Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Behemoth

Behemoth (Leviathan, #2)Behemoth (Leviathan #2)
Scott Westerfeld
historical fiction/ fantasy

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory. 

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.

This is the second book of the Leviathan trilogy. You can read my review of the first book (which Scott Westerfeld himself retweeted!) HERE. 

If you have read my review of Leviathan, you know I adored it.  Behemoth was a little less addicting- as in, I didn't find myself in agony every second I was away from the book, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

First off, I have to applaud the original setting. You'd think that as momentous as World War I was, there would be more books about it, no? Alas, this trilogy is the only set of books I can think of set in that time. And not only in Europe! It was so refreshing to have something placed in my side of the world for once. Behemoth takes place in the Ottoman Empire in 1914. My country, Israel, was under the Ottoman's rule at the time and today the entire region is still largely influenced by that period, so I felt familiar with the backdrop of the story. 

As for the characters- can I just spotlight Dr. Barlow and Count Volger for a second? HOW AWESOME ARE THESE TWO?! They always either make some sort of illumination in the story or just crack me up. And their completely conflicting backgrounds yet very twin personalities just go to show that it's not about where you're from (though some say they're totally different in character- That's interpretation for you!), but who you are. I would LOVE if they each had their own companion novel with their take on the events in Leviathan and Behemoth.

In this installment we really get to see Alek and Deryn's friendship grow. I have some complaints on that but I won't say anything so as not to spoil it for you:) 

Have a good week, guys!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Hey guys! How's everyone? I have recently been seeing a lot of this feature and thought it was a great idea! Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Alison Can Read  and Parajunkee with a question that everyone answers and a featured blogger. You must follow the hosts and the featured blogger, and then you can make your own post answering the question. Go around commenting, checking out other peoples' blogs, follow, and get followed back! Isn't it a sweet way to spread the love and talk to people?
This weeks question is....

Is there a song that reminds you of a book? Or vice versa? What is the song & the book?

Oh yes. 
1. Breakeven by the script reminds me of  The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess)! More specifically of Will Herondale;) Listen and tell me what you think!

2. Forever Young by Alphaville reminds me of The Twilight Saga!

3. OK DON'T FLIP BUT One Less Lonely Girl by Justin Beiber reminds The Mortal Instruments! Specifically of Jace and Clary. Don't shoot me!!

I think the reason I associate the last one with TMI is because I discovered the song while reading the series, and when I discover a song I listen to it like a thousand times. With Forever Young the lyrics literally remind me of the story of Breaking Dawn. As for the first, I saw someone say on Twitter that Breakeven reminded them of Will and when I thought about it the song just seemed to fit him! What about you? 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Grishma

Kelly Blount
YA fairytale

In the world of Necoh, everyone fears Grishma, a hideous murderous beast responsible for ruining or ending the lives of anyone who dare cross her.

As a young boy, Ryder lived with his family, deep in the caves underneath the Kadin Forest, unaware of the horrors of the world. His simple world was turned upside down one horrible night when Grishma attacked his family, killing his father and kidnapping his mother and younger sister.

From that night on, Ryder devoted his life to killing Grishma. He tracked the monster from Necoh, to our world, and back again. Unfortunately, during his quest, he accidentally transported Brooklyn, a high school junior into his tumultuous world, where she is mistakenly identified as Princess Sophie, the missing princess of Sumner.

Days after Princess Sophie’s return, Grishma plots and manipulates the King into drugging and marrying off his only daughter to Prince Algid of Dratun. Desperate to save Brooklyn, who now believes she is the long lost princess, his mother, and his little sister, Ryder embarks on the deadliest part of his quest.

Will he save Brooklyn? Will she ever regain her memory? What will become of his mother and sister?

Through epic adventure, loss, and love, GRISHMA depicts the strength of the human spirit and the tight bonds formed by the unique creatures of Necoh.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  First off, I LOVE the cover, so I was very excited to pick this up:)

Grishma was relatively short, and had the rare feel of young adult fairy tale; a magical world, scary and cute creatures, kingdoms, arranged marriages for princesses etc. That aspect was nice and original and I rather liked it. The only problem I had with the world of Necoh is that it wasn't explained- we don't know how humans got there (or if they were always there..) and how Ryder found the entrance into our world, or if he is even human. I know there will be another book (the ending makes that clear), but I feel that if there is a time for explanations it's the first installment. 

Action fans and patience-less: This is the book for you! Grishma keeps everything moving at all times. Personally I could have done with a few  more relaxed scenes to get to know the characters better, but I know a lot of people want to see things happen quickly and with that this book does not disappoint. 

