Saturday, March 31, 2012

In My Mailbox (4)

A weakly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

From the Library:

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: An Abundance of Katherines

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He's also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin's on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl. Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin's hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Review:  Colin's a childhood prodigy. He's fresh out of high school with yet another failed relationship. A girl named Katherine dumped his sorry butt. Oh yeah, and she's the nineteenth Katherine to have broken his heart. Sucks to be him. (Okay, this is super mean of me and also very stupid, but if Collin's as smart as he seems, then why hasn't he realized that Katherines just don't work for him? You'd think that by the fifth or tenth Katherine, he'd realize that there was something wrong with the equation.)

Hassan, the best friend and proud fat guy, drags Collin Singleton out of his room and decides a road trip is needed to end Collin's moping. The road trip ends at Gutshot, Tennessee where Hassan and Collin get a job compiling the history of the town. Here, Collin begins to write his super special theorem. Oh, and this super special theorem of his? It maps out the outcome of a relationship.

I have very mixed feelings on this book. It was a fun (not so) quick read, but there wasn't anything that made this novel click for me. I think it's because of the main character. Don't get me wrong, his nerdiness was charming and hilarious but there was something about Collin that I couldn't relate to. Maybe it was because he was supposed to be a prodigy. Collin's need to be someone and be loved are the most relatable characteristics that many people have. That's probably where the majority of the readers clicked with him. (that and the whole being dumped thing) But maybe it's not that. Maybe it's because I'm just really bad at reading third person narratives.

Hassan and Collin were an awesome pair. The two of them were geeky and totally funny. Their conversations (what ever language they were in) usually had me giggling in the middle of my Biology class. The characters in this book were likable and quirky. I laughed so many times while reading this. My abs are not happy.

The style this book was written in was absolutely amazing. I adored the footnotes. In fact, I think the footnotes were my favorite part of this book. John Green's helpful explanations kept the story chugging along without leaving the readers in complete confusion. Even with the footnotes, I probably had a permanent expression of something between amusement and confusion stuck on my face. It was SO darn funny to read John Green mock his main character in the footnotes. The translations were also very helpful.  If I could get the pronunciations right, I could have a few more foreign insults up my sleeve.

This book includes a bit of math. Because, you know, Collin's writing a theorem about relationships. It's fairly easy to understand if you've passed Algebra 1 but still isn't something to just pass over. The back of the book includes a more detailed explanation of the theorem and how it works and other math-y things. I admit that I got bored and didn't read it.

Overall, it was a fun(ny) read and very entertaining. In a few months, I probably won't remember the specifics of it, but it was still worth the time. The characters are so gosh darn lovable and the footnotes are just plain awesome. John Green is a spectacular author (Read The Fault in Our Stars) and I'm slowly trying to make my way through all of his published books.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

A weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

I'm super psyched for so many books! Narrowing it down to two choices was one of the hardest tasks I've had to undertake this week. (Just kidding. Homework is pretty evil. Speaking of evil...)

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Publication Date: May 1st, 2012

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil. 

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna. 

A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

(Summary found from Goodreads)

This sounds amazing. The cover is lovely and angels and part angels are the coolest things ever. I remember reading this on inkpop when it was still titled The Angel Prophecy. I understand that most of it has probably changed, but the general premise stayed intact and I bet Sweet Evil is even better. I just can't wait until this book comes out! 

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: November 6th, 2012

No synopsis yet.

Deity is the third book of the Covenant series. Um...hello? That series is made of pure awesome. Jennifer L. Armentrout is a fabulous writer and I adore her characters.

Aiden. Seth. <3 Oh, and let's not forget Alex. She's pretty awesome too.

One thing that bothers me is that I don't understand what the cover is. Sure, I get that there's a flower and what look like flames, but what is with that part of a person? I think it's someone's shoulder but others seem to think it's someone's neck, which I can also see.

Gaaah, so trippy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (3)

A weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

From the library:



Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Review here

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Pure

Review: Again, no Goodreads summary. It contains spoilers for those who haven't read Half-Blood, the first book of this series.

