Sunday, October 31, 2010

it's the 31st..

Happy Halloween everybody!!


What are your plans? Going trick-or-treating? Handing out candy? Did you carve pumpkins? And if you dressed up, what were you?? (I love finding out that stuff, haha)

I'm a lame person at Halloween, I just give out candy- no dressing up or spooky house decorations... yeah.

Oh! What's a scary book to read? Which honestly, I probably won't because I don't like being freaked out... hehe ^^

Anyways, if you're going out, be safe and have funnnn :D

Saturday, October 30, 2010

BR: Hold Still

by Nina LaCour

I've wanted to read this one since it came out! However, being a stingy kid, I waited till it came out in paperback, then pounced on it. It helped me through my reading slump, I think!

Summary:

That night, Ingrid told Caitlin, I'll go wherever you go. But by dawn, Ingrid was dead and Caitlin was alone. Suddenly Caitlin has to deal with a completely unfamiliar life-- a life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy she shared with her best friend. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind, Caitlin gets a chance to learn about another side of her friend; and the journal becomes her guide as she deals with forging new friendships, finding a first love, and learning to live without the one person who knew her best.

**
My Expectations: See this post, thought I’d love it =)

Delivery: very very well done! Definitely really liked it.

Put-down-ability: so-so probably a 4/10
**

My Thoughts

Hold Still is a new spin on an old topic, Caitlin’s best friend Ingrid had committed suicide, leaving Caitlin to tackle life all by herself. There is a lot of common themes of loss, grief and love but I felt that the way LaCour set the book apart from the rest was in the execution.

If forced to choose the single thing I loved the most about the novel, I would have to ponder the premise. The photography and symbolism. The relationships and the heartbreak; the grief, the characters, the writing. But without a doubt my final answer would be the voice. I absolutely adored it; Caitlin’s voice shines with honesty and a longing ache for her best friend, there is the tired and heavy feeling behind her story as if she was simply too.. sad. There was so much authenticity in the writing that I could easily believe Caitlin was telling me, and only me, the story, forming an intimate connection that can’t be faked. I could even feel the gradual change of her voice as she forges new connections and eventually learns to move on, learn, love, and hope. It was simply beautiful.

At the beginning, I craved Ingrid’s journal entries; I was really into the mystery behind her persona but gradually I wanted more of Caitlin’s story and the way she really evolves and matures through a tragedy. I thought overall the entries were a truly wonderful idea that added just a pinch of spice to change up the story at intervals, and the writing in the entries was so heartfelt and, well, perfect. Here's a quote from her journal:
I never laughed as hard as I laughed with you but now not even the laughing feels good.

A thing I didn’t really feel was Caitlin’s romantic relationship, it felt forced and off, despite the way LaCour tried to smoothly navigate it. However, that might have been just a small nitpick amongst a huge wave of love for the book. I definitely liked the balance of the angst and heartbreak, and the hope. Ingrid's diary never overshadowed the story that needed to be told.

Basically, this novel rocked. The voice and the character dimensions is spot on, and it is very reminiscent of a number of my favourite novels. It’s a novel with themes that can change the way you think, love, and feel; and I can’t ask for anything else.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: Lovers of YA Contemporary fiction! Readers looking for novels with beautiful themes and great, well rounded and realistic characters. Remincent of 13 Reasons Why and Speak, if you're curious.

9/10
– because I loved so many aspects of the novel, I even teared up some at then end. Nina LaCour has written a fantastic contemporary novel that once again reminds me why it is my favourite YA sub-genre =) Read it! Also, it’s in paperback now with a pretty new cover, and a pretty new price tag xD A







PS- added another part to my review, the "Recommended for". Like? Dislike?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Finest (26)

Friday's Finest is a meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose
**

This week's a teaser from a fantastic book. A review will be up quite a while later, but when you read this quote, I hope you can tell that it's totally a "me" quote. It's one that completely jumped into my brain when I read it, and it's written in a 'style' I absolutely love.

It's one on friendship.

Book: Delirium
by Lauren Oliver

Quote
But I don't try very hard to catch up. I let her stay a few feet ahead of me and try to memorize her exactly as she is: running, laughing, tan and happy and beautiful and mine; blond hair flashing in the last rays of sun like a torch, like a beacon of good things to come, and better days ahead for both of us.