Speaking of the characters....
Ryder is a genuine, legit kinda guy. As a kid, he watched his father get killed and since then (understandably) he's been trying to avenge his death. I thought he was likable and sweet, but unfortunately like I mentioned above, I didn't really get a full understanding of him. I would have liked to know what he liked to do before he set off on his journey to kill Grishma, if on the way he ever dated or loved, what he plans to do after he succeeds (or if he has plans at all). Hopefully in the next book!
As for Brooklyn, well, besides her name I didn't really like her. She just seemed shallow to me. When she was mistaken for the lost princess and taken to the castle, she just went with the flow. Didn't try to get in touch with Ryder, or figure out a plan, or go home. She was too busy enjoying her bubble bath. When she heard suspicious things she passed them off as nothing, even though she knew not to trust anyone. I was mainly disappointed in her. 

BUT, there were some very intriguing secondary characters whose stories I hope we hear in the sequel like Bressa, Alexia, and Brianna. 

All in all, Grishma was a nice and quick read:) Rating: 3 stars

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Hey guys(: How're y'all?? I will be moving a house soon and have been a little miserable lately- but nothing like a good book to take your mind off things! I am currently reading Grishma by Kelly Blount- the review will be up this week so stay tuned! Anyway, Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we can spotlight the books we have received.
Recently, I have accumulated:
Hidden by Sophie Jordan (Firelight #3)
What Really Happened in Peru  by Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles #1)
A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin
Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Already read What Happened in Peru and it was AWESOME. I will review it when all the stories are released. Loved the Firelight books so really looking forward for it's conclusion. As for Bewitching, well, it's by the author of Beastly and if you've read/watched that you know there's much to expect! A Time for Dancing was lent to me by a good friend of mine who's been dancing with me for years so it's very fitting:)

On to movies....
Have you seen all the amazing trailers out recently?? The new City of Bones, The Catching Fire Teaser, The Sea of Monsters and (even though it's not book related) Grown-ups 2!! (best Adam Sandler movie+ Taylor Lautner = Win) Sooo excited and can't wait! I'll review the book related ones when they come out (speaking of that I need to do The Host....)

Anyway, hope you all have a good week! Leave me your links and I'll visit you too:)
P.S. sorry about the weird post... the pictures were being annoying

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday Rewind!!

Hello everyone! It's been awhile... how was your week? I was so shocked to hear about the bombing in Boston. May the victims rest in peace. On a happier note, Israel celebrated Independence Day today -wish my home a happy 65th! So this Top Ten Tuesday's (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) is rewind week- I chose top ten books that made me cry.

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare- (I bring up this book waaaay too much) holds the record for the only book to make me cry more than once. In fact, I think I spent the better part of that night bawling. 

2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins- I think it was mostly from shock. One of the most best-crafted books/series I have ever read. Right up there with Harry Potter, if you ask me. (Speaking of HG, have you seen the teaser trailer for Catching Fire?? OMG!) 
3. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult- it is NOTHING like the movie. Read it first.

4. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks- both the movie and the book had me weepy. Highly recommended.

5. A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks

6. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

7. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks- Ok, can we just say this guy is the master of tears?? I mean, JEEZ. Sometimes I wanna call up his wife and be like, 'what on earth did you two go through that he can break hearts like this?!!'

8.  Looking for Alaska by John Green- I don't actually remember if  I cried, exactly, but I remember the feels. Oh, the feels. And yes, I've heard The Fault in Our Stars is even more emotional. Good Lord.

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- they were happy tears:) 

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

That's it, folks! I also have been astounded by the stats this week and wanted to thank you so much for visiting and reading my blog! Hope you enjoy:))

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: Between the Lines

Between the Lines
Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
YA fairytale

What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

Ahh, Jodi Picoult. I'm sure you can understand when I say I had HIGH,  HIGH expectations for this book. When I saw it was YA and written with her daughter, I figured it would be different. When I read the back I realized it would be VERY different. Now that I'm finished I can say it was LIGHT YEARS AWAY from My Sister's Keeper and every other book of hers you might have read. 

Be honest.  Isn't the plot your biggest dream? Speak with your literary crush? Meet the knight in shining armor? KISS JACE LIGHTWOOD  YOUR BOOK BOYFRIEND? I was fascinated by the idea, and was sure it was going to be amazing. It wasn't. It wasn't bad though. Just cute. 