A lot of people say that Half-Blood was a Greek copy of The Vampire Academy series and I'll admit that they're really similar. Even though the social hierarchy of both books are just about the same thing, Jennifer took her characters and created something totally different.

Pure was just amazing. I'll try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, which will be very difficult for me to write and very short for you to read. In the YA genre especially, second books have this reputation for being awful. Let me tell you, Pure was anything but awful. There was action, tension (sexual and plot-wise), and all those delicious things that make a book good. It made me feel so many different things and this entire book was like playing a game of rugby with my emotions.

Give me a moment to be a squealy fluttery girl. Aiden is amazing. His terse personality and rare smiles make me all melty inside. He's a genuinely good character but he's just in so much control of himself that I want to hit him with a bag of teenage hormones and tell him to do what he wants to. Of course, if he went around doing whatever he felt like, he wouldn't be Aiden. Aiden's morals are strict, though, and his ability to put other's before himself and do the right thing endear me to him. Someone needs to give this poor boy a hug. He's just so good. The right thing is painful sometimes and he constantly endures that pain while others are ruled by their emotions. *stops ranting* The tension in the romance was strained at times, but it was so real and never felt forced or rang false.

Oh guys, there's a lot more Seth in this book. *squeals* I won't elaborate or this post could take days to read.

Okay, fangirly rant over. *clears throat* There's nothing to fear. I swear I'm rational again. Really.

I complain a lot about how the surprises in books never surprise me but Pure bested me. The plot and pacing in this book was fantastic as well. There was a richer layer in this book than there was in Half-Blood and it felt like Jennifer took what she set up in the first book and turned it into something even more amazing. That's what all second books should do. Not all of them do, but Jennifer nailed it. If anyone's still trying to say that the Covenant series is a copy of the Vampire Academy series than they've never read Pure. The action scenes were fantastic and the characters shone. She delved deeper into the social structure of the Covenant in this book and really just took everything to whole different level.

As always, Alex was fantastic. (Alex is the main character and a girl. Just sayin'.) She's just so strong. Physically and mentally. I feel like with everything thrown at Alex and with all the tragedy she's had to endure, most people would have been shipped off to the closest insane asylum by then. Alex isn't infallible, but she handles everything much better than the majority of people would. Her vulnerability is an endearing quality and makes her more real, but she doesn't let sorrow ruin her entire life.

The surprises really made me happy/angry/sad. But...I can't tell you guys more about it because it definitely counts as a spoiler. So many things were wrapped up. So many things were left unanswered. I need the next book. Do you hear me? I NEED IT! I CRAVE IT LIKE A DAIMON CRAVES AETHER.

All in all, Pure was a great book. The author managed to pull off another fantastic book flawlessly. I'd suggest you read anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout because she's just that awesome.

Rating: 5/5 stars

P.S. This was a longer post than I thought it'd be.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

A weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Publication Date: April 10th, 2012

Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

I know there are a bunch of fairytale retellings circulating the YA market right now, but Kill Me Softly sounds amazing. I also happen to have a thing for fairytales (not to be mistaken for my thing for strong character voice or compelling plot lines) Plus, the pitch is funny. Snow White? Prince Charming? The pitch is kind of making fun of them. :D 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Spell Bound

Review: I'm leaving out the Goodreads summary because it has a pretty big spoiler for those who haven't read the first book. Basically, Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins is the third installment in her Hex Hall trilogy. I don't really know what to say about this book. As always, I loved the characters. Sophie, Archer, Jenna, Cal, and even Elodie because they all rock in their own separate way. Sophie and Archer were all snarky and witty as usual, but sometimes I felt like Sophie was trying too hard. There were a few comments she made in the first two books that I felt like she was trying too hard to be funny, but in Spell Bound, she was like that the entire time. So instead of sarcastic with a few trying too hards, she was trying too hard with a few genuinely funny remarks.

I don't really know what to say. I was so excited about this book that I broke my parent's "No buying books" rule and ordered it from Amazon. I really loved the first two books, Hex Hall and Demonglass and it felt like a miracle when Demonglass didn't feed the whole second book curse. Spell Bound wasn't necessarily a bad book, but it wasn't as good as I thought it'd be.

