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Monday, December 17, 2012

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Free Book Friday
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 259
Rating: B+

Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.

Prior to reading this book, I've never heard of a "hell house". I knew that there were people in the world that were judgmental towards others (due to their beliefs,) but this takes it to a whole new level. For me, the fascination with this book was half because of the actual plot and half because of the hell house scenes.

I know that a lot of people tend to shy away from books about religion and I do understand why.  I hate when people, books, movies, etc. push their beliefs on me. I don't feel like the author did that in any way though. It was just an easygoing, go with the flow type of book.

All of the characters were pretty likable and relatable. It was interesting reading how these teens were starting to question beliefs that they've been taught their whole life. It's something that I think almost anyone can relate to. 

While I did really enjoy this book, it didn't grip me to the point of not being able to put it down. But overall, it was a satisfying and pleasurable read and would recommend it to anyone in the mood for something to keep them busy.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Guest Post by Patty Blount

Stay or Go?

Things change. For some of these changes, we’ll camp out and line up a day in advance just for the chance to say we got it (iPhone, anybody?). And others die a lonely little death and we hardly notice. Here’s my list of the things that should stay and the things I wish would just go.


Social networking – My social activities not only planted the seed for a book idea, but connected me to many brilliant people – authors, agents, publishers, editors, celebrities, moms, PEOPLE. That’s the key – it exposed me to different opinions, different belief systems, different lifestyles and opened my mind in the process.

Flat Screen TVs – Oh, how much do I love being able to hang a TV on a wall?

The surge in popularity of YA fiction – Rowling, Meyer, Collins – It warms my heart to see adults reading young adult fiction and I hope my own book will add to the ranks.

GPS – For someone like me who gets lost in a bathtub, the GPS is the most significant technological advancement of my lifetime.

On Demand, HBO2Go, and DVR -- I work a nine or ten hour day and then come home and write novels. There is no time for TV. That’s why these VCR-less wonders that let me watch what I want when I want are the BEST.

eReaders -- Writers love books. My eReader lets me carry hundreds with me at all times. Plus, it’s a lot easier to turn pages on an eReader when you’re pedaling an elliptical machine than a real book. That encourages me to actually go to the gym.


Pants that expose boxers, pants with the crotch down by your knees, baggy pants that hang off your body instead of emphasizing it. I don’t know anybody who finds this sexy so stop. Just stop. Please. I’m begging.

Logos on butts – Juicy? Pink? Ladies, guys don’t need another reason to stare at your butt. Really.

Fake reality TV shows – please, Dear God, MAKE IT STOP.

Teens who sit low in their cars so that it looks like the car is driving itself as they go by.

Text slang in spoken conversation.

Tebowing – I get that you feel blessed and that’s great. But put it in perspective. I find it kind of insulting that God answered your prayers to score that extra point in a game but ignored the prayers of millions of other people praying for things like cures for terminal illnesses, a place to live or a meal to eat.

What do you think? What fads are you crazy about? What fads are on your Can’t Wait Until They’re Gone list?

Send by Patty Blount

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: Publisher
Edition: Advanced Reader's Copy
Pages: 291
Rating: B+

To keep his secrets, all he has to do is listen to the voice in his head and just walk away...
On his first day at his new high school, Dan stops a bully from beating up a kid half his size. He didn't want to get involved. All he wants out of his senior year is to fly under the radar. But Dan knows what it's like to be terrorized by a bully-he used to be one. Now the whole school thinks he's some kind of hero, except Julie Murphy, the prettiest girl on campus. She looks at him like she knows he has a secret. Like she knows his name isn't really Daniel.

Coming into this book, I was totally ready to be challenged. I never understand why people bully and I usually don't see the other side of stories. Surprisingly, I did find myself to be sympathizing with the main character, Dan.

While I did sympathize with Dan, I had a little trouble connecting with him. I usually have this issue with main characters who are guys, assumingly because I'm a girl. I try so hard to move past the gender difference but for some reason I still couldn't do it. I still found myself wishing I could relate and connect a little more to Dan.