I liked having both Oliver's and Delilah's POV, and the bits of the fairy tale were great too. It was enjoyable read and worth the time. Personally, I could have done with an epilogue, but the ending was good on it's own. Oliver was a sweetheart and was swoon-worthy in a realistic-boy way and and Delilah was a nice character also. Recommended, but no need to jump it to the top of TBR list.  Grade: 50% 

I'm now rereading Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince and after will be starting Bossypants by Tina Fey. What about you?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Books for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Hi all!
I've been a little absent lately, lots of tests and school. But I'm still around! Tomorrow I'll be posting my review of Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult. But before that, I wanted to mention that today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Now, in general I want my blog to be a happy place, but I felt that this day shouldn't be passed up in the book blogosphere especially when there are so many great books commemorating the victims. If you haven't read any of these, do so now. For your own education and book appreciation, but also to honor the 6 million Jews (and others) who perished in the hands of the Nazis, and not even long ago.

The Diary of Anne Frank
This one isn't really about the physical horrors of it. If you can't handle emotionally tough reads, go with the diary. Here is your average girl who flirts with boys, goes to movies, rides her bike, goes to school, fights with her mom. This is how her life was taken away from her, bit by bit. It's her real diary, translated from Dutch.

   The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I know a lot of people have read this one already. If you have, you know it's well worth it.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
If you already know about Auschwitz you'll be amazed by the literary genius of this book. The movie, too, is amazing.

The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
This one is told from the perspective of a child but is one of the harder ones (if my horror and shock as a child were any indication. Maybe it would be less traumatizing if I was to read it now). It's describes with detail life in the concentration camps. Well, "life" is a relative term when speaking of the Holocaust.

Night by Elie Wiesel
In truth, I have yet to read this one. From what I heard of it, I have decided to wait a few years. But naturally I know of Elie Wiesel (probably one of the most famous Holocaust survivors) and have read and studied his epic and true speech when he accepted his Nobel peace prize. (Google him. I'm serious) He has written many more books but this is his most well known. It's half fiction, half documentary of his own experiences.

Out of the Depths by Rabbi Lau
Another documentary of this extraordinary Rabbi's experiences as a little kid (!!) during the Nazi regime.

Anyway, it would mean a lot to me and to everyone in Israel if you read one of these. Also, if you've read a well-written and meaningful Holocaust/ World War II book that I haven't featured here let me know!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: The Host

The Host.jpg
The Host 
Stephenie Meyer
Dyastopia/Sci Fi

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.

Hi all. Sorry I haven't been around much this week- it's been a holiday so celebrations and vacation.  But of course I found time to read and have just finished this AMAZING  but monstrosity of a book (in a good way. I just mean it's huge:)). 

First of all, let me start off and say that even if you HATED Twilight you HAVE to give this book a chance.  Because while yes, Bella is a pain in the butt,  Stephenie Meyer more than makes up for her with  not one but TWO  courageous and selfless heroines. Both Melanie and Wanderer majorly impressed me with their acceptance and eventually friendship of one another, their ability to love deeply but not unreasonably, the things they both did and were willing to do for their family and loved ones. 

Another thing that this had going for it was the originality. Aside from the Lorien Legacies (which I adore)  this is the only YA book featuring alien invasion of Earth in recent years (at least that I know of. If you have more, tell me!) and it was so different from anything out there- I had no idea what to expect as the plot progressed. Also, the souls weren't trying to destroy Earth,  rather experience it,  which gave the story a whole new direction.

As for the Stephenie Meyer staple- the love triangle. I am happy to announce this was nothing less than A LOVE-FREAKING-RECTANGLE.  It wasn't that simple.  But there were four people in three bodies who all loved each other and it wasn't always requited. Now I know what you're thinking. This could have been a literary catastrophe.  But who better than Stephenie Meyer, who invented the mother of all love triangles,  to tackle this? It was GENIUS.  I loved it.  It caused some heartache, but I am glad to say I wasn't sure of who loves who and how it was going to turn out until passed halfway. And even then,  I couldn't be sure of the ending until I got there.  ( A VERY GOOD THING)

Which brings me to my last point. The ending.  I'm happy to say I couldn't predict it until Wanderer herself decided upon it, and even then, the epilogue came with a mostly surprising twist. I say 'mostly' because I had a hunch something like that was going to happen, but wasn't sure and there was no foreshadowing in which to back myself up. You see, I always feel that authors have a signature way they like to end books and have yet to come across an author who has two drastically different endings (I'm talking about final endings.  As in, the end of a series or standalone novel), so according to my belief, something like that should happen. But it was skillfully hidden and if not for that notion that is my personal opinion (which proved to be right in this case!) I would never have called it out.  Grade: 95%