Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #1

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly theme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It's a way for bloggers to show off what upcoming releases they're excited for.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: Dec. 6, 2011
Series: The Infernal Devices (#2)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Goodreads, Amazon
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Okay, so I know that this is being released really soon compared to some other books I'm waiting for - is it 6 days away, now? - but I'm super excited for it! Clockwork Angel was really good, and I can't wait to see how things play out for Jem, Will, and Tessa. (I definitely know who I'm rooting for in the love triangle, too. :D)

Leave a link to your Waiting on Wednesday post in your comment, so that I can be sure to reply back! :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox #7

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Woo, I'm so excited for the both of these! :) I've been meaning to finish the Vampire Academy series, but I just never was able to get the last book. As for Inheritance.. I've been waiting years to read that one! 

Yep, I also bought myself a Kindle Keyboard. :) It was on sale at Target for Black Friday for only $85, so I figured I'd might as well get it. So far I haven't bought any books, just downloaded a couple of free ones. I've only read a little bit, but it's pretty comfortable to read. I was a little hesitant about using it, but it's pretty much almost like reading a real book, except it's much lighter and I can practically carry a whole library with me. :)

What did you guys get in your mailbox this week? Answer in the comments or leave a link to your post, so I can check it out. :D

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ [5]
Release date: Feb. 9, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Format: hardback
Source: library
Pages: 287
Series: Heist Society (#1)
Challenge: --
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own - scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's priceless art collection has been stolen and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled off this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dead needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and, hopefully, just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's (very crooked) history - and with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
I really loved the plot of this book. I mean, honestly, who hasn't ever imagined themselves as thieves trying to pull off a really big theft? If you're like me, then you probably daydreamed about that quite a bit, so you can imagine that I really enjoyed reading this.

Heist Society offers a lot of things. It's exciting and had me at the edge of my seat. Not to mention that the twists and turns had me wondering what was going to come next. In my opinion, this book really wasn't predictable at all; a few times I tried guessing what would happen next and was pretty much wrong every time.

This book also has a diverse set of characters. There were several times when the characters' interaction with each other made me chuckle. I loved how they were as close-knit as a family and how there wasn't that much tension between them. I really dislike when books place too much emphasis on relationship problems and focus on that instead of the actual story, but I thought this book did a pretty good job of balancing out the relationships versus the actual plot.

Ally Carter's writing flows pretty easily, and overall, Heist Society was a really fast read. I am definitely going to read the next book in the series (and hopefully, the little "love triangle" that was featured in this book will make a return as well! ;D)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sophomore Reading Challenge 2012

The Sophomore Reading Challenge is a challenge hosted by Chick Loves Lit. The goal is to read at least 10 sophomore YA or MG books before January 2013. So, below is what I plan on reading for this challenge. It will most likely end up changing as the year progresses, though!

1. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
3. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
4. Timepiece by Myra McEntire
5. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
6. Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
7. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
8. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
9. Never Enough by Denise Jaden
10. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #6

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi

Well, I'm excited that I got Blood Red Road! I keep hearing that it's good. Also, I've read the whole Harry Potter series before, but I managed to pick up a brand-new hardcover of the Order of the Phoenix for only $5! Seeing as I'm trying to get the whole set, I just couldn't pass this up. The other two, Crossing Lines and Cracked up to Be, I bought because they were only a $1 each. :)

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan {audiobook}
A lot of bookmarks, stickers, etc. (some are even signed! :D)

I actually received this awesome stuff from Elegantly Bound Books last week, but I wasn't able to put it up because I couldn't find my camera. I'm really excited that I got Glow. I've never listened to an audiobook before, so this should be an interesting experience! :)

What did you receive in your mailbox? Answer in the comments below or just leave a link to your own post!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Rating: ☆☆☆ [3]
Release date: Aug. 31, 2010
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: hardback
Source:  library
Pages: 484
Series:  Halo (#1)
Challenge: --
Three angels - Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human - are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angels' mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?
One thing I liked about Halo was that it offered a fresh perspective. It was actually from an angel's perspective, rather than the human's, which is really something I don't see too often. Not to mention that it was about actual good angels trying to save the world instead of featuring the whole fallen angel craze I always see.

Bethany, the main character, kind of annoyed me though. There were some points in the book when she acted really stupid. Sure, I understand that it's her first time on earth, and that human life is complicated and all that, but if she's a celestial being sent from Heaven, then you'd think she would act at least a little bit smarter. Also, while Xavier was a pretty good character, he had a few moments when his over-protectiveness of Bethany just reminded me how helpless she could be.

