Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BR: Spellbound

by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall trilogy; book III

AAAAHH it's out! Yay! I love this series, legit! :)

Summary (goodreads):

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?


**
My Expectations: high!...ish! I really loved the first two books, which took me by complete surprise, yet I’ll admit I kind of went into this one forgetting everything that happened in Demonglass..eek
Delivery: it was great :D
Put-down-ability: low! Even sitting in an uncomfy chair at the bookstore, I couldn’t put it down. 2.5/10
**

My Thoughts

Wow, it’s kind of been a long time I actually physically finished a series, huh? I’m the queen of starting and never finishing these stuff, so kudos to you, Ms Hawkins, for keeping my interest ;) So.. Spellbound. SO GOOD. We can just stop here now.

Spellbound starts off right where the last book ended but I actually didn’t remember much from the cliffhanger before— however, Hawkins really caught me up quickly and not in a non-intrusive/obvious way. Just small hints here and there referencing what had happened, which was awesome

Oh, Sophie Mercer, you magical awesome hilarious girl with a dysfunctional family, you. How I’ve missed you. As per expected, Sophie was the brilliant star of this finale as the stakes are raised and she finds herself in the middle of an all-out war with both sides trying to use her as a weapon (well, ish). Tough decisions and pushed-to-the-limit-esque situations occur, and all were done very well. I think one of my absolute favourite aspects about her is her humour (duh), and how she uses it whenever she’s nervous or something—it just adds an authentic feel to her genuinely hilarious commentary.

The characters of the series have been so good so far, but I did feel apart from Sophie, there was a lack of growth from the supporting cast. More specifically for her best friends, I never really thought they changed much; they were just always there for a funny quip or support. To be honest, I never really swooned for Archer, which I found concerning. I loved the twists with Sophie’s family at the beginning and the new characters introduced, but there were times where I thought they deserved a bit more screen time instead of launching the plot.

Which brings me to the plot, and what I did feel was lacking a bit. I loved the general gist of it, with the big bad villains (great villains, btw. Awesome with the motivation and complexity etc., I love villains like this) and what turned out to be lies, but I didn’t really like the… bits between the journey, if that’s what you’ll call it. Like the transitions between mini-story-arcs weren't my favourite.



SOME MINOR SPOILERS BELOW, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!! (highlight to read)


There’s a few parts when some really almost, random, event happens to move the plot along, such as when the group suddenly found themselves back together at the school, for some reason it just felt too convenient, especially with the preceding angst. Also, the trip to hell kind of fell flat for me. However, the ending for the love triangle is actually how I *almost* hoped the love triangle in Mockingjay would have ended… yeah.. :P 



END SPOILERS



Don’t worry, spoilers were just odd plot points that bugged me, you didn’t miss much. If you don’t read this book though, you will be missing out on simultaneous genius and light-hearted writing that really was what made me fall in love with the series in the first place.  It’s brilliant and I think our protagonist Sophie alone should warrant anybody to read this fun, thrilling, fast-paced, imaginative, and ultimately lovely series*.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: pretty much anybody, despite the slight paranormal twist, it’s a fun book that has huge appeal.
Acknowledgements: lovely and funny! 4/5

8.6/10 – because as I think I’ve now mentioned like twenty times, Sophie was amazing. Her voice and the writing completely shined and made me laugh and giggle and care for her character. The plot itself as a general arc was superb with great twists and turns, though I did find transitions between settings to be jarring and some triumphs to be unearned. I’m on board with the ending, though some parts I absolutely loved and others I didn’t. Go read this series!









*enough adjectives already!


author twitter / blog 
My reviews for book 1 (Hex Hall) and book 2 (Demonglass)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In My Mailbox (14)

Hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!
**

Wow, first IMM of the year... I know, I'm a slacker :/

Anyways, I filmed a vlog, and if you're too lazy, I also listed the books at the bottom :)




Books mentioned:
The Disenchantments by Nina Lacour
Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Black Heart by Holly Black (trade with Chloe @ YA Booklover Blog, thank you!!)
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (borrowed from Rachel @ Reading Timbits, thank you soo much!)

And I know, IMM is supposed to be a Sunday thing, but who cares :p Have a great weekend, everybody! Leave IMM links and I'll try my best to drop by in between studying psych and... well.. studying psych :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

the Before I Die MOVIE trailer!

