Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? (14)

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! 

Read in the Past Week
Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George

Dragon Spear by Jessica Day George

Currently Reading this Week
How to Take the Ex out of Ex-boyfriend by Janette Rallison

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

To Read in the Coming Week

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Series Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

 The Hunger Games

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

“Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.”
(blurb from Goodreads)

I read this almost a year ago and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next ones. It was packed with adventure and excitement! I had never read any dystopia before, but I fell in love with it instantly. The writing was stunning. The characters were believable. The plot was thrilling. The romance was cute, but not serious. I think that’s one of the things I like the most about this series is that it has everything you want in a Young Adult novel, and it doesn’t have anything you don’t want (although the violence got pretty extreme at some points). I was so captivated from the beginning to the end!

Catching Fire

"Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol. Catching Fire maintains the adrenaline rush of Suzanne Collins's series launch."
(blurb from Goodreads)

This is my favorite in the series! Everything about it is amazing! With an unplanned rebellion starting back up, Katniss isn’t sure what to do. Then she’s thrust back into the Games with Peeta!
Oh, how this book makes me love Peeta even more! I seriously want to hug him! He’s just so darn lovable! I love everything about him! He’s so clever!
This book has even more adventure than the last one! All the new characters are so awesome! And the old characters are even more awesome than they were in the last book. The ending caught me by surprise. I was literally on the edge of my seat -- reaching for Mockingjay, which was just a bit too out of reach!


"Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding."
(blurb from Goodreads)

Heart wrenching

These are the words that came to mind right after I finished. I think they sum up the whole series pretty well. I have to say I didn’t plan ahead when it came to reading this book. I finished it while squished in a mini van with my family in the middle of the night. I shed a couple tears after finishing, and my family was staring at me like I was crazy!
I found the beginning a bit slow, but then once the action started, it really didn’t stop until the very end. I have somewhat mixed feelings about the ending. I liked it, but I felt it could’ve been improved. I can’t hate any part of this book, though. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Review: Finally

Rory Swenson has been waiting for her 12th birthday for, well, 12 years! She’s been keeping a list of everything she’s allowed to do once she’s 12. From big things like getting her ears pierced to small things like buying lunch at school. But once she reaches the big 1-2, she isn’t prepared for the crazy ride that she’s in for. Everything on her list goes wrong. It turns out she’s allergic to all-natural makeup, her new pet bunny is actually a murderer, she sucks at being a certified babysitter, and so many more things. Not to mention that she’s an extra in a movie starring the hottest Hollywood actors around!

I enjoy reading middle grade fiction. This book made my life seem so simple. My parents aren’t strict, so I never had to put up with this kind of stuff. I was allowed to do all the things on Rory’s list when I was 11, I’ve just chosen not to do some of them.
Wendy Mass always impresses me. Her books are funny and clever and realistic, and you always learn something from them. The lessons I learned from this book are never buy a bunny named Kyle, stay away from coffee and contact lenses, and you can make a bigger impact on people than you think. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Review: A Tale of Two Castles

Elodie has just arrived in Two Castles, leaving her home forever to pursue a career as a mansioner. But she soon learns that she’ll never be able to become a mansioner’s apprentice, so she takes the next best job: a dragon’s assistant. The dragon Meenore enjoys solving mysteries, and is training Elodie to induce and deduce things as well as IT can.
Then Elodie is sent by Meenore to go work in the castle of the ogre, Count Jonty Um, hoping to uncover the mysteries that have been surrounding him.

Gail Carson Levine has astounded me once again! Reading this felt like visiting an old friend. Her writing is just as amazing as ever, but now it’s in a new setting. Her characters were as unique as ever. Although I figured out who it was the moment Elodie saw them, it was still fun to read how she unravels the mystery herself. 

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (13)

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! 

Read in the Past Week
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Currently Reading this Week
Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George

To Read in the Coming Week

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: Goose Chase

Alexandria never thought that being nice to an old lady would result in all it did. First she becomes drop dead gorgeous, which leads to a king and a prince locking her up and a tower and fighting over her hand in marriage. Thankfully, her 12 geese come and rescue her, but then her problems really start...

