Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday!!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. As it has it, I haven't done a TTT since January. Yes, it is HIGH time.

 Anyhoo, this week's topic is If You Like This, Read That. Here's mine! Nope, there's no rhyme or reason. Don't try. 

If you like AMERICAN IDOL read: Piece of My Heart by Lynn Madelenna Menna

If you like MEAN GIRLS read Bossypants by Tina Fey

If you like TRUE INSPIRING STORIES read Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

If you like DANCE read A Time For Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin

If you like WEIRDNESS read: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

If you like MIDDLE GRADE AWESOMENESS read The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley

If you like ESPONIAGE read the CHERUB Series by Robert Muchamore

If you like DRAGONS, read: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

If you like FAIRYTALE RETELLINGS, read: Bewitching by Alex Flinn

If you like FAERIES read Wings by Appryline Pike

Check out the links if you like these things too! What are yours? 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: The Little Prince

The Little PrinceThe Little Prince

 Katherine Woods

Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures

Hello, lit class reading. Yeah I've been doing a lot of that lately. We had spring break so I'm catching up. Anyhoo, I have just read for said class The Little Prince for the second time, but I'm reviewing it because the first time I was in elementary school and I didn't remember a word from then.

I must say,  I actually liked it a little bit. I was only in class for the discussion of the first part, so naturally that was the part I understood the most- the baobab trees thing. Those tree start as sprouts like any other, but must be recognized for what they are early on and pulled from the root to prevent them from destroying the planet. It's a metaphor for human qualities - things like pride and jealousy start small and look harmless, but if they're left unattended they take over the person. 

What I loved most about the book was the dedication- the author apologizes to children for dedicating it to an adult, and then takes it back and dedicates it to that person when he was a child. The whole theme of the book is how as people grow up their minds become closed and they busy themselves with supposed 'matters of consequence', but lose sight of what's really important. In My Sister's Keeper Jodi Picoult says something like that too, about how growing up is just the process of the mind slowly being sewed shut.

There was a lot that went over my head though - I think it was the love theme with the fox and the rose... oh well. I guess I'll have to show up to Lit class now(: I'm not going to bother giving it a star rating- it's just not one of those books that you like or dislike, it just is. 

Have a great weekend!! And last chance to enter my giveaway- please do, it means a lot(: Top tab^^^^

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weekly (ish) Spotlight

Vincent Crow Export
D.C.J. Wardle
Amazon UK

This is the hilarious follow-up to Trading Vincent Crow – in which we were introduced to Vincent, who was determined that he had to trade-up his life every three months for a new and better one. This meant a new job, new girl, new wheels, new pad, new threads – until he reached the top.
In D.C.J. Wardle’s new novel, Vincent Crow: Export, we re-visit Vincent – to see that his unique but ad-hoc approach to self-improvement has inspired him to journey east. He has the chance for a completely new beginning as he throws himself in to the unexplored depths of the Asian business world, with support from his unlikely benefactor, Jonathan Fairchild.
Inevitably, the cascade of disaster that permeates Vince’s haphazard approach to personal advancement means that this new chapter of his life in a foreign country is anything but straightforward. The challenge of starting from scratch in an exotic land, with no initial contacts or appreciation of the culture and customs, could be overwhelming for the most seasoned of entrepreneurs. However, Vince has the added complication of bringing his nan along for the adventure, which may not be one of the most astute decisions that he has ever made...

Inline image 2About The Author:

D.C.J. WARDLE is the author of humorous novels 'Trading Vincent Crow' and 'Vincent Crow: Export'. In January 2013 he was author of the month on www.lovewriting.co.uk.

Holding post-graduate qualifications in development management as well as community water supply engineering, over the past fourteen years, he has worked in developing countries in Africa and Asia, managing emergency and development programmes.

Go for it!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: United We Spy

United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)United We Spy (Gallagher Girls #6 and last)
Ally Carter
YA contemporary, esponiage

Spoilers for the whole series- proceed only if you've read them ALL.

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

You can read my review of GG5 - Out of Sight, Out of Time here.

I looooove the Gallagher Girls- in fact, I'm kinda planning to do a tribute post one of these days. Equally girly and action-packed, it's a rare series that has more friendship than romance and that actually has kick-ass girls but doesn't feel the need to tell us that - ahem, TMI girls. 

The Bad:

But for the first time I didn't completely buy everything in an installment of this series... in fact, I spent the first bit in utter frustration.

