Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reviewing: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.


How do I review this book without flailing everywhere? Oh, that's right. I DON'T. *flails everywhere*

Let's just start with the main character, Nyx. Okay, so I didn't love her. I knew why she was doing the things she was doing and even though I didn't always agree with that, I did understand where she was coming from. She was tough. Strong. And a little bit cruel. But she ached for love. To be honest, I didn't really see a lot of Belle (seeing as this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling...) in her. But that's okay! In fact, I'm glad Nyx wasn't entirely like Belle. She probably would have died within the first ten pages if she was. 

Ignifex and Shade, well...

I'm not entirely sure what I can say that won't be spoilery considering these two, but I'll try my best. And basically what it comes down to is IGNIFEX. I am pretty much a goner around villains that act like villains while simultaneously being sarcastic and just really sort of weird. I'm not sure if "weird" is the right word (I almost want to use adorable instead), but just to tell you why I chose weird-- he is constantly poking Nyx in the forehead and on her nose and he basically uses her as a pillow 24/7. He is like a cat.

I spent most of the book mad at Shade. Well, okay, not most. More like... half. He felt sort of bland to me at first. But WAIT. After a little bit he becomes anything but bland. NO ONE IS BLAND IN THIS BOOK. But everyone is also a little bit (or a lot) evil.

Which brings me to Nyx's little sister, Astraia. She was supposed to be the nice one. I was supposed to like her, and feel bad for her. And I did, at first. But then... THE INCIDENT. She almost felt more cruel and manipulative than Nyx and I was just staring at the book with a repulsed expression on my face thinking about how much I really wished Nyx would walk away from her very bad, very mean family forever.

The world was absolutely brilliant. A sky made out parchment paper?? YES PLEASE. Also, I absolutely love Greek mythology. Maybe it's because I've studied it and written essays on it and read an abundance of stuff about it (all of that, not counting the essays, for pleasure) but I never really got confused about who was who and all the ranks and all the mythical places. But my brain almost died when the complexity of how the house worked was brought up.

And let me just take a moment to talk about the ending. Talk about heartbreak. I'm pretty sure I was sitting there in a bubble of depression for hours after I finished the book.

Spoiler (highlight to read): [And let's not even get started on how much I missed Ignifex after him and Shade came together as the two halves of the former prince. That being said-- I totally had thought that Ignifex had possessed Shade's body or something and that Shade was the actual prince while Ignifex had nothing to do with all that except for the itty-bitty detail of him being the demon prince.]

All in all, I absolutely loved this book. There are hints of Beauty & the Beast everywhere, but unless you're paying close attention you'll definitely miss a couple of them. They weren't at all obvious, and this book is, well... nothing like the Disney movie except for the those small details. But I absolutely loved how much Rosamund Hodge twisted the fairytale into this awesome-ness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reviewing: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge's decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine...
 



Let me just tell you something before I get into the review. Before I started reading, I had heard all about the shocking twist. About how horrifying the ending was, and how they hadn't seen it coming. So I decided to make a list about who I suspected, why, and, when I crossed some of them out, why I crossed them out.

Spoilers are between these: [   ]. You'll have to highlight to read them. And, because I don't want to spoil anything, all of what I say about each person on the list counts as a spoiler. You have been warned.

  1. Melanie 
  2. Juan [This guy is just... creepy. I'm still creeped out by him.]
  3. Tate  [I changed my mind because I decided that he was too weak to actually kill her. He just seemed so drained and shakey and downright vulnerable that I put him aside soon after I put him on the list.]
  4. Dekker [I decided that he was just obsessed with Anna being the killer than WHY Elise had actually been killed]
  5. AK
  6. Niklas
  7. Elise [the reason why Elise was on this list is because when she was talking about how she would kill herself, she mentioned that she would slit her wrists and bleed out all over the carpet. Also, she was reckless. Someone that reckless, someone that just... treated people so harshly and spoke behind their backs like she did... She was so drunk on life. Someone like that doesn't kill themselves.]
  8. Anna [the reason is because the entire time everything just felt so wrong. About Anna. About how obsessed she was with Tate. When she became extremely possessive, I heard warning bells go. I didn't think she was the killer until nearing the end of the book. Everything just felt so wrong that I couldn't help but think that maybe the killer was her. She was just so very, very damaged.]
With my ginormous list of suspects, I don't think I would have fared too well with finding out who was the actual killer if I was put in a situation where I needed to. I'm usually not so great at finding out things anyways. I'm usually in a constant state of shock after reading books like these.

