I can't rave about this book enough. I don't want to summarize the book as many reviewers have done so perfectly, but I had to gush over any book thatI can't rave about this book enough. I don't want to summarize the book as many reviewers have done so perfectly, but I had to gush over any book that I am able to enjoy as much as I enjoyed The Hunger Games. I couldn't put it down! Katniss had my attention from the very first page. I felt myself relating to her and sympathizing with her plight from the very beginning. And who didn't fall in love with Peeta? He possessed such a warm heart and noble soul and somehow was able to not only hold on to both of these things but exudes them despite being right in the middle of hell. The story is absolutely enthralling with its quick wit, fast pace, and captivating story line. I'm amazed at Suzanne Collins's ability to mix humor, terror and romance all within the same volume. Somehow my heart would gush for Peeta and awe at his love of Katniss while instantaneously being petrified that either would die at any moment. This is such an entertaining and stimulating read. I would recommend it to anyone. I can't wait for the sequel!...more
It's not often that I am able to read a fantastic book with a perfectly imperfect ending, well, until now. How I Live now is the story of Daisy, a youIt's not often that I am able to read a fantastic book with a perfectly imperfect ending, well, until now. How I Live now is the story of Daisy, a young 15 year old girl, struggling to find herself. Out of frustration over Daisy's obvious eating disorder, Daisy's father ships her off to live with her aunt and cousins in the English countryside. The results are life changing as Daisy finds acceptance and love amongst her new family. But all too soon it falls apart, as unknown forces declare war on her new country, and her family is torn apart. This story not only presents a journey of girl trying to put together the pieces of her family, but also pieces of herself. How I Live Now will break your heart and mend it back, and is a definite must read. ...more
This book had been living in my TBR stack for ages and out of sheer boredom, I finally picked it up and began reading. Now that I have, I kind of feelThis book had been living in my TBR stack for ages and out of sheer boredom, I finally picked it up and began reading. Now that I have, I kind of feel bad that I waited to so long to do so. The book was quirky and completely hilarious at moments, although those moments tended to be completely ridiculous and over the top, but I have a weird sense of humor, so what can ya do? I don't remember being nearly as witty as these teenage characters when I was 16, nor do I recall pondering any serious thoughts about life, depression, religion, etc. outside of my classes where I was required to do so, but none the less, I enjoyed reading their ponderings. Alaska's dramatic tendencies and manic-depressive mood swings often made my head hurt, but I remember being an angst ridden teenager so I cut her some slack, especially given her circumstances. The colonel’s insight and sarcastic humor was truly a delight to read, Mile's awkwardness and insecurities provided several hilarious, cringe-worthy moments, and the fox, well he was absolutely bizarre, and reminded me of a gangster sonic the hedgehog but made me laugh out loud all the same. The book tackles several issues that can be applied to all regardless of age. Furthermore, Alakska contains one of the most thought provoking ending that I have ever read. But, on a lighter note, and one of the things I enjoyed most, is that it demonstrates that dorkiness is its own type of cool. ...more
This book had a very ambitious and compelling plot; however, the story lacked depth. I really couldn't have cared less about the characters, which isThis book had a very ambitious and compelling plot; however, the story lacked depth. I really couldn't have cared less about the characters, which is a shame and a waste of potential. Perhaps I was unable to glean any likability for the simple fact that the main character is an amnesiac who is piecing herself together as the story progresses. Either way, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped....more
I read this book months ago, but never reviewed it, which is shocking as A Certain Slant of Light has certainly earned its place as one of my favoriteI read this book months ago, but never reviewed it, which is shocking as A Certain Slant of Light has certainly earned its place as one of my favorites. Whitcomb has woven an absolutely beautiful story. The prose was fantastic and the characters were a heart breaking delight to read. There were touching moments throughout and I doubt any of the events could have ended more perfectly. Great book!...more
Catching Fire was one of my most anticipated books of 2009. I loved it's predecessor, The Hunger Games and was so hopeful for this intstallment. I wasCatching Fire was one of my most anticipated books of 2009. I loved it's predecessor, The Hunger Games and was so hopeful for this intstallment. I wasn't disappointed per se, but it did fail to meet my expectations. Here's a few reasons why...
I don't know what it is with authors and their recent need to load up their books with a hundred or so pages of filler, but I really wish they would cut it out. There is lieterally about a hundred and some odd pages of this book that should have died on the editing room floor. The 9 months that Katniss spends in District 12 only serves to let us know that uprisings are occuring and she has been targeted by The Captial, all of which could have been summed up in a chapter or two.
Second, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that about 90% of those of us who read and loved Hunger Games were team Peeta all the way. Though we knew Gale would be an issue, we were hoping Katniss would "wake up" and realize what a worthy, fine specimen she has in Peeta, well, it doesn't happen that way, and to say I'm bummed is an understatement. I'm kinda pissed.
