Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Quotable Books (2)

Welcome to Quotable Books, a meme hosted by me, Sophie, at The Dreaming Reader! Every Tuesday, I'll post quotes from a book that had writing that especially captured my attention.

This Week's Quotable Book:
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
 Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.
Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1) 
Quotable Quotes: 
They loved him back. It's easy to lose yourself in the idea of a person and be blinded to their reality. It's a simple thing, to love a stranger.
"To be a servant can be a noble thing, but only as noble as the master served."
"Yet as sunset approaches, all anyone needs do is look ahead and see where this current will lead us. To realize that if we do not stop and swim against the stream, eventually we will find the precipice over which it flows. We all of us know it. We see it when we look in the mirror. We hear it when we wake in the long, still hours of the night. A voice that tells us something is deeply, horribly wrong with this world that we have made." 
"Our troubles are mayflies, rising and falling between the turn of dawn and dusk. And hwne they are gone to the houses of memory, you and I will remain, Yukiko."
I'll admit this is a bit of a sneak peek to those who haven't been able to read Stormdancer yet. But it definitely has some serious emotion sprinkled in with the action scenes. I really didn't expect Kristoff to have such a beautiful style, but he does, and I admire him greatly for what he's managed to do with this book. Definitely check it out on Amazon or Goodreads! My review for it will be coming out tomorrow. Are you excited for Stormdancer? Comment and let me know!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

The Summer PrinceThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Publication Date: March 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
Four hundred years ago, the world ended. And now, on the coast of what was once called Brazil, women rule in the legendary pyramid city of Palmares Três. The city's Queen only cedes her power to a man once every five years -- to a Summer King, whose story will grip the city like a fever.

For June Costa, art is everything. Her brilliant creations -- from murals and holograms to a delicate pattern of lights in her skin -- have impressed (and irritated) her classmates and teachers alike. Her dream is to win the prestigious Queen's Award, and the instant fame and success that come with it. It's a dream she never questions -- until she meets Enki. Enki, the newly-elected Summer King, is the hottest thing in Palmares Três. But when June sees Enki, she sees more than piercing amber eyes and a lethal samba: She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will create art that Palmares Três will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, tragically in love with Enki.

Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.
Mmm... and there's the punchline. I like all these exotic settings, and I do hope that Johnson pulls off this strange hybrid of a book (Is it dystopian? Fantasy? Sci-fi?) You've got to like the green undertones. And the glowing pattern on her arm? Woooow. I thought they were snowflakes at first, but anyway, I'm definitely intrigued now!

What do you think of this book and the cover? Let me know!

Feature & Follow Friday (4)

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Basically, follow me and say hi in the comments, and I'll follow you back!

This week's featured blogs: Books are my reality & Concise Book Reviews

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

A: Streetcar Named Desire, hands down. I love that it's a play, but Williams manages to make it so vivid and haunting despite his limited access to description. To Kill a Mockingbird and Grapes of Wrath are probably close seconds.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that allows us to appropriately squeal over upcoming releases.
Gravity by Melissa West
Series: The Taking
Publication Date: October 16th, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
 Gravity (The Taking, #1) 
In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed--arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know--especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
 The first time I saw Gravity on Goodreads, I fell in love with the blue-hued cover, and the very interesting premise. I'm interested to see how West executes it, though I'm very afraid to be disappointed considering how excited I am for the book!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quotable Books (1)

Hello, everyone! My blog's been a bit empty because I'm busy and trying to fit in reading between everything else going on. However, I have decided to start something called Quotable Books. Every Tuesday, I'll post a book that I found absolutely inspiring, and also some quotes from it. Feel free to tell me which books you thought were absolutely quote-worthy, since I don't want to feel like I'm just talking to myself! 

This Week's Quotable Book:
Graffiti Moon by Kath Crowley
Published: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's
Goodreads Summary: Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.
Quotable Quotes:
There was no skin on my voice and she heard the bones in my words.
Every time he looked at me I felt like I'd touched my tongue to the tip of a battery. In art class I'd watch him lean back and listen and I was nothing but zing and tingle. After a while, the tingle turned to electricity, and when he asked me out my whole body amped to a level where technically I should have been dead. I had nothing in common with a sheddy like him, but a girl doesn't think straight when she's that close to electrocution.” 
 I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall. I look at this painting and think about how everyone has some secret inside, something sleeping like that yellow bird.
I hear people talking about the feeling they get when they pain stuff in illegal places. Leo says he gets this fast-moving fear swinging through him, running from his heart to everyplace under his skin. I pain to get the thoughts in me out. I paint so it gets quiet under my skin.” 

