Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: The Market by J. M. Steele

The Market
The Market by J. M. Steele
Published: June 9th, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion (Disney)
Pages: 336

My Review:

This book followed Kate, on her rise to the top of the social ladder. In her senior year, after four years of being unnoticed, she begins to find the number: 71 plastered in various parts of her life. That number leads her to find the Market, a website that ranks the 140 senior girls of her high school, and Kate is horrified to learn she is #71. Her and her friends devise a plan to get to the top.

I've never read a book with this plot basis before, and I was excited to start it. It proved to be just another high school novel though. Predictable plot twists, naive characters, lots of obsessing over boys. The only part that surprised me was the end. It was a bad feeling of surprise though, and I was a bit disappointed. The end was impossible to predict, and what happened was rather out of the blue--which is why I was wary of it. The fact that it was out of the norm was a good addition though, and I appreciate it for that.

There were a few little things that borderline offended me. More than once the author used 'retarted' (page 241 for example) and also 'schizo' (page 242) as a derogatory. I don't even need to explain why I dislike that.

I wouldn't go out of my way to read this, but I recommend it if it sounds really creative to you, as it did to me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Pages: 372
Published: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen

My Review:

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I have heard about the drama between a blogger, Kiera Cass, and her agent--but I decided to read it anyway. I'm really glad I did, because I loved it!

America was a good protagonist, not totally relatable, but a lot better than some of the ones I've read lately. I really liked Maxon too, again, he is one of the better male counter-parts I've read of recently and is one that is a pretty good role-model. I loved all the romance in this book, although I'm Team Maxon!

The plot went smoothly and the action fit in perfectly. There were many a cheesy-bits (like the name America Singer, guess what? She's a singer) but the writing and creativity made up for everything not-so-sweet. 

The reason there is a knocked off star is because I wasn't really satisfied with the ending.While there was not a huge cliffhanger, there were still unwrapped up things that will only be answered in the next book, and some of the minor things may not be wrapped up at all. I just have to wait until the next book to find out! I did expect everything to be wrapped up, which is part of it. I can't wait until The Elite is released next year! Until then, I do recommend this book even if you aren't a fan of the author's actions. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Pages: 391
Publisher: Simon & Shuster
Published: October 13th, 2009

My Review:

As you can tell from the cover, this book stems from the lore of fallen angels. Although, that doesn't mean it actually tells you much about them. Hush, Hush takes place from Nora's POV, a straight-A high schooler. Nora's world is turned upside down when she's paired with the transfer student in class, Patch; he's cocky, arrogant, but Nora is drawn to him as he is to her. Patch has many secrets though, and Nora has a target on her back.

A lot of people love this book. My GoodReads friends all seem to. On the other hand, I didn't like it from the beginning to the end. I'm surprised that I didn't abandon it, because I did finish it. There was nothing in this book that I liked. I do admit, the plot was creative and the characters had a good basis. But I felt that none of it developed well.

The characters, oh the characters. . . I wish they'd all just go away. Nora is a typical Bella-like character. She cowered behind Patch the whole time, even though she didn't trust him for the majority of the book. She didn't seem to have a mind of her own when Patch was around, and she was ALWAYS the one who was getting hurt. The bit at the end did give her a spine, but it didn't make up for everything. And then Patch. What does Nora see in him?! He's SUCH A JERK. I'm sorry this is getting negative, but I couldn't stand him. He's supposed to be the man that readers should swoon over? I'm not buying it. He's constantly antagonizing Nora, but also coming on to her at the same time. I just found him to be quite the sleaze-ball.  I can't even recall a time when the couple was just laughing together and having fun. Angst, angst, angst. As for the other characters, like Vee especially, there was no redemption at all.

I do like romance. The chapters where it was just Patch and Nora being lovey-dovey were cute, and saved the book a *little* bit. But there was this one part that I'm still confused about. I'm going to set the stage, and for those who haven't read it, this is NOT spoiling anything: Nora is at a motel and the power has just gone out, she's plunged into darkness (which I infer to mean there's no generator.) But she goes in the bathroom and takes a shower:
Just then the lights overhead blinked out, plunging the lobby into darkness. We all stood silent for a moment before the clerk fumbled around and clicked on an industrial-size flashlight. (Page 282 Paperback)
She takes a shower, not quoting it because it could be spoiler-y to someone who hasn't read it. It's on page 284 though.
Maybe there was a coin-operated dryer nearby. . . one that didn't require electricity. (Page 285 Paperback)
I've been through enough New England winters to know that doesn't work during a power outage. That part just annoyed me, but it didn't affect the overall story.

