Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
For whatever reason, the two guys got frustrated and decided they didn't want to nice anymore. They both wanted her, and one of them was going to have her.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Author: Veronica Roth
About the Book (Froom Goodreads): Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
My Review: Divergent was amazing. I calculated and found out I read it in just ten and a half hours. I couldn't put it down. There were NO slow parts in the entire book! For me, even the best books have a point, (whether it's a conversation, transition scene, informative section, etc) that just drags on and you think, "Get on with it." I never hit that spot with Divergent. Every scene flowed wonderfully and kept my mind engaged in the story. And, more importantly, every scene contributed to the story. It's a long book, 485 pages, and every word is important to Tris' experience as she makes the choice between factions and then as she goes through her initiation.
I love that the book takes place in Chicago and that Roth uses the buildings and sites that are there to help build this world. It makes it extremely believable. It helps that I've been to Chicago so when she describes Navy Pier in it's abandoned state with Lake Michigan dried up and turned into a marsh, I can really picture it. It makes it so real and believable.
I like that Tris doesn't focus on what her life would be like if she chose Dauntless, she just knew she wasn't who she needed to be in order to be in Abnegation. It made her surprise at what was required of her real when she gets to the initiation. If she had asked too many questions, or dwelled on it too much, she might not have been able to chose Dauntless and then we wouldn't have a story. I know I wouldn't have chosen Dauntless, it is definitely not the life for me. I think I'm more of an Amity person myself, or maybe Candor. Thankfully, I don't actually have to choose.
The characters are amazing, the plot is amazing, the world that is created is amazing. I can't believe this is Roth's debut novel. AMAZING. This book definitely didn't disappoint in the hype that it has received and I know the sequel won't disappoint either! I'm so excited for it! Go and read Divergent, you won't be disappointed.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Monday, August 22, 2011
I don't know what it is, but lately I keep coming up with new plots for novels. My muse must be inspired because I can't seem to stop these random ideas.
My most recent idea came as I was driving through Missouri last week. Out of nowhere I had an idea for a murder mystery.
I love mysteries and thrillers. (But I love a lot of genres so that doesn't really mean much.) I've always respected those who write them because of the work that it takes to create a great mystery. In order to be amazing they need to be well thought out, creative, and have a few twists and surprises. I've never thought I would ever tackle one because it seemed like so much work.
It still seems like a lot of work. It requires so much more planning then what I am used to, but I don't know if I can just pretend I never had this idea and turn my back on it.
What would happen if you chose to ignore your muse? Would you stop receiving inspiration all together? That thought is too scary to even dwell on. I need my muse. I need the ideas to keep pouring in so that I always have something to work on. I don't ever want to crave writing without anything to put in words.
With that in mind, I will take this mystery challenge. It will, unfortunately, have to wait a bit to be born because I have other ideas that presented themselves first. However, I WILL write this mystery. I owe it to myself, and I owe it to my muse.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
About the Book: (From Goodreads)
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
I will admit that growing up I never read The Giver. A friend of mine found out and was appalled, so of course I had to borrow it. I'm so glad that I did.
The Giver is fascinating. I loved the idea of a world full of control. One that removes the fear and pain of choosing for ourselves and of the loss that you experience with bad choices and heartbreak. I could actually understand how they would have created that world of structure for themselves over the generations. In some ways, it is tempting to want to live in a society that tells you who to marry, what job to perform, what meals to eat every day. But it is ability to make those decisions that create joy in our lives, and Jonas discovers that.
Jonas is an amazing MC. At twelve years old he understands the world better than all of the adults around him, save one. Jonas develops into this amazingly strong character. I love how brave he becomes even though he has no idea what bravery is.
I don't want to give anything away, but I love the moment that Jonas realizes how fake his life has been, that it has all been a charade. Reading that fire light in him is what makes The Giver a fantastic book, and one that I think everyone should experience. It is a quick read. I read it in a day, so there are no excuses to not pick it up.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Title: Red Riding Hood
Author: Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
About the Book (from Goodreads):
Valerie's sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.
After her sister's violent death, Valerie's world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them--it could be anyone in town.
It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes...or everyone she loves will die.
This book is based on the screenplay for the movie that came out earlier this year. It's odd that it's not the other way around, as per usual, and it shows. It feels like the author watched the movie, then sat down and wrote the book. Now, I haven't seen the movie yet, though I do plan on watching it, so I don't know if the dialogue is taken word for word from the screenplay, but the author constantly switches perspectives. She can't decide if the book is third person, first person, or omniscient. She does a little of everything. And it's distracting. And I hated it.
Now, that's just the writing style. As far as the plot goes, I thought it was a fascinating story, but it would have to be if it was a movie first.
I really wanted to figure out who the werewolf was before I got to the end of the book. I can usually figure these things out. Books feel like puzzles to me and I am always dwelling on the pieces trying to fit them together to get a look at the bigger picture. I couldn't do it with the book, though I was pleasantly surprised with who the werewolf ended up being.
I hate that they did a bonus chapter that is located online and not in the book. The ending to the actual book was not satisfying at all, it was rather frustrating really. But the bonus chapter ending is great, if you actually take the time to go and read it. At the very back of the book it says: "Is this truly the end of Valerie's story? Visit www.redridinghoodbook.com to find out." I never would have actually gone if a friend of mine hadn't already told me that there was a bonus chapter there.
I'm really curious about the movie now. I want to know which ending the movie goes with. I have the one I hope for, but I won't find out until I sit down and watch it. As far as my recommendation, you may as well just watch the movie. But if you can get past the weird perspectives, you may enjoy the book.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (The plot redeemed the writing for me.)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Author: Lauren DeStefano
About the Book: (From Goodreads)
What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb — males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape — to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
This book grabbed me from the first page. I was in awe of this world that DeStefano created. I was emotionally invested immediately as the reader is introduced to Rhine, locked away in the back of a dark van with a bunch of other girls, all terrified and unsure of their futures.
I love the idea of a society that is so advanced that it has this amazing technology but it can't find a cure for a disease that was developed as a result of it. I know there are some people who find that unbelievable, that there is this disease that they can't get rid of with the technology as advanced as it is, but aren't we still looking for the cure for the common cold, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and that's just to name a few.
I may be a little biased because I have a twin sister, but I loved Rhine's connection with her brother. It creates a realistic drive in her to keep trying to get away from the mansion, but it also provides the reader with an understanding as to why she cares so much about her sister wives and why she sometimes doesn't take advantage of certain opportunities that present themselves. In her brother's absence, she fills his void with the presence of these new females in her life and she truly cares about them.
The relationship between Rhine and Linden, her forced husband, was believable to me. I could understand how she would find her feelings confusing over time as she realized how in the dark and naive he was. At first, Rhine hates Linden, but after awhile she pities him, and finally she even begins to have small feelings for him. If you grow up locked away in a mansion, only being exposed to certain people, you're going to believe that is the way life is unless you're told otherwise. Linden's father kept things from him, so he didn't have an understanding of the way that life really was. I truly felt that he believed he was in love with these girls and that they had chosen to be wives. I couldn't bring myself to hate him, I just felt sorry for him like Rhine did.
The sister wives dynamic was fascinating. Jenna was fascinating because she was a mystery. Even when we find things out about her, her behavior still doesn't make complete sense and I liked that. It's one of the reasons that I like reading a book from one character's perspective rather than jumping back and forth. We only knew what she decided to tell Rhine which made her that much more compelling.
I loved how the book ended. I am excited to read the sequel. I have a few idea on how things might wind down, but not how she will get it there. I would definitely recommend it. I borrowed this copy from a friend and I have added it to the list of books I must own.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars