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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Follow Friday (21)

This week's question:

Have you ever had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then "broke up" with later on in either the series or stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

I'm going to hop on the bandwagon with this one and say Edward Cullen. When I first started reading Twilight I sadly was one of those girls who LOVED Edward. Brooding vampire, rock hard body, sweet protectiveness- it all just added up to one easy heart throb for me. Then as time passed, the story progressed, and I got my wits about me. I soon realized, Edward is actually a category one creeper. 

He freakishly watches Bella as she sleeps, without her knowledge (forget about permission). He's technically like a bazillion years old, making him the sexiest pervert ever. He steps pass 'over protective' and becomes a vampiric dictator. He showers Bella with presents as if that makes up for the far that he wants to kill her all the time. Constantly toys with her emotions- first by telling her he doesn't love her to try and keep her safe and then duping her into marrying him as his only condition of changing her intoAnd then, he tries to pimp out his wife just so she can have a baby. 

So you can see why I say, forget sparkly vamps, give me Jacob with the motorbikes any day. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Release Date: June 5th 2012 by Poppy

Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorced dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great. Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

First off, I love this cover! It's such a relief not to see the typical 'girl in a dress' that is BLOWING UP YA covers nowadays.

The summary for this book sounds fabulous! Perfect summer read by the pool. I like the fact that the protagonist is an older teen, just graduating from high school, and that she's no stranger to scandal (Hello one night stand!). I could definitely appreciate the scattering of mature themes in YA books and A Midsummer's Nightmare sounds like it will provide. Along with the hot summer theme, it sounds like there will a deeper and more emotional undertone, that will tie nicely into this book. And please, what girl isn't completely reeled in by the 'smoking-hot guy'...especially since he's not your stepbrother!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Underworld by Meg Cabot

Title: Underworld
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon Trilogy #2
Published: May 8, 2012 by Scholastic

*A Copy of this book was provided by the publisher for Review Purposes

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

My Review:

Underworld begins where we are left off at the end of Abandon, Pierce is now ruling as Queen of the underworld with John, having just escaped a desperate and personal attack from the Furies. Her safety is still in jeopardy though, which leaves the reader constantly questioning who can really be trusted.  Pierce also has some unfinished business left with the living and therefore must return to keep those she's left behind safe, a task that leaves her relationship with John conflicted. This book has definitely added new darker elements to the story with new hilarious characters along with mysterious developments into certain pasts that'll leave you questioning EVERYTHING!

I really loved how this story is progressing. The adrenaline and risk has definitely been increased in this book, with persistent attacks by Furies and Pierce trying to elude the living while still ensuring her family's safety. There is a much stronger sense of danger that is palpable throughout the pages and really makes this story all the more enjoyable. Everything is written so much more intensely- the romance is deeper between Pierce and John, loyalties to friends and family are tested, the Furies are much stronger and a HUGE revelation is made regarding John's past.

While reading this book its really interesting to see how Cabot was able to twist the myth of Hades and Persephone into something completely different. The core of the original myth is still there, but Cabot has added so many other fascinating details to the story that makes it extremely new and fresh. In particular, I love how Pierce's necklace is incorporated into the story as a curse and its involvement with the Furies. 

It'd be remiss of me not to mention that the ending to this book is MIND BLOWINGLY AWESOME! I'm a sucker for cliff hangers, so you're forewarned! I will mention that it had be choked up a bit, so bonus points for completely RIPPING OUT MY HEART!

As the 'bridge' book in this trilogy, Underworld does not disappoint. Oftentimes the second book is considered the filler and often riddled with unnecessary plot lines to extend a series, but Underworld is quite the opposite. If anything, this book has just built this story up to a perfect climax, leaving the reader at the edge and ready to crash down to an incredible conclusion. Be prepared to be completely blown by this book and fall even harder for the King of the Underworld.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Release Date: June 7, 2012 by Faber & Faber

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

My Thoughts:
This book sounds ridiculous! I'm expecting it to be an incredible love story (cross my fingers). It kind of reminds me of Delirium with the arranged marriage aspect. I'm also anticipating some great action. I love that the girl is going out to save the guy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and The Bookish. This week's list is...
Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving

1. The Host by Stephenie Meyer- From the summary (Earth has been invaded), I was expecting an overwhelmingly scifi story that was just going to bore me to death. Add on to the fact that Meyer was insanely popular at the time, therefore I had mixed emotions. Instead, I was completely blown away by this book. LOVED the world Meyer built and definitely enjoyed the 'aliens'.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- Fun Fact: I actually heard about this book through Stephenie Meyer's website. Anyways, I wasn't a huge fan of the cover and I had only known Collins as a children's writer, so I was under the impression this was going to be a juvenile read. Ummm.....WRONG! Another book I wasn't expecting to fall head over heels for!

3. Cell by Stephen King- I know King is a legendary writer, and so I was expecting Cell to be unputdownable. Plus, the story centered around mindless zombies, an immediate magnet for me. However, the story was just really drawn out in the middle and boring at times. It definitely lacked the spark I was looking for.

4. Unwind by Neal Shusterman- I normally don't read a lot of books in the male POV and I had picked this book up on a whim. The summary sounded interesting but I really wasn't dying to read this book. However, once I did start reading I was totally sucked in! I laughed, I cried, and became deathly afraid of disobeying anyone for the next few days!

5. Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia- I wasn't really thrilled with the cover for this book, but the summary is soooo enticing. It talks about unearthly love, light vs. dark, the sacrifices of love, everything a girl would want in a an angel book. I even read some encouraging reviews saying how GREAT this book was. I bought it. I read it. I HATED it. For me, the book is nothing like its summary. The love is rushed and unreal and the terror is left for the last ten pages. Not a fan. 

6. Across the Universe by Beth Revis- Another book I initially thought was going to be riddled with scifi-ness that wouldn't interest me. There is so much more to this book though! Just proves I shouldn't cast off an entire genre!

7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- Yet, another book I thought would be too scifi for me. The summary mentions cyborgs and androids in a futuristic New Beijing. There are robots and flying hovercrafts and futuristic medicine. I just wasn't sure if it'd interest me. After seeing all the incredible reviews I bought it and LOVED it! Maybe I really am a closet scifi junky. 

And I really can't think of anymore books that deceived me. So we'll leave it at a Top Seven!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (18)

Happy Easter everyone! This week's IMM (hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren) features a whole bunch of books I got last weekend at the NYC Teen Author Festival. It was insanely fun and I'm officially addicted to book signings!

Leave your comments below with links to your IMMs and I'll be sure to check them out!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Follow Friday (20)

Feature and Follow is hosted by the two lovely ladies of Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Its purpose is to promote new blogging friendship and build up followers! This week's questions...

Have you ever bought a book BECAUSE of a bad review?

I honestly haven't bought a book because of a bad review. It seems a little counter productive to me. I HAVE bought books that have had mixed reviews and thought about giving it a try. To me, that's a little more plausible- reading a book that some people liked and some didn't in order to form my own opinion. But getting a book based solely off of bad reviews doesn't make too much sense to me. If a lot of people are agreeing that a book is horrible I'll normally trust the majority. 

However, I have been hearing mainly bad reviews for that new series, Fifty Shades of Grey, even though a lot of people are talking about it and there were rumors about a movie. I'm kind of intrigued though and am tempted to pick up a copy. Anyone read it?

Leave your comments below with links and I'll be sure to check your FF posts too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon Trilogy #1
Published: April 26, 2011 by Scholastic
Rating: Photobucket

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

*A copy of this book was provided by Scholastic for review purposes*

My Review

Abandon is the creative retelling of the mythological legend of Hades and Persephone. The story centers around Pierce, a troubled teen who is struggling with normality after coming back from the dead. Along with having died, Pierce is haunted by the man who brought her back, a man from her past who she has an uncanny connection with. When death seems to constantly follow her, Pierce must discover the truths behind the myths and how she is connected to it all. 

I LOVE retellings of greek myths, especially those dealing with Persephone. In Abandon, Cabot has expertly twisted this story into a new and very different tale. Instead of Persephone being trapped in the Underworld for 6 months, Pierce is able to escape back to the real world, where she is followed by John (her death deity) as well as some other menacing creatures, Furies, who are out for blood. Cabot is a wonderful story teller- providing the reader with the perfect amount of back story without leaving the book dry. Her incorporation of the myth into the story is also flawless, so you learn along with Pierce, the hidden truth behind her experiences.

I was ecstatic seeing that Pierce wasn't completely smitten with John right away as to be expected in these stories. She is a very complex character, dealing with a lot of emotions, and so reading her instabilities and fear concerning John was extremely realistic for the situation. As the main character, Pierce is a really enjoyable read. I liked that she wasn't a cookie cutter princess. She's described as being beautiful, but because of her past (which is lengthy with some questionable issues), Pierce is a bit of a loner. She's wary of other people because they can't understand her or what she's been through. It added a lot of depth to her character that actually made her much more likable in my opinion. 

Pierce's relationship with John is also complicated, which I enjoyed. Since Pierce didn't agree to staying in the Underworld with John, the two are very tense around each other and it translates perfectly to the reader. This bitterness lead up to a perfect climax between the two that gives their relationship an extra spark. What I loved most though was John's protectiveness over Pierce despite her rejection. Having the bad boy play the knight in shining armor will always get my heart pumping!

Overall, Abandon is an excellent retelling of the Persephone/Hades legend. The characters are twisted, but easy to love, as is their turmoil of a relationship. The ending contains a shocking plot twist that definitely stirs this story up and will make you grab the sequel as soon as possible. If you're a fan of myths and romance, you will definitely want to pick up a copy of Abandon!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published: January 3, 2012 by Liewel & Friends
Rating: Photobucket

A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl...

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen—and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

MacMillian was wonderful and offered a sneak clip of Cinder's audio to include in this review. You can listen here:

My Review:

Cinder is by far one of the BEST fairytale retellings I have ever read. Meyer has woven such a beautiful story, with charming characters, a gritty setting, and with all the workings of the original Cinderella tale. Never could I have imagined such a classic story being reworked into such an individually new book.

There are just so many wonderful aspects of this story. The characters are utterly fantastic! Cinder is one of my favorite MCs that I've read in a long time. She's sarcastic and witty but most of all she's a fighter. I loved the strength that her character so easily invokes. Being a cyborg makes Cinder a second class citizen in New Beijing, resulting in unfair jurisdictions and treatment. However, not once does Cinder read as depressing or 'woe is me'. Her spirit is invigorating and her humor was hilariously fun! I also loved the relationship Cinder has with her stepsister, Peony, and Iko the android. Even as secondary characters their personalities shone through.

And Kai, oh Kai. How is it that I can continuously fall in love with these characters? He is the epitome of charming. He's smooth and suave while still maintaining this sense of innocence. What's even more captivating is that he's a GOOD GUY!  For those who would think this is boring, believe me, Kai makes it swoon-worthy and oh so refreshing.

And of course, what 5 star story isn't complete without a 'blow-your-mind' ending?! Although I kind of saw the big revelation coming, its still a HUGE plot twist that just shakes this story up even more!

The story itself is absolutely captivating! A deadly plague spreading throughout the city with no cure- threat of war from the Lunar queen- hidden mysteries on the way to self discovery- budding romances between different classes- the list goes on and on. Every aspect of this book fits so perfectly with the Cinderella story while making it completely its own. You will honestly be sucked in by both plot and characters and not want to put this book down till the last page. Cinder stormed its way to the top of my favorites pile and I strongly recommend everyone going out and reading this book!