Friday, August 3, 2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Picks

I'm really excited to participate in my second read-a-thon. The first one I joined was fun, but my vacation interrupted my reading, so I didn't get though all my goals. This time, however, I don't have many things on schedule, so hopefully I will accomplish all my reads. So the factors that went into consideration when choosing out my books included number of pages, on to-read list since, and availability. Maybe these weren't books I would've first picked, but they all fit in with my 'requirements.'
So here we go:
1st Pick: 08/04- 08/05
Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

I kept hearing great things about Stephanie Perkins' books, so I had to try one out.

Monument 142nd Pick: 08/06- 08/07
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

I recently won this in a giveaway and I let my brother read it and he devoured it. I'm hoping I love it as much as he did.

3rd Pick: 08/08- 08/09
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I read If I Stay awhile back and I thought it was okay, but I wasn't a huge fan. I've heard many people say this one is much better, so I'm looking forward to it.

The Eleventh Plague4th Pick: 08/10- 08/11
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.
In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing--and their lives--forever.

I thought this looked like an interesting dystopian, and it's a single book, something rarely seen with dystopians. Also, my brother wanted to read it and I've had it on my to-read list forever, so I'm finally getting to it.

5th Pick: 08/12
Life Is But a Dream by Brian James
Life is But a DreamSabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? her decision may have fatal consequences. 
Brian James calls Life is But a Dream "the most intense book I've written. Bringing this unique character to life and seeing the world through her eyes, with all its beauty and confusion, was an immense challenge that I hope is just as rewarding to read as it was to write." Intense--yes. Unforgettable--definitely. 

Originally, I had picked Looking for Alaska from John Green, but my public library didn't have it-__- This was a last minute pick, I saw it at the library and got it, knowing it had been on my to-read shelf for awhile now, but I'm excited for it also.

So those are my picks, and I'm excited!! Are you participating in the read-a-thon? If so, which books are you reading?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mini Reviews

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan Goodreads
So this was a quick and cute read. It kept me captured because I just loved the concept of a dare journal. Sure, it wasn't dares I would have thought of, but there was still some great humor in it. I did expect the whole thing with the dares to take up a lot of the book, but I didn't expect them to finally meet so far into the book, or the way they did meet. Dash and Lily were both unique characters, who were both very above average level, even though my first impression of Lily was a bit towards childish. I liked how both characters had their own stories outside of the dare journal, it really added to both. I didn't expect the one mutual connection they had to be the one to lead them to meet, but I guess I should have expected it. Overall, this was a fun read, although the ending was really simple, I didn't feel like I got closure. I feel like it worked though, so I liked the story.

Favorite Quote:
     "The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There's no getting over that." 

Overall Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Something Like Normal
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller Goodreads
Truthfully, I may have had high expectations for this one, which is probably why I found the book to be great, but not incredible. First of all, it was different from other books I read with the war thing going on with Travis, so it was nice to get an insight of his feelings and reactions post-war in his POV. He was an interesting character, and he wasn't picture perfect; he had flaws that made him all that more real. Harper was an interesting character also, and their relationship was written beautifully. I'll admit, I cried in this book, it touched subjects that readers aren't familiar with, yet after, they come to realization of the cold, harsh truth. I liked the book, and how it unraveled, even though it was really short in my opinion. I just kind of expected more.

Favorite Quote:
     “He was the person all of us should be, but most of us aren't. And if I could have taken his place to buy him a little more time in the world, I'd have done it. I'm sorry I couldn't.” 

Overall Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith Goodreads
This one I had added since I saw the cover. I loved the concept of Hadley and Oliver's meeting and falling in love in twenty-four hours. Now, my first impression of this book was, "Cute love story." Well, it is so much more. The plot was based around the first-sight-falling-in-love thing, but inside, we learned about Hadley's troubles at the moment and Oliver's also. We definitely saw Hadley grow in her way of thinking throughout the book, which came to the resolution to her problem in the end. With Oliver, we learn about this until the end, but it is just as capturing. I really loved this book. I liked the ending and though if you think to much about it you will torture yourself wondering what ever happens next. It was a great book with a great insight into the characters achieved with a third-person POV. I loved their development and it all came together beautifully. Definitely one of my favorites of 2012.

Favorite Quote:
    “It's not the changes that will break your heart; it's that tug of familiarity.” 

Overall Rating:♥♥♥♥♥

Friday, July 20, 2012

Random Reads (1): Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Random Reads

So this is my first time doing Random Reads, and I love the idea of it. I don't have many books on my to-read list(well, at least not as many as other bloggers), but there are still a lot of unfortunate books who have been there for awhile now. It's a bit late in June, but I had room for one more book and decided to use this fun way to choose it.
The book chosen by for this month is...
#32: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

So this one hasn't been on my to-read list for long, but I had been considering it for awhile before that. I have heard great things about it from everyone and so I decided to see what all the hype is about. So yeah, excited to read it and hopefully love.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Once Upon A Read-a-Thon Accomplishments

So this is a short post about my accomplishments during the read-a-thon. So I signed up, picked out the books I wanted to read, made my goals and plans before knowing I was going on vacation that same week. I had done too much to just quit the read-a-thon, so I decided to keep going with it, to read in the tiny slots of time I had. My goals were to read:

Dash & Lily's Book of DaresSomething Like NormalThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