The reason I'm not flailing and screeching and typing in all caps is because this book just... just...

It did blow my mind. In fact, my mind is still a jumbled mess. Everyone in this book is messed up. EVERYONE. (except the rare gem. And even then, you can't be sure if they're actually rare gems.)

Pardon my language.

This book has given me trust issues.

So while I'm re-reading the last sentence (which is seriously so disturbing and haunting and CREEPY) while my heart pounds and I'm trying not to freak out too obviously, I'll just say that I have never ever read a book like this.

I like to stay away from horrifying books about murders (I have a very, very wild imagination that sometimes likes to make sure I don't sleep). Because of that, I haven't read any up til now. I'm not sure I'll keep reading them. (I also like to stay away from heart problems, and I'm pretty sure this book has also amped those up quite a bit.)

You start the book thinking Anna is innocent and that this book is a story of her proving that she didn't do it while simultaneously proving who DID. You think, or at least I did, "oh maybe this is one of those books that's creepy while also being sort've lighthearted." Either way, I thought that at least the killer would be brought to justice.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO THINK ANYMORE. (oh, look, there's my usual caps-locks-screeching)

But if I say anything more there's sure to be spoilers.


Also, I get the feeling that this book was aimed for an age group slightly higher than my own. It's got sex and drugs and drinking and ALL THAT. (my use of caps also shows how unprepared I was for "all that")

But, hey. If you think you want to read this book (and you're pretty sure you won't die of shock) then good Lord READ IT

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reviewing: The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

I wanted to write this review before I forgot everything, because this book was jam-packed with information. Super surprisingly (and super awesomely) that information never got overwhelming to me. Maybe it would with some people, but I just loved the info dump. I felt pretty much like Mara did-- except less homicidal-- because, YES. ANSWERS.

Before I talk about how sad I am about the series ending (very sad) let me talk about how downright fabulous Michelle Hodkin is. Her writing skills are insane. You will question everything. You will wonder if Mara really is insane. If she really is the villain.

Reading from the point of view of such an unstable character kind of left me unsure of who to believe-- Mara, or the people around her. And by kind of, I mean absolutely. 

Mara is such a complex character. I was constantly wondering how she could live with the weight of all she had done and all she was capable of on her shoulders.

Pretty much everyone is beautifully broken in this book. AND I LOVE JAMIE'S SENSE OF HUMOR. I love how he keeps Mara laughing even when she's falling apart. 
“We’re mutants now?”
“Don’t tell Marvel. They’ll sue us.”
I could barely look away while reading. Until I got closer to the ending. I was starting to feel slightly disappointed, like... is this the fabulous ending? I just couldn't accept it. [I couldn't accept it because I felt like it was too easy. After what they'd been through, could anything really be okay ever again?]. But the actual ending, once I got to it, blew my mind. I could not process what had just happened until a while after I was done reading.

My rating is : 


There is so much more I could blab about, but honestly what it comes down to is that this book is awesome, Michelle Hodkin did an amazing job with making everything come together, with the characters, with EVERYTHING. So, basically, go. Read. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reviewing: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

About the Characters

I felt like the characters in Shadow and Bone really hit home. Alina was a strong character even with her faults and insecurities. She's filled with insults and sass and is incredibly stubborn-- and you'd think that those traits would make her unlikable, but she's also loyal and compassionate. There were times when I thought a change in her character came too suddenly and wasn't realistic, or that she would do something entirely out of character for seemingly no reason, but none of these really made me dislike her or feel bothered about her.

Mal, her childhood best friend, started out as pretty bland for me. I didn't really start to like him until at least halfway through the book, since he isn't present for a huge chunk. One of the big things that I disliked was that although he was missing for so much of the book, I barely noted his absence. Yeah, Alina was always talking about him and how much she missed him, but we don't really get to know him at all until near the end of the book. Once I started to learn more about him, I found him a lot more likable, but it kind of felt like he didn't have enough layers to his character. Like... "what you see is what you get". In a word, Mal was sweet.

The Darkling was, well... have you heard "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift? Yeah. I've got a quote from there that describes him perfectly.