The story itself was heartbreaking though. It wasn't totally addicting but it definitely held my interest. I completely recommend this book and I think more people should really peak into this subject matter!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Bought (Barnes and Noble)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 464
Rating: A+

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

I never thought I would read a book about incest and actually be able to sympathize with the characters. I mean, we're talking about incest here people. But, after I read so many good reviews of this one, I knew I had to pick it up regardless of it sounding disturbing. I can tell everyone right now that this is one book that I will never forget. It's going to stay with me forever because of how different it is from any other book I've ever read.

The lifestyle the characters have in Forbidden are so unimaginable to me. It was heartbreaking how these two teenagers had to take care of their younger siblings while they were still trying to figure their own lives out. I rely more on my mother now (I'm 21 and live at college) then they did when they were still in high school!

During the first half or so of the book, I kept hoping to myself that somehow these two characters weren't actually related. Then the second half, I honestly didn't seem to even care. The way the author writes this book makes you understand their situation and why they feel the way they do. While it's definitely a challenging read, I found myself rooting for these characters and their love story.

I can't recommend this book enough but I do have to warn you... you'll need some major tissues to accompany you during this read. It's beautiful, heartbreaking, and such an emotional rollercoaster.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Publisher: Plume
Source: Bought (Barnes and Noble)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 319
Rating: A+

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

Okay, so I know that this is primarily a YA blog, so I promise that there won't be Fiction titles constantly! I read a review of this little gem over at Parajunkee by Patti and knew that I had to try it. I'm so happy I bought this book because the story will stay with me for such a long time!

I wondered how the author was going to make the romance between the two characters not gross, since it is such a big age difference. She managed to pull it off beautifully and it found a spot in my top 5 favorite book couples, for sure. Also, I know this might sound wrong... but I've always had a soft spot for teacher/student relationships. I don't think it's right for it to happen in real life, but when it happens in books and movies, I can't get enough of it!

I read this book in one sitting. I've never done that before because there's usually a part of a book that might get a little boring, or I get hungry, or you know... nature calls. I. Did. Not get up once during this book! I kept reading until the last page and felt very satisfied. There honestly wasn't any part of the book that I didn't love.

The alternating view points made this story so easy to read. I loved reading how each of them were feeling instead of just Anna. I definitely had a huge connection to these characters and totally recommend everyone to read this book! If you're in your younger teens, maybe wait a few years to read it because there is some language and sexual scenes in it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Christmas Present!
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 452
Rating: A
Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
This is one of those books that you should read again.
This is one of those books that I have read again.
This is one of those books that I am currently reading again.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was one the better books I have read in a long time. Mara is not your average girl. She has been through, seen, and done things that would break the spirit of most people. Her witty humor and, dare I say, sassy-ness are what seem to get her through.

Well... all of that, and the help of the beautiful, British, Noah Shaw. This bad boy seems to have gone after every girl in the school, so Mara thinks that she will be nothing but his latest conquest. Oh how mistaken she is!

While there is an essence of the supernatural within the book, it's not your typical "dark, YA book". There's no werewolves or vampires. It's not a dystopian society. Quite frankly, there's not even a love triangle. I think it's wonderful how Michelle Hodkin is able to suck in the masses without all of the usual gimicks. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some things that are going on in the book that don't happen in real life, but it's still closer to reality than most books with a harder edge.

To the book!

Mara Dyer was in a terrible accident. Her three friends lost their lives, and she was the sole surviver. Too bad she has no recollection of that night. Much of the book is Mara coping. She's coping with depression, moving, and of course, PTSD. (A slightly insane teenage girl made me feel like my life was a little more normal, personally)

There were some parts of the book that I had to read over a few times to fully understand, but that's because Mara was having hallucinations, so I wasn't sure what was real and what wasn't. But, that aside, she does also have to deal with everyday teenage girl problems. Parents, boys, and school.

