Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: Out of Control by Sarah Alderson

Out of Control by Sarah Alderson
Genre: YA contemporary
Published May 22nd, 2014 Simon and Schuster (UK)
320 pages

What it's about:

When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall

My thoughts:
I've read a few (and own almost all) of Sarah Alderson's books, so when I saw her post on GRs asking if any bloggers would like to review her new book, I immediately replied with "Me! Me! Pick Me!!!!!!!" because I knew that Out of Control was going to be just as awesome as her other books.

And it was. Of course.

Alderson just throws you right into the book and the action doesn't stop till you hit the end. And wow, what a crazy ride it was.

While I can't relate to the characters too much because I've never been super rich or had a family involved in gangs, I can thoroughly enjoy them. They kept me guessing and I never knew quite what they would do. I love when characters can do that. Keep me on my toes.

If you want a quick, fun read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I highly recommend this book.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: book #1
Published June 7, 2011 by Quirk
Genre: YA fantasy/Historical
$9.99 (US Paperback)
348 pages

What it's about:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

My thoughts:
I have been wanting to read this book since it first came out, but for some reason I wouldn't let myself buy it new, and I could never get a copy at the library (always checked out) so it took me a long time to read it. I finally found a copy (used) and scarfed down the book in a matter of days.

This book read sort of like a fairy tale. The stories you hear as children coming to life in a big way. I kinda dig those stories, and will always gravitate towards them, so this was my kind of book.

I've read a lot of reviews for this book, where the reader stated that the first part of the book was really good, and then just fizzled and died for them. I didn't find this the case at all. I will agree that the first half of the book is by far the better half, but I really enjoyed the second half as well, and the ending left me wanting the next book.

The characters were all pretty entertaining, but Jacob took me a while to get to like. He was down in the dumps for the first part of the book, which is always really painful to read (at least, to me it is). Depressed characters are hard to like, but this changed. And I loved learning all about the Peculiar children and how their life works.

And the pictures! Oh how those pictures are marvelous! The whole idea of finding old pictures and creating a story to make them come to life is fantastic. I thought Riggs did a pretty great job coming up with an interesting story to explain all the pictures. There were times when Riggs would describe something and I wished it had a picture to go along with it, but it wouldn't. That was disappointing, but oh well.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DNF review- I Hunt Killers

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Published 4/3/2012 by Little Brown Company
Genre: YA contemp
359 pages

What it's about:
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

My thoughts:
I ended up DNFing this book about 100 pages into it. I think. I was actually listening to this audiobook and got through the first 4 discs of the audiobook, so I'm not sure on the page numbers.

I just check the Goodreads page for this book and am actually pretty surprised by it's rating. 3.99? Really? Most people I've talked to about this book have DNFed it, so I was surprised to see such high ratings for it.

The reason I had to stop with this book was all the details. Jazz would talk about all the small things his father would do to his victims and was a little too obsessed with the murdered girl. I did not enjoy being in the head of a killer (or a boy thinking like a killer, really). This book majorly had my anxiety rising while I was listening to it. I was curious as to who the killer was and had a friend read the end for me and tell me who it was (haha), but I just couldn't handle this book. It reminded me of the show Criminal Minds. Good show, well done, but I just couldn't handle it.

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.... ;)