Katniss doesn't grow in this book at all. She is still a brash reacter, instead of a logicl thinker. I didn't mind it so much in the first book, because who wouldn't be, but the Hunger Games taught her nothing it seems, in either the way she responds to situations or in reference to how she really feels about the people in her life.
Next, I get that Peeta was never much of a badass, but was it really necessary to injure him 10 seconds into the games? That irked me like nothing else. In hindsight, Peeta is one of the strongest characters, menatlly, if nothing else, and yet Collins reduced him to an invalid so that Katniss could rise up to the challenge. Please. It only made me roll my eyes and steam over the fact that I was going to have to read Hunger Games part duex, which wouldn't have been bad except for the fact that I was expecting something more.
Which leads me to my last complaint, the games. Though I could see everything in this book coming, I thought it was rather brilliant to send them back to the games. What wasn't brilliant however, was the games themselves. They started out well enough, but after the crazy fog and freaky monkeys, Collins sort of lost me. Who cares if there is death traps all over the place if you know how to predict it and can avoid it? Not scary.
Basically, this booked lacked the magic of the first, and failed to wow with new material as nothing new really happens. Yeah we learn a little more, and the last few pages shake things up a bit, but I shouldn't have to wait until I've read to the end to finally learn something interesting. There were moments where I would catch a glimpse of what made me love Hunger Games, and for that I give this book three stars. But I can't in good conscious give it more for it lacked character development and basically just served as a pit stop between books one and three. Hopefully the third will be better. ...more
Graceling is absolutely enchanting and has earned a special place as one of my all time favorite books. Kristin Cashore has created a magical world wiGraceling is absolutely enchanting and has earned a special place as one of my all time favorite books. Kristin Cashore has created a magical world with a compelling and respectable heroine, heart-breaking hero, and a fast-paced, surprising adventure. Filled with choice, sarrow, love, self-discovery and grace, Graceling will keep you up until the wee hours of the night and tickle your thoughts, long after you've read the last page. ...more
It was difficult to appreciate Forest at the start, in fact, it wasn't until the end that I was finally able to truly relate to or sympathize with MarIt was difficult to appreciate Forest at the start, in fact, it wasn't until the end that I was finally able to truly relate to or sympathize with Mary, but in the end, I respected her if nothing else. She was raised in a bleak world that might as well have been a prison and I admire her for not only dreaming despite her surroundings but pursuing her dreams when it was obviously not the easiest or most popular choice. Mary's triumph at the end was bittersweet and I believe that in spite of the fact that readers do not live in Mary's world; they can still understand her reality....more
Having read and loved Graceling, Fire by Kristin Cashore had a lot to live up to. I should have known that it would exceed my expectations and then soHaving read and loved Graceling, Fire by Kristin Cashore had a lot to live up to. I should have known that it would exceed my expectations and then some, quite possibly trumping its predecessor.
Fire is the last remaining human monster living in a war torn kingdom called the Dells. Once filled with beauty and wealth, the Dells have fallen into ruin by the hands of her monster father, Cansrel and his human conduit, King Nax. Though both have been dead for several years, the kingdom remains in a vulnerable state, as neighboring kings are attempting to conquer the lands and steal the crown from young King Nash and his commander brother, Brigan.
As a monster, Fire has the ability to read and control minds; however, due to her fear of becoming the monster her father was, she has spent years denying her power and has attempted to disguise who she is to protect both herself and those around her. When Fire is attacked by a mindless poacher, Fire travels to Queen Roen in search of answers and aid, but a fateful meeting puts her in the direct path of the very two people she has tried her best to avoid, Nash and Brigan. Knowing all the power Fire posses and the potential that power could have in saving his kingdom, Nash calls on her to use her power for the greater good. But when does power become destructive? And who can tell when the lines have become blurred? What follows is a beautiful story about embracing who you are and conquering your fears.
I found Fire’s world to be well drawn, expertly woven and colorfully written. Each character is a delicious shade of gray, possessing both light and dark tendencies; much like we do in life and Cashore does a remarkable job of creating a realistic royal family in a fantastical setting. Fire was an extraordinarily heroine that I found very relatable in spite of her monster nature. A story of love and loss, hope and fear, forgiveness and passion, Fire provides a wondrous journey through a magical land that you won’t soon forget. ...more
Dust of 100 Dogs was bizarrely enthralling! I couldn't put it down. I've never read anything like it. The format, the story and character's all take oDust of 100 Dogs was bizarrely enthralling! I couldn't put it down. I've never read anything like it. The format, the story and character's all take on a style that is utterly unique. The plot is richly immersed in well researched lore, and moves at a quick, intriguing rate. Emer is a marvelous heroine, who is simply too smart for her own good. Her world is filled with misery, love, friendship, adventure, misfortune and triumph. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her tale and hope to see more of her in the future....more
As a lover of fairy tales, I’m always on the hunt for a new find in the genre. Some can be major disappointments, but there are some, that if done welAs a lover of fairy tales, I’m always on the hunt for a new find in the genre. Some can be major disappointments, but there are some, that if done well, shine, Lament is the later.