I've noticed that a lot of people found him the main attraction in Shadow and Bone, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wanted him and Alina together at first. It was kind of hard to root for Mal, who was never there. (I did like Mal towards the end, though.)

I'm not entirely sure how to describe the Darkling without giving away spoilers. Yes, he is powerful. Yes, he has magic. Yes, he could be classified as the "bad boy" -- but there is a ton more to him.

He was incredibly well written and fantastic in the role he played. That is all.

Of course, I can't forget about Genya. She was awesome. Sassy and brilliant.

About the Setting & World-Building

(This includes the food. I liked the food.)

Okay, so, the names really confused me. I got the part that Grisha's can use magic but, um... how many different types of Grisha are there??? And do they all have confusing names? (Tailor & Summoner = the two simplest Grisha-Group names you will find in this book. It felt like there were at least ten but I have no idea. There might be only three.)

I wanted to know more about how the Grisha's magic worked. I didn't want to listen to Alina feel bad. I wanted to know why only certain people were born with magic, why it came along late for others, what made the Darkling so much more powerful, etc. In short, I just wanted to know more about the magic.

And what is the Shadow Fold? This big area of total blackness with lots of monsters flying around?

I did like how things were described in Alina's daily life. I got the whole "Russian" feel with some of the names. I feel like the author did an awesome job with the food. (I just can't get over the food, sorry.)

Rating

Friday, November 7, 2014

Explanations + Reviewing: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

You may have noticed that after Day 5 my community service posts stopped happening. Well, I'll tell you why. First of all, I forgot to do Day 6. I got too busy to do Day 7. I had no wi-fi Day 8. And by Day 9, well-- I gave up. It's not like there was a lot to talk about-- if you'd read all my past posts they withered down to complaining about the heat, Windex getting in my mouth (had I mentioned that? if I hadn't, it's terrible), sore feet, waking up early, and having to be social. Also, doing the exact same thing every weekend. It's great knowing exactly what to do and how to do it (I'm very much a control freak-- at least, I am when it comes to a situation I'm in), so it's not all bad. It's actually gotten to the point where I don't mind it.

But enough about community service. I have other topics for this post, one of which is a book I recently read called Juliet Immortal.

It was another recommendation by my sister, who had been torturing me to read it for months (minor exaggeration) and I finally got around to it.

I liked it. I liked it lots.

Fans of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush will relish this intense paranormal love story featuring Romeo and Juliet, literary history's most tragic couple, who meet again, not as true lovers, but truly as enemies.
The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Okay well let me start off by saying it is not like Shiver or Hush (thankfully, because Shiver was just okay and Hush, well... I did a review on that). And even if I loved both of those books, it still was nothing like Juliet Immortal.
Ahem... Quick Tip

This is one of those books that is very hard to review without giving away major spoilers, so in preparation for that, spoilers will be shown as [  ] with variating spaces between brackets. The type between them is white so you'll need to highlight to read them.

The Main Characters

Juliet wasn't immediately like-able. I didn't really enjoy reading about her until the last half of the book, and even then she was just okay. She seemed naive, love-sick, and indecisive, and then we suddenly see the darker side of her-- the side of her that grew in response to Romeo's betrayal. But if we're being completely honest here, [it wasn't actually Romeo's fault. Juliet killed herself, and he didn't anticipate that she would].

Romeo has got to be one of the best villains I have ever read. I was constantly questioning if he was a villain or not. If he still loved Juliet or not. If he was just insane or not. And that's what villains are supposed to do. They are supposed to make you question. Not just to question them or their goals, but yourself. In fact, I'm still not sure that he was the villain. I'm sure that he didn't start out the villain all those years ago when he was still Romeo Montague-- naive and innocent. Maybe he became one through all the choices he made and all the torture he went through.

About the Ending...

Not only was it kind of abrupt after the endless possible endings the author was offering, it was way too neat. Way too neat. Everything just fit together perfectly, and to be honest [the whole alternate universe thing made close to zero sense to me]. However, I didn't hate it. It was okay, and it wrapped things up, thus completing its assigned job. 