I wasn't reading anything a few days before the read-a-thon, so I got a head start on Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. When the read-a-thon started, I only had to read about sixty pages from it, so I was able to finish it on the first read-a-thon day.
   One book down, two to go.
I started Something Like Normal on the second day and......well I only got through eighty pages in those last two days of the read-a-thon, so out of my goals, I finished one book and about 37% of the second. Hmm, not bad since I was vacationing, but I wish I had finished my goals. So yeah, my first read-a-thon and I liked it, it drove me to read as much as I could and really encouraged me, which is what I needed. Really fun:)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Book Picks

"This Readathon is hosted by Angela at Reading Angel, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination. It runs from 12:01 am on July 9th to 11:59 on July 11th."
Okay, so this is the first Read-a-Thon I'm participating in and I am really excited. I usually pace myself when reading a book, trying to spread out the reading into five days or so, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. So since that's my normal pace, for this Read-a-Thon, I plan on narrowing it down to a book per day. So since there's three days, I will hopefully be able to read three books. Picking out which books these will be was a complicated process, basing on pages, availability, and desire to read. I think I did pretty good on that though, and I like my picks:

Pick #1: 07/09/12
Book: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Pages: 260
On To-Read List Since: January 9th, 2012

Summary: Goodreads
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own. 

I've been wanting to read this one ever since I read the summary. I find the plot interesting and it's a unique contemporary. I feel like It will be a cute and fast read.

Pick #2: 07/10/12
Book: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Pages: 214
On To-Read List Since: July 5th, 2012

Summary: Goodreads
Something Like NormalWhen Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

While choosing my reads, this one wasn't originally a pick, but I had heard of it before and thought it sounded interesting, I have no idea why it wasn't on my to-read list sooner. So I was venturing around the other day and Lori from Pure Imagination and Candace from Candace's Book Blog both recommended this as a good Read-a-Thon book. So it became my second pick:)

Pick #3: 07/11/12
Book: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Pages: 236
On To-Read List Since: January 8th, 2012

Summary: Goodreads
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight"Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?" 
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row. 
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more? 
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. 

I've heard great things about this book and it sounds very intriguing. Plus, I absolutely love the title and the cover, so it's a must read for me.

So those are my three books for the Read-a-Thon, all three short and sound fast-paced. Really excited for it, anyone else?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

*Back in September*
It took me awhile to read, but I really liked this book. I loved the 
idea it had and the basic plot since I heard of it, and I loved it once I finished it. It was such a heart breaker, it had me sobbing. I really liked Delirium, other people have the opposite opinion as mine, but I felt satisfied with it. A great read.

*Update: 7/2/12*
Okay, so I reread it and re-rated it because even though I loved the book, I did feel it to be a bit slow at times. It took me an exaggeratedly long time to finish and it usually takes longer than usual when I'm rereading, but I also said that it took me awhile to read when I first read it. Still really liked it though.

The basic plot has been itself a controversy among readers because the concept of love being a disease is ridiculous to some. I actually found it really interesting because it was dystopian, and judging by the summary, there was going to be romance, which I'm a sucker for. It's kind of weird, how they have a cure and it makes people basically emotionless.

Lena Haloway, our protagonist, is an obedient person, one who takes the whole system of the deliria-free society really seriously. The change of her beliefs are huge and the main part of what makes the book. I think while many didn't like Lena because of this aspect of thinking love was terrible and should be avoided, I believe this is what made her, well at the start. This is what she has learned all her life, and it's not easy when she discovers love for the first time, so it's something I admire her for taking on. So then Alex comes in. He's kind of mysterious when we first meet him because of being Cured, yet participating in some illegal activities. We learn a lot about him and his background throughout the book, and it's really intense, affecting the relationship between him and Lena. He's a likable character, as well as Lena, Hana, Lena's best friend, and Grace,Lena's little cousin, but that's pretty much where likable characters end.

Once more, we have a heartbreaking ending, which just leaves you all choked up, or at least left me like that. This is a good way to get you incredibly anxious to get your hands on the nest book Pandemonium, to know what happens. So overall, I like the book, loved it actually, but the fact that it was kind of slow at times really didn't help with other reading plans I had.

  Favorite Quote(s):
     "Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side."  
     "I love you. Remember. They cannot take it."       
*Note: Okay, so I cheated a little and put two fave quotes. I had to, I love how the first one is so true and deep, a great comparison from Lauren Oliver(which may I say, is the queen of metaphors and similes, I found a bunch) and the second one just breaks your heart and puts it back together if you know the story.

 Overall Rating:♥♥♥♥

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

So, like many other people, I absolutely loved this book. It truly touched my heart and the characters are unforgettable. Where to begin with the compliments...

I really loved the protagonist, Hazel, I just liked her personality and how she had this love for AIA, which kind of reminded me of my obsessive love forTHG. Her situation was pretty bad, with the cancer and her problems with it and trying to have it treated and all, but she never sympathized herself and made you feel all bad and stuff. She basically lived with it, I mean, she kind of didn't have a choice, but you know. So Hazel meets Augustus Waters at the support group, and let me just say, Augustus is an incredibly likable character right off the bat. I just loved him and his personality, a truly amazing character.

Which is how the the tears come streaming out of my eyes while reading, because of how incredibly likable these characters are. I mean, I cry very easily in books, but I was full out sobbing and I had to put the book down for awhile. After finishing the book, I felt a pain in my heart that was demanding to be felt(AWW!), and I was just truly broken. 

The Fault in Our Stars is a truly amazing book I really absolutely loved and understand now what all the hype was about. An amazing and wonderful heartwarming and heartbreaking read.

Favorite Quote:
  "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers."

*Note: I went through a billion quotes before writing this review, and I love almost all of them. This was an incredibly hard choice, but I gave a quote that doesn't give too much away and that I love.

Overall Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