It's hard to explain, all I know is that I love this book. I can't wait to find out what happens next. I highly recommend reading it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1-3) by E.L. James

Publisher: Vintage
Source: Bought (Target)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: Each book is about 500
Rating: A+

When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

I really didn't expect to love these books as much as I did. The whole reason I read these books is because half of the people on Goodreads said it was incredible while the other half said it was a piece of trash. I had to find out for myself! And so I did...

When I was reading the first book, I kept telling my roommate how much it ticked me off and I honestly can't even remember why... other than the whole referring to inner-self (?) as "inner goddess". That part did bug me, but other than that I didn't have any issues with the books!

While the first book is pretty much porn, the second and third book seemed to simmer down (just a little!) to give the story some depth.

I found Ana really easy to relate to and found that I would probably be making a lot of the same decisions she made through out the books. I felt such a connection to her character. Usually, if I'm enjoying a book, I can imagine myself as the main character but never like this! I felt like I was Ana when reading these books and when she got jealous, I got jealous. When something great happened to her, I had a smile on my face probably just as big as hers would be if not bigger.

To be honest, I feel like I'm kind of choking writing this review because I'm having a hard time finding the words to why I adored these books as much as I did. Am I afraid of writing this review because others will judge me for liking the book? Yep. Am I going to let that stop me? Nope.

In my opinion, if you're wondering about reading the book, give it a shot. It might surprise you just like it did me! And if you don't like it, then you'll know! What I'm saying is don't feel like you shouldn't read it because a lot of people don't like it. I would also tell you not to feel like you have to read it because everyone else is... but then I would be contradicting myself because that's the exact reason I did.

*Ages 18+*

Monday, July 9, 2012

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: Borrowed from Bri
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 281
Rating: B
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though–she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.
But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Greeen moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

This book. This wonderful book was not was what I was expecting. Not at all. I think that I was expecting Jordan Woods, the protagonist of the story, to be a typical girl who just happened to play football. But I could not have been more wrong. Jordan is not someone who I would want to be up against in a fight. (And not just because she would have her entire football team behind her) She is a seventeen year old girl who would give you no mercy because she never had some herself. It's primarily about football and how the team gets along, and I found that extremely refreshing!

While the exact content of the book wasn't what I was expecting, after I started reading, the book did become a little predictable. Not that I'm complaining! It was nice to read a book about normal people who do normal things. It was very relatable, and I've been missing that! If you want to read a feel good book that you can talk about with your freinds, then this is what I recommend. You get to love the characters and watch how their relationships with each other unfold. It's like reading about the life you secretly wish you had!

This story about a not so average girl is one that is worth the time investment. Trust me. The ending is not something you'll want to miss!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: BEA
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 525
Rating: A+

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


Holy mother of crap. I was beyond excited for this book and when I heard Veronica Roth was going to be signing Insurgent BEA, I got that feeling in my stomach as if I were at the top of a huge rollercoaster about to drop down a million feet.

While I loved every page of this book, the last few are what really made me fall head over heels in love. It was the most memorable ending that has ever crossed my path and I can honestly say that I would encourage people to read this trilogy purely based on the ingenuity of Insurgent's last few pages.

Even though Tris ticked me off during some parts of the book, I continued to love reading about her emotions, decisions, and consequences. Tobias... ick, I hate that name. I'm going to keep calling him Four. Four also ticked me off! Both Tris and Four were stubborn towards each other through out the whole book and I just wanted to yell at both of them because of it.

Veronica Roth pulled some crazy stuff in this book that I would not have expected. She completely pulled the rug out from under me... and I appreciate those kinds of gestures (unless we're being literal... in that case... how rude!) and try to savor them whenever they happen. It really takes a lot to shock me when it comes to books because whenever I'm not reading, I'm thinking about all of the different directions the book could take. Eventually there's so many theories that at least one is usually correct.