So there you have it, my first negative review on this blog. (Maybe this is half-negative?) I don't recommend this book, unless you were dying to read it to begin with. Many people did enjoy it though, I'm in the minority this time. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quick Update:

I'm going to England later today, and while I'll be doing a lot of reading, there won't be that many posts for a few days. Once I'm there and settled, do expect some reviews!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham


Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
Pages: 325
Published: June 12th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

My Review:
This book followed three ex-best friends on a road trip to see their all-time favorite band. The band broke up around the same time that the girls' friendship crumbled, several years before the start of the book. The one night reunion concert offers some hope to Alice, always the sentimental one, that her, Tiernan, and Summer could be friends again.

I was lucky enough to go to the book tour for this book, and it was pretty awesome. (My first real book tour!) So once I came home with my brand-new signed copy, I started reading it immediately. It only took me two days to read, and I know I should have savored it more, but it was so hard to put down!

The writing was superb. I have a rainbow of sticky tags marking all my favorite quotes! The POV alternated between the three girls every chapter, and they each had a different, and distinct voice. They were all flawed and admirable in different ways, and seeing their different views of the world was great.

I love the ending! It was completely unexpected (as were many twists!) I love all of the side characters too. Every character was important, and added to the story. The boys from Level3 had such a big impact, even though they weren't physically there, to the story. The lyrics from each of their songs, that were printed at the beginning of each chapter, made me stop and read carefully. To be honest, I usually skip over lyrics and poetry that are included in novels. This time I didn't, and I related to a lot of the lyrics, and Summer's poetry. 

I have nothing bad to say about this book, go pick it up from your bookshop now!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In My Mailbox #9

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by the Story Siren! It's an opportunity to showcase what books you have purchased, borrowed from the library, etc throughout the week.

Here's what I've gotten this week!:

ReunitedThe Selection (The Selection, #1)Rapture (Fallen, #4)

I went to the Reunited book tour, and it was really fun! (My first book tour! :D)
I have heard about the conflict that occured with Kiera Cass, her agent, and a reviewer. I'm putting that aside, and I just plan on reading the book and not to be biased.
Rapture, the last book in the Fallen series, what am I to do?

What did you get this week?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney

The Boy Recession
The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney
Pages: 247
Published: August 7th, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
My Source: ARC

My Review:
The Boy Recession was a look into a high school that is suffering a shortage of testosterone. Because of budget cuts, many of the athletic guys have left for other schools. This book is told in an alternating POV, Kelly, a sweet girl, and Hunter, a complete slacker.

I'm starting off with the characters. Kelly was my favorite. She was a refreshing female character, and I could 100% relate to all the things she said. Hunter on the other hand, I seriously disliked reading his chapters. I think this happens a lot when a female writer writes from a male POV. It just comes out unrealistic. More than once, Hunter was upset that he'd made out with a girl named Diva, so he complained about how SHE was following him around and not leaving him alone. Am I the only one who sees the messed-up logic?? Hunter is the main reason two stars are knocked off, and I probably would have liked him if I didn't have to read his POV. On the other hand, I loved Eugene (who was supposed to be the slimeball.)

"Don't hate on Scott Disick," Eugene warns me. "He's my fashion role model."
(From ARC, has not been checked against final copy.)

Lines like that made up for Hunter! I also liked Kelly's friends, Aviva and Darcy. The plot was creative, and I've never read another book like it. I also enjoyed Johann, a minor character that needed more time in the spotlight!

I'd love to read a sequel or companion of Aviva at engineering camp! :D (The GIRL Recession?)
So I recommend this if you don't mind reading Hunter's POV, and the things that annoyed me. It's a good book all-in-all. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Reading Challenge!

Me last summer!
This challenge is being hosted by Kate! I think it's an awesome idea, and I'm going to try to do it. *cross my fingers*  There are ten categories for this challenge to complete before summer is over. Here they are: (and my choices!)