Final Judgement 

Things I Liked:

Romeo. Shocker here. I thought I would hate him (not as a character but as a villain. Does that make sense?) but turns out he was one of my favorite characters.
The creepy factor. Call me twisted. The creepiness honestly is one of the things that kept me tied to the book.
How Juliet [fixes the relationship between Ariel and her mom] < super minor spoiler. I liked this part because it shows what Juliet's job really is. To bring hope and love to people's lives. Also, it was just super touching.
Ben. I didn't like [the insta-love that happens between him and Juliet and how he ends up being Benvolio (how convenient, amiright?)] < this is NOT a super minor spoiler-- but he was so nice that I couldn't help but like him.
Contemporary Romeo and Juliet with a dark twist. Need I say more?

Things That Were Just Okay OR I Hated:

Juliet. Juliet could have been better. For me, who thinks the story rides on the characters-- especially the main character-- she was a little bit of a let-down.
Gemma. So bitter and angry and her mood-swings are cray. (I understand that half the characters in this book are supposed to be damaged people, but Gemma...)
Nurse. Nurse made me very mad. That is all. 
How convenient the ending was. With the amount of tension leading up to what I assumed would be a huge finale that would leave me clapping like an elated seal (that is a thing, by the way) this was also a bit of a let-down.


She will fight for light, and he for dark, 

Battling through the ages for love's sweet spark. 

Wherever two souls adore truly, you will find them, lo, 

The brave Juliet and the wicked Romeo.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Reviewing: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.


Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. Forhope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?




*Contains spoilers*
Spoilers will be between these [ ] -- Highlight to read them.

Days of Blood and Starlight moves on the lighthearted romance/magic/action vibe that Daughter of Smoke and Bone had and becomes entirely war-based, meaning the book just got a whole lot more violent, gory, and intense.

And I liked it. In the first book, my attention would sometimes drift off and I would start thinking about fudge and chocolate chip cookies and the like. But in this one... I couldn't tear my eyes away. I read it in one sitting.

So why, you ask, are you missing a star?

Okay, well, as fabulous as it was, it just wasn't perfect. I still didn't [see how Madrigal and Karou were the same person at all. There wasn't even a fraction of Madrigal inside of Karou, and even though I liked that it showed how much she had changed, I just couldn't feel the story as much as I could have.]. Also, the book focused less on the characters and more on the plot. Now, I am all for plot, don't get me wrong. But in my opinion, characters carry the plot, not the other way around.

Karou is an amazing character, but I wasn't really able to connect with her in either DoSaB nor Blood and Starlight. The only thing I really felt when reading in her point of view was her love for her family and her fierce will to survive. 

I loved Mik and Zuzana. They added so much... spark to the book and I am so, so glad Laini Taylor didn't just let Zuze -- the best friend-- fade into the background once Karou started getting involved with the chimaera. However, I was not a big fan of [how easily Karou decided to stay with the chimaera-- the ones who tricked her and plotted to kill her-- instead of her best friend in the modern word. The modern world that has wi-fi. Priorities, people.].

Akiva had a lot of character-building in this book. At least, I thought so. I liked how it actually showed things from his point of view and allowed us to really get to know him beyond the fierce warrior with awkward side angel person we saw in Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Laini Taylor has an incredible writing style that makes every sentence sound haunting and has a big impact on the reader. I hung on to every word.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Reviewing: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE


Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

I am completely aware that there are a ton of different opinions (both negative and positive) about this book and by sharing mine I will possibly be offending a lot of people. (Oops.) This is why I'm going to try to give a non-ranty (by this I mean no unreasonable venting) review while trying to say what I liked about the book.

Leggo.

Okay, so about Nora. Nora, in my opinion, was mediocre for a main character. She needed to stand up for herself more and take control of what was happening to her. I understand that it was difficult-- these are angels and Nephilim, after all-- but in all fairness the angels in this book were not the toughest angels. She also was guessing around to much. She was letting Patch get into her head and control her actions and her thoughts-- which is absolutely not good, in case you were wondering-- and never actually takes action to make him stop harassing her, sexually or otherwise. So, yeah. I thought she was pretty weak.

Her best friend, Vee, sucked at being a best friend. She was constantly shoving Nora into situations that made Nora uncomfortable, scared, or downright terrified. At first I sort of enjoyed her quirky loudness, but then it just got on my nerves as it became more and more obvious that Vee cared more about hanging out with hot guys than the safety of her best friend. I don't know about you, but if someone was harassing my best friend and making her feel threatened to the point that Nora was, I would get her as far away from them as I could. I wouldn't even want to share the same airspace as him, let alone push her to spend time with him.

