Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: Splintered

Splintered by A.G. Howard
Published by Amulet Books
Genre: YA fantasy
$17.99 (US hardback)
384 pages

What it's about:
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My thoughts:
I have finally found a redone Alice in Wonderland that I liked! I never thought that this day would come. It makes me happy that someone was actually able to mix the odd Caroll Wonderland with a bit of their own and actually have it work.

At first, Splintered was a little slow. I remember thinking "wow, how am I only on page 40??" and thinking it would never pick up. Then all of the sudden, it did. Alyssa started seeing things and hearing voices and the weirdness of Wonderland was finally there and didn't stop till the end.

I've been seeing a lot of "If you  love Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, you'll love this." and to that, I say "no." Just, no. I personally very much disliked Burton's version of AIW, I found it dull and none of the characters had any personalities, even Johnny. While Splintered had some of the darkness of Burton's AIW, it had a lot more too it. The characters had more depth to them and were even more odd. Howard's interpretation of the characters was very clever, I particularly liked the Mad Hatter and the Caterpillar.

I want to keep rambling on about how much I adored this book. This Wonderland was so bizarre and creative. While I was sad that some of my favorite characters didn't really play a part in this book (like Tweedle Dee and Dum and the Cheshire Cat), I loved the new characters and all the variations of the old ones. The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing and was always one step ahead of me. Completely enjoyable.

My rating: 9/10
Just for the slow beginning.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sam Claflin is Finnick!

I woke up this morning (okay, it was 11am, so not really morning...) and checked my facebook and lookie what I saw!!

OMG! Finnick!!!!!! I could not be more excited for Sam as Finnick. He says in the article that they did indeed do the sugar cube scene and that he was in a fishnet. *fans self* can't wait. Now to stalk my mailman until he brings me my copy of this so it can go on my wall. If you don't have a EW subscription, you really should get one. It's only like, $25 a year and you get a copy each week. It's awesome.

Here is the article: Look, it's Finnick!


Here is another picture from Catching Fire that I found on Entertainment Weekly's fb page.

Now I'm off to go watch Sam Claflin movies.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Review: Sacrifice

Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver
Series: Legacy #3
Published by Harliquen Teen
Genre: YA
$9.99 (US paperback)
438 pages
What it's about:

This is not the time for the fight to end. Now is when the fight will begin. This is the time to regain what has been lost.Alera

Queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy.


Daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause.

One lives behind the former Hytanican palace walls and walks the razor's edge to keep the fragile peace in her beloved homeland. The other slips through the war-torn streets, seeking retribution for her family's tragedy, following whispers of insurgency.

Both face choices that will separate them from those they cannot help but love. As their stories intertwine, a conspiracy ignites that may end in slavery or death—or lead to freedom anew, if only each can face what must be sacrificed.

My thoughts:
*sigh* Where to start?
Well I guess I'll start off with saying that because this is the third and final book in the series, there will be references to the first two books and therefore, there will be spoilers to those two.

This book was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I fell madly in love with Legacy and Allegiance and very much wanted to know how it was going to end. Yet when I started reading the book, I was having a hard time caring about any of it. I don't know if it was me being grouchy or if the two person perspective changed the mood of the book and I didn't like it, either way this whole thing didn't really work for me. I am completely bummed out by that.

I've always been team Narian. Matter of fact, I absolutely can't stand Steldor. Never could. I found him obnoxious, pig headed, and so full of himself that I always wanted to just shake him and vent. Not to mention he has a horrible temper he can't control at all. This still never really changed for me. And while I really do like Narian, I wish we could have seen more of him. I find him smart and caring and couldn't help but feel that if Alera's dad would have let her marry Narian instead of Steldor in the first place, everything that happened in book two could have been avoided. So I was just frustrated there.
Also, while I liked how independent the new girl whose head we are in every other chapter, Shaselle, was, I couldn't handle her stupidity. Every time she had a smart thought flit through her head, she'd go "well, I should do this and my instincts said I should, but instead I'm going to do the exact opposite!" While I thought her love story was cute and I was happy for her, just ugh. I dunno.

I feel like the feminist in me overruled most logic and emotions I had in the book as well. I remember thinking "oh the horrors of Cokyeri! What a terrible place!" in the first two books, while in this one I actually sort of liked them. Well, sorta... I like how they have women leaders and their kingdom is well educated and well run. Disliked how they were also sexiest. But like I said, I think the feminist in me liked them more than I liked the Hytanicans. So the whole book was frustrating for that reason as well.

Ugh. This book just didn't do it for me. I'm disappointed that Alera didn't do more, disappointed that there isn't an epilogue, and lastly disappointed in how the whole book just sort of dragged. It wasn't exciting like the others and the ending seemed forced. Disappointing end to what I thought was a fantastic trilogy.

My rating: 6/10