Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Harry!

Today is Harry Potter's 32nd birthday!

The boy who lived is gettin' old but I still adore him. :)

I'd also like to give a birthday shout out to JK Rowling herself. The wonderful woman who created Harry and helped make my childhood fantastic.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday- Characters I'd trade places with

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish

Today's top ten is characters I'd like to trade places with for 24 hours.

These are in no particular order.

1. Ginny from Harry Potter:
Not only does she have the coolest family ever, but she also marries Harry, of course I'd love to trade places with her for 24 hours. Duh. ;)

2. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss:
She's dating the American British French masterpiece, I'd gladly trade places with her.

3. Rachel from The Hollows:
While her life can really suck, her life is still insanely awesome. She lives in a church with pixies and a vampire, how awesome is that?

4. Meghan from Iron Queen:
She is a fairy queen who has Ash as a lover.

5. Bella from Twilight:
I debated about adding her to the list, but really she has an awesome life now that she's a vampire, well...sorta has an awesome life. I'd hate to be a vampire for the rest of time, but I'd love to test out all the cool things they can do. Super fast running, leaping tall buildings, crushing rocks with my hands, all that. Sounds like it could be fun for a day.

6. Annabeth from Percy Jackson:
Eh, why not? It might be fun being a demigod for a day.

7. Tessa from Clockwork Angel:
It'd be pretty cool to see Victorian London and to hang out with everyone at the Institute there, especially Will and Jem.

8. Kylie from Born at Midnight:
This girl has so many different powers. It would be really cool to be able to do some of the things she can.

9. Lend from Paranormalcy:
First boy on my list! woot woot! Lend is a one of a kind shape shifter. Might be sorta fun being him.

10. Ana from Incarnate:
Her world fascinates me to no end. What would it be like to be the only new soul in a world full of souls that are thousands of years old?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: Saving June

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Published by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA contemporary
$9.99 (US paperback)
336 pages

What it's about:
‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

My thoughts:
Every time I read a book about the loss of a family member/friend/boyfriend, ext. I always wonder why I read it. It makes me depressed every time and I always cry while reading them, yet I can't seem to keep away from them. And this book was no exception. It definitely made me cry, but it also made me laugh and awww. I really enjoyed this book.

One thing that I felt would have made this book a lot stronger is if the reader was able to meet June before her death, or to be shown flashbacks with her in them. While Harper's grief over her sister's death was depressing, I never really felt a connection with June and therefore never felt all that sad about her death and I didn't really like her. I just thought she was selfish for commiting suicide and hurting her family like she did.

I also really really really disliked Harper's mom and her aunt. I thought they were horrible. I could not believe how they treated Harper. I mean, really, who treats their kids that way? Ugh. I wanted to yell at them through the whole book. You should not make your kid feel horrible and guilty because the other one commited suicide. Obviously that is just wrong on so many levels.

But besides that, I really liked this book. I always love road trip books. I like how they always have a focus on music, and cultures, and places. And while this was no Amy and Roger's Epic Detour (the book in which I compare all road trip books), it was definitely good.

My rating: 8/10

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted every Tuesday by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks top ten is Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings In Books

1. Hogwarts:
Between how detailed the books are, then the movies, and lastly the theme park, The Harry Potter world is definitely the most vivid setting there is. I adore everything about it and wish with my whole heart that it was real.

2. Pannem:
Damn the Capital! haha. While this is a very detailed world, I am so so so so so glad that it is not real.

3. The Maze (Maze Runner series by James Dashner):
I just finished this series and oh boy does this world completely suck, yet I'd love to be able to walk around the Glade and see the Maze.

4. The Hollows (The Hollows series by Kim Harrison):
Besides Harry Potter, I think the Hollows is the most vivid world I have the pleasure of reading about. I can perfectly imagine all the characters, the places, and the whole atmosphere of everything in that world. If I can't live in the Harry Potter world, then I'd definitely want to live in the Hollows world.

5. Chicago (Divergent by Veronica Roth):
After reading this book, who didn't sit there and decide on what faction they would have picked? And then most likely went and took the quiz and see if you were right? BTW, I'm Amity. Haha

6. Fablehaven (Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull):
I thought this world was pretty cool with all of its fantastic creatures. How cool would it be to go into your backyard and see things like faeries, centaurs, and satyrs?

7. Wonderland:
This one needs no introduction. I'm a massive AIW fan and I would love nothing more than to walk around Wonderland for a day, and hopefully avoid the Queen.

8.  The Tunnels (The Host by Stephenie Meyer):
I recently listened to the Host on audiobook for about the 4th time. Every time I read that book, I forget how much I absolutely love it. The world SM created is definitely a different take on aliens. Seriously? Peaceful aliens? But it works. And then all the humans hiding out in massive nature made tunnels underground, creating their own form of society? Amazing. Plus the tunnels have Ian in them <3

9. The Otherworld (Storm Born by Richelle Mead):
I debated about putting this one on the list because it bumped off the Nevernever, but I figured I'd go with a less known series. The faerie world Richelle created is dark yet interesting. I like how when the characters are walking around, it's not always the same layout. I kind of imagine the world like a pop-up book. Sort of like in the old Winnie-the-Pooh movies and how they have to jump from page to page. That is how I picture the Otherworld.

10. Camp Half Blood (Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan):
This is one camp that I'm really glad I don't have to go to. I have no desire to be a demigod, but I love reading about them :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: The Death Cure

The Death Cure by James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner #3
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA dystopian
$17.99 (US hardback)
325 pages

What it's about:

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

My thoughts:
I feel so cheated by the ending of this book.

I was so addicted to this series. When I finished The Scorch Trials, I didn't hesitate to flip to my menu on my ereader and immediately start with The Death Cure. I had to know what happens. And then for the rest of the book I was so so so tempted to skip to the end and see what happened. I was incredibly anxious. I'm really glad I didn't though, because the ending was HORRIBLE! I finished the book at 2:30am and had to sit there for a minute, thinking about what had just happened. Then when I was trying to sleep, I was fuming over what happened, and all the questions that stayed unanswered, and I couldn't go to sleep. I was just too annoyed.

I was really connected to the characters in this series. Thomas, Teresa, Newt, Minho, and even Brenda. I wanted happy endings for all of them. I wanted all of them to be safe and happy, but James Dashner didn't seem to agree with me on that one.

I was a little scared going into this book because I knew that the ending was a bad one. I have a few friends on Goodreads who gave Maze Runner and Scorch Trials 5 stars, but gave Death Cure 2 stars, so I knew something was up, yet I still got my hopes up for the ending, and then had them squashed.

Even though this ending pisses me off to no end, the series as a whole was fantastic. I would definitely still recommend that everyone who loves Hunger Games and YA dystopians should read this book.

My rating: 7/10

On a side note, did anyone else have a hard time picturing what the Grievers look like? To me they looked like the Daleks and Jabba the Huts love child.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Scary School

Scary School by Derek the Ghost
Published by Harper Collins
Genre: Midgrad
$5.99 (US paperback)
237 pages

What it's about:
You think your school's scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
"Ms. Fang," an 850-year-old vampire
"Dr. Dragonbreath," who just might eat you before recess
"Mr. Snakeskin"--science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
"Mrs. T"--break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry "Tyrannosaurus rex"
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost
Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends--including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf--and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky

My thoughts:
I'm always on the lookout for good midgrade books. The kids I babysit are reluctant readers and will only read the books I force on them and swear up and down that they are really good. So when I was asked to review this book, I immediately read it so I could recommend it to my babysitting kids.

This book was surprisingly funny. I was sort of expecting it to be a little cheesey and that I'd probably only chuckle while reading it, but that wasn't really the case. I was full on laughing while reading it because it was hilarious! It was so out there that I couldn't help but laugh and think "wtf?" the whole time I was reading. The things that go on at Scary School are outrageous and definitely entertaining.

A few things I really enjoyed about Scary School:
*The three "r's" Rachael, Raychel, and FRank (which is pronounced Rachel).
* Charle's the New Kid. I thought he was just great.
*The illustrations. They really are just sketches but I thought they were awesome. They are simple yet detailed all in one.

This was a quick and funny read that I would (and have) recommend to anyone who enjoys funny midgrade books.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Published by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA dystopian
$9.99 (US paperback)
374 pages

What it's about:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse enclosed by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them, open. Every night they are closed tight. And that every 30 days a new boy is delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. Only the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets that are buried within his mind.

My thoughts:
I've seen this book around a lot the last couple of years and hear everyone talk about how awesome it is, yet I never bothered to pick up a copy and see what it was about. Then last week when I was doing my volunteer shift at the library and the librarian freaked out and said "ARIEL! How have you not read the Maze Runner  yet?!?!?!" Knowing the librarian, I knew she'd never let me hear the end of it until I read the book. I picked up a copy and read it in two sittings. It was that good.

I know that I hate it when every single dystopian book is compared to Hunger Games, because most of the time the books are nothing like HG, but Maze Runner really does have a lot in common with HG. Well, it has a lot of the same feel because the poor kids are put in this horrible situation that is life or death and they just  have to deal with it. Reading about the kids dying in horrible ways and how it forces them to grow up sickens and disgusts me, but I can't help but love those books. Plus this one has a lot of mystery surrounding everything and asks a ton of questions. What is the Maze? What is WICKED? Why can't the kids remember anything besides their names? What in the world is going on????  These questions just about drive you crazy and make it impossible to put down the book for any length of time.

I loved how MR had a boy for the mc. That doesn't seem to happy very often and every time it does, I always get excited. I like seeing things from the opposite sex's POV because it's nothing like seeing it from a girls pov.

I don't really know what all to say about this book without giving anything away, I'd hate to give away spoilers to this book. The only complaint I had at first about this book is the weird slang that the boys created. I found them saying klunks, shanks, ect. all the time very annoying, but I got used to it and it didn't bother me after about half the book. After finishing MR, I immediately picked up the next book in the trilogy, The Scorch Trials, and am already half way through it. I already adore this series.