To be honest, not much happened plot-wise until midway through the book. I know that Rachel Hawkins was assembling the characters and giving a "oh hey, here's what happened in the other two books" but it really felt like she was stalling. When things started happening, it was just awkward. The tension and excitement weren't as well written as they were in the other two books. Sorry for the poop reference, but it was like the book was constipated. Everything seemed a little forced and out there, including the characters.

I don't really want to spoil anything for you guys, but the surprises written into this book weren't very surprising. I'm not sure if it's because I've read so much that I know how to pull out contextual clues like a private detective or if Rachel Hawkins really wanted us to figure it out before Sophie.

There were still some very funny scenes and good quips in there (The one that comes to mind made me cackle and run around the house like a crazy person) so this wasn't a bad book. The one scene that I was anticipating still put me to tears and there were some good emotionally charged events. There were a lot of loose ends that didn't get tied up in this book, but I heard that Rachel Hawkins is writing another Hex Hall series. I'm not sure if it's true or not because I can't find the link where I read it, but if she is writing another series, then the loose threads make sense.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Thursday, March 15, 2012

10 Confessions of a Teenage Bibliophile

1. While other girls my age are squealing over new pictures of their favorite celebrities, I will be obsessing over a cover reveal for a particular book I've been lusting over/new book in a series.

2. I will refuse to lend you my books or do so grudgingly. Any place outside of my room is dangerous. You might stain/tear/wrinkle the pages or stain/tear/smudge/scratch/kill the cover. And break the spine. Don't forget breaking my precious spines. WHY WOULD I WILLINGLY LET YOU KILL MY BABY?

3. I always remember your past offenses. Have you returned my book with suspicious brown stains? Are there dog ears on every other page? Does the cover have scratches? Yes, so and so did that about two years ago. I'm still mad about that.

4. The highs and lows (or just plain comas) I get after reading a book define me. DEFINE ME. I'm addicted.

5. Authors are like celebrities to me. In Spanish class when we're supposed to write about "una persona famosa" I'll write about John Green instead of Taylor Swift. Just a fact. When I write about my heroes, people like Rachel Hawkins and Stephen King make it onto that list.

6. I know people online. I consider them my friends. Obviously, I've failed the whole "creeper internet thing" schools have tried to beat into our heads.

7. I identify more with characters in books than I do with my peers.

8. My bookshelf looks like a mess but there's a method to my madness and if you move something, I will know. And freaking out is inevitable.

9. Mall or library? There's no competition unless the mall has a bookstore.

10. ...this one's a huge secret...I like books. :x

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

A weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Black Heart by Holly Black
Publication Date: April 3, 2012

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy. 

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.
Summary from (Goodreads)

Oh my God, you guys. I don't know what to say about this. I started this series about a week ago and I burned through the first two books, White Cat and Red Glove in one afternoon. The Curseworkers series is just amazing and I can't wait for Black Heart to come out. One of my many problems with YA literature is the lack of suspense in it. Other than the very obvious "surprise" in White Cat, Holly Black is the queen of keeping me guessing. The things she wants us to figure out along the way, I figure out. But the mysteries that I don't even understand until the answers are staring me in the face--guys, I love it! Not to mention, the narrator, Cassel is awesome! He's a bookie, guys! The cool version of a math nerd~

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Cinder

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
(Summary from Goodreads)

Review: I happen to love fairytale retellings. When I first started reading, I devoured books like Ella Enchanted, Fairest, and The Frog Princess. It'd also be a good time for me to admit that I grew up with the Disney classics, and among the classics, a fair amount of them were princess stories. So yeah, obviously, I like princesses. And tall tales. That kind of stuff.

Cinder takes place in a futuristic setting here on Earth. There are quick mentions of the other parts of the world from Prince Kai's point of view and vague comments about Europe from Cinder's, but the main focus in setting is New Beijing. Cinder is a cyborg who works as a mechanic. She lives under her distant and bigoted "step mother" and has to make the money to support her household. In this society, cyborgs serve as second class citizens and Cinder faces a lot of prejudice because of it. 