OMG. Love or what?!?! haha, it's just a perfect description of the powerful bonds of friendship. I've got good things to say about this book :)

And yes, if you're wondering, there will be another Friday's Finest featuring Delirium in 2011... just to fuel the hype xD

Thursday, October 28, 2010

good signs

Hey! I'm back! Toronto was so much fun, it was a great break from school and kinda a fresher take on university and stuff for next year. Anyways, I might have broke my reading slump, I read 2 books that trip!

One of them was Hold Still by Nina Lacour, which I've wanted to read forever. And then, I thought it was funny when I saw the first couple pages... under the heading, "Other Books You May Enjoy"


So.. I've read 9 of the 10 books (all but After). And I really enjoyed them all...

I think this is a sign. It's gonna be a good book =)

Review to come (I really really liked it!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Poetry Slam Sunday (4)


Slam Sunday
is a bi-weekly feature I'm having on my blog, basically every other Sunday I'll share a YouTube clip of awesome spoken poetry that you just can't miss.

Poetry Slam is a competition in which poets recite original work. I love it. Plain and simple, I love the way it combines words, rhythms and performance, the sounds blending together to bring attention to anything and everything. When done well, it has the power to accomplish great things.
**
This week is one that when I watched the first time around, I thought wow, this is great. The second time, it was, wow. This is amazing! Not really sure why this took me two views to love, but anyways, if you don't love it the first time around, you should watch it twice! xD

I absolutely LOVE this one. It is utterly stunning, and I love the issue it deals with and its prevalence in society today. Not to mention it really reminded me of one of my YA faves, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headly. As the poem starts builds and builds, I could just feel the emotion behind the words, it's truly a gem =)

Title: Pretty
Poet: Katie Makkai



But this is not about me.
This is about,

the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in,

about women who will prowl thirty stores and six malls

to find the right cocktail dress,

but who haven't a CLUE where to find fulfillment or

How to wear JOY.

Wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag

beneath the tyranny of those

two Pretty syllables...

Next Time: Eric Darby

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BR: I Am Number Four

by Pittacus Lore (pseudonym)
Lorien Legacies; book I

I honestly wanted to read this because I was intrigued by the fact that a movie (starring Alex Pettyfer....) is coming out soon! That makes me tres excited for many reasons (and I never read James Frey's "memoir" so I shall refrain from commenting). Plus, aliens? YAY!

Summary (inside flap):

Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books-- but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in Englsand.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

**
My Expectations: I hoped it would be action-y and different. I'm not really expecting a literary masterpiece though. I've stayed away from most reviews though!

Delivery: Good! A bit less action-y than I thought it would be, but good.

Put-down-ability: 4/10
**

My Thoughts

I Am Number Four is the type of book that will be snatched up by YA readers who want a break from the dominant genres of contemporary and paranormal. It has a great premise that "Lore" pulled off. One of the things I loved about this novel is Lore’s ability to build the world and history of Lorien that actually made me care about it, it’s a planet millions of miles away in a fictional world but I was still interested. The concept of aliens coming to earth, the Nine, Legacies, Garde and Cepan, and the Mogadorians who hunt them.. all of it felt really original (because I rarely read sci-fi or alien books).

I’m usually a fan of male perspective books but I felt this book’s writing was ‘middle of the pack’. The voice could definitely have been more distinct because many times it felt too ‘narrative’ and not enough ‘personality’. It felt like an awkward step-by-step story. Another thing this novel lacked was character development and depth. Throughout the novel there could have been a lot of opportunities for character growth for both primary and secondary characters which didn’t really occur. What you see is what you get for characters (minus one though).

I will say that the protagonist, John Smith, is likable, as is the love interest. I didn’t really feel the spark between him and Sarah but I thought the romance was cute. His new friend Sam is one of my favourite characters too, a total sweetheart geek! Basically, all of the characters are likable but a bit underwhelming. I did appreciate John's desire to be 'normal' in high school though.

I think the thing about my reading experience is that I kept picturing the novel as a movie, and in this regard it was extremely entertaining. I had clear pictures of characters in my head and all the action and storyline development could definitely work on the big screen. I think the way John’s different legacies, or powers, came about would look wicked in a movie, they were already cool in the book. Lastly, I loved the climax and anticlimax, so awesome!!

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: YA fans of Sci-fi, paranormal, male POVs

7/10 – because while there were a few weak points of the novel, it was nevertheless enjoyable. I loved the history Lore presented with Lorien’s destruction and the urgent and desperate feel through the last bit of the book. Characters fell flat but the plot was intriguing and easy to fall into. I Am Number Four unfolds like a movie, which I'm sure will be entertaining.








source: publisher (twitter)
intrigued?? Browse Inside, read an excerpt
book fan page
I Am Number Four movie trailer!

bye bye for a week

Hello lovelies!

Just a small announcement, I'm going to Toronto for a week, so there won't be much on this blog (probably, I've been known to change my plans). Will have Slam Sunday though.

And maybe this time off would be good for my reading slump (though I have finished a book recently). Plane rides are awesome for books.

I'll be back next Thursday! Have a great week everybody!

xoxo

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

reading slump..

So since school started, I've pretty much been in a reading slump. Yeah, it's been like 2 months... and I have a faint idea of the root of it all (ie: not enough time) but it's kind of gotten worse and worse. The last book I finished took me well over a week, and I had to force myself through it. The book before that was Monsters of Men, which I posted a review for it weeks ago.

And honestly since then, I haven't felt the urge or excitement to pick up a book, any book. I just don't feel like it. Do you have any ideas what I should do? And reading well-known-awesome novels isn't helping, because I've got a couple on hand that I just don't feel like reading. I need help!

This slum isn't blog-related at all, because as you can probably tell, I'm still obsessive as always. I'd also like to hugely apologize for the abundance of memes these past few weeks, it's just because, well, I haven't been reading. :( sorry!

What do you do if you ever get into a reading slump??

Monday, October 18, 2010

Minder contest: t-shirt or book!!

I'm really excited to announce another contest, this time you can either win Minder by Kate Kaynak, or an awesome Minder t-shirt!!

I've read the book and let me tell you, this is one that fans of supernatural romance can't miss out on!

About Minder:

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn doesn't know how Del and his two friends died. She just knows that she killed them. Ganzfield is a training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place.

Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.

A stray thought can burn a building to the ground.

And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads.

But it's still better than New Jersey.
Especially once she meets the man of her dreams...

Book trailer:



The t-shirt:








...isn't it adorable??



Rules:
-Open to US/Canada
-one entry per person
-Please read the form carefully (you get points for spreading the word about the BOOK and the CONTEST)
-Ends November 1st
-fill out the form



Sunday, October 17, 2010

32 MORE DAYS!!!

.... till Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 COMES OUT!!!!!!

zomgomgomgomgomg EEEEEEEk

~now while I will always love the books more than the movie franchise, I have gotten very swept up in the anticipation for this movie. If you remember, I posted about how I disliked these movies here, but what can I say.. I've kind of converted in the 3 months since. Well, since I saw the fantastic trailer!! =D sue me.



novemeber 19th, hurry up will ya?

Who else is excited for this?!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Scorch Trials winner!

Hey everybody! Thanks for entering my contest of The Scorch Trials! I have tallied up all the entries and extra tweet entries (thanks for spreading the word) and the winner is....

Jeanne!


I have already emailed you, please respond with your addy :)

And if you'd like, you can read my review of The Scorch Trials, it was truly a wonderful book!

BR: The Girl Who Played with Fire

by Stieg Larson
Millennium trilogy; book II

Another mini review for an out-of-usual-genre-book.

Summary (which is honestly longer than my review):

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

My Thoughts:

I really liked this one a lot, it was definitely a change of style and pace from most YA novels, it’s very much an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller novel that is all the rage lately. The plot is again, complex but still comprehendible; I’m happy to say that all the pieces don’t make a sloppy mess.

I’ll say it again, Lisbeth Salander is one kick-ass, dangerous and cool character, her own moral compass is admirable, she can be ruthless, smart, and caring—all just adding to character development. Love her! I wish she and Blomqvist had more scenes together, their relationship is intriguing but Blomqvist is a suitable and very likable lead nevertheless.

9/10 – it’s very close to being amazing, this is such an exhilarating read that is (like the first novel) highly addictive. I couldn’t put it down and the twists and turns kept me engaged. Hugely recommended series for adult readers looking for an action, thriller or mystery novel!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

contest reminder!! The Scorch Trials

Hey everybody! Just a reminder for those who haven't entered yet that my contest for The Scorch Trials ends tomorrow night (Oct. 15)! I've copied the form onto this post to make everything easy :)

Also, if you want a bonus entry, just leave a comment on my review of the book here!


