Friday, April 22, 2011

Cover Crazy (14)

Covery Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.  Okay so I saw this cover and I fell in LOVE!  The fiery hair, her expression, the slumped posture.  GORGEOUS! I'm super psyched for this.  Plus, if there's any connection to Greek mythology and the Furies I'm even more excited! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Enclave

Synopsis: New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

My Review: I absolutely and completely loved this.  It’s funny because I read 3 dystopian novels in a row and this one took the cake.  It was perfect in every way.  I have not one complaint or critique.  I know right, me and my big mouth have nothing to say? Gasp!  Seriously though, this took the slot for my favorite book this year thus far.  Just like I applauded Julia Karr for her amazing world building skills, Ann Aguirre does an equally marvelous job.  While Karr was all futuristic technology and corrupt government, Aguirre was devastating apocalypse.  Not that I’m comparing the two (because frankly I loved them both) but Aguirre really took it to new levels of dark.  

The underground world that Deuce lives in is dark and gruesome where everyone has to fight to survive.  Deuce’s enclave is relatively prosperous and strong.  Her naming day marks her transition into adulthood and into her occupation.  The six cuts on her arms mark her as a Huntress, one of the brave who hunt for food and protect the enclave from the Freaks that roam the tunnels.  However, her life as a Huntress isn’t at all what she expected.  When she is paired up with Fade, the enclave’s outcast, everything she once knew is turned on its head.  

When word reaches Deuce’s enclave that a neighboring settlement has been surrounded by Freaks, she and Fade are sent to scout out the situation.  The three day trek is grueling and dangerous and there is the constant danger of Freaks around every corner.  When they finally return to the enclave and tell them that the Freaks are getting smarter they are ignored.  The Elder’s refuse to believe in the shift of Freaks behavior, and threaten Deuce to keep quiet. Just like all governments, the rules that are in place are said to be for everyone’s good, but as Deuce discovers, they are really meant to keep everyone in the dark.  When she takes the blame for a friend who was framed, she and Fade are banished to Topside.  

I know you’re all wondering what the heck Freaks are.  Think of I am Legend, but with sickly skin, claws, and razor sharp teeth.  They even get smarter like in I am Legend! Think of the smell of rotting meat and then you’ve pretty much got it.  They were horrible and terrifying and just kept coming! Obviously their carnivorous and they’d love to get their claws on Deuce and her Enclave.  What was even scarier was the fact that if one of their own was killed they’d fall into a feeding frenzy and eat it instead.  Just *shudder*.  Creepy as hell.  They definitely kept you on your toes and feeling terrified.  

The societal structures that Aguirre builds are fantastic, both underground and above.  The enclaves rules are harsh and often unjust but they keep their small civilization from collapsing.  The gangs above have no rules at all and are more terrifying than the Freaks in certain ways.  Whatever happened to cause the end of the world as we know it, we don’t find out, but I’ll tell you I’m dying to find out.  Deuce’s cut-throat attitude and her mantra of “only the strong survive” keeps her going through everything she faces.  Though as the novel progresses she discovers that having a soft heart does not make her weak.  Deuce was a wonderful MC and I thoroughly enjoyed her narrative.  Her relationship that develops with Fade is equally wonderful.  It really was a perfect balance.  A few intimate scenes but it didn’t overwhelm the plot.  It was firmly about the story and the little amounts of romance simply added to it.  

Needless to say I’m in love with this book.  I’d even say it rivals the Hunger Games.  It was wonderfully written and had everything I loved in a story.  It was dark and edgy and I’m sure that everyone who reads it will adore it.  It was simply one amazing thing after another, and of course I always love a kick-ass heroine who can hold her own.  I’ll definitely be purchasing this.  I need to have it on my bookshelf and soon.  Utterly fabulous.  Now heed my advice and go buy it! Now! : )

Review: The Water Wars

Synopsis:Vera and her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations. Timely and eerily familiar, acclaimed author Cameron Stracher makes a stunning YA debut that's impossible to forget. 

My Review: I was really excited for this book.  I adore dystopian novels, and Water Wars seemed like an excellent premise.  Plus, well the cover is extraordinary.  As amazing as I thought it was going to be, it really didn’t meet my expectations.   

A future without water is definitely something to be fearful of.  Water is more sought after than oil or precious metals, and people will kill for it.  Why exactly the water has disappeared, the reader never really finds out.  I assume it’s through sheer human stupidity and over consumption of our natural resources.  Not such an unlikely outcome for humanity really.  As interesting as a premise as it was, I didn’t think it was executed well.  

