Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (44)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
May 28, 2012

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bitter End By Jennifer Brown

Title: Bitter End
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Pages: 359
My Edition: Hardcover

Cover Rating: C
Book Rating: C-

Plot - 15/20
Characters - 15/20
Writing - 16/20
Originality - 13/20
Entertainment - 6/10
Recommendation - 5/10
Total: 70/100

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.
This novel was decent. The writing was decent, the story was decent. It was just ... okay. I just felt like I had read the same story before because the characters of Alex and Cole were just so similar to almost every other domestic abuse novel I've read. The subplot about her mother was nice, but it wasn't amazing.

The tone of the book didn't really feel the way it should have. Alex's friends and family didn't even make an effort to help her even when they knew about what was happening to her. Bethany and Zack were supposed to be her best friends, but they weren't, even after they found out was she was going through. They didn't try to help her at all. Her sister knew something, but did she mention it to her dad? No. Her mother-like figure, Georgia, had suspicions, but why didn't she act on it? Obviously, this novel frustrated me. 

The character of Alex seemed like almost every character in abuse stories out there. In fact, I did find her quite annoying, even before her relationship started. There wasn't anything unique about her at all. Cole was told to be this perfect, perfect guy, of course, but really he just wanted to get in her pants. There was nothing unique about that. The writing was decent also. I never really got completely absorbed into the novel, nor did the characters entice me enough. The plot went through the stages of domestic abuse alright. Through the whole novel, I was just waiting for something really exciting to happen. It was all slow going and I was looking forward for the one moment where I was rooting for Alex, but, unfortunately, that never happened.

Overall, this book was decent, it kept me reading (mainly because I just wanted to see how it would end). But, truly, this book was very unoriginal compared to other domestic abuse novels out there. I kept saying almost becuase there is one domestic abuse novel that was actually quite original, and I'd recommend it over this novel: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A fresh look.

For a new beginning.

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Title: The Probability of Miracles
Author: Wendy Wunder
Publisher: Razorbill
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: December 8, 2011
Pages: 336
My Edition: ARC
Amazon Page

Cover Rating: B-
Book Rating: B-

Plot - 17/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 17/20
Originality - 18/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 7/10
Total: 82/100

Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out of hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine—a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it’s undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingos in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe—in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

The beginning was slow-going. I felt like the author expected you to know everything that had happened. She hadn't explained the past leading up to where she was in the present very well either. I just expected to hear more about the disease, what exactly it was, and what had happened throughout it.

I think the biggest fault in this book was the tone. I mean, it's about a girl who needs a miracle to live, right? The tone of the book wasn't sad or depressing, nor funny and entertaining. It was in the odd place in the middle that just made the tone seem plain. She did this, she did that. Not very much expressions at all. There was also the problem with the characters. Wunder tended to time skip a bit to much and not elaborate a lot, so because of that we just weren't able to connect with any of the characters a lot. We barely got to connect with Cam.

With all that said, the book was decent. I liked that idea of it, and if the points mentioned above had been hit a little bit more, I think THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES could have been a lovely hit of a book.

Two years coming, but here I am.


So, it's been just about two years since I've posted in my blog. I've thought about my blog a lot over those two years and I've checked in on it a lot. Just to make sure it was still there I guess. Maybe because I knew one day that I would really return here even though at some point I had once told myself that I probably wouldn't.

Life happens. I said that in my last post almost two years ago. Life did happen, in retrospect, I really wasn't in a very stable place in time then. But during the last two years, a lot has happened. I'm not going to go into detail, but I'll just say that I'm much happier now. When I started blogging, I was just a few months into being fourteen. Now I'm seventeen. I was in eighth grade, and now I'm a junior in high school. I've grown up a lot, and I've changed a lot.

Throughout the last two years, whenever I would visit my blog, I would see something that would jut amaze me beyond belief. Every single one of you still were following my blog. Every time I saw that I smile. So thank you.

I'd like to say that I'm going to be back now. I know it won't be like it was before I left. But in a way, I think that might be better. I can go at my own pace. Two years ago, when everything was happening, I really slowed down on my reading. Maybe, maybe, a book a month. If that. That continued on for a long while. I slowly started picking up a bit more, but nothing like when I was blogging.

Now, though, for the past three months or so, I've been reading very consistently. With the help and excitement of my best friend, Kendal, I started reviewing books on my goodreads again. Everyday in our Intro to Business class we would be on the computers, browsing through goodreads because it was one of the websites our school didn't block. I've just become increasingly more into reading and writing again by searching through all the books that I missed from not having kept up with everything. Anyhow, Kendal started her own reviewing blog (you can view it here, she just started and she's doing fantastic already. She's such a talented writer.), and I've been helping her here and there (mostly with HTML) and I noticed myself becoming more and more interesting into reviewing for my blog again.

So here I am. I'm back now and let me tell you that I'm so relieved. It's something I missed so much, you won't ever know. I haven't been here for two years and I know a lot of stuff is different and a lot of new bloggers are here and a lot of them have gone, and I haven't talked to any of you for a very long time, but I'm here now and I hope I can catch up with you all.

But first let me thank any one of you who are reading this. Everyone of my past followers are my inspiration and I would not be here if it weren't for you guys. So thank you.