Monday, April 30, 2012

Musing Mondays #1 (April 30)

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at the blog Should Be Reading
This weeks question:
Do you listen to audiobooks? If not, why not? And, if so, what has been on of your favorites so far?

I have actually never listened to a single audiobook before. It's not that I have a reason to dislike them. I just always thought it took the point out of reading, and wouldn't give you the same appreciation for the story as reading would. It would be almost like listening to music, and when doing so I get completely distracted, and get the need to work on other things, my brain just wanders too much for audiobooks. Then, I always here these reviews where the people portraying the characters sound nothing like they are written, and that makes me nervous that I'd be put off by the story, even though the book is probably amazing, but I'll never know now. 

Audiobooks are incredibly expensive as well, and my library doesn't have very good ones from what I've seen. Also, I feel if someone is reading for you room for interpretation is completely out the window. I know the narrator said she had blonde hair, and your explaining it to me, but I want her to be brunette. That's what I do sometimes while I read, if that makes sense. With an audiobook with the constant talking I couldn't picture anything else, or use my own imagination. Who knows maybe I'll listen to an audiobook someday if people have an amazing recommendation, until then I'll stick to good old reading.

Happy reading/listening! :)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Genre: Middle grade contemporary
Format: ARC
Source: Contest @ Randombuzzers

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances? 

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels

My thoughts:
First of all thank you Random buzzers, and Random House Publishing to allow me to read this amazing book!

To August Pullman he is a normal ten year old kid starting to middle school who likes to play xbox, watch tv, and be with his family. To everyone else he is anything but normal. August was born with a facial deformity that to other people makes him look like a monster. Throughout his life hes learned to deal with the stares, and awkward behavior of strangers, and has learned to accept himself. He has a loving adoring family, and a few close friends.

Everything changes on that first day of middle school though. He starts to question if he really is a monster, or weird. He doesn't know who is true friends are, and slowly comes to the realization that some people just don't like you, no matter what you look like. Auggie is a strong kid, with an amazing heart, and meets some amazing people along the way. I normally don't read middle grade that often anymore, but I thought since the topic was controversial I'l give it a shot.

R.J.'s writing style is kid friendly, and easy to read, but you are always in the mind of every character she is writing about. Not to say that adults and teens will be able to sense that this is marketed towards a younger audience, because the characters personalities are very established. What I like was about half way through the story we start reading in another characters perspective. August's sister Violet gets to tell what it's like in her shoes having a brother who is special, and usually gets all the attention. We get to be in the mind's of Auggie's bullies from school, and his friends so we can see how they really view him. There is so much perspective in this book, it's incredible, nothing is left out! I really wish more writers would do this, no matter the genre, or age group involved. I must also say I really enjoy the cover, it's spot on with the story. I will make sure to check out more of her books in the future!

This is an inspirational story that I think any age of people will appreciate, and learn a lot from! Wonder really teaches you never to judge someone by their appearances because they could end up becoming your best friend.


P.S. seriously read this book, then let me know what you think! ;)


Sunday, April 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (1)

                                  Welcome to my first IMM hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren
All books were bought by me this week. Feel free to requests any reviews. :)
The Immortal Rules ( Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. 

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.  -Goodreads

Grave Mercy ( His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? 

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? -Goodreads

Fever ( The Chemical Garden # 2) by Lauren Destefano
*spoiler warning* Don't read if you haven't read Wither.

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind. 

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness. 
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary. 
In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever. -Goodreads

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

“I’ve left some clues for you. 
If you want them, turn the page. 
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” 

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Timesbestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? 

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own. -Goodreads

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wassarman

The Book of Blood and Shadow
   It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. 

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer. 

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.  -Goodreads

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hereafter (Hereafter #1)

Hereafter (Hereafter, #1)Title: Hereafter
Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, "Hereafter" is a sensation you won't want to miss.

My thoughts:
Let me start off this review by saying this cover is absolutely gorgeous, so at least it will look good on my shelf! That sadly is the only positive thing I can say. In this novel we follow a ghost named Amelia on a journey to find out who she was when she was living, and how exactly she died. Now, that sounds intriguing enough as it should be filled with a lot of plot twists, mystery, and suspense. Wrong. In the beginning Amelia meets this boy names Josh who almost drowns, and he can see her. They instantly fall in love within I'd say 10 pages. From then on the story is about them trying to stay together, and less about Amelia. If you like romances then nothing sounds wrong, but if you like characters with depth, and personality without being in a romantic relationship, I'd stay away from this one. It wasn't scary, it was predictable. I almost fell asleep a couple of times. I might check out the second because of usually have to finish a series once a start, but I'm hesitant.

I know a lot of people love this book, and I hope I didn't come off rude. It just wasn't for me.



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wither ( The Chemical Garden Trilogy 1) By Lauren Destefano

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren Destefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Genre: Dystopian YA
Pages: 358
Format: Hard Cover
Source: Bought (Amazon)

   By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My thoughts:
I really loved the premise of this book, it was completely unique, and down right frightening me being 21 I'd be already dead for a year. Going into Wither I was prepared to strongly hate this book, or love it because of reading so many mixed reviews. I'm glad to say I LOVED this book! I have not one complaint.

In this dystopian world thanks to science women die at age twenty, and men at age 25. Because of this humans have to procreate faster to try and find a cure, and keep generations going. Rhine our main protagonist is stolen away from her home in a violent way, and forced into a polygamist marriage with two other young girls. The story follows her life in the mansion, dealing with her unwanted marriage, meeting new people, and discovering the many secrets about her world. Rhine didn't whine about her unfortunate situation, and was strong level headed, and was always one step ahead. We learn a lot about her from the very beginning and where she came from. What I loved was that all of the characters, even secondary ones were unique and brought something new. They all impacted life in the mansion, and I could relate myself to all of them. I didn't even mind the love triangle with Linden, and Gabriel, and couldn't help but root for both guys. Everyone's story was just so interesting, and everyone came from broken lives, knowingly, or not.

I can see though why Wither put some people off. It is a slower paced, realistic dystopian with character development, and very little action. What made up for that was the amazing writing! It sucked me in from the very first page, the sentences really flowed, and every thought and action was easy to follow. It's like I was inside Rhine's mind the entire time. So I'd say everyone should at least give the book a shot even if you decide just to get the book from the library. Even if you hate love triangles and slow paced books, because I normally do. Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised. :) 




This is my very first, and only blog. I will continue to tweak it for the next few months to get it how I want it, and learn html/css!

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy many upcoming reviews, and hauls.