Archive | April, 2010

“Airhead” by Meg Cabot

30 Apr


“Airhead”
Author: Meg Cabot
Pages [paperback]:
First Lines: “Emerson Watts,” called my first period Public Speaking teacher, Mr. Greer, startling me from the light doze into which I’d drifted. Well, whatever. Do they really expect us to be alert at eight-fifteen in the morning? Come on.
Memorable Quote: However, because they have no actual interests of their own (or if they do, they squelch them in order to fit in) and merely pursue those that they think will look best on their college apps, they’re zombies.
Favortie Character: Emerson
Emerson Watts, 16 and female, loves playing video games, hanging out with her best friend, Christopher, and has made peace with her less-than-supermodel-esque looks. But when she’s involved in a mysterious accident, she wakes up to find she’s now in the body of…a supermodel. Who was behind this switch? What was the motive? And how can she get Christopher to realize she’s still the same person inside?
[Taken from Goodreads]

That summary right up there? ^^ Way more specific than the one on the back of the actual book! When I borrowed this from my friend I thought it was going to be a book about some supermodel and her glamorous life, sprinkled with a few love problems. Little did I know that a science fiction love story was hiding beneath the surface.
I loved the novel, once I found out what it was about! Em is a refreshing change from most of  the characters I’ve been reading about lately. She isn’t afraid to be true to herself-even if that means spending all day locked inside playing Journeyquest instead of buying the latest trendy clothes and gossiping with the cheerleaders.
The novel is great because the change isn’t some magical random occurance. There’s a scientific reasoning to the transformation.
So. This book was funny, interesting, and once I got into it [and figured out that the summary was nothing like the plot..] I zipped through the second half of the book.
“Airhead” gets 5/5 stars.

“Just One Wish” by Janette Rallison

30 Apr


“Just One Wish”
Author: Janette Rallison
Pages [hardcover]:  264
Available in stores now
Opening Lines: I would have expected to see this sort of line if, say, Elvis had returned from the dead to give a concert. Or if some eccentric yet ultra-cool billionaire was blessing the lives of deserving teens by handing out free sports cars.
Memorable Quote: Perhaps I wasn’t going crazy after all. Perhaps I was just becoming a writer.
Favorite Character: Steve
Annika Truman would do anything for her little brother, Jeremy. He was diagnosed with cancer, and is having a surgery to remove a tumor from his brain. To keep him calm and positive, she convinces him that she knows a genie that will give him two wishes-she used up the first one herself. Jeremy asks to be visited by the super famous-and super hot-Teen Robin Hood. Now Annika has to convince the actor to come to her house and visit her little brother before the surgery. Will she find this celebrity? Or will she lose her brother’s trust?

This book was very fast paced and easy to read. I read it in only two days. I’ve read a few books by Janette Rallison before but this is by far my favorite! I was in love with the idea from the beginning-it seemed like such a cute, fun story. It starts right in with the action and the problem, leaving no time for unnecessary fluff.
Jeremy seems like such a cute little brother and I’m sad for what he has to go through in the story, but it makes the plot deeper and more purposeful.
Annika [don't you just love the name?] is a strong leading lady who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. She’s good as reading people’s emotions, and her creativity levels are sky high. I was laughing just trying to figure out what she’d come up with next.
Steve wasn’t your normal celebrity that you usually encounter in novels. His interactions with Annika were original enough so that I didn’t feel as if I’d read it before.
The ending-I love the ending. Not that I want to give it away.
This book is definitely one of the best I’ve read lately. Short, sweet, and just fun to read. I give it 5/5 stars all the way.

“The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan

28 Apr

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Author: Carrie Ryan

Pages [hardcover]: 310

Available in stores everywhere

The first in a series

First Lines: My mother used to tell me about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see and that it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away.

Memorable Quote: It’s not about surviving. It should be about love. When you know love…that’s what makes this life worth it.

