Friday, 31 January 2014

Fangirl

Fangirl 


By: Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 10th 2013
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. ( complete synopsis on Goodreads)

My Thoughts 

I genuinely enjoyed this book but for reasons I just felt that I couldn't give it a full 4 stars. In order to understand my thoughts better I'm going to split it up into what I liked and what I didn't like.
 
What I Liked: As I've mentioned before I am a sucker for twin novels and I really enjoyed seeing a very different dynamic between Wren and Cath. Most books have twins that love each other and spend all their time together and while this oftentimes happens the opposite is also true. I loved the idea that it centered around fan fiction and being a fan because I find that very relatable. Every teenage girl and boy has fallen in love with something; whether its a book, movie, tv or sport. This just made Cath so much more relatable than many contemporary YA characters. I also thought the relationship between Cath and Levi was super cute and Levi seemed like he could be waiting just around the corner in real life. He was a nice guy not a brooding dark character that the female protagonist falls for. Which was a nice change.

What I Didn't Like: I realize that this is a work of fiction so its not necessarily supposed to be realistic but I found it to be a bit disappointing. Cath is a bit scared of Regan and then they talk and then they are buds for the rest of the book. As a university student I find this is super unrealistic; no matter how well you get along with your roommates you are going to get fed up with them, maybe have some arguements or maybe you just let it stew in your mind. So there was that. Also I disliked that Cath got a 4.0 GPA because it was her first semester in university, away from home and her family, she was on her own for the first time and she got perfect marks? Super unrealistic- unless you are a brainiac and never sleep and have mulitple nervous breakdowns this doesn't happen first semester of university. (Note: I am basing this off my own experience in the sciences and that a 4.0 GPA at my university is a 95+ average)


So while I enjoyed this book and the characters I did find its lack of realism to be a big turn-off. Have your read Fangirl? If so what are your thoughts on it? 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Asunder

Asunder


by: Jodi Meadows
Published: January 29th 2013
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. (find a more in depth synopsis on Goodreads- I just didn't want to spoil anything in case someone hasn't read Incarnate)


My Thoughts

Asunder is the second book in the Newsoul or Incarnate trilogy by Jodi Meadows. Since this is a review of the second book- there will be spoilers for the first book. So it might be a good idea to just go read Incarnate and then check out this review! But before I get to anything spoiler-y know that I absolutely loved this book.

I fell in love with Ana and Sam and company in Incarnate and was so glad that I finally got around to reading it (and just in time for book 3- Infinite which was released today!) I couldn't wait to see how their story developed especially since I had an inkling that everything was not as it seemed.

Jodi Meadows writes with a breath-takingly beautiful prose, there are so many beautiful descriptions in the book but the following is one of my favourites, "Then I was a shattered blown-glass blue rose, and every step away from him made my shards clatter and chime.”. Even as I was reading that sentence I thought- WOW- this is beautiful.

Asunder did have a little more romance than the books that I normally read but I actually didn't mind it because for every mention of romantic love there was another type of love mentioned. I absolutely adored how there was a focus on frienship love, love of things, love of music etc. I often find that these equally important types of love get ignored for romantic love. Asunder had both- in a beautiful mix!

I could write praise of Asunder for days but instead I will leave you with one last quote: "I want to keep this moment forever, the way you're smiling right now." "You may." I placed the flute in my lap and brushed my hands over my mouth, pretending to grab my smile as though it were bits of wool or clouds. "Here." I pressed my imaginary smile into his hands. "This is for you."

Overall I would recommend this to anyone who likes romances, fantasy or is interested in reincarnation. Also I think that everyone should just read the series because it is amazing!





TTT- World's I'd Never Want to Live In

Top Ten Tuesday- 

World's I'd never want to live in because I would most likely die

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke And The Bookish
These are the (seven because I couldn't think of ten) fictional worlds that I wouldn't ever want to end up in- mostly because I would die very quickly in them or at least be terrified for my entire very short life.

1.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

 I am very weak and slightly pathetic and I would never ever be able to kill anyone so if I ever got reaped for the Hunger Games I'd be dead the very first day. Plus the people deal with such harsh living conditions that if I ever did end up just living in a district I'd be in trouble because I am pretty spoiled living in Canada!

2. Rick Yancey's The Fifth Wave

The entire time I read this book I was thanking my lucky stars that I didn't have to live in this alternate Earth! I just don't have the survival skills to live in the wild on my own and support myself.

3. Marie Lu's Legend series

I am a huge fan of these books but I still wouldn't want to live there. I'm pretty smart in this world so chances are I'd end up in a fairly good position after the tests but who knows what sort of horrible things would be happening around me or that I might have to do

4. Margaret Stohl's Icons

The first line on the synopsis I first saw of this book was "Your heart beats only with their permission" and that freaks me out. Not being in control of my own life would just drive me crazy, not to mention also be incredibly scary!

