Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at Story Siren and this is my first one! Eep! Okay, so I don't usually get very many books during the weeks but still! I'll do this whenever I do get a few. :D I've gotten three books this week and I'm really excited for all of them. Woohoo!

Those are my books! 

Specials by Scott Westerfeld 
I love this series! I started reading them last year and I had such looong huuuuge gaps between each of the books, I thought I'd never make it to the next one. Can you believe that it was super hard to find these books near me? Okay, that's a lie. My college's bookstore has them but I couldn't afford spending $30 on one book... Anyway, this is the last book with Tally and them in it right? And the ending of Pretties?! AHHH. Reading it as soon as I can!
Memory Boy by Will Weaver
I love any type of survival books. There's a quote on the back that says something about handing the book to Gary Paulsen fans... I'M A GARY PAULSEN FAN. :D I started reading this book on my way back to school today before I fell asleep and I'm like addicted already. Give me actual survival stuff in the woods or wherever and I'm golden. I like to think they're teaching me to survive in case anything like this actually happens! Hahaha. Okay, reading this tonight after I catch up on The Voice!
Partials by Dan Wells
Oooh, pretty cover... Anyway! I've heard really positive reviews about this one from almost everyone and pretty much every single one of my Goodreads friends has it as to-read. That's one of the reasons I picked up Partials. The other was the fact that I wanted to get into more science-fiction books and I heard this was a great one to start with-- wait, would you consider all of these science fiction? But, yeah, I'm really excited about this book. It's got a crazy virus with the human race barely surviving and a bad-a medic girl. I love medical dramas - House, anyone?! - so yeah! I can't really think of anything other than I'm excited! 

Check out their Goodreads profiles!

Leave me a link to your mailbox so I can check it out! :) 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Crossed by Ally Condie

Hardback: 367 pages
Author: Ally Condie
           Website Twitter
Reading Level: Ages 14 and up
Series: Yes (Matched Trilogy)
Published: Dutton Juvenile, November 1, 2011
Language: English
Buy: Amazon

From Goodreads:
Rules Are Different Outside The Society

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky --taken by the Society to his sure death -- only to find he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

Narrated from both Cassia's and Ky's point of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever.
Goodreads Profile

It took me a while to get into Crossed. I really enjoyed Matched; I fell in love with Ally Condie's writing and the Society. However, Crossed kind of bored me. It was definitely suffering from second book syndrome and moved really slow at parts. There was a lot of where is he/she, I love him/her, running through cave stuff. Like someone else's review said, the entire book could been condensed down to 100 pages.

It was also told in alternating POVs - one chapter Cassia (did you know her name is pronounced cash-a? I've been calling her Cass-e-ah!) then the next was Ky. While Condie's writing is wonderful, I couldn't always tell the difference between Ky and Cassia's chapters. I'd be reading along thinking it was one and then something would be said and I'd be like ...wait, so it's the other person's chapter?

To be honest, the only characters I don't like are the ones we aren't suppose to like and Ky. Something about Ky just bugs me, don't ask me what cause I don't know. I totally get why so many people like him! I just... don't. And I don't get their love. To me it just seems like Cassia liked him because she wasn't suppose to. I love Xander. He's so sweet and a great friend to Cassia and I really think they'd be so awesome together. I really hope the ending for him isn't what I'm thinking it will be. But anyway, there was also a few new characters introduced in this book that I really liked. Vick, Eli, Indie, and Hunter were all awesome, interesting and sometimes sad and I can't wait to see where their storylines are going to go!

I loved learning more about the Society. I loved the shock about Xander and the blue pills! My face ---> :OOO I'm really really looking forward to the third book so I can see how it all wraps up. Not to mention finally learn who the heck the Enemy is! Am I the only one who's still completely out of the loop on that one? (Guess not, Best Friend was asking the same questions. Haha!) Anyway, the book had it's high/good points but it was still pretty slow and transitioning. I'm ready for the last book to come out now, please.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Paperback: 302 pages
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
                  Twitter Website
Reading Level: 14 and Up
Series: Yes (Blue Bloods)
Published: March 27, 2007
Language: English 
Buy: Amazon

From Amazon:

Schuyler Van Alen is confused about what is happening to her. Her veins are starting to turn blue, and she's starting to crave raw meat. Soon, her world is thrust into an intricate maze of secret societies and bitter intrigue. Schuyler has never been a part of the trendy crowd at her prestigious New York private school. Now, all of a sudden, Jack Force, the most popular guy in school, is showing an interest in her. And when one of the popular girls is found dead, Schuyler and Jack are determined to get to the bottom of it. 

Schuyler wants to find out the secrets of the mysterious Blue Bloods. But is she putting herself in danger? Melissa de la Cruz's vampire mythology, set against the glitzy backdrop of New York City, is a juicy and intoxicating read. 

