Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian (spoiler free) + rant about spin-off series

Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8)
Eoin Colfer
MG sci-fi/fantasy 

Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In "The Last Guardian," the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis's little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don't seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand? 
New York Times best-selling author and comic genius Eoin Colfer will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series.

I have reached the end of one of my all time favorite series: Artemis Fowl. What does this mean? The usual mixed feelings. The Last Guardian was amazing of course, and I expected no less, but, IT'S OVER?! WHYYYY. No more awesome out-of-the-blue seriously brilliant schemes from Artemis? No more kick-ass moves from Holly? No more hilarious lines and top-notch technology from Foaly? I could go on and on. But alas, all good things come to an end. 

Except that this series has a perfect setting for a spin-off, and is the first one I actually WANT a spin-off for. Usually I feel with spin-offs that the author is trying to stretch out the success of the first series, therefore making up problems that weren't originally intended. Take The Mortal Instruments for example: At the end of City of Glass, all the enemies are dead, problems solved, everything's good. Then Cassie Clare decides to continue and BOOM, Sebastian's back from the dead, his 'mother' Lilith shows up, suddenly there's 'dark' and 'light' and apparently Jace is not actually ok. Same with Heroes of Olympus, even if it's better done than TMI because of the prophecy appearing before in The Last Olympian. 

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE THE AFOREMENTIONED SPIN-OFFS.  I read them religiously because I miss the world and my favorite characters, and I'll devour anything with them in it, which was no doubt the author's and publisher's intent. But that's exactly why they still bother me- because they're meant to sell. (at least, that's what it looks like to me. I'm not stating a fact) Unlike the original series, which the author wrote because he/she wanted to, and they loved their story. Unplanned continuations just don't  feel as genuine. 



*end rant* *huffs* 

Anyway, the journey isn't actually over for me. Apparently I accidentally skipped The Atlantis Complex (a previous book). Yes. I am ashamed. 

What can I say? If you have read this book, you know the end is like OH MY GOD WHAT. NO. HE DIDN'T JUST GO THERE. NO WAY DID EOIN COLFER JUST GO THERE. GOOD LORD HE JUST WENT THERE. 
and then- AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAH OMG YOU BRILLIANT BRILLIANT BOY. (for the record,  I am proud to say I saw that last bit coming:))

If you haven't, go pick up Artemis Fowl now. Artemis, Holly, Butler, Foaly, Mulch and the others will become the new obsessions of your literary lives. Rating: 4 stars just because it wasn't as omg-I'm-gonna-die  funny throughout the whole book like the other ones were.

What are your thoughts about spin-offs? Let me know! Hoping those of you at BEA and armchair BEA are having tons of fun!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stacking the Shelves!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we spotlight books we have received! I haven't done one in a while, (in fact, I've barely blogged for a while- so sorry!!) so I have some from the past few weeks. Here they are: 

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld - so excited for this conclusion, I loved the previous two books:) (You can read my review for Leviathan here and Behemoth here) source: borrowed
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon- I've heard great things about this book and I'm really looking forward to it! source: gifted 
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli- I have actually read this before years ago and I remember it being inspirational. The dear friend who gave me the book above was going to give it away and I saw it and said no! give it to me:) I barely remember it so I can't wait to reread it. Source: gifted
The Exemus by Folami and Ebeni Morris- I received this one for a book tour through the wonderful Candace at Candace's Book Blog and it looks great! Tour's not till August so review will come then- be patient:) source: received for review
Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl #8) - I was soooooo super duper hyped to read this (being the last *sob* of one of my favorite series) and I have just read it and have a lot of mixed feelings about the ending. Review to come soon. source: bought
The Runaway Queen by Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles #2)- eeeeeeepppppp will read this ASAP. Preparing for an fun ride:) source: bought
That's all! Leave me your links and enjoy the rest of your weekend:)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Extras

Scott Westerfeld
YA dystopia

It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of "American Idol." Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.

As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself.

Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.