Patch was a stalker. He followed her everywhere, made mental notes on her likes and dislikes, friends and possible boyfriends, etc. Harassing her and embarrassing her were just added bonuses. He tried to make literally every conversation have a sexual element, and he knew that made Nora uncomfortable. 

Here are some examples:

"You smell good, too," said Patch

"It’s called a shower." I was staring straight ahead. When he didn’t answer, I turned sideways. "Soap. Shampoo. Hot water."

"Naked. I know the drill."


-

"Say 'provoking' again. Your mouth looks provocative when you do."

I understand that Patch was the villain. Because of this, he was actually one of my favorite characters in the book, because he made a very good villain. I just thought his reason for becoming a hero was shakey. 

Nora's teacher was terrible. No teacher should force two students to be together in a class when one of them has already stated how uncomfortable the other has made her felt, unless he's secretly a shipper at heart. And when he said "no way," to Nora's request, she should have gone straight to the principal and continued to try and get Patch the heck away, not just submitted and gone to her next class.

But that's not even my biggest issue. My biggest issue are the angels. Now, in my opinion, angels are pretty powerful. And by pretty powerful, I mean a human could never stand a chance against one in battle, okay? Some angels are warriors, some are messengers, etc., etc, The warriors are called what they are for a reason. It bothered me that out of the two angels that became important, Patch was the only one that was described as powerful and there was actually supporting evidence that he was. I couldn't really get the angels in this book. Not only were they totally not pure at heart (not even the ones who weren't fallen), they couldn't kill Nora. Nora, who was not armed and was totally panicking, and just hiding while the angel (I forgot her name sorry) ransacked the room looking for her. 



Two stars, because even though I didn't really enjoy this book, it managed to make me read it until the end. I was intrigued.

Also, quick tip if you haven't read it but want to: Read this book as though Patch is the villain, because until the nearing-end of this book, he absolutely is.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Fault in Our Book-Buying

That title sounded a lot better in my head.

So I was tossing around ideas in my brain, and I came up with this: How do you know if you're buying a good book? Um, yeah. It's not a good idea, but it can be answered, which is more than I can say for my other questions, like: "Would it be possible that humans came from water creatures?" or "Would it be possible to attach wings to said humans and be capable of flight?"

Anyways, the answer to how you know you're buying a good book or not is simple. You don't know. It's horrible.

One of the great and terrible deeds in reading (other than dog-earing pages and judging only by covers) is skimming. But why? I mean, skimming is... is okay. (This is my way of saying that I do it a lot.) It helps you get an idea of what the book is about. And often times, I read the first chapter before buying a book that I like the look of. I'm poor, therefore, I am picky. Skimming helps when you can't decided whether or not to pick a book, okay? Just don't skim to close to the ending of the book. That's... that's just bad.

Another thing: Do I believe my friends' recommendation or not? 

This is big for me, because my sister is constantly shoving books in my face and a lot of what I get around to reading are books that she has recommended. Do I always love them? Um, absolutely not. I hate some of them. This has resulted in many attempts at ending my life by said sister. But I do love lots. 

Which basically means that none of my questions are getting answered and this is pointless.

But, oh, the dreaded question of: This book has a ton of hype but it doesn't sound like something I'd love. Should I get it?

I have read many books because of hype. Legend by Marie Lu, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Angelfall by Susan Ee, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, the Mara Dyer books... the list goes on. Most of them I have loved, but only because I was staying in a genre I was comfortable with. The only book I read that had a ton of hype and wasn't dystopian or something similar, is The Fault in Our Stars. (Which I watched last night. It was sad. *sniffles at the memory*) Some have been awesome, and some have been not-awesome, which here means: terrible-- at least, in my opinion.


So the answer to my question is still that books cannot be judged merely by skimming or covers or friends' recommendations. But I'm totally open to yours.

Since I am on my fall break, I have a ton of free time now. Free time I would love to spend reading-- except that I don't know what to read. So, if you have any books that you have read recently and fell in love with, tell me about them. Only if you want to, of course. It's not like I'm forcing you. *wiggles eyebrows*




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Book Gif Tag

Um so I got tagged.

*internal screaming*

HUGE thank you to Aneta@The Graffiti On The Wall. You are awesome. I offer chocolate and brownies as thanks.

Onwards!

Peter Pan:

GIF says it all. I have never read Peter Pan-- mainly because I'm terrified of classics and all their formal descriptions and general large-ness. Classics do smell fabulously, though. 

