Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review: Across the Universe

Across The Universe
"Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceshipGodspeed. She expects to awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense.Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again."

Author: Beth Revis
Year of Release: 2011
Genre: Science Fiction
Sequel(s): A Million Suns & Shades of the Earth
Prequel(s): As They Slip Away (a novella)
What motivated you to read this book?: I honestly cannot remember the first time I saw this book, it's been a long time, but when I read about it, I thought it seemed very interesting. The trailer also looked fascinating! I love science fiction and knew I had to read it. I really wish I had read it sooner though!
Book Version: Paperback
Where did you get the book?: The library I work at
Favorite Character: Elder
Other noteworthy characters: Harley & Amy Martin
Least Favorite Character: Eldest
Thoughts on CoverThis was the cover of the version of the book that I read. I prefer the orginial(?) cover much more than this one. This one would have been better if it didn't look fake. You can tell that the girl in the bubble window obviously isn't really looking out a bubble window. You can tell that it's photoshopped. Again, I almost always hate it when people are on the cover of books and you can see their faces clearly. The original(?) cover is much more fasciniating than this one. I finally understood the two face thing after reading the book!
Recommended to: Science Fiction fans & those who enjoyed Inside Out & Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

ReviewI loved this book!! This book is the definition of science fiction, and science fiction is my favorite genre! I was truly impressed with the entire idea of freezing people from earth and putting them in chambers in the ship that will keep them frozen and alive for 300 years until they land on the new planet. The concept was very unique and eerie. I was also truly surprised with the world that developed overtime on the ship. All the people on the ship are human, but they are completely different from the humans on earth and their society seems completely out of the ordinary. I was fascinated that the society was an attempt to be a utopia and yet there were so many things completely wrong with it.

The characters were very interesting too. Amy was one of the frozen people on the ship and she was mysteriously awaken approximately 50 years early. Nobody knows who woke her or why. She now has to live on the ship in with a messed up society and she feels as though she does not belong for many different reasons. She is definitely a likable character. I admire her love that she had for her parents, and her willingness to sacrifice her life on earth to be with them. I also pity her. I couldn't imagine giving up my entire life for a whole new world to only be vastly disappointed when woken up early and being told that I couldn't be frozen again and that my parents shouldn't be woken up because they are essential to the mission.

I also liked Elder. He is the youngest person on the ship before Amy wakes and yet he is next in line to rule all the people on the ship. Eldest, the current ruler, is attempting to train and prepare Elder for when he will have to rule, but Elder does not always agree with everything Eldest does, particularly the lying part, and I loved how he was so stubborn and does not always listen to what Eldest tells him to do. Harley was also a likable character. He is several years older than Elder and yet he seems to have an air about him that makes him seem younger than Elder, like a child almost. He was very humorous and likable.

I really, really loved this book! This book is fantastic! The story was a bit slow at first, but not so slow that I got bored, and it definitely seemed as though there was only one thing going on for a bit, but I am not complaining. A few of my guesses of what happened/was going to happen next were correct, but I guess I'm just a good guesser! A lot of it was actually a surprise that I never would have been to guess.  Read it! You won't regret it! I even started reading the sequel just hours after finishing this book.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Review: Incarnate


Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?"

Author: Jodi Meadows
Year of Release: 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Sequel(s): Asunder & Infinite in the series & one novella, Phoenix Overture
What motivated you to read this book?: I cannot remember when I first saw this book, but I believe it was on Goodreads. The cover was very captivating & gorgeous, plus the summary was very interesting. I never read it until I watched Epic Read's Tea Time when they mentioned having an ARC of the newest book in the series, and I thought "I still need to read the first book in that series."
Book Version: Hardcover
Where did you get the book?: Local Library
Favorite Character: Sam
Least Favorite Character: Li
Thoughts on CoverStunning! Very beautiful! I still am not a big fan of having faces on the cover of books, but the amazingness of it makes up for it!
Recommended to: Fantansy & Romance Lovers
Rating4 of 5 Stars
Review:  This story is very unique & has such an interesting (and not to mention eerie) premise! I'm not sure what I expected when I started reading, but it didn't captivate me right away. The beginning isn't what I would call boring or slow, but it seemed as though Meadows jumped right into the action as soon as the novel began when Ana leaves her mother (who hates her) and starts off on an adventure to Heart, a city where most humans who are reincarnated again and again, to find out about her existence. Although I didn't really like the first two or three chapters, once Sam was introduced I enjoyed it from there on out.

Like I mentioned, this story is very unique and definitely a little eerie. Ana is a newsoul and is only 18 years old, while everybody else is approximately five thousand years old and have lived hundreds and hundreds of lives. I can't imagine her situation of being so young and new in the world while everyone is so experienced, knowledgeable, and knows everyone. Not only that, but having almost everybody else despise you due to the fact that they believe you replaced somebody else. On top of that, not knowing whether or not you'll be reborn after you die like everyone else.

The whole concept of reincarnation and living hundreds of lives triggered me into thinking about life. Everybody in the story (except Ana) has lived on earth for thousands of years and think that one life time is very short compared to the thousands of years they've lived. In real life, that one life time is short, but we have to make the most of the short period of time we do have here on earth before passing on. I really don't think I would have any interest in living over and over again for thousands of years in the same city. That would just get boring.

Although the writing wasn't the most descriptive as many novels are and many of the same words were used to describe things, I still enjoyed the story. The writing actually reminded my own writing style and gave me hope that I will one day be able to publish a novel as well.

I was truly shocked at how much I could relate to Ana. She always assumes that people think the worse about her, and I am the exact same way! (I've gotten better.) However Ana is a lot braver than I am and lets her emotions control her at times especially when she's angry, upset, or embarrassed, she always just wanted to flee. Sometimes she did. That got annoying at times, but I can understand her position. I don't believe I am like that, but at times I let my emotions get the better of me, like her.

The other protagonist, Sam, was very likable! He was definitely the character that made me want to keep reading! He is so sweet, kind, and caring. Not to mention attractive! He's definitely the type of guy I would want to date. I really liked how he didn't cast Ana off the way she thought he would when she revealed her true identity to him. I also liked how he was so willing to help her and take her into his house to live with him.

The story as a whole was great! I really enjoyed reading it. The plot kept me reading and the unanswered questions kept me curious and wanting to know the answers. I also enjoyed the unexpected plot twist. I always like it when unexpected things occur. I think the only parts I didn't like were the first few chapters and a few parts towards the end when Sam wasn't there. I would definitely recommend this book & I look forward to reading the sequels and the novella!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: Looking For Alaska

Looking For Alaska

"Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same."

Warning!This review is filled with major spoilers! 

Author: John Green
Year of Release: 2005
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Sequel(s): None, it's a standalone
What motivated you to read this book?: Loved reading John Green's The Fault In Our Stars! Such an incredible book. I wanted to try out more of his books, and I heard great things about Looking For Alaska, so I decided to try it out.
Book Version: Paperback
Where did you get the book?: Library
Favorite Character: Miles Halter
Thoughts on CoverIt's horrible. I don't understand it. I thought covers were supposed to grab readers' attention?
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Review: I had mixed feelings while reading this book. Apparently after hearing and reading such great things about this book, I'm one of the few people who feels this way. This book just seemed so strange. Plus, it felt as though there wasn't much of a plot: no antagonist, no major problem, nothing (not until the middle of the book anyway.) Just bits and pieces of Miles Halters life at his new boarding school. One scene consisted of Miles and his friends doing a huge prank on the Weekday Warriors, a popular group of rich kids. Normally during intense scenes/chapters, I feel exhilarated and I can't put the book down because I want to know what happens. However, when reading that part, I felt nothing, completely indifferent. The result of the prank was that Kevin and some of the other Weekday Warriors ended up dying their hair blue. Big whoop. Another part of the prank was sending out letters to the Weekday Warrior parents telling them that they're failing their classes. That would have been alright, except for the fact that it is never described in the book what their parents' reactions were! The whole prank scene seemed pretty pointless for that reason. I mean, why have an entire prank that takes days to do when the result is hardly mentioned? In fact, the whole situation between Kevin and all the Weekday Warriors never got settled. Kevin kept wanting a truce, but the truce never occurred.

Although there wasn't an antagonist or any major problems for the first half of the book, the book still captured my attention. I found it somewhat interesting. The characters are very, very weird, but I still found myself interested to see what happens. I really liked Lara. She seemed perfect for Miles. They were both inexperienced and clueless. However, I didn't like how Miles kept saying that he could never find himself able to talk to her. He didn't even know her, and yet he was dating her. With that said though, I found the short fling they had together to be rather amusing and enjoyable. They were trying something new, and it was interesting to read. However, it was a bit odd, that they were together for about a day, and then they decide to do some intimate activities. I mean, they hardly knew each other!

I found Alaska to be quite confusing. I never understood her at all. I guess that's what Green wanted--for her to be a mysterious character. I would have wanted to know what her motives were for making out with Miles even though she kept saying that she was in love with her boyfriend and that she would never cheat. So strange.

The turning point of the story after Alaska is killed was probably the most interesting part of the story for me. I actually enjoyed reading the "After" part of the novel a lot more than the "Before" part. It kept my attention a lot more, and I grew to like the characters more. However, I felt bad for Lara since Miles ignored her for several weeks. I knew we would never find out the real reasons behind Alaska's death, but I found the investigation Miles and his friends did in order to find out to be quite attention-getting.

All in All, I can definitely say that I am quite disappointed in this book. I heard such great things about it from my friends and other sources. I also expected it to be just as amazing as The Fault In Our Stars, but was proven wrong. I plan on reading at least one more of John Green's books eventually, but it will probably be a long time from now after reading this book.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#13)

Waiting on Wednesday is a Book Hop  hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is:  

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

"Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart."

Release Date: September 24, 2013

I haven't read many of Sparks' books. In fact, I have only read one, The Last Song. However, I have seen many movies based off of his books & they have all been really good. The Last Song (both the book & movie) was great as well. This may not be a book I go out and buy the day it comes out, but I do plan on reading it sometime.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up a Book

Top 10 Tuesday (#15)

Top 10 Tuesday is a blog hop hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They post a Top 10 topic & other blogs participate & link their blog post to their website. It is a way to get to know your follow bloggers & get more traffic on your own blog! If you have a book blog, you can definitely participate! If not, you can still post your answers below in the comments!

Top 10 Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up a Book

This is actually a really interesting topic. It's not something I would ordinarily think of considering that I'm pretty open minded to reading most books. When going through some other people's lists it actually annoyed me that people won't read books just because vampires or some other mythological creature is in it. I used to be like that. I told myself I would never read a vampire book again because of Twilight. I would have missed out on a lot of great books because of that. Luckily, one of my former co-workers was able to change my mind. A book can still be great with vampires in it. The plot, characters, etc can still be amazing with the additional fact that the characters just so happen to be vampires.

Anyways, my list is pretty short.

1. Knowing in advance that the book is extremely inappropriate-That's definitely one for me. I ultimately refuse to read anything with extreme cussing in it or a lot of sex, especially ones with graphic details. One such example is those Fifty Shades books. It truly disgusts me how popular those books are and I will never ever read those books no matter what.

2. Horror-Sorry, I'm not into scary stuff. I don't like getting creeped out and terrified out of my wits.

3. Lots of Murder-Now, I'm not referring to books like Divergent & Hunger Games where characters are killed off because of war or whatever, but I'm referring to books where the main character kills other characters endlessly for no known reason or not a good enough reason. 

4. This isn't really a word/topic, but sometimes when a summary/description doesn't get my attention, I won't read it. The book could be amazing, but I wouldn't know because the summary was too vague or bland. A lot of the time though, I may still read a book with a vague or bland description, but only because it seems to be a very popular book that's very well liked. One book being The Fault In Our Stars. The description on Goodreads is very vague, but I read it anyway because I heard great things about it, and I'm so glad I did.

5. Again, this isn't really a word/topic. Sometimes I won't read a book because I didn't like the first few books in the series or they just didn't capture my attention the way I thought they would.

That's really all I can think of. I'm actually pretty much open minded to reading most things. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (#2)

Stacking the Shelves is a book blog meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers post about the new books they have acquired throughout the week either digitally or hard copy. It can be books that you have borrowed from a friend, got at a library, purchased online or in a store, etc!

Here are the books I have acquired this week!

Borrowed from Library

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I decided to try out more realistic fiction/contemporary fiction novels after reading & loving The Fault in Our Stars. The author of TFiOS, John Green, even recommended this book himself, so I'm going to try it out. Plus, it occurs in the 1980's! I love the 80's even though it was before my time.

Pulse by Patrick Carman

The cover. People say never judge a book by it's cover, but I'm judging. In a good way. Oh my goodness. It reminds of the Divergent covers with a central image in the sky above a city. Let's hope the story itself is just as amazing as the cover!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I've been meaning to read this book for awhile & it will probably be the next book that I read after I finish the current book that I'm on! The story sounds so unique and original. Plus the cover is very stunning!

If you read any of these, please be considerate and do not post any spoilers in the comments!!! Thanks!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cover Reveal: Panic

Today the cover of Panic, Lauren Oliver's next book, was revealed. Lauren Oliver is the author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy. I believe Panic will be a standalone just as Before I Fall is. Although I was disappointed with the end of the Delirium series, I believe that Lauren is a fantastic writer, and I look forward to reading Panic next year.

Personally, I am not to fond of this cover. The font is exactly the same as the font used on the cover of Before I Fall and all the covers of the Delirium trilogy. Plus, it seems as though all the covers of her YA novels have faces on the cover. Why not be a bit more original and change the font or do something else for the cover besides having faces? I think it looks exactly like it belongs in the Delirium series. Change it up and use a different style. Put the unoriginal factor aside, and I still don't like it. Aren't covers supposed to capture a person's attention? A cover with a girl looking sideways with her hair blown all over definitely would not get my attention at a bookstore or library.

Release Date: March 4, 2014

"Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most."

What do you think of the cover of Panic?

Book Review: Unravel Me

Unravel Me

it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life."

Warning!This review is filled with major spoilers! 

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Year of Release: 2013
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal
Sequel(s):  An untitled sequel
Prequel(s): Shatter Me (book 1) & Destroy Me (a novella that takes place between Shatter Me & Unravel Me)
What motivated you to read this book?: I remember reading and enjoying Shatter Me, so I wanted to see what happened next to our lovely Juliette.
Book Version: Hardback
Where did you get the book?: Library
Favorite Character: Aaron Warner 
Least Favorite CharacterSupreme Anderson
Thoughts on CoverI absolutely love it! I don't really understand the eye thing (maybe it's because Juliette mentions eyes a lot in the books?), but it's the best cover of the series so far! It's very beautiful and amazing! I also love the purple, blue, and pink coloring. Is it Juliette's eye?
Recommended toDelirium fans, Matched fans, Divergent fans, people who like Dystopia
Rating5 of 5 Stars
ReviewI started out reading this book as a book just to read because I've had it checked out from the library for awhile, and I kept pushing it aside to read other books first. I didn't want to do that anymore, so I started to read it. Also, at first, I felt as though I was reading it just to read because I wanted to finish it quickly so I could read some other books that I have checked out. Reading just to finish a book and not out of pleasure is not very enjoyable.

That quickly changed about 40-50 pages into the story. I had completely forgotten how much I loved Shatter Me. I am extremely fascinated at how well Tahereh Mafi can write. It's very poetic and descriptive. I am very envious of her talent. Not only is Tahereh Mafi a good writer, but she's able to write a very captivating story. Unravel Me is an excellent sequel to Shatter Me. I was very pleased. The only problem I had with it is that it mainly took place at Omega Point. Shatter Me had many different settings, and I'm not going to lie, a lot more action. For both of these reasons, I was going to make my rating to 4.5 stars. However, Unravel Me, did not disappoint. It is far from being a bad sequel. In fact, the reason why I didn't give it 4.5 stars is due to the fact that there is a lot more passionate romance going on between Warner and Juliette.

Yes, I have switched sides. I am now rooting for Warner. In my review of Shatter Me, I discussed that I loved hating him, but that I prefer Adam. Now I don't hate him at all. I love him. I don't know what it is about him, but I have fallen for him just as Juliette unexpectedly has. As for Adam, I have nothing against him, I really don't. I like him, but the story doesn't get exciting until Warner is there. It's true. I really enjoyed learning many different things about him, things I never would have expected. It seems that he has changed greatly since Shatter Me. In Shatter Me, I wasn't really convinced that he loved Juliette, I just thought he had a strange obsession with her, but I was wrong. And I just love, love, love that Juliette might possibly be in love with him, too. It really makes me excited. The connection that she has with Warner when she speaks with him while he's being held captive is pretty remarkable. Plus, the passionate make out chapter with him was pretty steaming. I felt so many different emotions while reading that chapter. It was so amazing and terrifying and dramatizing at the same time. I simply loved it. I thought that was the last of Aaron Warner in this book, but I was wrong. I was hoping I was wrong, and fortunately, I was. I'm still confused about him, though. He's definitely a mysterious character. Is he good? Is he bad? I think he's both. Regardless, I still love him.