But, overall, I still really enjoyed the plot. It got a little bit slow at times, especially all the lovey-dovey parts, but it was still a fun read. I definitely recommend you to at least borrow this book from the library to see if it's your cup of tea.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Debut Author Challenge 2012

I am happy to say that this year I will be participating in the Debut Author Challenge hosted at the Story Siren. This challenge sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. Basically, the objective is to review a minimum of 12 YA or middle grade author debut books. This list will probably end up changing as the year progresses (I'll also update this as I finish each book), but here's what I have planned so far:
  1. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
  2. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
  3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  4. Tempest by Julie Cross
  5. Elemental by Emily White
  6. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
  7. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  8. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
  9. The Sphinx Project by Kate Hawkings
  10. The Glimpse by Claire Merle
  11. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  12. Above by Leah Bobet
  13. The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
  14. Slide by Jill Hathaway
Okay, yeah, so that's more than 12 books, but they just sounded soo good. Hopefully I'll be able to get through them all!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games Trailer

SO, the Hunger Games trailer just came out, and I am super excited! I mean, it didn't look exactly how I pictured it, but I never expected that to happen. I kind of was expecting the worst, so it's not like I was disappointed. :) From what I can see in the trailer, it looks like it's going to be great! I was a little nervous about the actors, but now that I see them in action, I'm pretty much reassured. I'm super pumped for March!

What do you guys think of the trailer? I'm excited to hear some opinions!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox #5

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen 

I really don't need to buy any more books. My "to-read" pile is huge, and since I barely have time for reading nowadays, I haven't been able to get through it. But I just could not resist getting these 2 when I saw them at Half-Price Bookstore. These are both books that I've been wanting to read for awhile, so I'm really glad I managed to find them at a discount. :) But now I need to have a book buying ban! I also won some other things, but I'm too lazy to take a picture (plus I can't find my camera) so that will have to wait until next week.
What did you get in your mailbox this week? Feel free to answer in the comments or leave me a link to your own blog post. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Rating: ★★★★★ [5]
Release date: first published 1859
Format: paperback
Source: school
Pages: 304
Series: --
Challenge: --
With his sublime parting words, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." Sidney Carton joins that exhalted group of Dickensian characters who have earned a permanent place in the popular literary imagination. His dramatic story, set against the volcanic fury of the French Revolution and pervaded by the ominous rumble of the death carts trundling toward the guillotine, is the heart-stirring tale of a heroic soul in an age gone mad. A masterful pageant of idealism, love, and adventure — in a Paris bursting with revolutionary frenzy, and a London alive with anxious anticipation — A Tale of Two Cities is one of Dickens's most energetic and exciting works. (from Goodreads)

Alright, so I know that this isn't a YA book, but I just had to review this because I really wanted to get my thoughts down. This book was honestly really hard to get into it, because I wasn't at all used to the language nor the writing. Plus, the way the story is told is very confusing; it jumps around from character to character and you have no idea what's going on.

But if you're currently reading this and are thinking of setting this book down, don't do it. It's worth it, trust me.

In the middle, it gradually starts getting better (or maybe I was just finally getting used to the language, I don't know.) By the time you are at the end, everything comes so perfectly together, and you'll see that everything happened for a reason. The ending, ugh, it was just so perfect. It was, for me, one of the most memorable endings I've ever read, and I know that it'll stick around with me for a long time.

And the characters are great, too. I had strong emotions about each and every one of them (maybe with the exception of Lucie; she was okay), which is, in my opinion, great. I love books that have me actually caring about the characters.

And seeing how the characters grew was fantastic. For example, Sydney Carton. At the beginning of the book, he was just like "meh" to me, but at the end, he was one of my favorite characters. But I'll stop rambling now. Anyways, this book was super awesome and honestly had me thinking. Don't get turned off by the language if you find it hard to read! Just keep going; it gets a whole lot better. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox #4

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters

So this weekend there was a neighborhood garage sale, and I managed to pick all of these up for only $3.50 total. I think it's a pretty good deal considering they are all still in nice condition. :) What did you get for your IMM this week? Leave your answer in the comments!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Warning: This review could possibly contain spoilers if you haven't read The Lost Hero, so please read at your own caution.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5]
Release date: Oct. 4, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Format: hardback
Source: bought
Pages: 513
Series: Heroes of Olympus (#2)
Challenge: --
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
This book is absolutely amazing. Or maybe that's just me being biased towards the Percy Jackson series in general because I pretty much grew up with it. Either way, I still love, love, love this book.

I liked this one a lot better than The Lost Hero, which is the first book in the series, but that's probably because this one had a lot more Percy in it. Anything involving Percy Jackson is amazing. 'Nough said.

However, I still miss the first person writing featured in the original Percy Jackson series. I found the alternating viewpoints in this book to be distracting because there were several times when I wanted to stay in one character's head but was forced into another's. Even though I enjoyed seeing the different characters' thoughts, I still missed the easy flow and continuation of the first series.

Nonetheless, this book had me laughing constantly. Even though Rick Riordan's humor may be slightly cheesy, I still found it hilarious. This is one of the few books that I can honestly say had me laughing out loud.

Anyone who's a fan of Greek mythology should read this book or at least the first series. One of my favorite parts about reading this series is seeing how Riordan mixes mythology with real life. Some of the ways he puts everything together is just so genius. Not to mention that it's really interesting to see the difference between the Roman camp and the Greek camp. But anyway, I'll stop gushing about the book now. :) If you haven't read it yet, go try it out!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #1

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be ReadingAnyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
This week's teaser comes from Halo by Alexandra Adornetto. I'm enjoying the book so far and can't wait to finish.
"What I couldn't determine and didn't dare to ask was what would happen once the powers in the Kingdom learned of my transgression. I didn't imagine the reaction would be mild." (page 144)