Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Gathering Blue (The Giver #2)

Gathering Blue
Lois Lowry
YA dystopia

It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.


First off, I love the title and cover, and how they both tie in with the story. Now, already having read The Giver and Messenger, I pretty much knew what to expect for Gathering Blue. And it was all that I expected but nothing that made me go OMG. 

Kira is a girl born with a twisted leg, making her handicapped. Nevertheless, she is a gifted weaver/sewer/threader- I don't really know how to catagorize her. She lives in the dystopian world Lowry created in The Giver, just in a different community. This one is quite primitive but very selective. Kira was saved from death to work for the council with her gift, on the way discovering all the ways in which her community is corrupted. I liked her a lot. She dealt with her foes in the village calmly but strongly,  and was loving in general but never cheesy. 

The book being short, there isn't much to discuss plotwise, except that the ending was a bit inconclusive, forcing you to read Messenger (book #3). I could tell there was supposed to be some sort of message or symbolism, but it was a little hard to catch (ever happen to you?). I think it had to do with freedom of thought and how we all are prisoners to our society. 

However, I felt it wasn't as deep as the first or the third book, nor Son (book #4 centering aroung Gabe) according to what I heard. 

The best charcter was undeniably little Matt, Kira's friend who helps her out and whom she looks out for. Adorable, charming, and naughty, Matt is maybe 8 and comes from the more harsh area of the community. He alone makes the book worth reading. Also, I loved him in the next book which for some reason I read first (sorry that I keep bringing it up). It was great reading his childhood, helps you understand his teenage self. 

Anyhow, for those of you who loved The Giver, give Gathering Blue a try. If you havn't read it well- there's a reason it won so many awards (The Giver). Grade: 80%  


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Double Crossed review+ Clockwork Princess trailer!

Double Crossed
Ally Carter
YA novella

Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.

GOSH I LOVED THIS.   I love each  Heist Society and Gallagher Girls separately, so naturally when Double Crossed was announced I had a fangirl attack.  Macey and Hale? Abby and Kat? Ally Carter took her best characters from both sides of the law and gave us a *completely free* and ridiculously exciting short story.  You can read Double Crossed even if you have only read one series- I promise you it's worth it! Naturally there's a twist that even Ally's most experienced readers didn't see coming, plus a super duper exciting something offered to Kat that left me jumping up and down hoping we'd get to read in the future.  Now I'm even more pumped for Perfect Scoundrels which is out and I have yet to get my hands on!! You can read Double Crossed HERE . Highly recommended! Grade: 100%

Also, today the book trailer for Clockwork Princess was released!! You can watch it HERE . I am soooo ecstatic about this (***26 DAYS***). In less than a month we find out if Jem will make it and who Tessa is and GOD WHO WILL SHE END UP WITH (TEAM WILL ALL THE WAY BABY). Is it just me or did the last line in the trailer make you faint? Let me know in the comments and please follow my blog (no emails or notifs or anything I promise!) it means a lot! 
Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Hey everyone! How are you all? I'm super busy- today I have two performances!! I'm very excited for tonight- but no less for this list. Let's get to it! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week's topic is top ten fave characters in a certain genre. I've decided to go with middle grade because I just adore all those characters!!

1. Percy Jackson 
This boy is the love of my life. Quite literally. Ever since My English teacher recommended The Lightning Thief to me in 4th grade I have adored him. Getting him back in the Heroes of Olympus series is so nostalgic it hurts! Every time he says something about the past I'm like "OMG I was there!!" I can't wait for House of Hades

2. Harry Potter
I recently realized that by the time Harry was my age he had met and survived the Dark Lord three times, destroyed a horcrux, fought off a hundred dementors and won the Triwizard Tournament. I feel so under- accomplished.

3. Artemis Fowl 
A 12 year old criminal mastermind. Enough said.

4. Sabrina Grimm
From The Sisters Grimm series. A hotheaded girl who looks out for herself and younger sister. I related to her so much and still do. She is awesome. Highly recommended!!

5. Puck (originally from A Midsummer's Night Dream)
Again from the Sisters Grimm, this boy is a hero in denial. Soo funny and cute I just wish I had a friend like him!!

6. The Characters from The Thief Lord

I just had to refresh my memory from the internet on this one, but I loved this cast so much! Scipio and Prosper and Hornet and Mosca and BO BO BO. It was such a pleasure reading this because it is one of those books that is middle grade but isn't really, ya know?

7. Jen Talbot

If you haven't read The Shadow Children series by Margaret Petersen Haddix go do it now. Jen has a small part in the series but a big part in the story. She is so inspirational- she made me cry

8. Fred and George Weasley
I shouldn't have to say why. 

9. Petra and Calder from Chasing Vermeer

 These two are smart, nosy, and kick-ass. Just the way I like 'em. 

10. Just because I'd be kidding myself if the whole cast of Harry Potter wasn't on this list....


Well that's my list, leave me yours (I won't check it out now but I will eventually I always do) and I hope you see this on Tuesday cuz this is my first scheduled post so.... I hope I did it right:) 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: Abandon

Meg Cabot
YA fantasy/ Greek mythology

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

The problem when reading a much-loved book by a much-loved author is that you have high expectations for it. And, well, Abandon didn't live up to what I thought it would be.

