Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and Bookish

I always find books that deal with death to be really tough for me. They often leave me crying, or at least they do when they are well written. That's why many of my picks are that kind of books. I didn't choose ten books this week, but I picked eight of my favorite books.

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozette
If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
The Boy in Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
Thirteen Reasons Why by JayAsher

Shine by Lauren Myracle

What is YOUR Top Ten this week?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: The Ward by Jordana Frankel

The Ward by Jordana Frankel
The Ward #1
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Number of Pages: 480
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Edelweiss
Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.  
However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.  
Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre. 
The Ward was one of those books I find so hard to review. It is the kind of book that simply didn’t impress me. I was so excited to get my hands on this book, as I loved dystopian novels. Yet, it failed to impress me. I was just looking for more out of this book, and I found the book to be missing out a little something to really get me hooked. The premise sounded really interesting, but I felt let down by the lack of world building. In dystopian, world building is kind of a big deal for me. If that part doesn’t work out in a book, then the book itself falls flat for me. Then there is the fact that there seems to be a little too much going on, making the book more than simply dystopian.

Characterwise, I’m a little torn. Ren was interesting, but there were some aspect of her personality that really put me of. I liked her relationship with Aven, and found her to be a strong character when it came down to the races and everything related to that. Yet, her feelings for Derek put me off a little. The way she reacted to his friend-who-happen-to-be-a-girl made me roll my eyes a few times. Despite those moments, I did root for her, and I did like her. And yes, I did want her to end up with Derek, because I did like him. I found him to be a really interesting character, and I wanted to see him even more.

Overall, The Ward simply didn’t impress me enough to love it. I felt a little let down by this book. The story failed to really captivate me. I do have to give props to Jordana Frankel for managing to give the readers a few really great twits I had not expected. I will still probably give the sequel a shot (if only because the ending made me curious), but it won’t be at the top of my reading pile.

About the Author
From GoodReads

Jordana Frankel is a Jersey native.

She's been a camp counselor, a salesperson of diamonds, a hostess at a southwestern grill, an archivist of rare books, a yoga instructor, and a reading teacher, but her shining moment was when she got to hang out in Walmart for 12 hours a day as the AXE girl.

She received her B.A. in English from Goucher College, graduated and then went to live in Italy for a year. Afterwards she then went for her MFA in Poetry at Hollins University.

But then she graduated and she moved back to NYC.

She got her first job at The Literary Group International as a literary agency, where she'd started as an intern reading queries and then assisted editorially. At Linn Prentis Literary, also a literary agency, she handled foreign sales, picked up gems from unsolicited mail, and helped authors through the publishing process. And then it was onto The Book Report Network where she handled ads and promos for features on Teenreads.com, Kidsreads.com, and GraphicNovelReporter.com.

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Goals and Updates

I’m really excited to take part of the Bout of Books Read-a-thon once again. I’ve decided to do both general goals, and some more precise. One of my goals is simply to read daily. I haven’t had time to read daily in the last month, but I want to change that.

Another goal of mine is to write some reviews. I want to write at least 10 this week, since I’m REALLY behind.

When it comes down to read books, I want to read at least 10 books this week (yes, I have a thing about the number 10)

Here are some of the books I want to read:
(list might change during the week)
- How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler
-The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
- Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
- Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
- Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
- Belladonna by Fiona Paul
- Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
- Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
- The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

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Books read: The Brokenhearted

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bout of Books Read-a-thon:

Bout of Books

I'm participating to Bout of Books once again! For those of you who don't know what Bout of Books read-a-thon is, here is the official blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My official goals will be up on the blog tomorrow, since I haven't decided exactly what I want to do. One thing is for sure, I do want to include writing reviews as one of my goals.

Are you participating? You can still join the read-a-thon if you want!

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Reboot by Amy Tintera
Reboot #1
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Number of Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
GR AmazonBD - Indigo
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).  
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.  
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.
I think what made me want to read Reboot was the fact that it sounded so action packed. I mean, teenagers coming back to life as kick ass soldiers? Count me in! Amy Tintera created an addicting novel and a really interesting world, and the world building was nicely done. Tintera gives us enough to understand and follow the story, but she doesn’t dump the info that much to the readers. This was certainly the kind of book I did not want to put down. You can easily read it in one sitting, and you certainly won’t see time fly by.