The Help:

I don't know and I am so sorry. I really, really want to read this book because my sis said it's awesome, and also because I loved the movie. BUT IT'S SO HUGE I'M SCARED.

Throne of Glass:


You said it Hades. But I did love Throne of Glass. I just found it hard to like the main character because she felt so much like a villain. But, hey. I dig that. Villainous heroes should be a thing.

Divergent:

Um, yeah. Divergent confused me. Mainly because the first 50% I absolutely loved, and then the rest just sort of... was there. I liked it, but it didn't have that POW POW that the beginning had.

Twilight:


I have never read Twilight, and I'm not sure I want to. I've heard it's torturous. I saw the first movie. That was torturous.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones:



I liked it. I liked it lots. More Jace sarcasm please. He's 70% of why I liked the book. Simon was the other 30%. CLARY JUST NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN DRAW RUNES EVERY 1/3 OF THE BOOK. Ahem. Sorry.

The Mediator: 

Never heard of it. But it sounds interesting. 

Legend:


Um, yeah. I LOVED LEGEND. LOVED IT. There were little bits that I would've changed, but hey, I'm just super negative about everything.

13 Reasons Why:


I... have never read this book. But I really, really want to. 

Pride and Prejudice:


I have read Pride and Prejudice. I liked the movie more. When it comes right down to it, I just have trouble finding what is so enjoyable about classics. Some of them are interesting, but I have the attention span of a caffeinated squirrel, and "interesting" usually doesn't cut it.

Alas, I am also a lonely caffeinated squirrel and so, um, I don't know anyone who hasn't already been tagged. (I really should get out more. And by get out more I mean stay on my computer and explore more blogs while indoors.) Outdoors are scary, peoples. Take it from someone who feels personally victimized by mosquitoes.

Whoever else wants to join in, please do so! I really, really would love to see your reactions. Just post the link in a comment below and I'll check it out-- pinky swear.

Here are the books:

1. Angelfall by Susan Ee
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3. Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
6. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
7. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
8. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
9. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
10. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

So, thanks again to Aneta for tagging me! And also I probably won't be on my blog very often, so if it takes me a while to reply to your comments or put up any new posts, you'll know that it's because of school. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Community Service Day 5

(Sorry for being a day late.)

Okay, so, I showed up a little before 8, as per usual, and got busy doing the exact same thing. I said "Good morning," to the lady who sits at the desk, then dry-mopped the basketball court. Pink-Ponytail-In-Overalls asked me how I could tell where I'd been, and I told him I followed the lines. It requires a lot of focus, actually. 

After I was done dry-mopping (the old lady who uses the track every Saturday wasn't there for some reason), I cleaned the windows by the exit and entrance. 

Then I took a small break and cleaned the track windows. No one came in until a red-haired dude who was dribbling a basketball and staring at his phone while wearing headphones.

It turns out you can do a lot of people watching through the track windows. Call me a creeper, but nothing gets me bored like cleaning windows for one hour.

Welcome to my hometown, where every guy over the age of eighteen wears a baseball cap and grown men race their golf carts.

It's very amusing.

I ate chocolate while waiting for my mom to pick me up. It was delicious. 

When I got home, I danced in my room for a while (around 30 minutes, which is pretty short compared to how much I've been dancing recently) then ate. And then I watched Youtube for a few hours. And then I danced some more. And then I wrote for one of my WIPs for a little while. And then I danced. And then I ate and watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier with my dad and sister. 

IT WAS PERFECTION. I swear, Marvel keeps getting better.

Before I end this post, I want to apologize for not talking about books in a really, really, really long time. I've been super busy with school and such. My only free time is on the weekend, and those are usually spent chilling with the fam. I'll try to put up something book-related soon, but I make no promises.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Community Service Day 4

So I've already been drowning in regular school and now I have to take a college course while participating in group projects and doing community service and ASDFGHJKL.


But that's okay because I can do this.

Maybe.

Ahem. So, today went fairly well, except for the part where I got blisters on the backs of both of my feet and I could barely walk. 

I did the exact same thing today as I did for the past two weeks. CLEANING CLEANING WALKING CLEANING WALKING SWEATING.

It's getting very tiresome, but it could be worse.

I'm getting pretty comfortable with minimal socializing now, so that's good. A weird thing I noticed about myself is my voice just goes like an octave lower when I talk with strangers.