That's only a few of the beautiful words that Crowley uses in this book. It's one thing to write about art; it's another to bring the shades and tones of it into your writing in a way that's profound and vivid. Also, there were quite a few humorous moments sprinkled in, too! If you want to know more, check out my review or buy it on Amazon!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (3)

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Basically, follow me and say hi in the comments, and I'll follow you back!

This week's featured blogs: Booktastic Reviews & A Glass of Wine

Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?
A: This is a hard one! *indecisive* I think, right now, the two books I most want to read are Throne of Glass and Seraphina.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that allows us to appropriately squeal over upcoming releases.
  The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Raven Cycle
Publication Date:  September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
I'm very excited for the arrival of this book, as I won it in a Goodreads giveaway! I quite like Stiefvater's style, though she hasn't wowed me with anything yet. But the boarding school scenario and rich boy setup is very interesting. 

What do you think? Excited for The Raven Boys? What's your WoW?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the LimitsBook: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication Date:  July 31st, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 384
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Goodreads Summary:
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter,  New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series.

I wanted to like this book, mostly because of the blurb that promised a "girl-using loner bad boy." And I guess I got that, though not in the way I wanted.

The best way to explain my reactions toward this book would probably be in quotes. So. Let's begin, shall we?

Quote #1: In a lightning-fast move, he placed both of his hands on the brick wall, caging me with his body. He leaned toward me and my heart shifted into a gear I didn't know existed. His warm breath caressed my neck, melting my frozen skin. I tilted my head, waiting for the solid warmth of his body on mine. I could see his eyes again and those dark orbs screamed hunger.

Yummy Noah is yummy. I can totally see the dangerous sexiness he's got about him. However, this would have been a lot hotter if it hadn't happened almost in the exact same way several times throughout my reading of the book.

Quote #2: "No apologies. I could kiss yo right now." Judging by the look in his chocolate-brown eyes, he meant it.
"Don't. I think I'm gonna puke." I loved the way his lips turned up--part mischievous smile, part man of mystery.

Okay, I get that Noah is dangerous and sexy and mysterious. But I don't need to hear it over and over again. The puking part was funny, can't deny that. But I can't handle the redundancy in this book. Especially the parts with Noah always referring to Echo as "baby" or "my siren" or his "cinnamon oven" or whatever it was that he liked about her smell. It got old. And, as I mentioned in my status update, it reminded me of John Tucker Must Die, where I learned that John actually called his different girlfriends "baby" so he wouldn't mix up their names. Not a good sign.

Quote #3: "Yes, but never love. Just girls who didn't mean anything. You..." His tongue teased my bottom lip, thawing my body. "Are everything. I got tested over winter break and I'm clean and I've got protection." He reached to the side of the bed and magically produced a small orange square.

*Cough* *Snort* I think my coffee came out of my nose at this part. I definitely rolled my eyes. Is Noah a magician?

Quote #4: "I made out with Beth." The two of us leaned against the counter and drank our beers.

Do guys tell each other that they "made out" with a girl? I don't know. I just found this scene extremely feminine, for some reason. Except instead of drinking fruity stuff, they're having beers. I keep getting the feeling that McGarry is trying too hard to make these guys seem bad, and it doesn't come off as natural, just stereotypical.

Quote #5: Like everything else in life, if it contained the word free, it implied slow.

Ha! I like that. It's so true. Now here's a little, unique nugget that McGarry lets us see once in a while.

Quote #6: "I wish I could sleep with you," Echo's sexy-as-hell drowsy voice mumbled through the phone.

"Say the word, baby, and I'll rock your world."

*More coughing, snorting, laughing* Who SAYS that? Honestly, if some guy told me he'd rock my world, I'd laugh in his face. It's so cheesy.

Quote #7: "...I added a fucked up thought to another fucked up thought and I created a pile of shit."

Yet another funny nugget in the forest of badly used cliches and sayings. Wooooo. At this point, I just want everything to be over.

Quote #8: I waited for my pulse to stop beating my veins like a gang initiation, for the blood to leave my face and for my lungs to not burn as I gasped.

Errr. Like a gang initiation? What a strange simile. I had to read that a couple times, and I'm still a bit confused. There also is that strange comparison of her stomach butterflies to mutant pterodactyls? The pterodactyl part I can understand, but why are they mutant? Many times, I get the feeling that McGarry is using all these words but not pausing to really evaluate their meaning and what they contribute to the story.