Overall, I was very pleased with this novel. I love all the plot twists and turns that I never expected. I love stories like that. It made me love the story even more. I really liked the end, it made me super excited to read the next book!! I cannot wait to find out more about it--what the title is, what the cover will look like, when it will be released, etc. I am so excited!!

Waiting on Wednesday (#12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a Book Hop  hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is:  

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

"One choice will define you.
What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?"

Release Date: October 22, 2013

I am super excited for this book to be released! If this is the only book I can read in the fall, I would be satisfied. The Divergent trilogy is by far my favorite series. I love Tris. I love Four. I love all of the protagonists! Words cannot express how much I love this series! I'm just hoping that it lives up to all the expectations I have for it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: Wings By Elizabeth Richards

Today the cover of Wings by Elizabeth Richards was revealed! Wings is the final book in the Black City trilogy. Wings is preceded by Black City & Phoenix. Both are incredible books. Love them! I look forward to reading this one next year!

Release Date: Summer 2014

Saturday, July 13, 2013

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Stacking the Shelves (#1)

This is my first Stacking the Shelves. Stacking the Shelves is a book blog meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers post about the new books they have acquired throughout the week either digitally or hard copy. It can be books that you have borrowed from a friend, got at a library, purchased online or in a store, etc!

I think this will be a fun meme!!

Here are the books I have acquired this week!

Purchased for My Nook

Inside by Maria V. Snyder

This book consists of both books in this duology, Inside Out & Outside In. I have been meaning to purchase it for awhile because I love both books. If you're interested, Barnes & Noble has it for only $7.55 as an e-book & $8.54 for a paperback. These are both great deals considering that it contains both books that are simply amazing and extremely hard to put down. I definitely recommend this series!!

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression

Being a writer, I seriously needed to purchase this book. I am not the best at describing emotions or facial expressions and this book is fantastic for describing emotions. (I still need one to help with facial expressions. So if anybody has any book or website suggestions for that please let me know! It would be much appreciated!) It's only $4.99 as an e-book!!

Pre-Ordered (hardcopy)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I am very, very excited for this book to be released! This is the final book in the Divergent trilogy which words cannot describe how much I love. It is by far my favorites series. I highly recommend reading this series! Allegiant will be released on October 22, 2013.

Borrowed from Library

Looking For Alaska by John Green

I read The Fault In Our Stars in just over 2 days, and I loved it! I have already decided to read all of John Green's books. It's pretty much official now. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

I watched Epic Reads' "Tea Time" this past Wednesday & when they opened the box that revealed the ARC of one of the sequels to this book, I knew I had to read this one because it's been on my "to-read" list for awhile now.

That's it for this week!! If you read any of these, please be considerate and do not post any spoilers in the comments!!! Thanks!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Discussion: What I Believe Happens After The Fault In Our Stars Ends

In my post that I posted back in May describing my Long Absence, I mentioned that I would be doing "Character Analyses"  posts. However, I decided not to do them (maybe in the future) & have book discussions instead where I discuss certain things about the books that I love.

In my first book discussion, I discuss what I believe happens after The Fault In Our Stars ends. So if you haven't read the book yet & you plan to, I suggest not reading this post, because it is filled with spoilers. Anyways, John Green himself posted on his website that he does not know what happens outside of the text. Here is one thing that he said:

"I have access to the exact same text that you do. I do not have access to any information outside of that text, because then it would just be me speculating about what might happen, and my speculations are no more valuable or authoritative than anyone else’s. Books belong to their readers! Own it! Make it yours!"

I personally love what he has said. I do not think that he ended the story abruptly, and he made it plenty clear in the novel what will happen to Hazel's parents when (and if) she passes. Of course, there are still things that you can't help but be curious about like what happens to Isaac? Does Hazel die? I like how he left that ambiguous. Normally, I get annoyed when authors end their series with unanswered questions and abrupt endings, and then the authors refuse to say what happens. It's like "Are you serious?!" I can definitely relate to Hazel in that respect. I can think of two series right off the top of my head that are like that, but that's not what this book discussion is about. However, like I said, I do not think The Fault in Our Stars ended abruptly. I felt it had a nice closure to it. Obviously, all stories have unanswered questions at the end. Authors can't answer everything at the end of a series or standalone. A book can still have a nice closure, but will still allow the reader to speculate about what happens to the surviving characters. The Harry Potter series is one example. I felt as though it had a great ending, but of course, you still want to know what happens to the characters after the book ends. TFiOS is exactly like that. It had a nice ending, but it leaves the readers with the desire of wanting to know what happens to their beloved characters.

