Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WWW Wednesday | April 29, 2015

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words, which asks bloggers to answer three questions, or three W's.

The three W's are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

Currently reading: Nothing unfortunately. Technically I'm still reading the Queen of the Tearling but I haven't touched that in a week. AP tests are coming up so I don't have any time to read. :(

Recently finished: I finished The Fire Children yesterday! It was an interesting read but nothing great. My review here.

Reading next: I plan to start Throne of Glass soon! I've heard so many good things and it's been sitting on my bookshelf since September so I really need to get to it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Fire Children | Book Review

Title: The Fire Children
Author: Lauren Roy
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Ravenstone
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 272 (Paperback)
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.00/5
My Rating: 3.5/5
To Be Released: June 30, 2015

It's been 15 years since the last eclipse and Yulla is hiding underground with the rest of her village. When her curiosity gets the best of her, she goes up to discover the Witch Women capturing one of the Fire Children. Together with one of the Fire Children, she must stop the Witch Women.

I received this from NetGalley for review.

Meh. For the most part I enjoyed this book but I didn't think it was anything special. I really liked the premise and the folktale-like story but I had a few problems. I felt that the characters were really one-dimensional. They didn't have much of a personality and weren't very unique. I couldn't make a connection to them which is something I look for in books. The world building needed some work as well. The world the book takes place in is really interesting and I would have loved to learn more about it! However, the book only scratches the surface of the background. The plot was also a bit underdeveloped. The story was too easily resolved and not much happened. Overall, I did enjoy The Fire Children but it needs work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WWW Wednesday | April 22, 2015

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words, which asks bloggers to answer three questions, or three W's.

The three W's are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

Currently reading: I recently started The Queen of the Tearling and The Fire Children. I really don't like The Queen of the Tearling so far. The main character is really annoying and the world building isn't very good. I still have about 300 pages to go so hopefully it will get better.
The Fire Children had a rocky start but I'm really starting to enjoy it now!

Recently finished: I just finished Miss Mayhem last week. It was a great sequel sequel and I can't wait for the next book! My review here.
I also finished This One Summer, a graphic novel. It was a short and sweet coming of age story. My review here.

Reading next: I'll most likely be starting Fire for Fire after I finish the two books I'm on!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held over at TheBrokeAndBookish.

This weeks topic is: top ten favorite authors

In no particular order (because there is no way I could number these), here are my top ten nine favorite authors!

John Green

This one's a no brainer. I fell in love with John Green after reading The Fault in our Stars. His writing is so captivating and his books make me feel all the feels. 

Lemony Snicket

A lot of people credit J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter for sparking their love for reading, but for me it was A Series of Unfortunate Events that made me really love books. I remember the unbearable wait for each book to be released and wanting to be just like Violet. This series was a big part of my childhood and I love it so much.

Shell Silverstein

Shell Silverstein was another big part of my childhood. I adored Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and A Light in the Attic. I feel a lot of nostalgia thinking back on these books. 

Terry Goodkind

I read the Sword of Truth series when I was in the 8th grade and absolutely loved it. The series sucked me into a fantastic world where I could escape all my troubles. I have a soft spot for this series and I really need to reread it.

Rick Riordan

The Percy Jackson series was another series that let me escape to another world and I will forever love it for that.

Laini Taylor

Taylor's writing is absolutely beautiful. The Daughter of Smoke & Bone series is one of my favorite series. Her writing is captivating and her world building is fantastic. When Taylor comes out with another book I will for sure be buying it.

Alexandra Bracken

I love Bracken's characters and world. I have yet to read her other books but I cannot wait to do so as I'm sure I will be amazed once again.

Cassandra Clare

The Shadowhunter Chronicles are some of my favorite series' as well. Clare's world is captivating and intriguing. I love reading about all the characters. I'm so excited to read her upcoming books! 

Ellen Hopkins

I've read five of Hopkins' books so far and I've loved (almost) all of them! Her writing (prose) is gorgeous and I can't get enough of her books.

Those were my top nine favorite authors! What are yours? 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Miss Mayhem | Book Review

Title: Miss Mayhem
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #2
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5
My Rating: 4/5

Miss Mayhem is the sequel to Rebel Belle. Life has gone on for Harper since Cotillion. But when her best friend Bee returns, the Ephors make another appearance and force Harper to undergo a trial that will either kill her or permanently make her a Paladin.

Miss Mayhem wasn't the best sequel but it was pretty good. I really enjoyed reading from Harper's point of view and I love her as a character. She has a lot of personality that translates well in writing and makes the story more interesting. The book also had a great blend of humor, romance, and badassery.