First of all, that was the worst and most inaccurate blurb I have ever read. For one because I love American Idol. (Well, maybe not this season. Speaking of which, you guys excited for the finale tonight?) and two,  because unlike what it says there,  Aya IS FREAKING OBSESSED WITH GETTING FAMOUS.  DON'T GIVE ME THIS "AYA DOESN'T CARE" OR "A WORLD SHE'S NOT PREPARED FOR". THAT'S WHAT SHE SPENDS THE ENTIRE BOOK DOING.  SERIOUSLY, GOODREADS?
Ok, end rant.  At least on that. 

Blurb aside, if you're an old follower/reader of mine, you know I looooove Scott Westerfeld's work. You can read my reviews of Leviathan and Behemoth here. I read the Uglies series before I had a blog, but rest assured I was head over heels for every word of it. In fact, up until the last third of this book, I loved Extras too. The theme was mind boggling- a world where everything depends on your popularity on the internet. It's a brilliant idea and well done. Everyone has a face rank based on how much people are talking about you on the feeds (feed=  a personal page online). A subtle message to us as to how far our obsession with fame and the internet can go, just like Uglies, Pretties, and Specials explore the boundaries of how far our obsession with beauty can go.

Also, Extras is a really fast paced book, even reminded me of James Patterson's writing a little bit, complete with thrilling technical gadgets that will excite any teenager (me included). What's more, we get fun nostalgic cameos by our favorite characters in the Uglies series:)


There was little to no character development for Aya in this book. In the beginning, all she wanted was to be famous. In the end, all she wanted was to be famous. In the beginning, she was going to do something morally not ok. Later, when asked if she would have done it had such-and-such not happened, she doesn't have an answer. I had expected the author to present the dangers of this kind of system, the addictive-ness, to explore the ethical questions it raises, to have Aya grow and change and get her priorities in order. But he didn't do any of those things. In fact, there was a point where the they discovered something that literally put all of their lives in danger and all Aya could think of was how this story could make her a celebrity.
The other characters were cool and likable, and most of them did grow a little bit. Rating:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday- tough subjects

Hey guys! Long time no blog:) I've been super busy with school, holidays, dance, and my birthday. (By the way- I share it with the most badass heroine in YA history- KATNISS EVERDEEN. Go May 8th) Anyway, back to do some list-making! This week's TTT hosted by The Broke and Bookish topic is top ten books dealing with tough subjects. I'm sure we'll see a lot of the same ones but here we go!

1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

2. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - this one was brilliant.

3. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley - deals with the underrated verbal abuse and more. 

4. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green- there's a slew of tough issues in there, God knows which one was the main point. It would also make my list of top ten most beautiful books.

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

7. The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen- the most in-detail description of the Nazi concentration camps I've read. I was little when I read it, so maybe it's not as horrifying as I remember it, but it  seared my heart and mind.

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- there are hundreds of amazing Holocaust books. You can see my post on them here.

9. Desert Flower by Waris Dirie- the traumatizing TRUE STORY of this Somali model before she became one. You might not want to give this to a kid... 

10. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie- this books deals with hard and true issues, in a light and teen friendly way. You could even give it to a kid if he/she is a,  you know, knowledgeable kid. 

There are some a few more that I'm planning to read soon, like Dreamland by Sarah Dessen and Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky. 
So what's on your list? 
And despite the theme, have a happy Tuesday:)


Monday, May 6, 2013

Liebster Blog Award #2

Hey guys! I've been awarded the Liebster Blog Award again! This time, I was nominated by the wonderful Bethany at By the Bookful. Thanks so much Bethany! 

Here are the Award Rules:

1. Accept the award, post the picture of the Liebster Award on the top of your post and say who nominated you for the award and list their blog site.

2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers under 200 followers who are worthy for the Liebster Award and list their blog sites.
4. Notify the bloggers of their award.
5.Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer when they accept their Liebster Award.
6. Answer the questions left for you by the blogger who gave you the award.

Here are my facts: (They are the same as last time- I kinda doubt you remember;)) 

1. I speak Hebrew fluently.
2. I have 6 little siblings (cutest little darlings! Well, most of them) (kidding!) 
3.I have three citizenships.
4. I'd take snow over beach any day! 
5. I am an obsessive planner. I have a yearly day planner and I actually fill in EVERYTHING.
6. I LOVE the Disney Princesses.
7. It's my birthday this Wednesday! (May 8th) 
8.Despite dancing for years and years, I am not really skinny (at all!) or really flexible.
9. I hope to go into politics when I grow up.
10. Speaking of that, I've been reading the newspaper every day since I was 12.
11. I have no artistic talent AT ALL. More's the pity. I always wished I could be one of those people who had their own drawings on canvases hanging around their house.