In the beginning, Cammie and her friends go to London to hunt down a member of the Circle's leaders- at the exact second the Circle's splinter group tries to kill him.

A little in, Macey decides to go with her roommates and extricate Preston from Rome with  the adults' utter refusal and without said adults' knowledge. Turns out that's also when Abby and Townsend had the same idea, as did the Circle's splinter group. 

While all these made for good drama and action, there were just too many coincidences that were not believable. Come on, Preston's been living there for months and you all decide to get him in the same hour? 

My other problem with this novel is that I finished it with more questions than I started. First of all, how is it that we don't know of anyone in this splinter group besides Catherine? And why does she even WANT to rebel within the Circle? Did she or did she not really love Zach, that she tried to save him in book 4 but here wanted to kill herself? And in the end, in the final showdown at the Gallagher Academy... why is it she didn't have friends when she was there? What made her so bitter she had to burn the place to the ground? HOW AND WHEN THE HELL DID SHE AND TOWNSEND HAVE ZACH??????

Four words: Not. Enough. Joe. Solomon.

The Good(e):

I absolutely ADORED how all the couples were just couples, lovingly fighting crime together. It's just so frustrating when after books and books of the couple finally getting together they continue to fight and have problems when there are bigger things happening around them (once again TMI, I'm looking at you). Authors, cut them a break once in awhile! Anyway, I liked how that was not the case here.

Two words: Zachary Goode (:

Okay so call me crazy, but you know how I said in my review of GG5 that a scene reminded me of Harry Potter? So in this one, A LOT reminded me of Harry Potter. The whole we're-ditching-our-last-year-at-school-to-save-the-world thing sound familiar? Everything commencing in an epic battle at the school where it all started? It was quite wonderful for me. Yes, #IheartHarryPotter. 

LIZ. Did I not say in my aforementioned review of book 5 how I thought it was a problem Liz didn't get the attention she deserves? So I am happy to announce Liz finally got her long awaited spotlight. You go, girl. I always knew she'd play a major role. 

And of course, just the overall fun and sassiness and feminism I've come to associate with the Gallagher Girls. I love how the series is moved along by everyone's distinct and BIG personalities, not just reactions to obstacles thrown their way. 

Now all that's left is to be sad it's over. Alas, the Finished Favorite Series Syndrome. (Oooh that's good. I'll call it FFSS for short).
Rating: 4 stars (this is the first time I've rated any of Ally's books less than 5)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book-to-Movie Review: Divergent

Image result for divergent movie poster
Book by Veronica Roth
YA dystopia

In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.


Guess they could.

Anyhoo, every reader knows the secret to enjoying the movie adaptation of a great book is to come at it with low expectations. Honestly, I'm so used to doing that that it's automatic at this point (well, except for The Hunger Games. And they never disappoint). So nah, I didn't expect much. I knew Shailene from The Spectacular Now and she was great there, but that was just one movie and a totally different role. As for Theo, I have never seen his work, same as Ansel (if there was one person I was praying would be great it was Ansel. Dude is playing Gus. I must be dead on the floor for this to work). And believe it or not, I managed to forget Miles Teller was in this movie. I know. I do. I have been shaming myself ever since. I HEART YOU MILES. I'M SO SO SORRY. 

So yeah, didn't think about it too much. I am pleased to announce that I don't think my expectations made a difference= DIVERGENT MOVIE WAS QUITE WONDERFUL ON IT'S OWN.

YES!! I actually liked everything so much more when it was on screen- the dauntless jumping off the trains, climbing the ferris wheel, the fear landscapes. It was all so vivid and exhilarating and had THE BEST SCORE EVER. I can't put my finger on what it was exactly about the music of this film but I can tell you it worked.




No, I didn't get stuck on capslock.

What can I say? I was thoroughly satisfied by the adaptation. Good fun, lots of laughs. Oh and Theo. Yes Theo. Hello there, sexy.


What did you think?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Maximum Security

Maximum SecurityMaximum Security (Cherub Mission #3)
Robert Muchamore
Adventure, kid spies

CHERUB agents are highly trained, extremely talented and all under the age of seventeen. For official purposes, these agents do not exist. They are sent out on missions to spy on terrorists, hack into crucial documents, and gather intel on global threats all without gadgets or weapons. It is a highly dangerous job, but these agents have one crucial advantage: Adults never suspect that teens are spying on them.