One of my favorite parts of this book was getting to know all of the other factions. I found it extremely fascinating and kind of satisfying since the previous book had me wondering at times what the others were doing for initiation.

Insurgent had me at a loss for words when I finished it, which is mostly the reason why it took me this long to write up a review for it. If you haven't read this series yet, do yourself a favor and indulge in amazingness.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rise (Salvaged #2) by Stefne Miller (& bookmark giveaway!)

Publisher: Tate Publishing
Source: Author
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 380
Rating: A+

Attie Reed has finally found some happiness after the accident that took her mother’s and best friend’s lives and nearly destroyed hers. But that doesn’t mean life is going to get easier. She may not have nighttime monsters to fight, but her world is about to spin wildly out of orbit.

In the captivating, highly anticipated sequel to Stefne Miller’s Salvaged, Attie is faced with the challenge of fitting in at a new school while figuring out her next steps. Riley continues to fight with her and for her as she encounters difficult battles. He has been her protection, but he can’t protect her forever.

When Attie’s father finally comes back into her life, she is faced with her most difficult decision yet: to stay in Oklahoma and keep the life she has made or return to New York to repair her relationship with her father and allow herself to heal. What happens will define who she is and who she will become. Can she fight this battle alone and Rise? Or will she continue to fall out of orbit and be lost forever?

As you guys might remember, I reviewed Salvaged close to a year ago! I gave it an A+... very well deserved. I loved everything about that book and I'm so pleased to say I feel the same way about it's sequel, Rise.

I really missed all of the characters from Salvaged, so as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be able to reunite with them. Attie, was real and relatable as always. And Riley, oh Riley, he was just as incredible and lovable as I remembered. Stefne made it really easy to dislike certain characters and then end up sympathizing with them towards themiddle/end.

I loved every piece of this book, even the heartbreaking ones. While I was reading the heartbreaking, gut wrenching parts... I became a little angry with Stefne for tearing my heart in half and making me do the ugly cry. Yes, you read it right, the ugly cry.

I kind of looked like that mixed a little with this.

Along with the ugly cry, I even yelled at the book. Actually less of the book, more of Attie herself. "No, no, no! What's wrong with you?!" I remember things along those lines that coming out of my mouth.

This isn't the kind of book you read, enjoy, and then forget about a month later. I have a feeling I'm always going to remember these characters and feel the need to visit them once a year even if I already know what happens in the story.

While I was satisfied with the end of Rise, I did feel it was a little rushed. Call me selfish, but I guess I wanted to see more of the characters towards the end. Maybe I needed a little more closure just because this is (I think) the end of the Salvaged books. Other than that, I really have no complaints about this book.

Bravo, Stefne Miller. I can't wait to read Collision (new novel) and hopefully fall in love with totally new characters that will help me (try) to move on from Attie and Riley.

Oh yeah! The giveaway! I have seven signed bookmarks to give away to you guys. I originally had 10 but I was selfish and really wanted to keep one for myself! Then two of my friends who read Salvaged stole one each for themselves and refuse to give them back.

The way I'm going to do this is first come, first serve. Leave a comment with a way to get in contact with you. You can leave your email, or if you don't feel comfortable enough leaving that, leave another way for me to contact you such as Goodreads or Twitter.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Bought (B&N)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 268
Rating: A

Megan is used to moving from place to place — it's typical for an army brat. But she drew the line at South Korea. She insists on staying in the States to finish her last two years of high school. So her parents made arrangements for Megan to live with their friends, the McGowans...and the McGowans' 7 sons.

Turns out, living with 7 boys might as well be a foreign country! The boys are messy. They are cliquey (who knew?). And worst of all, two of the oldest boys are H-O-T. (A problem considering they are supposed to be Megan's "brothers.") Megan is definitely in enemy territory. She needs to win over the boys' hearts without totally crushing her own.

And when Megan starts falling for one of them, sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning....

What is a girl to do?