I liked the way that Echo pieces together what happened, but I had to wonder whether it was strictly necessary to have so many flashbacks and so many meltdowns. It felt repetitive after the first two hundred pages, and the last hundred was just overkill, I think. I thought this story could've been a lot more compressed, which would have made the characters much more likable. I didn't really like Echo or Noah, Echo because she angsts a lot, which is obviously understandable given how much crap she has going on in her life. But there are moments where she seemed to acted in a way that was overly emotional, and it just didn't endear me to her. Likewise, Noah's perspective wasn't all that fun to read, either. He uses curses liberally, and normally I don't mind that, except that I think McGarry overdid it again. Also, he acts irrationally, and at the end when he sneaks into Mrs. Collins's office, I don't even get why he did it. It was just confusing to me.

The characters didn't leave much of an impression on me, despite what happened to them. Noah and Echo both have unenviable pasts, and that aspect drew me the most, though McGarry somehow blew them all out of proportion so the emotion seemed more forced than sincere. I don't think I liked anyone, really. Maybe Mrs. Collins, but I hated how she was likened to a dog. All of the comparisons made in this book are overcooked. If we likened this to a dish, I would say it was a delicious bowl of fried chicken that almost couldn't have gone wrong, except in the end the chef got insecure and dumped a bunch of salt in, which completely overcompensated.

That said, this still might be enjoyable, especially for fans of Perfect Chemistry and other books by Simone Elkeles.

Thank you to NetGalley for giving me a chance to read and review this book.

View all my reviews

Scarlet Cover Release

Everybody! Everybody! EVERYBODY!

The cover for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is out! And doesn't it look intriguing.
Book: Scarlet 
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date:  February 5th, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
This book will feature Cinder and Little Red Riding Hood and will take place in France.

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Now, I can't say that Cinder was the best thing I've ever read, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited to see how Cinder and Kai's relationship progresses and how Little Red Riding Hood gets factored in. The first book was sufficiently enough to keep my interest, so I'm looking forward to this one! 

What about you? Have you read the Lunar Chronicles? Do you want to know what happens to Kai and Cinder? And what do you think about the cover? Comment and let me know! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (2)

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Basically, follow me and say hi in the comments, and I'll follow you back! 
This week's featured blogs: Vivaciously, Vivian &

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

A: I wanted another outlet to express my book thoughts! You have to agree that internet+books=paradise. It's a very reasonable equation. Also, I had so many other accounts (GR, Tumblr, Pinterest, FP, Twitter, etc), that I figured I should get a Blogger one, too!

Follow me on GFC, Linky, or Twitter, and I will return the favor!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that allows us to appropriately squeal over upcoming releases.

 Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Publication Date: November 6th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed "Daughter of Smoke and Bone," Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was declared a "must read" by Entertainment Weekly, was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, and The New York Times called it "a breath-catching romantic fantasy.
This cover is so much better than the cover for the first. Red and black is my favorite combination. I'm really excited for this book; towards the end of the first one, I really couldn't sum up the energy to care what happened anymore. But I've had a while to mull over it, and I'm really excited to be brought back into the world Taylor has created.

What did you choose for this week's WoW? Comment and let me know! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Clockwork Princess Cover Release!

Book: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: March 19th, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Goodreads Summary:
In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?
I'm a pretty big Infernal Devices fan, not going to lie. The Mortal Instruments is ehhh for me, but I'm a sucker for Victorian England. And despite Will's angsting, I still adore him.

Isn't Tessa so pretty?! At first I thought the lines of her bodice were actually blood droplets from the book; obviously, I'm already getting into Morbid Mood for this.

What do you guys think? Is the cover pretty? Do you love or hate the Infernal Devices? Tell me all!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1)Book: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 358
My rating: 4 Stars

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

"The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak."

After seeing raving reviews about this book pop up all over GR, I finally felt peer pressured enough to read it. I must say, I was hooked. From the first page, I got sucked into the beautiful world that Bardugo creates, and I think that's what sets this novel apart from many. The world of the Grisha is mysterious and appropriately dark, with exotic tones that come from a lot of thorough research done on Russian customs and culture. It reminded me a bit of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which took place in the magical city of Prague.

Alina's world came alive with me in all the right ways, without the boring info dump that usually accompanies complicatedly woven universes. I found the concept of the Shadow Fold and the volcra interesting, as well as the privileged lives the Grisha lead apart from the rest of society. There are many small details that are included that wowed me. My favorite part in the story was when Alina's Tailor friend, Genya, gives her a makeover using rose petals and gold. I thought it was creative, and the idea very interesting.

