Monthly Archives:: August 2012

Aug 31

Random Thoughts on Books: Spoiler & Synopsis

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 16

PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new Friday feature.  It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related. It could be about plot, characters, covers, new releases, series, book stores, people, movies, pretty much anything goes.

Spoilers and the Synopsis

I detest spoilers. I can be reasonable in some circumstances but mostly they irritate me. When it comes to the synopsis on the back of the book I am VERY picky. If it’s not something that is made known in the first chapter or two of the book it shouldn’t be in the synopsis. I like to be surprised when I read books.

Alex Morel SurviveRecently I’ve seen a couple of reviews for Survive by Alex Morel so I hopped over to Goodreads to check it out. I looked at the rating, number of reviews, then I read the synopsis. Then I freaked out.

There is a MAJOR SPOILER in the synopsis. We are talking Category 5, F5, 10.5 big. This is so aggravating.  Why would you do that? I wanted to read Survive (Hatchet + Lost = good idea), but now I don’t know. Can I get past the spoiler? If I can, will it be worth it?

What are your thoughts on book synopsis’?

Kimberly


Aug 30

Review * Red Glove by Holly Black

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Review * Red Glove by Holly BlackRed Glove by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #2
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 5, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 325
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: White Cat, Black Heart
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Curses and cons.
Magic and the mob.


In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth — he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything — or anyone — into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion-worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue — crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too — they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone — least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

 

I do not like to put spoilers in my review, but as this is the second book in the series there are spoilers from the first book, White Cat.

What I Thought…

  • I enjoyed Red Glove more than White Cat.
  • Cassel is probably one of my favorite characters ever. There is just so much to him. He wants to be good but there is so much in his past that is not good and I love the way he struggles with everything. I love that he wants to do the right thing for everyone, even when it might not be the right thing for him.
  • Sam and Daneca are really awesome sidekicks. They are the kind that will jump in, regardless of what the consequences may be. I think they’re a really cute couple, though they have to go through some issues.
  • There is so much going on in Red Glove. Cassel’s brother is murdered, the FBI wants to make a deal with him, the mob wants to make a deal with him, people are protesting Opposition 2, his mom is out and on a con, and Lila is still in love with him (because his mother made her).  And to top it all off Cassel doesn’t know who he can trust.
  • Even though there was all that going on, I managed to keep everything strait. I really loved the pull and tug between the FBI and the mob all while Cassel is trying to figure everything out so that he doesn’t have to give in to either.
  • Now that Lila is no longer a cat you really see her personality come out.  I liked her but I wish that she would have made a different choice at the end but I can see why she went that way.  The pressure is on.  I’m fairly certain that everything will work out in the end though, because it’s a YA book and that’s what happens so I’m not too worried.
  • Cassel’s family did not magically get better, not that I thought they would, but families like his are not cool.  His brother Barron and his mother are still working people, not matter what Cassel says.  His mom in particular does something that could have major consequences in book 3.

Overall I really enjoyed Red Glove and I will probably be getting to Black Heart very soon!

Kimberly


Aug 28

Top Ten Tuesday: Confessions

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 21

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Bookish Confessions (Anything! You dog ear, you hated a book but said you loved it, you have $500 library fines…anything goes!)

1. I don’t like to use the library.  I have nothing against them personally, but I really, really like to own my books.  

2. I’m a little bit OCD about my books (ok, about everything).  They must be alphabetized by author.  Mass market paperbacks must be separate from hardcovers/trade paperbacks because of the size difference.  I recently took a big leap and separated my books into YA and Adult and combined trade paperback and hardcover.  I’m still not sure I like it, but it’s giving me the most space on my shelf so I’ll probably leave it.

3. I didn’t like Pride and Prejudice.  Loved the movie though (the Kiera Knightly one, not the BBC one).

4. I’m never going to read Pure by Julianna Baggott.  I’m sure it’s a great and wonderful book, but the whole being fused thing really creeps me out.

5. I’ve “stolen” or “lost” a couple of books.  My seventh grade math book – I had to pay for, and found a couple years later, but they wouldn’t give me my money back for returning the book, so I kept it.  As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (which is a really bad book) – I forgot mine at home, borrowed one of the school copies and I ended up taking it home.  A Case of Need by Michael Crichton – I borrowed this from a friend and then we were no longer friends and I felt awkward and angry so I didn’t want to return the book.  Then it came to the point that it was way to late to reasonably return the book so I still have it.  I feel guilty about this one.