This was such a fun little book! It's the perfect example of a real fairy tale. Something exciting happens in the beginning, only to be followed by much misery and woe until finally the heroine reaches a happily ever after. But it remains utterly charming throughout all the struggles she faces!

All the characters were unique and wonderful to read about. I particularly enjoyed the character Alexandria's hair became! I never thought about how hair might have a personality! 

The ending was particularly surprising and fun to read! It takes a true genius to weave together that kind of end to a fairy tale!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird will forever be a classic piece of American Literature. 
It is a story of how life isn't always fair, told from the innocent perspective of a young girl. 

I love this story! Much earlier this year I had to write an essay on the movie To Kill a Mockingbird. I'd never seen it before and had no interest in seeing it. Finally, the night before the paper was due, I sat down and watched it. It was so powerful. The acting was amazing and the story was so real. I quickly whipped out an essay about it, and my teacher loved it. I was the only one in my class who liked the movie.

The book was a billion times better (if that's possible). The narrative was so perfect. I felt like I was there in every moment.
The courtroom scenes were particularly intense, even though I knew the outcome. 

I am forever grateful to my mom for forcing me to watch the movie and read the book!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September Monthly Overview

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl
A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine


The only challenge I'm currently in the middle of is the Books to Movies challenge. I've read quite a few books with movies based on them, but I haven't managed to watch any yet! I will before the end of this year, though!


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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blogger Interview: Lindsay from LindsayWrites

Today I'm Interviewing the awesome Lindsay Cummings of Lindsay Writes! Here's a bit about her:
Lindsay Cummings is a 20-year-old YA author of all things Science Fiction.
She grew up trying to be just like her dad, an adult Thriller author who is also a double amputee/Lindsay's hero.

Why did you start your blog?

I'm an author! I really wanted to reach out to the YA community and
learn everything I could about it, and bloggers are SO FREAKING BOSS.
Now I'm part blogger, part author, part YA reader. So much fun!

Where did the name of your blog come from?
It's Lindsay Writes. My name is Lindsay. I write. Lol. It was pretty simple to decide on what I wanted it to be! :)

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring?

  This question KILLS me! I'd bring
the Bible, first of all. Then Catcher in the Rye, because I could read
that book a million times. And then...something like... Escaping a
Deserted Island for Dummies, so I could get back home and go straight to
the bookstore and catch up on all the books I'd missed over the past
months or whatever!

What are you doing when you aren’t reading or blogging?
writing, working on revisions for my agent, thinking of new plots and
characters, hanging out with my German Shepherds, and contributing to
the new author group called Teen Shiver! Which everyone should go check
out if they love YA! Some awesome, successful authors in our group!

What are 3 words that describe your personality?
ooh great question. Hmm... Determined. Focused. Fun!

If you had to pick one author to meet, who would it be?
Beth Revis. She is my HERO. It took that woman so many years to get a
book published, and look at where she is now! What an inspiring lady.
She rocks, and if you haven't read her book, Across the Universe, you
must! :)

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
I love the darker fairy tales, like all of Grimm's fairy tales!

How old were you when you learned to read?
I have NO idea. I wish I could say I popped out of the womb knowing how to read, lol. That would be awesome.

How many books do you read in a week?
I usually get to 2 or 3, just depending on how often I take naps. I'm a major napper. Soooo nice and refreshing.

What’s the first book you remember reading?
Hank the Cowdog!! My favorite series as a kid, I used to read them alllll the time. I sort of miss Hank!

Red, Yellow, or Blue?
Blue! It reminds me of the ocean, and rain!

White, Milk, or Dark Chocolate?
Milk. Always the milk.

Hot milk chocolate, on strawberries. I'm drooling.

Harry Potter, Twilight, or Hunger Games?
Hunger Games AND Harry Potter. I refuse to pick a side! lol

Fantasy, Romance, or Historical Fiction?
Totally fantasy. Romance bores me, and I didn't enjoy History in high school!

Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, or Broccoli?
Broccoli with butter. Yummy!

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