While the conflict between light and dark is nothing new, nobody has written about it the way Bardugo does. The skills of the Grisha which set them apart from everyone else yet endanger them, and the threatening extinction of their kind, are fascinating, though not completely original.

One of my favorite aspects was the love interest(s). Usually, I root for the promiscuous bad boy (which is very bad of me, I know), and not the best friend. But this time, I found myself loving Mal for his determination and his obvious concern about Alina despite everything. The Darkling was too dark and edgy for me, I think; towards the end, he did seem truly evil. There's a difference between a sexy bad boy and someone who's an actual threat to my life. However, since 90% of my Goodreads friends are psychos, they'll probably ship him and Alina. Which I totally understand, because I'm a bit of a psycho myself.

My one real problem with this book is the characterization. The world of the Grisha is spellbinding, but the characters are average. Alina is a classic orphan turned savior of the world, Mal is her sweet childhood best friend, and The Darkling...actually, The Darkling's a bit confusing, and I'll see what happens. But the thing is, I never truly felt connected with them in their troubles, and despite the colorful world that Bardugo creates, I couldn't fall in love with the characters too.

That aside, Shadow and Bone is definitely something that should be read! And now I want a kefta. Preferably in black.

View all my reviews

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the StarsBook: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 398
Rating: 2 Stars

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's "Persuasion", "For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

NO KISS? I went through this many pages of what-the-fappery and there was NO KISS? Jane Austen or no, I am angry.

The blurb proclaims that this book is inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion. When I think Austen, I think of witty repartee, handsome gentlemen, and annoying sisters. The third is not necessary, but funnily enough, is the only aspect of this book that comes even close to Austen's writing.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a dystopian retelling of Austen's Persuasion, but it failed on both parts. I haven't read much Austen, but I did enjoy Pride and Prejudice, and I definitely do not think this book does her any justice at all. It's about a girl, Elliot (had to think for five minutes before I remembered her name), who is left behind taking care of a crumbling estate because her useless father and sister can't do it themselves. While she takes care of the people and dabbles secretly in genetically engineered plants, she also pines after her childhood best friend.

Problem #1: The main character's personality (or lack of one). Elliot was pathetic. Completely pathetic. Most of the book, she's miserable but does nothing about it. She takes all the crap that her father and sister put her through and walks away with her tail between her legs whenever she's snubbed by Kai. She grows some balls about 300 pages in and talks back to him, but then she cries. And cries some more. Elizabeth Bennet would have said something smooth and appropriately cunning. Elliot just runs away with her eyes burning.

Of course, things happen in this book, as they happen in any novel. Though in this one, they happen excruciatingly boringly and slowly. Which brings us to

Problem #2: The nonexistent plot. What was it? Actually, scratch that. I hardly care right now. Who was the bad guy? The father and sister? But no, they suddenly stopped posing any threat at all at one point. The Posts and technological advancement? No, Elliot supports them even though they do experiments on children. Even though she is shocked and disgusted by the fact that Kai has, essentially, been injected with chemicals and become a sort of alien, she still goes abroad with him. So...was the enemy the Luddites and their views against advancement? But Elliot mentions that many of them are becoming okay with technology and wearing the garish clothes of the Posts. They rather reminded me of the Amish, though I'm sure the Amish are lovely people. They definitely aren't hypocritical concerning their beliefs. So...I didn't get what the conflict was. If there's any enemy in this book, that enemy would be Kai.

Problem #3: The male lead's completely unsexy personality. Kai, there are so many things I could say about you. But the main point is that you're a total douchebag. If one of my friends ever had the stupidity to fall for someone like you, I would slap her in the face a couple times for being such a blithering moron. Which is what Elliot is, in all matters that relate to Kai. There is absolutely nothing attractive about Kai. He badmouths Elliot to his friends so that everyone he's acquainted with hates her without knowing her, he insults her in public, and he even goes as far to pretend to be courting and even lay his head in her lap. It's only when he realizes his actions could potentially kill someone does he stop. After all the shit he puts Elliot through, all he has to do is write her some disgustingly gushy and cliche letter, and she goes running back to him.

