Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Published April 1, 2014 by Harper Teen
Genre:  YA Retelling
$17.99 (US hardback)
452 pages

What it's about:
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

My thoughts:
I'm surprised by how much I actually really enjoyed this book. I read the first few pages while standing in the isle, trying to decide if I was going to spend the full price on this book. I didn't immediately fall in love with it, Amy is kind of complaining for the first few pages, but I decided to buy it anyways.

This book is a lot darker than I was expecting it to be. A lot. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, maybe sort of a retelling of Wizard of Oz. Amy would meet up with three odd strangers, travel down the road, go kill the evil lady. That's not exactly what happened. It had it's own ideas, plots, descriptions. I loved it. I loved seeing the messed up mutilated Scarecrow creatures, the perma-smile witches, and the scared people of Oz. Wow, that sounds bad, but it was dark and interesting.

I was hoping that this was going to be a stand alone, but it looks like it's going to be a series.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Monday, April 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday- Characters that pissed me off

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

This weeks topic, I'm going to go with characters that pissed me off. I'm going to try and go with non obvious ones, ones you aren't supposed to hate.  Angry posts can always be fun to write and to be honest, they are a lot of fun to read most of the time. Everyone likes a good ol' rant every once in a while. That and I have a lovely little board on Goodreads called "someone needs to be punched" to help me remember which books pissed me off. haha. BTW, feel free to friend me on goodreads. Hopefully this link works clicky clicky to see my Goodreads

These are in no order. Just whatever popped into my head.

1. Mary from Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan:
Okay, I lied, this one is in order for being #1. I HATE MARY. Talk about a selfish bitch. She is willing to sacrifice every single person she knows and loves so that she can see the beach. I mean, I love the beach as much as the next girl, but really? You are going to let everyone you know get attacked by zombies so you can live on the beach? No. No no no no no.

2. Lenah from Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel:
I will never understand why anybody liked this book, honestly. It's been a few years since I've read this book, so my precise reasoning for hating her so much is escaping me. Something about murdering children, being completely selfish. I dunno. But when I think of this book, I just get angry.

3. Ever from Evermore by Alison Noel:
How dumb can this girl get? I mean, really. My friend and I would call her "Ever Stupid" when talking about these books. I know, it's a very clever and sophisticated nickname. Haha.

4. Four in Allegiant by Veronica Roth:
I feel I might get some smack for this one. But I did. I hated him in this book. Everything was his fault. Everything.

5. Nick from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:
I'm actually in the middle of this book right now, but I Loath Nick. At one point, he says "this is the point where you will hate me, if you didn't before" and I actually said "well Nick, I did already hate you." He's just so... ugh. Too sneaky, too selfish.

Starting to see my theme of hates? I hate selfish characters.

6. Simon from the Mortal Instruments:
Okay, this isn't a hate, he just annoyed me. I couldn't stand how he treated Clary. Which this one is funny cause I have a dog named after him... it just fit.

7. Nick from The Hollows series by Kim Harrison:
Okay, you are supposed to end up hating him. But oh man, I hate this guy.

8. The Brotherhood in Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood:
This book had me so angry while reading it, I had trouble getting through it.

9. Alcantara in the Isle of Night series by Veronica Wolff:
Stupid vampire.

10. Wendy from Switched by Amanda Hocking:
I couldn't even get through this book because Wendy was just so horrible. Life is too short for bad main characters.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Audiobook review: Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Shadowlands by Kate Brian
Series: Shadowlands #1
Published January 8, 2013 by Hyperion (book)
September 3, 2013 by Brilliance Audio (audiobook)
Format: Audiobook ($5.19 on Amazon)
Narrated by Amy Rubinate

What it's about:
Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye. 

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

My thoughts:
This was a book I had been wanting to read before it was released, and never got around to it. Then I saw the audiobook at my local library and decided to listen to it.

