Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review: Matched


Cassia has always been looking forward to her Match banquet, but never expected to be Matched with Xander, her best friend. But when she plugs her micro card into her home port, she isn’t prepared for what she sees. Instead of the face of Xander looking at her, it’s the face of Ky Markham.
Although Cassia knows that she’s meant to be with Xander, she can’t help but wonder why it would show Ky’s face, when an official says his name was never put in the Matching pool to begin with. She can’t stop thinking about Ky, and begins spending time with him when they hike together. Ky knows many secrets about the Society, being from one of the Outer Provinces and being an Aberration.
In a Society that limits your choices, Cassia is left with many hard choices to make. Should she choose Ky or Xander? Should she trust the Society, that isn’t as perfect as it seems?

WOW! Matched is AMAZING! Everything about it is perfect! Where do I start?
The Society! I think this may have finished the work that the Hunger Games started with pulling me into Dystopia. I loved the Society because it scared me, which made the book feel more personal. It scared me because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if someone was controlling my every move! I don’t want to have to risk my life to keep a little secret. I would HATE having to lose my freedom of choice and creativity! Those are some of the best things about life! This gave me a lot of sympathy for the characters, few of which knew what they were missing!
All the characters were great! If I had to pick a favorite, I’d have to say Cassia’s grandfather. He put up somewhat of a silent struggle against the Society. He kept an illegal poem for all those years, and he chose to die forever, instead of having the possibility of coming back.
Ky and Xander were both wonderful characters, and I honestly can’t tell who Cassia will pick. Xander is kind of the safe choice. They’ve always known each other, and he’s just like any other citizen. He’s so kind and smart, and seems to truly love Cassia. On the other hand, Ky is more of the dangerous type. He has lots of secrets about his past, and he has become a marked man through no fault of his own. He is an outcast, and has learned how to live that way.
I’d personally choose Xander, but I can see why many would choose Ky.
The writing itself was lovely.  It added to the sense of perfection in the Society. It was very vivid; I could imagine everything very clearly.
Once I was finished, I was hungry for more. I felt that it left off at a horrible spot. Once it reached the climax, it was over! I can’t wait for Crossed! I’m glad I read this so close to the release of Crossed, or I’d be going crazy!





Book Review: Searching for Dragons


Cimorene is back for another adventure, but this time she’s bringing along King Mendanbar of the Enchanted Forest. Their journey to find and rescue Kazul, King of the dragons, leads them to all sorts of places where they meet many strange people including Herman (formerly known as Rumpelstiltskin) and his many children, a “wicked” uncle and his nephew, and Cimorene’s old friend Zemenar, the head wizard.

I didn’t love this book by any means, but it was nice enough to listen to as an audiobook. I really like this series because it incorporates lots of fairy tales into it, without it being a retelling. I’m sure this book would’ve been more enjoyable if I’d read it several years ago, but I still found it enjoyable. 



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GUESS WHAT!

I know I've been ignoring this blog lately, but no longer!

I just thought I'd let you guys know that a certain author who I love just released a new book today (though under a pseudonym)

 They just held a bunch of giveaways on their blog, and I missed nearly all of them! 
What kind of fan does that make me?
Although I may have missed my chance at a free copy, I'll get my hands on a copy soon enough!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review: Spindle's End


After the birth of the long awaited princess, Katriona, the niece of a fairy, is the commoner from the Gig selected to go to the name-day celebration. Little does she know that this will change her life, and the whole world, forever.
The poor little princess is cursed by the evil Pernicia that she will prick her finger one day and die. In order to protect the princess, the queen’s fairy, Sigil, sends the baby away with Katriona to live among peasants.
There, Rosie is raised in as ordinary a life as possible while living with 2 fairies. She grows as any normal girl would, though with an ability to talk to animals and an unusual fondness of the blacksmith. She never knows that her guardians are doing everything in their abilities to keep her safe from her fate.
Now I know why Robin McKinley is known as the queen of fairy tale retellings. It was simply beautiful. The beginning was kind of slow, but quickly picked up. The whole first couple pages were spent on nothing but explaining how magic works in this whole new world. It isn’t important to the story, but it does make it easier to understand the unfamiliar territory.
All the characters were unique and realistic. I could relate to each of them in some way.
The whole story seemed very familiar, but also very different at the same time. It was full of twists that kept me entertained.
This book has convinced me to give Robin McKinley a second chance. Her writing is so beautiful, and I hope to enjoy more of it soon!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blogger Interview: Bonnie from A Backwards Story


 Today I have Bonnie from A Backwards Story! I was so excited to see that she'd signed up for an interview! She's one of my "buddies" from when I first started my blog.

In case you aren't familiar with this fabulous blogger,  here's a bit about her:
Main Entry: bon·nie
Pronunciation: \ˈbä-nē\
Function: female
Etymology: Scottish, English; perhaps derived from the French word "bon," meaning good or nice.
A bonny lass enjoys singing at the top of her lungs, meandering her way through telling the stories of the characters living inside her head, eating strawberries, tinkering around in Photoshop, catching fireflies for the sheer joy of letting them go again, and getting lost in a good book. 