*cue me sticking finger down throat*

The love story in this book is absolutely despicable. The book is basically just Elliot wearing ugly clothes, Elliot pining for Kai, Kai being a douchebag, Elliot pining some more, Kai being more of a douchebag, Elliot still pining, then BOOM happily ever after and everything magically becomes better. Also, a bunch of yawn-worthy info-dump letters that I skimmed.

Why did we need 400 pages for this redundant bullshit?!

Also, remember, there wasn't even a damned kiss.

The only consolation (and the only reason i gave this 2 stars) is that Peterfreund had the decency to write this one book and not extend it into a miserable series. Which she should be commended on, because not all authors have that sort of foresight (The Selection, cough.) 
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Brief Hiatus in WiFi-less Suburban Nightmare

Hello, my lovely followers! I'm currently trapped in this strange purgatory called Irvine, CA. So close to LA, but not quite. It's a gorgeous place to live, and the food is mindblowingly good. However, I don't have Internet and can only steal 3G off my unsuspecting acquaintances' phones. They're bound to notice (and I can't be caught), but I promise I will be back as soon as I can, because though I've been without wifi, I certainly haven't been without books! I promise reviews and lots of book flattery when I return! Love, Sophie

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)Book: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Publication Date: August 1st, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
My rating: 3 Stars

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Shiver was a rollercoaster ride for me. Actually, it seems like Stiefvater's books all have a similar element. There were moments when I thought this was THE BEST WRITING EVER and others when I could have cared less.

This book is about a girl who is obsessed with a wolf. I went into this expecting to be a bit creeped out, and I was. But not nearly as much as I was expecting. It must have been Stiefvater's writing style or something, because I found Grace and Sam's relationship beautiful and sad.

For a brief moment I wished with all my heart that he was just a normal boy, so that I could storm away with my pride and indignation. But he wasn't. He was as fragile as a butterfly in autumn waiting to be destroyed by the first frost.

And therein lies the problem. Sam reads like a girl. An overly angsty, dramatic girl. If there's one thing about this relationship that I'm sure of, it's that Grace is the one wearing the pants. Which, if you like reading about that thing, is cool. It didn't bother me too much, although there were a couple times when I sort of thought, Come on, man. You're a man, aren't you?. Grace is much more rational and clear-headed, and that contrasts a lot with Sam's romantic personality. While I was reading their respective chapters, though, I'd sometimes forget who I was reading because they both sounded the same.

Also, what is the deal with the missing parents in Stiefvater's books? Grace's parents are always absent, and this is brought up as a problem. But then it's never mentioned again, so I was left scratching my head and wondering what happened. The world-building is also a bit questionable. All I got was that they live in a puny town and the seasons change. Um. Okay. I just didn't know enough about it for it to come alive for me like it did in Stiefvater's other book, The Scorpio Races. Besides that, the side characters were all sidelined by Grace and Sam's all-encompassing obsession with each other. Unlike The Scorpio Races, where I felt there wasn't enough of a relationship between Sean and Puck. Stiefvater really likes her opposites, doesn't she?

Now that I've railed about the stuff I didn't like, I'll talk about what I did like. The writing. I'm seriously jealous of Stievater's prose. Although the book would have been fine
Sam and Grace's relationship, at some moments, was actually extremely heartbreaking. There's no doubt that they're in love (though the origins of this love is slightly...disturbing). The part I loved most was when Sam was undergoing his final transformation into wolf.

I felt him shuddering, shuddering against me as he buried his face in my hair[...]He bowed his head and I watched his shoulders ripple and shake, watched the silent agony of the change until that one soft, awful cry, just when he lost himself.

I would be a monster if I didn't think that wasn't emotional. Also, I liked Isabel even though she was a complete jerk at some moments and joked at very inopportune moments. She lightened the atmosphere, and I appreciated the way she took Grace under her wing towards the end.

Speaking of the end...that was just so mean. Almost on par with Lauren Oliver's evil cliffhanger at the end of Delirium. I bet if I hadn't already known that Sam was going to survive (well, obviously, or else how could there be a sequel?), I would've been bawling. See, this is why authors shouldn't tell us there's a sequel until it's...published. Ha. Imagine the insanity that would transpire if authors couldn't tell us there was a sequel.

Going to get Linger from the library once I have a chance! And going to learn how to make quiche now (this is relevant to the book. Just read it.)
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Blogspiration (2)

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING

 Ahem. So. I don't really have something deep and inspirational this time because I haven't come across anything that really spoke to me. Instead, I'll show you a gif because I found it quite hypnotizing, and it does wonderful things for distraction.
You can't look at this and tell me it's easy to stop watching.