I liked the characters in this book very much, specifically, Cinder. Unlike the original Cinderella, Cinder didn't just sit there and take the crap people threw at her. She fought back. She had opinions and wants and dreams that didn't include getting gussied up for a prince. (Although however much she denies it, she does like Prince Kai.) Cinder was smart, strong, and rather determined. Of course, she had her vulnerabilities as well, but her traits tended to balance each other out. Cinder didn't just sit there and let things happen; she made things happen.

Prince Kai was a great character as well. His unease with his position seemed realistic and was actually charming. But despite his uncertainty, Kai still stepped up and did his best. Marissa Meyer really took the whole "Prince Charming" cliche and beat it to death with a screwdriver. He was a genuinely likable character. 

Peony and Iko were adorable as well but I'm not even gonna start on those two.

The setting of New Beijing captivated me. I felt like Marissa Meyer could have fleshed out East Commonwealth a bit more, or at least give us a more descriptive taste of it, but it was still pretty amazing the way it was. There were some very visual scenes in the story and it left me craving for more. The culture Marissa integrated into the story takes some traditional Chinese influences and and added a few sci-fi elements to it. There's a lot more potential in her world and I feel like she could have dug deeper.

Another complaint I have about this particular book are the surprises. I'm not sure if the author wanted us to catch on before Cinder did, but I felt like the surprises were pretty obvious from the beginning of the story.

All in all, this was a captivating and thrilling read. It sucked me in from the first page and didn't let go until the very last word. The ending seems a bit unresolved and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the Lunar Chronicles. 

Rating: 4/5 stars

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (2)

A weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

You know your life is bad when you miss your days as a poison taster... 

With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better.... 

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training—especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians. 

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies....

Books all borrowed from the library. Summaries found from Goodreads.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Blood Red Road

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
Summary from Goodreads
Review: The first thing I noticed about this book when I picked it up was the spelling and grammar. Some people loved it, some people hated it. Me? I liked it, but found it a bit annoying. The deliberately misspelled words really added to Saba's character and helped me focus on her perspective instead of mine. Admittedly, when I first started Blood Red Road I thought Saba was like a hillbilly or pirate. Like most stylistic things, it grew on me. (I missed the dialogue tags so much. Never will I ever take quotation marks for granted again.) This book wouldn't have been the same without the different narration and I felt like it was perfect for this book.
I'll admit something before I start the rest of the review. I love reading about sibling relationships in books. Twin relationships are my favorite because I'm a twin and authors always make it seem more awesome than it actually is.

The story basically starts when Saba's twin brother Lugh, is kidnapped from their house in the middle of nowhere. Saba promises him that she'll come after him. And she does indeed go after him...with lots of complications, of course. It wouldn't be a story without complications.

Saba is not a hero. She's also not downright awful either. She's one of those characters that are so gray that depending on who's perspective the book's told in, she can be described as a good or bad character. She's a bit like Katniss from the Hunger Games or Katsa from Gracleing.  I, for one, loved her. She's not very nice to her younger sister (actually, she's a complete bitch to her in the majority of the book) but Saba is such a strong character. Everything that can go wrong (and worse) does go wrong for Saba but she continued to keep going and going and going after her brother. Nothing could break her spirit and I admired her a lot for that. Saba was so emotionally flawed almost to the point of being unlikable, but she grew on me over time.

The world building wasn't the main focus of the story, but her world scared me. The drug they used to control the workers reminded me a lot of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. And the desert. It was both frightening and sad how when she sands shifted, they'd bury everything in this bright red dust. While Saba traveled in the desert, it felt like the desert itself was its own character. (Haha, gotcha there! I have no qualms about spoiling books I'm not reviewing. Feel free to hit me now) The world building wasn't very fantastic because it wasn't a main focus of the novel. Blood Red Road was a journey, and it read like one.

Can I talk about the supporting characters without giving away spoilers? Yes? No? Maybe? I'm unsure how to talk about any of them without giving away spoilers, so let's just leave it at this; they rock. I loved Saba's friends so much in this book. All of them were so loyal and so real.