Why did you start your blog?
I started A Backwards Story because my friends always asked me what I was reading.  Whether than say the same thing over and over, I started posting reviews on my personal blog, then moved it to something more public so I could share it with everyone who asked.  Plus, someday I’d like to be a published writer, and it would be nice to share books I’ve enjoyed with anyone who wants a good recommendation!
Where did the name of your blog come from?
At one time, LiveJournal decided to start recycling old usernames that weren’t being used if you paid $15 for a name change.  I was randomly scrolling through the list to see what people had come up with and saw someone who had chosen A Backwards Movie.  The concept of it being in reverse intrigued me—even moreso if it was a book!  So when I was trying to come up with a name for my book review blog, that moment came back to me.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring?
Just three?  Well, my top three all-time favorite books are MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult, KEEPING FAITH by Jodi Picoult, and THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield, buuuuut it would probably be better to bring three big anthologies or “complete works” books so that I had more to read.  Could one of those be a Complete Works by Jodi Picoult? O:-)  No?  Well, at the very least I need to bring along the complete Hans Christian Andersen and the complete Brothers Grimm!  I have the beautiful leather-bound, gold-gilded versions sold by B&N!
 What are you doing when you aren’t reading or blogging?
I haven’t lately, but I write a lot.  I would love to be querying my own fairy tale manuscript by the end of the year.  I also love to fool around and make things in Adobe Photoshop.  And music!  I love to listen to music…or go to the theatre and see a musical!  I don’t watch a lot of TV, but there are a few shows I’ll be tuning into this season such as GLEE, ONCE UPON A TIME, and RINGER.  Other than that, I work or spend time with other people.  I’m pretty boring, really!

What are 3 words that describe your personality?
Creative – For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a world of my own that I could slip into at will.  I don’t know who I’d be without this. 
Addictive – I’m constantly finding something new to love…and passing that love on to anyone who will listen to me blather on! (Then again, maybe that’s a part of my OCD…lol!)
Innovative – I’m good at coming up with solutions and problem-solving.  I can usually find a way out when there previously wasn’t one or come up with a good concept that works.  And sometimes, I can use weird things in surprisingly good ways!
If you had to pick one author to meet, who would it be?
You would THINK I’m about to say Jodi Picoult… But I’ve already met her.  Erhm, twice.  So for meeting somebody for the first time… That’s tough!  There are a lot of authors I’d like to meet.  Right now, I’d really like to meet Victoria Schwab (THE NEAR WITCH) because I love reading her blog and talking to her on Twitter.  She’s such a nice, sweet, genuine person and I really think we’d be friends if we lived near one another IRL!
What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Can I choose three?  Because I can’t choose between THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES, THE SNOW QUEEN, and THE LITTLE MERMAID!  They all have something fantastically unique about them that’s impossible to resist! And I love all the retellings, too!
How old were you when you learned to read?
I honestly don’t remember.  But I know that I was reading BSC and SWEET VALLEY in first or second grade and entering the summer reading contest—and winning in my grade—each summer.  So pretty early, I guess!
How many books do you read in a week?
It varies.  Sometimes I only read one or two books a week!  Other weeks, I can read a book a day…or more if it’s a shortie!  But on average…maybe 2-5?
What’s the first book you remember reading?
I’ve been told that my favorite book was ARE YOU MY MOTHER? by Dr. Seuss.  I apparently knew the words by heart and would yell at my dad if he ever deviated or skipped a word!
Red, Yellow, or Blue?
No purple? That’s red AND blue…  Well, my second-favorite color’s blue, so…
White, Milk, or Dark Chocolate?
Dark Chocolate.  But even better is if it’s chocolate with PEANUT BUTTER. 
Harry Potter, Twilight, or Hunger Games?
I like HARRY POTTER and THE HUNGER GAMES on very different levels from one another and can’t really compare them.  I love them both for what they are in their own ways!
Fantasy, Romance, or Historical Fiction?
Fantasy!  Mermaids and dashing knights and demi-gods, oh my!
Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, or Broccoli?
Broccoli is my favorite vegetable EVER and I have to eat it at least 2-3 times a week!  Especially if it’s in chicken fettuccini alfredo.  YUM!

Thanks, once again, to Bonnie! She and I have A LOT in common! This was so much fun! I hope to have more bloggers to interview soon!

 Click HERE to let me know if you want to be interviewed!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review: Bridge to Terabithia


Terabithia is a magical land that is ruled by King Jess and Queen Leslie. But once they step outside of Terabithia, they are no longer King and Queen, they are just Jess and Leslie; two kids who were both in need of a friend, and found each other.
Jess comes from a poor family and is the only boy among 4 girls. Leslie is an only child whose parents are both very rich, and moved out to the country to spend quality time with her.
Together they build their kingdom through friendship, and enjoy many adventures in and out of Terabithia!

I loved this book! It was familiar, not only because I’d seen the movie, but because when I was younger, my best friend and I created our own not-quite-a-kingdom that existed in the small playground next to our apartment complex.
The characters were very real in such a way that I cried at the ending, even though I knew fully what to expect. The dialogue was light and simple, and helped tell the story beautifully. Every bit of the story was lovely! 

This book was read as part of the Award Winning Reading Challenge


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WANTED: Interviewees!

I have decided that I want to start getting to know my fellow bloggers! I'm hoping to start interviewing some bloggers! I'm hoping to do it at least once a month, but up to one a week!

If you're interested in being interviewed by someone who's completely awesome, let me know HERE!

UPDATE:
Just thought I'd let you guys know that I'm now planning on doing interviews twice a month, now. That doesn't mean you need to wait to sign up, just be aware that your interview won't be published for a while. 

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