6. I prefer hardcover over paperback.  Even though it costs more, if I can buy the hardcover, I will. 

7. I cannot read out loud.  It’s just embarrassing.  I read way to fast and the words just jumble all together.  I hated when they made us do this in school. 

8. I don’t proofread.  Ever.  This isn’t about books, but it’s about book blogging so I’m tossing it in here. I can’t stand proofreading, and you may have noticed this. I didn’t proofread any of my papers in school (my mom did that cause she’s awesome), and writing a blog post is no different. I know that I should proofread, but I don’t.  I know it only takes a few minutes, but I don’t do it.

9. All my books in a series need to be the same type.  No exceptions.  I can’t stand not having matching books.  They need to be all the same cover style too.  I have replaced books before just so they match.

10. If I REALLY like a book I must have a hard copy.  If I buy an ebook and fall in love with it I will buy a hard copy.  Occasionally I will buy an ebook copy of a book I really love, but that doesn’t happen as often. 

Kimberly


Aug 27

Review * Origin by Jessica Khoury

Reviews 14 ★★★

Review * Origin by Jessica KhouryOrigin by Jessica Khoury
Published by Razorbill on September 4, 2012
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 394
Format: Paperback
Source: BEA
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

What I Thought…

  • One reason why I would want to be immortal – I would be able to read all the books. One reason why I would not want to be immortal – watching my family and friends die would suck.
  • I want to visit the rainforest someday so bad! It doesn’t matter what kind of book (or movie) I read it always makes me want to go there.
  • Pia is the lynchpin of a new immortal race. And this is all she knows.  Literally. In order to keep Pia in line they only teach her what she needs to know, which is everything about science and elysia (what gave her the immortality) and nothing about the real world. She’s never even seen a map of the world. Even though she doesn’t realize it she is a prisoner, she’s never left Little Cam.
  • While at times Pia could be a little annoying I did feel sorry for her.  Everyone at Little Cam kept calling her perfect. It would be enough to give anyone a complex.  Many of the scientists treated her like a god because of her immortality. It was nice to see her struggle with immortality and what it meant for her.
  • Uncle Paulo was the worst!  He was the super crazy scientist that let everything go way too far.  At one point in the book he even calls himself a god.  And you know what happens when people try to play God…
  • There were other crazy scientists too, though none as crazy as Uncle Paulo.  They were very dedicated to their cause and it was a little disconcerting.
  • Aunt Harriet was my favorite character.  She recently came from the outside and liked to do things her way. She was the one person who would be honest with Pia.
  • Eio was an Ai’oan, the indigenous people that lived near Little Cam. The Ai’oan’s were so much better than the scientists. I enjoyed reading about Pia’s adventures with them much more than what happened inside the compound.
  • The connection between Pia and Eio felt a little forced at times. There weren’t a whole lot of feelings in this book. It was more they met, they are going to be together, the end.
  • At times Origin was a little too sciency for me. A lot of science words were tossed around in the beginning.  The concept of how someone is made immortal is a little complex but not over the top.  How the elixir is made is a little over the top for me, but science lovers probably won’t think so.
  • There were some surprises along the way but the ending was a little obvious. There was really only two ways it could go and the probability was high that it would go the way it did. I might have actually liked it a little more if it would have gone the other way because it would have been different.

Kimberly


Aug 26

Sundays in Bed with… Work and a Reading Hangover

In Bed With... 16

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Sunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

I won’t be reading anything today because I have work to do.  I know work is no fun but it must be done.  As much as it sucks to not be able to read to day I’m pretty much all read out because I read all day yesterday.

Last April Kate, Steph and I got together for Dewey’s 24 hour readathon and we had so much fun so we decided to have one of our own. So Saturday we all got together again at my house for some reading, talking and delicious snacks.

We had a lot of fun and we even did some reading too!

You’ll have to check with Kate and Steph to see what they read but I read:
Ashfall – 75 pages (It was good but it’s moving a little slow so I set it aside.)
Burn for Burn – Finished (An excellent read.)
Uncommon Criminals – Finished (Cute and fun.)