My biggest problem with this novel is the plotline.  It started out well paced but after a while it was just catastrophe after catastrophe.  Eventually I was just like “seriously?  More explosions and guns?”  I’d rather they be captured once and be done with it.  Instead they were tossed around about four times.  It just got tiring and made it unrealistic.  As far as the climax went it was completely skipped over.  There was one point in the novel where I was really hooked and things got really exciting, but it wasn’t the climax.  What should have been the most intense part of the novel was completely skipped over!  I literally went “wait, what?” I was completely disappointed.  I just wasn’t satisfied with where the story went.  There are so many loose endings that I’m not appeased that the story was completed.  I don’t know if there will be future books, but as a standalone I don’t think it’s very strong.  

I really don’t have many complaints besides the plot.  I enjoyed the world and thought it was well thought out.  It’s an intriguing idea I’ll admit it.  I can’t really say that I connected with the characters all that much.  The writing was a bit dry and focused more on events rather than emotions and feelings.  Not that it was poorly written, because it wasn’t, but I would just have liked to get into the MC’s head a bit more.  

It was a fast read and while action packed a bit more development would have been nice.  If there are going to be more books then maybe some of my questions will be answered. Overall it was a great idea, but it just didn't meet my expectations. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: XVI

Synopsis: Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

My Review: I have to admit, the first time I read the synopsis for XVI I really wasn’t that intrigued.  It sounded interesting, but not something that was going to hook me in.  Boy was I wrong.  I was sucked in immediately.  The world that Julia Karr creates is captivating and beyond complex.  Comparable to Scott Westerfeld and Brent Weeks in mastery of world development, XVI truly transports you through time.  Her creation of new slang, along with the culture were simply amazing to behold.  The amount of creativity and ingenuity that went into creating this world is truly awe inspiring.  I just can’t get over it.  One of the most difficult things to do as a writer is creating a whole new world and Karr does it beautifully.   

The Governing Council rules the world.  The illusion of peace and equality that it projects is nothing but a farce.  Freedom of speech, press, and personal rights have all disappeared.  Society has been brainwashed into being docile, accepting anything that the GC says.  Nina accepts her role in society, albeit a bit more reluctantly.  She thinks the sex-teen craze is degrading and wishes no part in it.  Her sixteenth birthday is fast approaching and sex is the last thing she wants to do.  Her life is normal until tragedy strikes, suddenly turning Nina’s world upside down.  Nina soon discovers that the NonComs are not a radical group the GC makes them out to be.  They’re fighting for the very rights that the world has lost, and Nina is sucked right in the middle of it.  

I’ve already gushed about how well thought out this world is.  Everything from technology, consumerism, government, and even slang is flawlessly laid out. You can’t help but feel immersed into the story.  I can’t even properly relay just how awesome it was.  I really found the societal structure to be fascinating as well.  People are now divided by tiers, much like older caste systems.  The only means of moving up are by luck or through FeLS, a glorified escort service.  Society has become completely twisted.  The fact that every girl at the age of 16 is branded like cattle with a tattoo that proclaims her fair game is completely sickening.  What’s even worse is that no one holds any accountability.  A poor girl is raped and set on fire by a couple of guys, and yet the girl is blamed for being overly promiscuous.  Messed up?  Hell yes.  

As far as characters went I loved every single one of them.  Even Sandy who is obsessed with sex-teen ways and flaunts her sexuality to the max.  Annoying yes, but you can’t really hold it against her.  I found Nina and Sal to be a wonderful couple and absolutely loved Wei.  I honestly can say I could not find one thing that I did not like in this novel.  Okay, well that’s partially true.  There was one very minor aspect.  As far as the plotline went there just seemed to be a lot of PSYCHE! Moments.  Like JK! It happened about three times so that’s really the only reason it blipped on my radar.  Otherwise I’ve got nothing to criticize.  It was an amazing story in a fascinating world.  Nina was a wonderful MC and I loved every single minute of her story.  A wonderful addition to YA dystopia and I’m eagerly waiting for more! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (12)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb @Should Be Reading
-Grab your current book
-Open to a random page
-Share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
-no spoilers!
-Share title and author
This week is Enclave by Ann Aguirre! I'm 18 pages in and I'm already in love. XD 
"But Twist had told me Freaks stank like carrion meat.  They feasted on the dead, but they would eat fresh meat if they could get it."
"I cut through the throng and headed for Fade.  He looked even scarier than he had the night before."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cover Crazy (13)

Covery Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. Okay so this is a bit late!  Lo siento!  Kind of busy day.  :/  But here's the post at last! This week it's Brenna Yovanoff's new book the Space Between!  I absolutely adored The Replacement so I'm super psyched for this.  Plus well the cover is SO PRETTY!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (11)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb @Should Be Reading
-Grab your current book
-Open to a random page
-Share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
-no spoilers!
-Share title and author
This week is XVI by Julia Karr! Well, I started reading this and then I had to read another book so I could send it in the mail and now I'm back to this! I have to say that I am totally and completely in love though.  This world is as mysterious and as out of reach as Scott Westerfelds Uglies trilogy.  The slang and the technology are fascinating to say the least.  

