Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reading Stack #4

I finished Beastly today (wonderful!) and will hopefully review it soon.  I have Die for Me left on my last stack and I am going to keep reading it.  I still want to read Cinder and finish Iron King, but I think they will have to wait for a bit. Looking through the large list of what I would like to read, I will probably add Magic of the Moonlight by Ellen Schreiber. I am listening to Behemoth now and may switch back and forth between that and Crescendo. I just finished a book not on my stack called Aphrodite's Blessings by Clemence McLaren, which was three short stories based on Greek myths. I enjoyed it and may try to read more of the author's works.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Library Books!

We got a new box of books in the library for the first time since January. We are slowly moving into a new building and held off on ordering until almost Opening Day. The books we received that I really really want to read are as follows: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Magic of the Moonlight by Ellen Schreiber, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Everneath by Jodi Ashton, and Sam Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani. I have heard good things about all of them and really want to start reading them, but I have a few books still left from last week. I am going to create a new reading stack in the next day or two with my new picks for the week. Hopefully I can get through part of last week's stack.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Levithan by Scott Westerfeld

World War I is very rarely the subject of young adult fiction, but Westerfeld not only uses this time period, but also twists it with steampunk awesomeness. Alek is the son of Archiduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, but Alek cannot inherit the Austro-Hungarian Empire, because his mother is not a royal. When his parents are killed, in this story murdered by the Germans, Alek is forced to flee along with two of his father's faithful retainers. Deryn Sharp is a girl who longs to be in the British Air Service and she disguises herself as a boy, Dylan Sharp. Deryn ends up on the Leviathan, a fabricated whale ship, along with Dr. Nora Barlow, who is on a mission to preserve peace with the Ottoman Empire. Alek and Dylan collide on a glacier in Switzerland and must learn to trust each other if they are to survive. Westerfeld has some neat twists in the story including the idea of fabricated beasts and Clanker technology. The language is great including terms like barking spiders and clever boots. Deryn, Alek, Dr. Barlow, and Alek's allies, Klopp and Volger are all likeable and well-developed. Deryn is hilarious at times and readers will love her determination.
Favorite Characters: I loved all of the characters in the story, but Deryn is probably my favorite. She is a strong female and extremely hilarious. I keep wanting to say barking spiders to people, but I know they will just look at me funny. The interactions between her and Alek are wonderful and you can see the very different backgrounds they come from in their dialogue and actions.
Favorite Quote: "It's lucky you came along, or my bum would've been frostbit to blazes!" Just one of Deryn's more memorable quotes.
Definitely 5 bars of chocolate! I listened to the audio which is very well done. Alan Cummings captures the personalities and humor masterfully. I highly recommend this audio, but you will still want to peruse the book for the great illustrations.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reading Stack #3 revised or #3.5

I know I just posted my new reading stack Friday, but I have to add some books to the list. Cinder arrived shortly after I picked up Die for Me from the library, so I had to run immediately back to the library. So of course I am adding Cinder to my list. I also checked out Angel Burn and am trying to decide if I want to read it too. As it is an e-borrow, I only have two weeks with it. Too many books with too little time!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reading Stack #3

Since I finished Burger Wuss and Goddess Interrupted (although I cannot review it for at least another week), only Iron King remains in my stack. So I am adding a few books to the stack. I am reading Bewitching by Alex Flinn, which I am really excited about reading, and tomorrow I will pick up Die for Me by Amy Plum, which sounds intriguing. Even though I can't put up my review yet of Goddess Interrupted, I will say I stayed up last night to finish it and it has been a really, really long time since I lost sleep for a book. I then thought about the book after finishing it and lost more sleep. I am slowly listening to Crescendo and alternating this with Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Burger Wuss by M.T. Anderson

Burger Wuss is about Anthony's revenge on Turner. Turner made out with Diana, Anthony's girlfriend, and Anthony plots revenge by taking a job at O'Dermott's where Turner works. Anthony plans on taking away something from Turner and instead learns that his form of revenge makes him less of a person than even Turner. Anderson definitely has the sarcastic teenager attitude down and he has some witty lines in the book. The book is also a satire on fast food places and how they try to show All-American values. This is not my favorite of Anderson's works, but it is a quick read and makes a great point about the problem of revenge. He also does a great job creating unique characters, like Diane, who has plastic polymer teeth.
Favorite Character: I liked Shunt, the anarchist who wants to take down the big corporations. He was hilarious and a bit scary.
Favorite Quote: "This is not my victory. There is no victory for losers." "The stars look small and clean," he said, and they were reflected in his tears. "But really they're just big galactic farts."
Rating: I give this four bars of chocolate.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