Kimberly


Aug 24

The Army of Ten

Blog Tour 8

The Army of TEN

I used to read a lot of horror books when I was younger and then I stopped for a very long time. Over the last several months I’ve been slowly getting back into horror.  When I heard about Ten I knew I had to read it. Christopher Pike was my absolute favorite author growing up and he said this book rocked so even though I knew it would scare the crap out of me (it did) I wanted to read it. My review will be going up soon, but I’ll tell you right now that Ten was amazing!

Gretchen McNeil (I met her at BEA and she is so nice and funny and sweet) has organized The Army of Ten to help get the word out about Ten. Since I pretty much want everyone to read this book this campaign sounds perfect for me!

I encourage you to check out The Army of Ten and I highly encourage you to plan on reading Ten as soon as it’s released (9/18/12). If you are like me and easily scared I recommend reading Ten all in one sitting, with the lights on, during the day. If you like to be scared then I recommend reading it on a dark and stormy night.

Kimberly


Aug 24

Blog Hop: Favorite Thing About Blogging & TGIF: School Books

Blog Hop, Meme 24

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy-For-Books.

Blogging Question: What is your favorite thing about blogging?

My favorite thing about blogging is meeting and getting to know other bloggers (either in real life or just online).  I’ve met so many awesome people since I’ve started my blog and developed some good friendships.  I love bonding with people over books. 

PhotobucketTGIF is a weekly meme to re-cap the week’s posts & to propose a question for our followers. It is run by Ginger at GReads.

Back to School Reading: Which books would you like to see in today’s high school Literature classrooms?

Before I list any books I just want to say that one of the things I disliked most about my literature classes in school was that we only read “classic” books and while they are classic for a reason they are not always relevant in todays society. I definitely don’t think we should stop reading “classics” but I think there needs to be a mix of current and classic books.
 
Two books that I think should be read in high school are Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Help (but please don’t stop reading To Kill a Mockingbird) 

Kimberly


Aug 23

Review * The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Reviews 13 ★★

Review * The Wishing Spell by Chris ColferThe Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Series: The Land of Stories #1
Published by Little Brown BYR on July 17, 2012
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 438
Format: Paperback
Source: BEA
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

"The Land of Stories" tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

This is a joint review done with Courtney (Abducted by Books).

Courtney: I was really looking forward to this one. I’m not a huge Glee fan, I haven’t watched the show in a really long time, but I do like Chris Colfer and I wanted to support him.

Kim: I had no real interest in reading this book until I saw him at BEA in June. He was so excited and passionate about this project that it made me want to read it, even though I don’t usually like to read middle grade books.

Courtney: I don’t seek out middle grade books, but I don’t usually have a problem with them.

Kim: I sometimes find with middle grade books that they “talk down” to the reader a bit, and it can be hard to identify with the characters. Although it helped with this book that so many of the characters were based off fairy tales which reminded me of the Disney movies that I love.

Courtney: I know exactly what you mean about being “talked down” to. I felt that a bit in the scene when Alex and Conner first put together the list for the Wishing Spell, and they just kept repeating it over and over again. After the third time I was like “Yeah, okay, I get it!”

Kim: I did try hard to keep it in perspective when I read it that he didn’t actually write it for someone in there 30’s. So I tried to focus in on what happens after the fairy tale part and getting to know Alex and Conner.

Courtney: Ugh, Alex was such a goody goody. I tried to hold out hope for her but by the end she was really wearing on me.

Kim: I consider myself a “good girl” and for the sake of all good girls out there, I wanted to smack her upside the head! It was annoying that she was so completely perfect at the age of eleven. So, I couldn’t stand Alex but I loved Conner.

Courtney: Conner was my absolute favorite character! I just loved him because he had so many funny moments! Like when he wished to make that one creature a vegetarian so that it wouldn’t be tempted to eat them! That was genius! As far as the fairy tale characters go, I didn’t particularly care for Red Riding Hood at first, but by the end she had grown on me. I’m glad that Colfer made her the princess that was bratty. I’ve always thought that Goldilocks was the most greedy of the fairy tale characters but I think that might have been more on the predictable side so I’m glad that he gave those qualities to Red.

Kim: I agree, and I also really enjoyed the “love triangle” that Colfer created for Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. Goldilocks was my favorite but I did like the fact that Red Riding Hood had issues.

Courtney: Yeah, but Red Riding Hood did get to rule over my favorite kingdom in the book. It had so many of the different fairy tale elements in one place and I loved the different monuments all around town. Like the sign the sign that read “In Memory Of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. You Were A Liar But You Were Loved.”