Good news is I listened to music while cleaning today so it wasn't as boring. 

I hate my alarm.

It's all high and screechy and SUPER DUPER loud even though my volume was turned way down and I was worried I wouldn't hear it.

My mom burst in the room and was all like "WHY IS YOUR ALARM SO LOUD"

And I was trying to open my eyes but they were refusing so I kinda just turned my face towards her with my eyes 1/3 opened and groaned bewilderedly (that is a word now), which, translated, means: why are yoU SO LOUD.

My brother was super happy to see me when I got home so I was all like YAY and did a dramatic hug and spin thing the movies. 


Yes these are k-pop gifs. I have no regrets.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Very Inspiring Blogger Award


I was nominated by the lovely Skylar@Life of a Random. Thanks, Sky! You're the best. :)

Apparently I'm inspiring. Very inspiring. Who knew? 

Rules
1. Thank and link back to the amazing person(s) who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award. 
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate some other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

Okay, I dunno about you, but I've been listing too many facts about myself recently. I may be very inspiring, but I'm not very interesting.

7 Facts About Mwuah

1. I've been going through a stage where I listen to tons of k-pop. 

Not this kind.


Or this kind.


The awesome thing is that k-pop is all the genres of music, just in Korean, with a couple English phrases here and there. 

I happen to like listening to bad boy groups in k-pop, which basically means that they don't emotionally grab their faces or cup their faces with their hands or wear lots of pink. The starting group for my sister and I was BEAST. Or, y'know, B2ST. Their fans are called Beauties, which is cool whether or not you think so.


WHY YOU LEAVE ME ALONE, BABY???!!!!!

Also, Teen Top can dance, okay? Watch "Rocking". They can dance. So can BTS. And GOT7. Another awesome thing about k-pop: ALMOST ALL OF THEM CAN DANCE.


2. I can't catch a ball for the life of me (I'm terrified that I'll get hit in the face), or hardly throw any, but for some reason I'm fairly good at throwing a football. (the American kind, for those of who don't live here) This proves that not all traits are passed down from generation to generation, because my dad is good at every sport he tries. It's maddeningly unfair.

3. It takes at least two nights for me to adjust to a new bed. I've always been super jealous of my dad, who can practically fall asleep on command. 

4. I can't eat very spicey food well, even though I'm half Asian. Sometimes, peoples, stereotypes lie.

5. Apparently, I have a scary angry face. Which I take full advantage of. RUN, little children, RUN.

6. I like glasses better than contacts. 

 

There. You can't say no to the Doctor.

7. I once told my sister that swag was for losers and guys with real swag didn't have swag, they had a sort of lean, and she hasn't stopped teasing me about that since. I regret that statement very, very much.

Nominees

I feel bad because I do this every time but I literally know NO ONE in the blogosphere. Except, y'know, my sister, and she's the one that nominated me, so...

But I'd love to get to know you guys, so please join in if you want! Post the link in the comments and I'll read your post and comment on your overflowing awesome-ness. 




Saturday, August 30, 2014

Community Service Day 3

At first I was going to skip. I mean, c'mon, I have a cold and a my sister is just coming back from college for the weekend. I don't want to wake up at seven and go walk until the back of my feet get blisters. No.

Just no.

Anywho, I went and did the exact same thing as last time. I dry-mopped the basketball court, cleaned windows, and then cleaned more windows. I have six hours of community service now, which doesn't feel like a lot. I have so much more to do. Ugh.

I got there at around eight. I walked in and got started. There were five people in the basketball court/indoor arena at one time. It was distracting. 

They were all quite old (over sixty, atleast), and one old guy came in with over-alls and a baseball cap and a pink ponytail.

There was one couple that had walked the track yesterday that was there again today. (read: guy of said couple was the one who said all I needed was to be taller while I was cleaning windows last week) 

Anyways, he's all jokey and jolly, and the lady snorts and makes some dry comment to everything, and he just chuckles and grins and she sort of smiles and they keep on walking.

I make up stories sometimes because it can get really boring. It's usually some twisted version of High School Musical. What team? WILDCATS.

Pink-Hair-Man said that my purse was gonna weigh me down. I said "yeah, I'll probably set it down soon." 

I didn't. 

It's getting easier to converse. Instead of just standing awkwardly until someone takes notice of me, I've worked up the nerve to get the conversation rolling. 