"I wanted silence...quiet...and the luxury of being able to cry.  But none of that was possible.  There was too much to do." 

"And, yes, there will be all tiers-- all the way up to ten.  Like that's going to make a difference." 

Review: Falling Under

Synopsis: Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

My Review: Going into this I really didn't know what to expect.  The synopsis really doesn't give you that much to go on other than Haden is something supernatural.  At the start of the novel I really wasn't that impressed.  I felt like I was just tossed into the story.  A bit more of an introduction would have been nice.  It really wasn't until I hit page 155 (yes I remember the exact page because I tweeted it!) that I truly started to love the story.  

I really wish that someone would come up with a new way to introduce a hot love interest than the "new boy at school" persona.  I just HATE IT.  I honestly don't know another way to introduce someone new to a story though, and it just sucks because it's so unoriginal.  Plus well I kept getting flashes of Edward and Bella throughout.  The whole hot and cold love issues, and "I have to stay away to protect you", and the treating you friends like shit because you become so hung up over a guy.  Ya.  Definitely some similarities, but that's probably just because I hate Twilight with a fiery passion.  I could have gotten hung up on them.  Thankfully I didn't.  Once I got past that I really fell in love with the story.  

Theia's upbringing was SO frustrating to me.  I'm a very outgoing person and so having an MC that was SO reserved and rigid just rubbed me the wrong way.  Yet that wasn't what was so frustrating.  Theia WANTED to do things she wasn't suppose to.  She wanted to pick her own clothes, she wanted to go dancing with her friends, and on and on.  Yet she didn't act on any of those impulses  She was so stuck in obeying her father and playing it safe that it really kind of drove me nuts.  When she finally started to pull out of her shell I was so thrilled.  Though she was super shy, she really was a wonderful MC.  I greatly enjoyed her character and loved her wild hair and her passion for music.  

I absolutely loved all the secondary characters.  Theia's friends were a complete hoot.  Ame and Donny were a perfect compliment to each other and Theia.  Plus Gabe and Varnie were just great  Gabe is really a great guy and even though he's "popular" he is a perfect match for Donny and her overbearing sarcasm.  Varnie is a cross-dressing psychic surfer and he is AMAZING.   I think I would pretty much marry the guy.  And his little crush on Ame is just so freakin adorable, even though Ame is clueless.  He's just an all around good guy and his exasperation over the fact that NO ONE listens to him when he says that it is a VERY bad idea is just plain hysterical.  

It is SO hard to not give any spoilers because SO MUCH happens!  And I loved all the plot twists, yet I can't talk about them! It seems like everything I adored about this novel would be a major spoiler.  :(  I was just extremely pleased with where the plot went.  It was unexpected and kept me on my toes.  And the ending was just perfect in my mind.  It closed up the novel but didn't leave me with a gigantic cliff hanger.  The sacrifices that Theia and Haden make for each other, really make me believe in true love.  I'm a soppy romantic through and through and Falling Under definitely fulfilled my need for romance. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cover Crazy (12)

Covery Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. Okay so I'm geeking out a bit over this one.  It sounds absolutely amazing! So I of course had to share the synopsis.  I have a feeling that this is going to be an excellent read. 

 The United States is gone, along with its flooded coasts. North America's two warring nations, the western Republic and the eastern Colonies, have reached a breaking point. In the midst of this broken continent and dark new world are two teenagers who will go down in history....

Born into the slums of Los Angeles, fifteen-year old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family's door with an X--the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it.

Born to an elite family in Los Angeles' wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic's most promising prodigy. A superintelligent girl destined for great things in the country's highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country--until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital.

Only one person could be responsible.


And now it's June's mission to hunt him down.

The truth they'll uncover will become legend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And the Winner is...

And the winner is...LadyVampire2u! I'll be contacting you shortly!

Thanks to everyone that entered!  And hey guess what?!  I'm not a complete blonde!  Turns out the copy I ordered from Book Depository was for someone else!  Don't worry, you're still getting the book.  ^.^  Haha.  Thanks again and happy reading!  I have to read 3 book tour books before I can devour this so I'm being SUPER impatient.  Feel free to share spoilers for Magnus/Alec with me.  I won't mind.  XD 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Steel

It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.
This was the tip of a rapier.
Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.
The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

My Review: When I first saw the cover for this book I  immediately wanted to read it.  Sword play? Hell yes!  For some reason I got it into my head that this was a swashbuckling adventure with a girl defying societies stringent rules and sailing on the high seas.  Clearly I should have read the synopsis.  Not to say that it wasn't good, but it ended up being something completely different from what I expected. 

I've always wanted to fence.  If I ever participated in some form of competitive competition it would be fencing.  Or archery.  XD  I of course really loved Jill's background.  Fencing is not exactly common and I really enjoyed Jill's competitive spirit.  The reader really doesn't get to see too much of Jill's competition life, but the duel at the beginning was very interesting to read about.  Getting into the mind of a fencer was really cool to say the least. 

It's safe to say that I adore pirates.  I love Pirates of the Caribbean, okay, correction.  I love Johnny Depp who happens to play the most brilliant pirate ever, so I naturally loved the story.  I really appreciated all the research that went into this book.  For instance, I didn't know that pirate ships were some of the first forms of democracy and captains were voted on by the crew.  It's not often that I learn an interesting piece of information from a novel so I really appreciated the effort to make this historically accurate. 

What really bothered me about this book was the fact that Jill's time traveling is never explained.  Sure the sword is the key to the time travel, but WHY?! It seemed like the time travel aspect was inserted just for the sake of having time travel.  Alright, that's all well and good, but it did not make for an intriguing story.  Plus, well, time travel stories just NEVER end the way I want.  Complications always arise with the MC becoming torn between the two worlds and usually there's a guy involved and just blah.  Though there is a guy, nothing serious ever happens, which I was kind of grateful for.  I cannot stand cross-time love affairs.  Yet at the same time, I almost wanted Jill to become emotionally attached to SOMETHING.  When the time comes for her to return to her own time she's not even sad.  Overall the story was lacking any emotional connection, so this shouldn't have surprised me, but I was just disappointed with the lack of inner turmoil. 

The justification for the events that happened in the course of the story were completely lacking.  Not only the time travel aspect but the power of the sword itself.  There's vague mention of blood magic but boy was it VAGUE.  The same can be said for the villain of the novel.  I just felt that the story lacked fleshing.  There was no depth to anything that happened.  It just felt like Jill was there for the ride and wasn't invested in the story at all. 

While I enjoyed Jill's character and the story in general, there was really nothing that screamed "amazing" to me.  I wasn't invested in the story and I only vaguely cared what happened.  I just feel that if the story had been set in the 18th century like I initially thought it would have been a lot more interesting.  Even if it was set in the present and focused on Jill's fencing it would probably have turned out better.  I don't mean to be harsh, but honestly the time travel kind of killed any  potential this story had. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (11)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb @Should Be Reading
-Grab your current book
-Open to a random page
-Share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
-no spoilers!
-Share title and author
Well I had hoped to have City of Fallen Glass in my hands by now.  Well...not really since shipping takes a bit.  Alas I am jealous of all you people who just bought it from stores, or rather actually have a B&N in the near vicinity.   :/ And just a reminder! You've got until tomorrow to enter for a free copy of CoFA!  If you haven't bought it yet, or are gifting it this is a great way to do so. I just cannot have two copies of the same book! O.O 
Enter HERE if you're interested!  
So it's not CoFA but I still really am loving this book!  

This week is Steel by Carrie Vaughn! 
"She kissed him.  Leaned forward, almost without looking, dug her fingers into his shoulders and put her lips on his." 
"It's not my place to tell you to do anything."

I am legitly on that page.  It just happened to be an awesomely romantic tease.  XP

Friday, April 1, 2011

City of Fallen Angels Giveaway!

Okay so I'm a bit of a dork.  About a month ago I  pre-ordered a bunch of books from B&N, CoFA being one of them.  Yesterday I received an email from Book Depository telling me that my pre-order has been made available by the publisher.  And guess what it was.  CoFA.  Ya....I think I need to re-dye my hair cuz my blond is definitely starting to show.  So yes.  I'm a forgetful moron.  But my forget-fullness is good for you because I'm giving away the extra.  I assume that almost everyone has already pre-ordered this and gotten the signed edition and yada yada, but on the off chance that you haven't (which really is slim) I'm more than willing to give you my extra. 

What do you have to do to get it? Simple!  Just comment on this post and tell me what type of Downworlder you'd like to be if you were in the TMI world.  Or of course you could be a Shadowhunter. Winner will be chosen randomly, and you have until April 6th to enter! Sorry this is U.S. only.  I'll have to be booting the shipping cost and I can't afford international.  Sorry peeps! Next contest for sure! 

Cover Crazy (11)

Covery Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. Does anyone else notice the trend with YA covers recently with big poofy dresses?  I mean, they're pretty.  I like them, but it's kind of getting old... oddly enough this week's pick has a to die for dress on the cover.  But it's the other elements that I find that really add to it.  This week it's Betrayal by Mayandree Michel.  Pretty right?