This book has been sitting on my shelf for more than 4 YEARS. How crazy is that? I really wish I would've read this book sooner because it's absolutely freaking adorable. The whole idea of a teenage girl having to move into a house full of a bunch of (cute) boys (some whom happen to be close to her age) really got me pumped. Who wouldn't be excited about that?! It's a total dream for most teenage girls.

Most of the time reading this book, it had me laughing out loud and gushing over how cute these McGowan boys were! I loved getting to know each of them and how there was more to them than just a cute face.

Was Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys a little fluffy? Yes. Predictable? Kind of. Was it hard to enjoy this book because of those qualities? PFT, NO!

What I liked most about this book is that it was such a breath of fresh air compared to all of the other books I've been reading lately. Why?

  1. Stand alone novel. This was a nice change of pace because there wasn't a huge cliffhanger where I felt forced to go buy the next book immediately.
  2. Light. I've also been reading quite a few books that make me cry like a wimp and make me seriously depressed. Don't get me wrong, I love a good cry now and then but sometimes all I was is some entertainment. I don't want every book I read to be life changing and magnificent.
  3. Contemporary. I really need to start reading more contemp books because there's so many different types of vampires, zombies, witches (etc.) that it's starting to confuse me!
I could probably put down about 10 more reasons why this book was such a breath of fresh air for me but 3 seems like a decent amount :) and if those reasons and my review doesn't get you to pick this book up, I don't know what will.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Source: Borrowed from Bri

Edition: Paperback

Pages: 367


Rules Are Different Outside The Society

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the
Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

Matched and Crossed. I started and finished them both in the same day. To say that I was sucked in would be an extreme understatement. However, as to what I was sucked into, I am still not sure. It might have been the way the Society was run or maybe I was wondering about how the love triangle would play out. I don't know, and I probably never will.

Crossed is written from two points of view, Cassia's and Ky's. It seemed like it would be a great thing, especially since I had struggled through Matched wondering what Ky was thinking. I was excited to be inside of his head! But that excitement quickly turned to irritation.

Yes. The book was different. New characters were introduced (although I still don't know how I feel about Indie) and a lot of information about older characters was learned. However, since both Cassia and Ky get to have their points of view, some of the information seemed redundant. Ky would learn one thing, then a few chapters later, so would Cassia. I just wanted to yell at the book that I already knew that! It was frustrating to be reading about the same thing. I understand that both characters needed to have their input, but enough is enough.

There is also a lot of backstory that I never found. Indie, Eli, Hunter... After I was finished with the book, I still felt like there were a lot of loose ends that needed to be tied up. And I know that this is not the last book, but I certainly hope that all of my questions will be answered in the next one. I feel like there will be some strings and I will only ever to be able to guess about some things...

While they are in the same trilogy, it is difficult to compare Matched to Crossed. Matched takes place inside of the Society, and Crossed takes place outside of it. The challenges are different, as are the people. It brings a new element to the story, being out of the control of the Society, but the wild is not enough to change the general concept of what is going on.

If you have read Matched, I definitely recommend reading Crossed. There's no point to give up in the middle of the trilogy, but I don't think that this is one book that I will be raving about to my friends. I'm looking forward to reading Reached simply because I want to know how everything ends up. (Uhm, Xander, anyone??) But that's pretty much it. This book met my standards of mediocre, because that was where they were set after I read Matched.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hey! I'm Katie!

Hey everybody!

This is my first post, so I'm kinda really excited about it!

Anyway, about me. I'm nineteen and I'm currently at college, majoring in Public Relations. I just switched over from Nursing, so I'm super pumped to finally be getting into something that I really like. I am a super nerd. I love Pokemon (Squirtle and Pikachu are my favorites), Naruto, and Team Starkid. I have a ridiculous obsession with eyeliner. And I have a super bubbly personality!

I love to read! Obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be part of this. I'm one of Briana's sorority sisters (and I love her to death<3) I can't wait to actually get to write a review! I'm reading a ton of books right now, so be prepared! I don't have a favorite book or series for that matter, so I'm open to reading anything.

I hope I can meet some awesome new blogging friends. So... just talk to me. Email me. Whatevs. Haha. But no, really. Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to review, or if you just want to say hi, that's cool too!

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Publisher: Harper Collins

Source: Bought (Barnes and Noble)

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 487


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Before my review, I have an interesting story to tell... This past semester in college, I took a class called Young Adult Dystopian Literature; what a dream, right? (The only downside was it was Saturday at 9 AM...) Prior to the beginning of classes, I emailed the professor and asked her which books we would be reading because I was ridiculously excited for this class just like any other YA book lover would be. She threw a few titles out like The Hunger Games, Feed, Uglies and more, but was also taking suggestions. At the time I hadn’t heard anything but amazing things about Divergent, so I figured I would recommend that book along with a few others that I had really wanted to read. Luckily, she took Divergent into consideration and chose it as a book for the class!

Now that story time is out of the way… I loved this book. Everyone in the class really appreciated that I chose to recommend this book because they all loved it just as much as I did! Even the male students (who didn’t seem to enjoy many of the female-narrated books [Uglies, Matched]) really enjoyed this one. I think the main reason I enjoyed this book was the non-stop action. I hardly ever read books with this much action in them (besides The Hunger Games,) and I really think I should read more because it had my adrenaline pumping constantly.

You didn’t think I was going to forget to mention Four did you? He’s the second main reason why I loved this book so much. I dare you to read Divergent and not get butterflies for this . I swear it’s got to be almost impossible. By the way, now that Four's real name has been revealed, am I required to call him that? I’ve grown to love the name Four and am having a hard time parting with it.

I hope everyone that’s reading this review takes this sincere recommendation I’m giving to you right now, and go buy/borrow/beg for this book. I can almost guarantee that you won’t regret it and if you do, I give you full permission to yell at and slap me for hyping this book up for you.

I plan on being one of the first people in line to get an autographed copy of Insurgent at BEA and need to prepare myself on being professional, and not a crazy fangirl. Even though inside my head the only thing that will be going on is "OMG VERONICA ROTH IS SIGNING MY BOOK. MY LIFE IS COMPLETE."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Source: Bought (B&N)

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 366


Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Before I read this book, I expected to demolish the entire thing in one or two sittings. Granted, I'm attending college right now and am extremely busy with other classes, but this did not and would not (if I weren't in college) have happened. I liked a lot of things about the book; the atmosphere, the characters (Oh My Ky. But I'll get into that later...,) and generally the world that Ally Condie created. I felt like something was still missing though, which was what kept me from racing through it.

I think what was the least appealing to me was the plot. I wanted there to be more action throughout the book and also a bigger climax! I feel like Ally built up my emotions for some crazy cliffhanger (which is totally what I was craving) that didn't happen.

The characters... well from my statement above, I'm sure you can already tell that I'm in love with Ky just as much as the next girl. When I think of Ky, I think of a bad boy in reverse. He comes across as a good guy but on the inside he hides secrets which peaks Cassia's interest, and my own. I think the main reason I fell in love with him was the temptation and inability to have any type of intimacy with him, kind of like how Edward and Bella's relationship was in Twilight. (Don't worry, I'm not comparing the two stories, just the temptation that these two main characters bring to the plate.)

The whole world Ally Condie created was so interesting and creative! I actually got to read this book because of my English class, and we discussed how the world she created could definitely be an Utopia opposed to a Dystopia, which is totally true! When I sat down and really thought about the book afterwards, it seems nice to not have to make any decisions for yourself. I know a lot of stress in my life comes from making decisions (what to major in [in college,] how to approach different situations, etc.)

Anyway, I'm going to wrap this review up and get excited to read the next book (Crossed) which is sitting on my bookshelf as I type (even though I won't be able to read it for a while, due to textbooks!)