I really like that John Green believes that if he said anything about what happens to Hazel and the other surviving characters after TFiOS ends, that his word would be taken above what everybody else says. He is giving us readers permission to come up with our own continuations, and I love that. 

Here is what I believe happens after TFiOS ends: (Of course, this is what I believe. You don't have to agree with what I'm saying, of course. You can have your own thoughts as well.)

Hazel lived at least another year, possibly even longer than that. I don't know if that's enough time to finish her classes at the community college or not. It isn't said how long she's been taking classes before the start of the book. It also doesn't mention how many classes she's taking. I'm guessing one or two. Plus, you also have to factor in all the times Hazel had to miss class when she was in the hospital.

After Hazel came to terms with the fact that while one of them lives, her relationship and love with Augustus while continue on, Hazel noticed a small patch of orange tulips growing in their front yard garden. Her mother swore up & down that she didn't plant them. Hazel realized that it was a sign from Augustus, that he is Somewhere with a capital S, and that he is still with her at all times, watching her from heaven. Hazel then started to believe in an after life. Once she passes, she reunites with Augustus in heaven and she realizes that she was wrong about never being with him again.

I also believe that Hazel & Isaac continued to go to the "Literal Heart of Jesus" meetings with Patrick. Not every week, but every once in awhile. Hazel was able to clarify to Isaac that the girl whom he referred to as having a "hot voice" really was attractive, and he ended up dating her. Isaac also continues to remain NEC for the rest of his life and lives a long life. He eventually marries and has children, who fortunately never develop cancer. He also never gets "robotic" eyes or other prosthetic eyes. He keeps his word on not wanting to see a world without Augustus.

Finally, although it is immensely difficult after Hazel died, her parents continue on with their lives and her mom helps a lot of families in support groups similar to the "Literal Heart of Jesus" groups, and she does so successfully.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a Book Hop  hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is:  
Champion by Marie Lu

"He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion? 

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has."

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Looking forward to what happens next to Day & June & their country, The Republic, in this much anticipated conclusion to Marie Lu's Legend trilogy!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Movie Adaptations

I've decided to participate in some blog hops whenever I can/want to.

Top 10 Tuesday (#14)

Top 10 Tuesday is a blog hop hosted by 
The Broke and the Bookish. They post a Top 10 topic & other blogs participate & link their blog post to their website. It is a way to get to know your follow bloggers & get more traffic on your own blog! If you have a book blog, you can definitely participate! If not, you can still post your answers below in the comments!

This Week's Top Ten Tuesday Topic is:

Top Ten Best Movie Adaptations
(In no specific order)

1. All the Harry Potter movies
2. The Hunger Games
3. The Host
4. Ballet Shoes
5. Holes
6. Twilight (yes, I actually liked them originally so I'm including it)

That's all I can think of!! I definitely hope that all these new movies that are based on books will do them justice!!

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten."

Author: John Green
Year of Release: 2012
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Sequel(s): None, it's a standalone 
What motivated you to read this book?:Very long the review for it!
Book Version: Hardback
Where did you get the book?: Library
Favorite Character: Augustus Waters
Least Favorite Character: There is no specific person that is bad. It's more or less a fight against human nature. With that said, I don't have a least favorite character.
Thoughts on Cover: Cute. I don't know how else this cover could have been done.
Recommended to: Pretty much everyone. However I wouldn't recommend it if you are depressed or going through a loss of someone close to you.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Review: It all started sometime last year. I saw my sister reading this book, and I knew I had seen it before. I believe I saw it on other book blogs. But at the time I had no clue what the book was even about. I remember looking it up on Goodreads shortly after & not even adding it to my "to-read" list because the description didn't really get my attention. I mean, the summary was too vague. Later, I heard that my cousin had read it & loved it & that she really liked John Green's books. However, it wasn't until the website, Page to Premiere started posting many things about the soon-to-be-made movie, that I knew I was missing out. Obviously the book was popular & many people (including several of my Goodreads friends) had read it so I decided to give it a try.  