5. Blood Red Road by Moira Young

This world is harsh and cruel to everyone who lives in it. There is no good luck, or easy times. It is ruled by cage fighting, violence and drugs. Once again I am just too soft to live in a world like that.

6. The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon

This is another one of those books/series that I absolutely loved but I just wouldn't want to find myself there. Despite the magic and fantastical creatures, the violence, horror, prejudice and fighting are enough to make me turn away from a visit to this world!

7. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien- 

Now if I was allowed to just be a nice chubby hobbit and live my days comfortably in the Shire eating food and talking with all my friends I would definitely live in Tolkien's world. But if I had to live during the dark times seen in the Lord of the Rings series I wouldn't want to be there.



I tried valiantly to add pictures of all the covers on the bottom here but then my computer started doing weird things and things were being deleted so I stopped- maybe next time!


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

TTT- What I Want More Of

Top Ten Tuesday: What I Want More Of

(aka what will automatically make me pick up a book)

1. DragonsI've read a lot of books about dragons but I can never get enough of them! 
2. Warrior Women-this is a broader category but if your book has a female protagonist and she isn't a damsel in distress it automatically makes it onto my too read list
3. University books- I would love a book about someone who goes off to university and doesn't instantly fit in. Someone who doesn't get along with their roommates, who finds classes difficult (and doesn't get a 4.0 GPA!)
4. Set not in the US-I've read so many great YA books set in the States but I would love to see a few other countries featured. Somewhere like Africa would be particularly cool(if its set in Canada I will shriek with excitement and read it)
5. More historical fiction- Particularly about young women from/in history. Whether they were real characters in history or not I always love historical YA girls!
6. More Fantasy- I am a huge fan of anything fantasy and always want more. Since a lot of books that I've been reading are dystopian I'd like a bit more fantasy on my shelf
7. Female Protagonists That Don't Centre On Romance- I'd like to see more stories of young women going on adventures, living life, even becoming friends with boys or getting close to them but having that not be the main plot
8. More Representation-I want to see more racially diverse characters, genderfluid characters, non-binary characters etc

These two aren't particularly things that authors could write but there are still two things that I would love to happens!

9.Less Half-Naked People- I find that so many YA books (mostly contemporary) have half-naked people (guys and/or girls) on them and instantly it turns me away. I want to know what the book is about and if its about half-naked people I'll never pick it up
10. More Old-Fashioned Covers- I absolutely love the old-fashioned guilded- beautiful covers. If a book has a cover like that I will pick it up, no matter what its about! (Like this beautiful collector's edition of Eragon!)

What sort of things do you guys look for? Link your TTT!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Why I Read

Why I Read

The other day I was thinking about why I read and I came up with two categories: 

1.  Because I Have To-  this category involves my least favourite type of reading; the stuff that I have to read for school. In high school I didn't enjoy reading a lot of the books we had to for English because I found them to be unnecessarily dark and hopeless.
Now that I'm in university the reading I have to do is mostly just plain boring. A lot of my textbooks are math and science books and they are exceptionally dry but luckily I don't have to read them.  For my other classes (like Anthro and History) the texts are required reading so I force myself to try to pay attention. More often that not my brain wanders a lot when I read textbooks so reading even just a few pages is painful.


I mean who wouldn't want to read 1516 pages + appendix of pure physics! (Hint: not me)

2. Because I Love To- this is the reason that I've loved reading every since I was old enough to remember listening to my parents read to me. I just love everything about reading-the smell of books, the thrill of the story, meeting new characters.
I think that one thing that thrilled me when I was little was that reading offered such a great opportunity to learn new things. Learning has always been something that I loved (I still do!). If the book was non-fiction I learned whatever subject it was about but even fiction books taught me things. I gained a very impressive vocabulary for books, and I was an amazing speller growing up.
As I've grown-up I think the biggest reason that I love to read is how it can transport you anywhere. I never had many friends as a kid (and got bullied fairly frequently) so  reading also gave me so many wonderful friends who where always there if I needed them. All I had to do was open up the book and I'd be transported instantly to their world and then things just didn't seem so bad.  My imagination is (and was ) huge and so I can never get enough of fantasy worlds where woman are knights, where they are powerful and smart and more than their looks. Where magic is real and good triumphs over evil, where absolutely anything can happen.

A poor quality photo of some of my friends that I brought to university with me

To this day I love reading and use it as a means of relaxing and escaping. Some of my best friends have been made over books and my relationship with my mom has taken off now that we read similar books. I was born a reader and I will die a reader!