Fallen in Love is four short stories set in Luce's medieval lifetime. Shelby and Miles begin to fall for each other, Roland remembers his one love Rosaline, Arriane recounts her love for a demon named Tess, and Luce and Daniel's only Valentine's Day together finishes this collection. I enjoyed all of the stories, even though not all of them had happy endings.
Favorite Characters: I like Kate's characters, particularly Miles and Shelby, so it was great to see more of her secondary characters. Miles and Shelby are loyal friends and are well developed secondary characters.
Favorite Quote: "It was the greatest paradox: Souls need each other, but they also need to not need each other."
Overall, this may be my favorite book in the series and is perfect for Valentine's Day. It also includes a preview to Rapture, which looks to be good as well.
Rating: 5 bars of chocolate!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I have waited to review this one, because I am conflicted on how I feel about it. Nora Grey is recovering from the death of her father, who was murdered a year before the story begins. Her mother works constantly and is often away on business. Nora really is only close to her best friend, Vee, with whom she spends most of her time. Enter Patch, who suddenly appears at Nora's school and becomes her biology partner. He is tall, dark, and a bit dangerous, so Nora is attracted to him, but wary. She and Vee begin to investigate Patch and find out there is no information in his school files. Enter two other mysterious boys, Elliot and Jules, who seem to take an interest in the girls. Shortly after this Vee is attacked and Nora feels she is being followed. Could Patch be a threat or maybe Elliot?
Fitzpatrick does a great job developing the ambiance of the story, setting it in Maine and making you feel the mystery in how she describes places and people. Her writing style also sets a fast pace and you really want to find out what is going to happen. However I just could not get into the characters. I liked Vee in the beginning, she was funny and even helped bring Nora out of her shell, but by the end she is selfish and puts both girls in a dangerous situation over a guy. Patch has the whole bad guy who might be good image, but he is physically abusive to Nora, holding her down and pushing her against the wall. Nora seems a bit inconsistent in this book. She is afraid of Patch, but drawn to him. She seems to condemn him one minute and love him the next. I do attribute that some to the fact that she is still grieving, so I am willing to give her a chance in the next book.
Really I do not have a favorite character in this book. I liked Vee at points in the story and Nora too, but part of the time I could not stand choices they made.
Favorite Quote: "You can see who I was, or you can see who I am now. I'm not good," he said, piercing me with eyes that absorbed all light but reflected none, but I was worse." This is a Patch quote, so at least he is honest about himself.
I do want to read the second book. I like the writing style and the plot. I also want to find out more about Nora's family history and Fitzpatrick's world.
I give this 3.5 bars of chocolate.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reading Stack #2

I have finished Hush Hush and hopefully will be reviewing it very soon. My next goal is to finish Fallen in Love, but since I cannot read just one book at a time, I have added a few to my stack. I am reading Iron King by Julie Kagawa, Burger Wuss by M.T. Anderson, and will probably start Crescendo soon. I may listen to Crescendo actually, so I am hoping for a good narrator. I also need to start on some galleys and I am going to start with Goddess Interrupted. I enjoy the first in the series, Goddess Test, so I am really looking forward to Goddess Interrupted.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another Pan

Another Pan by Daniel & Dina Nayeri
After reading Another Faust, the first in this series, I expected a vicious villian and semi-likeable main characters and that is exactly what I got. The main characters in both books are purposely flawed, but some are redeemable in the end. The Another series always twists a famous story, in this case, Peter Pan. The Darlings, students at Marlowe High, are somewhat embarrassed about their professor father, who enjoys Egyptology and seems to be obsessed with an ancient myth. Their father is granted an exhibit from the British Museum, which brings the Book of Gates to Marlowe. The Darlings, while cataloging the exhibit and reading the book, soon find out the myth is really and holds the secret to immortality. Peter is obsessed with finding the five bonedusts of the ancient legends, the five legends Professor Darling has studied and the book is the key to the underworld where the mummies lie. Throw in Simon Grin and his crocodile smile, Tina, the hot Hispanic girl who follows Peter everywhere, and the Dark Lady with the hook, and you have all the main characters of the story of Peter Pan twisted together with Ancient Egypt. As the Darlings and Peter search the Underworld, Marlowe begins to transform into the ancient land and it is up to the Darlings and Peter to stop the change and recover the bones. The setting and the plot are wonderful, but the characters are not so likeable. Wendy and John are somewhat redeemed at the end, but it is difficult to like them. However the Ancient Egyptian legends are facinating and really are the most interesting parts of the book.
Favorite Characters: In this case I enjoyed two of the secondary characters the most, Professor Darling and Tina. Professor Darling realizes his mistakes with his family and his past with Peter and his attempts to interest the students in his lectures seem genuine. Tina is loyal to Peter no matter what and despite his selfishness, he seems to be the only one who truly sees Tina.
The villan in this series is bone-chillingly perfect. She is mainly in the background in this particular book, but she has just the right amount of darkness to be present without actually being mentioned most of the time.
Favorite Quote: "I suppose I'm still the never-never man."
I divided on the rating for this one. I had a hard time liking the characters, however I think that is the point. I loved the Egyptian parts of the story and the twist on the Peter Pan story are pretty unique. In the end I am giving this 4 bars of chocolate, mainly because of the legends.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reading Stack

Right now what's on top of my extremely high reading stack is Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate, and Another Pan by Daniel Nayeri. I have been really busy, so it may take me a week or two to finish these. I really like the plot line of Another Pan, with the mix of Ancient Egypt and Peter Pan. Hush, Hush has the snarky male lead found in so many books, but it draws you in wondering if Patch is really as bad as he seems. Fallen in Love is short stories of some of the secondary characters in the Fallen series and I love the way Kate is fleshing out these characters.