Favorite Character: Harry

Summary:
In Mary’s world, there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her.
[Taken from the front flap of the book]

Review:
I really don’t know what to make of this book. I was not expecting the zombie [aka Unconsecrated] filled novel full of questions about whether God exists and setting off on a huge quest in order to find the ocean.
So. The concept was great-a dystopia where an infection has spread, turning people into zombies if they are bitten by the carriers-the Unconsecrated. I’ve never actually read a book about zombies, only ever seen scary movies with them included, so this book was a refreshing break from the pack.
Let me warn you that the author resists every urge to turn this into a gushy love story. The zombies and their attacks are described in full detail-blood included, free of charge.
Mary annoyed me most of the time. I liked how she was independent and adventerous, but her indecisiveness and her ability to forgive and forget so easily made me dislike her greatly.
Mary is in love with Travis from before the novel starts, and I just don’t see what makes him more appealing than any other guy.
And this book happened to jump around a lot-sometimes I would turn back a few pages to see if I missed something, figure out that I didn’t, and then continue to be puzzled.
The last few pages of the book were great, I think. The best ones of the book. And I mean that truthfully, no sarcasm included.
Because there is a sequel, and a third book, I’m trying to figure out if they’re worth reading. I’d really like to see what happens, but I don’t want to struggle through it. Then again, the characters and plot might be more defined…
Oh, well. “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” gets 2/5 stars. Not the worst I’ve seen.
Have you read/want to read this book? Think that I should give the second one a shot? Comment below!

What are you Reading Monday

26 Apr

I decided to start posting weekly about the books I’ve read in the past week, the books I hope to finish in the oncoming week, and the books I’m going to read next. For more information see Sheila at one person’s journey through a world of books and join in!

This week I finished

I’m hoping to finish The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Airhead, and Shiver.

I’m probably going to start The Catcher in the Rye, David Copperfield, and The Conspiracy of the Kings.

Happy Monday everyone! (:

“The Last Song” by Nicholas Sparks

26 Apr

“The Last Song”

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Pages [Paperback]: 463

Available now

Opening Lines: Staring out her bedroom window, Ronnie wondered whether Pastor Harris was already at the church.

Memorable Quote: As far as I can tell, dumping soda on people is the equivalent of ‘Hi, it’s nice to meet you’ in this part of the world. Frankly, I think standard greetings work better, but what do I know?

Favorite Character: Will

Summary:

Ronnie is being forced to spend the summer with her father, even though she hasn’t seen or spoken to him in the three years its been since he left her family. Ronnie loves it in New York-the parties, her friends, getting into trouble. But what if this summer can bring new beginnings? What if her life could actually change, and she could learn to love again?

Review:

I borrowed this book from my friend, after she told me how great it was. I have to say that I agree with her. Nicholas Sparks is a great author, and I love his books. Especially since the movie just came out [not that I'll see it-I'm not a big Miley Cyrus fan] I thought I’d better read this book.
I liked how Ronnie wasn’t perfect. She’d made mistakes in the past and continued to make mistakes throughout the book. This isn’t one of those I-think-I’ll-suddenly-change-my-whole-personality books.
Her little brother, Jonah, sounds so adorable. I’d really like to meet the little guy.
Will wasn’t perfect either, a definite plus. I don’t know how to describe it, but Nicholas Sparks has a way with characters. They were easy to pictures and I could almost hear their voices in my head-a definite plus for any book.
I’ve been trying to think of some negative comment to add, but I honestly can’t think of one. Get ready for a tear-jerker ending, though.
“The Last Song” gets a definite 5/5 stars.
This is also a book for my current challenge, What’s in a Word? This makes 2/6. Check it out, top right.
Have you read/want to read The Last Song? Think I should read any more books by Nicholas Sparks? Did you see the movie? Comment below!