Before I write anything, I've gotta say, I don't think that description really fits the book very well... I mean, it tells you what's happening but I feel like it's also super misleading. Maybe it's just me.

ANYWAY. I've been sitting here trying to figure out if I like this book. I finished it Sunday and ever since I've been thinking about it quite a bit. The bad, the good, the whatever. I think I've come to a conclusion, though. 

It was okay. I liked it but it wasn't anything special. 

I really liked the cover. That's what made me pick it up in the first place ( like five years ago ) because as much as they say not to, I judge a book by it's cover. It's so pretty and I'm always a sucker for skylines. It really gives clues to what the story's about. There's the pearls, the girl, the bite marks! And, of course, the skyline of New York. Did I mention I really love skylines? And I'd have no problem visiting New York again. :)
Like I said, I got this book like five years ago when, I guess, it first came out? That was during my whole read everything vampire stage. Unfortunately, it didn't capture my attention at the time. I was bored with the whole fashion and rich life that I was reading, so I quit before the third chapter. When I left home for spring semester, I figured, what the hey. I'll bring it and maybe try to read it again! So when I started my own little ABC challenge for my I've Had Forever But Never Read books I put Blue Bloods in as Book Starting With B. 

I didn't really feel connected with any of the characters. I liked most of them, though. Maybe it's because I'm not rich or something like that, but I just didn't connect. I liked Oliver and Bliss. They were fun little side/main characters. I loved Mimi! I loved how... mean she was. How she knew she was like Queen Bee. And her brother, Jack! Oooh, I want to see where that relationship goes! Schuyler I didn't like. She was too cliche for my taste. The emo girl who looks like she lives on the streets but is still always beautiful. has no parents, and doesn't fit in with anyone at her school. Also, she didn't seem to have any character flaws. Too perfect for me. 

Other than the characters, I liked the types of vampires de la Cruz created. The Blue Bloods seemed really creative and I liked the history and backgrounds of them. I loved the idea of being reborn but still having the same memories. The only part that I thought was a little ridiculous and rushed was the angel part. I'm sure we'll get more into it in the coming books, though. With vampires, I feel like you have a lot of freedom to make it your own and that's what she definitely did. 

Overall, I liked the book. I know a lot of people don't like the name brands being mentioned every couple of lines but since I'm fashion-stupid, it didn't really bother me. It takes a while for the story to actually get going but I guess that's the way it is with series books, right? It didn't really mention vampires or anything until well into the book but I figured out pretty much everything that was going on without it. It was a quick read and if you love vampires, I'm sure you'll like this book.

Thanks for reading. :) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Abarat by Clive Barker

Paperback: 477 pages
Author: Clive Barker
           Website Twitter
Reading Level: Ages 13 and up
Series: Yes (The Books of Abarat)
Published: HarperCollins, October 2002 
Language: English
Buy: Amazon

From Amazon:

A journey beyond imagination is about to unfold....
It beings in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown, USA. There lives Candy Quackenbush, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold.
When the answer comes, it's not the one she expects. 
Welcome to Abarat, a cast archipelago where ever island is a different hour of the day. Candy has a place in this extraordinary land: She is here to help save the Abarat from the dark forces that are stirring at its heart-forces older than Time itself, and more evil than anything Candy has ever encountered. She's a strange heroine, she knows. But this a strange world. 
And in the Abarat, all things are possible. 
Goodreads Profile

This review is going to be a little short. I finished this book like a week ago, right when all my tests an papers were starting to pick up so forgive me. My memory's faded a bit. :(

I wasn't sure I'd like this book very much when I first started it. I'm not much a description person and this book has like a billion descriptions but Candy's in a completely new world with really strange and unusual creatures! So, of course, the book needed them. But like I said, I'm not a description person. Even though I moved reallyyyy sloooow through those parts, I still have a great mental image of what this world looks like! It was mostly the beginning that was like this so once you get past Chickentown ( the name just sounds boring right?! I was rooting for Candy to get out of there as soon as possible! ) and the first bit of being in Abarat, it picks right back up!

Unless you love descriptions ( like my best friend ) then you'll love that part.

Did you know this was originally practically a picture book!? I wish I had that one, too. If you don't have the one with pictures, never fear! Clive Barker has pictures up on his website. I found myself scrolling through the pictures for ages just wanting to stare at them.

Anyway, other than that, I really liked this book! I loved the side characters. They were all so interesting and funny looking! I think Jimothi and Malingo were my favorite. Actually, I liked them all! I even liked the backstory to the villain. Like it was suppose to give you some sort of understanding and maybe some sympathy but at the same time, you're still like oh my gosh this dude is psychooooo.

Candy really grew on me. At first, I was super confused how old she was and a bit clueless on what she looked like. Not to mention, she didn't really come off as anything that would stick out to me at the beginning. Once she was in Abarat and away from terrible little Chickentown, I knew I'd like her. There was one part when she was running away from some little creatures and she was tempted to turn around and tell them to shut up. I think that was one of my favorite Candy part of the book.