They didn't try to coddle Saba (like she needed coddling) and they weren't afraid to shy away from the truth. (By "they" I mean the love interest who shall not be named)

Blood Red Road was a fast paced and thrilling read. It would've been a great standalone book but there are still many parts left to be tied in the sequel. Moira Young has set up an amazing story in book one and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the next book!

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

A weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Publication Date: March 13, 2012

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted. 

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. 

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Hex Hall and Demonglass were among my favorite reads last year. Rachel Hawkins has such humorous characters and manages to integrate some deep stuff into her cheery stuff into the last book. I want to know what happens after *spoiler retraced* in Demonglass.

Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devestating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

I loved Hourglass. Timepiece is the sequel. Kaleb is my favorite character. It's in Kaleb's point of view. 'Nuff said. The cover alone would have me hooked. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Suzanne Collins' Review of The Hunger Games Movie

Suzanne Collins posted this review on her facebook page after watching the Hunger Games movie based on the novel she wrote.

Dear Readers,

I’ve just had the opportunity to see the finished film of The Hunger Games. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I feel like the book and the film are individual yet complementary pieces that enhance one another. The film opens up the world beyond Katniss’ point of view, allowing the audience access to the happenings of places… like the Hunger Games control room and President Snow’s rose garden, thereby adding a new dimension to the story.

Director Gary Ross has created an adaptation that is faithful in both narrative and theme, but he’s also brought a rich and powerful vision of Panem, its brutality and excesses, to the film as well. His world building’s fantastic, whether it be the Seam or the Capitol. It’s amazing to see things that are suggested in the book fully developed and so brilliantly realized through the artistry of the designers.

And, my God, the actors. The cast, led by the extraordinary Jennifer Lawrence, is absolutely wonderful across the board. It’s such a pleasure to see how they’ve embodied the characters and brought them to life.

So I’d like to sincerely thank all the many people who devoted their time and talents to the film, especially producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, and the excellent teams at Color Force, Larger Than Life, and Lionsgate.

I hope you enjoy the film!

Suzanne Collins

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Review: Poison Study

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. 

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. 

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear…

Review: Wow guys...just wow. I don't even know what to say about this book. It's amazing. It's beautiful. It's pure genius. I finished this book a week ago and spent the better part of today trying to put how I felt about this book into words. First things first, I'll just tell you what I liked about this story.

One thing I love about this book is the main character, Yelena. She's a young woman who lead a horrible life, to put it lightly, and she wound up murdering someone before the book even started. When she was accused of murder, she didn't make any excuses for it or try to lie about it, even though her reasons were very justified. She accepted the consequences of her actions but at the same time, she never gave up. The book started with Yelena in a prison cell, where she spent the better part of a year waiting to be executed. When she's offered to be the food taster from a man named Valek, she takes the job, even with the possible outcomes of her new job.

I believe I've said this before, but I'm not a huge fan of fantasy. High-fantasy makes my head spin and made up creatures make me giggle because of their silly names. (Keep in mind that this is only my opinion. I'm not saying that fantasy's stupid. I'm just saying that it's not usually my preference.) Poison Study was in no way any kind of high-fantasy novel.

But Poison Study was amazing. The characters were endearing or slimy or awful or amazing, but I felt something about each and every one of them.

And man, guys, the world building. It was fantastic. Yelena didn't see very much outside of the General's house, but the way the places she went were described, her general knowledge, and the culture, just wow. I was stunned. The political struggle between the north and south. I tend to shy away from politics, real life or otherwise, but it was so interesting to watch the aftermath of what used to essentially be a monarchy turn into a dictatorship. The new government was by no means perfect, but it was a whole lot better than the previous monarchy. Women had so many more opportunities.

God, I just loved this book so much. I could probably keep gushing until my face turned purple and I ran out of air (even though I'm typing) but I'm going to stop to prevent myself from giving away any spoilers.

This book has some heavy themes and (past) events in it so I wouldn't suggest you read it if you're in your younger teens (13-ish) or shy away from that kind of stuff.

I've placed holds on every single Maria V. Snyder book in my library.

Rating: 5/5