Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Vanishing Girls

Title: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ARC
Rating: 3 Cows

Goodreads Description:

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

"Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on." -- E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.

I hate reviewing books like this. They are so hard to review because you can't just say what you like or what you don't like. You have to be vague so that you don't give too much away.  So, here, I go. My best shot at a spoiler free review. 

Vanishing Girls wasn't what I was expecting. The description on the back is kind of vague, again, to keep everyone from knowing what the big reveal is. I didn't know what to expect from Vanishing Girls but I still found myself surprised the way the story went down. And I'll be honest and say that I didn't see the big reveal coming. I had ideas of what could happen but none of them were right. Oliver does a very good job of making you think one thing, only to find out that what you believed the entire book is wrong. 

One of the problems I had with Vanishing Girls was the romance between Nick, Parker, and Dara. It's obvious that both sisters are in love with him but I didn't feel like I saw enough of his personailty to see why they liked him as much as they did. It's explained that they have been friends for a long time but Parker came off as kind of wishy-washy. I'm not sure if it's just because of the way the story was told and seeing him from both Nick and Dara's perspectives or that's just how he was. 

Another problem I have is that the story seems a little unbelievable. I get that it's fiction but it's realistic fiction, not fantasy. I just feel like Nick and Dara's parents should have been more concerned and seen some things. They came off as very clueless. 

Overall, Vanishing Girls was okay. It's not my favorite book in the world but the intruging plot did keep me turning the pages into the late hours of the night. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

That Awkward Thursday (29) Book Recs

That Awkward Thursday is a feature hosted by Wholly Books where it's not only okay but encouraged to share your awkward moments! 

That awkward moment you recommend a book that you love to someone and then worry that they won't love it....

A couple of nights ago me and my co-blogger, Emily (who is awesome, by the way) were talking via twitter direct messages and I recommended that she read The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. I had recently finished the third book in the series, Dead of Winter, and was dying to have someone to discuss it with. She was actually the fourth person I  pleaded to buy the books and she did! (Again, she's totally awesome like that!)  A few minutes after recommending it I started to panic. What if she didn't like it? What if she did like it but didn't love it like I did? Or what if she was on the other side of the love triangle? All of these what ifs started running through my mind!

I mentioned this to her and she was all like...

Okay, so she didn't really look like that when she was saying it because we were talking through twitter but I never miss an opportunity to have Ian Somerhalder on the blog! :) You get what I mean. Basically, she's telling me that she's sure she will like it and it sounds good, ect.

Still, I'm thinking if she doesn't love it...

So, Emily, I am really hoping that you love the Arcana Chronicles so I don't have to go all Jacob Black on you!  (I'm kidding!) ((Mostly!))

Does anyone else have these kind of fears or am insane??
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Movie Review: Insurgent

I believe that I should preface this review with the fact that Divergent isn't my favorite book series. It's not my least favorite, but again, not my favorite. I particularly didn't like Four or Tris's characters in the final book. I say all that because that does somewhat influence my reivew.

I really enjoyed the movie, Insurgent. There were a lot of action scenes and felt that the cast did a great job. Four was definitely hot. For whatever reason when they first cast him I didn't think he was. Obviously, there was something wrong with me that day! (Ya know, they need to make it so I can use emjois in blog spots! Is there a way to do that and I just don't know? Just know that I would so be using emjois right now if I could!)

Back to the movie, there were some things that were changed in the movie. I didn't mind the changes because I think a lot of the things that were left out were causes for why Tris and Four acted the way that they did in Alliegant. I am hoping since they were left out of the movie that in the next movie Tris and Four won't be so unlikeable.

I do wish that there would have been more of Christina, Uriah, and Tori. They do get a little screen time but not a whole lot. I think that decision was mainly based on time constraints. Obviously, with a book that long you can't include everything so they had to cut out some of those storylines.

I am curious how the final two movies are going to be. The last book is where things really went south for me and it wasn't even because of the big thing that happened. I am hopeful that I will like the final two movies more than I liked the book.

Overall, Insurgent was a very good movie. There is tons of action and some great scenes with Tris and Four!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (84)

 Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Books From My Childhood That I Would Love to Revisit  

This was such a fun topic for this week's post! I had so much fun going back through all my old books and trying to pick out which ones were my favorite, that I would love to revisit and reread sometime soon! It was REALLY hard narrowing it down to just 10 for this post!  Many of these I still own and have packed away in a box, in the hopes that my kids will want to read them someday!  What books did you enjoy that you read as a child (or a teen)?  

1. The Little House on the Prairie Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
2. The Nancy Drew Books by Carolyn Keene
3. The Boxcar Children Books by Gertrude Chandler Warner 
4. The Hardy Boys Books by Franklin W. Dixon
5. The School Story by Andrew Clements
6. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
7. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
8. A Series of Unfortunate Events Books by Lemony Snicket
9. The BFG by Roald Dahl
10. The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes Books by Anne Mazer


Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Heir of Fire

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 562
Rating: 5 Cows

Goodreads Description: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Heir of Fire; how do I express my love for you?  Just knowing that this book was the last one in the series that is currently out right now made my heart hurt. I am so dramatic, I know. But seriously guys.  This series OWNS ME! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve fangirled this hard over a series.  It’s also been a long time since I’ve read a fantasy series that utterly impressed me (probably the Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini) as much as this one has.  Mark it on your TBRs now!

I want to start off by saying I did have a hard time reconciling the fact that Caleana was going to spend the entirety of this book away from Chaol and Adarlan in general.  She is sent to Wendlyn at the end of book two in the series, on a mission for the King of Adarlan himself.  I cried buckets during this scene in book two (not that any of you needed to know that) so I went into Heir of Fire begrudgingly.  I was NOT happy she was in Wendlyn.  Until I was.

Caleana’s true purpose for being in Wendlyn is done under the guise of her mission for the King of Adarlan.  She is really there to search for the location of the wyrdkeys before the King can get to them first.  Just saying it makes me want to swoon (ok maybe I did just a little), but it was Chaol’s idea to the King that he send Caleana to Wendlyn to begin with.  Although he makes up a mission as for why the King should send her there, Chaol is doing so to protect Caleana.  Another point for team Chaol! (not that he needs it; I’d choose him anyday!)

Now tell me this.  Have you ever been completely torn between two men in a series?  I mean, seriously torn?  I’m not just talking about love tropes here.  Because even then, I am always in favor of one of the characters over another, and I’m never truly indecisive on who I want the main character to end up with.  Then I read this book though, and I was presented with that dilemma!  Rowan is THE MAN.  Well, the Fae man technically!  You want to hate him initially, even though he is that perfect mix of dark/brooding/sassy/rude that of course you end up falling in love with, because, let’s face it, us girls always do.  As Caleana and Rowan spend more time together, Rowan opens up to her (even if only a little at first) and Caleana realizes he’s not what he seems.  When I was reading this, all I could think of was that Rowan is essentially the boy version of Caleana!  He’s had a REALLY rough past, and it’s hardened him over the years.  Also, being Fae means he has lived more years than most, so he’s seen a lot and held all this pain in him for quite some time. 

Have I mentioned the fact that Rowan’s bound to his Queen, Queen Maeve, after swearing an oath to her?  She also happens to be a cruel leader, and great aunt to Caleana.  So a lot of the pain that he’s been holding in, stems from serving under the Queen’s ruling.  For anyone who’s read Tithe or Ironside by Holly Black, this situation is extremely reminiscent of what Roiben goes through when he swore fealty to his queen.  What is it with the Fae and swearing loyalty to dark and evil leaders anyways?!

On the whole, Heir of Fire was another great book in this series.  By far one of my favorite aspects of it was that Caleana is finally getting to embrace her Fae nature, and learn more about her true self, one that we didn’t even know about until the end of book two.  As a big lover of the Fae/fairies/all things fantasy, this book really held my attention and impressed me.  In one of my other reviews I know I mentioned I wish I had started this series sooner, because it is so amazing, but I might have to take that back (just kidding!)  But the wait for the next book in the series might actually kill me!  Now I know what everyone else was going through all these years, when they had to wait for each book in this series to be released! This is terrible!  It reminds me of my adolescent years, spent waiting for each new Harry Potter book to be released, and fangirling in the meantime over what I think might happen in the next one.  Let the countdown for Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) begin!


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