In Maximum Security, James's newest mission brings him to the sun-baked desert prison Arizona Max, home to 280 child criminals. One of them is the son of a weapons dealer who has been selling U.S. missiles to terrorists. If James can get the kid, CHERUB has a chance to stop the father. Getting into the prison is easy. Breaking out is the hard part.

You can read my reviews for CHERUB books 1 & 2 here.

Once you have, you'll see I looooove the Cherub series. Book 1 was by far the best, but I've really been enjoying the continuation of the series thus far.

What's great about this series is that each mission is totally different and disconnected from the last. Therefore, content-wise, I have very little to say. As usual, fun, wild, fast-paced, and everything a Percy Jackson/ Maximum Ride fan will love. In this installment the stakes get higher, which is always good. 

The new in Maximum Security is this time we get Lauren, James's sister, along for the ride. She's smart and young and cute and adds a fresh perspective. For those nostalgic for Kyle, Bruce, Kerry and Gabrielle- they're not in this one so much, but they'll be back, you can tell(:

All in all? Go get it, especially for a guy reader. Rating: 4 stars

Happy spring break!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)13 Little Blue Envelopes
Maureen Johnson
YA Contemporary, Road Trip

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.
In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.
I have only ever read 2 other works by Maureen Johnson- Suite Scarlett and a Bane Chronicles story (a colab with Cassandra Clare). I also follow her on Twitter, and yes, she's as funny as her reputation. So needless to say, I really looked forward to reading this and was not disappointed.
Firstly, the book had a distinct feeling that the author had done some this herself. There were some authentic American-lost-in-Britain laughs that only come with experience, and I absolutely loved that. Of course you can't go wrong with a road trip, but this one being all over Europe and the fact that Ginny and the reader have absolutely no idea where they're going next added to the magic and unpredictability of the story.
Character wise, this book was just fascinating! Ginny meets regular people, artists, hermits, tourists, and plain old crazies from all over the world, each of whom could have had their own story. There was lots of depth and development and subplot that made the novel more and more intriguing as you kept going. 
Dialogue and romance were flawless. No insta-love, but some insta-lust- very realistically teenagery. Keith was actually hysterical, but not in the typical bad-boy way. Reminded me a little of Puck from The Sisters Grimm series of The Iron Fey series (Puck seems to have a similar personality wherever he appears:)) I loved how he showed up when he was needed, but ultimately it was Ginny's journey and she did most of it on her own.
Overall, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a work of art, and I'm really looking forward to reading The Last Little Blue Envelope! Recommended for everyone! Rating: 4.5 stars
Love, Esty                                                                                                                                               

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post!

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post are weekly memes hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Haven't done this in a while! Lots to show you!

Copy of The Wave SIGNED by Ron Jones!

He came and spoke at my friends' school and I went to hear him... really interesting! One of the teacher's was accompanying him with a guitar, which is the doodle he drew^^^. In case you don't know, Ron Jones is the teacher who carried out the wave experiment in his classroom in the 60's. If you haven't heard his story, please hurry and watch the movie/read the book!

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)
You can read my review of Losing Hope here. So excited for Sky's story!! 

The Banshee's Embrace by Victoria Richards
The Banshee's Embrace (The Banshee's Embrace Trilogy, #1)

From the store I work at - To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel by Siena Cherson Siegel and Mark Siegel
To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel
Seeing as I've been dancing longer than I haven't, this book caught my eye. It'll also be my first graphic novel since the days I used to read Archie Comics (do those count?).

From a friend: Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
Sarah's Key

From a friend:  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus

From a friend: An Abundance of Katherines by The One and Only
An Abundance of Katherines
*Attempts to control excitement* *fails* *squeals*

From the library:  Cherub Mission #3 Maximum Security by Robert Muchamore
Maximum Security
Overjoyed to have this one- you can read my reviews of missions #1 and #2 here.

Physical copies from publicist and ebook Netgalley: Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mylnowski
I'm hosting a giveaway for a SIGNED COPY of this. You can enter here(:

From Netgalley: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth About Alice

From Netgalley: Dancing Through It by Jenifer Ringer

From the author: Captured Again by LL Akers

From the author: Impossibly True by Shane Morgan
Impossibly True (Impossibly, #2)
Really looking forward to this one- you can read my review of Impossibly Love here.

From the publicist: Stained by Ella James
Stained (Stained, #1)

Yeah, so basically I'm good for the year. Can't wait for all these!! What did you add to your TBR?