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Showing posts from July, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 6 - Ruins

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers pick a book that hasn't been published yet that they are excited to read.
The funny thing about this week's pick is that it shares the title of the second book in the Pathfinder series by Orson Scott Card (my review of that one here), but today I'm talking about the third book in Dan Wells' Partials trilogy.
Title: Ruins Author: Dan Wells Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, YA Publishing date: March 11, 2014
Goodreads summary: (not yet available - I'm posting the summary for the first book, Partials, so that you get an idea of what the series is about)
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously re…

Review: Partials

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Title: Partials
Author: Dan Wells
Genre: YA, dystopian, science fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.
Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials a…

Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

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Title: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Genre: contemporary, suicide/drugs/issues

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

That was so tragic and terrible yet oddly beautiful at the same time.

A rather strange coincidence is that I watched Silver Linings Playbook over the weekend, and really enjoyed it. The next week, I received an invitation to read this novel via Netgalley. The blurb read, "From the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, this powerful novel is one of our in-house favorites." You can probably guess that I jumped at the chance to read this book.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is the story of Leonard Peacock on the day he decides to shoot his ex-best friend, Asher, and then kill himself (it just so happens that this day is also his birthday). Leonard has been planning this day for a while now, and he has four presents to give to the people who are special to him - Walt, the old man next door with whom he's bonded over Bogart movies; Babak, the once-outcast…

Feature and Follow #5

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Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! The Feature & Follow is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View.

This week's question: What do you do with your books after you are done reading them?

Well, most of the time I read right before I go to sleep, so I put it reverently back on my giant pile of bedside books. If a book is particularly good, sometimes I'll just close it and stare at it while I try and gather my thoughts and overwhelming "ohmygoodness that was amazing" feelings :) And if I don't like the book I've just finished, I just let it thunk to the ground (terrible, I know!).

I have rarely felt the urge to hurl my books at a wall - the most recent time this happened was after I finished Storm of Swords, but I was reading an ebook and I definitely did not want my precious laptop to shatter into a thousand pieces.

Review: Prodigy

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Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: dystopian, YA

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This boosted my opinion of the series from "not one of my favorite dystopias, but still good" to "DEFINITELY one of my favorite dystopias."

Prodigy picks up where Legend ended, with June and Day fleeing from Los Angeles. They need help, and they decide to join the Patriots in order to get the resources and safety they need. The only catch is that in exchange, June and Day must assassinate the new elector, Anden. Killing in cold blood isn't June or Day's style, and things get even more complicated when Anden seems to be more than just a power-hungry tyrant like his father. There are also more personal struggles - Day feeling insignificant and wondering about the sincerity of June's feelings towards him, and June continuing to grapple with the loss of her brother and who to trust.

A lot of people have pointed out that Legend lacks a lot of world-building. I agree, and what is …

Waiting on Wednesday 6 - Dreams of Gods and Monsters

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers pick a book that hasn't been published yet that they are excited to read.

My pick this week is a book I've already blogged about, but I'm so excited for it I'll do it again :)
Dreams of Gods and Monsters, the final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.



Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters Author: Laini Taylor Genre: Fantasy, YA Publishing date: April 29, 2014
Goodreads summary:

Dreams starts where Days left off, with Karou and Akiva discovering each other alive — although Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she’s ever known. And now, through an act of staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance.

 When Jael’s brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dre…

WATCHMEN.

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This is the summer of my reading things that I wouldn't normally pick up. I've been asking friends who read all sorts of things from medical nonfiction to classic literature to steampunk for recommendations, and the recs have been quite eclectic!

Technically, no one in particular recommended Watchmen to me, but seeing as it's so iconic and I don't usually read graphic novels, I grabbed it at the library. I've heard so much about it - "best graphic novel of all time", "incredibly complex", "way more than a superhero story" - and my English professor even used to teach it as part of his American Novels course (graphic novel, right? haha).

I'm really excited to read it, and hopefully watch the movie when I'm done.

Has anyone else heard of/read Watchmen? I'd love to discuss it with people once I'm done reading.



Review: If You Could Be Mine

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Title: If You Could Be Mine
Author: Sara Farizan
Genre: Contemporary

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went a bit out of my comfort zone by reading this, and I'm very glad I did. If You Could Be Mine is a very honest portrayal of what it's like to be LGBTQ in modern day Iran. The story is told from the point of view of Sahar, a girl who is in love with her childhood friend Nasrin. When Nasrin's parents arrange her marriage, Sahar feels trapped - she knows there is no way for her to openly be with Nasrin, since it is a criminal offense. There is another way - one that will ask Sahar to sacrifice her very identity.

The reasons I picked this book up (quotes from the back cover):

"In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture."
- I really don't know much about Iran, so I was curious to learn more about their culture and how the often severe social rules affect different p…

Review: A Study in Sherlock

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Title: A Study in Sherlock: Stories inspired by the Holmes canon
Editor: Laurie R. King (authors of each short story are next to the titles below)
Genre: Anthology, mystery, speculative fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sherlock Holmes has always been a part of my life - from the time I was little, my parents introduced me to this mystery-solving madman, and I have continued to be intrigued and awed by this eccentric character. It's clear that I'm not the only one, as many of the authors here say the same things. This anthology is quite an eclectic collection of stories based on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - from the usual murder mystery to stories with a hint of the supernatural to conspiracy theories to contemporary adaptations, this book really does have it all. Unfortunately, because of this incredibly wide mix, some stories were pretty dull in comparison to the others. Here are a few thoughts on each of them:

- You'd Better Go in Disguise, Alan Bradley (*…

Feature and Follow #4

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Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! The Feature & Follow is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View
This week's question: Book Vacay: Where is the best destination reading spot for you? (Where do you like to go to read other then your home)

I almost always read curled up on my bed or on the sofa, so this question is kind of hard!

This is kind of weird but I kind of like reading in the receptions of doctor's/dentist's offices - it's always quiet and they usually have comfy chairs :) I've had a couple of interesting conversations with people who asked what I was reading while we were all waiting for our appointments, so it's kind of fun.

I know my "destination" reading spot isn't much of a destination...what about yours?

Please follow via Bloglovin or GFC. I will follow back for sure - just remember to leave me a link!

Waiting on Wednesday 5 - Allegiant

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers pick a book that hasn't been published yet that they are excited to read.

My pick for this week is the finale of the Divergent trilogy, Allegiant.

Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: YA, dystopian
Publishing date: October 22, 2013

Goodreads summary:
What if your whole world was a lie? 
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything? 
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? 

 The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Why I want to read it:

Divergent was one of the better YA dystopias I have read (my full thoughts here), and I was really excited for the second book. Insurgent let me down a bit, but I'm hoping Allegiant will answer some of the questions I had at the end of Insurgent. Even with In…

Review: Quintana of Charyn

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Title:Quintana of Charyn: The Lumatere Chronicles
Author: Melina Marchetta
Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now that's how you end an amazing series. Not quite as good as Froi, but still beautiful, poignant, heart-wrenching, and eye-opening.

I have come to the conclusion that there is a secret portal to the world of Lumatere that only Melina Marchetta has access to, because how else do you explain characters that are so real? I have said this about every Melina Marchetta book I have read, and I'll say it again - I have to constantly keep reminding myself that these characters that I have grown to love and care about aren't real, because otherwise it would hurt too much when things get ugly for them (and that happens. Quite a bit, actually). Even when I've been reminding myself, it still is painful for me to see them struggle through disappointment and heartbreak.

In the final installment of the Lumatere Chronicles, Charyn and Lumatere are at the brink of war. Quin…

Review: A Thousand Perfect Things

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Title: A Thousand Perfect Things
Author: Kay Kenyon
Genre: Alternative history, fantasy, adult fiction

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoy alternative histories and fantasy novels, and as an American anglophile of Indian origin, this book seemed like it was written for me! I can safely say I liked this novel, but it wasn't as good as I hoped or expected it to be.

The story is set in an alternate world that is separated into two main regions - Anglica, the seat of science and logic, and Bharata, the region of mysteries and magic. As in our own world, Anglica has attempted to colonize and "civilize" Bharata, although to little success. The story follows Tori, a spirited Anglican woman with a club foot, as she ventures to Bharata in search of a mythical plant that would bridge the gap between science and magic. Her grandfather once found and took a clipping of this mythical thousand-petaled golden lotus; Tori searches for the same flower in hopes of furthering her scientific c…

Feature and Follow #3

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Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! The Feature & Follow is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View

This week's question: PHOTOBOMB!!!! Photobomb a picture with your favorite book. Share it of course.
So...as you can tell by the little "favorite books" tab right under the header, I have more than one favorite book! Unfortunately I don't own all my favorites (working on changing that - it's hard to find books by international authors though!).
 My books from top to bottom are:
 1)The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
2)The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
3) Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky 4)Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card 5)UnWholly by Neal Shusterman (standing in for Unwind, the first book in the series) 6)Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor


Disclaimers:
I don't own Unwind, so UnWholly (the second book in the series) is my stand-in for that. The little blue square …

Review: Abandon

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Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: YA, fantasy, retellings

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So...I'm abandoning Abandon (oh the irony!). I sat through about 100 pages, hoping things would get better, but they didn't. Sorry Pierce - frankly, you could just die and I wouldn't care. Oh wait, you already did...

I haven't read any Meg Cabot books, but I have heard many good things about them, especially about their smart and spirited main characters. Pierce is no such character. She's spoiled, vapid, filthy rich, and has the "traumatic experience that alienates her from the rest of the world and thus makes her super special." I usually like sarcastic characters, because I'm pretty sarcastic myself (can you tell?). Pierce just grated on my nerves with her constant allusions to how beautiful she is and how special she is and how she can get her dear old daddy to pay for anything by guilt-tripping him about how it's entirely his fault she drowned in a pool a…

Waiting on Wednesday 4 - Champion

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers pick a book that hasn't been published yet that they are excited to read.

This week, I'm looking forward to the final book in the Legend series, Champion!

Title: Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: dystopian, science fiction, suspense, YA
Date published: November 5, 2013

Goodreads summary:

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

 He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

 June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a p…

Review: Ruins

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Title: Ruins (Book 2 in the Pathfinder series)
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, YA

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While this book had a shaky start, I ended up enjoying it more than Pathfinder (despite that very random ending...more on that later)!

This book picks up almost immediately after the previous book, which made it a bit confusing for me because I was fuzzy on the details. Of course I remembered Rigg, Param, and Umbo, but I was a little shaky on who Olivenko was and whether Loaf was the innkeeper or the innkeeper's wife. I figured it out quickly enough (thanks Wikipedia!), but I wish there had been the slightest bit more recap/reminder of what had happened at the end of Pathfinder.

While the first book picked up the pace and got going at page 10, this one took a good 200 pages before anything really happened. This was frustrating, especially since most of these 200 pages were spent with this infuriating recurring theme: "I don't trust Vadesh but…

Feature and Follow #2

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Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! The Feature & Follow is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View

This week's question: Today’s is the US’ Independence Day. Share your favorite book with a war in it, or an overthrow of the government. 
I'm afraid I can't just pick one, so I will list them out (no particular order) and why I like them:

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - I had to read this for an English class, and although there were some very disturbing moments (baby buffalo and lemon tree made me cry), this story was so beautifully told. I am a sucker for unreliable narrators, and this book definitely had one of those. I love the idea of a "true war story" being one that has the right emotions and ironies, which may or may not be what actually happened.The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - This is one of my favorite books (you can read my full review on goodreads here.This book was just …

Waiting on Wednesday 3 - The Dream Thieves

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers pick a book that hasn't been published yet that they are excited to read.

This week I am looking forward to Maggie Stiefvater's The Dream Thieves, the second book in the Raven Cycle.
Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA, fantasy
Date published: September 17, 2013

Goodreads summary:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

Why I want to read it:

Maggie Stiefvater is an amazing author. Although I usually don't like paranormal romance novels, I enjoyed her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (Shiver, Linger, and Forever) simply because of her writing style. It's j…

Review: What's Left of Me

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Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Genre: Science fiction, dystopia, YA

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book had such a cool concept - everyone is born with two souls, and the recessive soul "fading" away as the child grows older. But what happens when the recessive soul doesn't really go away?

That's situation that Addie and Eva face. The story tells their journey from hiding the fact that they are a hybrid ("hybrid" being the term for people who maintain both souls) to discovering fellow hybrids to uncovering the truth of why America stigmatizes hybrids while the rest of the world is mostly made up of people who continue to have two souls. There are a lot of questions raised about identity and sacrifice - who are you when you are so inextricably tied to another soul that you can't always tell the difference? How much should you sacrifice for your sister soul, and how much should you stand up for yourself? Should you hide who you are in order to…