Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (27)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book 

I also included some of my favorite books for each topic.

1) Dark Subject Matter: I like sad and dark stories. The darker, the better, screwed up? Maybe.

- The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
- Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
- The Lucky Bones by Alice Sebold

2) Forbidden Love: We all want someone we can't have, right? ;)

- Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
- On the Island by Travis Garvis Graves
- Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (I truly hope no one wants this kind of love but it falls under this category best.)

3) First Love: They're sweet and awkward. Who doesn't love that?

- Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
- Forever by Judy Blume
- What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
- Sloppy Firsts Series by Megan McCafferty

4) Self-Destructive Behavior (high school students): You know those protagonists who have a lot going on and deal with it in probably not the best way.

- The Duff by Kody Keplinger
- Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
- Not that Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
- Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
- Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

5) Bad Boy: I'm a sucker for musicians and fighters who are man-whores but turn good for a girl.

- Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
- Thoughtless Series by S.C. Stephens

6) Sarah Dessen: Anything that is written by her I'll read and probably love. That woman sure knows how to write chick-lit.

- Just Listen
- Along for the Ride
- The Truth About Forever

7) Books with Bigger Girls: It's a nice change when the female protagonist isn't so perfect. It's more real.

- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Jemima J by Jane Green
- Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

8) Zombies: I love zombies well pretty much anything that has to do with the apocalypse. Disgusting dead people eating other people. I mean come on that's just good action.

- Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
- Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
- World War Z by Max Brooks

9) Dystopian: I know you probably hear it all the time, but the world building is incredible. So much creativity.

- The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
- The Gone Series by Michael Grant
- Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield

10) Outsiders: They have the best stories.

- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Monday, April 29, 2013

Musing Monday (1)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing: Issues With The Book Rating System

Every time I finish a book, I have the hardest time rating it. It's easy to give a book a one-star or a five-star, but it gets fuzzy when it lands in the middle.

1) I love to read memoirs. They’re probably my favorite but rarely do I ever rate them. How could I rate someone else’s life? And this also comes up in fiction books with dark subject matter. I know it’s fiction but I’m sure it could have or has happened in real life. It just feels wrong saying I loved it or hated it.

2) I have given a book a higher rating if I liked the author, which is probably worse. I know some people trust my ratings and I wouldn’t want to be misleading, or give someone a rating that I don’t think they are worthy of.

3) I’ve also been questioned over my reviews because I’ve given two completely different books the same rating, but compared aside one another, one doesn’t feel worthy of the same rating. For example classics and romances. Yes, I understand this but they’re two separate books! One book shouldn’t influence your review of another book. They deserved to be critiqued based on their own content.  

So the way I deal with these issues is by rating them based on the writing, characters, and my overall reading experience instead of on the subject of the book.

Anyone else have issues pertaining the rating system? If so, I’d love to hear them.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Life After Theft

Title: Life After Theft
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Pages: 352
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format: ARC
Rating: 3 Cows

Goodreads Description:

Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel.

I really thought I would like this book. I enjoyed Aprilynne Pike's Wings series so I was eager to see something different from Pike. I am sad to say that I was disappointed. While there wasn't anything wrong with LIFE AFTER THEFT, there wasn't anything extraordinary about it either. It was just kind of a blah book for me. 

I think the main thing that turned me off this book a little was the characters. I couldn't relate to any of them. Kimberlee was an unlikeable character from the get-go. Kimberlee was a spoiled brat (which I hate) and that's putting it mildly. Jeff was a nice guy but there wasn't anything about him that made me feel anything. I was a little confused by Sera. She seemed like a sweet girl but Kimberlee kept saying that she wasn't what she seemed. When Sera's past was finally revealed I was underwhelmed. Yeah, she made mistakes but again I didn't feel anything about it. My favorite character was probably Sera's brother, Khail. He was a tough guy but had a good heart and wanted to protect his sister. Unfortunately, Khail wasn't a main character. 

As for the plot in LIFE AFTER THEFT, it was a fast read with enough action and suspense to keep you reading. In my opinion, it's wasn't a book that makes you think very hard. (Which is another reason I'm disappointed. The whole dead girl trying to atone for her sins thing seemed like a deeper topic than it actually was.) I was hoping it would be a book that I could take a way some deep meaning from but I didn't. It was just a light, fluffy read. 

In the end, LIFE AFTER THEFT was a meh read. I know a lot of people have found it funny and interesting but it just wasn't for me.

Preorder Life After Theft

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Audio Review: Clockwork Princess

Title: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 568
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Audio
Narrator: Daniel Sharman

Rating: 5 Cows

Goodreads Description:

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy. 

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

I had a difficult time deciding what rating to give this book. CLOCKWORK PRINCESS tore out my heart and left me feeling completely hollow. I cried while listening to the end and the next morning I woke up feeling almost sick with grief. I know that’s a bit extreme but for some reason this book really hit me hard. Still, I have this bittersweet feeling about Jem, Will and Tessa. Ultimately, I decided that any book that could make me feel that magnitude of emotions deserved a 5 cow rating!

There is so much I want to say about this book but a good majority of it is spoilery so forgive me if I’m brief and a little vague.

I guess I should start with my thoughts on the narrator, Daniel Sharman. I thought he did an excellent job. He has a nice voice and is very easy to listen to. I really loved how he did Jem's voice!

Now, let me give you a little background on my feelings about the series. I wasn’t crazy about CLOCKWORK ANGEL but I loved CLOCKWORK PRINCE. It wasn’t until CLOCKWORK PRINCE that I really began to connect to the characters. However, by the time I started CLOCKWORK PRINCESS I was so entranced with the characters I didn’t know how the series could end that would make me happy.

While I will admit that I am/was Team Will all the way, Jem also held a small piece of my heart. He was good and selfless. He never sought to hurt anyone but only wanted to love others. Will was funny and adventurous but he was also honorable. He was a tormented man that only wanted to protect those he cared about. The fact that my heart was split made this love triangle even more complicated for me.  

I feel that CLOCKWORK PRINCESS was more of a book about love than it was anything else. It’s the love between three people who would do anything for one another. It’s a story about the love of two best friends that have become so much more than that and it’s about their love for the same girl, who also happens to love both of them back. I find it difficult to believe that any of the three loved either of the two more than the other. It’s heartbreaking to watch the three struggle to find a way to love each without hurting one another.

I have thought a great deal about the ending and have had a difficult time deciding whether or not it was genius or Cassandra Clare taking the easy way out. I have come to the conclusion it’s a little of both. In a sense it was the easy way out, but at the same time it’s done in such a way that you can’t fault her for it.

I will be writing another post about this book with spoilers so I can discuss with others about it because I still believe I need therapy. Surely, I’m not alone here!  I guess this turned out to be a little longer than I thought it would.

Buy Clockwork Princess

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: The Eternity Cure

Title: The Eternity Cure
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pages: 446
Release Date: April 30, 2013 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: E-ARC
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description:

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on THE ETERNITY CURE. Julie Kagawa has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I can honestly say that I haven’t read a book of hers that I didn’t like. Kagawa creates unforgettable characters and awe-inspiring worlds. While I didn’t love THE ETERNITY CURE like I did THE IMMORTAL RULES, I must say that THE ETERNITY CURE is another homerun (maybe just an in-the-park homerun?).

Kagawa has a real knack for making me feel the full spectrum of emotions in her books and THE ETERNITY CURE is no exception. I laughed, I cried, I felt sympathy and anger. That is one of the most beautiful things about her books. Oh, the FEELS!!

With all the emotions I felt, I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t love it quite like I did THE IMMORTAL RULES. The answer is quite simple. It was the absence of a character, a very dear character of mine, Zeke. I was seriously beginning to question if Zeke would make an appearance! Finally, around the 25% mark he does! After that things pretty much picked up and didn’t slow down. I understand why Zeke wasn’t present. It wouldn’t have made sense for him to just be there with the way THE IMMORTAL RULES ended. Still, though, Zeke’s absence is profound in my opinion. I had a very difficult time getting into the story. I know a lot of people enjoyed Jackal and he was funny but I missed Zeke!

Allie continued to grow as a character and as a vampire. She is strong and fierce and completely badass. (Sorry, I’m not usually one to use profanity in reviews but that is the best description I can come up with). Allie is a heroine that easy to love. She struggles but refuses to give up even in the bleakest situations.

As usual, Kagawa adds many twists and turns and by the end of the book all you can do is stare at a wall with your mouth open. All I could think at the end of THE ETERNITY CURE was, “Oh. My. God.” Seriously, it’s that shocking and a little evil, really! If you haven’t checked out this series, I highly recommend…actually that goes for anything that has Julie Kagawa’s name on it!

Preorder The Eternity Cure

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