(Making noise works, too. Just set something down near them as hard as possible and act innocent when they jump in surprise.)

I really wanted to listen to music, but sound carries like everything in that building. One lady had earphones on later on in the morning and every time she walked past me while I was cleaning the track windows, I could hear rock/jazz music blasting from her earphones. One time, I heard a really malicious laugh and was worried.

A guy that looked 12/13 came in to the basketball right after she left.

I was super hungry so I ate half of one of my granola bars. 

The bathrooms creep me out because they make weird noises. (for example: I'll think I hear someone walking super quietly but there's no one there. there are occasional clicking noises.)

I watch too many creepy shows.

My sister picked me up and brought my little brother.

I went home and ate lots because I was starving.

Quick Note: I might not be posting next week (except for Saturday) as I am going to be extremely busy with school. I really don't like my English teacher.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Judging Books by Their Covers

Okay, just to start off, I'm gonna be so bad at this.

I take a book that I've never read before, or heard hardly anything about, and I try to guess what the book is about.

You were warned.


Fallen by Lauren Kate

Okay. Um. I get the feeling that this is about fallen angels, but I'm not sure. Is she wearing that dress for show of how dark things are or....??? Is it a period novel??? Geez. I'm horrible.

Fallen angel. Sad girl. Girl and guy torn apart by terrible fate because... he can't love? Because he's a fallen angel? Or maybe he thinks he's bad for her. Apocolyptic. Dystopian.

That's as good as it's gonna get.

Real Actual Blurb That Wasn't Read Before Now:

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. 


*shrieks and points*

I WAS SO CLOSE. SO CLOSE.

Okay, okay. I'm calm now. Next book.


Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Her eyes are golden. All I can think about is Teen Wolf. Is she a werewolf? There's a lot of blood.

Yeah, it's gotta be werewolves. (Although stakes don't kill werewolves, wolfsbane does. Trust me.) Does it involve vampires?

I wanna say no. I really wanna say no because that makes me think about Twilight and I couldn't even watch the first movie. (Bella's not funny. At all. I wanna quote Haymitch but Haymitch is mean. Whatever. I'll whisper it. She's got about as much charm as a dead slug. I'm sorry if you loved it!! Please don't take it personally.)

Please be about werewolves.

Book Blurb That Was Not Peeked At

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

YES. IT'S ABOUT WEREWOLVES. HOLLA.

Forbidden love and werewolves are always put together. I should've guessed that.


The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

I'm sorry. All I can think while looking at this cover is that the girl is probably undergoing the torture of having a small blanket when it's really cold. 

Seriously. Is that supposed to be a dress or...?

Okay. Dark Divine... fairly certain it's about something supernatural. Magical, perhaps? I get that feel. Female protagonist, judging front the purple nail polish. I can't stop thinking about how much the poor girl needs some good pants.

I'm gonna go with the forbidden love thing again. Just 'cause. She's caught up in a war. Maybe paranormal? Set today, though, I think.

Book Blurb That Needs to Tell Me ALLLLLL

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held. 

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes. 

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

Oddly enough, no talk about romancey romance. Just sacrificing souls and hungry eyes (gross, by the way). Huh. Interesting.

I was right about the paranormal part.

That's all I have to say.


Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

BLOOD. BLOOOOOD. That's it. It's about vampires. Forbidden love and star-crossed lovers. Romeo and Juliet once again. Seperated by something gross. Like demons or something. She sees him and falls in insta-love. She hasn't always been a vampire. Maybe she was bitten? I dunno. Is he the super hot popular dude that takes insta notice of the new girl who is confused and bewildered yet totally hot?

Blood FEUD, though. Are there seperate groups that end up fighting or something? Anyways, big vampire showdown.

Blurby Blurby Blurb. LEGGO.

It's been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she's made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That's if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks. 

The clans are gathering for Helena's royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha's reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan's and Isabeau's perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

Hm. Cool. I got lots right, and lots kinda not right.

Anywho. This post might feel rushed, and if it does, that's because it is. I'm literally typing this up last minute because I have to go get my beauty sleep and do tons of school tomorrow AGAIN. (darn you, English teacher, for giving me so many essays to write)

Okayz. Be expecting a post up by Saturday, stating my community service adventures (Day 3) and possibly another Judging Books post because I'm unoriginal like that.

'Til next time.