Just a reminder of the rrules:
-Open Internationally
-Ends October 15th
-One entry per person (if you filled out the form previously, please don't fill out another one, it is still the same contest)
-Fill out the form below



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week's pick is already well known and probably on tons of people's radars, so I'll just jump into it before going on and on about how freaking excited I am xD

What Happened to Goodbye
by Sarah Dessen

Released: May 10, 2011
Viking Juvenile

Summary:
What Happened to Goodbye is about a high school senior who, after her parents’ divorce, has taken up the practice of assuming a new identity in each of the four towns she’s lived in.

**
Okay, so it's probably not the best summary but it's the one on goodreads. Sarah Dessen is definitely one of my absolute favourite YA contemporary authors, her books are amazing, addicting and basically full of win. I've read every single one of her books, which I'm very proud to say, Along for the Ride or Just Listen still remains my faves :D I'm super confident this book will be wonderful as well!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BR: The Scorch Trials

by James Dashner
The Maze Runner trilogy; book II

Well, I read the first book a while ago and really enjoyed it, I thought it was an original take on dystopian fiction. I was so happy to get to read this one, I didn’t know if it would measure up to the TMR though. The Scorch Trials is released today (Oct. 12)!!

Warning: Slight spoilers for Book I (The Maze Runner)

Summary (goodreads):
The Maze was only the beginning...

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more Variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety... until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, much of the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated--and with it, order--and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim... and meal.

The Gladers are far from done running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder--does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

**
My Expectations: I haven’t read a single review, so I was just hoping it would be as good as The Maze Runner (which I didn’t review but gave it an ‘8’)

Delivery: Aargh! Wow! It was addicting and had the elements crucial for super-enjoyment :)

Put-down-ability: You won’t be able to stop anywhere without being left hanging, that’s how twisty it is. 2/10
**

My Thoughts

If you were a fan of The Maze Runner, trust me, The Scorch Trials will not let you down. I was thinking how amazing the idea of the maze was… until this one just blew me away. Everything about this book is fantastic, with every plot element perfectly melded to fit the style and tone of this book.

The Scorch Trials picks up right after the last book ended, without missing a beat the author plunges you right back into this dystopian world and takes you on one helluva ride. Let’s start with the pacing: it was crazy. Exhilarating; it was non-stop bam-bam-bam, it mercilessly knocks you down and doesn’t wait for you to get back up before it kicks you in the stomach, things are thrown at Thomas and the Gladers at utterly insane intervals… which was awesome.

I loved every twist and turn and being jaw-droppingly shocked at times, seeing what Dashner would make these boys undergo next, the mystery behind WICKED, the Cranks and the Flare, Group B, the Trials… fantastic. Plot gets an A+.

I’m delighted by the way Dashner handled the third person POV, I didn’t feel detached from the protagonist at all, it was well laid out and well written. Thomas’ conflicting emotions and his inner thoughts all felt authentic, and I loved being in his ‘head’, ie: not knowing what the hell was going on and just being tossed into dangerous situations with crazy people and hectic conditions. The way he learns a bit more about his past and his old world was interesting and added to the mystery.

I absolutely adored where the storyline of Thomas/Teresa went (not kidding, it is intensely suspenseful and original) but I did feel the other Gladers’ development lacked. I wish we got to learn more about Minho, Newt and the other boys but they all felt flat. Also, I never really got why they didn’t get suspicious of Thomas in certain parts. I’m not a big fan of the kinda-end-ish twist, it was just awkward and lacked sincere motivation (but it's all part of the mystery, I guess). However, I am impressed with the way a love triangle is emerging.. dun dun dunn! xD

Parting Thoughts: ohmigosh, I can’t wait for book 3!!! I would say this sequel is even better than the first!
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations

8.9/10 – because the pacing and plot was so incredible, I was amazed by how quickly you’re transported right into the middle of everything, letting events unfold and unravel with mystery and action. The plot made the book impossible to put down. The mystery behind WICKED is one I can’t wait to learn more about, and I don’t even know what Dashner’s gonna do next. The minor characters were a bit static and robotic, which was my only nitpick with this novel. The Scorch Trials is highly recommended to fans of fast-paced dystopian novels with a lovable hero, mystery, and high-voltage action! A






author website / blog / twitter

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Poetry Slam Sunday (3)

Slam Sunday is a new bi-weekly feature I'm having on my blog, basically every other Sunday I'll share a YouTube clip of awesome spoken poetry that you just can't miss.

