makes you want to slam their heads into a desk repeatedly. Moronic Mondays are not for your loveable idiots, no, it's for the ones that you think they deserve every bad thing they get it.

I have read the book and seen almost all of the film and TV adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and there is no light that Lydia Bennet could look intelligent. I know that this is a bit of an obvious one but I still feel irritated at the very thought of her. Men are constantly accused of thinking with their little head, in this case Lydia thought with hers. At every chance she got she made herself a spectacle. Not thinking of her family, or even how she herself looked ridiculous.

Without realizing it Lydia, if it wasn't for Mr. Darcy, could have ruined her entire family. Out of all her sisters, she was given the most leeway and she abused that. All she ever cared about was herself and never put much thought into any of her decisions. My only delight is that Mr. Wickham was stuck with an airhead of a wife, and that Lydia was most likely to live out her days poor (due to Wickham's gambling) with an adulterer for a husband.