There's some moments where the book is a little dark. The author actually writes horror movies! But I didn't think they were anything that would scare someone away from a book. The villains were creepy, Candy's home life was horrid, and the way some creatures were treated was cruel. Then again, I'm always up for a good scary movie!

Everyone seems to be comparing this book to Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Seuss, and the Wizard of Oz. I guess I can see that. It's definitely a quirky, interesting new world like most of those books. I'd recommend this book to people who loved new worlds, a bit of a darker side, or little quirky things.

I'm probably not going to get the second book until I'm home for the summer, ( sad face ) but I'm super excited to get it! I can't wait to see how everything's tied together with each other.

Thanks for reading. :)  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park

Paperback: 128 pages
Author: Linda Sue Park
Reading Level: Ages 10 and up
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 15, 2010
Language: English
Buy: Amazon

From Amazon:

A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is a two hours' walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond ever day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor and his story goes on to interest with Nya's in an astonishing and moving way. 

Goodreads Profile

This semester of college, I decided to join a book club class. The description made it sound super awesome and we're going to read all sorts of new and exciting books, yada yada yada. So when I got to class and the teacher started talking and explaining that we were reading kids books from Africa or the Middle East and other places like that, I kind of deflated. I didn't think children's books were very exciting. Boy was I proven wrong.

This book was so heartbreaking, uplifting, touching, horrifying, every emotion ever. Salva is a young boy growing up with war all around him. One day at school, soldiers come in and Salva has to run away from everything he knows. For years, he's walking across deserts, living in horrible refugee camps, trying to find his family, and dealing with being alone. It was heartbreaking to think of a young boy actually having to go through with this. The worst is that it actually happened and is happening everywhere.

Nya lived in a different time but it was still oh so sad. Her job was to walk to and from a pond, hours and miles away just to get dirty water for her family. She never complained or protested. It was just the way it had to be for her family. Her part of the story was much smaller with only two, at the most, paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter. Still, it had a lasting impression on me. You had to walk hours every day to gather water that could ultimately kill you.

This book really made me grateful for things I have. I have clean water. I don't have to worry about having to run in the middle of the night to survive. I have food, school, my family. Salva got excited over a little mango. That was such a rare treat for him when I can drive to Wal-Mart and pick up a dozen right now. Salva had to walk great distances to go to school and Nya couldn't even attend. I'm in college now, dreading the early mornings I have to wake up get moving.

One part that really broke my heart was a line during Nya's part. She was talking about her rival tribe, which Salva was actually a part of, and mentioned something about how the only reason you could tell the difference between the two tribes were the markings on their faces. For 21 years and millions of people dead, there was a terrible civil war and all because someone had different markings on their faces. It broke my heart.

I loved this book. It was a short read but I was definitely recommend it to anyone. Also, if you would like to donate money to help get clean water to Sudan, here's the website:

Water for South Sudan

Thank you for reading my review!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Guilty Pleasure Reads + My Reading Challenge

First off:

Hello! How's everyone's January going? I can't believe it's almost over! Are you still sticking with your resolutions? Most people give up after a month. Even if you're stumbling, keep going, going, going! You can do it, woohoo! But you 2012. Yooou need to slow down. We're in no hurry for you to leave us either. It'll be the end of the world before we know it, if you keep this up. Well, actually... Unless your planning on sloooowiiinng doooownn for summer. Then that's okay.

Now my guilty pleasure readings:

L.S. Smith. The author of The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, The Forbidden Game, ect. I just finished The Forbidden Game, I'm starting on The Return part of the Vampire Diaries, and I have the Secret Circle book on my to be read shelf.

But really, I'm embarrassed I read them and honestly I don't know why. I love her side characters. Her main characters, the heroine and her love interest... They frustrate the tar out of me! I want to give them a shake through most of the books. But something about her writing makes me want to come back to it and slush my way through the whiny female lead and the overly sappy male love interest.

I know tons of people love the books - obviously, because most of them have a TV series to go along with them - and I know I'm just one person with one small opinion. So, read them if you want. If not, that's okay, too. Join me in my eye-rolling.

New Reading Challenge:

My new reading challenge is going to be an ABC reading challenge. Read books with titles in order of the alphabet. I don't know what A is going to be yet, but hopefully when we go to Barnes and Nobles today to pick up a book for my English paper, I'll find one. I'll post a picture here when I find on there or on my bookshelf. Wish me luck!

Are you doing a book challenge?

Monday, January 23, 2012


I wanted to start a book blog this year! So I figured this was the place to do it. Hopefully, my first review will be up soon. I've never really done this before so if you, for some reason, decide to follow my blog near the beginning, please be patient with me!