“Broken” by Karin Slaughter

22 Apr


“Broken”
Author: Karin Slaughter
Pages: 400
Where I got it: I won it free in a Goodreads contest [check right sidebar for a link to Goodreads]
Release Date [tentative] : June 22, 2010
First Lines: Allison Spooner wanted to leave town for the holiday, but there was nowhere to go. There was no reason to stay here, either, but at least it was cheaper.
Favortie Character: Will Trent
Officer Lena Adams might finally be in over her head.
When she and a fellow detective arrive on scene at the sight where a college student’s body was discovered, it seems like a simple suicide. Yet it’s soon discovered that there’s a murderer in town-and this may not be the last time they strike…
Special Agent Will Trent is brought out to investigate the police department while the case is going on. Dr. Sara Linton, who blames Lena for her husband’s death, wants revenge and closure.
Will they ever catch this killer?

I really wasn’t sure how I was going to like this book. I didn’t even know much about it when I won it.
Thankfully, I was greatly surprised in how much I loved it! Even though it’s part of a series of books that I’ve never read or heard of before I was able to figure out the character’s pasts and how they felt about one another. The plot line was amazing..There was never a dull moment. One moment you’re at the scene of the crime, the next in someone’s kitchen, yet both are equally interesting.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s a huge fan of murder mysteries, crime novels, and anyone who’s a fan of Karin Slaughter. This book gets 5/5 stars from me.
Have any of you read/want to read Broken? Have you read any other  books by Karin Slaughter? Do you think I should read any more books written by her? Comment below!

“Catch 22″ by Joseph Heller

21 Apr


“Catch 22″
Author: Joseph Heller
Pages [Paperback]: 463
Available in stores everywhere
First Lines: It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
Memorable Quote: He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt.
Favorite Character: Yosarrian
Yosarrian is an officer in the American army during World War II. He would do anything to be sent home. He would stop at nothing to be taken off of combat duty. Follow Yosarrian as he goes about his daily duties-or avoiding his daily duties-and the different people he encounters.

I wasn’t too excited to start this book. I had to read it with my class at school and, well, we usually don’t read very good novels. This one was…okay. The entire novel was a satire-making fun of war. There were a few parts that really made me laugh, but sometimes the book seemed to drag on and on with the corny jokes! And sometimes it didn’t make sense just because the author didn’t feel like making sense in order to prove a point. I know that’s a certain style, but it irks me.
I liked how the characters were well defined, if annoying at times. I know, I know-they’re supposed to be this way. I’m just not used to reading any book like this one.
I’m giving “Catch 22″ 2/5 stars: 1 star for the fact that it made me laugh [sometimes], and the other for the combination of it being a classic book [then it must be good enough for people to read XD] and having great characters.

Have you read/want to read Catch 22? Any other books you think I should read? Comment below!

“Midnighters: Touching Darkness” by Scott Westerfeld

12 Apr


“Midnighters: Touching Darkness”
Author: Scott Westerfeld
This is the second book in the Midnighters trilogy. Find the review for the first book, The Secret Hour, here.
Pages [Hardcover]: 330
Available in stores now!
First line: At last, everything was sorted out.
Memorable Quote: In the blue time, math kicked ass
Favorite Character: Dess
Dess, Jonathan, Jessica, Melissa, and Rex are the only midnighters around. The rest mysteriously disappeared around fifty years ago, vanishing without a trace or even a hint of what might have happened to them. As they struggle to unravel this mystery, they stumble onto a larger problem: a strange man has been hanging around outside Jessica’s house, taking photos-at exactly the stroke of midnight. Could this man know something about the midnighters? Will they ever figure out what happened so long ago?
—-
I really liked the first Midnighters and this one didn’t diappoint. In fact, I really liked this second book better. The characters seemed more full of life and seemed to know what they were doing. Not just wandering around thinking about what they should do or unsure of what to decide. They had specific goals and set out to fulfill them. I was more than happy to be taken along on the ride.
There was more action, more romance, more-well, everything, actually.
The relationships between characters really deepened in this second installment.
This book definitely gets 5/5 stars.