... but the movie's actually called "Now is Good" (IMDB) and stars Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine. It's based on Before I Die by Jenny Dowham which was released a few years ago.

So for your enjoyment, here's the trailer! (direct link click here!)



My thoughts? It's not bad... but I'm apprehensive. It reminds me of A Walk to Remember but with the hip modern thing going on. I'm not sure how I feel about the casting of Dakota Fanning but it seems like it'll be alright. My worries (which are quite a few, mind you) are that they're going to change the ending from the book (which I thought was so powerful) or the acting is going to suck and if I'm distracted by bad acting (and cheesy lines! Oh god, I hate hate hate cheesy lines in teen movies that are meant to be 'romantic' but just make me roll my eyes) then I won't enjoy the movie. But I am tentatively optimistic!

So.. what did YOU think of the trailer?? Have you read the book? Excited for the movie?




Now is Good is released May 25 in the UK.



Before I Die (summary):


Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out

Thursday, March 1, 2012

on my MIND


I feel like every few months I look back and do an update-like post that really isn’t that informative, but I still do it anyways. Too bad, huh :p So here we go, this is just some odd blogging/book/world related thoughts on my mind.

Firstly

The fabulous Linna from 21 Pages is a super-talented graphic designer, and I’m pretty sure ALL of you know about her gorgeous blog… but check out these designs she did for Chloe’s blog and Ezmirelda's blog! The designs are beautiful, that Linna girl is talented.  So if you’re fed up with your layout… *shoves you towards her design blog*

Secondly

Another extremely talented and super lovely graphic designer (who, from my na├»ve assumptions, is pretty much the smartest person ever regarding codes, wordpress, websites, etc) Cialina also designs blogs (understatement, probably), along with helping you transition from blogger to self-hosted, if you want to jump on that bandwagon (all the cool kids are doing it!). And her blog.. it’s so pretty... so, so pretty.

Thirdly

What is with all the cover reveals?????
I mean, sure, it’s great publicity and that, but it just feels like it crept up on me and BOOM, one day all I see is cover reveals everywhere.

Fourthly

I need an awesome book to read. Any suggestions?
Requirements because I’m picky:
No love triangles, not a series, protagonist older than 15, no paranormal, preferably tears or laughter-inducing, must not have ugly cover (jk).

Fifthly

I want to venture into reading adult fiction, any suggestions? Realistic fiction, preferably. Not Nicholas Sparks.

Sixthly

I’m currently doing this "try something new for 30 days" project from this Ted Talk that I found on Stephanie Perkins’ blog. It’s basically a challenge for myself to take a picture every day for 30 days, and I decided to create a Tumblr to post my pictures, so you can check it out if you’re interested. I feel like 2012 will be a year of 30 day challenges, and I’m considering maybe collab-ing with someone who might be interested in doing something small/creative/writing-esque for 30 days with me, comment if interested? :)

Seventhly

I’m seeing the midnight screening of The Hunger Games!!! EEEP I’m excited, and I’ll be done midterms by then!!! I’m pretty stoked about the movie, though I wish they’d stop comparing it to Twilight. That makes me gag.

Eighthly

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST AVENGERS TRAILER?!?!?!?!?!




I think I’ve rewatched that 5 times. I CAN’T WAIT. And no, I haven’t read the comics and such, but I’m just stoked to watch a movie that looks friggin AWESOME. (youtube link)

Ninthly

I find this tumblr very pleasing on the eyes. And if that’s not enough, read the tags. They’re hysterical (brought to you by the awesome Yahong). #he's luscious when he's intense, ya'll

Tenthly

What's the best movie you've seen recently? I need a movie to fall in love with.

Elevnthly

I'm contemplating the future of this blog. I find that sometimes I try and sit down and write something reasonably intelligent or thought-provoking and it just turns into a pile of dung. Yeah that's right, dung. I've read an absurdly little number of books this year, yet I don't find myself wanting to jump into a few that have been sitting on my shelf. I don't find that I'm dying to read Pandemonium or whichever shiny new release that's been out, which makes me question my commitment to sparkle motion. Or whatever.
**

That's all, my lovelies, and as always, thanks for reading. I like how these posts always start out book related then end up on different tangents.

-audrey.