Poetry Slam is a competition in which poets recite original work. I love it. Plain and simple, I love the way it combines words, rhythms and performance, the sounds blending together to bring attention to anything and everything. When done well, it has the power to accomplish great things.
**

Happy 10/10/10 everyone :)

If you haven't heard of Taylor Mali, you are seriously missing out. His work honestly can leave me jaw-dropped, and nodding along thinking 'this is me. I need to change'. Well, this one in particular does. This topic is not only incredibly true (from what I noticed at school and even pertaining to myself) but hilarious and original as well. Please, press play. It's seriously an awesomesauce 'poem'.. ya know? (clip begins at 0:14)

And I promise you after you become aware of this, you know, stuff you will like, you know, be noticing this everywhere...?

Title: Speaking with Conviction
Poet: Taylor Mali



They've been infested with this tragically cool and totally hip
interogative tone..?
As if I'm saying "don't think I'm a nerd just 'cause I've, like, noticed this okay?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions,
I'm just like inviting you to join me
on the bandwagon of my own uncertainty..?"

Next time: Katie Makkai






PS- this meme is bi-weekly, I just broke the rules this week :p

Saturday, October 9, 2010

BR: Monsters of Men

by Patrick Ness
Chaos Walking trilogy; book III

Needless to say, I'm kind of a total fangirl of this series. It defies all expectations with imaginative style and strokes of brilliance. Just check out these three quotes, my review of book one, and my author feature :) I finally purchased this when I couldnt wait for the library anymore.
**Will contain minor-ish spoilers for the first two books!!**



Summary:

'War', says the Mayor. 'At last'.

Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge...

**
My Expectations: HIGH. I expected it to blow my brains out.

Delivery: perhaps I was a bit unreasonable, but nevertheless this finale was pretty darned epic.

Put-down-ability: hard to stay engaged (I explain in the review) 7/10
**

My Thoughts

I think most people who have stuck with my blog know how big of a fan I am of Patrick Ness’ dystopian Chaos Walking trilogy. I mean, come on, the first two books were intense, and ended on such a crazy cliffhanger, they pounded at a relentless pace never letting me catch my breath as twist after twist occurred. And the third book is more or less the same level of awesome.

This review will stray from my traditional ones, partly because I feel since Ness ignored the idea of structure, I will too. Also, I would like to try my best to avoid spoilers, and change it up a bit.

Monsters of Men is truly remarkable, it is brutal, thrilling and unpredictable, the tragedies of war are splattered across its pages. But they weren’t the only things. Ness also managed to weave in freedom, information overload, choices, consequences, sacrifice, politics, power, vengeance, morality, love, hope, and far far more into this final instalment. I took away so much after reading it.

I really loved the idea of choices, about what we would do for someone we loved, the choice of pulling the trigger or shielding your eyes, the choice of saving a town or saving a person. All of this is explored in an entertaining fashion; Todd and Viola’s relationship evolves by leaps and bounds, it could be tense, deceitful, sweet or chaotic. I loved the lack of sexual tension, both these characters are totally in love =) I absolutely love them both!

The book's stance on war is strong and unyielding: sacrifices are made, sides are chosen, battles are fought, and none of this is sugarcoated and readers get an up-close look on how such brutality affects those involved. As some people feed off power and destruction others step up to the plate and take on the challenge. Costs of war, the consequences, and even the initial spark that sets everything off is amazing. No one, and I mean no one gets out of it unscathed.

The non-genius part of this novel was its length. I’m just a tad intimidated by long novels, and this one had the tendency to cause minor irritation. For one, the third POV inserted didn’t help me stay invested, if anything, it jolted me out of my suspension of disbelief. It’s like the third wheel in a perfectly compatible relationship.

But... you know what made HP so amazing? Lord Voldemort. The thing about Monsters of Men was, well, it was hard to define who Lord Voldemort was. The complexities of the antagonist(s) was spot-on, they had depth and motivations, development and that little sparkle of charm and doubt that made me think… what if he/she did change? I mean it takes serious talent to half-way redeem a basically horrendous person, and Ness managed to make him/her empathetic. Empathetic! I’m impressed.