I had to try three different times to get into it. The narrator (Amy Rubinate) sounds like she works for a 1-900 number, if you catch my drift. I couldn't take it seriously for about the first 40 minutes of the book. I finally had to stop thinking about it and really focus on the story. Even then, every once and a while it would catch me off guard, and her breathy voice seemed inappropriate.

Despite the narrators voice, I loved the book.  There were certain scenes that had my heart racing so fast, I was tempted to fast forward so I could know how the scene ended. It's a good thing I was listening to this as opposed to reading it because I know I would have cheated and read ahead quite a few times. Same goes for the ending. I probably would have skipped to the end to see if my guess was correct for what was going on (it wasn't.)

I ended up listening to the whole audiobook in about two days (the book really dragged me in) and I bought the next one too. I finally got over the weird voice and really enjoyed the rest of it. I liked how Rubinate would change her voice for the different characters and the males didn't all sound like pre-pubescent boys.

Also, this audiobook is only $5.19 for the MP3 on Amazon right now. Super sweet deal. Totally worth it.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Monday, April 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday-- Bookish things I want

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

This weeks topic is Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own 

These are in no particular order. 

1. A home library. I want one of those ladders!

2. This HP scarf. I'm thinking I might buy it for myself for my bday next month :)

3. To make myself a sign like this one.

4. This kindle case

5. The Fault In Our Stars movie poster. It's just so perfect! I want it on my wall.

6. And this TFIOS quote shirt

7. Infernal devices jewelry Tessa's angel .... This lady has amazing bookish jewelry

8. Or Jessie's umbrella

9. I plan on getting a literary tattoo. I'm thinking an HP one, because HP isn't a fandom, it's a lifestyle

10. And lastly, I want to date this guy...

What??? He played Harry Potter, that makes him a bookish want.... ;)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Published March 4th 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
$17.99 (US hardback)
355 pages

What it's about:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

My thoughts:
I heard nothing but good things about this book, so when I found a copy of it for cheap, I made sure to buy it.

It seemed to me that most of the rave reviews were worth it. I was immediately drawn into this book, and managed to read it in two sittings, in two days. I think the pages were either smaller than normal, or the font bigger, because this seemed like a very fast read.

My biggest (and only problem, really) with this book was lack of descriptions. I would have liked to have known more details. For instance, we don't get a description of what Kestrel looks like until the end when Arin mentions her bright hair. Maybe I some how missed this (I've been known to do that) and it did say what she looked like, but I don't think it did. I also would have liked to have known a little more about the time period and location. Background information! I wanted it.

Other than that, I loved this book. I loved Kestrel. She is so sneaky! She blackmails, she manipulates, she's all around kind of an unpleasant girl. Yet I liked her, probably for all those reasons. I like my leading ladies a little darker. And Arin seemed like a pretty cool guy as well. Wish we could have heard more of his side.

I think my favorite part of the whole book, is the fact there there isn't a good side, or a bad side. It shows both sides of war and makes you feel for everyone. There is just the facts. It tore me up. I felt bad for everyone. Ah, well, some could say there is an actual "bad" side, so I guess that is up to you to decide. Actually, I would really love to know know if you have read the book, how you view that option.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Published by Blazer + Bray
Genre: YA Fairy Tale
$17.99 (US Hardback)
342 pages

What it's about:
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

My thoughts:
I've grown weary of fairy tale retellings. I have read so many bad ones but can't seem to help myself. Every time I hear there is a new fairy tale retelling, I will read it. Thankfully this one was actually pretty good.

Nyx is the heroin of the story, and she is pretty despicable. She's lived a hard life knowing that she isn't loved by her father, and will grow up to marry a demon. I don't blame her for being bitter. And that's what I loved about her. Because this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, we all know that Nyx is going to fall in love with "the beast" in this case, Ignefix, the Demon Prince. I found it believable that a bitter, angry girl would fall in love with a charming demon.

Besides actually finding the love story believable, I also enjoyed the new twist to the classic story. There was still all the classic parts of the story, but a lot of new ones that were interesting. A little confusing at points, but still interesting. It kept me reading and entertained.

My rating: 4/5 stars