Boy, this book was not what I expected. Not at all. Actually, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I suppose I assumed that Augustus would be the type of guy in many of the other books I have read. The ones that are so sweet & romantic & have made my expectations so much higher than they already were. Augustus was not like that at all. Augustus was a very realistic character. He wasn't afraid to be goofy, sarcastic, and witty. He also had a sensitive side as well. Both him and Hazel seemed to view the world in an entirely different way that I never even thought of before. His character was very hard not to like. 

I also, of course, liked Hazel as well. She really opened my eyes to what it's like to view cancer patients in an entirely new way. They don't want to be treated any differently just because they're sick. They don't want you to say things like "You are such a strong fighter." They also don't want you to pity them. Of course, it varies from person to person, but I'm sure many cancer patients are like her in that respect. Also, Hazel seemed so much more mature than a regular 16 year old girl. Her thought process and the way she analyzed things is very sophisticated and philosophical. I mean, what average 16 year old girl uses the term "hamartia"? Not only that but both she and Augustus were so honest with everything, even about simplistic things such as scrambled eggs. I loved it. 

This book seemed very authentic. All the feelings & descriptions & everything seemed to be so real. It kind of makes me wonder though how John Green was able to write a book  from a cancer patient's perspective. How did he know so much about so many different types of cancer? I found myself looking up a few things on Google myself. He probably did research and everything but how was he able to accurately describe the emotions of Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac? Is he a cancer survivor himself? Or did he have a child or a close friend who had/currently has cancer? I will have to do more research on this matter.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It is so different from the type of books that I'm accustomed to reading. I need to be more open to reading things outside of the science fiction, dystopia, fantasy, and paranormal genres. I definitely plan on reading more of John Green's books and more realistic fiction novels. Anyways, as I was saying, this book is so different from what I'm used to reading. I'm not used to crying my eyes out on more than one occasion while reading a book. Actually I'm not used to crying while reading books. Period. I know I said that I have cried while reading before, but that's not necessarily true. My definition of crying while reading a book consisted of getting teary eyed and nothing more. I always thought that I would never actually sob while reading a book. Well, The Fault in Our Stars proved me wrong. However, I have no regrets whatsoever of reading this book. I really look forward to seeing the movie next year (or whenever it comes out). I truly believe Shailene Woodley will make a great Hazel Lancaster. And I have no doubt that I will cry again when I see the movie.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review: Phoenix


Warning!: This review has  spoilers in it.

"Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion."

Author: Elizabeth Richards
Year of Release: 2013
Genre: Dystopia & Fantasy/Paranormal
Sequel(s): A "yet-to-be-titled" sequel
Prequel(s): Black City
What motivated you to read this book?: I really liked Black City, so I was ready to read the sequel!
Book Version: Hardback
Where did you get the book?: Library
Favorite Character: Ash Fisher
Least Favorite Character: Purian Rose & Sebastion Eden
Thoughts on Cover: It's beautiful!! Very approriate for the title & story!!
Recommended to: Dystopian & Fantasy/Paranormal Lovers
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Review: What I love about this series is that Elizabeth Richards has been able to combine my two favorite genres: Dystopian & Fantasy/Paranormal. It's so cool that she was able to create a country ruled by a horrible dictator who is very gruesome and violent (dystopia) that also has many paranormal creatures in it: darklings, lupines, bastets, etc. It's interesting that in most paranormal books, the creatures hide their identities from humans, but in this world, humans already know of them. It's fascinating.

At first, while reading this book, I kept getting confused & frustrated because I had forgotten so much that had happened in the first book, Black City. After reading a few chapters though, everything slowly came back to me, and I started to enjoy the book. It was very good. It contained everything that I want in a book: romance, action, death, and plot twists. It definitely kept me reading. With that said, though, it was not quite as good as Black City, but it by far was not an awful sequel. In fact, it was quite the opposite, I was very pleased with it.

Of course, there were certain parts I did not like. I didn't like how Natalie kept a huge secret from Ash just to prevent him from getting upset, when he ended up assuming other things & getting upset anyways. If I were Natalie, I would have told him right away. That's probably my biggest complaint. I'm glad though that things worked out between the two of them in the end.

Phoenix ended with a huge cliffhanger. It leads you hanging with many questions about what's going on. I want the answers now! I definitely can't wait to read the last book to see what ends up happening. I look forward to finding out what it will be titled, what the cover will look like, and most importantly, when it will be released!!

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