“The Last Olympian” by Rick Riordan

8 Apr


“The Last Olympian”
Author: Rick Riordan
This is the fifth and final book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Read the reviews for book three here and book four here.
Pages [Hardcover]: 381
Available in stores now!
First Lines: The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car.
Memorable Quote: I felt like one of Apollo’s sacred cows- slow, dumb, and bright red
Favorite Character: Percy Jackson
Kronos is reformed and he won’t let anything stop him from overthrowing Olympus-even a hero like Percy Jackson.
Knonos’ army is marching closer and closer to New York City. The gods are all busy fighting Typhon, the most powerful monster of all. It’s up to Percy and the other half-bloods to keep Kronos from destroying Olympus. Will they succeed? Or will Kronos be the new ruler?
—-
Like all Percy Jackson books, this novel was fast-paced and full of funny lines and characters. But I love these books, and I’m sad knowing this is the final one. The new Camp Half-Blood series coming out next fall will have new characters, apparently with a few familiar faces popping in every now and then.
But still. It’s Percy.
This son of Poseidon is a great leading character. He has normal temptations and flaws and it is easy to relate to him.
I love how the setting is described so vividly, especially in the fight scenes. I’ve only been to NYC twice, but I could picture everything that Percy was seeing perfectly.
Rachel Elizabeth Dare makes another appearance in this book. She’s more defined in this one, and more information of her background and such are given, which I liked.
The ending wasn’t cliff-hanger like the others (obviously, it’s the last book), but I’ll forgive it for being a little cliche. Sometimes we need a little bit of that thrown in there.
The Greek mythology was spot on. I love how it connects to everything! These books have me itching to read another book with Greek mythology tied it.
“The Last Olympian” definitely gets 5/5 stars. It’s a great book.

The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron

5 Apr

 

 

“The Poacher’s Son”

Author: Paul Doiron

Pages: [Hardcover] 336

Release Date: May 11th 2010

First Lines: When I was nine years old, my father took me deep into the Maine woods to see an old prisoner of war camp. My mom had just announced she was leaving him, this time for good.

Favorite Character: Charley Stevens

Summary:
Mike Bowditch loves his career as a Game Warden, even if it means he’ll get called to work at all hours of the night to go tramping through the forest. One night he gets back to find a message from his father, whom he hasn’t spoken to in several years, on his answering machine. Then, a cop turns up dead, and Mike’s father is the prime suspect.
Mike’s father is on the run, saying that he is innocent. Mike wants to trust him, but what has his father been doing during the past few years? And if his father is innocent, then who is the real killer?

Review:
I usually don’t go for mysteries. It’s not that I don’t like the genre, it’s that most young adult books these days don’t tend towards the mysterious. Well, this isn’t a young adult book, that’s for sure. It’s written for an older audience, but I still enjoyed it.
This is another great first read from Barnes and Noble. If you have a chance, check out their website [too lazy to search for the link at the moment, sorry] and go to their book clubs. They often have ARCs to give away in exchange for posting on the boards and participating in a discussion about the book. Fairly easy work for a free book that no one else has read before, in my opinion. They haven’t released a new First Look yet, but hopefully they will soon. I’ll make a post about it when that occurs because copies are limited and I’m sure all of you would love to get a free book.
Anyway, one thing I really liked about this book was the setting. Maine is a beautiful place. I visited the lower region of the state for vacation last summer. The enormous forests, the wildlife hidden around every corner, the feeling that you’re cut off from the world yet you’ve never been closer to nature than at this moment..
Anyway. Maine is cool. Everyone should visit.
The book started a little slow, picked up pace in the middle, then drug on for a while, before speeding to a conclusion. There isn’t really any one thing I can pick out that made me dislike it. It was just . . . Okay. Nothing special. A simple little mystery with a nice backdrop and well thought out characters. Some plot points didn’t seem to make sense-if your father hadn’t cared about you your entire life, would you risk everything to defend him even if everyone else was saying he did something? I don’t think I would.
All in all, “The Poacher’s Son” gets 3/5 stars.

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