When it comes down to the characters, I really liked both Wren and Callum. I wasn’t that interested in there romance, mostly because I found the idea the reboot kid more interesting than to see the romance bloom between those two. I’m a huge fan of strong and kick ass female main character, and Wren is one of those. She can really kick people’s ass. I liked seeing her grow through the book, to see her get part of her humanity back.

Yet, the fact that she changes so much through the novel made me unsure about her romance with Callum. I could enjoy the changes from not feeling anything to a more human person, but I found it a little too much to see her go from feeling nothing to falling in love with Callum. I would have prefer to see them develop a deep friendship in this book, and then maybe see a romance between those two. The love was simply to fast to bloom between them.

I did like Callum. He was the voice of humanity in a feeling-free zone. How can you not enjoy reading about Callum? He is full of life, and even if I wasn’t a fan of his romance with Wren, I like seeing them together. They do have great chemistry in the end.

Overall, Reboot was a great debut, and this book was the start of an interesting series. I’m curious to see where Amy Tintera will be taking the story next. Despite the few flaws this book had, Reboot was a strong book that will please many readers.

About the Author:
From her Website

“Hi! I’m Amy Tintera, and I write novels for young adults. I grew up in Austin, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in journalism. After receiving a masters in film at Emerson College I moved to Los Angeles, where I promptly discovered I didn’t enjoy working in the film industry, and went back to my first love, writing.”

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

2013 Update (4): April

Well, April is already over, and I sadly didn't get to read as much as I wanted. I also didn't post some of the reviews I had planned on posting. Let's just say that my finals took the best of me this month.

I said last month I was trying to finish the last few books I got at BEA last year before this year BEA. Sadly, I probably won't be going to New York at the end of the month, unless a miracle happen. No BEA for me this year... Anyway, here are some of the books I read this month

Books read:
Death, Doom, and Detention by Darynda Jones
Rise by Anna Carey
Just For Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
A Touch Menacing by Leah Clifford
The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
The Collector by Victoria Scott
Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
The Elite by Kiera Cass
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (reread it)

This month, I'm not doing a list. My goal is more to read at least 15 books in May, and I try to finish writing all the review I should have already finished. I have a notebook full of thoughts about the books I read in the last few months, and I just need to turn those into a complete review.

Since I don't have a list this month, any book I should definitely check out this month? Any new releases I shouldn't miss?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The Fifth Wave #1
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Number of Pages: 480
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Penguin Canada
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.  
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.  
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
I’m not sure where to start with this book. The 5th Wave was one of the books I knew I had to read this year, since I only heard good things about it. You can be sure that it made its way to the top of my to be read pile, and I started it as soon as I was done with my current read. Starting a book with expectations as high as mine were can be risky. After all, I wanted it to be amazing. I needed it to be amazing. Luckily, this book does live up to its expectations. The 5th Wave is definitely a book you need to check out this year. Forget about the Zombie Apocalypse, it’s the aliens you need to worry about.

I’m not even sure where to start with this book. There were so many things that made me love this novel. One of the things I really enjoy, even though it sometimes annoys me, is the multiple points of view. In The 5th Wave, those points of view does not make the story confusing, but it instead creates a richer world. We see the different situations the survivors could end up in, and we can see how the world now works. The most predominant character in the story is certainly Cassie, I girl I definitely would want on my side if the alien apocalypse came to happen. She is a strong and powerful character that is driven by her loyalty to those she loves. You definitely end up rooting for her.

Other narrators do come out strong in this novel, but Cassie is the one that stood out to me. She is the one that drove the novel forward. This didn’t stop me from enjoying every points of view to a certain level. Every character kept me hooked.

Now, romance lovers will be happy to know that there is a little romance in this book. It is not a major part of the book, but it is still there and I couldn’t help but squeal a few times thanks to the great love interest we get to meet. And, of course, I can’t forget about the few twits this book has, twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

If there is one book you must read this year, it is The 5th Wave. I feel like I keep you talking about this book forever, but I will let you discover the awesomeness that is hidden in its pages. One thing is for sure; The 5th Wave is the kind of book that you will have trouble putting down. I’m definitely dying to read the sequel.

About the Author:
From Goodreads

Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.

Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, for young readers, and The Highly Effective Detective, for adults. Both books are set in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Rick lived for ten years before returning to Florida.