However, it could've been better. After reading Rebel Belle, I had high hopes for Miss Mayhem, so when I read it it was kind of a let down. The story seemed really out of place. Some parts didn't seem to fit into the plot and the book could have been a whole lot longer. Nothing really seemed to be happening; there wasn't a lot going on in the book. The book needed some more important events. The whole thing with the Ephors lacked content and wasn't fully developed. The ending was somewhat unsatisfying. It was a bit anti-climatic. There was just too much missing from the story. One of my favorite parts of Rebel Belle was the amount of badassery, which was really lacking in Miss Mayhem. There was more angsty teen drama than there was action and plot.

While I do think the book could have been better developed and more thought out, it was a quick and fun read and I really enjoyed. I look forward to reading the next one!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Most Frustrating Characters | Top 5 Wednesday

Today's Top 5 Wednesday topic is top 5 most frustrating characters!

America Singer - The Selection

In the first book I didn't mind America at all, but as the series went on I got more and more frustrated with her. The only thing important in her life was choosing which guy she should wanted to be with. Her indecisiveness was extremely annoying and not understandable. I just wanted her to pick a guy and be done with it.

Tobias Eaten - Allegiant

Both Tris and Tobias were annoying in Allegiant but Tobias was more annoying. Throughout the book he would not stop complaining and whining about how he's not special anymore. Boo hoo get over it. I loved Tobias in Divergent and Insurgent. He was one of my favorite characters but in Allegiant I wanted to punch him.

Anastasia Steele - Fifty Shades of Grey

Ana was such a weak and cowardly character. She refused to stand up for herself and I wanted to scream at her. She let people do whatever they want with her and had no personality.

Cress - Cress

Cress gave me so much second-hand embarrassment. Literally, every other thing she did made me cringe. There were many moments where I had to put the book down for a few minutes because the embarrassment was too much.

Kristina Snow - Crank

Oh my god I hated Kristina. She made bad decision after bad decision. I felt Ellen Hopkins was trying way too hard to tell people about the consequences of drugs. I couldn't even get through the second book because Kristina couldn't do anything right.

Those are my top 5 most frustrating characters. What are yours?:)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

This One Summer | Book Review

Title: This One Summer
Author: Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki
Series: Standalone
Publisher: First Second
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Graphic Novel
Pages: 320 (Paperback)
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.62/5
My Rating: 4/5
From Goodreads: Rose and her parents have been going to Awago Beach since she was a little girl. It's her summer getaway, her refuge. Her friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had, completing her summer family. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and Rose and Windy have gotten tangled up in a tragedy-in-the-making in the small town of Awago Beach. It's a summer of secrets and heartache, and it's a good things Rose and Windy have each other. 

A lot of people didn't really like this novel so I was pleasantly surprised.

The art was gorgeous. It was very detailed and pretty and really drew the reader in. Many people felt that there wasn't much plot but that's what I liked about the book. It's more character and emotion-driven rather than plot-driven. The subtlety of the book created a lot of feeling. There were a lot of panels that only had drawings and no text which allowed the reader to feel what the character was feeling rather than being told what she felt. It's a very quiet book and the action is observed instead of told.

This was a very sweet and quick coming-of-age story and I definitely recommend it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Kiss of Deception | Book Review

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 489 (Hardcover)
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.7/5
My Rating: 2.75/5

When Lia is forced to marry a prince of another country for a political alliance, she runs away to a small town. There she meets two men, the prince and an assassin, and discovers things about herself she never would have guessed would to be true.

Well, I didn't hate it. There is a lot of hype, undeserved hype, surrounding this book. The premise of the story is interesting but nothing special. The first 230 pages were pretty good but after that things went downhill. I usually like to start off with the things I liked but for this book there were none.

Something that really needed improvement was the world building. Throughout the book the audience was given only small glimpses of the what the world is like and what the culture is. There are a lot of references to the culture and beliefs, but those are never fully explained. The culture of the world seems pretty interesting and I want to know more, but there is no information on it. There is also many things going on outside of the main storyline that need more background information. Why is there a war going on? How did the war start? What is the belief system of these countries? The origin story of the world is a pretty important part of the book, but the explanation is very vague.

I also didn't enjoy the characters and the romance. The romance was superficial and surface-level. I didn't understand why the two characters were "in love" when they had no connection. The characters lacked personality and growth. They stayed one-dimensional the entirety of the book. They felt more like character tropes rather than actual characters with real personalities.

 A big part of the book is figuring out who the assassin is and who the prince is. My guess was wrong, however, I felt that the personalities of the two love interests completely switched after the reveal. As if the author thought "Well I don't want the readers to be able to figure out who it is so I'm just going to switch the personalities to trip them up."

There's also too much "telling" in the story. The author tells the readers what is going on rather than showing them what happens. It takes away from the novel and is the main reason I felt no connection to this book. By just telling and not showing, the audience isn't able to feel anything and the romance falls flat.

The Kiss of Deception wasn't terrible. It was actually pretty fun to make fun of with my friends. It was a waste of my time though and I do wish I hadn't read it.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Books I Wanted to Start Yesterday | Top 5 Wednesday

I couldn't think of a fourth and fifth book so here are my top 3 books that I wanted to start yesterday.

The Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson

Ever since I read the synopsis of The Final Empire last year, I have wanted to read the series. The premise seems so interesting and I've heard so many good things!

The Raven Cycle Series - Maggie Stiefvater 

So many people have raved about this series and it sounds really interesting!

The Throne of Glass Series - Sarah J. Maas

These books have been sitting on my book since September and I really need to get to them! The books seem so kickass, I need to get to them soon.

Happy reading!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Red Queen | Book Review

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.14/5
My Rating: 4/5

Mare lives in a world where Reds are the poor commoners and Silvers are the rulers of the land. When she discovers she has powers similar to what the Silvers have, her life is flipped upside down and changed forever.

This book was definitely worth the hype. It was gripping and fun to read through. I really liked the characters and the plot. If you haven't read this yet, I definitely recommend it.

First of all, let's just take a moment to admire this cover. So one thing I really enjoyed was the writing. It was really easy to follow and the action sequences were written really well. Usually in an author's first book, the writing is mediocre but I think Aveyard did a pretty good job. There was a ton of badass moments, which is always a plus. Often in dystopian books, the love triangle takes over the story but the love triangle (possibly square) took a backseat and didn't overshadow the plot in Red Queen. Some of the characters were really interesting as well. I enjoyed Mare and her ability to understand her emotions and face them head on rather than deny that they exist, as well as the complex personalities of Maven and Cal(sort of).The plot twist was also well done. I had no idea that was going to happen but thinking back I feel like I should have known.

The main reason this was a four star rather than five was that there were too many similarities to other dystopian novels. Throughout the book I constantly found myself thinking "this is a lot like Divergent/The Hunger Games/The Selection/Shadow & Bone". Normally, I don't like comparing books to each other and I understand that dystopian books have a lot of the same elements. However, I felt Red Queen wasn't too original and was basically what Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Selection, and Shadow & Bone would be if they were one book. I also felt that the world building was a bit underdeveloped but there's supposed be a lot more of it in the sequel so it's not too big of a problem. One thing I didn't like was how the characters weren't very real. Besides the three main characters, the others were pretty one dimensional. Mare, Cal, and Maven also had so much room to grow but that didn't happen. Cal's personality didn't really make sense to me either. In the beginning and end he seemed to have a pretty strong personality but it just faded in the middle, but since the book is from Mare's point of view, it kind of makes sense. The villains also didn't have a real reason to do what they did. They were evil just for the sake of it. Another problem I had was the romance. I didn't think the characters had much of a connection.

It seems like I disliked the book more than I liked it but I really did enjoy it. I think the second book will probably solve most of my problems and I can't wait for it to come out! (in 2016 //cries) 

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Reading Wrap Up

So I read 5 book this month!

The first book I read this month was We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist. It's a nonfiction memoir about a man who realizes at the age of 25 that he never had a girlfriend. I'm not completely sure what to think about this book. I did enjoy it while I read it, but the more I think about it, the stranger it gets. Overall, I'll say it's a decent book. It's not horrible, but it's not great. I liked it on the surface level but when I really thought about it I saw all the problems with it. It was funny and entertaining, but there was quite a bit of creepiness and sexism involved. 3/5 stars. Full review here.

The next book I read was actually a re-read. When I "read" it for the first time I thought I didn't like it because I just don't like audio books. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I felt nothing for the characters and Hannah annoyed me at times. 3/5 stars.

I really enjoyed Since You've Been Gone. It was a really interesting story and I related to the main character a lot. She went through a lot of character development which was great. The last 80 pages were amazing. I cried so much in those pages. I can't wait to read more my Morgan Matson! 4.75/5 stars.

The last book I read this month was Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. This book was a disapointment. I've heard a lot of good things but I hated the plot and the characters. Still, I thought it was a decent book. The writing is fine, nothing special but not bad. It was a pretty quick read and I was somewhat entertained. The characters made terrible decisions and weren't unique at all. The plot was very annoying as well... 3/5 stars. Full review here.

See ya next time!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Favorite Jokester/Sarcastic Characters | Top 5 Wednesday

I could only think of 4 characters so I decided to go with what I have.

4. Chubs - The Darkest Minds.

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Chubs is an amazing character and has some really credit one-liners. He's incredibly sarcastic and always makes me laugh!

3. Leo Valdez - Heroes of Olympus

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Oh Leo. He's grown so much as a character over the series. Even though he was one of the less "important" characters he's always been of my favorites. He always diffuses tension with his humor and can always offer a sarcastic but honest remark.

2. Kenji Kishimoto - Shatter Me

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He was my favorite character in Ignite Me. He's so funny and I love his relationship with Juliette. He always lightens up the mood and is just perf <3

1. Will Herondale - The Infernal Devices

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Will Herondale is one of my all time favorite characters. He's so snarky throughout the entire series and it's wonderful.

Thanks for reading!