What about you guys? Any similar/different thoughts on why you read or what initially got you into reading?



Friday, 17 January 2014

Battle Magic

Battle Magic




By: Tamora Pierce
Published: September 24th 2013
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Synopsis

On their way to the first Circle temple in Gyongxe, mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy pay a visit to the emperor's summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxe, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion. Accompanied by one of the emperor's prize captives, the three mages rush to Gyongxe to warn its citizens of the impending attack. With the imperials hot on their trail, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy must quickly help the country prepare for battle. But even with the help of new allies, will their combined forces be enough to fight the imperial army and win the war? (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I might be a little baised towards this book because I absolutely love all of Tamora Pierce's books. I have read and own every book by her or with a story written with her.
Ever since I read her The Circle Opens trilogy I fell in love with the world of Briar and his friends. I enjoy how unique there magic is- instead of creating spells they use the magic of a particular part of their world. For Briar and Rosethorn they use plants and Evvy uses stones. This book fills a gap that it comes after Street Magic but before the events of Melting Stones.
I loved being able to reimmerse myself into this world. The characters are just as lovable as every and the story is intricately woven  connecting events of the past book and future events we know have happened. I had really high hopes for this book, particularly since Mastiff (the last book of her Beka Cooper series) was so incredibly disappointing to me. Evvy was a sassy, spunky heroine and its lovely to see Briar and Rosethorn's relationship progress.
I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes books about magic (especially unique magic), 'strong' female characters, well-established character worlds and any fans of Tamora's past work!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Wither

Wither



By: Lauren DeStefano
Published: March 22nd 2011
My Rating: Honestly I Don't Know What To Say


Synopsis

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. (rest on Goodreads)

My Thoughts

If I had to give this book a rating it would get 5 out of 5. But I just couldn't give it any concrete rating because there was just something so unique about it. When I started reading this book within a few chapters I felt like I'd already read this book- and not in the I-have-read-this-plot-50-billion-times way. It was like this book was an old friend, one that I'd known since I was little and read and reread over and over. The really odd thing is that this the first time I read Wither.
But weird feelings aside this book was very good. I absolutely loved Rhine, she was feisty and independent and no meek princess. It was interesting to see the dynamic between Rhine and her other sister wives- I particularly liked the emphasis on the 'sister' wives. The other thing that I found particularly unique about the story line is the moral dilemma it caused for me. 
*mild spoilers*
The idea of stealing girls for brides obviously freaks me out as a young woman but at the same time *spoiler-ish here* Linden wasn't really to blame because he didn't know. Does that make it okay  or right in some way? I just don't know! A small part of me did wonder why society didn't just regress into the olden times and have everyone just marry the people they love at a younger age. But that wouldn't make nearly as nice a story!

I'd recommend this book to anyone who has past love for dystopian fiction featuring a pretty awesome young woman or to someone who is looking into venturing into the world of Young Adult literature and dystopians!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Rampant

Rampant



By: Diana Peterfreund
Published: August 25th 2009
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.
(find the rest at Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is the second time that I have read this book. It was given to me by some friends (the same ones who pretty much given me all my books that aren't from me or my family). It got put away under my bed and this Christmas when I was sorting through all my books I found it again. I had remembered enjoying it so I thought I'd give it a try again.
Second time around I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. I love the unique take on unicorns, this book portrays them in the opposite way the society sees them. Instead of being sweet beautiful creatures the unicorns in this book are bloodthirsty killers. I really like the main character Astrid. She doesn't want to follow her mother blindly, and she wants to actually do things herself. Also I like that Phil is a beautiful, successful young woman who is a virgin because she doesn't want to have sex. Its simply, its just not what she wants for her life. And I think that's a great representation to see in literature.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart (Dustlands #2)


By: Moira Young
Published: October 30th 2012 
My Rating: DNF

Synopsis

Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants?

My Thoughts

I read Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1) on the recommendation of a friend and I liked it. I just got around to starting the second book and I really struggled with it. I got about halfway through before I gave up and started something more interesting (since I have a lot of books to read).
I found that the way the book is written in a vernacular with no punctuation around dialogue to be very jarring. Oftentimes I struggled to figure out who was talking and what they were actually saying because there was no punctuation.  Even more disappointing is the fact that I got halfway through and nothings has really happened. Saba's moved around a bit and Lugh's been a jerk but really if anyone asked me whats been happening I'd shrug.
I also found Lugh to be very annoying, everything about him grates me the wrong way. I get that he has a right to be angry but the entire book (that I actually read) he was an entitled asshole (and that's putting it nicely!) 
So overall I'd say I was very disappointed in this book- I might not even try to pick it up again.
Have you read it? If so what were your thoughts on the writing style and on Lugh?