The main reason I didn't like it was because it wasn't dark enough for it's theme. What I mean is that the story was told lightly, and didn't have that mysterious, scary, dark, enticing atmosphere that most books of this genre usually do. I could tell it was meant to be intense, but it just wasn't (for me).

The second thing that bothered me was the insta-love. I know some people like it, and sometimes I do too when it's done well enough, but this just felt like I was told they fell in love, not shown it. No spark for me.

And third but last problem was the fact that this couldn't be a standalone novel. It's not that it had to be, I love books with cliffhangers as much as the next reader (or hate as much as the next reader...?) , but Abandon didn't have enough plot in it to make me feel satisfied when I was finished. It was more like an introduction to the world of the series.

But this book did have its redeeming qualities (it is Meg Cabot, after all). I personally liked Pierce. I admired how she wanted to help everyone and actually DID instead of just talking about it. Also, she had interests, she got out, she wasn't shy, she didn't automatically snub the queen bee and become a social pariah (seriously. Why do they always do that? No good ever comes out of it. Better play it smart like Pierce). You  go, girl.

Another pro for Abandon was the ending. I am happy to say that while the story line was fairly typical, I did not see the end coming and for that I am thankful. In conclusion, I probably will read Underworld (book #2) but I'm not running to the bookstore for it. Grade: 40%


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday- Top 10 Bookish Memories!

Hey! This week's TTT is Top Ten Bookish Memories hosted by the Broke and Bookish. I've seen a lot of excitement and nostalgia around the blogosphere so far so here are mine! Warning- might be a lot of Harry Potter

1) I'm in 3rd grade, and my family and I go on a trip somewhere (honestly I don't remember where exactly we were!) and I'm reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and it got late and everyone goes to sleep in our two adjoined hotel rooms. I wanted to stay up and read but the light bothered everyone so I stayed up in the bathroom reading on the toilet seat trying not to scream when Harry kissed Cho (remember I was 9 and Harry's first kiss was equivalent to mine!!) 

2) I'm in 4th grade and it's the loooong awaited night of HP7 release- the mall (which has the most popular local bookstore) was absolutely packed. If you didn't preorder, you'd be in line for HOURS. Now I was ten and did not know to do that but I did not give up hope and suggested to my mom we try that smaller, less known bookstore. And lo and behold, they had it! Without waiting in line AT ALL, I got my copy and was able to begin reading:) 

3) Same night, I was excited as hell and just HAD TO KNOW how the most famous series in the world ended so, I open to one of the last pages for a fraction of a second and see something like "... said Albus. No! replied James" obviously just invented that but something implying they were alive. Naturally I had a fit and went temporarily INSANE. 

4) In 5th grade, I had just gotten Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth and I refused to go to bed till I had finished it and my father came in at about midnight and got quite mad at me ("You have school tomorrow what is this irresponsibility?!") so I ended up going to sleep hugging my book and refusing to let go! 

5) 2 years ago when I read Mockingjay- for the first time IN MY LIFE  I **LITERALLY** burst in to tears at the end. SOBBING. I never sob. It was a refreshing first since I was a kid. (Or at least in a long time) 

6) Recently, getting tweeted by Scott Westerfeld, Sara Zarr, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl. Tweeting is the closest  I'll get to meeting because I live overseas from every English speaking author I've ever read. It's so nice getting noticed by people like them!

7) Every time I lend a a Cassie Clare book to a friend and they call me in the middle of the night screaming. It never gets old. 

Well, that all I've got for now, but I might add to this post later as I remember. I really liked this topic!! Leave me your link below and I'll stop by! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Review: The Naming

The Naming 
Alison Croggon

Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child after her family is destroyed in war. She is unaware that she possesses a powerful gift, one that marks her as a member of the School of Pellinor. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true heritage and extraordinary destiny unfold. Now she and her new teacher must survive a journey through a time and place where the forces they battle stem from the deepest recesses of otherworldly terror.

Thoughts: Well, this was a long book, and unfortunately not in a good way. Some books are super long and all the better because of it (like the Inheritance Cycle) but I can't say the same about The Naming. It took way too long to get exciting and addictive. I have been reading this book for the past week and a half, and that is a bad sign usually- it means it wasn't good enough to have me racing through it.

 But that doesn't mean it was all bad though- I liked the whole idea of the Schools, and Maerad was pretty good heroine. She wasn't perfect and sometimes a little slow to act, but considering her background it's totally understandable. My two favorite characters were introduced later in the story and if you read it, keep an eye out for them- Saliman and Hem. I wish we could have seen more of them.

Here are some of my favorite quotes-

"Maybe it is just that no one has been here, and so strange stories have grown out of ignorance"

"Many forgotten things live still in children's tales" 

"Waiting is usually the worst part of any ordeal"

"Perhaps, at this distance from human affairs, another pattern emerged from the chaos, another kind of necessity, and even evil became part of a larger music" - good luck trying to figure out that one!

Anyhoo, hope y'all have a good weekend, and god, has anyone seen Glee this week?? My sister and I are completely hooked!!