Kim: My favorite kingdom was Red Riding Hood’s too. It had more fun elements in it. I was disappointed that Charming Kingdom was so boring. Cinderella is one of my favorites and I wanted a little more of her. As far as the ending goes, I did feel it was a bit too predictable. Overall, I would say that Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell was cute, though probably a little too cute for me. I only rated it a two.

Courtney: I think one of the things we both said was that we wanted the book to be amazing, but it was really just average. It was fine for what it was but it definitely wasn’t epic. I gave it a three.


I normally don’t include spoilers in my review, but Courtney and I really wanted to discuss this. You have been warned!

WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!image

Kim: Well neither of us liked the ending with the Evil Queen.

Courtney: No. Colfer tries to set up a theme of “villains are mostly people villainized by circumstance” but I wasn’t buying it. That is fine for the minor criminals but not for the ones that are truly evil.

Kim: I hated that whole story line. It was way to message-y in such an obvious way that I literally rolled my eyes. Sometimes bad people are bad people, and that’s ok. But I would say the ending to the Goldilocks story line probably bothered me the most. It didn’t make any sense to have her whole story come down to the fact that she was on the run for breaking into the home of the three bears.

Courtney: I know what you mean. Goldilocks has a moment with Jack where she says that she can’t stop running because it doesn’t matter what initial crime she committed because since then she has robbed and cheated and even killed. I think it is fine in stories when authors use the angle of “you accused me of lying and that forced me to become a liar” “you accused me of cheating and that forced me to become a cheater.” But to say “you accused me of breaking and entering and that forced me to become a killer”, I mean that is just ridiculous!

Kim: Exactly!!!! It just did not make any sense to do all those bad things rather than be punished for a simple B&E.

END OF SPOILERS

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Kimberly


Aug 21

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorites

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 20

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Favorite Books You’ve Read During The Lifespan Of Your Blog.

Well, since I’ve been blogging for less than a year this one isn’t too hard!
 
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1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
2. Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
3. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
5. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
 

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6. Divergent by Veronica Roth
7. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
8. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
9. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Kimberly


Aug 20

Review * The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Reviews 14 ★★

Review * The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on October 6, 2009
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is empty.

But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas' arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up- the first girl ever to arrive at the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home... wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable.

And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers- if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

What I Thought…

  • First Impression: Not impressed.
  • The Maze Runner is not awful.  I did finish it, and I read it fairly quickly.  The plot is different, and there are some sci-fi elements to it.
  • Thomas was an ok character, but I didn’t really connect with him at all.  Part of that could be attributed to the fact that he didn’t have a past.  I’m not really sure.  Minho was my favorite character.  He was a little bit crazy but had a pretty level head.  He was also a little underhanded and I liked that.  I think I would have liked Teresa if there would have been a little more of her in the book.
  • The best part of the book for me was the how the boys interacted with each and formed their society and how they dealt with everything that cropped up.  For being a bunch of teenage boys they were a pretty well run society, they had many problems but had an organizational system in place.  They all went about their business and did their jobs just like in a traditional society.
  • One thing I didn’t like was that they had all these made up words (usually used in place of traditional cuss words) and it just felt unnecessary to throw that into the mix of the confusing plot line. Though by the end of the book I was reading them in my head as the cuss words that I believe they replaced.
  • The biggest downside to The Maze Runner was that I had no idea wtf was going on throughout most of the book.  200 pages in and I was still seriously confused, and not in a good way.  I don’t mind books being mysterious, if I’m reading a murder mystery I don’t want to know who did it in the first couple of chapters, but I don’t like to be confused at what’s going on.  Does that makes sense?
  • The Maze Runner started to get more exciting a little after page 200 and I held out hope that all would be well at the end.  Now I know that it’s part of a trilogy, so I didn’t expect a perfect happily ever after ending, but at the end of the book I was still left with all the same questions that I had throughout the book AND there is another question posed at the end.  So at the end I am still confused!  The answers that are given are such non answers that it drove me nuts!
  • I still don’t know if I want to finish the series.  Part of me wants to because I want the answers!  The other part of me doesn’t want to because I don’t want to waste my time reading a book when there might not be any answers.

Overall… I just don’t know.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been this unsettled over a book.  I didn’t like it, but I didn’t not like it either.

Kimberly