1. One Book Recommended By A Friend. Room by Emily Donoghue (For you, Kim!)
2. One Book That Has Been Sitting On Your Shelf For Over A Year. Sweet 16 by Kate Brian
3. One Book You Read A Long Time Ago And Don't Remember. Love in the Corner Pocket by Marlene Perez
4. One Book From Your To Be Read List. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
5. One Book You've Never Heard Of. The Rules of Survival by Nancy Welin
6. One Classic. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
7. One Book You Started But Never Finished. Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
8. One New Release. The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer *EEE!!*
9. One Book That Is Outside of Your Typical Genre. The Harlot by Saskia Walker
10. One Chunkster (A Book That Is Over 400 Pages). City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I'll mark the finished challenges in red, once I start! (:

Cover Reveal! Mind Games by Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, which ends this July. :/ But, today she released cover of her 2013-release book, Mind Games!!

It's gorgeous, don't you think? If you haven't checked out her blog post, you can read it here! Here is the slim (if you enlarge the photo on Kiersten's blog, you can see a longer snippet) summary of Mind Games:
In a world where psychics and mind-readers are the ultimate tools in corporate espionage, two teen girls try to save themselves and their future.
This book will be released February 19th, 2013! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Pages: 338
Released: September 29th, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Books

My Review:
There are so many things I loved about this book, I think I'll just list them and skip doing a formal review:

-Lola has two dads, YES! Thank you for including that! It's just an unapproached topic in YA, and Andy and Nathan were one of the best additions to this book.
-The crazy-awesome descriptions of Lola's clothes.
-Anna and Étienne are back! YAY!
-Cricket in general. He definitely equals Étienne, I could never choose between them.
-Calliope's ice skating career.
-Lindsay & her Nancy Drew collection.
-Castro neighborhood!

I guess the star is off mostly because the scenery didn't have that sparkle that AaTFK had. Not much can beat Paris though.
This book is just as amazing as AaTFK, I recommend picking it up right now if you haven't already! :)  (I realize now that I waited a pretty long time..)        

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In My Mailbox #8

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by the Story Siren! It's an opportunity to showcase what books you have purchased, borrowed from the library, etc throughout the week.

Here's what I got:

From a local book store, I bought:

and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Recommended to me by a youtube subscriber!)

I got this ARC for review,

What did you get this week?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen (Velveteen, #1)Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Pages: 464
Release: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Random House Childrens' Books
My Source: ARC

My Review:

This book was about a teen girl named Velveteen, who was murdered by a serial killer. She ends up in Purgatory, the place where souls go that's in between Heaven and Hell (it's a Catholic belief.) Velvet takes out her anger by haunting the serial killer, Bonesaw, and working at her job in Purgatory. But Purgatory is crumbling, and some rebels called the 'Departurisits' are making ripples in the normally peaceful place.

So, with this book, I had more issues than likes. I'll just dive right into them. Basically, most of it dealt with the character development (or lack of) and also the way that all of them acted out of character. Velvet is a cold soul, and pretty bitchy. I get that, because of all the anger stemming from her death. But within the first few chapters she's acting like a loving sister to one of the other characters. She's supposed to be a bitchy character, and get nicer throughout the course of the book, right? That's not how it went down. Also, her and her coworker, Nick, were not a good couple. They weren't developed enough in the first place to even get a romance going. They referred to each other as 'dude' constantly, which I don't even understand. I haven't heard someone say 'dude' in years. And then they made jokes at the WORST times. Spilling someone's ashes? LOL dude. No, just stop that.

I didn't like any of the characters to begin with, and I couldn't root for them as a couple either. The book dragged through the middle, and I almost abandoned it several times. The biggest thing besides the characters was the fact that there was not enough description. With almost everything! It improved by the end of the book, but I was getting lost constantly. I'd have to reread pages just to understand where Velvet was.
Other than that, which did count a lot, the premise and plot was amazingly creative. I've never read a book that takes place in Purgatory before. Every little aspect of the plot was extremely creative: I loved how souls 'dimmed' when it was their time to move on, and how Velvet's job was to be a body thief. If the book had better characters, I'm sure my rating would be up in four or five stars.

I may read the next book in the series, but I won't be buying it. If you are a big fan of the creativity of the plot, then go ahead and read this book. But if the things I listed, like annoying characters, bother you--don't waste your time!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In My Mailbox #7

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by the Story Siren! It's an opportunity to showcase what books you have purchased, borrowed from the library, etc throughout the week.

Here's what I got!

I got these three ARCs at the Teen Book Club event that I mentioned in some earlier posts. I finished Starling a few days ago, and it was SO good!

Eve & Adam by Micheal Grant and Katherine Applegate
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini
Starling by Lesley Livingston