This novel is a display of world-building at its finest. The Spackle’s means of communication, the Noise, the new world, the Settlers, it’s got the dose of originality and possibility that is a must-have for any dystopian novel. Plot twists were aplenty, many (esp. The Source…) left me jaw-dropped in a very unattractive manner. Pretty genius, just sayin’.

And to end on a high note, Todd was a fantastic character. There’s so many reasons why he should be the blueprint of coolness, so marvellously complex and with justifiable and understandable motivations, I loved his rocky relationship with the Mayor. As their relationship evolved, I was mystified with how things would progress, everything became so intimately tangled I was shocked with how Ness managed to pull everything off.

Patrick Ness, writer extraordinaire does it again. His odd stream-of-consciousness style is flawless, and I just love the shit he makes his characters endure. The ethical choice or the internal one. Is war personal? What is the 'greater good'? Taking responsibilty for your choices. Can love really survive such devastating circumstances? Can people really change? Do they?

Okay, and final comment, again, the climax and anticlimax was one of the best I’ve ever read! The plot picked up pace until I was completely hooked and everything was happening, then BAM. WOW. OMG. WOW. End.

Parting Thoughts: I wish I could say more, there is honestly hundreds of things I wanted to write in this review! I already know that I kinda overkilled the length.. sorry xD
Rating in HP Terms:
Exceeds Expectations

9.1/10 - because it's a stunning finale to an incredibly unique series. I loved the way everything unfolded, the themes it tackled, the writing, the twists, and especially the characters. Definitely recommended to any reader who is a fan of dystopian, gutsy fiction! A
And if you haven't read the series yet, TRY IT. Just try =) Book one is The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday's Finest (25)

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.
**

This week's pick is from one of my most anticipated books of the year (third book of the trilogy)... but unfortunately it is only pretty good so far. I expected outstanding, but... yeah. Or maybe I'm just bogged down with procrastination, but it's been hard to get into it. However, I did stumble upon a treasure-ous quote, it's one that you can't help but stop and reread.

Book: Monsters of Men
by Patrick Ness

Quote:
"I hope I'd make the right choice, but Viola it is a choice. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that's not how a person with integrity acts."
I love this because it's so, well, grown-up. It's something I believe in, and something that is true. I don't want to preach or whatevs but I believe in taking responsibility for actions and choices.

Have you read the Chaos Walking series (I would highly recommend it!)? And what are your thoughts on this quote?







also: see my review on book 1, The Knife of Never Letting Go

Thursday, October 7, 2010

a meme: My Life in Books

So I first saw this at Squeaky Books and I thought it was super fun and cute. She found it from Everything to Do with Books, an the chain goes on.
Basically, just answer the 'phrase' with a book title you have read this year! My answers have more to do with titles than the novel, but you can do it differently.

# In high school I was
: The Sweet Far Thing (Libba Bray)
# People might be surprised I'm: All Unquiet Things (Anna Jarzab)
# I will never be: The Thief (Megan Whalen Turner)
# My fantasy job is: Magic Study (Maria V. Snyder)
# At the end of a long day I need: Feed (MT Anderson)
# I hate it when: Liar (Justine Larbalestier)
# Wish I had: Eyes Like Stars (Lisa Mantchev)
# My family reunions are: A Match made in High School (Melissa Walker)
# At a party you'd find me: Before I Fall :p jk (Lauren Oliver)
# I've never been to: The Demon's Covenant (Sarah Rees Brennan)
# A happy day includes: Beautiful Creatures (Garcia & Stohl)
# Motto I live by: Let it Snow (Green & Johnson & Myracle)
# On my bucket list: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side xD (Beth Fantaskey)
# In my next life I want to be: The Girl who Played with Fire (Stieg Larsson)

Feel free to snag this meme! Have fune and leave a comment, I'd love to link/read it! :D







Your lists: =)
Sarah @ Loving Books

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week's pick is one I've been looking forward since I first read the summary and saw the (breathtakingly awesome) cover.

Like Mandarin
by Kirsten Hubbard

Released: March 8, 2011
Delacorte/Random House


"I want to be beautiful like you, I thought, as if Mandarin were listening.

I want apricot skin and Pocahontas hair and eyes the color of tea. I want to be confident and detached and effortlessly sensual, and if promiscuity is part of the package, I will gladly follow your lead. All I know is I'm so tired of being inside my body.

I would give anything to be like Mandarin."

Summary:

It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.

When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town.

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

**

I don't really know why, but it's like I've been 'drawn' to this book. Hmm. I should look into it xD It looks really fantastic, and people are saying great things about it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Book of Awesome

by Neil Pasricha

So for my birthday, one of my friends got me this book... literally called The Book of Awesome.

So since it's Monday (yes, that's a very valid reason) I'll try and brighten up the mood by sharing some random (seriously, I'm just flipping to random pages) awesome things.

  • Peeling an orange in one shot
  • Getting the eyelash out of your eye
  • The smell of the coffee aisle in the grocery store
  • Perfectly toasted toast (mmmmm)
  • When you arrive at the bus stop just as the bus is coming around the corner
  • Squeezing through a door as it's shutting without touching it
  • Remembering what movie that guy was from
  • Sleeping with one leg under the covers and one leg out
  • Laughing so hard you make no sound at all
  • The moment at a restaurant after you see your food coming from the kitchen but before it lands on your table
  • Finally remembering a word that's been on the tip of your tongue for so long
  • The first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter
  • When someone lands on the hotel you just built in Monopoly
  • Popping bubble wrap
  • Sweatpants
Why is this so awesome? Because it's ALL TRUE. Honestly. I'm reading this book and nodding along. It's just like page-long explanations/stories about all these great everyday things that have the ability to make your day. Simple and Brilliant indeed. I would definitely recommend it!

It's... AWESOME.






Neil Pasricha is also the author of 1000awesomethings.com which is also hilariously fantastic

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Poetry Slam Sunday (2)

Slam Sunday is a new bi-weekly feature I'm having on my blog, basically every Sunday I'll share a YouTube clip of awesome spoken poetry that you just can't miss.

Poetry Slam is a competition in which poets recite original work. I love it. Plain and simple, I love the way it combines words, rhythms and performance, the sounds blending together to bring attention to anything and everything. When done well, it has the power to accomplish great things.
**

This week is another one of my favourites for a completely different reason than the last one. Instead of words melded together to form melodic poetry and heartfelt lyrics, this one is still straight from the heart but this time with so much power. I love the conviction in Daniel Beatty's poem, but I think what draws me in is the intense rhythm of it all. It's about a boy and his father, quite simply. (sorry for the low quality video)

Title: Knock Knock
Poet: Daniel Beatty



Papa come home because I decided a while back I want to be
just like you.
...but I'm forgettin' who you are.
And 25 years later a little boy cries and I so write these words
and try to heal and try to father myself
and I dream about the father
who says the words my father did not:
Dear Son,
I'm sorry I never came home.

Next Time: Taylor Mali

Friday, October 1, 2010

September, lookin' back.

Just a monthly recap post! September was when I got back into the groove of things after taking a break over the summer.

This is September In Review at holes In My brain!

Book Reviews (10)~ some of these were pre-written reviews from the summer:

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

White Cat by Holly Black

The Eternal Ones
by Kirsten Miller

The Thief
by Megan Whalen Turner

Beastly by Alex Flynn

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter
by Julie Kagawa

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Steig Larsson

I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Thoughts:
I didn't read the biggest number of books, but the ones I did read this month were mostly enjoyable. School and stuff has started but I don't think it's interfering much with my book obsession...

My favourite September read: Twenty Boy Summer (9.2/10) by Sarah Ockler!! Read my review of it here!

**Also this month, I...

Reviewed two movies, Inception and Toy Story 3
*
Shared my opinions on book banning, and the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson; speak up, Speak Out, SPEAK LOUD
*
Posted a discussion post about what books do
*
Had my birthday! xD
*
Started a new bi-weekly feature, Poetry Slam Sundays
*
Shared some procrastination tips! ;)

Parting Thoughts:
Well, I'm pretty happy with the way September went down, I was pretty productive on my blog and cranked out some more reviews. I'm trying my best to improve my reviews, I want to raise my standard so I'm trying to put a lot of thought and effort into them. Going to continue working on building my readership, look forward to a contest... very soon!

Looking Ahead:
I'm going to visit my brother on the other side of the country in the last week of October, but I will most likely pre-schedule some posts. Also, this means I need to make sure I'm completely on track for school so I don't fall behind with my 'vacation days' so I'll be somewhat busy this month.

On the blog, look out for a couple contests, more reviews and more random posts!