I have to admit, I was skeptical about reading this book. Could anything sound more corny than a harpist? I didn’t even know that you could find one below the age of 65, much less 16 and I wasn’t sure how a new author would be able to believably portray two mythological figures (fairies and harpists). However, Striefvater does a wonderful job in establishing both our harpist heroine Dee and the fairy realm that surrounds her.
At the start, Dee and her best friend James, a piper, are about to perform at a musical competition. Right before her performance, Dee experiences her usual bout of nausea and quickly vacates to the nearest restroom. As she is puking her guts out, a cool set of hands kindly holds her hair back. When Dee turns, she sees a fine specimen of a boy who she instinctly knows is named Luke Dillon as he has stared in a reoccurring dream of hers for quite some time now. Naturally, she is a bit skeptical of exactly how he has materialized from her REM state to her reality, but being 16 and this story being a love story, she chucks logic and reason out the perverbial window and soon finds herself falling for the mysterious Mr. Dillon.
This book has its flaws, there were a few typos, it can be confusing at times, and there are a couple of questions that I have that have gone unanswered such as, how was Dee able to dream about James? However, despite these flaws, I loved Lament for two things, the creativity of the story and the characters within it. Even more thrilling, this book is written as a stand alone though it appears that it will be turned into a series. I’m looking forward to reading about the futures of Dee, Luke and my favorite character, James. ...more
This author’s got talent! It is such a rare treat to read such remarkable and undeniably realistic characters. Zevin weaves the tale of Naomi’s self dThis author’s got talent! It is such a rare treat to read such remarkable and undeniably realistic characters. Zevin weaves the tale of Naomi’s self discovery with extraordinary skill and creates characters that are so alive, I feel like I know them and experienced the events of this story right along with them as opposed to merely reading about them.
In one misstep, Naomi lost years' worth of memories. After hitting her head on the steps after school, she wakes up in an ambulance, more aware of the pain than what actually happened. The only thing she knows is that she is grateful to the boy sitting beside her, though she has no idea who he is. She soon realizes that she doesn’t remember who she is or rather, who she has become.
Further examination shows that she can't remember select memories from the past four years of her life. She knows who she is, or rather who she was, but as she has no recollection of more recent events, and she must rely on her family members and friends to fill in the blanks. She is shocked to learn what has happened to her family and uncomfortable around her boyfriend Ace and her best friend Will. She is strangely drawn to James, the boy who found her and rode with her to the hospital, who up until the moment he found her, had never met her.
Like memory itself, the book has many layers. Naomi knows she is lucky to be alive, but she is unsure how to live that life. She feels like a stranger in her own home, in her own body, and with her family and friends. As others, especially her father and Will share their memories of her with her, Naomi wonders if her own memories will compare to these stories. She wants to get back to herself, but who is she now compared to who she was then and does she even like the person she was before?
What follows is more than just a tale about an amnesiac recovering her memories. It’s a story about remembering who you were, being who you are, and shaping who you will become. Great Book!
There are two kinds of books, those that you finish reading and leave you with fleeting memories of the attractive hero, the silly heroine, and the ovThere are two kinds of books, those that you finish reading and leave you with fleeting memories of the attractive hero, the silly heroine, and the overall storyline, or perhaps all you noted was the glaring plot holes, inconsistencies, ridiculousness or flat characters. At any rate, it’s a book that you read, either like or dislike, but no sooner than you have turned the last page, it is out of sight and out of mind. Then there is the other kind of book that will touch your heart, or awaken a lingering memory or a potential fear that will haunt your mind so that even long after you’ve fallen asleep, your unconscious self is still wading through the details. Your dreams will be fitful and when you finally awaken, you will find yourself tangled up in sheets with puffy, swollen eyes from tears that you shed when you weren’t even aware enough to know you were crying. If I Stay is the latter.
Mia is eighteen and has the kind of family any of us would pray to be born to and the kind of boyfriend that can only exist in the fictitious world. Furthermore, she is a gifted musician and is about to be accepted into the prestigious Julliard. Mia has a choice, she can follow her love of music, go to Julliard and accomplish her cellist dreams, or she can stay with her family and the love of her life and follow her heart. Either way, she has something to gain and something to lose. Then, one fateful morning, Mia’s world is turned on its head and life as she knows it changes. The one thing that remains the same is the question that Mia has asked herself for the past few months, should I go or should I stay?
In art, the brightest colors appear beside the darkest of lines and in this book, the most endearing, tender and happy moments are surrounded by grief so palpable, that you will laugh through your tears and sob with a smile. If I Stay demonstrates the kind of beauty that can only exist alongside despair and shines all the more for it. It is filled with happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, birth and death, love and loss. By writing a book filled with parallels, Forman proves that life has no opposite and thus leaves readers with an overwhelming since of joy and hope despite tears and grief that they are bound to feel.
**Update** I just re-read this book for the forth time and it continues to devastate and delight me. ...more