Bethany's questions:

1. What Started your blogging adventure?
I was browsing an author's website, and one of the commenters had a book blog. I checked it out and fell in love with the whole thing.

2. Describe yourself in one word.
Multi-dimensional. (Does that count?) 

3. Favorite Fictional Character?
Percy Jackson and Will Herondale.

4. What do you do to relax besides Read and Blog?
Stretch (like splits, touching my toes while putting my head to my knees, that sort of thing) and listen to music. And write. 

5. Favorite Genre and Why?
YA/MG fantasy. Hey, doesn't everyone want to live in magical worlds?

6. Favorite Quote from a book?
" If you want to see what a man is like, look at how he treats his equals, not his inferiors." -Sirius Black

7. Dream Vacation?
St. Petersberg, Russia. Snow, palaces, ballet.... <3 font="">

8. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person, though I'm a late sleeper on weekends and vacations.

9. Favorite thing about Blogging?
Book talking with people:) 

10. Your Ideal Place to read a book?
My bed at home

11. Favorite Food Dish?

My questions for the nominees are:

1. What book made you love to read/ get you to start?
2. All time favorite author?
3. Have you ever met/ got anything signed by your fave/famous author?
4. Do you currently work in/plan to pursue a job related to books?
5. Why did you start blogging? Is it all you expected it to be?
6.Name a book that just made you explode (for any reason-good or bad)?
7. Best cover you've ever seen?
8. Fave movie-to-book adaptation (if any)?
9. Do you have a lot of reader friends or did you get into this life on your own? :)
10. Favorite quote from a book (if you have one)?
11. What was your favorite release this year/ what release or you most excited for this year? 

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for.... my nominees!! 
Jahzeiah @ Mermaed Books
Ray Marie and Dallie Jay @ The NerdHerd
Jackie @ No Bent Spines 

Ya, ya I know I was supposed to choose 11. But I have to get up at 6 tomorrow, cut me some slack. Anyhoo, congratulations guys! Enjoy! And for the rest of you, go check them out! You can see my first Liebster Award HERE.
Have a good night! (Well, it's night as I write this..)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Double Feature!

Taaaa daaaa!! Guess what guys?? (This shouldn't be too hard as it is blaring in your face) I'm the Feature and Follow Friday's featured blogger! I really enjoy taking part in this meme and visiting other blogs- isn't it a great way to see some new blogs and meet new bloggers? And with that I would like to thank the hosts Alison at Alison Can Read and Parajunkee for the spotlight and coming up with this fab feature to begin with! (and for putting up with my many questions) *cue round of applause* 

I also want to welcome all you newcomers! How are you? Look around, read, comment, send me suggestions (as you can see I'm pretty new) and just enjoy! Hope you like my blog and I'm happy to check out yours- just leave me the link and I'll follow back:)  

So this week's question is... 
Give us a sneak! What are you reading? Tell us about a fun or fail scene in your current read.

Well! I'm currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings Part 1) by J.R.R Tolkien because I feel like, how can I call myself a reader if I haven't read these yet? I just started and so far so good. It begins with this amusing little scene in which the hobbits of Hobbiton and Bywater 'tongue-wag' at the local pub about Bilbo (about whom we read in The Hobbit), his adopted heir Frodo, scandals, riches, and standard small town gossip. It kinda reminds me of the first scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where the residents of Little Hangleton buy each other drinks while thirstily try to get news out of the maid.  
What about you??

And before you scroll down to sign up and participate I also want to share the SECOND place I'm featured in this week- Around the World hosted by the lovely Emily at Falling for YA! There I talk a little about what it's like to be a book blogger in Israel- check it out! (It may not be up yet, so if not come back later:))

Hope you have a good weekend, and check back later this week for my thoughts and favorite quotes on The Lord of the Rings! (I don't know how I'll do it.. you can't really review a classic, can you?) 

Here is the LinkyTool in which you can sign up for this week's Feature and Follow Friday: